The Tamil Creator Podcast (EP #87): Abarna Raj - CEO of Australian-Based Social Startup Palmera (Changing The Way The World Tackles Poverty)
Abarna Raj is the Co-Founder & CEO of Australian-based Palmera. The organization is named after a tree which grows in Sri Lanka and is fundamental to the existence of the communities it's located in because every part of it is used from the bark, the timber, the leaves and the fruit. Palmera is a social startup looking to help change the way that the world tackles poverty by ensuring that the poor having a living income (with a focus on Sri Lanka).
Ara Ehamparam
Business Owner
Toronto, Canada
Post image


***Are you or someone you know in the global Tamil community doing great things? We'd love to feature them: FILL OUT THIS FORM ***

Network & collaborate with Tamil Changemakers from around the world. Request to join our private LinkedIn community here.



She joins Ara on this week’s episode of #TheTamilCreator to discuss being in Sri Lanka during the 2004 tsunami, why she left being a full-time lawyer to found a non-profit and how her ideology of work subsequently changed, the impact & thinking behind Palmera’s HANDMADE cookbook, how to address the resource challenge for non-profits and much more.

"The Tamil Creator" is a podcast started by me (Ara Ehamparam) to celebrate, spotlight and learn about the brilliance among Tamil creators globally.  I want you to feel like you're a fly on the wall eavesdropping on a conversation that is a combination of educational, inspirational and entertaining. 

*TAKE THE QUIZ - "What Type of Creator Are You?"**


To get more information, please visit the website at

READ NEXT: "myTamilDate Success Story: It Was Love At First Sight For Madhu & Niya"


00:19 - Ara introduces this week’s guest, Abarna Raj
01:48 - How her childhood led her to starting a non-profit
04:44 - Being in Sri Lanka during the 2004 tsunami
07:15 - How the 2004 tsunami impacted her decision to found Palmera
08:38 - Raising tens of thousands of dollars for Palmera
10:23 - Balancing her job as a lawyer and the early development of Palmera
12:16 - Leaving a job with strong income to work full-time for a non-profit
14:05 - The HANDMADE cookbook
16:24 - Is there a non-profit that Abarna wants Palmera’s structure to emulate?
20:12 - Is there a declining participation of developmental efforts?
26:11 - The long-term effects of the war
28:38 - How Abarna remains hopeful
30:11 - The lack of talent in the non-profit space when compared to tech, finance, etc.
33:25 - Incentivizing volunteers; Benevity and more
38:33 - Resources and sustainability being key challenges for non-profit organizations
42:04 - Tax receipts and Palmera’s Australian accreditation
44:35 - How long will Abarna stay in the non-profit space?
46:43 - Was she questioned by friends/family for her decision to enter the non-profit space?
48:34 - The programming side of Palmera
52:13 - Advice she would give her 16-year-old self; the personal legacy she wants to have
54:05 - Creator Confessions
59:24 - The Wrap Up

**Looking to create your love story? Join the other couples who have dated and married through!***

"myTamilDate Success: A Gentle Push Towards Online Dating By Family Brought Céline & Santhous Together"

"myTamilDate Success: The Second Time’s the Charm for Aranie & Saaron"

"myTamilDate Success Story: It Was Love At First Sight For Madhu & Niya"

"myTamilDate Love Story: Jenani & Nav Found Each Other At The Right Time And Right Place In Life"

" Love Story: Tharshi & Ravi Found Love During Lockdown"

" Love Story: Suji & Sinthu Lived 15 Minutes Apart For Years And Never Met Until Joining MTD"

"How France Met Canada: A Love Story"

***CLICK HERE to listen to us on Spotify!*** 

Related Articles:

Ara Ehamparam
Business Owner |
Toronto,  Canada
Podcast Host: @TheTamilCreator Co-founder: @ContinyouCare Community Builder: @TamilCu...
Podcast Host: @TheTamilCreator Co-founder: @ContinyouCare Community Builder: @TamilCu...
You may also enjoy these
Unmasking Australia's Asylum-Seeking Process: 'You Have Been Told A Lie' Podcast Spotlights the Nadesalingam Family's Fight for Justice
Lawyer and producer duo Thinesh & Jay's podcast tells the story of a rural Queensland town rallying behind an Eelam Tamil asylum seeking family.
Tamil Innovators: Building a Dynamic Corporate Career with Kumi Somaskandan
Kumi Somaskandan is the Global Head of Sponsor Processing at Manulife, with past leadership roles in the hedge fund and private equity industry.
Tamil Innovators: Leadership Lessons With Trailblazing CEO Kasturi Chellaraja Wilson
Kasturi is the Group CEO of Hemas Holdings PLC and the first woman to be leading a public conglomerate in Sri Lanka.

Jenani & Nav

met on myTamilDate
Join for Free Today
Madhu & Nia
met on myTamilDate
Join for Free Today
Network with TamilChangemakers
Videos Podcasts