A short chat with Rahul Pugalia – a product of the 7th Batch of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies – and you know the kind of people who were instrumental in catapulting Yes Bank to unprecedented success, in a very short span of time. Rahul is one of those guys, who constantly seek to innovate… to improve things around them. Rahul was picked up by Yes Bank in 2006 directly from Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management, and has ever since been a part of the phenomenal growth story of Yes Bank. As a Relationship Leader, he currently handles Yes Bank’s relationship with SME’s with annual turnover upto 200 crores, taking care of their short-term and long-term requirement.
Out of his BCA and – Post CAT – straight into Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Rahul more than covered up for his lack of experience with his tenacity and thirst for knowledge.
“I was blessed with an inspiring set of batch-mates at KIAMS. We had a great mix of people in our batch, coming from different cultures. From each culture and domain I would gain new organizational knowledge. Infact, it was during project discussions between students, that I learnt the most, especially when we disagreed strongly from one another. I realized that we disagreed because we had experienced different solutions to the same problem. These disagreements were a source of new ideas… new ways of doing things.”
“My best teachers, for all practical purpose, were the activities and Projects held in KIAMS. It was here that I imbibed a competitive spirit. Activities like ‘Pragati’ – the rural mela, an annual event – honed our sales pitch. It more than covered up for our real life lack of experience. We actually had to go around selling the concept of Pragati. It was the first time most of us actually got to do real selling, and it wasn’t easy.”
With MCA being the usual route after BCA, Rahul innovated. He knew that Finance and Programming, both involve analysis. If he’d gone into MCA, he’d end up at the programmer-level. That’s when a chat with a few of his cousins helped him zero-in on MBA in Finance. Marketing as a minor did not crop up till he got to KIAMS.
“I start my day by identifying clients I have to meet, sifting through pending requests and prioritize them, ensuring that all the client-calls are properly timed – so that none of the clients are missed or kept waiting – and generating leads for my future cases. This happens till about 3 o’clock. Post 3 o’clock, I work on the best looking prospects.”
“It was at KIAMS that I realized that in the corporate world, all are competitors. At KIAMS, it was not just about academics but also about extra-curricular activities. You were required to work with teams, work on ideas, finalize, and implement. Pragati was one such activity at KIAMS. We spent a lot of time in
conceptualizing, designing and organizing the entire thing… stuff I’ll remember my entire life.” Always on the look-out for improving things, he thinks it would be a good idea for the Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies to think ‘local and SME’ when it comes to the Finance program at KIAMS.
“We were expected to do a lot of feasibility Reports on different projects, and do ratio analysis at KIAMS. It would be far more beneficial if we picked up local companies from Davangere to check on their financials, interpret their data. You see if we do a TATA or a GAIL or an Infosys, chances are, we will not be able to get their financial guys to come down to KIAMS and allow us to pick their brains on what is the reason of improvement in the ratio… or what is the comparison with the industry. Chances of interacting with the management of smaller and local companies are far higher and far more beneficial in KIAMS.”