2015 Best MBAs: Ramanuja Atur


Ramanuja Atur


Indiana University, Kelley School of Business

Everyone knew Ramanuja Atur had strong technical skills. After all, he had been chief technology officer of a software company he founded in India. But to take his career to the next level, Atur needed to broaden his experiences and round out his skill set. Mission accomplished! At Kelley, he was a member of the Dean’s Honor List and president of the Asian MBA Association, one of the largest student associations at the business school. He won the IBA Data Challenge. And his work with a Guatemalan NGO enabled it to increase top line growth by 30 percent. Atur will be starting work at Amazon Web Services shortly.

Age: 29

Hometown: Bangalore, India

Undergraduate School: PES Institute of Technology, Visvesvaraya Technological University

Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Engineering in Information Science

Where did you work before enrolling in business school? Vitri Solutions Pvt. Ltd. as Chief Technology Officer

Where did you intern during the summer of 2014? Amazon.com, Inc. in Seattle

Where will you be working after graduation? Amazon.com, Inc. as Senior Product Manager, Amazon Web Services

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…I realized that to succeed in today’s competitive world, I needed to complement my technical skills with business acumen. As my long-term professional goals started to take shape, I knew a thorough understanding of business was essential to reach my goals.”

“If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…be making decisions blindly without significant data or analysis backing my decisions. Now, I have a clear understanding of various business functions such as strategy, marketing, finance, accounting, operations and business analytics, and I have the confidence to base my decisions on thorough data analysis, and comprehensive reports.”

What are your long-term professional goals? My long-term professional goal is to become a serial entrepreneur by building a strong network of venture capitalists, management gurus, and technocrats to facilitate growth of new and trendy businesses in developing countries.

Favorite Courses: Data Mining, Marketing Strategy Simulation, The Firm in the Capital Market, Pricing

Which academic or professional achievements are you most proud of? I started a software product company in Bangalore, India where I designed and developed knowledge-based software products for the education, corporate, healthcare, and energy sectors. My proudest professional achievement was when I bagged my company’s first international client in Malaysia. It was the hardest I had ever worked – I remember spending 32 hours without a break to complete one sub-module! The client’s reputation and network enabled my company to establish itself in Malaysia by bagging several other customers. This success gave me the confidence and resources to establish offices in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Pennsylvania, U.S.

Who would you most want to thank for your success (and why)? I would most want to thank my wife for my success. First, she allows me to take risks as she is aware that people who do not take risks are rarely successful in life. For example, pursuing my MBA was a risk considering the expenditure involved and the loss of two years of salary. Furthermore, she is also pursuing her MBA along with me here at Kelley. But she gave me the confidence and had faith in my abilities. Secondly, she has always been my pillar of support. Whenever I have faced any issues, she has been the go to person for trying to find solutions. She provides terrific emotional support which boosts my self-confidence. Additionally, she fuels my ambitions. She helps me remain focused on the end goal and keeps me headed in the right direction.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose Kelley School of Business for several reasons. First, the concept of an integrated core was very interesting to me. I could get a holistic understanding of business problems as we covered eight important courses during the core. Moreover, I could start taking electives in the first year of study itself. This gave me a tremendous head-start during my internship because I already had specialized knowledge in certain areas. Second, Kelley is known to have world-class faculty, especially in the fields of Marketing and Business Analytics which were my intended majors of study. Third, the Global Business and Social Enterprise Program (GLOBASE) and Emerging Markets Experience (EME) offered global experiences and an opportunity to gain valuable leadership experiences on an international stage. Additionally, Kelley has a humongous alumni network which has crossed 100,000 around the world. The alumni network will be a life-long asset for me.

What did you enjoy most about business school?

Business school has not been all about listening to lectures from awesome faculty. What I have enjoyed most is that I have been able to apply my theoretical knowledge in real world settings and validate my learning. As a faculty-selected member of the Consulting Academy, I worked on a live consulting project with a local business in Bloomington, Indiana where I could apply my business learning and offer recommendations to the client. I have undertaken several projects and research studies whereby I have been able to turn theory to practice. This valuable experience will help me tremendously in my job post my MBA.

What is your most memorable moment from business school? As part of the Kelley GLOBASE program, I worked as a consultant with an NGO in Guatemala. The NGO faced issues with low brand awareness and falling revenues. I recommended strategies to help increase brand awareness and grow revenues by more than 15% year-over-year. I visited the client in Guatemala to help them implement the recommendations. After three months, I got news from the NGO that the recommendations had worked. They reported 30% top-line growth and profit numbers that were beyond their imagination! This was my most memorable moment from business school. It was an awesome feeling to help an NGO by putting to practice what I had learned during my MBA.

Fun fact about yourself: I can easily finish a large pizza all by myself in a matter of few minutes. I could do two if given more time!

Favorite book: Freakonomics

Favorite movie: The Dark Knight

Favorite musical performer: Paul McCartney

Favorite television show: House of Cards

Favorite vacation spot: Paris, France

What are your hobbies? Singing, playing guitar, swimming, playing Cricket, Tennis, Golf and Badminton, reading books, video gaming

Twitter Handle: @RamanujaAtur

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

“Ramanuja has been an inspiration to the faculty, staff and his fellow students during his time at the Kelley School of Business. He is a boundless source of energy and optimism backed up by the mind of a data scientist. I worked with Ramanuja during our 2014 Globase Guatemala project and it was a true pleasure to watch him learn, grow and deliver with excellence during that trip. Ramanuja also served as a cultural ambassador during his time at Kelley, leading our Culture Night program and personally performing a number of classic Indian folk songs. He is a special personality and I’m certain will have an amazing impact on the world around him post MBA. We couldn’t be more proud that Ramanuja is a Kelley!”

– Ray Luther, executive director, Kelley MBA Program

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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