Small business

Trading Places: How this entrepreneur is taking the risk out of the share market

- February 28, 2024 4 MIN READ


Over the past few decades, women have made massive strides in financial independence. More women are starting their own businesses. More women are managing the fine balance of working and caring responsibilities. Women are making their mark in industries typically dominated by men. One of those industries is trading.

Women are challenging entrenched norms and reshaping industries historically dominated by men. These disruptors are changing the status quo and leading the way. People like Gagan Sodhi. After many years of trading and learning all she can about trading, Gagan would often find she was the only woman in a trading course. Spearheading the creation of MT5 Trade Ready, Gagan saw a way to help traders minimise their losses and make trading accessible to more people.  But Gagan has always been a disrupter. Her journey is a tale of cultural transitions, personal challenges, and unwavering determination.

Gagan, originally from a traditional Indian household where the role of a woman is clearly defined, embarked on a transformative journey when she moved with her husband to Australia in 2007. This shift, from the comforts of a home with servants to the unfamiliarity of handling household chores in a new country, marked a profound cultural shock.

“With an academic background in IT and computer science from India, I didn’t envision a career immediately after marriage,” she said. “However, Australia presented unforeseen opportunities that would shape my professional trajectory,” she said.

“I emerged as a bit of a rule breaker, challenging conventions amidst the backdrop of cousins following traditional paths and fulfilling expected family obligations.

“Despite my family’s roots in India, where cultural norms suggested that as a woman, I need not work, my aspirations reached beyond the expected roles of studying, obtaining a degree, marrying, and raising a family.”

The winds of change beckoned in 2006 when Australia became the canvas for a new chapter in Gagan’s life.

“Australia, with its stark differences from my Indian upbringing, became both a challenge and an opportunity, with my husband offering reassurance that our life here held untapped potential,” Gagan said.

Culture shock

Moving to Australia without the familiar embrace of family marked a significant shift. “The cultural shock reverberated as we compared our lives in Australia to the comforts of our parents’ homes in India. Paying money to the government, managing our household chores, and even washing dishes became bewildering tasks in this new reality,” Gagan explained.

The juxtaposition of studying alongside household duties created an overwhelming situation, prompting Gagan to question her role and purpose. The initial carefree living in a rented house masked the reality that funds would eventually run out.

“As financial constraints tightened their grip, I found myself considering drastic measures, like pawning a cherished bracelet to make ends meet. The urgency of the situation hit home when the pawn shop owner warned me that he would keep it if not retrieved by evening. Thankfully, I managed to gather the necessary funds in the nick of time,” Gagan said.

Reflecting on her mother’s sacrifices for her education added another layer to these challenges. “In our hometown, girls typically studied in our language, with English relegated to a mere subject,” Gagan explained.

“However, my mother envisioned a different trajectory for me, one that involved breaking tradition and convincing my father-in-law to allow me to study in English. Her determination manifested in walking kilometres to pick me up when local buses were unavailable, showcasing a commitment that paved the way for the opportunities I have today.”

An educational maverick

Gagan’s educational journey has laid the foundations for her move into trading software. “With a Bachelor’s in Computer Science, Masters in IT and a second Master’s degree at Victoria University in Melbourne, specialising in Business and SAP, I have explored many professional landscapes—education, trading, IT, business, and investing,” she said.

“For over a decade, I wore various managerial hats in the Australian education sector, channelling my passion to guide students and educators toward academic excellence.”

Then the trading industry beckoned, revealing many learning tools, particularly for MT4. This observation sparked a determination to create innovative solutions, culminating in the development of the MT5 Simulator.

“Driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, I invested nearly $50k in studying Forex and trading. Engaging in courses facilitated by notable figures such as Greg Seckor, Timothy Sykes, ICT, and Raja Banks, I witnessed firsthand the struggles of traders losing hard-earned money,” Gagan said.

“This experience, coupled with industry experts’ calls for robust risk management tools, catalysed my decision to take action.”

Gagan’s foray into trading projects had begun. She offers traders a haven to rewind time and practice live historical data, including news events.

Helping derisk trade

“This project is a guardian angel for traders, providing a valuable risk management tool to minimise overtrading and excessive risk-taking,” Gagan explained.

The genesis of MT5 Trade Ready sprang from Gagan’s personal struggles with overtrading and risk management in the trading arena.

“With a dearth of products addressing these concerns, I wanted to create a solution,” Gagan said.

What ensued was a rigorous six-month journey involving over 100 iterations to develop the initial version of the software.

At its core, MT5 Trade Ready serves as a risk management tool, designed to limit users to a specified number of trades per day, making it highly customizable.

“The software sets out to disrupt the prevalent culture of overtrading and financial loss in the industry,” Gagan said. ‘It’s a safety mechanism, like red lights on roads, intended to mitigate risky behaviour.

“By helping traders manage their risk, I also see the platform having positive ripple effects, extending beyond traders’ finances to encompass family dynamics and well-being,” she said.

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