Radhika Gupta is the Managing Director and CEO of Edelweiss Mutual Fund has proved that Disability is a matter of perception. Radhika Gupta is known as “the girl with the broken neck”. Let us take a look at her journey in detail
Radhika Gupta’s Early Life
- Gupta was born to a diplomat name Yogesh Gupta who was an Indian Foreign Service official. She has moved across continents along with her family. Radhika was born in Pakistan where she had complications at her birth and she ended up with broken neck.
- Radhika’s mothers name is Arti Gupta who is a school principal. Radhika got married to Nalin Moniz and the couple is blessed with a child Remy Gupta Moniz. Radhika Gupta owes the credit for her success to her father who inspired her to aim for the sky.
- She mentioned her father as her inspiration, who was born and brought up in a village in UP and ranked 7th in his civil service examinations. Her father’s piece of advice to her was that to come out of poverty, every generation has to make a quantum leap. He motivated her to study abroad and make that quantum leap so that she could enable future generations to accomplish further.
- Radhika Gupta is a graduate of the Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology from the University of Pennsylvania. She did her Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering and Applied Science and Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania –The Wharton School in 2005.
Radhika Gupta Career Journey
- Radhika Gupta stated that at age of 22, she got rejected from her 7th Job application and she decided to commit suicide due to which she was wheeled in to a psychiatric ward and diagnosed as depressed. After this incident she bagged a job at McKinsey and her life fell at track. At the age of 25 she moved to India and started her own Asset Management Firm with her husband and friend in the year 2009.
- The firm name was Forefront Capital Management which was later on acquired by Edelweiss Financial Services Limited in the year 2014. In 2016, Radhika Gupta assisted the acquisition of Ambit Alpha Fund and acquisition of the onshore business of JPMorgan Asset Management. Radhika Gupta headed Edelweiss Multi Strategy Funds Management Pvt Ltd. and was responsible for setting the strategic direction, overseeing investments, sales and distribution.
- Later in the year 2017, she replaced Vikaas Sachdeva and became CEO of Edelweiss Asset Management Co. She also has been influential figure on the board of the Association of Mutual Funds (AMFI) and served as Vice Chairperson for the two consecutive terms from 2021 to 2023. Her insights and leadership aided the industrial growth and innovation.
- In the year 2023, Radhika Gupta joined the Shark Tank India Season 03 series where she shared her passion for entrepreneurship and invested in emerging businesses. She tweeted that Shark Tank Show gave her excitement and commitment to support new ventures in a personal capacity. Her authenticity and storytelling made a profound impact online, as her video “The Girl with a broken Neck” which amassed over 301k views.
Leadership at Edelweiss Asset Management
- Radhika assumed the role of CEO at Edelweiss Asset Management when she was 34 years old. She launched Bharat Bond ETF in 2019 which is India’s first corporate Bond ETF. Edelweiss also achieved a notable growth in Assets Under Management (as of 31st March 2017) to over ₹ 1.20 lakh crore (as of 30th November 2023).
- Also in the year 2017, JP Morgan Mutual Fund integrated seamlessly to Edelweiss and she was instrumental in carving out the niche for Edelweiss as a robust retail financial brand.
- Radhika Gupta’s emphasis on creating innovative and customer centric solutions have not only resonated in the marketplace but also helped Edelweiss Mutual Fund’s place as a top tier performer, soaring to the 13th position by September 2023 from the 30th rank in March 2017.
Accepting Myself as Imperfect But Beautiful- Embracing the Disability
- In her new book, Limitless: The Power of Unlocking Your True Potential published by Hachette, one of the most pertinent chapters is titled: TGIF: Thank God I’m Flawed. “You have to accept that you’re not unique in being flawed because it really makes you very normal,” “If you can use your flaws to your advantage, why not? Out of all the things I thought I’d get half well known for, a slightly crooked neck was the least. So, if you can make an edge out of your flaws, [do it] by all means.” These are the words said by Radhika Gupta when interviewed about her disability.
- Growing up, Gupta couldn’t participate in traditional hobbies that her classmates did – sports or otherwise. She found “identity and solace” in academia, particularly during her schooling years in Nigeria where she felt like a “gross misfit” studying alongside daughters of warlords in the late 1990s. Radhika Gupta was born with a permanent tilt to her neck due to certain birth complications. While it was not evident in the early years of her childhood, the tilt became prominent as she started to shed her baby fat.
- Radhika admitted in many of her interviews that she was extremely self-conscious about her ‘weird tilt’ and her self esteem took a beating. At one point in her life, she was afraid of losing weight as it would reveal the tilt prominently. But over time, she learned to embrace her flaws. Radhika saw her tilt from a different lens and realized it was one of the things that made her unique. It also inspired her for doing things differently.
- While in Nigeria, Radhika Gupta studied at the American International School. Her school classmates hailed from rich families who engaged in expensive hobbies such as horse riding etc. When she expressed her desire to inculcate a hobby, her parents insisted that she learn bridge. She described herself as a simple girl who studied very hard and played bridge since the age of 13.
- While applying to Ivy League colleges in America, she realized that her humble background may not be particularly helpful in fetching an admission. When she asked her mother what she would say, considering the fact that she wasn’t an Olympic medalist, a musical award winner or unlike any of the typical students admitted into Ivy Leagues, her mother advised her to stay true to herself. Her honesty and simplicity came off as a breath of fresh air and Radhika was offered admission into the prestigious Wharton Business school.
- In an interview, she revealed that when she was being interviewed for a job at Mckinsey by a senior partner that conversation lasted for 90 minutes during which she spoke about Bridge for 85 minutes. Turns out the senior partner Diane was herself a bridge champion who had participated in numerous tournaments. Fascinated by a young girl who played bridge since age 13, she was hired immediately. Radhika always insists on being true to oneself because there will always be some interested in our story.
Lessons We Can Learn From Radhika Gupta
Despite her disability Radhika Gupta has shown her capabilities and set an example. She used her weakness and accepted her flaws and this itself became her biggest strength. Truth and Honesty are the qualities which aided her for her growth. In her book named “ Limitless” in which she has thrown light on her hardships, how she braved multiple rejections and ignored the crushing comments. So instead of being depressed about disabilities follow your dreams and also learn from Real life examples of such great personalities. Here are six important messages She gave through her life
- Start taking no for an answer; it will probably do you good
- Embrace feedback and work towards improving yourself
- Begin taking risks, or else you’ll lose yourself to the everyday grind
- Kickstart conversations that you want to have; without doubting yourself
- Admit if you don’t know something and reach out for help
- Strive for work-life integration instead of making work-life ‘perfect’