That’s How Business Is Done!

Generating new forward-looking ideas for the U.S. Wealth Management industry was an enriching experience on industry scan, concept formulations, and development of use-cases. I have now moved onto my 2nd rotation project to test the waters in previously uncharted territories. I was offered a combination of two projects – Operations Transformation & Business Unit (BU) Management; both being aligned in the long term with the goal of increasing operational efficiencies in Asia region (including the Middle East & Japan). I was intentionally offered more on my plate to help me push my boundaries. The key for me was to lap up this arduous task with open mindset as an opportunity to excel further. I was buttoned up and ready for the ride!

The Operations Transformation project involves reducing costs and increasing profitability via an efficient operations model. This gives a critical ring-side exposure to supply chain governance, cost & pyramid management and organizing delivery teams across country clusters.

The BU Management project for FS Asia, Middle East & Japan was introduced this time with the objective of tracking, documenting and management of various business issues. The most exciting part is where I get to liaise with Executive Committee (ExCo) members, attend bi-weekly ExCo calls and work closely with the BU Head. This requires me to produce and maintain delivery trackers, a chart of key issues, and ad-hoc management of issues in HR, Legal and Finance. The ExCo call is where all the regional heads and senior executives discuss updates on business activities and address super-critical issues; a wonderful learning right at the start of the E.L.I.T.E journey.

The project has an ‘eclectic’ structure in the truest sense that gives learnings across the spectrum of business functions and understand how a business unit runs. Success in the corporate ladder journey warrants not just domain expertise but also understanding of how business is done.I was recently given the onus to manage a special assignment on Japan overtime issues (working hours). I travelled to the magnanimous city of Tokyo to get a perspective on work culture, Japanese regulations, and document a full-flooded Project Plan. I have had one-on-one sessions with Japan sales head, HR head, and finance team members to get first-hand information on how things work at our Japan offices. It is interesting to hone the skills of solving this business puzzle, getting inputs from diverse streams and identifying the important check-points to lay down the path for reaching the final goal-post.

To be honest, I was sceptical at first to accept this rotation-2 as I had no prior experience in Operations as well as the tricky landscape of APAC region. But after having frank and open discussions with E.L.I.T.E. core team and my People Manager, I had given my affirmation. In hindsight, it was one of the best decisions, as I am truly enjoying the mammoth learnings and high-quality professional experiences in this second rotation of the E.L.I.T.E. General Management Program.I will be back with updates on how the rotation proceeds and the next adventure on the E.L.I.T.E journey.

Ankur Saraf

Capgemini E.L.I.T.E. Management Trainee currently working at the cusp of Fintech disruption. Academic stints at IIT & IIM have provided a chiseled mix of apptitude, inter-personal skills and hunger to succeed. Passionate believer in RCA, Consciousness & Food.