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Reuben Abraham

Prof Reuben Abraham is founding Executive Director of the Centre for Emerging Markets Solutions (CEMS) at the Indian School of Business (ISB), where he serves on the Next Generation Leaders Board of the school. In addition, he is a non-resident scholar at the Urbanization Project at New York University’s Stern School of Business.

He was the founding director of the BOP Learning Lab India, which was a collaboration between the ISB and Cornell Business School. With an expanded mandate, the BOP Lab was converted into the new research centre at ISB.

Recently, Reuben was named a Legatum Global Fellow for 2013. In 2012, he was named to Wired Magazine’s “Smart List 2012 : 50 people who will change the world.” He has joined the International Advisory Group of Unicredit Bank, Italy’s largest bank by assets, the advisory board of the Centre for Civil Society, India’s leading classical liberal think tank and the advisory board of THNK, The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership. Earlier, he was selected as a Young Global Leader for 2009 by the World Economic Forum, where he serves as Vice-Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals and is a member of  the India Advisory Council. He is an independent director on the board of the Soros Economic Development Fund (SEDF), a fund that makes catalytic investments across emerging markets. Under the aegis of SEDF, he helped set up SONG, a unique India-focused early stage SME venture fund with Google and Omidyar Network as co-investors, for which he is a senior adviser. A TED Global Fellow in 2007, he now sits on the TED Fellows Advisory Board, and is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative. He is also on the board of First Home Solutons, which builds low-income housing across India; RenewGen, a waste-to-energy company; and the DLF Foundation, which has been set up by India’s largest real estate company.

He completed his M.A., M.Phil and Ph.D. from Columbia University. For his doctoral research, he looked at the relationship between telecommunications and economic development, especially the role of mobile telephones in reducing information asymmetries in informal markets. During his time at Columbia, he was an Associate Fellow in Global Economics at the Council on Foreign Relations, a Fellow of the Public Policy Consortium and a Sloan Foundation/CITI Telecommunications Fellow. He also served as a consultant at the World Bank and conducted research at three Columbia University research labs. Before Columbia, he was involved in co-founding two start-up companies in the media/telecom space.

Reuben is a frequent international speaker at locations ranging from Davos to Caracas, Barcelona, New York etc, at events ranging from the World Economic Forum to the Brussels Forum to TED-U. Recently, he joined CNN International’s emerging markets show, “Global Exchange with John Defterios” as a Gx20 analyst. Reuben is a audio/cine-phile, and his current interests include world music with a bias towards electronica, and international cinema. A voracious reader, he also happens to believe that there is no such thing as too much travel.