Meet the MBAEx Class of 2023: Siddharth Thakur, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Siddharth Thakur

Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

“A petrol-head with a passion for sports, travel, and all things nice.”

Hometown: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: At the age of 17, I won the sailing national championships in the lightning class, held in Mumbai in May 2005.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Bachelors of Engineering in Automobile Engineering from Mumbai University

Masters of Science in Automotive Engineering from Coventry University, UK

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Tata Technologies, UK as Project Leader in Body Engineering

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? I chose to pursue an MBA after ten years of experience to broaden my skill set and build relationships with a diverse group of professionals. I chose IIM Calcutta’s MBAEx program as it has a holistic approach to management (i.e., the focus is on all aspects of management, from soft skills such as organizational behavior to a large emphasis on finance and statistics). I felt this curriculum, compressed into a 1-year full-time program, was the ideal fit for the mid-career change I am trying to achieve. So far, the course has surpassed my expectations as the faculty stimulated interest in every one of the courses through case discussions, assignments, and group work.

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 so far is “Human Behaviour at Work”, which was taught by the Organisation Behaviour group at IIM C. The two professors who taught the course were incredibly accomplished and knowledgeable in their field. The most exciting part of this course was the various ‘theories of motivation’. Having led teams for eight years before coming to this program, I thought I knew how to motivate people. However, the theory behind it puts structure to the learnings on the job. I feel I am much better equipped to lead teams now because of this course.

What has been the best part of studying business in Calcutta? The best part of studying at IIM Calcutta is the opportunity to learn with such a diverse cohort. The MBAEx class of 2023 is the most diverse of the cohorts so far, with students from over 20+ industries. The average work experience of the batch is over 8+ years which pushes class discussions to a very mature level, allowing accelerated learning for everyone in the class.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was being a part of the team that launched the Range Rover Evoque in 2019. I led a team of engineers and analysts who engineered over 2500 parts of the vehicle from design concept to mass production. The proudest moment of my career was standing in front of the vehicle during the global press launch in London in December 2018.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: My biggest accomplishment at IIM Calcutta so far is being selected to be a part of the placement committee. The selection process entailed elections, where I gained the support of my batch mates, followed by a rigorous interview based on a statement of purpose and a plan of action. I am incredibly honored to be entrusted with this responsibility along with 4 of my peers.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I dreamt of being an automobile engineer from the age of 13. With a lot of hard work and a bit of luck, I achieved my dream of working on vehicles for a premium OEM. Having spent ten years working for Tata Technologies on JLR programs, it was time for a change. I am looking to enter the world of management consulting and am doing an MBA to fill the gaps in my skillset before making the transition. The MBAEx program at IIM Calcutta is the perfect fit with its diverse cohort composition and rigorous curriculum.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Calcutta? Before applying to the program, it is essential to understand what you want out of the course. It always helps to reach out to alumni on LinkedIn or through the GMAT Club and other portals and speak to them about their experiences. Through these interactions, one can gain valuable insights into the course and how it will help you achieve your short and long-term goals. All the alumni I contacted were incredibly helpful and willing to help with the application process. I would advise any potential applicant to reach out to as many alumni as possible and use their experiences to their advantage.


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