ISB Alumni in ET's '40 under 40' list

Four ISB alumnus make it to the ‘40 UNDER FORTY’ list of ET & Spencer Stuart


Viren Rasquinha, Atul Satija, Zahabiya Khorakiwala and Piyush Shah keep the flag of ISB flying high

 

The distinguished ‘40 UNDER FORTY’ list of Economic Times & Spencer Stuart brought great pride and joy aplenty to the Indian School of Business (ISB). From a solitary student making the grade in the previous years to four now is a phenomenal leap for a school as young as ISB.

Giving a run for its money to its illustrious peers in management education, ISB tied with another B-school, in the number of representation. Viren Rasquinha, Atul Satija, Zahabiya Khorakiwala and Piyush Shah triumphed after some hard fought competition. The jury had a tough time selecting the best from the new breed of young leaders. Characterised by tenacity, resilience, ambition, hard work, and curiosity these young leaders are overall courageous and find it easy to take charge.


Viren Rasquinha, PGP Class of 2009, and now CEO of Olympic Gold Quest, is a former captain of the Indian Hockey Team. He is an Olympian, an Arjuna awardee and leads the organisation that strives to complement the efforts of the Indian Government and various Sports Federations and endeavours to create an ecosystem that ensures Indian athletes bring laurels to the country.

“Learning never stops, even if it is just to improve on your existing skills every single day. One must always try to create an environment of excellence wherever one can,” he says. “The greatest pleasure in life is to do something that people say you cannot do.”

Someone who staunchly believes in following the heart, he decided to forego his job post-placement and join an NGO. Viren owes the major turning point in his career to ISB where he had the opportunity to hone his skills, and learn from his peers.

“I love what I do, whether as a player or now in my current job as CEO of Olympic Gold Quest, where I look after the training of some of India's best athletes preparing for the Olympics.” His greatest joy came from standing five metres behind P.V. Sidhu, whose training he has been involved with since she was 14, as she stood on the podium at Rio, the Indian flag flying high next to her.  The learnings, he says, have always come from defeat. “I have lost far more than I have won; it is self- belief and picking yourself up that makes you a stronger person.”
 


Atul Satija, PGP Class of 2004 heads The/Nudge Foundation that has the backing from Nandan Nilekani, Tata Trusts and many others. The nonprofit organisation has an ambitious goal. It wants to solve the biggest problem we face today – poverty —and to change the lives of one million people by 2020.
“Don’t take the easy way out. Be true to yourself and keep your dreams at the forefront,” Atul says.

After his family lost everything in the Partition, his father, the only earner among his siblings, was determined to take care of the family on a meagre government salary. Witnessing the power of giving at such an early age, it isn’t surprising that Atul wanted to be the change he wished to see.

After graduating from ISB, Atul worked in Adobe and Google and rose sharply to high positions of responsibility. The corporate success seemed ‘uni-dimensional’ to him and he began volunteering at End Poverty in 2008 where he worked at the grassroots level. The/Nudge Foundation was born in July 2015 with the vision of sustainable and scalable poverty alleviation. He had always thought of doing this after retirement, but found himself pushed to do it full-time sooner than planned.

“Volunteer sooner. If you know you want to do something. Act on it now,” he advises.
 


 

Piyush Shah, PGP Class of 2004, is the Chief Product Officer, InMobi.  He has played a significant role in building InMobi’s company vision, product strategy, people philosophy and most importantly, execution mindset.

“The ability is to get extraordinary outcomes from ordinary individuals by inspiring them to think big and never give up,” he says on the definition of success.

“What I want to achieve in the next 10 years is to establish InMobi as a world class product company and amongst the top five mobile advertising and marketing players globally. In the medium and long term I wish to inspire, mentor and catalyse thousands of entrepreneurs to build successful global ventures out of India,” he articulates.


Zahabiya Khorakiwala, PGP Class of 2009, and MD Wockhardt Hospitals, is equipped with sharp focus and professional dedication. Not one to give up or give in easily, she has conquered her share of challenges to reach the point where she is seeing her vision turn into reality.

“It is very important that I enjoy what I do, and I am thoroughly enjoying what I am doing right now,” she says.

Post-ISB, she started her own business in the restaurant industry sector, in sharp contrast to the family pharmaceutical and healthcare business, Wockhardt, built by her father. The venture taught her some valuable lessons that prepared her for her future in Wockhardt Hospitals.

She spent close to four years learning the ropes, making key business decisions, and becoming the managing director of Wockhardt Hospitals. “I believe in developing my own perspective of things, and I think I have been given a fair chance by senior leadership at Wockhardt,” she says.

Zahabiya believes in practising a participative style of leadership, one that involves her at all critical moments of managing the business. She has a clear vision of the impact she wants the business to have on society — a vision that is shared by the family. “Our goal is to set clinical benchmarks in quality and contemporary treatments in the tertiary and quaternary care space,” she says.

The entire ISB community is proud of the four stalwarts and applauds their monumental achievement.