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Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Kaumudi Tiwari, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Kaumudi Tiwari

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

“A brand marketing professional with expertise in corporate reputation management, programme strategy and brand management.”

Hometown: New Delhi, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I talk to myself a little bit… a soliloquist!

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Journalism, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi. Post Graduate Diploma in Advertising and Public Relations, Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Business-to-Consumer (B2C) Marketing Manager, India, Lufthansa German Airlines

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 a student coming from social sciences and marketing backgrounds, an MBA programme can seem to be a daunting and intimidating experience. When I got my offer letter from IIMA, I spoke to many alumni from similar domains and shared my anxiety about the coursework. And that’s when I understood one of the key characteristics of the programme – the coursework here is designed in a way to ensure that each candidate can make the best of her own skillset to navigate the various course modules. For instance, a course in Finance Reporting and Analysis is taught without presupposing any understanding of the domain on part of the participants. This kind of awareness of the students’ learning needs was a big motivator for me to join the IIMA PGPX cohort. The programme’s academic rigor is hard no matter where you come from, but it does equip everyone with the tools needed to ensure all participants derive value from the experience.

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? I am thoroughly enjoying the courses around marketing and strategy management. The learning formats of simulation, role-play and case studies really put you in the shoes of the business leader and help understand how decision-making is done under pressure.

The biggest lesson has been about becoming an adaptable jack-of-all-trades and being more self-assured of one’s expertise. Every strategist comes from a particular field or domain, but a successful strategist makes the effort to grow, evolve and take up decision-making roles in different areas.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Being the youngest in Asia-Pacific to join and spearhead the marketing programmes for Lufthansa Group in India.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: There are two. One is successfully getting through Term 1 at IIMA while taking on the academic rigor in my stride – trust me, it is not easy. After all, ‘the A in IIMA is for Academics’. And two, I also happen to be the newly elected Secretary of IIM Ahmedabad PGPX Alumni Committee, 2021-22. As a solid team of eight, we are tasked to make sure the bond of being a ‘WIMWIAN’ carries forward to yet another batch.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Over the past few years, my education in social sciences and professional expertise in brand marketing have piqued my interest in the matrix of consumers, products, businesses, and brands. I find it fascinating that an intangible concept like ‘brand’ can stimulate actions and emotions or how a well-designed product can even create need. For me, these are both testaments to the power of creativity and insight.

My work prior to IIMA allowed me to experiment with the marketing communication principles of the aforementioned matrix. It gave me the space to leverage my strengths and creativity to my heart’s content. With these learnings, I wanted to move towards creating end-to-end business solutions that have the power to drive organizational strategies. I was keen to understand management as a wholesome discipline that brings together different skills and expertise. With this thought process and a whole lot of research, I landed at IIM Ahmedabad’s PGPX Programme that has made me a part of a diverse batch of professionals from across the world.

Now, with this programme I aim to move into a more strategic role where I get work with the fundamentals of business management and brand marketing – a line of work that allows me to study and innovate around elements like consumer insights, programme development, brand management, product, and market development (besides others).

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Ahmedabad? Before applying do try and gain clarity about how exactly this programme will help with your career goals. It is fine to be unsure of certain areas, yet to explore. However, having a strategic vision of your professional life helps you derive greater value from the programme. Besides, in the whole process, the ‘Why MBA and why IIMA’ questions are always round the corner.

As every IIMA student is told, “IIMA is like a buffet – you have plenty of choices, the prerogative to choose wisely is yours”. The institution offers you plenty of opportunities in almost every domain – but it is your vision and foresight for yourself that can help you utilize your limited time and energy efficiently.