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Prabha Rathinasabapathy

  • Programme: MBA
  • Nationality: British
  • Job Pre-programme: Project Director (Asset Management), Argent LLP
  • Job Post-programme: Founder, System of Motion

Prabha Rathinasabapathy loves LBS. At the start of her second year of the MBA, she kick-started the #WhyILoveLBS social media campaign, prompting a surge of student posts and photos across Twitter and Facebook. “It started off as something just for new students joining the School, but it became something much bigger”, she says. “I was asked to speak at Orientation Day, and I was moved to share the high that friends and I felt when we graduated just two months before. We had so much to say about why we loved our time at LBS. It was great to see that so many others in the community did too.”

After moving to Berlin, followed by Lisbon, to get her company up and running, Prabha – a Londoner at heart – is missing her city. For her, it’s more than a home: it’s where the world comes together to do things with global impact. Through her first job – working on the regeneration of King’s Cross – Prabha helped make one of London’s most exciting redevelopments what it is today. “It’s amazing to see how it’s taken off as a destination”, she says. During the seven years Prabha was there, she enjoyed working with designers to create world-class buildings and spaces. “I loved the tangibility of real estate”, she says. “I wanted to bring that element to whatever I did next. The original idea of doing an MBA was to give myself a sound knowledge of finance. But it was ultimately so much more. It gave me the chance to explore becoming an entrepreneur.”

Through her new womenswear brand, System of Motion, she’s achieving that goal. The clothes she’s creating are practical, stylish and sustainable. As a keen cyclist in London, Prabha grew frustrated with having to make trade-offs between what she wore and her freedom to cycle around the city. “As I got more senior, wearing Lycra for work was not an option”, she says. “It’s time women’s fashion stopped forcing us to make these sorts of choices. I’m making clothes that women can use to lead a more efficient lifestyle.”

She says that LBS gave her the confidence to build her business on her own: “It’s like a flight simulator. Just like pilots learn in the most realistic, safe environment before they fly a real plane, at LBS you’re tested by some of the world’s most experienced minds, with tough questions on how you will handle very defined business problems. By the time you’re out in the real world, you’ve developed the habits and muscle memory that allow you to react with skill.”

After using the second year of the MBA to work on her concept and develop strategy with the help of faculty and fellow students, Prabha was ready to breathe life into her plans. “My scholarship was a big part of me feeling comfortable starting a business straight out of School, because it alleviated the financial burden”, she says. “Me getting to this point is thanks to the help of friends, peers and staff at the School. I have had so much support from LBS, and still do.”