ETMarkets Fund Manager Talk: Women fund managers making significant difference in MF industry: Meeta Shetty, Tata MF
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According to a study by Morningstar, women fund managers represent just about 10% of the mutual fund industry in India.

But Meeta Shetty of Tata Mutual Fund believes that there is a long way ahead to see a notable representation of women in the industry, and this will change with greater focus on diversity and inclusion.

“We have seen some great achievements by the women fund managers over the last two decades and these handful of role models are creating a significant difference,” Shetty, a

fund manager at the leading fund house, told ETMarkets in an interview. Edited excerpts:

What prompted you to enter the finance world, which even today is male-dominated? How did this turn into a passion?
I never thought I was destined to the finance world. But I definitely had the curiosity to know more about the business and the ventures, read about why some succeeded so well while some could barely survive.

This curiosity drove me to the world of equity markets, wherein I not only got a chance to study businesses more closely but also got an opportunity to create wealth for my investors.

The Finance field may be male dominated but it also offers equal opportunities for women. In my experience, the finance field has been very receptive for women.

One needs to be hardworking, diligent, and determined to succeed in any field. I have always been passionate about giving my best towards any opportunity that came my way.

Can you share any of your experiences? What were the major challenges you faced during your stint in this industry?
As women, we sometimes have to take sabbaticals in our jobs when motherhood knocks on our door and getting back to our career path is usually a very big challenge. This was challenging for me as well. The other challenge I can think of, is networking in an industry which is male dominated.

For all working women across industries, managing home, family and giving their best at work is challenging at times and it has not been different for me.

What’s your investment mantra and how well has it worked for you and your clients?
The framework for stock selection is based on our core idea of ‘growth at a reasonable value’ wherein we look to invest into companies which not only offer growth prospects, but also can see meaningful re-rating going ahead.

The portfolio is structured in a way that it has a healthy mix of steady compounders and alpha generating opportunities based on growth and value.

Given the need and emergence of financial independence, what will be your investment and savings advice to the women of this country today?
Start investing early and in a disciplined manner from a long- term perspective. The basics like understanding of the various financial products that are available, risk profiling and having a defined and realistic goal needs to be addressed at the start.

It’s better to start small and incrementally build on it as it requires a lot of patience at times, especially when one is investing into equities.

The most important thing is that one must have a long-term investment horizon as the power of compounding can create a far more meaningful return vs the small quick gains.

An analysis showed that women fund managers represent just about 10% of the MF industry? 5 years down the line, where do you see this figure?
It certainly is a long way to go before we see a notable representation for women in the Mutual Fund industry, but as corporates focus on diversity and inclusion, we will see this changing.

We have seen some great achievements by the women fund managers over the last two decades and these handful of role models are creating a significant difference.

More women are choosing to join the industry today as compared to the very slim participation observed a decade ago. As women participation in this field increases, the number of women fund managers should also increase going ahead.

(Disclaimer: Recommendations, suggestions, views and opinions given by the experts are their own. These do not represent the views of Economic Times)

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