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ESMT MBA Nishant Aurora Tackles Conflict Minerals For Axel Springer

Axel Springer wanted to assess the impact of using conflict minerals on the production of electronic reading devices

By  Ifeatu Nnaobi

Thu Feb 9 2012


Nishant Aurora discovered a passion for sustainable business while studying for a full-time MBA at the European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) Berlin and took it beyond the classroom to work on a sustainable strategy consulting project for Axel Springer in Germany.

The Indian national went on an MBA in order to differentiate his profile and stand out from the crowd. Nishant,  27, graduated with a distinction from the University of Pune with a BMEng, Mechanical Engineering and since then has worked in IT roles.

Prior to starting the ESMT MBA, Nishant was a Senior Technical Associate for Tech Mahindra and was responsible for the overall coordination and management of Deutsche Telekom projects. In that role, he increased costssaving by implementing a telecoms billing system that reduced handover time by 67%.

Nishant was attracted by the way ESMT connects sustainability with business and learning in-depth about sustainability issues has opened new avenues of interests for him.

The Axel Springer project was offered as part of the MBA programme and Nishant jumped atthe opportunity. He felt it was an incredible chance to, along with his MBA colleagues, learn more about sustainable business. The project focused on the minerals tantalum, tin and tungsten, frequently mined in the D.R. Congo, an African country that has been embroiled in conflict for many years now.

Axel Springer wanted to analyze sustainability risks and impacts that might affect the company's strategy for producing electronic reading devices that use these minerals. The challenge was to come up with a plan to tackle these. For Nishant, the highlight of the project was working and interacting with a sustainability team within a company.  “Not many people know about the facts behind conflict minerals, how they impact on our lives or how major companies such as Apple are working to tackle this”, he says.

Having lived in Germany since 2007, studying in Berlin was an obvious option for Nishant. Coming from Pune, a small (in Indian terms) town close to Bombay, Nishant was able to appreciate the way things worked in the European capital. He says, “I’ve had a very good experience of Germany. Its been very different but I like the way things work here. I especially like that its one of the strongest economies in Europe and I see many ways I can build my career here.”

Nishant is looking to do more work in sustainable business. He graduated from ESMT in December 2011 and told me that it was very hard to say goodbye to people after being with them "24/7".

“The last few months has been a roller-coaster of emotions. Hanging out in the superb bars and restaurants, I miss all that!”, he says.