Dreamer Doers Roundtable 03: Entrepreneur Journey by Akhila Ramesh


Akhila Ramesh is an Architect from REC Nagpur with a Masters in both Urban Design and Project Management from National University of Singapore. NIVASA, an Architectural NGO, is the product of her effort in bringing together her training in Architecture and her passion for equal opportunity. Akhila was the first recipient of Centre for Social Initiative & Management’s fellowship for social entrepreneurs. This supported Nivasa during their first year of inception. Manava Seva Dharma Samvardhani presented the Sadguru Gyanananda fellowship to Akhila in appreciation of her pioneering effort to establish Nivasa. Three of Nivasa’s projects were selected among entries from fifteen countries world over for Indo-Dutch conference organized by IISc, Bangalore & Delft University, Netherlands, on Design for Sustainable Well being and Empowerment. Nivasa’s Project Suitcase is a winner of Citizens for the City Initiative, in the Innovation Category. 

Nivasa is an Architectural Not for Profit Trust, working to enable humane and dignified housing conditions for the urban and rural poor, through design.

For the lower Income segments in our society, architectural intervention in design and materials is VERY essential, but unfortunately it is neither available nor affordable. Nivasa seeks to fill this gap through developing common palettes of design for socio economic, cultural and geographic groups, with the support of donor organizations. Our philosophy is People-Centered Design and therefore we involve the end user in design and product customization for each household. Nivasa’s vision is for every Indian to have a habitable home. We use a design-based thinking approach to solve the housing problem.

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