Finance: In conversation with Ronak Sheth of IIFL Private Wealth

IIFL Wealth is a private wealth management firm that is part of the CovidActionCollab. We spoke to Ronak Sheth from IIFL Wealth to understand their efforts around the COVID-19 response.


What have been your key actions, initiatives and outcomes around the COVID-19 response?

IIFL has been doing multiple things. We have reached out to a couple of NGOs who are providing direct support for PPEs, capacity building support in hospital, food and relief to communities. We are providing support to Swasti, United Way, and donated nearly 2 crores to the PM care fund to support COVID-19 response. We have also opened up employee contribution, i.e. direct pay out to HR to enable nearly all 1000 employees. We have also signed up with Give India for India COVID-19 relief fund, through our partners and clients, and appealing to them to provide support. Our CEO Karan is part of different steering committees to generate awareness, raise money, and deploy funding.

So far, we have researched over 12 NGOs, and selected 2 NGOs based on their experience, credibility, intent, transparency and ability to ensure help to the community. Swasti has managed similar kinds of responses in the past towards the Tsunami and flood relief work. We did due diligence with both the NGOs before deciding to support them. These are very early days in the partnership, the sum of INR 25 Lakh that we provided to Swasti will get deployed to supply protective equipment, food and relief, etc.

What are your biggest learnings/challenges?

Too early to comment at this stage- we are learning everyday the effects of coronavirus, and the world is also learning along with us. We are gaining knowledge on how to eventually come out of this crisis through vaccine development, test and treatment, and tracking. The challenge is to ensure that those who have not been affected so far, remain unaffected. We must ensure that we communicate, engage and educate people in this regard.

Have any stories/insights emerged from the field or from your work?

We have deployed money. However, it is too early to see the outreach and impact. The learning so far has been that an NGO which is capable of doing fantastic work, is methodical, ensures supply chain management, and connects end to end services. We now have a 360 degree perspective on how to deploy knowledge in the marketplace.

How did you leverage the COVID Action Collaborative? How do you plan on doing so in the future?

We are primarily looking forward to the direct actions on-ground where direct deployment is possible. As a corporate we earmarked certain funds for the COVID-19 response. The original fund allocated was Rs. 1 cr., we ended up funding 2.5 crores. We may not do much beyond this. However, we are helping our clients and their companies to take up these supports directly to reach. Personally, my colleagues and I have posted the information shared by Swasti on our social media handles and have identified volunteers for the COVID-19 work. The efforts are to spread the news, ask people to come forward and connect with Swasti’s efforts. We intend to connect our clients to Swasti to leverage these efforts.


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