Being a leader is a difficult job, especially during this tough time of COVID-19. There are a lot of people expecting you to give them direction, and you do not have the privilege of making a mistake. Today, we bring you a story of a leader, a student body president at ISB, who not only went out of the way to provide temporary accommodation to ISB students during the lockdown but also raised his voice when there were few issues in the placement process. His determination and ownership in taking up difficult tasks placed him amongst India’s 50 Most Employable Graduates of the Class of 2020!
The following is Shreyas Katta's set of responses to a questionnaire floated amongst MBA graduates to determine the top-50 most employable MBA graduates of the Class of 2020. Amongst the massive number of entries and responses being evaluated by the Founder of InsideIIM-Kampus Konversations, Shreyas’s story and profile stood out. Here's his own story in his own words.
"I consider myself an empathetic and passionate individual committed to exploring the potential of a collective effort of a set of committed individuals and of progressive businesses. I am an engineer by education and a manager by profession but being innovative is a constant pursuit of mine. I love swimming and debating and was a scholar attendee to an international political philosophy dialogue program. I love to travel and meet new people. One could not miss me at any networking events and I absolutely enjoy differing perspectives."
Name an instance where you wanted something and went out of your comfort zone to achieve it OR Tell us the biggest risk you have taken so far in your life.
"I ran for the student body president of my institution with a strong intention to lead a student body of 600 smart and successful folks. I was thoroughly inspired by the skill set we as a cohort possessed and efforts in the right direction meant a profound impact on each of our MBA experiences. I filed my nomination for the role and realized there were 8 other ambitious students that were vying for the position as well. I was required to go out of my comfort zone in making strong connections in order to understand their expectations and position my candidature. I also had to extensively interact with the management of the school and alumni and gather their understanding of the role. Hard work that lasted 3 weeks, structured campaigning and a productive publicly-witnessed panel discussion later I was humbled to be announced as the student body president for the Hyderabad campus of ISB. I did it, I had achieved it. My determination to help and a great level of ownership during the current times helped me."
When was the last time someone relied on you? OR What did you do which was purely for someone else - a truly selfless act.
"Recently, COVID-19 had thrown its own curveball when we had to leave the campus back to our respective homes at a short notice. The responsibility I had needed me to voice out student concerns and also coordinate the evacuation efforts. I was flooded with requests for temporary accommodation or even temporary storage for personal belongings. I had gone out of my way to gather the belongings of some friends and take them to my home, spoke to a few friends and acquaintances to look for accommodation options for them for the meantime. I even stayed back for a day longer and offered help to people that had moved out and ensured everybody left for their home safely. All of this hopefully has made their experience less stressful."
Tell us about a time when you disagreed with an opinion/idea/decision. What did you do about it?
"A proposal to revisit the placement process for my institution got us to encounter an interesting conundrum and the proposed solution would have put a section of the students through some discomfort, promised to alleviate the issue to an extent. However, it was important to keep the students’ preference in mind and not arrive at the solution on the basis of limited perspective. As the elected president of the student body, I was certain I was not in favour of that decision. Right after the idea was discussed initially, I took it up with the student board and after some contemplation, decided to request a formal conversation with almost a third of the cohort. Our management obliged and set it up. The reaction indicated at few roadblocks, to begin with, but a series of discussions set up persistently solved the situation for all and was widely appreciated by all stakeholders."
What is the one thing you can claim to have some level of expertise or depth of knowledge in - it could be anything - a subject, a sport, a hobby, a venture, an initiative which has led you to do deep work in that field?
"I have a comprehensive understanding of Supply Chain and Operations in a manufacturing and warehousing setup. I have worked on several issues faced by corporations leading in the apparel and textile industry and in automotive manufacturing. Apart from that, I consider myself a strong force in political philosophy and youth affairs, having led several groups in different contexts and being part of a team that scripted a successful election campaign."
If 10 Million Dollars (approximately INR 75 Crores) is given to you to use it any way you deem fit what would you do with this corpus?
"About INR 75 crore is a large sum of money but I would be interested in building a sustainable stream of revenue from this corpus. I would purchase a large piece of land in a remote, disaster-free area with normal atmospheric conditions and adequate rainfall and build a sustainable communal space from scratch, with a capacity of about 250 people and correspondingly choose other living resources. The intention is for the city to be a set of modules with expandable capacity and to design practices that would result in a healthy lifestyle and reduced carbon footprint. The set of 250 would be chosen based on a range of demographic parameters and with their consent, all of their vital information pertaining to their physical and mental health would be tracked. The fund would also be used to create amenities that the community would aspire for. Practices and results if positive would be shared with governing bodies and not-for-profit organizations for them to be replicated in a large scale. Based on the success of the living model, a subscription would be charged as a premium/ stress-free living service and would be rolled out in different parts of the country."
You may also like reading -
- I Started An Awareness Campaign For The Stray Dogs In My Locality - Serena Panesar's Journey To Success Against All Odds
- Thrown Off A Moving Train, Rejected 5 Times By IIM A - Ameer Iqubal's Journey To Success Against All Odds
- I Risked Many Things In Life To Support My MBA Dream - Parul Goyal's Journey To Success Against All Odds
- I Used The Two Months Before B-School To Raise Fund For An NGO - Tanay Bagade's Journey To Success Against All Odds