Our Mission

Accelerating economic development in emerging economies through high-value job creation

About Us

Wadhwani Foundation is a not-for-profit with the primary mission of accelerating economic development in emerging economies by driving job creation in India and other emerging economies through large-scale initiatives in entrepreneurship, small business growth, innovation, and skilling. Founded in 2000 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur, Dr Romesh Wadhwani, today the Foundation is scaling impact in 20 countries across Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

The Wadhwani Foundation works in partnership with governments, foundations, corporations, and educational institutes through the below Initiatives:

Wadhwani Advantage: Empowers small business entrepreneur with AI-enabled business management and business consulting services to maximize their growth potential.

Wadhwani Entrepreneur: Inspires, educates, and enables startup entrepreneurs.

  • Wadhwani Inspire: Establishes a culture of entrepreneurship at a national level
  • Wadhwani NEN: Empowers students with knowledge and skills through Courses, Startup Labs and Practice Ventures to create high-potential startups
  • Wadhwani Venture Fastrack: Maximizes success rates of early-stage startups with enhanced business traction and funding opportunities

Wadhwani Opportunity: Provides 21st-century employability skills to millions of job-seeking students and empowers them with family-supporting wages.

Wadhwani Innovate: Accelerates large-scale innovation in academia and industry through innovation grants in partnership with governments and other organizations.

Wadhwani Catalyst Fund, Wadhwani Technology Platform, Wadhwani Academy, Wadhwani Institute of Technology and Policy & Wadhwani Market Research and Policy support the Foundation’s Initiatives.

Dr. Romesh Wadhwani

Founder and Chairman

  • Silicon Valley entrepreneur and philanthropist
  • Until 1999, built three successful companies, the last of which was exited at over $9 billion
  • Founding Chairman and CEO of $3.5 billion Symphony Technology Group (1999)
  • Founder and Chairman of Wadhwani Foundation (2000)
  • Founding Chairman of PE firm Symphony AI (2018)
  • Member of the Gates Buffet Giving Pledge
  • Padma Shri 2020 awardee
  • President Obama appointee to the Board of Trustees of the John. F. Kennedy Center
  • Board Member of Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, D.C.

Dr. Ajay Kela

President and CEO

  • Expanded Foundation’s initiatives across 20 countries and enabled over $100M of Govt. investment during the past ten years
  • Scaled startup Symphony Services to $175M with exit at $780M
  • Grew AutoCAD business from $170M to $850M during 10 years at Autodesk
  • PhD research on computer graphics lead to multi-million-dollar products at GE and Autodesk
  • B-Tech, IIT Bombay, India; Ph.D. University of Rochester, USA

Winning Values

Give

Give Forward

-- Wear your passion on your sleeve
-- Give with a smile
-- Share knowledge unselfishly
-- Think Impact, not activity

Group

Together Is Better

-- Partner around purpose
-- Network actively
-- Be super-responsive
-- Reach out; solve together

creativity

Make It Large

-- Think big & beyond
-- Considered risk-taking
-- Embrace agile – test, learn, scale
-- Empower down the line

Shakehand-logo

With You All The Way

-- Proactively engage to support
-- Partner across the life cycle
-- Measure success, assess impact
-- Digital for lifelong engagement

Foundational Values

At Wadhwani Foundation, our six values represent a strong belief in the contribution we are making towards a better future. These values dictate our actions and are based on a framework of passion, commitment, enduring quality and impactful socio-economic delivery.

Innovation

Effective deployment of technology along with new ideas, new possibilities and new ways of working to maximize impact & benefits to our stakeholders

Collaboration

Working with diverse individuals and organizations to achieve common goals and inclusive solutions, in a mutually empowering way

Integrity

Being honest and dedicated with transparency in ownership and communication, and a zeal to meet commitments

Excellence

Driven by high professional standards in delivering quality products and services to our stakeholders

Leadership

Leading with an agile approach to problem-solving and creating a balance between grassroots experience, strategic thinking and policy making

Impact

Creating transformational, sustainable and scalable economic acceleration in emerging economies with high-impact outcomes