Raj Gilda is a banker turned social entrepreneur. He is co-Founder of Lend A Hand India, an NGO focused on providing vocational education in secondary schools in India. Starting with 2 schools in 2005, Lend A Hand India’s operations have now scaled to 10,000+ schools in 24 states across India covering 1 million youth. Raj’s journey in the world of skilling began as a son of a small Kirana (grocery) store owner as an “intern’ to his father since he was 9 years old with him teaching the invaluable skills right from sweeping the floor to managing the cash to handling the customers. The same trend continued with Raj selling life insurance policies to partly pay for his studies during electronics engineering student days with University of Pune. Based on his own life experiences, Raj has been instrumental in launching an innovative internship program for higher secondary government school
students placing them with small and micro-enterprises across 4 states covering 10,000+ students. He has worked across Asia, Europe and North America in the fields of education, banking, insurance, and information technology. Prior to leaving corporate sector in 2011 to focus full time on Lend A Hand India, he spent ten years in New York working with Citibank and Deloitte Consulting. Raj was appointed by Gov of India as a General Body Member of National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) from 2014-17. He was also selected by the UK Government, as a Chevening Gurukul Scholar (2012) at the London School of Economics. Raj is an Electronics Engineer from the University of Pune, a CFA, and holds an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.