Guest Lecture Session by Mr. Sunil Naik, Talent Head, DHL Logistics

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On July 4, 2015 Tapmi got the privilege to have a one-to-one interaction with Mr. Sunil Naik, Talent Head, DHL Logistics. Mr. Naik’s relationship with Tapmi dates back to more than a decade.

A person of very high academics, he is an MBA from Cochin University, a PG diploma holder in Sales and Marketing from IIM-K and a PG Diploma holder in HR from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has a vast industry experience in various corporate domains and has worked in the past with Exxon Mobil, More and Fortis Healthcare.

Mr. Naik, who began his talk by thanking the placement committee at Tapmi, whose warmhearted hospitality had made him feel delighted, talked in detail about DHL Logistics, and about the nitty-gritties of this industry.

DHL Logistics is a part of the DP DHL group, which started off in US in the year 1969 and is currently owned by the Deutsche Post group based out of Bonn, Germany. It’s a €56 billion company with an EBIT of €2.97 billion. The two major divisions of the company are: DP, which handles the post and DHL, which handles the logistics.

The occupation of transportation of goods & services was existent even in the ancient era. However, in the modern world, it began to emerge as an industry during the period of the two World Wars. At that time, sea was the prominent mode of transportation. The number of ports were limited and the cargos were assigned a stipulated time, exceeding which, they were penalized in the form of demurrage. It was then, that some sound minds of the industry thought of sending some of their workers by air, who would take care of the lengthy documentation procedures regarding the goods well on time and the ship owners would avoid penalty.

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Over the years, the logistic business has undergone numerous changes and it has become essential for every player in the industry to develop a USP for his services. In case of DHL, the USP is reliability. When people send their important and/or confidential documents, they trust DHL. When students send their admission papers to universities abroad, they use DHL.

“There is a similarity between us and the Soccer team of Germany. We as Germans are highly process driven; be it soccer or handling the logistics”, Mr. Naik remarked. Annually, DHL ships around 2.9 million TEU of containers and 4.4 million tons of air freight. With an employee base of 4.80 thousand, DHL is present in 220 countries. “From ‘cornea’ to Formula 1 cars, we deliver everything”.

DHL handles warehousing and/or supply chain for companies like Flipkart and Snapdeal. Every mobile phone that we buy in India is shipped, majorly from China by DHL. Soon, it’s going to be the only company to handle the distribution for Coke. By and large, DHL ships over 119 million shipments every year- unbelievable! It also has a 24×7 customer logistic center and two major gateways at Delhi and Bangalore.

When it comes to innovation & technology, DHL is the front runner. Like drones, it has something called ‘Packet-copters’, which are used for delivery purposes abroad. This technology though is yet to make its mark in India. DHL also has RFIDs installed, to locate and place containers near the ports.

Talking about the major concerns of the logistics industry, Mr. Naik felt that data security is a critical issue. He added that innovations like Google’s Dropboxes (in Europe) and 3-D printing technology, have become appeared as rivals to this industry in some form or the other.

Towards the end of his session, Mr. Naik discussed some key things, which as a growing management professional, every person should keep in mind. He asked students to choose to be a ‘specialist’ in one domain, rather than being the jack of all trades. He also suggested them to be agile and ready to quickly learn and unlearn things. But the most interesting point that he made was to ‘be creative’. “Once you enter the industry, the application of the left side of your brain becomes minimal. It is your ‘right brain’ that takes you to your success curve. So, don’t be hesitant to be creative- develop a hobby and hone it, and be prepared to take calculated risks in life (don’t be suicidal though).

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Guest Lecture Session by Mr. Sandip Grover, President and Group Head HR & CSR, Welspun Group

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As part of the ongoing expert talk series at TAPMI, the college once more opened its arms to another distinguished personality – Mr. Sandip Grover, President and Group Head HR & CSR at Welspun Group. Mr. Grover is a master practitioner in the Human Resources field with a teacher’s heart. He started the lecture by asking all students present how they were feeling and why. Instead of a dull lecture on HR practices, the students received a friendly interactive and extremely interesting session on developing one’s attitude. It is after all rare for a corporate leader to shift away from business lessons and focus on the importance of a student’s personal development and happiness.

He spoke how in today’s environment, a person’s emotional quotient was given more importance than his intelligence when it comes to recruitment or job responsibilities. He also dedicated a part of the lecture speaking on the Welspun Group and its transformation into a leading industry giant over the years.

However most of his talk was based on helping one change for the better. He advised the students on the importance of having a right attitude and peace of mind when it comes to work. He expressed seven steps to having a good attitude and positive outlook in life which were truly relevant and the morale was helped by motivational videos shown by him. Overall his guest lecture was widely appreciated by the students and I am sure there would be many more opportunities for him to inspire coming generations of managers.

TAPMI CXO Leadership Lecture Series: Session by Mr Arun Gollapudi, CEO of Systech Solutions

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TAPMI hosted the next instalment in the CxO Leadership Lecture series by inviting Mr Arun Gollapudi, CEO of Systech Solutions on September 29th 2014. He was accompanied by Mr Ashish Parikh, CFO at Systech Solutions.

Mr Arun started the lecture by speaking about TAPMI and the recent infrastructural developments that have happened in the campus with special mention about the state-of-the-art Bloomberg Lab. He expressed heartfelt gratitude for the founder of TAPMI, Dr TMA Pai who has been an inspiration for many.

He went on to speak about the recent technological changes that are happening in Analytics and importance of storing data and the information that is extracted from data. He said that practical application is more important that mere theoretical knowledge.

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According to Mr Arun, it is very important to take decision quickly, especially given the fast paced times in which we live. He gave examples about the how government has started hiring fresh MBA graduates in order to strengthen their skills in the field of Business Intelligence and Analytics. The corporate investments in Big Data technologies has also increased manifold, with companies ready to pay third party vendors in order to get information in visual format for quicker decision making.

He spoke about the way the focus has shifted from manufacturing to the customer and how importance it is to achieve sustainability in the technological advancements we are making. According to him, In the current scenario focus should be on innovation and entrepreneurship.

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At the end of the session he invited questions from the students and answered them with real life examples. The students found the session highly informational and insightful and benefitted from the experience and knowledge shared by Mr Arun Gollapudi. The TAPMI family stays highly indebted to Mr Arun and Mr Ashish for taking time out from their busy schedules and thanked them for the interaction.

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 on Entrepreneurship by Mr Beas Dev Ralhan – Co Founder and CEO, Next Education India Pvt. Ltd.

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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.

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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.”

Guest Lecture by Mr. Balasubramaniam R, Executive VP, Medall Healthcare

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On 8th August 2014, TAPMI had the privilege of hosting a guest lecture by Mr. Balasubramaniam R, Executive VP of Medall Healthcare. Mr. Balasubramaniam has over 20 years of experience in Healthcare industry. The promoter/CEO of Business IQ Solutions (“BIQ”), a software product company with a focus on radiology diagnostics, Balasubramaniam conceived / developed and successfully launched workflow products in multi-modality diagnostic centers. He was also the founder of Manmar Tech. Its products were distributed by several medical OEMs including GE, Philips, Siemens, and Toshiba. Mr. Balasubramaniam has been a part of the initial team that started Medall. He has worked in various capacities in Medall and at present heads the Business innovations group of Medall, a group that exclusively works towards developing the future of Medall.

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The session began with Mr. Balasubramaniam talking about various events in his life and the valuable lessons that he had learned from them. He said that living in a joint family has instilled in him qualities like tolerance and patience which has helped him through-out his professional career. Giving the students a peep into his entrepreneurial life which spanned for more than 15 years, he said that entrepreneurship life is tough and one should find ways and means to deal with difficulties and move on. “In life, when you feel you have nowhere to go, when you feel you are pushed to a corner, take a deep breath, evaluate the situation and defer the decision-making by at least 24 hours”, said Mr. Balasubramaniam. He added that one should respect the ecosystem and the decisions should not be taken at the cost of the ecosystem. Cautioning the students about venture capital, he said that one should take that route (venture capital) only when absolutely necessary and in one’s own terms. Answering the questions by the students, Mr.Balasubramaniam said that sales humbles one and teaches one to be quick-footed. He went on to add that whatever one’s field, an experience in sales function would add a lot of value.

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.

Guest Lecture by Mr. Biswapriya Bhattacharjee, Group Business Director, IMRB International

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August is a month full of activities at TAPMI, be it lectures by the most esteemed guests from the world of business or an interactive session. One such Guest Lecture was delivered by Mr. Biswapriya Bhattacharjee, Group Business Director, IMRB International on 05th August 2014. This was a Guest Lecture most students were looking forward to given that IMRB is an international pioneer in market research with footprint across 11 countries. Also it is the only research company in India to offer such a wide array of research based services.

IMRB is known for its high quality conceptualisation, strategic thinking, and execution and interpretation skills. Thus, the discussion was centred on “New Trends in Market Research and IMRB as a MR organization”. The talk started with a discussion about the fields that require market research. As simple as it may seem the scope is exhaustive. The interactive session turned more interesting once a discussion about ethics while conducting market research started. Mr. Bhattacharjee repeatedly mentioned the importance of maintain confidentiality and respecting privacy while conducting such researches. This not only is a pre-requisite to every research but also the most neglected aspect.

The curiosity amongst students about methods of using social media for market research was addressed along with insights on digital media as a whole. Digital marketing is one of the latest trends in marketing hence; research using it and research about it are both crucial.

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Mr. Bhattacharjee also clarified doubts regarding hardships in the field of market research. It helped the student do away with the stereotype and misinterpretations about the field. It truly helped everyone understand the significance market research holds for any company and product. Most strategies are tweaked or implemented based on in-depth market research. For those seeking a career in the field this session was of immense help.

Though the main focus of the work was based on examples from the IT Domain, substantial citing of projects in other fields like FMCG, shopping etc. enabled students to get a complete understanding of the trends and practices in Market Research.