"Two things that stick out for me are value for money and the fact we gained really great educations while having fun. Everyone was collegial and…I ended up landing several good placements, even in a recession year."
Using his Broad MBA, Nikhil Sagar has transformed himself from an engineer working on merchant vessels to an influential inventory specialist at a quickly growing company. Considering this, he concludes, “I’m definitely indebted to the school and will always be.”
Sagar recently joined Groupon as Vice President of Supply Chain and Inventory Planning. In this cross-functional role, he is responsible for all inventory planning and management for Groupon’s goods business. Thus, he forecasts demand to determine what, how, and how much to buy. In addition to figuring out purchasing strategies, Sagar must decide how to dispose of extra inventory most profitably.
Prior to his Groupon appointment, Sagar was Vice President of Inventory in the home appliances and consumer electronics business at Sears. He also spent eight years at OfficeMax, where he drove significant results as Vice President of Retail Inventory Management. Under his guidance the company reduced its inventory by 40 percent while dropping out-of-stocks by 60 percent. After ten years in brick-and-mortar businesses, Sagar observed the changing landscape of retail, felt the future was online, and made the shift.
The entrepreneurial spirit at Groupon energizes Sagar, who tasted this environment when OfficeMax merged and moved headquarters, earning the internal nickname $9 billion startup. He believes Broad prepared him to work in a fast-paced entrepreneurial world. “The case studies and team projects,” Sagar explains, “were always demanding and required me to rely on others to deliver results with urgency and a high degree of accuracy, so they instilled a lot of skills.”
The Broad MBA program also provided Sagar with key building blocks in finance, accounting, marketing, and statistics that he draws upon in the workplace. He remarks, “I give MSU a lot of credit. The foundation I developed at Broad really helped. I was able to put my hands-on experience and knowledge from class to practical use.”
“That was possible,” Sagar continues, “because the nature of the program is very interactive and results-oriented. We had a lot of modeling and mock-up work in class that allowed us to take the science and see it in action. That foundation allowed me to drive tangible results.”
Entering the program with fears of a cutthroat environment, Sagar was pleased to meet genuine peers and faculty members who encouraged a balance between hard work and socializing. He particularly enjoyed MSU football games—a new experience for him, coming from India. Sagar praises Broad’s MBA program, “Two things that stick out for me are value for money and the fact we gained really great educations while having fun. Everyone was collegial and…I ended up landing several good placements, even in a recession year.”