The IIM Ahmedabad PGPX (Post Graduate Program in Management for Executives), a 1-year MBA in India for executives offered by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad is unlike any other in the world. Exaggeration? Not really if you consider the IIMA PGPX class profile (average age of 34 years, average work experience of over 10 years with 4.5 years internationally) and the extremely competitive selection process (average GMAT score 713). None of the global programs can match that combination.
If you have been searching for ‘IIM Ahmedabad Executive MBA’ you might want to quickly read this post before moving on – Executive MBA vs MBA for Executives – The Big Indian Confusion
Alright, now that we know that the IIMA PGPX is not an executive MBA at IIM Ahmedabad, but rather a GMAT-based full-time regular MBA for executives, let’s focus on the main agenda. We found the perfect alumnus (from the first PGPX batch) to tell us more about the program. Vivek Joshi had a Chemical Engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai (IIT-B) and a Masters degree in Chemical Engineering from USA. He placed his trust in the IIM Ahmedabad PGPX course for senior executives when the course was just launched, did amazingly well academically and took up a job in Private Equity. He is currently an Associate Director at Kotak Investment Advisors Ltd.
MBA Crystal Ball: Vivek, thanks for your time. Tell us a little about your professional background before the MBA.
Vivek Joshi: I entered into the IIM Ahmedabad PGPX program with a background of more than 15 years
of managerial experience spanning areas like Technical Consulting, Factory Management, Project Management & Business Management.
MBA Crystal Ball: 15 years! Didn’t you consider getting an MBA degree earlier?
Vivek: I had spent a number of years in USA & also in India, thereby was exposed to many facets of business. When I finished my MSCh.E. in Florida, I had scholarships to some B-schools in USA. At that time, I deferred B-school program, which I believe is the one major mistake I have made in my life.
MBA Crystal Ball: When and why did the MBA degree come back on your radar?
Vivek: After a number of years as a manager, one of my goals was to strengthen & refine this experiential knowledge with a base of theory. Another goal was to improve my strategic skills and reinvent my career for senior management roles. Since I already had an advanced degree and had spent a number of years in USA, American B-schools were strong contenders.
MBA Crystal Ball: Exactly. Most folks in your situation would’ve consider one of the international MBA programs. Why IIM Ahmedabad PGPX?
Vivek: I chose IIM Ahmedabad PGPX because of the relevance of IIM programs for the Indian context and the world class rigor of an IIMA program. I did seek the advice of my seniors, some of whom had reached very senior positions in industry and they concurred with my view. The scope of the IIM Ahmedabad PGPX, duration and the chance of staying with family were added attractions. I am happy to add that the IIMA PGPX program has fully met my expectations.
MBA Crystal Ball: Considering the IIM Ahmedabad PGPX class profile, was fitting in a problem?
Vivek: Despite being one of the older chaps in the cohort, I enjoyed the studies enough to secure 2nd rank and academic recognition. In addition, I find that my ability to exercise ‘managerial intuition’ has also got strengthened, an unexpected gain. I keep in touch with some IIM Ahmedabad faculty members and have also become a guest faculty at some B-schools. The facilities at IIM Ahmedabad for families were very good, and my wife and kids also enjoyed the year we spent on campus. I would love to repeat the experience, if I ever get the chance again.
MBA Crystal Ball: Tell us more about the Private Equity (PE) industry, the kind of roles IIMA PGPX grads can target during placements and general job opportunities in the private equity space for non-MBAs.
Vivek: The PE industry generally has these roles: Investment, Managing Company/portfolio, Backoffice (Legal, Secretarial, Accounts etc) and Investor Relations. By and large, IIM Ahmedabad PGPX alumni are likely to be of interest in roles where their experience can be useful in managing companies.
Another likely area is for CAs to become part of the Accounting team. Relatively few positions are likely to be open for Investment related roles. An exception may be for CAs taking up the program to broaden their skills after getting some exposure in Equity earlier in their career.
Profiling the skills needed in a PE job is also interesting. Financial skills are only a part of the skill-sets. The skills needed are a combination of deep financial skills and skills needed in Consulting roles.
MBA Crystal Ball: That was very helpful, Vivek. We appreciate your time.
Vivek: Hope prospective applicants find it useful.