Your career progression should be based on the career plan!


Author Bio:

Anup Mohapatra (Sr. Program Manager- Global Decision Sciences Business Programs for Fortune 10 Companies)

MA: What are the areas that you have worked on and how did you choose this field?

Anup: Frankly, I consider myself lucky enough to have been guided by good mentors & visionaries. Working across Industries like Steel Manufacturing, Global Multi-Channel Retail, Oil & Gas, etc. gives you a very clear picture of how various elements & gears fit together in the corporate world.

I started my career as a Manager Service Delivery for Tata Steel in 2012, which eventually evolved as a Product Manager to identify various initiatives and product aimed at optimizing costs and amplifying the top line for the Flat Products & Tubes Division of Tata Steel. It was here, where I got a chance to interact with various stakeholder and learned to orchestrate programs with multiple stakeholders within Tata Steel Group and allied companies.

Post-MBA, I decided to specifically work for an organization which could embed the knowledge in Data Science, Decision Science, and Domain Consulting. This was a planned part of my career and I was extremely determined to learn this foundational ability. I joined Mu Sigma Inc. in 2018 and was lucky enough to get the desired role, which catered to Business Consulting in Retail and embedded capabilities across Decision Science Ecosystem, Portfolio Management, External Client Relationship, and entrepreneurship. Imagine this role as a combination of Business Consulting + Product Management + Program Management.

I have been working for 3 years for Mu Sigma now and still discovering new possibilities. Apart from this, I am currently working for a self-led initiative called Zolism FactShots to propagate the culture of learning amplified by curiosity.


MA: Are digital transformations disrupting the industry?

Anup: Post the Global COVID-19 outbreak, companies are rushing to transform themselves, not only through digital initiatives but also by combining decision sciences and behavioral sciences.

COVID-19 has converted the skewed power-balance equation to a level-playing the field across Industries. 

In fact, in today’s world, digital transformation disrupts the industry and the Micro & Macro-Economic Parameters disrupts an existing digital transformation strategy. This is the age of disruption, transformation and evolution.


MA: What is needed to be a good analyst? What qualities can make one excel in this field?

Anup: 

  1. Sharpen your Observation Skills
  2. Understand Business Really Well for a given period in time.
  3. Understand how to separate the signal from the noise.
  4. Understand Where, When, Why and How to look for those signals.
  5. Develop Critical Thinking
  6. Adapt to Technology: Learn the basics of at-least one Programming Language (Preferably open source like R, Python, etc.), Basics of Querying (SQL) and at-least one Visualization Tool (Tableau/ Power BI/ ClickView, etc.) Irrespective of your interested function, analysis is a critical toolkit of a Management Graduate. Learn it now, before it is too late to catch up.


MA: How can students interested in Analytics & Decision Sciences skill up and keep up with industry trends?


Anup: As represented in the above diagram, it is suggested to have these areas covered to have a career in Decision Sciences Consulting. It is recommended for a candidate to choose at least one specialization in any of these domains and have a good understanding of all the other areas and how they connect. 

Personally, I feel, as the world changes rapidly, candidates need to prepare their own career plan based on

a) What interests them? 

b) What they are good at? and also 

c) What skillsets & experiences de-risks them for the future?

Every career progression should be based on the career plan and not necessarily for a higher salary or a lucrative designation. Trust me, building the foundation takes time, but it helps to reap exponential benefits.

Keeping Up with Industry Trends: (My Perspective. Non-Exhaustive.)

  1. Follow Market Leaders on LinkedIn
  2. Bounce off your ideas or perception with relevant people in your “Network”.
  3. Follow & Subscribe to good Websites or Social Communities to get trend feed.
  4. Attempt to write whitepapers/ share articles on the right platform. Add relevantly Hashtags only, to attract like-minded and experiences people to notice your thoughts.
  5. Engage your client. They will share insights which come only with experience.
  6. Learn how the Data Science Machinery works and how they fit. Possible learn basics of ML Models, R & Python Functions.
  7. Is not just about learning, understand what Framework/ Functions/ Models/ Statistics to apply where and when. 


MA: What are the job prospects in this area? How does the future look like?

Anup: 

  • Although this is one of the most sought-after jobs in the market, the best part of being in this field is the endless opportunity it creates and the ability to transform into a role of the future.
  • Today, heuristics and experience-based decision making needs to be enabled by the ability to make sense of the available data, predicting future and anticipating behavior.
  • It’s just a matter to time, all of us will have to eventually engage in decision sciences at some point in our career.


MA: Any special advice for our audience?

Anup: Sure. I would rather share some real insights based on my personal experiences and what has worked for me. Hopefully, this will help someone.

  1. Skill Layering: Designing a career that is not just aligned to one’s Capability, Capability, and Power. In fact, try to develop composite skillsets. I call this “Skill Layering”. Adding relevant complexity to your skills increases your chance to work in unique roles and roles of the future.
  2. Network. Network. Network? Well, not necessarily with everyone. Find people with whom you can bounce off ideas, productively, and make things ‘Real’.
  3. Collaborative Growth: Enable People Around You and Grow with them. Compete with and take inspiration from the best in the world, not just people and institutions around you. That is how you can realize your true potential and unlock unknown value.
  4. Be Passionate. Stay Curious. Have Courage: Question yourself if you have a passion and the courage to chase it. Happiness & Quality of Life >>> Money. Understand Tradeoffs and Impact on each action of yours.
  5. Research: Every day on a Topic you like. It can be anything that fascinates you.
  6. Set Expectations. Meet Expectations.
  7. Find a Mentor
  8. Accept Failures and Build-On Them
  9. Leave a Mark: Whatever your life touches, leave a mark of Ingenuity and Leadership. Others will follow and transform your vision. It doesn’t matter how small or big, the outcomes are. Give yourself, at-least one chance to build something from scratch.


Feel free to reach out to me here:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anup-mohapatra/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/GoZolism
Mail: anup.mohapatra1607@gmail.com, anup.mohapatra16@iimv.ac.in

 

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