Connecting Children around the World
Chairman, OLPC India Foundation (Bethesda, MD)
Satish Jha chairs the OLPC
India Foundation with a mandate to reach out to 250 million children who are growing up without access to computing.
He has been actively engaged with a number of social initiatives and founded, mentored and/or seeded a couple dozen projects and initiatives including Tarahaat.com, DESI Power, Digital Partners, Baramati Initiatives, eHealth-Care Initiatives, among them, and has been associated with leading the social entrepreneurship initiatives across Africa and Asia.
Earlier, Jha worked as a newspaper editor (Editor, Dinamaan, The Times Group and co-founder, Janasatta, The Indian Express Group), as a global corporate executive (Roche, Switzerland; Caremark/CVS, USA) and founded James Martin & Co and META Group in India. He has lately been focusing at the intersection of technology, business strategies and public policy in the areas of universal access to education, healthcare and bridging the digital divide and is also a member of United Nations' GAID, Special Advisor to Kofi Annan Center and Co-Chairs the World IT Forum (WITFOR).
Jha studied at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy, Kennedy School of Government, University of Maryland, EDHEC- Institute Theseus in France, and the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague and earned an MA in economics and an MBA in Strategy, Innovation and Information Technologies. He was a National Scholar in India, a Hubert Humphrey Fellow, Ford Fellow, Netherlands Fellow and was granted scholarships for management education by France Telecom and BNP. His co-edited work with Leon Strous on "ICTs for Development and Prosperity" was published by IFIP in late 2007.
This successful entrepernuer has had the innovation bug since his teends. Jha started a small company Vyapar Kothi when he was just 18 years old. A few months later, someone who was more evolved and capable founded something similar and gave it a name Grameen Bank and made it a part of everyone's consciousness. Jha also co-founded PUCL Bulletin, the journal of India's civil rights and had Arun Jaitley and Neeraja Chowdhary among his colleagues. My wife at the time started PolioPlus, that he said became one of the few programs that succeeded in eradicating the curse of polio from India.
Jha remains humble towards those who have influenced him along the way, “I have responded to any injustice since I was a little child with reflex action. And every event that I witnessed and reacted to has influenced me. Among people who actually helped influence me, consciously or otherwise, Jayprakash Narayan (JP) comes on top of my mind- getting to know him, talk to him, walk with him, watch him lead the national movement against corruption and give a call for total revolution was an experience without par; L K Jha, Premshankar Jha, Prabhash Joshi, Rajni Kothari, Manmohan Singh, some of my classmates at JNU, some professors such as Moonis Raza, G S Bhalla, Amitabh Kundu, Claudio Ciborra, Harvey Brooks, Dorothy Zinberg, Ashton Carter, Leo Gross, Prabhat Patnaik, Amit Bhaduri. Also, political leaders I got to know (influenced me) including V P Singh, Chandrashekhar, Atal Behari Vajpayee, journalist colleagues such as Kuldip Nayar, Arun Shourie, Sumer Kaul, H K Dua et al my bosses such as R K Pachauri, Prof S K Goyal, James Martin, Urs Kohli and Tom Durel, my board colleagues and= corporate mentors such as Prakash Tandon, V Krishnamoorthy, P K Kaul, P P Gupta, Minoo Modi, friends such as Himanshu Kumar, Michael Neri, Pradeep Mehta, Seema Malhotra, Sushma Puri and several people I got to know a little better than others naming who influenced me at every turn.”
Part of his humble ways come from his humble beginnings, Jha came from a village with a current per capita income of $120 USD when India's per capita income is $1,000. There is little crime,roads do not exist, ponds are full of weeds, and little progress takes place and yet he states people are still so happy.