Founder of MONEY MATTERS
Tejal Gandhi believes Sky’s the limit for Female Leaders
The women entrepreneurs of today are conquering the world dauntly. Filled with brilliance, they are proceeding with unbridled enthusiasm to change the world around them. Their revolutionary strides in unknown territories make a difference and attempt to seek solutions that have never been sought. Their visions guide their goal and to achieve them they never accept their failures but learn their lessons. One of these inspiring women is Tejal Gandhi, whose story of success sets an example for those women entrepreneurs who fear failure. Tejal Gandhi is the Chief Executive Officer of MONEY MATTERS, a firm which provides services in Financial Advisory & Wealth Management as well as Training & Content Management. The firm was set up in 2002 with the vision of becoming a committed, trusted and a single stop solution provider for all financial needs on a continuous basis and with the mission of educating women on the basics of personal finance especially in Banking. She wanted women in India to get acquainted with their financial rights. Speaking to Abhishek Dubey, Editor, The CEO Magazine about her dreams as a business lady, Tejal says, “Today, my dream has evolved to touch human lives and help them achieve their financial goals. We want our company to be a Financial Doctor in as many households we can serve. We should be the 1st they should reach out to when they are looking to take a financial decision which I must say we have met with some success….but there is a long way to go.” Dedicated to her mission, she also serves as a mentor to various youth entrepreneurship programs and counsels them on the procedure and path they should take.
With more than two and a half decades of experience in the Banking and Financial Services industry, Tejal is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) affiliated to the Financial Planning Standards Board, India which is part of the CFP program based in Denver, USA. She was associated with Standard Chartered Bank over 13 years and has extensive experience in Retail Banking and Communications all over India. She earned Masters degree in Commerce from Sydenham College, Mumbai. Her interest in the sector drove her to develop her professional skills and she successfully obtained a Diploma in Systems Management from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies along with a Certification in Mass Communications & PR from Xaviers Institute of Communication.
Her success story has a list of accomplishments which exhibit her domain knowledge, expertise and her zest to educate and create awareness. She is the only Woman Licensee in India to practice Financial Life Planning with one of the most respected and trusted name for Financial Life Planning in the USA, Money Quotient. Network 18 (CNBC) Group featured her as a Finance Expert on Indiwo.com. for their women’s portal a few years ago. She contributes for the Personal Finance column of Outlook MoneyShe was awarded for her significant contributions by reputed organizations. Her being awarded as the Most Consistent Individual Financial Advisor in 2009 recognized her noteworthy contribution to the field. To her, success can be defined in the many small ways through which she makes a difference in people’s lives.
The road to success wasn’t always smooth for Tejal. She also faced challenges and setbacks that compelled her to accept failure and look back. Tejal set up her firm in 2002 and had few assignments in hand initially. After she was done with them, she found it a great challenge to get her pipeline in place. This shook her confidence deep down inside and coerced her to reconsider her decision of leaving the bank. Speaking to Abhishek Dubey, Editor, the CEO Magazine, Tejal says, “I felt I had failed in my decision of becoming an Entrepreneur and I should go back and look for a job.” But, she composed herself and made a firm resolve that she would never let failures discourage her long term vision. On being asked about what she had learnt from her failures, she says, “Have a dream and don’t stop dreaming; be determined and have a blueprint; don’t give up in the face of failures.”
Realizing her social responsibility, Tejal is readily involved in numerous social commitments that serve diverse social groups. She has been an active Rotarian since last twenty four years. She was the President of the Rotary Club of Mumbai Queen’s Necklace (1998-99). She organized large Career Guidance camps with various schools and colleges while she was appointed as the Chairperson Career Guidance of the district for a year. She had been a part of the Bombay Management Association – Women in management committee for the year – 2005-06. She is regularly featured in various online and print media. She is involved with several social causes and organizations.
Honesty, Integrity, Trust, Commitment and Loyalty are the core values that guide her path to success. Tejal firmly believes that knowledge can never be complete but is an ongoing process: hence, to serve well, she keeps herself abreast with all the latest developments in this industry. Her mantras for long term success are Consistency and persistency.
The CEO Magazine chats with Tejal Gandhi
TCM: What is your greatest professional accomplishment till date?
Tejal Gandhi: I have made small strides in my own way of reaching out to working young women via various workshops and awareness programs conducted at various stages.
Two years after a certain program I had conducted, I had a former participant who came up to me and told me that she still follows the basics that I had taught, and will continue to do so. For me, just to know that I had impacted and made a difference in one person’s life is in itself an achievement. Similarly, I have had clients express their gratitude and appreciation after courses and programs and how they would take back everything they learnt to incorporate it in the way they manage their money.
“I think there cannot be one big thing but small milestones on the way. As they say, being ordinary consistent makes you extraordinary. Small steps make a big leap of a difference.”
TCM: Whom do you attribute your success to?
Tejal Gandhi:My success can be attributed to the work ethics my parents and my teachers have built in me; and to my clients and well-wishers who have imposed confidence and faith in me to deliver better than I am capable of. I have a lot of gratitude to the Lord who has given me so many opportunities to prove myself in so many ways.
TCM: What do you think is the biggest challenge to female leadership?
Tejal Gandhi: I think the biggest challenge to female leadership is the self confidence she lacks. Women must realize their potential. They need to come out of their comfort zone to reach the top. Also, if family and support systems are in place to assist, female leadership can be accelerated. I believe sky’s the limit for a female leader. There are enough examples around us today to prove and reinforce the spirit of leadership to be inspired from.