Interview with Gaurav Gulati

Gaurav Gulati

 

Class of 2003

 

Currently employed with UnitedHealth Group, Singapore

 

Gaurav Gulati had a clear career path already mapped out when he joined Infinity. This enterprising individual has left no stone unturned to achieve what he set out to.

 

Designation: Director - Total Rewards, Asia Pacific

 

Campus Placement: Hewitt Associates

 

 

Career Path:

Hewitt Associates Project Lead 2003-04
Intel Consultant 2004-07
Symantec Sr. Manager 2007-09
UnitedHealth Group Director 2009-Present

 

Life Quote: “The heights by great men reached and kept, were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.”

 

Q: Why don’t you give a little bit of background about your career history till now?

Gaurav: I had some experience before I joined Infinity of about 2 years with India Today as a Customer Service Executive for about a year and then as an Analyst with Hewitt Associates. I went back to Hewitt Associates after Infinity as a Project Lead for the India Measurement Centre where I continued to work for about a year and a half. Thereafter I worked with Intel as a Compensation & Benefits Consultant for the India operations and then moved on to a Regional role covering 14 countries across Asia Pacific. After 2.5 years with Intel, I joined Symantec as the Regional Compensation & Benefits Manager for APAC. This is when I moved to Singapore as well and was based there for the next 2 years. I am currently with UnitedHealth Group as their Director – Total Rewards, APAC and am close to completing 3 years here.

 

Q: Eight years back when you entered the corporate world we were in a boom period. The economic landscape is very different today. What lessons did you learn from that success, that are still applicable today?

Gaurav: Its important to be good at what you do and make sure you are always committed and willing to put in your best and if one can manage that, the economic landscape wouldn’t really matter…there are always going to be opportunities and companies would always be looking for talent even in times of recession…you just need to make sure that what you have accomplished leaves a trail which ensures these companies can then find you easily Smile

 

Q: How did your Infinity experience prepare you for your career?

Gaurav: The more practical aspects of the course which helped us think on our feet, evaluate situations fast and make the most of the resources at hand were key to how my career has evolved. The faculty didn’t just concentrate on drilling the concepts into us but also made sure we learnt to apply them to situations. All institutes cover the curriculum and the subjects but Infinity goes beyond and makes sure there is enough time spent on developing the individual as well…his/her personality, attitude, strategic thinking etc. which goes a long way…

 

Q: What would you say to someone who is thinking about pursuing an MBA program at Infinity?

Gaurav: Don’t expect the run of the mill, predominantly theory based mode of teaching…Infinity has the appropriate balance to ensure your basic concepts are covered and then push you to develop as an individual who will be ready to take on challenges at work to be able to succeed. You can expect the best faculty to test you and prepare you well for your career ahead. PEP, mentoring, practical real life business cases are just some of the tools that will be used to get you thinking and develop the ability to tackle any situation in a thought through efficient manner.

 

Q: Can you share some fond memories of Infinity or any particular incident?

Gaurav: There were thousands of great memories of Infinity which included all of the great friendships that have lasted till date. One in particular was the effort and excitement of coming up with a business venture and actually putting the business plan in action and running the same for a period of time and then evaluating its success. This was a project which was part of the New Venture Planning course. Our group came up with the idea of procuring/manufacturing diyas and selling them because this was around Diwali time. Actually experiencing the challenges of running a business was amazing and gave us a first hand account of how to manage issues and celebrate successes. We actually procured the mud diyas from Sarojini Nagar after negotiating big time with the diya makers and also had to go and buy glass diyas from Chandni Chowk which we then filled with wax and built our own colourful, good looking diyas…All of our goods then had to be priced appropriately and then sold through a stall on campus…we ended up as the best group with the highest gross margins.