Vikram Akula

Vikram Akula

Chairperson, SKS Microfinance

Currently employed at SKS Microfinance


Previous: University Of Chicago, Yale University



    Founder Vikram Akula Guided SKS Microfinance in Tricky Transition A social entrepreneur and author, Vikram Akula led SKS Microfinance Ltd., through a period of significant change. Established by Mr. Akula in 1997, SKS started a nonprofit organization that offered microloans to people from one of India's populations most in need: women seeking to lift their families out of poverty through small-scale business ventures. In 2004, Vikram Akula left the company briefly before returning in 2005 to oversee its transition to a for-profit business model. In fact, Mr. Akula arranged the first round of financing that made the transition possible. He enlisted investor Vinod Khosla's support in the venture, after years of educating the investor community about the potential of microfinance. While he drew criticism from some social sector leaders for his opinion that microfinance institutions would be unable to expand without going public, Vikram Akula worked to ensure that the best interests of the women served by SKS would continue to be the foremost concern of the business. For example, he established SKS Trusts—which had SKS borrowers as beneficiaries—to hold the sweat equity created by the company. At the time of the initial public offering (IPO) in 2010, the SKS Trusts had earned more than $20 million, which it has used towards various development programs. Meanwhile, under Vikram Akula’s leadership, SKS distributed $5 billion in microloans to more than 7 million women entrepreneurs. Loans from the company have enabled women across India to run income-generating businesses through the purchase of sewing machines, livestock, and crafting supplies of all kinds. While Mr. Akula left the company in 2011, he continues to support improvements for individuals who are underserved in India as a board member of the Bodhi Educational Society. The organization is committed to empowering and educating individuals in need.



Yale University, New Haven, Ct

MA, Internalation Relations

From June 1995 to June 1999

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Centres d'intérêt

  • Community
  • Educational Development
  • Family
  • Philanthropy