Great Lakes Alumni: Inspiring Journeys of CXOs, Business Leaders, Financial Experts, and Change Agents – Read the Success Stories of 10 Super Achievers!

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MBAUniverse.com News Desk
Amit Agnihotri
Columnist & Author, MBAUniverse.com
Updated on November 20, 2023
Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai is recognized as one of the leading B-schools in India. Great Lakes forte lies in deep industry engagement and a formidable alumni network. Great Lakes Alumni, each an epitome of inspiration, contributing to the legacy of their alma mater. Join us as we delve into the lives and accomplishments of these outstanding individuals, illustrating the profound impact of Great Lakes Institute of Management
Great Lakes Alumni

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai is recognized as one of the leading B-schools in India. Great Lakes' forte lies in deep industry engagement and an alumni network spanning 30+ countries. Great Lakes Alumni, with their innovative contributions and strong ambitions contribute to the legacy of their alma mater. Join us as we delve into the lives and accomplishments of these outstanding individuals, illustrating the profound impact of Great Lakes Institute of Management. 

Established in 2004 by Padmashree awardee, late Dr. Bala V Balachandran, Professor Emeritus at Kellogg School of Management, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai is recognized as one of the leading B-schools in India. In 2010, the institution expanded its reach with the establishment of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, strategically located in the heart of corporate India. Great Lakes forte lies in deep industry engagement and a global alumni network of leaders across 30+ countries.

As per a review by MBAUniverse.com, Great Lakes' illustrious alumni are now serving as high-ranking executives at global powerhouses such as Bain, PwC, Meta, H&M, PepsiCo, and various others. These extraordinary individuals also helm key functions in top global companies operating in India, including prestigious names like Mastercard, Accenture, Morgan Stanley, and more.

In this article, we will take you through the career journeys of 10 remarkable Great Lakes Alumni, each exemplifying the immense potential of the Great Lakes PGPM 1 Year MBA program. Join us as we delve into the career accomplishments of these outstanding individuals, letting their stories fuel your aspirations and exemplify the heights attainable through the unique learning experience and ecosystem provided by Great Lakes.

Ms Ramya Balakrishnan, Global Strategy & Operations Director, Meta

Ms. Ramya Balakrishnan

Great Lakes Alumni Ms. Ramya Balakrishnan, currently serving as the Global Strategy & Operations Director at Meta, is a seasoned tech executive with a wealth of experience leading high-performing teams. With a focus on delivering products and services for a multi-billion-dollar portfolio, her expertise spans technical and scaled operations, support, tooling, trust and safety, and AI operations. Recognized for her passion for innovation, problem-solving, and customer orientation, Ms. Balakrishnan has earned prestigious recognition and awards. In her role as Global Director of Strategy and Operations at Meta from 2020 to 2023, based in Menlo Park, California, Ms. Ramya Balakrishnan built and led a high-performing global team, delivering products and services. Earlier, as the Global Head of Strategy & Operations at Meta from 2018 to 2020. She led COVID business continuity crisis response for Facebook's global operations, demonstrating her strategic acumen and operational leadership.

Prior to her roles at Meta, Ms. Balakrishnan contributed significantly to Intel Corporation as Senior Manager of Product Management from 2016 to 2018. Her professional journey also includes roles as Manager, Product Program Management at Intel, Program Director, Technology at Cognizant, and Applications Developer at Oracle Corporation.

Ms. Ramya Balakrishnan completed the Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) in 2006-07 from the Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai and a Bachelor's degree in Engineering in Electronics and Communication from PSG College of Technology.

Mr Sundara B. Reddy, Managing Director, Accenture

Mr. Sundara B

Great Lakes Alumni and the Managing Director at Accenture, Mr. Sundara B. Reddy is an astute leader with a proven track record of successful partnerships and innovations across the information technology and services industry. With over 15 years of experience at Accenture, he holds a key role in managing global operations at scale, specializing in Solution Design, Sales, and Delivery.

In his earlier roles at Accenture, Mr. Reddy has served as the Account Leadership for a Leading Freight & Logistics Client, where he is accountable for Global Delivery Operations, Senior Client Stakeholder Relationship, and the P&L of the engagement. He has deployed Industry Leading Practices involving Robotic Process Automation (RPA), analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and impact sourcing to effectively address business challenges.

Mr. Reddy has a rich professional history, including roles as Business Excellence Leader at Hewlett Packard, Manager at GECIS, Operations Lead at a 3PL Service Provider, and Consultant at Pentasoft Malaysia. He is a Certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, bringing deep experience in deploying transformation tools and practices in teams.

Mr. Sundara Reddy completed the Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) in 2004-05 from the Great Lakes Institute of Management.

Mr Harsh Ratan Mehta, Global Director, PepsiCo Procurement, Head - Procurement Capability Center - HBS @ PepsiCo

Harsh Ratan Mehta

Great Lakes Alumni Mr. Harsh Ratan Mehta currently serves as the Global Director of Procurement, leading the Procurement Capability Center at PepsiCo. Prior to his current position, Mr. Mehta was a Senior Manager (Director) at Novartis, contributing for over four years in its Procurement Capability Center. With a wealth of experience, Mr. Mehta has also served as Manager of Strategy & Operations for almost five years at Deloitte India. His consulting expertise extends to roles at Valcon A/S and Wipro Technologies. Notably, his early career included a position at Caterpillar Inc. as an Associate Engineer/Liaison, where he significantly increased the annual revenue of the Machines II-Paving team and led successful Six Sigma projects. Mr. Mehta's career journey commenced as a Design Engineer at Volvo Construction Equipment, showcasing his engineering skills. Throughout his professional trajectory, Mr. Mehta has consistently demonstrated leadership, strategic planning, and consulting capabilities, making him a leader in Procurement domain.

Mr. Harsh Ratan Mehta completed the Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) in 2009-10 from Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai. Earlier he completed a BE from Anna University Chennai.

Mr Deepesh Dua, Director at Bain & Company

Deepesh Dua, Director at Bain & Company

Great Lakes Alumni Mr Deepesh Dua, currently serving as the Director at Bain & Company, brings over 15 years of experience in business strategy, management consulting, business research, and team management. In his role at Bain & Company, he leads the Data and Insights Center of Excellence at BCN, providing offshore consulting support to global Bain teams. His responsibilities include managing profitability and business operations, overseeing end-to-end case delivery, addressing team professional development needs, monitoring attrition rates, and talent acquisition. He spearheads a team of approximately 100 members specializing in data and products across various capabilities and industries. Prior to his current role, Deepesh held key positions at Bain & Company, including Senior Manager from July 2019 to September 2021 and Manager from July 2017 to June 2019. Before joining Bain, he worked as a Consultant at KPMG for about a year. Mr Dua holds expertise in Stakeholder Management, Retail, Consumer Products, Team Leadership, and Benchmarking.

Mr Deepesh Dua completed his Post Graduate Program in Management PGPM in Marketing in 2007-08 from Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai.  

Mr Gaurav Goswami, Director, PwC, Digital Products & Transformation

Mr. Gaurav Goswami

Great Lakes Alumni Mr. Gaurav Goswami serves as the Director at PwC, Digital Products & Transformation. In his current position as Director since April 2023, Mr. Goswami is deeply involved in Digital Products, Digital Solutioning, and solving business problems through technology. His skills encompass Agile Project Management, Product Design, Business Intelligence (BI), Productivity Analysis, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Solution Development.

Before his current role, he served as an Associate Director at PwC from April 2021 to April 2023, contributing to the growth and development of the organization. Prior to that, he held the position of Manager at PwC India, specializing in Advisory - Digital Solutions, from May 2019 to March 2021.

Mr. Goswami's professional journey includes roles such as Assistant Manager at PwC, where he served from February 2017 to May 2019, and as a Consultant at EY in Gurgaon, India, from January 2015 to February 2017.

His educational background includes completing a Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) in 2013-14 from the Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai. He also holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom) Honors degree in Accountancy & Economics from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College, Delhi University.

Mr Ritesh Pal, Director, Morgan Stanley

Mr. Ritesh Pal

Great Lakes Alumni Mr. Ritesh Pal, currently serving as a Director at Morgan Stanley, has about 12 years of extensive experience in Business Analysis, Risk, Product Development, Agile, Cloud AWS, and MIT Data Architecture. His top skills include Product Management, Agile Project Management, Operational Risk, Operations Management, Business Analysis, and Business Strategy.

In his current role as Director at Morgan Stanley since April 2023, based in London, England, Mr. Pal is actively involved in addressing tax and regulatory changes, operational risk, and reporting. Prior to Morgan Stanley, Mr Pal contributed to Accenture as a Management Consultant for a total of 4 years. His roles involved working in Capital Market Practice, emphasizing his expertise in financial markets. Before Accenture, he held the position of Senior Consultant at PwC India, focusing on Investment Banking technology consulting. Additionally, his professional journey includes roles at HSBC as Manager of Business Analysis, Standard Chartered as a Business Analyst, and an Associate Manager Lead BA at Accenture.

Mr Ritesh Pal completed his Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) from the Great Lakes Institute of Management in 2014. His academic journey includes an Engineer's Degree in Computer Engineering from Mumbai University Mumbai, completed in 2010.

Mr Sijo Kuruvilla George, Technology and Entrepreneurship Evangelist

Mr Sijo Kuruvilla George

Great Lakes Alumni Mr Sijo Kuruvilla George was the Executive Director of the Alliance of Digital India Foundation (ADIF), a think tank for India’s digital startups that liaisons between the government and the regulatory bodies. He was responsible for all executive decisions and communications of the foundation. With his wealth of experience in entrepreneurship gained from over a decade in the start-up space, Mr Sijo Kuruvilla George was a member of the Central Government’s Science & Technology Policy Expert Committee of Entrepreneurship. He was a leading contributor to the formulation of the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy 2020.

Prior to ADIF, Mr George held various leadership positions in technology startups and committees aimed at safeguarding the Indian Startup Ecosystem. He was the Founding CEO of Startup Village, India’s first PPP Technology Business Incubator. Referred to by the Malayala Manorama as the ‘Megamind behind the treasure trove in Cochin’, Mr Kuruvilla George is credited for bringing startups and entrepreneurship into the wider public discourse. A leading figure in the advancement of student entrepreneurship, Mr Sijo Kuruvilla George was instrumental in the advocacy and conceptualisation of the Student Entrepreneurship Policy. He has also served as a consultant to the Kerala Startup Mission, the nodal agency for implementing the Kerala Technology Startup Policy.

After pursuing his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering Trivandrum, Mr. George completed his Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) in 2008-09 from Great Lakes Institute of Management Chennai.  

Ms Amishaa Arora, Head of Customer Activation & Marketing, South Asia at H&M

Ms Amishaa Arora

Great Lakes Alumni Ms. Amishaa Arora currently serves as the Head of Customer Activation & Marketing for South Asia at H&M and is based in Singapore. In her current role since October 2022, Ms. Arora oversees customer activation and marketing strategies for H&M in the South Asian region. Her responsibilities include shaping the business's online presence and enhancing the overall customer experience. Prior to her current position, Ms. Arora held the role of Head of Ecommerce for South Asia from March 2021 to October 2022 and Head of Ecommerce for India from March 2019 to March 2021 at H&M.

Earlier in her career, Ms. Arora contributed to Myntra as the Manager of Growth Solutions, Revenue, from April 2016 to March 2019. Before joining Myntra, she gained experience as a Senior Associate in Strategic Alliances at Snapdeal, where she managed alliances with brands in the footwear category. Earlier in her career, she served as an Associate Market Representative at Target, focusing on research and analysis projects to understand country potentials on various product categories.

Ms. Amishaa Arora completed the Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) in 2014-15 from the Great Lakes Institute of Management. She also earned a Bachelor of Fashion Technology in Apparel and Textiles from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) Delhi.

Mr Ajit Narasimhan, Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Sundaram Mutual

Ajit Narasimhan

Great Lakes Alumni Mr Ajit Narasimhan, currently serving as the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at Sundaram Mutual, boasts an extensive professional journey spanning over 19 years. His expertise lies in leading high-performing Business Development and Product Management teams in the Financial Services sector, with a particular focus on Digital Strategy, Sales, Business Development, and Product Management.

In his current role as CMO at Sundaram Asset Management Company Limited since January 2018, Mr Narasimhan heads Products, Marketing, Direct Sales, Digital Business, and Strategic Initiatives. Before joining Sundaram, Mr Ajit Narasimhan played crucial roles at BankBazaar India, serving as the Director & Category Head - Savings & Investments and General Manager - Category Management: Savings & Investments. In these roles, he was the business head and P&L owner for Savings, Fixed Deposits, and Mutual Fund categories. Prior to his tenure at BankBazaar, Mr Narasimhan contributed significantly to Sundaram Asset Management Company Limited, where he served as Head - Investment Products and Marketing for 5 years.

Mr Ajit Narasimhan completed the Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) in Finance & Marketing from the Great Lakes Institute of Management (2004-2005) and a B. Com in Management and Cost Accounting from the University of Madras (2000-2003).

Mr Anand Jayachandran, Director, Government Engagement, Mastercard

Ms. Ramya Balakrishnan

Great Lakes Alumni Mr. Anand Jayachandran, with over 18 years of extensive experience in banking and financial services, is currently serving as the Director of Government Engagement at Mastercard. In his current role at Mastercard since June 2022, Mr. Jayachandran is instrumental in setting up the business for the Government Engagement Vertical. Notable focus areas include the digitization of the agriculture value chain, cybersecurity and intelligence solutions, collections, disbursement solutions, tourism, support for SMEs in digital payments, and enabling smart solutions and payments for smart cities and urban mobility. Prior to joining Mastercard, he contributed significantly to YES BANK during his 11-year tenure. As the Executive Vice President of Government Banking for Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Kerala, he managed government and PSU clients. Before his tenure at YES BANK, Mr. Jayachandran held roles at renowned financial institutions, including HSBC and ICICI Bank. His career journey also includes a managerial position at Citigroup.

Mr. Jayachandran completed the Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) in 2005-06 from the Great Lakes Institute of Management. He also holds the ACA from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and a B.Com in Finance from the University of Madras.

In conclusion, the success stories of these Great Lakes alumni, showcase the profound impact of their alma mater. These CXOs, business leaders, financial wizards, and change agents, stand testament to the quality education, mentorship and learning experience provided by Great Lakes Institute of Management. As we reflect on their remarkable journeys, let the success stories of Great Lakes' esteemed alumni inspire and guide MBA aspirants and students alike to achieve new heights, fostering a culture of excellence.

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