“Team-player. Inquisitive. Strategist. Musician. Passionate about thought diversity and societal impact.”
Hometown: Ranchi, India
Fun fact about yourself: Answering “Where exactly are you from?” is always tricky considering I grew up across eight different towns and cities and lived in three countries.
Undergraduate School and Degree: Manipal University, Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering
Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? IL&FS Transportation (Singapore)
Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? MachineMax (IOT Start-up); OC&C Strategy Consultants (London)
Where will you be working after graduation? Boston Consulting Group (London)
Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:
- President – LBS India Club (One of LBS’ largest regional clubs)
- Founder – LBS Panorama (A platform for students across LBS to learn about and grow through each other’s experiences) – 60+ talks since inception in 2019
- Co-Convener – LBS Perspectives (Flagship LBS Student Initiative talk series shedding light on geopolitics and business issues around the globe)
- Lead Vocalist & Guitarist – The 20 Pounders (@the20pounders), an LBS Rock band
Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Leading the turnaround of the LBS India Club alongside two of my classmates: Ajay MVSR and Saloni Chaturvedi. From establishing a robust ExCo team to co-leading the India Trek (which included experiences such as private visits to India’s Presidential Palace and Parliament), the club has come a long way in the past year.
Most notably, we organized the Diwali Party, the largest regional cultural event at LBS with a record number of attendees. The sight of the entire campus covered in lights was mesmerizing! I also led an overhaul of the club’s branding towards promoting inclusion through joint events with other LBS clubs, such as the Out in Business Club.
On the professional side, I established IndiBuddy, LBS’ first year-long mentorship scheme where first-year students are matched with senior students & alumni with aligned career interests. The inaugural edition has matched over 50 new LBS students and hosted more than 80 coaching and interview prep sessions thus far.
Personally, I am only beginning to realize how pivotal this stint has been for me. From making new life-long friendships to executing world-class initiatives under tremendous time-pressure, I feel incredibly grateful for the valuable experiences this project has given me.
What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Structuring the financing for a major highway project in Northern Laos for the national government in the face of significant fundraising hurdles. The project had the potential for creating a significant positive impact on the livelihoods of the area’s disadvantaged communities. Coming from an infrastructure background, I have come to realize the vital role access and connectivity play in the development of society, especially in emergent economies.
Bringing life to structures that connect remote locations to commercial hubs, therefore catalyzing economic growth and reducing poverty, was very gratifying. Experiences such as this are the reason I want to continue building my career with a focus on societal uplift and impact.
Who was your favorite MBA professor? João Cocco’s Real Estate Finance elective was one of the best hands-on learning experiences I have ever had. I undertook this elective in our Dubai campus and João’s use of the local real estate scenario and his wealth of experience to explain the economics underlying real estate transactions was truly memorable.
Concepts were creatively explained, while all exercises focused on practical and actionable business lessons, even for those not interested in pursuing a career in the space. Besides being an excellent orator, Professor Cocco also engaged stellar guest speakers who provided frank and useful insights into the tumultuous and volatile nature of the Dubai real estate market. Highly recommended!
Why did you choose this business school? Global Exposure. Having lived and worked across multiple countries in Asia, I recognized the immense value of being exposed to new frontiers. In an increasingly interconnected business world, I believe that we grow the most while working on complex multidimensional issues. LBS provided a great platform for this. The school has a strong emerging market focus, faculty thought leadership and derives tremendous value from being in the world’s cultural capital: London.
LBS’s diversity is well-documented, but one needs to experience it to truly understand the value. Over the past 18 months, I’ve grown from the experiences of some incredibly talented and diverse peers ranging from trade diplomats from China to Impact Investors from Kenya.
Finally, the LBS MBA program’s flexibility was very attractive considering I wanted to try out a few different things professionally. I have had the opportunity to complete internships across the startups, venture capital, and consulting industries.
What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program?
- Be authentic and know your story! It is imperative that you understand why you want to apply specifically to LBS. Besides the application, I found the LBS interview process to be significantly more rigorous than my peers (mine lasted over 2 hours!). It’s clear that the adcom deeply values alumni feedback. As a result, make sure you spend time learning about the school, its offerings, and most importantly: what you REALLY bring to the community. Don’t worry about trying to project something you THINK the school may like. Relax and be yourself!
- Carefully think about instances from your life where you have successfully worked in or led diverse teams towards a shared objective. Our school has an incredibly diverse (only 10% of the class is British) yet close-knit community. This is TRULY unique amongst peer schools and we care a lot if you can showcase instances where you have excelled in cross-functional multinational environments.
- Don’t hesitate to reach out to current students with any questions. You will be surprised at the response rate!
Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? Come summer recruitment season, the campus atmosphere becomes understandably tense. My first round of application submissions was unsuccessful, and I was quite stressed at the time. Faced with setbacks in my first MBA recruiting season, I retreated into isolation for two weeks, ending up not really communicating with or leveraging the help of those around me.
In hindsight, I realize that this was the wrong course of action as adversity provides the best opportunity to take a step back and learn. LBS provides a lot of avenues to support career development and I should have focused my efforts to discuss, dissect, and work through my situation with peers and friends who would have supported me. I could have also leveraged some of the excellent coaching opportunities with senior students who are readily available. This experience is one of the main reasons I feel so deeply about the need for effective mentorship and started the Indibuddy program through the LBS India Club.
Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Freya De Mink, friend, stream-mate, and bandmate in The 20 Pounders. Freya is, simply put, fascinating.
A strong and independent woman of many paths and careers: She was a world traveler, a trained musicologist, and piano composer (now a progressive rock synth player) before embarking on a successful pre-MBA stint at BCG Amsterdam. Freya is one of the smartest and most wonderful people whom I have had the fortune of getting to know well at LBS.
I am floored at her resolve to keep going forward. At LBS, she has run marathons in support of charity and climbed some of the highest peaks in Europe. Her ability to take on new challenges and consistently knock everything out of the park never ceases to amaze me.
Her talent and commitment are undeniable. Her focus and clarity of thought are on display for everyone to see. Deeply passionate about diversity and inclusivity through her various projects, whether it be music shows or running the largest LGBTQ business conference in Europe, she truly is an inspiration to me and my classmates.
Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My father has been a major influence and inspiration to me throughout my life. A senior civil servant in the Indian government, he has worked on some vital policy pieces from our country. His inputs were vital in my decision to pursue an MBA and specifically pick LBS.
Despite working in the private sector, I have always wanted to emulate his contribution to society in my own meaningful manner (which would perhaps explain why I gravitated towards a career in infrastructure even before LBS).
My father showed great enthusiasm and support throughout the application process and helped me dive deep and understand how I could link some the potential post-MBA career paths from a top b-school with my intrinsic desire to create a positive impact within communities.
Considering the fact that the majority of my experiences and background lay in the emerging markets, he also helped me connect the dots to come to LBS, helping me understand the importance of being part of a global and diverse community and the potential contribution I could bring with my experiences to my peer-groups.
What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?
1) Develop into an expert in the future of mobility and transportation
2) Work with BCG’s Social Impact practice on their ongoing work for Save The Children
In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? I hope my peers remember me as a positive influence on their LBS experience; a dependable friend in good and bad times, supportive and empathetic.
Hobbies? Musical Composition & Live Performance – Vocalist for LBS band, The 20 Pounders; Captain of LBS Badminton Team – 2019, Reading, Traveling
What made Sid such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?
“Having a global, diverse community at London Business School is both a strength and a challenge – it takes leaders like Sid to take the initiative and leverage the diversity into something meaningful and impactful. And he’ll do it with humility too, with minimum fuss or fanfare. Putting aside the fact that he and his co-presidents picked up one of the school’s largest regional clubs with zero incumbents and revitalised it entirely, Sid also launched and led three new initiatives, each with its own clear mission to connect people across our community in a meaningful way (Indibuddy, Panorama and India Business Series). Sometimes, it’s the quiet, unassuming ones with clear and curious eyes that leave a big imprint behind.”
Senior Student-led Learning Manager