- Course: MBA International Business
- Year of graduation: 2004
- Nationality: Indian
- Job title: Co-Founder
- Company: Samavesh Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Star and Bait
I grew up in India and did my first degree in Commerce, Travel and Tourism. After that I worked for a few years, but had always wanted to understand how international business operates, so started looking at postgrad programmes. The Leeds MBA International Business stood out, and it had the added advantage of being one of the Top five courses in UK, so it was a no brainer.
The Leeds MBA is well rounded and gave me valuable insights and skills which helped me better understand how firms operate, take decisions as well as their overall management. The experience and skills I gained at Leeds definitely helped me with my career. Although I had specialised in international business, I chose to go into a pure marketing role after my MBA. I am currently working at Condé Nast India as Senior Marketing Manager- Condé Nast Traveller & Architectural Digest. I am also part of the Global Employee Council for Diversity & Inclusion.
My time in Leeds was the best experience and I would recommend it for sure. The highlight was international student life, which exposed me to various cultures, customs and traditions. It helped me mould into a more confident man and come to terms with my sexuality as I also got exposed to the LGBTQ+ community in Leeds. My defining memories of studying in Leeds are friendships, confidence in my abilities to achieve my goals, the pub crawls and experiencing the vibrant gay nightlife of Leeds.
After I returned to India from Leeds I co-founded Salvation Star (2007) and Bait Mumbai (2020) which provide safe space weekend LGBT+ soirees for the community in Mumbai. I was honoured to serve on the Organising Committee for Mumbai Pride (Queer Azadi Mumbai), the largest in South Asia, since its inception in 2007 and successfully helped the committee raise funds for Pride 2019 and 2020.
During my stint with Condenast India, I had the privilege of serving as the sole rep from India on the Diversity & Inclusion Global Council of 20 members, who work closely with an executive steering committee composed of senior leaders from across the company to develop and support global and market-based initiatives for D&I. I had the privilege of working with Dame Anna Wintour during the first year of the council in her capacity as the chair of the council and later with Yashica Olden, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Condenast.
During the pandemic, along with other gay friends, I have started a not-for-profit NGO called Samavesh Chamber of Commerce. Our mission is to co-create a business and Policy Ecosystem in India with the Industry and with the Government, that encourages, supports, and provides access, engagement and visibility, to Queer businesses, individuals, and organizations who engage with them. Our aim is to strive and be a collaborative resource platform for all Queer Business and Policy related engagements in the country.