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Just Five Questions: Meelendra Singh ’20

Just Five Questions posed to leaders in business and society.

Meelandra Singh '20

Meelendra Singh ‘20 is a Senior Product Manager at Amazon and a Director-at-Large on the Yale SOM Alumni Advisory Board.  Meelendra has served as an advisor to development organizations that include multilateral agencies and international non-profits.

What’s a global trend you are following where you see an opportunity or bright spot in this challenging macro environment?

In 2021, the global space industry set a record with $469 billion in annual spending, spanning satellite manufacturing, deployment, space tourism, and launch services. What makes space exploration particularly captivating is its relatively subdued media coverage despite offering spacefaring nations a significant competitive edge, not only in terms of economic growth but also in terms of enhancing their soft power. Recent achievements by India, such as the successful Chandrayaan 3 Moon rover landing and the ambitious Aditya-L1 Sun observation mission, herald a future of accelerated innovation in the sector, shifts in geopolitical dynamics, and the enticing prospect of establishing a long-term human presence in space.

What’s an example of how SOM’s mission informed the way you build teams or drive strategies in your professional life?

I'm currently juggling two roles—one in the private sector and one in the development sector. At Amazon, I'm steering technical priorities and business strategies for innovative supply chain solutions. Simultaneously, I'm advising a multilateral bank on scaling their open innovation platform and, more recently, providing counsel to a European agency on climate change mitigation policies. While I'm still uncertain about which career path will shape my long-term future, I am enjoying the dual sector experience, which stems from the emphasis SOM places on Business & Society.

What’s an SOM experience that helped shape the way you understand business and society?

Studying 'Inequality and Social Mobility’ with Barbara Biasi was instrumental in empirically analyzing the influence of education and segregation on economic opportunities in the US. As an international student, this course offered valuable insights into the systemic and policy-related challenges within the United States, underscoring the significance of diversity and inclusion in organizations.

What’s a favorite SOM memory, faculty member, mentor or class?

It's difficult to single out just one, but the food trucks lining Sachem Street were a vital 'ingredient' in my SOM experience. Beyond the delicious foods, the trucks provided a welcome respite from the rigors of the SOM curriculum. They offered the perfect setting to reconnect with friends, forge new connections, and unwind. I must say, nothing builds bonds quite like sharing a delicious bowl of pad Thai noodles after tackling four hours of McKinsey, Bain, and BCG case studies with your casing buddy!

What are you excited about for the year ahead?

“AI for Good” is a hot topic within development agencies over the past six months, with leading UN agencies and Technology companies joining forces to drive AI advancements in healthcare, climate resilience, education, agriculture, and disaster response. I find it both exciting and reassuring to witness development agencies, as early adopters, embracing this technology as an efficient means to address the world's most pressing challenges, particularly in underserved regions.

Just Five Questions is an initiative led by the SOM Alumni Advisory Board. Want to learn more? Contact Lee Race 93 with feedback, thoughts, and/or questions.