In the academic footsteps of her father-Tanvi Deshpande, PGP Co '20 and Satish Deshpande PGP Co '04 & EFPM Co '18

Instances of a parent pursuing full-time academics while their offspring are themselves in school are few and far between. For some, such parents are a great inspiration, but for Tanvi, it was also a wee bit gawky. When she was in grade seven, Satish, her father, joined the PGP at the Indian School of Business. A few months later when Tanvi and her elder brother went visiting Satish at the School, she was awestruck by the stunning architecture of the school building, the verdant campus and the infrastructure, the Learning Resource Centre in particular.

‘We had never seen so many books together in one place. Those memories have always been at the back of my mind, as have been my dad’s fondest stories of the campus too.’ Sixteen years later, following the academic footsteps of her father, Tanvi enrolled for PGP Co ‘20. ‘I honestly didn’t see it coming and was informed of it by Tanvi only after she had applied for admission.’ Satish did not influence her decision in any way. In a rare occurrence, three members of his family have shared their alma mater. ‘It was her decision to equip herself with skills and tools to pursue her dream career. I did the same in 2003, and my wife Swati in 2016 when she enrolled in the founding batch of the Healthcare Management Programme. We unconsciously laid out a path for her and I am glad we did.’

Satish Deshpande, PGP Co ‘04, is a Strategy Consultant and a Professional director in fourteen companies and is associated with two start-ups as an Advisor. He is now back at ISB pursuing Doctoral Research (as a part of EFPM Co ’18), following his passion to become a teacher. Tanvi, PGP Co ‘20, is in the Social Impact Consulting space at Intellecap and harbours a keen interest in research.

‘I have watched my parents interact with their cohorts and the community over the past 16 years,’ Tanvi says. It was, therefore, not surprising that ISB appeared familiar when she stepped onto the campus as a student. The vivid recollections of the classroom, the aha moments her professors created, the group studies, and a myriad of other special occasions made her stint memorable. ‘Collaboration, big picture thinking, peer-to-peer support, and self-introspection are my biggest takeaways from ISB.’ An understanding of the business nuances, the demands of leadership and what it means to be a young professional equipped her with the wherewithal of a strong start to her post-graduation career. ‘I feel better prepared to step into the workplace after ISB. I have a community of people now to lean on to if I need anything.’ Tanvi’s most profound memory is of overseeing the successful execution of the ISB Impact Forum 2020 as its lead-coordinator.

Satish too has inextinguishable memories of the way his class worked together as a team to make the maiden ISB Leadership Summit a thumping success. Watching Karl Antao and MF Hussain create art on the campus and receiving the ‘Last Man Dancing’- a popular award of the PGP co ’04 are the other flashbulb moments he deeply cherishes. ‘What has changed since my first stint at ISB is greater personal involvement in deciding the direction and self-development goals, and what has not changed is the care and concern of the ISB community.’ Dreaming big, helping each other and keeping alive the spirit of co-operative learning is the value ISB brought to him and to his journey. In his second job after ISB, as Principal of the PE fund, his role was enhancing value creation. ‘A fund can create sustainable value for its investors only when it helps create value for all stakeholders. Similarly, one must as a responsible individual share one’s learnings with the community to create benefits for all.’ Taking all members of the organization along by instilling a spirit of cooperation is good leadership and a good leader is one who walks the talk, he believes.

‘My parents have always pushed me to explore my strengths and find that intersection between work and passion. Their support helped me make the unconventional decision of joining a social impact sector after my MBA. That is where my interest lies,’ Tanvi articulates. ISB has taught her to develop herself holistically for greater success in everything she does. ‘I now make it a point to demarcate time between work and hobbies. I enjoy sketching, reading fiction, and watching movies in my spare time.’ She volunteers her time to public policy and development sector events. She loves talking to new people and learning about their stories and what inspires them.

Curiosity and desire to learn new things keeps Satish energized. ‘Love what you do and do what you love is my simple mantra. You are limited only by your imagination.’ The warmth of the alumni community gives Satish a feeling of being a part of a family where each member is around for the other without being asked to.

The devastation COVID-19 has brought in its wake has caused a radical change in the way people look at life, and Tanvi reflects the same. ‘Our batch was the first to have the duration on the campus curtailed due to the pandemic, and so I believe I must take each day as it comes and derives the maximum from it.’

Her advice to the PGP Co’ 21 is that one must use time wisely and identify the people who will be with one long after the year ends. ‘PGP is a unique MBA programme that lets you carve your path. Remember to stop and enjoy the sunsets on your way home from class.’ There is something for everyone at ISB, she adds, be it furthering a passion or exploring a new one, developing an expertise in an area, finding a new hobby or meeting as many new people as possible. ISB provides the resources to make it all happen.