Market

From Odisha to Dalal Street: Shilpa Rout's journey from MBA to becoming F&O trader & mentor to women investors



In a recent conversation with ETMarkets, Shilpa Rout, AVP – Research, Prabhudas Lilladher, shared her remarkable journey and insights into women‘s participation in the financial sector.

Hailing from Odisha, Shilpa embarked on a career path in capital markets, driven by her fascination with stock trading. Despite initial aspirations in marketing, she found her true calling in derivatives trading, leveraging internships to build expertise and confidence in the field.

Unlock Leadership Excellence with a Range of CXO Courses

Offering College Course Website
IIM Lucknow IIML Chief Executive Officer Programme Visit
Indian School of Business ISB Chief Digital Officer Visit
IIM Kozhikode IIMK Chief Product Officer Programme Visit

Joining Prabhudas Lilladher in 2018, she spearheaded the expansion of the derivatives team, demonstrating resilience and determination amidst the challenges of a male-dominated industry.

Shilpa emphasizes the importance of empowering women in finance, highlighting their inherent risk management skills and contributions to economic growth.

She addresses common misconceptions about women investors and traders, advocating for financial education and diverse perspectives in the industry.

With insights into balancing risk and return, overcoming challenges, and managing emotions in volatile markets, Shilpa offers valuable advice for women navigating the world of stock trading.Her journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring women investors, traders and professionals, paving the way for greater gender diversity and inclusivity in finance.

Edited Excerpts –
Q) Shilpa, thanks for taking time out for ETMarkets. Please take us through your journey of reaching a leadership role.

A) Thank you for this platform and opportunity. The journey has been a bit of a roller coaster – starting from scratch and climbing up the ladder. I hail from Odisha, a state where stock market participation is very low.

I did my MBA in marketing about a decade back, but I did not find it challenging enough. I wanted to do something different and that is when I stumbled upon derivatives trading.

Back then, futures and options were not such a big range as they are now. But the green shoots were visible.

I decided to give it a try and started doing internships in between to get a strong grasp on the subject. This helped me pursue the same with more conviction.

Subsequently, I joined Prabhudas Lilladher in 2018 and expanded the derivatives team. Post COVID-era, trading took off in a big way and retail investors were always looking for the right advice.

In a field dominated by men, I was somehow able to fill the gap and hit the bullseye with my targets. I do not let a single day go by without giving my 100%.

Q) Did you always felt that Capital Markets is something which you wanted to do?


A) Yes, I was always fascinated by stock markets, but my career was headed toward marketing and communications.

My interest grew by leaps and bounds when my immediate family member joined the same field with a renowned broking firm.

After getting a closer look at the profession and the various challenges that come with it on a day-to-day basis, I was even more motivated to give it a shot.

Q) What are the roadblocks that you feel women investors go through in their investment/trading journey?


A) Women investors often encounter challenges like balancing family responsibilities with investing, lack of financial education, and gender bias in the industry. This is ironic because no one can manage household expenses like a woman does.

Women have inherent risk management skills and that makes them better investors as well as traders. So, women should not doubt themselves and should keep at it.

Q) Many women traders have also joined the party on D-St, especially after COVID-19. What would you advise them?


A) Continue working your way religiously irrespective of temporary failures. One bad day does not define the rest of the year.

Do not be afraid to try new things – be it investing in stocks or trading in derivatives. For women just entering the market, I recommend starting with a small investment and gaining knowledge. Start small but dream big!

Q) How can women balance risk and return when building their investment portfolios?


A) Diversification, research, and professional advice can help balance risk and return. For me, all the trials and errors done during my internships helped me understand the risks associated with stock markets.

For good returns, always look to invest in quality stocks. Do not to panic if any correction happens to overall markets but rather add more to those quality stocks. Invest in stocks only after you have understood it completely. Never put all your eggs in one basket but rather diversify.

Q) As India moves from 5th largest economy to the 3rd largest economy – women entrepreneurs will have a big role to play. Almost 68% of women entrepreneurs manage their company accounts independently, according to a recent survey. What are your views?


A) I believe women are just getting started. Apart from bringing expertise, women leaders also bring a lot of empathy to the table, and this helps in creating better workplaces. I see more and more young girls taking up exciting roles and challenging the stigma.

It is a cycle – India’s economy will grow leaps and bounds with more women participation and a growing economy will create a level-playing field for more and more women to participate.

Q) What are some common myths or misconceptions that you have also come across about women and investing/trading, and how can we debunk them?


A) The most common myth is that finances should not be handled by women. I feel that a woman can do the job better as we are super calculative, we understand savings as a theme better and these qualities come from our base of handling household finances.

Debunking these myths requires spotlighting successful women investors, demonstrating the range of investment strategies used by women, and emphasizing the value that diverse financial perspectives bring to the table. When I started my career in full swing, I learnt a lot from our managing director Amisha Vora.

Q) What are some unique challenges women face in the world of stock market trading, and how have you overcome them?


A) Women in the stock market face unique challenges such as biases and underrepresentation. Overcoming these obstacles is often achieved through forming supportive professional networks, seeking out mentorship and pursuing financial education.

Q) How do you manage emotions such as fear and greed when trading in volatile market conditions?


A) Strategies such as setting clear goals, maintaining discipline, and using stop-loss orders can help. It’s equally important to stay well-informed and learn from both successes and market downturns.

(Disclaimer: Recommendations, suggestions, views, and opinions given by experts are their own. These do not represent the views of the Economic Times)



READ SOURCE