Do you know how many CFAs are there in India? Today, we are the 3rd largest space for Certified Financial Analysts (CFA) after USA and China. Some of the most successful among them are gracing the top positions as founders, CEOs, investors, and deans of reputed organizations.
If you're an aspiring CFA, knowing how they made it to the top can be a great source of motivation. So here are six success stories of CFA alumni in India. Keep reading as we explore their accomplishments and their remarkable contributions.
Sunil Singhania, the founder of Abakkus Asset Manager LLP, has had a remarkable career spanning over 24 years.
He began as a chartered accountant. He later earned his CFA credentials.
Singhania's contributions to the finance industry are exemplary. He is a member of the 15-member international committee responsible for rewriting the Code of Ethics handbook of the CFA Institute. He has been involved in shaping industry standards.
He held a prominent position as the head of the Indian Association of Investment Professionals for 8 years. He is now a member of the board of the CFA Institute.
He later rose to the position of chair of the investment committee, where he guided and made decisions related to investments.
He worked at Reliance Capital for 15 years. Singhania made significant strides in his career during these years. He spearheaded equity investments, focusing on Indian companies. Eventually, he rose to the position of Global Head-Equity at Reliance Capital.
Under his leadership, the Reliance Growth Fund saw an astounding 100% growth over 22 years. It is a testament to his astute investment management skills.
Nikesh Arora is the CEO and chairman at Palo Alto Networks, the biggest competitor to Cisco. He stands out for his remarkable educational and professional wins.
He graduated with a B.Tech degree in electrical engineering from the prestigious IIT. He also has an MBA degree, solidifying his knowledge in the field of finance. He gained his CFA credentials in 1999.
Arora's career trajectory has been nothing short of extraordinary. He held senior executive positions at Google and served as the president of SoftBank Group.
During his stint at Google, he was pivotal in driving the company's growth and success. Later he assumed the role of CEO and chairman at Palo Alto Networks.
He also held the position of chief marketing officer and was a member of the management board at T-Mobile, Bharti Airtel Europe. During his tenure at Softbank, Arora facilitated Softbank's investments of $2 billion in Indian start-ups. They also committed to investing $10 billion over ten years.
With his deep expertise in financial analysis and investment management, Arora is at the forefront of the industry. This has brought him to and cemented his status as a respected leader in the world of finance.
Dhivya Suryadevara is the ex-CFO of Stripe, the world’s leading fintech startup. Before that, she served as the first woman CFO of General Motors, the global automotive giant.
The Indian-American executive stands out for her academic background and illustrious career achievements. She has achieved widespread recognition within the industry due to her strategic leadership.
After a bachelor's degree in commerce, she secured her credentials as a Chartered Accountant, and got her CFA credentials in 2006. She did her post-graduation at the prestigious Harvard Business School. There she completed her MBA, further honing her financial acumen.
She has been part of the esteemed 40 Under 40 by Fortune magazine (2015, 2018) and Crain's Detroit Business. Her name also made it to MotorTrend's 2020 Power List. She has been hailed as one of Fortune's Most Powerful Women to Watch. Suryadevara's exceptional abilities have also earned her a place among the Automotive News 2019 All-Stars. She was also named in World Economic Forum's esteemed Young Global Leaders.
Suryadevara is a rare Indian woman leading on foreign soil. Her journey from Chennai to the United States is a testament to her remarkable achievements in the business and finance world.
The Chairman and Managing Director of ReNew Power, Sumant Sinha, began his career in the Tata Administrative Service. He then moved to investment banking roles at Citicorp and ING Barings in the US and UK. Later, he took charge of finance at the Aditya Birla Group, one of India's largest conglomerates. He also served as the COO of Suzlon, India's largest wind turbine company.
Sinha laid a strong academic foundation by graduating from the renowned IIT. He has a bachelor's in technology. After this, Sinha pursued an MBA from the prestigious IIM. He received his CFA credentials in 2004.
He holds key positions such as Co-Chair of the Electricity Governor's Group and President of ASSOCHAM. He also serves on different boards and advisory committees, including the US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, The Climate Change Organization. He is also part of the Singapore Government's International Advisory Panel on Energy. He is involved in organizations such as the First Movers Coalition, India Climate Collaborative, and the Global Wind Energy Council (GWEC) India
Prashant R. Khemka
Prashant R. Khemka, a distinguished CFA, is the founder of WhiteOak Capital Management.
Khemka completed his Mechanical Engineering degree with honours from Mumbai University. He further pursued an MBA in Finance from Vanderbilt University. There he received the Matt Wigginton Leadership Award for exceptional performance in Finance. In 2000, he obtained the CFA designation and is also a fellow of the Ananta Aspen Centre in India.
Khemka began his investing career in 1998 at SSGA in Boston. He focused on Enhanced International Equity as a senior portfolio officer. In 2000, he joined GSAM as a research analyst in US Growth Equity and quickly advanced to Senior Portfolio Manager. By 2004, he became the Co-Chair of the Investment Committee for a team that oversaw more than $25 billion in US equities.
In 2006, upon returning to India, Khemka took charge of managing Goldman Sachs India Equity, which earned a AAA rating from Citywire. During his tenure, Goldman's Global Emerging Markets (GEM) Equity saw remarkable growth from under $500 million to over $2.6 billion. Eventually, Khemka left Goldman Sachs India to establish his Mumbai-based firm, White Oak Capital Management.
Raj Aggarwal is an accomplished academic, author and CFA charter holder.
He has a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He also has an MBA specializing in operations management. Aggarwal is also a PhD holder with a doctorate in corporate finance and international business. Aggarwal's academic qualifications are remarkable.
Raj has received many awards for his teaching and scholarly work. He has also published extensively in finance and international business journals. He has won prestigious honours such as a Fulbright Research Fellowship and a Larosier Award. His impactful scholarship has led to inclusion in the top 2% of scientists globally in Finance and Economics.
He has held esteemed positions as a business dean and an Endowed Chaired Professor at the University of Akron, John Carroll University, and Kent State University.
Raj has served in leadership roles as President or Vice President of organizations, including the Eastern Finance Association, Financial Management Association, and Academy of International Business.
He has also served on the boards of Manco/Henkle DIY Inc., Ancora Trust/Mutual Funds, the Flood Company, and ERC Inc. Additionally, Raj has provided consulting services to the UN, the World Bank, Fortune 100 companies, and commercial banks.
Get Inspired by These Success Stories & Write Your Own!
These famous CFAs in India are some of the most successful and inspirational figures in the finance industry. While their acumen, leadership skills, and personality are certainly great contributors to their success, one cannot deny that the CFA course has honed and strengthened their expertise and knowledge.
Becoming a CFA requires dedication and hard work. With Indigo Learn's support and your commitment to continuous improvement, you can earn your CFA too. You can join the ranks of renowned CFAs and make a lasting impact in the financial industry. Enroll today and unlock your potential as a finance professional.
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