Man Crush Monday (MCM): Ashish Thakkar

by Duke Magazine

Ashish Thakkar is a serial entrepreneur based in Rwanda. He is the founder of Mara Group and Mara Foundation, and the co-founder of Atlas Mara Limited. Born in 1981, Thakkar started his entrepreneurial career at age 15 in 1996 after surviving a genocidal attack that erupted in Rwanda in 1994. Today, that little enterprise has crystallized to a Pan-African conglomerate with operations and investments in 22 African countries with ventures in real estate, manufacturing, agriculture, and IT services. 

Thakkar sits as a member of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and he has served as Chair of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council.

In his effort of giving back to his society, he founded Mara Foundation, a non-profit organization geared at mentoring and supporting young African entrepreneurs, with a mobile application launched to that cause.

Far and wide, the 39-year-old business mogul has participated and talked at several summits in the exploit of his leadership and entrepreneurial acumen. He was awarded the Base Leadership Award at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards and named Middle East Man of the Year by Esquire in 2016. Thakkar authored the book,The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa’s Economic Miracle.

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