About Us

Desai & Associates is an innovative finance focused academic, advisory and advocacy firm helping funders, founders and policy makers identify structure and deploy innovative solutions to sustainable development challenges in climate, inclusion and livelihoods. Our mission is to drive better capital allocation and tri-sector collaboration on intersectional development issues and help democratise knowledge to deepen the capacity of the innovative finance ecosystem in emerging markets.

The firm is founded by Kartikeya Desai – considered one of the pioneers of social finance in India with 20 years of experience in investment banking, social entrepreneurship, venture capital and policy advisory. Its advisory board is chaired by Nitin Desai – a veteran in the field of development, former UN Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs who managed the negotiations on Agenda 21and several other UN agreements on sustainable and social development and former Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India under two Prime Ministers. It is led by a professional team with expertise in finance, development and policy in across the three focus areas and works collaboratively with a network of partners, subject matter experts and advisers.


Kartikeya N Desai

(Founder & CEO)

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Kartik Desai is Founder & CEO of Desai &Associates, is considered a pioneer of social finance in India, with leadership roles at four leading impact investing institutions, advising investors, donors, corporates, policymakers and academics and demonstrating a track record of successful impact investments and exits in the last 15 years.


Nitin Dayalji Desai

(Chairman of Advisory Board)

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Nitin Desai is an Indian economist and international civil servant. He was Under Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations from 1992 to 2003 and Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, and Chief Economic Advisor to the Government of India from 1987-1990.




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