HAPPENINGS @ FLAME

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They say the difference between excellence and mediocrity in a career comes with passion. FLAME alumnus Nimit Shah is a living, breathing example of this adage, who has reached the peaks at a young age out of sheer love and passion for his field.

The seeds of business and finance found a place in Nimit’s life since his early childhood itself when his grandfather would take him to their family-owned retail store. Nimit enjoyed seeing and understanding the nuances of business as he watched his grandfather conduct his daily dealings.

As a student, he developed a keenness for Mathematics early on, and was drawn to the world of accounting, commerce, and finance in no time. Nimit’s dream then was to grow up to assist in his family’s business. This further strengthened his resolve of developing a good academic understanding of the fields.

He was the highest ranker in Economics in his CBSE 12th board examinations and received a 94% score overall. Fun fact: Nimit wanted to attend SRCC, Asia's top business school, which had established two eligibility thresholds of 95% and 94.5% back in 2008 in order for students to claim the seat. Keenly interested in FLAME's liberal education offerings, Nimit went ahead and submitted his college application and paid the initial term fees at FLAME, only to learn later that the SRCC announced a third cut-off of 94% for the first time in many years! Despite technically getting through SRCC, Nimit chose to move on with FLAME. Given the wonderful time he had at FLAME, he has never regretted not giving SRCC a chance.

During his graduation journey at FLAME, Nimit participated in the ‘FLAME Investment Lab (FIL) With the Masters – Invest in Yourself’ Program 2014. Nimit views the program as an extension of further broadening his horizon in the field of finance. Soon, he got a chance to equip himself with a deeper understanding of the financial markets and concepts of value investing. Then FIL leaders Krutharth Shah and Tejas were his biggest inspirations then.

Nimit also got a chance to visit the ENAM 20-20 Investor Conference in Mumbai in 2011 as part of the FIL. Not just this, Nimit was an active participant in all the leadership talks and events that were part of the FIL. He was unanimously re-voted in to serve as vice-captain in his third year after being his batch's vice-captain during the second year. He also collaborated closely with the management and the rest of his class throughout his tenure. Additionally, he recognised the value of study groups for studying outside the classroom and organised nighttime sessions for his classmates on topics like advanced arithmetic, marketing, and cost accounting.

As a dynamic enthusiast, he also approached the Dean to be allowed to sit through some MBA courses on Derivatives, Advanced Finance, and so on, although there were no course credits or attendance benefits in question. It was out of sheer passion and eagerness to learn from the esteemed professors at FLAME that Nimit enjoyed attending these classes. Nimit was also part of the Discover India Project (DIP), as part of which he visited and stayed at Chittorgarh. Studying the lives of people over time as part of the project, under the mentorship of a FLAME faculty, Nimit’s team won the best research award.

Nimit interned at the reputed CA firm V. V. Neelesh Associates as part of his mandatory experience requirement during the third year at FLAME. The internship gave him not only rich hands-on experience in fields like Accounts, Taxation, and Financial Report preparation, but also crucial lessons on punctuality, teamwork, and discipline. Immediately upon graduation, Nimit’s attraction to the corporate world directed him towards Amazon, where he interned for a brief period. His role involved identifying and eliminating risks associated with online transactions, giving him a fair understanding of the digital and corporate worlds in one.

After his internship at Amazon ended, Nimit briefly worked at his family business – a chain of retail electronic stores – to attain some meaningful work experience before pursuing an MBA. After exploring multiple options around the best institutions for post-graduate studies, Nimit finally arrived at the PGP in Family Managed Business at S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPIJMR), which is ranked no. 1 in India due to its flexibility allowing students to continue working in their family business while pursuing a full-time course, a practical and application-based curriculum, concept-based learning, and topnotch faculty. The focus was on implementing strategies and processes back in their businesses, and this approach proved to be highly effective.

As far as his entrepreneurial experience leading his family business is concerned, Nimit was placed in charge of chiefly the financial aspects of retail operations. This included managing vendor accounts, payment reconciliation, and preparing the operating process. While he was keener about backend operations, he got multiple opportunities to travel and connect with business leaders from global companies like LG, Samsung, and Sony. Such exposure helped him develop his communication, negotiation, and leadership skills, while also exploring areas like B2B businesses and corporate sales. It was Nimit’s vision and skills that led to the addition of IT products and peripherals to their vast list of product portfolio.

At SPIJMR as well as in handling his family business, Nimit specialized in the field of retail and finance. Nimit was named the top student in his class in 2016 and finished first in the PGP program at S.P. Jain. While he was keen on sustaining these skills and values for the long term, he ended up with greater curiosity for learning. This pushed him towards the need to venture out and pursue a career in a Big 4 firm. He already had a strong academic background and a deep interest in the field of Finance to support that.

In this light, Deloitte was nothing less than a dream come true for Nimit, where he started as a UK tax consultant. His family company knowledge, while incredibly helpful, was not deemed "relevant" by the UK taxes team, so he had to start again as a tax consultant there. Over the past four years, Nimit feels he has grown leaps and bounds within the firm, to the point that he is considered a trust specialist.

His team is entrusted with the tasks of setting trust accounts including balance sheets, income statements, capital statements, and schedules of investments for high-profile and complex trusts. In a very short time, Nimit got promoted to the position of Senior Consultant, and thereafter to Tax Senior. He currently leads a five-member team responsible for trust returns, accounting, estate planning, inheritance tax, and several other advisory services.

Given a choice between his current position and entrepreneurship, Nimit is happy to work in the corporate world, collaborating with senior leaders in India as well as experienced technical experts in the UK, considering the massive learning experience he is amassing. However, he adds, it all comes down to passion. There was a time when Nimit was absolutely passionate about his family business, and right now he feels the same for his work at Deloitte.

Perhaps the future will lure him back to the world of entrepreneurship, perhaps not. Nimit believes in enjoying the present, which he is at one of the most prestigious Big 4 companies in the world. As part of Deloitte's annual incentives & recognition programme, Nimit most recently received the "Outstanding award" for adopting and exemplifying Deloitte's values. “Irrespective of where the journey leads me into, I am confident that the field of Finance will remain at its core,” he adds.