The Asia Society announced the 2018 class of its Asia 21 Young Leaders Program Aug. 30, and three Indian entrepreneurs, Roshan Paul, co-founder and CEO of Amani Institute; Abhay Saboo, co-founder of Viva Health; and Roopam Sharma, a research scientist at Eyeluminati, have found a spot on the list.
Asia 21 is a network of young leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region, representing the new generation of leaders in government, business, arts, media, and the nonprofit sector.
This year, the Asia Society has selected 31 leaders in their respective fields, including a slate of trailblazing women, activists, visionaries, policymakers and lifesavers.
“These young change-makers are already reshaping the most dynamic region on earth,” Asia Society president and chief executive officer Josette Sheean said in a statement. “They are a remarkable and truly diverse group — and Asia 21 provides a platform for these young leaders as they tackle the most vexing challenges in the region, one connection at a time.”
Members of the 2018 class will convene in Manila, Philippines, for the 13th Annual Young Leaders Summit from Nov. 14-16 to explore new and creative strategies to translate the network’s expertise into concrete actions.
Paul is the co-founder and CEO of Amani Institute, a new model of higher education that helps people build impactful careers. In just five years, Amani has become a one million dollar financially sustainable nonprofit, with offices in Kenya, Brazil, and India.
The young Indian American leader is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on behavioral science. He has lectured at over 40 universities globally, including Harvard, Georgetown, and Johns Hopkins. He gave the commencement speech at the University of San Diego in 2015 and a TEDx talk at TEDxAmsterdamEd and TEDx Bangalore Salon.
Paul, who holds a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School and a bachelor’s from Davidson College, has also written two books: “Such a Lot of World,” a novel, and “Your Work Begins at No,” a collection of essays on social impact education.
Saboo is the co-founder of IQ Education, Viva Health, and YOU. IQ Education is a new after-school tutoring concept that reimagines the way children learn, and Viva Health’s 130 pharmacies and clinics have provided access to technology and quality healthcare to over two million mass-market consumers in Indonesia, noted Asia Society.
Together with his business partner, and as co-founder of Philos Corporation, he also established a consumer health venture called YOU, with the goal of addressing nutrition gaps caused by the poor diets of emerging market consumers.
Saboo holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a bachelor’s in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech.
A scientist and an innovator, Sharma is best known for his work on the world’s first intelligent personal assistant for the visually-impaired, Manovue, which combines vision intelligence and the internet of things in the form of an inexpensive wearable device, delivering a technology that replaces Braille.
Sharma is the youngest person ever to be recognized as one of the top innovators under 35 by MIT Technology Review (2016) and was awarded the Gifted Citizen Prize in 2016, an international prize that honors the best social entrepreneur with an ability to benefit 10 million people over the next six years.
He recently received the National Youth Award, the highest youth honor in the country given by the president of India for his contribution to the field of national development and social service through research and innovation.
Sharma earned a bachelor’s of technology degree in computer science and engineering at Manav Rachna University.
Other Asia 21 Young Leaders include:
Pradip Pariyar, executive chairperson at SAMATA Foundation, which conducts policy research and advocates for the rights of the Dalits, the most marginalized community in Nepal, in order to end caste-based discrimination;
Ravi Kumar, founder of Code for Nepal, a non-profit working to increase digital literacy and the use of open data in Nepal;
Rashna Imam, an advocate of the Supreme Court of Bangladesh, who devotes most of her time and energy to public interest work; and
Anam Zakaria, an independent oral historian, researcher, author, and cultural facilitator. She also served as director of Exchange for Change at Citizens Archive of Pakistan, connecting thousands of schoolchildren in India, Pakistan, and the U.S. through letters, postcards, and a physical exchange.