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Priya Naik, Founder & CEO of Samhita, on sustainable livelihoods in India

Samhita’s Founder and CEO, Priya Naik, talks with us about sustainable livelihoods in India, social inclusiveness, gender, returnable grants and much more.

Their initial funders include the Omidyar Network and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation; their partners include the likes of Unilever, Google and Kimberly-Clark.

Samhita embraces an ecosystem mindset, and they work closely not just with individual organisations but also with a range of collectives and collaboratives who engage diverse audiences and stakeholders.

About Priya Naik

Priya is the Founder and CEO of Samhita Social Ventures, an impact catalyst that works with the private, public, philanthropy and social sectors to create large scale social transformation collaboratives, as well as bespoke CSR, ESG, and Responsible Business Initiatives.

Samhita has been at the forefront of creating sectoral and multi-stakeholder Alliances in healthcare and livelihoods, such as the India Protectors Alliance and the REVIVE Alliance.

The India Protector's Alliance (supported by Hindustan Unilever, RBL Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation) brought together 59 funders, 52 implementation partners to impact over 5.3 million healthcare, sanitation workers, and vulnerable communities across India during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The REVIVE Alliance (supported by USAID, MSDF, Omidyar Network India, British High Commission, New Delhi, and UNDP), is a livelihood accelerator that also provides access to blended finance, aimed at helping over 10 million informal workers and micro-entrepreneurs over 5 years (with a focus on women and youth), with sustainable livelihood opportunities that can irreversibly increase their incomes and help them thrive.

Prior to Samhita, Priya co-founded The Spark Group, an education incubator that delivered affordable education to low-income communities in India. She has worked with the International Finance Corporation, the Poverty Action Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and at Arthur Andersen.

Priya has a Master’s degree in economics from Yale University, a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and a Master’s degree (and a Gold Medal) in Commerce from Mumbai University. She also holds an Executive Education degree from Harvard Business School.


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