Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Anand Kewlani, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Anand Kewlani 

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

I am passionate about what I do and always seek new challenges. This keeps me focused and interested, avoiding monotonicity.”

Hometown: Ajmer, Rajasthan

Fun Fact About Yourself: I had never imagined that we all, a family of 4, would go to school simultaneously. Our daughters are in kindergarten, whereas my wife and I, both, are perusing our MBAs

Undergraduate School and Major: IIT Bombay, Civil Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Deputy General Manager, Kean Constructions

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Ahmedabad’s MBA programme that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you?  For most of my undergrad friends at IIT Bombay, IIMA was the first preference to do an MBA. After working for about ten years in the Real Estate and Telecom industry, I felt the need to upskill myself and explore various dimensions of the business world. Given my experience and the aspiration to be associated with the best academic institute ‘IIMA’, PGPX made absolute sense and provided the return on investment that I was looking for, compared to any other B-school in India. The feeling and the pride of getting an admit from IIMA was overwhelming. Since the start of the course, I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of academic rigor and a plethora of learning around me.

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? With so many splendid courses delivered by the renowned faculty of IIMA, it isn’t easy to pick one favorite course. If pressed hard, I would choose Analysis of Data by Professor Sriram Kartik. I did not have a background in the course before. Still, it generated my interest through the real-life application of data analysis in various industries like Pharma, Law, Surveying, and Market research. The best part was interpreting and extrapolating market research data collected through surveys and its usage in the industry. It broadened my outlook and allowed me to look at events around me from a different perspective.

Besides academics, I am an ardent badminton player. With such fantastic players around, it’s refreshing to get engrossed in the game and sweat it out. It’s a remarkable and wholesome experience here in IIMA, and I am thoroughly trying to make the most out of it.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Through my professional experience in construction, I have faced multiple crises such as labor strikes and accidents at sites, which have made me sensitive to daily wage earners’ needs. Last year, the lockdown due to COVID-19 presented an enormous responsibility to manage the health and hygiene of 400 laborers residing at my construction site. With no work, these daily wage workers had no source of income or means to get their supplies. Further, their living conditions made them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection.

As soon as the lockdown started, the laborers became very agitated, attempting to run away from the site. After multiple talks, the laborers settled down for a while. But I knew this was not enough. I convinced management to distribute free rations to all laborers. We also coordinated with government agencies and NGOs and started providing free cooked meals. To maintain the health of laborers, I organized health check-ups by doctors twice a week. Though I am proud that we had no COVID-19 positive cases during the lockdown period, I am even prouder that I could help keep our daily wage earners healthy and happy through the crisis. Reflecting back, I can see how sensitive this time was, and having navigated it successfully gives me confidence in my management skills.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: When I joined the program, it was overwhelming for me to cope up with the rigor demanded by the course. With a buffet of activities going around, there isn’t enough time to be involved in every activity; thus, picking the right ones maintaining the balance of co-curricular activities with academics is a task. With just two months into the program, developing skills for effective time management has been the most significant accomplishment so far in the fast-paced one-year MBA.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I understand the importance of continuous learning and upskilling oneself to compete in the contemporary business world. Moreover, working on the technical side of the business realm for the past ten years made me more zealous to understand the different functions of running a business. For me, MBA was the gateway to enter the business side and it has been hovering over my mind for a few years. The COVID-19 lockdown gave me the nudge necessary to start the application process and the rest is history.

After graduation, I would like to work in the strategy domain to gain visibility of the various functions and explore the business side of the infrastructure/construction industry. Having said that, I want to effectively and efficiently contribute by being an organic part of society. I will develop my career to have an immense constructive impact on people’s lives in various capacities, whether as employees, peers, or customers.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Ahmedabad? After joining IIM Ahmedabad, I realized the sheer talent and diversity around me were dwarfing yet satisfying. IIMA is the destination for the aspirant who wants to be “branded for life”.

For admission, a good GRE/GMAT score with solid work experience is a must. The rest of the application tests your interpersonal and communication skills. I advise aspirants to give due attention to building the application essays and practice thoroughly for interviews. The application process is rigorous, and let me assure you, it’s just the start.


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