Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Dishari Dutt, IIM Lucknow

Dishari Dutt

IIM Lucknow

“I have a habit of obsessing about a problem until I find a solution.”

Hometown: Calcutta, India

Fun Fact About Yourself:  I was a successful entrepreneur for 3 years before landing a full-time job in a Fortune 500 company!

Undergraduate School and Major: International Relations, Jadavpur University

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: MX Player, Assistant Manager, Brand Partnerships

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Lucknow’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school, and why was it so important to you? I primarily applied to IIML because I was an absolute fan girl of the marketing faculty here. Professor Anita Goyal and Professor Rajeev Kumra are legends. As someone who is enthusiastic about all things Marketing, I had been following them for a while and wished that I could be taught by them. I truly believed that being taught by the professors would equip me with not just knowledge, but a shift in perspective – one which would play a critical role in my post MBA success. Along with that, I was drawn to the course because of its unique location. Being situated in the political capitol of the country, I would have the opportunity to network in real-time with leaders from Global companies.

What has been your favorite course or extracurricular activity at IIM Lucknow? What has been the most important lesson that you have learned from it? My favorite course so far has been Marketing and the most important takeaway has been the depth with which I have understood various brand stories in the Indian landscape. Through the immersive pedagogy, which constitutes case studies and real time problem-solving with projects, I have gained a deep-rooted insight into how the Indian consumer behaves. Marketing in India is largely emotional, even today, and I was able to use theoretical frame works in textbooks and apply it to the Indian market through their teaching.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment in my career is to have successfully transitioned from a consumer-facing content role to a client-facing business role. I was able to leverage a foundation in content and storytelling to be able to be an effective client partner. I am fortunate to have been a part of some extremely successful projects. I conceptualized the concept for and led the execution of “The Right Click”, India’s foray into Interactive Content in partnership with Hindustan Unilever. This is the first time that a project of this scale was executed in the country. Needless to say, The Right Click went on to do extremely well!

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: My biggest accomplishment in my journey is one that is quite close to my heart. For the longest time, I had a fear of math and ran away from it. Due to this, I had given math up in school and opted for subjects that I considered were easier. Right from the get go in IIM-L, we were introduced to a lot of quants. I admit that my initial reaction to it was fear and I was initially crippled with the inability to move past it. Over time, with the help of professors, I began to take joy in the subject. By the end of second term, I found myself wanting to solve more problems and learn more and do better each time. I even opted for a quant heavy elective to be able to challenge myself further! This change in me was almost impossible. While I may have had other achievements in my time here, this remains to be my favorite. I would like to take this opportunity to thank my professors who were the anchors behind such a drastic change.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there? We love coffee and we love the Starbucks close to coffee. Going to Starbucks becomes a mood lifter on a bad day and a reward on a good day. It helps that it is currently Pumpkin Spice season, which is an extremely good excuse to visit the coffee shop every day.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? Having transitioned into a business role, I was confident of my ability to learn on the job. However, I recognized very early on that there is a gap that only technical knowledge and class-room education could fill. Having completed close to 5.5 years in the corporate world, I felt I had gathered enough experience to be able to add a differentiated lens to any class-room discussion, while procuring extensive and in-depth knowledge about various aspects of a business. My pre-MBA vision was focused to the area of my expertise, which now has transitioned into a well-rounded and holistic overview of various functions.

I am confident of using my experience and my learning here to be able to transition into a career in FMCG Marketing. Hindustan Unilever (HUL) is my dream and I hope to be there someday soon!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Lucknow? More often than not, people prefer to blend with the crowd for convenience. I believe my biggest differentiator is that I side-step the crowd and steer my own path. I would advise potential applicants to be self-starters and learn to not accept “no” for an answer. If there’s a will, I’ve learned that there always is a way and I urge potential applicants to imbibe this philosophy in their daily life to be able to do some great things!


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