Nearing the end of his master’s degree in 2017, Nisant Mohta observed several peers seeking opportunities beyond university courses to enhance their profiles. Through his interactions with them, he noticed that many struggled to acquire relevant work experience that would make their profiles stand out to potential employers.
These interactions became the genesis of Mumbai-based startup Finlatics where the core objective is to provide learners an opportunity to give their resumes a boost via live projects and work experience programs. “Although I had seen that this need gap existed through my interactions with my peers, I needed to ensure that we create an offering that adds maximum value. While crafting our offering, I would appear for interviews at leading companies in the finance space with the purpose of understanding their experience with interviewing candidates. Once my interview was over, I would give interviewers my business card and request whether I could ask them some questions. Though they were surprised by my approach, most were happy to answer my questions. That’s how I understood exactly what firms look for when they hire. Using this knowledge, we crafted Finlatics’ Live Projects and Experience Programs,” explains Nisant.
“Relevant work experience makes a big difference when it comes to getting a job or even when looking to pursue higher education. Addressing that need through technology and relevant projects is our primary aim, which has been delivering tremendous impact on student careers,” says Nisant.
Finlatics also comes with the benefit of continuous mentorship throughout its programs. “We quickly realized how important it was to have a mentoring team designated to guide students through the process of getting industry-ready. Our mentors conduct regular check-ins to ensure students obtain full value from our programs,” adds Nisant.
The cherry on the cake is an added layer of flexibility to ensure that the courses are manageable within students’ time constraints – be it any work or college commitments.
Finlatics currently offers two flagship programs – the Financial Markets Experience Program (FMEP) that helps students gain experience in Indian equity markets and the Investment Banking Experience Program (IBEP) for those wanting to get a head start in the world of private equity and venture capital.
“The FMEP is akin to an internship. I could implement what I was learning in theory in real-time as the program allowed me to manage a portfolio, interact with a mentor and keep learning as I went forward. Having completed it, I feel more equipped,” says Arpan Chattopadhyay, a Finlatics student from BITS Pilani.
“The team was very responsive throughout the program. The mentors instantly clarified any doubts I had and helped me progress ahead,” says Mridul Harit, a Finlatics student from IIM Indore.
The program also provides an advantage to international students aspiring to work at large firms with offices across the globe by enhancing their knowledge of financial markets around the world. “I hope to work in companies like Goldman Sachs in the future,” says Guilherme Padez, a management student from Portugal. “I know more about American and European stocks, but FMEP helped me broaden my knowledge of financial markets in India and the kind of variables and ratios that are used here when investing. I found it very interesting. Maybe I’ll work in India in the future,” he adds.
The Investment Banking Experience Program, a hybrid between finance and management consulting, aims to help students understand how to assess investment proposals and deepen their understanding of private equity (PE) right from the set-up of a PE fund to the various stages of PE investing.
“Investment banking (IB) is commonly considered a good career trajectory for finance students. Frankly, most of us don’t necessarily understand what it means to be working in IB. However, the IBEP gives you a basic knowledge of what a role in investment banking means in the real world. It also saves you from spending time going through multiple resources and still assuming the risk of not entirely understanding what IB actually entails. IBEP has even helped me grasp my MBA coursework better,” explains Saurav Agarwal a Finlatics learner from IIM Raipur. “Now that the knowledge gap is addressed, I feel more prepared for IB interviews,” he adds.
With over 13,000 students, the programs have students from top universities across the country and the world from IIMs, IIFTs, FMS Delhi, BITS Pilani, IIT Bombay, NMIMS Mumbai, JBIMS Mumbai, to international universities such as the University of Warwick, University of Illinois, University of Michigan, Nanyang Technological University, among others.
Both programs have been instrumental in helping students get into top corporates like Citi Bank, Goldman Sachs, Crisil, WorldQuant, KPMG, Morningstar, HDFC, Ernst & Young, among others. “Going ahead we look forward to having more such success stories coming out of Finlatics,” adds Nisant.