Executive MBA Student Experience: IIM C PGPEX teaches business theories combined with case studies, says Digvijay Singh
Sreetama Datta, 06 Jul 2016, #IIM Calcutta
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Digvijay Singh, the 30 year old dentist with an entrepreneurial zeal decided to pursue Executive management degree when he realized that despite gaining confidence, he lacks the competence and formal knowledge in areas like Finance and Operations Strategy. He also aims to raise the seed fund for his 3 ventures by working in a company for 8 to 10 years after completing the programme. 

 

Singh chose IIM Calcutta’s 1 year Post Graduate Programme for Executives owing to its small batch size enabling personal attention from faculty members and the international exposure it offers. In this interview with Careers360 on special series of ‘Executive MBA Student Experience’, Digvijay Singh shares glimpses from his life at the IIM Calcutta campus, expectations from the programme and the factors to assess before deciding to go for Executive MBA.

Read the interview of Digvijay Singh, PGPEX student of IIM Calcutta below.

 

Careers360: Briefly share the role you were playing in your erstwhile organisation prior to joining PGPEX at IIM Calcutta.

Digvijay Singh: I am an Entrepreneur and I was playing role of a Proprietor of 3 business ventures, namely Rainbow Diagnostic Centre & Polyclinic, Orocare Multispecialty Dental Clinic and Orbit Advertising & Marketing Company.

I established my venture right after completing BDS from Manipal University in 2009 to provide affordable medical diagnostic facilities to the middle class and lower-middle class segment. In 2011, Rainbow came into Health-insurance business and by the end of 2011 Rainbow was on the Panel of 8 Health-insurance companies. In 2013 I started my second venture, Orocare Multispecialty Dental Clinic where I have appointed 7 Dentists from Different specialties. In 2014 I came out of my comfort zone and established my most ambitious venture till date: “Orbit Advertising & Marketing Company”, as I dabbled outside my comfort zone of medical services. Orbit deals in an advertising concept which is still in its infancy, wherein ads are placed on cars and the buyer is supposed to drive 1200km every month, in return we pay the monthly EMI of the car for the buyer.

 

Careers360: You have established yourself as an entrepreneur by running 3 ventures. What are the factors which led you to pursue Executive MBA?

Digvijay Singh: While my successful ventures so far have given me confidence to go ahead and set up an Industry based on one of my ideas, I know that confidence alone is not sufficient; competence is required as well. Currently, there are some key competencies missing in my skillset, to execute a venture of this scale. Preparing intricate business plan, assessing financial viability of the project, project financing options, and operations strategy are some of the key aspects about which, I don’t have any formal knowledge. Executive MBA will help me imbibe this skillset.

And coming to the financial aspect, all of my existing ventures are in self-sustaining stage and are being easily managed by my family members by investing minimum effort. So, I can afford to move away and get into a good job. I have given myself 8-10 years, in which I want to work for a company with full commitment, collect a handsome amount that I can use as seed-money to start my Industry. Till date I have seen and done things from the perspective of a Proprietor of small firms. Executive MBA will provide me an opportunity to work for a company with wide geographical and demographic presence and broaden my thought perspective for analyzing and solving the problems at that level.

Careers360: Which B-schools did you apply for pursuing Executive MBA and why did you select IIM Calcutta?

Digvijay Singh: I applied to ISB, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta and Rotman (Canada). I got selected in ISB, IIM-C and Rotman.

 

I chose IIM-C over ISB because in IIM-C I got an opportunity to share classroom with people who have higher average work-experience, at par with my experience. IIM-C has far less batch-strength compared to ISB, so professors here can give personal attention.

 

I chose IIM-C over Rotman, because I wanted to stay in India. In IIM-C, I would complete the course in 1 year whereas in Rotman I would have to invest 2 years for doing the same course.

 

Careers360: Please share in detail the application and final selection procedure at your B-School.

Digvijay Singh: The application and final selection procedure at IIM-C is like driving a Porsche on a race-track, with no bumps and speed-breakers. Once you are done with your GMAT, and you feel you have a competent score, you start filling the application form. The application form is very rational. The applicant is supposed to write 3 essays. The essay questions are very logical and compel you to introspect. Once the application formalities are completed, you get a mail from PGPEX office about your selection or rejection for the interview. The interview sessions are very interactive and mostly conducted by experienced faculty members only, not by alums as in some other MBA colleges. The interviewers judge a candidate on his/her life experiences, not his/her technical knowledge. If you are selected in the Interview you get a coveted mail from IIM-C PGPEX office, congratulating you on your selection.

 

Careers360: The programme at your B-School is one of the most expensive programmes with Rs. 22 lakh fee. How have you financed the course?

Digvijay Singh: I have taken Education Loan from Punjab National Bank to finance my course.

 

Careers360: What is a typical day in your life at the campus?

Digvijay Singh: Life in campus starts with getting up at 7am. Then I go for a walk, it’s a heavenly experience. A simple walk is like a Trek in a Wildlife Sanctuary. So many birds are chirping, everywhere there is greenery, the experience is just out of this world. This gives a beautiful start to my day. Then I come back to my room, get ready and leave for breakfast. Bappi Da’s mess provides us with all kind of nutritious breakfast items. After breakfast, I go for class directly. Usually there are four lectures of 1.5 hours each, 2 in morning and 2 in afternoon. After every lecture we get a 15 minutes tea-break, these breaks are the time for bonding with my classmates. After 2 morning lectures, we have a 1hour lunch break. 1hour sounds less to go to mess, have food and return back to classroom again, but now it has become a routine for all of us and we have adapted to it. 2 evening lectures end around 5.45pm. After class, I go back to my room and depending on the pre-reads for next day, I decide my present schedule. Mostly Pre-reads can be completed in 2 to 3 hours, so I get time to sit with friends or play TT, carom and badminton with them. I try to sleep by 12 to 1am. This brings an end to my adventurous and exhausting day.  

 

Careers360: Was it difficult for you to adjust to the student life after a gap of many years? How did you cope with it?

Digvijay Singh: I never had a problem adjusting to the campus life. This is because I am taking this one-year as a vacation from my professional life and return of my college life. I feel lucky to get this opportunity to enjoy my college life once again, or else how many people get this chance of coming back to college at the age of 30!

 

Careers360: How much industrial and international exposure does your programme provide you?

Digvijay Singh: We do not get much of industrial exposure as the duration of this programme does not provide us leeway for going for industrial internships. We get 2 weeks of International exposure, where we get a chance to visit either Germany or USA and attend classes in one of the partnered universities. 

 

Careers360: What are the differences in teaching method applied by guest lectures delivered by academicians and industry practitioners? Please share the best elements from both.

Digvijay Singh: The guest lectures delivered by industry practitioners are Practical. Their lectures revolve around real-world problems and future opportunities in various aspects of business world. But, guest-lectures taken by industry practitioners can only be beneficial when they are taken in tandem with academician’s lectures, because until and unless we know the theory and technicalities of business world we cannot grasp the gist of industry expert’s lectures.

 

Careers360: How much is the rigour at the programme in comparison to the 2 year regular MBA?

Digvijay Singh: Rigour is inversely proportional to time, at-least in our case. 1 year PGPEX programme is like a bullet train with no halts in between. So, in comparison to 2 year MBA, this program demands double effort and offers no respite in between.

 

Careers360: According to you, what is the best aspect of your programme and campus?

Digvijay Singh: The best aspect of PGPEX programme is its curriculum and its practical approach which involves Case studies. The curriculum covers all facets of biz world and combined with real-life case studies, gives us an opportunity to apply that theoretical knowledge practically. The best aspect of Campus is its lush-green serene environment. For a person like me, who comes from Delhi, to live so close to nature is like a dream come true.

 

Careers360: What are your expectations from the programme? How would you like to implicate the learning after completing the programme?

Digvijay Singh: My expectations from the programme are practical. When I came for this course I knew I have the raw skills to be a good leader or manager, but I needed to polish those skills so that I can fast track my career. PGPEX program will equip me with skillset that can help me accelerate my career and I will reach my destination in a shorter time-period. Things which I learn from the course are the basics of doing business, and I intend to apply them throughout my managerial or entrepreneurial life.

 

Careers360: What is your advice to the aspirants of Executive MBA?

Digvijay Singh: Executive MBA is for people who are mature and who exactly know what they are looking for in life and from this course. The pace of the course is so fast, that it does not give you time to think in what direction you want to take your life into. So, if a person is unsure before what he/she wants from this course, there is high probability he/she will end up losing a huge amount and a precious year.  

 

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Hello,

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Ashish pal Student Expert 16th Sep, 2019

Hello dear aspirant.

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Priyaanka Sarkar Student Expert 17th Aug, 2019
Dear Sonam, there are approximately 100 Institutions that accept CAT scores. This includes 20 IIMS as well. Selection of Candidates for Institutions accepting CAT scores depends upon the Institution you are interested in. The basic step is to check your CAT score and few Institutions conduct further rounds like Written Ability Test, Group Discussion and Personal Interview. The weightage will be given to both the procedures while selecting a Candidate. Candidates will mostly be shortlisted based on their CAT scores. The 20 IIMS and all the Participating Institutions will announce their Cut offs. The cut off is prepared after checking various factors. MBA aspirants will have to apply separately to all the Colleges that accept CAT scores. While CAT score remains the main criteria for selection, IIMs also consider other factors like previous academic performance, work experience, gender and Academic diversity.

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  • The newly established IIMs follow a Common Admission Process which is also called CAP. The shortlisted candidates will have to appear for a Common Written Ability Test and Personal Interview Rounds. A separate Institute wise merit list will be prepared and this merit list will be declared based on individual admission and selection criteria.

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  • The B schools which do not fall under IIMs will conduct their own selection process. The process of selection such as Group Discussion, Written Ability Test and Personal Interview are conducted at the Institution's discretion.

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  • FMS, Delhi needs 95 percentile.
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