Ashish Thakkar is an African entrepreneur who started his business at the age of 15 having just escaped the Rwanda genocide. That business, the Mara Group, is now a vast enterprise headquartered in Dubai and with operations in 22 African countries.

ashish mara wefI met Ashish a few weeks ago at a conference in Dubai and learned just enough about his personal story to know that I needed to speak with him for a podcast episode. It’s an intense story not only of his own escape from the Rwandan genocide, but in the 1970s his parents were forced to flee Idi Amin’s Uganda.

Ashish tells much of his family history and the story of the founding of the Mara Group in his new book The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa’s Economic Miracle. Ashish is also the founder of the Mara Foundation, the work of which we discuss, and he was recently named the chair of the United Nations Foundation’s Global Entrepreneurs Council.

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