Cambridge Judge Business School
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Passionate data-driven marketer, with experience spanning 14 emerging markets. A yogi at heart. Coffee lover.
Hometown (City and State): Delhi, India
Fun facts about yourself: I love museums! I recently authored my first book on the Untold Stories of Florentine Art.
Undergraduate School and Major: St. Stephen’s College, Delhi University. Chemistry
Employers and Job Titles since graduation:
Asst. Manager, Trade Insights, India, ITC
Assistant Manager Market Insights (Asia, Africa, East Europe), Unilever
Media Insights Manager (Africa, South & South East Asia), Unilever,
Head of Consumer Insights, Malaysia, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Unilever
- Senior Manager, Consumer Insights, Fabric Conditioner & Dishwash, Asia, Unilever
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:
With a multi-million-dollar investment, Unilever had identified Myanmar and Cambodia as priority whitespace markets. I was tasked to set up the entire consumer insight research infrastructure (in a market where little research precedence existed) and to demonstrate in 12-15 months that consumer insights were delivering brand turnover growth.
I identified key consumer knowledge gaps and created a robust strategic research roadmap, incorporating learnings from erstwhile whitespace markets for the company. I organised a competitive tender, selected a market research agency and established the research infrastructure to monitor consumer brand perceptions. I conducted field research on Buddhist values and communication tenets and collaborated with the brand team to design and deploy advertising, which grew turnover for 3 flagship brands by 30%.
In about 12 months, I successfully set and delivered a well-oiled consumer research infrastructure, which was unequivocally instrumental in achieving profitable brand growth.
Looking back at your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants: Invest the time in deeply exploring your motivations to pursue an MBA and expectations post MBA. Once you have determined these, shortlist a few schools and find out everything you can about them. Speak to alumni, current students, and (if possible) professors. Attend open days. Meet admission representatives. This exercise, though quite time-consuming, will allow you to find the best school fit for your own needs and expectations. Don’t get blinded by school rankings only.
After this, shortlist 2-3 target schools and present your authentic story through compelling and well-crafted essays. Allocate sufficient time to write your essays, don’t scrimp or rush through this.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I am keen to broaden my marketing experience by transitioning from an Insights role to a product or brand management role with P&L responsibilities for a consumer Internet firm. Having worked extensively in emerging markets, I’d also like to extend my experience by working outside Asia.
Given these goals, the Cambridge MBA seemed to be a perfect fit. It provides ample opportunities through coursework and school’s extensive network to engage with tech firms and top tech talent. Furthermore, the course curriculum provides for 3-4 industry experiences;
The diversity at the school is also unparalleled and provides an excellent opportunity to understand cultures and people and thus unique working styles.
One final thing that stood out for me about the Cambridge MBA, was the helpful attitude of the network. Even when I was still researching the school, the warmth of the alumni and the current students was unbelievable. It felt like everybody was there to support me and help me succeed. This is a unique Judge trait and something I regard as important for me.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? Since the program is a one-year long program, at the end of it the success for me will be two-fold. Firstly, I want to make the career transition above. Secondly and importantly, I hope to know each of my classmates, to learn and understand their unique perspectives to enrich my thinking further. At the end of the program, I look forward to gaining access to a global network of extraordinary professionals and building life-long friendships here.