I realized my prime source of motivation at a very early stage in life – the satisfaction that comes after determinedly facing challenges and emerging victorious. Be it cricket match against a stronger team or a highly trained tennis player or a complicated puzzle, I would never give up till the goal of winning was achieved.
As I grew up to my teens, the same attitude reflected in my curricular and co-curricular pursuits at college and in my reaction to a financial crisis at home. The later taught me to think ahead and find solutions instead of giving up on plans; I thus started working part-time and continued with education. Those years developed the mental discipline for managing multiple responsibilities and time management was learnt hands-on. I also learnt to adapt my life in response to a frugal living and invest money wisely.
Over time the financial pressures eased out – my family was out of the trouble and I had evolved to be much more responsible compared to my peers. After extensive rounds of interviews, I was selected at ABC for a customer services opening despite the lack of the required technical background or relevant industry experience for the job. I handled live calls and gave solutions instantaneously to customers. In a short span of time, I grew to be a Team Coach responsible for training and mentoring more than 30 customer service agents. My success in increasing the Team productivity by 21% won over greater trust from seniors. I went on to setup a specialized “helpdesk” department that worked wonders for the company since we were able to handle high level of calls during the hurricane season and still meet the service levels as agreed with the Clients. I developed greater interpersonal and leadership skills since the special project was brought to life more by influence and teamwork than formal authority alone.
While working with customer service agents and peers, I realized the need for yet another specialized department. Project Transition Q was thus brought to life and had to be set up in company’s three locations – Mumbai, Pune and Gurgaon. A team of 12 members were thus led to deliver outstanding operational results in less than a year. The average ACD (Average call duration) reduced by 32 %, employee attrition during transition from the training to the “floor” (operations) reduced by 15% (average of past 3 Quarters), CSAT (Customer satisfaction) score increased from 2.5 to 4.1 in 3 month’s time, overtime hours clocked by agents reduced by 40% and the training period was brought down by 20%.
Over time and with introspection, I realized my acumen for numerical analyses and that my long term career vision was to succeed in the financial services sector. I thus went on to network extensively and join DEF as Assistant Manager. The opening was the best way to understand the financial structure of various businesses that we would audit. After executing record levels of audits (16 in place of 11 planned and within the allocated budget) for pan India retail banking, I won over the faith of senior management to be able to handle Corporate Audits as Deputy Manager.
The global economic recession in 2008 called for quick adaptation to challenges; my team continued to perform despite budgetary and skill shortages. I detected revenue leakages in excess of US$ 2.3 million in the department that year and led an 8 member team to conduct “’Clause 49” (a key regulatory requirement for Banks) internally and thereby reducing the cost by 23% (special outsourced agencies charged higher for such audits). The opportunity to lead and streamline processes for a range of complex audits enabled me to evolve to a seasoned professional in the field; I was promoted as Manager.
With this track record, my near term goal (Post-MBA) is to grow further in the financial services industry. I thus intend to leverage my expertise in the Banking and Financial services industry and gain employment in a global banking/ financial services corporation. Such an experience will broaden my perspective to face challenges in the global financial services industry and bring in unlimited opportunities to innovate and add value. As there are many financial services provided by Banking and Financial institutions, my long-term aspiration (over 5 years, post-MBA) is to deepen my understanding of functions such as Corporate Banking, Investment banking and Retail Banking, identify my core competencies in such a diverse industry and head one of these functions in a multi-national financial services corporation.
A Global M.B.A program from Strathclyde University – School of business is a crucial link towards actuating my career goals at this stage. The School’s approach of cultivating intuition through case studies in finance, strategy and other application areas will help me strengthen my fundamentals and develop well-trained entrepreneurial instincts. I stand to gain immensely through participation in challenging industry/consulting assignments and thus apply my learnings with the close guidance of highly experienced and qualified faculty. Specialist electives in banking and finance will enable me to gain a stronger, foundational foothold in my chosen area of endeavor. I also hope to equip myself with advanced analytical tools and techniques that will foster managerial efficiency.
The other area of importance to my goals is leadership development and international exposure. In addition to specialist courses in leadership development, ABC University provides the platform to interact with globally renowned faculty and a diverse student community and develop interpersonal skills and comfort on a global scale. It also opens up vistas for networking extensively with the vast alumni network and learning through seminars from global business leaders. ABC University’s School of Business is thus my most preferred destination pursing an M.B.A program.