Pavan Kumar Arasappa

Profile Image

Alumni Experience

Pavan Kumar Arasappa, originally from Bangalore, transitioned from a career in mechanical engineering to his current role as a Customer Excellence and Innovation Manager.. Pavan's journey highlights the importance of being open-minded and embracing the opportunities an MBA can offer to become a better version of oneself.
Batch Year

Student Story

I’m Pavan Kumar. I was born and raised in the vibrant city of Bangalore. I did mechanical engineering for my bachelors and I worked with Toyota as a customer quality engineer for around six years. Then I came to Hong Kong for my MBA at the University of Hong Kong. Now I work with Spirit as a Customer Excellence and Innovation Manager.

I was feeling very comfortable with my job, and that’s not something I was comfortable with. So I wanted to explore something different. When I was in the automobile industry, I was in a very technical role, but I wanted to explore the business aspects of automobiles. This led me to the decision of pursuing an MBA, so I can influence a few companies and maybe help them strategise.

Hong Kong is an environment rich in opportunities for those who are seeking them. After gaining a deeper understanding of the region and what Hong Kong has to offer, I decided to come here. So, upon arriving, my goal was to become an automotive consultant. I believed that I knew exactly what I wanted, but attending a few classes here completely opened my mind.

During the MBA, as I gathered input from professors and various individuals I encountered here, my career aspirations shifted towards consulting. Specifically, my time at Columbia Business School played a pivotal role in shaping my focus on innovation. Subsequently, I began working as an innovation consultant. 

I reached out to the career services team and had a chat with them regarding my interests. I met with an alumnus from HKU. He is currently the general manager of a firm here. We had a conversation during which I realised that the role offered was a lot of autonomy and I could apply innovation, be able to support them in terms of operations and customer excellence. 

The classroom was a microcosm of people from the region. Interacting with these classmates provided me with a deep understanding of the cultural diversity in Asia as a whole. It greatly facilitated my transition from being a professional in India to becoming a professional not only in Southeast Asia but also on a global scale. 

Regardless of whether you have pursued CFA, engineering, or any other background, there is no need to hold onto a specific decision or identity. Just be open-minded and embrace the opportunities that an MBA can provide. When I was starting the MBA, I had a certain perception of myself, but by letting go and exploring what the MBA had to offer, that led me to being a better person than I could have imagined.