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Headshot photo of Karthik Balasubramanian, DBA

Karthik Balasubramanian, DBA (he/him)

Assistant Professor

  • Information Systems & Supply Chain Management
  • School of Business


Dr. Karthik Balasubramanian is broadly interested in real-world optimization, especially as it is applied to base-of-the-pyramid business strategy in Sub-Saharan Africa and voter turnout among traditionally marginalized urban communities in the United States. Karthik earned a Doctorate of Business Administration from Harvard Business School, where his dissertation focused on the optimization of inventory management for mobile money agents in Tanzania, Kenya, and Zambia. Over the past 15 years, Karthik has conducted high-impact strategic analytics for the World Food Programme, the American Red Cross, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, corporate clients as a consultant with the Boston Consulting Group, and many political campaigns.

Education & Expertise


Technology and Operations Management

Harvard Business School

Electrical Engineering and Economics

Duke University


Data-driven policy and politics

Voter turnout

Mobile-enabled financial services

Financial inclusion



Production and Operations Research (MBA)

Production and Operations Management (BBA)

Procurement (BBA)



Howard University School of Business Teaching Award

Received the highest aggregate student evaluation score in the School of Business for academic year 2021-2022

Related Articles

Show or tell? Improving inventory support for agent-based businesses at the base of the pyramid

Manufacturing & Service Operations Management 24 (1), 664-681, with Jason Acimovic, Chris Parker, and David Drake

Service Quality, Competition and Poverty: An Analysis of African Mobile Money Agents

Forthcoming in the Journal of Operations Management, with David Drake and Gloria Urea

Inventory management for mobile money agents in the developing world

Forthcoming in Manufacturing & Service Operations Management, with David Drake, Jason Acimovic and Doug Fearing

Operations Research on Mobile-Enabled Financial Inclusion: A Road Map to Impact

Tutorials in Operations Research: Emerging and Impactful Topics in Operations

Democrats Are Ignoring the Voters Who Could Decide This Election

New York Times Opinion Editorial, February 26, 2020,