Dipa's KeyNote

You can’t change the world, but you can change the world for one person 

People often talk about the “perfect storm”. My perfect storm happened one night in 2014 when I was driving home – in a thunderstorm – and came across two migrant workers who were trying to shelter from the rain.  Little did I know at the time that this encounter would be the start of my one-woman movement to fight for migrant workers in Singapore, the invisible heroes toiling hard to make Singapore the great place that it is. 


My keynote shows you that it’s ok to show compassion as nothing bad comes from doing good. Don’t overthink it, just start. Paralysis by analysis becomes the pitfall of an idea when it results in overthinking something that could be very simple.


My message is: Just go out and do it! When I started It's Raining Raincoats (IRR), people warned me that it could be risky. Nonetheless, I stood my ground and my one-woman venture has now grown into an organisation of 1500 committed volunteers. 

About Dipa

Dipa Swaminathan is an experienced Harvard-educated lawyer but is best known as the founder of an initiative to help migrant workers in Singapore, ItsRainingRaincoats. 


She took up the cause of migrant workers when it was not a glamourous issue. The story of her encountering two labourers caught in a thunderstorm on her street, taking them home, and saving one of them from a suicide attempt went viral in 2015 and eventually led to the birth of ItsRainingRaincoats (IRR). 


IRR has gone from two volunteers in 2015 to more than 1500 volunteers today, and more importantly, has galvanised the country towards this cause. To quote the Singapore Ministry of Manpower, “What was a one-woman initiative has now become a nationwide movement.”  


Dipa is a two-time recipient of the President’s Volunteerism and Philanthropy Award (2017 and 2020), has been included in Tatler Asia’s 100 Most Influential in the Impact Space for 2020, and has many other accolades to her name. 

Core Expertise



    Diversity & Equity


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