Meet the PGP-BL Class of 2024: Naina Nedungadi, IIM Kozhikode  

Naina Nedungadi

IIM Kozhikode  

“Go-getter, dance fitness enthusiast, photographer and volunteer striving to create a paradigm shift through creativity and innovation.”

Hometown: Bangalore, Karnataka

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a music buff who enjoys a wide range of music from 80’s English retro to lo-fi. My keen eye-for-detail has led me to street photography capturing moments that often go unnoticed and look at life through a new lens and garnering fresh perspectives. I am also passionate about volunteering and have volunteered with United Nations Volunteers, AIESEC and the Hope Foundation.

Undergraduate School and Major: Christ University, Bachelor of Business Administration

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Showtime Events India Pvt Ltd, Senior Executive, Client Relations

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Kozhikode’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The PGP BL program uniquely combines knowledge and experiential learning to provide a holistic understanding of business concepts in a span of just 1 year. The program encourages a practical approach through a variety of case studies and simulations enables reflective thinking and fosters new perspectives to solving business problems. Apart from this, the BL batch comprises of a small and diverse cohort which makes for meaningful conversations and effective peer learning.

What has been your favourite course or extracurricular activity at IIM Kozhikode? What has been the most important lesson that you have learned from it? If I look back to Term 1, my favourite course has to be Managing People and Performance in Organizations. This course was different from the others as it involved a deep reflection into the self. It encouraged us to dig deeper, understand ourselves in a new light and challenged preconceived notions and biases. In short, it allowed us to understand the inner workings of individuals in a variety of frameworks. These learnings I believe would be a game-changer in understanding people, both in personal and professional settings, and help foster deeper and more meaningful relationships.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Six months into my job as a fresher came an opportunity that played a pivotal role in my career. I was appointed to lead two large-scale events for Linux, a new client of strategic importance. The events were a massive success and paved the way for higher responsibilities and led me to become the youngest project lead in my company.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far? While it’s only been a couple of months on campus, the learnings have been immense. I believe my biggest accomplishment so far is looking at a problem in multiple ways to arrive at an optimum solution. Early in the program, I got an opportunity to work on Foundations of Business Simulation, where, as a team, we had to integrate our learnings, learn on the job, and compete with our classmates to be a market leader. While we did well in our practice rounds, we slipped due to a couple of misjudgments. We took the learnings in our stride and, after several iterations, we emerged successful. Rising proverbially like a ‘Phoenix from the ashes’, we were able to capture the highest market share.

What has been your most memorable experience at IIM Kozhikode? Why was it so special? My most memorable moment so far has been the Vishu celebrations hosted by our batch which was marked with festivities, fun, and frolic as students from diverse backgrounds came together as one. The event was organised end-to-end by the batch, right from the lighting of the lamp to a lip-smacking Sadhya (feast) and fun games. As the first-ever cultural festival with the team, and having celebrated Vishu for the first time away from home, it felt surreal as if it was home away from home. The bonding that ensued helped us experience the IIMK culture very early on campus.

What led you to pursue an MBA, and what do you hope to do after graduation? I was fortunate to lead several projects and work closely with marketing teams to create impactful experiences. I wanted to take this one step further to be a part of the bigger picture and a catalyst of change in the way we live and consume products and services. It is here that I realized that I would need to have an in-depth knowledge of marketing and other facets of the business to work towards achieving business goals. I saw an MBA as the missing piece of the puzzle, bridging the gap between where I am and where I want to be.

After my MBA, I aspire to be a marketing manager. Having authored and presented a research paper in the FMCG sector, my exposure to consumer buying behaviour has provided me with unique insights and learnings. In this role, I see myself adopting a design thinking approach, keeping consumers at the heart of the business, and weaving customized strategies across the various aspects of marketing, to address their ever-growing needs.


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