A Real-World Executive Education for Real-World Leaders and Executives


  Sandeep Saini, currently Vice President of Sales at HCL Technologies and EMBA Class of 2022 candidate based in Frankfurt, Germany, is an ex...


Sandeep Saini, currently Vice President of Sales at HCL Technologies and EMBA Class of 2022 candidate based in Frankfurt, Germany, is an executive with over 25 years of international experience under his belt. His skills in digital transformation, high-performance team setup, relationship management, and global business development have made him a key player in organizations like Tata Consultancy Services, Microsoft, Infosys and now HCL technologies, where he is in a leadership position. Thanks to pandemic-induced lifestyle and schedule shifts (i.e. much less business travel and more online media mastery), Sandeep was finally able to make time for an executive program.

He selected the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA and we spoke with him to learn more about what led to his decision and how he feels about his experience in the program.


What criteria and factors did you take into consideration before pursuing the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA?

Sandeep: I was looking for a part-time executive program in Europe, something with flexibility and relevant coursework. For me, the reputation of the program was important, as was its global ranking. The joint ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA has great international clout and the partnership between the two highly-reputed institutions means a doubly valuable curriculum, especially when it comes to management, leadership and entrepreneurship. Even with the resources and reputation of two strong European institutions, the program was still affordable. Furthermore, the program’s education counsellors were incredibly helpful, providing me with all the information I needed to be able to make the decision and deal with the practical aspects of the application.


Tell us about your work experience prior to the program?

Sandeep:There have been multiple brilliant experiences in terms of what I’ve learned about management and entrepreneurship but I would start with the Finance modules – and yes, the fact that the program is modular was very appealing. These Finance modules were absolutely invaluable in closing the gaps in my knowledge when it comes to the ins and outs of global finance. The sessions and case studies were extremely enlightening, and it’s not an exaggeration to say that my perception of the world around me changed thanks to these courses.

Another aspect of the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA that I would highlight are the Innovation and Entrepreneurship modules. As participants, we took on the roles of venture capitalists, working on the valuation of an existing business, with real-world entrepreneurs by our side. It was real hands-on learning and amazing exposure to entrepreneurship.

A final feature of the program that I’d like to mention is the included leadership coaching. As participants, we are offered one-on-one sessions with amazing coaches who help us track our progress throughout the journey and I’m so grateful for these deep and meaningful discussions.


How has the EMBA program helped you in your career?

Sandeep: Overall, the program has made me a better person and better suited to my leadership position. I was already on a high-growth career path and the program has enabled me to be recognized as one of the key leaders in my organization. Since joining as a participant, my responsibilities have increased, my team size has doubled and I am in line for my second promotion in two years.

The realization of what you are really doing at work is critical and my last review highlight was when I clearly articulated that my real role was to create a “High Performance Team.” This was a considerable deviation from the sales and business-driven KPIs that I had normally been aligned with and I would not have come to this realization without the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA.


How does the program reflect the latest trends and challenges in global business today?

Sandeep: Our world is changing rapidly. Key trends like sustainability, or what we call Planet, People & Profits, are important. Digital technology-driven innovations like the platform economy, telecom innovations, social media, e-commerce, etc., are increasingly a part of our everyday lives. As a professional, it’s important to understand the new value chains. The ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA addresses these trends and challenges very well, bringing in true experts in management, leadership and entrepreneurship. While the teachers bring extensive real-world experience and brilliant academic articulation, the program participants bring their own set of diverse experiences and perspectives, making for a winning combination.


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