Soumen Biswas

Executive Director,
Professional Assistance for Development Action

Mr. Soumen Biswas is the executive director of PRADAN, a public service organization with the mission of impacting livelihoods to enable rural communities in the endemically poor regions of India. PRADAN was founded in 1983 on the belief that individuals with knowledge resources and empathy towards the marginalized must work with poor people if mass poverty is to be removed proactively. Today, it is a leader in promoting rural livelihoods in both farm and non-farm sectors in India. It pioneered the self-help group (SHG) model to organize poor women to access mainstream financial services, which has introduced new methodologies for grassroots action, developed robust prototypes of rural enterprises suitable for poor households in farm and non-farm sectors, and successfully linked poor people to urban markets.

Mr. Soumen joined PRADAN in 1987 and has since established a team of professionals to promote livelihoods for indigenous communities as well as experimented with and piloted initiatives to create new livelihood prototypes for the poor having widespread replication potential. He has also engaged with a number of state governments as well as the government of India to improve poverty alleviation programs

Mr. Soumen holds degrees in agricultural sciences and management.