Meet IIM Bangalore’s EPGP Class Of 2023

EPGP Class of 2023


Macroeconomics was another popular choice by the Class of 2023. Abhishek Pandey lauds how Professor Chetan Subramanian’s energy and engaging content motivated him to get up in the morning. Sipra Priyadarshinee shares Pandey’s sentiments. “The way Prof Subramanium taught the subject was just wow,” she writes. “It was like listening to a mesmerizing story. Now when I see a news on economics, I can actually understand it!”

Ann George, a transport planner who dabbles in teaching Zumba, gave her vote to Brand Management, which is taught by Professor YLR Moorthi. Her big takeaway? “If a person isn’t able to convey an idea in a simple and crisp manner, he or she is clearly bluffing.”

That’s not to say that IIM Bangalore is all classes, projects, and networking. For the Class of 2023, the big hangout is a place called High Tide. George describes it as a place that personifies the program’s “Work Hard, Play Hard’ culture. On one hand, it is a place, it is a place where student teams gather over food to complete a report. At other times, George notes, “We always hit this pub after our exams and party our guts out.”

Of course, the best gathering spots aren’t always bars or clubs. Mamta Kumari predicts that when her class is quizzed on their favorite spot at their 10-year reunion, they will respond ‘D802.’ “It is the apartment where three of our classmates live, the walls of which know all our secrets outside the classroom activities,” Kumari explains. “This is where we went from being strangers to becoming friends. Parties, afterparties, live sports, and case competitions – there’s never a reason not to gather here. I am sure that come the end of our program, this is where we’ll bid our goodbyes. D802 is special.”

Famous L Square


Similarly, Harshad P. Bhoir believes his home will come up as a favorite spot – and not just because he can cook and his wife can host.Having a golden retriever at home is like having a magnet with de-stressing abilities. MBAs, especially when packed into a year, aren’t easy on you. Having a dog is probably the best way of getting rid of all the stress.”

It wasn’t the stress that brought the Class of 2023 to IIM Bangalore’s EPGP program. Instead, it was a sense that something was missing – or the possibilities were too great to ignore. After a decade in manufacturing, Mamta Kumari recognized her skills in finance, technology, and project management weren’t enough to take her to the next level. At the same time, Bibin Kumar returned to campus to supplement his experience with classroom learning. For him, business school has been like returning to the past. Only yhis time, Kumar says, he is looking at his career using an entirely different lens.  

“Six months in, I keep connecting my learnings back to my less successful and failed experiments,” he admits. “[This time], I seem to have answers to how I would have tackled those situations differently.”

Classroom Arena


During the past cycle, IIM Bangalore received 1,023 applications for a spot in the EPGP Class of 2023. Ultimately, the school accepted just 7.3% of applicants, making it more selective than American full-time MBA programs like Harvard Business School or the Wharton School. Ultimately, the program enrolled 75 students.

This year’s class averaged a 700 GMAT, with scores ranging from 620-770. The students’ Quant and Verbal GRE scores each came out to 164. On average, the class boasts 7.5 years of work experience. Among them, 24% possess an average of 2 years of work experience outside India, which covers 19 different countries. In addition, women make up 25% of the class.

Academically, 60 of the 75 class members earned Engineering-related degrees as undergraduates. 7 majored in Commerce, with Science and the Arts covering 5 and 3 class members respectively. Professionally, the largest class last worked in the following industries: Oil, Energy, and Petroleum (15%), IT Products (13%), IT Services (12%), Banking and Finance (12%), Engineering (9%), and Automobile (9%). The class also includes representatives from Retail, Defense, Media and Entertainment, and Telecom. IN terms of their pre-MBA functions, the largest segments include Operations (16%), IT Products and Services (15%), Finance and Banking (12%), Consulting (12%), General Management (12%), Product Development and Management (11%), Engineering and Manufacturing (11%), and Sales and Marketing (11%).   

Candid discussion among students


This month, P&Q reached out to Dr. Ashok Thampy, the Chairperson of the EPGP program and a Professor of Finance & Accounting. Among the topics, Dr. Thampy addressed new developments at IIM Bangalore, along with the expansion of its STEM and digital capabilities and the school’s relationship with the larger Bangalore ecosystem.

P&Q: What are the two most exciting recent developments at IIM Bangalore and how will they enrich the MBA experience for current and future MBAs?

Thampy: “IIMB has blended the asynchronous courses designed for its highly successful MOOCs platform with synchronous learning on digital platforms to offer integrated digital learning experiences to supplement classroom learning. Some of the business issues which have got increased attention are those related to supply chain management, contingency planning, employee health and safety, and business continuity management.

IIMB has a lot of new courses coming in. For example, we do have a course on gamification. We, of course, have courses which are covering Meta Verse and Web 3.0. So those are, of course, currently electives. Elements of Industry 4.0 (automation; Internet of Things; 3-D printing; data warehousing and analytics, etc.) are becoming an integral part of contemporary manufacturing. Contemporary services businesses are dependent on technology and advanced data analytics. The core principles of marketing, finance or operations management are likely to remain the same, but a successful manager will need to integrate a good understanding of technology and data with the traditional functional skills.”

Main Block

P&Q: What are two most differentiating features of your MBA program? How do each of these enrich the learning of your MBA students?

Thampy: “The one-year full-time Executive Post Graduate Programme (EPGP) is an intensive residential program which is designed for professionals with an excellent career record and with experiences across varied industries.

The diversity of the cohort is significant. The current batch has Chartered Accountants, Fashion Designers, Army Veterans, a Commandant from CRPF, Sailors from Merchant Navy, Aeronautical Engineers, Bankers, Engineers from Oil & Gas, Sales Leaders, Engineers from the IT industry, to name a few. Such diversity make the learning experience unique.”

P&Q: In recent years, there have been several areas that have gained increased prominence in business school programming, including STEM, analytics, artificial intelligence, and digital disruption. How does your full-time MBA program integrate these concepts across its curriculum?

Thampy: “We leverage the advantage of being in Silicon Valley of the country. Our close connect with industry is a huge advantage. IIMB has 10 Centres of Excellence and several initiatives such as the Behavioral Science Lab, which provides a controlled environment for data collection for behavioural research. The Data Analytics Lab – DCAL – is a dedicated research and training lab to support interdisciplinary empirical research using data on India and other emerging markets. The Centre for Software and Information Technology Management (CSITM) fosters close links with the IT sector in India and abroad in areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Digital Transformation, Product Management, Digital Governance & Policy, Healthcare Technology, IT Outsourcing, Cloud Computing, Agile Development, Digital Platforms, Digital Payments, and Emerging Technologies (Blockchain, Extended Reality, IoT, RPA, etc.). These subjects are offered as electives.

Our students participate in and win at global and national technology case study competitions which is clear evidence that we apply what we learn in the classroom.”

IIM Bangalore Library

P&Q: If you were giving a campus tour, what is the first place you’d take an MBA applicant? Why is that so important to the MBA experience?

Thampy: “The campus of IIM Bangalore features among the ‘25 Most Significant Works of Post-War Architecture’, in The New York Times Style Magazine in 2021. The architect of the iconic and award-winning campus is Pritzker Laureate Dr. Balkrishna Doshi, Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Fellow of the Indian Institute of Architects. The campus, with its structures and spaces, continues to inspire learning and discovery. It integrates buildings with the fundamentals of nature and climate. It offers a living, breathing space ideal for a place of learning and supports students’ academic and social needs. That is also something that attracts students from all over the world. Truly, our 100-acre campus is our pride and joy. It is also home to rare species of flora and fauna, and in a city like Bangalore, it is an oasis of tranquility.

Inside this amazing campus lies our favourite spot – the library. An amazingly vibrant space stocked with unparalleled resources on management subjects, including fantastic online repositories, the IIMB library is every student and researcher’s dream come true.”

P&Q: Bengaluru is known as a “Silicon Valley of Asia” – along with being one of the fast-growing cities in India. How does IIM Bangalore leverage its Bengaluru location to provide school projects, employer partnerships, and job opportunities for students?

Thampy: “Yes, definitely location has been a big advantage for us. We have a comprehensive project embedded into our core of our EPGP courses. So various companies approach us with problem statements, where our students, mentored by faculty, work with these companies and analyse their challenges and come up with probable solutions. Also, we have seminars and leadership talks almost every week, where eminent personalities and industry experts come and interact with our students. As Bangalore is the startup capital of the country, many cofounders have come and shared the journey with our students. We also have the NS Raghavan Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (NSRCEL), our incubator, which provides the platform that helps entrepreneurs access resources and mentors, and innovate the future of India. In fact, many of our students work in those startups in various roles, on a part time basis, to learn from them.

Next Page: Profiles of 12 EPGP Students

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