IT career in Banking: Take from Pankaj Kamra – Vice President at Leading Global Bank

Pankaj Kamra, Vice President, at one of the leading global banks, shares his professional experiences and enthralling journey. Let’s know from him about the life of IT career in Banking.

  1. Why do you think IT career is a viable career option?

The IT industry was booming when I started my career. Having a non-engineering background it sounded a bit difficult to get into hardcore IT but I made it through and have grown with industry in Indian market before moving to Singapore. Viable – Yes, absolutely which is why I am sticking to it for 15 years.

  1. Being at this position, surely you are enjoying your professional life. Can you share that Eureka moment when you realized that you were born for this?

Beauty of life at any front is that it keeps giving such moments. I remember many such instances, but the first one was during my first year at GE Capital when there was a virus attack and I managed to write a javascript code overnight to clean the machine & even on other machines on network. McAfee later acknowledged that the script worked & cleaned the infected machines . Many more to count as I progressed from being a programmer to project manager- > program manager-> portfolio manager.

  1. Are there any certifications or soft skills required to excel in this profession?
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Yes, I did Microsoft certification MCSD when I was coding on MS Visual Studio. And then, later moved on to do Six Sigma green belt & finally PMP as I progressed over years.

  1. Is there an organized career path in your profession?

Yes there is one & I have lived the progress. Starting as a developer, going on to System analysis, managing support teams, project management, program management & now portfolio management.

  1. What are the excess perks you enjoy?

We get additional performance bonus on top of fixed compensation. However, due to bad economic conditions, it hasn’t been a good one over the last few years. There are medical benefits, much cheaper housing loan to name a few others.

  1. Since you have lived through many ups & downs of this profession, what advice would you like to give to the newbie who wants to be a banker?

Stick to basics & you will progress. If you are an extra energetic person, there is much more to experiment. If hard core technology appeals to you the most, then you can excel within technical lines without having to do come over to project management. There are plenty to choose within the IT industry itself.

  1. Does this industry face PESTEL (Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental, & Legal) challenges?
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No industry is left out by these challenges.  IT being the enabler function, felt ripple effect of its clients across all sorts of industries. Many jobs were cut, bonuses dried up, career progression halted during economic turmoil in recent years.

  1. How did your social circle react? How do they contribute to your success?

No career can succeed without environmental support, especially from those who are close to you. My circle applauded my entry into the booming industry, supported my night out’s at work, cheered for the milestones that I achieved, and most of all sacrificed bodily & mental peace supporting me all these years. They stayed awake when I came past midnight, they woke up early when I left at dawn, they were embarrassed when I couldn’t keep up to commitments made to them for weekends, they waited to hear for my wellbeing in anxiety when I was in long flights, and much more beyond I can express.

  1. What does your profession mean to you? Or what is IT Career according to you?

It has meant a lot to me as it has helped me progress in my life. It enabled me to fulfil the financial needs of my family, gave my social circle (especially family) to feel proud when I moved up the ladder step by step. On the flip side, it also taught me very important lessons that sometimes it is of worth to be with family.

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   10. Do you have a role model or mentor? What inspired you to be in this profession or what keeps you motivated?

Yes, I have had different mentors through these stages and their success has motivated me at various fronts of life.

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Kritika Harjai

Sharing is Caring! Believing in the same, Kritika Harjai, an avid blogger at CareerBuilder India shares RELEVANT information and QUICK TIPS on job hunting, getting through interviews, coming with the RIGHT resume and a lot more through her blogs at The Career Muse. Not just this, she even brings the churned out industry insights from the HR experts and head hunters for her readers to get the idea what the industry is looking for. To get her latest blogs in your inbox, subscribe to the Career Muse or follow her on Twitter @KritikaHarjai

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