Rob Katz

Transitions: Nitin Rao Leaves NextBillion Staff

As one of the editors of, I am privileged to work with a cohort of talented, committed staff writers.? I am consistently impressed by the staff’s ability to generate high-quality analysis of base of the pyramid trends again and again – often during their nights and weekends, as most have full-time jobs in addition to their NextBillion responsibilities.

It wasn’t always this way.? When NextBillion started, back in May 2005, it didn’t have “Staff Writers” – it was just the cofounders and our bosses at WRI writing from time to time.? We solicited guest posts, sure, but there wasn’t a staff, per se.That all changed with Nitin Rao.? At the time we met, Nitin was a student at NIT-Karnataka, deeply passionate about the base of the pyramid and a regular NextBillion reader.? We began an e-mail correspondence, which led to an invitation to join NextBillion as its first Staff Writer.?

In the months and years since, Nitin has graduated from NIT-K, taken a job at SKS Microfinance, and been accepted by the Sloan School of Management at MIT for a MBA program.? Oh, and he’s also a social entrepreneur in his own right, launching Engineers for a Sustainable World Engineers for Social Impact and Let Me Know, two sites that encourage students to join the social enterprise movement.

With all this on his plate, it should come as no surprise that Nitin has decided to stop contributing regularly to NextBillion.? Francisco and I – along with the rest of the NextBillion Staff Writers and our readers – are grateful to Nitin for his contributions through the years, and wish him the best with his job, his companies (!) and his MBA.

On a personal level, I’m going to miss Nitin’s insightful commentary about the base of the pyramid – especially his posts on the gap between theory and practice.? What’s more, I’ll miss the middle-of-the-night e-mails and g-chats about the latest BoP article, trend or event.

Thanks, Nitin, for your contributions through the years.? Consider this an open invitation to post guest blogs here at NextBillion, and do keep us – the writers and the readers – posted on your work.