Meet the MBAEx Class of 2024: Chandan Kumar, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Chandan Kumar

IIM Calcutta

School: Central Academy Higher Secondary School Gwalior

“Strategist by profession, frugality & sustainability advocate; adventure & sports aficionado after office!”

Hometown: Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh

Fun Fact About Yourself: I’m a magnet for adventure. 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!

Undergraduate School and Major: Electrical Engineering from National Institute of Technology, Bhopal

Most Recent Employer and Job Title:  Manager Commercial Operations – Airtel

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Calcutta’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The alumni stories from IIM Calcutta intrigued me deeply. They shared how learning wasn’t just about books, but doing real projects with companies, a practical approach that resonated. The campus teems with chances to explore different interests and life aspects. With a wide array of courses, the college brings together diverse minds and experiences to learn from. What really caught my attention was the Joka culture they spoke about. It’s like a big supportive family, where it’s not just about resumes but people helping each other grow. When I stepped on the campus, that sense of community felt genuine, leading me to choose IIM Calcutta.

What has been your favorite course or extracurricular activity at IIM Calcutta? What has been the most important lesson that you have learned from it? I’m truly fascinated by strategy courses, especially in digital transformation and marketing, as they shed light on the key elements of business success. The comprehensive case studies and strong conceptual base have greatly clarified pivotal business decisions and offered insights into executive choices in my previous positions. This knowledge directly shapes my role in the MBAEx content team, where I infuse purpose into creative projects and align goals across various industries. This smooth integration of theory and practice have visible impact in my approach towards

What has been the best part of studying business in Kolkata? After my 7-year stint in the bustling millennial city of Gurugram, the transition to Kolkata has been truly enriching. IIM Calcutta’s location in this historically and culturally significant city adds a distinct dimension. It immerses us in the rich tapestry of West Bengal’s heritage and the broader essence of India’s eastern region. Exploring the streets of Kolkata reveals a different facet of life, with its enchanting golden hours during mornings and evenings. The picturesque campus, adorned with seven tranquil lakes, not only captures the eye but also sets a uniquely serene backdrop for our educational journey.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Chandan’s professional journey symbolizes adaptability and embracing change. He drove ~INR 260 million savings in the Telecom industry’s supply chain and commercial sectors. Amid the pandemic, he transitioned from corporate to leading a digital marketing startup. Navigating this shift, he not only managed a new category, teams, and clients, but also matched established revenue streams. This success wasn’t just professional—it held personal significance. It meant navigating the unfamiliar, collaborating with diverse stakeholders, and utilizing innovative technology, all amidst the challenges of Covid-19.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Through case-based learning, I’ve collaborated closely with classmates, dissecting over 100 cases within two terms. This tight-knit network has proved invaluable in my role as part of the MBAEx Content team. I’ve streamlined content creation processes for social media and academic focus groups, leaving a mark on almost every MBAEx’24 event.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there? Our class often gathers at the serene Princep Ghat along the Hooghly River. Its peaceful atmosphere offers amazing golden hour views, and is close to park street.

What do you hope to do after graduation? As of now roles like Management Consultant, Strategy & Business Development, and Corporate Strategy Analysis seems like a good fit. Chandan’s strategic acumen, industry exposure, frugal innovation mindset, and relationship-building aptitude position him for impactful contributions

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Calcutta? Take some time for self-reflection. Identify what sets you apart, your unique strengths, and what truly fuels your passion. This self-awareness will not only guide your goals but also help you navigate your MBA journey effectively, regardless of the college. Specifically for IIM Calcutta, blending this self-discovery with a focus on honing your analytical skills will greatly enhance your chances of success and a fulfilling academic experience.


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