10 candid career questions with PPP professionals – Nico Saporiti

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Editor's Note:
Here at the PPP Blog, our New Year’s resolution is to bring you global perspectives on PPPs – and one way to do this is by introducing you to the PPP professionals who do the deals, analyze the data, and strategize on the next big thing.
Each of them followed a different path into PPP practice, and our new series - 
10 Candid Career Questions- offers an inside look at their backgrounds, motivations, and choices. Each blogger receives the same 15 questions and answers 10 or more that tell their PPP career story candidly and without jargon.



1.     What was your first job?
My first full time job was as a water distribution network modelling engineer, for an engineering consulting firm in Northern England.

2.     What was/is your best job?
My best job was probably a summer job during my first year at university, when I spent almost three months “working” as scuba diving instructor in Alimathà, one of the most remote islands in the Maldives.

3.     What does your family think you do all day at work?
My family members think I spend all day at work building water systems and hydropower dams so that poor people can get access to clean water and electricity.

4.     What do you really do all day at work?
In reality, when I am not travelling, I spend most day sitting in front of a computer and on the phone, writing emails, memos and presentations to (i) convince my management and potential external clients to commit to my project pipeline, and (ii) documenting / recording my work.

5.     What do you wish you did all day at work?
I wish I spent most of my day in a “boiler room” with my team, clients, investors and other stakeholders brainstorming, discussing and finding solutions to real problems.

6.     If some days at the office you feel like Sisyphus, and other days you feel like Midas, what character from literature or history do you identify with the rest of the time?
Most of the time I feel like Gladstone Gander, one of the luckiest people on the planet.

7.     What did you think "PPP" stood for before you entered the field?
Before I entered this field, I thought "PPP" stood for Purchasing Power Parity.

8.     What is your go-to industry website?
My go-to industry websites the Infrastructure Journal and Inspirantia.

9.     What did you learn from the book that made the biggest impact on you professionally?
The book that has made the biggest impact on me professionally was “Regulating Infrastructure: Monopoly, Contracts, and Discretion”, written by Professor José Gómez-Ibáñez, which taught me the importance of being aware of the reallocation of benefits among different stakeholders in each transaction, and that different types of regulation offer an imperfect solution to the absence of competition in natural monopoly industries.

10.   What shocks you about your own career advice to young professionals?
When I give advice to young professionals, I’m shocked to hear myself say the most impactful way to contribute to the development agenda is probably to be an entrepreneur, on the ground.

11.   What do you refuse to compromise on professionally?
I’ve learned never to compromise professionally on integrity and attention to detail.

12.   Do you think the PPP area you work in will look different in 10 years? Why?
I think the PPP area I work in will look different in 10 years because standardization, increased digitalization and increased capacity in public administrations will reduce the need for financial advisors and intermediaries.
Read Nico's posts on the PPP Blog.
To contribute your PPP career story, email abuckholtz@ifc.org


Nico Saporiti

Senior Investment Officer, IFC

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