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Ashish speaks about how he thought about entrepreneurship despite the high opportunity cost given his HBS education and employment at Goldman Sachs. He also goes on to speak about his initial challenges as an entrepreneur trying to raise a fund for investing in India despite having no significant work experience in India. He also speaks about the role of mentors and supporters in giving him the confidence to take the plunge.
Ashish Dhawan is the Founder and Chairman of Central Square Foundation (CSF) and Ashoka University. He worked for twenty years in the investment management business and ran one of India’s leading private equity funds, ChrysCapital. In June 2012, he left his full time role at ChrysCapital to focus on philanthropic work in education. Ashish is an MBA with distinction from Harvard University and a dual bachelor’s (BS/BA) holder with Magna Cum Laude honors from Yale University. Central Square Foundation works on system reform in school education in India. The foundation has 60 team members who work on grant making, research, policy reform and policy implementation. Ashoka University is a new liberal arts institution that aspire to transform higher education in India.
In our conversation, we spoke about how Ashish set markers for himself at 30 (to become an entrepreneur) and 45 (to move towards social impact) and has made choices in line with those markers. We also speak about the various pathways he considered when he chose to move on from ChrysCapital to the Social Impact world. He also shares about the challenges involved in the Social Sector and how individuals transitioning to this sector should listen and understand the nuances before trying to jump into action.
Published in Nov 2020.
Deepak is a Leadership Advisor and an Executive Coach. He works with leaders to improve their effectiveness and in helping them make better decisions specifically around organizational and career transitions. He currently runs Transition Insight (www.transitioninsight.com) and works with leaders to handle phases of transition thoughtfully. He has worked as an Operations Consultant with KPMG in UK, Strategy Consultant with McKinsey in the US and as a Leadership Consultant with EgonZehnder (a Swiss Leadership Advisory firm) where he helped companies recruit CEOs, CXOs and Board Members and worked on Leadership Development. Deepak is a certified CEO Coach and is an alumnus of IIT Madras, IIM Ahmedabad and London Business School. His detailed profile can be found at https://in.linkedin.com/in/djayaraman
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