Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Parul Vashist, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Parul Vashist

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

“A curious fashion-tech extrovert and a fitness junkie who thrives on being a part of disruptive initiatives.”

Hometown: New Delhi

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love traveling and always wanted a job that can take me places (quite literally). My previous organization, Myntra (largest fashion e-commerce in the country, owned by Walmart), offered the dream role that took me to Europe, East Asia, and UAE during Spring-Summer and Autumn-Winter collection launches! I traveled to more than 15 countries and got a chance to experience the best of the cultures (and cafes).

Undergraduate School and Major: National Institute of Fashion Technology, Apparel Production

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Myntra Jabong India Pvt. Ltd., Deputy Director

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? After working in the industry for eight years, I realized that there were many aspects that had become an inherent part of my working style. As I reflected, I felt that I wanted to unlearn a few of those aspects and adapt myself to the emerging new trends by expanding my horizon. This realization prompted me to apply for a school that believed in the process of continuous learning. And that’s how I applied to IIM Ahmedabad. The pedagogy of the institute is world-renowned and is delivered by a cohort of experienced and passionate professors.

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 have just completed my third month in this program and have come to realize that Strategic Management has to be my favorite course until now. Dealing with real-life problems and ideating solutions on a short- and long-term basis with a forward-looking approach is an important skill to lead a successful life, both personally and professionally. The art of making the right tradeoffs to focus on the bigger picture has been one of my most significant learnings from this course.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: At Myntra, as a Deputy Director of International Brands (IB), I led a 35Mn USD portfolio, which was comprised of top global brands such as Mango, Polo Ralph Lauren, Guess, Dorothy Perkins, and Forever New. At the beginning of COVID-19, the business environment was one of the most volatile and challenging situations that I had ever encountered in my career.  Owing to the pandemic, retail demand had largely moved online, leaving e-commerce players struggling to meet the unprecedented demand.

At Myntra, the challenge was amplified by global supply chain disruptions for the international brands, which are dependent on imports post buying at their headquarters. I had 1.5 months (against the usual 4) to figure merchandise for our partner brands across three continents – Europe, Asia, and North America – for Myntra’s biggest annual sales event in June 2020, with a deliverable of 5Mn USD. I led from the front, persuading brands to showcase collections virtually and prioritize manufacturing for our selection, securing cost-efficient shipments via sea to avoid hefty air-freight costs. This resulted in 170% target achievement during the sale, my team’s best performance to date.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Before joining IIMA, I was always inclined towards a corporate life, driving challenges across cross-functions to deliver the firm’s overall objective. Within a few weeks of the program’s commencement, the global view and rigor offered by the school helped me discover my entrepreneurial outlook. Having the thought of moving from a corporate setup to a startup is the biggest accomplishment from the past three months spent at IIMA.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point, and what do you hope to do after graduation? Over the last seven years, I have developed expertise within the online fashion industry. As I looked towards solving bigger business problems within fashion econ and retail in general, I realized I needed a holistic set of skills to continue making a bigger impact. This realization motivated me to pursue an MBA program that could help me drive disruptions in fashion tech in the near future.

After graduation, I want to help drive exceptional customer experience across retail and create personalized shopping experiences to build profitable, high-growth, and sustainable businesses. I would be keen on driving digital adoption by helping brands transition from traditional retail to digital commerce as consumer patterns evolve in the new retail era post-COVID.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Ahmedabad? The college highly values your professional journey, and the admission panelists are always excited to hear more from you about your diverse experience. I strongly recommend all the potential applicants to be authentic about their stories and experiences. The college highly values your unique story and how you navigated various phases of life. So, be authentic and we shall see you next year!


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