Mr. Sriram Iyer and Mr. Binu John Visited Tapmi on 15th Sept 2014, to have an interactive session with the students.
The session kicked off with Mr. Sriram taking students through the journey of Wipro, how Wipro’s business structure evolved and the series of acquisitions with which they went through.
After talking broadly about how Wipro evolved as a company, My Sriram moved on to talk about the evolution of their flagship brand from consumer care section- Santoor.
Santoor, launched in 1986 is one of the three toilet soap brands to have succeeded in the last25 years. Today, it stands as the India’s third largest toilet soap brand by value.
Mr. Sriram stressed on the importance of marketing research and how it has been an integral part of their strategy in making Santoor a successful brand. In 1984 In the Toilet soap market, there were over 100 brands and over 20 companies, however only a few brands dominated the market. Some of them were brands from HLL, Tomco, Godrej and Swastik. At that time, lot of companies were entering the market through premium segment.
During that time, Wipro scanned the opportunity in the personal wash habits and attitudes of consumers, through research and findings. They found out that there is a tradition of using Haldi and Chandan as skin care products in Indian women. They also found out that no other player was operating in this segment. By leveraging on the opportunity of first mover, Wipro thought of offering the goodness of these ingredients through the convenience of soap. Also, apart from the premium brands, none of the brands talked about the natural ingredients in their offering. After the initial test launch results, Wipro decided to launch the product with communication focus on goodness of natural ingredients.
Stressing on the importance and relevance of marketing and brand management courses, Mr. Sriram stated that you are not the consumer, so always think from the consumer’s perspective, not from your own perspective. He also stressed on the fact that one should not use their own judgement in finding out what communication is good.
Talking further about the journey of Santoor, Mr. Sriram mentioned about the downfall of the brand and how they managed to bounce back. During 1990’s, since the appeal of brand was limited, they ran out of ways to geographically expand the brand. That was the time they realised that it is important to convert unique product features into consumer benefits.
He also mentioned that to make your brand stand out in the crowd; find a benefit that is unique, never fading and always desirable. The main mantra of success is- “Don’t talk features, talk benefits”. He further added that if your strategy is right, even an average advertisement can build brand volumes.
Finally he concluded the session by sharing the success mantra of Santoor: “Always keep consumers at the core and keep innovating in the marketing mix”
Overall, it was an excellent opportunity for the students to complement their theoretical understanding of Brand management and marketing studies with real examples from the industry.
Mr Raghuveer HR, Sales Director at Dimension Data, had an interactive session with the students sharing his experiences in the IT services industry. With a degree in Advanced Management from INSEAD and a PGDM in Marketing Management from University of Mysore, Mr Raghuveer started his career in the field of sales from HCL and later worked his way up through various companies, to become the Sales Director for Dimensions Data India Ltd. The company has a very impressive clientèle comprising of 73% of the global Fortune 100 companies and 59% of the global Fortune 500 companies.
Mr Raghuveer explained strategy as a planned approach to achieve goals. He went in depth in explaining the difference between customer and client and how they impact a business. He kept the session interactive and explained about the strategy which forms the base of the company. Mr Raghuveer had the opinion that a winning business comprises of efficient use of market opportunities, distinctive capabilities and employees passion.
According to him, the key factors which play a major role in framing of a strategy are analyzing organization’s mission, vision and value statement, differentiation, Threat and opportunities, Stakeholders expectation, alternatives strategies, operational plan, contingency plan and monitor progress for effectiveness. He also stressed on the point that it is important to use a balanced scorecard to monitor progress of the strategy. He concluded with the note that the only thing that is constant in our lives is change and we should be ready to embrace it as and when it comes.
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.
Guest Lecture on Entrepreneurship by Mr Beas Dev Ralhan – Co Founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.
The students of TAPMI attended the Guest Lecture session delivered by Mr Beas Dev Ralhan, the CEO of Next Education India Pvt. Ltd. on 30th August 2014. An alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay; Mr Beas went on to complete his MBA in General Management from London Business School. He has worked in many organizations but entrepreneurship was something that inspired him the most. He started the lecture with some experiences of his and went on to say that at the core that is required, you’re either entrepreneurial or you’re not, there’s no two ways about it. People who are wealth creators enjoy a little poverty. Evaluate yourself before getting into anything; if you need a support system go for the corporate world otherwise create something of your own.
Don’t wait for the right idea, pick up any idea. If you want to be a wealth creator or want to create a social impact you must dedicate yourself to entrepreneurship. If something becomes mainstream it’s not going to pay well, no risk no reward, try to be original. The safer you play the lower the rewards. Start participating in risk early, because you need to start as early as possible to take charge. Don’t ever wait for opportunities, you don’t need to be good at feedback you need to be blunt. Smart people don’t need to be diplomatic.
He gave an example of Warren Buffet who invested in many stocks out of which only 6 or 7 made him rich, he risked a lot but got back more. What the world will call an opportunity will be the worst project in the most terrible sector, and you will regret it. It’s a sign of a bad decision, because you want to acquire skills to manage situations. Make the most of the two years of MBA because these are your only two years when you get to acquire skills, learn an instrument, lose weight, change from an introvert to an extrovert. He finished the lecture by quoting Scott Adams who said that “One skill doesn’t make much of a difference, so the more skills you have the more valuable you are.”
Topic – “Challenges in Talent Management in a Multi-Generational Work Context.”
Moving in its final phase, DISHA 2014 reached its zenith. The final panel discussion that took place among the prominent faces of the corporate world added another star to the event’s glory. The topic discussed in the panel was “Challenges in Talent Management in a Multi-Generational Work Context”.It was moderated by Prof. Seena Biju, TAPMI.Some of the important issues discussed were- different needs and aspirations of various generations, need of professional attitude at the work place and questions like ‘If we are making too much of the generation gap’.
Mr. Ramakrishna, Senior VP of HR,IDFC: Mr. Ramakrishna joined in the panel discussion by saying that, at any point, there are multiple generations working in an organization. They are required to work together to achieve the organizational goals. To do this, we need to understand their expectations and communicate well. Generations don’t matter, as long as the employees deliver and the shareholders are happy. When newer generations enter the workforce, the average age of the organizational employees reduce. The newer generations are eager to take-up newer platforms to communicate optimally with each other. Mr. Ramakrishna concluded by saying that people will find new ways to communicate with each other, across generations and coexist if they have a shared vision.
Ms. Vidya Muralidharan, HR Business Partner – After Market – Ashok Leyland: Ms. Vidya Muralidharan started the discussion with a question – “Are we making too much of the generation gap?” She said that the main differences between the older and younger generation is the shuffling of jobs on the basis of pay packages and the amount of knowledge that is available to the younger generation, which was not available for the older people. She concluded with emphasizing on the importance of communication channels and how they help facilitate communication in an organization.
Mr. Mohnish Vaidya, Director HR, UST Global; Mr. Mohnish started the discussion on a lighter note that when he started his career, there were none of these generations viz. Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers and Traditionalists; but now one more has born – Gen Z. Making a remark on the way technology has dominated our lives, he said, “I want to know whether how many present here were born with smart phones”. He believed that when we bring our family issues to the work place, then it becomes a problem. If people act professionally, the organization knows better what work they want to get out of the employee. Lot of the issues then that people have in an organization would be resolved.
Mr. Nagdev B, Director HR, Aptean Global: Mr. Nagdev B joined the discussion with an age old quote by Socrates “The next generation will ruin the world”. Hence, this multigenerational gap has always existed.This is the “not so good part” and thus, history may not repeat always but it may rhyme. There has to be ways to balance the interaction between the younger and the elder generations. By giving the analogy of a family staying together in spite of various differences, he emphasized on the importance of gaining equilibrium between multi-generations in the organization.Various approaches to encourage employees of different generations, viz. Traditional, Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y, to work as a team towards their organizational goals was also shared by him.He revealed the secret of being a successful manager by stating, “People can resign from the company but they will never leave. They look for ways to stay associated with the company”.
He concluded the discussion by stating the need to reduce the perception gap which is the biggest barrier in multi -generational context by taking a midway.
Topic: “Securing the millennial talent in the emerging market.”
The following is an excerpt from the panel discussion ‘Onimia’ that took place on day 6 of Disha 2014. The panel comprised of five industry stalwarts and was moderated by Prof (Col.) P.S James Area head HR, TAPMI. The audience got the unique opportunity to understand HR practices currently followed by the panelists in their respective organizations. The discussion centered on leveraging the talent offered by the millennial generation (born between 1980 and early 2000).
Mr. Om Prakash-VP of HR at Deloitte USI: Mr. Om Prakash emphasized that effectiveness is measured by the productivity of small teams in an organization. Teams are comprized of people with varying experiences. Managers need to invest in managing the diversity of the teams. He said that there should be no preset heirarchy in the organizations as knowledge and expertise trump heirarchy in a team. He felt that, to be effective, managers should be tech savvy and that there is a need for the current leaders to develop and nurture future leaders from the coming generations. He concluded by saying that enabled employees, when confronted with challenges will always yield results.
Mr. Suraj Chettri-Head HR at Airbus & Airbus group India: Mr. Suraj Chettri felt that there is no real difference between GenX and GenY. Human beings are influenced by their surroundings and are often shaped by the prevalent ecosystem. He said that the hard work of the previous generation has provided a higher platform to start off from to the current generation. Thus, he felt that self actualization is more important for the current generation as everything else is easily avaiable to them. He said that the only distiguishable feature between the current and previous genration is the tech savviness of the current generation i.e GenX will have to adapt to GenY. He concluded by saying that in his organization, every opinion is given equal importance and respected, irrespective of generational difference.
Mr. Nagaraj V, Senior Vice-President & Chief People Officer at Arvind Brands: Mr. Nagaraj started the discussion on a thoughtful note, “We don’t understand the word millennium; in my opinion we never really deal differently with who’s a millennial and who’s not”. He further added that in today’s time, organizations deal with the people of today and people of today come with different economic backgrounds and circumstances. He also put forth that nowadays organizations don’t emphasize on rules but rather focus on innovation, ideas and fun, hence people get an opportunity to give feedback and put forth their ideas. Mr.Nagaraj concluded with an authentic thought, “You can’t tell the millennium to adapt, the organization must adapt to the character of the millennium. The organization has to take cognizance of this fact, there is no choice”, this statement depicts the current scenario of the mindset of the millennium. When asked about the competition factor that is widely prevalent in today’s time Mr. Nagaraj explained that the only advantage in previous generations is that there was no competition, and this millennium’s biggest challenge is competition.
Ms. Ranjana Anand, Director HR, Asia Pacific at Optimal Strategix:Comes from a market research company. She finds that current generation is more focused and they come with a mindset that this will be our career. They know where they have to go. They take jobs that would lead them to their career and their goals. They also have to have lot of fun during this process. Engagement comes through training, whether it’s On Job Training or functional training; Ms. Ranjana’s organization also tries to give personal development training as well. She concludedby saying, ‘We reward and recognize every good work that is done. The person in our company becomes the brand. That’s why we have referral programs in our company because we want our employees to speak for the company rather than company going out and telling about themselves’.
Mr. Parthasarathy Sarangapani, Head of Talent Acquisition at Matrimony.com:In any generation, whether it is X or Y, it is the character of that person that matters. In his recent experience of hiring people from top b-schools, he looked for the candidates with certain values that the company could align with, because values don’t change with time, they remain the same. Mr. Parthasarathyconcluded by saying, ‘It is our policy documents that come with a lot of graffiti, so that people can adapt and appreciate what we are trying to show’. The way of communication has changed. Technology is imperative, but it does not bring any change in the organization, but character of a person does.
So, although lot of people are available for jobs, millennial talent can be differentiated with character, and vision that a candidate has.
Topic – “Talent creation through learning and development.”
The last day of Onimia, Day 6 at Disha 2014, saw eminent personalities from Technological space Mr. AshitRanjan, VP, Tecnova Global, Mr. Santosh Mishra, Director –HR 24×7 Innovation Labs; Mr Karuna Kumar Vempala, Head – Talent Acquisition, Cigniti Technologies and MrSushanta Kumar Sarma, Associate Professor at T.A. Pai Management Institute, Manipalfor the 1st panel discussion of the ultimate day of Disha 2014, a day which all the TAPMIans had wished would not have come so soon. The mode at TAPMI was changed since the past 5 days of Disha 2014, experiencing the deep insights with learning .The same was being sought for from the last day of the panel discussion as well.The panel started with the introduction of the topic- “Talent creation through learning and development.”
MrAshitRanjan, VP, Tecnova Global: Mr. Ashit emphasised that young graduates should develop the ability to observe their surroundings and should be able to decipher the business logic from it. Then only they can learn by example and thus become efficient manager in changing times as well. Each employee is responsible for socially enhancing himself/herself to coach others and hence make good future leaders. Today the traditional Indian “mugging framework” has created a tall task of unlearning the whole framework and replacing it with a practical based framework has become a huge task for us especially at Management institutes. Finding the psychological motivator within ourselves and working according to it can automatically bring us to limelight.He said,“Your books do not teach you everything, go to your local “chai wala” and observe how he runs his business. It will teach you more than your books ever can”. He believed, “You will get very limited means, what you make of these means is what defines you” He concluded by saying, “Don’t have expectations from your first job, and don’t be hesitant to get your hands dirty. Whatever you face, try to make the most out of it”
Mr Santosh Mishra, Director –HR 24×7 Innovation Labs:Mr Santosh began his dialogueby emphasizing the need of analysing that how should the management institutions create foundation for developing the concept base in students in today’s day and age which ultimately affects the field work practices of employees of an organisation.“To complete the virtuous knowledge cycle of academics to corporate is requisite today to be complete.” he said.A transition from “one man warriors” to a “Collaborative leader“is the need in today’s leader. Changing times will always pose a shift of paradigm and employees should adapt themselves to that. Mr. Santosh also said that Human Resources managers provide the enabler platform for the employees to showcase their innovative skills and strength. He concluded by saying, “Coaching is impromptu; therefore, continuous engagement programmes are required in the organisation.”
Mr. Karuna Kumar Vempala, Head Talent Acquisition, Cigniti Technologies:Mr Karuna put on table many valuable points pondering over,the high competitive level the current world is into. At this juncture a multi-domain experience is very much essential to sustain. The requisite for any business scenario is to adopt different ways of thinking and be always open to ideas. There is a need of alignment of their job with the interest of the employees.
Mr. Sushanta Kumar Sarma, Associate Professor at T.A. Pai Management Institute Manipal: Mr. Sushanta was of the premise that how can the elderly generation induce the upcoming generation to work together for the better of the organisation as a whole. Only the higher generation cannot be always expected to change the paradigm of the work with change in the challenges of today. He also lay stress on the point that there is a need of self-awareness in people. They should know their fundamental strengths which they can use to take their organisations to greater heights. People need to look for opportunities around them.
With such diverse insights on the various perspectives of the topic, the panel concluded that even though there will always be a gap between the generations at work but this gap has to be gauged mutually by both the generations putting extra efforts to work as a team and for the betterment of the organisation as a whole. There is a need to realise that their success is defined by the success of the organisation in which they are.
Mr. Ashit Ranjan,Vice President, Tecnova Global
The last day of Sophos Series in Disha 2014 witnessed an inciting guest lecture by another ace of consulting firms, Mr Ashit Ranjan,VP,Tecnova Global. In his talk, he shared his valuable life experiences. He advised the students not to have expectations from their first job and whatever they face, they should learn to make the most it.
By quoting the example of a local vendor influencing customer behavior, he emphasized on the importance of practical knowledge that can be acquired from environment rather than by reading or mugging up books. He explained how a person should learn to make the best use of minimum means provided to him.
The importance for corporate worlds to invest time in easing the unlearning of ‘Mugging framework’ from the minds of students was also stressed upon by him.He concluded the lecture by advising the students to make efforts to deliver consistently. Passion and interpersonal skills will take care of the rest.
Mr. Mohinish Vaidya, Director- HR, UST Global
Mr. Mohinish Vaidya, the director at UST Global, a leading IT services company, delivered a lecture on a very interesting topic namely ‘Attrition’ on 23rd August 2014, as a part of Disha 2014-The Annual HR Conclave of TAPMI.
Mr. Mohinish discussed what attrition means and what are the factors leading to it. “Manager is the main person responsible for controlling attrition”, stated the speaker. He also spoke about the factors that we can control and those that we cannot in terms of attrition. He further went on to explain the concepts of good and bad aspects of attrition
The speaker was charged with energy and enthusiasm which created a stimulating atmosphere for learning and sharing. The Q&A session was very interesting and there were many positive take away for the students.
Mr. Suraj Chettri, Head-Human Resources,Airbus
Mr. Chettri started the lecture by quoting a famous movie quote “Past is history, Future is a mystery and Present is a Gift” captivating the students’ attention instantly. The session was an interactive and insightful one. The crux of his lecture was on how the age group has an effect on the industries and how Gen Y is the future of the corporate world.
Technology according to him is the most important tool for the future of India. Gen Y is a tech savvy generation and hence the future lies in their hands. He went on to predict how technology would have an effect on everything from your learning to your work. The way we define work itself would change. With the changing technology, the demands would change and consequently talent would have to change along with it.
As the famous theory of Maslow says, the highest need of an individual is self-actualization but according to Mr.Chettri it has now become a basic need. The constant thing in today’s world is disruption. The question that Gen Y would face is: “Should you be passionate about the company or passionate about your job?”
Mr.Chettri reiterated the fact that learning is changing, transforming and becoming delightful with the advent of technology and Gen Y should embrace it, for it is what would decide their future. He ended the lecture the way he started it – motivating the new millennials to excel in the future!
Ms. Vidya Muralidharan,Head HR – After Market, Ashok Leyland
Ms. Vidya Muralidharan, Head HR – After Market, Ashok Leyland Ltd., delivered a guest lecture about “The Talent Management Challenge” on the 23rd of August, 2014. Ms. Muralidharan completed her Post-graduate diploma in Management from Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar following which she worked across sectors in various companies like Tata Consultancy Services, Satyam Computer Services, Bharti Airtel Limited and the Murugappa Group of Companies, Orchid Pharma.
The Sophos lecture provided valuable insights while covering various challenges faced by a longstanding Indian organization in the manufacturing sector like Ashok Leyland Ltd. The speaker talked about the evolution of the Indian Commercial Vehicle sector with increasing focus on customer satisfaction, cost-efficiency, technological sophistication and reduced response times. The interactive lecture led to experience sharing on issues of multi-generational employees, gender diversity and compensation, comparing practices across sectors like manufacturing, IT etc. Ms. Muralidharan’s conversational lecture was especially appreciated by the audience as it provided progressive understanding into a unique section of business in India which was a focused area of interest for a large segment of the student population.
Mr.Nagaraj V, Senior VP&ChiefPeople’s Officer–Aravind Lifestyle Brands and Retail
Mr. Nagaraj V, the senior VP and Chief People’s Officer at Aravind Lifestyle Brands and Retail, delivered a lecture on Aravind Brand and it’s positioning in the Textile Industry on 23rd August 2014, as a part of Disha 2014-The Annual HR Conclave of TAPMI.
Mr. Nagaraj threw light about Aravind brands across India and the world. It has 29 leading brands and is the first and largest manufacturer of Denim. There are too many variables in the textile industry. The variables could be season, occasion, economic conditions etc. So a market leader in this segment like Aravind needs to be able to adapt to changes continuously and swiftly.
In the Q&A session, one of the question was whether the e-commerce emergence in India was a hindrance to retail outlets. Mr. Nagraj felt that e-commerce was beneficial to its own cause and sees it as an opportunity and not as a threat. Thus the discussion came to an end with the students understanding lots of new things about textile industry.
Mr.Nagdev B, Director HR –Aptean Global
On 23rd August 2014, Mr Nagdev B, Director HR at Aptean Global, visited TAPMI to be a part of Disha 2014, India’s largest HR Conclave. Mr Nagdev has immense experience in the field of Human Resources, and has played the Head of the department in many organizations, namely VMware India software ltd., Novell, Microsoft India, NetApp India Private Limited etc. He has tapped into various aspects of HR, such as Employee Relations, Performance Management, Talent Acquisition, Succession Planning, Talent Management, Employee Engagement and Employee Law.
Further, he addressed the students of TAPMI in an interactive session where he talked about his recent projects, and delightfully linked the worlds of Psychology and Human Resources for the students. A healthy interaction ensued, where he meticulously answered each and every doubt of the students, and shared his experiences with all of them.
TAPMI hopes that there are further such sessions of learning in the future as well, and thanks Mr Nagdev for his precious time and effort that he spared for the students here.
Mr.Santosh Mishra, Director-HR, 24×7 Innovation Labs
On 23rd August 2014, TAPMI had the privilege of hosting a guest lecture by Mr. Santosh Mishra, Director-HR, 24×7 Innovation Labs. Mr. Santosh is the HR Leader for Big Data & Predictive analytic business with a view to create, build & sustain a progressive world class HR organization.He has 14 years of experience in global, multinational organizations. He has expertise in Talent Management, Total rewards & Benefits, PMS & HR Services framework. Mr. Santosh is known for his ability to design and deliver HR solutions from ground up and built scalability.
Mr. Santosh Mishra started off by talking about the quick pace at which ideas go viral now a days when compared to a few years ago. “Success of idea does not depend on how brilliant it is but on how fast it is executed”, said Mr. Santosh. He further added that when ideas become commodity, its premium goes down. Highlighting various aspects of leadership, he said that success of a business leader depends on the ability to empower one’s team. A leader would have an open mind and create opportunities for others. Advising students to think big, he said that one should chase big ideas and execute those ideas into workable business models.
The session was very interactive and the students of TAPMI got an opportunity to clear their doubts from an industry expert. The enthusiasm of students in the classroom was palpable.
Mr.Parthasarthy, Head-Talent Acquisition–Matrimony.com
The students of T.A. Pai Management Institute got a chance to interact with Mr. Parthasarathy Sarangapani, Head – Talent Acquisition at matrimony.com, as a part of Sophos, the Guest Lecture series of Disha 2014. Mr. Parthasarathy is an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur and has worked in organizations such as Omam Consulting, Suvistas, Adecco, Franklin Templeton and Invesco.
Sir shared that matrimony.com is the fastest growing, profitable organization in the digital as well as offline space, catering to different segments in the Indian matrimonial market with products ranging from Rs.3500 to Rs.1 lakh and above. Mr. Parthasarathy mentioned that their organization follows a conservative approach but has a lot of opportunities to capitalize on because, with changing times, matrimony.com is not averse to changing its flavour. Being the first organization to implement Big Data in the true sense, the stay true to their core values of customer focus, innovation, accountability and excellence among others.
Lastly, stating that a vision is an integral part of any organization, Mr.Parathasarathy shared that their vision is to “Build a better Bharath!”
Mr.Om Prakash, VP–HR, Deloitte
Disha 2014 featured yet another enthralling guest talk by Mr. Om Prakash – VP – HR at Deloitte this Saturday. In the talk Mr. Om Prakash, spoke about inclusiveness in terms of many devices being rolled into the smart phone
He stressed the importance of investing in strengths rather than areas where improvement is a minute possibility. This was followed by a lucid illustration of the practice of achieving alignment between what you like to do, what you to best, and what adds value to the organization
Talking about his very own organization, he emphasized the role of individuals rather than the underlying brand in why customers buy and avail services. While elaborating on how a company must create an atmosphere for leaders to thrive, he noted that being a manager is more mental versus being a leader is much more wholesome.
Towards the end of the talk, Mr. Om Prakash revealed a 10 point agenda for success which in his own words he described as the ‘secret sauce of success.’