Meet Amit Raje, Executive Vice President, Group - Partnerships and Alliances, who has joined us recently. Whether its cricket, politics or finance, Amit has been a part of it all – and he has some very interesting stories to share.
Politics and career
In our business optimisation efforts, recently, we have combined the Group Mergers and Acquisitions team, NBD team from AFS and the investor relations team to create Partnerships and Alliances. This team has set a very critical strategy for the Group to drive growth, especially when we think of a world of partnerships.
Amit, will head this team, and he comes with a lot of experience in this area. He started his career in politics as a parliamentary assistant to Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan who represented Karad from 1996 to 2000. “Probably the best job I ever had”, Amit says. “I really relish those four years. And it was a very interesting orientation for my professional life. Having said that, I would still say ‘thankfully’ I came to the corporate finance side”.
When Mr Chavan lost election in 2000, Amit had to move on. His new beginning was in Mumbai, when he joined Deloitte as energy consultant, and gradually moved on to corporate finance and valuation department. He then took a break to pursue his MBA from the London Business School.
After MBA, Amit joined Kotak, in Mumbai. “I was very clear that I wanted to move back to India, post my MBA, so I came back. I don’t think I would have succeeded in a Western market,” he says. He later moved to Goldman Sachs and rose up to head its private equity vertical. “My time here shaped my thinking about investing, risk evaluation, global finance, people, and how India is connected to the entire world. It was a great orientation on how the best in the game (i.e Goldman Sachs) thinks about investing. While I was thoroughly enjoying my stint at Goldman, Dr Anish Shah offered me this phenomenal opportunity to work at Mahindra,” he adds.
And he has some interesting stories about his stint in cricket too. He used to play cricket with Sachin Tendulkar. They both went to school together and were a part of the under-15 and under-17 teams. Amit being a bowler was at the receiving end of Sachin’s battling skills lots of time. “Thankfully I never played against him,” he reminisces.
Amit relayed an anecdote on why he thinks Sachin has achieved such a glory, “In 2007, I was in London and India was touring England. Sachin was the most senior member in the team. We decided to meet at 4 pm in his hotel. My wife and I went to meet him. After about 45 minutes he said he would like to take our leave as he had a meeting with the team at 5.15 pm. Being the senior most member of the team, he wanted to be the first to arrive for the meeting. It impressed me a lot; here was such a senior most player and he wanted to demonstrate to the juniors the importance of time. It was a humbling experience.”
Personal life - The Roots and Wings
Bharat Doshi has been a mentor to Amit for a long time, and Mr Doshi lauds him for being very down to earth despite his achievements. Amit says his parents inculcated the philosophy of ‘roots and wings’.
“I come from a typical lower-middle class family of Ghatkopar. My father was a shopfloor worker and most of us who have grown up in Mumbai in the 80s know about the effects of mill strikes on families.” Amit says he grew up in an environment where self-reliance becomes a part of your DNA. “Things can end up in shambles in moments. You can never predict certain things and things can completely go out of control. The only thing that can keep you going is having your head on your shoulders. So my parents always made us live by our values, maintain relationships and most important thing is coming back home. No matter what happens, home will always give you courage to face whatever is out there.”
Wings is the second part of the learning that he imbibed from his parents. “They never discouraged me to experiment or try new things - be it cricket, politics, competitive exams. I kept on trying and failing. They never discouraged my desire to soar high. They stressed upon the importance of perseverance.”
That’s the roots and wings philosophy Amit sticks to and he says that one of the things that attracted him to join Mahindra is that he sees this very strongly in Mahindra. “There is a strong belonging to the roots but at the same time there is aspiration and the wings,” he adds.
While Amit is yet to meet many of his colleagues physically, and has met them through calls only, he says it’s the people here who have already made a connection. “My experience with the team members, I have interacted with, has been great. More than the work and the profile, it’s the people I work with that keep me motivated and I can’t wait to meet them all personally now,” adds Amit on a closing note.
If you have any questions for or comments to share with Amit, do write to us on [email protected].
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