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An interview with King’s alumnus, Mr Shravan Joshi MBE

Shravan Joshi MBE

As part of a new series of interviews with influential King’s alumni, staff writer Diya Nadeem sits down with Mr Shravan Joshi MBE:

Shravan Joshi MBE is an elected member of the Court of Common Council for Bishopsgate Ward in the City of London Corporation and Chairman of Planning and Transportation. Having graduated from King’s College London with a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry, Shravan now divides his time as the Director of SM Ventures Limited, Policy Consultant at CME group, Secretariat Member of the Climate Finance Leadership Initiative (CFLI) and part of the Green Finance Steering Group at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Roar News had the opportunity to talk to Mr. Joshi about his current career, his MBE and his time at King’s.

Roar: Could you tell us a bit about your current job and position?

Mr Joshi: I am an elected member of the Court of Common Council, which is the governing body of the City of London Corporation. I sit on several committees but my main role is the Chair of the Planning & Transportation Committee, which is responsible for the built environment in the Square Mile. What that means in plain-speak is, that we are responsible for any infrastructure, utilities, buildings and transport considerations within the City of London. Part of my role is to be an advocate for the City and that means speaking to the press, participating on panels and using those platforms to drive investor confidence and to make sure occupiers’ needs are better understood by developers.

R: As a member of the Court of Common Council, what do you believe is the most impactful action you have taken?

J: We are not drawn up on party politics in the same way as other elements of Britain’s government, so we mostly act as independent politicians, each with one vote. It is a committee system, rather than a cabinet structure, which means that we make decisions by collective will. It tends to mean that no one individual has more sway than any other. In terms of policies that I am promoting at committee, I am focused on getting more transparency and understanding around sustainability and climate impacts, so that we build more responsibly, with much more resilience. I am also getting Officers to develop a long terminfrastructure strategy, which will help future-proof the Square Mile and make it fit for purpose, as new technologies and working practices evolve.

R: How did it feel to have received the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire and how has it impacted your life?

J: It was a great honour to receive this recognition, especially as it was during the lockdown, when so many of the country’s dedicated service providers had given so much and were being recognised at the same time. I hope that it hasn’t really changed me, my behaviour or my life so much, but that I can use this award to further the causes of diversity and inclusion. I have been invited to speak at quite a few events on subjects related to this, which has been great, as I have learnt a lot from these debates, which I hope I have also contributed to constructively.

R: How did your degree at King’s help you with your career and journey, post-graduation? 

J: I do think it has had a positive influence on my career. I was never a very academic person, but chemistry definitely taught me about reasoned logic and how to consider things analytically, which still plays a part in my work and life today, where I quite often have to think on my feet and defend my political stance. The other aspect is the connectivity, which is something I still come across all these years later, when meeting anyone else who went to Kings, from whatever generation. It’s a great ice-breaker and a chance to re-live memories.

R: What is your fondest memory of your time at King’s College London?

J: My time at King’s was really enjoyable. Stepping out of college into the heart of central London, meeting new people from all over the World and making life-long friends along the way. Even today, when I go past the Strand campus, I still feel a sense of belonging to the college. One memory that really sticks out was a first year Chemistry introductory event that was held over a weekend at Windsor Great Park. You had a group of young people who didn’t know each other at all, from all sorts of backgrounds and from all over the world, with the lecturers and academic team joining us, as well. It was a great way to get to know each other and it really set the scene for the rest of our time at college.

R: How do you think university affected who you are today? 

J: I think that overall, the university experience is one that gets you ready for the real world. For me, it really helped me to identify myself a bit better and come out of my shell as an individual. It’s something quite intangible but there is a personal development that I and people around me went through and we were quite different people at the end of our time, than when we first met in Windsor for that introductory weekend.

Find Mr Shravan Joshi MBE on LinkedIn and Twitter

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