Student Testimony #3 – Chandan Sharma

“My Journey to NSB – An Executive PGDM Programme”

(Dated: 24.06.2018)

Today, when we (as a group) were preparing for the end term exam of Project Finance (a tedious subject taught by an IIM professor), it was proposed by one of us to write about our individual journey to NTPC School of Business (NSB). The idea made me to think about my whole journey and different destinations where I stopped before entering NSB campus. While pursuing a degree from India’s top institutes like IIT and IIM’s was always a dream, many times it was shaken by roadblocks in my journey.

It all started in the year 1997, when we were in Class Xth and one of my childhood friends cautioned me of keeping a check on my Dreams. The advice (I suppose) was not to stretch my legs beyond the size of my quilt. He was true in his advice, but for me I knew, the quilt was not my abilities, it was the financial health of my family. From that day onwards, I realized that, I have to increase the length of my quilt, if I wish to grow.

Efforts followed, as I started taking tuitions at the age of 17 for supporting my education and also financial health of my family. The efforts yielded results, as I was able to complete my masters from the best university in the state and also managed (at least tried), to get treatment for my sweet-heart mother (a goddess indeed) ailing from cancer (It was indeed a very tough time!).

After qualifying almost every exam in my subject with flying colors, I joined NTPC Ltd. (one of the biggest public sector undertaking in the country) in the year 2005, to fulfil my obligations towards my family. While the dream of getting into premier institutes of the country kept on haunting, I remained busy in fulfilling duties towards my family and my organization for the next 10 years.

Thanks to my organization NTPC, it did not let my hunger towards learning and growth die, and kept me motivated during all these 10 years. Although, I wrote CAT exam in between (got a decent percentile in 2008 too!!), it was not sufficient enough to enter the IIM’s campuses.

The life took a new turn when NTPC established its own School of Business, NSB, in the year 2015. It was in 2016 when my quest for continuous learning motivated me to appear for the NSB entrance exam. Although I failed in my first attempt, it only consolidated the determination. After devoting 2 months of some serious study, I was able to score good marks in 2017 for claiming my entry into NSB campus. Final Interview happened and I was sure before leaving NSB campus that I am coming back here for a longer stay now.

As always, my better half Meenakshi, was extremely supportive in my decision and she volunteered her to shoulder the responsibility of looking after her job as well as taking care of our two highly energy consuming sons Arnav and Aariv, all alone during period of my study.

That’s how I reached the NSB campus and started my new journey alongwith a talented pool of 24 highly motivated professionals having their own inspiring stories. The faculty teaching us were best in their field and our learning curve rose exponentially. Just when we started thinking ourselves lucky to get the opportunity of learning from such an esteemed faculties, empyreal news came that NTPC has joined hands with IIM-Ahmadabad (the best B-School in the country) for mentoring of NSB and helping it to achieve the academic excellence.

Fortuitously, our batch became the first lot of NSB to be taught by the top industry experts (Chairman and Directors of various reputed organization) as well as by the venerable professors of IIM-Ahmadabad.

Attending such an assiduous classroom gave a feeling of accomplishment and regalement to all of us. Case studies and assignments became our squirrel cage and only few of us were brave enough to peep out of that cage for some sports activities (I learnt billiards/ snooker; an awesome game!).

We all were very boastful about our capabilities in the beginning but the tasks assigned were so daunting that teamwork and group studies become our last resort. The early bed lovers (ironically I was one of them) became the mid-night owl of the hostel looking for hints of the case problem over the internet. Didi’s Chai and Maggi stall along the roadside of NSB campus became our favourite food hub (despite having a fantastic Indian Coffee House Mess and Canteen in the NSB campus) to vent out our agony and making stratagem for a competitive advantage. The class coordinator was as good at times as he was rude at certain other times. Our mobile phones were on his continuous radar and being able to keep it with oneself throughout the day was considered as good as winning an Indo-Pak cricket game. His mail with the subject “Mid/ End term marks of _____” raised the heartbeats of all and except for a few savvy profiles; everybody was looking for number of persons beyond his own marks.

Other than having the challenge of getting a good grade in the term exams the learning’s gathered were paramount. We all focussed on extending our horizon of thinking through intuitive learning rather than mucking up the textbooks and power point presentations. Peer learning and cognitive visualization of group of 24 NSB’ians added to our personality enhancement and we created memories to cherish through rest of our lives.

5-day Industrial visit to different Hydro Projects in H.P. (of NTPC and NHPC) was a great exposure and a proposed 15-day Foreign Immersion Programme to “University of Cambridge, UK” (a part of executive PGDM curriculum) will surely enhance our academic resume.

I have a strong feeling that by the end of this program, we would transform into a resilient, self-aware, self-assured leaders who, besides being able to dissect the Economic Times and speak on sensibly about the global economy would be capable of striking a fine balance between rationality and judgment, focus and juggling, poise and action, and logic and intuition.

About the Author:

Chandan Sharma has done Masters in Chemistry from Himachal Pradesh University Shimla and is working in the capacity of Manager (Chemistry) at NTPC Koldam Hydro Power Station. He has worked in the area of Environment Management Group also and is currently pursuing Executive-PGDM from NTPC School of Business (Academic Session 2017-18). His interests include cricket, billiards, music, mountaineering, travel, making friends and spending time with family.