IRMA Alumni Series #3 Girish Menon (Chief Executive – ActionAid UK)

Since 1985, Girish Menon has worked almost entirely in the NGO sector, starting at the field level, with a local NGO and then working with international NGOs in India before joining a bilateral aid organisation, DFID. In 2005, he moved to London to work as the International Programmes Director for WaterAid. Along the way, Girish also did a few short courses such as one with the New Hampshire College in the US and a few leadership modules at the University of Exeter, UK.

Girish believes that he had to strive for each opportunity to succeed. But being directly operational at the field level was fundamental in him succeeding in getting higher level roles and responsibilities, together with having opportunities at the international level. Every career change provided its own spark, its own diversity and learning opportunity. Working with local communities and being inspired by their stories of resilience have definitely kept him going!

“Belief in oneself, being humble and seeking to learn!” are his success mantras. As a fresh graduate straight out of IRMA, Girish took with him the joy of collaborative working and the ability to question & analyse. He is deeply inspired by Salil Shetty, the Secretary-General of Amnesty International and alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad – for his strategic insight, intellectual sharpness and humility.

For the past two years, he is the Chief Executive of ActionAid UK, a £60 million organisation. He is often invited as a speaker in forums across the world to share his experiences and leadership journey.