Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Shubham Gupta, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

Shubham Gupta

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

“Ever smiling, seemingly quiet but determined person, who likes pursuing new ideas and less trodden paths.”

Hometown: Jhansi, Uttar Pradesh

Undergraduate School and Major: Indian Institute of Delhi (Chemical Engineering)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Manager, Climate Finance, World Resources Institute

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 is the case-based pedagogy because every single case puts you in the shoes of different protagonists: finance manager, marketing head, small business owner, C-suite professionals of multinational companies, consultant, etc. This helps you understand diverse perspectives, organizational dynamics, and nuances of how different functions mutually reinforce each other to create a thriving organization. Ultimately, irrespective of role, sector, and type of organization you join post-MBA, it stimulates holistic thinking and decision-making.

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 absolutely relished our strategy sessions by Professor Sunil Sharma, the way he unpacks any case study – combining facts, theory and practical intricacies of strategizing and planning in today’s VUCA world – is just incredible. Every lecture is loaded with pearls of wisdom. The one that I have written in bold on my whiteboard is ‘Leaders and entrepreneurial managers think in terms of possibilities, not in terms of constraints’. Not to say that other courses have been any less. Each professor, in his own style, creates the magic of imparting invaluable life lessons. I am sure that my batchmates will agree that all our professors are real star performers.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I have been privileged to contribute and work with several great organizations, but one experience that holds very close to my heart is my stint as an UNDP consultant with the Ministry of Finance of India. For two years, I worked closely with the senior-most bureaucrats of the country to establish and operationalize New Development Bank, a multilateral financial institution co-founded by BRICS countries. My job not only included providing technical inputs on every aspect of this bank, but also handling internal administrative tasks and stakeholder engagement with other member countries. Personally, it is the biggest accomplishment that my managers trusted me this huge responsibility and I was able to deliver on their expectations.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far:  It is still too early, but I along with some of my batchmates were able to apply our classroom learnings to qualify to phase-2 of an international competition on climate risk management and business strategy. For the next few months, we will be working closely with a global company on solving a live case. Coming from the background of sustainability, I am really excited about it. Business leaders of today and future have to take the onus of catalyzing global transition to climate resilient, low carbon growth model.  Unless we take the charge, the world will not be able to tackle the adverse effects of climate change.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation?  After working with governments and international organizations for several years, I wanted to make a transition to the private sector. But before doing that, I wanted to join a well-known institute of management in western India known as WIMWI, a popular acronym from IIM Ahmedabad, to explore my interest areas, acquire new skills and knowledge of different functions, and network with professionals from various industries. The slowdown caused by the pandemic provided a perfect window to reflect, connect with alums, and work on my application. As for post-graduation plans, I am aspiring to work at the intersection of technology and sustainability in emerging sectors such as e-mobility.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Ahmedabad? As an applicant, never underrate yourself but work extremely hard on every single aspect of your application. There is no perfect profile or GMAT/GRE score! PGPX students come from all walks of life with amazing diversity of experiences, academic backgrounds, and test scores.  Reflect thoroughly on why you want to do MBA at IIM Ahmedabad and what value will you add to the cohort. Honest responses to these questions will help lay a solid foundation to your application. Connect with current students/alumni and  participate in information session organized by the faculties to bring clarity about the programme structure, pedagogy, various clubs, committees, and life at the campus. Lastly, please remember it is alright to have flaws or shortcomings in your application, but the institute has zero tolerance for any inconsistency. Highest ethical standards and honesty are unspoken rules at IIM Ahmedabad.


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