AMIT KUMAR (PGPX 2022) – GOLD MEDALLIST AT THE 57TH ANNUAL CONVOCATION
Amit is a Digital Transformation leader and an enthusiast of building Digital products which are intuitive. Over his career of a decade and a half, Amit has led Mobile banking rollout across multiple markets (recognized by Asian Banker as the best Digital project of the year), has created revenue driving Digital Payment and Digital wealth solutions, made the customer onboarding journey easier and fully digital. He was also at the forefront of the Open Banking revolution where, in addition to creating the Open APIs specifications, he also created frameworks for evaluating partnerships among banks and fintechs. He is an avid reader and loves to spend his time learning new things. When inspired by something new, he posts his thoughts on his blog – thegentlemanphilosopher.com
What does being a Gold Medallist mean to you? How has the journey been? For me, the gold medal is a reminder of the joy I experienced over the last one year. I still recall my interview where I was asked – “Why do you want to join this course?” and I had replied – “To learn”. And the year has been full of learning. I loved the challenges that came my way and thoroughly enjoyed putting my best self to overcome those challenges.
In a cohort of such brilliant people, getting a gold medal for academic performance requires effort. Somehow, for me, it never felt like an effort. It was something that got me excited. But then, this gold medal is not just mine. This is the fruit of the efforts of many.
Our first term was online and from home. I am a father to two kids, eight years and one year old respectively, when the first term started. Quite a few syndi meetings had me on MS Teams with my one year old daughter on my lap. Now that I think about it, the first term was a struggle. Not so much for me, but for my wife. During that period, I was at home but only in name. I had dedicated myself to learning and she had to take care of everything else while still working a day job.
When things became difficult to manage, I always had the support of my parents, my sisters and their families who stay in nearby places in NCR. From encouragement for studies to engaging my overactive son, they helped in everything. In addition to the joy of learning, the medal is also the blessing of my parents, the love of my wife and the support of my sisters.
I am blessed to have an incredible syndi. Everyone who joined the course is brilliant in their own way, but for me, syndi A5 epitomized the best in the cohesiveness of effort. I think we got the best out of each other. A lot of learning came through the discussions that we had in our syndi room. I have realized that if a few motivated people are ready to take a case apart and give their considered opinion, the ‘aha’ moments are quite frequent. The learning is derived from those ‘aha’ moments. The more I think the more I realize that it was a stroke of good fortune that brought the ten of us together. The gratitude also goes to the spouses of the syndi-mates who stayed on campus. They made the campus into a home. The medal is also the kinship with my syndi. They are my family.
The course gave me the opportunity to interact with some of the most brilliant minds in their respective fields, in the classroom and outside the classroom. I received countless perspectives while having random conversations during mealtimes, at Bhavesh Bhai, in each other’s rooms or while just walking post dinner. Several of my pre-held notions were broken and were replaced with something that integrated a larger understanding and context. The medal is also that friendship and those long conversations.
Being a gold medallist among such a brilliant cohort is an honour and I am determined to live up to it. There is this sense of responsibility that came with the medal. On the morning of the convocation day, Professor Saral Mukherjee said that we should strive to become an alumnus which IIMA flaunts and that night the official handle of PGPX posted about me with my medal on LinkedIn. Now that is the standard and I will do my best to keep the flame burning. As I gear up to join the corporate world once again I take with me the work ethic and the never give up attitude inculcated over the year. I learned management from the best teachers in the country, but more importantly, I discovered myself.
Incredible year, incredible people and memories for a lifetime.
What are your fondest memories from the campus? Apart from learning, the other thing that I did over the year was to build a lot of memories. I was very fortunate to be chosen as the secretary for both Profile Committee and Birthday Committee where I got to engage with each of my batchmates at least once. I have fond memories of joyful events, stressful submissions and fun filled get togethers. Memories ranging from engaging with quite a few PGP folks on Zoom during the T-nite JAM session, to fretting about a 10-page submission due in 4 hours on which not a single word is yet typed. I think all our triumphs create wonderful memories, but the fondest memory is about something where I gave everything I had and still failed.
In term 2, my syndi-mate Shubham expressed his desire to stand up for the post of Recruitment Secretary. That desire started the 2-3 weeks of the most fun time on campus for me. Both of us put our studies aside for that period and got into election mode wholeheartedly.
That was also the time when we were working on the batch profiles for the PGPX Profile brochure. I was engaged a lot during that period in the role of Profile Committee secretary. Whatever time was left from that was for the RS elections. If I’m the one with the gold medal and Shubham is rank 3 of the batch, it is largely because of the submissions done by our syndi-mates during that period. Both of us were missing in action and term 2 is term 2. The election was fought hard, we lost and we were heartbroken. But the experience we got through that period is invaluable. I discovered the facets of my personality during that period that I did know about.
Some of the valuable learnings in life come through failures. Life was kind enough to give me this opportunity.
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