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 recognized multi-sector investment group that exists today. Through its investments, Mara Group 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 in recognition of his success and leadership in driving social and economic change in Africa.

Ashish is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young entrepreneurs. In 2009, he founded Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy. Ashish grew up in the UK and Uganda and divides his time between Dubai and Kampala.