Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Sandeep Yadav, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Sandeep Yadav

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

“On a quest to live more every minute.”

Hometown: Prayagraj, Uttar Pradesh

Fun Fact About Yourself: I transitioned to the English medium of instruction during undergraduate from the Hindi medium of instruction during schooling. During the first year of college, I used to call the toll-free number of my telecom service provider to practice my English.

Undergraduate School and Major: JSS Academy of Technical Education, Noida

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Intelligence Officer, Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, Govt. of India.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Ahmedabad’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It was the case method based pedagogy. The post-COVID world will see rapid changes and blurring divisions across the board. As a result, the ability to understand underlying patterns amidst a dynamic business environment and to apply learnings drawn from diverse situations will become more critical than ever. I believe the case method allows me to distill my experience and learn how to apply it across diverse situations. In addition, I think the case method is best suited to draw from the wealth of experiences of the diverse and accomplished cohort at IIMA.

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? The knowledge transfer between the graduating cohort and the incoming one is a 3-4 day-long event and is the first official event of the incoming cohort. This was the first year it was held online. I was the co-lead of the coordination committee of the incoming class. Coordinating tasks of my peers spread across the nation, while being in service and amidst COVID restrictions, was truly daunting. At the same time, it gave me the best vantage point to witness the brilliance of my future batchmates and see the cohort coming together. The lesson I learned was that with the right intentions a motivated team of capable strangers can effectively attain goals even in adverse circumstances.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2015, I was part of the team selected to revitalize the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence Unit in Jammu & Kashmir, a strategically important state. Over the next few years, I established a network of collaborators and partners from scratch, used adversarial thinking to identify opportunities, and established practices to deal with the unique legal environment of the state. By 2019, I had played a critical role in narcotics seizures valued at about USD 24 million, generated intelligence leading to the recovery of lost revenues of about four hundred thousand USD, and executed more than 15 searches in often volatile and high-stress situations that  included militancy-affected areas. In recognition of my central role in the revitalization of the unit, I was recommended for the highest award in the Indian Federal Indirect Tax administration.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Among several initiatives I am working on, curating fireside chat sessions with speakers from Industry to meet the needs of the cohort has been the most successful one. I have invited and hosted sessions with five speakers from industry, including founders of two leading companies, to complement the classroom learning and to provide guidance on career planning and preparation for post-MBA roles. For me, the biggest success was the interesting follow-up conversations that happened after the sessions ended.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? My tenure in DRI has honed my skills in operational and tactical strategy, particularly in highly dynamic, complex, and ambiguous environments that require creative problem-solving. To manage enterprises I needed a more comprehensive skill set. As the best B-school in India, IIMA was the most logical destination for me to fill these gaps. Post-MBA, I hope to drive product development strategy at a consumer-facing firm, creating and managing products that improve and empower the lives at the bottom of the pyramid.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Ahmedabad? I would ask you to reflect deeply and understand why you want to pursue MBA. This is important because, as a student at IIMA, you will have many choices on your career aspirations to make. As Michael Porter would say, strategy requires you to make trade-offs, to choose what not to do. Having clarity will help you make these trade-offs more effectively. During the admissions process, this would help you with the essays as well as the interview stage, particularly in answering the questions of the professors during the interview.


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