Jitendra Ahuja

Jitendra Ahuja

Programme/year: Completing his first year of the Global Executive OneMBA
Nationality: Indian
Job Title: Deal Shaper
Company: Accenture
Age: 40

“Consciously or unconsciously in my work I have begun to look deeper than just what is at face value.”

What exactly does a Deal Shaper do?

I’m part of a strategic team, called Competitive Sales Intelligence, responsible for deals within Benelux. It keeps track of sales intelligence in the market, as well as keeping track of our own deals and provides it to sales teams operating in our region. We also track Accenture’s own deals. I am the main contact person for the region.

What made you decide to do an MBA?

It was not an instant decision to do an MBA, it has been an inclination I have had for a long time.
Even though I'm already a Master's post-graduate in Computer Applications, over a number of years I felt the need to evolve and found the MBA more and more appealing.
I would not have done this if the university was not good quality and once I had found out about RSM, I kept my eye on it. The structure fitted into my life and I kept meeting people who had done the course who impressed me. Finally, with the support of my wife, I decided to take the plunge.

What led you to the RSM Global Executive OneMBA?

As I say, deep down I have always wanted to do an MBA and it became more and more clear that I needed to do this to evolve both personally and professionally.
I didn’t want to do an MBA just for the degree. I wanted something that presented new ways of thinking, showing me the future instead of the past. RSM's OneMBA has delivered this.
You’ve now been on the course for 10 months, what has been the impact been on your work?
The course has not just impacted my work: it has impacted my entire life. I am sure I will continue to feel its benefits for a long time to come.

On work front, the key thing has been that my interpretation of data has improved. The theory we have been given in finance, marketing, accounting and through case studies has provided the perspective to look beyond the data. Consciously or unconsciously in my work I have begun to look deeper than just what is at face value. The balance of the course with work and family life means my time management is becoming more effective and finally, I would say that my ability to work across cultures has improved. Being from India working in the Netherlands, I would say this has always been fairly good but it has certainly improved through working with global teams on the course.

How is the MBA viewed within Accenture?

I think I gave my managers the impression that I undertook the course so that I can continue to evolve.

My managers at Accenture have been very supportive, especially my team. They are aware of the challenges of doing an executive programme whilst maintaining a world-class standard of work.  Many of my colleagues are doing or have done MBAs so it is seen as normal at Accenture.

And how are your colleagues on the course?

I think the best thing is the variety of backgrounds that come together, from a wider field than just IT consulting. We have someone from HR, someone from creative design, someone from the head of manufacturing. We have some people on the course of a very high level that I would not have mixed with otherwise.

It’s great to be in a learning process where you can share the perspectives of people from various lines of work and cultures.

How are the following RSM values shown on the Global Executive OneMBA?

Critical Thinking - To me critical thinking is an awakening of the intellect. The content, structure and procedure of the course mean this occurs right from that start. The articles and books dealt with in the course are all discussed in a critical way. The course enables me to go deeper, beyond what’s easily visible, to bring out the underlying quality .I’m sure this will be very useful for me for the rest of my career.

Innovation - There is a focus on bringing ideas to life. The OneMBA leads by example in the way that it is structured. Most MBAs take place on a Friday and Saturday but this happens over four days every six weeks. It gives you a chance to be completely focused while you are here.
Also the mix of global and local residencies is an innovative concept bringing more richness to the course.

Sustainability - You can’t be sustainable if you don’t innovate so in a certain sense we’re learning about it all the time. In several case studies we look at how companies are responding to corporate social responsibility and on a practical level, we only submit assignments electronically, so we ‘walk the talk’ in that respect.

Spirit - To me, spirit is about supporting your colleagues in the class, respecting others and most of all, encouraging your colleagues.
We all have come here for the same reason – to grow – and I don’t see our associations lasting only for the 21 months of the course, but long into the future.

And what would you say is the best part of the course?

It is difficult to say as we are still in middle of it and each month the programme gets more interesting. Looking back, I am impressed with the structure that enables me to focus on my work when away.

Other than this, the leanings have being tremendous in the discussions across cultures and time zones. I’m happy with the breadth of the curriculum that equips people to be more powerful leaders.