Rashmi is a Director in Citi's Global Capital Management (GCM) team based in London. In this role she is responsible for managing Citi’s EMEA balance sheet and leads the coverage effort for the EMEA Leverage Finance Portfolio Group.
Rashmi Ghai
Rashmi Ghai
Citi

Prior to joining GCM, Rashmi worked in Citi’s Investment Banking division. In this role she worked on 40+ transactions including financing/re-financing, buy and sell side and capital markets assignments. Rashmi has also previously worked in the Financial Institutions and Global Industrials teams in Citi New York.

Rashmi holds a Bachelors degree in Finance and Economics (magna cum laude) from Rutgers University. Outside work, Rashmi enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, and loves running, swimming and the outdoors.

Rashmi has been shortlisted for the 2020 Future Leader Award.

How does it feel to be shortlisted for the WIBF Future Leader Award?

I am honoured and humbled to be shortlisted among such an amazing group of women focused on driving positive change across the financial services sector. I attended a WIBF Award event only three years ago and I never imagined I would find myself being shortlisted for an award. This recognition is important to me on so many levels – personally – for all the hard work I’ve put in over the years and support received from my friends and family; professionally – for all the great work Citi is doing in this space and for nominating me in this category, and more broadly - I sincerely hope it inspires many other amazing women from different areas in financial services, and with varied backgrounds and circumstances.

You are the Co-Chair of Citi Roots, Diversity Network, can you tell us more about this?

I am passionate about driving a positive change in the diversity and inclusion space both by providing a role model to everyone but also encouraging people to get involved and have a voice. I have had the opportunity to lead the Citi Roots, Network in the UK, as a Co-chair for over three years now. The Roots Network is run by and for Citi employees and focuses on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic development and inclusion. We have more than 500 active members in the network in London. Over the past few years we have focused on grass-roots events, mentoring / development of the community, and promoting inclusion through events like ‘Inspire and Lead’ speaker series discussing thought provoking topics. We also celebrate diversity by organizing events around Chinese New Year, Diwali and Black History Month.

You said you “have taken the path less travelled”, can you expand on that and the challenges you have faced?

I was brought up in a very modest and orthodox family based in India. I am one of four children with two older sisters and one younger brother. My sisters were happily married at an early age and I wanted to take the path less travelled and go abroad to get more perspective and develop further. I left India at an age of 17 years to study abroad on a scholarship. I have never looked back since. I have gone on to achieve many firsts for myself - I was the first person in my family, to study oversees and graduate magna cum laude (the highest honour), to study whilst working to support myself; to land a full time job, and to marry someone outside of my culture. I now use my voice and network to support others like myself who are starting out their journey in life with few role models and big dreams or aspirations.

What career ambitions do you have?

I started working from a very young age, earlier to support myself through my University years. In that respect I’ve had the opportunity to work in a number of different jobs. I have now been with Citi for over 12 years working across Investment Banking and Corporate Banking divisions in New York and London. I’d like to continue my journey in Banking as I enjoy the challenge, diverse- and fast paced- nature of the work I do every day. However, as I look ahead, I believe the Bank of the future will look very different from today. The Bank of the future will need to be able to navigate through changing customer expectations, emerging technologies, new business models and be prepared to address urgent and pressing environmental and societal issues such as climate change. I hope to progress to take on even more impactful role with purpose. Whatever I do in the end, I hope to be a good role model to my two children and to others who are interested or looking to pursue a career in Banking.

How do you manage your work, kids and family responsibilities?

I am lucky to have a supporting husband who can work flexibility however he has an equally challenging job. This requires us to be very organised and disciplined with our free time (imagine excel spreadsheets, and food schedules for the week ahead). Additionally, we have childcare arrangements in place whenever we are unable to do school drop offs or take the kids to play dates and activities. We have also learned to alternate responsibilities on home errands giving each other the time necessary to cater for our own mental and physical wellbeing, involve the kids whenever possible, and enjoy the very simple pleasures of life like spending time together in the garden, going for nature walks or reading to our kids.

Who are your role models?

My dad is my biggest critic and role model. He has taught me to never to give up. As a young girl, I had taken on Spring Board Diving (a very unusual choice for an Indian girl at the time), a sport I wanted to perfect. Despite all the odds, my dad instilled in me how hard work and focus can achieve anything you want no matter how unusual it is. I subsequently went on to win the Indian State level Diving Championship in New Delhi for 8 successive years and represented New Delhi at the National games. This required a lot of discipline, focus and commitment to not give up as I practiced each day trying to perfect my dives and trying new ones. In short, my Dad has helped to shape me into who I am today and – while we don’t agree on everything - he continues to inspire me.