Brian Mudhara and Navendu Vimal both joined Varrlyn in the first half of 2023. Both arrived with significant experience in the banking sector, but were also looking for a fresh start in a different line of work. We sat down with the pair to find out how their time at Varrlyn has so far helped them lift their careers.
Asked what drew them to the financial services consultancy, Brian notes that he was attracted in particular to the “challenging and innovative job opportunities” Varrlyn offers its people.
Similarly, Navendu cites a client-base mainly consisting of “big banks” – and having already worked with major financial institutions such as HSBC and BNY Mellon, that played to his strengths, while also opening the door to new possibilities.
At the same time, Varrlyn’s close-knit community of experts, and supportive culture made the transition to consulting enjoyable for both professionals. They each refer to the fact Varrlyn “treats its employees like family”, as well as the firm’s commitment to work-life balance and flexible working arrangements, and staff well-being as positives they have experienced since arriving.
Elaborates on the topic, Brian says, “Varrlyn has a rich culture. The team is very collaborative and interested not only in the work that one is doing but also in one’s personal life which for me has been a very good surprise. Meeting people from different backgrounds, doing different assignments in our get together sessions allow me to learn more about the organisation and we exchange notes and knowledge on how to deal with different circumstances.”
“I look forward to the challenges at work knowing that I have a full backing from the team, which gives me a peace of mind and ability to stretch my mind and deliver value to our clients.”
Prior to arriving at Varrlyn, Brian developed a strong foundation in banking, mainly around corporate and investment banking with different banks in South Africa and the rest of the continent. During his tenure at these organisations, he was responsible for implementing a number of key regulatory shifts, from IFRS 9, to Basel 1,2,3, and asset and liability management.
This experience left Brian confident that he could make an impact as a consultant, helping the broader financial services community to adapt to major changes with his “analytical skills and attention to detail”.
Similarly, Navendu felt a calling to bring wider experiences from the banking industry into an environment where he could support others. He brings 11 years of experience in the banking sector, with specialist expertise in business analysis, agile scrum management, and project management. Navendu is a certified Scrum Master and Product Owner.
Having been on board at Varrlyn for six months, Navendu has already had plenty of opportunities to leverage his experience. “My first projects have put my experience to work straight away. I am currently part of a team tasked with replacing a legacy system for a more modern Murex solution. My role as Scrum Master is to handle all the Scrum events, play on equal footing with Product Owner, Solution Architects, and IT Leads. Act as a change agent to enable faster and scalable delivery.”
According to Navendu, the project has provided “a new learning curve”, as a lot of things are new in terms of systems. But this way, he is able to learn about “the entire trading lifecycle of the bank” in a detailed manner not previously available to him, “encompassing different streams such as front office, operations, risk, product control and finance”.
Brian’s first Varrlyn role also presented him with a variety of chances to learn. Active as a business analyst in asset and liability management, he was required to implement a solution to help the bank manage its liquidity risk – to “very strict deadlines”.
He continues, “In contrast to being at a single department at one bank, the engagement meant I also had to meet with various stakeholders in the bank mainly in treasury to get their requirements on the solution they need implemented. Having received these requirements, I translated them to functional requirement specifications to help the developers build the solution needed.”
Alongside overseeing that process, “I’m currently also spending a great deal of time looking into the bank’s data to identify key data points that we need for our solution.”
The engaging work and supportive culture have been a great boon for both Brian and Navendu. Not only because they were shifting from industry to the world of consulting, but because they were also moving around the world to do so.
Recalling his move to the Netherlands from South Africa, Brian states that Varrlyn was “very helpful” in ensuring a smooth transition. While relocating to a new country – let alone another continent – can be a complicated and cumbersome task, the Varrlyn team took a lead in getting Brian acquainted with some of the people who had gone through a similar journey, helping him to learn how to handle the change in environment and culture – with regular catch-up sessions with the team to help him also adjust to the new role he had taken on.
Navendu, who relocated from India, adds, “The Netherlands is an expat friendly country. I always wished that I could move to Netherlands when relocating and gaining an enriching experience of moving to another country. Varrlyn fits with that reputation for sure: they take care of your needs end to end, from visa needs – setting up of paper work and necessary appointments – to travel arrangements. They even help you in connecting with you other Varrlynees, that give you a good flavour of how is it to move from another country to Netherlands. Specifically, the back office team of Varrlyn is a gem.”