Diaspora Gala 2014 | Ugandan Billionaire Ashish J. Thakkar Founder, Mara Group & Foundation To Present Keynote Address

Posted November 21, 2014 by Ugandan Diaspora News Team in 2014 Diaspora Homecoming Gala ~ 3,272 views



News Flash – It’s now official that the Ugandan Diaspora Social Networking Gala 2014 Keynote address at the Kampala Serena Hotel will be presented by Ugandan billionaire businessman Ashish Thakkar on 30th December 2014. Below is the biography of a man whose business acumen, skill and intellectual capital have made him a global public figure. (

Ashish J. Thakkar
Founder, Mara Group & Mara Foundation

Ashish 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 and operations, Mara Group now employs over 11,000 people across 22 African countries in sectors spanning technology, financial services, manufacturing and real estate.

Ashish is passionate about enabling, empowering and inspiring young and women entrepreneurs. To that end, in 2009, he founded Mara Foundation to foster and support emerging entrepreneurs through mentorship and venture philanthropy. One of the initiatives, Mara Mentor, is a mobile app that connects ambitious entrepreneurs with experienced and inspiring business leaders, and encourages idea and knowledge sharing amongst their peer group. Mara Mentor is being launched with several heads of state throughout Africa and is increasingly being recognized as a tool that can enable, empower and inspire Africa’s youth and help solve the growing unemployment dilemma.

In 2012, Ashish was appointed a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum (WEF) in recognition of his success and leadership in driving social and economic change in Africa. Ashish is also a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Africa and was recently awarded ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the World Entrepreneurship Forum in Singapore (returned the award), along with the Future Awards ‘Young Leader’ Award. In 2014, Ashish also won the MTV Base Leadership Award and was one of the first Africans to be featured in Fortune’s 40 under 40 list.

Ashish advises several heads of state in Sub-Saharan Africa, and sits on Dell’s Global Advisory Board and the Board of ‘The Africa Center’, a creative space on New York’s Fifth Avenue which has a vision of becoming Africa’s embassy to the world based. Ashish is set to become Africa’s second astronaut when he joins Virgin Galactic’s maiden voyage to space next year.

Born in the UK, Ashish and his family moved back to Africa after surviving the historic Rwandan genocide and generational exile of African families. He grew up in the UK and Uganda and now lives in Dubai but spends most of his time traveling around Africa. He is a keen follower of his spiritual leader, Morari Bapu, whose teachings are truth, love and compassion.

Source — Mara Group Press Office

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Ugandan Diaspora News Team

Ugandan Diaspora News Online is an independent, non political news portal primarily aimed at serving Ugandans who work and reside outside Uganda. Our aim is to be a one stop shop for everything Ugandan and the celebration of our Ugandan heritage.

One Comment

    Maggie kigozi

    This is an opportunity not to be missed. Ashish will convince you that you can find opportunities in Africa and grow with the continent.

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