Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Anirban Mukhopadhyay, London Business School

Anirban Mukhopadhyay

London Business School

“An out-of-the box thinker with a strong passion to drive change in underserved markets.”

Hometown: Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a certified gorilla trekker!

Undergraduate School and Major: B.Tech in Electrical Engineering; Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Chief of Staff to the Group CEO, Abacus Pharma (Africa) Limited

What makes London such a great place to earn an MBA degree? Home to a variety of companies across sectors, London is at the heart of world commerce while also offering a wide range of things to do outside the classroom. It’s the only place in the world that has The Shard, a modern architectural marvel, just minutes away from the Tower Bridge, an historical marvel. I believe that it’s the best destination for a student looking to gain the best of both worlds. Additionally, having worked in Africa, I have a strong interest in continuing my engagement with the continent. London has strong historical ties to Africa, with some of the region’s leading investors based here. London will offer me a network of global investors, companies, and peers that no other city can match.

London Business School is one of the most culturally and professionally diverse MBA programmes in the world. How do you see these global perspectives enhancing the value of your business education over the next two years? I spent over two years in Uganda learning about a new country and a culture vastly different from my own. I worked with a global team and saw up close the power of diverse perspectives in driving change on ground. LBS is unique in the fact that over 90% of the class is international, with no nationality being in the majority. Whether it be the global cases or programmes such as the Global Business Experience, LBS is truly international in character. I vividly remember the amazing discussion I had with my interviewer – A European building a healthcare solution for East Africa. While our nationalities were different, we connected deeply due to our shared passion for the continent and his unique, global perspective that he credited to LBS. I thus believe that this perspective will help me develop products and solutions that transcend geographies and create a lasting impact.

Aside from your classmates and location, what was the key part of London Business School’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Programme flexibility was a key factor while choosing my target school. LBS offered me the opportunity to not only decide the length of the programme, but also pursue term-time internships as an international student. The flexibility that students have in exploring multiple careers through a mix of structured and term-time internships really stood out to me. I believe that this is key to moving into jobs with more unstructured recruiting pipelines such as Private Equity, one of my target areas for recruiting.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at London Business School? I am especially excited by the Africa Club and hope to work closely with like-minded people in the LBS community who share my passion for building awareness about the exciting opportunities available in Africa. The Africa Business Summit organized by the club is one of the leading student-led events globally for those interested in doing business in Africa. I hope to play a key role in making this event a big success while also building my own network of Africa-focused professionals.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2020, at the peak of the pandemic, I decided to leave my job in consulting to pursue my passion for working in healthcare accessibility in Uganda. As someone working in the country’s largest healthcare company, I am proud to have played a key role in helping introduce Uganda’s most affordable COVID-19 test kit. Despite the dire need for rapid testing, it remained unaffordable for most of the population due to prohibitively high prices. I collaborated with our Head of Business Development to help find a supplier that could provide affordable, WHO-approved test kits.

Working with our divisional heads, I helped draft a business case that convinced the management to invest in this project and helped convince the regulatory authority of the efficacy of these kits. After months of hard work, we were finally able to secure government approval. These kits are >30% cheaper than other options in the market and will make testing more affordable to millions.

What is one thing you have recently read, watched, or listened to that you would highly recommend to prospective MBAs? Why? I would like to recommend Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book, Americanah, to prospective MBAs. It provides a great insight into the struggle undergone by immigrants in the West, and how skewed perceptions and assumptions of culture have a deep psychological impact on immigrants. In a world that’s becoming increasingly more accepting of people of color, we need to constantly remind ourselves that it’s necessary to celebrate diversity, in every form. A successful, global business leader is always defined by his ability to accommodate people from all backgrounds and cultures. This book provides a first-person account of the challenges faced by immigrants every day.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? The pandemic was a difficult period for emerging markets, with many small businesses closing due to financial difficulties. I had several first-hand experiences engaging with such businesses in Uganda and India and realized that the biggest pain point faced by their owners is the lack of access to growth capital. I am looking to an MBA to help me transition into companies providing solutions for this funding gap. I hope to work for or consult with private equity funds looking to scale businesses in these markets post my MBA. In the process, I will also gain the skillsets that I need to build similar businesses in the future.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into London Business School’s MBA programme? I would advise potential applicants to be as authentic as possible. What stood out during my conversations with multiple students, alumni, and my interviewer was the diversity of perspectives they had, coupled with a shared passion for bringing about change in the world. There is no specific mould that an LBS student fits into and hence it is important to showcase your true self in the process. London and LBS both provide an international environment so it would also help if applicants showcased their ability to work with diverse stakeholders in their application.

DON’T MISS: MEET LONDON BUSINESS SCHOOL’S MBA CLASS OF 2024

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