‘A Role In Corporate Strategy Helps A Budding Manager Evolve Into A Leader’ – Diven Sharma – FMS, Delhi Alumnus, Current Role In Corporate Strategy At Cipla

Tell us about yourself, your educational and professional background.

I am one of the few doctors who chose to pursue a career in business. After MBBS, I joined the MBA program at FMS to make that transition. Post MBA, I worked with P&G for 2 years before joining Cipla pharmaceuticals. My current role in corporate strategy at Cipla allows me to put to use my education as a doctor and an MBA as well as my work experience to create solutions for business.

What attributes are essential for a candidate to thrive in a career in Corporate Strategy?

For a corporate strategy role, the first requirement is an ability to look at business holistically as business problems typically involve various functions. Secondly, the candidate should be able to engage senior stakeholders effectively; this in turns requires confidence in one’s abilities while retaining the humility to learn from more experienced stakeholders. And of course, analytical skills and ability to work long hours (when needed).

What are the best aspects of having a career in Corporate Strategy?

A role in corporate strategy exposes an individual to all the facets of a business. One learns to avoid looking at problems in terms of functional silos. Additionally, one gets exposure to how decision making is done at the level of senior management. When coupled with functional expertise, a role in corporate strategy would help a budding manager evolve into a leader.

What part of your experience at FMS has been most helpful in your career?

FMS certainly provided me with the knowledge and skills needed to start a career in business. Additionally, FMS has a unique student led culture – many activities on campus are led by the students themselves. The smaller batch size also helps in developing a close-knit student community. I was fortunate to have led the student body (MSA) during my 2nd year in FMS. My experiences in this role have been instrumental in making me a better manager.

What advice would you like to give to the forthcoming batches of your B-school?

B-schools provide a fantastic opportunity to learn and experiment. Students fall into the trap of looking at things from the narrow prism of placements. This is a time to take risks and follow your heart. Even if you fail, your credentials and network will ensure that you get suitable opportunities.