Here’s a talk with Shyam Dattani who just graduated from the Indian School of Business and is now working as an account director at Indegene Lifesystems Pvt Ltd.. Thank you Shyam for sharing your thoughts and experiences with us!
This interview is the latest in an Accepted.com blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergraduate and when did you graduate? What degrees do you hold in addition to your new MBA?
Shyam: I spent most of my life in Mumbai, India where I was born. After graduating from Mumbai University as an Electronics Engineer degree, I worked for Siemens Ltd. for five years. While I was working, I pursued a part time Post Graduate Diploma in International Business at Symbiosis International University to augment my understanding of international trade. While I gained a rich experience in Sales at Siemens, I felt the need to consolidate my learning and get a holistic perspective of business. Pursuing an MBA at ISB, Hyderabad was one of the crucial decisions of my professional life. I graduated with a dual major (Marketing and Finance) in April 2012.
Accepted: Why did you choose ISB?
Shyam: ISB is known for its excellent research driven faculty. The curriculum at ISB is a good concoction of the business needs of Emerging Markets and the management principles used in the Western world. With a plethora of opportunities for self development and leadership initiatives, ISB gave me a platform to hone my leadership skills.
The peer group at ISB is one of the best in the emerging markets – students are from diverse backgrounds and with rich professional experience. With the academic model followed at ISB, each student gets ample opportunity to work closely with many other students in teams to gain from their knowledge, skills and experience.
The students participate in many business competitions and win quite a few as well. The exposure to the Industrial world through workshops and leadership summits is an experience in itself. I am proud to say that ISBians are well rounded individuals who would be the future leaders of the industry.
Accepted: Can you tell us about the award you won for Best Experiential Learning Project of the Year? What was your project?
Shyam: While pursuing an MBA at ISB, I signed up for an experiential learning project with four of my peers The project was to develop sales capability and to increase market share for a leading automotive player in India in the light commercial vehicles segment. We conducted 100+ interviews and a few Focus group discussions covering all the stake holders right from company executives to the owners of the vehicles and competitors as well to understand the various gaps in the business model. Secondary research helped us gain insights into market dynamics. We identified the gaps and suggested a few changes in their marketing, financing and dealership model. The suggestions were well accepted by the client and many of them were implemented while we were still working on the project. Based on feedback from the client and based on evaluation by a panel of senior people in the Projects Team at ISB, we were awarded the "BEST Experiential learning project team for 2012." It was a great learning experience where we could put our learning at ISB coupled with our previous experiences to practice.
Accepted: Are there many competitions at ISB?
Shyam: Yes, there are plenty of competitions in-house and at the inter-school level. Most of them are business case competitions. It is a great opportunity to apply the knowledge gained at ISB to real world problems. Many of the companies which float the competitions also hire from our school during placements.
Accepted: I see you are now working at Indegene Lifesystems. What sort of company is that and what do you do there?
Shyam: Indegene Lifesystems Pvt Ltd. offers scientific partnership to global life science companies by delivering a spectrum of medical, marketing, training, intelligence, and analytic services. It has a global footprint, technological expertise and domain knowledge which help enhance commercialization and marketing success of life science companies. I am an Account Director - Sales for emerging markets (APAC and ME) for three major accounts.
Accepted: What role did ISB play in helping you secure that position?
Shyam: ISB helped me understand business from a holistic perspective through interactions with peers and great faculty. My previous experience in Sales coupled with my self development at ISB helped me secure the position at my company.
Accepted: Do you have any advice for some of our applicants who will be applying to the Indian School of Business?
1. Be very clear about the reasons for pursuing an MBA and apply only when you are convinced about your reasons.
2. It is important to connect your previous experience and your future aspirations through the journey of an MBA at ISB.
3. Be consistent in your essays and be true to yourself while writing the application essays.
4. Highlight your skills and the impact you generated in your past experience by means of examples instead of a laundry list of roles, responsibilities and achievements.
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