Context: Management education at Sectoral MBA colleges in India, has always been a subject of intense discussion and deliberation among MBA aspirants. The aspirants always talk about lack of much information and success stories from these institutes. Career2nextorbit team will be bringing a series of interviews and articles from these sectoral business schools to help aspirants make informed decisions. In this series, the first of the interviews is with Mr. Rishi Prakash.
Mr. Rishi Prakash did his MBA in forest management from IIFM- Bhopal. Currently, he is General Manager at Aron Global and looks after India, China and Vietnam business. He has travelled across the globe extensively, covering all the leading timber producing forestlands.
Career2NextOrbit: How would you describe your corporate journey so far?
Mr. Rishi Prakash: I completed ten years of my corporate journey this year and it has been a really enriching learning experience. My journey started in Mozambique in Africa, progressed to Gandhidham, Mundra and Kandla in Gujarat and now continues in Delhi. My stint in Africa was a real eye opener and a wonderful experience in every way, and has made me a better human being and a professional. I guess keeping my focus on the “journey” so far and not on the “destination” has really allowed me to enjoy it, as the joy is not in finishing it but in doing it.
Career2NextOrbit: What companies have you worked for in the past and what have been your roles in these companies?
Mr. Rishi Prakash: I started with Olam International in April 2007 where I was the Branch Manager for the Quelimane Port in Mozambique, Africa. I moved to Aron Global in October 2009 as Marketing Manager - India, Vietnam and China and continue to work here.
Career2NextOrbit: How have the learnings from IIFM contributed in your corporate journey?
Mr. Rishi Prakash: IIFM played a pivotal role in making me a “Manager”. It taught me how to get things ‘done’ by being a part of and working in various events / committees as the President of the Student’s Council on campus. Those learnings helped a lot when I stepped into the professional world.
Career2NextOrbit: What do you regard as the three key learnings from IIFM that have helped you throughout this eventful corporate journey of yours?
Mr. Rishi Prakash: IIFM helped me understand the importance of adhering to timelines, managing multiple assignments and projects together, while working coherently and productively with different kinds of individuals, and above all, it taught me how to plan my day/week to be on top of all deliverables and produce quality results – which became a part of my personality in corporate life.
Career2NextOrbit: What made you choose IIFM, knowing fully well that it is a sectoral college?
Mr. Rishi Prakash: I had only applied for IIMs and IIFM when I was appearing for CAT. The unique value proposition of IIFM and my love for the environment had convinced me to fill the form. While I could not make it through to the IIMs, I got through IIFM and was happy to find out that it turned out exactly as I had imagined. I had no regrets of not having made it to the big 5.
Career2NextOrbit: In your opinion, what are a few things that differentiate IIFM from other B- schools in India?
Mr. Rishi Prakash: In today’s world, sustainability and environmental consciousness are not just buzz words but an approach that is really required in every sector or industry. IIFM produces ‘green managers’, which are not something that any other B-school offers society, and that is the biggest differentiator for IIFM. The added orientation towards the development sector makes it a real value generator from India’s perspective where we have a long way to go as a country.
Career2NextOrbit: What do you think is the relevance of sectoral B- Schools in India, given the present scenario?
Mr. Rishi Prakash: Sectoral B-schools are very relevant in the present scenario. Globally, the emphasis on cleaner environments, greener business practices, natural resource management and upliftment of all members of society is more than ever before. Sectoral B-schools equip individuals to have a more nuanced understanding of developing country issues and take a holistic approach in any field of practice. Corporate B- Schools tend to only concentrate on the very business oriented aspects, leaving individuals with a myopic and limited understanding of the larger picture.
Career2NextOrbit: What are a few things that you feel you missed during your IIFM journey?
Mr. Rishi Prakash: Honestly, I never felt that anything was missing at IIFM. The campus was a cocooned, self-sustaining ecosystem in itself, and Bhopal is a wonderful city that gives IIFM a well-connected, locational advantage.
Career2NextOrbit: With a new batch of students all set to join Business schools, what advice would you like to give them?
Mr. Rishi Prakash: Nearly all MBA course curriculums are designed to last effectively for 20 months, and with activity packed schedules time really flies. So the key is to make the most of these 20 months, by participating in as many activities as one can, because each one has been designed for a specific purpose and will contribute immensely towards making students into efficient, effective and competent managers.