Electronics Engineer to Quantitative Research Analyst | Pratik's journey in Algo Trading

5 min read

I’ve always believed that success for anyone is all about drive, dedication and desire, but for me, it's also been about confidence and faith.” - Stephen Curry

With this quote, we bring in the story of our EPATian Pratik Dokania who, with the right drive, dedication and faith, has been on the path to success. He loves things that challenge him and what was before a challenge has now become his passion, that is trading.

He is currently based in Mumbai working as a full-time Quantitative Research Analyst at NeuralTechSoft.

Pratik wishes to learn more about trading and one day wants to invest in the market with his own capita.

We connected with him to learn about his journey into the world of Algo trading.

Hi Pratik, tell us about yourself!

Hi! My name is Pratik Dokania from Kolkata, West Bengal, India. I completed Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Manipal University. I am currently pursuing Actuarial Science from the Institute of Actuaries of India.

Previously I had worked various jobs as a Trade Market Analyst at Axxela Advisory Services, Python Developer at Dravyaniti Consulting LLP, Industrial Trainee at Indian Oil Corporation Limited and so on through which I garnered lots of exposure and experience.

I enjoy playing strategy games like online card games, poker and especially chess. I have watched the series the Queen's Gambit which I personally think is one of the best shows that portray the impeccable game of chess.

During the pandemic, other than playing these games, I was invested in the markets. The market never closed, though there was a lot of volatility in the market. So this was a slight setback but one should always be prepared for such events regardless of the pandemic.

Coming from an Engineering background, what got you interested in Algorithmic Trading?

Trading never hit my radar for a long time, and I never thought of it growing up. During my college campus placement, I got an opportunity to work in a trading firm. I also worked as a trader for some time.

To get a jump start on this, I started looking for courses regarding financial markets and things related to trading. While doing so, I stumbled upon algorithmic trading.

Manual trading was something that would be taught in the firm, and the knowledge of algorithmic trading would have been incredible. I knew Python, C++, Java, so learning for me was made easy.

Initially, I was very interested in coding but I didn't know how to build a career out of it. So this placement provided me with an opportunity to explore this domain and made me challenge myself. Now, trading is definitely something that I want to pursue as a profession.

Maybe if I had been placed somewhere else other than a trading firm, I wouldn't have come across trading. I was very thankful for the experience at the internship and the mentors who guided me as they helped me get to the starting point for my career. I feel really lucky because of this.

I came across QuantInsti and EPAT through my research for Algo trading. EPAT was what I was looking for and what also fit my budget and it was also very feasible.

I connected with one of my college graduates who was an EPATian and received positive feedback about the course and how it was beneficial for me. I wanted to start fresh and this was the perfect opportunity.

How was your experience learning Algorithmic Trading?

The faculty at EPAT is amazing! Here, the lectures are taken by professional traders and industry experts that teach about current market trends, the volatility of the market, etc. They have a passion for Trading.

Their insights, learnings, stories and experiences can’t be found in books and are invaluable. They are aware and share the latest market ongoings, changing technologies, their views, something that not everybody might know is a treasure trove.

There is a huge difference between what is published and what is experienced. Expertise and experience from the faculty, aside from what is set in the curriculum, gives a huge insight into how markets work.

The learning from EPAT is very different from reading the books and articles, or watching videos as we get a hands-on learning experience.

The support managers play an important role and they are very helpful. You get to clear your doubts immediately and they guide you well which helps you to be able to focus on your learning. The lifetime access to the course allows you to connect with the support managers as well as the faculty at any time.

Since I had knowledge of coding, I didn’t find that part challenging. However, there were also people who didn’t know to code. Even after the lectures, the support team connected the students directly with the faculty and they resolved the students' doubts and queries.

Other courses and institutions have a small support team for a large batch of learners who get divided and you don’t get individual attention. But, with EPAT, each student is assigned a support manager who guides them every step of the way, throughout their 6 months at EPAT. I found this to be really helpful, to be honest.

When I’d be confused and worried, my Support Manager was always there to guide and motivate me. They are quite supportive, responsive and very helpful.

A few weeks ago, I had some queries about Machine Learning. So, even though I had completed EPAT a couple of years ago, I logged into my LMS at EPAT and accessed the latest updated content since I have lifetime access to the course. I love this feature.

What has your experience with the EPAT placement team been like?

The placement team is very helpful and professional in what they do. The companies coming for placements are also very professional and specifically look for individuals having the knowledge and quality of things essential for their job offer. And these are covered in EPAT thoroughly.

My email or call has never gone unanswered.

I was connected to Jumana and she has been really amazing. One of the first job offers that I got, provided me with a basic stipend salary and I, being a student, was glad that Jumana, negotiated with the company to provide me with a better package. I’ll always be grateful to her.

The placement team not only thinks about placing the student but also goes out of their way to help the students.

The placement team provide me with job offers that catered to my interests and skillsets then and they’re doing it today as well. They do multiple follow-ups and check on you to understand how you are faring in the company.

Companies generally tend to prefer colleges and institutes for hiring workforce, where EPAT’s placement cell would be helpful. This versus if you go job-hunting by yourself to get a job in Algo trading, would be a vast difference in terms of the job description, matching skills, salary, recurring job offers, etc. The process of placement at EPAT is very smooth.

What would you tell those who aspire to learn Algorithmic Trading?

Algo trading is a branch of trading. If you have the right drive and dedication, then this might be the one for you. With hard work and passion, you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.

Be confident, set your own deadlines, keep learning and growing - to get ahead in this rapidly growing domain.

As a fellow EPAT alumnus told me, “If you are good at learning, grasping and adapting to things, then EPAT will be really helpful to you.”

You are truly correct in stating that one can achieve anything if one has the necessary motivation and persistence. Thank you, Pratik for your aspiring words and for sharing your amazing journey with us. We hope that you achieve your goals as well. We wish you all the best for your future.

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. Check out 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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