UCLA PGP PRO July 2024 Classroom : Operations Management & Leadership (05-07 Jul, 2024)

This final classroom module in UCLA PGP PRO focuses on further enhancing your learning from the online modules by focusing on the most important aspects in the classroom towards the completion of your year long journey. Prof. Kumar Rajaram will spend time in enhancing your execution skills by first helping you appreciate the intricacies of Operations Management and teaching the basic concepts and then helping apply to those to manage effective operations. The final outcome would be your growth as a leader who understands that operational excellence and execution makes the real difference towards long term success.


Prof. Sanjay Sood

Prof. Sanjay Sood

Professor of Marketing Sanjay Sood, who holds both an MBA from Kellogg and a Ph.D. from Stanford, says that incorporating real-world experience can dramatically improve the classroom experience. That’s why for the last decade he has been teaching his classes with C-suite industry executives from MGM, P&G and Google, assigning live projects with real companies — like NBC, Universal Studios and the TED brand — and taking his students on field trips to startups, major corporations and ad agencies.

“The co-teaching model of having faculty paired with seasoned executives in the classroom for the entire 10 weeks is a differentiator for Anderson,” says Sood. “We’re one of the few business schools that emphasizes a joint classroom model of practitioners with faculty for the entire quarter. It provides extra depth to the content as well as a unique combination of academic rigor plus managerial relevance.”

Sood’s academic research focuses on two areas, brand management and behavioral decision making. “As a doctoral student I was excited by the relatively new field of branding in consumer behavior and also was fortunate to be exposed to some of the pioneers of choice architecture,” he says. “The faculty at Anderson are adept at bringing research into the classroom and I have tried to follow that lead. Academic frameworks in branding can be applied across industries, and behavioral decision making is becoming increasingly relevant to senior managers and policymakers.”

Sood helped develop what is now UCLA Anderson’s Center for Management of Enterprise in Media, Entertainment & Sports, at a time when Dean Judy Olian established entertainment and media as a strategic priority for the school. Currently, between 10 and 15 percent of Anderson classes enter media and entertainment careers. In his classes, Sood looks at movies as brands going in the same direction as other products: Whereas Hollywood used to launch a new brand weekly, the trend now is toward brand franchises.

Using psychological principles in his research, Sood examines how firms can best build, manage and leverage strong brand names. This includes investigating what brand names mean to consumers, how to manage brand portfolios, how to use brand naming strategies to launch new products and how to protect brand names from becoming diluted over time and across geographical boundaries.

In his latest work on decision making he studies the differences between how people make decisions about products versus how they make decisions about experiences — like buying a DVD versus going to see the movie in a cinema. “Experiences generally make us happier and we’re willing to pay more for an experience. We define ourselves more based on the experiences that we have in life rather than on the products that we own.

“We don’t really have strong preferences among products, typically,” he continues. “Depending on how many options are presented or the ways those options are described, it can flip us from one option to another. We really are quite fungible in terms of our preferences over time. This is important to marketing but also in the area of public policy.”



Ph.D. Marketing, 1999, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

MBA, 1992, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University

B.S. Electrical Engineering (with honors), 1987, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Prof. Kumar Rajaram

Prof. Kumar Rajaram

Kumar Rajaram is professor of decisions, operations and technology management and the Ho-Su Wu Chair in Management at the UCLA Anderson School of Management. Rajaram’s current research interests include improving operations in the health care industry, nonprofit sector and process manufacturing sector, including food processing, pharmaceuticals and the petrochemical industry. He has focused on developing analytical models of complicated systems with a strong emphasis on practical implementation.

Rajararm’s work has been published in leading research journals such as Operations Research, Management Science, Manufacturing and Service Operations Management, Marketing Science and Production and Operations Management. He has been awarded the Eric and E Juline Faculty Excellence in Research Award at UCLA Anderson.

Rajaram developed a new control paradigm called “Robust Process Control” to increase the productivity of large-scale industrial processes. By focusing on the design and control of these processes in operational environments, this technique has resulted in four-fold increases in productivity in several types of industrial processes. These methods have been implemented at several process companies worldwide. For this work, he has been recognized by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) as a Franz Edelman Laureate for outstanding applications of operations research and management science techniques to practice. He has also developed techniques to better balance supply with demand for products with short life cycles and highly unpredictable demand. This work has been applied at several large fashion retailers in Europe and North America and has resulted in substantial improvements to profitability at these sites. He has also worked in developing analytical models to improve planning for HIV/AIDS screening, testing and care at the Veterans Administration. In addition, he has worked at improving patient flows at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and has developed models to improve staff and operating room assignments for surgeries at this hospital.



At the UCLA Anderson, Rajaram teaches the MBA core course on operations and technology management, various executive education courses and doctoral level courses on operations management and models for operations design, planning and control.



Ph.D. Operations Management, 1998, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

M.A. Managerial Science and Applied Economics, 1997, Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania

M.S. Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, 1993, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

M.Sc. Mathematics, with Honors, 1991, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India

B.E. Electrical and Electronics Engineering, with Honors, 1991, Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani, India

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the in-class UCLA module in UCLA PGP PRO, you will be able to:

  • Understand and apply the basics of designing a good process
  • Build an appreciation of what makes great organizations work well – the execution DNA
  • Analyze a good operations management strategy
  • Assess process design using established tools and techniques
  • Develop into an execution oriented manager and leader


Classroom Methods & Schedule

The classroom module will use various exercises, case studies, team assignment and class discussion to bring alive the complexities in the subject areas. It is required that you go through all the required cases as well as pre-reads and prepare for the session before the class. It will be greatly beneficial for you and the other participants to go through the material provided so that the discussion can be rich, and help clarify details with the faculty members during the in-class session.

Pennar Hall
Shangri-la Hotel
56-6B, Palace Road, Vasanth Nagar

Prof. Sanjay Sood

09:00 am – 11:00 am Effective Leadership:  Managing Up, Down & Across
11:00 am – 11:30 am Coffee Break
11:30 am – 12:30 pm Effective Leadership:  Managing Up, Down & Across
12:30 pm – 01:30 pm Lunch
01:30 pm – 03:00 pm Effective Leadership:  Managing Up, Down & Across
03:00 pm – 03:30 pm Coffee Break
03:30 pm – 05:00 pm Effective Leadership:  Managing Up, Down & Across

Prof. Kumar Rajaram

09:00 am – 11:00 am

Operations Management Part I

11:00 am – 11:30 am

Coffee Break

11:30 am – 01:30 pm

Operations Management Part II

01:30 pm – 02:30 pm


02:30 pm – 04:30 pm

Operations Management Part III

Prof. Kumar Rajaram

09:00 am – 11:00 am

Operations Management Part IV

11:00 am – 11:30 am

Coffee Break

11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Operations Management Part IV contd.

12:30 pm – 01:30 pm


01:30 pm – 03:00 pm

Operations Management Part V

03:00 pm – 03:30 pm

Coffee Break

03:30 pm – 05:00 pm

Operations Management Part V contd.


Please email [email protected] for any support required with respect to the program, course or platform.