Guest Lecture Session by Mr Abhishek Sehgal, HR Manager, Microsoft

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Mr. Abhishek Sehgal, HR Manager, Microsoft visited TAPMI on 8th October 2014, to have an interactive session with students.The session kicked off with Mr. Sehgal taking students through the journey of Microsoft and how Microsoft has evolved over the years. He talked at length about the huge shift Microsoft is going through, from data centres to cloud.

He moved on to talk about how mobility has changed our lives in ways we did not envision. Mobility these days has become synonymous to internet. It has become an essential element of our work as well as our personal lives.  Earlier, before internet PC’s were the big things, but today we cannot think of a PC without an internet connection. We want internet on our phones, laptop’s, tablets; and that too all of them integrated with each other. The best part about this evolution is that life is no more restricted to sitting in office and doing things. It has freed people to work beyond their desks and to look out of their personal computers.

Rapid evolution in mobile cloud computing has changed considerably the way communication services are delivered around the globe. Mobility and cloud computing has radically altered consumers lifestyles. Cloud computing has not just made people’s life easy; it has increased collaboration at workplaces. It allows employees to share documents on the go, help them follow up and receive critical updates in real time.

He further talked about how data revolution is helping companies understand the hidden insights into consumer behaviour. Big data these days is used in determining consumer’s decision making patterns.  Problems associated with the managing of big data can be solved through cloud system which provides a scalable solution for managing and analysing data. Cloud systems have become popular and preferred because of their low costs, flexibility and Mobility. Cloud system has significantly reduced storage issues for big businesses and is the most efficient way to manage big data these days.  It has made the work of marketing professionals easy and has greatly helped them in predicting the behavioural trends which in turn has ensured advantages in real world scenarios.

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Mr. Sehgal further stressed on the importance of prioritizing mobility and enabling people what they want to do. Later in the session he talked about the various new offerings of Microsoft and how they are going to revolutionise their whole business, as it has allowed them to reach out to the smallest of organizations.

He concluded the session by sharing a quote from Microsoft CEO Mr. Satya Nadella- “You spend too much time at office to not do anything meaningful”. To be successful an individual should make his/her every minute count and should never fear taking challenges.

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Workshop on Digital Marketing by Mr Bijoy Alokkan, Mindtree

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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.

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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.

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Offshore Research in the financial sector – Words from a Practitioner– A talk by Mr.Manish Jain, Copal Amba

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On Monday, the 22nd of September , TAPMI proudly hosted Mr.Manish Jain, Head – Knowledge Management & Training at Copal Amba. With a diverse experience across sectors of over 13 years, Mr Jain indeed accomplished a great deal in a relatively short span. He was here to give the students an overview in general about what Copal Amba does and in particular talk about careers in the Research Outsourcing industry.

The session kicked off with Mr. Jain soliciting expectations from the industry as held by students. While giving his take on the topic, Mr. Jain said that the job of a Research Analyst was very sporadic in nature, demanding varying levels of contribution and work at different times. As the audience held varying perceptions about the equity research industry from one that is “glamorous” to one that is “boring”, Mr.Jain clarified that it is in fact neither. There is a delicate balance between glamor and routine he said. Mr.Jain also spoke about how Industry Analysis as an activity is often more complicated than it seems because one has to take into consideration the news flows, the earnings of the company, build financial models and understand the entire business model of the company. He also walked the students through some fine examples of applicability of formulae, where he correlated theory with practice.

Stressing on the importance of good report preparation, Mr Jain emphasized that good writing and presentation skills were equally or sometimes more important than being technically sound. He also highlighted other aspects of working in the research space such as respecting the privacy and confidentiality of clients which goes on to build a relationship of trust.

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Overall, it was an excellent opportunity for the students to obtain an overview of the Research Outsourcing Industry, the business and operations of Copa Amba and gain insights into careers in the offshore research and analytics space.

Compensation Management and its Challenges – Session by Mr Manmay Madiman, VP-HR, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance

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The students of TAPMI had the privilege to attend a guest lecture on “Compensation Management and its Challenges“, on September 21, 2014 (Sunday). This session was conducted by Mr. Manmay Madiman, Vice President – Human Resource, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance. He is an alum of TAPMI (batch of 2003) and was accompanied by Ms. Sucharita Dey, Senior Manager – Human Resource.

The session commenced with Mr. Madiman briefing us about the background of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, under the heads of environment, internal anchors, performance and rewards strategy.

He then led us through the developments in the evolution of ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, under the phases of – start up and hyper growth stage, slow down stage (including not only retention but also attrition), transformational stage and finally growth stage. He pointed out that something that made sense in one stage may become a bottleneck in another stage and thus one cannot just look at compensation in isolation.

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Instead of making it a monologue, Mr. Madiman wanted to touch upon points that were important to the students and thus took time to patiently answer all questions that the students asked. These covered topics of how to design the right reward and recognition programme, how transparent should the system be in terms of compensation management, what are the effects of an economic downturn on compensation, what are the metrics as well as pitfalls of variable pay, can attrition be controlled linking it to compensation and does non-financial rewards affect motivation of employees.

The biggest learning that Mr. Madiman shared from a practical viewpoint was that there is no ‘one right way’ or ‘one right thing to do’. A more important question is – what are the consequences of the way/path chosen.

Overall, it was an interactive session led by the honourable speaker with equal and intent participation by the students.

Guest Lecture by Mr Nirmal Nair, VP-Human Resources, Zee Network/Essel Group

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On 20th September, TAPMI had the privilege of having Mr. Nirmal Nair, Vice President, HR of Zee Network/ Essel Group on campus. Mr. Nair had an interactive session with the students wherein he talked about media industry in general with particular emphasis on television industry, careers in media and growth opportunities.

Mr. Nair began with a brief history of evolution of media in past few decades, importance of localization in media and equated the television media to a B2C organization with a very similar value chain as of a manufacturing unit. From New Product Delivery after researching consumer needs to prototype being created and tested on various parameters, working of media can be equated to that of any product manufacturer.

Emphasizing on the importance of marketing research, Mr. Nair said that the market acceptability is predicted based on mix of research data and even gut feel. Many a times, research says, a program will not work but taking an instance of Balika Vadhu on Colors, which was a massive hit, he said gut feel is also important.

Talking about importance of segmentation, Mr. Nair said that usually GECs which are General Entertainment channels, typically address women. And hence generally FMCG products ads form a major chunk of advertising revenue. Not much automobiles ads are shown but on weekends and usually on business news channels which mostly address men. Throwing light on concept of network share, he said media groups form strategies to expand their product portfolio to garner more share of advertising revenue from advertisers.

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Media being a business, aims to make profit, not play the role of conscience keeper. For this customer tastes, preferences are taken into consideration, and this is reason why prominent, successful TV channels have less of progressive shows. Consumers’ latent demands are studied, even taking help of anthropologists and societal trends, global trend and future trends are studied.

Speaking on major revenues for media companies, Mr. Nair said that it is generated from three main sources viz ad sales, subscriptions and syndication sales from syndication content. When EY valued Zee content, it was valued at around Rs 20000 crore. This content which after a particular point gets old, stale can be used to be shown in some other state, country through other channels. This creates the third revenue model.

Concluding the session Mr. Nair talked about career in media. Three main, important areas in media industry are programming, marketing and finally distribution. Programming side deals with content generation. The marketing side deals with market research, PR roles and branding. The programming and marketing teams sit and take decisions together. Distribution deals with organizations getting in touch with big DTH cable operators and yearly deals are made. If the content is excellent but not distributed well, it will bring in no advertiser. So distribution plays very important role. On closing note, Mr. Nair said there is no dearth of money in media industry and innumerable growth opportunities. Zee plans to be a 100 channel company by 2020, with promise to the shareholders of increasing both domestic and foreign channels to 50. To succeed and grow one needs to have passion towards what he/she is doing and that is what takes places.

Guest Lecture by Mr. Sriram Iyer, Vice president Sales (INDIA), Wipro Consumer Care

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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.

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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.

Guest Lecture by Mr Raghuveer HR, Sales Director, Dimensions Data India Ltd.

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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.

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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.