2022 MBA To Watch: Shubham Dang, IIM Ahmedabad

Shubham Dang

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

“Rational & Adaptable, I relish challenges. Task & People centricity define my work ethos.”

Hometown: Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh

Fun fact about yourself: I have trekked solo to Everest Base Camp (17,600 ft), Kala Patthar Peak (18,500 ft), Ama Dablam Base Camp (15,100 ft) and many other fifteen thousand plus peak under different weather conditions.

Graduate School and Degree: Delhi School of Economics, Economics

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? SCOPT Analytics, Head of Platform & Advance Analytics

Where have you interned during business school? This is a 1 year MBA program with no internship

Where will you be working after graduation? Microsoft, Program Manager 2

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

Dean’s Merit List (Top 5% of the batch)

Secretary of ‘The Red Bricks Summit’ (IIM A’s Annual Business conclave)

Student representative for the Covid Impact Mitigation committee.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? The second wave of COVID was unexpected and presented a unique challenge for everyone. My achievement as an MBA student was to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure effective and quality dissemination of knowledge while preserving the integrity of MBA experience for my batch mates. I was acting as a bridge between multiple contributors and helping co-create a great experience for all involved.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? My biggest achievement is scaling up the startup, which I joined as its first employee, to 8-figure revenue numbers and double-digit employee strength. I was leading the data science and analytics practice in that company. As a supply chain focused startup, the pandemic brought unique challenges for us. I steered the company through difficult times, and in fact launched two new market offerings targeted at lockdown impacted industries. It was a great experience in converting a crisis into an opportunity.

Why did you choose this business school? 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.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My favorite professor was Professor Sunil Sharma from Strategic Management, Strategy Implementation & Innovation area. The beauty of his teaching was in identifying and articulating the right question before looking for solutions. He taught us to sort through the maze of information until one identifies the motivation and constraints of stakeholders. From there, he taught us to search for ‘customized’ solutions that will address the exact needs of protagonists rather than giving generic solutions which may fail during execution because of change management issues. An ex-consultant, Prof. Sharma taught us courses on ‘Strategic Management’ and ‘Leading Professional Services Firms’. He developed frameworks from first principles instead of delivering them as ready-to-eat meals.

Another wonderful thing about him was his commitment to his students and his subject. Once a student missed his class because of Covid related issues and he offered to repeat the entire lecture in a one-on-one delivery mode so that the student grasps the essential of the subject.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favorite MBA event at school was the T-nite, which is a cultural night where various sections compete against each other in various cultural activities. The sheer energy and the competitiveness of the evening is crazy. I loved it for two reasons. First, it brought out the passion and zest that people had for things beyond academics and those emotions made the human spirit so much more beautiful and complete. Second, it fostered the bonding and the camaraderie that developed amongst students while preparing and practicing for the event laid the foundation for life-long friendship. I am going to cherish the memories of the event for a long time.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? In general, I am very happy with the way my MBA experience has panned out. Having said that, the only thing I will do differently is take less of quant electives and focus more on organizational behavior and people-oriented subjects. I think this would help me extract more from my MBA experience as I would never again have this opportunity of listening to such an amazing and diverse cohort weigh in on intangibles like organization design, human behavior, relationships, and leadership.

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the business school you chose? I spent a lot of time talking to recent and older alumni of the school. I would spend hours on Linkedin, trying to find people from similar backgrounds as mine who have joined my target outgoing industry. Then, I would talk to them over phone and email. This gave me a good sense of their challenges and the way the school could step in to mitigate their special circumstances. It also gave me role models to look up to and inspired me to aim for higher goals. Further, listening to alumni helped me understand how the school has evolved over time and that when juxtaposed against evolving business and social trends was truly eye-opening.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business as a student? My wife influenced me significantly to pursue business education. Both of us come from similar backgrounds (Though I decided to branch out and work in the corporate sector while she decided to pursue public policy). She had a ringside view of my work, my shortcomings, and more importantly a sense of my potential. I think it’s very important that you have someone in your life whom you could depend on for unbiased advice and the comfort of unwavering belief in your abilities. Her love and trust helped me push boundaries and not give up. I owe my success to her.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?

  1. Define and set new industry standards and leave behind a legacy whose impact is felt at least until the next generation.
  2. Lead a multibillion-dollar enterprise.

What made Shubham such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Shubham comes with a very rigorous Masters’ degree in economics, and significant startup experience. He also excelled academically finishing among the top 5% of the cohort. He has also helped the batch relocate to the campus in the middle of the second wave of the pandemic.”


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