Having been a defense kid myself, i grew up in a different world altogether (literally), awed by the lifestyle, discipline and code of conduct of military personnel, including my dad. A career in defense is a dream for pretty much anyone who has lived the defense life. However only a select few make it .

And then there are a few others who dont stop dreaming and waiting for the right opportunity! Our next pathbreaker, Tejaswi Singh, who grew up as a defense kid, had set his sights on a career in defense, gathering all the knowledge he could about the defense sector during his initial years. And it was this preparation that helped him launch his career in Defense Research, as an expert in Military warfare and Defense Intelligence Consulting.

Tejaswi talks to Shyam Krishnamurthy from The Interview Portal about  taking his chances in his first defence research interview and cracking it, which set the stage for a fascinating career in Defense Research.

For students, follow your passion, become an expert in your area of interest and pounce on an opportunity when it comes your way. Read on…

Tejaswi, what were your initial years like?

I come from an Army family. My father and grandfather were both in the Army.  I have always been influenced by the Armed forces and my career has been shaped by those experiences.

I remember, sometime after the 5th standard, i started reading a lot of news about defense in the newspapers and other articles. Anything related to defence used to fascinate me.

At the time that i completed class 12, i decided to take up the next best option which was Engineering. Since my dad suggested Pune as a good place for Engineering i enrolled for an Engineering degree in Pune. Even there i continued my research on defense, reading books, papers and also joined forums based on Defence news. I also had a group of friends who talked a lot about the latest developments in Defence. But at that time the only way to join defence was to take the NDA or CDS exams. 

What did you study?

I did my B.E in Instrumentation & Control  from University of Pune.

Tell us how did you end up in such an offbeat, unconventional and amazing career?

My life in Army cantonments had had an impact on me largely. I wanted to work for my country in some way. Various events such as defence expos, airshows during my schooling days had a lasting impact on my hunger for a career in defence even if it was not directly related to the armed forces.

After my final year in Engineering, i got placed in a Robotics company, which was related to what i studied, in the field of controls and instrumentation. I would have probably continued my career in Robotics if i hadn’t accidentally come across a job requirement for a Defence Analyst at a research and consulting company Markets&Markets Research Pvt Ltd.

A little bit about your career path?

During my work with a robotics company I encountered a vacancy in Markets&Markets for the role of defence analyst. So i decided to shoot off an email to the HR expressing my interest inspite of not having any experience. She was kind enough to setup an interview with the hiring manager for the position.

The manager asked me several logical questions and thankfully all my prior knowledge in defence came to my rescue. Since the interview tested my thought process and approach rather than my experience i did well and went to the next round . The next person who interviewed me asked me to explain my understanding of Defence. It was a very open ended question and i ended up talking for more than twenty minutes, again thanks to the knowledge i had gained all those years. I was hired for the position inspite of zero experience!

I spent the next 3 years working there on research and consulting assignments in the defense domain. I was primarily working on land warfare platforms, ammunition, unmanned vehicles, soldier systems, and related technologies. 

My next job, which is my current job, was at GlobalData Plc where I am a Senior Analyst in Airborne division. The job includes working in new markets and products in the airborne sector. I am researching and formulating new forecast models specific to markets in the airborne domain such as UAVs, next-generation missiles and ammunition, among others. 

Iam also a freelance writer and defense consultant. I write for Vayu Aerospace and Defence Review which are well reputed publications focused on defense news around the world. I also cover events and expos on their behalf and write about them.

Wrt freelance writing i started writing at DefenceNews.in after i came across the website and filled a form to contribute as writer. 

Iam also part of the Open Source Intelligence community which is a network of news feeds that tracks and dispenses defense news in real-time.

What were the challenges? how did u address them?

Challenge 1: Addressing clients and customers from defense companies was a major challenge. However continuous work on business language has helped me overcome this challenge in a major way. 

Challenge 2: Developing expertise in a particular domain was a major challenge for me. It is too hard for anyone to focus on a specific domain in research and consulting job. I kept myself focused on Land and Airborne segment of defence. I am still developing my expertise in these segments and this will be a continuous process. 

Tell us about your work as a Defence Analyst

I work as a trusted advisor to multi-billion dollar companies for research, business intelligence, forecasting, go-to-market strategy, market dynamics, industry trends, competitive analysis and matrix-modelling in the field of defense and aerospace. 

I also work as a freelance writer for Vayu Aerospace and Defence Review which is a very reputed publication focused on defense and aerospace news around the world. Moreover, I also work as an Open-source Intelligence expert where I analyse data from public and unclassified sources for actionable and predictive intelligence. 

What are the skills needed for this job?

You need to have good knowledge and interest in the defense field. One should take an interest in domains such as nuclear, space, geopolitics, among others. Having a technical background helps but not mandatory. Additionally, a business administration degree allows an entry into big consulting companies working in the defense sector. 

How does your work benefits society? 

My work provides clarity to companies working in the Aerospace & Defense sector. This in a way assists them in developing new products, working on new technologies, and expanding their businesses. 

Tell us an example of a specific memorable work you did that is very close to you!

My work for a prominent client in Europe which will help it in receiving government’s funding for the upcoming sixth-generation fighter aircraft. 

Your advice to students based on your experience?

Please own a passion and follow it through. Your passion will surely help you drive your career. Dedicate yourself to anything and everything that interests you.

Future Plans?

I am planning to work on a greater scale in the field of defence and aerospace. India is transforming and we are soon going to be a 5 trillion dollars economy in which the defence sector is anticipated to play a significant role. Hence, this is the best time to enrol oneself immensely in this sector and prepare for greater roles coming ahead.