Parag Gupta


Founder, Waste Ventures and Waste Capital Partners, USA

Parag received an MA from the Harvard Kennedy School and a BA from the University of Chicago where he served as President of the Student Association. He started his career working in government at the US federal, state and local level, and later was a management consultant at the Bridgespan Group.

Parag has been active with social ventures for the past 12 years as an entrepreneur and adviser to Fortune 500 CEOs, public officials and non-profits. In 2004, he founded IDEAS, which applied venture philanthropy principles with advocacy outcomes in developing countries. He was also a volunteer consultant at TechnoServe in Nicaragua.

From 2005, Parag took part in the GLF programme. He served as Associate Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, directing the South Asia and Eastern Europe portfolios, which involved luminaries such as Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Sonia Gandhi and Vaclav Klaus in the coveted “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” selection. He also designed base-of-pyramid programming at the World Economic Forum for Fortune 500 CEOs in India, China and the Middle East, and at the Annual Meeting in Davos. 

In 2009, Parag created Waste Ventures Charities and Waste Capital Partners to incubate cooperatives for waste pickers, providing them with access to finance so they can scale and generate a margin at a commercial rate of return. He has been recognized twice for having a “Top 2%” concept by the Echoing Green Foundation for two social ventures. He has also featured on CNBC and in the San Francisco Chronicle and Times of India. Parag has been published in multiple anthologies and the editorial columns of the Business Standard, Economic Times and the HT Mint. He is a featured blogger on the premier social entrepreneur site, Social Edge, with his blog, “Talking Trash”.

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