Insight & Analysis

60 second interview: Rahul Magan, Manager – Treasury, EXL Service

Published: Jun 2015
Can you briefly describe your career and what made you join the treasury profession?

For as long as I can remember, I have had an acute interest in the foreign exchange markets. As such, the world of corporate treasury is one that I have always had a passion for and it was a career path that I wanted to follow. I achieved my aim in 2007 when I entered the corporate treasury department of HCL Technologies, one of India’s largest technology companies, as a management trainee.

Following a two year stint at the company, I moved to EXL Service, and assumed the role of Corporate Treasurer responsible for the treasury front office, middle office and also treasury reporting. My remit is broad and on a daily basis I have to cover: risk management, derivatives trading (both plain vanilla and also exotic derivatives), cash flow management and forecasting, currency trading, fixed income markets, management reporting, and all the respective functions of corporate treasury.

My passion for finance extends beyond the office, however, and I have also run my own proprietary trading desk covering currencies, equities, interest rate futures, and government securities’ futures. I am also an author and run a treasury academy that seeks to educate fellow treasurers on all things related to FX (more on this later).

What are the most enjoyable and also the most challenging aspects of treasury?

As you would expect, given my interest in the foreign exchange markets, the most enjoyable aspect, and also one of the most challenging, of being a corporate treasurer is to predict foreign exchange market movements and those of respective currency pairs. We live in a time when central banks across the world are implementing quantitative easing measures which are making currencies extremely volatile.

As a corporate treasurer, you need to keep a hawk eye on the currency markets to make sure that receivables are hedged at the correct rates, and payables at low rates. For me, the prediction of stops in the currency markets is the most enjoyable part of my role as a corporate treasurer.

What made you launch your treasury academy?

The purpose of the Foreign Exchange Academy is to educate fellow treasurers on all manner of practical topics and recent changes in the treasury function. I believe that I have a lot of knowledge to share and I want to create a community for treasurers to learn and share their experiences.

My YouTube channel ‘Foreign Exchange Maverick Thinkers’ is an integral part of the Foreign Exchange Academy. Currently I have produced 80 videos covering: foreign exchange risk management, treasury risk management, derivatives trading, deliverable and non-deliverable derivatives markets, interest rate hedging and many more.

To share my knowledge further, I have also co-authored a book: ‘Options for Risk Free Portfolio.’ And will soon be publishing my second book entitled ‘Techniques to Hedge your Interest Rates Exposures’. It will cover all interest rate hedging techniques, and is scheduled for release in Australia and Singapore later this year. I am also a speaker at global treasury forums around the world, as I believe it is important to share knowledge in this way.

What is your ultimate career goal?

The ultimate goal is to be an entrepreneur and develop ‘Foreign Exchange Maverick Thinkers’ into its own brand with goodwill in the market and a reputation for covering all manner of financial issues from foreign exchange to investment banking. I dream big and I want to achieve similar to what Apple has managed in the technology space, but in the foreign exchange markets!

If you could be anything other than a treasurer what would it be?

If I didn’t have a fantastic career in treasury, I would want to be an investment banker covering various M&A deals, due diligence and other investment banking activities.

If you had a word of advice for anyone looking to join the treasury profession what would it be?

I have two key words of advice: stay hungry and continue to do new things in the life. Also, try to be a benchmark, rather than following a benchmark.

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