Transitioning from the Indian Army to a career in fintech after an MBA in Copenhagen

In this episode of The Modern MBA podcast, in collaboration with MBAGRADSCHOOLS, we spoke with Govinda Prasad. A military veteran with the Indian Army, Govinda joined Copenhagen Business School in 2020, where he is both studying and, with the help of university advisors, working on his very own fintech startup, Adni Retail. He shares his experience in the Army, why he chose Copenhagen Business School, and how he is using his MBA skills to transition into a career in finance.

In short

Walk us through your career in more detail

I did my Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pune in India. I graduated in 2009 and I got selected for the Indian Army as a technical officer. I am a second-generation veteran; my father had served in Indian Air Force for around 35 years. So I was pretty comfortable joining a military force. Throughout my career of around 10 years, I have served in around nine different locations working with more than 10,000 [personnel].  I was responsible for the management of around 110 [people]. (01:00)

The million-dollar question is: What made you really decide to pursue an MBA and why in Copenhagen?

I felt there was a stagnation in my personal growth and I felt there was much more to explore and learn in the world and that’s the reason I decided to move on: to learn the basics of business.

I was looking for a one-year MBA program, where the class size and class strength will be of a similar background to [mine]. As an MBA program, CBS is ranked 24th in the world, so that’s among the best and the size of the MBA program is generally 35 to 40. Such a small size helps the class to develop as a team or as a family and share the learnings. The other thing is the average work experience of a cohort is around 9+ years. So it matched my work experience and matched the work requirement I was searching for. And in my class, there are 43 students and those 43 are from 19 different nationalities. (3:07)

Looking to the future, where do you go from here? What are your plans after graduation?

We are going to graduate in September this year and as per my plan, we are going to stay in Denmark itself. I personally love Denmark – being one of the happiest countries to live in. They also have the very perfect work-life balance and rich Danish culture, which makes a more complete living experience. I’m looking to move my career into the financial sector. (7:35)

What advice would you give to other people in your position, whether that’s people coming from a military background for an MBA or people from India who are looking to study in Denmark?

I would strongly suggest doing an MBA from any good college which best suits your requirements. Once you do an MBA, transitioning from military to corporate really helps you not only to gain some business skills, but also helps you to understand what is the right sector for you. The biggest advice which I can give to any aspiring candidate will be that they should start preparing themselves for the corporate world as early as possible. When you are in service, start interacting with your friends or family who are in the corporate sector to understand the basic work culture. It’s very important to network, especially with other veterans in your network who have already transitioned into the corporate workspace because they can help you translate your military skills into corporate terms. (10:56)

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