On Campus

IIM-A graduate opts out of placements, plunges into politics

Vinay Kamath Chennai | Updated on January 24, 2018

G. Ramachandran

G. Ramachandran of 2015 batch will continue his work with AIADMK in Coimbatore

When top corporates of the country were signing on graduates of the country’s top B-school, IIM-A, for plum jobs, G. Ramachandran chose to opt out of the placement process entirely. A student of the 2013-15 batch, which has just passed out, Ramachandran is instead plunging into a career in politics.

A member of the student wing of the AIADMK even before he was selected for the two-year post graduate programme in management at IIM-A, Ramachandran is headed to Coimbatore, where he hails from, to carry on his political work. “My goal and ambition has always been to contribute to society and create an impact on lives of people. I decided to do this by choosing politics as a career path. It excites me that I will be able to leverage my management education. I learnt and worked with some of the best minds in the country,” he says.

Ramachandran, who graduated from the PSG College of Engineering in electronics and communication, worked for a start-up firm in Coimbatore before cracking the CAT and was selected to the elite institution. Nation building and being in the public sphere attracts him more than a plum job offer.

“I am not saying money is not important; it is to sustain and enjoy life but beyond that it cannot buy me the happiness that I can get when I do things I am passionate about,” he says. He will be operating a canteen for an engineering college which will take care of his needs.

So, how will a B school education help in politics? Put this question to Ramachandran and he says, “I have not only gained a business perspective but also other perspectives on administration, public policy and governance. Since I had joined this programme with the view to becoming a politician, I have been careful in my choice of courses and electives.”

Most of the IIM-A graduates, he believes, will be the change makers of tomorrow. “Having been part of this system, I have learnt from both sections: my teachers and my peers. I take with me valuable knowledge and insights and most importantly networks,” he adds.

A B-school education also prepared him with a structured thinking approach while solving a problem. “It taught me to manage my time effectively and prioritise things when there are too many issues to address,” he explains.

Ramachandran doesn’t feel that he will lose his way in a large party like the AIADMK, of which his late father too was a member of.  “I don’t think I will get lost in the party, rather I feel the party will encourage young people like me and give challenging problems to solve, great opportunities to work with where I can use my skills and past experience,” he says.

This young MBA graduate also expects to leverage his skills in other ways.   Currently, he says, the prominent politicians in most of the national and regional parties tend to be from a law background or a political science / economics background. It’s also true globally. “Seldom do we see an MBA from a top B- school enter politics. Many students actually shun politics. Having seen such students and interacted with them, I think I have a clue as to why that might be the case. This perspective will definitely help me navigate my political career in a complex political sphere as well as fix some problems in it,” he explains.

Ramachandran says he would seek to bring his peers who studied along with him at IIM-A and alumni to solve problems related to society and as well create systems which will improve the quality of life for people. “Many of them will be interested in contributing to society but not work full-time directly as a politician. I would like to be the connector between them and some public issues which they can help fix. I feel there should be more such bridges for the people who want to contribute,” he elaborates. Ramachandran may be the first to opt out of placements at IIM to plunge into politics, but IIM-A also boasts of alumni in politics, the politician from Sikkim, PD Rai, (1978 batch) who is also an IIT Kanpur graduate to boot.

Published on March 23, 2015

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