Social Entrepreneur

Vikram uses innovative approaches to solve social problems. He is best known for founding Bharat Financial Inclusion, one of the world’s largest microfinance companies. His financial inclusion start-up, Vaya, is creating microfinance 2.0. Profiled by The Wall Street Journal for its pioneering use of tablet banking in rural India, Vaya was the first to enroll 100% of its customers using e-KYC, the first to achieve 100% cashless disbursement of loans, and the first to deploy biometric iris-scan authentication to prevent fraud and error.


Vikram is an angel investor in ArthImpact, a fintech start-up which uses an app to provide credit to the “missing middle”— small merchants who are above the threshold of microfinance but still not large enough to garner the attention of mainstream banks.


He is also an angel investor in AgSri, which has developed an innovative method to grow sugarcane, enabling farmers to use significantly less water than is used conventionally. As a result, there is a reduced impact on the environment and higher profitability for small farmers.


(Click to read more about BFIL, VayaArthImpact, and AgSri)


His awards include the Schwab Social Entrepreneur of the Year in India (2006), the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in India—in the startup (2006) and business transformation (2009) categories. He is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and an Echoing Green Fellow.