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What school and community organizations did you join while in college and what are your major contributions to these organizations?
Politics is the sole medium through which substantive changes can be made for the welfare of the society. During my Engineering days I had joined the Indian Youth Congress .India needed and still needs infusion of youth in the political process to bring about radical reforms in the otherwise rudimentary and corrupt system. My initial aim was to garner support and persuade more students to join politics. In over a year's time I had been able to add more than fifty students in the youth wing. Along with my team, I travelled to many rural areas of my state for the Panchayat (village Council) elections and got the opportunity to address small gatherings, which was my first experience in public speaking. I was moved by the deplorable condition of people especially in the tribal areas. On directions from senior party members I urged my sub-ordinates to motivate the aggrieved people and empower them to fight for their fundamental rights. My experience in Politics transformed me and changed my perspective towards life. As my team campaigned along the length and breadth of my state I developed my interpersonal skills and came in contact with people belonging to diverse culture. Thereafter I led the Youth Council of the party for my sub-division in some political protests and campaigns. I was also involved with Green Peace for the cause of protecting Olive Ridley turtles, which are an integral part of Odisha's vibrant history.
Describe your three most accomplishments to date, and what personal traits or qualities enabled you to accomplish these?
Accomplishments are the mirror images of a person's abilities. My accomplishments bear the stamp of my exploits both in and outside my professional life.
In 2010 I had joined CRY in order to work towards alleviating the condition of impoverished children in India. I got the opportunity to lead certain notable campaigns at CRY. One of them was the "Right to Fight" campaign which was contrived out of the need for awareness among the deprived people about their Children's Rights, endowed to them by the constitution of India. My Team targeted all the parents and adults of a Tsunami Rehabilitation area where there was lack of civic amenities and education facilities. My efforts have brought about some substantive developments in reducing child labour in those areas of Chennai. The Government has also started a primary school there. My strong moral principles, leadership skills and strong interpersonal skills had helped in making the campaign a grand success. . This campaign was my brain child and has now been adopted by other CRY centers across the country. My effort towards safeguarding the future of India by protecting the children's rights is my best accomplishment till date.
My second accomplishment came through helping my organization pull back a dying project and turn it into a profitable one through proactive proposals. My clients had been using an outdated tool for the Build Management process which made the daily activities very tedious. To overcome the problem I developed one tool with the minimal help of some seniors. I submitted a White paper, which gave a detailed analysis of the problems in the existing process and how they could be resolved. Impressed by the idea, the clients asked for a Proof of Concept (POC).The POC turned out to be a successful demonstration of my ideas and hence paved the way for its implementation. I even convinced the clients to make a structural change which led to the formation of a new four member team. XXX gained additional revenue of $17,000 and also the profitability of the project jumped from 23.3% to 76.22%.My hardworking and analytical skills were put to test during this accomplishment.
My third accomplishment has been the mentoring of a group of people with the aim of making them valuable assets for the organization. Through the subtle art of persuasion and coherent argumentation I had convinced my client to restructure the Build Management Team, which eventually led to the creation of a new four member team. This team that I was leading comprised of two boys from Southern India, one boy from North-eastern part and one Mexican girl .I aimed at creating a team in which every individual would have a common goal, which could be realized only through complementary efforts and cohesiveness. Each of the associate was having unique technical skills and personality traits. However in its inception, individuals were a bit apprehensive towards approaching each other. Through democratic, delegative and authoritative leadership I motivated them to work diligently for the team. I emphasized on team based learning exercises, which helped in creating strong bonds among themselves. In spite of some escalations, the team completed and delivered the project one month ahead of time. The performance of the team vindicated my own belief in my ability to lead others and transform them into future leaders.
In addition to academic qualifications and work experience, what other personal factors can you cite to strengthen consideration for your application?
"Learning the hard way" is what characterizes my experiences in life. Born in a lower middle class Indian family, I had to face trying times during my childhood and adolescence .It didn't take much
time for me to understand the value of money and the essence of struggle in life. I have nurtured my thoughts by reading books by Vivekananda, Gandhi and even books on politics, history and religion. The stint in politics helped me in acquiring indispensable leadership and motivational skills. As a leader both in my professional life and outside it, I have led by example and with a lot of conviction. A sustainable business ideology with Corporate Social Responsibility is what I will provide to AIM. I will bring a multi-cultural mindset to AIM which is very essential in the present business world where operations are expanding beyond boundaries .My deeply embedded ethical values can be put on anvil at AIM. I have been part of NGO services that has fostered an attitude of Altruism in me and I will share my experience with my AIM's classmates. My struggles in life have made me to believe that my education is worth it only if I can help make my surroundings a better place to live in. So I would share my vision of a "Purposeful Leadership" with my AIM classmates.
Describe two business problems or opportunities you wish to investigate for your thesis. How would your investigations contribute to your community, business organization, or the national economy?
The most important issue that I strongly feel about is the Foreign Direct Investment in Retail in India. After many mammoth debates the Government of India finally got the bill cleared in the Indian parliament paving the way for retailers like Tesco and Wal-mart to open shops in India. The reform hopes to create an organized retail sector apart from creating millions of jobs. However there are concerns that the big retail farms might create a monopoly in the Indian market through strong lobbying. The monopolization may lead to the death of many small private shops that exist in each and every corner of big and small towns. In such a case millions of people from the unorganized sector will be unemployed. So I want to study the FDI in retail in details and come out with a plan that would suggest for a balance between FDI and local economy. I would like to create a roadmap for enhancing the FDI in multi-brand retail from 51% to 100% through calculated measures.
Skill and knowledge management has been one of India's perennial problems. India has more than 50% of its population below 25 years of age. Entrepreneurship epitomizes the ugly part of India's economic boom. There has been lack of Entrepreneurs in spite of a confident, educated and determined population. One of the reasons is the risk averse nature of Indians. The Government policies also haven't yet created a conducive environment for budding entrepreneurs. Rampant corruption and poor technology have added to its woes. Lack of enough funding for start-ups has been a big obstacle .Foreign Investors and venture capitalists too have failed to understand the unique market demands of India and have not been supportive to any start-ups .Entrepreneurship in India is not just a business problem rather a grand opportunity to take India forward. It is an unlocked potential that can help in contributing towards India's inclusive growth and job creation. A thesis on this will help me find out the gaps and come out with a strategy that will not only help my Business organization but also my community and country.