‘The most important life skill that you learn from IIM A is that of survival’ – Karan Chadha – Best50

Karan Chadha has been chosen as one of the top 30 most employable candidates across schools and programmes in India for the Class of 2015. He has one of the best 25 profiles among the 66 final round candidates who participated in the Best50 competition. The final 30 were chosen based on a combination of scores for the write-up below and the candidate’s resume.


What have you done at your business school which makes you stand out from the crowd?

I didn’t have do much to stand out from the crowd. The day I stepped in, I stood out. I am not being arrogant here, I actually stood out. Having come from a commerce background, I belonged to a mere minority of 6% non-engineers in the batch and this was enough to make me stand out. However, this didn’t make any difference. You are treated no different in a classroom, no professor will tailor her lecture as per your learning capabilities. The thing that will eventually make you stand out is whether you can hold your nerve throughout the nerve-wrecking first year. The key is not to get overwhelmed at any point by the brightest minds of the country and the breadth and depth of courses. It is extremely easy to fall prey to the ‘take light’ attitude and become prey to procrastination. I certainly had my bad phases but made quick recoveries. The result of which was a top 5% finish at the end of the first year.


What have you done in your life that you are the most proud of?

There is only thing I pride myself about. And that is the work I did as member of Student in Free Enterprise (SIFE).  Its membership allowed me to apply classroom learnings in developing self-sustaining business models for the underprivileged. As a member, I worked on Project Sanitation Solutions, which aimed at ensuring the hygienic use of sanitary napkins by women in Delhi slums. I also worked on Project Akshar, which aimed at establishing a setup for the manufacture of low cost notebooks by women with hearing disabilities.


If there was one good aspect about your school that you could take back after you graduate –

Forgive me for repeating it for the umpteenth number of time; the most important life skill that you learn from IIMA is that of survival. It is often difficult to relate to this sentiment as long as you are outside the confines of this institute. The true meaning of this expression can only be learnt through experience and that too, only in the first year. Having said that, this never say never attitude that one imbibes in oneself is probably the most important takeaway from IIMA.


If there was one thing that you could change about your business school, it would be –

The things that first grip my mind when I am asked this question are the batch composition and the overly rigorous curriculum. When I come to think about the batch composition, it can be argued that there has to be some emphasis on smoothing out the batch by bringing people from different backgrounds. And this takes us to the Freidman Vs Keynes debate. Can an intervention essentially better the system? I personally don’t think so (Yes, I believe in free markets). So, I won’t change the selection criteria, as it can lead to market failures (I like economics). The second thing is the question about changing the curriculum. Personally, I feel the curriculum is tough but I guess that’s one of the USPs of the institute. Diluting it might lead to the dilution of IIMA’s USP. So, I won’t change this either. Now, for the lack of options, I’ll just say that change the contractor of the mess.


If you had to open a rival social network to Facebook, what would it be like?

I won’t. The world can do with less of Facebooks and more of actual networks.

Meet the rest of India’s 25 Most Employable Management Graduates from the Class of 2015 here