“I am a dreamer. I back my dreams with hard work and discipline.”
Hometown: Allahabad (Uttar-Pradesh)
Fun Fact About Yourself: I enjoy trekking and have scaled a 15,000 ft. peak in the middle of winters.
Graduate School and Major: Delhi School of Economics, Economics
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: SCOPT Analytics, Head of Platform & Advance Analytics
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? This place is the cradle of leadership. I came to IIMA not just to learn the subtle art of management, but more importantly to understand the “what and how” of becoming an effective leader. The case study-based pedagogy simulates an environment where students take and own their decisions. In fact, decision-making under uncertainty is one of the first things that is taught here and then applied throughout the rest of the year. In sync with its philosophy of creating society/industry ready leaders, the program has a keen focus on general management. I chose this program for its culture of debates, discussions, and data-backed decision making. The culture of analyzing the consequences of one’s actions is so critical to the program that an essential component of admission interviews is to pick a contentious topic of social relevance and debate the pros and cons with the interviewing panel.
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? My favorite course has been Organization Behavior taught by Prof. Pradyumana Khokle. The beauty of the course was that it picked up abstract ideas about individual motivation or company culture and correlated them with tangible outcomes in terms of revenue and margins. Before this course, I paid lip service to such fuzzy notions, but could not really see how these ideas could be positively leveraged to achieve the organization goals. After this course, I have a framework and thought process that enables me to understand and capitalize upon intangible ideas such as organization culture and structure to consciously work towards to a well-defined and stated objective.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest achievement is joining a startup as its first employee and scaling it up to double digits employees and 8-figure revenue numbers in FY 2019-2020. I was leading the data science and analytics practice in that company.
Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: The second wave of COVID was unexpected and presented a unique challenge for everyone. My achievement as an MBA student was to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure effective and quality dissemination of knowledge while preserving the integrity of MBA experience for my batch mates. I was acting as a bridge between multiple contributors and helping co-create a great experience for all involved.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? My start-up experience brought to the fore the gaps in my thought processes and the need to up-skill myself. I joined an MBA program to bridge this gap in knowledge and immerse myself in a space where I could experiment and make mistakes in a safe environment. The MBA program at IIM Ahmedabad has given me the cross-functional business acumen and a general management perspective that will help me create value not only for my customers and shareholders, but also for the larger community.
My goal post-MBA is to start my own firm at the intersection of operations and digital technologies. As a future entrepreneur, I would need the ability to speak the language of PE investors as much as I would need to be conversant with talent management or understand the essence of brand management. I came to IIMA to learn the aforementioned skills. I wanted to get a broader exposure to CXO decision-making process and network with people who will tomorrow be in leadership roles in different organizations.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Ahmedabad? IIM Ahmedabad is a school for leadership learning and there is a lot of focus on diversity and decision-making ability. Potential applicants should highlight these aspects on their application. Since an MBA is a significant investment in terms of time and money, one should be careful in choosing a school that has the potential of fulfilling one’s learning and growth targets. Be honest in your essays and communicate clearly and directly. The admission interview has a unique component which involves discussing and debating a social issue with a member of the interview panel. It is designed to gauge the participants ability to take and justify a stand. Practicing in advance can help applicants improve their chances.