I first heard about the Economic Times Young Leaders Awards B-School Edition when I saw the picture of a friend, Mitali Bhandari, in the Economic Times last year. She was an ISB PGP Class of 2015 student and one of many friends who motivated me to pursue PGP in management at ISB this year. When the ETYL program was launched at ISB this year, I knew I wanted to win this award.

As I went through the online personality test in Phase 1, I realized that leadership starts with effective time management and choosing your own path among multiple correct options.

In the second round, the online test on analytical, verbal and managerial competencies reinforced my belief that leaders should have well-rounded analytical and communication skills and the ability to handle complex situations.

In Phase 3, I had to analyze one of the 6 case studies based on the Aditya Birla Group businesses across the functions of Finance, Marketing, HR and Operations. I had no background in any of the industries in cases, so I relied on my functional strengths and picked a case on Operations.

The biggest support of ISB was in terms of providing access to a peer group of exceptionally smart people with diverse work experiences, which exposed me to different perspectives of solving problems. I knew I could get some insights about the fashion industry from my peers to be able to solve the case better, which might not have been possible in other B-schools.

The case study method of teaching at ISB and my regular participation in many case competitions helped me in analyzing the case from multiple lenses. The high quality of teaching at ISB ensured that I was able to use my core operations concepts and come up with new strategies for lead time reduction in online fast fashion.

In the Final Phase,  I was quite confident during my interview with 2 leading CEOs of India Inc – Saugata Gupta, MD and CEO of Marico Limited and Dilip Gaur, Deputy MD of UltraTech Cement.  The experience of interacting with top industry leaders at ISB during events such as ISB Leadership Summit and other regular talks helped me in preparing for the interview.

I was amazed by the opportunity to discuss my dreams and passion with such senior executives and get first-hand advice on building a fulfilling career. I was elated beyond description when my name was announced as one of the 22 winners of the Economic Times Young Leaders Award B-School Edition 2015. It was like a dream come true when I was among the 5 students from ISB to be featured as Young Leaders in the Economic Times this year.

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— Kanav Goyal is a PGP candidate from the Class of 2016 at ISB