We’re Sruthi and Swathi, cousins and young professionals in business and design. Storytelling was at the heart of our childhood. Whether it be the enthralling dramas of Indian mythology, the whims of the olden days from our grandparents or laughs from our parents’ college years, storytelling is something we still find so central today. Storytelling brings us together, connects generations and inspires our choices.
As young Indian women, we saw an opportunity to showcase the narratives of South Asian women across various career paths, highlighting collective accomplishments and focusing on the untold - the perspectives on marriage, family, sexism and more that are often hidden behind closed doors. By focusing on the topics and factors that are typically stereotyped or unspoken of among South Asians, we aim to create a space for openness, bridge generational gaps and promote South Asian role models.
Shakti, pronounced “shuhk-tee” translates to power, might and feminine energy in Sanskrit. The fundamental creative instinct underlying the cosmos.
At its core, the word "shakti" represents the power within each of us. To be the best version of ourselves, to challenge our potential, and to make an impact on the world. We couldn't think of a better way to define what we're building here at Shakti Collaborative.
I’m an investor at ICONIQ Capital, where I focus on investing in growth-stage technology startups. I started my career at Goldman Sachs in their Tech, Media and Telecom Investment Banking group. Prior to that, I worked with the teams at Career Contessa, a career mentorship platform for women, and at Room to Read, a non-profit focused on literacy and gender equality in education. I graduated from The University of Chicago with a B.A. in Economics. Outside of Shakti and my day job, I serve on the board of Archbishop Mitty High School. I’m excited to be building a platform that inspires open dialogue, education and impact and in our community.
I’m currently a Product designer at Olo in NYC where I help power the mobile and online food ordering platforms for over 200+ restaurant chains. Prior to Olo, I designed mobile shopping apps at Branding Brand, and did strategy work at Bessemer Alliance in Pittsburgh. I graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with a B.S. in Information Systems and a minor in Human-Computer Interaction. In my free time, I’m an avid skincare junkie, reader, traveler, and foodie. I’m excited to grow our platform and empower future generations of South Asian women to break barriers and eradicate the stigmas in our community.
Riya Dange, Community Manager
I’m a scientist, writer, Harry Potter fanatic, and work in progress. I graduated from Duke University this May as a Neuroscience major and Linguistics minor. I currently work as a neuroscience research fellow in Washington, D.C. studying treatment strategies for schizophrenia. I’ve designed a research project and delivered a TEDx Talk on using empathy to empower sexual violence survivors. In my free time, I love traveling, writing, and learning as many new languages as I can. Through my work with Shakti, I hope to engage with, learn from, and help empower other South Asian women.