In an interaction with Bfsinxt, Sonam Srivastava founder at Wright Research shares her entrepreneurship experience and how she views risk, from where she gets inspiration and much more. Edited Excerpts:
Q. How do you view your career trajectory? How exciting has it been for you?
I have had an unorthodox career journey where I have switched industries early in pursuing a field I am passionate about. I found quantitative investing early and have had an immensely fulfilling career in large organizations, post which I took the path of entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is one of the boldest and most rewarding journeys that a woman can embark on to fulfill her goals of equal opportunity, independence, and ambition. My role as a female entrepreneur has been the most engaging and fulfilling inning my career.
Q. Has it been going as you had planned, or was it more like you tapped opportunities as they came along?
I always wanted to be a successful entrepreneur, but I took a step towards it after nine years of corporate experience. After that, things have fallen into place for my long-term plan. I am fortunate to be in the field of quantitative finance. Therefore, I have been proactive in tapping the best opportunities that have come along.
Q. Not intending to stereotype, but as a woman, how has the journey been so far?
There has been a fair share of challenges unique as a woman entrepreneur. People often ask me to get a confirmation from “my boss,” not comprehending that I am a decision-maker. In the initial part of my journey, I met with skepticism, which was very fulfilling to get over. I have seen many achievements in my journey as well. I have become a somewhat recognized face in the male-dominated investing and trading community. I am often introduced as the first female member to participate in various industry events, which is thrilling. I have built a strong team that efficiently manages more than 100 crores and greatly appreciate our clients. Not just that, we cannot wait to do more and grow bigger and better and are building relationships to achieve the same.
Q. How do you view yourself? More of a risk-taker or risk-averse person?
I am a risk-taker, and risk is the main reason I fell in love with investing, which is all about managing and exploiting risk. I have made bold moves in my career – switching industries, moving from Indian markets to global, and finally leaping an entrepreneur. Risk-taking is the most attractive part of the job for me.
Q. Over the years, how has your risk-taking capability changed?
I struggled with risk initially, and now I am more tactical and adept at taking risks. But the love for risk-taking has stayed, and I want to keep practicing that throughout my life. Over the years, I have become more conscious of my broader well-being, maintaining focus and commitment and taking a more holistic approach to risk.
Q. Where do you seek inspiration/motivation to get going in what you want to achieve?
I love reading books and listening to motivational podcasts. I love to run and exercise, and I listen to motivational podcasts every time I do so, and I feel like I learn something valuable from that. In addition, I follow inspirational women in their life journeys, and I try to contribute to a network of women leaders.
Q. Lastly, any advice/message to young women out there trying to rise in their career trajectory, be it corporate life or entrepreneurship?
I would advise young women to be true to their unique ambitions and pursue their passions to have a meaningful and rewarding career. Furthermore, I would encourage more women to take risks and assure that there are many resources to help women who leap towards their ambitions.