Meet The Indian Institute Of Management Ahmedabad MBA Class Of 2023

Students participating in a festival

What are some other advantages with a IIMA PGPX degree? Last month, P&Q posed this question to Ram Kartha, who heads up corporate relations for the PGPX program. From new developments to faculty standouts, here is the latest scoop on IIM Ahmedabad.


P&Q: What are the two most exciting developments at your program in the past year and how will they enrich the MBA experience for current and future MBAs?

RK: “The past two years have seen greater diversity in the batch, especially regarding the education qualification and the sector they were working before joining the program. We have also introduced entry-level scholarships for students across various categories, which, we hope improves diversity further.”

P&Q: If you were giving a campus tour, what is the first place you’d take an MBA applicant? Why is that so important to the MBA experience?

Ram Kartha

RK: “It has to be Vikram Sarabhai Library. The library, named after one of the founding members of IIMA, is not only a repository of various collections of books and datasets but also a place where students pursue group academic activities. At any point in time, you see students indulging in group discussions, or a myriad other activities in the library.”

P&Q: What is the most innovative thing you have introduced into the MBA program in recent years? How has it been a game changer for your program?

RK: “We have introduced new courses pertaining to New Age Businesses and as part of the course offering we also facilitate interactions with the top corporate leaders of the country. This helps the students in becoming industry-ready and orient their learnings towards the latest practices.”

P&Q: What have MBAs told you is the most memorable, signature experience they’ve had in your program? Why did it resonate so much with them?

RK: “The entire campus experience adds a lot of flavour to the programme. PGPX being a residential programme allows the batch to live together with their peers and instructors (and their families) in the same campus. This enhances learning outside the classroom significantly. Additionally, being a part of a community and celebrating social and cultural functions together leads to a greater personal experience.”

P&Q: What is the most underrated part of your program that you wish students knew more about? How does that make your graduates more valuable to prospective employers?

RK: “The most underrated part of the program is the quality (and quantity) of interactions they have with the corporate and the government. Being a top management institute, IIMA attracts some of the top leaders, both corporate and government (often alumni), to interact with the students. These interactions make students aspirational and prepared for taking on challenging roles post MBA.”

P&Q: How does your MBA program infuse experiential learning into your curriculum? Give us a couple of examples of projects your students have done recently, including the company, scope, and results?

RK: “The pedagogy followed at IIMA is all about experiential learning. In fact, the motto of IIMA states: Vidya Viniyogad Vikasah, which translates to, development through application of knowledge. We augment our classroom pedagogy, which is predominantly case-based with several discussions from the leaders of corporate India. Quite often, the actual protagonist or decision-makers in the case are invited to the classroom to help the students appreciate better the business context and the dilemmas in decision-making.

One of the major network infrastructure firms worked closely with a course instructor to see if the course can be aligned to a series of projects with the firm. Further, several major corporates actively conduct live-projects, hackathons and case competitions for our students.”

P&Q: Who is a standout in your faculty or administration – the kind of person who graduates talk about a decade after they leave? How does he or she personify your school culture and the best of your MBA program?

RK: “It is probably Prof. Saral Mukherjee. IIMA emphasizes a lot on high quality academic delivery, and has adopted case-based pedagogy, which puts influence on practice above mere learning. Saral’s teaching style epitomizes the idea of our motto of Development through Application of Knowledge.


New Campus

1) Case Methodology: “It is a popular saying at IIMA that not just A but even IIM stands for academics. IIMA’s rigorous pedagogy, as a principle, trains students to be future leaders. It has a culture of challenging the conventional thought processes, building consensus through debates and dissent and bringing in new ideas. In the case-based pedagogy, you have to take key decisions as the chief protagonist of firms ranging from non-profits to corporate giants. The discussions in the syndicate groups and in the classes are highly enriching and you learn to appreciate multiple ways to look at any single problem. We understand how to optimize our decisions by weighing the trade-offs in analyzing the available choices backed by data. This factor was of critical importance to me because I truly enjoy challenging my thought processes, widening my thinking spectrum, and appreciating the nuances of decision-making. Considering this key aspect and numerous other factors, IIMA was always my first choice.”
Neelabh Singh (’23)

2) Syndicate Groups: “I was drawn to the unique experience of the study group concept. Here, each student is part of an eight-member team, which discusses and debates hundreds of cases over a year from diverse angles to finally arrive at a consensus. This study group concept makes us gain more out of the case-based pedagogy that is followed at IIMA.

Before discussing the cases in the classroom, we brainstorm in our Syndicate groups, think through all possible angles, agree, disagree, and finally arrive at a solution. The solution we get is one of many possible solutions that we discuss further in class. This concept of study group prepares us for each case, and we develop a line of thought before even discussing the case in class. This makes the whole classroom discussion much more enriching, and everyone adds value to the discussion. Over one year, solving hundreds of cases pertaining to almost all business functions and industries organically develops our problem-solving aptitude and the concept of the Syndicate group makes us better team players. This conjoin of cased-based pedagogy and the concept of study group pushes me to think and learn from individuals from diverse industries and functions who have substantial experiences in their domains. This whole system helps me grow every day, and therefore it is so important to me!”
Saumya Upadhyay (’23)

3) Leadership Development: I chose IIM Ahmedabad for its excellence in imparting Leadership education and skills. As a professional, I have seen the impact that different CEOs can have on organization trajectory and IIM A is the best place to learn the “what and how” of becoming an effective leader. This place is known for its unique 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. Another interesting aspect of IIMA is its emphasis on general management as opposed to focusing on niche areas. This helps in giving a holistic, 360-degree view of enterprises.”
Shubham Dang (’22)

4) Philosophy: “I chose IIMA for two primary reasons. The first reason is IIMA’s focus on producing talent committed to creating a better world. This commitment is well encapsulated in the school’s motto – ‘Vidya viniyogadvikasa’— ‘development through the application of knowledge’. This culture of challenging the status-quo is so vital for IIMA that every admissions interview comprises of an extempore and engaging discussion on a randomly picked socially relevant topic. The school’s value of challenging the status-quo and creating a lasting impact resonated with my own life philosophy.”
Nikhil Srivastava (’22)

5) Entrepreneurship: “I had zero business experience prior to MBA. This made me think that the entrepreneurial world is out of my reach, at least until I gain some business experience post-MBA. However, I attended Professor Mukesh Sud’s entrepreneurship classes in my last term and loved the entire thought process. It opened a new world for me. I now kick myself for not even giving entrepreneurship a try in my time at IIMA. IIMA boasts of one of the highest numbers of founders in the country and has excellent low-risk, high-reward opportunities for the students, such as the MAVERICK program, CIIE tie-ups, and Alumni Endowment Fund, etc. For future batches, I will recommend giving entrepreneurship a serious thought from the program’s start itself.”
Nikhil Srivastava (’22)

Navaratri, an Indian festival, is celebrated with great energy at the campus of IIM Ahmedabad


“It is easy to be swept away in the tide of peer pressure. However, be true to yourself and know why you want to do an MBA. And if you know it, be prepared to test your limits. That’s because admissions to IIM Ahmedabad is a test of your IQ and EQ. Also, be prepared to be humbled once you come here – every one of your batchmates’ is a superstar and you will get to learn a lot from them.”
Anchal Agarwal Jain (’23)

“First, don’t self-shortlist yourself out. As an applicant from a non-traditional background, I can vouch for IIMA’s progressive approach to the admissions process. Take everything you read on the internet with a grain of salt because, between all those profiles and test scores, the most significant thing missing is the applicant’s personality. Write about the experiences that you bring to the program outside of what your resume captures. Put a lot of thought into understanding IIMA’s culture and how well you fit into it. Use the wide range of outreach activities the admissions committee conducts to know the school better.
Shivani Choudhry (’23)

“The college highly values your professional journey, and the admissions committee members are always pleased to hear more from you about the variety of experiences you’ve had. I want to encourage all of the possible applicants to tell their tales and adventures in an honest and forthright manner. Most importantly, ensure that you are well prepared to demonstrate the breadth of your thought process during the application/admission process. Always remember to keep a level head and have self-assurance, as this is the most crucial piece of guidance that I can give to prospective applicants. It would help if you prioritised achieving a high score on the GMAT and delivering it. The college places a significant priority on your narrative and how you’ve negotiated the different stages of life.”
Fraze Tasnim (’23)

MBA Student Hometown Undergrad Alma Mater Last Employer
Anchal Agarwal Jain New Delhi, India Shri Ram College of Commerce Reserve Bank of India
Ati Alok Kumar Samastipur, Bihar Institute of Hotel Management, Pusa, New Delhi Taj Palace
Shivani Choudhry NA Jaypee Institute of Information Technology Avani
Yamini Dave Mumbai, Maharashtra Mumbai University Sanofi
Pranav Murari Pithoragarh, Uttarakhand UK Technical University Indian Navy
Debanjali Sen Kolkata, West Bengal B.P. Poddar Institute of Management & Technology Matinee Pictures
Ashima Singh Mumbai, Maharashtra HR College, CA Deutsche Bank
Fraze Tasnim Hajipur, Bihar Symbiosis Institute of Design Rohit Bal design Pvt ltd
Parisha Tyagi Jaipur, Rajasthan Gyan Vihar School of Engineering & Technology S&P Global Commodity Insights
Saumya Upadhyay Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh Madan Mohan Malaviya University of Technology Nuclear Fuel Complex-Department of Atomic Energy
Neelabh Singh Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh IIT(BHU), Varanasi Department of Personnel and Training, Government of India