Ashish Thakkar is the co-founder of the Mara Corporation and The Mara Foundation.
An internationally recognised entrepreneur, Ashish started his first business aged 15 with a $5,000 loan.
Over the past three decades, Ashish and his family have driven the company’s growth from a small IT business in Uganda to the globally recognised multi-sector investment group that exists today.
Through its investments, Mara Corporation now has a presence across 26 African countries in technology, manufacturing, real estate and financial services.
“Refugee, school dropout, entrepreneur, astronaut, philanthropist, author – I am still a work in progress.”
Based in Dubai, Ashish Thakkar is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young entrepreneurs.
In 2009, Ashish launched the Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship. Mara Mentor is a free online global platform connecting emerging entrepreneurs with business leaders and industry experts.
The family leads the Mara Foundation to ensure a strong follow-through of the family’s vision to create a self-sustaining Africa through entrepreneurship.
In 2012, Ashish was appointed a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to recognise his success and leadership in driving social and economic change in Africa.
Ashish advises several heads of state in Sub-Saharan Africa and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on Entrepreneurship.
In 2015, Ashish was appointed Chair of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council.
In 2016 Ashish was awarded Esquire Middle East Man of the Year.
In 2017, Ashish was appointed Chair of the Presidential Youth Advisory Group at the African Development Bank.
In 2019, Ashish was named African Leadership Person of the Year for Employment Generation.
Ashish truly believes that by ‘doing good’, you will ‘do well’.
Ashish Thakkar Mara Group CEO – Keynote Speaker
As a keynote speaker, Ashish’s speaking topics include:
- Business with Purpose & Social Impact