People Behind The Future: Priyanka Lilaramani
ENABLING THE FUTURE OF ASSET MANAGEMENT
Priyanka Lilaramani is driven by having an impact. Since launching Plinth – a platform for turnkey management of alternative asset classes – in 2017, the entrepreneur has taken on the challenge to digitise a multi-trillion-dollar industry to make it more transparent, accessible and liquid.
In 2018, she also acted as the CEO of HOLD, a cryptocurrency-backed lending and borrowing platform. “One of the reasons I was able to run two companies is they are in the same sphere,” she explains. “Plinth recognises the kinds of asset class that will be coming to the centre stage over the next three to five years. HOLD is professionalising cryptocurrencies – themselves, an emerging asset class. Both companies are pushing boundaries and laying the path for new things.”
As well as clearing the way for new technologies, Priyanka is keen to bring more women into the industry. “I can’t help but notice a lack of other women in cutting edge industries like digital asset management and cryptocurrencies. One of my challenges is building a company for what right now is a 95% male audience. But instead of getting discouraged by it, we are brainstorming initiatives that would actually diversify the industry.”
To do this, Priyanka will hold informal meet-ups and educational programmes. She is keen to have a lasting impact on the industry beyond building two successful companies. “If you chart my personal journey, I started in a small town in India, went on to study in top US schools, worked on Wall Street, and I’m now at Level39.
“Not just being here, but being an influencer is important.”
“For every girl who comes after me I want the journey to be much easier. Setting the right example for them is one of the things that really matters.”
Another of the biggest challenges facing Priyanka, and for any entrepreneur working at the cutting edge of technology, is having the confidence that your bet on the future is the right one. “When you are in an innovative industry, a lot relies on your view of the future. One of the scariest things is to take a step back and say, ‘What if I’m seeing this wrong?’”
A great source of comfort can come from having an engaged and empowered team around you. “I look for people who have a sense of ownership. That comes with loving what you do and taking pride in what you put forward – then it becomes easier.”