A wealth of opportunities for career mobility and a culture that encourages employees to take on new challenges make Morgan Stanley India a hub for professional growth.
Bhavin Shukla, a Managing Director in the Technology Division, is quick to share the reason he’s never been bored during his more than 20 years with Morgan Stanley. “We have dealt with unprecedented challenges—ranging from large integrations, migrations, and enterprise-level initiatives, to now the pandemic—and we have always come up with innovative technical solutions, including digital ecosystems, server-side platforms, cloud, and data and analytics capabilities. Thinking through all of those challenges and opportunities brings an incredible sense of accomplishment.”
Shukla began his career at the firm as a software engineer at Smith Barney and has since held several positions with increasing responsibility. Recently, he took on one of his most exciting—and challenging—roles: In February 2020, Shukla moved from his home in New Jersey to Bengaluru, where he’s now the regional Department Head for all Institutional Wealth Services and Investment Solutions technology.
“I was interested in the mobility opportunity in India because it’s where 50 percent of software development happens for Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management business,” says Shukla, who lived in Ahmedabad in Western India as a child and immigrated to the U.S. with his family in his early teens. “I wanted to be close to the teams in India and experience the culture. It was an incredible role that I couldn't pass up.”
In addition to serving as a leading-edge technology hub for Morgan Stanley, the firm’s Mumbai and Bengaluru offices employ over 5,000 employees across all business units. John McGrory, Managing Director and Head of Morgan Stanley’s India Global In-house Center says that opportunities for career growth abound there.
“Mobility goes hand-in-hand with our firm’s core values, particularly our pledge to commit to diversity and inclusion and do the right thing,” says McGrory. “It drives career growth, while also ensuring diverse teams and encouraging a wide variety of perspectives.”
Shukla notes that he’s not only been the recipient of such career opportunities, but has tried to pay it forward by encouraging colleagues’ advancement as well. He recalls one example, a developer on his team, who was predominantly focused on user-facing technology and who had trained himself in new security technology protocols during his free time. Aware of the developer’s growing capabilities, Shukla tapped him to work on an important project for one of the firm’s largest corporate clients. The developer proved himself more than up to the task and earned accolades from the project’s major stakeholders.
Tanmay Shah joined the Mumbai office in 2007 as a Senior Associate on the Fund Services team, a business that has expanded significantly in India over the last decade. Shah’s manager encouraged him to participate in formal leadership training sessions, which led to a managerial role and subsequent promotions. “I kept building my expertise, while my responsibilities to help develop and motivate my team expanded,” says Shah, who is now a Vice President.
In 2019, Shah was eager to try working in a different business of the firm. Before making any decisions about his future, he turned to his go-to group of colleagues whom he's met through Morgan Stanley's Employee Networks. These groups provide a platform for employees of diverse backgrounds to connect with peers and senior leaders, establish relationships with prospective mentors and sponsors, and increase their firmwide exposure while gaining professional development skills. “Our networks help employees interact with people in different divisions, beyond the team you work with every day,” says Shah, who serves in a leadership role with the India Family Network. “Relying on my broader network has really helped my career.”
His colleagues’ counsel and support led Shah to accept his current role within Operations. He is now leading a multi-year project to upgrade one of the firm’s derivatives clearing reconciliation platforms, an effort that will make the process more efficient, less laborious and significantly reduce the risk for his entire team.
Collaboration with colleagues globally also has had a meaningful impact on Executive Director Ami Momaya’s career. One evening in 2004, Momaya was fresh out of graduate school and working at the Morgan Stanley Global In-house Center in Mumbai. Moments before she was supposed to head home, Momaya stayed on and volunteered to help a colleague in New York with a last-minute Investment Banking project. The project ended up being so successful that the team in New York requested that their projects be sent to Mumbai, to be handled exclusively by Momaya.
Fast forward about a year, and Momaya made it a point to introduce herself in person to an Investment Banking Vice President from New York visiting India on business. Their meet-and-greet morphed into a 45-minute conversation, which ultimately led to Momaya accepting a role as an Investment Banking Analyst in New York. “The fact that the firm was even willing to consider something like that really impressed me. They could have hired someone from New York, but instead they provided me with my first mobility experience,” she says.
After spending more than two years in the U.S., Momaya’s career continued to grow in ways she never expected. She learned from a colleague in Investment Management that the firm was looking to expand its Global Infrastructure Fund team. The Fund required on-the-ground presence in India to identify and evaluate infrastructure investments, such as toll roads and power projects. The timing was favorable—Momaya missed living near her family. Despite the fact that she didn’t have experience on the buy-side of the business, Momaya did what she’s always done in the face of an interesting opportunity to expand her skills—she went for it and got the job.
“From a mobility standpoint, I’ve had a good journey,” she says. “It’s due to the fact that the firm has so much to offer and their willingness to call on those who raise their hand and say, ‘Please give me a chance.’ It’s been a great combination of the two.”