The power to appreciate diversity, plus the usual repertoire of strong relationships, experiential learning, alumni network and brand value -Anandh Sundar , IIMA, Class of 2012


Anandh Sundar is a rankholder Chartered Accountant and IIM Ahmedabad PGP Class of 2012. He also completed his Company Secretarial and Management Accountancy qualifications from ICSI and ICWAI, all with ranks.  Anandh Sundar is working presently with Cello Pens. Prior to that, was with Bharti Airtel for 3 years in their Corporate Finance program, as part of the global leadership management trainee ‘Young Leaders Program’.

Snippets of his conversation with mymbastory

1)      What prompted you to get admitted into an MBA program?  

During school days, the Economic Times competed for my attention with Scientific American. Being unsure about the career path after 12th, I hedged my risks by enrolling in the Science stream which preserved the optionality for Commerce. Having decided by 12th to pursue finance, I picked the CA over the BE+MBA route, intending to eventually practice. The MBA bug however bit me during my industrial training, which is when having honed my ability to crack MCQ exams during IIT/AIEEE exam experience, I cracked CAT without coaching with 99.88%+ile, and got admits from IIM A,B,C. Considering the large number of family & friends in IIM A, and its numero uno position, I picked it. The decision was more emotional/endowment bias(who leaves an IIM admit after getting it) than a calculated DCF calculation of earnings uplift-while that might have paid out, the decision was not numbers driven.

2) In retrospect, what has been your expected/unexpected and most cherished gain from your MBA journey?    

Expected gains have been the strong relationships, experiential learning, alumni network and brand value that emerges from a 2yr residential program. Unexpected gain has been to appreciate diversity-the creative whiz who cannot code, the operations whiz who dislikes writing, the techie who loves story telling etc. To make study groups & case learning work, you quickly decide to have people play to their strengths, while eventually reaching a minimum level of competence in the ‘core’ subjects.  This learning has helped in corporate life too, where once you look beyond people’s seeming incompetence or lack of flair, you appreciate the person’s other strengths and what they bring to the table.

3) What is your favorite aspect of campus life and why?

I’d say the first year of the 2yr MBA-this is where long term study groups, tight schedules, frequent quizzing all culminates into the study group method and case based discussion-these enhance your skills to plan, lead people, think on your feet during case discussions, and the first year rigor is the crucible for you to handle stress later.  The second year is more relaxed and people can pick their choices of exchange programs abroad, electives, student clubs etc.

4) How do you think life would have been different had you not opted for an MBA?  

Probably, I’d have been limited to the ICAI campus placements with a finance/control orientation. That said, from a career perspective, as many companies have opened up their business finance leadership programs to both MBAs and CAs, things may now not much vary for those securing top ranks in CA, as they can now aspire to the same set of finance/consulting employers as IIMs-be it Bharti Airtel, P&G, HUL, BCG et-al

5)  Any words of advice for future MBA aspirants?  

For those targeting Indian MBA, there are many excellent platforms like Quora, Pagalguy, Insideiim and mymbastory (Disclaimer: I am not affiliated with them, this is just my experience). These platforms often contain first hand experiences and advice on all aspects like applications, admissions, during/after MBA experiences etc. MBA aspirants can probably find someone just like them on those sites.

“Foreign MBAs/1yr MBAs from ISB/IIMs, though more expensive and often less short,  are also within the aspiration of many, and with the correct set of experiences and test scores, you can get substantial financial aid too. So do not ignore this”

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