Early-on, as a teenager, I would read through the profiles of leading business executives and successful entrepreneurs. It became increasingly clear that a strong majority of them started early in their business careers. I therefore decided to “get my feet wet” while pursing my B.B.A(1) from the State University of New York. After extensive efforts and networking, I found an apprenticeship with ABC, a globally reputed Diamond manufacturing company. The exciting role involved direct reporting to senior managers and an opportunity to learn extensively about the diamonds business.
At ABC, I realized that it does take a trained eye to identify a diamond from the rough stages. And as an intern, I was trained for the same, right from the very basics – from diamond grading and valuation to polishing. The company turned out to a world in itself! I spent the first year (part-time apprenticeship) in learning about diamond grading, hands-on. With the completion of my Bachelor’s degree, I re-located to the manufacturing (polishing) facility in city, country for technical training – right at the bowels of the business. Additional training in Mumbai followed where I finally “polished” my skills in valuation and assessment of diamonds. By now, I had developed a keen sense of detail for assessing one of man’s most coveted possessions – the “forever” glittering diamond. I was then entrusted with a range of responsibilities, right from supervising a range of diamond processing operations to vendor management, diamond valuation, inventory planning and costing.
As an officer, I have been supervising more than 50 highly-skilled and senior specialists responsible for grading (2) and quality assessment of the gemstones. The role has brought in immense man-management skills through the supervision of personnel far more senior to me, age and experience-wise. On a daily basis, I make complex inventory calculations and decisions – whether to “in-house” manufacture or subcontract, depending on available processing capacity, delivery deadlines and other factors. We now have streamlined methods and established policies for locating, screening and selecting vendors. I also took on the challenge of instituting the usage of the recently launched SAP software in the manufacturing department. The results have been more than satisfying – it takes us 20% less time to dispatch “rough” diamonds for processing. The savings cascade across the entire set of operations with an amazing impact on the company’s bottomline!
After having gained significant expertise in the manufacturing, my near term plan is to work in the sales and marketing function of a leading, multi-national diamond manufacturing concern. This will enable me to identify and assess new market opportunities, effectively promote and launch new products and grow to senior leadership positions in the business. It will help me towards building competencies in sales and marketing and achieving my long term goal of being a successful entrepreneur. Work experience in a multi-national corporation would also bring in environments to team up with individuals from a range of backgrounds and to learn from their perspectives and experiences.
A global MBA program thus becomes essential towards achieving critical goals at this juncture of my career. While my Bachelors degree did equip me well for the objectives at that stage, a global M.B.A program from Cardiff University will enable understanding at greater level of business complexity. The specialization in marketing will help me learn a range of techniques for managing customer relationships, product positioning, new product development, media planning and marketing communications. I also hope to equip myself with advanced analytical tools and techniques that will foster managerial efficiency. Graduate education in management at Cardiff University will thus help me train my instincts through the case study method of teaching and develop a structured approach towards refining ideas and developing fail-proof implementation plans.
The culture of teamwork during the MBA program will definitely help me strengthen my team skills in a cross-national environment. A “global” MBA from Cardiff University will provide significant opportunities for professional and personal development – to learn from “The Best of The Best” and set new benchmarks for growth.
(1) B.Com – Bachelor of Commerce completed from University of Mumbai (Bombay)
(2) Grading – Critical stage in the valuation and assessment of diamonds (pre-manufacturing and post-manufacturing)