Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Manojit Kumar Dalai, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta

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“A sales and marketing professional who is curious to explore new change and transformation initiatives.”

Hometown: Cuttack, Odisha, India

Fun fact about yourself: Blogger, writer, reader and occasional traveler.

Undergraduate School and Major: Biju Patnaik University of Technology, Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering; UnitedWorld School of Business, Postgraduate Program in Management

Most recent employer and job title: LG Electronics India Pvt Ltd; Retail Marketing Manager

Apart from your classmates, What was the key element of IIM Calcutta’s MBA program that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Historically, the average batch work experience trend for the program has always been over 8+ years, with the batch size being 65+. These are key aspects to consider as I was looking for a smaller cohort force with higher work experience that would help my individual profile (11+ years of work experience) fit in smoothly. It would also mean a very rigorous set of selected students which would contribute to richer peer learning.

What was your favorite class or extracurricular activity at IIM Calcutta? What was the most important lesson you learned from it? Although a plethora of topics are taught in the course with individual emphasis of each business management topic, my favorite so far has been “Strategic Analysis and Choices”. This course was a revelation in terms of understanding the process of strategic decision-making and all the considerations on which it is based.

What was the best part of studying business in Kolkata? Kolkata is a heritage city and the hub of eastern India. It was home to India’s early trading empires and played a pivotal role in shaping the nation’s trading environment and economic/capital structure. It also has a significant impact on the social, political and cultural landscape of the nation. Many large public and private companies covering different sectors are headquartered in Kolkata. These include ABP Group, Apeejay Surendra Group, AMRI Hospitals, Balmer Lawrie Co., Bandhan Bank, Britannia Industries, Emami Group, Exide Industries, Hindustan Motors, ITC Group, Lux Industries, RPSG Group and Spencer’s Retail. This gives the city a mixed flavor of business culture and socio-economic movement. Thus, the city stands out as an ideal place to understand the dynamics of the Indian economy and business contexts.

Describe your biggest achievement in your career so far: Although I have received countless accolades over my career spanning a decade, my most significant achievement was being ranked among the top 5 CMOs out of 51 CMOs during my tenure. at LG Electronics during the 2018 year-end evaluation. Earned me an early promotion and a privileged “Getting to Know Korea” trip in 2019.

Describe your greatest achievement as an MBA student so far: Although we were able to participate in a number of competitive learning initiatives during the program, being elected to the social networking committee was special, as it gave me the opportunity to explore beyond the medium university. As a first initiative of the committee, I wrote a press release using my previous professional skills that saw the light of major national dailies. This gave me immense satisfaction because I had put my skills to good use for the benefit of the entire cohort and the program.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? While pursuing a college degree from a top institute like IIM Calcutta was always on my bucket list, I never understood the purpose and process for it. It was during the COVID’19 pandemic that brought many changes to the economic landscape that made me reflect on my career plans. Labor market dynamics were changing rapidly and the skills in demand were shifting towards more digital technology. It was then that I decided to pursue my study plan to improve myself from a top B school and so I started my preparation.

I have been in sales and marketing for a long time with a clear understanding of strategies and their implementation. Now equipped with an MBA from IIM Calcutta, I plan to move into roles designing these marketing strategies.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Calcutta? IIM Calcutta is one of India’s top B schools with a consistent Top 50 FT Global MBA ranking in addition to being Triple accredited by AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS. I would advise all potential candidates to really think about their SOP and essay submissions as they get asked the most during interviews. Moreover, IIM Calcutta is renowned for its proficiency in statistics and analytics courses, one should be self-prepared with relevant knowledge on the quantitative applications of these in their industry or field.

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