Alumni Association of GDGWS

Overview

An organization’s alumni are torchbearers and brand ambassadors of all institutions. They are the reflection of its past, representation of its present and a link to its future.

Educational institutions are changing the way they see and interact with their alumni community. Earlier, alumni and their alma-mater were treated as separate entities wherein one’s existence was independent of the other.

With the spurt in the advent of Social Media, alumni relationship has taken a complete turn. An engaged alumni allows the schools to benefit from the skills and experience of our graduates. If we keep them well informed and engaged, alumni are our most loyal supporters and our best ambassadors. Talented alumni will likely have a wealth of experience and skills to share with current students via talks and meets. Alumni can play an active role in voluntary programs like mentoring students in their areas of expertise. Leveraging the alumni community can be a win-win for both the institution and the alumni. Many of them are willing to ‘Give-Back’ to their alma-mater as a sign of their gratitude and affinity towards the institution. We have started this page so that we can reconnectand reminisce with fellow graduates; see what everyone’s been up to; Make meaningful connections, speak to students and advise fellow alumni.

Alumnus of the Month- IBDP- Batch of 2009

Priyanka Kanwar

PriyankaKanwar, Founder and CEO, Kite
Kite is one of Money Control’s top 10 most innovative startups of 2018
Kite chosen among “50 Startups to Look Out for in 2019” by Entrepreneur India
Kite Founder selected among Forbes 30 under 30 Asia & GQ’s 50 Most Influential Young Indians

Priyanka is passionate about helping people from all backgrounds access modern finance. She founded Kite to empower businesses and their workforce with innovative and low-cost payments, credit, and financial services. Launched in 2017, Kite’s platform has processed over USD 100 million in transactions and served 250,000 users from 2,000 cities, building financial identities with more than 10 million data points. Priyanka has been recognized as one of India’s top 5 women in Fintech. Prior to founding Kite, Priyanka developed extensive experience at the intersection of finance, technology, and academia. She founded the nonprofit, Global Undergraduate Economic Forum (GUEF) with support from the World Economic Forum. She was Chairperson of the nonprofit Global Brigades, and has had work stints at HSBC Bank, The Economist, and Accenture. Priyanka graduated Magna cum Laude from Yale University with a degree in Economics.

A short interview…

1. What inspired you to choose your current career?

I took a gap year after high school during which I interned with a microfinance institution and shot a documentary film on the subject. Ever since, I’ve been deeply passionate about the field of financial services & inclusion, and continued research on the same throughout my academic career at Yale University. I’ve done work on the subject in several countries including Uganda, Mexico, Honduras, Bangladesh, and India, and my senior thesis was also on the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) payment system in India. This inspired me to start up in Fintech after college wherein I could build innovative products to close the gaps in the industry and help create a more equitable economy for the millions of individuals and businesses that remain excluded from the financial system in the country. Today, my company, Kite has built a full fledged modern financial system for SMEs and their workforce, in collaboration with top 10 banks and global card networks. Kite is serving over 1 million customers with an annual run rate of USD 250 million+ in transactions.

2. Any difficulty you surmounted in achieving your ambition?

As with starting out in any new business or career, there were several challenges. Most importantly, since founding the company was my first-ever job after college, I did not have any experience or expertise in the industry. So it took a couple of years of struggling as a completely new player, understanding nuances, learning tough lessons (some very expensive ones!), and building the right relationships to succeed. As a female CEO in a male-dominated industry, it has also taken a lot of grit and patience to build credibility for myself as a leader and scale the company to new heights.

3. What triggered your interest in your chosen field?

Answered in Q1

4. Share your reminiscences about the time spent at G D Goenka World School.

G D Goenka World School will always remain special for me since the IB program taught at the school not only challenged me in new ways, but it inspired me to push my boundaries, get out of my comfort zone, ask tough questions, and chase my ambition. It is also here that I met my Co-founder and best friend, Prabhtej Bhatia, who has had the most incredible impact on who I have become today as an entrepreneur. I’ll always be grateful for the memories and lessons I learned at the school!

5. What is your message for young Goenkans?

My message is to dream without inhibitions and to always stay focused on achieving your ambition. If you have a big dream, it’s going to take time for you to get there, but it’s important to remain patient and achieve your goal one step at a time, starting from doing well at school and doing things you actually love, picking the right college, choosing the correct internships, and then finally taking a plunge in the field you’re passionate about. Most importantly though – don’t forget to have some fun and take care of yourself! It’s a marathon and you don’t want to burn yourself out too soon.