HomeEntrepreneurAnanya Birla's Journey as a Musician and Entrepreneur

Ananya Birla’s Journey as a Musician and Entrepreneur

The 28 year old Ananya Birla, the eldest child of billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla, was recently appointed as a director of Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. alongside her 25-year-old brother, Aryaman Vikram Birla.

Given the entry of the younger Birlas into key positions within the family business, let’s take a look at Ananya’s journey so far as a singer, songwriter and entrepreneur. 

Entrepreneurial spirit

The recent appointment of Ananya and Aryaman as directors heralds the commencement of the fifth generation of the Birla family’s involvement in the esteemed USD 60 billion business empire. 

In a statement, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Ltd. said, 

“Ananya Birla and Aryaman Vikram Birla come with rich and varied experience straddling entrepreneurship and business building. The board believes that ABFRL will benefit from their new-age insights and business acumen.”

Ananya is also the founder of Svatantra Microfin, a company aimed at providing microfinance to women from rural areas. She said, 

“Svatantra was the very first company that I founded with a vision to provide financial services to every woman in every corner of Bharat, to bank the unbanked.”

Ananya’s background

Ananya or Ananyashree Birla made her first single debut in the year 2016, and since then she has collaborated with names like Sean Kingston, Afrojack, and Mood Melodies.

Ananya is an alumnus of the American School of Bombay, Mumbai, and has also studied at the University of Oxford, England.

She was also the first Indian to sign with Maverick Management in Los Angeles back in 2020. Some of her major milestones include winning the  ET Panache Trendsetters of 2016 award for Young Business Person and getting listed as one of GQs Most Influential Indians of 2018. 

Birla’s musical talent has crossed international boundaries, accumulating an impressive total of over 350 million combined streams. Her noteworthy achievement lies in being the inaugural Indian artist to attain platinum status in India for an English-language single, marking a significant milestone in her career.

She also made a cameo appearance in the song “Inaam” featured in the streaming television series Rudra: The Edge of Darkness in 2022. Subsequently, in 2023, she made her full-fledged acting debut in the spy thriller titled Shlok: The Desi Sherloc, directed by Kunal Kohli. 

Ananya’s recent endeavors

Recently, her venture, Svatantra Microfin, successfully finalized the acquisition of Chaitanya India Fin Credit. On November 24th, she posted on her X handle,

“This is the moment we formally completed the acquisition of Chaitanya. 

It is surreal to look back over the last decade. Svatantra was the very first company that I founded with a vision to provide financial services to every woman in every corner of Bharat, to bank the unbanked. Today marks a huge step as we welcome Chaitanya formally into the Svatantra family. From 1 to a team strength of over 16,000, from 1 state to a national presence, from a cheque size of Rs. 10,000 to our first client, to becoming the second largest MFI in India with an AUM of 13,000 crores impacting over 32.8 million and growing 🙏🏽  I am excited for the journey ahead. A big congratulations to my entire team without whom, none of this would be possible. A big thank you to all our partners and supporters. The real work starts now.”

RPG Group Chairperson Harsh Goenka commended Ananya Birla on the recent development. 

Svatantra Microfin has acquired Chaitanya India Fin Credit, a subsidiary of the Navi Group owned by Flipkart’s co-founder Sachin Bansal. The deal amounts to Rs 1,479 crore. This has propelled Svatantra Microfin to the forefront as the second-largest microfinance entity in India. 

With combined assets under management (AUM) soaring to Rs 12,409 crore, the entity now serves an extensive base of over 3.6 million active customers.

In another X post, she said,

“We are gunning for the No. 1 position now.”

Commenting on the development, Alok Misra, CEO of microfinance industry body MFIN India, noted, 

“Svatantra Microfin acquiring Sachin Bansal’s Chaitanya is a positive news both for the microfinance sector and Svatantra…The acquisition is synergistic as it gives Svatantra strategic outreach in South India. While Svatantra is known for its efficient operations and responsible lending, higher size will further strengthen it as also contribute to higher efficiency through economies of scale.”

Other ventures

Apart from Svatantra Microfin, Ananya Birla is also dedicated to creating an impact across diverse social domains. In 2020, she founded the Ananya Birla Foundation, directing its efforts towards addressing crucial issues encompassing mental health, equality, education, financial inclusion, climate change, and humanitarian relief endeavors. 

Read more: Pod World: Enhancing Investor Trust, Data Security, and Future-proofing Fundraising in India

Snigdha Basu
Snigdha Basu
A multifaceted writer, Snigdha Basu is a freelancer and a columnist at Entrepreneurs Today. She also spearheads Chic Life Edition - her own Digital Magazine with sustainable fashion, beauty, and culture at its core. Reach out to Snigdha at [email protected] for inquiries.
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