Alum of the Month

Ishan Kukade

Ishan Kukade

October 2016

London Program

March 2013 Intake

What and where did you study before your Mountbatten internship?
I did a Bachelor's in Electronics Engineering from Nagpur University (2007-2011) and Masters in Business Analysis from Manchester Business School, Manchester (2011-12).

What made you apply for the Mountbatten programme?
I was deeply fascinated by the world of finance and investment banking during my postgraduate year. I stumbled across the MB program at a university careers fair - I found it too good to be true; so I decided to visit MB's London office before applying for the program!
In the MB program I saw an opportunity to experience, learn and implement by skills in the field of my choice, and live in the city of my dreams.
When I saw the job profiles from companies like Barclays, JP Morgan etc I was even more intrigued and decided to apply for the program.

Describe your sponsor company and your role within it.
I was sponsored by Barclays Capital as a Tax Analyst. My role was to liase with theTax Authorities of various countries to recover excess taxes charged to Barclays and it's clients who were trading across countries in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. My additional responsibility was to automate and simplify an existing process using VBA-Macros and publish dashboards for senior management to benchmark Barclays against it's competitors.

What was the highlight/most memorable moment of your working experience during this year?
I think the most memorable moment was when I stepped into my office for the first day of my first ever job, knowing that I had stepped into a great company and a competitive industry in a city that is at the epicentre of banking. I thought I had hit a jackpot!

What was the social highlight/most memorable moment during this year?
Seeing the fireworks at London Eye on New Year's eve with my friends.

Please share a little wisdom/philosophy that you acquired during your internship.
We are daily faced with constraints at work and in life, so it is important to seek advice, evaluate ideas and share knowledge with others to find appropriate solutions. Unless we open up about our problems, solutions won't come our way.

If you could change anything about your internship, what would it be?
To get a three screen desktop and a Bloomberg terminal! On a serious note, I wish I had travelled a bit more across Europe!

What happened after completing the year - what did you do next?
I went on to join Barclays Chennai and later moved to Tata Consultancy Services and worked with ABN AMRO at Amsterdam and New Delhi locations as a Tax Expert and Tata's Business Lead. I helped set up the first ever outsourced tax operations for a third party in India (i.e. for TCS).

Where are you now in your working life and what do you do?
I am restarting my defunct family business of Financing - quite a challenge it is. I have raised capital and financed personal, gold, vehicle and business loans through my own firm. This is the first year of business and I have been able to reduce the interest rates charged to farmers or low income personnel who do not have a credit history to borrow money from a financial institution.
I have private equity in an online lending platform that is tied up with Bajaj Finance (a leading finance firm in India). Our platform Loanmeet uses computer algorithms and more than 100 data points to analyse a borrower. Loanmeet is similar to FundingCircle in US and Zopa in UK, but additionally provides Vehicle loans - the first one in the country to do so. My activity was covered by THE WEEK magazine: "Lending A Hand". Lendbox is another platform I am doing business with.

Do you have any future plans that you would like to realise & what are they (career & social)?
My immediate plans are to upscale the business and maintain a growth trajectory over the coming year. It is important to show stability and sustainability to clients. In terms of social, I am looking for opportunities to help rural entrepreneurs start their own lending business.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Driven. Flexible. Innovator.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
That I am deeply spiritual and also do sports betting. I use basic statistics to find correct bets. Quite contradictory!