Rana Gupta: Making Most Of The Indian Equity Markets With Effective Process & People

Rana Gupta: Making Most Of The Indian Equity Markets With Effective Process & People

  Rana Gupta,    Senior Portfolio Manager India Equity Specialist

Rana Gupta

Senior Portfolio Manager India Equity Specialist

The success of asset and wealth management firms is largely dependent on the diversity of leadership they have. Strategic leadership can help build a culture of collaboration, bring the benefits of global investment acumen and scale, and create a unified presence that enables the firm to adapt and thrive in a rapidly changing financial landscape. One such industry leader is Rana Gupta, Senior Portfolio Manager at Manulife Investment Management.

Rana has a postgraduate in Business Administration (Finance) and a Bachelor of Commerce (Hon.) in Accountancy. He has a proven track record of working with multiple elite firms for over 20 years in the industry such as Kotak Securities in India, and Fortis Investment Management in Hong Kong. Before hopping onto the Manulife Investment Management team in June 2012, he has also worked with Fullerton Fund Management (a member of Temasek Holdings) as a Portfolio Manager for India Equities.

In an in-depth conversation with CEO Insights Asia magazine, Rana shares with us his professional journey and various lessons he has gathered on the way.

You possess over two decades of experience. Tell us about your success mantra and how your path to success has been like. I believe that success is not a destination, but a journey and I am fortunate enough to be able to do something that I have always loved and wanted to do so, I enjoy every bit of this journey. Sure, there are ups and downs but I am grateful for the opportunities that have been provided, the roles I have been entrusted with, and the people I have worked with.

Sometimes the outcomes don’t match the expectations as planned and to me, that is an opportunity for reflection. I believe there is always something to learn from it and something to unlearn. One who can incorporate those learnings is able to adapt better for the future.

How would you define Manulife Investment Management as a global financial organization and its position in the market? Manulife Investment Management has diverse investment capabilities and a global footprint that operates in 19 geographies and these markets have three segments which are institutional, retirement, and retail, demonstrating the full breadth of our investment solutions and services to existing and potential clients. Despite being a global wealth and asset manager, what differentiates Manulife Investment Management is our specialized approach to investments. This is because of in-market expertise, seasoned professionals in research and investment, and a strong culture of collaboration across the markets we are present in. The second approach that sets us apart from the other players in the market is how to work toward sustainable investment outcomes which is a core for building more resilient portfolios and creating long-term value. These have helped us spot emerging trends earlier and able to capitalize on them.

At Manulife Investment Management, the financial value in today’s market is driven by sustainability & riskaware portfolios, therefore, responsible investing is at the core of our business & culture

What are the philosophies that you follow to lead your team? Tell us about your leadership approach. Manulife Investment Management has a collaborative and unified approach in terms of engagement, so I am committed to building teams with people, who are aligned with the vision and goals of the organization. Apart from this, trust and respect among fellow teammates are important. Hence, through collaboration and mutual trust, one can expect a stable and specialized investment team that can take the best ideas from all sectors and markets to generate sustainable and positive performance for investors. At Manulife Investment Management, we follow transparent communication and competitive incentives to make sure the team’s interests are complementary and they are motivated to do their best.

What are some of the challenges that you have faced throughout your professional journey and how have you overcome them? In our profession, it is essential to produce positive returns for our clients and ensure that we work within mandates, frameworks and stay committed to sustainability. So, the challenges are due to the heightened volatility of the financial markets, and the key is to keep the process of investment and operation on track with the organization’s mission. We analyze the impact of the current and potential challenges and stay true to the processes that have helped me steer through the tough times.

What is the future destination of the India equity strategy of Manulife Investment Management heading towards? We aim to continue providing our current and future clients with impeccable service and solutions to maximize opportunities and returns while fostering the strength and sustainability of investment solutions. Looking forward, we plan to develop diverse capabilities and strategies and penetrate the Asian, European, and Latin American markets, at the same time setting to reach out to other geographies and newer markets. With regards to India's equity strategy of Manulife Investment Management, collaboration with our joint venture partner in India, Mahindra Manulife Asset Management, has added strengths to our team, where we work closely together to increase market penetration and synergy benefits.

What advice would you like to give to the budding and future industry leaders? First of all, if you have passion for any profession and love what you do, you can be on your way to success. That’s necessary but not sufficient. This without a doubt has to be complemented by hard work, day in and day out. There will be challenges along the way but one needs to learn from the roadblocks and move on because like I said, success is a journey, not a destination. To grow in an ever-changing world, one would need to keep adapting. Therefore, a combination of passion, perseverance, and humility is required to sustain oneself in the industry. Rana Gupta, Senior Portfolio Manager India Equity Specialist, Manulife Investment Management Rana Gupta is accountable for the research, analysis, and overall coverage of Indian equities for the India strategy and regional portfolios. Rana has worked closely with investment teams from across the Asian continent to facilitate real-time information flow.

• Favorite hobbies: Yoga • Favorite Cuisine: Fusion of Asian and European • Favorite Travel Destination: Australia • Favorite book: Being Mortal by Dr. Atul Gawande

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