For most people, a degree in biomedical science is the first step towards a career in healthcare and, perhaps, a ground-breaking medical discovery (one can dream, right?).
But, lucky for us, after falling in love with music production at uni, customer success executive Vishal Bhardwaj — or Vish, as he’s known around the office — found his way to the FX industry and, eventually to Assure Hedge, where he’s quickly become our partners’ go-to guy whenever they have questions or are in a pinch.
So how did Vish go from Brunel University biomedical science undergrad to customer success superstar? What does his typical day look like? And what does he love best about his role?
We sat down with him to find out.
'Not a shabby way to make a living!'
Vish got his start in the FX industry for the most relatable of reasons: ‘I needed a job,’ he says, simply.
He’d just finished his degree and decided to take a year off to pursue music. But he soon realised he’d rather music be a passion project than his main source of income, because this would give him the freedom to only take on projects he truly believed in.
So when his older sister’s friend Sabah — who, incidentally, also works at Assure Hedge and was instrumental in bringing Vish on board — floated the idea of him joining
Moneycorp as an account-opening executive, he agreed.
‘It was one of those ‘let’s see if I can hack it’ type things,’ he recalls. ‘My goal was just to get through the probation period and take it from there.’
But, as it turns out, Vish not only found the job enjoyable, he also had a knack for it.
‘It was my first time experiencing the high energy environment of a sales team, and it was an eye-opener. You had to constantly be on the ball, and I thrived on that. It was very rewarding.’
Within a year, he’d become one of the company’s top performers and was traveling around the UK training other account-opening executives. Which is when Sabah decided she’d better snap him up and bring him to Assure Hedge.
Shaking up an industry
‘I didn’t think too much about it,’ Vish says, speaking about the job offer. ‘Sabah and I go way back and I trust her.‘
But what sealed the deal was the chance to be a part of something new. An opportunity to disrupt the status quo and, as Vish puts it, ‘deliver hedging in a fintech way.‘
Over the past two decades, technology has radically transformed how we interact with financial services.
Today, nobody thinks twice about paying a bill, blocking a misplaced card, or applying for a loan with a few swipes in an app on their phone. But, fifteen years ago, doing any of these tasks involved at least 30 minutes of soul-destroyingly bad hold music or a trip to the nearest bank branch.
Technology has also enabled the average person to access a whole host of financial products — stock exchange trading, for instance — that, until just a few years ago, were only available to industry players and those with substantial savings.
But bar a few, very limited exceptions, the FX industry is an outlier.
A space where things are still done largely the same way they used to be done back in the 90s.
The opportunity to change this greatly appealed to Vish. ‘I understood Assure Hedge’s vision straight away,’ he continues. ‘All finance — including hedging — should be easy for the layman to use. That’s the way forward.’
So he jumped at the chance to come on board.
'It's all about being a friendly face'
Vish’s job as a customer success executive is threefold.
From a practical perspective, he makes sure our partners are getting the most out of our products. He also liaises with the trading desk, for example if partners tell him they want to carry out specific trades, and is there to answer questions, troubleshoot, and address any issues that arise.
More to the point, he’s the bridge between our partners and Assure Hedge. The person they can come to trust and rely on to help them use our products in ways that grow their business and further their success.
‘The most important part of my job is having conversations with partners. I chat with them and get to know them. And I review market sentiment so I can understand what they might be feeling on a typical day.’
It’s not a million miles away from his role as a music producer.
‘When you work with an artist, you need to get into their mindset so you can elicit a good performance.’ Similarly, he continues, relationships are at the heart of what he does at Assure Hedge,
‘The partner experience is fundamental. If it’s very good, the client experience will also be very good.‘
The future is looking up
Looking ahead, there are a lot of exciting things in the pipeline for Vish, including a trip to Money 20/20. ‘I’ve never attended it before, so I can’t wait. It’ll be cool to travel and meet like-minded people outside of an office setting,‘ he enthuses.
But the thing he’s looking forward to most is continuing to work towards the ambitious goal of making hedging as accessible and run-of-the-mill as taking out a home insurance policy.
‘I’ll be honest… this task we’ve set out to do… it’s huge. But once we achieve the full scope of our vision it could be a massive game-changer. And it’s incredibly satisfying to work with a great team that understands what’s at stake, trusts each other, and is working hard towards a common goal.‘
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