Meet The Indian Institute of Management Lucknow’s IPMX Class Of 2024

They’re engineers, business owners, and military veterans. They’ve worked in the energy, automotive, and medical industries. Outside work, they are gamers, world travelers and guitarists. Meet the IPMX Class of 2024 at the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow. A one-year program, the International Programme in Management for Executives has brought a talented and experienced group to the school’s dual campuses in Noida and Lucknow.

Look no further than Debayan Ghosh, the class socialite known for spreading smiles. Before entering the IPMX program, Ghosh spent eight years working in engineering, planning, and transformational management. This includes, he estimates, working over 1,000 hours directly with CEOs. Ghosh’s biggest achievement, he believes, happened when he was 25. Here, he was chosen to spearhead a firm’s digital transformation efforts across Eastern India.

“This experience shaped my professional journey profoundly. Building on this, I expanded my role to digitize project monitoring processes across all of India, a feat that led to me being recognized as the top performer of the year in an organization with 40,000 employees.”


The class didn’t just drive company transformations. Himangi Ahuja may be the ultimate career changer. She worked as a philosophy professor before heading up marketing and communications at a digital marketing agency. By the same token, Maktar Uddin Barbhuiya spent his days as a petroleum engineer. However, his schedule enabled him to take alternating days off, which enabled him to pursue a passion.

“Leveraging my days off, I pursued my entrepreneurial drive by establishing a food processing MSME unit. I successfully marketed packaged food products across multiple districts in southern Assam. Overcoming numerous challenges, spanning operational intricacies to financial constraints, I managed to steer the business into profitability within a span of five years.”

Looking for students making headlines? Ruchira Gupta once partnered with Yuvraj Singh’s PR team for a campaign. In addition, she was part of team that launched India’s largest voucher program, Payback (now known as Zillion). Shailesh Basera made his name at Honda, where he helped build supply chains. For Monika Kothari, a career highlight has been her work on the Indian Metro and e-locomotive project, where she was involved in the very start with bidding, design, and prototyping.

“My role in these endeavours extended to leading the traction system engineering aspects. Notably, my emphasis on cost-effective design ideas received commendation and contributed to the success of the projects. Additionally, being the spokesperson for the Traction converter product added to my professional growth, enhancing my skill set and expanding my domain expertise.”

IIM Lucknow


Known as a storyteller among classmates, Aishwarya Kumar spent seven years in product management before joining the IPMX Class of 2024. Niyaty Pandey has worked in management, strategic planning, and consulting for the State Bank of India, American Express, and Deloitte respectively. And Dr. Priyanshi Shah, came to business school after running her own dental practice – a venture that was nearly scuttled early on.

“I started my dental venture just four months before the COVID pandemic hit in 2020. As the pandemic hit, we were forced to halt our business for four months during the nationwide lockdowns. Despite this dire situation, we continued to pay all our employees in full, inspiring them to stay loyal to us and return to work as the lockdowns eased. My leap of faith to invest my capital in the business, as opposed to borrowing, helped us stay debt-free despite the slowdown in business and even allowed us the comfort of continuing to serve underprivileged patients without any obligations.”

Munish Kanna ranked among the best in the UPSC Engineering Services Exam; he eventually joined the Ministry of Defence as a deputy director. His classmate, Vishal Goyal, served in the Indian Navy whose big moment came when he led the repair of an underwater outer hull. While the procedure normally took up to a month, Goyal’s team completed it in 12 days.

“This achievement brought accolades and appreciation to the ship,” Goyal adds. “This project is etched in my mind because, post-completion, my Commanding Officer commended me and regarded me as “Man Friday”. This project was a significant learning experience and remains a source of enduring pride throughout my career.”


Arriving on campus, Akshit Mathur – a Ford Motor IT product designer – became the “face” of his cohort, serving as the class representative. In this role, he learned how closely leadership is tied to learning.

“It taught me that it is not easy to manage a batch of 107 odd people with varied backgrounds and experiences. From handling all the student driven committees to all the academic-related work with the office to other co-curricular activities, I understood that it is very important to seek help wherever you can and try to learn from other’s experiences. Sometimes, I used to take help of my peer who has been a program manager for 10+ years and I was able to learn a different perspective. All it taught me was the great value that comes with networking and collaboration.”

Dr. Priyanshi Shah took a different path: she worked part-time with a campus startup to help them in areas like strategy and pricing.  While Munish Kanna had little experience with areas like finance, marketing, and strategy, he still managed to rank among the top 3 in his class after Term 1 exams. Shailesh Basera faced a similar knowledge gap in the National Case Study Challenge. Despite this, his team claimed 2nd place.

“[This] competition focused on designing a marketing strategy for an apparel company. What makes this accomplishment particularly noteworthy is that my background lies in supply chain, not marketing. Collaborating closely with a fellow student who was from IT background, we applied our combined knowledge and skills to analyze the apparel industry’s dynamics, consumer preferences, and market trends. This achievement underscores how my problem-solving skills from a supply chain background, combined with the marketing knowledge gained from the course, can lead to exceptional outcomes through cross-disciplinary collaboration.”

Students have an exquisite collection of flora and fauna on campus


Indeed, the IPMX program was a time for the Class of 2024 to face their fears and limitations – to develop tenacity and build on their talents. Over the past year, Niyaty Pandey has learned balance and time management, adapting to demanding coursework and tight deadlines. Even more, they learned something counterintuitive: It’s OK to be average. That insight changed Himangi Ahuja’s perspective on work and academia.

“Being an achiever, my sense of self-worth had somehow tied itself to achievements and marks along the course of life,” she admits. “Being at IIM Lucknow has been rather humbling, and my biggest achievement has been imbibing that it is okay to be average at some things, and that it is okay if I am not immediately good at the others from the get-go. I had forgotten that learning is a marathon, not a sprint. The professors here have made this possible. I will forever remember my math professor telling me that it is okay to be not amazing at math, and that it doesn’t take anything away from the many talents that I do have. The minute I learned to be okay with being average, I ended up doing better than I imagined. Sometimes, it’s the fear of failure that holds us back from a truly immersive learning experience.”

When it comes to landing a spot in a future IPMX class, Monika Kothari also encourages applicants to change their mindset. “It’s vital to focus on their strengths while diligently addressing their weaknesses. Whether it’s GMAT preparation or interview readiness, concentrate on your individual journey, not on comparisons with others. Cultivate a growth-oriented mindset and direct your energies towards improvement. Remember, each applicant’s path is unique. Believe in your potential, stay focused, and give your best effort – that’s what truly matters in the admission process to IIM Lucknow.”

Her classmate, Akshit Mathur, offers similar wisdom: Stay curious and never stop learning. “The world we live in is VUCA world (Volatile Uncertain Complex and Ambiguous). It requires us to be ready for any challenges that come our way. As a current student at IIM Lucknow, I would advise the potential applicants to be always ready for challenges and keep that learning zeal intact while aspiring to do an MBA at IIM Lucknow.”


Overall, the IPMX Class of 2024 features 107 students, with 20% being women. Academically, 88.79% of the class majored in engineering-related fields as undergrads, with the remainder including students who studied the arts, business, science, and healthcare. In terms of industry backgrounds, 21% of the class last worked in information technology and telecommunications. A combined 39% of the class – broken out equally at 13% — held positions in BFSI (Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance), Automotive, and Oil, Gas, and Energy. In addition, the class features representation from Metals and Mining, Real Estate, Consulting, Government, Manufacturing, eCommerce and Retail, Media, and Healthcare. Functionally, the largest segment of the class last worked in Operations and Supply Chain (29%). The class also features professionals who worked in Project Management (17%), Technology (16%), Sales and Marketing (9%), and General Management (6%).

The program has certainly earned the respect from its alumni, who were surveyed last fall by The Financial Times. Looking at the larger IIM Lucknow graduate business universe,  the school posted Top 25 scores globally for Alumni Effectiveness and Career Services. Those aren’t the only advantages enjoyed by the IPMX class. After all, Noida is just 40 minutes from Delhi, the capital of India. That translates to access to business, political, and thought leaders. Within an hour of the city, you’ll find over a hundred Fortune 500 firms with a sizable presence. What’s more, the region is home to 6 of the 25-largest companies in India, ranging from the Indian Oil Company to NTPC Limited to Bharti Airtel to HCL Technologies. In other words, the program is perfectly situated to help students build networks, collaborate with potential partners, and build a network that eases a career transition. Sure enough, the Class of 2024 reaped the rewards of IIM Lucknow’s Noida digs.

“A key part of IIM Lucknow’s curriculum was its great industry connection with the real-world leaders,” explains Akshit Mathur. “The invaluable knowledge we gain from the experiences of the leaders in the industry via the Leadership Talk Series and other industry partner connects is unmatched. To get to learn real life challenges and then linking those with our classroom concepts gives us an overall picture of how the real world operates when it comes to major decision-making. This is an important aspect as the industry is evolving every day and we as students get this first-hand knowledge due to the various programs organized in IIM Lucknow.”

The corridors that the IPMX Class of 2024 spends hours


The school has also earned a reputation for being a top graduate business program for marketing. Himangi Ahuja and Monika Kothari both credit IIM Lucknow’s all-star faculty in the area, who apply a distinctive mix of theory, case discussions, and real-world projects to bring the content to life.

What stood out for me here was faculty. I heard from people about it,” adds Kothari. “After experiencing it, I can tell why people vouch for it. With expertise spanning Finance, Strategy, Economics, and Marketing, they form a powerhouse of knowledge. This aspect was pivotal in my decision because learning from experts who’ve excelled in their fields brings a real-world perspective to education. Choosing a business school with such an impressive faculty lineup was crucial for me as it guarantees a holistic and practical education, aligning perfectly with my aspirations.”

Munish Kanna lists Marketing courses among his favorites, with the big takeaways involving how to tap into prospects’ needs and emotions. In her Macroeconomics course, Himangi Ahuja was struck by how a change in one country “can devastate another 7,000 miles away.” At the same time, Shailesh Basera is still stunned how Professor Mittal could “condense” 36 books into a Strategic Management course.

“The pedagogy, centered around case discussions, provided a dynamic platform for applying theoretical concepts to real-world scenarios. What truly made this course exceptional was the integration of insights from over 80 real-life examples from various industries, allowing me to see the practical relevance of the lessons learned.”

Next Page: Q&A with the Program Chairperson and Profiles of 12 IPMX Students.

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