How My Global MBA Prepared Me for a Strategic Role at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages

Embarking on the Global MBA program at SP Jain Global with six years of experience in Sales and Business Development was a decision that unfolded into a transformative journey for me, ultimately leading to a strategic role in digital transformation at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB). In this recount of my experience, I want to shed light on the crucial aspect of balancing academics and student life, ensuring that the coursework receives ample focus while leaving room for enjoyable moments.

While pursuing GMBA, one of the first lessons I learned was the delicate art of balancing academics and student life. Staying active in class, participating in discussions, and immersing myself in coursework was paramount, but so was the need for a well-rounded experience. The mix of subjects, including marketing, consulting management, and global logistics, broadened my business outlook and provided a framework for balancing depth of knowledge with breadth of experience. While Industry Interface Projects with Google and StrategyDotZero were intellectually stimulating, they also emphasised the practical side of academia. This integration of theory and practice enhanced my skill set and demonstrated the real-world relevance of what I was learning in class.

The placement phase was undoubtedly one of the most anxiety-inducing periods. Witnessing peers secure early placements triggered a mix of excitement and nervousness. Staying patient and measured became imperative during this time. While the urge to rush into the workforce was strong, waiting for the right opportunity proved to be a decision guided by wisdom.

Transitioning from student life to the professional realm required more than academic prowess. The MBA journey, emphasising critical thinking and problem-solving, was complemented by a parallel journey of personal growth. Learning how to navigate the corporate landscape while maintaining the enthusiasm and camaraderie of student life was a challenge but one that added depth to my professional journey.

Building a network and seeking mentorship was instrumental in my career and added a layer of enjoyment to the academic experience. Connecting with alumni and peers not only broadened my professional circle but also created friendships that turned the rigours of academia into collaborative learning experiences.

The competitive mindset of my GMBA cohort spurred academic excellence, but it was balanced by the understanding that personal growth extended beyond the confines of the classroom. Balancing a rigorous academic schedule with an openness to extracurricular opportunities allowed me to embrace the holistic nature of the GMBA experience.

One of my biggest takeaways from my yearlong GMBA journey is the relationships I built along the way. Countless case studies and projects were interspersed with camaraderie, laughter, and shared experiences. Recognising the importance of enjoying the journey, not just the destination, added richness to my academic experience, which has remained a guiding principle in my professional life.

I want to say that the campus-to-corporate transition was not just about academic achievements and career milestones. It was a balancing act that required focus, dedication, and a commitment to enjoying the journey. As I continue to navigate the professional landscape at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages, I carry the lessons learned about the synergy between academic excellence and the joy in the journey itself.

To those on a similar path, here’s my advice-remember that success is not just about reaching your destination but savouring every step of the way.

About the author-

Arun Anantharaman, a GMBA alumnus who graduated in 2023, is currently working at Hindustan Coca-Cola Beverages (HCCB) leading to a strategic role in digital transformation. His professional experience of 6 years in Business Development and sales in diverse industries like SaaS, Pharmaceuticals and Consumer Durables gave him a cross functional approach.

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