Ajaita is the Founder/CEO of Frontier Markets and the President of Frontier Innovations Foundation.
Frontier Markets is a social tech commerce enterprise that focuses on rural India. It is an end-to-end commerce platform that provides last-mile products and services, delivered at the doorsteps of consumers in villages through an assisted commerce model run by rural women entrepreneurs called Saral Jeevan Sahelis. Frontier Markets operates in 2,000 villages in India, with 20 micro distribution hubs managing 10,000 Sahelis using their customized e-commerce app called the Meri Saheli App, to facilitate access to products and services in agri, digital inclusion, home appliances, clean energy solutions, essential services, and finance to over 700,000 households.
Most recent awards include the Fintech Innovation Challenge Winner UNCDF, SDG Finance Summit’s Highest Impact Award, and more, for her company’s innovation in creating 10,000 digitally savvy rural women entrepreneurs who have helped 700,000 households adopt 1 million high impact solutions in India through technology impacting 4.9 million people. Frontier Markets has recently been the WinPe Fellow and unanimous choice for Lumis Venture’s Supply Chain Labs Accelerator, and a part of the Bharat Inclusion Initiative.
Ajaita drives vision, strategy, investments, and partnerships at Frontier Markets. She has been working with social enterprises and in rural India in microfinance, rural distribution, marketing, and access for 15+ years, and has committed to empowering rural women across the developing world through business models, financial inclusion, technology, data, and inspiring women to push themselves beyond their societal boundaries.
Ajaita is the recipient of prestigious awards including: Forbes 30 Under 30 Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Women Transforms India Award, Digital Women of the Year, CNBC’s Women Entrepreneur of the Year, Loreal Women of Worth and more. She is a Women’s Changemaker Fellow at Womanity Foundation, Dasra Leadership Fellow, Echoing Green Fellow, and Cordes Fellow. She has spoken in many forums including COP 23, UN High Level Political Forums, UN SDG Summit, and more on social enterprise perspective from the field, to digital inclusion, to gendersmart investing.
Ajaita Shah holds her B.A. in International Relations from Tufts University.
Frontier Markets’ innovative marketing and sales channel will open new opportunities for manufacturers to create affordable and relevant products for rural markets. Frontier Markets becomes THE scale solution for manufacturers creating products for rural markets, focusing on areas like clean energy, healthcare, and livelihoods.
Frontier Markets’ vision is to build the largest rural marketplace with 100K digitally savvy rural women entrepreneurs driving access to digital and physical products and services to 50 million households by 2023. Frontier Markets believes that investing in women is smart business and the key to poverty alleviation at scale – and rural households are the customers of the future driving innovation and design for future services to address climate, agriculture, digital, healthcare, employments challenges at scale.