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Subhajit Nag

Summer Associate 2021

 I have an electrical engineering background and have previously worked in the T&D, renewables, and energy storage industries in various. Currently I am pursuing an MBA at IESE Business School, Barcelona, and I interned with the Operations team at Actis in London over the summer of ’21.

I have predominantly worked in emerging markets, and as a matter of personal preference, I enjoy the challenges of working on “hard-assets” – power plants, tangible infrastructure etc. At Actis, I found the sweet spot – the firm’s growth ambitions as well as its focus on emerging markets and hard-assets tied extremely well with my own career preferences.

Initially, working in emerging markets wasn’t a conscious choice, but that changed quickly as the time I spent on ground helped me appreciate the magnitude of positive impact these projects have on local communities. And this is where I connected further with Actis. Over the course of the Actis Acts campaign, my team and I worked in close coordination with executives of platform company Eolicas Babilonia in Brazil and with local consultants, to prepare a proposal for execution of a rainwater harvesting project for a community in Olhos d’Agua, Brazil – an area in close proximity to Eolicas Babilionia’s wind assets. Moved by the magnitude of impact on the community, the Actis Acts board granted co-investment and now this c.$98,000 project would afford much needed water security to the drought ravaged community. Interestingly, such proposals are welcome at a firm level and are not exclusive to the summer associate programme, and there is significant traction from the platform companies themselves, so opportunities to remain involved in such initiatives are a plenty.

During my time at Actis, I participated in a live deal, several candid guru sessions with senior management, and also had the opportunity to work on two research papers. Over the course of my engagement, two main aspects stood out for me – there is a tremendous wealth of knowledge within the firm and there is almost always more to learn than what time can afford. The other aspect that stood out was the firm’s proactive stance in identifying any evident or emerging threats to ESG aspects of its operations. Whether it be board level discussions around sourcing of PV modules from Xinjiang, China or weekly reporting of HSE events in SteerCo meetings – there is unwavering focus on ESG and safety, and the ensuing impact is visible first-hand over discussions with management of platform companies.

Despite having worked remotely for the internship, I felt there was a great deal of engagement – team buddies and HR buddies greatly facilitated the transition to a new workplace. There is a general open-door policy, and everyone is very approachable at the firm. Summer associates get invited to department calls, pipeline calls and IC meetings, and just being able to sit through these discussions allows one to learn a lot about the firm’s decision-making processes. Moreover, being in loop of almost all developments at the firm, makes one feel involved and focused.

I felt the summer associate programme does a great job at offering a short and crisp snapshot of the cross-section of the firm’s operations, values, and ambitions – a great primer to the overall Actis story, and personally for me, it was a deeply enriching experience.

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I have an electrical engineering background and have previously worked in the T&D, renewables, and energy storage industries in various.