The One Thing To Rule Them All – Rahul Kumar From IIM Calcutta

As a teenager growing up in the sub-urban areas of Jamshedpur, I was always fascinated with fantasy adventures, such as those of Frodo and Sam in which the protagonist used to save the day with his unyielding spirit and iron will.

Even though I realized that I cannot be Harry Potter, I always wanted to leave my mark on the sands of time. Since then, I have considered challenges not merely as opportunities to grow or learn but as whetstones to sharpen my skills. From organizing the sports fest of IIT Kharagpur in three months to being a part of the commissioning team of the largest Greenfield project in India, I have always treaded on paths that would not only provide me with hurdles but would also help me improve upon my core competencies. This penchant for learning and a desire to have an impact drove me to crack IIT JEE and the multitude of involvements at the 4-year bachelor program at IIT Kharagpur served as an excellent appetizer.

My stint at Tata Steel had been much more than just a mouthful second course. I was stationed at Kalinganagar to get the first cog moving by commissioning the by-product plant. Along with my technical understanding, these activities have also brought about a multifold increase in my interpersonal skills.

But amid these activities requiring high technical knowledge and emotional quotient, I came across the biggest driving force in the blue planet today, i.e. finance. To all my actions of proposing ideas of process improvement or ease of operations, there was an equal and opposite reaction of my bosses with their inquiries about the financial aspects of my suggestions. After several situations of beating around the bush, I decided to test the financial waters and started studying about the most widely used term in businesses today – finance.

After a few weeks, I was captivated by the vast depth of the subject and the far-reaching implications that financial decisions have in our world. Just like Neo realized the matrix around him, I was awestruck after acknowledging the presence of the financial world. The macro and the micro aspects, a whole world of financial products, the exotic options, the valuations and the risk involved with every decision left me speechless. This made me believe that this is the very domain where our decisions have a wide-reaching impact and have the potential to bring about a change never thought before.

There was also a very interesting thing happening in India at that time. In a nation where cricketers are praised as gods and actors have their temples, the youth had found a new role model in Raghuram Rajan. It was the first time that an Indian economist had gained such a lot of fame. His actions and policies made him a common presence of Quora questions, Facebook posts, newspaper columns and intellectual discussions.

All these happenings had a great influence on me and motivated me to pursue a career in finance. Since then, I have cleared CFA Level 1, FRM Part 1 and FRM Part 2 examinations and gained admission to one of the premier institutions to study finance. I believe the next two years will be the befitting main course. I have reached an inflection point in my career from where I will put my best foot forward to become a finance professional so that I can have an impact on the corporate world and the society.

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