13 Jun 2017 20:41 IST

‘Networking is everything’

If you’re starting your corporate career, let things shape up and be open to new experiences

A B.Com (honours) graduate and a gold medallist from Delhi University; a double MBA holder from ISB, Hyderabad (in finance, strategy and leadership), and MDI Gurgaon (in HR management); now, a successful entrepreneur. This impressive portfolio belongs to Prateek Bhargava, who is the founder and CEO of Mindler.

Started in 2015, Mindler is an algorithm-based career-guidance platform that helps students and parents make informed decisions about the student’s future. Before starting this venture, the 30-year-old spent eight years in the corporate sector, working with some of the leading brands such as Accenture Strategy, Maruti Suzuki and Taxmann Group. His areas of specialisation include growth strategy design, market entry strategy, sales transformation, overseas expansion and change adaptation and management. So as someone who has not one but two MBAs, we asked him how helpful MBA has been in his career. Excerpts:

Has MBA helped you in your corporate life at all? If yes, how?

Absolutely, it has! An MBA, especially from a premier college, gives you two key advantages, in my view:

Network: This is invaluable and the most important takeaway from a B-school. Whether it was the corporate life, putting together a team for my venture or just seeking support, network is the answer!

Opportunity to work with the top brands: Everything said and done, top brands hire from top schools (however, there are exceptions). So it’s the most reliable channel to kickstart your career with some of the biggest names in the industry.

What have been the key learnings from your MBA?

I believe the theoretical or practical learning from an educational point of view is an obvious takeaway. However, for me, the key learnings are the intangible elements like networking, the ability to multi-task and handle pressure.

If you had to re-visit your MBA, what would you have liked to have been part of your course?

I don’t know if this can be realistically structured in a course, but critical elements to success like managing teams, work-life balance, and creating a dream team would have been amazing to learn.

I guess a simulation software of this would be brilliant to play around with!

What have been the chief ingredients in your success / road to the top?

~ Network I made

~ An eye and respect for talent

~ Clarity of goals

What have been your best and worst moments?

The best moment was when I started with my entrepreneurial venture and got amazing support from people in my network from B-schools and corporate circles.

The worst moment would be witnessing the 2009 crisis and its impact on college placements!

What would be your advice to young MBAs who are joining the corporate sector?

Don’t go in with preconceived notions. Let things shape up and be open to new experiences, especially during the start. Keep yourself updated with regular certifications and courses. The huge world of online learning should be leveraged to give you an edge over others!

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