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videos | IST

LXME’s Priti Rathi Gupta says ‘women have low risk bearing tolerance’ is a myth

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Financial Quotient spoke to two startup successes Priti Rathi Gupta, Founder, LXME, India’s first financial platform exclusively dedicated to women, and Pranjal Kamra, Co-Founder, Finology, a fintech company that provides insights into investing.

Women today are taking giant strides in the startup space in India but there are still many who may be too scared to take that first step. Therefore, CNBC-TV18’s special show Financial Quotient hopes to reach out to those women.
In an attempt to reassure such women, Financial Quotient spoke to two startup successes Priti Rathi Gupta, Founder, LXME, India’s first financial platform exclusively dedicated to women, and Pranjal Kamra, Co-Founder, Finology, a fintech company that provides insights into investing.
Talking about her first-hand experience in starting a startup, Gupta said the easy bit was just having domain expertise, understanding of financial products and knowing team building leadership as she had already done at her previous organisation.
However, the challenge, she said, was that the rules of the game were completely different. There is a paradigm shift in the business metrics, and hiring talent, which was on the other extreme end of the spectrum for her.
“One of the things as women that we struggle with is just reticence about being ambitious - going out and saying, I want to create this business and that I believe in it and I'm going to start this. Second, there is so much self-doubt because that's the sort of environment. So putting all of these aside and starting up was easier for me but there are a lot of women who struggle with that piece as well,” she said.
Meanwhile, Kamra, when asked if she was noticing a change in the way women entrepreneurs are being perceived in India, said it is a gradual change, but one is seeing a shift. Sometimes there are biases but things are getting better, she added.
He also pointed to various studies that say women are better at crisis management, they are better at keeping their ego in check and taking decisions based on statistics.
“It is clearly evident that the future belongs to women, because the core strengths that they have, are much more useful in the present world. So in India, yes, often this bias still exists but the good thing is it is reducing as more and more women enter into the workspace and it becomes a norm. So this is bound to shift and improve,” he said.
Moreover, Gupta said that it is a myth that women are risk-averse because more and more women are taking that risk. According to her, just making a blanket statement saying women are risk-averse, or women have low risk-bearing abilities is just not right.
“I have always said that women are risk-aware. So for us just having the right information, access to knowledge of what we want to do is very important. Once that happens, as Kamra said, women are very balanced decision-makers, they are pragmatic, and that is a plus, as opposed to really being something which has a negative connotation saying that women have low risk-bearing capacity,” she added.
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Women are able to run businesses that generate an alpha return, and the capital allocation is lower, she said.
Gupta said she’s helping women invest their money and one of the things she has realised is today a majority of women understand that not investing your money is a known risk because the value of money is decreasing.
“But just because there isn't access to relatable content, something that makes sense to them, they feel it's better to just stay where we are, as opposed to really shooting in the dark. So for me it is a myth that women have a low risk-bearing ability, I think they are just risk-aware, and we were able to take far more balanced decisions based on that,” she said.
For the entire discussion, watch the video