Bengaluru – Vista Equity Partners, the world’s leading private equity firm, focused exclusively on enterprise software, data, and technology solutions, together with several of its companies in India, has partnered with Akshaya Patra by pledging a contribution of USD 1 million over five years to aid in the Foundation’s mid-day meal plan.
Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners, recently named by Forbes as one of the 100 Greatest Living Business Minds, announced the collaboration alongside Mr. Hardeep Gulati, CEO of PowerSchool, and Mr. Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Akshaya Patra Foundation.
The pledge was announced during the opening of the new offices of the education-technology firm, PowerSchool. PowerSchool provides software solutions to schools in over 70 countries, it will continue to hire talent, and expand its presence in Bengaluru, joining eight other Vista portfolio companies with operations in India. This philanthropic investment in Akshaya Patra Foundation’s mid-day meal program demonstrates Vista’s and the Vista companies’ commitment to creating access and opportunity for young people to reach their potential.
The initial investment will be used to purchase trucks to transport meals to schools in various areas of the country. With $200,000 USD granted each year, contributions will aid the delivery of meals to 80,000 students per day, and over 18 million meals per year.
“Our culture at Vista emphasizes the importance of positively impacting and engaging with the communities in which we live and work,” said Robert F. Smith, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Vista Equity Partners. “At Vista, we invest in the future. And Akshaya Patra’s work does that. By ensuring that students across India have the nourishment they need to be able to learn, the foundation plays an integral role in the education of Indian youth, and we are honored to help them execute on their mission.”
“We are honored to partner with Vista Equity Partners and companies to continue to ensure that our children are well-nourished, and able to learn,” said Shridhar Venkat, CEO of the Akshaya Patra Foundation in India. “This commitment will immensely expand our ability to deliver meals to schools and students across India, and will help us in furthering the mission of serving 5 million children by 2020”
With Vista’s presence in India expanding, the Vista companies’ collaboration with Akshaya Patra Foundation represents Vista’s and its companies’ commitment to India and its people.
Vista Equity Partners, a U.S.-based investment firm with offices in Austin, San Francisco, Chicago, and Oakland with more than $30 billion in cumulative capital commitments, currently invests in software, data and technology-enabled organizations led by world-class management teams with long-term perspective.
PowerSchool is the leading K-12 education technology provider of solutions that improve the education experience for 100 million students, teachers, and parents in over 70 countries around the world.
The Akshaya Patra Foundation is a not-for-profit organization headquartered in Bengaluru, India. The organization established its school meal program in 2000 when it began serving meals to 1,500 school children in 5 schools in Bengaluru. Today, Akshaya Patra Foundation is the world’s largest NGO-run school meal program serving wholesome food to over 1.6 million children from 13,839 schools across 12 states in India. These meals serve as an incentive for struggling families to send their children to school instead of to work to earn their daily meal.
Akshaya Patra operates 32 centralized and decentralized kitchen facilities across India. Each of the 30 centralized kitchens utilizes state-of-the-art technology to freshly prepare hot, nutritious meals daily. The mechanized centralized kitchens can produce up to 185,000 meals in 5 hours using custom technology designed to produce fresh and nutritious meals with minimum human handling. Kitchens have automated chapatti (tortilla) machines that can bake 60,000 chapattis in just one hour. Mechanized easy-tilt cauldrons can cook 1,200 liters of lentils in just two hours.
Each of the kitchens follows the highest standards of hygiene and food safety, and 13 kitchens have already received FSMS ISO 22000-2005 compliant certification, which means they meet the standards of the International Food Safety Management System (FSMS). The International Organization for Standardization established the ISO 22000 certification to ensure the safety of the global food supply chain.
Akshaya Patra USA is the US branch of Akshaya Patra and raises funds and awareness for the school meal program in India. The Akshaya Patra Foundation USA has Volunteer Chapters in cities across the United States that hold fundraising and awareness events for the organization.