2023 Best & Brightest Online MBA: Ketan Rahangdale, North Carolina (Kenan-Flagler)

Ketan Rahangdale

University of North Carolina, Kenan-Flagler Business School

“I believe music has the power to unite all, and everyone has social capital.”

Age: 30

Hometown: Fayetteville, North Carolina

Fun fact about yourself: I believe in thriftiness, work ethic and fortitude being the core tenants of success in business. Regarding fortitude, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face.

Undergraduate School and Degree: BSBA in finance, University of Phoenix

Where are you currently working? CEO and founder of Unitea Inc. My company is the largest engage-to-earn social platform that connects artists, fans and brands. It is a mobile, web-based, social media community platform. It brings artists closer to their fans by recognizing and rewarding the most engaged fans who stream and share music with Karma, a virtual emotional currency they use to buy experiences. We reward fans for loving and growing music and art communities.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am most proud of being able to work with Procter & Gamble on the Capitanes Del Futuro leadership program. This is an online e-learning platform my company, Unitea, designed and developed, and it gives scholarship opportunities to 150,000 families with multicultural youth across America. We created a fan-engagement solution rewarding multicultural youth soccer fans for engaging on leadership-based content promoted by their favorite teams and players. Utility to students includes personality development achievement badges and official CONCACAF physical and digital twin armbands to families that unlock perks such as the following:

* 38 scholarships for Hispanic nurses in 2021 with the support of P&G corporate and P&G brands: Always, Tampax and Vicks, TikTok, and Johnson & Johnson

* 16 scholarships for Hispanic nurses in 2022 with the support of P&G Brands Always and Tampax and AARP

*18 scholarships for dental hygienists with the support of P&G Oral Care Brands

Why did you choose this school’s online MBA program? UNC Kenan-Flagler embodies the spirit of diversity and inclusion in its student body and faculty that, combined with my family’s legacy of being Tar Heels, made it the right place for me!

What was your favorite part of being in an online MBA program? The group projects! I love interacting with my classmates and learning things together.

What was the most surprising thing about an online learning environment? I was surprised by the consistency of my classmates. I learned more about my personality index of being a relational innovator, who I worked well with in the earlier classes, and forged relationships with my classmates that I shall cherish for life.

How did your online experience compare with your in-the-classroom experience as an undergraduate student? The experience differed like night-and-day. I enjoyed the flexibility of my schedule and felt the smaller class sizes helped me retain information. In undergrad, I often barely retained anything in class and had to re-read through many materials by myself to learn the material.

What is your best piece of advice to an applicant for thriving in an online MBA program? Make sure you do the async, attend all classes and, most of all, participate in these sessions. Sometimes the homework and group projects can be a lot, but the key thing is to ask questions in class to gain clarity on what needs to be done, and apply learnings to your day-to-day life to make everything relevant.

What would you change about an online MBA Program? I would encourage the MBA program to do more Summits! They were incredibly valuable to me, and helped me learn more about the world, culture and network with my fellow classmates.

How has your online education helped you in your current job? Absolutely. Most of all, it has helped me gain the perspective of how operations work at-scale, and where I can apply this thinking in my startup business.

Did you earn a promotion while in the program or immediately after graduation? I didn’t earn a promotion as I’m the CEO and founder of my startup, but I did gain recognition from Yahoo Finance and Forbes for our work helping multicultural youth in America earlier this year.

Why did you pursue an online MBA program instead of a full-time residential program? As the CEO of my own startup company, Unitea, and board member to multiple different organizations, this is the only way I could physically have proximity to my teams while attending school.

Number of Hours Per Week Spent on an Online MBA: 20

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? I dream of becoming a successful entrepreneur with my own venture capital fund investing in sustainable, cultural and environmental solutions in the world.


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