Director of Projects, POA Educational Foundation
Toronto, Canada & Delhi, India
Often described as a tribe of one, and one of the tribe, Ashutosh is an Entrepreneur based in Toronto (Canada). His projects are driven by needs and frustrations of his own, and people at large. Thereby they are social in nature, and typically solve a problem or make life better. He has been working with leading thinkers, artists, executives and entrepreneurs on initiatives across business, arts, philanthropy and public policy for over 15 years.
Current Life Mission
In 2012, after losing his favourite cousin to smoking, he learned that smoking affects at least 1 billion people globally, making it the #1 preventable cause of death. He partnered with Canadian Heart Surgeon Dr. Gopal Bhatnagar, Boris Giller and others to start 180 Smoke, a crowd-sourced provider of vape based alternatives for all type of smokers (cigar, cigarette, shisha, others). 180, a leading omni-channel retailer, wholesaler and manufacturer, has several proprietary formulas, and two patents pending, the first of which has been released in open source. He is also the publisher of Canadian (online) music publication, The Scene Magazine.
Prior to taking entrepreneurship full time, he worked with Accenture Canada for several years in various roles including IT strategy and corporate sales. In the past, he has served as executive advisor to the CEO of ‘Karma Candy’, one of North America’s largest contract manufacturer of branded and premium chocolate products, and Prego Della Piazza, a landmark restaurant based in Toronto’s Yorkville Village. He has also worked in hospitality, special events promotions, artist development, software development, coding and enterprise technology businesses over the last decade. Through University, he ran a consulting company employing dozens of students part time in Toronto.
Ashutosh is a graduate of Trinity College, University of Toronto (Software Engineering, Computer Science and Philosophy) as well as the Rotman School of Management (Bridge to Business program). He briefly attended the University of Guelph for Computing and Information Science. He is the former student head of Canada’s premier undergraduate college, Trinity College at the University of Toronto. He also served as the student head of his high school (2,300+ students) where he started a garbage reduction program being practiced to date.
Community & Philanthropy
Since 2002. Ashutosh has been serving as the Director of Projects for the POA Educational Foundation, which promotes education, nurtures entrepreneurship and strengthens civil governance. The foundation takes special interest in Canadian Aboriginal communities. POA has established scholarships at Ryerson University, Trent University, Centennial College, George Brown College and York University with a focus on Canadian first nation youth. It’s projects have spanned Unicef Canada, Trillum Hospital, Roy Thomson Hall, Canadian Youth Ballet Ensemble, Pathways Education Program, Toronto International Film Festival and Youth in Motion among others.
Within POA, Ashutosh is the co-founder of Project Beyshick, a venture philanthropy initiative in collaboration with the Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation, a region covering two thirds of Ontario. Project Beyshick (2005-2010) incubated entrepreneurs within the Canadian aboriginal community. In past he has volunteered with the Frontier College and Learning to Integrate New Culture, among others. He was a member of UNICEF Canada’s India HIV/ AIDS Campaign and the Trinity College Family Campaign Cabinet. Through 2009-2010, Ashutosh lead a unique initiative with a team of 25 volunteers to provide in-kind consulting services to the Mississauga Food Bank (Ontario, Canada) as part of Accenture’s commitment to corporate citizenship and sustainability. The project received special recognition and award for their work and commitment to the food bank. It is a less known fact that the Mississauga (Ontario, Canada) Food Bank alone serves average 38,000 clients each month.
Public & Policy Affairs
Ashutosh remains engaged in the cross country corridors. He is a former executive of The Canadian Intern Association which aims to improve the internship experience for interns and employers. He is also a former advisor to the Canada India Foundation (CIF), which focuses on public policy advocacy for deeper engagement between Canada and India. In 2006-2007, Ashutosh was one of thirty youth selected from around the globe to participate in the ‘Know India Program (KIP)’ organized by the Government of India. He subsequently participated in the Government of Ontario’s ‘Business Mission to India’. In Summer 2010, Ashutosh worked with Dr. Shashi Tharoor — an acclaimed author, former UN under-secretary general, and former foreign affairs minister of India — as his advisor. Ashutosh has also stayed active in Canadian polity for several years through volunteering for local, provincial and national political campaigns.
Ashutosh is a recipient of the Accenture Hero Award (2009), Government of Ontario’s Volunteer Service Award (2010) and Government of Canada’s Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012).
Ashutosh was born in New Delhi and migrated to Canada in 2001 for his undergraduate studies. He calls Toronto his primary home and Delhi his secondary home.
“Life is short. People are busy. It’s not always about me.”
“I am working when having fun, and having fun when working.”
“I don’t dwell in my past, I dream of my future.”
“I care, but I don’t worry.”