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I have decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Data Science
which will provide me with a rigorous, hands-on training and prepare me to use
data and analytical tools to identify business opportunities, generate business
insights and create business solutions. 
The importance of incorporating a data-driven approach to policymaking
to minimize the financial risk and improve business sustainability became
increasingly clear to me during my work as a credit and risk analyst with ICICI
Bank.

The amount of data available in the financial markets and
business world is growing exponentially and individuals adept at handling as
well as analyzing that data are well poised for growth. The MSDS program at
Data Science Institute (DSI) with an integrated curriculum of quantitative and
technical courses will help me learn how to transform data into smart insights
and master programming skills for application in various functions. I would be
especially interested in taking courses like Machine Learning, Advanced
Quantitative Analysis, and Risk Analysis to build upon background in
finance.  I am also drawn to DSI because
of their focus on experiential learning through Capstone projects and Centers
of Excellence. I went through the brief description of capstone and faculty
projects listed on the website and was amazed at the diversity and scope of
those projects. These factors make DSI an automatic choice for me and if given
an opportunity would like to contribute to such research areas.

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My educational background in engineering and management
studies has provided me the necessary prerequisites to flourish in MSDS
program. I have completed my undergraduate studies Computer Science and
Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal University one of the
oldest and top ranked private engineering colleges of India. The university counts
Satya Nadella and Rajeev Suri amongst its alumni. My engineering curriculum
included courses in Linear and Matrix Algebra, Calculus, Probability,
Stochastic Processes etc. I also became proficient in programming in both C++
and Java. In one of my projects I wrote a program in Java to effect multiple
data transfer protocols after encrypting the data using AES and DES algorithm.

After my engineering, I joined Indian Institute of Management,
Rohtak for management studies where I specialized in Finance and IT management.
At IIM, I was introduced to Business Statistics, Time Series Analysis, Integer Programming,
Simulation tools and their application in the world of business.  

After completing my graduate studies from IIM Rohtak I
joined Sonata Software Ltd, one of the leading IT companies of India as an
account manager. My role at Sonata Software Limited was to oversee a portfolio
of assigned clients, develop new business from existing clients and actively
seek new sales opportunities. I also lead the annual budgeting and forecasting
process for my portfolio.  In association
with my pre-sales and implementation team, I had to make sure that the
proposals and projects are delivered within the committed deadlines. My clients
were spread across multiple industries like Telecom, Retail, Ecommerce,
Manufacturing etc. I was able to grow my portfolio revenue by more than 40
percent during my time at Sonata Software.

While working at Sonata Software, I was also studying to get
Chartered Financial Analyst certification. To gain practical knowledge in field
of finance I joined ICICI Bank Limited, India’s largest private sector bank, in
their Commercial Banking Group as a credit and risk manager. As a credit and
risk manager, I perform risk analysis of credit proposals. I developed a model
to assign internal credit ratings to proposals and ensured efficacy of internal
ratings. I am also responsible for identifying the various risks associated
with a credit proposal – operational risk, market risk, management risk etc.,
suggest ways to minimize exposure to those risks. I also articulated those
views in credit committee meetings and help take balanced decisions.  The revenue from my portfolio more than
doubled in my 4 years while loss due to default was less than 2%.

On completion of the MS program I would like to work at the
intersection of finance and technology as a data scientist or business analyst
in the financial sector. I would like to design statistical analysis and
modeling algorithms to identify performance and risk drivers in the financial
industry. I would leverage my previous work experience in IT and Finance
industry to develop technology platforms which can help the organization improve
the data capture and analysis process leading to more reliable reports and
insights. In the long term, I would like to be in a managerial role leading to
chief data scientist and make analytics one of the primary drivers of business
in my organization.

One of the problems where I believe efficient data analytics
can bring about a long term change is financial inclusion. Today there are more
than 2.5 billion people without access to formal financial services, and there
are hundreds of millions of micro and small enterprises with unfulfilled
financing needs. Alternate risk models based on spending at mobile operators,
grocery stores, and utilities etc. would allow institutions to identify credit
worthy clients and also minimize risks at the same time. Even on the small
business side, companies like Alibaba have done a tremendous job by leveraging
their ecommerce data to analyze risk and offer credit to businesses. Data
analytics can also help these institutions improve operations and reduce costs
which will enable them to do service low income customers without affecting
their margins.

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