Prof. Sasmita Samanta
Founder & Chairperson, SOUL
Prof. Sasmita Samanta is an accomplished academician and a leader par excellence with more than two and half decades of experience in strategizing for building sustainable institutions and systems. She is a visionary, researcher, motivator, popular teacher, author, voracious orator and engaged leader with a deep commitment to creating a sustainable ecosystem for all stakeholders in her sphere of involvement.
Prof. Samanta’s intellectual capabilities are manifested in distinctions as a Post-doctorate in Indigenous Leadership from Taiwan, PhD in Management, a Stanford LEAD Alumna and Stanford Distinguished Scholar, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, USA; Fellow of Royal Society of Arts (FRSA, UK); and Fellow of Computer Society of India (FCSI, India). She has been trained in leadership at the University of Nebraska Omaha (UNO), USA. and CSC Leaders programme, Common Purpose Charitable Trust and Commonwealth Secretariat, UK. Her academic areas of interest and specialisation include Education, Organisational Behaviour, Human Indian Commerce Associaton Development, Spiritualism and Leadership.
She has held leadership roles in heading large institutions like KIIT and KISS as Vice-Chancellor and conceptualizing and spearheading many more institutions like the Business Incubation Centre, initiatives like Education for All, Rehabilitation Training to Displaced Workers, Occupational Health and Safety, Public Policy etc. She has led many big professional bodies in the country in the capacity of President of the Indian Commerce Association, Operation Research Society of India, Bhubaneswar Chapter etc. She has contributed substantially to the field of business development, human resource management, talent acquisition, governance and competency management both professionally and academically. Her emphasis has been leading for a purpose by protecting human dignity.
In various capacities at KIIT, Prof. Samanta has brought decisiveness; a strong commitment to quality, diversity and exceptional leadership in mobilising and operationalising the path forward. These have translated into its rapid ascent as one of the country’s leading higher education institutions with impressive positions in national and global Rankings.
Prof. Samanta’s rich academic experience and professional expertise have pioneered the implementation of several technology-enabled innovations at KIIT, including e-evaluation and use of innovation technology in the teaching-learning process, which has been running successfully with more than 25,000 users and 4000 process owners.
Besides her role as the Vice-Chancellor of KIIT-DU, Prof. Samanta is also the Chairperson of KIIT Technology Business Incubator (KIIT-TBI). Currently, KIIT-TBI is supporting 235+ budding technology-driven entrepreneurs to convert their new ideas into business processes or products. As many as 65 start-ups have received national and international awards, while more than 50 have received follow-on funding worth 350 crores. Over 4000+ jobs have been generated by the incubatees till date. Prof. Samanta has mentored more than 100 potential entrepreneurs and incubates to date.
As the Founder and Chairperson of Sustainable Outreach Universal Leadership (SOUL) Limited, she has been committed to adding values to system processes and institutions, assisting in formulating and effective execution of policies. She has been actively involved in technological innovations and execution for increasing inclusiveness in nation building process.
She is the Founder and President of World Leadership Academy, which serves as a platform for global leaders to address issues from diverse domains with intellectual freedom. The organization is also functioning to encourage diverseness in research, teaching and publication from all researchers and scientists. It plans to engage with the government, NGOs, institutions and businesses and provide solutions to diverse issues and create a positive impact.
Prof. Sasmita Samanta is a prolific public speaker, who has delivered more than 500 keynote addresses and lectures in diverse fields of education and human development at different conferences, seminars, faculty development programmes, including Human Resource Development Centres of UGC. She has authored, co-authored and edited many books and has contributed several research articles in national and international journals and periodicals.
In addition to her work as an academician, Prof. Samanta is deeply engaged in different social outreach programmes like Education for All initiative, she has connected with and motivated around 1.5 million children to participate in higher education in the last ten years. Under her leadership, Education Summits on the theme ‘Education for All’ are organised in all districts of Odisha and 30 major cities and state capitals of the country every year since last 14 years.
For her significant contributions to academia & industry, multifarious social outreach and entrepreneurial activities as well as social innovations, she has received many national and international fellowships and awards. Some of her recent recognitions include ‘India’s Most Promising Vice Chancellor 2021-2022’ award at the EDUSTAR Leadership Awards 2022; ‘Times Power Women East 2022’; ‘Excellence in Education’ Award at the XGRAD 2022 Higher Education Summit; ‘Excellent Contribution To Education Sector’ at the 7th CMAI ICT World Education Excellence Awards 2022; ‘India’s Most Emerging Educationist of the Year-Female’ Award at the Make In India Emerging Leader Awards 2021; ‘Inspirational Leaders of India’ Award at the White Page Leadership Conclave 2021; ‘Asia One Women Empowerment Entrepreneur Award 2020-21’ at the 14th Edition of Asia Africa Business & Social Forum: Awards & Business E-Summit and many more.