The incoming PGP batch (2018-20) at IIM Ahmedabad is more diverse in terms of gender, work experience and educational background.
The PGP batch has a total 399 students, up from 370 in the previous batch. The batch has 33% students from a non-engineering background, the highest in the past five years even after allowing for the increase in the batch size. It has been steadily rising from 20% in 2016-18 to 32% in the 2017-19 cohort. It is all the more significant since non-engineers comprised only 9% of the 2015-17 batch.
According to IIMA Director Prof Errol P D’Souza, the institute holds as important surface-level diversity with easily identifiable characteristics such as sex or educational backgrounds. Such diversity has an impact on the heterogeneity of the deep and enduring attributes such as values, attitudes, opinions and perspectives of students which enhances their creativity and performance in an organizational context.
In terms of gender, the batch has 27% women. The program had seen a steady growth over the past four years in the percentage of girl students. The 2016-18 batch comprising 396 students had 21% women that went up to 28% for the 2017-19 batch.
Prof D’Souza said the institute while being conscious about the efficacy of increasing the percentage of women in the class, does not give extra credits or specify a quota for gender or other diversity attributes in the admissions process. “In a discussion-based learning environment, such as ours, diversity of participants’ backgrounds and inclusivity at an institutional level contribute significantly to a positive learning environment,” he added.
The class also includes students with significant achievements in diverse areas ranging from scientific research to philanthropy to even golf.
The Agra-born Mehak Sharma is a professional golfer. A commerce graduate from Delhi University, she has worked in Deloitte as an Audit Assistant. Introduced to golf at the age of 10, she played amateur golf for the first few years. Having started competing in tournaments from 14 years, she turned professional in 2016. Her first major win was the Captain’s Cup at Army Golf Course, Delhi in the open category in 2012. She is ranked 8th by the Indian Golf Union (IGU) in Southern Indian Junior and Ladies Championship, Bangalore.
Anuj Bansal, a lawyer and Public Policy expert, has a deep interest in Securities Law and Public Policy. He has won the NLIU Juris Corp National Moot as well as multiple parliamentary debates at the national level. He was the coach of a team representing India in ALSA International Competition in Kuala Lumpur ending up as the runners’ up. He says he wants to pursue management studies to increase his understanding of public policy making.
Nitin Pai is an International chess player who has represented India in the Commonwealth Chess Championship. A writer for the prestigious Chessbase India, he had organised three All India level FIDE-rated tournaments at IIT Madras. A B.Tech. graduate from IIT Madras, he ranked 13th in the KVPY scholarship program and 4th in the Kerala Engineering Entrance Examinations. He has joined the program with the goal of becoming a world-class manager.
Pranay Tyle has several roles as a pilot, researcher and philanthropist. An alumnus of the United World College SEA and a gold medallist from the Delhi Public School, Noida, he studied chemical and biomolecular engineering at the Johns Hopkins University. At Hopkins, he conducted extensive oncology research for 3 years under Dr Denis Wirtz and Dr Hasini Jayatilaka, the results of which were published in 2017 in Nature Communications to international acclaim.
Besides working with Hilliard Lyons Investment Banking in the United States, Pranay also holds a pilot’s license. He founded an NGO at the age of 18 to provide scholarships and assist other NGOs in education with fundraising and managing financial resources. An avid squash enthusiast, he used to play at the elite Pendennis Club in the United States.
Meet Agrawal is an artist, sportsperson, CBSE topper and a CA, who featured in the Limca Book of Records. He completed his B Com and the IPCC exam for Chartered Accountancy ranking fifth in India. At the age of 10, he was featured in the Limca Book of Records for having played 47 instruments in 11 minutes. He is a national level roller-skater and an international-level chess player. He also captained the Gujarat state table tennis team.
Meet is also one of three non-engineers to have scored 100 percentile in CAT 2017. A big fan of Elon Musk, Meet wants to become an entrepreneur after gaining some industry experience post his MBA.