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Meet Nikhil from the Transactional Fraud Risk Team

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Every unique and talented Avantee is a co-creator of the Avant culture we love. We hope the @Avant series helps you get to know who we are, how we do what we do, and what it looks like to build your career at Avant.

Nikhil Dandapanthula

Senior Manager, Fraud Risk on the Transactional Fraud Risk Team

Joined Avant in 2022

What’s it like to work @Avant? We asked Nikhil for his take on our culture, and here’s what he said:

1. How would you describe Avant’s culture?

NIkhil Dandapanthula, Seniort Manager of Transactional Fraud Risk at Avant

I divide it into three parts: problem solving, collaboration, and adaptability. I see those things day in and day out. Before joining Avant, I worked at big banks with rigid structures, which ended up creating barriers to collaboration and adaptability and impacted people’s problem-solving mentality. It’s completely different at Avant—people are more energetic and motivated to get behind a cause and come to a solution. I really feel we are collaborative, and it’s not going away as the company grows, and that means we keep finding innovative solutions.

Fraud can happen anywhere, and my team is not the only one that might find it. An Agent could find it, an Operations Manager could find it, and the Complaints team could find it. So in my role, collaboration is very important. Every day, we collaborate and problem solve to give customers the best experience on our platform.

2. Why are you happy/successful here?

Avant allows me to experiment. Fraudsters don’t follow the same M.O. every time, they change. And to figure that out, I need to get creative, too. Within regulatory standards, Avant gives me the freedom to explore different skill sets that help me find fraud faster, which keeps me energetic day in and day out. I am learning something new, fighting fraud and saving money, and giving a wonderful experience to the customer.

And, it’s the people. I am very happy that I’m surrounded by such smart, energetic, and motivated folks. I learn something new from them every day. Those are the reasons that keep me at Avant and keep me engaged.

3. If you were to describe who you are and not mention your work at all, what would you say?

I’m a really good storyteller. My friends enjoy my company with all my fun and interesting stories. I’m also a big gamer. I have a baby boy and my gaming skills are going downhill but I am still a gamer at heart.

4. What’s your favorite thing about the way your specific job role works on your team?

First, my job is to protect Avant and our customers from fraud. When I see that I am able to stop a fraud attempt on its first try, it makes me very, very happy. That drives me every day.

Secondly, I am really motivated to understand how the fraudster gets away with it. Trying to figure it out excites me day in and day out.

Finally, I have a small team of people, and I take great pride in building the next generation of fraud fighters. It’s not just having an analytical skill set, but also thinking like a fraudster which makes you a really good risk manager. I take pride in mentoring my team.

8. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I always wanted to be a cop—a crime-fighter. My dad did not allow it, so this is the closest job I could get within financial services to being a cop. I kind of feel like I’ve fulfilled my dream, but maybe someday I will get all the way there.

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