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Ashish J. Thakkar

Founder, Mara Group and Mara Foundation

Ashish Thakkar is a serial entrepreneur who founded his first business in 1996 at the age of 15 with a $5,000 loan.
Since then, he has driven the growth of the company from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognised multi-sector investment group that exists today. Through its investments, Mara Group now employs over 8,000 people across 19 African countries in sectors spanning technology, financial services, manufacturing, real estate and agriculture. In 2012, Ashish was appointed a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in recognition of his success and leadership in driving social and economic change in Africa. Ashish is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young male and female entrepreneurs. Consequently, in 2009, he founded Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy. Born in the UK, Ashish and his family moved back to Africa after surviving the historic Rwandan genocide and generational exile of African families. He grew up in the UK and Uganda and now lives between Dubai and Kampala, Uganda.