Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Debanjali Sen, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad

“A right-brainer with a humane side. Fiercely independent and self-made. Barriers invent the best ideas.”

Hometown: Kolkata, West Bengal

Fun Fact About Yourself: Sleep-lover, air-rifle shooter, digital illustrator, cyclist, keen observer, extremely curious, avid traveler and philosophical.

Undergraduate School and Major:

Undergraduate: BPPoddar Institute of Management & Technology, BBA

Graduate: ICFAI Business School, MBA. Major: Marketing

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Matinee Pictures, Entrepreneur

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of IIM Ahmedabad’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? I love the variety of electives and especially the individual research project. It gives the students an opportunity to work on complex projects of their interest and gain in-depth knowledge, or even work on their own business idea. This is a brilliant way to work with the best professors and industry experts and gain meaningful insights and create a ready business plan.

What has been your favorite course or extracurricular activity at IIM Ahmedabad? What has been the most important lesson that you have learned from it? My favorite course so far is Law. As an Entrepreneur, Producer, and a Marketing Communication specialist, contracts have been the major element in getting a project green-lit. The nuances of law had always intrigued me. While, I have closed a lot of deals so far, I have always wanted to understand the most important aspect of the business in-depth. I am getting to learn law from Professor Akhileshwar Pathak in the simplest, and the most interesting manner.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My journey as an entrepreneur is my biggest accomplishment so far. I have always explored a variety of opportunities, and with my drive and passion for entrepreneurship, I decided to start my own firm, Matinee Pictures. COVID-19 had hit India within a few months of starting off. Just when I was converting pitches to confirmed projects, lockdown started, and shoots were completely stopped. With a bit of introspection and observation, I took a couple of months to diversify my venture from just film production to an advertising and designing firm along with film production.

Describe your biggest accomplishment as an MBA student so far: It has been my personal growth leading towards professional readiness. Being an alumnus of IIMA is a huge responsibility. It merely does not come by being a part of the cohort. Experiencing the diversity across career, age and cultures, I’ve learned to adapt in each other’s ways, benefitted from their strengths and slowly changed my fixed goal mindset to growth mindset is my biggest accomplishment from IIMA so far.

What is your class’s favorite hangout away from school? Why do you gather there? Bhavesh Bhai’s food joint. This is the place within our campus for great adda sessions, to relax and know the cohort beyond our professional selves. This is the best place to connect personally, network and make friends for life.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I strongly believe in reinventing myself. At IIMA, I plan to capitalize on its strength in Entrepreneurship and Strategy to gain complete business knowledge and understanding of the linkages of these domains to eventually tackle complex business issues. It is time for me to leverage my experience, and increase turnover for brands of global reputation. I aim to take better business decisions, thereby ensuring profits and consistent growth. My goal is to solve their business challenges using data and creativity tied with leadership skills and firm decision-making. After extensive research and detailed conversations with alumni, I firmly believe that IIMA can enrich me with this business knowledge, but more importantly it would give me a chance to learn it from the best of the experts.

Apart from the academic learning, it is a personal transformation journey as well. The club activities, team tasks, assignments, and working with professionals from diverse industries are adding new perspectives. It also provides me access to the vast network of alumni and faculty which will open new arenas of opportunities. Finally, the credibility and branding that I will receive as an IIMA alumnus is unmatched, and I strongly believe that IIMA can put me ahead on the curve.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into IIM Ahmedabad? Come with an open mind. This is the best institute in the country for both professional and personal growth. It offers diverse options of electives, activities, career opportunities, and case-based pedagogy. The practical learnings offered for entrepreneurs, world-class teaching and the open door policy ensures no one lags behind. IIMA offers an experience of a lifetime and not to forget, it ensures an exciting journey, leading to a beautiful destination.

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