Investment banker Sonia Dasgupta – MD & CEO, Investment Banking, JM Financial, belongs to that hallowed and coveted group of professionals that the top business schools in India churn out. She joined JM Financial straight out of the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and has never looked back. BW Businessworld picks her mind on women at the workplace
On your journey
As an investment banker, my journey began with JM Financial way back in 1995. I joined the company's M&A team straight out of IIM Ahmedabad. The Morgan Stanley joint venture offered me global exposure including a stint in Australia. In 2015, my elevation to the position of Head, of JMF Group Borrowings, gave me the opportunity to work closely with all the group entities. In April of 2022, I was appointed as the CEO, of Investment Banking to take the JM Group's investment banking business to a higher growth trajectory. This has by far been the most rewarding and challenging role in my career.
On greater participation of women in investment banking
The pattern of Indian women's employment has changed significantly since I started. Greater awareness and talks about diversity and inclusion have made things better and have resulted in women’s empowerment. The Indian financial services sector has had and will continue to have several dynamic women. JM Financial has had many strong women leading the franchise and they have been great role models for me.
'Women in Finance' – is that a good fit?
Women in finance are actually a very good fit in many ways. They are better disciplined and adept at managing finances, be it as a homemaker or an ace financial professional. A career in Investment Banking demands long working hours, the ability to offer sound advice and a client-focused approach and strong networking skills. I don’t believe it is fair for women to play the “woman” card to get any concessions from their work whether it's long hours at work or travel. Women should be empowered and promoted based on merit and that should define their careers on an equal footing.