Vinay Kumar
Interview with Vinay Kumar

"A piece of advice that I would like to pass on to others is never conclude quickly whether something is right or wrong."

Vinay Kumar
Senior Director (Senior Data Architect)
Standard Chartered Bank

Executive MBA Batch 2021

Please tell us something about yourself, your family and your interests.

I am a technologist turned banker, working in Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore as Senior Director in Data Strategy and Architecture. I am an Indian national and have worked in many organizations and countries for the last 23 years after completing my Bachelors in Computer Science and Engineering in 1997. I am learning to play golf these days and I play tennis regularly. I like watching sports too. In my leisure time, I listen to music and watch movies on TV. My family, my wife Sarika, and two daughters, Arshia (15) and Aadya (9) are living with me in Singapore. Sarika is currently working as a relief teacher in an international school where my daughters are studying. Both my wife and I basically belong to a hilly town in north India near the Himalayas, which stands at an altitude of 1300 meters from sea level. Other than Singapore, I have worked in India, USA, Hong Kong, and Switzerland.

What drew you to the program you are studying at Athena? Is it living up to your expectations?

For long, I nurtured a desire to do Masters but due to my hectic job schedule, I couldn’t pursue it. Covid- 19 brought this opportunity to me. I am saving significant time of commute from/to office as we are working from home. I can spend the spare time to pursue my aspiration now. I was looking for a program that I could complete within a year without giving up my job. Additionally, the program had to be economical and well supported by professional teachers or counselors. I think Athena Global Education fits well with these parameters and gives me flexibility in studying and working on assignments. For the first module that I am currently on, I have had good experience and support so far. I wish to progress and finish the program smoothly by 2021.

What would you like to learn next? What are your next career steps?

Not sure at this moment, but at a certain point of time, I would like to go for a PhD degree. For a career, I would target more leadership roles and I hope EMBA will help me to achieve that.

Are you working somewhere? If yes, what do you feel is the most enjoyable/rewarding aspect of your job?

Yes, as mentioned previously, I am working for Standard Chartered Bank. The most rewarding aspect of my job is the satisfaction that I am contributing towards solving some of the Bank’s complex problems. That is, helping the Bank manage its client data by providing the best data quality framework. A well-understood data system helps to generate proper business insight. I am glad to contribute to this journey of the Bank.

What do you see as your greatest strength?

My greatest strength is adaptability. In my career, I have moved to various roles in multiple places/ countries with my family. That has given me the strength and confidence to adjust well to any environment quickly. I can adapt to social and environmental factors of a particular location, a particular organization very fast.

What is your most cherished memory?

It is very difficult to pinpoint a most cherished memory. Being selected to study at a top engineering institute, landing my first job, getting married, my daughters’ birth, and others. There are so many to cherish.

Which country have you always wanted to visit and why?

My home country/ town. That gives me my all the connections from my childhood. Also, it always rejuvenates me to accomplish all the professional work and other family responsibilities. Meeting with friends and relatives and spending time with them infuses me with a new energy.

Do you have professional role models? Who are they and what do you find inspiring about them and their accomplishments?

There are so many. Everywhere I have worked, there were people who inspired me with their attitude, hardworking, and helping nature. I am very much inspired by the leadership shown by Singapore’s first Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew who shaped the future of Singapore, Mahatma Gandhi who brought freedom to India, Satya Nadela who transformed Microsoft’s business model into a winning model in the world of new technologies, Larry Ellison who kept Oracle relevant for so many years.

If you could go on a road trip with anyone in history, who would it be?

I would learn so much if I could get a chance to go for a road trip with Larry Ellison, the Executive Chairman and Chief Technology Officer of Oracle Corporation.

What have you learnt from your experiences that you would like to pass on to others?

A piece of advice that I would like to pass on to others is never conclude quickly whether something is right or wrong. There are always perspectives and learn to make a balance respecting everyone’s point of view.



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