As published in may in the Women In Finance (WIFA) Spotlight series.
Pooja is a member of the WIFA ESG (Environmental & Social Governance) committee.
What drew you to a career in finance? And what’s been your journey since?
After my business school, most of my friends seemed to be choosing between finance and consulting and so I too joined banking. I started in Securitization in France, then worked in Asset financing in Europe and most recently in Debt Capital markets in Europe and Asia. Learning new financing techniques, contributing to important aspects of our clients’ financial strategy, living the success of transactions I had worked on and finally the perks with a cushy bonus that came with it were clearly my fuel on the job. My job also meant long work hours and questionable work-life balance but I really enjoyed every moment.
Working at the source of the world’s worst financial crisis of 2008 with perfectly helpful financial techniques which had been mis-used, sub-standard due diligence by banks and inadequacies in our rating agencies gave me an important perspective about my work.
In mid-2010s after I became a new mom for the second time, I felt the need to do something more in life than finance. I was acutely aware of the environmental issues Hong Kong was facing as well as the isolation and solitude you could feel in such a crowded place. I wanted to do something to tackle these societal problems at the grass root level. That’s when I founded a social venture, LocalHo