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Ravi Jay

Ravi JaySenior Manager, Accenture

MBA, 2011

Tell us a bit about your role as a Senior Manager at Accenture Digital.

Accenture presents me with an opportunity to work alongside an industry leading team of Accenture colleagues and client stakeholders. I add value to the delivery organisation as the digital delivery lead and agile coach.

Digital transformation is what I specialise in and I go about it by rolling out new technologies for customers and business users to consume easily and by helping to evolve ways of working. I support and foster agile methodologies and ways of working. Being a certified scrum master gives me perspective on how to operate teams on the ground and more importantly, how to take business users on a journey to operating with higher efficiency.

Besides my day job, I am a recognised blogger with Accenture Click. It gives me an opportunity to share and amplify my views on #Digital and #ThinkLookActDigital.

What do you enjoy about your industry and what are the challenges?

During my formative years, I was aligned to Banking and Finance as it seemed natural, coming from a family of bankers. It was during the MBA at Middlesex that I had a chance to get exposure to retail. I met my business partner at Middlesex with whom I went on to start a business venture in London called myMzone. This was my "in" into retail and I learned a lot about grass roots retailing from the local markets of London. My interest and fascination with consumer behaviour grew over the 18 months and that's how I re-aligned to retail.

The challenges in retail can be broad-brushed to:
1) C-level buy-in on the digital imperative.
2) Increasing consumer expectation on user experience.
3) Analysing available data sets.
4) Core commerce technology.

Naturally, not all retailers have the same struggle/pain points. I go to work every day with a desire to solve one or more of the challenges for a (digital) retailer – whether they an online pure play or a brick and mortar pure play or a hybrid.

What skills have been critical in your career to date? How have you developed these?

I've noticed that communication, judgment and common sense has gotten me out of "situations" more often than not. I developed these particularly during my start-up days as there was a lot at stake that encouraged me to be pragmatic. My technical skills (web development) improved as a necessity as the alternative was expensive outsourcing. People management is a big part of what I do at Accenture and I'm putting to action some of the things that I learned during the MBA at Middlesex.

What made you choose Middlesex University?

3 years into my career, I had reached a fork in the road when I realised that I was getting into business delivery scenarios that I was not equipped to perform. A culturally diverse environment is key to operating well in an international climate and I recognised a need for improvement in this area.

A Master's degree from Sweden between 2007 and 2009 got me going on the much needed exposure. The UK attracted me with more choice compared to other alternatives when it came to business schools in 2010. London was an obvious choice for me to make in terms of location.

I was introduced to Middlesex University through research and I was keen on joining Middlesex on the basis of how the university was doing a lot of work to distinguish itself from other Universities in the UK on the grounds of cultural diversity. The fact that the MBA program was led by industry leaders and that course fees were within my budget made the choice very simple.

What made you want to do the MBA course, and what did you enjoy most about it?

I recognised a need to get a holistic view on management – the nitty gritty of operations, the intricacies of finance and the challenges of human resource. Middlesex seemed to offer a package that checked all the boxes. At that time, I felt that a master's program will help me climb the corporate ladder faster.

The curriculum structure excited me from day 1 as it was evident that while course work will provide guidance, I had to work hard to set myself up for success. I deliver my best when I'm in a situation that encourages me to push the limits of my capability. I enjoyed the field trips, assignments and most of all, the MBA project. The MBA project was an ideal launch pad for my career. I particularly enjoyed lectures by Dr. Vinaya Shukla, Dr. Louise Boulter, Dr. Anjali Bakhru, Jas Ahmad and Dr. Nathalie van Meurs.

What advice would you give people looking to do a postgraduate degree at Middlesex?

A Postgraduate degree at Middlesex presents you with a chance to connect with a large group of people outside your realm. This networking will enable you to pursue opportunities that are not on your radar. This is adds value to your core competency and is something that, if leveraged well, will sit well on your CV.

What do you feel an MBA from Middlesex has brought to your career?

The Middlesex MBA introduced me to my (eventual) business partner. The MBA program allowed me to do the project which I chose to do on our business proposition. Those 6 months shaped the next 18 months of work and I believe I was able to make a strong case for an executive role at Accenture because I was able to apply my learnings from the project to my start-up days.

What has been your proudest achievement to date?

My start-up myMzone being awarded "TATA disruptive business of the year 2012"myMzone

Generally, the year 2012 when we received a lot of recognition for the business idea. Digital. Simplified.

More on my Digital. Simplified.

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