Uthara Narayanan, Chief Change Maker, and Co-Founder Buzz India

I am a firm believer in possibilities and the goodness in the world. My biggest strengths are perseverance and the thirst to learn.

Podcast

Overview

“I believe that unless people own their problems and solutions things are not going to change.”

The Brand Called You is pleased to welcome social sector worker and changemaker Uthara Narayanan. Uthara is the Chief Changemaker and Co-Founder of Buzz India, an organization working towards bringing people out of poverty. She is also the director of the Avantika Foundation and has published a number of papers.

A feminist in her roots, Uthara is driven by empathy, change, and commitment and has worked with around 2 and a half lakh women across India. In this conversation, Uthara talks about her journey at Buzz and the story of helping rural women have a life of their own. Buzz Women, an organization co-founded by Uthara is a grassroots women empowerment and community development program that brings knowledge, skills, and tools to the doorstep of women. They allow women to take charge of their problems and help them find apt solutions and resources accordingly. Uthara also shares a very heartwarming story of Devama, a strong woman who with the help of Uthara turned her life around and stood up for herself! This discussion is entirely focused on the entangled lives of women living in the rural areas and how even a little help goes a long way for them. Tune in for an absolutely interesting discussion around these diverse women and the beautiful work done by Uthara and her team!

Profile

I am a firm believer in possibilities and the goodness in the world. My biggest strengths are perseverance and the thirst to learn. As much as I see the big picture, I like getting my hands dirty in the details. My belief in ‘servant leadership’ has helped me inspire and motivate people I work with evolve a shared vision. I have learnt stakeholder management (funders, government, citizens, board of directors, advisory board) from the various positions I have held. I have developed project management skills having handled budgeting, planning, people management and evaluation. I have honed my research skills (Literature review, primary and secondary survey, statistics) since I have an interest in the area. I am naturally inclined to good communication both written and verbal since my school days. I was born in Coimbatore on 26th Feb 1982. 

Professional Experience

  • Chief Change Maker & Co-founder, Buzz India March 2012 – Present
  • Strategy formulation to align with the vision of capacity building of the poor for poverty alleviation; 
  • Conceptualize the process and curriculum of the training; 
  • Identifying new opportunities to partner for implementation of the programme; 
  • Monitor and evaluate the process and curriculum on an ongoing basis and make changes; 
  • Communicating with the stakeholders and outside world; 
  • Creating methodology for and conduct baseline research and impact assessment of the training provided;
  • Leveraging access to global best practices by representing the organization at workshops and events;
  • Overseeing the overall legal, compliance, documentation, reporting and budgeting activities
  • Director, Avantika Foundation May 2019 – Present
  • Director, Better Future Pvt Consultancy Feb 2015 – March 2018
  • Acumen Fellow, January 2015 – December 2015
  •   Coordinator, National Consultation, CIVIC, January 2012 – February 2012
  •  Programme Manager, Jaagte Raho! Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy June 2010 to July 2011
  •  Advocacy Manager, Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy March 2010 to July 2011
  •  Planning Associate – JaagteRaho! Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy June 2009 to March 2010

Education

  • 2009       ICWAI (Institute of Cost & Works Accountants of India)       60%
  • 2008        Completed DCYP (Diploma in Youth in Development)– a ‘Commonwealth     58%

Youth Programme’ examination offered by IGNOU (Indira Gandhi National

Open University) in collaboration with Pan Commonwealth office, London 

  • 2007        Completed Diplôme d’Etudes en Langue Française (DELF) A1     95.5% 
  • 1999-02   B.COM (Bachelor in Commerce)- BARKATULLAH UNIVERSITY, Bhopal         72%

Publication

    • PAISA FOR PANCHAYATS TRACKING FISCAL DEVOLUTION TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS A case study from Kolar district, Karnataka 2016
    • RURAL LOCAL BODY CORE FUNCTIONS AND FINANCES  – A study for the Fourteenth Finance Commission 2014
    • India: Probity in Public Procurement Transparency, objectivity and competition in Public Private Partnership projects in line with the United Nations Convention against Corruption
  • INDIA: Incentives for corporate integrity in accordance with the United Nations Convention against Corruption 
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