Akshaya Patra USA Chairman Deshpande passes baton to Sivaram of Western Digital


The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA is going through some major changes with its Board of Directors.

Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande, President and Chairman of Sparta Group LLC, has stepped down as Chairman and is passing the reigns to Siva Sivaram, President of Western Digital, with Srivatsan Rajan, Partner at Bain & Company, serving as Vice Chairman.

Established in 2000, Akshaya Patra is the largest NGO-run school meal program in the world, according to Time Magazine.

The single-minded objective of this organization is to ensure no child is deprived of education because of hunger.

(LtoR) Siva Sivaram and Gururaj ‘Desh’ Deshpande.

Inspired by this mission, Deshpande began the USA chapter from his home office in Boston in 2006. And today, it has come a long way in becoming one of the most influential organizations in the country.

Now the time has come for Desh to step down and with that, he has found an equally enthusiastic successor with Sivaram.

“I will continue to serve on the board and look forward to working with all of the supporters under the leadership of Vandana, Siva, and Sri to make sure we create opportunities for many, many more children in India,” stated Deshpande.

Siva has been a part of Akshaya Patra for over six years. “Desh is leaving behind a very strong board and a strong team,” stated Sivaram as he looks forward to being a part of the noble endeavor.

Sivaram, President of Western Digital, was appointed Executive Vice President of Memory Technology in 2016 when SanDisk was acquired by Western Digital and is responsible for the ongoing development of next-generation technologies. He has held executive positions at Intel and Matrix Semiconductor and at SanDisk after it acquired Matrix.

“I endeavor to make sure that no child in India goes hungry. There is a lot of work to be done to get there and we cannot rest until we get to that point”, said the new Vice Chairman Srivatsan Rajan, who has been a supporter of the organization for the past 5 years.

Mr. Rajan has served as the Chairman and Managing Director of Bain’s India offices and has over 20 years of management consulting experience in India and the United States.

The organization serves nearly 1.8 million children daily in over 19,257 schools through 55 kitchens in 12 states and two Union Territories in India.

In addition to that, during this pandemic, the organization has served over 60 million meals to migrant workers in India and continues to partner with NGOs and the government to ensure that marginalized communities have a source of food during this difficult time.

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