In conversation with, Sudipto Bhattacharya, Deputy General Manager (M&A) at Tata Communications. Before working at Tata Communications, he started his career at Cairn India Ltd as an Associate later becoming an Assistant Manager there. We would like to understand the role of a Corporate Development Department (M&A) from him
I work in Corporate Development for Tata Communications, a Tier-I digital infrastructure provider. My role basically involves:
This role is a combination of corporate strategy and buy/sell side transacting. A typical transaction process could be broken down into 4 basic elements, namely:
Depending on the volume of transactions being parallelly pursued, my daily routine is highly variable:
After graduating as an Engineer I enrolled in the coveted, Aerospace Master’s Program at IISc Bangalore. But as luck would have it, due to certain unavoidable circumstances I had to drop out, mainly to pursue an MBA program closer to home. As I always had an interest in both technology and finance, I started my career at an oil and gas firm where I worked in corporate finance and economic analysis. This helped me get a fine exposure to business analysis, valuation and risk management. The 2 years of exponential learning here proved to be a cornerstone for a future career in strategy and M&A.Later, I received an offer from Tata Communications which was working at unlocking significant value in Virtual networks like Cloud, IoT, AI and other such sunrise sectors which were very new and exciting to me. Also, it was around this time that the US Shale revolution was turning the economics of the oil and gas industry and this persuaded me to accept the offer.
I have been lucky to have been provided ample opportunities to learn and grow as a Corporate Development professional here at Tata Communications.
If you’re working as a Corporate Development professional, you will have to work closely with a plethora of stakeholders and also, you will be the central point for everyone involved in a transaction, from internal teams like R&D, legal, finance, investor relations and marketing to external ones like tech-entrepreneurs, bankers, consultants, and governmental agencies. A good background in corporate finance and fundamental corporate law is essential. However, communication skills and an aptitude to work well under pressure is also important. A commonsensical approach to business analysis and a good grip on numbers can make an aspirant worthy of this designation.
Although I did not start my career from banking or investment analysis background, as most Corporate Development professionals usually come from one of these two backgrounds. The other route which can help you get this type of job is to work in the corporate strategy teams of larger corporate firms.
Explore all learning avenues. Any skill learned never goes to waste, people with varied skills are always valued. Very few jobs have a single-minded focus on a single skillset and Corporate Development is no different. Corporate Finance, Fundamental Corporate Law and communication skills are also of particular significance. Always try to stay on top of new technology/ business themes. M&As follow broader themes and as such are either reactive or proactive actions in response to these. “The views & opinions expressed in the article are that of the author.
“I’m a Commerce graduate from St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata and have completed CA (Rank holder), CFA(USA), FRM(USA), CAIA(USA), CCRA, CIPM, AIM and CS. At present, I am a visiting faculty at St. Xavier’s College, NSE, BSE; B-Schools like iLead, BIBS along with several other institutes; am a full-time trainer for CFA, FRM and SFM – CA Final. Provide trainings at organizations like Tata Interactive Systems, Volvo-Eicher(VECV), Genpact, AIITA, EIRC-ICAI, Saregama, Quaker Chem, Century Ply, AUM Capital etc. on Finance and Advance Excel.