Meet UNC Kenan-Flagler’s MBA Class of 2021

Anuradha Gadre             

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“Expert amalgamator of passions, enterprising to impact lives through technology, logical solutions and enthusiasm!”

Hometown: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a former Indian National level badminton player. I’ve been a marathon-trainer and ambassador for Adidas India with a prerogative to train amateur and middle-distance runners on weekend sessions. I’ve raced in numerous full and half marathons around the world too!

Undergraduate School and Major:  Undergrad School: Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (V.J.T.I), Mumbai. Major: Industrial engineering with a double major in supply chain management and product design.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Garmin India Pvt. Ltd, Corporate and Retail Marketing Manager (Four verticals: automotive, military, fitness and marine)

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest achievement in my career so far has been leading Garmin into the very new and nascent product market of customized GPS devices in the Asia Pacific region. When a leading Indian automotive manufacturer approached us at Garmin for a complete GPS surveillance set up for their 10 plants, Garmin’s management deemed the scope of the project to be too huge for us to provide the necessary resources. However, I saw a tremendous amount of potential there for Garmin to be market leaders in a completely niche B2B vertical and I convinced the management to let me lead the project. After months of tireless efforts and technical glitches, my team and I executed the surveillance system linking over 100 GPS devices to a single output. This project was special to my entire team not only because it opened up a new business vertical for Garmin in Asia, but also gave us the privilege to be the GPS navigation providers for the Indian Defense System.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Synergetic is the quality that I think best describes the MBA classmates whom I’ve met so far. This is because they’re great when it comes to collaborating with everyone, are empathetic towards others, and solve problems together. I got a glimpse of that environment while we worked our ways across Analytical Skills Worskhop classes and believe that building good relationships is key to a thriving business.

Aside from your classmates, 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?: Aside from my classmates, the key factor that led me to choose this program was the excellent and highly-reputed faculty at UNC Kenan-Flagler. I’m a career switcher. For an engineer like me, it was particularly important to learn the very foundations of business like finance, financial accounting, and data analytics in much greater depth and from the best in the field. For that very reason, I chose this program for my full-time MBA and have experienced first-hand some amazing foundation classes by the faculty in the very subjects I’ve mentioned above thanks to the Analytical Skills Workshop (ASW).

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? The activity that I’m most looking forward to is being part of the Consulting Club and doing case competitions.

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? The most challenging question that I was asked during the admissions process was where I saw myself at the age of 60. (I said probably chilling on a beach, but as a partner in the management of a consulting company –seemed to convince the interviewer enough to smile!)

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After being in leadership roles in product management and marketing for over five years, I knew that I needed to understand different business functions and industries from a holistic perspective. To do so, I wanted to be in the epicenter of business technology and get global exposure to skills and knowledge relevant to doing business across geographies, socio-economic segments, and cultures. Not only will the MBA help me achieve all this and more, but it will also enable me to diversify into other areas of business I’ve not gotten an opportunity to work in.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I applied to NYU Stern, USC Marshall, Kellogg School of Management and Booth School of Business

How did you determine your fit at various schools? The main factors that I prioritized to determine my fit at various schools were: 1) collaborative culture, 2) flexible curriculum, 3) faculty, and 4) career coaching.

Tools to evaluate schools: Microsoft Excel (just kidding). I listed out these key parameters for every school I applied to and started gathering data from various sources like alumni, friends, family, and online portals. Before I knew it, I had created a repository of information I could use to rate and check my fit at schools.

In my opinion, the best way to research culture is to physically visit schools where you choose to apply. That may sound tough, but it is possibly the most effective means to see if a particular school’s environment is apt for you. I had visited UNC Kenan-Flagler around the time of my application and was positive that this was a school I’d sign up for if I were accepted. Everyone I interacted with at the school was very warm, welcoming, and caring, which was crucial to me as an international student.

I knew UNC Kenan Flagler fit my career goals for all the parameters listed above met with my expectations and also because they have an excellent career and leadership team which would mentor a career switcher like me in every step of the way to achieve their goals.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Professionally, my defining moment was when I got the opportunity to lead the fitness vertical for Garmin in the Asia Pacific Region beginning 2016. What started as an effort to combine my personal passion for sport with my profession led to me to collaborate extensively with our headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan to launch ranges of revolutionary heart rate-based trackers. These took the Indian market by storm, grossing over $1 million in monthly sales. This experience changed me and shaped me in ways more than one. It helped me build effective teams, put my finger on the pulse of the market, made me much more empathetic than I already was and enabled me to innovate in highly entrepreneurial situations.

Where do you see yourself in ten years? In the next ten years, I see myself as a top consultant in a tier-one, global management consulting company working on projects that add significant value to people’s lives.

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