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This Apeejay alumnus believes, ‘In a data-driven profession, it’s all about leveraging data for decision-making’ 

Apeejay alumnus, Dipesh Kalia, who is a Senior Business Analyst with Tech Mahindra explains what fascinates him about the data industry

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After completing his schooling from Jalandhar, Dipesh Kalia went on to pursue his  graduation from Apeejay College of Fine Arts (ACFA) in Commerce in 2014. He then  gave his CAT exam and scored 96%ile in CAT exam. “After which I took admission  in Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi to pursue MBA in International Business,” he added.

The Apeejay alumnus’ professional journey started with him receiving a campus placement offer from Tata Group of Companies, wherein he started as Management Trainee and then was promoted to become Deputy Manager in Consumer Insights. After a brief stint with Tata Group and being inclined towards learning Data, he moved to Tech Mahindra to work as Senior Business Analyst in Data Analytics. At Tech Mahindra, Dipesh has worked with several international clients like Telstra Communication, Oman Petrochemicals, United Postal Services & GlaxoSmithKline, etc. In this interview, he highlights how demand for business analysts has increased in recent years and more. Edited excerpts:  

You did your Bachelors from ACFA. Tell us about your experience. What are the life skills you learned in Apeejay?

Completing my graduation from Apeejay was a great experience. The institute’s unique pedagogy along with a plethora of opportunities in co-curricular activities gave me the required push. Apart from being the best student in MAC (Management and Commerce) Forum, I was also adjudged the ‘Student of the Year 2014’. These positions and responsibilities instilled in me the confidence and skills that helped me getting admission in a prestigious B-School and then eventually, kick-starting my corporate career.

What fascinates you about being a business analyst?

When I was with Tata Group, I was one of the only few Management Trainees who showed interest in Consumer Insights or Data Analysing. Understanding the purpose and the problem statement as well as solving it through a data-driven model used to fascinate me a lot. I was lucky enough to get a clear idea during my first job of what I was going to do next. And switching to Tech Mahindra as Senior Business Analyst was a progressive step in the same direction.

How did you develop an interest in this profession?

Coming from a job-oriented family, my goal was to get into a respectable profession for myself. Getting into graduation and being a part of the Quiz Team at Apeejay developed a strong competitive acumen to prepare for various competitive exams. With guidance of amazing teachers at Apeejay, it was in the 2nd year of graduation that I decided to get into MBA by cracking CAT – which I did in the first go. From there, one thing led to another and being fascinated by data analytics landed me with this job.

What is your mantra to be a successful analyst? What are the key skills one needs to possess to be a strong business analyst? 

It was during my first job with the Tata Group that my manager had given me advice, which I still carry on with me. It was to have a high ATD (Attention To Detail). Being in the analyst role, it is all about solving the problem statements with a high amount of attention. It is very important to have a total understanding of the project and then work on it thoroughly while analysing the data. In a Data-driven profession today, it is all about identifying the smallest details data is trying to give to you.

There is no denying the IT software world is dynamic and is always in a transitional state. So are the core responsibilities of a business analyst also simultaneously changing? If yes, then how? 

Being an analyst in the IT industry calls for being updated all the time with the latest developments. It is all about upskilling yourself with the rising standards of the data industry. Today, data is the major essence for all companies or industries and keeping up to the high-speed evolution is all about it. It calls for putting in efforts – not only through dedicated work but by simultaneously acquiring new skills.

Is it that there are more and more hybrid roles emerging for the Business Analyst in the post-pandemic era?

A role of a business analyst (BA) per se has a very broad scope. In fact, the demand for business analysts in data analytics has also grown significantly in these last two years of pandemic. With more and more ownership coming in multiple projects, the journey is fast from being a data analyst to a business analyst. Even the companies today are giving a sense of strong project management skills, shaping analysts of today into leaders of tomorrow.

Please share two tips for those aspiring to pursue career as a business analyst

Firstly, have a habit of always being resourceful and you must know where to find the right solutions to the problems around you. The answer doesn’t always come but must be sought out. Secondly, to have a habit of constantly upskilling yourself. Be it any industry, it always changes. The mantra to be successful is to adapt yourself with it.

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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