Emergence Of The ‘Crypto Native Generation’ – Exclusive Interview With PG Alumnus, CFO & Crypto Expert Pranav Agarwal

Pranav Agarwal is an alumnus of IIM Indore class of 2008 and an active player in the Crypto Investment world; he has written several informative pieces on all things crypto and invented the TICKET model for investing. FinAllRounders, his YouTube channel, addresses themes in the crypto realm in great depth, allowing even beginners to grasp the fundamentals. Pranav is currently the CFO of an Indian MNC, where he has 14+ years of expertise. In a recent interview with PG, Pranav spoke candidly about several lately developed paths in the crypto realm and gave thoughts on how MBAs can make the most out of the crypto boom. This article provides informative excerpts from the interview:

What digital transformations will likely be the next big thing in the coming years?

Blockchain technology and its numerous uses in products like NFTs, web3 metaverse, Social Bound Tokens, etc., have just begun to be explored by the globe. Hundreds of millions of users will be enrolled in web3 native applications and wallets over the next five to ten years. Cryptocurrencies and NFTs will become as commonplace as email, e-commerce, and mobile gaming. The blockchain technology that underpins the digital transformation will enable borderless, frictionless, and nearly costless peer-to-peer transactions through decentralised networks. 

You highlighted Blockchain/NFT as opportunities to keep an eye on; given the ambiguity surrounding digital currencies, is crypto legal in India?

The Indian government has levied a 30% tax on cryptocurrency profits or revenue. That alone does not tell if cryptocurrency is legal in India. However, the presence of several cryptocurrency exchanges, the acceptance of Indian citizens, and the implementation of a TDS for crypto investments and transactions demonstrate that cryptocurrency trading is legal in India.

Cryptocurrency is not accepted as payment or currency in India. It is still an investable asset, like gold or equities, and crypto transactions totaling more than Rs. 10,000 in a year must be declared to meet TDS regulations.

If India adopts a pro-crypto policy, could it emerge as a tech powerhouse?

Indian engineers are among the most intelligent on the planet, and this is also true with those developing web3/crypto native technology. What route crypto innovation will go over the next ten or so years is still too early to predict. The backbone of technology development, including coding, testing, etc., will remain India’s IT skills. Suppose India as a whole adopts a pro-crypto strategy; we will undoubtedly witness the creation of several ground-breaking projects explicitly designed to serve India-specific use cases. These are some of the simpler ones that can be tapped:

  • Grades and certificates can be accessed directly from the university or institute on the blockchain, removing the need for transcripts and other documents for higher education admissions or employment interviews.
  • Aadhar and driver’s licence information can be validated on an app (digilocker) on the blockchain for accessible entrance into airports, events, etc.
  • Ticketing on the blockchain so that season passes in the suburban transportation network doesn’t need to be verified by ticket checkers at congested local stations.

Given the multiple growth avenues you indicated above, what are the probable career prospects for ambitious managers in the burgeoning crypto sector?

Every student and working person should learn the fundamentals of blockchain, cryptography, and web3. Opportunities will exist in all realms, functional areas, and industries over the next few years, depending on one’s area of interest.

  • Technology includes coding, testing, blockchain development, apps, etc.
  • Defi is used for lending, borrowing, and other financial operations.
  • Metaverse/NFTs for marketing, sales, and customer-facing engagement and product business knowledge, fusing tech and business, etc. Operations fusing the digital and real-world where applications have IRL components.

Your advice for our readers striving to make it in the crypto world?       

Young readers must be interested in crypto. Anyone under 25 has never known a world without the internet, email, e-commerce, etc. Those under ten today will never see a world without tokens, NFTs, or blockchain.

There will be no learning curve in their habits to invest, spend, and use crypto tokens like we do fiat now as these kids reach spending age. As a result, they will be the first generation to be genuine crypto natives.

As someone over the age of 20, they must devote 50-100 hours (2-3 hours per week for 25-50 weeks) to learn about blockchain, its uses as fungible and non-fungible tokens, tracking news about the many forays by companies into web3/metaverse, and so on.

They must pick parts of web3 that they are naturally inclined towards and delve further into those sections/areas to gain information and abilities that can benefit businesses/projects in web3.

You graduated from IIM Indore in 2008; how, in your opinion, can one use their MBA degree to enhance their career?

Although an MBA degree gives an edge to advance one’s career, I believe that it must be forgotten when a person enters their corporate career and has the humility to learn from people already in the system.  An MBA degree does have its advantages while having a requirement of some theoretical know-how. For finance and marketing graduates, there are concepts they can use to ensure a better outcome.

Networking & Connecting with MBA Alumni and people working in the same industry will help you advance your career in several prospects.

Talking about his experience with Pagalguy, Pranav shares how he was hooked on PG discussion groups  due to three significant advantages it offers to MBA aspirants:

  1. Enhanced Network – He still is in touch with people he met through the site after 15 years.
  2. Constant support – Getting calls from 5 IIMs and being waitlisted after one GDPI, the network I had through Pagalguy stood through me since we all were in the same boat. Post his conversion for Indore, he ensured to be with those who missed out.
  3. A feeling of Belongingness – The merit-based culture at PagalGuy gets you a connection with the community that makes you feel you belong.

Connect with Pranav Agarwal on LinkedIn to learn about the newest developments in the crypto sector.

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