Madhav Chavan

Co-Founder and President, Pratham


Hailing from a background in chemistry, having acquired a PhD. in the US, Madhav worked in adult literacy from 1989-1994, inspired by the National Literacy Mission. In 1994, UNICEF in Mumbai charged him with creating a ‘societal mission’ to universalize primary education.  

As a result, he co-founded Pratham in 1994-95 in Mumbai, but is now one of India’s largest NGOs working across the country with millions every year, focusing on basic learning outcomes. 

Its programs, Read India and the Annual Status of Education Report, are recognized as innovators of pedagogy and advocacy, influencing policy at national and international levels.  

He resigned as CEO of Pratham Education Foundation but remains on its Board, and leads the new experimentation of technology in education. 

Madhav has received the WISE Prize and The Skoll Award. Pratham has received the Kravis Prize, the BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award and the LUI Che Woo Prize.