Student Speak: Q&A with Praveen Acharya, XLRI GMP

1. Can you introduce yourself briefly and share your background and what led you to enroll in this program in XLRI Executive General Management Program?

Hi. I am Praveen Acharya, and my professional background is rooted in food technology. Over the past 18 years, I have dedicated my career to the beverage industry.

Presently, I hold the esteemed position of General Manager in Manufacturing, where my responsibilities encompass the comprehensive oversight of factory operations. This includes the domains of production quality, maintenance, logistics, and supply chain management.

My decision to embark on this course stems from the demands of my current role, which entail extensive collaboration with various departments.

This collaboration necessitates a broader and more comprehensive understanding of key areas such as finance, human resources, operations, and supply chain management.

Recognizing the significance of honing my managerial skills, I believe it is imperative to engage with the finest academic institutions in India, and XLRI stands out as a premier choice.

I have chosen XLRI primarily because of its stellar reputation as a leading business school in the country. 

I hold great confidence that the faculty at XLRI will significantly augment my knowledge and exert a positive influence on my career trajectory. Thus, my decision to enroll in this course is firmly rooted in the trust I have in XLRI to be the catalyst for my professional growth.

2. How has your experience been so far as a current student in the program? What are your initial impressions?

Due to my extensive work commitments, I’ve faced challenges in fully participating in all of the classes. Nevertheless, I’ve diligently been reviewing the recorded sessions, and I must say they have been of exceptional quality.

The initial module delves into the intriguing realm of “Leadership Communication,” which is a relatively novel topic for me, despite my prior exposure to courses related to leadership communication and leadership anchors. 

This module is uniquely structured in comparison to others, which has made it particularly engaging. Professors Sunil Sarangi and Rawal Shukla have imparted valuable insights on the subject of leadership communication, making this course a refreshing and enlightening learning experience for me.

3. Could you describe the learning resources or methods that have been particularly helpful to you during your ongoing studies?

The availability of all the modules, along with the preparatory and supplementary materials, on the Accredian dashboard is remarkably convenient. Balancing a demanding professional schedule can be quite a task, but I have been able to carve out time for these articles.

The experience of reading these materials has been genuinely inspiring, and I am confident that they will significantly shape my approach in my career. In particular, the case studies have proven to be exceptionally beneficial.

4. Have you had opportunities to apply what you’ve learned in your coursework to real-life situations or projects? If so, can you provide an example?

The subject of “Leadership Strategic Communication” has been a source of profound enlightenment for me. Before undertaking this course, I had limited knowledge of the intricate techniques employed in strategic communication, which extends far beyond mere manipulation. 

Strategic communication, I’ve learned, is a deliberate and strategic tool that can be applied to navigate various situations effectively, both in one’s professional and personal life.

Professor Rawal Shukla’s insights into the realm of strategic communication were particularly captivating, and this facet of the course has proven to be exceptionally engaging. Furthermore, it has sparked a heightened interest in my exploration of finance and HR.

In leadership positions such as that of a general manager or manager, a robust understanding of finance, HR management, and operations is essential for optimizing an organization’s profitability.

Hence, my choice of this course aligns seamlessly with my aspiration to gain a more comprehensive understanding of these pivotal domains.

5. How do you balance your studies with other commitments, such as work or personal life? Any time management tips for fellow students?

My approach to learning is characterized by its continuity. I have structured a plan that commits three hours every Sunday exclusively to my learning. Furthermore, from Monday to Saturday, I allocate a dedicated one-hour time slot for this course.

Typically, I engage with recorded sessions either in the morning, from 9 am to 10 am, or in the evening, from 5 pm to 6 pm. This designated hour is primarily dedicated to revisiting the lectures, especially when I’ve missed a class, allowing me to efficiently catch up and maintain my progress.

I firmly believe in the necessity of consistent time investment, setting aside one to two hours each day for this course. Such regular commitment is, in my view, fundamental to realizing the full benefits of the program.

6. What kind of support or guidance have you received from instructors or peers as you progress through the program?

What provides me reassurance is the realization that we’ve only completed one month of the course, and there has been substantial interactions and collaborative endeavors with the faculty and peers alike. 

It’s crucial to emphasize the remarkable quality of the faculty, which has dispelled any uncertainties about their profound expertise and unwavering commitment to enriching our learning journey.

In the near term, my objective is to expand my knowledge in general management.

Looking further into the future, I aspire to relocate to India to pursue a more promising professional opportunity. Currently, I find myself residing in Nairobi as my temporary international base.

I anticipate that the XLRI Executive Program in General Management will play a pivotal role in bolstering my prospects when I make my return to India.

8. How do you envision your future in this field once you complete the program? What opportunities or career paths are you considering?

I am undeniably drawn to the prospect of a General Manager role, as it aligns seamlessly with my professional interests. Instead of confining myself solely to my background in food technology or restricting my scope to quality production and R&D, I am committed to unifying and collaborating across diverse departments.

I firmly believe that this broader approach presents a more promising avenue for advancing my career. Hence, I am brimming with enthusiasm as I set out on a journey towards embracing positions in general management.

9. What advice would you give to individuals who are considering joining this program but are still unsure?

I hold the firm belief that the General Management Program is truly outstanding, particularly for individuals in middle management roles who aspire to ascend to positions as managers or general managers.

Furthermore, this program offers significant advantages to individuals like myself who originate from technical backgrounds. While we possess a strong grasp of the technical facets of our operations, such as production, quality, and R&D, the realm of management is a domain where practice is essential, yet we might not fully comprehend the underlying principles. 

Therefore, for those with a desire to propel their careers and aspire to attain the status of general managers, I wholeheartedly endorse the XLRI Executive Program in General Management as an invaluable resource.

1 comment
  1. XLRI executive certificate program is the journey for fresher’s, enterpreneur as well as the work executive to gain knowledge about management and management perceptions for the future managers, enhance challenge in sector as well as government, political,social,Private and global.
    Thanking you and your team.

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