Carlson School of Management, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Pankaj Kumar Resume 


To pursue high quality research in strategy in order to have positive impact on business and, in turn, on society


2011 -Till Date

Ph.D. Candidate, strategic management and organization, Carlson School of Management, US


2005 –2007

M.B.A., finance and economics (First Class with high distinction; awarded scholarship and named valedictorian; CGPA: 3.84/4.0), INCAE Business School, Costa Rica, an AASCB accredited School with historical affiliation to Harvard University


At INCAE, provided consultancy to Mr. Franklin Chang Diaz, a top scientist with NASA, who wanted to incorporate a subsidiary in Costa Rica (Client accepted the proposal)

Also, wrote a case for Kimberly Clark to be used in Negotiations and Strategy classes


Member: Strategic Management Society Interest group: Global Strategy, Stakeholder´s Strategy


1999 –2003

B.E., Electrical Engineering (First Division with Distinction; Converted CGPA 3.86/4), National Institute of Technology, Nagpur, India, one of first Regional Engineering Colleges opened by the Government of India


1996 –1998

Intermediate in Sciences (First Division with Distinction in Mathematics), B.N. College, India




Private consultant, Costa Rica

·    Advised a client to prepare for competition after opening of its sector

·    Advised a client to start a software company

·    Did portfolio-analysis for a client

·    Tutored finance



Chief Financial Officer, Universidad Veritas, Costa Rica, the largest University in Costa Rica offering Architecture, Digital Animation and Cinema

·    Led the departmental team that created the new vision and mission for the University

·    Restructured the company and opened a new subsidiary in Panama

·    Led team responsible for strategic planning, project evaluation, budgeting, and financial analysis



Visiting Professor at Ulacit

·    Taught International Finance courses to groups of diverse students from various countries on a part-time basis



Associate, Mesoamerica Investments, Costa Rica, Formerly Bain Costa Rica, the largest consulting company in Central America

·    Advised the largest player in PVC pipes market to select and acquire a target in South America

·    Advised a major player in steel industry in Central America to sell its business

·    Analyzed Central American insurance, banking and retail sectors for potential business opportunities



Asst. Project Manager (May 04- Jul 05), Senior Engineer (Jul 03- May 04), Larsen & Toubro Limited, India, the largest Construction Company in India with sales of over $7billion

·    Worked at headquarters in the team that prepared ten-year strategic plan

·    Managed a US$30M project leading and coordinating a team of 150 people

·    Did project planning, bid preparation, negotiation with clients and sub-contractors



Languages: English, Spanish and Hindi

Interests: Reading books, watching documentaries and knowing people from different cultures


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I seek to become an influential professor of Strategic Management and Organization and hence, a Carlson Ph.D.

Business strategy is evolving quickly, especially as emerging markets reshape the global economy. These fast-growing markets are large sources of potential revenues, innovation, and competition for established developed-market players. For example, Wal-Mart has pursued a strategy of strengthening its presence in emerging markets such as China, Mexico and Brazil to boost revenues. GE has begun "reverse-innovating" by transferring elements of low-cost medical equipment (e.g., portable scanners) from developing markets to established ones. Furthermore, emerging-market players are becoming viable threats to MNCs, as reflected in recent M&A patterns: this year alone, more than 54 US firms, including Trinity Coal, AmeriSteel and Burger King, sold to emerging-market companies.

These trends, along with my roots in India’s poorest state, motivate me to study and enhance business strategy, especially those of players targeting or within emerging markets.

Academic/professional experience [Resume]

As an electrical-engineering undergraduate at NIT India, I was a top-10 student and intern at steel-player SAIL. Later, with the construction firm Larsen and Toubro, I helped develop strategic plan.

Enthralled by international strategy, I pursued an MBA at Costa Rica-based Harvard-affiliate INCAE, graduating first out of 94 students, with an emphasis in finance and economics. As a student I advised a software start-up and a top NASA scientist forming a Costa Rican subsidiary. A case I wrote on a Kimberly-Clark environmental issue is currently used in INCAE’s strategy track.

Post-MBA, I became an associate with Mesoamerica (formerly Bain Costa Rica), where I analyzed Central America’s largest beverage player’s product portfolio, resolved an acquisition-related boardroom conflict for a steel giant, and helped a PVC player analyze a Brazilian acquisition target. Subsequently, I became the CFO of Costa Rica’s Universidad Veritas, where I helped reformulate its strategy to expand the school to other Latin countries.

Informal Bio

I want this bio to be something that will help to give you a sense of me, of the kind of person I would be if we were sharing coffee, going to lunch or taking a break from working late.

I was born in Patna, Bihar, India, in 1981, and still I am learning to know myself. My first name is Pankaj. As strange as this name may sound, it is a common name in India. Having a “generic” name in a country with almost 1 billion people has some advantages. First, there were so many students named Pankaj in my class that for roll call, I was Pankaj VIII. The VIII has majestic overtones; remember Henry VIII. Further, my name reminds me to persevere. Thanks to the other 808,382 people in India named Pankaj, the number 808382 in my Skype id represents the number of times I might have tried before succeeding in getting a unique id.

I am blessed with a dear family. My Father is a senior official with the Government of Bihar. He is a patient man who has listened to many questions from me. Rather than answering my questions, he would help me to find the answers. As a child I would ask, “Why does a tree stand, but a dog walk?” “Will heat from fires as bright as the sun help plants to grow?” “How do I put my brother’s toys back together?” I asked so many questions that before I started to go to school, I was nicknamed “question mark.” Although my child questions now seem amusing, it is from an awareness of adult questions that I have come to know parts of me and to understand some of life.

I lost my Mother early. For me and for my siblings, the loss of our Mother meant developing self-reliance, self-motivation and self-discipline. I have a supportive elder sister, who earned an MBA and works in the area of human resource management, and I have a younger brother who is a physician. My Grandfather was an inspiration to us all -- always working, always learning and always teaching.

My wife Vasundhara and I lived in Costa Rica for six years. We moved from India to Costa Rica in the first year of our marriage, pursing an adventure of discovery as partners. Our adventure in sharing life is a joint venture. Vasundhara works as a senior software developer. Socrates said, “By all means marry; if you get a good wife, you'll be happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.” Fortunately, my marriage does not confirm this observation by Socrates. I am happy to have the best “good wife” and, with her encouragement, I am able to study for a Doctor of “Philosophy” degree.

Other than work, I am an avid reader. My taste varies from literary classics such as “The Good Earth” to some books about economic policy such as “Fault Lines” and to other books about strategy such as “The Lords Of Strategy”. I enjoy watching Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. My favorite documentary is “The Corporation”, and I am a fan of cricket.

I value hard work and integrity. I believe these values have enabled Vasundhara and me to embrace our adventure of living on a different continent, to gain valuable work experience, to make good friends, and to feel at home in a once foreign culture. We seek new experiences. We have traveled to the U.S. and to Latin America. We share cooking, cleaning and shopping, me being “the first assistant.”

One day, I would like to fly. I used to mimic airplanes and run fast in open fields in the hope that I could fly. It has never happened, but I am still optimistic. I know there is a part of me that wants to fly.

Posted On: May 23, 2011