An Economic Thinker With A Giving Soul, Priya Naik

A conversation with the CEO and founder of Samhita, Priya Naik.

learn more about Ritu Kochar

By Ritu Kochar • Mar 8, 2016


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A Master in Economics from Yale Uni, Priya Naik had already worked with two social startups before she founded Samhita Social Ventures. Since a very young age, Priya has been doing what people only think about doing in their lifetime. Founder and CEO, Priya has been working extensively in the areas of nature conservation, art, education for differently-abled children, and livelihood generation through micro enterprise.

The "Samhita ecosystem" provides a credible platform and thought leadership to enable NGOs, companies, donor agencies, individuals, philanthropists, foundations and researchers to achieve their specific goals and make informed decisions that translate into purposeful action and large-scale social impact. They connect NGOs and provide them a platform to address social issues as well as reach out to bottom-of-the-pyramid (BoP) market. This makes Priya not only an inspiration for being a woman in business, but she's a woman in business with heart. She thinks like an economist and has a giving soul. When she progresses, she wants the world to move ahead with her. We had a chance to converse with Priya and know more about her. Here's what we found.

On being a woman entrepreneur

I think it's the ability to create and create constantly. Being a social entrepreneur is also slightly different from other kinds of entrepreneurs because you're also contributing to direct social impact and you get to see tangible change, which is one of the best parts of my job.

On how entrepreneurship has changed her

What's changed for me is the sense of ownership and accountability that comes from being an entrepreneur and running your own business. I am much more aware of the value of time which has made me a lot more organized and efficient. At Samhita there are always multiple things happening at once and it's a very challenging environment to work in, so you have to focus on maximizing your efficiency.

On her mentors

I am really inspired by the co-founders of Infosys because of their focus on strong values and their embodiment of these values, both in their business and personal lives. They bring the same rigour and high standards to all the positions they hold, whether in business or in their capacity as government advisors or during their philanthropic initiatives.

"Startup India; Startup India' for women

I think it's a great way to start the conversation about entrepreneurship and get people interested. It's making the career choice as an entrepreneur more desirable. It's important that you create an enabling environment so that more women can choose this as a career option and get involved in entrepreneurship.

For full coverage of International Women's Day 2016 click here (

Ritu Kochar

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

Ritu used to work as a Feature writer for Entrepreneur India.

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