SMD Graduate 2014-15
“The course goes beyond academia and into the world of industry”
Two years after completing his MSc in Service Management and Design, Priyansh Saxena was in London running his own business when we spoke to him. “I originally had the idea for the company - Duftar Technology Solutions - when I was on the course,” he said. “As part of the Business Model Generation module, I took a concept I had for a web development platform that could benefit a whole range of organisations. The module gave me the tools I needed to build a commercial model and I felt that it had the potential to go beyond the classroom into the real world.”
But when Priyansh first came to WMG in 2014, he hadn’t planned to launch his own UK-based company. “Far from it,” he explained. “I had been working in India in IT service management for a number of years. My original intention was to complete an MSc course, return to my employer and join the management team.”
So as Priyansh searched for programme that would give him the skills he needed to further his career, he researched relevant courses. “ WMG attracted me right away,” he said. “Warwick’s reputation is well known of course, and the programme is unique. It’s focused on developing the practical techniques you need to create leading service systems and shape a successful business. It was perfect – and it seemed as though someone had designed it specifically for me!”
Once on the course, was it what he expected? “If I am honest, it was far more that I expected,” he said. “The most important thing is that the course is very much practically focused. It goes beyond academia and into the world of industry. You don’t just learn things, but find out how they’re applied to improve an organisation’s competitive edge. It’s exciting to know that the skills and knowledge you’re gaining are at the forefront of today’s thinking in business transformation.”
Piyansh was keen to talk about the support he received from staff: “My Personal Tutor was exceptional. She helped me in so many ways, like looking at the options available to me and introducing me to people in industry. She became more of a friend that a tutor – someone who I could always turn to for help when I needed it.
“I must mention my Project Supervisor too,” he continued. “He has a background in industry and asked me to take part in conferences and events. He also introduced me to a number of experts which was invaluable. I really wasn’t expecting that level of support. What’s great is that we’re still in touch. In fact, we met up just last week and he’s still helping me with advice and guidance.”
Taking it into the real world
Piyansh talked earlier about how he felt that the business idea he developed during the course ‘had the potential to go beyond the classroom into the real world’. He first step in making that happen was to pitch the concept to Warwick Enterprises. The response was very positive and as a first step, they provided the all-important endorsement that led to him gaining a Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa.
But that was just the beginning of the support he received, as Priyansh described: “After carrying out market research, they helped me to develop my business model. Since then, they’ve supported me across a whole range of areas including the legal aspects of setting up a business, marketing, gaining funding and more. Even after two years they are still there for me and my mentor has been amazing, working closely with me and making sure that I’m on the right track.”
Priyansh explained how he is also able to call on the network of contacts he built during his time here: “I’ve got friends all over the world now. It’s great to get in touch with people I know in Mexico and Nigeria for example. They can bring me the benefit of their experience and give me their feedback on my thoughts and ideas. It’s a hugely valuable global network and I have Warwick to thank for that.