Aakash Mehrotra


Aakash Mehrotra is a Manager in the Data and Innovation domain of MSC India. He is a Management and Development Research professional with experience in leading the market and consumer research studies in several countries.

Aakash Mehrotra is a Manager in MSC’s Data & Innovation Domain. He has been working in the research domain for over eight years with experience in designing formative research, impact evaluation studies, designing feasibility studies and undertaking long-term research studies. He has worked on projects with governments, think-tanks, funding agencies, development banks, commercial banks, and other financial service providers across Asia and Africa. In his current role, he plays an active role in leading policy research and advisory studies. Earlier he led multi-country research on agent networks and emerging financial inclusion models in ten countries in Asia and Africa. He has also led impact evaluations and policy research studies and worked as a technical consultant for a Vietnam bank trying to establish the mobile money and agency banking vertical. In addition, he has worked on consultancy assignments on market researches, value chain analysis, business estimations, designing forecasting models, designing scale-up plans for business and conducting business assessments. He is also well versed in evaluation technique - social returns on investment (SROI). Aakash has also led workshops on ‘impact evaluation’ and taken lectures in universities on the same. He is also a published author, and widely published travel blogger, and has written extensively on social and environmental issues on leading media portals, and has also led dialogues on ‘diversity and inclusion’ in various colleges, and social platforms.

Posts by Aakash Mehrotra

The climate crisis is not gender neutral – women’s voices must be heard

This blog highlights the gendered impacts of climate change on women in developing nations. Women face higher risks and burdens from climate change due to several factors. These include limited participation in decision-making, unequal access to resources, and gender-based cultural norms. These gendered impacts lead to socioeconomic, health, and behavioral issues for women. Climate change also increases their unpaid labor, emotional stress, and social problems, such as child marriages. Limited access to education and resources, in turn, hinders women’s entrepreneurship and limits their resilience-building capacity. This blog uncovers many women’s voices and brings back the focus on women’s involvement in community-level planning for effective climate change adaptation.

Smallholder farmers worldwide are on a perilous journey amid climate change—where are they headed?

The blog highlights the increasing pressure on smallholder farmers due to climate change, as they strive to build resilience and adapt to climate events. This journey is filled with challenges and is not a straightforward path. Nevertheless, there is hope in transformative agricultural technologies that can positively impact the agri-food systems, where smallholder farmers hold a crucial role. The main obstacle lies in promoting and supporting the adoption of these technologies among farmers to aid them in their journey towards sustainability and climate resilience.

Adopting a segmentation approach to serve enterprises in Kenya: Insights from the FinAccess Household Survey 2021

We used the FinAccess data to develop a composite score-based index. This index helped us segment these MSMEs based on their sophistication levels to identify their business needs and growth opportunities and maximize their business sophistication levels. In this blog, we discuss our findings from this segmentation exercise.

Embracing the idea of financial well-being: Insights from India using the Global Findex database, 2021

The Global Findex 2021 describes well-being as a person’s financial resilience to deal with unexpected economic events, stress generated by common financial issues, and confidence in using financial resources. Our blog emphasizes the importance of financial well-being based on the Findex 2021 data to provide a more holistic view of financial inclusion in the country.

Were countries adopting digital payments financially resilient during COVID-19? The data suggests so

The COVID-19 pandemic spurred the growth of digital payments worldwide. MSC’s studies revealed the increase in scope and intent of digital payments among LMI groups and MSMEs. We analyzed data from World Bank in 2020 and the Global Findex Database 2021 to probe the relationship between the adoption of digital payments and the economic resilience of countries. We analyzed data from 11 countries. The research proved the hypothesis that the adoption of digital payments in developing economies has a positive correlation with financial resilience.

Data segmentation to understand your audience better

MSC strives to design better products and processes for our clients and evaluate the social value they create. Yet we cannot afford to consider the entire customer base of our clients as a single entity. MSC uses customer segmentation to account for nuances and differences in human behavior. We have worked with different clients to help them understand their customer’s banking needs, financial behavior, and creditworthiness. This blog presents our experience and lessons from our customer segmentation work to address clients’ needs.

Women at the heart of G2P initiatives: The Primary Education Stipends Program in Bangladesh

MSC and the Center for Global Development (CGD) assessed Bangladesh’s Primary Education Stipends Program (PESP), a gender-centric cash transfer program to improve primary school attendance rates. Over the years, benefit delivery of PESP evolved from cash disbursement to digital stipend transfers. Key evidence from our assessment shows women prefer digital transfers to cash-in-hand. Our blog shares evidence from the study using the “Design, Direct, and Digitize” (D3) framework to make a case for women beneficiaries as better contenders for G2P programs. Our blog looks beyond the impact of PESP on program outcomes—and highlights the socioeconomic implications of mobile money on women and the role PESP plays in gender equity and inclusion.

Do conditional cash transfers improve education outcomes? Insights from the PESP program in Bangladesh

In 2001, Bangladesh launched a Primary Education Stipend Program (PESP) that provides a conditional cash transfer (CCT) to beneficiary mothers. The cash transfer depends on the student maintaining a specific attendance rate and grades at the school. MSC conducted a mixed-method research to ascertain the PESP program’s effectiveness in achieving its objectives. We examined if CCTs can help attain better educational outcomes in terms of increased attendance and grades with lower dropout rates. It simultaneously examines similar studies undertaken elsewhere to support the hypothesis.