In a low-income country of India’s size, you can find a socio-economic crisis anywhere you look. Be it farms, factories, schools, cities or villages. While the government is the primary actor with pretty much all power to address these challenges, how can people outside the government, especially the achievers from the private sector help make a dent?

Ashish Dhawan is one of those trying to explore if there is indeed another way to fast-track solutions to big problems, and at scale. Dhawan is a pioneer of Indian venture capital. In 1999 he co-founded Chrys Cap that was an early investor in many young companies that are now champion firms. Ten years ago he left his full-time role as an investor to start the Central Square Foundation, a philanthropic organisation that pursues outcomes-driven innovation to reform India’s primary education working alongside various State governments. He is also the founding member of Ashoka University, a not-for-profit university that aims to offer an Ivy League-quality undergraduate programme in India. He is in conversation with TR Vivek on the transition from an investor to a full-time philanthropist, staking his wealth and entrepreneurial energies in taking some of India’s big problems head on.