Laveesh Bhandari is a data scientist, an empirical economist, an environment evangelist, author, columnist and entrepreneur. He founded Indicus Foundation in 2011 and currently serves as its Director, leading its environment and sustainable livelihoods initiative. Previously he founded and led the economics research firm Indicus Analytics, which he exited from post its acquisition by Nielsen (India) in 2016. He is also the ex-President of The Citizen's Alliance, a group of professionals who work towards community development, leveraging their expertise and knowledge for the empowerment of urban residents.
His analytics and research work has spanned sustainable livelihoods, industrial and economic reforms in India, the performance of Indian states and Union Territories, Socio-economic conditions, and Economic geography. He now works on advising governments and start-ups on inclusive and sustainable livelihood policies and measurement issues. Bhandari is also involved in ventures dealing with Internet and New Media technologies. He cofounded Raftaar.in which is a Hindi portal, and JuxtConsult which was India's first internet survey and research firm.
He spent most of his teenage years in Delhi and in 1985, he went to University of Delhi to pursue B.A. in Economics (Hons.). Following his graduation, he completed M.A. with a specialization in Finance & Industrial Organization from Boston University in the year 1992.
In 1996, Laveesh Bhandari obtained his Ph.D in economics with a thesis on International Corporate Alliances and Joint Ventures from Boston University, Department of Economics. His thesis was awarded the ‘Best Thesis in International Economics’ by the EXIM Bank of India. Bhandari was also awarded the Hite Fellowship for Research on International Finance that gave him the opportunity to work with Andrew Weiss at Boston University. He returned to India and joined the National Council of Applied Economic Research, as a Senior Economist in the same year. At NCAER, he led research teams for various studies on Indian industry and infrastructure.
In 2001, he founded Indicus Analytics and collaborated extensively with Bibek Debroy on a host of issues pertaining to the Indian economic geography and performance of states and districts of India. In parallel, Indicus brought out a sequence of databases that provided estimated data on consumer demography at a district, city or neighborhood level. The company also forayed into time series sectoral GDP estimates at the district level, contributing to the work collaborated upon by the two. His other strand of work on financial inclusion was conducted jointly with Sumita Kale.
Over the years, a large section of his work on education and health has been conducted on behalf of multilateral institutions and think tanks such as UNICEF, World Bank. In 2010 he collaborated with Ajay Mahal and Bibek Debroy on the India Health Report. Between 2012 and 2015 he concentrated on using satellite imagery to estimate affluence, poverty and level of economic activity.
Apart from Indicus Analytics he has founded Raftaar, a web portal in Hindi. He has also co-founded Juxt Consult, an online research firm. He is a Member of the committee overseeing Academic Research at the Reserve Bank of India and has been a part of the editorial board at Business Standard. He was also the first Managing Editor of Journal of Emerging Market Finance. In the early part of his career he taught economics at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi and Boston University. He currently is also the President of Citizens Alliance, organization working on urban governance issues.
- District-Level Deprivation in the New Millennium. (Konark Publishers). (2003). ISBN 978-8122006612.
- Small - Scale Industry in India Large Scale Exit Problems: Study on Bankruptcy of Small Business in India. (Academic Foundation). (2004). ISBN 978-8171884117.
- The Water Revolution: Practical Solutions to Water Scarcity. (Policy Press). (2006). ISBN 978-1905041138.
- Indian States At A Glance (karnataka). (Pearson Education). (2006). ISBN 978-8131706596.
- State At A Glance 2006-07. (Dorling Kindersley). (2007).
- Economic Freedom for States of India 2007. (Excel Books). (2008). ISBN 978-8174465979.
- The Indicus Consumer Handbook. (Pearson Education). (2009). ISBN 978-8131720387.
- Indian States at a Glance 2008-09: Performance, Facts and Figures. (Pearson Education). (2009). ISBN 978-8131726426.
- Corruption in India - The DNA and the RNA. (Konark Publishers). (2011).
- Economic Freedom of the States of India, 2011. (Academic Foundation). (2011). ISBN 978-8171888726.
- Economic Freedom of the States of India 2012. (Academic Foundation). (2013). ISBN 978-8171889914.
- Economic Freedom of the States of India 2013. (Academic Foundation). (2014). ISBN 978-9332701359.
- "The Future? It's All Embedded In Data". Outlook magazine. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "IERA Awards". Exim Bank. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Business insights provider Nielsen acquires Indian analytics firm". Tech in Asia. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Professional Profile" (PDF). Ncaer.org. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- Mahurkar, Uday. "From the archives: Mark of approval". India Today. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Prabhat Khabar releases Jharkhand Development Report 2012". Bestmediainfo.com.
- Athiparambath, Shanu. "Doing less with more: India's health care system". Business Standard. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- Datta, Kanika. "Lunch with BS: Bibek Debroy". Business Standard. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Where money lives: India's most affluent pin codes". The Economic Times. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- "Raftaar speeds towards a total solution for Hindi content on the Web". Indiatechonline.com. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
- "Sheen missing from blue shirt white collar jobs". The Economic Times. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- "Laveesh Bhandari". Business Standard. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
- Okonski, Kendra; Satyanand, Mohit. Keeping the Water Flowing: Understanding the Role of Institutions, Incentives, Economics, and Entrepreneurship in Ensuring Access and Optimising Utilisation of Water. Academic Foundation. ISBN 9788171885831. Retrieved 14 August 2016.