What made you choose to study for an MSc in Corporate Finance at Queen Mary?
Marketing and management has always been my forte. Though I had gained theoretical and practical knowledge through my business and undergraduate degree, I had minimal exposure to corporate finance.
While I was pursuing my Bachelors specialising in management, I joined my family business. I had always dreamt of expanding the business globally and I felt that to achieve this I needed to gain expertise in my field. As Finance and Management plays a very important role in any business, I chose this subject for higher studies. So I took a break from the business to pursue a Masters degree in Corporate Finance. As London is believed to be the financial hub of the world I decided to pursue my Masters there. I came across various articles highly recommending Queen Mary University London because of its student diversity and talented teaching faculty.
The content of the MSc Corporate Finance was exactly what I needed and aligned with my career path. Modules in the first semester were highly informative, and combined with the numerous module options for the second semester, I was excited to pursue my Masters at Queen Mary University London.
What aspects of your degree did you find most enjoyable? What modules did you enjoy learning about and was there anything that surprised you in your studies?
Queen Mary being especially welcoming to international students gave me a chance to connect with people from different backgrounds and to grow my network of friends globally. QMUL has a very rich history which complements the dynamic teaching faculty who have established themselves as industry experts and global leaders. One year on from this valuable learning experience I can proudly say that I too have expertise in finance.
All of the course modules were highly informative and practical and played an important role in expanding my business internationally but I specifically enjoyed Investment Management and International Finance.
In India, studying tends to be more theoretical which is a complete contrast to studying at QMUL. I was amazed at how my studies focused on the practical ways of implementing financial decisions.
Can you describe your career path up to date and your current role?
Currently, I am the CEO of Vohra Ventures and we work in various industries such as media, telecommunications, hospitality and leisure, and many more. I joined my father in his business at a very early age of 17. I used to head the marketing campaign of Fateh TV (24/7 Sikh TV channel, streamed to audiences worldwide). I continued my Marketing and Management role until I was 21 years old. It was then I realised that expertise in finance would help me to grow internationally. I took a break for a year to pursue my Masters from Queen Mary University London but I continued to look for opportunities for international expansion and growth of my business.
During my tenure in London one of the opportunities which excited me was a medical tourism start-up in which I got involved. Currently I have business interests in North America, the Middle East and a seeding interest in the European market through the medical tourism start-up.
Can you describe what a typical working day looks like for you?
Everyday there is something new and no two days are ever the same for me. I tend to reach the office by 9:00 am, attend scheduled meetings with my executive heads of various departments. During these meetings we discuss the challenges and our plans for the day. In my lunch break I make sure that I read a novel as books play a very vital role in developing your mind. After the lunch break I follow the Indian stock market and related current affairs as it directly affects my investment portfolio. In the afternoon I have meetings with my international executives.
As an investor I make sure that I spend at least an hour going through various business proposals and innovative business ideas which I come across. I tend to finish my day by 6:00 pm so that I have a balanced personal and professional life, and can spend quality time with my family and friends.
How did your time and study at Queen Mary help your career and development?
Studying at Queen Mary really helped me develop and build my network with various people from different backgrounds. As well as deepening my knowledge of finance, it helped me to gain international exposure and interact with people belonging to different cultures, which really changed my perspective on life and I learnt how to tackle difficult situations.
While studying at QMUL I learnt and explored new projects and got a lot of new business ideas to take back to my home country. Moreover, the experience and stories shared by various professors gave me a new perspective and helped me think outside the box. QMUL regularly hosted various networking events with alumni and industry experts which gave an overall view of the various opportunities available around me. My experience at QMUL has helped me grow overall to be a better human being.
Is there any advice you would give to current students or recent graduates considering their career options?
My advice to all the students is to stay focused and determined towards your goal. I suggest listing all the skills and interests you have and think about what you want from your future, as this can help you choose your career path more easily. All students and recent graduates should be dynamic enough to grab whatever opportunity that comes your way and make use of it as a learning opportunity to grow. Time is really precious so try to utilise it properly. I would suggest you keep working hard and one day you will be rewarded for it. Make sure to enjoy your university days as these are the most memorable days of your life and you will cherish them forever.
What is the most exciting thing about what you do?
The media and television industry is very dynamic and every day is a new day with more challenges and new things to learn. This is what makes my profession so interesting and demanding. I run a religious channel named Fateh TV which broadcasts 24/7 devotional and religious content. The vision behind the channel is to spread the teachings of Sikh religion and their 10 Gurus (spiritual teachers).
As this channel purely broadcasts religious subjects, one challenge is that it could become boring for the audience to watch the old classical content. So to target all the audiences, whether they are young or old, our team works 24/7 to make sure that we broadcast 18 hours of new content each day, which not only focuses on religious and devotional preaching but also educational segments, documentaries, stage shows and talk shows. I feel proud to say that we are the first channel with this vision in the industry.
My work generally requires me to interact and socialise with Diplomats and Media representatives, it helps me build strong connections with people in the industry. I enjoy meeting and interacting with new people and feel lucky that I can do this in my profession. I love my work as it gives me inner joy and satisfaction every day.
What was so special about your time at Queen Mary? Can you give one or two examples of your most memorable moments?
Every moment at Queen Mary was special but I recall enjoying quality time with my friends while exploring London. I didn’t even realise when my friends turned into my extended family. Most of my friends were from different countries so it helped me to understand various cultures and their life experiences and it changed my perspective on life.
During our final exams we used to study on the seventh floor of the graduate centre. It seemed like a second home as for almost a month we were there all the time preparing for the forthcoming tests. Queen Mary had various cultural and social societies which were very informative and fun. We also celebrated festivals of different religions, which resulted in many memorable moments and new friends.
Do you have a favourite spot on campus? If so, where is it and why?
There are many places on campus which I like to visit, but I have two favourites. First is the computer room at canal side in the Mile end campus where besides studying you can also enjoy the scenic and breath-taking view of nature. The best time to sit back and study there is in summer, when nature comes alive.
The second place is the seventh floor in the graduate centre where you can enjoy the mesmerising view of the city. This place was my favourite place during exam periods because dedicated rooms for postgrads really helped us in studying, providing a silent atmosphere for better concentration.
Do you have any role models that you look up to, both inside and outside of your field?
My father is the only one I look at. He is not only my role model but also my friend and mentor who has taught me the way of life. He has been a true inspiration to me and I really admire his strength, knowledge and ability to manage his multiple and extensive businesses. He has worked really hard to achieve success and I aim to follow in his footsteps.
He always say that hard work does not go unnoticed and someday reward will follow so we should keep working hard and stay focused towards our goals. He is my strength, whenever I wanted to pursue something new in my life he was the one who believed in me and encouraged me. I am thankful to my parents for always supporting me in my life decisions and I hope to make them proud of me.