India harbors a most lucrative financial market. My tryst with the mortgage business taught me that in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, nearly 70% of the population still lacks sound knowledge about finances, and depends on traditional banking systems. I want to design, develop and market easy-to-access financial products for this audience. This is both my short-term and long-term goal, and I believe that IIM B’s EPGP will empower me to achieve this ambitious milestone.
Post EPGP from IIM B , I envision myself as a Product Manager – MSME Division, in any financial institution. My plan is to conceive simple lending products that enable micro-entrepreneurship and create local employment opportunities. I want to work closely with the Operations and Tech teams to deliver quick time-to-market goals and product launches, using optimal resources. While aligning with customer service will help me build and maintain a strong customer experience, marketing products directly and via partners will help me target the appropriate benefactors.
Across my career, I have gained knowledge about different lending techniques, local market practices, risk management methods, negotiations and relationship building strategies. Within months of joining ICICI Bank as BSM-Mortgage, I started handling 7 spoke locations and around 15 branches. I set up a new team, supporting and motivating them to increase the numbers. Due to my performance, I got promoted, won the BoW (Best of West) contest twice, and became the Best Home Loan (HL) RM in MP. Eventually, I shifted to Indore, where again, I was allotted branches with zero business. After identifying that the cause of suboptimal numbers was a lack of knowledge about HL products among employees, I decided to train them individually for 15 mins daily. The personalized approach worked and all the branches generating profits within 3 months.
In the long run, I would require strategic thinking and planning, commercial awareness, and the ability to integrate technology into business, to succeed. EPGP will help me develop these skills through programs on responsible leadership, organizational management, and decision-making in marketing. Besides building fundamentals through courses in operations, marketing and economics, I look forward to electives such as New Enterprise Financing, Risk Management, Rural Banking and Financial Institutions and New Product Development.
At EPGP, the demographically diverse crowd will widen my perspective, the case-study teaching methodology will help me find solutions to real problems, and a powerful alumni network will provide me with better business deals and funding prospects. I intend to take up a position of responsibility in the Finance club, with a dual objective of increasing participation of the cohort in discussions related to finance and banking, and, enhancing the interactions between students, alumni in related field, and recruiters so that my classmates can better prepare and position their profiles during recruitment. By visiting our partner schools in either Brazil or South Africa, I hope to get exposed to the innovative business models started in these countries (similar markets to India) to improve financial inclusion.
However, learning is not a one-way street. So, I want to contribute to the cohort by enlightening them about the traditional lending industry and the humungous amount of change that technology can bring in making the system more efficient. Also, how FinTech can help in scaling business in Tier 2 and 3 cities. I will empower my team by motivating them to use their strengths, challenging them to think outside the box and pushing them beyond their limits.
After gaining progressive experience, my long-term goal is to acquire a senior leadership position in an indigenous banking institution. The big idea is to head their complete lending portfolio!