One on One – The interview


In conversation with Disha Chhabra, author of My Beloved’s MBA Plans  – a book based on her experiences at the One year full time MBA at IIM C (PGPEX)


Disha Chhabra – Author of My Beloved’s MBA plans – So what is the book all about?

My Beloved’s MBA Plans is a collection of engaging stories with a common thread running through all of them – How much are you willing to give to fulfill your MBA dream? Will you be willing to give up a cushy job and start from scratch? Will you be willing to stay apart from your spouse? Will you be willing to uproot your family from a well-settled life?

The book throws light into dilemmas people face when they decide to take an unconventional decision in life. In the end, some make it some don’t. But the common thread behind all those who do is the support, love and trust of their loved ones, be it their parents or spouses or even kids. – How did the book come about? Most management gurus prefer to stick to writing lofty vision statements and business plans.

Well a few months into IIM C a lot of prospective applicants wrote to me with their queries. Many were facing similar dilemmas in their lives. A random conversation over dinner got me thinking – a person had just explained the concept of balance sheet to his wife over phone (she had been studying at IIM-Ahmedabad).

Instantly, I decided to write a book capturing the experiences of real people during one year programs. I knew my book would have no mushy mushy romances but the real truth. Over the next couple of months, I interviewed couples across elite Indian business schools, captured their experiences in the form of short stories and compiled them all together and My Beloved’s MBA Plans came into being.

Cover-Front 3 – So does the book capture other people’s and your own experiences or is it complete fiction?

Well certainly insights garnered on campus find a place in the book – many of the experiences are first hand. However the book is based on fictional characters. It follows the journey of a bunch of students who have stepped into the One year MBA (PGPEX) class at IIM C. For instance there is Vivek whose MBA course turns out to be quite an adventurous journey for his wife Divya and their two kids. For Arpita, it is a second chance at love. Payal and Nitin make the campus their home while Geet faces a tragic loss. These are just a few stories from this colorful collection set against the backdrop of life on campus and aspirations for an MBA degree. – How did you decide on a One year MBA?

It had been two years since I had been longing to do my MBA. Something or the other always made me procrastinate my decision. Honestly speaking, the inertia of a salary coming in my bank account every month was the biggest impediment in my path. It was thus after a lot of deliberations and thought processes that I decided I would finally go for it.  That the course was of one year duration was a huge part of the decision. – How did it feel to pursue an MBA after being away from education for so many years ? Most people in India complete their studies in one go.

It was April 2012 when I arrived on campus. It was only after having met my batch mates that I realized I was not the only one who was having butterflies in my stomach. Everyone around me had put a lot at stake. Leaving a well settled job was easier for nobody. It was a question of long term versus short term, though.

Personally, it was not that easy for thirty somethings to be sitting in classrooms, staying awake at night and writing exams. While abroad in Europe and USA, an MBA is pursued by people at a similar stage in their life, we in India are new to the concept.

Emotionally too, many had left their spouses, kids behind: not an easy situation to be in. For those who had got their families around, settling down in a small one room accommodation with kids was easier said than done.

But beyond all these complications, there was a will; a will to go beyond the ordinary, a will to succeed, a will to fulfill one’s career aspirations. It was this determination and mental toughness that had got us here. It was this will and determination which would take us through.

The book is on sale at  Amazon: My Beloveds MBA Plans : Crossroads of Love and Ambitions


  1. Disha kudos for writing this book. I think this will go a long way in bringing aspirants closer to life inside a one year MBA at the top b-schools in the country. Will we see a part 2?

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