Playing mentor to EMC Corporation’s senior executives in SVP’s corporate engagement program led Strategy Consultant Stuthi Vijayaraghavan to work closely with ReapBenefit, a foundation involved in engaging youth and children to create tangible environmental and civic impact. The relationship reaped benefit when she joined its advisory board to help them scale. “This is why I am happy to be part of SVP. It takes you on these journeys you never thought about,” she says. Apart from being involved in the corporate engagement program and spearheading partner education in the Chapter Management Committee, Stuthi is also responsible for ringing in some happy hours in the lives of super-busy SVP Partners. She is the force behind the bimonthly Partner Mixers, an informal meetup where partners get to know each other, catch up and introduce family and friends to the network.
How did SVP help you as a philanthropist?
You want to do social good, but you often don’t know what the avenues available are where you can add value. There is a cause you like or feel about – in India, there is no dearth of them – but you don’t know how strongly, or what role you can play. SVP gives you a large canvas to explore and experiment. It gives you an understanding of different organizations and people. Even within the partner network, there is so much diversity. Each is thinking so differently and as you see that, you start thinking how you would want to engage with it.
How did the corporate engagement program influence you?
As you get to work with different social organizations and learn about the work they do, you start evaluating if there is any challenge or opportunity in this that I am interested in. It is not that superficial ‘I am affected by it’ reaction of a lay man. You move to the next level of engagement. When you start on these journeys, that is when it becomes real.
What excites you about the Partner Mixers?
Our monthly meetings are breakfast meetings with everyone rushing out to their offices or homes as soon as it gets over. We are a diverse set of partners, and there is a lot we can learn from each other if we get to know each other, and share our personal stories. We have partners who are operational heads and CEOs; we have others who are working in different capacities in the social sector as well. When you hear all these different kinds of personal stories during Partner Mixers, you start thinking about how you would engage for the next 20 years of your life. It gives you a new direction.