Renu Mehta is a socialite and uber rich heiress with an uncanny ability to unite the wealthy to help her change the world. Renu is the daughter of Indian textiles tycoon Vijay Mehta. Brought up in the family home in Chigwell, Renu studied at the London College of Fashion, then modelled for 18 months before joining her family’s fashion firm Sphere, which supplies stores such as Topshop. By night she was a regular fixture in London’s hottest clubs.
By the time she hit 35, she started to become bored with the glitz and glamour saying, “I didn’t feel satisfied with my life. I hadn’t achieved anything meaningful.”
When the former model swapped her jet-setting fashion career for fundraising, she was already armed with an address book of the world’s most rich and famous.
In 2006 she founded the Fortune Forum, a campaigning organisation that acts as a kind of match.com for charities and billionaires.
In a testament to her pulling power, the party was launched by the 42nd President of the United States, Bill Clinton, Michael Douglas and Yusef Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens). It was attended by a mix of charity heads, billionaires, politicians and celebrities. A huge success the event raised £1.1 million.
Since the founding of Fortune Forum, the “umbrella charity” has directly assisted over 50 charitable organisations by giving them opportunities to raise profile and funds through the Fortune network and star-studded events.
Through Fortune Forum and alongside Sir James Mirrlees (who Mehta hooked as the Forum’s policy advisor), Mehta has made a number of policy recommendations that have been adopted by the UK government.
The unlikely duo united in their joint pursuit of dramatically increasing the volume of aid, optimizing its effectiveness and by applying appropriate accountability of these funds.