Vikram Gandhi is the founder of Asha Impact - a platform set up to address the critical development challenges facing India and other emerging economies through impact investing - and Founder & CEO of VSG Capital Advisors - an investment bank advising clients across the globe including Canada Pension Plan CPP Investment Board (US $172 billion assets under management) and Greenhill & Company.
After a successful career in investment banking spanning more than two decades in New York and Hong Kong, he decided to return to India with the desire to actively participate in the development and growth of his country. He also served as Vice-Chairman at Credit Suisse, Co-Head of Global FIG at Morgan Stanley, Country Head and President of Morgan Stanley India, Founding Member of Harvard University's South Asia Initiative, Co-founder of The Giving Back Foundation, Board Member at India Inclusive Innovation Fund - a US $1 billion Venture Capital Impact Investment Fund and Board of Director at Grameen Foundation appointed by Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. He is also the member of Standing Council of experts to assess and make recommendations regarding the international competitiveness of Indian Financial Sector by Department of Finance, Ministry of Finance, Government of India.
Vikram is of the belief that social entrepreneurship and impact investing are areas that are on the brink of significant growth; the setting up of Asha Impact at such a time will not only facilitate investments but also serve as an "industry" platform. According to him, the country will emerge as one of the biggest economies of the world over the next two decades and demonstrates a massive potential to develop a strong impact investing ecosystem.
Vikram holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School where he was designated a Baker Scholar, and a B.Com with high distinction from the University of Mumbai. He is also a qualified Chartered Accountant. Vikram divides his time between New Delhi, Hong Kong, London & New York.
Early life and education:
Vikram Gandhi was born and grew up in India. He completed his B.Com from University of Mumbai and is also a qualified Chartered Accountant. He worked couple of years in Mumbai and then went to US to pursue his MBA at the Harvard Business School where he was among top 5% of the graduating class and was a Baker Scholar.
Early career and Tata Group:
Vikram started his career with Tata Group in Mumbai where he worked very closely with Ratan Tata in his office. With his background in finance, he helped the group in various financial expansion with the group. He then went to Harvard to pursue an MBA with his wife. During his MBA, he did an internship at McKinsey & Company where he worked on an investment banking project and decided to pursue a career in investment banking on Wall Street.
Vikram joined Morgan Stanley in 1989 in New York and in 1997, returned to Mumbai as Chief Operating Officer and eventually president of the bank's operations there. He moved back to New York in 1999 as COO of the firm's e-commerce initiative and in 2003 was named global co-head of Morgan Stanley's financial institutions group. He closely worked with Vikram Pandit during his time at Morgan Stanley.
He joined Credit Suisse in 2005 and was Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Global Head of Financial Institutions Business for Credit Suisse, in New York and Hong Kong. He was a member of Credit Suisse's Global Investment Banking Management Committee and the Fixed Income Operating Committee.
VSG Capital Advisors:
In February 2012, he started his own Investment Banking firm "VSG Capital Advisors" with offices in New York, New Delhi and Hong Kong. A month later, he landed a gig as a senior adviser to the Canada Pension Plan CPP Investment Board having US $172 billion assets under management, guiding the pension plan on its Indian and Asian emerging-markets investment strategy. He has also been hired by New York's Greenhill & Co. having worked with chairman Robert F. Greenhill and CEO Scott Bok at Morgan Stanley as a senior adviser to clients seeking acquisitions in India and Asia.
Vikram setup Asha Impact with a mission to support and invest in entrepreneurs whose vision and goal is to use business as a means of providing Life and Hope to the underserved. Asha Impact aims at informing policy dialogue in partnership with like-minded individuals, entrepreneurs and organisations, civil society and the government to help forge a common agenda for inclusive growth and social progress.
Board Memberships and honors:
Vikram serves as board member at Grameen Foundation and The Giving Back Foundation. Vikram has been appointed to the Governing Council and Investment Committee of the recently announced $1 billion Venture Capital firm India Inclusive Innovation Fund (IIIF)by Sam Pitroda, Chairman - National Innovation Council & Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations. He is also senior advisor at Gawa Capital.
Vikram has been involved with various developmental activities in India and globally. He is a Board Member and Chairman of the Asian Regional Committee of Grameen Foundation, a Board Member of Janalakshmi Financial Services, and a member of the Investment Committee at Gawa Capital. Vikram is a Founding Member of Harvard University's South Asia Initiative. He is a member of The Global Leaders Circle and associated with the Social Entrepreneurship initiative at Harvard Business School. Additionally, he has worked with the National Innovation Council over the last few years to set up The India Inclusive Innovation Fund. He is also a Member of the Standing Council of Experts under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The Council helps in assessing the Indian financial sector and makes recommendations for enhancing its international competitiveness. Vikram is also a member of the Bretton Woods Committee, Washington DC, which plays an important role in promoting economic growth, reducing poverty and maintaining global financial stability.
Harvard University South Asia Institute:
He is founding member of Harvard University's South Asia Initiative, a collaborative effort between the College and Harvard's graduate schools targeting important issues in South Asia.
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