Madhav Chavan

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2002


This profile was prepared when Madhav Chavan was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Madhav is addressing a major problem in India's education system through his "capital-light" preschool programs. By tapping into unutilized resources in terms of infrastructure, staff, and community involvement, his approach keeps start-up and on-going costs at a minimum, offering even the poorest communities the opportunity to educate their children.
Madhav's organization, the Pratham Mumbai Education Initiative, holds people as its main asset by developing a systematic and rigorous training and monitoring process. The result is a network of effective teacher-entrepreneurs who can replicate the Pratham Initiative in other cities. The low-cost strategy serves more than 100,000 children in Mumbai and is being scaled up in 12 other cities in India. Pratham is now leveraging its critical asset, a low-cost distribution channel, to provide a variety of other useful services at little incremental cost.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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