Country of origin: India
LWS Knitwear Ltd
The degree which Gopal studied, BSc Operations Management, is no longer available. It has been superseded by BSc Business Analytics and Consultancy.
Coming to study at Lancaster University was one of the best decisions I have ever made. I chose Lancaster University Management School because of the reputation it holds and especially because the BSc Operations Management degree was exactly what I was looking to do after finishing at school in India.
Lancaster University – and the Management School – is the perfect learning place, with its world-class ranking, fantastic facilities and, most importantly, support from great teachers and counsellors.
Getting the opportunity to work with people from all over the world in order to achieve good results was the perfect exposure that I was looking for. The friendly campus and people give you a real sense of belonging; I am very fortunate to have met really nice people and I've made long-term friendships.
Acquiring and using skills
My degree provided a lot of flexibility and variety in learning. I was able to choose a wide range of courses and gain knowledge of many different fields at the same time. The degree was a very good balance of theoretical and practical learning, which further helped me to achieve better understanding.
The degree helped in enhancing my presentation, negotiation and problem-solving skills. Together with these skills and my previous work experience in India, I gained my first employment in the UK, as a business consultant with Purely Mineral, a mineral make-up company. It was a very rewarding experience as I helped the firm to win a £20,000 cash prize in a national competition organised by British Telecom and Financial Mail, which helped the company to expand its business. It led to me being invited to speak at business meetings and events organised by Lancaster University's Careers Service and to become an ambassador for them.
I later obtained a summer internship with Stanian Ltd, an ICT consulting company, with whom I worked on building and developing their marketing strategy.
After graduating, I worked for three years with Lehmann Food Ingredients, based in Lancaster. The company imports and distributes food ingredients to the UK food manufacturing industry, and is one of the UK’s biggest importers of mustard products. I enjoyed the job, especially because of the variety of work, responsibility and challenge involved. I worked at developing new product market strategies, product sales, supply chain management and their ISO quality management system. I also travelled abroad to meet suppliers and attend international exhibitions. This experience gave me great exposure to the international business world and, most importantly, the confidence to run my own business.
Running my own business is what I have always wanted to do. My studies and work experiences provided the very important platform for me to go out and achieve my goals. I now run a business in India called LWS Knitwear Ltd which manufactures garments for export and for the domestic market. Our various markets include wholesale, sportswear, schools, corporate sector and NGOs.
This is a completely new experience – credit goes to my Lancaster degree which was very flexible and applicable to any business environment, whether in strategy, services or manufacturing. The work is very challenging as it requires a lot of creativity and constantly coming up with new ideas. In a typical day I am involved in all aspects from the manufacturing floor, purchase of materials, sales, new business development, etc. It is very exciting as I am learning new things every day and trying to improve upon previous mistakes.
Looking ahead, I plan on expanding the current business and hopefully venturing into new avenues.
I would really like to thank the counsellors in the Centre for Employability, Enterprise and Careers (CEEC) and the Management School for helping me to get these unforgettable experiences which have helped in shaping my career in a way I could never have imagined.