My professional journey has been fascinating. I have had a fulfilling career, replete with challenges and immense learning.
I started my career in 1993 with Pfizer, selling research-based products. Five years later, I joined GE Capital International Services when ITES was new. On my way to growing through the ranks, I picked up Operations, Programme Management and Six Sigma skills. In 2005, I joined WNS Global Services, where I spent over nine years. I led multiple functions and domains such as Insurance, BFS, Healthcare and Utilities. On completing my PGPMAX programme in 2013, I joined Accenture, Manila, as their Healthcare Operations lead. After almost three years in the Philippines, I returned to India to set up the RPAaaS and Operational Consulting offering for APAC.
Presently, I am the Chief Operating Officer at GeBBS Healthcare Solutions, a fast-growing services company operating in the US healthcare space.
After almost 20 years of experience behind me, I realised “I didn’t know what I didn’t know”. Two-year research on the best B-schools in the world led me to PGPMAX. The programme had some of the best names and frontrunners in their respective fields as faculty. The flexibility of acquiring precious knowledge and experiential learning without switching jobs was the determining factor. It was affordable and provided a unique networking opportunity.
The PGPMAX Edge
PGPMAX education and the networking that followed helped me move from unconscious incompetence to conscious competence and then to unconscious competence rapidly in many areas. I picked up knowledge and skills in a structured manner and utilised them in my job.
The depth of knowledge and the experiential learning I gained, the networking I indulged in with my batch mates (who came with variegated experiences) helped me build newer perspectives and, honestly, this was the bonus for which I paid nothing.
Professional Evolution Post PAGPMAX
My career was progressing well, but where I am today is a result of my fruitful stint at ISB. Before PGPMAX, I was working with some of the best organisations and the learning had progressed linearly. The case-study based approach and the experiences of my tremendously successful classmates helped my perspectives evolve, made me more relevant and better equipped to take on the challenges and contributed to my personal and professional growth. A thing I have got better in is strategy. The programme sharpened my ability to define strategies and my approach towards them. I could define the go-to-market strategies for my business. I got into a variety of roles at Accenture immediately after PGPMAX and have practised the learnings on the job. All of it wouldn’t have been possible had I not picked up the larger perspective during the programme.
The PGPMAX Learning
PGPMAX pushed my learning curve into a hyperdrive. I realised that staying relevant with the times by keeping abreast with the latest skills and knowledge is a necessity in a competitive world. The other insights PGPMAX brought along were failing fast to drive the culture of innovation; the impact of personal and professional networking to get more done collectively and effectively; adapting quickly to the changing demands of clients and stakeholders as much as adopting technology for efficiency and effectiveness, and focusing on individual strengths to outperform one’s self.
The PGPMAX ROI
Changing jobs had never been on my agenda. However, with PGPMAX under my belt, my market value improved considerably. To me, the ROI was a better perspective of business, business solutions, networking, and, of course, the knowledge I acquired. PGPMAX is a forum where you have the company of people who are well established in their respective fields and who challenge your thought process. You grow as a better professional, as a better leader.
PGPMAX Influence on My Leadership Style
An optimistic leader focuses on the challenges, converts them to opportunities to develop unique solutions. I believe a leader must cultivate a working environment that has laughter in it that makes people joyous and at ease. Authenticity and ethics are the other core qualities of an excellent leader. I learnt that it was okay to fail. ISB gave me the confidence to try newer things, experiment boldly.
To Invest or Not to Invest During COVID times
These new times have brought newer challenges, newer perspectives, and newer execution models. To stay relevant, you must invest in yourself. The coming days will be significantly different and if you do not adapt yourself, learn and build newer perspectives, you will remain outdated.
On the Personal Side
Mental stimulation is key for me. I enjoy spending time with youngsters and try to grasp the latest trends in gadgets, technology, and gaming. I spend as much time as I can with my little girl and make sure we take a daddy-daughter vacation once every year. One hug and ten kisses from her and I am ready to take on the world. My family—immediate and extended—is important to me. I enjoy golfing, photography and travelling. Like work, I put my 100% into my hobbies too.
Advice to the Current PGPMAX Cohort
I believe individuals who have opted for PGPMAX are folks who have their ducks in a row and don’t need any advice. However, if I had to give a few, it would be to continue the journey of learning and remembering to stop and smell the roses once in a while. Remember to network with people outside your professional arena and never stop learning. In today’s ever-changing environment, knowledge and new learnings are key.
Advice to the Aspirants
Investing in yourself is important to stay relevant and to broaden your perspective. You may be successful now, but past glories may not make you successful in the new environment. Keep learning, bring various aspects of the newer environment of technology and strategy to widen your horizon. PGPMAX is the best course available in India considering the ROI, value for money, and flexibility it offers.
-Subramanian Sankaran, PGPMAX Class of 2013, Chief Operating Officer, GeBBS Healthcare Solutions