9 Key Learnings for a Start Up

A New Dawn!

I left Standard Chartered Bank earlier this year to start my own entrepreneurial journey. I joined in Singapore in 2004 where I have been for over 17 years after 11 years at JPMorgan Chase where I worked in Mumbai, New York and Hong Kong. It’s been a tremendous journey over the last 27 years — enlightening, humbling and euphoric.

I spent years as an investment banker working in the global capital markets. Having done financing in 16 currencies — I had the opportunity to work with borrowers, regulators, investors and rating agencies — pitching, executing debt transactions, for financial institutions, governments, government agencies and corporations. I enjoyed every moment — the ups and the downs — working with clients, colleagues, developing global businesses, nurturing long lasting relationships some will be for life, leading teams, speaking at industry conferences — through the times of economic growth as well as the Asian crisis, Global Financial Crisis and the Covid pandemic.

Constantly evolving and learning — its been a terrific experience — these are the takeaways I have taken in my entrepreneurial journey, — super excited and charged. I share some of my key learnings

1. It’s all about people, teams and humanizing our work

We all have our own ways of contributing. We must recognize and value each other’s strengths and challenges and contribution. Everyone has a contribution to make — do recognize it. Everyone works hard — when they receive kudos, they feel motivated to do even better and thus, the entire team grows stronger.

2. It’s about the Emotional Quotient (EQ) — it’s not just about the Intelligence Quotient (IQ)

Care for your family, friends and colleagues. They will always be with you. I had a personal benchmark — if you like >75% of the people you work with — that’s all it takes to make work a fun place other than merely “the office”.

3. Digital and Digitalization matter

I am passionate about how positively digitalization can affect our professional and personal lives. Impressed by the speed of business conducted through technology, I developed an idea to use AI to matchmake borrowers and investors to scale up and speed up sustainable finance. I presented this idea at a digital challenge competition and won! I received funding and a top notch technology team to work with and now my idea is at MVP. Dare to dream big and be the change you want to see.

4. Climate change, sustainability and ESG matter

Take a moment and ask how focused towards sustainable development goals (SDG) is the work you do. I had the opportunity to work with microfinance, SMEs, gender and education and saw for my own self, the positive difference it can have. Which is a key reason for me to continue focus on this.

5. Treat the most junior and the most senior person with the same respect

You can be firm in a courteous way. Remember, people may forget WHAT you said to them, they’ll never forget HOW you made them feel

6. I was fortunate to have great mentors and managers in my early career years — they shaped me in my way of working

Be thankful to and don’t ever lose touch with people that have made a difference to you. Do mentor someone from today if not doing so already

7. If someone is rocking your boat — don’t fret — life’s too short

There’s always more opportunity if you look for it. Focus on value creation — that is what gets you further

8. Care for your fitness and body — someone said at a yoga class — “your body will be with you for your life”. The healthier you are the happier you are

9. Lastly — “please”, ”sorry” and “thank you” are truly magic words — they shatter the ego and help you focus all your energies towards resolving issues rather than apportion the blame.

I am a consultant to SMEs, tech companies, mid sized companies on business development and growth, preparing for fundraising from investors and banks, customer acquisition, stakeholder management. Please get in touch if interested in our services. info@msplconsulting.com and the website is https://www.msplconsulting.com/