Requesting help with review after endorsement rejection

Summary

I applied for GTV under the “Exceptional Talent” category, and received a rejection in 3 weeks.

The reply stated that I did not receive the endorsement because I did not meet the mandatory criteria, but I met both optional criteria (innovation and impact).

There was a section called “Feedback - Further Details”, under which I scored negatively on all 4 points.

I’d am considering applying for a review, and I am looking for feedback regarding how to go about it. It would be great to speak to someone who has actually applied for a review (whether successful or not).

Mandatory Criteria feedback

The following is an excerpt from the Assessment Panel Feedback relevant to the non-qualification for the mandatory criteria:

The applicant fails to meet the requirements of the Mandatory Criteria (MC) because the evidence provided fails to demonstrate extraordinary ability by sustained national or international recognition. The individual is not able to demonstrate a level of expertise which places them at the forefront of their respective field in the digital technology sector yet. There is not enough evidence of recognition outside of Hitachi Payment Services to meet this criteria, given the references for this applicant I would have expected more external validation through speaking events, panel appearances, press or media, awards and yet there seems to be none.

I am a full stack Analytics Leader and I had led Analytics at Hitachi Payments (Previously Prizm Payments) based out of India, where I’ve worked for the last 10 years (8 of those as Vice President). I was crucial to the acquisition by Hitachi. I personally created (and pioneered) many product suites that are now considered table stakes in the Industry, and have had a massive impact in the way business is done. For context, Hitachi Payments is the largest company in the Payments Terminal Industry in India (ATMs, POS etc.)

I have very strong recommendation letters from CXOs, Board Members and cofounders from 3 different companies who know my work intimately though working with me directly for long periods. They all ratify what I’ve mentioned above, explain about how significantly I’ve impacted the Industry, and how well-known and well-regarded I am. Of course, since I spent the last 10 years at Hitachi Payments, most of the content is centered around the company.

My main referees were:

  1. Co-Founder, Board Member and ex-COO of Hitachi Payments
  2. CFO of a leading online marketplace for credit retail products. ex-CFO of Hitachi Payments.
  3. Co-Founder and CEO of a Software solutions company that makes CRMs, eCommerce and marketing platforms, has 1500 employees and has companies such as Google and Amazon as clients.

I submitted 10 pieces of evidence, detailing my work. Of them, as evidences towards the Mandatory criteria, I submitted:

  1. Proof of the pay I attract. (I don’t want to give exact numbers here, but it’s much higher than £120,000 per year without adjusting for purchasing power parity, which I am told is high enough to be considered a ‘high’ pay in the UK)
  2. Recommendation letter from the Managing Director of International Business at Hitachi Payments, which mentions how the capabilities I’ve built is proving useful for international expansion in South and South East Asia.
  3. Recommendation letter from the current head of Finance and HR (and my manager for the last 10 years), detailing my impact on the Company and the industry in India.

I believe that I fulfill the following examples for evidence against the mandatory criteria given in the Tech Nation guide for GTV:

  • You led the growth of a product-led digital technology company, product or team inside a digital technology company, as evidenced by reference letter(s) from leading industry expert(s) describing your work, or as evidenced by news clippings, lines of code from public repos or similar evidence.
  • You command a high salary or other remuneration for your services, as evidenced by commercial or employment contracts with salary information including any bonus and equity options and history of earnings.

I acknowledge that having publicity through speaking events, panel appearances, and awards would make my case stronger. However, the guidelines seem to say that they are not necessary as long as there are other ways to prove that a candidate has national recognition.

The Payments Terminal industry is not well organized enough yet to have awards that go beyond acknowledging contributions by the entire company. Hitachi Payments has received several such awards, but they are usually accepted by the CEO or MD, not the head of Analytics. The industry also does not have speaking events or conferences at functional levels, i.e. at levels below the heads of companies. Anyway, a lot of the technology I’ve contributed are trade secrets, and I wouldn’t want to publicize them in the detail that a conference requires.

While my work over the last 5 years has been only at Hitachi Payments and mostly in India, my referees from Hitachi Payments are the veterans of the Industry with a combined 50+ years of experience in the Payments Industry across South and South East Asia, most of them in Senior Leadership positions. The details are in the CVs that were part of the application.

I am looking for advice on how to go about stating my case for review. I am happy to go into more detail if required.

Feedback - further details

These were the contents of the section titled “Feedback - further details” in the Proforma supplied.

Details of the decision are listed below

People who enter through Global Talent are expected to have an outstanding track record/career history. The reviewers felt that the applicant’s track record was sufficiently strong to be endorsed under Global Talent. No
The strength of the evidence as presented in the supporting statement(s), persuaded the reviewers that the applicant met the mandatory and optional criteria and should therefore be endorsed under Global Talent. No
The reviewers felt the application demonstrated that the applicant’s presence in the UK will be of sufficient merit to be endorsed for entry through the Global Talent route. No
The reviewers felt that there was sufficient evidence within the application to demonstrate that the applicant could be considered a leader/potential leader in the field of digital technology. No

This section puzzles me a little bit.

Point#1, Point#2 and Point#4 above seem to be strongly related. It seems to be that if I qualified under the Mandatory and Optional Criteria, I would be scored positively on these points. Am I wrong?

Regarding Point#3, I wasn’t aware that I could be rejected based on my plans, because the guidelines do not detail the criteria on which the application’s contribution to the UK would be judged. Essentially, I had said that I plan to develop a professional network in the UK over the next few years by working at a fast growing Fintech, and then startup with an Open Banking based personal finance product called icedtea that I’ve been working on as a side project for a few years.

Can someone help me with how to address this section in the review? Does it need to be addressed?

My impression

From the way the feedback on the mandatory criteria is worded, it seems to me that the reviewer finds it difficult to believe that a person who has such great references hasn’t received any awards or publicity.

It’s possible I have too much at stake here to see things clearly, so I thought I’d see if others agree. If that’s likely, then my request for review will have to address this specific aspect.

Thanks…

It sounds to me that the assessors don’t think the things you have been working on at Hitachi are innovative enough (“places them at the forefront of their respective field”). I’d probably emphasize why the products you created were innovative and why you were critical in making them happen.

Sorry about the outcome of your rejection. I think they keep raising the bar. I have seen that they want people who are regarded outside where they work, people who have the potential to contribute to the UK ecosystem through their sustained work in their “community”. They want people who can replicate similar success in advancing the tech ecosystem to the UK, not just people who contribute only in their immediate employment. It is now becoming to prove leadership if you don’t have media mention or recognition outside your work. TN has even added more details about speaking engagement and mentoring. Also don’t forget that Tech Nation look at your broader contribution as stated on the guide, "you should note that t**his is not determined solely by the eligibility criteria, Tech Nation’s independent panel of assessors will determine whether, overall, they consider that the applicant should be endorsed and for which route. It is at Tech Nation’s discretion to assess each application on its own merits and make a recommendation for or against endorsement’.

1 Like

I have not seen where the feedback stated that you met other criteria. It is possible the assessor mistakenly scored you aNo for all three criteria as no feedback was provided for that. I think the challenge here is that most of your recommendations revolve around Hitachi. You can respond with how you met the mandatory criteria but you used salary and just two reference letters, Tech Nation already advised that reference letters alone are not sufficient. Have you looked up your recommender have online demonstrating that they are know industry leaders? You may want to highlight that in your review.

@mano sorry to hear about the rejection and similar feedback was given to me. It seems that when you work for large organizations it is difficult to quantify your contribution and impact made alone from your contribution. Having reference letters alone will not be enough unless you can prove this via independent media. My review also was not successful. In your review, you also try to convince the review panel that your contribution alone had a significant impact.

1 Like

They did consider my contributions innovative enough. In fact, I qualified on optional criteria#1, which was about innovation. All innovations described were those I played the central role in, and all of them had large commercial or technological impacts.

The applicant meets the requirements of OC1 because the evidence provided demonstrates that the applicant has a proven track record and examples of innovation in the digital technology sector as a senior executive of a product-led digital technology company (Hitachi Payments), the solutions the applicant has designed including the cash demand forecasting algorithm, ecosystem of data products and the cash suite.

The comments against optional criteria#3 (impact), which I also met:

The applicant meets the requirements of OC3 because the evidence provided demonstrates the level of impact the applicant has had as it relates to having made a significant technical, commercial or entrepreneurial contribution to the field as a senior executive of a product-led digital technology company, it is clear the applicants solutions have had a big impact on the companies results.

Thank you for your comments and insight.

I’ve replied to another comment in the same thread on the feedback provided against the innovation and impact optional criteria which I have successfully met.

While my work has been at Hitachi Payments my recommenders have spoken in detail about the impact of my work on the industry. They are all pioneers and veterans of the industry with 40+ years of CXO experience between them, so I believed that will be enough. I guess I will draw attention to that aspect.

Thanks…

May I dm you about the review process? I want to make sure I understand it clearly. Thanks…

Good luck. I believe you have a chance. Another assessor may see things differently. All the best with your review.