Navigating Uncertainty to Start a Global Career – MGB Graduate Ritesh Bhalla’s Story

Born in Goa and raised in Mumbai, Ritesh Bhalla (MGB 2021) was working with the Royal Bank of Scotland as a CS & O Analyst before he decided to expand his skillset with a Master of Global Business (MGB) from SP Jain.  

Today, he is working as a Research Consultant with Cedar Management Consulting International – a global consulting, research, and analytics group with a 30-year track record and 1000+ clients across industries. What does Ritesh’s SP Jain journey look like? We caught up with him to find out.

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Q. Why did you decide to pursue your postgraduate degree with SP Jain?

Ritesh: While I was exploring job opportunities in Dubai, I realised that the one thing that was lacking in me was a master’s degree. Thus, once I came back home, I decided to appear for the most relevant competitive exams. Though I wished to study abroad, I knew there were a lot of factors I needed to consider before my final decision.

While SP Jain’s tri-city learning model excited me, my deciding factor was the brilliant placements that SP Jain offered. The School has Career Services Offices across multiple countries, and the team goes out of their way to help you find the perfect role.

Q. How did the last 16 months in the MGB program help you?

Ritesh: I couldn’t begin to list down things that this course has taught me! The last 16 months exposed me to the ‘real’ life outside. I learned something new every single day, and it was far beyond what books could teach anyone.

One of the most important skills the course taught me is ‘management’. The program teaches you how to manage 15 or 20 to-dos in just a single day! To me, this is truly a life skill that can take me a long way.

Q. What was it like sharing a classroom with peers from around the world?

Ritesh: My peers taught me how life is and how businesses are in different parts of the globe. They helped me understand how different cultures have different ways of handling things, and more importantly, how different the working culture is from place to place. Life is all about perspectives, and we should have the capability to look from a different angle!

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Q. Who made the most impact in your life over your time at SP Jain?

Ritesh: There were a lot of people who played a big role in my life during the program. However, if I had to pick one person, it would be my classmate – Srishti Satrawla. She inspired me as a person and always had a positive attitude. She taught me about life, its hurdles, and the opportunities that one should never miss; she even helped me learn more about having a balance in life, exploring places, their culture, and the food. I am truly glad that I was able to make the most of my time at SP Jain.

Q. Have the leadership skills you gained at SP Jain helped you in your current role?

Ritesh: The roles each one of us played in the Student Boardrooms (SBRs) and the projects that we worked on during the course helped us build brilliant leadership skills that are helping us in our corporate roles today. One of the crucial components of a discussion/group project is ‘perspective’, and it should never be negated out. Perspectives/thoughts are the main pillars of what makes a great output, followed by taking ownership and having the art of delegation. It is necessary to understand the teams’ diversities and capabilities to divide and manage the work. These factors would not only help a manager in leading their team but would be useful for anyone in their professional and personal lives.

Q. What are you most proud of accomplishing during your time at SP Jain?

Ritesh: Exploring 3 countries, winning the football tournament on international ground, skydiving, scoring a good CGPA, securing an international internship, getting placed as a consultant, and most importantly, graduating amidst a global pandemic!

Q. During the last leg of your program, you interned with a rapid app development company in Singapore. Could you tell us more about this experience?

Ritesh: For 4 months, I was a Marketing Intern with Neutrinos Singapore in the Research & Strategy department. I worked on many different projects and assisted in creating global go-to-market strategies for the company. 

During this period, I gained a lot of knowledge of what is happening around the world with respect to technology, especially in the BFSI industry. I had the freedom to explore and brainstorm on different projects which helped me widen my perspective.

Q. You are a part of the 2020 cohort, a class that graduated during a global pandemic. How are you facing the unique challenges that come your way?

Ritesh: SP Jain taught us that things should never stop moving even in times of a pandemic. The School arranged the best possible way for us to complete our masters using the ELO (Engaged Learning Online) technology and ensured that our learning was seamless.

Additionally, completing tasks remotely—be it for lectures, assignments, projects, Socratives, or exams—helped me in quickly adapting to the work from home and hybrid models of working in the current era.

Q. You are currently working as a Research Consultant with Cedar Management Consulting. What does a day in your life look like?

Ritesh: ​Every day is a cumulative hike in my learning curve. I have completed 3 projects over the past 9 months. I have to admit that it is quite challenging; the day starts at around 9 AM with internal meetings, followed by project-related work. Parallelly, I also manage a lot of activities that have a considerable impact on the project and need an eye for detail.

My role keeps changing from project to project – sometimes it would require a lot of research and data analysis, and sometimes it is more of a strategic role to play as a consultant. A lot of focus lies on building and showcasing presentations to the management and board-level members of the client.

Q. What advice would you like to give your juniors who would like to embark on a similar path as you?

Ritesh: I believe every person brings a unique value to the table, and it is important to identify what they are good at. From my experience, the two things that I would mark as crucial would be:

  • Be organised in your day-to-day activities, attention to detail is always helpful.
  • Try to manage and multi-task multiple projects without compromising on quality 

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