“A shrewd and diligent observer. People-oriented leaders are driven by the motto – “We rise by lifting others up”.”
hometown: Jodhpur, Rajasthan
Interesting Facts About Yourself: I left a management consulting job offer from Deloitte to join the Indian Navy. Now, after 10 years, I’m taking an MBA. The two choices had contrasting substance but somehow, they were the best decisions of my life.
Undergraduate Schools and Majors: NIT Surat, Electrical Engineering
Recent Employers and Positions: Indian Navy, Lieutenant Commander
Apart from your classmates, what was the important part of the IIM Bangalore MBA program that made you choose this business school and why is it so important to you? IIM Bangalore is located in the Silicon Valley of India and has produced most of the unicorn companies in India. NSRCEL, the start-up incubation cell at IIM Bangalore, provides many opportunities to experience the “crowd” culture and learn from one of the best entrepreneurs in the country. In today’s world where digital infrastructure is evolving rapidly, it is imperative for all organizations to instill innovation and a start-up mentality to sustain growth and profitability, which is often referred to as intrapreneurship. Therefore, it is very important for all MBA graduates to build entrepreneurial skills. And there is no better place than IIM Bangalore for that in India.
What is your favorite course or extracurricular activity at IIM Bangalore? What is the most important lesson you have learned from him? My favorite course at IIM Bangalore is Competition and Strategy. Coming from a Defense background, I have exposure to tactical strategies. Little do I know about the conceptual depth in which strategy frameworks are tackled. From Michael Porter to CK Prahalad and from industry analysis to resource-based analysis of companies, I love discovering new ways of using mental fortitude that evaluate a company’s top and bottom lines. Professor Rejie George, one of the proponents of the strategy department at IIM Bangalore, has embedded a conceptual framework in such a way that subject knowledge now comes naturally even during random discussions.
Peter Drucker once said, “Culture eats strategies for breakfast”. After taking a Competition and Strategy course, I learned that a well-formulated strategy is a food package without which cultural change will die of starvation. It is my most important takeaway.
Describe your biggest achievement in your career so far: On April 26, 2019, a large fire broke out in the engine compartment of the aircraft carrier INS Vikramaditya. As per the established protocol, all crew members were deployed on the flight deck to prohibit people involved in fire fighting and ship movement. The entire ordeal was coordinated from the Bridge (control center) through the ship’s internal communications system, which was under my responsibility.
As the fire continued to spread, it naturally spread to the main broadcast compartment where the internal communication system amplifier was located. Randomizing a team of three, I decided to enter the main broadcast compartment and shut down the system to disconnect the amplifier and take it to the bridge where the secondary broadcast system could be rigged. The temperature inside the compartment was approaching 80 degrees and the team was exhausted by the time we reached the compartment. I had complete confidence in my team’s abilities, but the physical toll from the high temperatures and difficulty breathing in a fire suit caught my attention. Before the amplifier could be removed, two men began to experience shortness of breath. I told them to take off the amplifier and rush back to the flight deck leaving the amplifier. They left in an instant.
Now I am left with one of my men to bring back the amplifier. I can only give him one motivation: “Only we can do this”. We supported each other for the 7-8 minute ride back to the flight deck. The secondary team takes over the amplifier and installs it on the Bridge to ensure the availability of internal communications. All of this happened in less than 20-25 minutes, but I consider it one of the greatest achievements because a single mistake would result in the loss of a life. Unfortunately, on this day, one of the firefighters, Lieutenant Commander DS Chauhan, gave his life while extinguishing the fire in the engine compartment.
Describe your greatest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: Regular participation in competitions, which occur during Business events and throughout the college, provides an opportunity to improve skills and put academic knowledge into practice. During the Business Conclave 2022, the flagship event of the batch EPGP at IIM Bangalore, I won the first prize in the “Bharat Quiz” where 300 teams have participated from all over the country. I was also one of the 6 finalists out of 250 participants in the IIM Bangalore Sustainability challenge case competition.
What is your class’s favorite hangout outside of school? Why did you gather there? One frequent hangout is the bakery outside the south gate. We all gathered there for a Chai break and vented our frustration over the various things we had encountered recently. The biggest benefit of such breakout sessions is that one can know the important tasks for the day. That must have put us all on the same page.
What made you pursue an MBA at this time and what do you hope to do after graduation? In addition to the transferable skills I have accumulated during my 10 years of service in the Indian Navy, I would like to be equipped with the conceptual knowledge and skills that a senior company manager is expected to possess. I hope to start my career through the leadership program offered by the company and contribute to achieving organizational goals. I am also interested in operations manager roles and programs that provide challenging opportunities.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants get admission to IIM Bangalore? Well, it goes without saying that getting a good GMAT/GRE score is a must. A good GMAT score depends on the school’s average score and the candidate’s profile. The more general the profile, the higher the score that will be guaranteed.
Second, devote a lot of time to applications and SOPs. Don’t try to copy what you think is relevant in a pre-selected candidate’s profile. Instead, weave the story of your journey in life, define your short and long term goals and how the MBA from IIM Bangalore will drive your motives. As far as the interview is concerned, be original and believe in your abilities. Through mock interviews and mirror exercises help build confidence. I know a lot depends on luck, but then remembered what Benjamin Franklin said – “Perseverance is the mother of luck”.
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