Smita leads Gray Matters Capital as its President & CEO and Board Member. She believes in the transformational power of business models that blend profit with purpose. She loves to work with teams aligned to a common vision and currently serves on many boards including the India Board of Worldreader.
Smita started her career in 2001, with India's largest private sector bank, ICICI Bank. She was on the start-up team of transformational consultancy Volans (UK) that helps social entrepreneurs. She headed Research and Performance Management for Community Banking with Standard Bank (South Africa) and was the first employee recruited to the India office of Gray Matters Capital. She architected and led edLABS that provides very early stage funding to “visionary edu-preneurs” for the development of disruptive solutions to education problems and brought behavioral design thinking to GMC that led to the launch of Calibrator.
Smita has a degree in Engineering and an MBA in Finance from India and a Master's in International Organization from University of Geneva. She has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the US with for-profit and not for profit institutions.
Raunak is the CFO of Gray Matters Capital(the Bank’s foreign investor company), where he is leading our new global education finance initiative - Global Edfin PTE Ltd incorporated in Singapore with a focus on creating markets for Education Finance and Value Added Services to disrupt the education ecosystems in South East Asia and Africa. He has work experience of more than 17 years across Finance, Due Diligence, Investment Evaluation, Transformation, Controllership, Project Management, Treasury, and Risk Assurance with MNCs, Consulting, Early Stage VC funded Technology led Payments co, Audit and Management Assurance Services firm and qualified Insolvency Resolution Professional from IBBI including global work experience of more than 20 countries across 4 continents.
His further work experience across multiple industries spans areas of Life Insurance, Financial Services, Payments, Insurance Broking, Manufacturing, FMCG, Industrials and IT Services.
Other diverse Experiences:
- Evaluate investments and operating business models in Fintech & Insuretech space;
- Execute Corporate actions such as demerger, acquisition, investments and strike off;
- Led Turnaround of a startup to sustain its business and focus on profitable products;
- Led Financial Transformation projects across Treasury, Fund Accounting, Financial Reporting, Procurement, Policy Admin system and Channel Management across the organization;
- Hands on ERP implementation project management experience - SAP and Oracle;
- Set up, management and review of Internal controls over financial reporting (Sarbanes Oxley) - across more than 20 countries;
- Set up and run the Internal Audit function for a 4000 people.
Esther is an Executive Director and the Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) of MTN Nigeria Communications PLC, a multinational corporation and Nigeria’s leading telecommunications brand. In this role, she provides leadership for best-in-class people management solutions and practices aimed at driving outstanding employee experience and support the achievement of strategic business objectives. A credible business leader with expertise in Human Resource Management and over 26 years industry experience spanning Consulting services, Education, Banking and Telecommunications.
She is an alumna of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife where she studied International relations; IESE Business School, Universite de Navarra, Spain where she earned an Executive MBA and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (MCIPM). She commenced her professional career with Andersen Consulting Lagos, working with clients in multi-sector companies to identify and proffer solutions to client-specific business problems. She also served on the Faculty of the prestigious Lagos Business School (LBS) of the now Pan Atlantic University, teaching and facilitating sessions in HR Management/Organisational Behaviour on full-time and Executive MBA programmes and Executive Management Courses.
Esther’s life mission is to live a life of impact and significance, influencing others to become the best they can be, while enjoying the ride. As such, she is passionate about creating an environment that inspires greatness and empowers people to unleash their potential to achieve personal growth while contributing to business results. She actively contributes her own quota to society by helping young professionals yearning for guidance to succeed through coaching and mentoring. An astute conference speaker, she facilitates human resources, leadership and faith workshops. She loves reading, listening to music, watching investigative/crime series in her leisure time and exploring new places.
Adetayo has a Bachelors’ Degree in Economics from the University of Ilorin, with over 30 years’ experience in the Insurance Industry. She is Chartered Insurance Broker as well as a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute of London (ACII) and a Certified Microfinance Banker.
Adetayo has served in an Executive Capacity in various companies including the Legacy Vineland Microfinance Bank, First Standard Insurance Brokers, Spring Life Assurance Company PLC, Industrial and General Insurance Company, African General Insurance Brokers, ADIC Insurance Companies. She was a Past Vice-President of the Professional Insurance Ladies Association.
Ms. Bunmi Lawson is the pioneer Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of EDFIN Microfinance Bank Limited. EDFIN prides itself as the first specialized Education Microfinance Bank with unique and well researched products and services tailored to cater for the needs of its customers and the Education Ecosystem. EDFIN Microfinance Bank under the eminent leadership of Bunmi Lawson officially commenced operations in April 2019 with its registered office at Surulere Lagos State and has projections to grow into a globally recognized bank of choice for education financial solutions in Africa. Its shareholders include Gray Matters Capital, an investment company based in the USA.
Ms. Lawson holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the IESE Business School, University of Navarra and is an alumnus of the Lagos Business School. She is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria and a Member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. She is also a Fellow of the following Institutes: Institute of Credit Administration of Nigeria, Institute of Credit & Collections Management of Nigeria and Association of Investment Advisers & Portfolio Managers of Nigeria.
She has attended several executive courses both locally and internationally at renowned institutions including Harvard Business School, INSEAD and the Boulder Institute for Microfinance and has successfully completed the CBN/CIBN Microfinance Certification Programme. She has presented several lectures/speeches both locally and internationally on Microfinance and other areas of capacity building for small scale industries and young entrepreneurs, SME Financing as well as been part of special workgroups on various issues for the development of the Nigerian economy.
Prior to joining EDFIN, Bunmi was the Managing Executive Director of ACCION Microfinance Bank, one of the largest Microfinance Bank in Nigeria, FATE Foundation Ltd/Gte, a leading business development service provider, a co-owner and Executive Director of VLA Lawrence & Associates, a Human Resources services organization and has over 34 years post graduate experience in finance, insurance, marketing, auditing and banking.
She is a mother with 2 lovely adult children.