Meet the MBAEx Class of 2023: Apoorva Patel, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Apoorva Patel

Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

“Curious, funny, and fun-loving person who seeks harmony in nature.”

Hometown: Navsari, Gujarat, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am fascinated by Indian Mythology and enjoy reading the narrative written from the perspectives of antagonists. I like to explore and discover associated lesser-known historical facts pertaining to Indian mythology.

Undergraduate School and Major: National Institute of Technology, Surat (Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Manager, Passenger Vehicle Unit at Tata Motors

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Calcutta’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? At IIMC, academics is of prime focus. The professors are very approachable; they not only help you with studies and projects, but also mentor you for your professional as well as personal development. You are given the freedom to choose your own groups and change them for different courses. This randomization provides you an opportunity to connect with maximum batchmates and maximize peer-to-peer learning.

What has been your favorite course or extracurricular activity at IIM Calcutta? What has been the most important lesson that you have learned from it?  My favorite course has been Managerial Communication. The course is not about oral/written communication or PowerPoint presentation, but rather how to use strategic argumentation in order to optimize your connection with your audience. We learned about source code analysis which taught us to ‘think about how we think’.

What has been the best part of studying business in Calcutta? Before joining the institute, I read a quote about IIMC on Quora- “At Joka, you meet people and not profiles”. The best part of studying business in Calcutta is that you do not build your network here, you build relations for a lifetime.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Digitization, increasing automation, and new business models have revolutionized all industries, and automotive is no exception. My biggest accomplishment is that I was a part of this revolutionization. Not only I worked on every vehicle of Tata Motors starting from the smallest vehicle (i.e., Tata Nano to hatchbacks, sedans, EVs, micro-SUVs, and premium SUVs such as Harrier and Safari), but I also witnessed major regulation changes such as ABS compulsion and BSIV-to-BSVI transformation. I worked for establishing an Assembly shop to be run by a 100% female workforce.

My stint at Tata motors gives me immense satisfaction of contributing to the development of the industry as well as women empowerment.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: If one enters a class after working in an industry for more than 5 years, one enters with many biases and prejudices. To optimize learning, one needs to be open to others’ ideas and perspectives and respect other’s points of view. By nature, I am a curious person and a learner for life. My biggest accomplishment as an MBA student is that I was able to mold myself quickly as a student and unlearn the past in order to learn new things.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? After completing my engineering, I joined the automobile industry and worked there for more than five-and-a-half years. As time passed by and I grew up in the ranks, the role demanded more managerial skills than technical skills. To better deliver to managerial roles, I decided to pursue an MBA to learn the skills required for strategic decision-making. After graduating, I wish to join a consulting firm in the automotive or manufacturing sector. The industry is witnessing many disruptions due to advanced technologies, stringent regulations, climate changes, and changing global trade relationships – which shall help enhance my practical learning curve further.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Calcutta? Apart from having a good GMAT score, you need to have a spike factor that helps you distinguish yourself from other applicants. At IIMC, learning happens not only in a classroom. Peer-to-peer learning is of much importance in the program as each one brings a different set of expertise with him/her to the institute. It’s better to be sure about one’s purpose for joining this program and how will one be able to contribute to peer-to-peer learning. One must also be familiar with the latest trends in their industry. Be true to yourself while writing the statement of purpose. Connect to current students or the alumni of the program for help during the application process.


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