Meet the MBAEx Class of 2024: Vishal Agarwal, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

Vishal Agarwal

IIM Calcutta

“Chartered Accountant by education, Banker by profession and Teacher by heart.”

Hometown: Calcutta, West Bengal

Fun Fact About Yourself: 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.

Undergraduate School and Major: The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Major – Finance and Auditing

Graduate School: Calcutta University, Major – Accountancy and Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Union Bank of India, Job Title: Senior Manager – Finance

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? IIM Calcutta is known as the Finance Campus of the Country. Until now, I have spent my life serving Finance and when I decided to do MBA there was nothing more important than choosing the best. The faculty of Finance and Economics here are the best you can get.

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? It is tough to choose between the courses. However, I immensely benefited from the courses on Information Technology by Professor Debashish Saha, Financial Reporting and Analysis by Professor Manju Jaiswal, Macroeconomics by Professor Parthapratim Pal, and Managerial Communication by Professor Pragyan Rath.

If I must choose my favorite, then it will be Managerial Communication. Communication is one of the key skills for managers to excel in today’s competitive world. I never thought about communication in the way that is taught here. The concepts of Credibility and Habitus Pentagon have made me think about the novice way in which I was communicating to-date without any planning or strategy. The course has equipped us with frameworks for devising effective communication to have the desired impact on our target audience.

What has been the best part of studying business in Kolkata? Kolkata is my hometown. I came back home after 10 years working throughout the country. Nostalgia hit me when I got the news of my selection at my dream college. Even though I had the option of taking a sabbatical, I happily resigned from my job. Fun fact, I have lost 10 Kilograms enjoying the lush green expanse of our campus, part credit goes to the rigorous course outline also.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I managed the contingencies during COVID Pandemic under severe resource constraints and threat to our health. I also ensured the implementation of Government directives on Emergency Credit Line and ensured none of our accounts slipped to NPA because of want of emergency funds (almost 400 accounts with aggregate exposure of INR 200.00 Crores). I feel proud of my team, that we survived one of the most challenging times witnessed by our generation.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: I have been selected as the convenor of Finance Study Group for MBAEx and a member in Learning and Development Vertical of Finance and Investment club, the most coveted club of the campus. However, my biggest accomplishment as an MBA student has been securing a live project with HDFC Capital on Data Analytics in Real Estate.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there? The life at the campus itself is so buzzing that we spend most of our time here. 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.

What do you hope to do after graduation? Post-MBA, I would love to work for the development of MSME sector. I believe that MSMEs have immense potential of generating employment and contribute to solving some of the macroeconomic challenges of the country. I want to start an NBFC for financing MSMEs.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Calcutta? Applicants must stay honest and original in their SOPs; the temptation to use generative AI must be avoided. Work hard on the GMAT. Work experience and past academic records are fixed, GMAT Score is the only variable that matters.


Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.