Born on the 17th of July 1994, Ananya has always had a penchant for doing things differently. She began learning the santoor at the age of eleven and has been playing ever since. As she slowly moved away from her classical training, she taught herself to play the guitar using internet video tutorials. It was the start of a love affair with music that only grew as time passed.
Ananya left formal schooling at sixteen and was thereafter home-schooled. In her free time, she played football and learnt to surf. Hailing from a big business family, and being an introspective child, she became acutely aware of the inequalities surrounding her and craved to create a positive global change.
“Music is my magic”
— Ananya Birla
The idea to enable the poor in becoming economically self-sustainable was the vision she sought. At just 17 years of age, she set up a microfinance organisation to support women entrepreneurs in the Indian rural areas to further grow their own businesses. She called it Svatantra. Ananya then set off for college in England where she read economics and management at the University of Oxford. During this time, she started singing and playing the guitar at pubs and clubs on weekends in London, while still managing Svatantra, with a capable team over Skype calls.