Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Ankur, IIM Lucknow


IIM Lucknow

“CEO Strategist, Public Speaker & Optimist, who will either find a way or make one.”

Hometown: Patna, Bihar

Fun Fact About Yourself: In 2018, I won the Toastmasters National Speech contest in Turkey and went on to secure 3rd place globally across 140 countries at Toastmasters International Speech Contest. The crazy part is a few years back, out of glossophobia I froze my leg on the stage during a public event, and neither could I move my legs for 30 seconds nor speak. Everyone thought it was part of the act but I was simply ‘Extremely nervous.

Undergraduate School and Major: Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), B. Tech – Civil Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Welspun Enterprises Limited; Senior Manager- MD & CEO’s Office (EA to the CEO/ Chief of Staff)

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? After 8+ years of work experience and having spent 10,000+ hours working directly with CEOs, my requirements for MBA were very different. And IIML fitted in just perfectly.

IIM Lucknow’s brand name is supplemented by the exposure and access to industry-acclaimed faculties who deliver structured and well-curated pragmatic content developed in Indian and Global contexts. Also, some of the electives offered at IIML are uniquely progressive such as electives on sustainability themes. This complete package of academic rigor blended with industry interactions via ‘The Leadership Talk Series’ made my decision all the easier for selecting IIML.

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 in the Finance domain – Management & Cost Accounting- by Professor Prakash Singh. I loved the way in which the course was delivered, which helped me in developing a more nuanced understanding of hidden fractures in the financial statements and how to deconstruct and derive meaningful insights from them.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I had barely turned 24 and I was deputed to an international location, where my first assignment was to prepare the civil costing for a bid of ~20 million euros, which required close collaboration among teams of 4 different nationalities. Today, I could proudly say that I was part of the concept to commissioning a complex Project in Southeast Turkey, which solved the water crisis of the city. I did various cost optimization (to the tune of half a million euros) during the project lifecycle and received appreciation from the top management. This is my biggest accomplishment because this was an extremely complex assignment requiring adept management of cross-border supplies, linguistic, execution, and coordination challenges.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: I believe, as part of my MBA journey, one of my biggest responsibilities has been being a part of the College Placement Committee. This essentially gives me the responsibility of being the custodian of 106 aspirations and their expectations. This is an extremely challenging task because each of the 106 students here has a unique personality, unique background, and a unique aspiration. To be able to manage expectations in the best way possible and interact with various companies on a day-to-day basis has been a learning curve and an accomplishment in itself.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there? There is a café called ‘Readers Café’ very close to campus, and I go there often – whenever I need to get away from all the academic rush and need some time for myself.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? In my pre-MBA role, I have worked extremely closely with CEOs. As an EA to the CEO, my job was basically to be the eyes-and-ears of the CEO and help him in strategic decision-making. Having worked with 3 CEOs and been part of all the strategic decisions day-in-and-day-out, I had learned the art of business craft at the foot of the master. However, I wanted to supplement my learning with theoretical frameworks and management education, MBA from IIML was a natural fit and progression.

After my graduation, I would like to implement my learnings by taking P&L responsibility of an SBU and leading Digital & Business Transformation initiatives for the organization.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Lucknow? I would suggest spending a lot of time introspecting and digging deep into your life. It’s never only about the GMAT or work profile: a good candidature for MBA is more than that. We often restrict accomplishments and stories to ‘Work’. However, it’s bottomless – in my opinion, anything which you believe represents the true essence of your journey and being should be part of your application.


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