HEMLATA’s team is comprised of educated women, aged 19-69, representing 7 nationalities. Our Founder has worked in social impact for 2 decades. Being Swiss-Indian, she has an in-depth understanding of the socio-cultural context and gender norms in India.
SMITA SUCHDE GRUETTER
EMBA – Executive Management Degree – IMD, Lausanne, Switzerland
BA in Economics, Political Science and Law (India)
Diploma in Fashion Design – Parsons School of Fashion – NYC
As a young girl, growing up in India, Smita was influenced by her mother, HEMLATA, an ardent believer in the power of quality education, on whom the organisation is named.
Over two decades of active philanthropy in India have given Smita an in-depth understanding on how quality education along with sustainable support can impact the lives of the most vulnerable in India, especially young girls. She is committed to creating opportunities for this vulnerable group, to break their cycles of inter-generational poverty, to enjoy a life of dignity and purpose and to act as changemakers in their communities.
Smita’s professional education and her experience as a serial entrepreneur reflects in her structured, collaborative and impact-oriented approach to philanthropy. Her travels across India to meet and engage with local communities and to identify, evaluate and connect one on one with beneficiaries, has led her to create the HEMLATA 100 or H100, a social innovation project.
Education: Bachelor of Science in Physics and Business Administration – BSc. Chartered Financial Analyst – CFA
Languages spoken: English, German, French
Gillian is a partner and CEO of LABHA Investment Advisors SA since August 2005. 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.
Education: MA – Masters in Media Science, Biology and Political Science, Zürich University.
Languages spoken: German, English, French
Sandra has worked in media as a radio and TV host since 1988, moving to the PR department at Zurich Financial Service’s headquarter. In 2004, Stella turned entrepreneur and is currently owner, founder and CEO of Swiss Ladies Drive GmbH since 2007.
Sandra-Stella comes from a diverse family background with grandparents coming from France, Italy, Sweden, Germany – and Switzerland. She 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.
Education: Studying Interdisciplinary Sciences BSc, ETH, Zürich
Languages spoken: English, French, Dutch, German, Russian
With Dutch, French, British and Swiss roots, her diverse cultural background has led her to gain profound curiosity as well as respect towards the world’s different nations.
Passionate about advocating women’s rights and sustainability, Chloé is hoping, after having completed her university studies, to apply her scientific knowledge to solve real-world problems related to the two fields. She is delighted to be part of the HEMLATA team alongside inspiring and dedicated women to contribute to empowering India’s next generation.
Education: BSc International Relations and History, The London School of Economics and Political Science, UK. International Baccalaureate, Geitonas School, Greece
Languages spoken: Greek, English, French, Spanish, Arabic (conversational)
Anna has been born and raised in Greece. She recently completed her Research Assistantship at the World Bank, evaluating development projects in the Central African Republic. In summer 2018, she interned at the French Embassy in Athens, gaining an insight into the challenges and complexities of international affairs.
Anna aspires to work in the field of diplomacy and international organisations and has been actively engaged in various volunteer activities and always seeks to make a positive contribution to society. That is why she believes in HEMLATA’s purpose and vision in empowering the girls in India.
Languages spoken: German, English, French, Italian
Monique has been with the HEMLATA Foundation almost from the beginning.
She is now 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.
SINJA RÜBERG WIEDERSEINER
LIFE SKILLS COACH
Education: Coach / Consultant IBP and Coach / Organizational Consultant BSO (IBP Institute Winterthur, Switzerland / BSO accredited);
PhD Law (Magna cum Laude, University of Konstanz, Germany) and Attorney-at-Law (Germany)
Languages: German, English
Sinja is founder and CEO of Levista LLC, a coaching practice boutique in downtown Zurich focused on top executives and lawyers using innovative methods like integrative body psychotherapy and hypno-systemic technics. She conducts lectures and workshops in self-leadership, resilience and health as well as conflict resolution and target-oriented communication for individuals and firms. Sinja is member and lecturer of the student coaching program of University of St. Gallen. Prior to her current work, she has worked as an Attorney-at-Law and as a corporate lawyer in the insurance industry.
Sinja strongly believes in HEMLATA’s vision and purpose. For her, life skills are central building blocks for personalities, who then act in a committed and responsible way. She is extremely delighted and motivated to partner with HEMLATA to build up related necessary non-cognitive skills for the H100Intiative.