On 6th December,2014 Ms.Ronita Mukharjee, the Senior Client manager, Landor Associates graced TAPMI with her presence and gave students an insight to the world of branding. She started briefing about Landor Associates, being the oldest branding company started by Walter Landor. Walter Landor was a German product designer who started his company in 1941 while he was in San Francisco at a product exhibition. Landor has defined the meaning of branding and how we know of it today. Ms.Mukharjee showed us the logo of her company which was a big ship, she added that the very heritage begins with the Klamath. Their first office was a big ship equipped with impeccable infrastructure which included an amphitheatre and also clients enjoyed coming to their office.
Ms.Ronita Mukharjee spoke about how the culture and tradition is inculcated in their offices as well as in every Landor employee. Ms. Mukharjee took students into the world of branding and mentioned the prolific work of Landor with almost every brand we come across on a daily basis, for example Citibank, Café Coffee Day, FedEx, etc.
Ms.Mukharjee then talked about the services provided by Landor associates which includes Strategic designing, number crunching, brand image, logo creation, brand engagement and also employee engagement.
Ms.Ronita Mukharjee then engaged the students in a game where a picture of a product like Apple, and then asked the crowd what if apple was a hotel? What characteristics would we attach to it ? Likewise she showed pictures of BMW and what characteristics it would hold if it were a musical instrument. Then she told the students that the exercise was to voice the brand perception, brand image and brand recall that the Apple and BMW hold.
She further spoke about the difference between brand and branding, the main difference is that brand is something the firm believes is their product and branding the message that’s sent out through advertising and other marketing means which creates brand perception. “Brand is the story or meaning and branding is the signals that give the customer an experience”, she added. She ended the lecture with stating the most important characteristics of branding which are : Effectiveness, emotional connect, commanding a premium, reducing the risk for expansions and to galvanize employees.
On 19th November 2014, nine years after the unjust murder of Manjunath Shanmugan, the students of T.A Pai Management Institute paid homage to this brave soul who chose to pursue truth and integrity. An IIM Lucknow alumnus who was working at Indian Oil Corp, Manjunath was devoted to curbing oil malpractices and was a relentless fighter against corruption of any form. He was murdered on this same day in 2005 by a petrol pump owner and seven accomplices.
In December 2009, the justice due to him was granted as all eight accused were found guilty and the main accused – the petrol pump owner – was given the death penalty. The quick justice was brought by the will and determination of the Manjunath Shanmugan Trust. Today this ensures that people who uphold the values of truth and honesty in Indian public life are recognized and awarded and also helps citizens learn and understand about the Right to Information Act.
A man who chose to follow his conscience and rose against the oil mafia in UP, knowing full well the consequences is definitely a man worthy of being remembered for years to come. As proof of this fact, the students of TAPMI organized a candlelight march on this day to honor his memory.
The event was orchestrated and well managed by the Student Executive Council of TAPMI and by 6:30 PM in the evening ( the scheduled time of the march ), there was a good steady number of students being handed out candles and pledge sheets. The event was marked by a speech by the class representative, BKFS, Siddharth Madhavan. He spoke about the life of honestly and sincerity led by Manjunath and the kind of ideals and principles he upheld till his last breath. Afterwards the each and every student took a pledge to set an example through ethical conduct and to report and reject all corruption and immoral practices. The students pledged to lead of life of honesty, integrity and service to the society. The pledge was concluded by everyone lighting their candles on the ground and narrating the national anthem. The shine of the row of lit candles on the ground indeed spoke a thousand words and the memory of this honest crusader of justice was cherished by all.
Mr. Puneet Mehrotra, Director – Industrial BU, TE Connectivity interacted with the students of T. A. Pai Management Institute by delivering a guest lecture on the 14th November, 2014. Mr. Mehrotra is an Electronics Engineer and also holds a Post-Graduate Diploma in Management from the Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow with a specialization in Strategy and Marketing. Mr. Mehrotra has rich experience in the field of B2B Marketing and Sales and has served in top management positions for various organizations like TE Connectivity, Belden India, AREVA T & D India and Rockwell Automation India Pvt Ltd. In the interaction with students, Mr. Mehrotra discussed and classified the customers he has encountered in B2B Marketing and Sales ranging from small to medium Indian enterprises to multinational companies.
He discussed in detail the buying behaviour and level of standardization that was seen among the different types of customers and the changing trends in B2B Marketing and Sales. The students especially enjoyed the time he spent in talking about the process of negotiation undertaken by small Indian companies and independent entrepreneurs. Mr. Puneet Mehrotra, in his lecture, also compared the sales and marketing strategies of B2B and B2C marketing by examining the similarities and differences that existed between the two areas of marketing with respect to strategy and customer behaviour.
The interaction was particularly enlightening for the students as the speaker shared a lot of personal experiences and anecdotes from his career in the field of marketing from the perspective of a manager. Mr. Puneet Mehrotra also answered the various questions put forward by students who were keen to know about the working of the industry from a practical standpoint and understand the business from the viewpoint of an experienced manager. The guest lecture conducted by Mr. Puneet Mehrotra at TAPMI was a great learning experience for the students.
TAPMI welcomed its alumnus and former Student Executive Council President Mr. Krish Radhakrishnan, Channel Sales Manager – Freshdesk Inc. to campus. Krish started the lecture by reminiscing his journey from TAPMI to Freshdesk.
Freshdesk Inc. is a cloud-based software provider, headquartered in California. The company’s flagship product is Freshdesk, a customer support software, which brings together multiple communication channels like email, phone, and social networks, and makes it easier for businesses to communicate with customers
Mr. Krish discussed about what it is like working at startups. He went on to debunk common myths about startups. Mr. Krish then went on to give a brief introduction about Freshdesk. He explained about the history of the company, the motivation behind formation of Freshdesk and about Freshdesk products.
The interaction was very enlightening for the students as the speaker shared a lot of personal experiences from his career in SaaS and IT products. He also answered various questions put forward by students. The guest lecture conducted by Mr. Radhakriahnan at TAPMI was a great learning experience for the students and helped clear a lot of clout about the work culture at start-ups and the career growth prospects for MBAs working at start-ups.
Mr. Siddharthan Muthuraj , VP – HR Jubilant Retail involved in an interactive session with the students sharing his experiences and his success mantra in the Retail industry. He encouraged students to ask questions and clarify doubts which were an enriching experience for all the students.
The speaker asked the students about what was the basic objective of students doing MBA. He stressed on the point that growth and money are something that will follow as you work with passion; it doesn’t have to be your primary aim. He illustrated how a 12th graduate could do better in his company than a person in MBA; He invited opinions from students to explore the probable reasons which would have made that possible.
He explained the irony in the situation that people examine all features of phone before buying it but rarely ever evaluate their individual competencies while choosing their goals. The speaker inspired the students to write down their strength and weakness to polish themselves in line with their competencies. He elaborated on how the hunger for learning and applying the concepts studied in MBA helps to succeed in the long run.
In the opinion of speaker, every individual can be a specialist only till a point in time beyond which he has to become a generalist to propel success. He explained that over a period of time, every individual should try to collaborate with the views of other departments. For example, HR also requires marketing skills as you have to build marketing strategy to let the employees accept the policy and welfare activities in the organization.
Later in the session, he brought in a whole new perspective by saying that managers needn’t have all the technical knowledge of the domain but should have a basic technical knowledge to ask the right questions. He concluded the insightful guest lecture by delving on the importance of how discipline and flexibility to adapt are the key point to become a good manager in corporate world.
Mr. Joseph K Varghese, Head HR, Khazana Jewellery visited campus on 10th October for a guest lecture for TAPMI students. Mr Varghese began the session by giving an overview of the jewellery industry in India.
Emphasizing demand of gold in Indian markets, Mr. Varghese said 25% of world’s gold consumption is in India, making it the largest consumer of yellow metal in the world. Gold is one of the fastest growing sectors in India economy with an annual growth rate of 15%. Khazana, leading jewellers in South India has a very good name and brand image. First opened in 1989, it has grown from a single store to 41 plus stores in 2014 with a turnover of INR 3284Crore and an employment strength of over 2600 plus. Throwing light on expansion plans, Mr. Varghese shared that Khazana plans to open 100 showrooms across country in next 3 years, expand overseas in UAE, Singapore and also venture in ecommerce arena.
Explaining the Business Process of Khazana, Mr. Varghese apprised that firstly gold bullions are imported from South Africa and Switzerland or purchased from RBI, and then passed to goldsmiths with designs for every ornament given by Khazana team. Then, after karigars make the ornaments, jewellery is checked and hallmarked by Government of India Institute for purity, quality, durability and then Hallmarked. After Hallmark stamping, it is sent to showrooms for sales.
Highlighting the point of differences of Khazana jewellery, Mr. Varghese emphasized that the chances of gold contamination are nill and even diamonds are sourced by Khazana. Exclusive designers design unique designs of ornaments. Over a decade, Khazana has built dedicated customers across India. They were the pioneers to introduce ‘Purity’ Guarantee Cart with photo of the ornament, which ensures that if a customer ever wants to sell or melt the ornament will not lose a single rupee in the gold value. In today’s parlance, it is called BIS hallmarked ornament. Khazana has manufacturing hubs all over India and maintains quality, product finish and competitive pricing to its customers.
Talking about Management Trainee Program, Mr. Varghese said that a Management trainee after undergoing 6 months development training and on the job training becomes Area Sales Manager. An Area Sales Manager has cross functional stints in area of sales, Product (which includes sourcing, making and pricing), business development and marketing. The major roles of an Area Sales Manager include handling cluster of showrooms, sales and operations, team management, crises management, customer retention and acquisition and driving customer-focus approach within team.
The deeply insightful session was concluded with Mr. Varghese taking barrage of students’ queries and answering everyone.
TAPMI CXO Leadership Lecture Series: Guest Session by Mr Rampraveen Swaminathan, President, International Paper Inc.
Mr Rampraveen Swaminathan, visited TAPMI on the 8th of October, 2014 to interact with the students. The session was conducted as a part of the TAPMI CxO Leadership Lecture Series. Mr Rampraveen is the President of the International Paper Inc, and serves as the MD and CEO of the International Paper APPM ltd. a subsidiary of the mother firm.
He has more than 15 years of experience in the field of Strategy and General Management. Mr Rampraveen is an alumnus of TAPMI with an MBA in Finance. He set the context of the talk upfront by saying that the two topics he will be talking about will be the Company and Leadership.
He went on to tell about International Paper Inc, and its history. Established in 1898, it has operations in 24 countries and has more than 3000 employees in India. It acquired the Andhra Pradesh Paper Mills (APPM) in the year 2011 to form the Indian subsidiary firm International Paper APPM ltd. The revenue generated from its India operations is $0.4 billion, whereas the revenue generated from global operations is $34 billion.
They have a B2B model, wherein the business is segmented into the following divisions:
- Industrial Packaging
- Consumer Packaging
- Printing Papers
He spoke about the “Sustainable Forestry” philosophy that is followed by International Paper, as per which for every tree they cut, they plant four trees so that the environmental balance can be established and sustained. With this they have been able to grow wood and agro land and forms a major chuck of their Corporate Social Responsibility.
He then spoke about his experience and what it takes to be a successful leader. He said for a leader it is very important to be able to deal with Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. The major values that should be demonstrated by a leader are Courage, Higher Ambition and Entrepreneurship. He said that leaders should have learning agility, network centricity and diversity.
He ended the lecture by saying that, “It is always necessary that we do what is right, rather than doing what is convenient”. The lecture ended with the TAPMI Placement Forum, extending the vote of thanks to Mr Rampraveen for taking time out of his busy schedule and addressing the students of TAPMI.