Meet the EPGP Class of 2023: Akriti Ghai, IIM Bangalore

Akriti Ghai

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

“Gregarious, intuitive, optimistic, and one who believes in self-care and well-being with diverse and extra-curricular background.”

Hometown:  Chandigarh, Chandigarh

Fun Fact About Yourself: If not the line of accountant, I would have taken a career as fashion influencer and blogger as I am frantic about fashion trends, aesthetic dressing, and luxury shopping.

Undergraduate School and Major: Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (Finance)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Manager at Ernst & Young, LLP

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Bangalore’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? It was the prospect for interactions with industry leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators through IIM B Business Conclave, EPGP Seminar and Alum Series, PGP social clubs, and Vista events. These gave me confidence that IIM Bangalore is the ideal place for a holistic education and industry engagement. This paves a great way to learn and lead by staying abreast of the latest business challenges, corporate opportunities, and networking events, which put together will aid me in developing a business mindset for my future endeavors.

What has been your favorite course or extracurricular activity at IIM Bangalore? What has been the most important lesson that you have learned from it? My favorite courses so far have been the ‘Competition and Strategy’ course by Professor Rejie George Pallathitta and ‘Brand Management’ by Professor YLR Moorthi. Besides this, on extracurricular front, I have enjoyed volunteering and participating in a cultural plus business competition event, organized by 20+ social clubs for PGP-1’s titled ‘War of Sections’.

One of the key lessons I have learnt is that we must continue to stay curious and always find ways to learning as the famous saying by Michel Legrand goes – The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far:

  • Fast track promotion to manager in 4 years vs. the industry average of 6 years; attended EY’s 4-day manager-networking program in Amsterdam with 5000 managers from 30 countries; earned 3 awards for entrepreneurial instinct & exceptional performance.
  • Awarded a $1K scholarship by EY (4/100+ consultants) to pursue an Advanced Intl. Tax Diploma, conducted by UK’s tax institute.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far:

  • National winner (3/1100+) of Business Case Challenge as part of IIM Bangalore’s Business Conclave 2022, a flagship event of EPGP; awarded ₹15K cash prize. The business case challenge was themed around FDI vs Make in India predicament under which leading multinational technology companies are facing a challenge related to their participation in Indian government contracts.
  • Working (ongoing) on a live consulting project with Tata group along with their senior leadership and IIM-Bangalore marketing and strategy professors. This involves the growth of its novel business unit for Indian wear ‘Taneira’. Project scope mandates developing business strategy for the brand that leverages its complete potential, identifying right target segment and developing right brand positioning statement.
  • Shortlisted (1/75) based on CGPA for attending the GNAM October 2022 Global Network Week for ‘The Italian Excellence and the Luxury Secto: leading business transformation in post-pandemic and new geopolitical context’ at SDA Bocconi School of Management, Bocconi University.
  • Working with a renowned Finance and Accounting faculty at IIM Bangalore for developing a database of reading materials to be pursued by forthcoming EPGP/ PGP batches for MOOCs and classroom teaching to augment their Finance and Accounting area knowledge.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there? In one of our entrepreneurship class projects, we explored an offbeat travel place – Ragihalli, which is near Bannerghatta NP. The place is a light outdoor activity/ trekking place which helps the class to unwind from the demanding college life in the tours of nature and develop an outdoor bonding experience.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? In my Big 4 (EY & KPMG) consulting experience as M&A advisor, I gained experience (6+ years) in transactions (reviewing term sheets & transaction agreements, due diligence, negotiating valuations / indemnities / reps & warranties, structuring) from a tax and regulatory perspective. While the transaction structuring environment typically kicks in at later stages of a M&A process, what goes inside a decision-making has predominantly intrigued me for which I always wanted to expand my areas of expertise beyond M&A tax. Post-graduation, I would want to work with one of the top tier management consulting firms, such as Bain or McKinsey in strategy consulting role.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Bangalore? The first—and perhaps most fundamental—is to believe in yourself. Even if you think you have accomplished less than others in the world around you, you will be amazed to discover how differently the world looks at you. Take a leap of faith in your career achievements and speak confidently about your strengths. Second and specific to IIM Bangalore, the program’s focus is to enhance skills of individuals who are professionally well-prepared and who have potential to emerge as leaders in future. Hence, accentuating examples of managerial/ leadership abilities at any level in career will add immense value to application as well as interview.


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