While pursuing her Bachelor’s in Economics from Oberlin College in Ohio, Arshiya worked as a Sales and Marketing Executive for the Oberlin Alumni Fund. She trained and led a group of fellow students, raising over a million dollars for the college. After graduating, Arshiya moved to New York as an Accounting Associate for the Carlyle Group, negotiating deals with various stock exchanges for 23 branches of the company.
In 2004, she returned to India and continued her career in the financial services industry. Arshiya held various roles across multiple companies: Manager at Birla Sunlife Securities, Associate Vice President at Dawnay Day AV Financial Services, Senior Manager at Edelweiss Securities and Associate Vice President at Gawande Consultants.
After a few years off, devoted to her first child, Arshiya joined the Development Team of Salaam Bombay Foundation. She piloted a partnership with FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry), to sponsor vocational training for underprivileged girls.
In 2009, I took a break from my fast-paced life to have a baby. I was in no rush to return to the corporate rat race. I joined Salaam Bombay Foundation based on a suggestion from a family friend, rather than a conscious decision to switch sectors. I found myself enjoying the work, finding more satisfaction securing funding for underprivileged children than closing IPOs (Initial Public Offerings) for faceless corporations.
Stories are what motivate me to do what I do at SVP. Stories of philanthropic partners’ lives, their highs and lows, their drivers and their anchors, stories of empathy for the less fortunate, giving from an early age or the shift from the corporate to the social world.
But the best stories come from our Investees: ones that fill your heart with pride and joy and your eyes with tears. Stories of struggles that were eased by our efforts, or a small act of kindness that made all the difference, stories instilling optimism and energy, stories of the confidence women and children were empowered with through learning a new skill, earning a livelihood for the first time or even participating on stage to enact what their dream world could be like.
These are the stories that inspire me, the stories that have helped me understand the world through multiple lenses.