Gagan Chawla, BC MBA ’02, On No Experience to the Corner Office
When Gagan Chawla completed his MBA at the Carroll School in 2002, the nation was in the grip of a recession and jobs were scarce. But with the support of two Boston College professors, Gagan quickly found a full-time position at Strategic Pricing Group, a Waltham-based management consulting firm.
“The other candidates for the job had work experience ranging from four years to 14 years,” says Chawla. “Then there was me—with no experience except my Carroll School education. But Jerry Smith and Pete Wilson went out of their way to help me, and I got the job.”
Gagan did well at SPG, earning a promotion to a consulting role in less than a year. In that position, he worked with B2B companies to help them drive margin improvement and profitable growth through value-based marketing, pricing, and sales strategies.
And he continued to thrive through a series of corporate acquisitions. In 2005, Strategic Pricing Group was acquired by Monitor Group, a multinational strategy consulting firm. In 2013, Monitor was in turn acquired by Deloitte. Two years later, Gagan was admitted to partnership.
“As a principal at Deloitte, I design, sell, and lead engagements that help clients address their most complex business problems and opportunities,” says Gagan.
“I work on different types of projects for different types of clients. Some projects might be broad, such as corporate and turnaround strategy; some could be focused, such as commercial strategy for a particular product or business; while others focus more on capability building. Every few months, I switch gears and go into a new situation with a new client.”
Gagan credits his Carroll School education with giving him the broad perspective that his job demands.
“At Boston College I learned about the business world as a whole, not just one piece of it,” he says. “I had the flexibility to take classes in different areas, including strategy, marketing, finance, and pricing. Now I’m able to sit down with senior executives and talk about their needs from a broader point of view.”
Gagan has remained in touch with classmates, professors, and staff members at Boston College. When he got married in India, four of his classmates attended the wedding.
“I continue to have a good relationship with BC,” Gagan says. “I want to stay in touch, because that’s the kind of place Boston College is—it makes you want to be part of the community.”