Our alumnus, Rohan Jain, talks to us about his passion for badminton, his first book release, ~100k LinkedIn and Quora followers, and life lessons learnt.
What are you currently doing?
I am currently working as a management consultant at Boston Consulting Group. Growing up, I had always been curious about learning new things, meeting new people and experiencing new cultures. Management consulting provides me with the opportunity to do exactly that. We help clients across the public and private sector solve real and challenging problems, and that keeps me going.
What challenges did you face when you started your MBA in IIM Ahmedabad?
The MBA curriculum was very different from my curriculum at IITK. I was used to coding and algorithms, but suddenly I was thrown into balance sheets and company strategies. It took a few weeks to get used to the change in mindset – but once I got used to it, I started loving the management curriculum. I had always been interested in helping companies develop their strategies, and going through some of the case studies at IIM Ahmedabad helped me get an insight into the workings of the top management.
Another key change in the methodology was regarding the importance of class participation. Traditionally, I was used to classes where the professor would do most of the speaking. And suddenly, I was subjected to classes where students were supposed to contribute to the classes much more than (or at least equally to) the professors. This again required a shift in the mindset.
Being a Computer Science student at IITK, what inspired you to pursue MBA?
While I enjoyed computer science, and also had excellent grades, I started getting attracted towards management when I first explored some of the management related electives at IITK. I explored that interest further by taking more management electives, and also pursuing an internship at London Business School.
I have always had a curious mind, and I had always wondered why or how companies made certain decisions. My exposure to the case methodology during the management classes at IITK provided me with a glimpse of the life of a senior executive, and I decided to pursue management further.
What motivated you to write your first book "The Promises We Made"?
I have been an active writer on Quora and LinkedIn for the past few years, sharing my life experiences and travelling stories. The love showered by so many readers across social media platforms gave me the courage to write my own novel.
The idea of becoming an author had crossed my mind a few times. I have been a voracious reader right from my childhood days. I love the fact that novels can provide an inroad to the author's mind, taking you to places and introducing you to stories that you might otherwise have never been exposed to.
I ended up putting my heart and soul into the novel, and I'm glad to hear such positive reviews from everyone who has read the novel so far.
What is the role of IITK in shaping your career?
I firmly believe that IIT Kanpur gave me the wings to fly. It turned me from a curious student to a confident young man ready to take on the world and explore new challenges, while still maintaining that inherent curiosity.
IITK shaped my personality at a very crucial stage of my life by exposing me to a highly intellectual peer group and amazing mentors. It also gave me the confidence to venture outside my comfort zone – academically and otherwise.
What are the non-academic activities you were involved in during your MBA program?
While an MBA curriculum is very hectic, I continued with my passion of badminton. I became a part of the Institute badminton team and we used to play every other day. I also participated in several inter-college tournaments as a part of the IIM Ahmedabad team and we won multiple gold medals for the institute.
I also became a part of the Sports Club at IIM Ahmedabad, which helped organize several sport events for the college students.
What are the most important lessons you have learned at IIM Ahmedabad, which set you up for the corporate world?
The ten most important lessons I learned at IIM Ahmedabad, which set me up for the corporate world:
You have ~110K followers on Quora and ~100K followers on LinkedIn. Also, you have a book published which has been featured in the Times of India, Millennium Post and Femina Magazine with raving reviews. Could you tell us what motivates you to work multi-dimensionally?
A few years ago, I had made a promise to myself that I will not live a conventional life. And I have been staying true to that promise ever since. I have a fundamental belief that life has many more dimensions beyond work, and I try to explore those dimensions in my life from all aspects.
I had started writing on Quora a few years back to help students with their queries related to JEE or CAT preparation. To my surprise, I received immense love on the platform. As a result, I started writing much more frequently, sharing my travel experiences, successes, failures and learnings. I also started writing on LinkedIn, and eventually decided to take my writing journey further by publishing my first fiction novel in 2020.
Apart from writing, I am also very passionate about reading, playing badminton and dancing. Taking up activities beyond my comfort zone provides me with an adrenaline rush that keeps me going.
Could you share with us the most memorable moment of your college life at IITK?
My most memorable moments at IIT Kanpur were spent on the badminton Court, especially during the Inter-IIT preparation. I was a part of the badminton team, and we used to wake up early in the morning to practice. Those moments spent playing on the court and hanging out with my team members will always remain etched in my heart as some of my most memorable times.
Apart from that, I also loved the time spent with my computer science batchmates in the CSE building, trying to make sense of algorithms or working through various course projects.
What advice do you want to give to the students of IITK?
My advice to the students of IITK:
IIT Kanpur held Alumni Networking dinner in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia on 15th & 17th March 2023 to foster and strengthen alumni-institute relations. The events were attended by more than 100 alumni and it gave them an opportunity to network and chart out the future roadmap of the institute.
Ms. Sudha Murthy was awarded the prestigious Padma Bhushan by the Government of India in Jan. 2023. She is one of the prominent benefactors of IIT Kanpur.
IIT Kanpur transferred gene therapy technology to Reliance Life Sciences. This will lead to significant advancement in developing treatments for many hereditary eye diseases. It was developed by Prof. Jayandharan Rao & Mr. Shubham Maurya from the Dept. of BSBE.
IIT Kanpur and the University of Alberta, Canada, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards collaborating for a Joint Degree Program (JDP) and be part of a Joint Research Innovation Network. Under the Joint Degree Program, the faculty members from two universities can supervise a PhD student jointly.
Indian National Science Academy (INSA) Kanpur and Lucknow chapters organized a 'Symposium on S20-Aligned Focal Themes: Energy, Health and Society at the institute as a part of G20-S20 outreach activities. The event was attended by various distinguished individuals, including Prof. Ashutosh Sharma, President of INSA and co-Chair of the S20-Engagement Group, and Prof. Madhu Dikshit, Vice-President of INSA.
Abhivyakti 2023, an event to promote innovation and entrepreneurship, was organized and attended by eminent guests from the Industry & Govt including Shri Ajay Hinduja (who joined online), Shri Arun Tiwari, Dr. Ajay Kumar and Shri SivaSubramanian Ramann, Chairman of SIDBI, who shared their valuable insights on the startup ecosystem in the country.
Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur has signed an MoU with Apollo Hospitals for research in the clinical application of Artificialintelligence, Telemedicine, Genomics, and other areas of mutual interest in healthcare technology. The MoU was signed by Prof AR Harish, Dean R&D, IIT Kanpur, and Prof. Ganapathy Krishnan, Director of Apollo Telemedicine, Apollo Hospitals.
The 11th edition of the annual event, "E-SUMMIT," was organized by IIT Kanpur students from 13th-15th January 2023. Shri` B. V. R. Mohan Reddy, our distinguished alumnus, Founder, Chairman & Board Member-Cyient, was the chief guest for the inauguration session. The event hosted many distinguished speakers and panelists like Mr. Rajiv Batra, Founder of Palo Alto Networks; Mr. Sanjiv Rangrass, Independent Director Zetwerk & former Group Head, ITC; Mr. Ravi Purohit, Vice President & India Head at ColorTokens; Mr. Rishabh Jain, Co-Founder & Director, Kataria Ecotech Pvt Ltd, and Ms. Shweta Bajpai, Vertical Head –Finserv, Media, Travel, Meta India. The Summit had competitions, Industrial conclave, startup expo, talks, panel discussions & workshops.
The University of Buffalo, the State University of New York signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the IITK-UB Joint Centre of Excellence in Biomedicine & Bioengineering at IITK.
IIT Kanpur has licensed its innovative technology, the "Haptic smartwatch for the blind and visually impaired," to Ambrane India Pvt. Ltd. for mass production and distribution. This touch-sensitive Haptic smartwatch, developed by Prof. Siddhartha Panda and Mr. Vishwaraj Srivastava (National Centre for Flexible Electronics), overcomes the limitations of conventional watches for the visually impaired.
IIT Kanpur signed an MoU with the Hinduja Group on 04 March 2023. The Hinduja Group will provide mentorship and investment in the startups at the institute, facilitating their growth and expansion on a global level.
was conferred with the prestigious Padma Bhushan 2023 award by the Govt. of India in the field of Science & Engineering. He is a theoretical physicist and a distinguished professor in the Physics department of IISER Pune.
was appointed as the new Chief Secretary of Gujarat. Of 1987 IAS cadre batch, he has also served as Joint Secretary, Dept. of Economic Affairs; principal secretary, Gujarat govt. in food and supplies department. Shri Kumar did his Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur.
joined IIT Kanpur as Distinguished Visiting Professor jointly in the Department of Economic Sciences & Department of Industrial Management & Engineering. He is a former Defense Secretary and Distinguished Alumnus of IITK.
joined Zoom as the Chief Product Officer. She earlier served as Vice President, Project Management with Microsoft teams, and as Director of Google meet, Google Voice, Google Calendar, and Task
got appointed as the next MD & CEO of ICICI Pru Life Insurance. Mr. Bagchi is currently serving as Executive Director of ICICI Bank and will take over in June this year. He has previously served in retail, banking, treasury, investment banking, small-scale industry, payment, and settlement systems, and has over three decades of experience in the financial services industry.
got appointed as the new MD & CEO of Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. Mr. Kritivasan joined the TCS in 1989 and throughout his long career, he has held numerous leadership roles, such as in delivery, relationship management, large-program management, and sales. He received his master's degree in IME from IIT Kanpur in 1987.
was appointed as the MD & CEO of Pramerica Life Insurance. He earlier served at HDFC Life, where he was Group Head – Distribution Strategy & Alliances and was part of HDFC Life’s top Leadership team. He has also held senior leadership roles at Citigroup, ICICI Bank, and TCS.
was appointed as the Leader, Global Financial Institutions Practice at Boston Consulting Group, Mumbai. His expertise lies in banking and financial services and has over 17 years of experience in consulting. He did his bachelor's in Electrical Engineering from IIT Kanpur in 1996 and was awarded the President's Gold Medal.
was named The South Asian Times Person of the Year 2022. He was felicitated by the Consul General of India in New York, Mr. Randhir Jaiswal in Jan. 2023. He is a serial entrepreneur with several successful ventures across software, finance, and real estate. He is the founder of First National Realty Management. He serves as a Board Member of Indo-American Arts Council.
was awarded the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship 2023. He is an Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Computer Sciences at Cornell University. He is a theoretical computer scientist.
was awarded the prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship 2023 is an Assistant Professor in Physics Department at Cornell University. His research focuses primarily on the study of strongly correlated quantum matter, using techniques from quantum field theory and quantum information.
IITK Distinguished Alumna, Prof. Meenakshi Narain passed away on 01 Jan. 2023. She was a prominent high-energy experimentalist and was deeply involved with the CMS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. She did her MSC2 in Physics in 1984 from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
IITK Distinguished Alumnus, Mr. Pawan Kumar passed away in Jan 2023. He did his graduation in Civil Engineering from the institute in 1969. He was an Angel investor, mentor and advisor.
Prof. Avinash K. Agarwal, Dept of Mechanical Engineering, was appointed as Associate Editor of the ASME Open Journal of Engineering.
Prof Yogesh M. Joshi, Department of Chemical Engineering, was elected as a Fellow of the Indian Academy of Sciences (2023).
Prof. Jayant K. Singh was awarded the NASI- Reliance Industries Platinum Jubilee Award 2022, covering both physical and biological sciences. The award is constituted by the National Academy of Sciences, India (NASI) and is given to an individual researcher for application-oriented innovations.
The of Class of 1968 - the Frontier Batch celebrated its 55th reunion from 10-12 March. It was a pleasure to listen to their anecdotes and watch them relive their memories with their friends and families. One of the most enthusiastic classes so far, they actively participated in all the activities with full zest and vigor.
The Class of 1983 celebrated its 40th reunion from 24th-25th Feb. 2023. Attended by more than 30 alumni along with their spouses, it was a great opportunity to reconnect and reminisce about their time on campus. The highlight of the reunion was a trip to Ganga Barrage where our alumni took boat rides and enjoyed the sun set.
The Class of 1978 celebrated its 45th reunion from 17th-20th Feb. 2023. It brought friends together along with their spouses who looked into their past with many shades of emotions and were in awe of the present growth and expansion of the institute.
The class of 1976 celebrated their 45th reunion online due to the Covid-19 pandemic; as part of this year's reunion series, an on-campus event was held to celebrate the same. It was truly an incredible experience to see our beloved alumni come together and reconnect with one another. It was a time to reminisce about old times, catch up on what we've been up to, and share our hopes and dreams for the future.
The Class of 1977 celebrated its 45ht reunion from 20th-22nd Feb. 2023. It was a reunion filled with interesting and funny anecdotes, dance, music, and pure nostalgia. Our alumni along with their spouses got an opportunity to explore the campus and admire its expanse. Some of our alumni also enjoyed the joy ride on gliders.
The Class of 2010 celebrated its 10th reunion from 3-5 Feb. 2023. Attended by more than 60 with their families, alumni enjoyed breakfast in Hall 1 and picnic in the nursery. The Director’s session gave them an opportunity to know the latest development and initiatives of the institute in recent years.
The Class of 1971 celebrated its 50th reunion from 23 -25 Jan. 2023. Alumni attended the reunion with their spouses and had a nostalgic tour of the campus. It gave them an opportunity to rekindle memories and reconnect with their friends. Alumni also had an interactive session with the young students of IIT Kanpur.
The Class of 1982 celebrated its 40th reunion from 13-15 Jan. 2023. The highlight of the reunion was the celebration of Lohri on 14 Jan. Alumni came with their families and rekindled memories with their friends.
The Class of 1987 celebrated its 35th reunion from 6th-8th Jan. 2023. The Class took the campus tour and witnessed the growth of IITK; visit to Rozi Shiksha Kendra highlighted the work done by the rural youth, chat-papdi, gol-guppa were a hit. Prof. Ratnesh Kumar was felicitated as he could not attend the Foundation Day ceremony on 02 Nov. 2022.
The Class of 1997 held its Silver Jubilee reunion from 30th Dec. 2022 - 01 Jan. 2023. More than 70 alumni attended the reunion with their families. It was heartening to witness the camaraderie and friendship of the alumni whose excitement knew no bounds of jubilance on meeting their fellow mates on the turf of their Alma mater. Dancing to the tunes of the latest hit songs, they ushered the New Year with sheer elation and merriment.
Mr. Rajiv Batra (BT/EE/1982) generously contributed Rs. 2.25 Cr. towards instituting a Faculty Chair, new Faculty Fellowship, and Student Award, all in the domain of Cyber Security.
Foundation Stone laying ceremony of the Gym Expansion and Upgrade was held on 18th Feb. 2023 by the Class of 1970 and Prof. Abhay Karandikar, Director, IITK. This initiative was undertaken by the Class of 1970 that raised more than 1 cr. to provide state-of-the-art gym equipment and other gym related facilities.
IIT Kanpur hosted the 57th edition of its extravagant cultural festival, Antaragni from 16th-19th March 2023. The iconic festival of the institute featured various activities, including traditional dance performances, music, art, culture, and food stalls, inspirational talks, and exhilarating musical and cultural performances by national and international artists.
Homepage photo credits: Girish Pant, Himadary Roy,Shubhan R.