COBCAM 2017 Inauguration Ceremony

The Inaugural Ceremony of COBCAM 2017 began with the ceremonial lighting of the lamp by the Director, Dr. Madhu Veera Raghavan, Admissions Chair, Professor Aditya Mohan Jadhav, BKFS Representative Mr. Dhanyakumar Malali and the Key Note Speaker of COBCAM 2017, Mr. Deepak Reddy, Group Head HR, Bajaj Finserv.


Professor Aditya Mohan Jadhav emphasized the grounded industrial exposure the students of TAPMI get by the very structure of the curriculum. Dr. Madhu Veera Raghavan opened COBCAM 2017 by sharing his dream for TAPMI to be one of the top 10 Business Schools in India and for BKFS students to play an integral role in the financial services sector. He stressed on continuous revival and revamping of the curriculum to keep in constant touch with the changes in the industry.

The Key Speaker, Mr. Deepak Reddy refreshed on some of his fondest memories and biggest learnings as a TAPMI student. He urged the students to learn as much as possible in as many diverse sectors and fields. He noted the change in the perception of the consumers towards the banking industry and how that the most important factors that influence the success in the banking service sector are customer’s ease of obtaining information and customer fulfillment.


He praised the change from the traditional banking practices to modern digitized methods which vastly reduced the processing speed. While this has greatly increased customer satisfaction, it has simultaneously reduced employment requirements; replacing man with machine. A case in point, he reminded the students that the financial sector is highly volatile with uncertainty around every turn.

On what he expects from students and future leaders, he demands that we find our purpose in life; a field where we can create an impact and lead change. He also stressed the importance of being socially aware and developing capabilities to collaborate with other individuals. He urged the students to work hard and learn continuously.

The insightful and informative speech set the tone for an evening of learning at COBCAM 2017.

S.C.O.P.E 2016: DAY 2: WORDSWORTH: ‘The buzzword connection’-Mr.Rohit Sarma, Manager – Chainalytics


Mr. Rohit Sarma, Manager, Chainalytics in an interactive session with students talked about how a lot of concepts such as GST, Internet of Things, Make in India, smart cities etc. are floating around the country and how these buzzwords are interconnected. Meanwhile, he talked about the major advances that have been occurring in the field of logistics and supply chain. In logistics, dedicated freight corridors, inland waterways, and Sagarmala project are some of the big upcoming projects. The Sagarmala is a series of projects implemented in order to leverage the country’s coastline and inland waterways to drive industrial development.The challenge for us is that port infrastructure and linkages have been declining and initiatives such as Make in India cannot take off without better port infrastructure.

He further added that over the next five years no matter which field we are in all of us will be involved in fields like the multi-modal system because this is the future. Then he discussed how freight rates are very high in India. Owing to the high cost of freight, the cost of logistics in the country also rises . It is higher than the corresponding figures for other major economies and we need to focus on improving  that.

Moving ahead he conducted an activity wherein the students were divided into 4 teams and were asked to connect these terms and present their idea to the other teams. The teams had to create a successful roadmap for implementation of their solution and explain that how 10 years down the line these terms will be used.


One member of each team was asked to present the solution, and the role of a MOM (minutes of meeting) expert was assigned  to one member of each team .The MOM expert was responsible for summarizing the points that each of the team presented. The presentation was followed by a group discussion and a brainstorming exercise amongst the MOM experts.

Towards the end of the session, he explained that the Make in India initiative is not only aimed at improving manufacturing but also at achieving consolidation of the agricultural sector. So it’s not just the manufacturing sector that will get affected by Make in India. The ripple effects of this initiative will be seen across all the sectors. He concluded by emphasizing that the main role of Make in India is to make India self-dependent in military procurement and development.


DISHA 2016: Day 5, Sophos- How HR really makes a difference to the business -Mr. Amit Mehta, Ms. Antara Chatterjee, HR Business Partners at HUL


The interactive session with Mr. Amit Mehta and Ms. Antara Chatterjee started with a question “How HR really makes a difference to the business?” Mr. Amit shared what drove him to take HR as a profession and how the most challenging part of it is that people decisions are never black and white, they are always grey. So, it is imperative that one uses the right mix of intellect and judgement to take a decision. “People are the maximum VUCA you can get”, he said.

He emphasized on the fact that growth is essential for winning a business. HUL is fond of using acronyms one of which is the four type of growths the 4Gs-Consistent, Profitable, Competitive, and Responsible. HR has a refined role in each and impacts each of these growths in some way or the other. “HR is all about winning people“, he said and the acronym for this is 5Ms- Market, mix, mood, margins and mojo. If an organization focuses on these 5Ms it will definitely make a change to the 4Gs.

Ms. Antara further added how the talent market is no less than the product market. Every person in the organization has a role in contributing to the search for new talent. There  are two types of organizations depending upon how they attract the best people from the talent market. The first type of organization makes use of good policies, practices and infrastructure to attract talent while the second makes the talent understand what experience will they have when they are part of the organization.

For this, she gave an example of  marketing unplugged, a wonderful initiative of HUL in which brand managers  of HUL work together with students of various b-schools on a case to arrive at a win-win solution for both. HUL benefits from the innovative ideas of students and students get an insight of what life a manager at HUL leads.

Mr.Amit then talked about the importance of a healthy margin to ensure that growth is profitable. As an HR manager to ensure healthy margins you need to allocate the headcount along with resourcing for growth.

Ms. Antara talked about how employee engagement is  often mistaken as employee happiness. Employee engagement according to her is when an employee is ready to walk an extra mile for the organization. As an example, she talked about the project sunset implemented by HUL wherein, they believe that empowering people to take decisions is the best way to ensure employee engagement.

Mr.Amit further added how we are gradually moving from a TV era to a digital one and in that event, it becomes crucial to have the right mix of people.At HUL, consumers are divided into 14 clusters each cluster has  a certain level of global representation. The session ended with the last M: Mojo. “What drives you to do what you are doing?” According to her promotion, salary can give one momentary satisfaction and short-lived happiness. Some initiatives are beyond all these and are about leaving a legacy which is what HUL strives to achieve.

At any given point you need two people, one who takes decisions and one who  constantly shows the mirror to the other.HR  does the latter“, he said.

M-Power by MGM – “Content is fire, social media is gasoline.” – Mr. Naru Radhakrishnan, Chief Client Officer – Millward Brown



In yet another engaging session organized by the Marketing and General Management Forum, Mr. Naru Radhakrishnan enlightened the students with his insights on social media marketing. Mr. Radhakrishnan is an alumnus of TAPMI who has more than 24 years of experience across media and digital space.

He began the session by talking about the relevance of social media marketing. In this era of hyper connectivity, consumers have the ability to aggressively express and broadcast their opinion at the push of a button. Hence, social media marketing can no longer exist as a separate entity, rather it has become an integral part of the marketing activities. He then went on to talk about the reasons behind the increasing proliferation of social media in our daily lives. Human beings are inherently social animals. It is this psychological need that is driving us to use social media as a digitally enabled social setup. Moreover, it also acts as medium for fulfilling our need for fame, an attribute which was exhorted by the famous American artist Andy Warhol.

Mr. Radhakrishnan then talked about the four kinds of social media users. The “Creators” are the primary originators of all social media content. This is a sect of highly creative people. The “Curators” are the aggregators who collate the content created by creators and packages in an attractive way for the rest of the users to consume. The “Distributors” distribute this content to different segments. The “Consumers”, being the last group, are the set of passive end customers of social media.

Moving ahead, he explained how social media is reshaping the contours of marketing. Instead of the historical “Marketing to People” scenario, it has changed to a “Marketing for/with People” situation. In the past, marketers used to set the agenda. It has gradually changed into a situation where consumers are setting the agenda. Marketing is no longer about the products but about the stories that you weave around them. In this age of social media, a high quality product alone won’t help you to succeed in the market place. The product would need stories in correct context so that consumers would be able to connect with it. He then played the “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” short film which was created as part of the Dove’s marketing campaign. The video showcased how brands can be built on beautiful stories.

Another factor which determines the success of such social media campaigns is the surprise element and interest level associated with it. He took the example of the famous “Smell like a Man” campaign of Old Spice. Moving forward, he spoke of the importance of being prepared for social media overreactions to marketing campaigns. He went on to explain how Honeywell Cereals leveraged this overreaction to their advantage. The trick is to think more like a publisher than a marketer. Even in the era of social media, word of mouth publicity has its own relevance. What you as a marketer tell to a customer is way less credible than what customers tell each other. A brand is created out of these interactions between customers. Hence social media acts as a meeting ground between consumers and brands. This is why online presence is a must for companies looking to leverage the social media tools. A mere presence in itself won’t add value either. Instead of using social media to just impress people, it should be leveraged to impact them. He cited the Ice Bucket Challenge campaign as one of the most successful such initiative which helped in creating a real impact.

The event ended with a highly interactive Q&A session wherein students and faculty members interacted with the guest to make the learning experience even more enriching.



Workshop on Digital Marketing by Mr Bijoy Alokkan, Mindtree


Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” W. Edwards Deming. This was the core essence of the Digital Marketing workshop conducted by Mr. Bijoy Alokkan, a TAPMI Alumni (2013).

Mr. Bijoy began the session with a brief introduction about Mindtree and further went on to say that Social Media now has infinite power because of social distribution happening very quickly. Social media is the new way to communicate and consumers will rule the Digital Content Universe because 2/3rd will be user generated content. This is a compelling reason for future Digital Marketers like us to know about and be able to use relevant tools to analyse the vast data available in the universe of Social Media.


The workshop revolved around four main topics , namely – Analysis of Google adwords, Facebook data, and information from Twitter as well as LinkedIn. Using tools like Gefi, NodeXL. Mr. Bijoy made sure that the workshop was highly interactive and interwove many pictures, step by step processes and live examples to drive home the concepts for first time users.


Guest Lecture by Mr Manish Kumar, Chief Digital Officer, Red Chilllies Entertainment and Kolkata Knight Riders


The names – Red Chillies Entertainment and Kolkata Knight Riders buzzed in the TAPMI campus on 27th July ’14 when Mr. Manish Kumar, Chief Digital Officer, Red Chillies Entertainment and Kolkata Knight Riders arrived on campus to have a session with the TAPMI students which was like home coming for him, being an alumnus of TAPMI; batch of 2005. Mr. Kumar made the whole session an interest driven one since it was all about marketing movies of different genre and on the other hand, how cricket today has connected with Bollywood.

He began with a brief introduction on the much lesser known sector in the field of marketing i.e. Cricket and Movies. Not many producers were enthusiastic about “marketing” movies as it did not add any value to the movie per se and also didn’t contribute directly to the revenues. But within the last few years, both the movie industry and cricket had seen more of organisation, corporatisation and commercialisation.

He explained that although marketing of movies is an entirely different concept than promoting traditional products and services, the 4P’s of marketing and other concepts taught in the classroom are still relevant and very much in practice. And thinking along the lines of those concepts in real life situations become necessary in such an industry where in word-of-mouth, after a while of consuming the product (in this case, a week long after watching a movie), makes a huge difference. Also, price has made a huge difference now than earlier.


Further in the session, he discussed how in movie marketing IVRS and VAS recorded a success in middle class segment – Tier 2 and 3 cities, leveraging on the deep mobile penetration in India. Another dimension was added to the movie marketing through gaming which aimed at increasing the top-of-the-mind recall. Other innovative alternatives to movie marketing are video blogs, online games, mobile apps etc. Krrish 3 was one of the biggest digital projects undertaken which took digital marketing of movies to an entirely new level – Gaming across different platforms, series of emoticons for Facebook Messenger, motion comics, official movie augmented reality app, innovative mask app on Facebook, Karaoke App, branded IVR portal, website, celebrity chats, motion poster etc. The movie successfully proved that digital marketing increased the longevity of the movie brand.

Mr. Kumar talked about his experiences; how he realised that taking challenges was important in this field to have to make this industry what it is today. He began his stint at digital marketing of movies with Billu and as of now, he has Oh My God!, Housefull 2, Kurbaan, Badmaash Company, Kambakkht Ishq, Aashiqui 2, Student of the Year, Son of Sardaar etc. under his name apart from bigger box office movies like My Name is Khan, Kochadaiiyaan and Don 2. He stressed on the point that a relationship with the movie and the product endorsed in it was necessary so as to involve the viewer in the brand. For instance, the movie Blue featured Samsung Corby which was the first waterproof phone launched, My Name is Khan featured Reebok since both the brand connected with “journeys” and so on.

In the final hour of the session, he pointed out that if movie marketing has reached to the levels of motion sensing games, trailers of games and engaging people in interactive promotions, then cricket is also not far behind. Walking along the lines of football, cricket has also indulged into stadium promotions, team merchandise, promotional and entertainment videos etc. But definitely, cricket marketing is in its nascent stages and on the path of evolution.

The session concluded with a token of appreciation from the college to Mr. Kumar and a lot of students aspiring to become a part of the Indian entertainment industry in future.

Guest Talk on the FMCG industry by Mr Balaji Prakash, Business Head and GM, Marketing, Sales at CavinKare


On 27th July, Mr. Balaji Prakash, Business Head and GM, Marketing, Sales at CavinKare bestowed his presence to deliver a guest lecture to PGP-I and II students. Mr. Balaji is Business Head with 15 years of experience in FMCG industry across personal care, confectionery, beverage and dairy markets. He is currently heading the beverage and dairy business for CavinKare handling sales, marketing and operations functions with profit center responsibility.

Mr. Balaji commenced with giving a discerning definition of FMCG by explaining each word of the abbreviation in great detail based on his experience of working so many years in this industry. The word Fast in FMCG denotes fast in speed, change and time. According to Mr. Balaji, fast is not just from sales point of view, but the whole market and industry changes so fast that in order to survive organizations need to keep pace. The consumers’ needs continually evolve and there is no time to stop but change. The only industry faster than FMCG is telecom industry. The marketers, retailers, even supply chain guys have no time to spare. The word moving signifies shifting, evolving and logistics. Today products, delivery mechanisms and the benefits are constantly changing. The last 8-9 years have been extremely rapid in consumer needs evolution. He consumers keep shifting between brands, the brands keep shifting and products keep shifting in this industry. And most importantly logistics can be a complete nightmare unless done right. Due to the complexities involved in supply chain and distribution, one needs to ensure that it works very well so that the customer does not walk out. Marketing is talking one to many which has its own complications and implications. The complication can be that not everybody understands what a brand wants to convey to them and the implication is that segment market is divided as finely as possible. This makes FMCG industry most exciting and interesting to work in also because you are part of consumers’ everyday life. The word consumer connotes the end point or actual users who consume the product. And lastly, Goods implies the materials or the physical presence.

Throwing light on why there is so much hype about India and FMCG, Mr. Balaji highlighted that India is country of population of more than 1 billion. It has the fastest changing lifestyle adoption pace. Indians are generally more flexible than others and the rate of adoption of new and changing trends is very high. Another critical reason is vast availability of cheap labor. There is also growing “future consumers” and high numbers of “potential consumers”. A very low penetration of branded products creates a huge untapped potential. Future spending opportunity is rising both for Residential Indians as well as non-residential Indians. The FMCG industry represents nearly 2-5% of the country’s GDP which is expected to rise further. The size has tripled in the last 10 years and in last 5 years the compound annual growth rate has been 17%. Rural India accounts for more than 700 million consumers or 70% of Indian population and accounts for 50% of the total FMCG market. Food and personal care together make up two-thirds of the sector’s revenue. Cumulative FDI inflows into India from April 2000 to April 2013 in the food processing sector stood at 9000 crores while the soaps, cosmetics and toiletries at 3115.5 crores. FMCG sector accounted for 1.9% of the nation’s total FDI.

Defining the categories in FMCG, Mr Balaji explained that the categories in FMCG can be divided into personal care, household care, food, beverages and convenience products. Under personal care, the sub heads are hair care, skin care, colors and cosmetics. The household care can be categorized into fabric care, domestic care and personal hygiene. The food category has two segments which are emerging viz RTE or Ready to eat and RTC or Ready to cook. Beverages can be hot or cold. The convenience products are those like batteries, pre-paid cards and even internet packages.

Illustrating the special features of FMCG, Mr Balaji said that marketing is one to many. This makes communication very specialized area as it is not possible to check if everybody understands what the marketer actually wants to say. It is also most of the times an emotional buying decision for FMCG, durables, non-durables rather than being rational decision making process. For this, Brand managers work in great detail towards the motto part which makes them very integral to the organization. Consumer behavior is always flirtatious which keeps brand managers on their toes as there is always a possibility of losing customer to someone else. Sustaining relevance is important i.e. staying in the consideration set of consumers. Retaining existing customers is important. For this reason brands keep copying products. And there is constant need to innovate. Organizations, to go the next level need small innovations that can make big difference. He further explained, there are two ways to grow the existing business. First can be to expand the consumer base and second to retain existing consumers by giving better products. Since the future of growth lies in the hands of marketers, they are also referred to as the captains of the ship as they decide which way to go and which way to take. The reach to customers is important and the products should be at consumers’ arm length. Company needs to constantly increase its reach and progress relentlessly. Companies should constantly upgrade customers to next order or higher order benefits. FMCG has a multiple and complex structure which is beneficial as it requires human intervention in such case and people with career in sales are required. This juggernaut is very difficult to manage and the complexity and complications at every level calls for different skill sets. For this reason sales and marketing are very different domains. There is also need for channel partner collaboration which can be explained through IIC concept. IIC stands for investment capacity, involved in your business and Credit to market as not everything can be sold on cash.


From supply chain perspective, explaining the special features Mr Balaji quipped efficiency is the name of the game. Various factors like vendor management, cost management, inventory management, working capital management and productivity improvement are taken to consideration.

The opportunities in this field for the budding managers are enormous. Conceptual skills are needed at every point and level. Managers need to analyze and make decisions. Seemingly unconnected data has to be connected and there are situations where data may not be connected but one need to connect and come to conclusion. Forecasting and envisioning capabilities are important and lastly motivation and leadership qualities are essential. The marketers/managers play key role in value creation, thinking, direction and leading and above all creating the future.

Concluding the enlightening lecture, Mr. Balaji listed some dos and don’ts while making a career choice. Managers should choose what they like and match and develop required skills and competencies accordingly. They should stay focused on the chosen career and in one particular sector to become an expert of the domain. Understanding organization and industry expectations is crucial. And track should be kept of progress and responsibilities and not designation. Some of the don’ts can be like not choosing what is popular or swaying from one sector to another as every sector has its own challenges. Managers shouldn’t go after money and rather work on their skills and experience which brings money. Clearing students’ doubts Mr. Balaji took a barrage of questions and ended on a note of invigorating the students by encouraging them chase their dreams and enjoying the chase at same time.