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: 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.
SINJA RÜBERG WIEDERSEINER
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.
Education: Dipl. Hôtelière-Restauratrice, Swiss School of Tourism and Hospitality, Passugg
Languages spoken: Italian, German and English.
With Swiss-Lebanese roots, Letizia’s interest in different cultures, led to her education in Hospitality and work in the hospitality and event industry in Switzerland. In her role as Manager in charge of placements in the catering industry, Letizia sees the challenges faced by young women in the service industry. She truly believes in what HEMLATA stands for and is passionate about helping young women in India to find the same opportunities as their counterparts in the western world.
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.
Education: Studying Interdisciplinary Sciences BSc, ETH, Zürich
Languages spoken: English, French, Dutch, German, Russian
Chloé’s 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.