Smita Suchde Gruetter
Founder and Donor Partner
As a Philanthropist and an ardent believer in the power of quality education to break the cycle of inter-generational poverty, Smita leverages her multi-cultural background to champion the cause of the most vulnerable in India, girls, children and women. With a background in Economics, Political Science, Law (India) and Fashion (NYC), and a management degree from IMD, (Lausanne), Smita is committed to creating opportunities for this vulnerable group, to enjoy a life of dignity and purpose. At the same time, Smita’s professional experience as a serial entrepreneur, reflects in her structured, collaborative and impact-oriented approach to philanthropy.
Over two decades of active philanthropy in India have given Smita an in-depth understanding of the challenges, areas of potential impact, and how sustainable support can impact the lives of the most vulnerable. Her travels across India to meet and engage with local communities, identify, evaluate and personally monitor projects, and connect with beneficiaries has led her to engage and build her new project, the HEMLATA 100, that seeks to empower 100 talented girls from impoverished backgrounds, with full college scholarships, in their chosen fields.
As a young girl, growing up in India, Smita was influenced by her mother, HEMLATA. “My mother’s insistence on quality education and equality for girls inspired me, guiding me towards opportunities that have helped to transform my journey. “It is this very insistence on Quality education that we seek to provide, to the most vulnerable of all – the Girl.”
Mentorship and Peers Partner
Giada, a Coach and Project Manager, is passionate about working with people with different approaches and cultures.Education, according to her is not just a matter of technical skills, it’s a way to open minds, to get in touch with different realities, to learn to set goals and keep yourself accountable through hard times.
This is why, Giada, decided to join HEMLATA, to support the vision of HEMLATA 100, to accompany our girls in their journey through their college, by providing them a safe network of Mentors and Peers that they can rely on while taking the steps to achieve their goals.
Gillian Hollenstein, BSc., CFA
Gillian is a partner and CEO of LABHA Investment Advisors SA since August 2005. Gillian has degrees in Physics and Business Administration and is a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter holder. She built up the corporate actions department of Citibank, Zurich and was Jt. Head Value- & Strategy Funds (Vice President) Bank Julius Baer, Zurich.
Gillian was born in India and has been supporting the education of girls for many years. She is now looking forward to making a greater impact by working with the motivated and dedicated ladies of HEMLATA to be an enabler for change in the lives of talented Indian girls.
Sandra-Stella Triebl, MA
Sandra-Stella has degrees in Media Science, Biology and Political Science from the University of Zürich. Having worked in the media as a radio and TV host since 1988, she later moved to the PR department at Zurich Financial Service’s headquarter, heading the 200 years anniversary activities for the government of the Canton Aargau in 2003. In 2004, Stella turned entrepreneur and is currently owner, founder and CEO of Swiss Ladies Drive GmbH. Stella comes from a diverse family background and is aware that it is a precious privilege being born in Switzerland. This serial entrepreneur is supporting HEMLATA in its vision to make a difference to the lives of talented girls in India.
Monique has been with the HEMLATA Foundation almost from the beginning.
Monique is retired from the KLM Airlines Sales Team and lives in Zürich. Travelling and experiencing different cultures is a big part of her life and her journeys have led her to several visits in India.
Monique understands the challenges in this fascinating country and the importance of helping to make a difference in a young women’s life. This is why she continues to play an active part as a HEMLATA Team member.
Monika Mueller, BSc., MA
Social Media News
Monika was born in the UK with both parents coming from North India. Growing up in a multi-cultural society and a heavy emphasis on quality education from her parents, Monika studied a BSc Computer Science & Business and MA Fashion Marketing & Management and went on to pursue her dream job as a Fashion Buyer. Today Monika coaches other women with their style and personal branding. She has visited India many times and has seen first-hand the challenges facing women. This is why, Monika wants to help raise awareness and contribute to creating opportunities for these young women who can go on to change generations.