Legal Heir and FinTech Aficionado
As the heir to a long line of distinguished lawyers, young gun Nishant Prasad took a keen interest in the civic sense of nations that are ruled by the laws of land. “The possibility of being a part of that ecosystem filled me with a sense of purpose,” he explains.
After all, Nishant grew up listening to stories about his great grandfather, Mr Nawal Kishore Prasad, who was an eminent lawyer in Patna during the British era, and his grandfather, Mr Chandra Moulishwar Prasad, a lawyer and district judge until the early 1990s.
In a play of destiny, it was eventually Nishant who decided to follow in his esteemed ancestor’s footsteps. His father retired as a General Manager from Indian Railways in 2020 while his mother has been a teacher for more than 20 years. His elder brother is an engineer and MBA from IIM Bangalore, and is currently working with Amazon.
While the choice to follow his heart was always encouraged, Nishant knew his passion was law. Brought up in Mumbai, he studied at premier institutions such as St Mary’s ICSE school and St Xavier’s college in Mumbai that played a key part in his development as an individual. He then graduated from the prestigious NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, after securing AIR 92 in the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT).
Never one to settle for less, Nishant began his career as a private equity and M&A lawyer in one of the top law firms of the country, Khaitan & Co. “In time, I was curious to explore deeper avenues in the business world and hence made the move to a fintech startup in Bangalore in 2018, and have continued in the same space since the last four years,” he says. Today, Nishant is the Chief Compliance and Legal Officer (CCO) at Wint Wealth, Bangalore.
“My passion is personal finance and technology, enabling financial awareness and access. There is a lot to learn within various products in the market – from digital wealth management to debt markets, neobanks, lending platforms, digital gold platforms, rounding up investment platforms, credit card payment platforms, etc. I see myself building deep knowledge in the above fields by working with leaders in various markets, either directly or by collaborating with them. My goal is to become an all-round financial services professional (not merely a lawyer) who can provide extreme value to any organisation or project,” shares Nishant.
He also aims to someday initiate a rural financial awareness campaign, even in a small setup, to help rural India to manage money better, build wealth, and create a lasting impact.
Nishant’s diligence has seen him win many honours in the professional and personal space: Lex Falcon Award at the Lex Talk World Global Conference, Dubai 2022; Finalist – ‘In House Counsel of the Year’ – ALB India Law Awards 2021; Finalist – ‘Young Lawyer of the Year’ – ALB India Law Awards 2021; Nominated in the recent BW Legal 30 Under 30 Category of Awards; Mr. Cheemalakonda V. Dikshitulu Centenary Gold Medal for ‘Topper in International Law’; The Hindustan Times Ltd. Gold Medal for ‘Topper in Labour Law’.
Ask Nishant how he copes with challenges along the way, and he quotes Spiderman with a smile: “With great power comes great responsibility! As legal counsel, our decisions can shape the direction in which the company progresses. Balancing this out with making time for your loved ones and for your own mental and physical health is key. I have found two aspects: (i) effective time management; and (ii) setting up accurate expectations at your workplace, as key factors in maintaining this balance. Planning your day effectively and completing your tasks in the given time frames and not unnecessarily working late nights is important. Furthermore, for your colleagues to know and understand that unnecessarily working late or on weekends or while on vacation, is something which is not to be expected of you.”
Having set high benchmarks even before he turned 30, Nishant hopes to contribute to the economy by playing an active role in building digital financial platforms to scale access across the country. He feels larger access and education in India will enable strong money management by all sections of society such that lower income groups can also effectively manage and grow their wealth.
One of the ways he’s working towards achieving this is by promoting his Awareness Influencer Goals: “I have started consistently posting on my LinkedIn handle, aiming to educate the masses by simplifying legal discussions and sharing updates from the finance world. I have amassed 2800+ followers on LinkedIn and aim to reach out to a larger audience and spread awareness,” says Nishant with conviction.