Alum of the Month

Sourajit Aiyer

Sourajit Aiyer

March 2015

London Program

March 2009 Intake

What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I did my Bachelors in Economics at Delhi University and then completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Management in Delhi. Before the UBS-Mountbatten stint in London, I was working for three years in financial and business research domain with Evalueserve in Delhi. It was a research and analytics company headquartered in USA with research centers in India, China, Chile and Romania.

What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I was keen to get overseas experience as that adds value to one's personal learning and exposure. I had been actively looking for overseas opportunities, and had got through a couple in Kuwait and Dubai. However, I decided not to pursue them as my mother got diagnosed with cancer at that time. Later, I read about the Mountbatten Programme, and the programme seemed a perfect fit to gather useful experience in finance with well-known brands like UBS and Deutsche Bank, in financial centers like London and New York. The pros involved presented a unique combination.

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I worked in UBS AG's London office in the Data Integrity team under Equities Trading Operations. This team worked for all the trading desks like Cash Equities, ETFs, Basket products, Foreign equities, etc across UK and EMEA regions. It managed, created and checked the securities reference data and pricing for the traders' books. The autonomy given was a great learning experience, and I developed speed in picking up new processes very quickly.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
I was in a small team comprising only four members, which meant the responsibilities and stakes involved in the work assigned to me were quite critical. That was a motivation which made me strive to deliver consistently on the requisite areas, and take full ownership of the tasks. Another moment was when our own team won the 1st prize in Mountbatten's Business Plan competition, presenting a business case on 'green-gym' business opportunity. We won a total cash prize of GBP 700.

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Some of us celebrated Durga Puja (an Indian-Bengali festival revering Durga, the Goddess of Power) with the local Bengali community in Camden Center opposite King's Cross. It was a super experience.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
Try doing new things. Only then will you learn more and add value to yourself. Take initiative to work across cities with people of different cultures and mentalities. That is itself a unique learning opportunity. Be open to new projects which you have not done before. Employers love that. Work in both team-based and individual projects, to build the requisite skills of each. Lastly, be alert and keep your eyes and ears open, as you never know what you might learn somewhere, and when you learn something new - utilize it!

If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
Maybe increase its tenure to cover two locations instead of only one, especially in the banks' offices in critical emerging economies like China, Brazil, Mexico or India, apart from the London / New York options. That might be a useful experience.

What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
For the last four and half years, I have been working in investor relations, business research and corporate planning domains with a leading capital markets company in Mumbai called Motilal Oswal Financial Services Ltd. As a personal interest, I also write regularly on business, economic and socio-economic topics, and have published my articles in more than 30 publications across 13 countries. Recently, I also released my 1st E-Book on India's emerging business themes.
The title of the E-Book is “Flying with the Winged Elephant: Niche themes that may emerge in India for global businesses”. It looks at some niche business themes that can potentially interest global players to India. The thought-process includes why the theme has a rationale, possible solutions to implementation challenges and trends that support the long-term opportunity.
Please click:
It has been published by Libertas European Institut GmbH, Germany, a 'think-tank' engaged in economic/political consultancy. It is available in E-book and Print version from the publishers on (ISBN: E-book 978-3-937642-53-6, Print 978-3-937642-54-3). Contact Ms Ofelya Sargsyan Very soon it will also release on  as a Kindle App version.
I have written this E-Book on my own initiative and entirely in personal capacity, and is not to be taken to represent the opinion of my company in any manner. Nevertheless, my share of royalties earned from any sale of this E-Book go to my company's Social Foundation, which works towards school education for girls in rural India.
Previously, I have written articles in personal capacity in several magazines, newspapers, and websites across India, England, Switzerland, UAE, Singapore, Qatar, Germany, Malaysia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, etc on finance, economy, business and socio-economic topics. One article was shared by OPIC (US Govt.’s development finance arm) on social media, one got good feedback from Bhutan PM's Office, one got positive feedback from a senior IMF economist & one was shortlisted by Yahoo Middle East.

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I have built a solid base in research, investment, operations, planning and writing areas so far. Lets see how things move ahead.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
Future plans would be to gather some work experience in the A.S.E.A.N. region within Asia-Pacific, because that is set to be a real powerhouse of economic activity in upcoming years.

Is there any other information that you would like to be included?
My best wishes to Mountbatten family to continue this very useful programme.