Ravindran Navaratnam photo

BSc Electrical Engineering 1987
Executive Director at Sage 3

Your Career

Formerly a Director of PwC Consultancy and General Manager of Corporate Finance for Pengurusan Danaharta Nasional Bhd before my last posting as the Chief Information Officer of Bursa Malaysia (formerly the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange). I was referred by PwC to assist with the foundation and establishment of China's first Asset Management Company, China Cinda Asset Management Co, Ltd (CINDA).

I am imbued with consulting experience in the UK, South East Asia and China. I qualified as a chartered accountant from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales and articled with Deloittes and Touche. Co-Founded Sage 3 in 2005 and the firm today is one the leading Specialist Advisory houses in South East Asia. Currently, I am undertaking a doctorate program with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Asia's leading research university in the field of business. I am accredited with multiple publications in journals and extensive speaking engagements.

How would you summarise your Swansea University experience?

The most amazing time of my life. Made lifelong friends who I visit and keep in touch with nearly 40 years after we first met. The environment was conducive for me to achieve success and gave me the confidence that enabled my successes after graduation. It is my special place.

What are your top 3 favourite things about Swansea?

  1. Beck Hall, where I stayed during my time in Swansea. I made many good friends, and it was my home away from home. It was always a pleasure walking to university and back rather than staying on campus, chatting with my hall mates on the walk. 
  2. Town centre, I enjoyed going to the night clubs, restaurants, and movies albeit not too many times given the tight student budget!
  3. Singleton Park, where we played football in the summer and just the pleasure of walking through the park to university and stopping at the corner shop at the edge of the park to buy a Kit-Kat

Why did you choose to study your degree at Swansea?

Although Swansea was not my first choice, and more a choice by accident due to changing my mind on the course from Civil Engineering to Electrical Engineering, it happened to be a fortuitous turn of events.

Would you recommend Swansea University to someone thinking of going to University?

Yes, and I have assisted the university in Kuala Lumpur in their recruitment drive. I would say the key reasons would be Swansea is a very good engineering university with good teaching, excellent facilities, friendly place, lower costs compared to other parts of the UK and a chance to enjoy living in a smaller city if you came a very large city in Asia.

How did your degree prepare you for your career?

I worked for a year and a bit as a process engineer in Seagate, Singapore. Nonetheless, the key advantage I had over other young engineers was the ability to think how to solve problems or investigate issues by creating field experiments. As a result of my degree, I had a sound understanding of electronics and control engineering to understand the product that was being manufactured.  All these factors contributed to me being promoted to Senior Engineer and Acting Manager.  It was also thanks to my knowledge gained at university that I was able to answer the interview questions that got a me the job, during a very sharp economic downturn. As to my chartered accountancy career progression, the 2:1 degree helped me secure articleship and the degree program's high academic standard.  

What advice would you give to students who want to pursue your career?

My successes in my careers in engineering, accounting, management consultancy or corporate finance is directly linked to having good teachers and working with very bright people. Critical to success is one's own grit but also a conducive environment which enables one to learn and grow. Swansea helped me achieve both in terms of excellent teaching and a encouraging environment (including having very bright class mates, who were also very successful in their careers) which enabled me to learn and grow.