Raji Ajwani-Ramchandani

Post Doctoral Fellow

Research Areas

Blockchain and ICT for solving Development Issues, Microfinance & Gender Empowerment, Digital Economy, Commons, Base of the Pyramid Issues, Banking International Business in the context of Developing Nations, Sustainability

Academic Background

• Bachelor of Commerce (Stood 1st in Mumbai University)

• MBA (Mumbai University with a 1st Class)

• PhD (Symbiosis International University)
Topic: ‘Role of Microfinance in Women Empowerment: A Comparative Study of Rural & Urban Groups in India’

Positions Held

Over 20 years of work experience in various positions :
1) BAIF Development & Research Foundation Pune Program Manager January 2017 –
January 2018
2) Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resources Development (SCMHRD): Pune
Assistant Professor: Centre of Excellence, Finance May 2009-till December 2015
3) Yes Bank Ltd: Hyderabad, India Wealth Partner/Regional Sales Promotion Manager
4) Time Warner (CNN & Cartoon Network): Atlanta, GA-USA Consultant (10/03- 09/04)
5) Woodrow E Mcnair PC. CPC: Atlanta, GA-USA (02/03 – 06/03)
6) Rolta International Inc: Alpharetta, GA, USA Controller Finance &Admin (02/00 – 08/02)
7) ANZ Grindlays Bank (Acquired By Standard Chartered) from (06/92 – 05/99) various
management roles (Management Trainee – Area Manager Human Resources (West)


Role of Microfinance in Women Empowerment: A Comparative Study of Rural & Urban Groups from India . Publisher: Emerald Publishing.

Ajwani-Ramchandani, R. (2017). The Role of Microfinance in Women’s Empowerment: A Comparative Study of Rural & Urban Groups in India. Emerald Publishing Limited.

Peer Reviewed: Journal Articles

1. Awate, S., Ajith, V., & Ajwani-Ramchandani, R. (2017). Catch-up as a Survival Strategy in the Solar Power Industry. Journal of International Management.

2. Ajwani-Ramchandani, R. (2017). Connecting the Base of the Pyramid to Global Markets Through E-commerce: A Case Study of BAIF (India). In International Business Strategy (pp. 441-465). Palgrave Macmillan, London.

3. Ramchandani, R. A., & Karmarkar, P. (2014). Sustainable rural livelihood security in the Backward Districts of Maharashtra. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 133, 265-278.

4. Ramchandani, R. A. (2013). Revisiting the Base of the Pyramid: An Inclusive Model Based on Gandhi’s Ideology. Prajnan, 42(2).

5. Ramchandani, R. A., Sharma, A., Anekar, N., & Mishra, V. K. (2016). Prayatna: A Student Led Initiative to Empower Underprivileged Children through Education. Drishtikon: A Management Journal, 7(2), 17.

6. Trends in the Indian Banking Sector: Initiatives for Financial Inclusion”,Souvenir on National Seminar on “Indian Banking Growth and Challenges (ISBN 978-93-83870-41-7), organized by Department of Commerce, Arts, Science and Commerce College, Kolhar, Rahata, Ahmednagar (Maharashtra) during February 5-6, 2016, pp. 1-11, by Raji Ajwani Ramchandani and S.S. Kalamkar

7. The Andhra Pradesh (India) Microfinance Crisis: An Analysis. Ramchandani, Ajwani Raji (2012). Vinimaya Research Journal of the National Institute of Bank Management, Vol. XXXII No. 4 January-March 2012 (See appended link http://nibmindia.org/pdfs/vini_arch/vol32_no4.pdf)

8. BAIF: Transforming Dreams into Reality for Rural India Ramchandani, Ajwani Raji, Sawant, Yogesh (2010). Award winning case study published in a book titled ‘Subsistence to Sustainable: The Power of Aggregation in Agriculture. Cases from the field published by Access Development Services. The award was given by Rabobank Foundation (See appended link http://www.accessdev.org/lh-li-case-study.php#!)

9. (This case study won the first prize in the Sitaram Rao Livelihoods India Case Study Competition. The competition was sponsored by the Rabobank Foundation and paper presented in New Delhi in Nov 2010). The case covered the impact of the ‘Wadi Program ‘initiated by BAIF in Gujarat)

10. Ajwani, R (2010) License to Bank .Volume 2, Issue 1 Drishtikon – A Management Journal ISSN Number: 0975-7848 (http://publishingindia.com/drishtikon/8/license-to-bank/95/681/ ).

Non-Peer Reviewed
1. A study on the status of Self Help Groups (SHGs) in Maharashtra (India):
Ramchandani, Ajwani, Raji, Pant, Kalpana (2012)
The study covered 253 SHGs across 37 villages of 12 blocks in 6 districts of Maharashtra promoted by 26 SHPIs and 13 bankers. This study highlights various dimensions brought to fore by capturing the position prevailing at the base of the pyramid in a state that is paradoxically rich and yet steeped in poverty, malnutrition and female gender bias. The findings and recommendations were presented to leading bankers, government officials and leaders of other NGOs and are expected to be relevant to various stakeholders connected with the policy formulation, execution and the delivery of financial inclusion.

2. Unfolding the Two Decade Journey of Gramin Mahila Swayamsiddha Sangh (GMSS): Study of the SHG Federation Bank Linkage.
Ramchandani, Ajwani Raji (2011)
This case study was prepared and taught in class to mid to senior level bankers at the National Institute of Bank Management, Pune and covered the topics such as rationale for starting SHGs, up scaling challenges, management systems and processes, products and services offered and challenges encountered by the oldest and biggest SHG Federation in Maharashtra (India).

Online Articles in Journals/Magazines Published
A. Policy Innovations-The Online Magazine of the Carnegie Council, New York USA:

1. Does India Really Need a Women-Centric Bank?: This article is a critique of the idea of carving out a separate women-centric bank at the taxpayers’ expense. Substantiating arguments are provided in the article.

2. Forging India’s New CSR Mandate: This is a commentary on the new Section 135 of the Companies Act and the possible repercussions on business. (See http://www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/commentary/data/000270 )

3. Banking on Themselves: Self-Help Groups Empower Poor Rural Women : This article covers the women Self Help Groups and their role in empowering poor women. The article was also featured in an International Women’s Day 2013 compilation of the best success stories on women empowerment from across the world. (Pl see http://www.carnegiecouncil.org/publications/picks/0032.html. There is an embedded video with English subtitles showing and interview with the SHG worker who helped to set up the group in Chimbali village (Maharashtra)

4. Buds of Hope: Covers the efforts made by tribal’s in the Thane district of Maharashtra to sell jasmine in the Dadar market of Mumbai and traces the journey of the bud from the farm to the marketplace.
(see http://www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/innovations/data/000230)

5. Fruits of Our Labor : This article describes the organic mango cultivation by the tribal’s in Gujarat. The produce was sold to Indian FMCG major ITC who used it for making baby food products and the tribal’s realized a higher produce for the mangoes due to the organic certification (See http://www.policyinnovations.org/ideas/innovations/data/000209)

About Microfinance: Selected Articles from the Author’s Blog
1. Standing Tall: Overcoming Challenges with the support of community based self-help groups: Describes the experiences of a differently- abled woman beneficiary of microfinance. (http://aboutmicrofinance.wordpress.com/2013/05/26/standing-tall-overcoming-challenges-with-the-support-of-community-based-microfinance-self-help-groups/)

2. The Desire to Learn-About Microfinance & Women Empowerment: Documents an effort by a women beneficiary in rural Maharashtra to overcome patriarchal and economic barriers in order to pursue their love for knowledge. (http://aboutmicrofinance.wordpress.com/2013/03/20/the-desire-to-learn-about-microfinance-woman-empowerment/