If you want to do an MBA and have the opportunity (and the means) to do one at INSEAD – I have three simple words for you: Just Do It.
Vidyuth Anand

Vidyuth Anand

Nationality/Passport: Indian Year of graduation: 2021 Current Role: EMEA Supply Chain Development Manager at Nike

Tell us about yourself, and how you got to where you are today both on a professional and personal level?

I am a Development Manager in the supply chain Strategic Capability Build team at Nike's EMEA HQ in the Netherlands. I previously worked as an operations consultant focusing on digital transformation project management for supply chain tools, with diverse clients based in the US, India and APAC regions.

I hold a Master of Science degree in Industrial Engineering from Penn State in the US, and an MBA from INSEAD.

During my work and education, I have aided non-profits around the world in improving their operations, and while in India I also taught academics and coached underprivileged students in athletics.

Beyond work, I religiously watch the NBA and have been a recent convert to F1 (I live in Verstappen country after all). I play tennis, and only now discovered the wonders of padel. I’m a massive trivia buff, and a simp for HBO shows (I go to sleep and my dreams are set to the tune of the Succession and White Lotus theme songs).

What made you decide you wanted to pursue the INSEAD MBA, and why INSEAD in particular? 

I wanted to broaden my opportunities beyond the IT industry, and be involved in building strategy for companies. Of course, it’s not a requirement to have an MBA to do this, but I decided to apply to INSEAD to get the requisite business skills to complement my own vision.

INSEAD was the first ever b-school I’d learnt about.

I was probably nine or ten years old when a cousin left India for the forest of Fontainebleau to do an MBA. Back then I’d had no idea about what INSEAD was, let alone what an MBA was, but it had always been part of my consciousness since.

When I ultimately decided to do an MBA, INSEAD was the only b-school that I considered (and the only one that I applied to), because I was at that age of my life where I wanted to do a one-year programme – and what better place to do that than the best business school in the world (of course I’m a bit biased 😉).

I applied in R1 for the 21'D intake to maximise my chances of getting in. COVID hit at exactly the time that I was applying and threw jobs and lives in jeopardy, further strengthening my decision to apply to b-school to better prepare myself in navigating uncertain waters.

Which campus(es) have you experienced, and can you tell us more about any similarities or differences?

Due to COVID travel related risks I ended up being a Fonty lifer. And I loved every minute of it.

Are you a scholarship recipient? If so, could you tell us which scholarship you received and how you prepared for the application?

During my INSEAD summer, I was selected for a prestigious fellowship programme at TechnoServe, a global non-profit which develops business solutions to reduce poverty.

In my capacity as a Fellow, I consulted with the Campus to Technical Careers team in India to improve placement rates in engineering jobs for low-income college graduates, and received the INSEAD Social Impact Award for “pursuing a summer internship aligned with INSEAD's mission of making a positive difference in the world”.

Did you have any expectations before you started the MBA, and did you speak to any alumni before joining the programme?

I’d had conversations with multiple alums about their INSEAD experience (most of them advising me to “choose two out of three from studying, socialising, or sleep” 😉).

I did not expect the MBA to be “life-changing”. I thought it would be a great way to network and to learn more diverse points of view from the 70-80 nationalities that make up an INSEAD cohort, giving me a truly global perspective.

This was indeed true, but my MBA experience was also transformative, giving me the right knowledge and skillset that enabled me to further my career.

INSEAD also gave me a lot of opportunities to be a leader and I took on multiple positions, including being the Co-Chair of the Robin Hood Scholarship Campaign, and being a VP for INDEVOR, the social impact club. This also allowed me to establish myself within the community, which was another piece of advice that I received from alums, and for which I am very grateful as it made me step out of my comfort zone multiple times.

Could you tell us about your experience with the Career Development Centre (CDC)?

The CDC was a strong enabler for me to understand where I fit in the grand scheme of recruiting, especially considering the bias toward consulting companies.

I credit the team – especially Viet and my career coach Pierre - for helping me streamline my job search strategy from “throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks” to focusing my efforts into companies that matter.

Has the INSEAD MBA helped you in your career?

I established a very strong network and made friends for life with people I spent one year with. I actually got my job at Nike through my network at INSEAD. If that isn’t a testament to the value of an MBA, I don’t know what is!

Has the experience helped you remain relevant after graduation?

I learnt a lot during my MBA about organisational dynamics, especially in a giant of an organisation such as Nike. I highly value the organisational courses I took, and view the Organisational Behaviour, Negotiations, and Psychological Issues in Management courses very fondly.

My Data Science, Global Strategy, Managing Customer Value, and Supply Chain courses also helped me think about the usage of data to glean the right insights especially in a retail environment – something I constantly use on the job today.

What advice will you give to prospects who are still considering whether an INSEAD MBA should be part of their career plan?

If you want to do an MBA and have the opportunity (and the means) to do one at INSEAD – I have three simple words for you: Just Do It.

Yes, I’m aware of the irony of that statement given where I work, but when it comes to INSEAD, there honestly is no better advice. It is a fantastic experience, and one that you will cherish throughout your life. And note that this is coming from someone who went through it in a COVID year – I can only imagine how much better everything is now.  

I’m always open to being contacted for more info – feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn.