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.
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.