“For me, success means how well you sleep... how dispensable you are to your team, organization and even clients," says GIM alumnus Mrunmay Das, Batch 1996
“The program at GIM made a man out of the boy in me,” says Mr. Mrunmay Das student of the Class of 1996 who has had an illustrious career since he left GIM. In fact, very few CVs look as impressive and well-rounded as that of Mr. Das. From a vernacular academic background in Odisha to leaving GIM backed with confidence and an ability in speaking fluent English, from being on the verge of playing Ranji cricket for his home state to representing Goa at the same level, from starting off at a salary of Rs. 5000 to being the Director of Das Capital Management and Advisors Private limited, Mr. Das has clearly come a long way. And, did we mention he had a stint as Personal Advisor to Mr. Azim Premji, Chief Investment Officer of Premji Investments? Talk about stunning transformations – it doesn’t get any better than this.
But the signs of major changes in his personal and professional fortune were already being seen in his GIM days – Mr. Das, one of the youngest in the batch, was also one of its toppers. He is generous in his praise of the institute and his classmates who moulded his learning experience: “In the last 19 years of my professional career, I have never felt wanting, thanks to those two crucial and foundational years of my life. I also did reasonably well during my time at the institute thanks to my illustrious classmates who came from diverse backgrounds. Of course, a strong team of faculty members rich in experience also helped shape us into professionals. They were also supportive of my cricketing pursuits, which I am immensely grateful for.”
Throughout his career, Mr. Das has scaled the ladder of success at a seemingly accelerated pace. He has worked with big ticket names like UTI and BNP Paribas, before joining Merrill Lynch as their youngest Senior Vice President. When asked to reveal his mantra for success, he emphasizes, “Smart work, self confidence and leadership initiatives are crucial for all professionals. If you aim to be the Director of a company one day, you can’t wait to be empowered through designation to assume leadership. You need to empower yourself from Day 1, be accountable for your actions and that of your team. It’s important to lead by your efforts and not by rank.”
Mr. Das can be easily counted as one of the super achievers of the alumni list of GIM, especially from its initial stages. But, according to him, the students of his batch were not thinking of placements but were focused on learning, which in some ways may have led to their later success. But it’s curious to know what success means to a man who has achieved so much in a short span of time. “For me, success means how well you sleep,” he begins. “How dispensable you are to your team, organization and even clients. I take pride in the fact that I am able to build a team that can deliver when I take a backseat and even in crunch situations. That for me is truly the success of a leader who has paved the way for others.” Ending on a thoughtful note, these words should resonate with students, as they chart their own paths for future success.
A leader he definitely is, as well as an inspiration to students of the institute, which he shares a special bond with. He has kept the bond going with GIM by teaching and sharing his experiences with students. He also holds the bittersweet memories close to his heart; right from giving his ties and tying knots for fellow students during placement interviews to the loss of his best friend and classmate Mark Fernandes at the end of the first year. He says emotionally, “I don’t think I have recovered from that loss. But, those two years of my life are memorable, right from my summer training where I learned to compete ethically without giving an inch to everyday learning in class. GIM helped me recognize my true potential and express it to the world.”
Mr. Das also talks about the impact of the six faculty members responsible for what he has achieved in his career. They not only helped him learn and gain insight into the corporate world, but they built his self-confidence as well. Surprisingly, he also mentions his juniors and how they helped shape his academic success. He reminisces on his experiences with them, saying, “About 10 of our batch mates were asked to discontinue the program after the first year because of bad grades. It affected me emotionally and I decided never to let that happen to any students if I got the opportunity. In the 2nd year, I couldn’t give much time to studies because of my commitment to Goa cricket; but still, when a group of juniors asked me to help them with their studies, I just took it as a challenge. In hindsight, I think helping them with the base courses of their first year helped me immensely in improving my communication and also my grades.”