Water.org has appointed veteran banker Vedika Bhandarkar as its Managing Director in India to oversee the organization’s water and sanitation program and its expansion in the country.
Water.org has enabled access to water and sanitation to more than 2.4 million people in India and the organization provides WaterCredit — an approach that aims to empower families as powerful consumers of water and sanitation services through access to capital. Its WaterCredit in India has provided nearly 600,000 people with water and sanitation loans, while maintaining a repayment rate of over 99%. Since it collaborates with the microfinance institutions, 96% of the borrowers are women.
WaterCredit uses philanthropic funding to drive credit for water and sanitation, primarily through microfinance, to increase access to improved drinking water and sanitation in a long-term and scalable manner. Given the distinct financial that Water.org employs,
Bhandarkar offers a unique blend of deep banking and capital markets experience and expertise to Water.org’s team at a time when the organization is forecasting enormous growth and scale, and a broadening of its approach to deploying capital.
Bhandarkar brings more than 25 years of experience within Indian and international financial institutions, the recent being Vice Chairman and Managing Director at Credit Suisse Securities (India) Private Limited. Previously, she served as the Managing Director & Head of Investment Banking at JPMorgan.
She began her career at ICICI Bank. Since early 2015, she has dedicated her time to corporate boards and social enterprise, serving as Director of several boards and as volunteer, fundraiser and board member of the Jai Vakeel Foundation, an institution focused on children and adults with intellectual disability. She is based in Mumbai with her family.
“I believe Water.org has developed a deep understanding of the water and sanitation issues afflicting many countries around the globe; clearly demonstrated through the delivery of innovative, sustainable WASH solutions which have made far reaching impact on millions of people in need. I am delighted to join and contribute to Water.org’s continuing efforts to help scale the impact in India; I look forward to working with all stakeholders toward improving the standard of health and livelihoods,” said Vedika Bhandarkar taking over the reins of Water.org.
Bhandarkar will lead Water.org’s existing, India-based team to continue to scale WaterCredit by directing the provision of capacity-building grants and technical assistance to create, pilot, and scale water and sanitation financing.
“Vedika’s passion lies in transforming the lives of the girl child through empowerment and education. She believes deeply in the power of water and sanitation access to help achieve transformative and positive change, enabling a better future for millions of Indians. We are pleased Vedika brings such passion along with a track record of successful leadership and financial expertise to further expand the impact of Water.org in India,” Jennifer Schorsch, President, Water.org.
WaterCredit provides funding to NGOs and microfinance institutions for capacity building and technical assistanceand these partners leverage those funds to access capital from banks and capital markets to disburse loans to people in need. Borrowers pay water and sanitation service providers for products and services.