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        Meet The Aston MBA Creating Royal Bank Of Scotland's New Challenger Bank

        Prasad Holay is carving out a new bank from the British lender

        Prasad Holay is trying to create a new challenger bank at Royal Bank of Scotland. The London-listed British bank is carving out Williams & Glyn, which will have 314 branches when it launches next year — and RBS plans to float it by the end of 2016.

        The sheer complexity of the divestment means Prasad has had to draw on his MBA skill-set. A graduate of the UK’s Aston Business School, Prasad has used the experience to transition from a technical career at Infosys. He spent four years as a senior systems engineer at the Indian software group before enrolling in Aston’s 12-month program in 2010.

        The former computing bachelor’s student also previously worked as a management consultant at telecoms company British Telecom and as a process analyst for the UK's Leeds City Council.

        How has the Aston Business School MBA been of benefit to your career?

        Having done my undergraduate degree in computing, and with previous experience in IT, my reason for pursuing the MBA was to learn about the business side of the world.

        The MBA at ABS not only provided me with an understanding of this, but also helped in shaping my thought process and personality. It has definitely widened my horizon in terms of opportunities. I have had an opportunity to work in two different industries in last three years and can easily relate a lot of things to the classroom at ABS.

        The practical approach to case study-based learning and a multicultural environment also really helped a lot.

        What do you love most about your role at RBS in London?

        I am currently working on a divestment project at RBS, trying to create a new challenger bank. The sheer complexity of the project provides for a very challenging work environment and scope for a lot of learning and opportunities — that’s what I like the most.

        What are your three key takeaways from the Strategy Management & Marketing Strategy majors?

        Three aspects that were crucial from the course were:

        •          Knowledge: Modules were very well-designed. They covered theoretical models and real-world scenarios, with a constant focus on developing the skills, attitude and values needed in an ever-changing business world.

        •          Critical thinking: Professors at ABS always encouraged me to think without any limits, while identifying problems as well creating solutions for cases studies — which is very useful when dealing with corporate challenges.

        •          Decision Making: Knowledge and critical thinking together facilitate better and informed decision making on both simple and complex issues.

        What does Birmingham offer in the way of social activities?

        Birmingham has a lot to offer, especially for students. It’s got a buzzing nightlife and some lovely food joints to hangout at. The student union at Aston organizes some fantastic social and cultural events throughout the year. It doesn’t matter if you are party type or studious type, Birmingham has got enough to cater to your needs.

        What lessons can you draw on from systems engineering at Infosys?

        My role at Infosys was more technology oriented but the IT operational concepts and change management methodologies are still very useful. Today while working on the business aspects of projects, my previous experience at Infosys helps me to see the technical impact of business decision-making.

        How do London bankers switch off and have fun?

        Most of the time the switch is always on, but weekends with family and friends are quite relaxing. Regular social events are a great way to have a good laugh and network.