Meet the IIM Lucknow Topper who started his own Management Consulting firm

Pranav Patil was among the top 5 students in the class of 2013 at IIM Lucknow. During his tenure at TCS and Prestels, he offered varied consulting services to government institutions industrial organizations. An Industrial Engineer from VIT Pune, he decided to walk his own path by venturing into a start up that aims to simplify management consulting. spoke to him about his new start-up. Here is what he has to tell us:


1. What made you decide to quit the lucrative job opportunities you had as one of the toppers of your batch and start your own firm? Is it because it’s a trend now or did you always want to do this? What prompted you towards entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship is fun and that’s a prompt in itself. To work at your own firm gives you independence to experiment and keeps you grounded to the business reality. You get a free and frank feedback from the market as to your knowledge, skills, talent and capability and that gives you a great opportunity to shape up yourself. Your thinking on how businesses work gets clearer. It gives a boost to both inner and outer development. That is because at the end of day you are accountable to yourself.

2. Is getting into a b-school really required if one wants to become an entrepreneur

Well, all you need to be an entrepreneur is the decision to be an entrepreneur. It is independent of your education. The guy who rides you a cab service, or who sells flower bouquets by the street or who writes a piece of software application for sale, are all entrepreneurs. I chose to venture a start up in management consulting because environment around me was conducive for it and PGDM is a credible qualification to venture in this sector. The choice of going to a b-school depends personal likings, background and on the type of business one wants to engage. While it is not necessarily required for doing all businesses, it surely gives advantage for certain businesses such as the one I started.

3. You do see your friends’ from IIM L taking huge salary cheques – what made you stick to your start-up?

I was happy to see the unstoppable digits on their offer letters and that was more an incentive to stay to my choice. I could picture overflowing bank balances, which would never allow me to knock any investor door.

4. How do you plan on getting noticed? What would be your best advice for a start-up company willing to get ahead and have some exposure?

I have made no such plans as of now. It is better to focus on work. One need not place an early importance on getting noticed. Energies should rather be channelized to notice good opportunities and act on them timely. If you add value, market will notice your business.

5. It is said that a Business Model is not MBA lingo, it is the soul searching exercise for your company. Would you like to share yours?

Yes, I couldn’t agree more to that. As a simple model to commence the journey, I see that my firm will invest time of its resources towards addressing the business problems and towards developing implementable solutions for its clients. Moreover, I want to see a place where like-minded people work with high enthusiasm and co-operation and that there is a transparent revenue sharing model in place.

6. Do you see a huge opportunity in India for this business model? What do you think can potentially tip the market?

I see a huge opportunity for management consulting in India. May be, management services is a better word to describe the need. India needs a lot of it in good quantity and quality both. We all can potentially tip that market provided we are well organized. The returns are a lot to reap.

7. What can be done at IIMs to promote entrepreneurship apart from incubation centres and committees? What contributes to less number of entrepreneurs that IIMs churn out each year

If not immediately, quite a number of alumni do opt for it in the later stages of their career. You said it is a growing trend. With attractive offers around to get into high rise glass buildings and international offices, one does want to get there first and get a feel of it before venturing onto a no-regret entrepreneurship path later.

In some cases, perhaps a part of problem lies in the fee structure of IIMs. The fees are too high for a fresher or someone with limited number of earning years and that in a way forces many to take up a job despite their immediate inclination for a shot at entrepreneurship. Few years into a cozy job initially opted with a view to pay back loans eventually fades away the start up enthusiasm.

Well, I can think of ten solutions to promote entrepreneurship but you do realize that giving solutions is a part of my profession (service tax extra!). Truly speaking, I think there is no substitute for self motivation and with that all other things fall in place.

8. What other kind of challenges do you face as a start up entrepreneur?

I do not think there are any mention-worthy challenges I faced so far. The support from friends, family, teachers, mentors and all well wishers has been encouraging and good.

9. Finally, any piece of advice for those aspiring entrepreneurs at IIMs?

I think it is premature for me to give any advice. Among some entrepreneurial narratives or biographies that I have read, I observed that an entrepreneur-at-heart places more importance on what can be given to others than what can be gotten for self. The latter follows without pursuit. One can possibly work by this spirit even on a salaried job and that is good as well. Therefore, the key is to be an entrepreneur -not necessarily at a start up, though that is certainly a good choice I can vouch on basis of limited experience so far.

as told to Shohita Choudhury

About Patil Partners

“The venture co-works with industries and service organizations to identify areas of managerial interventions and provides solutions and support towards implementation. This could extend from participation in brainstorming meetings to conducting a detailed business analysis and supporting the client to achieve desired goals. Specific solutions are developed on as-need basis or lifted from the market. As an Indian management consulting firm, it values life and work principles of simplicity, inclusiveness and integrity, and keeps focus on work quality and objectivity”



Shohita is a class of 2014 student at IIM Lucknow. Apart from being a fresher and a chemical engineer she is also a part time graphic designer and writer. Shohita was among the 5 students from a batch of 459 who interned in an HR profile and is a marketeer at heart.

Read everything about IIM Lucknow here

Other work by Shohita on can be found here