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Nasa to politics, IIM-A's executive batch has it all

In 2011-12 batch, share of candidates representing IT and ITeS sector was around 50% in PGPX

Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad 

From the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), from politics to the voluntary sector to defence — the batch mix this year at Indian Institute of Management-(IIM-A)'s post-graduate programme for executives (PGPX) has seen a welcome change.

In the 2011-12 batch, the share of candidates representing the information and IT-enabled services (ITeS) sector was around 50 per cent in PGPX. This has come down to 30 per cent this year.

Narayan Singh Rao was working in the rights department of a National Capital region-based firm and would voluntarily contribute his free time to cell of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, the youth wing of the BJP, in Delhi. Having played a role in strengthening the party’s cells in Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Odisha and Maharashtra, among others, in the recent general elections, Rao felt an IIM-A education could make him “indispensable” to his party.

“The way the dynamics of politics are changing, the whole mechanism of reaching out to people is changing. I believe through a PGPX credential, I will be able to carve a niche for myself,” says Rao, also part of the student media cell at IIM-A.

According to Jaideep Singh Panwar, Rao's batchmate, the quality of IIM-A’s PGPX programme is drawing candidates from different sectors.

“From over 50 per cent some years ago, the share of candidates from the sector is down to 30 per cent. This itself shows that the PGPX programme is being seen as an imperative by professionals from varied sectors,” Panwar adds.

That explains why Mukul Shastry, who has 11 years of experience in law, especially in the banking and finance sector, chose to pursue the PGPX from IIM-A. He worked as a legal officer for RBI.

Some other interesting candidates include Prasun Bansal, whose work experience includes setting up and executing a ‘Space Act Agreement’ between Ames and Stanford University and Medha Dixit, who has dabbled into voluntary sector through Teach For India and Acumen Fund, a non-profit that raises charitable donations to invest in companies, leaders, and ideas that are changing the way the world tackles poverty.

For Bansal, who is also a member of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, it was the opportunity to learn how Indian corporate work.

“I wanted to work in India. While others come to IIM-A for global learning, for me it was a reversal. I saw the opportunity to learn the Indian-ness of from IIM-A's PGPX,” says Bansal.

The PGPX batch has also become younger as compared to the previous year.

This batch of PGPX at IIM-A has seen a drop in average age to 33 years 10 months from last year’s 34 years.

The average work experience of the batch too has come down from 10 years two months to nine years eight months. International work experience, too, has come down from three years three months to three years.

The share of women candidates rose to 15.29 per cent — 13 out of 85 students for the 2014-15 batch are women. Last year, it was 12.95 per cent.

First Published: Tue, August 19 2014. 23:36 IST