Board of Directors

Founders:

Ms. Praseeda Kunam is the promoter and CEO of Samhita Microfinance. Praseeda has over 16 years of experience in the areas of microfinance, financial literacy and advising small and microenterprises. Praseeda holds an MBA degree as well as a Masters in Information Management from Washington University, St. Louis, and a BA, Economics from St. Ann’s College, Hyderabad.

Mr. Balachander Krishnamurthy is the promoter of Samhita Community Development Services. Bala has worked for ten years in the US corporate sector, with the firms McKinsey & Company (Chicago), Zacks Investment Research (Chicago) and Wellington Management Company (Boston), in the areas of corporate finance, investment research and investment software. Bala has also worked in the rural development sector in India over the past 16 years. He has been an advisor to a public health promotion project at Ramakrishna Mission, Varanasi, as well as the architect of award-winning microfinance technology solutions at SKS Microfinance, Hyderabad, and Cashpor Microcredit, Varanasi. Bala holds an MBA (Finance) from the University of Chicago, MS (Computer Science) from Virginia Tech, and B. Tech. (Mechanical Engineering) from IIT Delhi.

Independent Board members:

Professor P.K.Biswas is currently serving as a Director of Institute for Financial Management and Research (Chennai). Prior to this, he was a faculty member at Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal. He completed his doctorate in sociology from JNU, Delhi, and had been with IIFM, Bhopal for 26 years. He is actively involved in social development efforts, as well as in various governmental administrative networks.

Ms. K.C. Ranjani is currently serving as the Chairperson of MiIndia Trust. Most recently, she was the India Director for Opportunity International Australia and headed their national program for India. She is a financial services and development specialist, with over 28 years of direct implementation and field experience in microfinance. Her experience includes policy development, risk management, market development and managing the conversion of MFIs from non-government organisations into sustainable formal financial institutions. Ranjani holds a Masters Degree in Bank Management.

Mr. Geoff Woolley is the founding partner of Dominion Ventures, Inc., which he founded in 1985, Chairman of European Venture Partners, and Chairman of MACC Private Equity. For over 26 years, Geoff has been involved in financing more than 300 emerging growth companies, including Ceina, Coinstar, Hotmail, and Human Genome Science, while managing more than $1.5 billion in cumulative assets. His non-profit experience includes being the founding chairman of the NAMES Project Foundation, (the AIDS Memorial Quilt) and working with foundations to empower the less fortunate. He founded and chairs University Venture Fund at the University of Utah, America’s largest and most successful student-led venture fund. Geoff holds a B.S. in business management from Brigham Young University and an M.B.A from the University of Utah.

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