Sun Tzu and The Art of War – A perspective on the Business World – by Mr. Saurav Ghosh, COO, Forbes & Company

Forbes & Co Saurav Ghosh

The students of TAPMI had the privilege to attend a guest lecture on “Strategic Decision making for Leadership”, on 4th July, 2014 (Friday). This session was conducted by Mr. Saurav Ghosh, COO, Forbes & Company, Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

Before joining Forbes & Company, Mr Ghosh was the Sr. Advisor and Business Leader with Cross Tree Techno-visors. He completed his education from IIT Delhi and has cross industry experience in the field of Supply Chain Management and Logistics.

The session commenced with Mr. Ghosh giving us a brief history about his company and provided instances where we, as future leaders would have to make strategic decisions. He led us to the importance of the growing role of leadership in management by emphasizing that we need to ‘first understand people and then find out what we want and lastly, how we can get what we want from people’.

Considering that today’s competitive corporate world is no less than any war, the students were shown a short video on Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’. This was to drive home the point that in adversity, you have to strategically make your way and move forward, but we have to remember to be disciplined and not ruthless. The importance of leadership was summed up with a quote – “Wars may be fought with weapons, but they are won by men. It is the spirit of men who follow and of the man who leads that gains the victory.”

Mr. Ghosh kept the audience attentive by giving a very unorthodox twist to the age old story of ‘The Tortoise and the Hare’. The new morals of the story shown by him were – fast and consistent always beat slow and steady; first identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency; it is good to be individually brilliant but it is better to collaborate and make the most of each other’s strengths.


The core idea he conveyed was that of gaining strategic advantage. He explained this by saying – “The one who figures victory at headquarters before even doing battle is the one who has the most strategic factors on his side.” The major checkpoints before a war include: the way, the weather, the terrain, leadership and discipline. Under leadership, Mr. Ghosh emphasized the key points were – intelligence, trustworthiness, humanness, courage and sternness.

He also spotted out the importance of strategic decision making from a business perspective by sharing that, “In life, when faced with failure, sometimes its appropriate to put effort and work harder, some other times its better to change your strategy and try something different. Whereas sometimes them idle path has to be taken.”

Towards the end he spoke about his journey from a sales manager to a COO and motivated students to make realistic goals, strategise and be certain of what we want and also mentioned that when we stop competing against our rivals and instead start competing against the situation, we perform better

Overall, it was an interactive session led by the honorable speaker with equal and intent participation by the students. The students found the session to be highly informative and useful.


DEFI 2013

Defi 2013 was organized by the Organisation for Managerial Entrepreneurial Guidance and Assistance (OMEGA), the consulting and Entrepreneurship committee of TAPMI on 31st October, 1st and 2nd November, 2013. OMEGA is TAPMI’s in house consultancy wing, which also takes care of entrepreneurial activities in the college with events such as DEFI, designed to provide a platform to aspiring entrepreneurs.

The event saw students participating in large number, bringing their entrepreneurial talent to the fore. 13 teams made it to the final round, of which the first year batch (PGP 1) formed 12 teams. The following are the list of ventures undertaken during Defi:



Parlour Service for girls.



Chicken Shawarma, Protein and Corn Chat, Chatpata Blast.



Set of 12 Games.


Nick Nack

Poker, Mocktail, Snacks, etc.



Different types of Cakes.



Coupons for Restaurants.



Dance and Helmet.



Pasta, Sit-co trivia, Games, Quiz.


Little Colin’s

Sky Lanterns and Mocktail.



Games Arena.


Panj Pyare

Pani Puri & Mocktail.


The aliens

Selling of NGO products.


Polka Dots

Online Leisure guide.


The teams had to develop a full-fledged business idea, given a seed fund of Rs. 2000 and an upper budget cap of Rs.15000 in total, and execute the plan over the course of three days. It was three days of hard work and fun for these teams and most of them found the experience highly enriching. Few excerpts of the experiences by the teams:

Team Kshatriya – “We learnt that it is very important to have a central theme when one is providing such a varied services and products. We also learnt how to handle a customer and make them happy.”

Team Cakeaday – “Defi made me realize two things, one that I liked selling cakes, that I had an entrepreneur in me. And two, that there will be many rolling stones on the path to becoming an entrepreneur. But more importantly, what we take home from this is that after graduation, while working on something much bigger than this, this experience of going through all the processes that make up a business will help immensely “

Team Explorers – “Events like Defi really gives a first year student flavor of how the real business works. It gave us a platform to implement our business idea and to see how it turns out to be. The best part was the freedom we were given to do things in the way we liked. I learnt that as a leader it is important to keep your team motivated and to facilitate the work. Only one suggestion, there should be better co-ordination between the committee and college administration, so that it’s a win-win situation for everyone.”

Defi 2013 gave a sound platform for many of the budding entrepreneurs in TAPMI, and was a resounding success, and the TAPMI populace is now eagerly waiting for the next edition of Defi, in 2014.


An Overview of Talent Management by Mr. Sanjay Srivastava

Mr. Sanjay Srivastava starting his speech on Talent Management

Sanjay Srivastava is currently working with AstraZeneca Pharma as an Associate Director – HR and heads HR for Cardiovascular & Metabolic businesses. He is also the India head for L&D and OD. Sanjay brings in 14 years of rich experience in the IT & Pharmaceutical industry having worked in India and in the US. He has worked with companies like Cognizant, AOL, Freescale and brings expertise in the areas of Compensation & Benefits, International HRM & Strategic Business Partnering, Talent Management & Organizational Development.

Sanjay is also certified in MBTI & FIRO – B and is currently undergoing certification in Organizational Development with “Sumedhas Academy of Human Context”. He holds a graduate degree in B. Pharm. from Jadavpur University and MBA in HR from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Pune.

Sanjay has been involved with various B Schools like Symbiosis, ISB&M & Great lakes on varied initiatives like guest lectures, Campus to Corporate transitions, student admission process. He loves playing cricket, reading, travelling and practicing Yoga.

Sanjay started off by speaking about the evolution of HR function and the trends in HR. then he spent some time on how Talent Management is aligned to business priorities. If  the companies HR priorities are high performance, great place to work, retention, talent attraction and capability building then the company needs talent management like identification, succession, development, skill gap, performance and acceleration. Then he went into translating the talent strategy into the workforce needs.

He elaborated about the Talent Management lifecycle, and focused on the key pointers specially the “ready now ready later” and how it is done in AstraZeneca Pharma. He talked about how the process is developed, retention is done and a strong pipeline of leaders is maintained. He talked about the various models used in AstraZeneca to measure potential, productivity and if a person can deal with complex roles.

Mr. Sanjay Srivastava enlightening the students on the evolution of the HR function

Then he talked about their USP which is their IDP – Individual development plan that is a personalized development plan which is tailor made for each person. The plan can be education based, relationship based or experience based. He made every one think by saying we should always be ourselves because only then there will be an organization culture to person fit. He finished by talking about Talent Management outcomes and examples of what the companies outside are doing in Talent Management. He signed off with a quote “It is impossible to take part in the adventure if you are a spectator on the side-lines. Taking part in the Adventure is about getting in the game and having a stake in the game. We need each one of you to help create a World Class Institution.”

ICAF 2011

The first International Conference on Accounting and Finance (ICAF) was organized by TAPMI, Manipal on March 10, 2011. The three day event was inaugurated by Shri Dhanendra Kumar, the first Chairperson of the Competition Commission of India (CCI).

Dr. H S Ballal, Pro-Chancellor of Manipal University, Dr Saji Gopinath, Director of TAPMI, Prof Simon George, Dean of Academics-TAPMI, Prof. Rajiv Shah, Coordinator of ICAF, and Prof Vrishali Bhat, Co-Coordinator of ICAF were also present on the dais.

The participants included Faculty members and students from various prestigious Institutes from different parts of the globe. Management students of TAPMI, faculty members and Heads of Institutions of Manipal University Institutions graced the prestigious occasion amongst other notable invitees. Over 100 research papers were received from delegates all over the world for this event and 46 papers were presented in two days. Some of the major sponsors of the event included Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Emerald Publishers, ISI Emerging markets & SIDBI Venture ltd.

After the inauguration ceremony, Prof Poonam Puri from York University, Canada and Prof. Suresh Kalagnanam from the University of Saskatchewan, Canada opened the proceedings by presenting papers and throwing an in-depth insight into the topic of Governance.

The events on second day were kick started by Prof. Linda Robinson from the University of Waterloo, Canada and Prof. Diane Jamieson form Sheffield Hallam University, UK who talked extensively on various important factors of Forensic Accounting, Fraud & Earnings management. This was followed by a brief lecture on Risks in Emerging economies by Ms. Vidya Rajarao from PWC India. Mr.Debapriya Mukharjee from Emerald Publications, one of the leading white paper journals then had a brief talk about the Insider’s Guide for publication of white papers. This was followed by 20 paper presentations on topics such as Technology & E-Crime, Accounting Ethics & Regulation, Systematic Challenges & Whistle blowing, Earnings Management & other related Issues.

The proceeding on the third day morning began with a brief on India’s convergence with IFRS by Prof.R.Narayanaswamy from IIM Bangalore, India. This was followed by a brief insight into problems in converging to IFRS presented by Mr. Sunder Iyer of PWC, India.

24 paper presentations were made covering a host of topics on IFRS Challenges, Management Control System & Corporate Governance, IFRS & other Accounting Challenges and Related Issues in Corporate Governance. Some of the prominent international participants included speakers from Sheffield Hallam University, UK, University of Tarbiyat Modares, Iran, University of Kelaniya, Srilanka, University of Turin, Italy, amongst other major universities from the country.

The three day event culminated with a Valedictory Function for which Mr. Vinit Monga, Head of F&C Nokia Siemens, India was the chief guest. Mr. Vinit addressed the participants, students and distinguished guests present in the gathering after which all the participants were felicitated with certificates acknowledging their participation in the event.