Agratam India, founded by Akshay Verma ’13SIPA, is a social venture committed to promoting equitable development and providing viable income generating opportunities in rural economies.
Having grown up in India between Bihar and New Delhi, Verma, was deeply impacted by the lack of opportunities for the rural youth, the lack of mainstream economic participation and the difficult living conditions in rural communities. Verma wanted to create a concrete solution to the inherent issues that plagued rural economies.
Agratam India is now a globally recognized social venture that is working to radically raise income levels of rural households in Bihar by converting unproductive waterlogged wastelands into profitable fish farms.
In 2015, President Obama personally invited Verma to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, in recognition of Agratam’s innovative work and the large scale impact of Agratam’s interventions on rural economies. Agratam India’s pioneering work and impact in rural economies is also a case study at Oxford University.
Agratam India has placed third in 2017’s Ideas4action global competition organised by the World Bank and Wharton Business School to further the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Almost 2,000 social venture applications from 125 countries were judged on their sustainability, scope of impact, clarity of vision, and several implementing parameters. With this win, the World Bank will now extend various mechanisms of support to Agratam India to scale up its work and scope of impact.
Columbia Community: It was during his second postgraduate degree, Masters of Public Administration, at SIPA, where Akshay formalised his long-standing vision and career mission into a reality.