Meet The Indian Institute Of Management Calcutta MBAEx Class Of 2024

In India, you can learn a lot as a graduate business student. Just imagine living, studying, and working in the G20’s fast-growing economy. In the past decade alone, India has moved from the 10th-largest to the 5th-largest GDP in the world, most recently overtaking the United Kingdom.

Talk about the stuff of business cases! In the public sector, leaders are weighing where to invest and how fast to scale to distribute benefits evenly. In the private sector, executives are wrestling with how to tap into a swelling middle class, where brand identity can be lost in a country with stark cultural differences (and 150 spoken languages). How can business students make sense of this?

Simple: sometimes, you need to step away from it all.


Female students at IIM Calcutta

That’s the philosophy of the MBA for Executives Programme at IIM Calcutta (MBAEx), a one-year full-time residential program. Here, stepping away doesn’t mean reflecting alongside one of the seven lakes on the school’s Joka campus. Instead, it involves heading overseas to attend class lectures, complete group projects, and visit company sites. Call it the International Immersion, which traditionally takes place over two weeks in March. Last year, for example, the immersion took students to France and Germany, where they studied at ESSEC Business School and Mannheim Business School.

How effective is the program? In 2024, The Financial Times ranked IIM Calcutta as the top graduate business program for International Course Experience, which is based on the types of global exchanges and internships outside a school’s home country. Sure enough, the MBAEx Class of 2024 expects the immersion to rank among the highlights of the program. For Tanvi Muzumdar, the upcoming immersion is vital to gaining a “global perspective” since it exposes students to different cultures and business practices. Her classmate, Akshat Kumar, is equally excited about heading overseas.

“The relatively tailor-made courses and IIM Calcutta pedagogy of classroom training, coupled with practical application, was a key aspect of the program that grabbed my interest and led me to choose this school,” Kumar explains. ”Besides that, the International Immersion program would expose me to businesses and leaders across industries that are crucial to widening my horizon and thus helping me analyze situations from multiple viewpoints.”


Kumar himself came to IIM Calcutta after working in global auditing. In fact, he once ranked 33rd in the Chartered Accountancy final exam. Pradyot Aramane founded a successful cybernetics consulting firm, while Tanvi Muzumdar worked her way up to being a senior consultant at Deloitte. In addition, Manoj Malav – most recently an operations manager at Flipkart – has made an impact at top firms.

“I am most proud of leading large teams of some of the biggest warehouses of Amazon as well as running the manufacturing value stream of Caterpillar, a globally leading manufacturer of mining equipment.”

Luckshya Dagar isn’t a stranger to the big leagues, either. Working as a product manager, he turned a Fortune 500 prospect into a client, representing his company’s first entry into the cloud security market. Over his career, Chandan Kumar estimates that he has produced “~INR 260 million savings in the Telecom industry’s supply chain and commercial sectors.”  When the Tauktae Cyclone hit in 2021, Ashwini Chavan jumped into action at the Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company. She executed a strategy that returned power within four hours of the cyclone reaching land. Chances are, Lokesh Chinni’s MBAEx classmates are familiar with his engineering prowess.

“During my career, I have had the opportunity to work on numerous Hyundai and Kia best-selling car models, where I was responsible for creating several innovative products,” he writes. “However, one particular achievement I am particularly proud of is the successful implementation of the Dual Air blower feature in the Kia Sonnet 7, launched in Indonesia. This project allowed me to explore new and creative concepts, collaborate with international suppliers, and establish high standards for design and performance. These standards will serve as a benchmark for future projects, and the Dual Air blower feature has become a unique selling point for the car in the market.”

MBAEx students gathered together


As an IIM Calcutta student, Lokesh Chinni was selected to be part of the Live Project committee. A cornerstone of the MBAEx program, the Live Project involves a client-driven project that enables students to gain high-stakes, real-world experience in solving business issues across a range of industries. Think of Live Project as an in-class internship. Receiving intensive coaching from faculty, alumni, and company mentors, students turn theory into practice by working in teams, conducting inquiries, developing strategies, and presenting findings. In his role, Chinni reached out to organizations to source potential projects for his classmates.

“My responsibilities include interacting with companies, projecting the class of MBAEx, and convincing them to provide us with projects,” Chinni explains. “It is an entirely new experience for me, as I have never had to do anything like this before. I have had to learn how to prepare official brochures and communique for companies, and I have had to develop my networking skills.”

Chinni isn’t alone in keeping busy. In his first two terms, Chandan Kumar estimates that he had read over 100 cases. Along the way, he also orchestrated the Class of 2024’s content creation for most school events. Luckshya Dagar hosted the school’s biggest business conclave. At the same time, the class elected Jinesh Patel as a class representative, where he focused on “empower[ing] individuals to thrive academically, professionally, and personally.”

That said, some accomplishments are tougher to quantify. Exhibit A: Neeraj, an engineer and sailor who hadn’t been in a classroom in 15 years. “Overcoming the initial hurdles and adjusting to the new learning environment have been both exhilarating and rewarding. Each day presents an opportunity to rediscover my passion for learning and expand my knowledge in diverse fields. As I continue to navigate this chapter, I am inspired by the belief that it is never too late to invest in one’s personal growth and embrace the thrill of intellectual advancement.”


Despite his years at sea, Neeraj actually never learned how to swim. That’s just one of the fun and quirky facts about the MBAEx Class of 2024. Jinesh Patel describes himself as a “versatile chef, a spontaneous barber, and a die-hard ‘Sachin Sachin’ cricket enthusiast.” Mark Chandan Kumar down as a fitness enthusiast who competes in fitness competitions and writes newspaper columns on the topic. And that’s not all…

“I’m a magnet for adventure,” Kumar adds. “I’ve conquered high-altitude treks, solo and with squads, camped at every scenic spot imaginable – rivers, seas, waterfalls – and pedaled over 100 km. As if that’s not enough, I’m also the class paparazzi, snapping pics of everyone.”

Looking for a laugh? Ask Vishal Agarwal – previously a senior manager at the Union Bank of India – about his singing. “I sang so badly in a singing competition at school that I was not awarded the third prize even when there were only three participants.”

So what has the Class of 2024 enjoyed most on campus? Tanvi Muzumdar points to frisbee competitions, something she picked up to reduce academic stress. “The most important lesson that I learned from the Frisbee competition is that it is important to have fun and enjoy the experience. I didn’t win the tournament, but I still enjoyed the experience of playing with my teammates and learning a new sport.”

In contrast, Lokesh Chinni has been indulging in photography, capturing sunsets from his hostel balcony. “The lakes around the campus provide a breathtaking view, especially during the monsoon season when the evenings are truly extraordinary. After a long day of attending classes, there is nothing more soothing than sipping on a hot cup of coffee and watching the sunset. Engaging in this activity has taught me the importance of dedicating time to myself and appreciating the beauty surrounding us. Moreover, it has also taught me the significance of finding creative ways to express myself. Whenever I feel stressed or overwhelmed, I always take a few minutes to relax and enjoy the view from my balcony. This helps me to clear my head and return to my studies feeling rejuvenated and enthusiastic.”

IIM Calcutta campus lake views


For the MBAEx class, hostels often served as the center point of their communities. Sumit Singh, most recently an operations manager at Bharat Petroleum, says his classmates would gather in the commons room for pool, board games, celebrations…and even study sessions. Off campus, Akshat Kumar praises Millennium Park for its light shows over the Howrah Bridge, while Jinesh Patel hypes up Park Street for its “old world charm” and entertainment options.

“We gather there to savor its renowned “Food Street” status, relishing diverse cuisines and bonding over street food,” Patel adds. “Park Street’s lively ambiance, live music, and trendy nightclubs create the perfect setting to celebrate our successes.”

Around campus, you’ll find the 2024 class frequenting the Puchka Staff or hanging out at the MDC Lounge. As Vishal Agarwal notes, there is really something for everyone in and around campus.The life at the campus itself is so buzzing that we spend most of our time here,” he adds. “IIM Calcutta campus, popularly known as the green campus, has multiple sports facilities, swimming pool, coffee outlets and a Subway. Sometimes, on weekends though, we hang out at South City Mall, which is located just 12 Kilometers away from the campus. Apart from several brand stores, it hosts a multiplex and a food court with several multicuisine restaurants to satisfy all your hunger and entertainment needs.”


By the numbers, the MBAEx Class of 2024 features 77 students. The class brings a 691 average GMAT to the program, with scores ranging from 600-780. As a whole, women account for 10% of the class. Academically, 91% of the class majored in engineering-related fields as undergraduates. In terms of professional backgrounds, the largest segment – 21% – last worked in Information Technology. Oil and Gas and Power and Energy professionals make up 14% and 12% of the class respectively. In addition, the class includes representatives from Banking and Finance, Manufacturing, Automotives, Logistics, Consulting, Infrastructure, Healthcare, EdTech, and eCommerce.

Looking at the graduate business rankings, the larger IIM Calcutta program has performed well in the past year. It ranked 4th in the 2023 National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), a ranking produced annually by the Government of India’s Ministry of Education. Notably, the school ranked 3rd in GO (Graduate Outcomes), a metric that measures post-graduate pay and placement. This year, the larger school finished 3rd overall in the Indian Institutional Ranking Framework, scoring among the country’s best in job placement and Teaching Learning Resources & Pedagogy (i.e. faculty and curriculum quality). Internationally, the Financial Times MBA Ranking, released in mid-February, showed IIM Calcutta climbed nine spots over the previous year to 67th. Notably, the school ranked among the world’s 40-best in Career Services, Alumni Network, and Value for Money. In a 10-point alumni satisfaction survey, IIM Calcutta hit an impressive 9.083 average.

Long known as a financial powerhouse among Indian graduate business schools, IIM Calcutta was also the first Indian management institute to earn accreditation from the AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS. While the MBAEx program hasn’t yet reached its 20th anniversary, it has definitely grown in renown. That is reflected in its students’ access to deep resources and thought leaders, says Jinesh Patel.

“The driving force behind my decision to apply to IIM Calcutta was the unparalleled opportunity to learn directly from business leaders. The array of engagements like the ‘Speaker Series,’ ‘Being a CEO’ sessions, and the prestigious ‘Lattice’ Business Conclave were pivotal in my choice. These platforms facilitated interactions with industry stalwarts, offering invaluable insights from diverse sectors. Hosting esteemed figures such as a Women DGP, Unicorn start-up founders, and top executives from renowned companies through these events was particularly influential.”

Next Page: An interview with Dr. Pragyan Rath and Profiles of 13 class members

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