Alice in CCAP-Land – Rikta Doshi

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rikta doshi

– Rikta Doshi, CCAP Batch VI
CRISIL – GAC

[Mad Hatter] “Do you think I’ve gone round the bend?”
[Alice] “I’m afraid so. You’re mad, bonkers, completely off your head. But I’ll tell you a secret. All the
best people are.”
– Lewis Carroll, in Alice in Wonderland.

In my opinion, there isn’t another dialogue that describes CCAPians as accurately as this one. It makes me wonder if Alice and the Mad Hatter are referring to the world of CCAPians!

Yes, we’re all probably “mad” to have signed up for this, but then CCAP makes sure it makes world-class analysts of us mad hatters.

Not many of us knew that CCAP would be the overwhelming journey that it is. CRISIL’s work-cum-study programme, CCAP, comes with an unspoken warning: only for the strong-willed.

All CCAPians now have a split-personality – straight faced people at work, who transform into fun-loving students in the classroom persuading the professor for mid-lecture breaks.

The phrase: “best and worst of both worlds” is applicable here. The best, because we have the privilege of learning from highly influential people in the classroom and the office. In class, we are taught by highly experienced teachers – each a luminary in his/her own field. And at work, we interact with some of the best brains in the industry. This is not something a lot of places could offer.

I precisely remember two occasions which had me overwhelmed with the idea of being associated with CRISIL. The first was Roopa Kudva’s Town Hall (my first). And the second one was Terry McGraw, President of the McGraw-Hill group of companies, addressing the CRISILites during a visit here. The proximity to these veterans, to actually see their predictions play before your eyes, to even be a part of the audience that they address, is intoxicating to say the least.

Having said that, let us now take our rose-tinted glasses off. Along with so much learning comes the pressure to deliver, to perform, to exceed expectations. All the time. At all places.

With every day that passed working for GAC, this became more and more evident. The Global Analytical Centre or GAC, as it is commonly abbreviated, works in sync with Standard & Poor’s headquarters in New York facilitating activities in the US markets as well as other regions, in a wide spectrum of verticals — from US corporates to structured credit and project finance.

The GAC task force is quite young and the kind of opportunities that GAC tosses at us is incredible. What is more incredible is how this task force has managed to deliver on these opportunities — the result of which is the high engagement quotient that we now share with S&P.

Considering the long-distance relationship that we have with S&P, clarity of communication assumes an even higher level of importance here. However, that is vital in the whole of CRISIL.

What is unique to and often the high point for GAC-ites is the close interaction with the analysts and senior analysts in the US. To learn about your respective domain and to get the bigger picture from experts in the field is invigorating.

Plus, the work day for most teams in GAC starts at 11. Talk about GAC privileges! :D

But on a serious note, stepping into GAC — into CRISIL in fact — comes with truckloads of opportunities. The challenge is to make the most of those opportunities and turning the smallest of chances into big ones. Just like the way Alice grows to fill the whole room.

In the bigger scheme of things, CCAP aims to create world-class analysts. We live by Albert Camus’s quote, “Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth”. However, while going that far, we do find our share of Rabbits, Mad Hatters, Red Queens and White Queens.

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