Namita Garg: An inspiration to all working women. She not just got back to work, but on her own terms and now runs a successful venture….
India is home to more than 4,200 startups, second only to the US. Yet, less than fifteen percent of the total entrepreneurs are women. Despite having the requisite skills and domain knowledge to start a venture, majority of women in India still lack the courage to take the leap on account of several factors such as lack of family support, male dominated business scenario, investment risk, shortage of finances and above all lack of confidence. The CEO Magazine brings forth the inspirational tales of those Indian women took the plunge and decided to follow their dreams. With remarkable efforts, these women have been climbing the ladder of success while making a significant contribution to our society. One of these impressive women is Namita Garg, who has founded MBA Decoder with the mission to guide aspiring MBA candidates carve their way to the top notch B-schools in the world.
Namita started her career in advertising and marketing, working with companies such as Solutions Integrated Marketing Services (Publicis Group), Result McCann (direct marketing division of McCann Ericsson) and FCB Ulka before moving on to the online gambling company, PartyGaming Plc (now part of GVC Holdings). PartyGaming was the world’s largest online gambling company at that time, with famous products such as Starluck Casino and Party Poker and as a part of a team, Namita handled the marketing support for a 3000 plus affiliate channel.
When her second daughter was born after her family’s move to USA, Namita, like most women had to take a year off from work. But this proved to be a life changing opportunity. During this period, her husband was applying for an MBA. Namita got involved in the excruciating application process, probably more than her husband, and helped him get a few admits including one to London Business School. Experiencing the LBS campus life as a partner, she realized the amazing opportunities a top rated business program offers to its students. Having helped a few family and friends secure b-school admits by then, she was convinced she wanted to help more people create better opportunities for themselves and become a part of their growth stories. A friend introduced her to IMS Learning Resources Private Limited, where she worked for three years as MBA admissions consultant.
This tenure not only sharpened her skills but also made her aware of the gaps in the industry. In Namita’s words, “Most Indian admissions consulting companies have a ‘one size fit all’ approach. On the reverse, application writing is an intense and personalized process, where the selection committees want to hear stories that give insights into applicants’ motivations and influences, their strengths and weaknesses, their achievements and failures. Most consulting services have a volume driven business, with no time to go into the depths of a candidate’s story”.
Moving back to India, she knew the rules had to be rewritten but there were doubts in her mind- “Should I go on my own? How will I get business? Why would someone work with me as against working with an established company?” Her intense desire to change the game overruled the doubts and MBA Decoder was born.
Six years later, MBA Decoder has helped hundreds of MBA and MS applicants get into the world’s top business schools, including Wharton, Kellogg, Booth, INSEAD, Oxford, ISB and many more. These successes are the result of a well thought strategy – MBA Decoder looks at the application holistically, paying equal attention to every component- the resume, essays, recommendations and the online application form which has several smaller essay questions. Namita believes every part of the application helps tell the complete story and therefore, cannot be overlooked. Building an application from scratch is a time taking process, so the MBA Decoder team works with only selective clients every year, but they ensure intensive support to each one of them. This translates into unlimited edits and communication with clients, a huge differentiator from other players in this industry.
The results are evident. MBA Decoder has grown due to word-of-mouth publicity, with business increasing by 50% year-on-year. Sharing his experience with us, this is what her client said, “Namita was very realistic with me during the process. She took a detailed approach to help me understand my strengths and weaknesses and helped me frame my story in a way that put me in the best light. Namita is excellent at figuring out the best and putting it in a concise and powerful way. I applied to 5 schools and got interview calls from all of them. I would highly recommend MBA Decoder to MBA applicants.”
Like most working mothers, Namita juggles time between her work and personal life. With her husband also being an entrepreneur, there is never a shortage of excitement at home. “Things do get quite stressful around here,” she quips, “but you just learn to deal with it”. She admits that baking and spending time with her daughters is a big stress buster for her. She finds travelling a great ‘liberator of the mind’. Having lived abroad for several years and travelled extensively, she believes travelling has widened her perspective and this is another key reason why she feels very strongly about Indians going abroad to study.
Her role model is her father who started a school in his small town in Uttar Pradesh, because there were no good schools in the town. Although by profession he runs a successful business, yet due to his passion for the school and for quality education, he has single handedly brought several achievements to the school in the past fifty years, making it the best school in the district.
Namita is following a similar goal- to make MBA Decoder among India’s best known MBA Admissions consulting companies. She has a team of equally committed b-school alums helping her achieve this mission. In her quest, Namita has set an example for every Indian woman who nurtures a passion but lacks the courage, to start her entrepreneurial journey without fearing hurdles.