Nithya Ramanathan: A day in the life of an award-winning social entrepreneur

Nithya Ramanathan: A day in the life of an award-winning social entrepreneur

Today I woke up at 7am.

The first thing I did was hang with my kids.

My morning ritual includes getting my kids ready, putting breakfast on the table, and lunch in lunch boxes.

I started working at 9am.

My biggest challenge was prioritizing my time, figuring out how to make time for everyone who needed to talk with me, and for everyone I needed to talk with.

What I love most about my work is working with inspiring people, both inside and outside my organization.

My favorite part of the day was when I got to dig into the technical details of our vaccine monitoring program, and brainstorm new solutions with the team.

Least favorite is addressing interpersonal conflicts on the team and striking the right balance between ensuring everyone’s voice is heard while also encouraging each person to advocate for themselves.

I am so glad that I get to interact with almost every person on the team, both on a technical and personal level.

I wish I had more time in the day. 

Something that surprised me was a discussion I had with one of our new student interns, who blew me away with the depth and thoughtfulness of her analysis on Nexleaf’s contributions to the global development sector.

I want to recognize Radhika Malpani for helping me think through the strategy for our cookstove program.

For lunch I put together leftovers and ate at my desk, but took a couple minutes to swing by the picnic table where the team was eating lunch together. Always wish there was more time in the day to connect with the team!

A personal activity I do just for myself is meditate.

I most enjoyed spending time with one of our field staff on the phone, who always has a provocative question, interesting anecdotes, and direct feedback from the communities we work with.

For dinner I cooked an elaborate meal and enjoyed it with my kids and husband while several Nexleaf team members came by to taste the food.

I am passionate about ensuring that everyone on our team is fulfilled, challenged, and focused; and that the communities we serve are fully satisfied with the services we provide, and are empowered to voice their opinions when they are not.

I went to sleep at midnight.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to waking up with my kids.

Nithya Ramanathan is President and Co-Founder of Nexleaf Analytics. Her non-profit technology company builds, scales, and supports wireless sensor devices and data analytics tools to improve public health and the environment. She inspires her team, which is more than half female, to accept new challenges, take smart risks, and collaborate to accomplish audacious goals every day. Nexleaf’s work contributes to critical global goals: universal effective vaccination for children, mitigation of climate change-inducing emissions, and financial inclusion for rural women.

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