SBI Mutual Fund’s Anuradha Rao: Look at investment avenues other than gold and FDs
Anuradha Rao, MD and CEO of SBI Mutual Fund on investment strategies for women
Smartest money decision
I used to invest in every product that I would recommend my clients. This helped me gain more conviction on each of the products I recommended. I helped many clients to make timely and appropriate investment decisions.
Biggest money mistake
One regret is that I over-invested in physical assets such as real estate. Though I had one house in my hometown, I had purchased a plot of land long ago and got a house built. However, I used to live in Mumbai and it was difficult to maintain the house. Despite several sporadic efforts to sell it the pricing never seemed right.
Money mantra for women
Look at investment avenues other than gold and FDs. Start early through regular SIPs in mutual funds. Be focused on the realisation of goals. Try to educate yourself sufficiently and do not hesitate to seek advice if necessary.
Women face a lot of stereotypes with respect to the work life balance, key milestones in life such as marriage and motherhood and career advancement. Support system at home and work have helped me in dealing with these obstacles. Strong parental conviction in my being destined for a career was a powerful motivation.
Letter to young women employees
From: Anuradha Rao
To: Millennial women
Subject: Women’s Day
When you were born your parents were filled with joy, your first baby steps made them elated and soon you took your first step to education. And here you are, today, taking the first step of your career. Your parents must surely be proud.
Now you have joined a respected organisation in a professional role, carrying great responsibility. You should be able to look back and feel equally proud of your achievements in a few years. How can this aspiration be realized?
There are some things that will come your way—a variety of challenging roles (if you are willing to try), a mentor to guide you from time to time (who is a respected senior) and regular avenues for upgrading your skills. But there are some things you have to do yourself.
In a customer-centric organization, processes are designed and decisions are made, with a view to enhance the customer-experience. You must align yourself to this overarching goal. Get your basics right. Build on your strengths but consciously work on the weaknesses. While you focus on key parameters such as sharpening your skills, learning new proficiencies, do remember a few critical tips which will be invaluable for your career ahead:
• Your attitude at work is as important as your aptitude. Having the skills is important but so is your approach to the task.
• Consciously build a network. You will be surprised how it can be more effective than hierarchy and instructions.
• Be ambitious and take challenges; we want you to be able to realise your deepest potential.
• Just be yourself. You are in an organisation for your strength and uniqueness. You can have role models, but there is no need to be ‘someone else’.
• Learn to be a team player. Collaborate. Help others and draw strength from them.
Having said these few words about work principles, let me urge you to also learn to manage your money. As a woman, you become financially independent not by working for money but by putting your money to work. That not only gives wings to your dreams, it makes you more confident, bestows a sense of satisfaction and makes you an inspiration for others. A woman contributes in a big way not just to her family, but also the society and economy at large.
“There is no force more powerful than a woman who is determined to rise.”
—W.E.B Du Bois
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