Ashish J. Thakkar

Ashish J. Thakkar
  • Founder, Mara Group, United Arab Emirates

1996, founded first business at age of 15 with $5,000 loan. Since then, has grown company from small IT business in Uganda to pan-African investment group with operations in 22 African countries, spanning financial services, manufacturing, infrastructure, real estate and technology (incl. e-commerce and social media). 2009, founded Mara Foundation to support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy; its Mara Mentor mobile app connects entrepreneurs with experienced business leaders. Advises several heads of state in sub-Saharan Africa. Young Global Leader (2012) and Member, World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on Africa. Member: Dell's Global Advisory Board; Board, The Africa Center. Will become Africa's second astronaut by joining Virgin Galactic's maiden voyage to space.