First Day of (B) School: Abhishek Bhandari
Today marks the first day of the Fall Quarter and we’re thrilled to welcome returning and incoming students back to campus. In this series, we’re introducing members of the newest class as they share with us a little about their background, why they came to Kellogg and what they’re looking forward to this quarter.
Abhishek Bhandari (1Y 2022) answers our questions!
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m Abhi, and I took the scenic route to get here. I’m a mechanical engineer, and after undergrad, I worked at India’s biggest vehicle company, Tata. I then did a business master’s in India and have been in CPG sales and marketing for the last eight years. I’m a passionate salesman who loves jumping into negotiations, but most of all, I enjoy learning new stuff. I’m a trivia nut and spend most of my time down Wikipedia and Reddit rabbit holes.
What’s a fun fact about yourself?
During the pandemic, I took the time I saved from my commute to get on a project I was really excited about — teaching myself Spanish! I had done the typical stuff of playing around with apps to learn a bit, but during the pandemic, stuck at home, I realized my drive to the office in Mumbai was exactly post-working hours in Colombia, so I got on a couple of language exchange apps and made a bunch of friends who helped me speak fluently. My fun fact now is I speak three of the four most spoken languages in the world!
What did you do before coming to Kellogg?
For the last six years, I worked with Colgate in India where I led a super exciting business that was growing at a frenetic pace. I worked with Reliance, India’s biggest retailer to set up Colgate’s omnichannel business with them. I also led a huge new channel often called organized wholesale, which has global giants like Walmart, Amazon and Metro competing with Indian powerhouses like Udaan to sell B2B to India’s eight million strong count of mom-and-pop stores. Setting up this business was the most exciting and fulfilling project of my career.
Why did you decide to come to Kellogg?
Essentially because I really wanted to pivot my career into building the next wave of eCommerce. I saw the pace at which things moved in the tech world while setting up these omnichannel businesses, and I was only at the periphery. I knew the 1Y Program at Kellogg would help me gain the insights and skills to decode the tech world and give me the opportunities to work on the cutting edge of tech going forward.
What are you most excited about in the first quarter?
Right now, just about everything! I arrived here during the summer, and I was just blown away by the incredible amount of diversity we have at Kellogg. The experiences and backgrounds of people are so different that I learn something new practically every day, and I’ve been here three months already. In the fall, I’m excited about all of the experiential opportunities I signed up for (there’s just so many of them), and working on real projects with companies is what I’m looking forward to the most.