Expert of technology, innovation, and education in emerging markets and COO of BRCK
Nivi Sharma is an expert of technology, innovation, and education in emerging markets.
Currently, she’s the COO of BRCK ( brck.com ), the onramp for frontier market internet users. Nivi has dedicated her career to digital access; for children, youth, and adults.
Where technology can be leveraged to help young people build, serve and lead, Nivi is passionate about figuring out how.
She is driven by the potential impact the internet can have on the economic and social development for the 800m Africans who are currently not connected.
EdTech & Innovation : In 2011, Nivi co-founded eLimu ( e-Limu.org ), the first company to digitize the Kenyan Primary School curriculum content for revision and literacy.
In 2015, she left her role as the CEO of eLimu, but retains a board position; eLimu is used actively by about 50,000 students and teachers every month. She joined BRCK to tackle the hurdle of EdTech hardware and infrastructure; as President of BRCK Education, Nivi led the innovation of the Kio Kit , lauded the world over as a game changing solution that Africa has been waiting for with press coverage from Financial Times, National Geographic (cover story), Forbes, CNN, Quartz and The Guardian.
The Kio Kit has been independently evaluated and awarded by: Stuff Magazine Education Gadget of the Year 2015, Sustainia Top 100 2016, Best Pan-African Initiative AfricaCom 2016, Global SME Award ITU 2016, Aegis Graham Bell Award 2016 and the iF DESIGN AWARD 2017. As impressive as the Kio Kit is, it failed to scale commercially.
Leadership : In her current capacity as the COO of BRCK, Nivi is leading a team of 100 people to solve for the hurdles to connectivity: access, affordability, literacy. BRCK’s Moja platform connects almost a million users in Africa to the internet every month.
Her job, more importantly, is to think deeply about how people living on the edges of networks and economies can benefit from digital access. This work is done with a diverse array of international players, and some of the largest tech giants in the world.
The partnership structures, finance models, technological advancements and levels of complexity are novel and innovative: solving problems with a unique and innovative approach.
Her role as the COO requires her daily to see the big picture as well as drill into the day-to-day details of running a business with excellent culture.
Strategy : As a millennial C-Suite executive of a global, multi-million dollar company, she is well placed to understand the issues, likes, and dislikes of youth; but also understand how large organizations can work with young leaders to grow.
Nivi’s insights on digital inclusion and user experience in the digital space have given her the platform to speak as an expert about the African tech and innovation space alongside other global leaders, at TEDxStellenbosch, SXSW, EU Development Days, and several other global forums.
Her interviews have also featured on CNN, Al Jazeera, BBC, CNBC Africa, TIME Magazine, The Guardian and The Economist. Nivi serves on the advisory boards of The Futures Project, Lumen Labs, and Shilingi.
Background: Nivi is a holder of a Bachelor of Economics with Honors degree from Ithaca College, NY USA. She is a 2014 Acumen EA fellow and a fellow of Fast Forward, a local leadership development program that provides “Leadership Unusual” insights to C-Suite Management of leading East African companies. Nivi lives in Nairobi, Kenya with her husband and 2 children. They enjoy cooking together and are wildlife enthusiasts.