#Interviews

Meet Ex-Investment Banker Anushka Rathod, Breaking Down The Finance Jargon Using Reels

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Interview Anushka Rathod on Women in Finance: It is not a surprise that there is a lack of female representation in the financial sector. A 2018 study reveals that the financial workforce in India includes only 16.8% women, while Bharat-Micro finance report of 2017 says that only 12% of women are working in finance. Former investment banker Anushka Rathod who is now a well known digital content creator talks to SheThePeople. Rathod is a popular name on Instagram who covers complicated financial subjects with economic jargons on Instagram and turns them into fun reels of 30-second videos.

Even the growth graph of women joining the finance sector is not very promising. So why is it that fewer women are able to build a career in finance in India? While there are multiple reasons for this gap, there is a simple explanation for it. A society that finds it difficult to have women and men acquire the same positions.

It is very important to uplift women who are making every effort to enter the male-dominated spaces. One of them is Anushka Rathod, a former investment banker imparting her knowledge of finance and investment on social media. She has found a way to make people stick around for her short snippets of length topics by presenting them in a language devoid of jargons. A language that is understood by most of us. 

You cover complicated financial subjects with economic jargons on Instagram and turn them into fun reels with music and graphics. What inspired you to create such content?

I started by creating in-depth analysis videos on business and finance. That is when I realised there already is a lot of content for people in this industry. There is a huge gap in terms of people from other industries who want to educate themselves on these topics but find it boring and complex. This gap is exactly what I was trying to fill with my content when I started creating reels.

Women are often neglected when they express their opinion on subjects and no matter how much expertise and experience they have got, men try to hijack the conversation. Have you ever been mansplained? If yes, how do you deal with it?

If you give it too much attention it validates their behaviour so ignoring is usually best – when you get mansplained but when you find obvious logical fallacies, you give a clear breakdown of how and why they are wrong.

As a young woman talking about finance and investment, have you received any negative feedback targeting your gender that tried to set you back on your journey?

People just can’t accept that I am serious about this career. Before I started making content, I was going for my Masters to the US and the general perception was I was doing it because it would look good on my biodata which would help me find a “better husband”.

Also, there have been instances where people automatically assumed I was a personal assistant when I went for a meeting which was a little humiliating. However, I have been blessed with great mentors and supportive parents who always have encouraged me so I never really let these things get to the heart.

How would you describe the transition between you working as an investment banker and then being a student preparing for CFA? Is that something you had always planned or you decided to change paths after you started working?

So despite scoring decently in my 12th and having the opportunity to go to one of the top colleges in India, I decided to choose a university that allowed me to work while studying. I wanted to explore different roles during my college days and finally go for my masters depending on what I had decided to pursue. As for CFA, I really liked the curriculum, so it was decided in 12th grade itself that I will pursue that.

Is it difficult to juggle between studies and creating content for Instagram?

It sometimes gets a little difficult. There is a lot of behind the scene work for each video that is uploaded. So, it is difficult to plug off and just study. I guess eventually I will get better at it but as of now, my studying has been affected a little.

Now that you have so many followers who look forward to your videos and even request you to explain some topics, how does it feel to know that your work is actually benefitting people?

It is the best feeling a creator can get! Knowing that I am adding value to people’s life motivates me, even more, to make valuable content and put in more effort. I have also become more responsible and cautious as to what I say and back everything I am saying with a credible source.

How would you describe your research process?

So, I am constantly reading throughout the day because my content is Current Affairs based. After I like a particular topic I read more on it. If required, talk to a subject matter expert to understand what exactly happened. I then try to compile the news within 30 seconds in a way that is interesting, relatable, gives a gist of what happened while trying to ensure that I remain unbiased.

Have you ever found it difficult to create a 30-second long reel on a certain dense financial topic? If so how did you overcome it?

Absolutely, that is a big challenge. With certain investing topics I completely avoid making reels around them because in 30 seconds it is impossible to give the audience the right message without misleading them. Squeezing the content into a 30-sec format is a critical task, important things can’t be left uncovered & explaining in layman language is the utmost priority.

What is your opinion on the recent frenzy in the stock market? Do you think the small investors from Reddit finally crashed the party often gatekept by the wealthy investors?

I agree that wealthy investors and hedge funds have profited at the cost of retail investors in the past but at the same time I don’t think what is happening is rational. Eventually, the prices will come down and it will be retail investors who will lose money. This incident will further bolster a perception in people’s mind that stock markets are only for gambling and not investing for the long term.

How important it is for women to be financially independent?

If you have the money you have a voice. It is as simple as that. If you’re financially independent you can live your life on your own terms and don’t have to compromise and adjust. You get respect and have the power to walk out of situations where you are unhappy due to any reason.

Can you give tips on how young women can start investing at the beginning of their career?

First one is that everyone should always have an emergency fund and health insurance. You don’t need to do direct stock investments. Start with index funds, then as you get comfortable and read more on stock markets, invest in Mutual Funds and then Direct Stock Investments. There are also new-age applications that invest your change while you make payments. One can also be part of women-focused investing communities like Basis. 

What would you tell women who want to make a place for themselves in the finance industry?

Take space, don’t just exist in the background. It will make a lot of people angry but don’t pay attention to it. Also, if you command respect you will get it. One very successful lady heading a private equity firm once told me to network as much as possible. A lot of finance roles are heavily dependent on networking. The earlier you start the better, it might not help a lot earlier in your career but eventually, as you climb up the ladder you will become irreplaceable.

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Meet Ex-Investment Banker Anushka Rathod, Breaking Down The Finance Jargon Using Reels
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