Anurag Saxena

Rewind to 2008.

PwC was my first introduction to management consulting. I was on a fast-track growth path at a top multinational technology company – not to also forget that I loved Bengaluru. When I accepted the offer from PwC India to join the Advisory team in Delhi as a consultant, I was excited but also a bit apprehensive. The decision to join PwC meant moving to Delhi and entering a new sector, role, and life.

When I look back, I am so proud of the decision today.

The decision to join PwC helped me in different ways and contributed significantly to my growth as a professional. I feel like the only experience that may come close to the experience of working at PwC is the experience of an entrepreneur.

I was fortunate to join PwC when India was exploring the possibilities of creating the foundational layers of the digital economy. I led many large transformation projects in the early days of my career. Each day was different, and at times, I changed my hats multiple times in a single day!

I have had the opportunity to work in more than twenty Indian states and countries, including Iraq, Bangladesh, and Oman. I represented PwC in many strategic discussions with clients in Delhi. I also got the opportunity to work closely with clients at the gram panchayats in remote villages.

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By getting the opportunity to launch many successful projects, I learned to navigate through dead ends and acquired the most precious skill of dealing with unknowns. I started loving the journey from ideation to successful execution, solving the most complex challenges millions of people faced.

I vividly remember the day in 2011 when I presented the implementation approach for ‘Direct Benefits Transfer (DBT) of fertilisers subsidy’ to a tech titan/Indian entrepreneur and many senior Government officers. I needed a lot of support from multiple teams in PwC to build the approach further. It took one email to get the best team in place from multiple practices the next day. We prepared the blueprint for the DBT and worked with the Government and the industry to find the best possible path. When I connected the dots, I got the chance to participate in India's Digital Public Infrastructure (DPI) journey when a few people believed in its potential. When I reflect on this point in my career -- I am proud to say that I worked at PwC.

Four years at PwC just flew by… Possibly the equivalent of a degree programme that offers an opportunity to be a better version of yourself.

In the nineteen years of my career trajectory, I sourced most of my strengths from my four-year stay at one of the most prestigious Engineering colleges in India, and my four-year stint at PwC. Surprisingly, most of my friends, mentors, and partners also come from the same network!

My experiences and lessons at PwC helped me strengthen my contribution to creating an inclusive and equitable digital economy. The task has seemed equivalent to moving a mountain as the world deals with many emergencies related to small businesses, health, and climate. The impact is a core component of the business strategies of the best organisations in the world, making participation by the Government, the private sector and philanthropists critical to evolving and moving quickly.

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With exposure and experience working with all three actors and the first-hand experience of technology-led transformation, I am committed to continuing my career journey.

In September 2023, I joined Accion, a global non-profit, on a mission to create a fair and inclusive economy. Our mission is to improve the lives of underserved people by building innovative and responsible financial solutions. We are a leading early-stage investor in fintech for inclusion and experts in the transformation of financial service providers, with decades of experience harnessing the capital markets to enable underserved people to improve their lives. In 60 years, Accion has reached 350m underserved people globally and helped build 235 financial service providers across 75 countries.

I lead the Accion Advisory team for the Asia region. Accion Advisory combines decades of on-the-ground experience with insights into new technologies to help our partners become more sustainable and scalable. On a typical day, I will review a project with a mandate to explore the possibilities of enhancing digital financial inclusion using Account Aggregator, discuss the possible models of green asset financing in different regions, brainstorm on innovative financial products for our clients, explore the possibilities of Generative AI as part of a global working group. Digital and women economic empowerment stay a common thread across initiatives.

While I still wear many hats in a day, I still face unknowns. But this is part of the journey when one chooses to solve problems affecting billions.

I am proud to be a PwC alumnus and sincerely thank you for this life-lasting experience. One lesson I want to share is to stay obsessed with the outcome, never underestimate the power of collaboration, and be a learner for life.

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