By India New England News April 3, 2023 Sumeit Aggarwal is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Finhive, a social enterprise dedicated to doing business while doing good. She works with women owned startups in financial planning, management of financial risks, record keeping, and financial reporting. She is actively involved in providing financial education to women and young adults in communities.
“Money can have a very strong hold in people’s lives whether it is for a company they are running or balancing their family’s check book,” says Ms. Aggarwal. “It is also a taboo topic in many households especially when it comes to girls and women.”
Ms. Aggarwal is deeply passionate about embedding personal values and frequently presents on related topics including sustainable investing, financial health spectrum and narrowing the gender wealth gap.
Since starting Finhive in 2017, Ms. Aggarwal has grown Finhive to serve over 1,400 attendees covering 60 topics at 90+ events delivered as lectures, speeches, reports, and closed group discussions. All these events are focused on improving financial capability of individuals, entrepreneurs, and business leaders.
Prior to starting Finhive, Ms. Aggarwal was a senior executive at leading software and healthcare companies working on consulting, corporate and sales strategy, and business analysis. She is a Certified Scrum Master and has developed a unique Agile approach to business and personal finance. Sumeit’s application of Agile approach breaks down the financial tasks into manageable units and builds on these successes to achieve overall financial goals.
She is a board member of American India Foundation and Lexington chamber of commerce. She has presented financial topics at several external events, including 2022 Teen Summit (CWE), Babson Center for Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (CWEL), Stephen Cutler Center for Investments and Finance, Global Women’s Innovation Network, Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She is a mentor to young students and professionals at Babson College and Northeastern University.
Ms. Aggarwal earned a community leader award from Pepperlane in 2018 and was a finalist in the Northeastern University’s IoT competition for her innovative virtual reality financial design in 2018. She earned her MBA from Babson College and was featured by Babson for fighting the gender investment gap. She holds a Master’s degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University and a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Delhi University. She is a Nearpod Certified Educator, an award-winning student engagement platform.
Here is a Q/A with Ms. Aggarwal, who will honored at the Woman of the Year Awards Gala at Burlington Marriott Hotel in Burlington, MA, on April 14, 2023. To buy a ticket for the gala, please click here.
INDIA New England News: Please tell our readers about your work and what you enjoy most about it?
Sumeit Aggarwal: As the co-founder and Managing Partner of Finhive, my goal is to empower women to take control of their financial futures. After a career in corporate America, I founded Finhive in 2017, a social enterprise dedicated to working with women-owned startups in financial planning, strategy, and management of financial risks. I also teach personal finance to young adults and women. I am deeply passionate about embedding personal values into finance, and frequently present on related topics including sustainable investing, financial health, and narrowing the gender wealth gap.
Money can have a very strong hold in people’s lives whether it is for a company they are running or balancing their family’s check book. It is also a taboo topic in many households especially when it comes to girls and women. Most families feel uncomfortable talking about their finances, and as a result, they don’t. Most adults grow up having never had someone teach them about money management. That’s where I provide them support through Finhive.
Working with individuals and business owners is what I enjoy most. My work involves having deep conversations about money with my clients – building and managing cashflows, investment strategies, risk management, and more. I provide an outlet to women that gives them permission to break their financial barriers and beliefs that they grew up with. It gives me great satisfaction to see the relief on their faces when they hear that it’s never too early or too late to take charge of their financial lives.
INE: What does success and failure mean to you?
SA: I like to think of success as achievement of mini wins – small steps towards a larger goal. Success means achieving those small steps one-by-one and celebrating the wins as I accomplish them.
I believe failure is an essential part of one’s personal and professional growth. I embrace failure as a positive outcome when trying something new. It’s an opportunity to learn from and achieve success in the future.
INE: The one thing you attribute your success to?
SA: Values that I got from my parents. They taught me that there are no shortcuts in life. One must work hard and work smart in order to have self-respect and feel valued. These values have taken me far in my life. Not a day goes by when I am not fully committed to my work, my clients, my family, and my community.
INE: To which charitable, community and professional group do you belong and why?
SA: Giving back to the society is important to me, and I built it into the mission of Finhive. It helps me to stay connected and committed to building strong and resilient community. I am fortunate to have formed strong connections to many organizations. Let me provide you a few examples.
As an outreach committee member of Community Endowment of Lexington (CEL), I work with not-for-profits in getting to know their challenges and find ways CEL can support them, including supporting local artists, recent immigrants to our town, food security, etc. I am also an advisory board member of America India Foundation (AIF) – where we are working on causes in India such as education, healthcare, and livelihoods – with a special focus on women, children, and youth.
On the professional organizations, I serve on the board of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce to be an advocate for Lexington businesses. I am also a charter member of and Angel investor with Tie-Boston. I am an active angel investor in women owned companies providing them capital at early stages of their startups. This gives me an opportunity to extend my mission to helping women owned companies.
INE: In what way you feel you have most positively influenced or served the local community and your company/organization and professional field.
SA: I have always believed in individuals retaining control of their lives and the power of self-advocacy. Founding Finhive has given me a platform to create conversations with professional women around meaningful work, better work hours, better paycheck, and other workplace issues. I talk to them about financial literacy, narrowing the gender wealth gap, and pay gap as a universal topic that has direct impact on their sense of self-worth beyond just financial metrics. Since Finhive’s founding a few years ago, I have reached audiences across the globe and delivered programs in over 35 countries.
I also mentor graduate students from my alma maters – Northeastern University and Babson College. I have had students come up to me to tell me the difference this mentoring experience has made in their careers. The truth is that I have gained as much from these young, smart, ambitious mentees as they have from me, which is truly rewarding.
INE: Any aptitude/gift or talent that not many people know about you?
SA: Early on my life, I realized that performing and visual arts was not going to be my calling! Instead, I have found that cooking is my real métier. We have a lot of dietary restrictions in my family – ranging from nut and shellfish allergies to gluten intolerance – you name it and we likely have it. I have decided to take this challenge head on.
Over the years, I have built a rhythm and fortitude to cook from scratch and even try new recipes out of magazines, all the while making adjustments to accommodate our family’s specific needs. I will leave it to your judgment if it qualifies as a talent, but this is sure something I am proud of. One marker of success for me is compliments from my mother-in-law. When even your mother-in-law compliments the cooking, you start to believe it (chuckle)!
INE: What are your hobbies and interest?
SA: I like to travel, go on hikes, family biking trips, and as a foodie I love to try new flavors and experiment with new recipes. But what I am really enjoying these days is playing softball in the spring. It’s a sport I picked up a few years ago, and, though I am still learning, I find it the perfect ‘me’ time on Sunday mornings.
In a similar vein, I also enjoy game nights with my family. We are a big board game family and although it can get competitive, it gives us a chance to find time together during our busy schedules.
INE: Your favorite books?
SA: The Secret Garden by Francis Hodgson. It was recommended to me by a dear friend of mine and I had heard the references for a long enough time that I had to read the book. And I am so glad that I did. It’s a wonderful, heartwarming story of a young girl who loses her family but ultimately finds peace and friendship in a garden on her uncle’s estate. The girl goes through a transformation that invites all of us to explore and appreciate the nature around us.
Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. This book uses multiple stories to highlight that for a talent to be discovered, a series of perfect coincidences have to occur. What gave me hope while reading the book was that positive serendipity can happen to any of us.
INE: Your favorite quotes?
SA: “You must look within for value but must look beyond for perspective.” –Denis Waitley, Motivational speaker.
“Coming up with an idea is the least important part of creating something great. … The execution and delivery are what’s key.” – Sergey Brin, Computer scientist and entrepreneur
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou, American author and poet
INE: The one person you would like to meet and why?
SA: I really would have liked to meet my Nanaji – my mother’s father – a pioneer ahead of his time. He made sure that each of his daughters got great education, not just high school, but all the way to master’s degrees. I understand it was not easy to support girls’ education at that time, but he got them high education, which transformed my mother’s life, and I believe indirectly my life.
INE: Your core value you try to live by?
SA: The core value I try to live by is my work ethic. I strongly believe that people deserve the best version of you.