Please tell us about yourself

I am a Master in International Relations 2010 graduate from Instituto de Empresa, Spain. I started 4th Wheel Social Impact with a friend of mine right after my graduation. I am currently in-charge of business development, financial planning, research, building networks and partnerships.

Original Link:

https://www.ie.edu/school-international-relations/community/stories/payal-muchandani/

How did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and unique career?

During my undergraduate studies in BCom I was interested in studying and working on marketing so I took up jobs in the same line after I graduated. I worked with two companies in their international marketing team but soon realized this was not my calling. I had been involved in varied social activities during my school and college but never looked at the sector as a full time career. By chance I landed a job in a mutli national company’s Corporate Social Responsibility team (Suzlon Foundation). I reviewed an infrastructure/education project for government primary schools which was implemented in 40 villages in western India. Also developed a tool kit based on the review for the next phase of the project. Monitored and Coordinated ‘Polytechnic Reform’ project. The project’s objective was to increase the quality of teaching and infrastructure in 26 government polytechnics located in the state of Gujarat.

This experience led me to explore a career in the social sector. I went on to work on research projects on agriculture, public policy among others.

For my Masters I decided to undertake courses with a mix of business, economic and social sciences. The MIR curricula fit everything that I was looking for plus it was in the beautiful city of Madrid.

Tell us about the experience studying International Relations in Spain?

My class had 32 students from 18 different countries, the cultural diversity really added a lot of value to my overall experience. I learnt in depth about different economic theories, social entrepreneurship and development challenges in Africa. I went on to write my dissertation on social entrepreneurship.

What are you doing now?

It’s been 7 years since I graduated and since I started my social enterprise. 4th Wheel works towards strengthening social programs in India. We started the company in our aunt’s basement and now have 2 offices in India with a 10 people team and soon setting up one in Nepal. Over the years we have had the opportunity to work with Government bodies, NGOs, corporates and social enterprises. My work involves extensive traveling to rural areas in India, which has made me learn so much more about my own country and the issues that we are dealing with. We are working on projects which are in education, healthcare, skill development and few other thematic areas.

Our current goals are to work on monitoring and accounting systems for Sustainable Development Goals in India, Building strong Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning framekworks for social programs and Creating a culture of conversation in the social sector.