As the CEO and founder of Tala, Shivani Siroya is revolutionizing the future of finance. Tala’s inaugural product is a lending app that “instantly underwrites and delivers credit to customers who have little or no formal borrowing history.” To date, Tala has disbursed over $1B to more than 4 million customers across East Africa, the Philippines, Mexico and India who use loans to start and expand small businesses, pay school fees and bills and build more stable financial lives. “In my professional life, I have two great loves: numbers and people’s stories,” says Shivani. “These two passions have helped me both identify a massive problem — gaps in the financial system — and how to address it.”
Whether by expanding access, choice and control to Tala customers across the globe or building a leadership team that’s 50 percent women, Shivani wants to show that a different way is possible. It’s also what she brings to the table as a leader. “As Tala has scaled, I’ve continued to surround myself with a diverse group of people to ensure we are learning from each other; it’s always been important to me that our company culture reflects the world we’re trying to build,” Shivani says. “I want to prove that we can be visionary and successful — not in spite of doing things differently, but because we are different.”
The Hall of Femme honoree has built Tala on what she calls Radical Trust: the fundamental belief in people and their potential. “All people deserve equal access to products and services to allow them to build the lives they want. But we don’t all start from the same place because of a trust deficit created by systems, industries and economies that weren’t designed for everyone to succeed,” Shivani explains. “Radical Trust puts people at the center of our decisions, from our customers to our team, so that we can create a more equitable future.”Find Shivani on Twitter.