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  • Writer's picturemadhurmehta

My Learnings Over the Years in Capital Markets

Updated: Feb 24, 2021

My key learnings:

Last week was my last at Standard Chartered Bank . I joined in Singapore in 2004 where I have been for almost 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 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 pandemic.

Constantly evolving and learning – its been a terrific experience - these are the takeaways I will use as I enter my entrepreneurial journey, – super excited and charged. I share some of my key learnings

· 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.

· 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”.

· 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 then a top notch technology team and now my idea is on its way to MVP. Dare to dream big and be the change you want to see.

· 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.

· 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

· 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

· 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

· 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

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.

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