Impact Entrepreneurship

Suhail Mandani

MFA, Creative Writing, Schools of Public Engagement

Suhail is first and foremost a storyteller.

As an award-winning consultant at Accenture, he was a Global Top 3 Finalist for the Client Excellence Award in Operations for a Fortune 100 diamond client, going on to be nominated company-wide for Best Team in Operations.

As an entrepreneur, Suhail joined the team at Saltwater as a barista in August of 2018, a burgeoning third wave coffee brand. He is now General Manager and Partner.

As a fellow, he’s driving Saltwater’s growth goals from one shop in the East Village of New York City to 10+ in five years, expanding into two other segments, including corporate (B2B) and online (B2C) by focusing on: Office Coffee Solutions, Wholesale Distribution, Resale, E-commerce, and Direct to Consumer Monthly Subscriptions. In addition, we are focused on global social responsibility, sustainable practices, carbon footprint, and empowering marginalized communities. In addition to a focus on sustainability, we are also focused on nurturing and redefining the associated ritual of coffee. We think this is just as important of a social issue related to coffee. The further commercialization of coffee has created a culture of reduction. We want to nurture the relationships, conversations, process, and family that is the fabric of coffee culture for thousands of years whether that’s at home, workspaces, or in-store.

As a writer, Suhail explores themes of third culture kid identity politics, authenticity in Americanness, millennial angst, and various modes of spirituality from Greek stoicism to Sufi mysticism. He is at work on a quasi adventure novel of short stories titled Electric Earth, and a memoir, Good Coffee / Bad Coffee, concerning the metaphysics of coffee, creativity, and city life.

What is the unmet social or environmental need you intend to address?

Saltwater hopes to create an egalitarian vision of ownership, funneling the flow of power from the heropreneurs back to farmers, roasters, creatives, and consumers by creating transparency in the product lifecycle of coffee.

What most excites you about participating in the Impact Entrepreneurship Fellowship?

The New School has a rich history for empowering marginalized voices, making the Impact Entrepreneurship Fellowship a symbol for the school, giving it an awesome responsibility to serve as the lightbringer for social impact. It’s exciting to be a proactive part of that story.

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