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Final results of the Quality Education India Development Impact Bond and its relevance to the education sector
Abha Thorat-Shah

Abha Thorat-Shah

Executive Director of Social Finance, The British Asian Trust

Abha leads British Asian Trust’s Social Finance work across South Asia. She is also a founding member of The British Asian Trust and has contributed to its growth and leadership over the last 15 years. Abha was a Fellow of Practice in 2021 and 2022 at the Government Outcomes Labs, Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford. Before coming to the Trust, Abha was the Chief Operating Officer of the UK India Business Council after five years in the Reinsurance markets in London.

She grew up in Mumbai, India and graduated with a BA in Political Science from the University of Mumbai and a BA Hons in Social and Political Sciences from Cambridge University. She is currently serving on the Board of Trustees at the London Stock Exchange Foundation and the UK Board of Transform Schools, a non profit focussed on secondary education in India.

Gagandeep Singh Nanda

Gagandeep Singh Nanda

Associate Partner, Dalberg

He has nearly a decade of consulting experience in the development and private sector settings across India, South-East Asia, and Asia-Pacific. His focus areas include strategy, investing for development, blended finance, education, and fostering inclusive and sustainable private sector participation.

His recent work includes design and performance management of one of the largest impact bonds in education globally (Quality Education India DIB), determining the cost-effectiveness of education interventions in India, developing the growth strategy for an inclusive business focused on eye-care services, identifying ways to foster sustainable and inclusive private sector participation in two low-income economies Asia / Asia Pacific. He also helped conduct a strategic review of a large foundation’s program focused on improving education to employment outcomes of 1 million underprivileged women in India and developing a youth employment and entrepreneurship strategy for a low-income country in South East Asia.

Prior to joining Dalberg, Gagandeep was a part of the CEO’s office team at HCL technologies, where he worked with the leadership team in designing and implementing strategic initiatives for the organization. Gagandeep was also a management consultant at the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) where he worked with firms in the Industrial Goods and Automotive industries to develop their international expansion and growth strategies. Gagandeep holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow and a Bachelor’s in Computer Science & Engineering from Thapar University..

Ritesh Agarwal

Ritesh Agarwal

Associate Vice President, Educational Initiatives

Ritesh Agarwal is passionate about improving learning outcomes in the public schools of India. He has been working with Educational Initiatives for the last 4 years and currently leads Ei Shiksha, a vertical of EI that exclusively works with low-income/government schools in India. Ritesh has rich experience in working with governments, institutional funders, and other key stakeholders in the social sector. He is well-versed with evolving trends in assessments, educational technology, policy, and developmental finance.

Prior to Ei, he was an early member at the EdTech startup- ConveGenius heading their Growth and Partnerships wing. For a project with Ashoka University, he helped create the blueprint for the foundation of the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy. Originally from Darjeeling, he graduated with a degree in History from St. Stephen’s College, University of Delhi. Ritesh has also been a part of some of the most prestigious fellowships, namely the Gandhi Fellowship, the Young India Fellowship with Ashoka University, and the Anubhav Fellowship with UChicago. His favorite pastimes include reading books, discussing movies, and learning about new things.


Laura Savage

Executive Director, International Education Funders Group (IEFG)

Laura Savage is respected within the global education community for her thinking on education systems, foundational learning and the politics of aid. She is Executive Director of the International Education Funders Group, a network of 100 philanthropic actors working to improve global education. Previously, Laura was Senior Education Adviser at the FCDO, and worked in Malawi and Bangladesh to support government education reform agendas. Laura’s approach is captured in her PhD on local ownership in the Malawian education sector.

Jairaj Bhattacharya

Jairaj Bhattacharya

Managing Director, ConveGenius Insights

Jairaj Bhattacharya is the Managing Director of ConveGenius - a leading startup in the Ed-tech space focused on personalized and adaptive learning in emerging markets like India, Philippines and Indonesia. It aims to offer superior learning outcomes for children between the ages of 3 and 12 years. Its products, like the CG Slate is an all-inclusive system aimed at combining the elements of fun and rewards with the process of learning, thus transforming education into edutainment. ConveGenius aims at evolving the learning techniques practised in India through Gamification and other fun approaches.

He was previously a researcher in Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and also worked with NASA before co-founding ConveGenius. Jairaj is an Electronics and Computer Science Graduate from IIIT Hyderabad and a Young India Fellow.


Samar Bajaj

Director (India), Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

Samar is part of the India programs team and leads projects across education and livelihoods. She partners with mission-driven organizations to scale high-impact initiatives and drive lasting systems change.

Before joining the foundation, Samar spent over 10 years as a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Ernst & Young (EY). She has worked across multiple sectors including media, consumer internet, FMCG & retail. In her corporate role, she focused extensively on researching & measuring consumer behavior and is now applying these techniques to real-world social problems.

Samar studied Economics at Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University and holds a Dual Master’s Degree in Public Administration (MPA) from the London School of Economics (LSE) and Sciences Po, Paris.

Stijn de Lameillieure

Stijn de Lameillieure

Team Lead, Private Sector and Foundations, Global Partnership for Education

Stijn De Lameillieure is currently leading GPE’s engagement with private foundations at the GPE Secretariat. Stijn has extensive experience of international cooperation, education and poverty reduction.

He is specialized in education in fragile contexts. Prior to joining GPE, he worked at as an education advisor and program manager at the European Commission, UNICEF, UNDP, UN-Habitat, Save the Children and has worked with the United Nations in Angola, Ecuador and Brazil.

Sietse Wouters

Sietse Wouters

Program Director for Innovative Finance, UBS Optimus Foundation

Sietse Wouters is program director for Innovative Finance at the UBS Optimus Foundation. Sietse has worked closely on the design, structuring and contracting of the Quality Education India, Utkrisht Maternal and Newborn Health Development Impact Bonds. Outside of impact bonds Sietse has worked on direct investments of UBS Optimus Foundation in social enterprises and programmes – from investment origination through to management of the investments of the social finance portfolio.

Prior to his current role, he worked within UBS & society, an umbrella platform within UBS Group, to grow the Bank into a leader in sustainable banking as well as within strategy development at UBS Asset Management. Before joining UBS he worked in M&A and strategy for ABN AMRO Bank in Singapore and the Netherlands and at Arthur D. Little as a strategy consultant. He has a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Science specialising in Process Technology from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. and grew up in the Netherlands, Botswana and Kenya.