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Financiers: Vikram Akula

MANPREET ROMANA/AFP/Getty Images

Financiers: Vikram Akula

Age: 39
Founder and CEO, SKS Microfinance

The poster boy of Indian microfinance, Tufts and Yale-educated Vikram Akula set up SKS in 1997. The former McKinsey consultant's biggest contribution to the industry is scale. He's received venture funding from Sequoia Capital and uses a blend of profit orientation, technology, and global best practices to bridge capital constraints, lower costs, and scale operations. Marketers are constantly in touch with Akula, wanting to use his microfinance channel to push their products and services.