OAM Recipient and Co-Founder of 40K
Co-Founder of the ed-tech social enterprise, 40K, Clary is brutally honest about his shortcomings. He is a philanthropist and storyteller, taking the audience on a journey as he shares his fascinating, shocking and hilarious accounts of contemporary India. His is a story about tackling a seemingly impossible challenge and using creativity, innovation, and teamwork, as well as the power of hundreds of young Australians to succeed in his mission.
In 2005, Clary was inadvertently turned into a social entrepreneur after he and Karyn Avery travelled to South India following a recommendation from his professor. The two university students came across a granite quarry community where up to 100 people live and work six days a week for as little as $1.50 a day.
Upon witnessing firsthand, the devastating impact of extreme poverty affecting so many children, Clary and Karyn's life took a complete departure from the career trajectories they were on. They believed that education was vital to changing these children's lives and naively thought that they would only need $40,000 to build a school for a community outside Bangalore.
Five years later and after conquering a mountain of obstacles to raise the $430,000 needed to complete their vision, the Banyan School opened its doors to its first students. Since then, the Banyan School has provided education to severely underprivileged kids from the local villages and nearby granite quarry of Bangalore. There are currently 200 students enrolled in the school.
However, this was just the beginning for the 40K Foundation.
They realised that building schools was not the right approach, nor was it a sustainable solution if they wanted to extend their reach to thousands more children. Instead, the 40K Foundation expanded into the 40K PLUS pods, which offer literacy and numeracy platforms to children in villages through android-based tablets.
As an organisation, 40K has evolved from charity to a group of companies focused on social impact, or what 40K calls "Good: Business." Clary has been pivotal in this movement. His work has improved Australian-Indian relations and influenced other young people to make a difference in the world.
The 40K Foundation now sends over 600 Australian University students to rural villages in India each year. They will help change the lives of children and low-income families of these villages by developing social businesses.
The 40K Foundation won the Google Impact Challenge and international innovation competition, SOLVE, run by MIT.
Clary is currently a strategy consultant with the top-tier consulting firm, Boston Consulting Group.
Clary was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia and holds an MBA, completed on scholarship with the University of Sydney.