Vikram Akula


Vikram Akula, PhD, Founder and CEO, is a social entrepreneur named by TIME magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world (2006). His career has focused on education inclusion and financial inclusion. He is the founder and president of the Bodhi School in India, which serves 500 low-income students, from pre-k to high school; most students are low-caste children of small farmers and landless laborers, and many are first-generation students. He is the founder and CEO of Tutorly, which provides online tutoring to students in low-income communities in the US. Prior to his work in education, he founded Bharat Financial Inclusion in India, which became the world’s largest microfinance company, having disbursed $18 billion in micro-loans to more than 10 million poor women. He is also the founder and chairperson of Vaya Financial Services, which uses tablet-banking technology to deliver loans to low-income people in India. He is currently a Distinguished Career Fellow at Stanford University, was a Fulbright Scholar, has a PhD. in political science from the University of Chicago, an MA in International Relations from Yale University, and a BA in philosophy and English from Tufts University. He has worked with McKinsey & Company and the Worldwatch Institute, and he has authored Micro-Meltdown: The Inside Story of the Rise, Fall, Resurgence of the World’s Most Valuable Microlender, A Fistful of Rice: My Unexpected Quest to End Poverty Through Profitability, and several articles. His awards include the Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year in India (2006) and the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in India (2009).

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