Masters in finance from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, 1984.

Joint managing director, ICICI Bank Ltd

“It was here that I evolved from being just a student, to a person who could face the rigours of the corporate world, identifying challenges and resolving conflicts in different work situations. Ironically, the transition from student life to professional life entailed just the climbing over of a common wall. Jamnalal Bajaj and ICICI shared a boundary wall and as a student, little did I know that I would continue to be in the vicinity of my college and not just that, but end up being with ICICI for more than 24 years."

Vikas Kapai

Institute of Hotel Management, New Delhi, 1989

General manager, Oakwood Residency, Pune

“I am thankful for the rigours of our training and the drilling down of two key messages, which may be tough but without which we cannot hope to survive—to be customer-focused, however frequently his choices and preferences may change, and to constantly remember that the customer has to be right, always!"

Sujata Soni Bali

IIMC, majors in advertising and public relations, 1989

Proprietor, Miran Productions, an event management company

“The courage to branch out of a regular advertising job and to set up one’s own company couldn’t have been possible had it not been for the grounding that we received at IIMC. The long hours that balanced structured academic fundamentals with the dynamics of what happened on the ground prepared us to deal with real life situations and with all kinds of clients."

Rina Dhaka

NIFT, New Delhi, 1987

Delhi-based designer, specializing in prêt collection

“We were part of the first batch of NIFT. I was clear that fashion is what I wanted to make a career out of. Had NIFT not been there, I would have gone to a fashion design college overseas and may have been lost to India altogether."

Sahil Dutta

WelcomGroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal, 2002

Currently, restaurant assistant manager, Radisson Edwardian group, London

“The biggest learning at the gruelling classroom sessions at the school was the ability to cope with consistent pressure and handle stressful situations without flapping. Keeping that permanent smile fixed on the face was not easy, but again, something one has learnt to do."

Nidhi Bal Singh

Masters in mass communication, Jamia Millia Islamia, 2004

Lecturer, mass communication, under the ministry of higher education, Sultanate of Oman

“Studying mass communication at Jamia is like winning a prized ticket. For me, it opened doors at leading media institutions like NDTV. Wherever I have worked, I found that students from Jamia stood out for their expertise and knowledge. Not only were we more thorough with our work but people around us seemed to know that we were a cut above the rest."

Raveen Vasudeva

BITS Pilani, Electronics, 1987

Elementary and middle school computer teacher, Woodstock School, Mussoorie

“BITS taught us to be creative problem solvers, to always try and look at the other side of the coin, to think outside the box, to dream. We were given an amazing flexibility in deciding what and how to learn and to always ask, why? I think the culture; the values and surroundings shaped a significant part of me and will always be that ‘extra edge’ in my life."

Shyam Mohan

Oberoi School of Hotel Management, 1990

Assistant manager, F&B, Oberoi, Mumbai, and manager, Belvedere Club. Joined Essar Group as GM to head property management, travel and horticulture companies

Currently managing director, Griffith Laboratories in India and the Middle East, and is based out of Bangalore

“The school had a great programme, solid learning, quality peers, eye for detail and the best in the category of class hotels. I particularly learnt the importance of discipline, handling large teams, quality service deliveries and the relevance of striving for continuous perfection. I got used to hard work, ego management, long working hour and the role of repartee."

Shivinder M Singh

Bachelors in mathematics from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University, 1996; masters in business administration from Duke University, US, 2000

Group managing director, Fortis Healthcare Ltd

“I studied in Doon School which was elitist and my schoolmates came from affluent homes. This changed in St Stephen’s College. Here the students were from households representing all walks of life. This was a great equalizer… seeing for myself the issues facing people, the problems they have to handle, the pressures they have to face and the efforts they put in to do well in life. Seeing these made me more understanding and more compassionate and this is what I have carried to my life and work."

P Venugopal

MBBS, All India Institute of Medical Sciences (1963)

Director, All India Institute of Medical Sciences

“Work hard to excel … Brilliance is the most sought after virtue."

Sunil Gupta

IIT Delhi, BTech, textile engineering, 1976

Professor, ICFAI, Hyderabad, and director, Max Wealth Finance Pvt. Ltd

“I was in the hostel and one interesting episode that often comes up when I meet batchmates is our ‘bhang’-filled Holi when we were freshmen. It was a free for all, with some of us passing out. At around 1pm we were emboldened enough to embark on a forbidden visit to the girls hostel but by the time we got there, none of us ‘good’ guys wanted to take the initiative. I don’t remember having this potion ever again, but the memory of that eventful Holi is still heady."

Sidhartha Ray

IIM Calcutta, 1984

Chairman, Rayfam Enterprises Pvt. Ltd; formerly general manager and vice-president, Star India

“When I was at IIM-C we had a most vibrant faculty with economists like Ranjit Sahu and Nirmal Chanda, developmental economist like Deepak Nayyar and a great director in Ramu Aiyer who was also my project guide."

Abhishek Mrinmay

MICA, 2006

Analyst, Dunnhumby

“My biggest learning must have come from the hours I spent in the well-stocked library. Putting our creative heads together for the annual brand management fest, MICANVAS, was the high point of the two years that I spent at the institute. Three months of ideation, managing finances, hosting outstation students, coordinating guest speaker schedules and enjoying the cultural evenings made us all into super event managers."

Manoj Gupta

Institute of Technology, BHU, BTech, computer science & engineering, 1984

Consultant, Wipro Technologies,

New Delhi

“The thing that struck me immediately was the homogeneity of the group. Unlike school, the guys here were ‘uniformly intelligent’. I also noticed that almost everyone had a distinctive quality—a beautiful handwriting, photographic memory or great mathematical ability. Above all they were humble and down to earth, sans airs and pretensions."

Satish Kaura

IIT Kanpur, Electrical Engineering, 1966

Chairman and managing director, Samtel Group

“Ours was the second batch and since there was US funding many of our professors were Americans. Getting to know some of them intimately was my biggest takeaway. The teaching methodologies helped us develop abilities to logically reason, something that influenced us enormously and which we took with us into professional lives."

Raakesh Agarvwal

NIFT, New Delhi, 2000

Partner, creative director, Raakesh Agarvwal

“Nift was full of learning experiences. Firstly it was such a hands-on experience with everything, everything was practical, even the faculty would deal with you as if you working there. Competition was tough and everyone over there would be so creative. It actually taught what real life would be like. It made you into a tougher, practical human being and professionally it would equip you to handle any situation in the industry."

Alok Rathi

IIT Kanpur, BTech, Mechanical Engineering, 1969

Managing director, Merloni TermoSanitari (India) Ltd, Pune

“The institute was a dream with a well laid-out campus, curriculum and environment that developed comprehension and analytical skills. The relative grading system made life competitive and frustrating for you could get 70% in a course and still land up with a C grade, simply because most of the others did better. The only thing that rankled was the thoroughly distorted sex ratio—there were all of two girls in a batch of 250."

Vishnu R Dusad

IIT Delhi, BTech, textile technology, 1980

CEO and managing director, Nucleus Software Exports Pvt. Ltd

“The IIT experience for me was all about all-round learning. Apart from the rigours of classroom education, I also got an opportunity to push my pen in areas that were not strictly confined to formulae and mathematical calculations. I discovered some of my creative writing abilities through the ‘Students Publication’ which had weekly newsletters and annual publications."

Anurag Mathur

IIT Delhi, textile engineering, 1993; IIM Ahmedabad, 1995

Currently partner at Hong Kong -based CCMP Asia, a regional private equity fund focused on leveraged buyouts with approx. $3.7 bn under management

“The independence that came from living away from home, introduction to minor vices and the friends that one made for life gives an instant high, coupled with the fact that we all thought that we had “arrived and “had it made" for ourselves. But no sooner had we entered the work arena, we realized our ’prestigious education’ did not really apply to the challenges at the work place. A lot of tweaking happened as we converted academic theories into practicable ‘fundas’. Most IIM students then were without prior work experience. This has changed today and will come to greatly redefine classroom teaching, especially at the IIMs."

Malvinder M Singh

Bachelors in economics from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University, 1993; masters in business administration from Duke University, US, 1998

Managing director and chief executive officer, Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd.

“I remember taking the U-special bus to college every morning, cutlets and chai with friends at the college cafe’ on a cold winter’s day."

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