Stories and Articles
Dr. Dwarka Chakravarty
Dr. Dwarka Chakravarty just completed his first year as an assistant professor in the management department at SDSU’s Fowler College of Business. And what a year it was: he earned high marks from his students for his outstanding teaching (“one of the best professors here at state”); and his doctoral dissertation, titled “Profitability of Foreign Direct Investment in Global Cities and Co-Ethnic Clusters” was selected by both the Academy of International Business and the Academy of Management as a best dissertation award finalist.
We asked Dr. Chakravarty seven questions to learn a little more about him:
- Where is your hometown?
I was born in Bangalore, India but grew up in Mumbai.
- You started off as a chemical engineer, but re-invented your career as an international
management expert. What prompted the transformation?
I started off as an engineer with Schlumberger and worked in the oilfield services industry for three years. During this time, I got married, but spending 40 days at a stretch on an offshore oil rig wasn't working too well for us! My exit strategy was to do an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. While I was there, one of my professors told me I had the makings of an excellent consultant. I took his advice and worked in management consulting for the next 12 years, first with KPMG and Accenture in the U.K., and then with Microsoft in India and the Philippines.
- What inspired you to become a professor?
During my Ph.D. program, I took courses, did research, and also taught students. I always knew I would enjoy doing research, but was not so sure about teaching… until I taught my first few classes and found that I enjoyed that too! That's when I realized my true calling was, indeed, to be a professor.
- What led to your interest in international business?
I've been passionate about international business since the early 90's when my favorite drink, Coca-Cola, came back to India, which happened when India's economy opened up to foreign direct investment!
But seriously, living and working across six countries, I have seen how influential multinational enterprises are; and how international business is good for innovation, for customers, and for society. I believe international business is the engine that drives the world economy.
- What is your favorite thing about your work? What is your least favorite?
My favorite thing is that I'm finally getting paid for what I enjoy doing. My least favorite thing is having to grade all those projects and essay exams!
- Do you have any hobbies or a favorite travel destination?
I like playing online chess and solving chess puzzles. Of all the places I've visited, it is hard to choose a favorite between Interlaken, Switzerland and Venice, Italy.
- Now that you’ve nearly completed your first year at SDSU, what advice would you give
our new professors?
Get to know your colleagues, get their advice on how to be an effective researcher and teacher, and apply it. Believe me, it is invaluable!