“I had great ideas about how to improve things in the veterinary industry but felt somewhat powerless to enact them. The Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School was going to change all of that.”
From veterinarian to business school
I became a veterinarian because I wanted to dedicate my career to helping animals. As a dog lover and someone who has always been interested in health and science, it was a natural choice for me. After over 10 years of training and working in various veterinary hospitals across the UK, it dawned on me that so many of the health problems I was treating were related to the poor-quality diets that are broadly available for dogs. Addressing these issues would take more than just working as a veterinarian, I needed to enter the world of business.
My decision to study at Imperial: joining an entrepreneurial ecosystem
I had great ideas about how to improve things in the veterinary industry but felt somewhat powerless to enact them. The Global Online MBA at Imperial College Business School was going to change all of that. I remember visiting at an open day back in early 2020; it quickly became apparent to me that entrepreneurship was at the heart of the Business School, something I hadn’t felt at other schools I visited. Not only was it to be taught as a core module, but there is also the Imperial Enterprise Lab, an incredible resource geared towards developing entrepreneurs from idea through to finance and execution.
"..but there is also the Imperial Enterprise Lab, an incredible resource geared towards developing entrepreneurs from idea through to finance and execution."
Expanding my business knowledge with the Global Online MBA
Lots of the programme modules have proven to be immensely helpful in different ways. Practically speaking, our module in Finance and Managerial Accounting has enabled me to understand balance sheets, profit & loss statements and to plan cash budgets. Even though I'm not in charge of the finance side of the business, this is delegated to my very able co-founder Shiv Sivakumar (ex-investment banker at Deutsche Bank), I now understand the numbers and talk at the same level as colleagues with finance backgrounds. I also found the Marketing module, run by Dr Omar Merlo and Professor Andreas Eisingerich incredibly useful in terms of learning how to build strong brands that add real value and competitive advantage.
Tailoring my MBA with electives
I’m fascinated by consumer behaviour and how to effectively market products and services in the digital age, so I chose modules in these fields for next year. Most people believe that dogs need meat, but from a scientific perspective, this has been disproven time and time again. The challenge is how best to communicate this through brand storytelling and marketing messaging. I look forward to delving further into this and other related topics with my peers and professors next term.
The flexibility of online learning
Starting a global business whilst doing an MBA certainly has its challenges in terms of time management but the Global Online MBA offers so much flexibility, so it’s been very manageable. Our live lectures are repeated up to four times a week to reflect the different time zones and working patterns of the cohort, so it’s always been possible to fit around work commitments. These live sessions are also recorded which brings additional flexibility and is great for revision purposes.
The rest of the course material is delivered through The Hub which I’ve found to be an excellent online resource full of lectures, activities and reading materials. It’s fully accessible from a phone, tablet and laptop which is incredibly handy when my schedule is busy. Overall, The Hub feels modern, easy to navigate and it’s great for accessing support directly from our tutors. It even shows you when other members of the cohort are online so you can communicate directly with them making you feel part of the Business School community.
"Overall, The Hub feels modern, easy to navigate and it’s great for accessing support directly from our tutors."
Developing my start-up: omni
I started omni to make it easier for dog parents to give their dogs the best chance of a long, happy and healthy life all without harming the planet. Until recently, most dog food has been made from heavily processed meat or worse still, raw meat. Not only do these pose serious health risks to dogs, they are also environmentally unsustainable.
Using my network of leading veterinary scientists and clinical nutritionists, we came together to formulate recipes that were made from high-quality plant-based ingredients without any animal by-products, fillers or chemicals and a fraction of the environmental impact. After over 20 recipe iterations over the course of a year, we managed to create the world’s first plant-based meat for dogs that's 100% nutritionally complete, loved by dogs, healthy and up to 90% more environmentally sustainable.
What is your advice to future founders?
Persevere, persevere and persevere! You will come up against countless obstacles on your path and lots of reasons to give up, but the key is to stay focused on the long-term goal, take lessons from failures and use them to learn and progress the business forward. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither will your business, but with perseverance, you can achieve something great.
Meet the Global Online MBA class of 2023-25
We’re pleased to welcome the Global Online MBA 2023-25 cohort to Imperial College Business School. With 91 students starting in September 2023, the online, part-time programme means that students can join our community from anywhere in the world.
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In October, our Full-Time MBA students navigated the Imperial Innovation Challenge. In our previous blog, Aakanksha Jaiswa shared her experience of the week working with Pulpatronics.
Chris Holmes: why Imperial’s Full-Time MBA was worth it for me
Chris Homles, Full-Time MBA, 2023 alum shares his experience studying at Imperial College Business School, and why this programme was worth it for him.
Discover the Global Online MBA programme
The Global Online MBA is a part-time programme that is delivered in an online format, focusing on innovative thinking and new technology to deliver a practical curriculum.
How to apply
Discover our rolling admissions process for the Global Online MBA including entry requirements, how to apply, and key dates and deadlines.