An economist with a relentless entrepreneurial streak and a fascination with diverse cultures, Prajakta Kharkar Nigam has worked with three central banks, lived in five countries, speaks several languages, and is a brand new mom. For a living, she LEGOs with Greek alphabets, economic variables, and fancy-sounding financial jargon. (Any resulting mathematical models are purely coincidental and intend no harm.)
Yet, she is always in pursuit of “eureka” moments that come from running her life-experiments, some of which have become viable ventures. Originally from India, Prajakta is the founder of Milart Fairtrade Designer Jewelry, a social enterprise she started while she was an ODI Fellow in Kampala. Through international outreach and ecommerce, this organization empowers women artisans and jewelry designers in East Africa and India. In 2016, she is also launching JoeyPod, a mobile start-up that allows nursing mothers in 50 cities to find the nearest feeding room at their fingertips, literally. Armed with an analytical mind, solid education, crisp communication, and a perpetual quest for insights, Prajakta enjoys leading her teams across time zones.
She currently lives in Ottawa, Canada, with her husband Shashank and daughter Sanaa.