Over a decade ago, three MBA graduates from INSEAD began an initiative to make funding more accessible for international postgraduate students attending the world's top universities.
Their platform, Prodigy Finance, has leveraged a community of alumni and other impact investors to provide more than $505 million in loans to over 10,300 students globally.
On its tenth anniversary, Prodigy Finance set up a scholarship program, awarding a total of $100,000 in scholarships to ten MBA and masters students, according to merit, need, and skills-based criteria. Previous recipients have graduated with MBAs from Wharton and Chicago Booth.
Sudeep Narsipur, who recently completed his Master's in Engineering Management at Duke University, secured his funding and a $10,000 scholarship last year. BusinessBecause caught up with Sudeep to find out how Prodigy Finance helped him fulfill his dream to pursue post-graduate management education abroad.
How have you benefited from Prodigy Finance?
Had it not been for Prodigy Finance, I would have struggled to secure a loan for my education.
Education loans available from most banks only cover the complete cost against collateral valued in excess to that of the loan amount, plus interest.
Additionally, the uncertainty in today's job market would have put further stress on me and my family.
Prodigy Financeâ€™s mission of providing funding purely based on merit without collateral reduces stress, as well as my long-term loan costs through reasonable interest rates. The $10,000 scholarship helped to make the whole experience a breeze!
Why do you think it's important that platforms such as Prodigy Finance exist?
It's no secret that millions of highly talented students around the world are unable to pursue their higher education dreams due to unbearably high costs. Global management programs from well-reputed schools are particularly expensive.
A lack of access to timely funding not only crushes their dreams, but also deprives the world of ideas and solutions to complex problems, like climate change.
Platforms like Prodigy Finance help to make funding more accessible, ensuring that those with the will to succeed aren't limited by financial resources. That's a powerful thing, and needs to be made available.
Why did you decide to pursue a Master's in Engineering Management?
I always wanted to pursue a career in sales and business development in the technology-change management space.
Gaining structured, strategic thinking required to succeed in such roles in intricate business environments is virtually impossible without sound, formal training in core areas like finance, marketing, and strategy.
I wanted to build this foundation in the technology sector, which is even more complex. Completing my Master's in Engineering Management from Duke University has led me in the right direction.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to specialize in consultative sales within the change management space. Once I gain enough experience, I want to use it to drive large scale sustainability projects, actively working to combat the climate change issues we face today.