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Bloomberg Women’s Buy-side Network’s India chapter opens registrations for second year of its mentoring program


The India chapter of the Bloomberg Women’s Buy-side Network (“BWBN”) is completing a year since it was established as the first network of its kind in the country, with the aim to mentor 20 high potential women in India’s buy-side industry to be future leaders. The network is opening registrations for the 2020-21 mentorship batch and inviting mid-level women in asset management to apply for its mentorship program.

Over the past year, the network has conducted a number of bespoke events, workshops and one-on-one mentoring sessions, which provided members with multiple learning and networking opportunities. The Indian chapter of the network has been set up under the guidance of four founding partners – Lakshmi Iyer, CIO of Kotak Mahindra Asset Management; Nithya Easwaran, Managing Director at Multiples Alternate Asset Management; Shikha Sharma, former CEO, Axis Bank and adviser, KKR; and Vibha Padalkar, Managing Director & CEO of HDFC Life. The 20 mentees in the first year of its mentorship program included professionals from some of India’s largest buy-side companies such as Everstone Capital, Alder Capital, Kotak AMC, SBI MF, ICICI Prudential AMC, UTI AMC and Motilal Oswal AMC, among others.

“Bloomberg has conceptualized and launched this wonderful network to nudge and help young women in achieving their potential and I am glad to be a part of the founding team. The participants show immense potential and that’s the reason they have been chosen. However, it’s often the small things that can frustrate and dishearten young women in this field of money management, and even more so when they have to go down an untrodden path without a play book. Guiding participants is personally fulfilling as it is in a sense my way of giving back,” says Ms. Padalkar.

“The whole essence of the chapter is to equip the identified high-potential women with sufficient ammunition to enable them take the next step forward. With that intent in mind, the founders had closed-door one-on-one mentoring sessions with these women to help guide them on the way forward in their respective careers. BWBN is hence a pioneering forum in India, to help the cause of gender parity and more importantly identify potential women leaders,” Ms. Iyer adds.

Drawing from the deep collective experience of the founders, the network serves as a support system for members to promote meritocracy and inclusion in the industry, and educate on the diversity of career paths in the buy-side.

“I truly believe that women naturally bring a unique mix of intuition, emotion, diligence and ability to multitask all of which are essential for buy side success. I really enjoyed interacting with very talented young women professionals and I could sense in them the rising ambition and desire to seek leadership roles. It’s very satisfying to think of the multiplier effect that the BWBN program can have as each set of graduates inspire more women to aspire and succeed,” says Ms. Easwaran, describing her experience with the network.

Mentoring India’s Next Buy-side Leaders

Over the past year, the India chapter has hosted a series of events where senior industry leaders discussed ESG investing, public speaking skills, leadership development, and market outlook. The most sought after sessions were the one-to-one mentoring slots with the founding partners – which both the mentors and the mentees found extremely valuable.

“One of the most personally gratifying aspects of this program for me has been the one on one mentoring sessions with the members. To my mind, it reiterated the invaluable importance of having a guiding or mentoring force at each level of your career. It is easy to lose your way in large firms, especially in fields like banking, finance and asset management – and it is important, therefore, to pause and take stock of your career goals, achievements, and plans at regular intervals,” says Ms. Sharma,

Here are some of the highlights of the first year:

  • In 2019, the first mentoring event in Mumbai featured a workshop on media tips and the future of ESG investing with Abhay Lajjawala, Managing Director of Avendus Capital, Nupur Garg, Founder WinPE & senior PE industry adviser and Vaisshali Babu, Associate Director, Head of Product, Market intelligence – India & Head of APAC Product Support Team at BNP Paribas.
  • The second event included a session on “Why More Women Need To Say Yes To Top Leadership Positions,” conducted by Nithya Easwaran and the other founding mentors.
    Special networking sessions were curated by BWBN with senior industry experts including S Sriniwasan, MD of Kotak Investment Advisors and Mihir Vora, CIO of Max Life Insurance, in which members got an opportunity to hear their views and discuss key evolving trends.
  • Exclusive one-on-one mentoring sessions for members with the founding partners
  • As part of the Girls Take Dalal Street initiative organized by Bloomberg and UBS, mentors from the network also interacted with over 90 young women from colleges in Mumbai and Pune at the Bombay Stock Exchange. The event aimed to inspire and encourage young female students to consider careers in finance
  • The network participated in the 2020 edition of the Bloomberg Square Mile Relay in Mumbai, and came in third place.

Applications open till 15 August 2020

Registrations are open for the 2020-21 mentoring program of the BWBN India-chapter. We are looking for high-potential women; mid-level or senior professionals in the buy-side, who aspire to take on leadership roles in the near future.

If you feel you have what it takes to be part of the next batch, fill in the application link here before August 15, 2020. The chosen 20 will be invited to be part of the network and get the opportunity to engage with and learn from the industry’s leading professionals.

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