2015 Best MBAs: Karthik Bagavathi Pandian

Karthik Bagavathi Pandian-Rotman-PoetsAndQuants

Karthik Bagavathi Pandian


University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management

Some MBAs make major contributions to their schools. Others leave a legacy that reverberates in their community – and elsewhere. Put Karthik Bagavathi Pandian into both categories. As president of the the Operations Management Association, he tripled membership and increased club funding by 550 percent! And he helped organized a record number of student events in the process. For that, coupled with his fund-raising efforts with the program’s photography club, he received the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership award for improving student life at Rotman. In addition, he is the founder of Educare Foundation India, which funds higher education for more than 50 underprivileged students in India.

Age: 33

Hometown: Salem, Tamilnadu, India

Undergraduate School: PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore, India

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Engineering (Industrial Engineering)

Where did you work before enrolling in business school?

  • Technical Consultant – Shantui Construction Machinery, China
  • Process Improvement Lead – John Deere, USA
  • New product engineer – Tata Motors, India

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? Process Improvement Coach – University Health Network, Toronto

Where will you be working after graduation? Pathway Operations Manager – Amazon, Vancouver

What did you enjoy most about business school? I enjoyed the teaching through live cases and projects, which included presentations from industry professionals as well as the Capstone term which put us face-to-face with company leaders.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I thought of switching industries on the same function for various leadership roles.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…I would have been still working in automotive sector as a core technical expert.”

What are your long-term professional goals? I have two goals: First, I want to make Educare Foundation India a self-founded, self-sustaining social enterprise that helps to shift the equilibrium in higher education in India for the underprivileged, I also want to be a leader, working closely with people and processes to improve the working conditions of both.

Favorite Courses: Top Managers Perspective, Leading Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Social Ventures

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? My work led to a behavioral change in the Nutrition function at the University Health Network, Toronto, during my internship. I am also proud of revamping both the associations (Operations and Photography) in Rotman school for their success and improving student life from my position as a student ambassador.

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)? I have many people to thank. First and foremost I’d like to thank my wife, who understood both myself and the degree and supported me accordingly in million small ways. I also want to thank my parents and friends from India, who supported me with their motivation and encouragement, along with all of the professors, alumni and staff at the Rotman School. Last but not least, my friends at Rotman – I had some of the best and diverse teams to work with in Rotman, who became my friends for life.

Why did you choose this business school? Three main reasons made me choose Rotman to pursue my MBA: Self-development lab and curriculum; the strength of the Rotman alumni networks; and the city of Toronto and the ease of getting a Canadian work visa.

Fun fact about yourself: Partying and dancing without drinking alcohol

Favorite book: “You can win” – Shiv Khera

Favorite movie: “Up”

Favorite musical performer: A.R Rahman

Favorite television show: Suits

Favorite vacation spot: Key West, Florida

What are your hobbies? My Photography and Long Driving

Twitter Handle: @karthikpandian1

What made Karthik such an invaluable addition to the class of 2015?

“Karthik Pandian has made a significant contribution to the Rotman Community, the City of Toronto and is improving the world around him while inspiring others to do the same. He is one of those rare individuals that gives with no desire for recognition and quietly does the hard work that allows others to succeed. Karthik is currently the President of the Rotman Operations Management Association where he has led a series of innovative partnerships with industry giants like Amazon and KPMG that have allowed his fellow students to secure career opportunities and professional development certifications. He is also President of the Rotman Photography Association and lead a large photo exhibition and charity event to benefit the Remix Project (A cultural arts incubator for marginalized youth). This event also secured more than 1300 volunteer hours for eight additional non-profit organizations and have provided our students with another opportunity to improve their own lives and the lives of others.

Karthik was selected as one of our first ten Rotman Onboard Fellows and will be spending the next six months working directly with the Board of Directors for a local non-profit (Schools Without Borders) on a large scale governance project. In addition to his local and national work, Karthik is the founder of Educare Foundation India (EFI) a non-profit organization which helps underprivileged students secure funding to complete their higher education goals in India. With all these responsibilities, Karthik still finds time to plan events for our Significant Others & Family group which supports spouses and students with children who are studying at Rotman. Karthik is a leader in every sense of the word and has made significant contributions that will benefit others for many years to come. He was recently awarded the Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award in honour of his many contributions to the city.”

– Neel Joshi, Director, Student Life and International Experience

Best of 2015

The Story: Class of 2015: The World’s Best & Brightest MBAs

The Complete List: The 50 Most Exceptional MBAs of 2015


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