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Vinatha M. Reddy – Chairman

Vinatha M. Reddy, BA. AMI (Diploma), is a Founder Trustee and the Chairperson of Navya Disha.  She is also a Founder Trustee of Grameen Koota and Non-Executive Chairman.

Vinatha grew up in a village called Avalahalli on the outskirts of Bangalore. She studied in Bishop Cottons Girls School and then in Mount Carmel College from where she graduated in Arts. She is a trained Montessori teacher, and has worked for some time in the Taraporewalla AMI House of Children at Hyderabad.

Vinatha has always been passionate about the welfare of villagers. This passion led her to establish a rural-based Montessori school called Gurukul in Bangalore.  In her quest for doing more for villagers, she chose micro-financing as a means to help villagers to get small loans to tide over their requirements in daily life. She was highly impressed with the Grameen Bank model of Prof Yunus of Bangladesh, and with help from him she founded the Grameen Koota with its Head Office in Bangalore. Grameen Koota’s services now extend across states in India covering Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Chattisgarh. Grameen Koota has done tremendous work in the area of micro-credit financing and has grown into a large institution with more than a million Customers.

In their passion and quest for bringing about a better quality of life for villagers through better health and education, Vinatha and Suresh realized that they needed a separate arm for creating awareness in the areas of Water and Sanitation, good Hygienic habits, focused Education and Career Guidance, and empowerment of Women and to initiate execution of projects in these areas. That’s how Navya Disha came into existence in 2005. In the years of its existence, Vinatha has been the guiding spirit in the successes of Navya Disha.  Navya Disha is now poised to take the next leap in its journey.

Suresh K. Krishna – Managing Trustee

Social Entreprenuer, Qualifications: Master in Sociology, Management Programme for Entrepreneurship and Family Businesses(MPEFB) – From IIMB

Suresh K. Krishna has a Master’s degree in Sociology and a Management Programme for Entrepreneurship and Family Businesses(MPEFB) from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. He was at the helm of activities at Grameen Koota Financial Services Pvt. Ltd. as Managing Director since its inception in 1999. He stepped down in July 2015 but continues to be a non-executive Director. He has a background in teaching and entered the field of development in 1997. Previously, he worked for an NGO that focused on micro enterprise development, non-formal education and also on the promotion of women self-help groups.

Suresh has studied and observed the nuances of microcredit at various leading international microfinance institutions and has developed the Grameen Koota microfinance model. He has studied international microfinance models and strategies from several reputed establishments including Grameen Bank, Bankakademie, Germany and Harvard Business School, USA. He has presented papers and has been a panelist in several national and international microfinance conferences.

Suresh had been guiding the company with a focus on double bottom line, ensuring high social impact and financial sustainability. Grameen Koota is a Non Banking Financial Company(NBFC) Micro Finance Institute(MFI) which provides the poor & low income households various financial services along with non-financial services. He has built Grameen Koota into a large, reputed microfinance institution operating in 5 states of Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh reaching out to 1.2 million poor households with microfinance services with 300 strong branch network and 3500 dedicated employees with a portfolio over 1500 crores. Under his guidance GK has received many awards and recognitions including 19th Best Micro Finance Institute(MFI) in the world by Forbes in 2007, Pioneer award in 2006 from Grameen Foundation. GK is amongst the first 3 Micro Finance Institute(MFI) ’s in India to get certified by Smart Campaign for meeting global client protection standards and the 2nd Micro Finance Institute(MFI) to be certified by Truelift as “Achiever – Pro-poor Micro Finance Institute(MFI) ”. GK has been rated ‘mfr1’ by Credit Rating Information Services of India Limited(CRISIL) and ‘alpha’ for social performance by MCril and has ICRA rating of ‘A-’.

He is also Managing Trustee of Navya Disha – an NGO working to improve the sanitation and drinking water condition of the rural and urban area by conducting various awareness programs and Navya Disha has supported in construction of over 2.5 lakhs household toilets in the state of Karnataka and Maharashtra. It has also supported over one lakh households to get water connections.

Suresh was instrumental in initiating the setting up of The Association of Karnataka Microfinance Institutions (AKMI) and was also part of the founding team which started microfinance industry associations including MFIN (Microfinance Institutions Network).

He has served on the boards of AKMI (2007-2015), Sa-dhan – The Association of Community Development Finance Institutions (2009-2012) and MFIN – Microfinance Institutions Network (2010-2015) (national body of Non Banking Financial Company(NBFC) Micro Finance Institute’s(MFI)) and FKCCI (Federation of Karnataka Chamber of Commerce & Industry), Financial INclusion Improves Sanitation and Health (FINISH), Netherlands. He is currently the Chairman of Microfinance Focus, and Managing Trustee of Navya Disha and GK Development Trust. Also serves in the Boards of Buzz India Trust, MIFOS Initiative – USA and Sudhanand Health Care, Bina Artha – A Microfinance Institution in Indonesia. He has also served the Advisory Board of College of Agricultural Banking in Pune and Advisory Board member for the Technology Fund setup by SIDBI, DFID & Microsave. He is also Chairman of Avalahalli Lake and Neighborhood Development Trust, which is working towards rejuvenation of Avalahalli lake. Various awareness building programs were conducted to sensitize the residents around the lake and with the government to develop lake.

Apart from microfinance, Mr. Suresh is passionate about agriculture, social businesses including micro housing, financial literacy, client education, renewable energy, waste management, health care and livelihoods for the poor.

Raviprakash M – Trustee

Raviprakash is a founder trustee of Navya Disha. He started Navya Disha in 2005 is a rural development professional with over 30 years of experience. Since May 2015 he has been a Freelance Consultant working on groundwater and related issues for improvement of its use in drinking, irrigation and industrial sectors. He has held responsible positions in the past such as Regional Manager with Action for Food Production from April 2011 to April 2015; as Programme Manager with Public Affairs Centre, Bangalore; as Chief-CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) with JSW Foundation, Toranagallu, and Bellary district as from November 2006 to January 2010 and at AME Foundation, Bangalore as Executive Director from April 2002 to December 2004. His experience and interests lie in land based rural livelihood programs in semi-arid areas with emphasis on groundwater and integrated farming systems. He has experience in Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA), Participatory Technology Development (PTD) and Logical Framework Analysis (LFA). He is adept at proposal development, program management, NGO/CSO assessment, community empowerment, capacity building and is a good communicator. He is a team oriented and gender sensitive person.

He is a post graduate in Geology from Bangalore University, Bangalore. He has completed four months certificate course in groundwater geophysics from Osmania University, Hyderabad. He was trained at International Centre for development oriented Research in Agriculture (ICRA), Wageningen, The Netherlands on Professional Development Programme in Agricultural Research for Development for seven months.

He brings into Navya Disha his vast and rich experience in villages and community development.

Muralidharan T – Trustee

Muralidharan T is serving as a Director, Catalyst Management Services Pvt. Ltd., Bangalore. He has supported projects & programs with special focus on micro-finance, financial inclusion, value chain finance and business development services for the poor. Supported Micro Finance Institute’s(MFI) with seed capital for scaling up operations, capacity building, legal transformation and reaching sustainability. Muralidharan started his career as a banker, logging in over 24 years with Vijaya Bank, a leading public sector bank. During the time he was engaged in policy formulations and development of credit products related to agriculture, among other areas. He then moved to Hivos as a Programme Officer working with special focus on microfinance, financial inclusion, value chain finance and business development services for the poor. At Hivos he was also engaged in launching funds for producer organizations. Currently at CMS he continues to be strategically engaged in financial access and capacity development of farmer producer organizations and other micro-small-and-medium enterprises.

He brings into Navya Disha his rich experience in the financial arena in services for the poor and his capability in capacity building