Tech Crush Thursday: Ashish Thakkar
What impresses us so much about Ashish Thakkar is his background that has inspired him to start his latest company, The Mara Foundation.
As a child, his family moved from the UK to Rwanda. Shortly there after, they became refugees of the Rwandan genocide, and headed to Uganda. As a high school student, Ashish started selling computers to classmates, which eventually evolved into The Mara Group.
Ashish quickly became a successful entrepreneur, with The Mara Group operating in 16 countries with over 5,000 employees. The company focuses on “Information and Communications Technology, Real Estate & Hospitality and Manufacturing & Services”- all of which he started from the ground up. Thanks to The Mara Group’s success, Ashish was able to start the Mara Foundation.
The Mara Foundation is the non-profit branch of the Mara Group. Ashish created it in hopes of bringing mentorship and funding to small businesses and startups in his home country, Uganda. To start the Mara Foundation, he has reached out to successful entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, asking them to give advice to business owners in Africa.
He believes that what Africa needs is not direct foreign investments, but rather, “the answer is nurturing small and medium sized businesses.” He wants to give back to his native continent, making a social and environmental difference. The Mara Foundation promotes startups and mobile companies to the younger generations in Africa, knowing they are the ones who can make a difference in the future.
Adding to his list of accomplishments before the age of 30, Ashish is about to be the second African astronaut and the only one to pay $200,000 for Virgin Galactic’s first flight to Space.