Aamil wants more spices in life. He studied mechatronics, tried headhunting and coached youth in Ukraine. As a hardcore AIESECer, he feels connected to IE since both share values of diversity and social responsibility. Now a new student of the Master in Management, he aspires to advise business to deliver both success and happiness! Aamil enjoys relaxing Madrid, though he misses his bustling Delhi. At night, a Hindi song always cuddles his heart and makes him feel at home.

By Wang Lin

imageLin:What did you do before coming to IE?

Aamil: I studied mechatronics in India. Though I enjoyed applying engineering knowledge to design smart devices, I was eager to explore beyond engineering. Becoming an engineer In India is a comfortable but conventional path. But I want more masala (spices) in life! Thus I tried headhunting. Working as a headhunter gave me the thrill to meet people from different functions and sectors.

“I noticed that family business in India is like a plant growing in a small pot. The structure is simple, cost effective yet limited. How to take such plant to grow out of pot and realize global aspirations? I am keen to find out the answer through the Master in Management.”

Lin: What is a good business for you?

Aamil: A good business is an efficient process, proud employees and happy customers. Mumbai Dabbawala, the lunchbox delivery business is one amazing example. In Mumbai, many people live in the suburbs but work in the center. They prefer home-cooked lunch for better taste and hygiene. Hence dabbawala (man who carries the box) started delivering lunchboxes from homes to offices in 1890.

The business continues to grow over the century. Now 5000 dabbawalas deliver 200,000 lunchboxes every day, using local trains, bicycles and manpower. With an effective coding system, the semi-literate dabbawalas deliver the right lunchbox to the right destination in the densely populated Mumbai (one mistake in six million deliveries). Workers are happy to enjoy lunch, freshly-made and delivered on time, with a little fee. Dabbawalas are respected for their work and proud to share their experience at top Indian business schools.

Lin: Why do you prefer IE over other business schools?

Aamil: I discovered IE through AIESEC. Both share values of diversity and social responsibility. There is even an IE Social Responsibility Forum in November! As a hardcore AIESECer, I feel connected to IE. Moreover, we Indians love rankings and IE fares well in such “weather reports”!

IE Master in Management is more practical with case studies, business competitions and consulting projects. In other business schools, we may study the recipe but not do the real cooking.

The entrepreneurship spirit of IE also draws me here. Often business seeks firefighters when there is a fire. How to think big and plan ahead? I aspire to master management consulting and start my own firm one day. I believe IE will empower me through its guidance and resources.

Lin: What is one awesome moment in your life?

Aamil: In 2009 winter I went to Ukraine for a youth project. With a team of five nationalities, we ran sessions at local schools to help youth envision new possibilities and clarify goals in life. We shared our knowledge and experiences as ingredients and hopefully our soup for the soul turned out to be nutritious.

“A magic happened one night after a long day at school. Hungry and exhausted, I was huddling in a food corner and staring blankly outside. Out of nowhere, a familiar rhythm flowed to my ear. It was an Indian song aired on the Ukraine radio! Gently the song cuddled my heart and I felt at home.”

Lin: This time you venture further to IE. How do you feel?

Aamil: When I was packing for Madrid, my parents were both happy and sad. Their little bird was going to leave the comfortable nest and fly half across the globe. Why not stay in hometown and live like everybody else? I feel everyone who came to IE shares a burning desire to explore and discover.

Lin: Now you are in Madrid. How is it different from Delhi?

Aamil: I love strolling around Madrid and feeling the fresh breeze. In Delhi, I would probably blow horn in the traffic. But you can never get bored in Delhi, because there is always something happening. From exotic markets, to vibrant crowds and the tempting smell of tandoori kebabs, Delhi is a feast to your senses. I love roaming around Delhi with camera and capturing subtle humor on the streets.

Lin: That’s interesting. How do we know more about India?

Aamil: Watch the “I am Indian” talk by Rajiv Satyal, an engineer-turned-comedian. He shares his passion for the nation with great wit. ”Our food is hot. Our country is hot. Our women are hot. Our men are lucky?” I laughed so much.

“We are feelers. We gave the world the romance of Bollywood films. We are thinkers. We are great at math because we invented numbers. We are doctors, engineers and techies. We are huge and efficient – India is all on one time zone. That way, everybody is still late – but at the same time. The motherland is magical and mystical. No matter who you are, you can find yourself here – in Incredible India.” (Credit: Rajiv Satyal)

Lin: How is your IE experience so far?

Aamil: On the Emirates flight to Madrid, one ad caught my attention: when is the last time that you did something for the first time? Here everything is a first time for me, from sharing a flat with people from different countries, to laughing with new friends in the potluck party and feeling inspired at the opening ceremony.

“I remember Dean Boehm’s remarks that next one year will be a roller-coaster ride. After the first week of class, I feel overwhelmed, thrilled, motivated and absolutely blessed to be here! The amazing diversity, vibrant energy and unlimited possibilities make IE the ride of a lifetime! Hopefully beautiful surprises will embrace us in the sky.”