Relationships and Experiences

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Today’s guest entry is by Ishwinder Bawa, who is sharing his thoughts on his company engagement project in India 

As previously stated by some of my classmates, the program at IMD is heavily front loaded. It pulls us into a cocoon that is part academia part collegiate.  This phase also leaves us somewhat detached from our regular life. The second part of the program is when it is all supposed to come back together and company engagement project (CEP) is a step towards that.While evaluating options that I had for the CEP, I could’ve chosen to work with a niche supply chain consulting company in Italy or I could have worked with a search engine giant largely rated as the best company to work for in the world.

The choice of work ranged from doing a go to market plan for a machine learning based software product or evaluating the customer marketing program for an upcoming revenue stream at this search engine giant.  These are the kind of opportunities IMD can open for you.

What made the choice easier for me was that the second option happened to be in a country I am particularly fond of. India as a country invites many opinions and evokes different emotions for different people. For me, it is just home.

Extensive reflection during the first half of the program at IMD also helped me understand myself better. I came to identify, relationships and experiences, to be my source of happiness and inspiration. Coming back to India was an opportunity to access both.

India is a land of diversity. While the opportunity here has been widely documented, what is often misunderstood is the variety of physical and cultural patterns this opportunity sits on.

For instance, the retail structure is peculiar. Despite the buzz around e-commerce and organized retail, across categories, the local standalone retailers still command a majority of the market. Quite naturally, all companies jostle to capture the maximum share of this channel. See the below pictures for an example of what I mean.

For any company, to execute a differentiation strategy in this clutter is no mean feat and I believe it’s a special skill to pursue.

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Apart from work, I also got to travel a bit, including a visit to one of my favorite cities in India, Amritsar. The city is home to one of the holiest Sikh temples, the Golden Temple (see picture), visiting which is always a divine experience for me.

The CEP for me has been about pleasant experiences (except for some horrid weather) and reinforced relationships (including my love hate with Indian food). My interest in the company hosting me here has been reaffirmed and I am optimistic about the ensuing job search.

I look forward to returning to Lausanne, catching up with classmates and hearing about all the interesting experiences they have been through.

 

– Ishwinder

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