Press & Media Coverage for Mara group
Ashish Thakkar is wearing large sunglasses as he swings open the doors to his 73rd floor penthouse in Dubai’s financial district. Casually turned out as if he were in Silicon Valley, the African-Indian entrepreneur apologises for any suggestion of affectation — the dark glasses are to protect his eyes after corrective eye surgery.
Behind the promising growth rates, there is emerging a new class of African entrepreneurs. The Africa of East did not lack, of Uganda to Tanzania through the Kenya. Their common? They bet, young, on the development of their country and are now millionaires.
By 2020, a projected 122m workers will join Africa’s workforce, building a continental labour force of more than 500m. By 2035, this labour force will be larger than that of China or India.
Ashish Thakkar, the 33-year-old founder of a billion-dollar pan-African conglomerate called Mara Group, has just been tapped by the United Nations Foundation to channel his entrepreneurial acumen towards pressing humanitarian issues.
Africa was the toast of the week at the World Economic Forum. Young entrepreneurial pioneers from the continent, such as Ashish Thakkar of the Mara Group, were mobbed by admirers. M-Pesa and how this mobile payment solution brought about a revolution in Africa and elsewhere in the world dominated discussions in Davos, Switzerland.
Standing outside the Belvedere Hotel, one of the busiest meeting places here in Davos on a bitter cold Swiss morning, are dozens of the most powerful business leaders waiting to get through security to attend a breakfast event at the 45th annual World Economic Forum.
Ashish Thakkar, Mara Group founder, discusses starting a business in Africa and the impact of Ebola on trade.
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.
The Western Media has outdated and incorrect beliefs about Africa. This has to change.
I recently watched the BBC documentary, “Rwanda: The Untold Story” which first aired on October 1st, 2014. For those of us who have lived through the 1994 genocide, the documentary is quite puzzling. As a lifelong fan of the BBC, I was shocked by what appeared to be a lack of objectivity and even accuracy in this documentary.
One hundred dollars is a reasonable amount of money to most 15-year-olds, but for one emerging from months as a refugee it is enough to spark a light in their eyes. That decent yet simply made profit (by reselling a computer) was so alluring in 1996, it motivated Ashish J Thakkar to quit school and chase more of the same returns.
Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama and Ugandan multi-millionaire tycoon Ashish J. Thakkar, on Friday officially launched Mara Mentor, an African multi-lingual online portal and mobile App for youth mentorship and entrepreneurship, in Ghana, as part of his government’s efforts in cultivating an entrepreneurship culture among the country’s teeming young population.