Priti Rathi Gupta, Founder, LXME, tells it like it is!
Women and money have historically shared a complicated relationship. After centuries of being primarily excluded from making financial decisions, women today want to create a positive change in their lives by taking control of their financial destinies. They seek to build long-term wealth by strategising how to make the most of their money through informed financial decisions.
The pandemic served as a clarion call to everyone—particularly women entrepreneurs, to take control of their financial future and carve a path to economic empowerment. As these challenging times proved, female startup founders are creating a positive impact through their innovative solutions and inspiring change-makers who want to secure financial freedom for themselves and their families.
Since at least 45 percent of India’s startup ecosystem comprises women entrepreneurs, they should strive to attain better financial outcomes to grow their businesses.
Paving the road to wealth
Priti Rathi Gupta founded LXME in 2017 to empower women with the tools necessary for smart financial management. She states it is India’s first comprehensive financial platform for women. The concept for LXME took shape as Priti had aspired to build a robust FinTech ecosystem that is exclusively tailor-made to serve women’s investment and financial goals.
Married at 19, Priti pursued a post-graduate program in ‘Family Managed Business’ from S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) and an executive degree from Harvard Business School. When she joined her family business at the Anand Rathi Group, she was instrumental in setting up the commodities, currency, and forex advisory desks, exposing her to the gap between women and financial planning. “I was shocked at the lost opportunity this chasm presented in the largely male-dominated financial services industry,” she says. “I made it my life’s mission to educate women about investing.”
Her one goal? “To inspire a wave of financially fearless women to actively and independently manage their money and realise their dreams.” Currently, LXME counts over one lakh women in its ecosystem.
A proud “financial feminist”
Priti strongly believes that smart money management empowers women—homemakers or entrepreneurs—to realise their dreams. Inspired by her own personal and entrepreneurial experiences, she advocates for women to become wealth creators in their own right. The startup ecosystem is thriving with women founders breaking new ground and adding to the economy’s wealth pool every year. According to a recent study, India could potentially add USD 700 billion to the global GDP if more women were to join the labour force.
As a growing number of women join India’s workforce, they must understand the ‘language’ of money and start saving and investing for the future. “Women should build their own safety nets and tread fearlessly towards financial freedom by wisely investing their hard-earned money,” says Priti. “As a ‘financial feminist,’ I firmly believe that only when women start taking charge of their own money will our society achieve true equality.”
Priti’s lessons for women entrepreneurs
On bootstrapping one’s startup: According to Priti, a woman founder can bootstrap her startup by dipping into her personal finances only if she has carefully invested her money over the years. “Starting a business is expensive and women must cultivate financial discipline and grit before becoming entrepreneurs,” she says. “Having enough savings, planning for contingencies and ensuring there are investments set aside for a rainy day are some of the pragmatic financial principles to adopt.”
On rural women entrepreneurs and investment: “Our government recognises the importance of financial inclusion for the growth of our nation,” says Priti. “The foundation of this inclusion lies in the growth of financial literacy among rural women.” While initiatives like Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY) and others cater to this segment, LXME is also committed to guiding rural women entrepreneurs new to the investment landscape.
The startup offers introductory courses, live sessions, and community-based discussion forums to empower women founders who dare to create impact despite socio-economic challenges. “We provide calculators to rural women entrepreneurs and give them access to curated investment portfolios that could start as low as INR100,” says Priti. “We believe in giving them all the financial tools they may need to take control of their lives.”
Priti believes in actively de-risking her personal finance amid the early stages of her startup’s journey. She prioritises creating larger safety net pools; participating in private equity investments; creating a dedicated fund for women entrepreneurs and an education trust that supports their academic aspirations.
“I aim to build a community of up to two million financially independent women in the next two years!” the founder of LXME concludes on an enthusiastic note.
Priti’s 5 Financial Planning Tips for Women Entrepreneurs
- Don’t fear conversations about money: Women should overcome the fear of working with numbers and financial planning to succeed as entrepreneurs.
- Refrain from merging personal and professional finances: Women entrepreneurs should learn to separate the two components to achieve long-term financial security.
- Pay attention to budgeting and saving: Women entrepreneurs should have a proper business/financial plan and sufficient savings to overcome the bad times.
- Take advantage of setting financial goals: Women founders should set short-term and long-term business goals for achieving entrepreneurial success.
- Cultivate faith in your abilities: Women entrepreneurs must believe in their abilities, no matter how trying the circumstances.