)

This woman’s not-for-profit aims to transform the investing world in favour of gender diversity

By Rekha Balakrishnan
May 25, 2021, Updated on : Wed May 26 2021 01:57:55 GMT+0000
This woman’s not-for-profit aims to transform the investing world in favour of gender diversity
Delhi-based WinPE, founded by Nupur Garg, engages with the leaders and influencers to drive culture change while providing a suite of powerful resources to support women who are part of this industry or who aspire to be.
Clap Icon0 claps
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Clap Icon0 claps
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Share on
close

Growing up, Nupur Garg was always encouraged by her parents to study hard and gain professional qualifications. When she lost her father at a young age, her mother resisted all pressures to get her married as soon as she finished her graduation. She completed her chartered accountancy as one of the youngest entrants in the profession at that time.

Nupur Garg WinPe


“Fast forward a few years, I met my husband who held the same belief in the value of knowledge and hard work and ended up going to MIT Sloan for our MBA’s together,” she says.


Nupur’s experience spans private equity investing, operations, and finance in leading global organisations like IFC, an arm of the World Bank Group; Discovery Networks; and PwC.


She led the private equity and venture capital funds business in the region for IFC and is widely credited with establishing IFC’s brand and credibility as one of the most respected institutional investors in this space.


When Nupur left her full-time role at IFC, she was very clear that she wanted to build a portfolio of work, which would leverage her investing experience, knowledge, and skills and would also be meaningful.

Gender diversity in private equity

Nupur had finished her notice period at IFC and was in Amsterdam for a vacation. She recalls the ‘Aha’ moment that led to WinPE.

“One morning, I woke up, looked at my husband and blurted out that I wanted to do something about the low numbers of women and gender diversity in private equity. I started reaching out to the people I knew in the PEVC industry to discuss the idea and WinPE became a reality, a platform focused on creating gender balance in the investing industry. A platform of and by the industry, of and for the women in the industry,” she says.

Nupur spoke with fund managers, senior investors, men and women from the investing industry to gain a better understanding of the situation, the challenges and therefore, the opportunity to catalyse change.


“What I got was a consistently huge positive reaction from everyone – fund managers were excited to support and be a part of it. Women were excited to hear about it – a platform of their own. It seemed there was this latent demand for someone to do something about gender diversity in investing. I remember a young woman saying, “I have been wishing for a fairy godmother, thank you for doing this,” and WinPE suddenly became extremely critical to get right,” she adds.


The starting points, Nupur believes, were two-fold – the first was to be outcome-driven and the second was to be action-oriented. To achieve WinPE’s vision and mission, it was important that to move a step ahead of advocacy, onto real tangible action, and take concrete steps towards change.

Understanding and facing challenges

“I didn’t want to just tell women we understand your challenges and will help you deal with them. I wanted to tell them that we understand your challenges, we will help you deal with them, and we will work with the industry to resolve these challenges forever so that women don’t keep bumping into some sort of glass ceiling at every step of their way,” Nupur says.


WinPE offers a three-pronged approach:


1. Engage with investment firms, decision-makers, employers, influencers to drive positive action in favour of gender diversity.


2. Empower women within the industry with valuable resources like networks, mentorship, and leadership trainings.


3. Enhance the participation of women in the industry, through outreach and career conversations especially at entry levels.


Initiatives include the WinPE Collegium - engagement with member firms to identify and execute on priorities like diversity in hiring, diversity in portfolios, supporting senior women within the team, metrics, and measurement.


Complementing this work with the investing firms, are the initiatives for women – these include a 1:1 mentorship programme with Russell Reynolds Associates as the knowledge partner, leadership development workshops, career conversations, job opportunities in PEVC and, very importantly, showcasing women from the industry via interviews, blogs, speaking events, testimonials.


WinPE’s member base consists of industry-leading global and regional firms like Advent International, Apax Partners, Arpwood Partners, AZB & Partners, A91 Partners, Blackstone, CDC plc, CDPQ, Everstone, Gaja Capital, General Atlantic, Investcorp, Iron Pillar, Kalaari Capital, KKR, Lighthouse, Megadelta Capital, Multiples, Paragon Partners, Sequoia, SIDBI, Trilegal, True North, and Warburg Pincus.

Organic growth

As a not-for-profit, WinPE is structured like an industry association with its resources complimentary for women.


“At the end of January 2021, a year from WinPE’s launch, we had more than 575,000 impressions and reached approximately 77,000 men and women in a completely organic manner through 18 events that brought to the fore 69 industry seniors, thought leaders, and influencers. Our audience was 60:40 male-female, absolutely on target for our efforts to engage all participants in the industry in the drive for gender balance. Twenty percent of our audience was from campuses and 40 percent each from the entry-mid level and mid-senior level – again, very reflective of our efforts during the year,” Nupur says.


The collective efforts of member firms also led to adoption of a Charter for Gender Diversity laying down the common principles that each of them subscribes to, identification of six priority areas for action, and completion of KPIs against four of these areas.


WinPE launched in Feb 2020, and within a month, the pandemic hit. Nupur says they had to go back to the drawing board to re-do plans but looked at it as an opportunity – people were not traveling anymore, social media was becoming increasingly influential, virtual conversations were becoming the norm. All of this allowed them to bring together, with greater efficiency and effectiveness, every stakeholder that they sought to engage with.


Her advice to other entrepreneurs is to “dare to dream big and dare even more to make that dream come true”.


Edited by Megha Reddy

Clap Icon0 Shares
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Clap Icon0 Shares
  • +0
    Clap Icon
Share on
close
Share on
close