Student Profile 1 – "Bops/Bopi"

Change does not necessarily assure progress, but progress implacably requires change. Education is essential to change, for education creates both new wants and ability to satisfy them.

I was with the Indian Navy for the last 21 years as a commissioned officer. The time I spent in the Navy was extremely fulfilling; having got an opportunity to work in many diverse kinds of roles. The Indian Navy is a true microcosm of India having people from all over the country and distinctions based on state, colour, creed , caste etc. never are significant.

The kind of roles that I played in the Navy ranged from training cadets to managing an unionized work force to designing warships. However the true essence of being in the Navy is to be at sea. The days spent at sea are what make the Naval experience so memorable. Sailing in the Malacca Straits (almost like an expressway in terms of traffic) , climbing up on the mast on a dark night to rectify a defect with the ship rolling and pitching, spending a day on US Naval tanker, trying to get the boat started and repeatedly failing are events which will always stay fresh in my mind.

However the most significant and life changing event in the Navy was meeting my would be wife in the salubrious climate of Lonavala. While I was posted there, Vijaya joined the unit (with a bit of an attitude) being from the first batch of women officers inducted into the Indian Armed Forces. But then a place like Lonavala does strange things to people, and today she is here with me as I embark on my second voyage.

Although the quality of life, the camaraderie, the security and the sense of belongingness were overpowering, I still decided to step out and try my hand at something different. I was partly pushed into this decision by my wife who having been in corporate world since the last four years thinks that one must experience both the worlds. Once the decision was taken, I thought it would be a good idea to get a better perspective of a business setup before making the shift. I believe a formal understanding of functions such as economics, finance etc will equip me to hit the ground running when I join an organization in the Civvy Street. What better way to do it than join a premier management institute like the Indian Institute of Management.

The five months so far in EPGP have been worth the time and the monetary investment. The two most amazing aspects of this phase have been the faculty and the diversity in the class. Such an enriching experience – one needs to experience it to believe it.

NC Bopanna
Indian Navy ( Retd as Commander)
21 years work experience
BE (Electronics & Communication)
Presently at IIM B ( EPGP 2010 – 2011 )

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