The Akshaya Patra Foundation, directed by Shridhar Venkat, is the world’s largest NGO-directed school meal program, feeding 1.4 million children every day. Since its founding in 2000, the organization has grown to 22 locations serving almost 11,000 schools spread across 10 states in India. Drawing on his engineering background, Venkat has designed every aspect of the program for maximal efficiency, using indigenously-developed technologies for making and distributing food inexpensively, while maintaining quality and nutrition. The meal program, a Harvard Business School case study, has been recognized both nationally and internationally for decreasing malnutrition, and increasing school attendance and post-educational accomplishments. On fellowship, Venkat explored new NGO sustainability strategies, and gathered information to advance the development of a School of Social Innovation, which will be the first of its kind in India.


Akshaya Patra Foundation


Chief Executive Officer

Areas of Interest

Education, Non-Profit Governance
  • shridhar venkat

Program Year



Common Interest Program

Country of Origin


Destination Country

United States