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Internship Spotlight: Craig Miranda ’24, Actis

Craig Miranda ’24 on learning about infrastructure sub-sectors in India, meeting with industry leaders, and working on a diversity initiative during a summer internship at Actis.

We asked rising second-year MBA students to check in from their summer internships, where they are applying the lessons of their first year at Yale SOM.

Craig Miranda in front of Actis sign

Craig Miranda ’24

Internship: Actis, Mumbai, India
Hometown: Mumbai, India
Pronouns: he/him/his
Clubs and Affiliations: Economic Development Club (first-year leader), Yale Public Impact Fellow - Office of the Governor of Connecticut, Social Impact Consulting Club, WiLD
Favorite SOM Class: Operations Engine
Favorite SOM Professor: Anjani Jain
Favorite New Haven eatery: Lalibela (Ethiopian cuisine)
Favorite thing you do in New Haven or at SOM to unwind: Run in East Rock Park
Favorite Yale study space: Bass Library

Actis is a private equity investor that invests in emerging markets. It has raised $24 billion of capital since inception and deploys it via its three main funds: energy (generation and transmission of renewable energy and transition energy projects), long life infrastructure (energy and non-energy infrastructure projects such as renewable energy, roads, data centers, district cooling, etc.) and real estate (warehouses and commercial spaces).

Actis has a well-structured summer associate program, through which it recruits talent from top business schools in the U.S. and Europe for a 10-week stint at its offices across the globe. There were 12 summer associates in my batch. We all started the program together with a week-long orientation in London, where we received training in a classroom setting. The highlights of the orientation were a welcome dinner at The Shard, where the summer associates got the opportunity to meet the senior partners of the firm, and a boat ride down the Thames, where we could unwind with only the other summer associates and our HR buddies on board.

After the orientation, some summer associates stayed back in London, while the rest of us flew to our respective offices around the world, in locations including São Paulo, Mumbai, Singapore, Tokyo, and Austin. I went to the Mumbai office and joined the Long Life Infrastructure team. Over the following nine weeks, I worked on three main workstreams: designing the fund’s billion-dollar road investment strategy in India, developing an investment thesis for the fund’s entry into the Indian logistics and warehousing sectors, and working with an investee company on their I&D initiative to increase the number of female undergraduate students opting for a STEM career in UAE. The internship culminated in a presentation to Actis partners on the business plan and investment thesis and a presentation to the board of trustees of Actis Acts (the firm’s philanthropic arm) to request grant funding for the I&D initiative.

The internship had a great balance between allowing summer associates to take ownership of their work and providing us with coaching and mentorship resources. For example, I was expected to drive my investment thesis and was solely responsible for meeting with senior experts from the logistics and warehousing space, but had ample opportunities to discuss my findings with my line manager and fund partner as I developed my recommendations for the fund’s strategic entry into the sectors. I was also assigned an HR buddy who regularly checked in with me to ensure that I was receiving all the resources necessary to help me be successful during my stint at the firm.

Craig at his work desk
The Shard
Boat ride

A few things led me to this summer internship program. I registered for a webinar on it that the firm had listed on CMS. I later reached out to people in the Mumbai team and arranged virtual coffee chats. It helped that I worked in an Actis investee company pre-SOM and had an existing relationship with the firm. I decided on the internship with Actis because I wanted to be in my home city for the summer and my prior engagement with the firm was positive. The selection process was quite rigorous. I applied on the company website with my résumé and location preferences and was shortlisted for the financial test. The test was followed by a technical interview, a behavioral interview, an exercise in which I built a financial model, a presentation I was asked to make on an investment opportunity, and finally a partner interview.

I worked on three projects during the summer:

  1. Designing the firm’s business plan for investing in road projects in India: I participated in multiple meetings with investment banks and learned about the capital raising environment in India and in countries that are the general source of capital. I also worked on the firm’s cross-border investment strategy, including governance considerations, capital market regulations, and optimizing leverage to finance future acquisitions.
  2.  Developing an investment thesis for the fund’s entry into the logistics and warehousing sector in India: The logistics space in India is vast and comprises multiple sub-sectors. Through my discussions with industry leaders, I was able to pin-point specific niches that were relevant to the fund mandate. The project was a great experience that allowed me the opportunity to learn about both the breadth of the logistics industry and the depth in each sub-sector.
  3. Working with a UAE-based investee company on their I&D initiative to increase the number of female undergraduate students opting for a career in the STEM field: I really enjoyed this project since it gave me the chance to work with my fellow summer associates. We learned about the diversity of UAE’s workforce and undergraduate student base from a gender perspective as well as specific measures needed to correct the existing gender bias. My key takeaway from this project was learning to design a philanthropic proposal in a way that all parties involved have skin in the game, thereby incentivizing long-term change.
Enjoying coffee with a friend
Enjoying Coffee

Several courses in the SOM curriculum prepared me for this internship. Sourcing and Managing Funds, Investor, and the Global Macroeconomy cover essential material on the more technical aspects of a private equity internship (Side note: I already had a background in building financial models for infrastructure projects and so did not take the Yale School for the Environment course Renewable Energy Project Finance, but I would recommend it to anyone considering a similar internship). On the soft skill front, Managing Groups and Teams and Global Virtual Teams covered helpful tactics, especially since my team members for the I&D initiative were spread across five time zones. I also found the gender discussions from State & Society particularly helpful when designing the investee company initiative focused on female STEM students. Finally, the Career Development Office provided valuable resources for navigating Actis’ recruitment process.

Actis organized several networking opportunities for the summer associates. Our orientation week was at the firm’s London headquarters, where we met associates, investment professionals, department heads of support functions, and firm partners. Actis arranged these opportunities in formal settings as a part of the classroom training as well as via informal lunches and dinners to help us learn more about the culture at the firm. Even after we headed from London to our designated office location, our HR buddies organized multiple virtual coffee chats with senior members of the Actis team across their global locations.

Fellow SOMer Aakash Dattani ’23 interned with the Energy team in the Mumbai office and joined the Long Life Infrastructure team full-time. It was great to work alongside him in the same team especially after the time we spent in New Haven discussing the firm on ours runs up East Rock and after our Yoga @ SOM sessions.

I quite enjoyed my internship experience with Actis. The internship was a great opportunity to learn about numerous infrastructure sub-sectors in India, meet with industry leaders, and work on a diversity initiative that every team member was passionate about. It was exciting to be part of a small cohort of summer associates from across business schools in a well-structured program, which is rather uncommon among private equity firms.