Bengaluru, 07th December 2023: The British Asian Trust has appointed Indian business leader Nikhil Kamath, Co-Founder of Zerodha, True Beacon, and Gruhas, and eminent social entrepreneur, educationist, and mental health advocate Dr Neerja Birla, Founder and Chairperson of the Aditya Birla Education Trust, to its India Advisory Council. 

Nikhil Kamath, Dr Neerja Birla

The British Asian Trust is a South Asian diaspora-led international development organisation founded by His Majesty The King when he was The Prince of Wales and a group of visionary British Asian business leaders. It has a presence across India in areas such as women’s empowerment, education, livelihoods, and conservation. It is a pioneer in social finance globally and in India, working with non-profits, governments, donors, and other key stakeholders to adopt tools like impact bonds that increase the scale and effectiveness of philanthropic funding. 

Nikhil Kamath is known for co-founding one of India's largest stockbrokers Zerodha, a wealth management firm True Beacon, and venture capital firm Gruhas, focused on prop-tech, consumer goods, cleantech, media and entertainment. He is also a prominent philanthropist. Through Zerodha, along with his brother Nithin Kamath, he has committed $100m to Rainmatter Foundation, which supports solutions for climate change, specifically afforestation, ecological restoration, and livelihoods. He is the youngest Indian to sign Bill Gates and Warren Buffet's The Giving Pledge, making a promise to give at least 50 per cent of his wealth to charity. Additionally, he is a key figure in the Young India Philanthropic Pledge, a commitment by India’s new-age philanthropists to dedicate a minimum of 25% of their wealth to enhance global change, starting with India.

“I am committed to partnering with innovative and pioneering social organisations as part of my philanthropic approach. I'm therefore honoured to join the British Asian Trust's India Advisory Council, made up of notable business leaders and philanthropists. Together, we aim to address complex social challenges innovatively and at scale across the country.”

Nikhil Kamath

Dr Neerja Birla is a highly respected figure in education and mental health advocacy in India and globally. She is the Founder and Chairperson of Aditya Birla Education Trust (ABET). Her initiative Mpower seeks to foster a positive change in attitudes towards mental health through awareness and advocacy and provides holistic care so that individuals with mental health concerns may lead meaningful and productive lives with the utmost respect and dignity. 

“Mpower has become a symbol of hope and a driving force for change in the mental health landscape in India. However, significant barriers continue to exist in providing the right support for mental health to millions of citizens in the country. The British Asian Trust is doing commendable work in this space across the world. I’m thrilled to join the British Asian Trust’s India Advisory Council and expand our work in mental health across India.”

Dr Neerja Birla

“The inclusion of Nikhil Kamath and Dr Neerja Birla into our advisory council will contribute immensely to the future of our work in India. Nikhil’s passion for conservation and livelihoods and Dr Birla’s outstanding journey in education and mental health will help us expand our impact innovatively and effectively.”

Bharath Visweswariah, Executive Director- India, at the British Asian Trust

They join other eminent business and philanthropic leaders Mukesh Ambani (Chair of the India Advisory Council and Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries), S. Ramadorai CBE (Former Chairman - of National Skill Development Council & Bombay Stock Exchange, Former CEO Tata Consultancy Services and Chair of British Asian India Foundation), Ranjit Barthakur (Founder & Chairman - Globally Managed Services and Executive Chairman - Royal Multisport Pvt Ltd), Natasha Poonawalla (Chairperson, Villoo Poonawalla Foundation and Executive Director – Serum Institute of India) and Aditi Kothari (Vice Chairperson, DSP Investment Managers) on the India Advisory Council.

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