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Prashant Thakker

Prashant is the founder and managing partner of ProGro Ventures and Advisors. ProGro Ventures and Advisors LLP brings together Progressive Growth ventures in India’s startup / early stage sector and evolved individual and institutional investors from across the globe to create high impact, high growth companies of the future providing an opportunity for outsized returns. It believes in a model of co-investment and provides a platform for continuous engagement with investment companies based on expertise and network preferences.  ProGro Advisors aims to launch a Venture Debt vehicle to address this huge white space in India’s early stage sector. .  With a keen interest in the startup ecosystem and in his capacity as an angel investor he has invested in and mentored startups across a variety of sectors including, financial services for the BOP, skill development, technology & clean-tech. He is biased to investing in early stage ventures in the impact investment and social sector space and is a member of a number of angel networks.

With over 2 decades of corporate experience, Prashant had been with Standard Chartered Bank for the 18 years in a variety of roles. He was involved in and led a number of strategic transformation projects for the bank.  He started with a career in corporate treasury and was with the Ricoh Japan Ltd for 2 years.   In his last role at Standard Chartered he covered the bank’s South Asia Public Sector (PS) and Development Organisations (DO) client segment franchise, which includes Central Banks, Sovereign funds, Ministry of Finance and its subsidiaries, Multilaterals, Bilaterals, Development Banks, Government missions and embassies, International NGOs and foundations and Microfinance Institutions.  As the Global Head for Microfinance for almost a decade, he had launched and managed Standard Chartered’s Microfinance business. He has overseen equity, debt & mezzanine investments in over 100 financial inclusion intermediaries, many of them from very early stages; worth almost $2 Bn in Asia, Africa and the Middle East across 22 countries.  His work included policy advocacy and ideation with the Governments, central banks and policy think tanks. He has worked with Global development financial institutions including the ADB, IFC and the World Bank Group and has implemented award winning programs that help increase access to finance to the world’s unbanked and under-banked populations. Over the years he has been a speaker at industry events across the world and has authored articles on Microfinance and Financial inclusion, which have been published in international publications.

Prashant is a Wharton Fellow, holds a PGDBM (Finance) and has graduated with a major in Entrepreneurship Management.

Having lived and worked in 5 cities across 3 countries with global coverage responsibilities, Prashant has leveraged the opportunity to travel extensively across the world and developed a love for cuisine, art and culture. He is married with a young daughter and enjoys travelling, golf, scuba diving, cinema and the performing arts. He is passionate about girl child education & wildlife protection and supports a number of initiatives and institutions in these social sectors.