Meet The Top First-Year MBAs From India

Rashi Kakkar

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Right brained left liberal amateur athlete who loves to tweet and eat.

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was on national TV (Channel V) from Feb-April 2010 hosting a TV show called “Campus blog.”

Undergraduate School and Major
The
Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi University (2007-10) – Major: Bachelors of Commerce (Honors);
The Young India Fellowship, Ashoka University (2013-14) – Major: Liberal arts

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Employer Title Year
Bain & Company
(Bain capability center)
Analyst 2010-12
Total Sports Asia Consultant, Sports and Entertainment Practice 2012-13
Futurebrands Manager, Consumer insights and brands 2014-16

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2012, I was the first full-time woman hire at Total Sports Asia’s India offices. While I did not face any stiff resistance from male colleagues, at times I could sense their skepticism. In a male-dominated industry, sportswomen were always viewed as outsiders. However, this did not deter me. Through constant engagement and a focus on results, I managed to win over the trust of my colleagues and supervisors. TSA later went on to hire two more women consultants. This I consider the biggest accomplishment of my career so far – The fact that somewhere I changed gender stereotypes.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants?

  1. In the business school admissions process, the GMAT is a necessary evil. The sooner you get done with it, the better it is. Plan in advance and aim to take it 4-5 months before you start writing essays.
  2. Give yourself time to write the essays. Most of them require deep introspection and multiple iterations.
  3. Research the programs well and apply to not more than three schools in one round. Instead of shooting in the dark, it makes more sense to apply to schools where you will be a good fit and will thrive. While short-listing schools, give more to the following questions than the rankings: who you are as a person, what your career goals are and where you would like to settle down.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Rotman is a school which uses integrative thinking and business design extensively to solve a plethora of problems. I do believe that the problems that both business and society will face tomorrow will require a new way of thinking. This firm belief helped me shortlist Rotman. Besides, being an out an out city girl, I knew a city-based school would work best for me. Thus, Rotman’s location in downtown Toronto, Canada’s financial, commercial and cultural capital really appealed to me.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? Coming from a family of doctors and having been an athlete all my life, I am passionate about health, fitness and nutrition categories. Besides this, brand narratives and consumer psychology fascinate me. To work with the marketing team of an organization playing in these categories would be ideal. Organizations like Nike, FitBit or even CPG firms such as P&G, Unilever, General Mills would be a perfect fit.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? That I am someone who is collaborative, interesting and fun, a person with whom they could have interesting conversations and share some fun moments. That I am someone who pushed them to think while at the same time I was constantly learning.

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    A large fraction of the Indian students who study at B-schools in India, join the programs just after completing their undergrad education. These Indian MBA programs are most likely like the pre-experience Masters in Management degrees offered at places outside India. In the US or Europe, MBA programs expect candidates to acquire a number of years of experience. So going for an MBA in the US, after completing an MBA from India and working a few years in industry does not fall out of place. Moreover, I think that B-schools in the US/ Europe are able to provide the students with more international/ global exposures. Last thing is, the Indian schools lack overall recognition outside of India. The US/EU schools and their parent universities are world renowned.

  • Rajeev

    Wonder why there are folks who already have an MBA and still going to US to get another one!