Manas started his career working as a quantitative investment analyst in the financial services industry after graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology, (BHU) in 2006. He worked for about five years with reputed firms such as Standard and Poor’s, building financial and quantitative models in equity as well as credit instruments. He also earned a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation during this period.
After a change of heart, Manas decided to use his business skill for public good and thus joined an NGO (The Art of Living Foundation) where he managed rural development projects in India. During his two year stint at the Art of Living Foundation, Manas worked with rural and tribal communities in remote parts of India, implementing projects in areas of sustainable agriculture, clean energy and environment conservation. It was during one of his assignments in forest areas of Jharkhand, Manas had the idea of a social enterprise that would seek to create livelihood for tribal communities through demand creation of non-timber forest products. In order to learn more about the nitty-gritty of starting a social enterprise, Manas joined the MBA program at the University of Oxford which is considered as a strong training ground for future social entrepreneurs. He was awarded the Weidenfeld Scholarship that allowed Manas to focus on his social goals instead of looking for more financially-rewarding job positions. Manas used his MBA, working with batch-mates, faculty and other visiting guests at the University, to build a blueprint for the planned enterprise. He also got practical exposure to the social entrepreneurship and social finance ecosystem while working on assignments with Acumen and Shell Foundation.