On the road from an asylum seeker to a thriving refugee – hedge fund investing algorithm

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The Goal:

I am an Indian citizen (Passport No. U3996623). I have applied to close to 300 positions in India over a period of 6 months on LinkedIn, company career email ids, and industrial clusters. Not a single interview call. I can’t go without work for 9 months. I have 8 years of experience in analytics and strategy. My toolkit consists of statistics, optimization, simulation, and mathematical modelling across marketing, manufacturing & supply chain, finance, and strategy. I have a PhD 1st year in strategy simulation (with a Teaching Assistantship). I also have a tuition scholarship from The Santa Fe Institute, US for one of their complexity modules. I have a Master of Technology 1st Year in Modelling and Simulation. I have postgraduate certificates in Analytics (IIT Bombay) and Economics (IIM Calcutta). I am a Mechanical Engineer with a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management majoring in Marketing. I have a standardized GMAT score of 730 (96th Percentile) taken in August, 2011. I have letters of recommendation from a statistics faculty at IIT Bombay, and a management PhD from Carnegie Mellon. I have also tried to work part time in data entry but made next to no money. I decided to move out. I have travelled from Mumbai via Delhi to the Indian border in Sonauli. I walked over on to the Nepal side and took a bus and arrived in Kathmandu on 21st March, 2021. I am currently put up at Traveller’s Dorm Bed and Breakfast, Rayamajhi Marga, Kathmandu. I am booked till the 6th of April, 2021. I have the support of my friends. I am divorced and have no immediate family. I have asked UNHCR, Nepal to grant me the asylum seeker status at the earliest and protect me against refoulement. With no salary coming in I have maxed out on my bank balance:

https://github.com/PrashantPD/GoGetFunding2 (My Bank Account)

To expound more, all analytics companies worth their salt have overseas clients - no clients in the Indian industry. The only fellow I know who has a PhD has a doctorate in statistics and is no longer working out of India. Now there is one other fellow who has a PhD in operations research but he works in machine learning a discipline that has a strong computer science element. There are guys at IBM Research who have a PhD in operations research but they are not involved in management science. For the record, on my flagship academic journal, Strategy Science there are no India-based academics on their editorial list, no one has published a paper, and to the best of my knowledge not a single faculty or PhD candidate actively looking to make a contribution in strategy simulation. In my industry the golden standard to recognise one’s contribution is the Franz Edelman award given out annually by the Institute For Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS). In India we have the equivalent given by the Operations Research Society of India (ORSI) but the work has had to be carried out in India. But with little envelope pushing work happening in management science I find no forum for active scholarly contribution or participation.

Globally the hedge fund industry is worth $3 Trillion in assets. India is still at $1 Billion with virtually no takers for algorithm sellers.

So there are growth centers like Hyderabad known for its coding prowess, Bengaluru with its IT mandate, Delhi with a chunk of all the strategy work happening in the country, Mumbai-the financial capital, Pune-the so called Oxford of the East. But not a place where I can thrive.

Today I am writing an algorithm and will collaborate with academia from my alma mater to sell to a hedge fund. I am hosting my proposal here:

https://github.com/PrashantPD/GoGetFunding2 (Hedge Fund Algorithm Proposal)

The algorithm to predict the asset prices in the financial industry are usually considered ground-breaking and deliver an arbitrage if they can leverage new sources of information (we will access up-to-date data resources at quantconnect.com) or can deliver capability by identifying qualitative patterns. The platform at quantconnect.com helps developers develop and test algorithms in the R environment free of any commercial commitment and is considered to be the go-to point for investment research.

The biggest of all the hedge funds generate around 40% returns year on year. A lot of the smaller ones generate around 20%. I will read around 50 papers on commodities and their asset price movements and build a rigorous case on the basis of cutting edge extant literature (I will only use scholar.google.com and other open source material). I will use mathematical modelling, statistics, optimization, and simulation and look for arbitrage with a combination of theory and appropriate models, new sources of data, and optimization using simulation.

I will prepare a user interface built in R, the least disliked programming language (https://stackoverflow.blog/2017/10/31/disliked-programming-languages/#:~:text=The%20most%20disliked%20languages%2C%20by,of%20people%20who%20liked%20it) and host it on cloud which the hedge funds can use for validation. I will also mail out the backtested data via my contacts at Citibank, Shenkman Capital, Nomura, HSBC, and Bank of America and within a week’s time will drop in to discuss possibilities. I will look to sell the algorithm and help them build it into their trading system by working for them through acquire + hire.

I am 40 and would like to believe I still have 30 years of enthusiasm, spirit, and a dream.

The impact:

I need a place of residence. I intend to buy my passport at Dominican Republic through investment (will need around $100K) after close to 3 years of savings. If I can get a hedge fund to acquire + hire me this should get expedited many times over. I want to get into a US Top 20 PhD program in strategy where the methodological grounding requires computer simulations. My job market paper will enable me to work as a full time faculty. I obviously want to get married and have lots of kids (3 girl kids if someone’s asking).

What I need and what you get:

I am seeking $10K in crowdfunding. This will go towards my quick trip to New York, London, and Hong Kong on a business visa. You will get my heart felt gratitude for your donation.

Risks and Challenges:

Even if we don’t hit the target, I will travel to Canary Wharf and meet my London hedge fund representatives. My proposal, the backtesting, my warm contacts, the user interface for validation and the acquire + hire arrangement should see us at one of the hedge funds soon.


Apr 03


Update posted by Prashant Prakash Deshpande at 01:54 pm

You will find a copy of it here (Prashant CV):https://github.com/PrashantPD/GoGetFunding2

See update


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