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Finding Best Practices to Prevent Online Fraud - An Interview With Munna Poddar

Munna Poddar is a Fraud Product Manager at Veriff. Originally, he is from India, but he came to Estonia in March 2020 to continue his career at Microsoft. 

Ucha Vekua, March 28th, 2022

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After working at Microsoft for over a year, he joined the Veriff team as a Fraud Engineer to create solutions that leverage data and AI technology to keep up with the ever-changing needs of fraud prevention.  

He enjoys his life in Estonia and loves doing various sports activities, such as playing tennis and swimming. Recently, we had a chat about different parts of his career, coming to Estonia, and everyday life at Veriff. Enjoy!

To get readers up to speed, let's talk about your career. What is the story behind your first engineering job experience?

During my university studies in India, I got a campus placement in one of the bigger IT companies as an Engineering Support Specialist. 

At that time, I was trying to figure out which field specifically interested me the most. So that job was a great stepping stone for me to understand the field and evaluate my interests. I wanted to gain experience that would help to kickstart my career. 

After working there for eight months, I left that position and started a new role as a consultant. Since then, my job has always been connected to fraud risk analytics in one way or another. 

Interesting! What made you come from India to Estonia?

At that time, I was searching for a new job experience outside of India. I wanted to try new opportunities and advance my career with the new company. 

Estonia seemed like a nice choice because of many different reasons. Firstly, people are generally quite comfortable with speaking English here, so there are no language barriers. Also, this is the country with the most unicorn startups per capita, which is quite interesting. 

After researching the Estonian job market, I found an interesting opportunity at Microsoft. So I applied there, and after some interview rounds, they accepted me to the position. That’s how I came to live in Estonia. 

How do you enjoy your life in Tallinn?

It is great to live here. My experience in Tallinn has been wonderful so far. People often complain about the weather, but I personally prefer cold weather over hot, so it’s not a disadvantage for me. 

The city is very cozy, and it’s easy to move around. I like the fact that public transportation is free in Tallinn and there are almost no traffic jams. I enjoy going for long walks or biking with my friends in my free time. 

How did you find your way to Veriff?

It is an interesting story. I remember seeing a lot of positive news about Veriff on my LinkedIn feed when I was working at Microsoft. Mostly, it was news about raising a series B funding round and expanding the company operations. 

When I was reading those articles on LinkedIn, I went through the Veriff career page and saw an opening in the position that would fit my skills and interests. It seemed like quite an exciting opportunity, so I decided to apply.

The interview rounds were very interesting. I got to meet the team and understand more about the company's mission. Everyone seemed very passionate about Veriff. Finally, the hiring process went well, and I joined Veriff as a Fraud Engineer in June 2021.

What do you do at Veriff as a Fraud Product Manager?

As a Fraud Product Manager, my responsibility is to make sure that we prevent fraudsters from exploiting our systems. My job is to cover those blind spots and create solutions that ensure our clients' security. 

Other than that, our team takes responsibility for automating our systems as much as possible. We need to have high accuracy and great visibility of what we are doing in the company.

I'm also responsible for communications to our clients to understand the pain points and problems they are facing to fix them on time. It is important to keep track of all engineering development and resources we have in our team. 

Which of Veriff’s values resonate with you the most?

For me, it would be “We are a force for good”. Here at Veriff, every employee puts a huge amount of effort into our mission, which is building trust online. We really believe that our work helps honest people be trusted anywhere in the digital world. 

What I like about working at Veriff is that we take ownership of what we do here because we realize that it actually impacts people worldwide. We take responsibility for that. It could be anyone affected by fraud, and our job is to prevent that from happening.

Thanks for the answers! Let’s move on to the quickfire questions now. 

Tell us about your hobbies

I enjoy doing sports on a daily basis. It could be biking, playing tennis, swimming, or running.

What is a ‘Must Read’ book for you?

One of my favorite books is “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. This book is based on everyone’s number one regret: what if I had done something differently? It provides us with clever and thoughtful narratives of different situations. 

Another book that I’d like to point out is: “Surely You’re Joking, Mr Feynman!” by Richard Feynman. This book showed me how science could be fun and enjoyable. 

Mac or PC?

I would go for a Mac. It makes my job and everyday life easier.

Finally, what would be your advice to anyone who wants to kick start their career in the Engineering field?

Sometimes what happens when people want to start their engineering careers is that they focus too much on the end goal. They don’t realize that there are so many things to learn and explore in this field that it’s very hard to make specific decisions initially. 

Try to learn as many things as you can at the beginning of your career, work on different projects, and develop your solutions. This will help you decide which part of engineering you enjoy the most for the next steps of your career. 

Ucha Vekua

Ucha Vekua

Content Creator

Ucha is a young Content Creator from Georgia - loves to tell stories about his international experiences and startup adventures. He has been part of the Veriff team since 2019, and aside from that, Ucha is actively working with multiple tech organizations to share their successful journey.

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