Creating Impact: The Arthan Story

Creating Impact: The Arthan Story

September 16, 2021 | Author: Mahamaya Navlakha, Co-Founder, VP Education at Arthan

Like any entrepreneurial idea, Arthan was born out of a challenge. When Satyam Vyas, who was then the COO of an education nonprofit, suddenly had to hire 200+ employees to scale up a program in six months, he could not stop thinking about how these organizations were supposed to achieve their missions of creating change. How can organizations tackle some of the most complex problems facing humanity today, if they didn’t have the most important ingredient – the right people? 

In December 2016, Arthan came into being – an enterprise that would focus on strengthening talent and human capital in the social impact sector. Satyam was joined by co-founders Mahamaya Navlakha, Rahul Balakrishnan, and Anchal Kakkar, all who had an interest in making an impact. Today, Arthan is a technology-driven human capital advisory firm for the development sector and has worked with 700+ social impact organizations and engaged with 200,000+ job seekers across different levels, sectors, and geographies. 

From the very beginning, Arthan’s founders were clear about wanting to work on creating an impact with communities. With three of the founders having an extensive background in education, this became the natural choice for creating this impact. Through Arthan Foundation, which is Arthan’s nonprofit arm, young people in government schools were provided career guidance and a 21st-century skills program, to help them connect their interests and aspirations with careers and the skills required to achieve these. Over the past three years, Arthan Foundation has reached approximately 15000 students and trained 150 facilitators across 4 states. 

As Arthan worked with and interacted with more and more organizations and leaders and professionals, it became apparent that there was tremendous value in not just enabling organizations to become stronger, but also in creating opportunities that would strengthen the larger ecosystem for social change. Arthan’s interest and commitment to being a part of this larger movement resulted in establishing a Thought Leadership vertical (www.arthansocialforum.org) that grew to involve: creating spaces that could bring together relevant stakeholders from civil society, government, and the private sector to engage with each other and to collaborate and create solutions.

Like every other individual and organization, Arthan went through a challenging year with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and its tumultuous impact on life and work. The social impact ecosystem was especially hit hard with organizations scrambling to provide immediate relief and support to the communities while simultaneously grappling with the challenge of their own survival. There were moments where the journey seemed impossible, difficult to carry on. However, the unwavering belief in what the organization had achieved so far and many things that were yet to be achieved coupled with a steadfast, agile, and committed team enabled Arthan to forge a path through the ambiguity of 2020. 

Arthan has set its sights on becoming bigger, and bolder in its mission to create greater impact for all.

Arthan was founded by Satyam Vyas along with his co-founders Mahamaya Navlakha, Rahul Balakrishnan and Anchal Kakkar in the year 2016. The company is headquartered in New Delhi and has a branch of ice in Bengaluru.


Mahamaya leads the education and development vertical at Arthan Foundation, and is also a co-founder at Arthan. She is a facilitator and creative content writer with 14 years experience working with children and young people. In the past she led the media and advocacy program at Commutiny – The Youth Collective (CYC). Prior to this, she worked with Going to School (GTS), where she created curriculum to teach 21st century entrepreneurial skills to children studying in government schools. Mahamaya has a Master’s degree in social development from University of Sussex (UK).