The 39th convocation ceremony at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) on Wednesday had toppers from a wide spectrum of age and social groups.
Rithesh Agarwal, who pursued the postgraduate programme in Management (PGP), was topper in his class of 382 students and was also adjudged the best in all-round performance.
An engineering graduate from IIT Bombay, Rithesh said his stint at IIMB helped him in juggling academics with extracurricular activities with ease.
“I was working in ITC, Kolkata, but I knew I had to catch a faster growth trajectory. I will join Boston Consulting Group where I got a pre-placement offer during my summer internship,” said Rithesh.
Rajnish Kumar Sinha, aged 50 with 25 years of service as an Indian Railways officer, was the best performing student in the postgraduate programme in Public Policy and Management (PGPPM).
“Coming back to studying after 25 years was difficult at first, but it progressed as a very satisfying experience. I will now be looking at a leadership role back at my job,” said this alumnus of NIT-Allahabad and IIT-Delhi.
The only girl among the toppers, Bhuvana Ramachandran, secured top honours in postgraduate programme in Software Enterprise Management (PGSEM). Prior to joining the IIMB, she worked in various startups and MNCs in the telecom sector. “The faculty at IIMB helped me a lot and I am thankful to them,” said Bhuvana.
Shanmoujaraj Ramalingham, one of the two toppers from the Executive Postgraduate Programme in Management (EPGP) had been deferring his plans to study further after completing BTech.
After working for 11 years for Cognizant, an IT company, he decided to take the plunge. “Despite the exposure abroad during my working years, I wanted to do my studies in IIMB. I will reprise my role in the IT industry, but with a different company in Chennai,” said Shanmoujaraj.
A total of 541 certificates – 70 in PGPSM, 19 in PGPPM, 63 in EPGP and seven in Fellowship Programme in Management (FPM) – were presented on the occasion.
Dr Isher Judge Ahluwalia, chairperson, Board of Governors, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), who was the chief guest on the occasion, highlighted in the convocation address rapid urbanisation needed for faster growth of the economy.
“If we are to experience sustained growth rates of 7 to 8 per cent a year, faster growth of GDP has to come from industry and services. Urban share of GDP is currently estimated at about 63 per cent and is projected to increase to 75 per cent by 2030-31,” said Isher.
She said India has only 31 per cent of its population in urban areas compared with China’s 48 per cent and Brazil’s 87 per cent.“We will need more cities acting as engines of growth providing the economies of agglomeration,” she said.