Vikram S. Gandhi - Faculty & Research - Harvard Business School
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Vikram S. Gandhi

Senior Lecturer of Business Administration

Entrepreneurial Management

Vikram S. Gandhi is a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. He currently teaches FIELD Foundations and FIELD Global Immersion in the Required Curriculum of the MBA  Program. He is has developed a new course, Investing in the 21st Century: Return, Risk and Impact, which is being offered in the Elective Curriculum of the MBA Program. In addition, Vikram is a faculty member of the Impact Co-Laboratory focusing on research in the area of Impact Investing. He also teaches in various Executive Education Programs.

Vikram is the Founder of Asha Impact, an impact investing platform.  He is a Senior Advisor to The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and a Senior Advisor to Greenhill & Co. Inc. Prior to this he spent 23 years in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse. He holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School where he was designated a Baker Scholar, and a B.Com with high distinction from the University of Mumbai. He is also a qualified Chartered Accountant. 

Vikram was Vice Chairman of Investment Banking and Global Head of the Financial Institutions Business for Credit Suisse, in New York and Hong Kong. He was a member of Credit Suisse's Global Investment Banking Management Committee and the Fixed Income Operating Committee. Prior to his tenure at Credit Suisse, Vikram worked at Morgan Stanley, where he was Co-Head of Global FIG in New York; his prior work at Morgan Stanley included heading the Firm's institutional strategy area, its Global E-commerce Committee, and as Country Head and President of Morgan Stanley India.  During his 23 year career in investment banking, Vikram has focused on advising Board of Directors and CEO’s around the globe on strategic direction and the implementation of major mergers, acquisitions, and capital raising initiatives.

Asha Impact, a platform set up by socially-conscious individuals led by Vikram leverages their combined capital, networks and expertise to address the critical development challenges facing India and other emerging economies through impact investing, venture philanthropy and policy advocacy. Asha Impact is focused on providing equity and grant capital to social enterprises as well as engaging with government, business and civil society on key policy issues.

Vikram has been involved with various developmental activities in India and globally. He is a Board Member and Chairman of the Asian Regional Committee of Grameen Foundation, a Board Member of Janalakshmi Financial Services, and a member of the Investment Committee at Gawa Capital. Vikram is a Founding Member of Harvard University’s South Asia Initiative and also a Founder of Ashoka University, the first liberal arts college established in India. He is a member of The Global Leaders Circle at Harvard Business School. Additionally, he had worked with the National Innovation Council over the last few years to set up The India Inclusive Innovation Fund. He is also a Member of the Standing Council of Experts under the Ministry of Finance, Government of India. The Council helps in assessing the Indian financial sector and makes recommendations for enhancing its international competitiveness.


Cases and Teaching Materials
  1. Goldman Sachs: Making an Imprint in Impact Investing

    Shawn Cole, Vikram S. Gandhi, Caitlin Reimers Brumme and Lynn Schenk

    Goldman Sachs acquired Imprint Capital Advisors, a small firm that specialized in advising clients on environmental/social/governance (ESG) and impact investments. The founders sold Imprint with the belief that joining a global financial firm would help to scale impact investing, if not bring it into the mainstream. The case is set two years after the acquisition. It describes impact investing, the founding of Imprint, its evolution from serving foundations and home offices to financial institutions, and its sale to and integration within Goldman Sachs. The founders consider the past two years and whether the acquisition has, in fact, helped to scale ESG/impact investing.

    Keywords: impact investing; ESG; Investment; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Environmental Sustainability; Growth and Development Strategy; Acquisition; Integration;


    Cole, Shawn, Vikram S. Gandhi, Caitlin Reimers Brumme, and Lynn Schenk. "Goldman Sachs: Making an Imprint in Impact Investing." Harvard Business School Case 218-069, April 2018. (Revised May 2018.)  View Details
  2. Morgan Stanley: Building Long-Term Sustainability

    Vikram S. Gandhi and Lynn Schenk

    This case focuses on the 10-year journey of one of the world's largest global financial institutions developing a sustainability strategy and integrating it across all of its business units. The case provides a deep dive into the challenges and successes of trying to integrate impact, sustainability, and ESG across the firm and how that strategy translates within each unit. The case delves into the topics of building out a wealth management platform that integrates products and advice focusing on impact, embedding ESG in research, and building a green bonds business.

    Keywords: finance; sustainability; green bonds; ESG; Environmental Sustainability; Strategy; Business Units; Integration; Financial Institutions;


    Gandhi, Vikram S., and Lynn Schenk. "Morgan Stanley: Building Long-Term Sustainability." Harvard Business School Case 318-103, March 2018. (Revised April 2018.)  View Details
  3. Environmental Technology Fund Partners and E-Leather

    Vikram S Gandhi and Aldo Sesia

    This courseware was created to allow students to model E-Leather's enterprise value (EV) in early 2014. Yellow cells in the Enterprise Value (EV) worksheets indicate where students provide inputs. The other worksheets provide information to help students make decisions about their inputs.

    Keywords: Valuation;


    Gandhi, Vikram S., and Aldo Sesia. "Environmental Technology Fund Partners and E-Leather." Harvard Business School Spreadsheet Supplement 318-702, March 2018.  View Details
  4. Blue Haven Initiative: The PEGAfrica Investment

    Vikram S. Gandhi, Caitlin Reimers Brumme and Amram Migdal

    This case examines Blue Haven Initiative (BHI), an impact investing fund and family office, and one of its investments, PEGAfrica (PEG). BHI founder Liesel Pritzker Simmons’ motivations for using her family wealth to start a family office focused on impact investing, as well as BHI’s approach and strategy, including direct and indirect investments, fund manager selection, total returns, sourcing and due diligence of direct investments, and other aspects. The case explores a specific investment decision in depth. In May 2017, Pritzker Simmons and BHI Director of Private Investments Lauren Cochran were considering whether to invest an additional $1 million in PEG’s upcoming $5 million Series B round, at a $20 million pre-money valuation. PEG offered pay-as-you-go (PAYG) financing plans that allowed customers to make small payments via mobile money to pay off financing for the solar equipment over time. The case details PEG’s business model, growth strategy, financial structure, and the landscape of investment capital in West Africa during the time of the case.

    Keywords: impact investing; Family Office; Development; International Development; International Development Investing; Development Fund; sustainability; Solar Energy; solar; Pay as you go; PAYG; Microfinance; MFI; social venture; Business Ventures; Acquisition; Business Growth and Maturation; Business Startups; Economics; Development Economics; Energy; Energy Conservation; Energy Sources; Renewable Energy; Social Entrepreneurship; Finance; Assets; Asset Pricing; Capital; Capital Budgeting; Capital Structure; Venture Capital; Cash; Cash Flow; Currency; Currency Exchange Rate; Equity; Private Equity; Financial Instruments; Debt Securities; Stock Shares; Financing and Loans; Microfinance; International Finance; Investment; Investment Return; Investment Activism; Investment Funds; Investment Portfolio; Price; Geography; Geographic Location; Emerging Markets; Ownership; Ownership Stake; Private Ownership; Social Enterprise; Value; Valuation; Value Creation; Energy Industry; Financial Services Industry; Green Technology Industry; Africa; United States;


    Gandhi, Vikram S., Caitlin Reimers Brumme, and Amram Migdal. "Blue Haven Initiative: The PEGAfrica Investment." Harvard Business School Case 318-003, February 2018. (Revised August 2018.)  View Details
  5. Environmental Technology Fund Partners and E-Leather

    Vikram S. Gandhi and Aldo Sesia

    It is 2014 and Environmental Technologies Fund (ETF) Partners, a UK-based venture capital firm, has an opportunity to invest in a privately held UK company that manufactured engineered composition leather extracted from waste leather using an environmentally friendly process. The end product looked, smelled, and felt like natural leather. Scalable marketplace adoption of E-Leather’s products looked promising but was just that—promising. And the company’s success would largely depend on management’s ability to significantly improve the efficiency of its manufacturing operations. ETF needed to decide whether to invest in the company and, if so, at what valuation. In addition, ETF needed to decide the structure of the investment and how the firm would assess E-Leather’s environmental impact.

    Keywords: sustainability; venture capital; investment strategy; Investment; Strategy; Ownership; Valuation; Energy Conservation; Equity; Technological Innovation; Environmental Sustainability; Performance Efficiency; Manufacturing Industry; Financial Services Industry; United Kingdom;


    Gandhi, Vikram S., and Aldo Sesia. "Environmental Technology Fund Partners and E-Leather." Harvard Business School Case 318-001, January 2018.  View Details
  6. Financial Inclusion at Omidyar Network

    Vikram S. Gandhi, Caitlin Lindsay Reimers Brumme and James Barnett

    A team of investors at Omidyar Network explore two different investment possibilities in the budding financial inclusion space using their investment framework to consider capital alternatives available for both investments, each of which carries highly divergent financial and impact potential.

    Keywords: impact investing; Micro Finance; Investment; Investment Return; Investment Activism; Investment Portfolio; Microfinance; India; Philippines;


    Gandhi, Vikram S., Caitlin Lindsay Reimers Brumme, and James Barnett. "Financial Inclusion at Omidyar Network." Harvard Business School Case 318-004, January 2018. (Revised August 2018.)  View Details