Newly crowned Mrs India Universe 2021, Shruthi Cauvery Iyer is a great example of a woman who is not afraid to follow her varied passions and stand out from her peers

Years of concertedly pecking at the glass ceiling have paved the way for women to make a name for themselves in distinctive fields. Newly crowned Mrs India Universe 2021, Shruthi Cauvery Iyer is a great example of a woman who is not afraid to follow her varied passions and stand out from her peers. An Impact Investor from Bengaluru, Iyer had carved a path for herself in the field of finance, as the Founder and Managing Director of CaHa Capital, a global impact investment firm based out of Bengaluru. After years of working in this field, she felt a desire to pursue a long-standing dream. She decided to participate in the recently concluded Mrs India pageant which took place in August in Gurugram, and went on to win the crown.

When asked what makes her tick, this mother of two says, “I believe it is my sheer determination and passion towards any field that I choose to follow. This steadfast belief is what allowed me to win the prestigious title. In fact, I feel very strongly about domestic abuse and was drawn to the pageant’s focus this year on ‘Fighting Domestic Violence’.”
Iyer is on a mission to represent Indian women internationally and hopes to advocate the cause of protecting women from domestic violence on the global stage. She explains,
“As a devoted mother and wife, I believe that women should continue to invest in themselves even if they feel bogged down with professional responsibilities and motherhood.”
From being an impact investment professional to walking the ramp, Shruthi enjoys experiencing a variety of professional roles. Before she returned to India in 2016 and launched CaHa Capital in 2019, she ran a commodities business in Indonesia and Hong Kong, and before that a skincare startup in Boston called Blend8. Shruthi has an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School, Philadelphia, a Masters in Public Administration from The Harvard Kennedy School, Cambridge and a Bachelors in Environmental Engineering from the Visvesvaraya Technological University, Karnataka.
“Going forward, I plan to continue working in the field of impact investment, at least for the foreseeable future, because I truly believe in the potential of impact investing to positively change millions of lives. I believe my professional interests supplement my role as Mrs India Universe 2021, and enable me to become a symbol of women’s empowerment,” she proclaims with pride.
Originally from Coorg, Iyer is currently based in Bengaluru, Karnataka. Finance is her first love, and she is passionate about spreading the word and encouraging people and especially women to become financially independent. Her company, CaHa Capital is a global investment advisory firm that was founded in 2019 by two founding partners, Shruthi Cauvery Iyer and Sachindra Rudra.

Through their exclusive practice, they advise and help clients execute on investment strategy, as well as the deployment of capital and portfolio management across asset classes. She explains, “Our approach is bespoke – we deeply embed our recommendations and actions in the vision of our clients, often helping them crystalize their thoughts into executable strategies and programs.”
She goes on to add, “We are an impact investment advisory firm, and our focus is on finding investment opportunities that serve to be solutions for a better tomorrow. Our team has decades of investment and operational experience across multiple geographies and sectors along with a strong global network.”
When asked how the nature of personal financial transactions and investments has changed during the pandemic, Iyer states, “While the global economy recovers slowly, most individuals are still finding it hard to find a firm financial footing. The personal savings rate has seen an uptick because households understand the importance of having an emergency savings fund in place that can last at least a period of six to twelve months from when the crisis begins. On the other hand, most people struggled to make ends meet in this period and racked up debt. For people who were in a position to save, there was a huge interest in public markets investing.”
As a result, there has been a significant increase in the number of people wanting to invest smartly since the pandemic. Saving and investing have become priority areas after the tough lessons of the pandemic. The rise of several online and digital platforms has made both saving and investing easy and interesting, especially for younger and more tech-savvy consumers.
Iyer explains this phenomenon by saying, “On the one hand, young people realized the value of saving money due to the hardships they witnessed during the pandemic. And on the other hand, public markets have performed well during the pandemic, which in turn has attracted many young people to the art of investing and growing their money.”
However, she is quick to caution that in a sea of apps, tools, and websites aimed at helping people specifically navigate this changed financial scenario, everyone should do their own research before deciding to use any. The research should be geared towards an assessment of market risks and should be based on peoples’ personal financial goals and risk profile.
With her expert knowledge, the next step for Iyer is to use her title and the prestigious global stage to advocate financial empowerment, especially of women. “I’m proud to be a woman in finance and believe that women should save and invest in order to build personal and generational wealth. I’ve realized after speaking to some of my female friends that their investment portfolio is quite small compared to their male peers who have a similar income profile. Lower investments translate to lower savings and wealth in the long run for women. Financial empowerment is a combination of smart investments and savings, and women should not be left behind!” Iyer shares, signing off.
Shruthi Cauvery Iyer will now be competing for the Mrs. Universe 2021 title at the competition that is due to take place in Seoul, South Korea from November 27 to December 5, 2021 as the India representative.
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