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Rotman Essay 1: Discuss your personal and professional development over the past five years and describe how these changes have led you to choose to do your MBA at this time. What are your career goals and how will a Rotman MBA help you to achieve them?
Upon graduating from Mumbai University, I joined our family business – ABC Automotive Limited – in the CEO’s office. Initially, as part of the CEO’s office, I was responsible for manufacturing, planning, and strategy formulation. As part of the strategy team, I gained deep-dive insights into all the functional aspects of the business – Manufacturing, Sales & Marketing, Quality, Finance, and Supply Chain. I have also led Productivity and Quality Improvement Program named Theory of Constraints (TOC) which was aimed at maximizing company’s profits. These last two years have been a phenomenal learning experience and have enabled me to acquire critical insights on managing organizational change management program and also about the manufacturing industry in India.
On the personal front, I have evolved as an individual who wants to grow her business by building communities and encouraging inclusive growth. In my view emerging markets like India can only grow if fruits of economic growth reach all the strata of society and women constitute a major chunk of that. In my experience and observation not many women are motivated enough to enter the workforce in non-conventional industries. Today owing to my continuous and persistent efforts we have been able to slowly induct women into our workforce and I can proudly say that, women constitute about 8% of the workforce and still increasing as I write this essay.
I plan to take leadership role in my family business and boost up our company’s scale of operations in the coming years. This includes both expansion and diversification. In the next five years I plan to leverage the superior manufacturing capabilities and product lines of ABC and hope to transform ABC to a $100 Million. In the short span I envisage to employ a two pronged strategy to improve our market share – One through expansion of our target markets and two by expanding the current product line. My focus will also be directed towards increasing margins through significant forward and backward integration.
I, therefore, believe that for my future aspirations a MBA at this stage will help me develop leadership and strategic skills necessary for growth story of my company. An MBA will enable me to complement my existing leadership, initiative taking abilities with deep dive management perspectives to evolve as a credible family business executive. Also as an entrepreneur I will be required to adapt to ever changing markets and display superior problem solving skills. I believe in this context Rotman’s “Integrative Thinking” and “Business Design” model will give me the essential skills and abilities. I will also leverage the opportunities provided by the “ Creative Destruction Lab” at Rotman and also look to share my experiences and build upon my business plan at the Entrepreneurship club at Rotman.
Rotman Essay 2: One of the Rotman School's underlying principles is the value of one; this reflects the belief that each member of the Rotman community has unique needs and talents. What are your greatest talents and/or abilities and how would each enhance the experience of your classmates?
I have worked for two years in a non-conventional industry which is generally male dominated. Surviving in this environment required me to persistently convince people about the approach I took to tackle the challenges. I also bring with me unique perspectives of business, strategy and innovation from a competitive and varying market. To thrive in this market requires constant innovation and thus I have led various improvement programs to increase profitability of my company. I bring this unique perspective of heralding innovation in traditional industry and also leading organizational wide transformative initiatives
I have had the experience to work with different people in diverse situations which gave me the understanding of different viewpoints. I have had the viewpoint of working with people on a shop-floor to working on strategy formulation with top management. I do believe that my ability to bring about multiple perspectives of the same issue to the table will be very helpful during classroom discussions. Apart from this working on organizational wide initiatives has given me a strong exposure to various disciples of the business like supply chain, marketing, production, finance and operations. I can bring about this multi-disciplinary experience to the table and provide organizational view points to certain business issues being discussed in the class. I am also excited to share my perspectives of running a family business with my fellow classmates who come from the same background.
Rotman Essay 3 : Imagine that ten years from now a colleague is describing you to a new employee. What will s/he say about you that you are not known for now? How will you achieve these new skills?
My colleague will describe me as an “Emerging Women Entrepreneur who transformed ABC into a world-class company. Besides achieving her goal she also used her business acumen to contribute to the society. On a personal level, she is a refined painter and now work for the cause of women up-liftment and expresses her views through various forms of art .”
Utilizing my current knowledge and skills coupled with post MBA experience I plan to expand the r market share of our family business by spreading out into target markets. Generally, the auto-ancillary industry carries thin profit margins but I intend to break the path through innovative solution related to product, pricing, delivery, technology etc. and overhauling existing cost systems. Rather than trying to outperform our rivals to grab a greater share of product demand I want to create demand in unknown market space for example international replacement market. I am also passionate about establishing a brand called ABC worldwide. I will be known for ushering innovation on this market and unprecedented forward and backward integration leading to sustainable competitive advantage and ABC emerging as the unrivalled low cost manufacturer of high quality gear sub-systems for automotives across the world.
I will acquire analytical skills through Rotman’s “Business Design” and innovative approach through “Integrative thinking”. Through my involvement in “Women in Management Association” I will be able to build strong network and understand the various perspectives required to bring in a holistic working environment for women.
Rotman Essay 4 : Describe a professional experience when you did not live up to your full potential. What would you do differently if you had to do it again?
As part of the strategy formulation exercise, I introduced and implemented new productivity improvement program named Theory of Constraints (TOC) which was aimed to improve throughput per unit (i.e. cost reduction per unit). We improved our On- Time deliveries from 50 % to 90 % on a month-to-month basis over a period of time. We even started getting better vendor ratings. With the improvements brought in Production Planning and Production Control we were able to reduce our inventories and thus free up necessary working capital to run other parts of the businesses.
Even after relentless efforts put in by me and my team, we could not achieve the desired levels of throughput. At the beginning, this initiative was fraught with many challenges; I encountered varying degrees of resistance from across the organization. I took this not only as a professional failure but as a personal setback too as I had a lot on stake and I had to reclaim my father’s confidence in feasibility of introduction of new concepts of productivity improvement which he resisted earlier. Throughput was a critical parameter and our competitiveness was solely dependent on achieving success here.
I learnt that variable costs were the clear culprits in this case driven by increased rates of in-house and customer-rejections. increasing operational expenditure was denting profit margins. I learnt a very critical lesion that, it is very important to have multiple reference points in an organization and was important to have buy-in from all quarters of the business in-order to achieve success.
Is there anything that you think the Admissions Committee should know which you feel has not been covered by the rest of the application? If you believe your credentials and essays represent you fairly, do not feel obligated to answer this question.
I realized my passion and fascination for Painting at the tender age of 10. Since then painting has been very close to my heart and a source of inspiration for me to think out of the box in many situations. Most people believe that painting is a nature’s gift to mankind but I believe that, though it may be a gift to start with but, one can polish his or her abilities and skills as one practice more and more.
Through the time spent on painting I have learnt how to relentlessly keep reshaping my ideas till I get the perfect picture. Expert critique has helped me acknowledge criticism and improve upon weaker areas both in art as well as in professional world. Painting to me is a journey of discovery of myself. Painting is a medium to express my thoughts and emotions in a creative manner. It also enables me to touch someone’s heart and soul and creates an ability to change things around me. I also draw huge inspiration from painting when I am able to move somebody’s feelings through my work of art.
Inspiration in my view is not something that happens in the head, but in the heart. I love travelling and exploring new places. Observing and exploring these places have always inspired me to paint. A beautiful cloudy day or even a single drop of water is inspiring enough to help me portray my creativity on the canvas. It also allows me to share a part of myself and my world view with others and through this medium I also encourage others to do the same.
I am also inspired by the artwork of famous Dutch Impressionist Painter Vincent Van Gogh. His use of bold colours and brush style is captivating and exciting to me. I find his art piece named “ The Starry Night” as the most stirring. Van Gogh said “The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting” and that is how I also describe my passion towards painting.
I mostly like to work in the oil medium because it brings more depth and creativity to my work. The collection of my artwork consists of pieces screening breathtaking landscapes and still life. I am fond of experimenting with different kind of painting techniques such as different brush strokes, using tools such as painting knives, sponges to bring about striking textures and patterns in my paintings.
I believe that it takes imagination and creativity to discover opportunities for growth and turn ideas into action. Precisely the journey that I will embark upon in ABC post my MBA