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Infosys Engineer Chooses Lancaster MBA For Its Strength In Consulting

Kiran Savadi has his eye on making social change in India via well-executed public IT investments

His interest in science and technology began when he was a kid working on school projects, and led Kiran Savadi to a place at university to study engineering, but his story didn't stop there.

Today, Kiran is pursuing an MBA with the ambitious goal of applying IT solutions to social development challenges in India.

Kiran, 29, is currently on the Lancaster University Management School full-time MBA, learning to approach IT from a strategy and managerial perspective. His ultimate goal is to join a government body and work to implement IT solutions to development problems in his native India.

After gaining his Bachelors in Engineering, Electronics and Communication from S.D.M Engineering College in Karnataka with a First Class Distinction in 2005, Kiran joined global consulting, technology and outsourcing firm Infosys.

Infosys gave him the chance to work in the UK and in the USA with Fortune 500 clients in the telecoms and finance sectors such as British Telecoms and UBS.

In our interview, Kiran emphasized that the Indian government had often failed to successfully execute IT projects. Meanwhile, “the private sector can do this and maximize value”.

Kiran says that the country is plagued with a lack of transparency, high levels of illiteracy, red tape and bureaucracy - all issues that IT can help with: “I want to learn the best practices of these private firms and then to implement them in tax-funded projects", he says.

Kiran gave the example of the Indian Biometric Identity Card Scheme, which launched in January this year and is contracted to private IT company MindTree. The identity scheme provides a Unique Identification Number (UID) to every single one of India's 1.3 billion people.

Each person registered will have an estimated five megabytes of data at a data centre. The identity can enable those registered to get a bank account or even purchase things from vendors who have a biometric reader with a fingerprint scan.

He says that the quality of education for locals can be improved by increasing access to computers and the internet. If teachers are trained to offer the same standards of teaching in both rural and urban areas then this would "curb the literacy disparity".

Kiran notes that IT solutions have already been implemented by banks who provide mobile banking services, extremely popular with both individuals and small to medium sized enterprises, and that there are many IT-related research projects currently taking place. But he feels there is a lot more ground to be covered.

Kiran hopes that on the Lancaster MBA, he can expand his network and enhance his skill set. By the time we spoke with him he had already worked on two out of the three consulting projects that form part of the Lancaster MBA programme.

The first involved working on a business plan for a small start-up and took place only three months after the start of the MBA programme. The second involved creating a marketing plan for a medium-sized insulation company. The third project, which will begin in June, will be for a large multinational corporation. 

"I had been in a technical role so I was looking for an MBA reputed for consulting. This was my main target school and after speaking with Lancaster's senior alumni and learning about the three live projects offered, I realized that this particular school would be extremely helpful for a consulting career", he says

He says he has also benefited from a trip to China organized by the school to visit manufacturing firms and learn from their production practices, and the Lancaster MBA Mindful Manager module has increased his self awareness and improved his critical thinking processes. 

As an extracurricular obligation, Kiran is Director of Careers for his MBA cohort. As part of the student board, Kiran helps to organize sessions and activities that will make the job hunt easier.

They have already organized a smaller management consulting group to exchange tips and ideas, brought in experts to carry out mock case interviews, organized mock asssesment centres, and will be organizing an alumni networking event in London in the coming weeks.

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