Alumni Alumni Stories Serial Entrepreneur Running Multiple Entities to Bring Innovation to Businesses

Serial Entrepreneur Running Multiple Entities to Bring Innovation to Businesses

Serial Entrepreneur Running Multiple Entities to Bring Innovation to Businesses

Pankaj Kumar, our Master of Business Administration alumni, shares his experience as a student at James Cook University, Singapore, and how the skills learnt helped shape his entrepreneurship journey.

Pankaj KumarFeatured: Our alumni, Mr Pankaj Kumar (left), being presented with the Startup of the Year in Fintech Category award at Startup Awards 2018.
Photo courtesy of Mr Pankaj Kumar.

Why did you choose to study at James Cook University, Singapore?

The memory is still fresh in my mind when I had to choose from a couple of universities in Australia and Singapore. I was attracted to James Cook University, Singapore based on its academic reputation and highly-experienced faculties. I found opportunities for personal growth and development beyond classroom knowledge through the quality of education, research opportunities, international exposure, the wide range of extracurricular activities and much more.

What’s your favourite / most memorable memory of your time as a JCU student?

For me, every day that I spent in James Cook University, Singapore, from the day I joined this University till the day I left, was memorable. From being one of the notorious students of the class to becoming one of the favourite students among the class and teachers.

I remember on my last day, one thought kept looping in my mind: “WOW, the last one and a half years went by so fast. Where did the time go?"  I will cherish all the moments in James Cook University, Singapore forever.

How long was it until you found a job after your graduation? What was your first job?

I was a victim of the recession in 2008. I could not get a job for almost 6 months. However, because of the international exposure I had during my JCU journey, I got placed in one of the payment consulting firms that organises conferences across the Globe. Since then, I have never looked back. Just a couple of years after, I tried my hand at entrepreneurship and today, I have expanded my business globally.

Pankaj Kumar Award

Featured: Our alumni, Mr Pankaj Kumar (left), being presented with the Red Herring Top 100 Asia Award at Red Herring Top 100 Asia Awards 2017.
Photo courtesy of Mr Pankaj Kumar.

What is your current role at MSS Payments? What’s a regular day like?

I am an entrepreneur and a payment professional. My current start-up MSS Payments is my second venture in the FinTech space, which has its presence known around the globe. In the last six years, MSS Payments has become a name known in the digital payment space and has digital payment deployments in India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Myanmar and Turks & Caicos Islands.

My day starts with various responsibilities and challenges in every space: to bring sales to the company, to execute my existing projects, to bring some innovation to sustain the business in the market, to keep my team motivated, and to challenge myself to become a better person and leader than I was yesterday.

How has your James Cook University, Singapore education contributed to your success?

My university experience has given me the chance to sharpen my skills and knowledge.

There have been, and there will continue to be, many opportunities to learn of more ways to improve my craft as a result of my time in university, which I am truly thankful for. In addition to learning practical skills, being in James Cook University, Singapore taught me how to interact with people from different nationalities, how to respect different cultures and to build confidence in all areas. As a result, I have achieved what I wanted in my life at a much earlier time than I had anticipated.

What advice do you have for current students?

“You learn something new every day” is a phrase we have all heard before. As a student, you’re constantly learning with the goal of graduating. Take the initiative: start your education journey early, stay focused, you are going to have some ups & downs, but continue to press forward because you’ll get your reward at the end of the day. Be active, not only in your studies, but in extracurricular activities too.

Describe James Cook University, Singapore in 6 words

Best place to build your future.