Meet the EPGP Class of 2023: Vishwa Prakash Shukla, IIM Bangalore

Vishwa Prakash Shukla

Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

“The intersection of my two primary passions, technology, and business, defines me. A person who can bounce back from setbacks and still achieve their goals.”

Hometown: Mumbai, Maharashtra

Fun Fact About Yourself:  I used to make fun of people who finished their engineering degrees by pursuing an MBA (As Aamir khan teases in 3 Idiots). I’ve been working for six years since finishing my engineering degree, and now I’m pursuing an MBA. I pivoted the way I think and what I believe, just like I did with my startup’s product.

Undergraduate School and Major: KJ Somaiya College of Engineering, Electronics Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Orage Digital, Director (Co-founder)

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? The NSRCEL. IIM Bangalore was the incubator for one of my friends’ startups. Through him, I learned about the thriving startup scene at IIM Bangalore. The startup culture in Bangalore has always been a source of interest for me. Bangalore is often referred to as the “Silicon Valley of India,” making it an ideal location for a new company to establish its headquarters.

IIM Bangalore has also been innovative with their courses. One of the courses I was interested in was ‘Management Paradigm from Bhagavad Gita’ course because it seemed to offer a unique perspective on management. Finally, the campus of IIM Bangalore, “Stone Walls” surrounded by greenery. So unrefined, yet so magnificent.

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? Professor Rejie George’s “Competition & Strategy” and Professor B. Mahadevan’s “Management Paradigm from the Bhagwad Gita” are two of my favorite classes thus far. At IIM Bangalore, Prof. Rejie enjoys the highest level of respect and acclaim of any of the faculty members. He taught us the basics of strategy: ‘where to compete’ and ‘how to compete’. The pre-class preparations are excellent, and class gets cascaded throughout the course. Personally, I got inclined towards the importance of strategy, and how important are the conceptual frameworks to analyze the actual state of industry and business.

The Management program typically emphasize business-related topics. Prof. Mahadevan, on the other hand, has highlighted the importance of the “person”. A firm grasp of who we are as individuals is essential to achieving professional success. In one lecture, he discussed how leadership may be lacking in certain areas. Having the strength of character to make tough choices is a challenge. Arjuna, one of the best, faced a moral conundrum when he saw his family, relatives, and Guru fighting for the enemy.

As a part of Seminar Committee, I got to connect with many industry stalwarts. They have been kind enough to dedicate their time in guiding me.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In 2017, my cofounder and I founded our edtech company. We worked on product research and development for a year-and -a-half. In 2018, we won the Maharashtra Government’s ‘Maharashtra Startup Week.’ This increased our revenues, and by the end of 2019, we were earning positive cashflows. Our true test, however, began during the COVID Pandemic. Sales ceased and everything was moved to online. It was becoming more difficult for our team to maintain high morale and focus on our task. However, in order to better understand our team, we began discussing topics other than work. We organized sessions to motivate our employees. We sought to postpone salary cuts for as long as feasible. As things began to normalize, we pitched our new product, which had been developed during the pandemic. This increased our revenue and, more crucially, none of our employees departed. This is my proudest achievement.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: The biggest achievement is still to come. However, the MBA program promotes structured thought process. I learned how to prioritize and manage my time. My networking skills have improved, and I am now able to connect with enterprises and startups more frequently on weekends.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there? Close to IIM Bangalore’s south gate is Hightide Restobar. Its convenient location makes it a prime gathering spot for any kind of event. Many of us have gone there to complete our group project report.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Many times, in my career as a technologist, I’ve felt like I was lacking in business acumen. This is especially true in regards to expanding the business. Product management for a million customers was one thing, but for a billion customer is a whole new ballgame. I would like to apply my learnings to the product used across the globe.

Obtaining an MBA from one of the world’s top schools is a great way to take advantage of your institution’s connections. The alumni network helps to connect the dots.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Bangalore? Many applicants never feel comfortable with their GMAT scores. They push themselves too hard in an attempt to score better. As a result, they miss crucial deadlines. Make sure you check the application dates each time you plan on taking the GMAT. Be sure to schedule enough of time to write your statement of purpose and practice for your interview. Some applicants with lower scores but a strong overall profile have been accepted, while others with higher scores but a weaker application have been turned down. However, if you don’t think you have sufficient experience, then a high score and strong communication skills are absolute must.


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