Written by Gonzalo Plana
Dec 21, 2023
In this edition, we bring you an insightful interview with Navin Sangtani, a Client Delivery Consultant, based in our Madrid office. With a background in aerospace engineering and a passion for the financial world, Navin shares his academic and profes- sional journey, shedding light on his role, experiences, and the dynamic nature of his work at LPA.
Can you tell us a bit about your academic and professional journey that led you to your role as a client delivery consultant at LPA?
Navin: I studied aerospace engineering at the University of Sheffield due to my interest in math, science, and a fascination with under- standing how machines, especially planes, work. Despite pursuing a Ph.D., academia was never my forte, and I aimed to transition into the “real world.” Intrigued by the financial world during my studies, I focused my employment search on financial companies. Discovering LPA aligned perfectly with my goals, allowing me to be a Client Delivery Consultant, where I engage directly with clients, learn about financial institutions, and contribute to building efficient digital solutions.
What motivated you to pursue a Ph.D., and how has it influenced your approach to your work?
Navin: My motivation for a Ph.D. stemmed from intellectual curiosity and the desire to work independently. The ability to set out a plan, define tasks, and critically analyse information during a Ph.D. is directly transferable to my role at LPA. It has enhanced my skills in project planning, problem-solving, and systematic approaches, crucial for addressing errors in client systems.
Having been with LPA for more than two years now, what do you most enjoy about working here and how has your role evolved over this time?
Navin: The camaraderie and trust within LPA, especially in teams like Southics, are rewarding. Despite our smaller teams, there’s immense trust in our abilities to get the job done. From day one, I felt part of the team, and this approachability has allowed my responsibilities to grow rapidly. I’ve even had the opportunity to collaborate with senior colleagues and provide training to new team members.
How has your role evolved since you joined, and what aspects of client installations and our financial products do you find most intriguing?
Navin: Since joining LPA, my responsibilities have expanded significantly. Primarily working with Capmatix for structured products, I find its flexibility intriguing. It serves as a central tool for smaller banks to monitor products manually, while in larger institutions, it integrates into the network to process various requests. My role in- volves being both a project executor, implementing tasks, and a “detective,” troubleshooting and providing support when things go awry.
What exactly does a Client Delivery consultant do? How does a typical project in which you are involved look?
Navin: In our team, a Client Delivery Consultant must fulfil two roles. The first one is project executor, in this role you are given a series or tasks (or goals and you define the tasks) which need to be implemented. These types of projects can be mundane or quite interesting depending on the types of process or document that you are trying to automate. The second role is that of a “detective”, since we also offer a measure of support to our clients there come times when things break or do not work as expected, in these situations it can be a bit exciting because no two situations are alike, but you have to be very systematic in debugging the source of the error. These are also the more stressful situations because it usually involves the production systems where our clients are generating their business, so not resolving the issue in time costs them money.
In your experience, what are some com- mon challenges you face in ensuring timely project deliveries, and how do you typically address them?
Navin: Underestimating the scope is a common challenge. This can happen due to unclear requirements or constant client requests for changes. Early detection is crucial, and proactive communication with the client about potential delays is key. Being transparent and managing expectations helps build trust and ensures successful project deliveries.
Can you share an example of a particularly challenging project and how your expertise contributed to a successful outcome?
Navin: The implementation of new Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS) for PRIIP Key Informa tion Document (KID) posed challenges due to a tight deadline and the complexity of PRIIPs regulation language. With a hard deadline on New Year’s Day 2023, the project required generating documentation under the old RTS specification until the deadline, then swiftly transitioning to the new version. Despite the regulatory intricacies and being responsible for a large high street bank’s implementation, success was achieved. The project served as a reference for colleagues and was smoothly translated to smaller clients, demonstrating the team’s ability to deploy everything on time, with minor hiccups promptly resolved post-launch.
As someone working at the forefront of projects, what insights can you provide into the dynamic nature of your role?
Navin: Learn to prioritise. Clients by their nature always want things done but you have to learn to recognise which tasks are of greater priority over others. To excel at this job, you need to be able to switch from one task to another and then be able to retake the previous task efficiently, so keeping track of what is done and what is left to do is important. Also remember that you are part of a team, so delegation wherever you can is key. Each person in our team has their own strengths and weaknesses, a good member of the team will recognise these and know if they are unable to do any given task whom the next best person for that task should be.
How do you stay updated on the latest trends and developments in client installations and financial products?
Navin: On the one hand there is the natural learning that occurs by simply being immersed in this field. You can naturally see market trends by the priorities clients give you as you are executing different projects, this sort of information is what tells you how different banks expect the market to evolve in the future. As to learning about new financial products, nothing beats talking to your colleagues about this. Being part of a team with like-minded, curious people is a golden resource especially to get their particular perspective on how said financial products work.
Collaboration is crucial in our line of work. How do you foster effective communication and collaboration within your team and across different departments?
Navin: Having an “open door policy” from day one, I always try to make time to help out my colleagues. Reaching out and asking questions is encouraged at LPA, so there isn’t anything in particular that do different to other team members. Humans are social beings, and when we work as part of a team, we tend to mirror the behaviour of others, if enough people act in a certain way, then that behaviour becomes common practice.
How do you continue to enhance your skills and knowledge in an ever-evolving industry?
Navin: Knowledge is easy: ask questions constantly. I always take the opportunity if given to ask “How” and “Why” questions, be that to a client or another colleague. Skills are harder but exposure and repetition is key. Theory only takes you so far and you are never going to be perfect the first time around. Getting better at any skill is an iterative process, so each time you have the opportunity try and see in what way you were better than last time. Also learning from colleagues is very important their experience invaluable to guide you along the right path, although there is benefit from learning what works best for you, a shortcut here or there can be a big boost to your morale when learning something new.
In this interview, Navin Sangtani provides a glimpse into the multifaceted world of a Client Delivery Consultant at LPA. From academic pursuits in aerospace engineering to navigating complex financial projects, Navin’s journey exemplifies the fusion of engineering roots with a dynamic role in the financial technology landscape. As he continues to evolve professionally, Navin’s insights offer a valuable perspective on collaboration, challenges, and the ongoing pur- suit of excellence in the ever-evolving industry.
We extend our gratitude to Navin for sharing his experiences and contributing to the awesome talent pool at LPA!
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