‘I Have The Experience Of Working In 3 Different Economies – The US, UAE and India’ – Shreyans Bengani – Best 50 – Class of 2016
Shreyans has been chosen as one of the top 50 most employable candidates across schools and programmes in India for the Class of 2016. He has one of the best 50 profiles among the candidates who participated in the Best50 competition.
I was born in Calcutta, West Bengal in a joint family that has its origins in a small village in Rajasthan. My foundations have been rooted in well-imbibed family ethics and quality high school education at Modern School in New Delhi. I began my Bachelors in Engineering at BITS, Pilani-Dubai where I secured the first position in EIE stream, held the post of academic representative, and was awarded the scholarship for excellent academic performance in all 4 semesters. My performance enabled me to secure a transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from where I completed my Bachelor in Computer Engineering in 2010. However, I returned to India in 2011 and am now pursuing my MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai. As a part of my MBA, I am currently in France completing a student exchange semester at the IESEG School of Management, Lille, and have also been selected to attend the prestigious 5 day CAFRAL-IGIDR Winter School, 2015 (with lectures by esteemed faculty including Mr. RaghuRam Rajan), to be held in December in Mumbai.
Along with my academic pursuits, I have also always been actively involved in extra-curricular activities. I am the Team Owner of Rebellion Royals, one of the 5 teams that participate in NM Soccer League. I have been appointed as the Tennis Captain for 2015-16 and was a Student Council Representative in 2014-15 at NMIMS. I held the post of Events and Public Relations Head of the Illini Cricket Board at UIUC and have won various accolades in cricket, lawn tennis, squash and athletics. I and my family are also attached to NGOs like Child Heart Foundation (free heart treatment for children) and Goonj (disaster relief, humanitarian aid and community development) to provide assistance to the underprivileged and needy.
Professionally, I have the experience of working in 3 different economies – the US, UAE and India. From summer internships at multinational firms like Siemens and KPMG to working as a functional SAP consultant with boutique firms in the US with clients like Shure Inc and Kraft Foods to returning to India and working in a fast-growing family-owned technology start-up, I believe have gone from strength to strength. My internships at Siemens in Dubai and Veethree Electronics in Florida, USA gave me a first-look of the corporate lifestyle, project management and customer relationship. At Teklink Inc USA, I was the youngest employee to be given the responsibility of handling an on-site project by myself. My tenure at eCartes has developed in me, an independent thought, a greater degree of self-assurance and aspirations to reach newer, more challenging vistas. I was able to use my international experience from the US and UAE and bring some radical changes to propel the growth of this start-up, such as the development of an ICT propensity index and implantation of a CRM module. Finally, at KPMG, I was involved in a live critical business-case rationalization project with relevance at Partner level, despite being a summer trainee.
In today’s business scenario, the global manager confronts the world where geographical boundaries and national borders are giving way to a more interconnected international landscape, and global exposure has become an essential ingredient for mastering the various facets of management. I believe that I can satisfy the entire diversity quota for a company, not just geographically, but in education, professional experience and extra-curricular pursuits as well.
What have you done at your Post-Grad/Business School/Undergrad level that makes you stand out from the crowd?
My foundations have been rooted in quality high school education at Modern School in New Delhi. I began my Bachelors in Engineering at BITS, Pilani-Dubai where I secured the first position in EIE stream, held the post of academic representative, and was awarded a scholarship for excellent academic performance in all 4 semesters. My performance enabled me to secure a transfer to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, from where I completed my Bachelor in Computer Engineering in 2010. However, I returned to India in 2011 and am now pursuing my MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai. As a part of my MBA, I am currently in France completing a student exchange semester at the IESEG School of Management, Lille, and have also been selected to attend the prestigious 5 day CAFRAL-IGIDR Winter School, 2015 (with lectures by esteemed faculty including Mr. RaghuRam Rajan), to be held in December in Mumbai.
If you were the Prime Minister of India, what would be the one problem that you would solve. Please explain your reasons.
India is a colourful country, a land of profuse contrasts and a rich heritage. It is also the second most populous, facing the typical problems of most developing countries.
It is human nature to place the interests of self over the rest. A lack of education and a constant struggle to survive each day, the poor often do not find the right avenue or motivation to seek alternatives. Even the educated sometimes, mired in a self-serving routine with an aspiration for a tomorrow better than today, indulge in undertakings they would have otherwise skirted clear of. It is either desperation or a search for the easy out that prompts corruption.
Corruption is any dishonest or fraudulent conduct. In India, the situation of corruption has steadily worsened. A disparity in the rich and the poor, and the justified need in the poor to play catch-up has been the main driver. There are societal pressures that treat the affluent with more regard than the ones not. Perceived unfairness in the system can lead to corruption. Conversely, corruption can cause the system to become unfair. It forms a vicious, never-ending cycle.
India ranks 85th on the corruption perception rating index globally among 175 countries. If I were the Prime Minister, my main focus would be to correct the problem of corruption, since that is the biggest impediment to this country’s progress today. Bureaucracy in this country not only makes getting things done fast an exaggerated hope but also a painful experience. Under-the-table deals abound in every corner, right from education to the health industry. The media is tilted in favour of the powerful. The law is seen to support the moneyed more. Even politics is rife with examples of unfair, corrupt practices. If you cannot place your trust in the leaders at the helm, then whom can you? And what does that say about the direction the country is moving in?
I would work to correct that. Institution of the Jan Lokpal, autonomy to CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) and CVC (Central Vigilance Commission), revision in laws and strict enforcement of these laws, training for civil servants in professional skills and legal conduct, education in school on ethical behaviour – these are some of the measures I would take to correct prevalent corrupt practices. I would introduce an amnesty period where everyone with black money would be allowed to claim it legally by paying an income tax of 21%. Expedition of work processes in government departments as well as courts of law would be a priority. I would also ban the entry of criminals into politics and introduce transparency and accountability in all Government operations.
My aim, in the words of Rabindranath Tagore would be: ‘Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; …Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.’
Meet the rest of India’s 50 Most Employable Management Graduates from the Class of 2016 here.