Defining my industry: Portfolio Management Services in India

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Hi, I am from India and would like to know how would the US b-schools categorize the Portfolio Management Services industry in India.

Key features of the business:

Only investments size larger than $37k (large amount in Indian terms) are allowed. Threshold of eligible investors is the investment commitment and not networth or annual compensation of an individual.
Investments can be pooled together or separately managed
Managed through investor's account and not fund's account.
Markets are not mature enough so, only long-only public equity exposure allowed. No derivatives allowed.
Various styles or specific sector exposures are allowed.
Can take concentrated positions but leverage not allowed.
There is 2 & 20 system for compensation.
Portfolios can be discretionary or non-discretionary. Most of the portfolios are discretionary.
Usually very small teams like PM, assistant PM, Investment associate & analyst.
Require sell-side research experience of 1-2 years to get in.
Tougher to get in than usual investment management businesses.

Also, there are very few hedge funds, like 5-6 in the whole of India and are allowed to trade only in derivatives but there are many mutual funds (established & mature businesses here) in India. There just 250 PMS in India with just 5-10 being of the size I work at.

I am currently working as a research associate in a PMS. I will be applying for a US MBA in the future and wanted to know how would the b-schools categorize such a business? WIll they consider it as a HF, AM or a subtype of any? Will an experience in such a company be competitive enough for US MBA? Also, how is PMS based on above description competitive against an MBA applicant with WE in IB or PE?

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by mbaMissionKate » Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:12 am
Hi there,

I think b-schools will categorize it with other asset management jobs, or non-banking finance jobs even more broadly. They are unlikely to understand all the nuances you list and that's OK, but they definitely will be familiar with other Indian applicants applying from that industry so it's not anything completely new. You ask if you'll be competitive applying from that industry, and yes you certainly can be, though whether or not you are competitive really doesn't depend much on your industry. It matters more how successful you've been, what contributions you've made, the leadership experience you've had, your academic credentials, your community involvement, etc. It is a holistic evaluation process, with no quotas or requirements for certain industries. So I'm not sure if I understand the real reason behind your question, but hopefully this is helpful to you.

Good luck!
Kate

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by ramsay_1901 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:05 am
Thank you Ms. Kate for your detailed reply.

I am an aspiring MBA candidate and will be joining an MBA program after completing 5 years of WE. I asked this question because I haven't seen many candidates with an experience in PMS. Yes, I will make sure my application on a holistic basis will represent leadership in both my professional & non-professional life and will make sure my GMAT score is on par/above the class average.

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by mbaMissionKate » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:35 am
You're welcome. Good for you for thinking ahead! I think you'll be in a good position to apply in about 5 years and when it comes time you can highlight some of those unique aspects of the market you mention. Other things to be thinking about -- beyond leadership experience, try to get exposure to executives and clients as much as possible plus any international exposure would be a nice plus. Also make sure you have some involvement in activities or community organizations outside of work too, doesn't have to be NGOs, could be a professional networking or alumni organization, etc. but you'll want something to show you're a well-rounded applicant when it comes time. Good luck!

Kate