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.
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.
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
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:
- Never to compromise one’s integrity, and
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
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.
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
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.
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.
‘Manthan 2014’ is a Budget Analysis session of the Union Budget 2014-15, which was organized by the Finance Forum at TAPMI on July 12, 2014. The panel discussion was attended by finance professionals from industry, academia, faculty and students to discuss and analyze the implications, challenges and the opportunities of the Union Budget of 2014-15.
The panelists for Manthan 2014 included eminent personalities from the world of finance and academia. They were Dr. G V Joshi (Member of Karnataka State Planning Board), C. A. Y. Ganesh (Senior Chartered Accountant) and Prof. Avinash Paranjape.
The panel discussion commenced with Dr. G V Joshi speaking about the Budget 2014 and its implication on growth and development. He started by comparing the current Budget with the earlier budgets. He was of the opinion that the current Union Budget had sufficient measures to expedite the growth rate. However, he also felt that it was too optimistic and need of the hour was to generate growth impulses, for which realism was the best approach. He highlighted with supporting facts that at present, generating growth impulses in Agriculture and service sector was not possible. “Green shoots are present, provided we seize the available opportunities” said Dr. Joshi. He specifically talked about the role Manufacturing sector could play to create more jobs as all manufacturing companies are looking for opportunities in India due to increase in Labour costs in China. He threw light on many initiatives that were mentioned in the current budget to supplement the growth of manufacturing sector. He also cautioned the gathering that everything was not perfect in the current Budget and that there was an element of populism in it. He concluded his talk with the opinion that populist measures were not good for the growth of the nation.
The second speaker in the panel was Prof. Avinash Paranjape who gave a macroeconomic perspective of the Union Budget. Prof. Paranjape thought that the budget was fantastic at first look with lots of money allocated to building infrastructure, SEZ etc. But then, he wondered how the government is going to gain the sufficient amount of money to make its proposals a reality. He highlighted that the current macroeconomic situation had twin deficits: Current account and the fiscal deficit. Worse, the economy had a continuing primary deficit and also the international confidence was low. So he was unable to gauge where the money was going to come from. Government also has a fiscal deficit target limit of 4.1%. Under these situations there will be accelerated borrowing from the government. Hence, he believes that the government expectations are far from reality.
The third and final speaker in the panel discussion was Mr. C. A. Y. Ganesh. He elaborated on the tax perspective of the union budget 2014-15. He explained in detail the various changes made in the tax structure and its implications. Mr. Ganesh opined that the present budget gave importance to manufacturing sector. He also explained the new concepts that found its way in the current budget like real estate investment trust and alternate minimum tax.
‘Manthan 2014’ ended with discussion on questions been taken up from the audience. The panel discussion enriched the audience by giving them various dimensions of the Budget 2014-15.
This Saturday, 12th July 2014, TAPMI students had the opportunity of having a TAPMI alumnus (PGDM-HR 2004-2006) as its guest speaker, Mr Atul Mohan, Manager, Human Resources, Flipkart. Mr. Mohan has been with Flipkart close to three years and has been associated with organizations like Tesco and Infosys.
Mr Mohan gave an insightful lecture on what to expect in HR and also what not to expect in HR. Human Resources deals with the real world problems and with people who in an organization are very different from each other in their attitudes, personalities and various other factors. HR covers various aspects like performance management, talent acquisition, HR Business Partner, Shared services, programs, compensation and benefits etc. A role of an HR manger is that of a statistician, financial controller, financial partner, accountant, legal advisor, salesman, consultant, inspector and above all an agony aunt, all rolled into one.
Shedding light on each aspect in detail, Mr Atul explained that the talent acquisition segment of HR role takes care of categories like lateral and fresher composition in an organization, turn-around time (TAT), talent v/s fulfilment, salary fixation and parity, location and business wise fulfilment. The business partners segment of HR role consists of talent planning; resource management by optimal utilization of resources; attrition management by monitoring visible statistics and trends.
For compensation and benefits segment of HR role, market research forms a very crucial part. Market research needs to be done to decide the compensation to be offered to the employees viz-a-viz that offered by competitors. If a competitor offers higher salary chances are that the employee may consider switch. So external agencies are hired for collection of data required to derive the compensation package to attract the best talent and prevent switching. There is also the concept of percentile placement which determines the compensation benefit for an employee with respect to his position on percentile curve. Forming policies and gauging its impact is yet another important activity under the compensation and benefit segment of HR. A lot of number crunching is required for forming any kind of compensation policy.
Numerous factors affect the compensation packages. A recent trend that has been observed is that the campus salaries have gone up by upto 15%. The hike is done to keep up with competition as the competitors might pay higher salary to attract best, fresh talent. But this is in sharp contradiction to the higher senior positions whose annual hike is withheld. There are high chances that organization in order to attract fresh talent may be infringing on the compensation band of higher level. So its never an easy job as like a chain reaction all subsequent level compensation needs to changed and dealt with.
A constant challenge for HR is battling perceptions that HR roles are least stressful, complex and challenging. But thankfully the face of HR and the perceptions are changing. In the earlier times HR had lesser role to play in an organization but in the current times HR is responsible for maintaining the friendly culture in the organization as more than half of the workforce is young and dynamic. The employees can leave the organization is they feel disconnected. For these reasons HR today needs to be more agile and interactive and plays a very prominent role in the organization. Also the perceptions of ineffectiveness can arise due to the fact that HR guys withhold lot of confidential data.
The performance management segment of HR role consists of many aspects like the bell curve, force ranking, payouts against budget and ranging of ratings and payouts. All the calculations and jugglery with numbers need to be done with keeping in mind the budget pie. Promotion of employees and alignment to the organization pyramid needs to be done. Portfolios need to be assigned to promoters. To help in the promotion cycle, business plans are designed. Thus the role of HR is more of being HR Business Partners and not HR orderlies.
The payroll and shared services function of HR performs the task of sending salaries every month by maintaining the uniqueness of every salary. Legal compliances and related filings with respect to PF, and tax computations are taken care of.
Programs aspect of HR does the function of running campaigns like anti-sexual harassment or safety programs to name a few. Leadership development programs are conducted and the insurance coverage is taken care of. Matters like career planning and succession and handing ESOPs are handled.
Concluding, Mr Mohan reiterated that HR is perhaps one of the trickiest and potentially most impact creating enabling function. There is usually no binary approach and quite many times, HR needs to behave like an octopus having hands spread out in all possible directions. Answering a barrage of questions of students Mr Mohan emphasized the importance of theories subjects which the students study, can be put to practice and prove to be quite helpful later.