In an endeavor to strengthen its fast growing global footprint, Wadhwani Foundation today announced the appointment of Suman Sasmal, Managing Director – India and Asia, Javier Campos, Managing Director – Latin America and Varsy Wanjau, Managing Director – East Africa. This further shores up the highly skilled and experienced global management team at the Foundation and reaffirms its global job creation strategy led through entrepreneurship, innovation and skills development initiatives.

Collage Leaders - Wadhwani Foundation

This strategic hiring aligns with the Wadhwani Foundation’s mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies. The Foundation is present in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Bangladesh in Asia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia in East Africa and soon in Mexico, Chile, Columbia and Peru in Latin America. In each of these countries the Foundation is forging partnerships with governments, educational institutes, corporates, mentors/investors networks, associations, to create entrepreneurial and skilling eco-systems by sharing IP, resources and experiences from its journey in India. It has plans to expand to 15-20 more countries in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America, by 2020.

Emphasizing on the strategic importance of these hires, Dr. Ajay Kela, President and CEO, Wadhwani Foundation said, “The Foundation has developed a tried and tested model for job creation and job fulfillment in India, and is now rapidly scaling operations in multiple emerging economies. Leveraging technology, building capacity networks and establishing government partnerships form the cornerstone of this expansion strategy. Having tested this expansion model in Malaysia and Indonesia earlier, the Foundation is now launching its initiatives in multiple countries in East Africa, Latin America and Asia. To achieve these objectives, the Wadhwani Foundation is pleased to have on board three seasoned professionals, Suman Sasmal, Javier Campos and Varsy Wanjau to head India & Asia, Latin America and East Africa regions respectively. With their years of experience managing businesses and technology, the Foundation hopes to accelerate scaling and accessibility of its entrepreneurship and skilling initiatives, globally”.

As Managing Director, India and Asia of Wadhwani Foundation, Suman Sasmal will be responsible for all product development and deployment across most Wadhwani Foundation initiatives, including NEN, SDN, OND, in India and South East Asia. With a successful career in the IT services industry spanning almost three decades, Suman has a unique track record of working across multiple roles and geographies. Prior to joining Wadhwani Foundation, Suman had worked with Infosys as Global Head of Delivery for Healthcare, Insurance and Life Sciences and Head of the Infosys Development Center at Bangalore.

Javier Campos as the Managing Director, Latin America will be based in Mexico City and will be responsible for the Foundation’s Latin America Operations. With over 20 years of a successful career across markets and industries in Europe and Latin America, Javier’s entrepreneurial spirit, business development strategic thinking and global deployment experience led to germination and expansion of several start-ups and new divisions of global organizations. Prior to joining Wadhwani Foundation, Javier was the Vice President of the International Division of USS, where he was instrumental in the development and implementation of the international growth for the company.  Previously, as the Managing Director of Stanley Security Mexico, Javier was instrumental in launching the company in the region and establish it as a strong player in the market.  Javier started his career at Schneider Electric, where he took various management roles in Latin America, Europe and the Middle East to create growth strategies focused on Industrial, Aerospace and Defence markets.

Varsy Wanjau, Managing Director, East Africa is based in Kenya and will be responsible for building and leading operations, and managing business partnerships with Government, Academia and Industry. With over 15 years of experience in customer service and administration, Varsy will also be responsible for building a strong bonded community of beneficiaries (startups, SMEs and skilled personnel) and partners (mentors, investors, associations, corporates, academic institutions, government officials). Prior to joining Wadhwani Foundation, Varsy worked with Rapidol Pty Ltd, South Africa as the Country Manager and other organizations like Ceva Sante Animale France, Nestle’ Kenya Ltd., HACO Industries BIC France Alberto Culver USA; East and Central Africa and Procter & Gamble East Africa.

About Wadhwani Foundation:

Wadhwani Foundation was founded in 2000 by Dr. Romesh Wadhwani with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies through large-scale job creation. The Foundation is present in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, East Africa and Latin America operating in association with governments, corporates, mentors, investors and educational institutes, and has plans to expand soon to other countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. Its five Initiatives are driving job creation through innovation, entrepreneurship and skill development.

National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) inspires, educates, and supports student entrepreneurs, startups, and SMEs for creating high-value jobs.  Over the past ten years, NEN has trained over 3,000 faculty across 500 institutes, who now regularly offer entrepreneurship courses to more than 100,000 students, annually. NEN recently signed an agreement with Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship to scale this to 3000 institutes.  NEN has also ventured into creating city based entrepreneurial ecosystems that would consist of mentors, investor and incubators supporting startups and SMEs.

Skills Development Network (SDN) aims to equip non-college-bound high school graduates with sufficient work-skills to command family supporting wages. Today, SDN works across 3000 high schools and with over 200,000 students and is embarking on scaling this to 15,000 schools over the next three-five years, in partnership with the Indian government. SDN is also working with the Central and State Governments to transform ITIs to modern manufacturing training hubs and multi-skill institutes, and with employers to engage in providing adjunct faculty, internships and apprenticeships.  

Opportunity Network for Disabled (OND) mainstreams the educated disabled into sustainable, high-quality corporate jobs through a business value proposition. 8,000 people have been placed through this initiative and OND, in partnership with the government and industry, is building capacity to place 100,000 over the next five years with the ultimate goal of corporates recognizing the business value of hiring and mainstreaming the disabled. 

Research and Innovation Network (RIN) aims to create a world-class innovation ecosystem in India with the goal of propelling India towards the top ten innovative nations in the world. The Wadhwani Research Center for Biotechnology (WRCB) at IIT Bombay and Shanta Wadhwani Center for Cardiac and Neural Research (SWCCNR) at NCBS, Bengaluru, are the two pioneer centers set up by RIN. The Startup and Small Business Innovation (SSBI) initiative aims to create national ecosystems in critical sectors of high importance. 

Policy Research Center (PRC) provides data-driven research inputs for informed policy action towards accelerating economic growth. PRC has assessed the performance of two of India’s most comprehensive and largest programs initiated by the Department of Biotechnology and administered by Biotechnology Industry Research Assistance Council (BIRAC) – SBIRI and BIPP. The assessment led to evidence-based recommendations for policymakers to improve impact and scale of innovation programs in small- and medium-scale industries. The Foundation envisions creating partnerships with various central government organizations to initiate innovation grants to 25,000 companies over five years as part of the SSBI Initiative.

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