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Leavey alumnus Prashant Maniar

Leavey alumnus Prashant Maniar

Leavey Alumnus Prashant Maniar Brings a Global Perspective to Clean Tech in India

With 16 years in Silicon Valley and a robust focus on entrepreneurship and clean technology, Leavey alumnus Prashant Maniar combines strategic insights with ethical leadership to foster sustainable solutions and build impactful global partnerships. Discover how his time in the Leavey Evening MBA program led him to become a pioneering force in clean tech who is shaping the future of climate action in India.

Leavey alumnus Prashant Maniar is passionate about entrepreneurship, clean technology, and sustainability. As the founder and managing partner of Encito Advisors, a boutique investment bank in Mumbai, India, Maniar brings a global perspective to driving climate action and innovation in India.

Maniar was born in Mumbai, but spent 16 years in Silicon Valley, including attending the Leavey School of Business’ Evening MBA program, before returning to Mumbai. With a focus on entrepreneurship, Maniar worked for a start-up in the semiconductor space after graduation. He also became the co-chair of TiE’s cleantech special interest group, a non-profit focused on fostering entrepreneurship through mentoring, networking, and education.

It was there where he found his passion for cleantech, as TiE entrepreneurs had multiple projects in solar and clean tech and Maniar began consulting and helping them raise capital. After doing some interesting deals with other investment banks, he committed to staying in climate and clean energy long-term by setting up his own investment bank in Mumbai.

Encito Advisors, according to Maniar, “plays the infinite game by taking a long-term portfolio approach to climate action. We aren’t looking at something for 3-5 years and then moving on to the next better thing. We know some technologies are going to work and some are not.”

While Encito Advisors focuses on advising clean tech and sustainability clients in the growth stage, Encito Ventures was established to help entrepreneurs who were so early and their ideas so risky that no investor funds them. When Maniar and Encito see potential for great disruption that can solve climate issues at scale, they invest in the proof of concept and syndicate early-stage capital.

Encito has also taken an equity stake in multiple companies, including in water recycling and alternative fuels, going beyond merely providing advice and is working with entrepreneurs to build massive platforms. Maniar explains, “We have so much expertise in project execution that we want to put strategic insights and capital behind scalable approaches.”

Maniar’s passion for sustainability extends beyond Encito as he serves on multiple clean tech committees and accelerators in India and abroad where he mentors entrepreneurs in Climate action. He is on the Academic Council of the engineering school he attended in India, working with the faculty to find ways “to slowly infuse climate action into the curriculum.” He plans to work with the Leavey School to adopt similar sustainability strategies into their curriculum.

Think Global, Execute Local

Maniar’s global background means he is always looking at projects from a cross-border standpoint and building global companies. Encito is currently focused on climate action only in India because there is so much opportunity there, but it’s always with a global perspective.

Encito recognizes that while most R&D and innovation in clean tech happens in other countries, India is phenomenal at application engineering.  They strive to “find the new technologies that have been developed around the world and bring those sustainable, clean global technologies into India in a localized way.”

They also bring in global investors who partner with domestic investors. “Global investors can bring capital and strategic perspective. We want to look beyond the dollars and bring in smart capital that adds strategic value.”

The Compounding Power of Different Perspectives

Tackling complex problems like clean water, fossil-free power generation, and plastic recycling requires building teams with multiple stakeholders including companies, investors and governments. Maniar credits his Capstone project at the Leavey School for helping him learn how to bring different skill sets, and more importantly, different mindsets together.

As a student in the Leavey Evening MBA program, he expected to “get in and get out,” but to this day is appreciative of the lifelong friendships that he made. Working with such accomplished people in the evening program, pushed and improved his strategic thinking and created close connections that continue to enrich life decades later.

Leavey’s focus on ethical leadership is also consistently evident in Maniar’s work.  Encito helps and ensures entrepreneurs navigate complex environments with zero tolerance for unethical behavior, building companies with global, high-integrity cultures. “Unless you take the high road, what’s the point of climate action?” Maniar asks.  “You can’t do clean stuff in a dirty way!”

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