Nupur Garg was leading the private equity and venture capital funds business in south Asia for IFC (International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group) when she had some interesting experiences which made her delve beneath the surface of the discussion on gender diversity. On digging deeper and speaking to more and more women, she developed a deep conviction that there was a systemic challenge in the PEVC (Private Equity/Venture Capital) industry that needed to be resolved if we wished to see a gender-balanced ecosystem.
Inception of WinPE
Being a data-driven person who liked to correlate data with real-life anecdotes and experiences, she knew she wanted to work towards greater gender diversity in the industry that she is a part of – the PEVC industry. This compelled her to start WinPE in February 2020 (Women in Private Equity) It is a well-recognized and awarded not-for-profit focused on increasing gender diversity in investing and entrepreneurship. WinPE is driving this change on behalf of the PEVC industry by working with PEVC firms, leaders, influencers and decision-makers to create real changes in policies and practices that these firms follow.
In parallel, WinPE also works closely with women who are investors and entrepreneurs; and those who aspire to be, by creating a space that supports their professional success. "WinPE’s resources for women include its 1:1 mentorship program, networking mixers, connections with senior women and role models, and career resources including CV reviews, mock interviews, bootcamps, vacancy bulletins, and an annual career fair", shares Nupur Garg who is happy to positively impact lives.
Nupur is also a staunch believer in the fact that the objective of increasing the participation of women in investing and entrepreneurship will be achieved only if we approach the challenge in a holistic manner. "We have to seed the change into the industry in a way that it becomes the new way of thinking and operating rather than being episodic. We have to change the workplace so that the environment, practices and culture become equitable – and this we will achieve via our work with PEVC firms, and with an increased presence of women across all levels", she says.
Challenges and Milestones
She believes that challenges are an intrinsic part of entrepreneurship but also help you grow as an entrepreneur. "The pursuit of excellence in any field requires passionate belief, hard work, and resilience. Also, adaptability and flexibility. WinPE was launched in Feb 2020, and we walked straight into the pandemic. I had to redo every single plan and we turned it around to leverage the move to virtual interactions in a way that benefitted WinPE. Google Meet came to our rescue and facilitated the process", she says. Other challenges include juggling between entrepreneurship and " target="_blank" rel="noopener">motherhood duties, but she is grateful to have a husband who believes in equity and equality.
WinPE’s resources for women include its 1:1 mentorship program, networking mixers, connections with senior women and role models, and career resources including CV reviews, mock interviews, bootcamps, vacancy bulletins, and an annual career fair - Nupur Garg
The journey, she reiterates, has been very rewarding. There have been times when women have walked up to her to say thank you for doing what she is doing. Another proud moment was when her son told his class and teachers that there is no difference between boys and girls and both can wear whichever colour they want and play whichever games they want.
Advice for aspiring entrepreneurs
What qualities should aspiring entrepreneurs imbibe to succeed? "Strong work ethics, integrity and respect for people is what's needed to grow as an entrepreneur", she says, adding that she has treated every meeting, presentation, pitch etc in her career as important.
"I tell all my employees that how you work is your business card", she signs off.