Home Bot CategoriesGlamLife's Beautiful RUPA LAXMI SHAH – MAKING AN IMPACT


by wowmagazine

Rupa Laxmi Shah is a non-profit executive with over 10 years of experience working overseas. She is now the Head of Philanthropy for a STEM and creative coding organisation called Scratch, which was born out of the MIT Media Lab. Rupa has helped grow the organisation from a seven-million-dollar annual budget to 23 million dollars in the last two years.

Her background is specifically in the philanthropy sector and she has raised over 500 million dollars in fundraising campaigns, and collaborated on projects over two billion dollars over her career.

In 2019, she moved back to Nepal to work with Dr. Bhagawan Koirala and launched a 15 million dollar fundraising campaign to help establish Kathmandu Institute of Child Health (KIOCH), Nepal’s first philanthropically supported non-profit children’s hospital. She has a Master’s degree from Cornell University and Executive Education from Harvard University. 

Rupa also mentors graduate students at Cornell University where she also teaches fundraising class to Masters level students. Her interests are outdoors activities and following cancer research through her husband who is a research scientist at MIT.

WOW’s Anushka Shrestha talks to the change maker to know what makes her life beautiful.

What are you currently working on

Several work-related projects, the main one being expanding my organisation’s impact in APAC countries like Nepal.

What do you love about your work

I love knowing that my every day work makes an impact on children’s lives around the world. Scratch is a global non-profit with over 30 million kids using it around the world. Having a meaning and purpose to your work really makes a difference.  

What makes a person beautiful

His/ her thoughts, actions, empathy and compassion

What makes you beautiful

My thoughts, actions and the way I treat other people based on how I want to be treated

What makes life beautiful

Having a wonderful, kind and loving family and friends, being grateful to all that we have, and seeing everything in positive light

What tickles your funny bones

My husband, who is a forever comedian and knows how to make me laugh even when I am upset

What makes you smile

Seeing people being nice and kind towards each other. There are enough bad things going on in the world already.

Favourite comedian

Maha Jodi, of course. I grew up with their humour and I can always relate to it. Trevor Noah, because the current world affairs and his commentary is on point

Therapy for happiness

Family, friends, making an impact through work

Current perfume

Juliet Has a Gun – not a perfume brand, I love the subtle smell

You are addicted to

Being out in the sun and outdoors activities. Asian cuisine

You stay fit by

I eat healthy. I avoid rice and simple carbs at all costs, exercise and outdoors activities

Best year of your life

Now because there couldn’t have been a better time before this particular time and after 

Latest splurge



I love Laneige products


My ipad that I use for notes, Netflix, gym, reading and everything else

Style Icons

Emmanuelle Alt (French Vogue Editor), Giovanna Battaglia (Creative Director, Swarovski), Joanna Hillman, so many to name here

Always in your handbag


What do you do to unwind


Favourite holiday destination

Puerto Rico – my husband and I have wonderful memories of the place

You always struggle with…

Not holding my thoughts sometimes. I tend to speak my mind and get into trouble almost always

Best thing about being you

My passion for the impactful work I do. I love getting up in the morning with a sense of purpose and plan

Make up… can’t do without

Mascara, concealer and some blush! That’s all it takes

Favourite makeup brands

Make up Forever, Nars

Three things you absolutely do to look your best

I always iron my clothes. The best thing you can do to revive old and new clothes. I don’t like prints so I always wear something solid and colour block. Also, jewelry! I have a huge collection.

On a bad hair day

Always a bun. Tie up and buns are the best

What do you like doing in your spare time

Netflix and chill

Books or movies

Movies… but books sometimes if it keeps me engaged. 

Guilty pleasure

Doing nothing

Favourite place to eat in Kathmandu

Nina’s in Maharajgunj

One thing you can’t do without

Chapsticks. Probably because it’s winter and everything is dry

What advice would you give to your younger self

Believe in small victories. Take one step at a time

Celebrity crush

My celebrity crushes are doctors, scientists and others who actually make a difference in other people’s lives

A quote you live by

“You can be either bitter or better”

Have you ever been told to change something about yourself?

Nope and even if someone did, I ignored it. I’d never change anything about myself unless I had an epiphany

Movies that inspire you

Movies based on true stories, of struggles and successes.

Favourite cuisine

Korean or any Asian Cuisine.

Lockdown lesson…

How we take everyday life for granted

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