Mr Giri Giridhar completed his CA in the year 1985 , followed by the 2 year MBA at IIM Ahmedabad.
During an illustrious career that followed, he has donned multiple mantles at organisations like ITC, IL&FS, Shoppers Stop, Diageo, Aditya Birla Group, Spandana, and Wockhardt. Currently he is Sr Director Finance and Member of the India Board at Merck, the third largest pharma company in the world
Snippets of his conversation with Anurag from #mymbastory
1) Among the manifold career choices, what made you opt for an MBA at that point of time? In retrospect, how would you reflect on your decision?
Writing my CA Final exams after having pursued articleship from Chennai, MBA was actually an afterthought that happened just randomly. As a group of close friends, we collectively decided to take the CAT. Two of us landed in IIM Ahmedabad. At that point of time, we really did not visualise the long term benefits of an MBA but decided to take the course as it comes.
2) What were the key aspects of your MBA exam preparation strategy?
To be honest, there was no specific long term planning/preparation for CAT perse. However I had been a National Talent Search Scholar and probably leveraged my general aptitude and presence of mind . I carefully chose questions to attempt and clearly minimised the negative marking
3) How does the MBA course life transform an individual?
One transformation that stands out is ‘campus life’ itself. Stepping out of the ‘comfort zone’ of home to carve a niche for oneself on campus is in itself a magical experience.
There is this eclectic experience of having so many talented people all around you. One, it is a humbling experience; other is that it really inspires you tremendously.
Interaction with IIMA professors helps you hone your structured thinking skills.
4) Can you please share an interesting experience in course of your post-MBA professional career?
My stint in Business Development at Diageo, London was probably one of the most satisfying experience. Based out of London, I worked across several countries – Venezuela, Ireland, UK, Poland, Greece, Germany, Switzerland, Russia, China, India, Japan – driving some significant high value at stake work around strategy, M&A, JVs and the like. As I flew out of London each Monday morning to a different country, it was a unique experience of interacting with people from diverse background across multiple cultures.
5) In your view, what are factors a student must carefully consider before deciding to embark on the MBA journey? (Aptitude, career aspirations etc.). In a nutshell, what would be your advice to future MBA aspirants?
While MBA certainly helps you bring about a sea-change in your thought processes and perspectives; there is clearly no standard answers on what exactly would be the ramifications in terms of your long term career. There are many skills that can be picked up on the job and nowadays, often CAs are found to be able to grasp the nuances of fields like I-Banking etc equally well. So my advise would be to rather go for an MBA with an open mind. It is a rigorous course that will certainly ensure that you come out as a person with broader horizons. Also be careful about the pedigree of the Institute. MBA just for the namesake from any random institute may not really be worth it
LinkedIn profile https://in.linkedin.com/in/girigiridhar