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Manchester Business School MBAs Give Investing Tips For India

Three students who have leading roles in class activities on Manchester’s full-time MBA talk case cracking, visas for entrepreneurs and investing in India

By  Gabi Champagne

Fri Jun 1 2012

On a recent trip to Manchester Business School we grabbed coffee with three of the most active members of the full-time MBA class.

Rohan, Vishal and Akshay all hail from India, and their very different career paths have brought them all to Manchester.

They’ve taken leading roles in the School’s influential consulting and entrepreneurship clubs, and in heading up the student body.

They took time from a group study session to tell us more about the MBA at Manchester. They also told us which Indian companies they would invest in if they had one million dollars!

Rohan Dey, vice president of the Consulting Club, studied Chemical Engineering at Pune University in India. After working in the energy industry and with Accenture and BCG over a four-year period, he decided to study an MBA in order to gain the necessary skills set for advancing in consulting in the future.

One of the main reasons he chose Manchester Business School was for its reputation in consulting: the course is heavily based on three major consulting projects that he was interested in. For most of these projects, the business school creates teams of five or six people, challenging students to engage with classmates who they may not otherwise interact with.

The Consulting Club hopes to ease its members into the projects that have been set by the Business School by inviting speakers from the likes of McKinsey, to discuss and explain the main aspects of the project.

The Consulting Club also does a lot of work on business case cracking. This is useful for both the projects set by the Business School and for interview training for internships with consulting companies.

Peer-to-peer work means that members of the club get alternative opinions on how to crack a particular case and fill in the gaps in their knowledge. The Club also uses case cracking programmes such as ‘Look Over My Shoulders’ by Ex-McKinsey Consultant, Victor Cheng (who himself has an MBA from Stanford).

Finally, the Consulting Club has an alumni board, so that alumni can share their experiences and insights with current members. Several networking events are held in London each year.

Vishal Shah is president of the Entrepreneurship Club. He studied Chemical Engineering at Pune University. After graduation he was working in the consulting industry on the management information side, finding gaps in information across organisations.

His family runs a business in healthcare and pharmaceuticals, which has given him a strong entrepreneurial streak. Eventually, he hopes to use the skills he has gained from studying an MBA to start his own business or grow his family firm.

The main aim of the Entrepreneurship Club is to help members develop their business plans. Many students have ideas, but most of them do not know where to start. If a member has a business plan, the other members will help with ideas and networking, including recommending venture capitalists to approach.
There are 20 people in the club, 17 of who are from outside the EU. The Club helps them navigate the complex rules around starting a business in the UK if you are from outside the European Union. In order to start a business, you either need funding from a select group of FSA-regulated seed funds, or have £200k of your own funds. “It can be a great deterrent,” says Vishal.

After completing the equivalent of A-Levels in India, MBA Class President Akshay Joshi went to sea, sailing with the merchant navy for many years. After a degree in Nautical Sciences he joined public relations firm The PRactice in New Delhi, working as an Account Manager.

He worked with a range of clients, providing mainstream campaigns and strategies for about two years. However, he thought he was lacked an in-depth understanding of business fundamentals, which is why he decided to do an MBA.

Akshay picked the UK because he thought the schools were truly international, compared to Indian or American b-schools. He thought Manchester had terrific project work and was particularly attracted to the length of the course: 18 months.

After starting his MBA, Akshay was voted in as MBA Class President, covering portfolios including academics, admin and finance, career management services, alumni relations, and sports and clubs.

He is also building relationships with other business schools by taking part in the Graduate Business Forum, which brings together presidents from 40 leading b-schools to discuss best practices and issues across their schools.

At the end of the interview, we asked each of the Manchester club presidents which industry they would invest in their homeland India, if they had one million dollars!

Rohan went for a clean energy company. There’s an energy shortage in India, and it’s also cheaper to build wind and solar generators in India than in other countries.

Vishal said that he would invest in a product-based consulting start-up. Druva, which is a software-based start-up, is a good example of this kind of venture.

Akshay decided on a consumer company specifically e-commerce giving the example of FlipKart, an online retailer of electronics and appliances.


More stories about students, alumni and programmes at Manchester Business School here