Ananya Birla founded Svatantra Microfinance Pvt. Ltd at the age of 17 and in just over three years as the Chairperson and MD, she has established herself as a successful entrepreneur. When the risk perception in the industry was very high, Ananya in her independent capacity, played a significant role in changing minds in the regions where Svatantra operates. She is currently the Co-Chairperson of ASSOCHAM's Microfinance Council of India. Under her leadership Svatantra has won the “Gold Award for Best Start-Up” (Skoch Financial Inclusion and Deepening Awards, 2014), “Spirituality @ Work: Sach Bharat Samman” (Sach Bharat Confluence 2015) and has maintained a quality loan portfolio, offering one of the lowest interest rates in the country. She has also won titles like 'Leading Woman in Microfinance' (iiGlobal Business Information Pvt Ltd) and ‘Corporate Debutant’ (Hello! Hall of Fame Awards 2016) amongst others. One of the fastest growing microfinance institutions, Svatantra is differentiated by a 0% default rate as well as 100% cashless disbursements, and has been a driving catalyst for change in the industry. Svatantra is also currently pioneering cashless collections. True to her entrepreneurial spirit, Ananya is currently in the process of launching another venture in the ecommerce space, which revolves around travel and design. She has also co-founded the MPower movement, an awareness initiative to alleviate the stigma associated with mental health.