Padmavathy was a gold medallist in her Master of Science in Agriculture from Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, Coimbatore. She started her development work with PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action) in 1993. She built a model SHG Federation with integrated development components. As a Team Leader in DHAN Foundation (Spin-off of PRADAN), she anchored the SHG-Bank linkage program, created awareness for more than 2000 Bankers on SHG Bank Linkage and trained over 250 NGOs on the SHG Model. She became a Chief Executive Officer of Kalanjiam Foundation, a thematic Institution promoted for scaling up of Kalanjiam Community Banking Programme of DHAN Foundation, wherein she scaled up the Kalanjiam Programme covering 12 Indian States and worked with 200 branches of 13 commercial banks for facilitating SHG-Bank Linkage. She coordinated a robust team of professionals to run 175 autonomous microfinance federations covering one million poor women members in 12 Indian States.
Subsequently she anchored the Jeevidam Centre for Social Enterprise to promote Producer Collectives with the Peoples Organisations promoted by DHAN, where she managed incubation centre and livelihood schools for producer groups and producer collectives. She was instrumental in evolving a sustainable business model for FPOs and produced policies and guidelines for promoting Farmer Producer Companies. She designed and conducted a number of capacity building programmes for the staff and directors of FPOs. She also offered certificate courses for CEOs of FPOs with BIRD-Lucknow.
Padmavathy is currently heading the programmes of CCD as its Executive Director. She anchors the strategic initiatives to consolidate the three decades of CCD’s development experience and continue the legacy of community driven development models spearheaded by CCD over these years.