Kamla was born in Kolkata in an orthodox family and was to live a rather unorthodox life.

Her marriage & family commitments rather early in life came in the way of her pursuing higher education and this left her with a burning desire to spread education and to empower lives.

Her entrepreneurial journey started in Jaipur in 1995 when circumstances forced her to step out of home to support her family. Kamla tried her hand at garment manufacturing and exports – a growing local industry.

She realized that to grow to the next level, the local garment industry needed critical value addition in design. This skill gap also meant good employment opportunities. Her mission was now clear: women empowerment through skill based education.

In 1999, she started International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) in Jaipur and thus Kamla Poddar Institutes (KPI) was born. Today, offering a wide variety of courses, KPI has become a temple of learning and a stepping stone for thousands of students.

Kamla Poddar, an icon of education and women empowerment has now handed over the KPI torch to her sons – Abhishek and Ayush – while still mentoring them. She now actively engages in jewellery design and taking up initiatives under the VK Poddar Foundation set up by her.

The journey goes on…


  • Felicitated by Her Excellency, Ms Pratibha Patil, the then President of India
  • Appreciation for Continuous Support to The Fashion Industry
    for her Outstanding Contribution to the Apparel Industry, presented by Mr Sayed Shahnawaz Hussain (the then Textile Minister, Govt. of India), Confederation of Indian Apparel Export
  • Keshav Navneet (Agrabandhu 2005)
    Nominated for Financial Express 'Women of the Year Award', instituted by the Indian Express Group
  • Best Centre of the Decade, 2005 (Bigger Centre Category)
    presented by Amrita Thapar, Femina Miss Universe 2005
  • Keshav Navneet (Agrabandhu 2002)
    presented by Mr Ramdas Agarwal, the then National Treasurer of BJP
  • Centre of Excellence Award
    at SMU Convention from Mr Anil Kumble
  • Recieved Appreciation Award
    from GIA CEO Donna Becker
  • Nominated for Financial Express
    'Women of the Year Award' (instituted by the Indian Express Group)
  • Keshav Navneet ka Vaishya Bandhu
    (Young Entrepreneur Welcome Ceremony) presented by Mr. Shanti Dhariwal (the then Tourism Art & Cultural Minister, Rajasthan)
  • Rotary Service Award
    for outstanding services, achievements and contribution by Rtn. H.P. Kuchhal, MPHF, Asst. District Governor, RI District 3050
  • Centre of Excellence (PIIT, Jaipur)
    Manipal IT Education Certificate presented by Dr. Janardhan Jha (Manipal IT Education)
  • Jewels of Jaipur
    announced by DNA at the launch of Coffee table book based on the most glorified & dignified Entrepreneurs of Jaipur given by Deependra Singh Shekhawat
  • Most Enterprising Centre
    for the year 2001-02 (NIFD Jaipur) presented by Neha Dhupia
  • Premium Centre Award & Certificate
    for INIFD by Ashley Rebello & Mehak Chahel

Maverick. Visionary. Compassionate.

Kamla is a maverick and a non-conformist.

An individual with integrity of the highest order, she has always walked the path of her calling… rarely to conform to conventions and never with the intention of breaking any… simply to follow her heart. As a result, she has given the world around her, many firsts – in the field of higher education earlier and in so many different spheres eventually.

At work, Kamla is a quick decision maker and an effective executor. A hands-on operator, she is a master at taking her ideas to conclusion with an eye on the smallest of detail. A firm believer on ‘I can’ philosophy, she always leads from the front.

At the core of this though business leader, is a sensitive and compassionate individual. She values relationships above everything else and invests her time and energy in sustaining & nurturing bonds of family and friendship. She is the epicenter of love for four generations of her family living together.

Another side of personality is an admirer of nature and art. And not just admirer, a creator too. Kamla is now a popular jewellery designer. She also actively pursues and promotes activities for creative living and enriching of the body, mind and soul.

At leisure, she loves reading and listening to music.

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