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The Business for Development Institute is made up of world-leading academics and practitioners who advance the field in the areas of international development and the economics of emerging markets.


Academic Directors



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Rajesh Chandy

Tony and Maureen Wheeler Chair in Entrepreneurship; Professor of Marketing.
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Elias Papaioannou

Professor of Economics, London Business School.
Read his full profile











Advisory Council

  • Dr Nick Hughes OBE
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    Dr Hughes has been at the forefront of mobile commerce activities in emerging markets for more than 15 years, leading the development of two ground breaking initiatives: M-PESA and M-KOPA. As one of the co-founders of M-KOPA, a for-profit business that enables customers to acquire clean energy and other assets using innovative technology and mobile payments, Dr Hughes has led the delivery of pay-as-you-go solar energy services in East Africa. Today M-KOPA reaches more than 500,000 customers across Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania.

    M-KOPA is recognised as the leading provider in this new, fast-growing sector that can tackle the huge problem of access to affordable energy.

    Prior to setting up M-KOPA, he was at Vodafone (2001–2009), where he started and led the team that developed the ground breaking mobile payment service called M-PESA. Dr Hughes took M-PESA from a concept in 2003 through to deployment across multiple Vodafone territories (starting in Kenya), creating this multi-million-dollar revenue opportunity for the network operator(s).

    Dr Hughes also serves on the Board of bKash, a mobile banking service in Bangladesh that has more than 28 million subscribers. As well as supporting bKash since its inception, he holds a small number of other advisory roles in the digital services and fintech space.

    Dr Hughes was a winner of the Economist’s Innovation Award in 2010 for his work on M-PESA. He has a PhD in Applied Science and an MBA from London Business School. Dr Hughes was awarded OBE for ‘Innovation in Africa’ in the 2017 Queens Birthday Honours List.

  • Vimmi Singh
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    Vimmi comes from a strong financial services background with experience in investing, developing and advising on strategy for early stage companies. Her past roles include head of sourcing and screening investment opportunities at JP Morgan London, managing a structured fund at ANZ London and Manager at India’s first Venture Capital fund set up by an international consortium including Lazard, IFC, ADB and CDC in New Delhi.

    In 2003, Vimmi founded a social enterprise, the Dynamic Asian Women’s Network, a network for leadership and management training of Asian women. Over the next six years, alongside training women for business, management and leadership roles, she championed the cause of equality and diversity in the UK. During this period, Vimmi held positions on the Development Council of Sadler’s Wells, The Asian Business Association Committee at the London Chamber of Commerce, Charter Member of the Indus Entrepreneur (TiE), Governing Board of Trinity College London, Board of the British Library Business & IP Centre project, and the Advisory Panel of Different Women Different Places, a study of Black and Ethnic Minority Women Leaders sponsored by Credit Suisse and Booze Allen Hamilton. Vimmi moved to India with her family and in 2010/11 was the Managing Director for Trinity College London’s India office before returning to the UK.

    From 2008 to 2016, Vimmi was Governor and Trustee at Trinity Laban and a member of their Audit Committee for much of this period. Vimmi is a member of the International Alumni Council at London Business School and President of their London Alumni Club. She is a Trustee of Regent’s University London and member of the Finance and Investment Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

    Vimmi has an MBA from London Business School (2000) and qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Company Secretary from India. She graduated with a 1st Class Honours in Commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University, India. Vimmi received the Financial Times Non-Executive Director’s Diploma in 2016.

  • Philip Nevill Green
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    Philip has been chairman of Carillion PLC, the international construction and service business, since 2014 and on the board since 2011. He has held the same role at BakerCorp since 2011 and at Corsair Infrastructure Management since 2016.

    He was CEO of United Utilities PLC from 2006 until 2011. In 2003 Philip was appointed CEO of P&O Nedlloyd and was previously Chief Operating Officer at Reuters Group plc, which he joined in 1999. From 1990 to 1999 he was at DHL, becoming Chief Operating Officer for Europe and Africa.

    He was chairman of Logicor in 2017 and was chairman designate of Williams & Glyn, the UK “challenger” bank that was being divested by RBS from 2013-2016. He was Senior Independent Non Executive (SID) Director at Saga plc from 2014-2017. He has previously been Chairman of Clarkson PLC, as well as a non-executive director of SKF in Sweden and the Lloyds Banking Group plc.

    He holds an MBA from the London Business School and a BA(Hons) from the University of Wales. He is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University. He is a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute.

    He is also personally involved in several philanthropic projects in southern Africa. Since 2011, Philip has been chairman of Sentebale, a charity set up by Prince Harry and Prince Seeiso to focus on disadvantaged young people in Lesotho; it now operates in Botswana and Malawi as well. He is also co-founder of Hope Through Action, working amongst disadvantaged youth in townships in the Western Cape region of South Africa.

    Philip has been an adviser to UK Prime Minister on corporate responsibility since 2011. He is a member of the advisory board of London Business School’s Business for Development Institute. He was a director of Business in the Community from 2008-2014, a trustee of the Philharmonia Orchestra from 2002-2014 and Chairman of the Bible Society from 2012-2015.

    In 2014 Philip was awarded a CBE by HM Queen Elizabeth II for services to business and charity, in the UK and in South Africa.

  • Gail Klintworth
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    Gail Klintworth is committed to building sustainable businesses and making a significant contribution to positive socio-economic development through business.

    Gail is a partner at SYSTEMIQ, an advisory and investment company seeking to scale up economically viable market solutions to the environmental and social challenges facing our world. She currently serves as business transformation director at the Business and Sustainable Development Commission and acts as an NED and board advisor to companies across a broad range of sectors and geographies.

    She previously held the role of chief sustainability officer for Unilever, globally helping to position the group as a pioneer in corporate, social and environmental stewardship. She has over 30 years’ experience in human resources, sales, marketing and business solutions across Unilever’s foods, homecare and personal care businesses. She served as CEO of Unilever South Africa and executive vice president for Unilever's savoury category. Subsequently, she worked for Old Mutual in various roles, where she helped build their Positive Futures Plan, encouraging inclusive growth and responsible investment.

    Gail has also served a number of multi-sector bodies which have sought to build the conditions for sustainable growth including the Global Consumer Goods Forum as co-chair of the Sustainability Steercom, the Global Banking Environment Initiative representing CGF, and as director of Business Leadership South Africa, the Business Trust in South Africa, and FoodBank SA. She has also served as a board member of the Leadership Foundation of the International Women’s Foundation which seeks to promote women’s leadership globally.

Contact us

To learn more about the Institute contact:

Elisabeth Hajicek - Manager

Tel: +44 (0)20 7000 8627
Email: BDI@london.edu

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