Varun has more than five years of experience in consulting and nonprofit management. He has a Master in Commerce degree with specialization in Banking and Finance from the University of Mumbai and a certification in Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) management from Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (IIM-A). Upon graduation, he worked in the Ernst & Young advisory team in India. After, he did a short internship with SKS NGO (Ultra Poor Program) in Narayankhed (Andhra Pradesh), the pilot project center of SKS microfinance. Varun’s upbringing in a small rural town and his subsequent experiences in a large metropolis, as well as his travels around the country and the world, brought to light the dichotomy that exists between rural and urban setups. The urge to find a solution to the urban-rural divide in India led to the creation of Vishwa Ashraya Sansthan (VAS) in Palampur, his hometown. Now Varun’s focus is to promote the organization’s vision to create a successful sustainable social enterprise that will achieve both financial viability and social impact in the long term. Since its inception, VAS has developed networks with various local education institutions with a total outreach to 1,500-1,600 students. The intention is to inform these students about higher education opportunities, and provide scholarships for the deserving candidates through various international education institutions present in India.

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Host Organization: Service for Peace