Priya Arora Mukerji’s 13-year journey at Macquarie has taken her from an Executive Assistant to leading a team of nine. After six different roles and five promotions, Priya now leads the Commodity Market Finance team who manage and forecast trade flows for commodities such as crude oil, clean petroleum product and base metals.
When Priya Arora Mukerji joined Macquarie in 2008, she noticed a poster on the office wall with the slogan “freedom within boundaries”.
While that original office in Delhi has long since relocated to Gurugram, and the poster has vanished, Priya says the words are still fresh in her mind.
It wasn't just a quote, Macquarie really gives its people the opportunity to drive their own career and come up with new business ideas and approaches. It allows you to take your career where you want."
“In my 13 years at Macquarie I have been given so many opportunities,” Priya says.
By the time she started at Macquarie, Priya already had a decade of experience in customer support, process and software training, and sourcing for several tech and financial services companies. However, she was commuting long distances to work, and with a young family, she wanted a better work-life balance.
Priya joined Macquarie in a role that combined the position of Executive Assistant to the Gurugram Office Head with office manager duties for the organisation's fast-growing Indian operations.
This turned out to be the first step in a journey that involved six roles and five promotions over 13 years. Priya is now a Vice President in the Commodities and Global Markets group and leads the Commodity Market Finance India team.
Priya carved out her career by embracing the various challenges and new possibilities each role presented.
While still working as an office manager, Priya used her initiative and skills to create new internal communication channels such as newsletters and posts, working closely with Macquarie’s Branding and Communications team. This led her into a new role encompassing event management, communications and strategy. She also played a key role in establishing the Gurugram Community Advisory Committee which works with the Macquarie Group Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Macquarie. From 2008 until 2017 she was the staff champion for many Corporate and Social Responsibility activities for Gurugram.
In 2017, another opportunity came up which was offered to Priya by her manager, trusting her skills and passion to learn and accept new challenges. She was asked to take on a key role that challenged her in new ways: establishing a team in Gurugram to manage the global trade flow data for crude and clean commodity products.
“We were told what was required, but not how we needed to produce the reports and manage the data,” Priya explains. “There were no prior systems or structures in place, so we had to create the team and service from the ground up. It was a big journey and a learning curve, but we succeeded.”
In just three years she has expanded the team to ten people and increased its offering to service other global trading teams within Macquarie.
Priya's team does global trade flow forecasting, tracking of vessels and bulkers, predictive analysis, supply and demand data, freight capacity utilisation, various trend analysis and
forecasting reports as well as tracking commodities such as oil and gas, metals – iron ore and coal. These reports, dashboards and summaries are used by various people within Macquarie including the traders, analysts and commodity financing teams. Drawing data from over 35 different sources, the team works across several time zones to service traders and analysts in Asia, Australia, UK, Middle East and US.
An average day sees Priya look for ways to develop the business, review all the reports and undertake data and trade flow analysis.
“It's very important to me to perform some of the activities that my team does, so I am aware of any challenges and pain points and understand how we can work to improve on it. Experiencing some of those obstacles for myself makes me better equipped to come up with solutions,” says Priya. “I look for ways to grow and develop the team as well as creating value added projects that the trade desks may find useful.”
A large part of Priya’s role involves people management and nurturing the careers of her team.
“I have been lucky to have managers who welcomed my ideas,” Priya says. “Macquarie shows trust in their people and there's plenty of open discussion with management.”
“My managers have always encouraged and trusted me, and I was given the freedom to prove what I could do.”
Priya says she's been motivated by the flexibility and challenge of trying different roles at Macquarie.
“Throughout my career I've taken on different roles and each has given me a different insight and skills,” she says. “Every day at Macquarie is a new day for me”.