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Ananya Birla, 

Founder & chairperson, Svatantra Microfin
age: 29
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ANANYA BIRLA has two goals running parallel while running a business — profitability and impact. Svatantra Microfin, which she founded in 2012 at the age of 17 to provide micro loans to women entrepreneurs in rural India, is currently the second-largest player in the NBFC-MFI segment, with a 4.2 million customer base across 20 states. Assets under management stood at ₹13,000 crore in FY23.
“I would like my businesses to be profitable, but I also want them to create an impact,” says Ananya Birla, daughter of billionaire industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla. Ananya is also on the board of Aditya Birla Management Corp. Pvt. Ltd — the group’s apex decision-making body that provides strategic direction to group companies — along with her brother Aryaman Vikram Birla.
Ananya believes small steps can make a big impact. “My head office is plastic-free. The group aspires to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050... Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail Ltd. has already achieved zero waste to landfill across its facilities,” says Ananya.
“One of the biggest challenges for me is balancing performance with humanity,” she adds. “I want teams to be hardworking, but I don’t want them to burn out,” says Ananya, who co-founded the Mpower movement with mother Neerja Birla in 2016, an awareness initiative to alleviate the stigma associated with mental health.