Who I Am
I was born and bred in a suburb of northeast London called Hornchurch. My parents are from Sualkuchi, Assam, and brought my brother and I up to have strong Assamese roots, while embracing British values. My parents instilled the principles of showing respect and giving back to others from an early age, and it’s this philosophy that I live by today.
Coming from a South Asian background, education was important in our household, but equally so was music and dance. After all my father is a retired cardiologist and mother a classical Indian singer and dance choreographer, so it was only natural to develop an affinity for both disciplines. I played the electronic organ when I was younger and trained in the classical Indian dance forms of Bharata Natyam and Xattriya. I love to paint, and travel, and enjoy immersing myself in different cultures and customs.
Life and career brought me across the pond to New York City, where I live with my husband, children, and puppy.
How it Began
My Career Journey
I am an award-winning, gender, diversity, inclusion and career strategist, speaker, mentor and advisor to Fortune 500 companies, and founded Uma in response to my personal journey of motherhood, transitioning careers and entrepreneurship. I am passionate about empowering women and minorities around the world. Prior to Uma, Rita I Business Development globally in CNS healthcare, and I began my professional career at Goldman Sachs in London, where I was awarded the prestigious Excellence in Citizenship and Diversity Award. I am also a Distinguished Alumna of King’s College London and serve on the Advisory Council of King’s Business School. I am also an honoree of the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from US President Joe Biden and also a three-time winner of the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and judge for the Middle East Awards. I hold an Honorary Doctorate of Humanities from Commonwealth University and am the recipient of multiple international awards and accolades for my work in furthering gender equality, diversity and inclusion, youth and women empowerment. I am also a TV show host, frequent media contributor, and have authored books on empowerment, entrepreneurship, business and leadership. My latest book is The Goddess of Go-Getting.