Atlas Corps celebrates its 15th anniversary! It is time to celebrate the achievements of our amazing network of over 1,400 leaders from 115 countries and share stories on the global impact of our Alumni, Fellows, and Scholars.

Join us as we speak with American Indian Foundation Scholar Prakriti (Cohort 8, India) from our Virtual Leadership Institute, empowered by Atlas Corps for service in the United States. Prakriti works at Frontier Markets, where she showcases her expertise in social design and UX research. Frontier Markets is a social tech startup in rural India dedicated to building rural marketplaces and empowering rural women towards digital micropreneurship. In our conversation, Prakriti shares how her experiences growing up are a strong driver for her work today.

Thank you, Prakriti, for your inspiring work in empowering rural women and communities. We wish you the best in your current work and can’t wait to see what more you have in store for the future!

Name: Prakriti Chawla

Home Country: India

Current Organization: Frontier Markets

Role at current organization: AIF Banyan Impact Fellow

Social Issues that you have worked with: Decent work and economic growth, Reduced inequalities, Sustainable cities and communities

Tell us about projects you have worked on?

I am an AIF Banyan Impact Fellow placed with Frontier Markets, a social tech startup in rural India focused on enabling women to become digital micropreneurs. My responsibilities include: conducting UX research to understand the needs and pain points of the rural women, designing inclusive and accessible UI in the B2B e-commerce app operated by the women based on their feedback, creating and designing efficient user flows and content for the WhatsApp chatbot and assistant bot within the B2B e-commerce app, and conducting research on innovations in communication technology in rural India and finding feasible ways of implementation within the organization.

Why is it important for you to work in ?

I grew up in the disability space which gave me a strong sense of equity and inclusion. I always strive for these values in whatever I do. Working with Frontier Markets has opened my eyes to other aspects of inclusion in terms of gender, language, and socio-economic status.

How has Atlas Corps contributed to your professional and personal accomplishments?

Atlas Corps has been key in helping me develop my leadership skills and strategic planning skills. I was always wary of seeing myself as a leader but with the tools and resources provided by the Virtual Leadership Institute and the network of Scholars and Alumni, I believe I have more access to newer opportunities for engagement.

What is your favorite Atlas Corps memory?

During one of the peer coaching calls with a few other Scholars, we were asked to use a color to describe how we were feeling. I remember distinctly that the call felt like a warm safe space to me so I wrote orange and at the same time the other Scholars wrote in their replies colors like yellow, ochre, warm orange, sunset, etc. It was such a beautiful moment and a learning experience for me. I have always been fascinated by color theory and color psychology so it was interesting to see how we all found synergy in one color or hue of the same one.

What advice do you have for applicants and current Scholars?

Be as authentic as possible! I learned this during my interviews with the American India Foundation–when you show who you really are and why you are passionate about what you do, it always pays well.

What message would you like to send to individuals who support Atlas Corps?

You are doing great work! For people like me who are still figuring out where they stand as a leader in the development space, VLI has been monumental.

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Photos from Prakriti’s personal archive