Nakul Ruparel

Nakul Ruparel

Nakul Ruparel

Nationality: Indian
Programme: Full-time MBA, 2016
Pre-MBA: Senior Manager, Xerox, Mumbai, India
Post-MBA: CEO/Director, JMM Travel & Tour Co., Mumbai, India
Current industry: Hospitality / Tourism
Transitions made: Function, Industry

Why did you decide to do an MBA?

Prior to the MBA, I was heading up service delivery for some of Xerox India’s largest accounts and was responsible for covering 2,000 locations across India with a team of 75. I was also running a consulting business, providing advisory services and project financing for real estate ventures in Mumbai. I wanted to progress my career and break into different markets, and thought an MBA would help broaden my knowledge. At the time, I had close to a decade of diverse experience and my intention was to use the MBA to unlearn much of what I knew, before learning the new.

Having chosen London for my MBA, I applied and was accepted at two different business schools. However, I was looking for an MBA that married the theoretical and practical. After consulting with my network, Cass Business School was the most recommended.

I had very clear expectations that whatever we learnt in the classroom had to have real-world applicability. Cass did a wonderful job of delivering just that through consulting projects and industry interactions.

What were the highlights of the programme?

The highlights for me were the international elective in Israel and Palestine, followed closely by the International Consulting Week in Iceland. The leadership expedition to climb Mt. Eyjafjallajökull, was a thrilling way to cap off our visit.

Israel and Palestine presented the opportunity to experience possibly the most vibrant startup ecosystem in the world. Particularly the interactions we had with the multiple incubators we visited.

The Careers Team was the caffeine that kept us going. Despite my extensive background, it was mostly in India, a single market and one economy. So, to break into different markets was a challenge for me. The Careers Team came to the rescue and did a fantastic job helping me navigate that challenge.

Part of the MBA experience was to restructure our approach to career development. I particularly enjoyed the Negotiation Skills and the Advanced Presentation Skills workshops and these are the ones I have used most frequently in my career so far.

How has the programme impacted your career?

After graduation, I had the confidence and knowledge I needed to switch into a different industry. The first assignment I took was as Vice President of Fundraising for Give India, because of the courage I got from Cass. Then, having had the chance to make a difference, I gravitated towards the travel sector.

I took over as CEO/Director at JMM Travel & Tour Co. Mumbai, an established organisation of over 30 years, serving more than 25,000 travellers annually. Here, I am leading the organisation on its digital transformation journey and to build new products for the travel domain.

Meanwhile, I am driven to start a non-profit operation alongside this. Thanks to my Cass training, I’ve not only made several transitions post-MBA, I feel confident that I can do everything I set out to achieve.