Water.org announced Thursday the appointment of Managing Director, India, Vedika Bhandarkar. Bhandarkar will serve as Water.org’s senior leader in India, overseeing the organization’s water and sanitation program expansion in the country.
To date, Water.org has enabled access to water and sanitation to more than 2.4 million people in India. The organization achieves this through its WaterCredit model—an approach that aims to empower families as powerful consumers of water and sanitation services through access to capital.
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.
Bhandarkar brings more than 25 years of experience building teams and businesses within Indian and international financial institutions. Most recently she served as 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 am delighted to join and contribute to Water.org’s continuing efforts to help scale the impact in India,” said Vedika Bhandarkar.
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,” said Jennifer Schorsch, President, Water.org.
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Founded by Gary White and Matt Damon, Water.org pioneers community-driven and market-based initiatives to ensure all people have access to safe water and sanitation.
WaterCredit provides funding to NGOs and microfinance providers for capacity building and technical assistance. 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. WaterCredit in India has facilitated nearly 600,000 water and sanitation loans, while maintaining a repayment rate of over 99%; 96% of the borrowers are women.