Meet The MBA Class Of 2021: Setika Gupta, IMD Business School

Setika Gupta

IMD Business School

“Avid learner and resilient individual, hobbyist photographer who admires architecture and has a fondness for furry friends!”

Hometown: Jammu, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: Can do “Bhangra” (North Indian upbeat folk dance) to any song.

Undergraduate School and Major: National Institute of Technology, Srinagar; BTech Electrical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Indian Oil Corporation Limited; Assistant Manager (Engineering), India

IMD classes have been dubbed the “Mighty 90” for their talent and versatility. What has been the best part of being in a small class with this group of classmates? 40 nationalities are represented in our class, which means you get exposed to 40 different cultures at close quarters. It is like living inside a kaleidoscope – with each twist and turn; you get to experience fascinating different perspectives. As a future leader looking to work in an international environment, it is your biggest asset, as it is your safe space to learn the nuances of different cultures, workstyles, and mannerisms of people from across the globe!

Aside from classmates, what part of IMD’s MBA programming led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Working in a public sector undertaking, I have had the first-hand experience of working with blue collar workers, vendors, channel partners, state machineries, and internal cross-functional teams. I have observed that every successful project implementation predominantly involves people management. I realized, if I want to transform myself into a pragmatic and empathetic future leader, IMD MBA (with its one-of-a-kind Leadership Stream) was the perfect fit for my aspiration. The Leadership Stream is intertwined in the curriculum here at IMD. Peer-to-peer feedback and coaching sessions have truly been the prime enablers on my self-awareness and improvement journey. The effort put into each MBA student to help him/her identify and improve their leadership style is impeccable and unmatched. It is definitely the key differentiator of the IMD MBA program from my perspective.

What has been favorite tradition or event at IMD? Birthday celebrations! There is a mandatory dance ritual by the person celebrating his/her birthday! It brings out very innovative dancers and never seen before dance styles!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My three-year tenure in the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir and Union Territory of Ladakh has been the most challenging, rewarding, and gratifying in my professional career. The place is marred with political instability, inclement weather conditions, and difficult terrain. Apart from the tangible KPIs that I achieved during my stint there, I feel most satisfied with my contribution in creating a stable vendor ecosystem and building trust and confidence amongst our stakeholders. I feel proud to see the long-term benefits of my work, not just for the company but for the state as well. It was during these years that I realized the kind of leader I aspire to be and was motivated to work towards it.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at IMD so far: The Start-Up Project is an important part of IMDs’ curriculum. It allows you to put into practice the different aspects of business you are learning in the program. What is challenging is that you are working with a real start-up on a real problem they are facing. “Real Learning. Real Impact” could not be embodied in a better way. From day one, our team decided that the goal was to create value for our start-up, no matter how much effort it took. And we sure did! The start-up gave us exceptional positive feedback on our final presentation and were extremely excited about our findings and recommendations! I feel proud that we outperformed their expectations. Also, as a team, we were able to create a conducive feedback environment and we each came out as a better version of ourselves after those three months of working together.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? With seven years of corporate experience, I was at the cusp of a defining career moment. I could either continue a successful career in India’s largest public sector undertaking or plunge myself into unchartered territory and challenge my potential. I chose the latter and going through the past six transformative months at IMD, I know I made the right choice. I was not being comfortable and complacent in life and strove to become a better version of myself. I have always wanted to work in a challenging international environment and MBA is the perfect stepping stone to an impactful career.

What has been your best memory at IMD thus far? Module 1 in IMD is always very intense. This year, it was even more so, as avenues for socializing were limited due to COVID restrictions. My best memory so far is when for the first time the whole class could bond together outside and we did an evening barbeque event. After months of going through the grind, it was a fun-filled evening with interesting and stimulating conversations in an informal setting. It was the first time in my life that I worked on the barbeque grill and friends fondly tagged me as “Master of the grill”! CentumFortes are always encouraging one another!


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