Meet the MBAEx Class of 2023: Rajiv Kumar Suman, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Rajiv Kumar Suman

Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

“An ambitious individual with a positive outlook toward life; keen to explore and learn new things.”

Hometown: Madhubani, Bihar, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I love to savour fish and sweets; and currently I am based out of Calcutta, the city which is renowned for its variety of fish and sweets.

Undergraduate School and Major: Indian Institute of Technology, Dhanbad; Bachelors of Technology in Mechanical Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Practo Technologies; Associate Director – Operations & Strategy

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? IIM Calcutta is one of the best business schools in India, renowned for its pedigree in Finance. Financial acumen is one skill set that I yearned to learn for succeeding in the corporate world. The program is laced with case-based pedagogy that helps one develop a practical mindset for problem-solving. The institute also boasts of a very close-knit alumni network that gives you a competitive edge. The lush greenery on the campus with several lakes and a variety of birds chirping all around; helps one rejuvenate. All these attributes differentiate IIM Calcutta as a preferred B-school.

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 extracurricular activity has been getting associated with the ‘Pride of Joka Club’. It gave me exposure to the LGBTQ community, their struggles, and the kind of initiatives that we all can take to eliminate differences in their societal status.

What has been the best part of studying business in Calcutta? For a connoisseur, one will fall in love with this city for its amazing variety of sweets, vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes (e.g., mishti doi, aloo posto, hilsa, etc.). Simultaneously the city draws you to its roots of the rich culture in forms of various arts (e.g., music, literature, painting, dance, idol making, spirituality, etc.). And then you will run here into several discussions of politics, economics, business, and sports with well-read and opinionated individuals making you re-think your own ideas. This amazing mix of Capitalistic and Socialistic elements is what makes studying in Calcutta so wholesome.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In my last role as associate director of operations & strategy with my previous organization, I played a crucial role in the launch of a completely new vertical and taking the competitor head-on. This resulted in the business expansion to 7 cities within 7 months, whilst ensuring a customer satisfaction scale of 4.5 and 100% volume growth. This was the most satisfying accomplishment of my professional career.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Being from an operations and strategy background, I had pre-existing notions about various business processes. However, I had to unlearn everything to re-learn from the best. Apart from this, I have also learned a lot in terms of human managerial skills, thanks to courses on Managerial Communications and Human Behaviour. This learning is my biggest accomplishment.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I wanted to transition into the consulting domain, which required having substantial knowledge of Finance, Marketing, Operations, Strategy, and other courses that could be offered by an MBA program. Hence, I pursued MBA as it will help me in becoming a better decision maker, by analyzing a problem from different functional approaches.

Post-graduation, I plan to pursue consulting & help solve my client’s problems.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Calcutta? It’s important to have clarity as to why one wants to pursue an MBA, and how it would add value to their career progression. Having a well thought out ‘Statement of Purpose’ is critical. A good GMAT score is essential, and so is having knowledge about one’s industry best practices.


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