Founder, Magic Bus
Founder and Executive Chairman of Magic Bus, Matthew Spacie is recognised for his significant contributions to social entrepreneurship, corporate leadership, and sports. A United Kingdom national, Matthew has called Asia home for the past 28 years.
Matthew founded Magic Bus in 1999 when he was 29 and the COO of Cox and Kings, India’s largest holiday tour operator. In 2001 he moved out of his corporate role and dedicated all his time to the development and growth of Magic Bus. A pioneering NGO, Magic Bus India Foundation is today one of the largest non-profits in Asia, with over 1.5 million adolescents and youth currently benefiting from its programmes.
The organisation aims to support millions of the world’s poorest children and young people, taking them from a childhood full of challenges to a life with meaningful livelihoods. Through its seven-year programme format, Magic Bus equips young people with the skills and knowledge they need to grow up and move out of poverty. Children on the Magic Bus programme complete school with good grades, go on to get jobs, enrol in vocational institutes, or go to university. They successfully fend off destabilisers such as child marriage and child labour and become first-generation formal sector salary earners. Magic Bus's approach mobilises the entire ecosystem available to the child or youth to create transformational change in their lives.
Matthew's leadership extends to several board and advisory positions, where he lends his expertise and strategic insights. His involvements include Magic Bus, Dasra, and Etihad Airlines. Matthew also co-founded Cleartrip.com, which has grown into the second-largest online travel company in South Asia. More recently, Matthew's commitment to social impact led to the founding of Socialstar, with the aim of making social impact a lifestyle choice.
Matthew's passion for sports is underscored by his international rugby caps representing India, and has also participated in the World Cup Qualifiers in 2001. Matthew had the honour of being an Olympic torchbearer at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
He has received numerous accolades for his work, including recognition as an Ashoka Fellow, a TED Fellow, and an Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Philanthropy (ACSEP) Fellow. In 2007, he was awarded an MBE for his services to children and the Commonwealth. Matthew was also named India's Top Ed Influencer by ScooNews and received the Business Standard Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award in March 2018.
Matthew currently serves as the Executive Chairman of Magic Bus Global, leading its work in India, Singapore, the United States, the United Kingdom, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Nepal. His commitment to creating positive change in society and his multifaceted career exemplify his dedication to a more inclusive and impactful world.