Perspectives from ISB

“PGPMAX develops you into a well-rounded professional and ensures you always think ahead of the curve.” – Pranav Chandna.

My Professional Journey

I am an Electronics and Telecom graduate from Nagpur University. My career spanned over two decades across roles in national and multinationals companies. Currently, I am the Country Director at Hewlett Packard Financial Services and I am responsible for the Profit & Loss of this non-banking finance company which helps clients expand their IT infrastructure.

Prior to ISB, I worked with ICICI in the mid-management role in its asset-backed financing business. I also worked at ABN-AMRO in a zonal role as well as at India Infoline, where I helped set up its healthcare finance vertical from scratch. My last assignment before HPE was at Philips Capital, the in-house financing arm of Philips, where I spent seven years.

On being nominated by my previous organisation for PGPMAX

 My company believed that I had the calibre to contribute to the organisation’s growth, and therefore, it nominated me to enrol into the PGPMAX programme. The company had identified PGPMAX as its go-to re-learning option for its top talent and had sponsored 10 candidates in two years.

PGPMAX: First impressions

It was an absolute privilege to be nominated by the company for this prestigious programme. I had witnessed the career growth of few PGPMAX alumni and therefore enrolling into PGPMAX was a dream come true for me.

PGPMAX Learnings

Most professionals who join PGPMAX are already specialists in their domain. What they lack, however, is: how to look at the same thing from different lenses. PGPMAX transformed me from a domain expert to a more rounded professional, enhanced my soft skills, and rewired my thinking to include wider perspectives. I now look at problems from the perspective of the leadership team.

The ISB Experience

My fondest memory from PGPMAX is the lifelong bond I created with my cohort. The faculty at PGPMAX are, undoubtedly, among the best in the world. They are all experts in their areas and teach us using real-life examples, pooling in our strengths and experiences in different segments and roles. What differentiates ISB from other institutes is the quality of faculty it ropes in.

Change in Leadership Style post PGPMAX

Before PGPMAX, my leadership style leaned more towards an autocrat. The decisions I took didn’t take into consideration its impact on people and was based mostly on risk and reward. PGPMAX made me humbler. I am now more democratic, include more people in my decision making, and extend greater support to my team.

PGPMAX: Creating leader of tomorrow

PGPMAX is designed to include basics of management courses along with analytical skills to encourage multidimensional thinking. It also focuses towards developing soft skills such as leadership skills as well as negotiation skills. The curriculum develops you into a well-rounded professional and ensures you always think ahead of the curve.

Another aspect of PGPMAX is learning from others’ experiences vs. trying to reinvent the wheel. This is an advantage of the diverse cohort of PGPMAX: I may not have all the answers, but I have a pool of extremely talented, experienced specialists I can always reach out to.

Professional growth post PGPMAX

I handled two new roles after joining PGPMAX: The first was a global role supporting multiple countries on project development and structured finance. During this time, at PGPMAX, I learnt about the changing trend of companies moving from product-centric offerings to solution-centric ones. So, I brought this to the attention of my CEO and worked with him to similarly adapt my organization’s product offerings. I have also introduced this solution-centric approach in my current organisation.

Within 6 months I was made the head of the Solutions Business where I worked closely with the government and handled public-private partnerships. We worked with our clients to build ‘hospitals of the future’, helped them reduce cost leakages and supported them in designing healthcare facilities with zero wastage of infrastructure and time.

A third business I handled was setting up special purpose vehicles. Here, we looked at white spaces and set up an SPV with a leading healthcare service provider to cover and capture the market opportunity. We had successfully launched a couple of SPV’s in Radiology and Cardiology business.

I candidly admit that I could not have accomplished these projects without PGPMAX, as I didn’t know how to do it. PGPMAX enabled me to apply its learnings to real-world problems and make a meaningful difference.

PGPMAX: The Return on Investment (ROI)

When I applied for my current role,  I had to undergo interactions with multiple levels of leadership both regionally and at worldwide level, and the reason I stood out from the rest of the candidates was my “solutions-oriented thinking” that I had learnt at PGPMAX. So, I credit PGPMAX for helping me bag this role.

The real ROI was in the learning I took from this programme and how I apply it within my organisation. If you are looking at career growth as Return On Investment (ROI), I can say with absolute certainty, that all of my classmates of PGPMAX programme have seen growth, and moved on to global or bigger roles within 6-12 months of completing the programme.

PGPMAX: To do or not to do in Covid-19 times

The most vulnerable professionals during these times are those in the mid-senior level. Therefore, it is critical for them to upskill themselves as the new normal will throw greater challenges. Most organisations are looking microscopically at all incurring costs, and it is now a case of survival of the fittest. If there was a time when this programme can add the most value, this is it!

Also, while most organisations are stressed on budgets to sponsor candidates, the one area I am adamant about investing in is talent because when we come out of this period, we will need professionals who can take up the challenges of the recovery and growth phase. If organisations lose out on re-skilling our talent now, they will be handicapped when markets recover

– Pranav Chandna, Country Director, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Financial Services, and PGPMAX class of 2016.

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