About V K
Madhavan is the Managing Director of A4e India Pvt Ltd. A4e or Action for Employment seeks to provide young people from low-income families with the information and skills to find employment. A4e also engages with employers to help reduce their attrition and to improve access to people for entry level jobs.
Madhavan moved back to New Delhi in August 2012 after 8 years living and working in the Kumaun Himalayas as the Executive Director of the Central Himalayan Rural Action Group (Chirag), After moving back to New Delhi, Madhavan spent eight months as a Consultant to the High Level Committee on status of Women in India - a committee set up by the Government of India to prepare a report on the status of women in India by reviewing all existing government programmes, schemes and laws and submit recommendations on how to improve the status of women.
Madhavan has spent fifteen of the past two decades living and working in villages - promoting an integrated rural development approach - first in the desert in Rajasthan and more recently in the mountains of Uttarakhand.
Madhavan commenced his professional career in the desert districts of north-western Rajasthan with the Urmul Trust and its affiliates where he spent 7 years before relocating to Delhi. In Delhi, Madhavan worked on policy advocacy with ActionAid, consulted independently and spent a little over three years working on the issue of women and governance with The Hunger Project. After the desert and Delhi, the mountains presented a new challenge where Madhavan spent eight years. Now he's back in the city - trying to apply his experiences of the past two decades on a larger canvass.
Madhavan is one of theTrustees of The Action Northeast Trust (The ANT) (www.theant.org), an organization that works amidst largely tribal communities in Assam as well as the The ANT Craft Trust which runs a store in Bangalore primarily for craft products from the North East of India.
Madhavan's interests include agriculture and rural livelihoods, education and community health, community based institutions, the not-for-profit sector and international politics in which Madhavan received his Masters from Jawaharlal Nehru University.
TED2012, TEDGlobal 2011, TED2011, TEDGlobal 2010, TED2010, TEDIndia 2009, TEDGlobal 2009
Areas of Expertise
Innovation for Change, Rural Development, Enterprises with the poor, Rural Livelihoods
An idea worth spreading
410 million people depend on rain-fed agriculture in India. Rainfed agriculture continues to languish without adequate attention and investment. There are limits to irrigation. While we explore ways of making irrigation more efficient there is a desperate urgency to focus on rainfed agriculture. If we do not make rainfed agriculture more remunerative, we can neither address poverty in rural India nor can we stem the pace of urbanisation!
I'm passionate about
Integrated rural development; linking poor producers to markets; traditional weather-forecasting; symphonic versions of rock albums and Indian vegetarian food
Talk to me about
Ideas and applications that can transform rural poverty, traditional childrens toys, weather forecasts, sustainable agriculture, linking women producers to markets and deserts and mountains.
People don't know I'm good at
Being a mere fly on the wall!