Dr Jim Maxmin
Chairman and Co-Founder
Jim has been the CEO of Volvo UK, Thorn Emi Home Electronics International, and Laura Ashley Plc. He has also been a Non-Executive Director of Progressive Insurance Inc, BAA Plc, Dawson Plc, Scottish Provident, and Geest Plc. He founded a consultancy, Informate Associates, as well as an early stage investment company, Global Brand Development. Jim has worked in an advisory capacity with FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies as well as governments throughout the world. In 2002 he co-authored a book, The Support Economy - Why Corporations are Failing Individuals and the Next Episode of Capitalism, with Harvard Business School Professor Shoshana Zuboff. Since its publication, Jim has been working on developing support economy business models in such areas as healthcare, active aging, education, and social housing. Most recently, he was a Distinguished Scholar at the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at MIT. He is a frequent speaker at major conferences. Jim was educated at Grinnell College, Fritzwilliam College Cambridge and earned his PhD in philosophy at Kings College London.
CEO and Co-Founder
Vimala Palaniswamy is a Co-founder and CEO of Jamela. Jamela is a "more-than-fair trade" skin care company that focuses on capturing more value for the people and communities where its ingredients are sourced. Vimala has worked in education technology, microfinance, transportation, infrastructure, scientific research, and health and has over 10 years' experience working with entrepreneurs and in Asia, Africa, and Central America. She has also worked as a "business bootcamp" coach for undergraduates and first year attorneys through The Fullbridge Program. Vimala has an MBA from MIT Sloan and an MPH in Global Health from Emory University. Her undergraduate degrees in Microbiology and Biology are from the University of Georgia and Simon’s Rock College of Bard.
CEO for India and Global Operations and Scaling Lead
Tejbir is the CEO for India and Global Operations and Scaling Lead. Tejbir has over a decade of experience in entrepreneurial ecosystems in the US and India, focusing on creating businesses that can generate significant value for employees, society, and himself. Most recently, Tejbir was COO of Myles Cars, a self-drive startup where he scaled operations to 21 cities in India. Prior to Myles Cars, Tejbir led Business Strategy and New Initiatives at Taxiforsure.com, launching a new line of business (autorickshaws) in the record time of a week. Taxiforsure.com was acquired by Olacabs. Tejbir began his career in investment banking with Salomon Smith Barney in Chicago before returing to India to pursue entrepeeurial interests. As an entrepreneur, Tejbir focused on acquisition, operational/financial restructuring, turning around, and scaling of struggling industrial businesses. He successfully built and managed businesses across seven industries – electricals/electronics, food processing, metals, garment accessories, financial services, IT/call centers, and agro products. Besides manufacturing, Tejbir has built businesses in retail, foreign trade, and wholesale distribution. Tejbir has a BSBA with a triple major in Finance, Management, and Economics from Washington University and an MBA from MIT Sloan where he was a Legatum Fellow.
Global Financial Analysis Lead and UK Representative
Riccardo is our Financial Analysis Lead. He works with our entrepreneurs, to help translate their business plans into viable and investable financial plans, using a sound analytical financial framework. Riccardo has over 15 years of experience in corporate finance and strategy consulting with Monitor Group, where he was a Partner in the UK practice. Throughout his career, Riccardo has focused on helping businesses and entrepreneurs develop and execute growth strategies. Based in London, Riccardo has a Bachelor Degree in Business and Economics from Universita’ Bocconi in Milan.
Global Education Lead
Sara Hess is the Global Education Lead. With more than five years of experience researching and writing on topics related to international development and entrepreneurship, Sara has worked in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. She is currently a research associate at Harvard Business School (HBS). At HBS, she co-authored one of the School’s only positive Africa-focused case studies on the Mara Group. As a graduate student at MIT, she worked for the well-known D-Lab, helping to publicize the work of the Lab’s developing world entrepreneurs and partners. She is also a freelance writer in her spare time with publications by the Oxford Business Group. Sara holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wellesley College and a master’s in urban planning and international development from MIT.