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Friday, 30 January 2009

Sanjay Agarwala remembers...

I was one of the lucky few who had the opportunity of being taught by Prof Bhandari in the 1982-84 batch of the PGP.

In addition to the regular course, I applied to do a Project course with him. Of the many applicants, again I was one of the 7 chosen to work under his guidance.

Right at the beginning of the session for the 7 of us, he asked what most students are most keen about…what grade do you want. All of us sheepishly said that we want an A. He smiled and said, "Ok, you all get an A. Unless you do things that force me to change this grade, you all can forget about the grade for this course. Now, can we focus on doing some real work?"

Under his guidance, Rajesh Mehta and I created a business plan for Garment Exports. It was very interesting to note that shortly thereafter, the Garment Export business boomed. His guidance was simple, pithy, and made us get out of the usual student psyche and look at the real world. Throughout the course he said that he is available to us for as long as we want, provided we had something sensible to discuss. This last bit, of demanding a 'sensible' discussion made us go over our thoughts over and over again before we asked for his time. And I must confess, that every time we met him, we came away exhilarated with the new direction he could give to our work.

I will forever be grateful for his guidance, and cherish the time we could spend with Prof Bhandari.

* Sanjay Agarwala was a student of LRB in 1982-84 and is currently the CEO of Eastern Software Systems Pvt. Ltd.

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