A decorated Leader building Countries, Companies and Communities | Riva Walia

Riva Walia

Managing Director

Riva Walia is an accomplished leader who has been recognized both in Canada and internationally. As the first woman of Indian origin in Canada to receive the prestigious Chevalier de L’ordre national du Mérite (Knight of the French National Order of Merit) from President Emmanuel Macron of France, she has demonstrated her commitment to strengthening bilateral trade relations between Canada and France, as well as promoting growth and innovation within the French business ecosystem. As the Managing Director of the France Canada Chamber of Commerce (Ontario), Riva has played an instrumental role in expanding and developing numerous French businesses in Canada by utilizing organic and inorganic growth strategies, such as mergers and acquisitions. Under her leadership, the Chamber has grown its roster to over 115 Fortune 500 and CAC 40 companies, achieving an impressive YoY revenue growth of 65% in 2022.

As a leader Riva’s goal is to make a meaningful and lasting impact on the countries, companies and communities she serves. 

She is focused on expanding the reach and influence of the France Canada Chamber of Commerce Ontario, establishing new partnerships and initiatives that promote bilateral trade, innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity. With her expansive knowledge of the market and proficiency in leveraging powerful C-suite connections, she has established four industry-focused Centers of Excellence to encourage collaboration between enterprises, as well as an influential CEO club called Les Lumieres which works to foster ideation for Franco-Canadian businesses.

Riva also led a $2Bn Transformation Program for Royal Bank of Canada during her 4-year tenure with the Bank. One of Riva’s most significant achievements is spearheading a project that brought together stakeholders from different countries and industries to expand Accenture’s activities in new locations globally including US, France, Philippines, UK, China, India and Canada. Through collaboration and innovative thinking, she set up Global Delivery Network for the companies to serve local partners while promoting sustainability and social responsibility. With a “I am proud of the success of this project and the role I played in it,” says Riva

An ESG Thought Leader

In addition to her exceptional business acumen, Riva is recognized as a thought leader in sustainability strategy, demonstrated by her accreditation from Harvard University. She has gone on to establish and chair the Sustainability Think Tank in Canada with leading CAC 40 companies, such as BNP Paribas, Société Générale, LVMH, Lafarge, Saint Gobain, Richemont, EDF, and Air France, as well as North American companies like Estée Lauder, TD Bank, AECON, and IBM.

As an Executive Member of the Board of the European Union Chamber of Commerce in Canada, Riva brings the voice of the business community to Brussels, with a focus on ESG issues. Riva has close ties to the Canadian Government, European Union, and the United Nations. Most recently, she has taken on an initiative to bring about policies and standardization in ESG reporting by corporations with the assistance of the Federal government.

Throughout her career, Riva Walia has been unwavering in her belief that effective leadership demands a collaborative and inclusive approach that prizes creativity, diversity, and innovation. As a seasoned leader in the development and expansion of organizations across multiple continents, Riva understands the importance of proactively identifying opportunities and synergies. By cultivating deep relationships with colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, she has been able to empower her teams to achieve their goals with confidence. Riva’s leadership style emphasizes growth, teamwork, and excellence, creating an environment where diverse perspectives are welcomed and valued, and individuals are able to flourish. Her commitment to inclusive leadership has had a profound impact on the organizations she has worked with, fostering a culture that inspires collaboration and drives success across all areas of the business.

A Champion for Women

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Riva is a passionate advocate for gender equality and diversity and inclusion in the business community. She is recognized for her efforts with the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Program and serves as a special advisor to the CEO for Women in Governance / La Gouvernance au Féminin, a leading North America Parity certification program. She is also a board member of the Breast Cancer Society of Canada and Les Dames Escoffier. Riva has championed gender equality by advocating for large companies in Canada to adopt the United Nations Women Empowerment Principles, and has worked with the Federal and Provincial government to create plans for new immigrant and refugee integration into the Canadian economy.

Riva is very passionate to support upcoming talent and provides mentorship to women to become best in class leaders of tomorrow. She also coaches entrepreneurs and young students at The Knowledge Society on how to use emerging technologies to elevate some of the world’s biggest problems and improve quality of life. “For me women empowerment holds utmost importance and through my experience and expertise, I work towards fostering an environment where collaboration and inclusive approach is adopted in order to create value for everything,” says Riva.

Fostering Inclusive Partnerships

Riva excels at building partnerships, bringing key stakeholders together, and understanding global trade ecosystems to drive results. She constantly seeks new information and perspectives as someone passionate about building partnerships in global ecosystems.

At the heart of Riva Walia’s leadership philosophy is a collaborative and inclusive approach that embodies creativity, diversity, and innovation. With extensive experience leading development and expansion efforts across multiple continents, Riva recognizes the importance of fostering a culture that values proactivity, relationship-building, and team empowerment. By continually identifying new opportunities and synergies, she has been able to bring out the best in her colleagues, partners, and stakeholders, empowering them to achieve their goals with confidence.

A continuous learning mindset focusing on value creation

“For the road ahead, I am excited to continue building partnerships and driving bilateral trade and partnerships. I am always seeking out new opportunities to learn and grow, and I look forward to taking on new challenges in the years to come. Additionally, I am committed to championing younger professionals especially Women so they can help lead the next generation of business leaders.”

“Global leaders inspire me and I try to imbibe their successful learnings for my personal and professional growth” she states. “My advice to other leaders is to never stop learning and networking. There is always more to learn, and by staying curious and building strong relationships, you can continue to drive positive value and make a difference in the world around us.”


" By focusing on People, Planet and Purpose, I strive to create economic growth between the two G7 democracies- France and Canada. It’s through inclusive leadership, we can truly create sustainable growth for countries, companies and communities."

Riva Walia

Managing Director

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