Preetha Wali: Driving Financial Literacy Through Advocacy & Empowerment | CEOInsights Vendor
Preetha Wali: Driving Financial Literacy Through Advocacy & Empowerment

Preetha Wali: Driving Financial Literacy Through Advocacy & Empowerment

Preetha Wali,   Co-Founder

Preetha Wali


Customers in the financial industry encounter a range of challenges that can impede their financial stability and success. Limited or inconsistent cash flow creates uncertainty and can hinder proper financial planning. Failure to establish and adhere to a budget further exacerbates the problem, leaving individuals ill-prepared for unforeseen expenses that may arise. Insufficient capital raises obstacles in funding business operations and growth, while excessive debt can lead to financial strain and limited opportunities. Pay It Forward is an exceptional social enterprise that was established in 2017 by a group of three female entrepreneurs. The organization specializes in delivering personalized financial education and planning workshops to both corporate institutions and educational institutions. Pay It Forward was founded by Preetha Wali, Vinita Jain, and Anu Seth, three women entrepreneurs with a unique venture and a deep passion to help people with their finances. Preetha Wali, Co-Founder of Pay It Forward has been in the industry and helping a lot of individuals come to peace with their financial decisions.

During our interview, Preetha Wali shared her remarkable journey of achievement and explained how the organization has been diligently providing financial literacy to individuals.

How would you define Pay It Forward as an organization?
Personal finance is an overlooked topic in formal education. However, its importance is increasing rapidly as individuals face mounting debt and become victims of deceptive financial practices. People are enticed by instant-profit products accessible with a single click and influenced by financial influencers on social media. Without a foundation in financial literacy, this can lead to disastrous consequences. Consequently, at Pay It Forward we are striving to incorporate financial literacy into corporate wellness packages. We have already gained recognition from prominent companies, which are highlighted on our website.
Moreover, we are collaborating with industry associations and influential groups such as Flo, an organization comprising nearly 900 female members. Last year, FICCI FLO, Bangalore made financial literacy their central theme for the year, with myself heading the financial literacy division. Our efforts included informative sessions and featured esteemed speakers like Saurab Mukherjee and Swarup Mohanty, renowned experts who shared valuable insights on subjects like mutual funds, equity markets, and market trends. Our objective extends beyond personal growth; we aspire to forge partnerships and raise awareness about the importance of financial literacy.

Financial knowledge is an important life skill in today’s world to escape from the chaos & be at peace with your savings

Tell us about your leadership approach and what guidelines or methodologies you follow to lead your team.
My philosophy revolves around simplicity and honesty, which guides my approach to various aspects of life, including the development of corporate growth strategies. I have a natural inclination towards simplicity and prefer to avoid unnecessary complications. Rather than imposing my knowledge or authority, I value genuine human interaction and strive to engage in conversations rather than lectures. I find great satisfaction in problem-solving through open dialogue and offering assistance without resorting to blame or asserting superiority. Flexibility is a crucial aspect of my mindset, recognizing that mistakes happen and embracing the opportunity to work together toward solutions. This philosophy of simplicity and honest communication is a core principle that I uphold not only in my professional endeavors but also in my personal life.

Which specific areas do you intend to support Pay It Forward in achieving its goals and allocating its time towards?
As mentioned earlier, our focus is on growth. Financial literacy is crucial for the majority of India's population, considering that only 5 percent are financially literate. We primarily focus on organizing financial literacy sessions in educational institutions and companies as our core work. We have a strong passion for promoting the significance of financial literacy.
Despite being a small team, we strive to collaborate with the media and industry organizations to raise awareness about the critical need for financial literacy. Additionally, we are venturing into colleges, with ongoing conversations and calls scheduled to discuss making financial literacy a mandatory life skill for students. Although it would be ideal to collaborate with organizations like the University Grants Commission(UGC), we are currently approaching individual colleges and enthusiastic individuals fighting for this cause. Furthermore, we have conducted sessions with NGOs and acknowledged the importance of addressing financial literacy among specific groups, such as urban professionals and homemakers, who often face targeted sales but lack appropriate guidance.Many advertisements focus on youth and women due to India's large young population and their involvement in household purchases. However, the financial products available may not align with their needs, often offering small amounts or overlooking crucial aspects.

What are your future aspirations and plans for the upcoming years? Where do you envision yourself heading in the future?
I am investing my time in various avenues for increasing the availability of financial literacy such as conducting sessions, engaging with industry bodies, speaking at panels, and reaching out to influential individuals who can initiate conversations about financial literacy. I am also working on creating a media presence through articles in publications like Express, The Mint, The Hindu, and more, and maintaining an online presence. Regarding the future roadmap for Pay It Forward, we aim to collaborate with organizations in the finance industry to conduct more sessions and reach a wider audience. This can be achieved by leveraging their existing client base and the mandate for them to invest in education. Additionally, we are in the process of developing an eLearning module to provide access to financial literacy education even when we are not physically present. These initiatives will allow us to reach and educate more people about financial literacy.

Preetha Wali, Co-Founder, Pay IT Forward
Preetha Wali, a committed financial educator, is a passionate advocate and trainer who strives to disseminate knowledge. Initially, she gained extensive experience by teaching the subject, and now she actively conducts workshops to reach a wider audience

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