Insights into the ITES BPO Industry – A talk by Mr. Anil Joseph from Sutherland Global Services

July 24, 2014 Leave a comment

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On Tuesday, 22nd July, TAPMI proudly played host to Mr. Anil Joseph, Vice President and Head of Service Delivery – Insurance at Sutherland Global Services. With a diverse experience across sectors like Financial Services, Hospitality and Concept Sales, over 19 years, Mr Joseph has indeed accomplished a great deal in a relatively short span. He was here to give the students an overview in general about what Sutherland does and in particular talk about careers in the ITES BPO Sector.  

The session kicked off with Mr. Joseph sharing the story of his own entrepreneurial venture started by him at the age of twenty three that offered the services to a large customer base in the city, which later has emerged in similar concepts like “Ask Me” and “Just Dial”. Although the venture did take off for three years, he had to wind it up for lack of scope and expansion possibilities in the location. Mr. Joseph used the reference to stress the importance of pursuing ones passion.

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Talking about Sutherland as a company, Mr. Joseph spoke about the different services offered by Sutherland namely – front office, back office and the knowledge services. The current strategy of Sutherland is pursuant on a transition from contact center services to a truly integrated BPO, essentially meaning that it would strive for non-linear growth – one where the firm does not merely grow proportionately the number of people but rather by building assets in technology, platforms and tools that generate revenues. Mr. Joseph also spoke about how the choices of office locations of Sutherland across the globe, was more due to the client preference than any other reason. While referring to the newly added Bangalore location, he mentioned the underlying reason being the acquisition of a business line managed by an existing client and the desire to retain the knowledge and experience of people working in it. He also walked the students through the various employee-benefits and employee connect programmes offered to the employees at Sutherland Global.

Stressing on the importance of adaptability – especially at the post B School stage, Mr. Joseph emphasized the importance of accepting change the way it comes. He encouraged the students to go the extra mile and communicate with the right people during the initial years in the industry and reap the benefits as they progress in their professional lives. As Mr. Joseph offered a peek in to the ITES/BPO profession, the audience were able to get a clear picture dispelling quite a few misconceptions built in their minds so far. Towards the end, Mr. Joseph entertained numerous questions from the audience who were curious about various aspects of the ITES BPO industry and in particular about the culture and processes at Sutherland Global.

Overall, it was an excellent opportunity for the students to obtain an overview of the business and operations of Sutherland Global Services and gain insights into careers in the ITES BPO industry.

Guest Lecture Session by Ms Hema Rengaswamy, Sr. HR Business Partner for Scope International, Standard Chartered Bank

July 22, 2014 Leave a comment

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On 20th July, TAPMI was graced by the presence of Ms. Hema Rengaswamy, Sr. HR Business Partner for Scope International, Standard Chartered Bank, Chennai. She has gained her experience of diverse work cultures having worked in big-shot companies like Infosys and Amazon.com before joining Standard Chartered.

She began the session with the clichéd question that all MBA’s and budding MBA’s have faced at some point or the other in their lives – Why MBA? And the answers ranged from gaining a new perspective towards a job to salary raise to better chance to show entrepreneurial abilities. Ms. Hema, being their at a student’s position herself a few years back, owing to her Alma Mater, NIT Trichy, understood clearly what the students thought at this point of time. She explained that how MBA helps in one’s growth in the Corporate Ladder, at different stages:

 Picture1At every stage, there is one attribute necessarily to be present predominantly, for example – At the first stage, being energetic is important, since one has to roll up his sleeves and get down to work. Moving up the ladder, the requirements change from being able to manage resources efficiently to managing time (time among customers, employees, family and self) and then lastly, to be able to manage all the attributes effectively. The last stage is particularly important in terms of management because whatever the top management does, same is reflected on the middle management which trickles down to the lower levels. She stressed at the fact that it’s important to achieve all the developmental milestones of the Corporate Ladder, in order to be successful at the top; unless and until one understands who a team works through to fulfil the project objectives, one can’t be a successful People’s Manager.

Moving further she explained the 4 C’s of the Corporate World:

  • Challenge – One needs to be challenged at every step of his Corporate Ladder, even if it’s C-Suite to ensure that he’s on the right track.
  • Collaborate – Power of collaboration is of primary importance in management. One may not be a good People’s Manager, but he should focus on induce his power of collaboration – manage politics, influence people to work with you etc.
  • Communicate – Communication should grow with the one moving up the Ladder. Over-communication is a myth.
  • Culture – Company culture defines a lot about the company. Hence, it needs to be nurtured carefully.

Further in the session, she explained what a manager really needs, that can be summarized as:

Picture2According to her, Visibility and Delivery is a rare combination but achievable and should be strived for at each stage so as to establish oneself as a strategic HR partner. And her 11 Commandments of Success has helped her in achieving the combination and to be at the position she is today.

From her experience, she deduced that the need and required qualifications of an HR has changed drastically from what they were a few years back, than to what they are now. HR’s today need to be a step ahead of their leader. They are required to go beyond the HR metrics and substantiate the data with their value-addition.

In the final moments of the session, she journeyed the audience through the Health and Wellness Initiatives she undertook in Scope International – SHAPE, SEED and ELITE. And her efforts have been recognised by the company through awards such as Organisation Award for Excellence. She believed that company’s health in the long run is directly proportional to its employee health today. Hence, it is viable for a company to invest in its employees’ well-being. The session ended with her answers to many of the inquisitive minds in the room and her receiving a token of appreciation from the Placement Team at TAPMI for her visit.

Guest Lecture Session by Mr Mayank Jain, Area Business Manager, Tanishq, Titan Company Ltd.

July 16, 2014 Leave a comment

Mayank Jain

I am travelling half the year around the world, every year, so coming home is one of the most beautiful things.

-Andre Rieu, Creator of Johann Strauss Orchestra

Home coming was indeed a beautiful experience for Mr. Mayank Jain who takes pride in being a TAPMIan. Currently, he’s serving as Area Business Manager, Tanishq, Titan Company Ltd. Mr. Jain was a part of 2010-12 batch and he was back to the campus on 13th July 2014, sharing his experience of the college days with the students and how TAPMI provided a thrust to his life when he made his way to Titan Company Ltd.

The main highlight of his experiences of the college time was the discipline and academic rigour part of TAPMI. He detailed the point that it may be possible that students might take the discipline and rigour of TAPMI as unnecessary and too harsh for them, but he stressed on the fact that in the long run it is that rigour only that pays off. It eventually equips the TAPMIans in taking better decisions as they can weigh the consequences more precisely than others.

The session was highly interactive and more of a casual talk. The session went onto topics like outbound programmes of the college, importance of networking to very subjective questions like how to be sure that Marketing is the best choice for a particular student. He talked about his experiences in the college,  his friends, the balance between academics and his work in the Event Management Committee of  BrandScan – the largest market research fair in India, the hardships he had to face and the outcomes, his learnings from the outbound programme and overall what TAPMI provided him.

The talk went onto discuss his life after TAPMI, mainly his time in Titan – Tanishq. He began with the arrival of Titan in the Indian market when HMT was the market leader and how Titan was successful in capturing the leader board position in just a few years of its inception. He explained how Tanishq came into picture when India wasn’t exposed to the idea of an organised retailing in jewellery. Tanishq’s main challenge was to compete with the local and regional players and “brand itself nationally”. It had to offer designs that were suitable to the preferences of the local customers as well as cater nationally available designs.

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He concluded the session stressing on “observing” more; be it inside the college or in the market, we need to observe more, try to understand the market dynamics and try to strategize our position accordingly. He further stated that understanding the market needs is important, but above that would be to “create” a market need altogether and that’s what Tanishq did – succesfully.

The session was highly enjoyed by both the guest and the students since the inquisitive and curious minds of the students fuelled Mr. Jain’s nostalgia related to the college. In the end, the college appreciated Mr. Jain’s efforts in taking out time for the talk by a small token of appreciation.

Guest Talk – Mr. Kaustubh Bhadbhade, Senior Manager- Human Resources at Persistent Systems Ltd.

July 15, 2014 Leave a comment

Persistent

The students of TAPMI had this opportunity to be addressed by Mr. Kaustubh Bhadbhade, Senior Manager- Human Resources at Persistent Systems Ltd. on 14th of July 2014.

Persistent Systems is a global company specializing in software product and technology services. Persistent has a global team of more than 7,500 employees worldwide including offices and delivery centers in North America, Europe, and Asia. Persistent develops best-in-class solutions in key next-generation technology areas including Analytics, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Mobility and Social, for the telecommunications, life sciences, healthcare, and banking & financial service

The session was very interactive with students asking a myriad of questions. Mr. Bhadbhade gave the students insights on what a recruiter looks for in a candidate. Coming from a mechanical background and currently heading the HR department, Mr. Bhadbhade has worked in a variety of roles. He told the students to take everything in life as a challenge. He believed that there is no career path that an organization could offer but the one should craft a path for oneself. He stressed that the journey is more important than the destination.

He gave clarity to students who would be appearing for their placement this year regarding expectations from the industry. He gave numerous examples from his life and times at various organizations and how he handled difficult situations.

???????????????????????????????Mr. Bhadbhade then the organization culture at Persistent Systems Ltd. He went on to explain how the company is handling various clients and the future prospects of the organization. The session came to an end with the Placement Committee of TAPMI sharing the vote of thanks and presenting the guest speaker with a memento on behalf of the TAPMI family.

Growth Story Of Plantronics – An interactive Guest Lecture session by Mr Bobby Joseph, Sr. Country Head – Plantronics India

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment

Plantronics

The students of TAPMI had this opportunity to be addressed by Mr Bobby Joseph, Sr. Country Manager – Plantronics India on 12th July, 2014. Mr Joseph is an alumnus of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), and has more than 20 years of industry experience. Mr Joseph designed the lecture as an interactive session and focused the topic of discussion on his life’s learning through the various professional events of his life.

According to Mr Joseph, we should always dream as that enables us to decide what we want to do in life. He instantiated with some initial learning that he received when he joined Berger Paints in a Sales profile in Rajkot. Fresh out of B-School, Mr Joseph was under the impression that he can achieve anything but after it took him 9 months to crack the first sales deal, he understood that life doesn’t always proceed the way we want it to.

The three major learning that he shared from those experiences of his were:

  • Perseverance
  • Never to compromise one’s integrity, and
  • Humility

Moving on with the session, he spoke about the next phase in his life when he joined WIPRO Ltd. in 1995. During this phase he got the chance to work with Mr Azim Premji, from whom he learned the following:

  • Read as much as you can as knowledge carries you ahead
  • Be competitive and show your hunger
  • Prepare to take the leap in order to stay ahead of the game

In 1998 Mr Joseph joined Walt Disney Consumer Products as a Retail Manger and during this phase he learnt the importance of taking a pause and refocusing on one’s environment. In the following years Mr Joseph joined Nokia India as a Sales Manager (Northern and Eastern Region) and later joined Plantronics India in 2002.

Mr Joseph then shared his experience in Plantronics India and gave a brief history about Plantronics which was started by two pilots and manufactures bluetooth headsets that are used for Air Traffic Control in Defense and Aviation sectors. He spoke about the challenges he had to face as soon as he joined Plantronics which involved a legal battle with a distributor of 18 years.

He further elaborated on the Growth Story of Plantronics India by giving insights into the challenges faced by Plantronics in propagating its business in the country. The company opened its branches in the three cities of Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. They moved into the APAC region in 2007. With a 50 year old legacy behind it, still the company faced rough waters with the onset of Economic Recession in 2008-09 when it had to close down the Hyderabad office.

However, Plantronics was able to come out of the recession and entered the new untapped market of Middle East. Mr Joseph was made responsible for the Middle East business operations of the company and he delivered stupendously by growing it to 56% by 2012. They also launched their products on the eCommerce website Flipkart in India to increase reach and availability.

The biggest mantra that he shared with us was that for having a good business, one has to be good with people as Business is made of people.

Some other mantras that he shared from his experience were:

  • Do not concentrate only on Market Share for success
  • Always run a profitable business and keep the bottom-line secured
  • Spend the first 8 – 9 years understanding the business and the environment
  • Take calculated risks

Towards the end of the session he spoke about the purpose of life and the importance of family. He shared insights on Time Management and further instantiated them with incidents from his life.

All in all the experience was extremely enriching for the students. The session came to an end with the Placement Committee of TAPMI sharing the vote of thanks and presenting the guest speaker with a memento on behalf of the TAPMI family.

Back to campus – Risk Analytics and more.. (A Guest Lecture Session) by Mr Vipul Mahajan, Head Analytics – Retail & SME Banking, Yes Bank

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment

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This Sunday (13th July 2014) TAPMI played host to its very own alumnus from the batch of 2007 – Mr. Vipul Mahajan, Head Analytics – Retail & SME Banking, Yes Bank. Recalling his days at TAPMI, Mr. Mahajan spoke about how the campus had come a long way in terms of facilities and the breadth of knowledge among students.

The session kicked off with Mr. Mahajan soliciting real life examples of analytics from the audience. Through live examples, he conveyed to the students what an Analysts life is like and more importantly stressed on the need for an analyst to be familiar with his/her data. Mr.Mahajan said he believed it is imperative for someone looking at a career in Analytics to be well versed with data and have the appetite for statistics and mathematics.

While the intuitive meaning of analytics points to logic, he said, equally important is how findings and analysis is communicated to the concerned audience. Communication is only effective if it involves putting across the analysis to a layman.

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Talking about the process flow involved in an analytics project, that involved Problem, Data, Science, Solution and Presentation in that order, Mr Mahajan emphasized that none is more important than the other and that the time required for one is often much different than that required for the other.

Further, Mr Mahajan shared a less known yet very significant application of analytics in the area of Clinical trials. Data captured in the process can be used to speed up and enhance the trials, he mentioned.

The audience was eager to know about the career progression associated with the Analytics domain. While enlightening them on this matter, Mr.Mahajan busted many myths and wrong perceptions in their minds. He also shared his own career path so far and quoted a couple of interesting anecdotes from his days as a fresh B-school graduate.

The session concluded with Mr. Mahajan walking the students through a simplified simulation of a real life analytics project on bank loan defaults, which the students seemed to grasp really well while also getting a feel of the industrial context of analytics.

Guest Lecture on Cultural Sensitivity by Mr Madhavan P B, Director Purchasing (APAC) – Ford Motor Company

July 14, 2014 Leave a comment

On Saturday, 12th July 2014, TAPMI was graced by the presence of Mr. Madhavan P B, Director Purchasing (APAC) – Ford Motor Company, to interact with TAPMIans about current Management trends. The particular focus of this session was on working in a multi-cultural environment. Cultural sensitivity being a trending theme in the management issues of today, this topic immediately struck a chord with all the students present.

Ford

The session started with a humorous video about the issues people face due to cultural mismatch, and the humour continued in the form of Mr. Madhavan’s anecdotes and interesting insights into the intricacies of the integrated corporate world. Essentially, the topics dealt with in the span of 2 hours were Cultural Awareness and its criticality, the contributors to the differences among cultures and their manifestations, what we can do to alleviate the problems, and finally the benefits of implementing approaches in the direction of cultural sensitivity.

Various facets of the argument that contributed to this discussion were touched upon by Mr Madhavan as well as the students with whom he was interacting. Different experiences of the diverse group and his expertise and vast corporate experience ensured a rich and fruitful exchange of ideas, and many of them were centred on the small things that we observe regularly but seldom notice, such as Language, Accent, Time zones and consciousness, Education, Experience and Priorities.

Finally, going deeper into the issue, the manifestations of the various aspects of culture from individual-oriented to community-oriented organizations were discussed with gusto, such as Independence manifesting into Interdependence, Egalitarianism into Status, Risk into Restraint, and Directness into Indirectness etc.

The net result of all these discussions was that the students gained a focused view of the issues and probable solutions of cultural differences, and Mr Madhavan went away with the knowledge of a large number of points of view on the issues. The healthy discussion generated has sparked the interest of the students into subjects such as Cross-Cultural Management, and we sincerely hope that we will keep having such sessions with Mr Madhavan in the future as well.

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