Punyatoya Panigrahi
Workforce Manager, TCS
Alumnus, PGDM 2013-15

On my background and why I decided to take up an MBA…

Prior to pursuing PGDM at IMI, I worked for about three years at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), in a consulting and customer support role within the Government services unit of the organization.

My background was working as a functional consultant which involved marketing the application to the client, foster change management to enable a transition, end user training and support. However, after a point in time, I felt the need to consolidate my knowledge and build on it so as to gain knowledge about the overall business as well as sharpen my managerial acumen. Although I had quite a bit of experience in a lot of the areas that a management degree covers, I decided to go ahead with IMI and pursue my passion. The shift from a technical to core HR.

For me, it was more about consolidation, but it was also about accepting newer challenges. I thought that PGDM at IMI, which is one of the finest B-schools nurturing leaders for tomorrow right in my city Bhubaneswar , would be a good start for my new career in a new field.

In professional life, one tends to get quite busy as a result of which one might not read all the academic pieces he/she should and might not necessarily go into all the depth. However, IMI enabled me to engrave it so well that I could soon become a practitioner.

The management degree wasn’t necessarily new ground. It was sometimes recovering old ground to do the same things more thoroughly in a different way, from a different perspective.

If I have to cite the most valuable classes that directly helped me in my area of work now, apart from the base subjects on HR and Marketing which helped me create a base or foundation for shaping my career, the Business Negotiation modules provided valuable practice on real time negotiations, day to day dealings with several stakeholders and create a larger than the pie win-win scenario for all involved. This apart, in my personal sphere, the Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship modules also specifically helped me preparing business plans and helped me to become more aware of the likely weaknesses and shortcomings as an entrepreneur. The course on Effective Communications also provided almost daily lessons in cross cultural awareness that are formalized in the course but an inevitable part of working closely with such a diverse set of people. IMI’s unique pedagogy of imparting education by enabling roles plays, business games, flash mobs, innovative case discussions et all actually helped us understand and appreciate diverse areas of business from the industrial viewpoint with real time practical exposures instead of just theoretical expertise.

The biggest life changes as a result of MBA…

Most immediately my MBA gave me the mixture of confidence and skills to help my spouse start up his own Training and Consulting business. It kind of started before I finished my MBA. I was asked by my former boss if I could do a project for him in terms of formulating the HR strategy for a start-up. I am also helping another ex-colleague in imparting Business communication skills to young engineers.

Coming back, I couldn’t have helped my spouse start the business in the same way if I was still doing the same kind of corporate jobs I was before my MBA. No wonder that my ability to do this is directly related to the circumstances that the MBA at IMI allowed me to create. In terms of skills, IMI has also given me a lot more confidence about the full set of business management skills that one needs to run a business in its entirety instead of work in silos that I used to do normally. IMI has enabled me to develop a lot of those skills and to have more confidence going into the whole business of running a complete business.

Singing the swan’s song…

One benefit of attending IMI is contact with the academic body here which helps me to discuss matters, share / create ideas, and keep myself up to date- a student-teacher connect that is par excellence. All my revered professors have been in touch throughout and I never hesitate to seek expert guidance at work or other areas of interest wherever I need advice.

Today after being awarded the Gold Medal for receiving the Rama Prasad Goenka Best Student Award, when I was asked what is that I wish to achieve moving ahead in life…

Just as, I feel proud that I passed out from under the hallowed portals of International Management Institute (IMI), I wish to keep up the glory of this prestigious institution and as an Alumnus, when in life, I shall be able to make my institute proud of having a student like me, that would be a matter of real achievement and only then I shall be able to truly come up to the spirit of being a true blue IMIte!