“An explorer of all things.”
Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a trained classical dancer, performing and dancing for the last 20-odd years. I also am a diligent runner, trekker, and fitness fanatic.
Undergraduate School and Major: B.A Economics (Hons.), Delhi University
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Manager Innovations, Alohomora Education Foundation
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Ahmedabad’s MBA program that led you to choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? The first name that comes to mind when we think of Top MBA colleges in India is IIMA. The brand value, the legacy, and the rich alumni network are what motivated me to take a leap of faith and apply to IIMA.
In a traditional educational setting, more often than not, we understand frameworks in a theoretical way and hypothesize their application. IIMA offers a completely case-based approach to learning. At PGPX, you are a decision-maker every moment you breathe. One day you’re the CEO of Starbucks and strategizing its market expansion and another day you’re solving for the assembly line bottlenecks at Boeing. We assume the role of CXOs and mid-level managers while discussing our strategies to solve real business cases. It is only after we immerse ourselves into the context and understand the problem at hand that we go back to theory and refer to frameworks that can augment our understanding of how to solve problems in a real business environment.
What has been your favorite course or extracurricular activity at IIM Ahmedabad? What has been the most important lesson that you have learned from it? My favorite course so far has been that of strategy; we dissect a case through and through, look at the impact of potential solutions across all functions, perform simulation role plays to understand competitor strategies, and then devise our solution. Another dimension is that the class structure always allows me to share my experiences from the social sector and add value to discussions. This has expanded our understanding of how to critically evaluate a business problem from multiple dimensions.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The majority of government school students who pass 12th grade in Delhi/ NCR do not attend regular college and hence have no clarity whatsoever about the direction their career should be headed in. At my organization, I led the development of a career exploration portal, in collaboration with UNICEF, that simulates an in-classroom experience in a digital space and enables students from underserved communities to explore different career options through experiential learning. This portal is all set to change the lives of kids across different geographies in the country.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: My biggest achievement so far as an MBA candidate has been developing an open mind and learning from everyone in the cohort. In addition to reading the cases assigned to us, a big part of the experience is learning from discussions with our peers. The MBA program has taught me to be humble and reach out to my colleagues in the cohort and learn from them and their experiences.
My previous experiences of working deeply with people on the ground in the social sector have so far helped me build strong relations with my colleagues, alumni, and faculty. This enabled my selection as a core member of the alumni committee of my batch. I wish to leverage my experience of building communities to impact the lives of me, my peers, and our alumni.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I have had opportunities to develop and implement several frameworks to transform the education landscape in the last six years. However, I realize my exposure is limited to specific areas within this vast sector. Therefore, my objective is to take a step back and invest time in learning from professionals across various industries and broaden my horizons through case-based learning at IIMA. I believe it is time to enhance my knowledge of finance, strategy, marketing, and human behavior, which will empower me to effectively deliver large-scale projects. I also feel the need to develop a strategic long-term lens with the ability to constantly marry the design and execution to the larger purpose and goals – a skill that IIMA is helping me imbibe.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Ahmedabad? It is important to think through all potential questions that an interviewer might ask and prepare responses for the same. In addition to this, just make sure that you’re reading, reading, and reading more and expanding your understanding across all domains: Economics, business dailies, fiction etc. It will help in being prepared for the extempore as well as for the rigor later.