Daughter of industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and Neerja Birla, Ananya is a former student of the University of Oxford and founder of the Ananya Birla Foundation.
Ananya Birla, 27, Founder and President, Svatantra Microfin; Co-founder, Mpower Minds; singer and songwriter, Mumbai; (Photo: Mandar Deodhar)
A nanya Birla wears several hats. She is a singer, songwriter, entrepreneur and mental health advocate. At 17, Ananya launched Svatantra Microfin, which now has a presence in 78,000 villages in 20 states, employs more than 6,000 people and has had an impact in 18 million lives. It is the only microfinance institution to extend cashless disbursements to 100% since its inception. Svatantra MHFC, the micro-housing branch, is one of the few housing institutions to focus on the economically weaker sections. Svatantra Microfin’s gross loan portfolio grew at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 135% from 2015 to 2022 and that of Svatantra MHFC at a CAGR of 133% (2017-2022). Mpower Minds from Ananya is an initiative to alleviate the stigma associated with mental health while the Ikai Asai company empowers local artisans.
“Business or music, leaving a lasting impact on people’s lives is what drives everything I do”
Daughter of industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and Neerja Birla, Ananya is a former student of the University of Oxford and founder of the Ananya Birla Foundation. In May 2020, the foundation awarded its first grant to Save the Children India, targeting 100,000 people. He is currently working on mental health research and intervention designs in rural India. Ananya is also an ambassador for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
As a singer, Ananya boasts of over 400 million streams worldwide. She is the only English-speaking Indian artist to record platinum sales, a feat repeated five times. The MTV Europe Music Awards nominee began her musical journey at the age of nine with the santour. She merges her talents as a drummer, piano and guitarist in her live performances.
THE MUSIC OF HIS LIFE Ananya will release an album in English and one in Hindi-Punjabi in 2022. In addition to playing drums and santur, she writes poems. Books are her other passion – she currently reads The people code by Taylor Hartman and Tools of the Titans by Tim Ferriss
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