Doors..Questions..Access – PGPMAX

On 7th of Nov some of us gathered at the Pgpmax event titled “The CEO Story”. Rajiv, Chandresh, Amit Saha, Deepak Mundade, Mandeep and I were the alums who attended and Poonam from ISB was there to manage the event. We had about 20 guests who were attending the session to evaluate their plans of doing an Exec MBA and whether the Pgpmax was the one for them.

Rajiv kicked off the talk and spoke of how he had made his decision about joining Pgpmax and he got the guests to ask their questions before starting, so that he could weave in the answers during his session. Then Amit Saha followed with his own reasons for joining Pgpmax and again with some answers to the questions raised by the guests….. Both Rajiv and I had trouble with just one statistic that Amit shared – he said he has 30 years of work experience while he doesn’t look even 35 !!! We need to check his joining details to confirm his date of birth :):).

I was the third speaker. Both Rajiv and Amit have had interesting careers and while Rajiv continues to be part of the corporate world leading Liberty House International, Amit has taken the bold step of being a startup founder after a long stint at Coca Cola. My career story of course is as “hatke” as one can get … with bankruptcy, Pizza company, BPO, HRO and then ShikshaDaan thrown in the mix ! I decided to hangup my corporate boots in 2015 just 1.5 years after completing my Pgpmax and I have been asked this question many times about what did the Pgpmax program do for me.

As Rajiv and Amit spoke, three words started buzzing in my head – Doors, Questions and Access and my batchmates will be happy to know that I lived up to my moniker in class of a “teacher” and immediately used the flip chart that was available to write those three words on it. For me, Pgpmax helps in opening almost every door that I knock on, thats the strength of the ISB brand and the program. As one goes through the program, the most important change that occurs, is the type of questions one asks in a given situation. With world class professors and absolute rock stars for batchmates, your perspectives are widened significantly and the way an issue is dealt with changes as well. That’s the second benefit. The third is probably the biggest benefit of all – the access to knowledge, research and the who’s who of the industry is unmatched. Your batchmates are mostly folks already in the C-suite or one down from the C-Suite or business owners and then the ISB alum network with folks from the PGP as well just makes access so easy. Networking just for the sake of networking doesn’t work – I may hand you my card at an event, but am I accessible to you ? Maybe not. But the minute its an ISB alum trying to reach me, I am immediately accessible. That’s the power of the ISB brand and the Pgpmax program ….

I truly believe everyone must do just an exec MBA, not an MBA right after college or even after just 3 or 4 years experience. The full value of an MBA is felt only when you are able to implement many of your learnings and during an Exec MBA you are able to do that. That’s my humble opinion and of course the PGP programs have been the mainstay of management education so maybe I need better information and tweak my opinion.

All the alums had a great time at the event, only Rajiv had to listen to a lot of “gyan” from Krishnan and I as we were in his car … poor guy, picked us up and dropped us back and got non-stop “gyan” in return :):) but well, he still has half his head covered in hair, there are miles to go before he goes bald. (inadvertent collateral damage of having troublesome batchmates). Chandresh escaped as he dropped the other batchmates, but there is not much work to be done on him :). Mandeep must be re-thinking about his plans to visit Gurgaon now.


Poonam, Amit, Deepak, Rajiv, Mandeep, Bindu, Krishnan and Chandresh – left to right


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