20 Oct 2015 19:19 IST

‘An MBA helps you ask the right questions’

It enables a better understanding of key business drivers, leading to optimised returns from assets

S Ganesh, MD and CEO of Dun & Bradstreet Technologies and Data Services Pvt Ltd, is an engineer from NIT Surathkal and an MBA from IIM-A, 1994 batch. He looks back on his MBA from India’s premier B-school and how useful it was in his career.

How my MBA helped me in corporate life

There is no doubt that an MBA from a premier institute helps one in getting a headstart and being part of an established ecosystem that increases opportunities available to a person. It trained me to analyse a problem or a situation more systematically to identify root causes, key drivers and possible solutions. Beyond that, future success depends on one’s own potential, motivation, choices and external factors.

The key learnings from my MBA

IIM-A provides excellent training on employing qualitative and quantitative methods to analyse and solve critical business problems. It helped me understand how to identify and manage key business drivers to optimise returns from human, financial and physical assets. However, the most important learning from my MBA was to ask the ‘right’ questions.

If I had to revisit my MBA what I would have liked to see as part of the course

I would have liked a more work-integrated learning experience as it brings greater realism and higher complexity that is sometimes missing in the course content. This would have prepared us better in our transition from college life into corporate life.

The chief ingredients in my career success

Building great teams. I believe that we have to always hire people who are smarter and better than us and then delegate and fully stand by good people to see effective results.

My best and worst moments

My professional life has been a continuous journey, with its share of highs and lows and it is very difficult to pick any one of them as the best or worst moment. Each setback has been a lesson that has made me wiser, and each success has given me energy to do better.

My advice to young MBAs who are joining the corporate sector

Follow your dreams and know that it is OK to fail. Do not make your professional decision based on popular vote as the most important thing is to figure out your true calling. If you are passionate about your work, you will do well and have fun doing it.

Am I happy with the way the MBA is structured / taught today?

After working for more than two decades, I feel that there needs to be a better alignment between academia and industry to infuse course content with realism. The curriculum should have more focus on practical aspects and entrepreneurship to develop future business leaders.

Frequent interaction between industry and institutes, greater focus on projects and industry exchange programmes, external partnerships, real life case studies are some of the activities that can enable students to acquire professional skills and capabilities that will help enhance their employability and chances of future success.

My advice on what young MBAs should read

Whatever inspires them, motivates them. It could be a great story or a beautiful poem. The joy of reading is the most important thing.

What I do for my inspirations and ideas

Connect with nature and look within. Long cycle rides in the early morning breeze has always helped me unwind and get fresh ideas. Yoga and meditation also help in introspection and seeking right solutions.

To read more from the My MBA Lessons section, click here .