CEO, Naandi Foundation, the Ex-Officio Secretary to the Board of the Naandi Foundation, Manoj is a Robert McNamara Fellow of the World Bank. He began his career with the Ministry of Finance, development banking, micro-finance, and international humanitarian organisations. In 2000, Manoj became the founding CEO of Naandi Foundation. Naandi’s first decade saw Manoj design and implement innovative solutions that enhanced the efficiency of large-scale government services.
Through lesser-known development financing models, Manoj led the transformation of the tribal communities of Araku Valley in the Eastern Ghats. The region was caught in the quagmire of poverty, Naxal insurgency, and deepening ecological fragility. Through Naandi’s interventions, Araku Valley transformed into a region with biodiverse functional forests, including 30 million trees that mostly yield coffee, fruit and timber, and became globally known for the iconic brand, ARAKU Coffee. It has enabled 1,00,000 tribals to emerge out of poverty. The successful regenerative agriculture model, #Arakunomics, is being replicated in rural and urban India. The model was awarded the prestigious Food System Vision Prize 2050 by The Rockefeller Foundation, New York.
CSR Advisor to the Mahindra Group. He is also a Fellow and Moderator of The Aspen Institute, Colorado. In 2012, Financial Times, London named him among ‘25 Indians to Watch’.