New Delhi, Delhi, India
Water.org announces the hire of Managing Director, India, Vedika Bhandarkar. Bhandarkar will serve as Water.org’s senior leader in India, overseeing the organization’s water and sanitation program expansion in the country.
To date, Water.org has enabled access to water and sanitation to more than 2.4 million people in India. The organization achieves this through its WaterCredit model—an approach that aims to empower families as powerful consumers of water and sanitation services through access to capital. WaterCredit uses philanthropic funding to drive credit for water and sanitation, primarily through microfinance, to increase access to improved drinking water and sanitation in a long-term and scalable manner. Given the distinct financial model that Water.org employs, Bhandarkar offers a unique blend of deep banking and capital markets experience and expertise to Water.org’s team at a time when the organization is forecasting enormous growth and scale, and a broadening of its approach to deploying capital.
Bhandarkar brings more than 25 years of experience building teams and businesses within Indian and international financial institutions. Most recently she served as Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Credit Suisse Securities (India) Private Limited. Previously, she served as the Managing Director & Head of Investment Banking at JPMorgan. She began her career at ICICI Bank. Since early 2015, she has dedicated her time to corporate boards and social enterprise, serving as Director of several boards and as volunteer, fundraiser and board member of the Jai Vakeel Foundation, an institution focused on children and adults with intellectual disability. She is based in Mumbai with her family.
Bhandarkar will lead Water.org’s existing, India-based team to continue to scale WaterCredit by directing the provision of capacity-building grants and technical assistance to create, pilot, and scale water and sanitation financing.
For more than twenty years, Water.org has been at the forefront of developing and delivering solutions to the water crisis. Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers innovative, community-driven and market-based initiatives to ensure all people have access to safe water and sanitation; giving women hope, children health and communities a future. To date, Water.org has positively transformed the lives of more than three million people living around the world.
WaterCredit provides funding to NGOs and microfinance providers for capacity building and technical assistance. These partners leverage those funds to access capital from banks and capital markets to disburse loans to people in need. Borrowers pay water and sanitation service providers for products and services. WaterCredit in India has facilitated nearly 600,000 water and sanitation loans, while maintaining a repayment rate of over 99%; 96% of the borrowers are women.
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