Varad is a Partner at Dalberg Advisors, where he leads of the Financial Services Practice area. Varad has held diverse roles across private sector and government, working on issues of financial inclusion, sustainable development and base-of-pyramid (BOP) business models.
Varad has done extensive work in financial inclusion and fintech in the last few years, and writes a column in MINT (http://www.livemint.com/Search/Link/Author/Varad%20Pande).
Varad sits on the Technology Sub-Committee of the Reserve Bank of India’s Committee on Household Finances, and as part of this, is specifically looking at regulatory issues in household finance, including the concept of a fintech regulatory sandbox.
Varad recently led the design of a go-to-market strategy for a national payments app targeted at the mass market / low income segments. He also recently led a project to assess the future of digital finance in India—the Study used human-centred design methods to develop a deep consumer-centric, demand side perspective.
Varad has also led a long-term multiple stakeholder project with USAID, the Government of India, and private sector players for digital payments acceptance in India to facilitate and coordinate a Partnership of 35+ organizations with a common mission of expanding access to digital financial services for low-income communities in India. In addition, he led a global landscape study on P2G payments.
Before Dalberg, Varad was Special Advisor to India's Minister for Rural Development and Environment and Forests, where he drove the agenda on sustainable livelihoods, sanitation, environment and climate change. He was also a member of the Government of India’s Low Carbon Expert Group, a Principal Advisor to Abhijit Banerjee on the UN-SG’s Panel on the Post-2015 Agenda, and a Sherpa on the UN-SG’s Global Sustainability Panel. Varad led the implementation of the Prime Minister’s Rural Development Fellowship, which is connecting India’s youth with grassroots development.
Previously, Varad was a Team Leader at the Monitor Group where he led the set up a national economic development agency and led a project to scale-up market-based business models that create social impact.
Varad holds an MPA in International Development (MPA/ID) from the Harvard Kennedy School, an MA in Economics from University of Cambridge, and a BA Honours in Economics from St. Stephens College, Delhi, and sits on the board of Lok Capital, a major impact investor.