Passion For Learning: Rohit's Journey From IIM To Algorithmic Trading

4 min read

pictureThe world of algorithmic trading is huge and the concepts around it can sometimes become mind-boggling. However, a passion to learn more, explore the details while clearing your doubts, is what sets a good trader apart.

Learning to grow and expand one’s knowledge about algorithmic trading is what Rohit was focused on!

Mr. Rohit Poddar, an MBA graduate from IIM Ahmedabad and an EPAT student, started his journey into the world of Algorithmic Trading in 2018. Through his dedication and determination, he is the first student to receive the verified EPAT certificate post his proctored EPAT examination conducted by Prometric.

Let’s know about Rohit’s experience during his learning period in EPAT!

Our conversation with Mr. Rohit Poddar

  • Hi Rohit, tell us about yourself.

I am currently based out of Kolkata and have completed Mechanical Engineering from NTU, Singapore and later on pursued an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. I graduated in 2017 and since then I have been involved in my family business which supplies machinery parts to jute processing units in Bengal.

  • What motivated you to explore the field of algorithmic trading?

I have been a long-term investor for the past 3-4 years, that is when I realized that trading can be a good source of additional revenue. I started by trading manually, through technical indicators such as MACD, Bollinger bands etc. While browsing and researching more about trading, I came across this concept of Algorithmic Trading as a field and found out that the big players in the market use it as a means of competitive advantage, often recruiting the best quant talent. Hence, I wanted to research more and deepen my knowledge of this field.

  • What made you choose EPAT to explore more about algorithmic trading?

My two primary reasons for choosing EPAT were its well-structured pattern and syllabus, and having industry practitioners as professors for EPAT. There’s a lot of material available online to know about Algorithmic Trading however it’s not in a structured manner. There are separate courses for different topics like Machine Learning for Trading, Pairs Trading, Statistical Arbitrage etc., but there’s no such course which brings all these topics together.

  • How was your experience with EPAT and what was the best thing you liked about it?

The faculty is top-notch. EPAT acts like a launchpad and looks into almost all the major concepts like options trading, market microstructure, statistics, Python, trading through Machine Learning etc., and gives an overview of the industry which enables you to choose where you want to go.

  • How did you prepare for the EPAT examination and what are some tips you’d like to give to the other students who would be appearing for the EPAT exam?

EPAT exam boils down to how well you understood the concepts. The questions in the exam are mostly concept-based, hence there’s no need for mugging up the answers. After listening to the lectures, I used to spend 1-2 hours on my own going through the concepts and trying to get hold of whatever was taught in the lecture, and 2-3 hours on the weekends. As I always kept myself up-to-date with the course content, I didn’t have to put in additional effort just before the exam. A revision of the study material, coursework, and assignments, before the exam, helped me.

  • Tell us something about your EPAT examination experience.

The examination was conducted professionally in a proctored environment and all the facilities were available at hand. The exam interface was smooth and thus enhanced my exam experience.

  • What do you think are the benefits of appearing for the examination in a proctored environment?

For me, proctored examinations are always better than taking it on your own time. Given the amount of time and money invested in a course, it is best to gauge how much you have understood and learnt through a professionally conducted exam. You can check out the questions which you weren’t able to answer and try to understand the concept once again, which help you determine the areas you need to work on.

  • How do you plan to incorporate the practical learnings from EPAT into your professional life?

Currently, I am using Python to evaluate my investing decisions, and also working on my EPAT project based on stock price prediction. The program taught me the importance of backtesting my strategies. I backtest a strategy on at least 3 years of past data, and only then do I implement it in the live market. Evaluating a trade correctly, knowledge of a variety of strategies and their methodologies, are the biggest learnings I got from EPAT.


Rohit displayed a lot of zeal and enthusiasm to upgrade his knowledge about algorithmic trading and still continues to grasp as much knowledge as possible optimizing his trading skills and practicing them.

EPAT helps a person achieve excellence in the field of algorithmic trading through its comprehensive curriculum, expert faculties who are industry practitioners, practical hands-on training and much more. Topics such as Statistics & Econometrics, Financial Computing & Technology, Machine Learning ensure that one attains the knowledge about each aspect of Algorithmic Trading.

Disclaimer: In order to assist individuals who are considering pursuing a career in algorithmic and quantitative trading, this case study has been collated based on the personal experiences of a student or alumni from QuantInsti’s EPAT™ programme. Case studies 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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