Note: there is another FinTech webinar featuring a developer from Stashaway happening on 26 Apr, 5.30 - 6.30pm exclusive to current CareerContact users who can signup under the events section!
- Varun Mittal, Ernst & Young (EY) Partner, EY Global Emerging Markets FinTech Leader: As EY Global Emerging Markets FinTech Leader, Varun is responsible for EY FinTech business development in 130 emerging markets across the globe. Varun has deep experience in the FinTech domain and is skilled in cross-border management of FinTech operations and business planning, digital banking innovation and strategy, and regulatory strategy development (M&A). His specialization also covers FinTech ecosystem development, FinTech strategy development and implementation, FinTech corporate finance due diligence, and solution development and intrapreneurship. Varun holds a Master of Strategy and Operations from National University of Singapore, and a Bachelor of Technology (Computer Science Engineering) from Jaypee Institute of Information Technology, India. He is a founding member of the Singapore FinTech Association, the only non-profit FinTech body supported by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
Questions asked and answered
What was your personal career journey?
Varun started out as a computer science engineer and did programming before completing his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He worked in several companies before joining EY.
What is the FinTech industry?
FinTech is something that is extremely prevalent. Some examples of FinTech in our daily lives include Grab, Gojek, PayWave, smart watches and microsavings. As things are getting increasingly digital, FinTech plays a larger role eg. digitalising things like vacation and hotel bookings. In Singapore, there are many FinTech start-ups and young investors involved in FinTech. Yet, FinTech is not only limited to start-ups, as many large companies also have FinTech departments eg. ByteDance, which applied for a banking license in Singapore, and XiaoMi, which owns banks. There are a range of careers in the FinTech industry, including those that go beyond finance and technology, such as marketing.
What skills are needed in FinTech?
The most important skill would be being able to understand consumer behaviour and think through the consumer experience. It is also necessary to conduct user research on different approaches to marketing to choose the most ideal one.
Which part of FinTech is the most interesting to you?
What excites Varun personally is the final product, though he is interested in all aspects of FinTech.
What are some challenges that you have faced in your job?
There are different challenges, such as finding an ideal target group for your product. For example, youths are not an ideal target group for banking services as they do not have as much money. (In the context of one of his projects) A financial service created and targeted at youths made use of branding and marketing specifically aimed toward youths, and this caused adults to avoid the product.
What advice do you have for students?
It is important to explore widely— try as many internships as possible to find out what you really enjoy before choosing that specific career path. Students should “try all the food in the buffet before deciding which restaurant [they] want long-term membership in.”