Meet the MBA Class of 2020: Siddharth Katti, IMD Business School

Siddharth Katti

IMD Business School

A traveling enthusiast and a nature-lover at heart looking to drive change through Technology.”

Hometown: Miraj, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love traveling to different countries and experiencing various cultures. I have a collection of currencies of 35+ countries and have personally traveled to half of them.

Undergraduate School and Major: Walchand College of Engineering | Mechanical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Tata Group | Head-Business Development, Southeast Asia, Tata Technologies

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Despite the diverse cultural backgrounds, the quality which is common amongst my classmates is their open-mindedness and caring nature. Despite being in a year where interactions were partly restricted by COVID-19, everyone has remained very much attached to the cohort and ready to help at all times.

Aside from classmates, what part of the school’s MBA programming led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Aside from classmates, the two factors which led me to choose IMD were the strong Industry focus and the much-acclaimed leadership stream. I was personally excited about the opportunities offered by the leadership stream for self-reflection with one-week of experientials, plus ongoing coaching and psychoanalyst sessions.

IMD has a reputation for being intense, with heavy reading and assignments. Did the school live up to its reputation? What did you do to get through the workload? Before joining IMD, I had prepared myself for an intense year of learning and what I have experienced so far is just that. Fast-paced coursework coupled with leadership experientials, startup projects, and integrated group exercises definitely test one’s mettle. While IMD provides ample coaching sessions to help navigate through these challenges, what helped me as well is having my family with me, which kept me motivated and also provided much support when needed.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As Head-Business development for Tata Technologies, I worked on a business plan to develop a new line of service in the training domain and built it from scratch along with my team. I had to work with cross-functional teams to build an opportunity pipeline, forge partnerships, set up the unit for delivering these services, and craft long-term service contracts with key customers. This line of service was successfully established and continues to be an important source of business opportunities for the organization.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at IMD so far: In the first three months at IMD, I worked with a Swiss startup on building a subscription-based pricing model. This was an interesting team experience as it involved getting accustomed to the way startups work and exploring various aspects of industry and competition assessment, building a hypothesis, and validating it through financial modeling. My team provided the startup with recommended pricing models and functional tools that would help test the suggested pricing models. This was an immense learning experience accompanied by the satisfaction of providing tangible results to a growing company.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I had the great opportunity to work in different industries across geographies quite early in my career. These experiences have given me a lot of hands-on management and leadership experience. I felt that, at this point, management education would enable me to leverage these experiences better and build my leadership skills from a long-term point of view. I think it is important for a global leader to be able to exhibit the comfort to work in cross-cultural settings and I am confident the IMD MBA will enable me to build that.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? While exploring programs to pursue management education, I was looking for a unique learning experience and a culturally diverse cohort. The IMD MBA was the best fit for my aspirations and was in line with my past experiences and hence, I applied only to IMD.

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into IMD? First and foremost, I did a lot of research about the school and spoke to alumni to learn not only about their program experience but also about their application process and assessment day experience. The application phase required a lot of self-reflection which helped me clearly articulate what I could bring to the table through my unique experiences, as well as how the program fits with my aspirations.

What is the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started at IMD? Before starting the program, I had some anxiety about how I would be able to manage the program requirements, especially since I relocated along with my wife and baby boy. However, as we started the journey, I found a lot of support from the IMD partner program, colleagues, and my family. The realization I had was that many times a task at hand might seem very daunting at the onset, but once you start the journey and tackle challenges one at a time with the help of your network and friends, the task is manageable and enriching. What is important is taking the first step in the right direction!


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