2020 Best & Brightest EMBAs: Manu K. Malhotra, University of Michigan (Ross)

Manu K. Malhotra

University of Michigan, Ross School of Business

“Committed to making a positive difference with teamwork, joy, and subtle notes of irreverence.”

Age: 46

Hometown: Troy, MI

Family Members: Jessica, Ashiana, Shrey, Sienna, and Mocha

Fun fact about yourself: Between undergrad and medical school, I took a year off, moved to Mumbai, and acted in a Bollywood film.

Undergraduate School and Degree: University of Michigan, bachelor’s degree in economics; Medical College of Ohio, MD

Where are you currently working? Henry Ford Health System

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work, and Leadership Roles:

  • Chief Medical Officer, Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and NW Market
  • Board Vice-chair, PACE of SE Michigan (Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly)
  • Clinical Assistant Professor, Wayne State University, School of Medicine
  • Vice-Chair, Employee & Physician Giving, Henry Ford West Bloomfield

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was the work of our Exec MAP team in supporting the efforts of the Othakarhaka organization in Mulanje, Malawi, to further the cause of girls’ education. It was a tremendous amount of work, but we had a stellar team and the time and effort helped support a wonderful nonprofit organization that would not have been able to afford paying for consulting services.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Leading the hospital through the COVID-19 pandemic (ongoing). We kept our team members and patients safe while making sure necessary services are accessible. We partnered with community physicians, skilled nursing facilities, community organizations, and other health systems to ensure that we are all working together and in coordination to keep our communities safe and healthy.

Why did you choose this school’s executive MBA program? The Ross Program at the University of Michigan has an international reputation and a focus on strategy, both of which appealed to me. The monthly on-campus format also worked very well with my other commitments. It was an easy choice for me.

What did you enjoy most about business school in general? I enjoyed the camaraderie and relationships that grew out of this class. Not only did I learn from my peers and professors, but also gained life-long friendships.

What is the biggest lesson you gained during your MBA and how did you apply it at work? Refining my framework for strategic analysis was a key takeaway for me and has impacted how I approach challenges and decision-making on a regular basis.

Give us a story during your time as an executive MBA on how you were able to juggle work, family, and education?

I started a new position within Henry Ford Health System as Chief Medical Officer a few months into the program. I also have three kids, who were all five and younger at that time. I promised myself two things: 1) To only do my coursework after I put the kids to bed and 2) To never tell them I was too tired if they wanted to play. I kept both promises. My most memorable juggling experience was trying to concentrate on the exam for Financial Statement Analysis while sitting in the lobby of a resort in Cancun.

What advice would you give to a student looking to enter an executive MBA program? It is a major time commitment on a weekly basis. Make sure you know explicitly where that time will come from. There are only 24 hours in a day – you will have to put some things on hold and it’s best not to be surprised by that realization.

What is the biggest myth about going back to school? “I would never be able to sit through a whole day of listening to lectures.” The class format is much more interactive than the mental image people have. Although it does take some effort, it was a lot more fun than any of us expected.

What was your biggest regret in business school? This is an easy one. Missing out on the last two in-person residencies with our class due to the coronavirus pandemic.

 Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Absolutely too many to mention.

“I knew I wanted to go to business school when…my boss at the time said, “Where you’re going, you’ll need an MBA.” I had been thinking about it for a while, but that sealed the deal.”

What is your ultimate long-term professional goal? To help evolve the delivery model of healthcare to make it accessible to everyone. Leveraging preventative medicine and community and home-based services will actually decrease the cost burden of keeping our entire population healthy, but a lot of cheese will be moved in this process.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As someone who cared more about learning than about grades and more about getting the job done than about getting the credit.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

Take a month-long vacation with my family and wake up to the sound of the ocean every morning.

Run the Inca Trail Marathon to Machu Picchu.

What made Manu such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“It was clear from his admissions interview that Manu Malhotra was the type of person who would not only thrive in a rigorous Executive MBA program like Ross, but would also be a true asset to his cohort. Manu has excelled academically and from the beginning. He demonstrated leadership in his cohort and on teams where he was very well respected for his incredible work ethic, excellence in analyzing data, and driving team projects to success. Students, faculty, and staff alike have admired Manu’s warmth, quick wit, and sharp intellect that seem to somehow bridge excellence in healthcare delivery and business acumen with ease

To say the drive for success is in some people’s DNA would clearly describe Manu, but finding his true passion behind this success took some time to identify with early opportunities in engineering, pre-med, and eventually a University of Michigan bachelor’s degree in economics. In the end, the call to medicine was too strong to ignore and he spent a year studying for the MCATS while establishing a Bollywood career in India.

In medical school, Manu developed a passion for emergency medicine and patient care for underserved populations through nonprofit healthcare. As a Chief Medical Officer and Healthcare Strategy Influencer, he came to the Ross Executive MBA to help develop business strategies that will impact the changing landscape of healthcare by developing new fiscally responsible models of preventative care that will optimize the availability and delivery of quality patient care for all populations. His cohort peers and the Ross EMBA faculty and staff are confident he is up to the task. Manu is the embodiment of the Michigan Difference — leading with utmost integrity to create a positive impact in everything he does.”

Donna Humphrey-Delosh
Career Management Coach for Executive MBA & EMBA Alumni
Ross School of Business


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