15 years in Banking to now Algo Trading | Ritwik's journey

4 min read

Ritwik has 15+ years of experience in the banking industry and is skilled in Banking, Foreign Exchange (FX), Derivatives, Treasury, Equity & Debt Financing.

He holds a BTech in IT, a Post Graduate in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) from the University of Texas. He is an expert treasury professional (Certified Treasury Professional) with a CAIIB, from the Indian Institute of Banking and Finance (IIBF).

A proud EPAT alumnus, we connected with him to learn of his journey into Algorithmic trading and Quantitative trading.

Hi Ritwik, tell us about yourself!

Hi, I’m Ritwik Guha Thakurta. I am serving as Head of Treasury in Nepal SBI Bank (a joint venture between India and Nepal government). It is the biggest (in terms of operation) and the only listed subsidiary of SBI (The State Bank of India) outside India.

Football is my passion. As a kid, I spent a lot of time on the field. I also like to read books on various subjects. I especially read a lot about upcoming technologies as I like keeping myself updated there.

I worked in Mphasis for three years as a software engineer after I completed BTech in 2006 in Information Technology. It was there that I discovered my deep interest in the finance field, thanks to the time I spent working on financial products and clients so I switched my career to join SBI as a Probationary Officer in 2009.

Being exposed to both finance and technology, I believe that the future of finance will be fueled by technology and that’s what led me to pursue a PG in AI & ML.

What has your journey into the world of algorithmic trading from IT been like?

I got placed at Mphasis through campus. It was a dream to land in a tech company back then due to the tech boom at that time. There I was in BFSI vertical and looked after Credit Card operations of a multinational bank in Japan.

This is what got me interested in the financial field and I moved to the field of finance by joining SBI. My target was always being in Treasury as I wanted to be a trader.

I got my first Treasury front office assignment in 2013. I was thrilled to enter the dealing room, but I couldn't understand a single word. Over the years, I deep-dived into it, learnt a lot and moved my way up.

I first heard about algorithmic trading in 2015 and since then, I was curious about it.

After completing my PG, I wanted to enhance my knowledge and expertise in algorithmic trading further. I also wanted some specific domain skills and guidance; therefore I enrolled myself for EPAT at QuantInsti.

Was getting into Algo Trading challenging for you with just the initial knowledge of finance, statistics and programming?

Yes. Algo Trading is challenging. However, knowledge and skills attained from my PG and prior experience helped me.

If one doesn’t have experience with programming or finance or statistics, might take some time to build expertise but you will be able to achieve your goal.

The best part of this journey:

  • I have met Fantastic Faculties
  • Learning at EPAT provided me with great fulfilment
  • Concept-wise everything is crystal clear
  • Implementation wise - believe me, from my experience when I say there is a vast difference when an academician teaches and a practitioner teaches.
  • It was a rewarding experience at EPAT

Before joining EPAT, I was not sure how to do algorithmic trading at all.

I wondered:
Will I be able to learn algo trading?
After doing EPAT, will I be able to convince myself to start my trading desk?

But after completing the programme I’m confident enough to start my venture with the support of QuantInsti. This may take some time, but ultimately, I will do it.

What are your thoughts about EPAT?

Everything in EPAT right from the theoretical part, to the Live lectures, videos, etc. was hands-on.

My thoughts about EPAT are as follows:

  • Feedback is valued - The CEO called me up during the programme for my feedback and I experienced the implementation of changes.
  • Serious about Algo Trading - QuantInsti is very serious in its work and that is totally visible, and I have experienced it through the programme. Thus, I always recommend EPAT rather than going for any other course
  • Helpful Faculty - The faculty are fantastic. They cleared my doubts and guided me.
  • Long term association with EPAT - My journey will be very long with EPAT for guidance and support in setting up my trading desk.
  • EPAT provides end to end knowledge and guidance - From explaining how to connect to the broker, PnL, checks, prerequisites, requirements, to how the transaction flows - it’s a hands-on experience.
  • Lifetime content access - As your content is available for a lifetime, that will be a great bonus! I can revisit and refresh concepts. I can also access the updated course lectures and curriculum, which is a great benefit.
  • Networking - I have definitely connected with fellow EPATians, but not face-to-face. I’m often in touch with EPAT alumni.
  • Detailed explanations - EPAT even focuses on small things that are very important in algo trading. Because in this field even if a small error can generate a massive loss.

What would be your message to the aspiring algo traders out there?

Although your trading will be automated, it will be based on your strategy and without emotions mixed in it. You don't have to sit through the entire day in front of the screen. That's the advantage of algo trading.

Clear fundamentals - From my experience, my first advice is - fundamentals should be very strong. Then only jump into trading. You implement either fundamental, technical or sentimental strategies, so get a fair idea about them. Algo trading will facilitate to implementation of your strategy.

Flexibility. Learning. Automation.

Today, Tech and finance are not separate - that is why fintech is the new buzzword.

Unlike manual trading, Algo trading gives you the flexibility of keeping different strategies (fundamental, quantitative or quantamental) in one place. That is the power of algo trading.

Well said, Ritwik, at the end of the day, your aspirations matter, when you want to do something when you want to follow your passion, that is where all of this comes into the picture. We really appreciate your kind words for EPAT and thank you for sharing your story with us.

If you too desire to equip yourself with lifelong skills which will always help you in upgrading your trading strategies. With topics such as Statistics & Econometrics, Financial Computing & Technology, Machine Learning, this algo trading course ensures that you are proficient in every skill required to excel in the field of trading. Enroll in EPAT now!

Disclaimer: In order to assist individuals who are considering pursuing a career in algorithmic and quantitative trading, this success story has been collated based on the personal experiences of a student or alumni from QuantInsti’s EPAT programme. Success stories are for illustrative purposes only and are not meant to be used for investment purposes. The results achieved post completion of the EPAT programme may not be uniform for all individuals.

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