Peer Talk Profile: Suchit Bachalli
When we’re faced with a problem, most of us rely on former experiences to solve it. We operate on our default setting. Not Suchit Bachalli, a senior executive at Unilog Content Solutions and past participant.
That’s because Chicago Booth’s Executive Education taught him an important lesson: Become aware of your default setting so that you can step out of it to gain a different perspective.
“I think of Linda Ginzel every day,” Bachalli says of the of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business faculty member who taught him this important lesson. Ginzel taught in the course Bachalli completed in September 2014: The Executive Development Program: The Transition to General Management. “I have become more sensitive to what my default is in any given situation,” he says. “This extends into my personal life as well.”
Born in India, Bachalli works as president for Unilog Content Solutions North America, a company that originally launched as a small services company in India in the late 1990s. Now, Unilog is a moderately large global technology and services company, specializing in product data management and ecommerce.
Bachalli, who works out of the company’s Philadelphia office and was selected by the Philadelphia Business Journal in its 2015 “40 Under 40” list, has been with the company since July 2002. As president of the company’s North American operations, he is responsible for, among other things, marketing, negotiating business deals, and acquiring new customers. Unilog’s customer base includes billion dollar companies, including CVS, Staples, and Grainger.
“The enterprise software industry is obviously a very competitive landscape,” says Bachalli, noting that his company’s primary competitors include Hybris, NetSuite and Magento, among others. “What I think of every day is being challenged to do bigger and better things.”
It was that drive to learn and grown that brought Bachalli to Chicago Booth’s Executive Education Program—that and a desire to, he says, “pause and figure out how to stop putting out fires and be more strategic in what I do.”
As a participant in the Executive Development Program, Bachalli says he particularly enjoyed the various case studies that he and his fellow participants studied. “What fascinated me most was a newfound curiosity that they were able to bring about in us,” he says. “The class was that much richer because of the vast amount of experiences everyone brought in. I think I learned an equal amount from my classmates as I did from the faculty.” Amazingly, Chicago Booth was Bachalli’s first higher education experience. “I think my classmates were a bit surprised when I let them know somewhere during the middle of the program that I had never been to college,” he says.
The Executive Development Program is a two-week course designed for experienced managers from large, publicly held companies, private corporations, and smaller organizations who have been identified by their organizations as executives who have recently assumed greater responsibilities within their companies. For Bachalli, the course “did a great job of imparting true knowledge without pandering to your past beliefs.”
Thirty minutes southeast of Bachalli’s office at Unilog is the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. So, why did Bachalli select Chicago Booth over Wharton? “My family and colleagues asked me the same question, incidentally,” he says. “I wanted a specialist in executive education. I wanted someone who pioneered it.”