27 Jan 2021 15:56 IST

‘MBA was a turning point in my career’

Shulin V K Satoskar, TAPMI alumnus, currently works with Aditya Birla Wealth

Ethics are given importance in a high-pressure corporate environment compared to productivity

Shulin V K Satoskar, an MBA and Gold Medalist from T A Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), Class of 2016, and engineering graduate from PCCE, Goa, is a research professional. He has four years of experience in telecommunications and software development and four years of experience in research, products development, and wealth management.

How did you decide to pursue the management field after engineering?

MBA was a carefully thought out move. I wanted to have a dual-competency in the fintech domain. While my love for physics drove me towards electronics and telecommunications engineering and it strengthened my analytical skills and coding skills, I was quick to realise that engineering alone wouldn’t propel me towards my goals.

My inclination towards wealth creation and capital markets, complemented my engineering degree, and drove me towards an MBA in finance.

Describe your work experience before you enrolled for an MBA?

After gaining reasonable tech know-how and with two to three years of experience up my sleeve, I started my preparations for an MBA. When I joined TAPMI, I had around four years of work experience with Sasken Communication Technologies and L&T Infotech in telecom and network development role.

What does your role entail currently and how has the pandemic affected the nature of your job?

Post MBA, I worked in research, products development, and wealth management, with CRISIL and National Stock Exchange (NSE). In my current role with Aditya Birla Wealth, my key responsibilities are equity, sectoral/thematic research, macro outlook, product evaluation in mutual funds, PMS/AIFs, model design and automation, and client interactions to build Assets Under Management (AUM). The role achieves a fair balance between core finance and technology, keeps me agile, and supports regular skill upgrades.

There is a growing impetus on 3Ds — De-globalisation, Diversification and Digitisation — driven by the pandemic. The organisation has always looked upon technology as an enabler and hence we were relatively well-prepared. While it involved more ‘in-person’ interactions earlier, the pandemic induced focus on ‘going digital’ rationalised costs and improved scalability through virtual interactions, webinars, and con-calls.

Looking back at both your engineering degree and your MBA, how would you say that it is helping you in your work life and career now, if at all?

Engineering and MBA skill sets have helped achieve synergy in a variety of ways. Analytical, statistical, and programming skills acquired during engineering aid me to design and develop granular, lucid, and insightful presentations, and detailed analytical research reports that bring something ‘new to the table’ and involve ‘out of the box’ thinking. Dynamic strategies in wealth management can only be designed and implemented with analytical backing, and proposed to clients in a cost-efficient manner.

Nowadays, clients demand much more for almost the same in return; margins are getting crunched. In a pre-Covid world, I roughly had only one or two client interactions in a day, but in the post –Covid, tech-enabled era, this figure is as high as five to six, and sometimes caters to an even bigger audience of 50 and above.

What are the B-school learnings that you are applying to in your work?

TAPMI is known for its academic rigour and emphasis on work ethic and personality development. Carefully designed courses in finance, statistics and investing, are market relevant. Infrastructure facilities such as Bloomberg labs and simulation exercises helped us become industry-ready. In a highly ranked college, what differentiates you from your peers, is your work ethic, positive attitude, ability to innovate, and build networks. TAPMI helped inculcate these pivotal values in me.

While analytical ability and productivity are critical, ethics and teamwork are given high importance in a high-pressure corporate environment.

Do you think there was something missing when you did your engineering and MBA that you feel should have been included/taught?

One of the worst health crisis in recent times has highlighted the importance of upskilling, being nimble-footed, and agile. It has compelled schools and colleges to re-design their curriculum. While I was lucky to have a software background, I believe courses on data science, data analytics, automation, machine learning, and artificial intelligence/ANN will be a pre-requisite in the future, and B-schools will have to incorporate it in their course material. Several organisations have made these skills preferable/mandatory.

What would you like to say to students looking to pursue an MBA?

The MBA has been a turning point in my career and catapulted me into achieving my goals. The MBA curriculum grooms you into a well-rounded personality, with professional and interpersonal skills. While graduates with work experience bring with a unique set of strengths, freshers tend to be raw ‘unpolished diamonds,’ who can be nurtured into competitive professionals.