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On This Women’s Day, We Bring To You An Exclusive Interview With Ms. Lakshmi Iyer

On This Women’s Day, We Bring To You An Exclusive Interview With Ms. Lakshmi Iyer


Every year in March, we celebrate the spirit of womanhood all over the world. But being an investment firm, Arihant has started celebrating this month by educating its female investors on matters of personal finance.

And why not? Freedom to attain financial independence is everyone’s right irrespective of the classification. Arihant Capital firmly believes that it’s indeed time for the modern women to own the hustle of their savings in their own hands as she is one of the major parts of our society. So, when it comes to investment, how can we lag behind?

To inspire you enough today, giving you the freedom to fly (financially) and removing all the existing fears we have brought to you an exclusive interview of Arihant with Ms. Laksmi Iyer, CIO (Debt) & Head – Products, Kotak Mutual Fund. Let us hear the insights from a great role model herself and a female fund manager.

Q1. Can you tell us about yourself and your work at Kotak AMC? How has been your journey so far?

It has been a delightful journey for me at Kotak AMC. From research analyst to fund manager to CIO, the journey has been a fruitful one indeed. The world of finance is exciting and it requires you to stay connected with markets and ‘market wallas’. That’s what keeps me going at this job.

Q2. Did you face some initial struggles as a female in this male-dominated industry?

Not at all. It’s all about perception of the kind of job that you do and if you are enjoying what you are doing. Be it sports or finance, women are making a mark in their own way. It’s important to focus on what one what’s to achieve than being worried about gender mismatches!

Q3. What keeps you motivated to be consistently working in this field?

If you are passionate about something, you are self-motivated to keep going. The world of finance is indeed very exciting, though it has its own sets of challenges. But who said it will always be a smooth ride. Key is to withstand the ups and downs and be determined to reach the finish line. Also when you see fewer people getting to the top, you start pushing yourself a tad more, knowing fully well that you are capable of doing it!

Q4. What are the common mistakes an investor makes according to you and how can they overcome it?

Mistakes are always part of life… the only good thing is that you tend to get a chance to make amends most of the time. Most common mistake an investor makes is mistaking insurance to be an investment product – when it’s actually a risk cover! Another common observation I make is that investors keep holding on to gold and tend to exit financial investments at the first sign of volatility or correction. Gradually these are witnessing some changes, which tells you some mistakes are being corrected

Q5. Why do you think debt oriented schemes are less popular amidst retail investors as a financial solution vis-à-vis equity oriented schemes? How do you think we can amend it?

The general impression is that if you have invested in traditional modes like bank FDs, post office savings, NSC etc. your debt allocation is taken care of. Lack of financial literacy is the root cause of such impressions. Debt-oriented schemes have investment solutions suited to all rate cycles. Hence, it’s important to sync your time horizon and risk appetite before initiating such investments… If one methodically approaches financial planning with guidance, if needed from an advisor, I firmly believe we can amend it. After all even villains morph into good-hearted souls in Bollywood movies 🙂

Q6. What are your interests other than finance?

I’m a financial geek, filmi and foodie in that order I also love traveling and exploring offbeat destinations within and outside India.

Well, it was fun listening to her answers and expecting that a corporate woman is not always serious! Well, jokes apart here’s wishing Ms. Iyer and all you beautiful women who are trying to achieve their dreams in a field like this, a happy women’s day.

Believe that you have all the power to break the stereotypes, so go on and just do it!

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