As the Head of Decision Models at ANZ Bangalore, I currently lead the Advanced Risk Modeling team with capabilities ranging from retail decision modeling to models implementation. I am responsible for all retail decision models globally - with responsibilities ranging from conceptualization of projects to prioritization of projects to delivery and stakeholder engagement. Prior to the current role, I was a Senior Delivery Manager with ANZ Bangalore. Prior to working in ANZ, I worked in consulting and banking roles with FICO (also known earlier as Fair Isaac), Symphony Services and ICICI Bank in the area of advanced predictive analytics. Throughout my career, I have worked with clients and financial institutions globally in USA, Canada, Mexico, Spain, India, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Egypt, Korea, UAE, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan. I hold a Bachelors Engineering degree in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur and a Management Post Graduate degree from IIM Calcutta.
Decisions That Mattered
The first important decision was to choose the industry I am in today. My love for numbers and after a careful consideration, I decided to pursue my career in this industry. Building effective project management skills has been another key success factor. Taking in charge on my current role has been another major decision as it required me to move from management of projects and people to management of teams. The Turning Points
Moving between banks and consulting organizations has given me a good picture of how things work within a bank, how different organizations use analytics to manage their decisions and an appreciation for the differing challenges and opportunities that exist in the banking industry. The other major inflection point was when I took on the current role, which is more of a leadership role than my previous technical roles. This has helped me develop strategic thinking and helped me in engaging at a broader level. Work and Role: Then and Now
My current job as Head of Decision Models at ANZ Bangalore involves managing the advanced risk modeling team in Bangalore. I have accountability for delivery to internal stakeholders, day to day management, financial management, development and engagement of the overall team at the Bangalore campus. The current job involves several leadership, strategic and management components in addition to the more functional and technical components. My earlier roles as a project manager have been more tilted towards the consulting and technical aspects. Two Years Down the Line
I would like to keep developing a deeper understanding of the subject by learning what is being applied elsewhere. I see myself as an enabler to apply analytics in solving more and more business problems.
Changing Days: Lessons Learnt
One has to remain focused on what he wants to get from his career and to look for the right industry and job that provides that and not to get derailed by minor distractions. Money is a requirement, but should not act as a primary motivation. Motivation should come from the work itself and the learning opportunity; there is no substitute for hard work. If these are in place, other things will automatically follow.
What I learnt Along the Way
When I started in this industry, analytics was still in its nascent stage in India. Organizations had just started recognizing the potential value addition that business intelligence could have for the businesses, which has been there for quite some time in more developed economies like the US. There were a limited number of people employed in analytics in India. Today, there is much more understanding around business intelligence and analytics. Analytics is applied vastly in the Indian Organizations and several MNCs are recognizing the talent available in India to do this. It is a very real career option today.
Trends to Watch Out For
The industry is information based, which in turn is built on data. The increasing focus in the industry is to have the right data, store and manage it properly, so that it can be used effectively. There are newer systems that are helping organizations manage the data and how to operationalize the usage of the data in real time strategies. From a career stand point, it is important to keep oneself aware of the recent innovations and trends in the business intelligence and analytics industry. My Advice If You are Starting Out
Keep an open mind, spend the initial years in learning and soaking in knowledge and keep yourself abreast of the industry trends. Areas of Specialization
Data mining, predictive modeling, data warehousing and strategy engines which use the data to operationalize strategies will likely be key areas in BI that will continue to have future appeal. Do We Need Certifications?
While I do not hold any specific certifications apart from my educational degrees, certifications do have the potential to add significant value in terms of the learning. It helps in creating the learning focus for people to specialize in specific niche skills. Certifications like the ones on SAS tools are quite sought after. From a knowledge perspective, Financial Risk Management (FRM) is also a good and highly valued certification especially in the financial services industry.