Shikha Singhal was a developer in Macquarie’s Gurugram-based Commodities and Global Markets team before moving cities for personal reasons. Four years later, she embraced the opportunity to re-join Macquarie’s Banking and Financial Services Wealth Tech team.
Saksham Arora joined Macquarie’s Corporate Asset Finance Technology Team but in 2021 left to seek new challenges. Four months later, he found his way back to Macquarie where he joined the Commodities and Global Markets Technology team.
Both share their stories about how their career journey took them back to Macquarie.
Before starting with Macquarie in 2016, Shikha Singhal had four years’ experience as a developer working for a financial services organisation and a tech start-up. She joined as an executive building regulatory reporting apps in the Commodities and Global Markets reporting team.
“I chose Macquarie because it was an interesting role, and I wanted to gain skills and opportunities within a larger company,” Shikha says.
“I’d heard positive things about the way Macquarie values its employees,” Shikha says. “And it felt friendly, open and transparent; with an emphasis on career mobility.”
In 2017, Shikha’s husband’s employer posted him to Bengaluru, a three-hour flight from Gurugram.
“I was really happy in my role at Macquarie and my husband put in an application for a transfer with his employer to Delhi, near Gurugram, where we ideally wanted to be based” Shikha says. “While we waited for his transfer we were living separately, which was difficult.”
As the transfer process stretched out, Shikha asked her manager Gopi Bahl, for advice. Human Resources supported her by creating a flexible work arrangement that allowed her to spend half her time working from a Macquarie vendor’s offices based in Bengaluru.
“I flew back to Gurugram every fortnight to spend a couple of weeks with the team,” Shikha says. “This arrangement really supported me to balance my personal and professional lives and demonstrated the care Macquarie shows to its employees.”
When her husband’s transfer didn’t proceed, Shikha realised the arrangement wasn’t a viable long-term solution because of the travel commitment involved. In 2017, she made what she describes as ‘the difficult decision’ to leave Macquarie.
Shikha joined her husband in Bengaluru and spent four years working as a senior lead in app design for a global financial services firm. She says she gained valuable skills, including AWS cloud certifications.
In 2021, her husband received a transfer to Delhi and Shikha immediately reached out to her old manager at Macquarie and applied for an advertised role. Within a few weeks she had an offer to re-join.
“I was looking for a new career challenge and returning to a more senior role in the Banking and Financial Services Wealth Technology team at Macquarie was a wonderful opportunity,” Shikha says.
“My skillset and confidence grew in my time away, and I’ve been doubly impressed with Macquarie since I returned. I love Macquarie’s transparent culture where senior stakeholders are always approachable, and the fact that the organisation embraces change.”
“Even though I onboarded virtually during the pandemic when I re-joined, I feel completely connected.”
Shikha says that in her time away from Macquarie she also missed the cultural programs and social lunches; as well as the celebrations for which the Gurugram office has become famous.
“There are always so many learning opportunities and fun events at Macquarie, even virtually, that contribute to the open culture,” she explains. “This inclusivity expands your network and connects you to broader teams.”
Since returning to Macquarie, Shikha has been involved in a variety of development projects.
“I began as a Java Developer, but I now work on cloud and broader apps,” she explains. “I enjoy being hands on and problem solving”.
Shikha says the team is encouraged to explore new technologies and find better ways of doing things. She recently worked on a proof of concept to use Kotlin, a programming language that interoperates with Java.
“We are not restricted at Macquarie. We can also leverage new tech, and present a case for using it,” Shikha says. “This is a real growth opportunity.”
Saksham Arora left Macquarie for a different reason but, like Shikha, he found his way back. He began his career as a test engineer after graduating with a degree in Computer Science in 2009. Working on banking projects for IT services firms and financial services organisations piqued his interest in finance, so he gained formal Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualifications.
He joined Macquarie’s Corporate Asset Finance Technology Team as an Assistant Manager in 2018.
Working on banking projects for IT services firms and financial services organisations piqued his interest in finance, so he gained formal Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) qualifications. He joined Macquarie’s Corporate Asset Finance Technology Team as an Assistant Manager in 2018.
“It was the synergy between technology and finance at Macquarie that appealed to me,” Saksham says.
Saksham was also impressed by the support provided to “own your own career” and the flexible work arrangements available at Macquarie even before the pandemic.
“If there’s something I want to achieve career-wise, or a new idea related to work, I feel comfortable asking any senior stakeholder,” Saksham explains.
“Macquarie places great importance on a work-life balance for employees. This flexibility not only helps balance commitments, but it also enhances work productivity, creates a sense of responsibility and results in a happy workplace.”
Saksham spent his first 18 months in the Corporate Asset Finance Technology team as a Quality Assurance (QA) Analyst. The role involved working on automation testing for apps, integrations and upgrades.
In 2019, his team rebranded as Specialised Asset Finance and moved under the Commodities and Global Markets Technology team. For the next year, he split his time between the Specialised Asset Finance team and the transaction reporting technology team, providing QA expertise for the design of a new product.
When the pandemic forced his team to work from home long-term, Saksham felt like he was becoming stuck in his comfort zone. In mid-2021, he received a promotion from Assistant Manager to Manager but felt like he needed a more challenging opportunity, leaving Macquarie to join another large financial services organisation.
“I thought a change would be good, but as soon as I moved, I knew it wasn’t,” Saksham explains.
He says that he missed the latest technology stack made available at Macquarie, as well as the flexibility, culture of feedback, and the non-hierarchical structure.
“I realised these factors meant that Macquarie provided a more productive environment where I could deliver more,” Saksham says.
So, he contacted Associate Director Gopi Bahl, and was able to take up a role that met the technical challenge he was seeking within the Transaction Reporting Technology team at Macquarie in the Commodities and Global Markets business.
Saksham says leaving Macquarie provided him with clarity around what he was looking for in his career journey and workplace.
“After just four months away I was able to re-join Macquarie at the same level,” he says. “I felt comfortable returning because Macquarie is a bit like a family, there’s a very caring atmosphere.”
Saksham says he experienced this warmth first-hand when he became unwell during the first wave of the pandemic and, again, in 2022 when his family was impacted by COVID-19.
“Both times I received check-in calls from colleagues and managers on a daily basis and was given the freedom to return when I was feeling able to, there was no pressure to hurry,” Saksham explains. “This freedom creates a sense of belonging.”
Saksham also feels his values align with Macquarie’s climate change and energy initiatives and in what he describes as its responsible investment in a broad range of businesses.
“But the combination of finance and technology is the primary reason I joined - and returned to Macquarie,” Saksham explains.
“Macquarie places great importance on technology – from proactively investing in the latest technology, to taking calculated tech risks, being open to suggested improvements, and helping its people upskill their tech certifications.”
“I’m really open to how my career may continue to develop within Macquarie and its businesses,” he concludes.
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