18 Oct 2016 18:39 IST

‘Agility and adaptability are key learnings from my MBA’

Nikhil Chand, GM of Chocolates and Confectionery, Nestle India, looks back at MBA takeaways

Nikhil Chand is the general manager, Chocolates and Confectionery, Nestle India. After graduating from St Stephen’s College, Delhi University in 1996, he earned his MBA from IIM-A in 1998. Soon after, he joined Nestle. In this interview, Chand says MBA helped him to be agile and adaptable in corporate life.

How has MBA helped you in your corporate life?

My MBA helped me in various ways, ranging from building my skills and competencies to giving a holistic and comprehensive view of the business world. Today, when I manage a P&L and look into various aspects of a value chain, I draw upon some of the learnings I had in various courses at IIM-A. Personally, it was an outstanding place, to work and live with the best in the country and grow to be better human beings.

What have been the key learnings from your MBA for you?

Agility and adaptability! While at some level, we all have good skills and competencies, I believe that the two years helped me be agile — different courses, different teaching styles all packed in tough schedules were truly enriching.

If you had to re-visit your MBA, what would you like to include in your course?

I would have benefited from a bit more interaction with the industry.

What have been your best and worst moments?

The last 18 years have been action packed in various ways and I don’t believe there was any worst moment. However, working in Ukraine during the war, with a huge currency devaluation, managing a young and emotional team, and ensuring business continuity and safety was something that left a deep impression on me.

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

Know what you want and do not be seduced by the latest buzzwords or buzz jobs. Get lots of experience and work hard. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. Be humble and never stop learning.

What would you advise young MBAs to read?

Read a lot! That’s my only advice. Take time out every week to read something outside of work life. Travel a lot and read about people and history.