Humans Of Startups

From investment banking to spreading smiles: Kavita Mathew’s story

Kavita Ann Mathew spent years making money for the rich, but now she is raising funds for the needy. Read on to hear what it took to make that change and what she does now.

Kavita Ann Mathew

“Seven years ago, when I worked at Goldman Sachs I was a little tiny fish looking at the corporate world in awe. Eventually I got bored of the everyday routine of that life and started volunteering. The days I volunteered, I literally slept with a smile on my face and wondered how awesome life would be if I could do this every day. And just like that, one fine day, I took the plunge. I quit and joined an NGO.”

“Joining the nonprofit sector opened up my life to a whole new world, and what started off as an experiment, has now become an addiction for life. ”

“My first job was with the world’s largest Investment Bank – Goldman Sachs. Apart from the fancy pay slip and the glamourous office, which I thoroughly enjoyed as a 20 year old, the job just didn’t make any sense to me! I mean, I travelled in air conditioned cars and passed through traffic signals where I saw children begging and then went straight into an office where I spent 15 hours of my day helping really rich people on the other side of the world get even richer!

Joining the nonprofit sector and especially taking the plunge to be an independent, nonprofit consultant was the best decision of my life, but not the easiest one. Doing something nobody else in the whole country has taken on independently was challenging for me as I didn’t have anyone to look up to. However the day I decided that sometimes you got to make your own path to create an impact, life changed!

My job as a consultant with GlobalGiving requires me to travel all over the country, even to the most remote places all on my own. I have always loved stories and now I get to hear real life stories and meet the real heroes making a difference to the lives of people in our country, almost every day! No day has been like the one before and every day has helped me grow both professionally and personally.

It’s very easy to see problems around you and get upset. While I worked at Dream a Dream,(the first nonprofit I worked with) I met people who didn’t complain, instead did what they needed to alleviate the problem. It’s my experience there that empowered me to create my own job as a fundraising consultant because I was able to identify exactly where my skills fit into the whole social sector ecosystem. My start up nonprofit experience taught me to not sit and wait for a solution but to be the solution. This has changed the way I approach life.

This world is full of problems, but the most amazing thing is that our heads are full of solutions. Now the question is, what are you going to use your solutions for? Are you going to use it for helping the rich get richer or for the development of your neighborhood, your community, your country?

I want to use my life to break the stereotype that working independently, especially with a nonprofit is only meant for people who have retired and have nothing else to do. Create your own job and you will never ever need anyone to wake you up and force you to go to work.”


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Relina D'Silva

The author Relina D'Silva