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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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 Session on Data Analytics by Mr Ashok Raman, VP and Global Head – HR, SG Analytics

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On 10th August 2014, Mr Ashok Raman, VP and Global Head – HR, SG Analytics, graced TAPMI by his presence and interaction with the students. An XLRI alumnus, he has 17 years of progressive niche experience in various domains of HR such as Strategic HR, Talent Management, Global Employee Engagement, Talent Management Life cycle (Acquisition-Development-Retention) etc. On this occasion, he conducted an interactive session with the second year students of TAPMI on Data Analytics.

The session started on a general note, with various questions on behalf of Mr Raman regarding the reasons behind students choosing MBA as well as their respective specializations. He encouraged them to reflect on their career choices, and having a 3 year plan at any point of time in their lives. Further, stressed on the importance of understanding the business landscape and following the patterns and trends of the industry.

After this discussion, he moved on to the topic of Data Analytics with the aim of making sure that each student “walked out of the session with a renewed understanding and interest in the subject”. A presentation filled with interesting facts about the data trends of today, from social media websites to consumer surveys to creation of data at business levels, and numbers that actually showed the relative growth of data creation brought home the vast expanse of the industry to the students. The term “Big Data” was thoroughly discussed and explored in great detail by Mr Raman and the students together.

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Most importantly, various myths regarding Data Analytics were dispensed by Mr Raman. For example, he stressed on the importance of understanding Analytics irrespective of one’s function. He further went on to say that rather than Analytics being a functional area by itself, it is a highly useful skill that can add value huge value to any function an individual might be working in. A highly-interactive session later, he achieved what he intended to do, and aroused the interest of nearly all the students in the field of Analytics, and left with a promise of encouraging this interest in every way possible.

We hope that this knowledge sharing relationship with Mr Raman continues to be sustained and thank him for his valuable time and insights into the very interesting and relevant field of Data Analytics.

Branding Your Image “College to Corporate” by Mr. Niranjan Ayyar – National HR Manager at ASA & Associates LLP

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The students got this opportunity to receive an expert talk from Mr Niranjan Ayyar H.R Manager at ASA & Associates LLP on 3rd August 2014. Mr Ayyar introduced the talk with the story of a blind beggar. A copy righter passes by a blind beggar with a sign that reads ‘I am blind. Please help”. But he is largely ignored by the crowd. The copy righter goes to the blind man and changes the sign. From the next day, the blind man receives lot of donations from the crowd. The sign now reads “It’s the first day of spring and I can’t see it.”

Through this story Mr. Ayyar wants to accentuate on the importance of portraying the right image to the target audience. An interesting personality profiling exercise followed wherein the students were asked to mark their behavior under different situations and then there emerged four types of personalities. These personalities and their characteristic features are as mentioned below-

D-Directing-Dominant, Authoritative

I-Influencing-Friendly, Motivating

S-Steady-Peaceful, Team Players

C-Cautious-Stability, Process oriented

The whole group of students were divided amongst the different groups that they happened to project. It was a very interesting exercise as the students got to know what kind of personality type they belonged to at that time and how similar they were with their peers in the same group.

Mr. Ayyar emphasized on the need to portray an image that suits the organization by moulding our personality. He said that projected personality was equal to how we communicate in a business setup. He threw light on the importance of etiquette, body language and non-verbal communication. The audience got an understanding of some basic yet often ignored mistakes that people in an organization commit that leaves a bad impression on the management.

Typical examples like avoiding slangs and jargons in a business setup. He also explained the importance of body language in creating an impression beyond what we speak. This was followed by a TED talk video by Amy Cuddy. The central argument of the video shown was how our non-verbal aspects can have a significant influence in our behaviour and as a result, on our personality.

The speaker then shows many examples to prove her arguments. For example, when people take high power poses, their testosterone level goes up, cortisol level comes down and they are able to react to a riskier situation in a better way as compared to people with low power poses. Just like how our minds can change our body, she goes on to show how our bodies also change our minds. The title of the presentation was ‘Can you fake it till you make it?’ The video was very inspirational and insightful as it dealt into nuances of human behavior that can shape our success or downfall.

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Mr. Ayyar encouraged people to research on body language and on non-verbal cues to create the right impression within the organization. The presentation was followed by Q&A session with the students. He explained how HR as a role is evolving from a support function to a strategic function that involves knowledge of end to end delivery of the organization. He also said that HR is now beginning to evolve as a link between the organization and employees.

The session was highly interactive. Students at TAPMI got to know many things about personality profiling and projected personality. The session ended with a token of appreciation from the college to Mr.Ayyar and we hope to see him in TAPMI again for such sessions in the future.

Concept & Importance of Organization and Leadership Planning – Guest Lecture Session by Mr Aniruddha Khekale and Ms Payal Parikh, Emerson Process Management

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“Concept & Importance of Organization and Leadership Planning”, was at the heart of the Guest Lecture that the students of TAPMI had the privilege to attend, on August 1st, 2014 (Friday). This interactive session was conducted by Mr Aniruddha Khekale, Group Director – HR and Ms Payal Parikh – Senior Manager HR of Emerson Process Management. Emerson Process Management is a group of businesses that offer solutions, systems and products in the process control, assets monitoring, and remote monitoring space. The groups stands together for offering value to its customers through its expertise in the space built over long years.

  1. Aniruddha Khekale completed his PGCBM, Business Administration and Management (General) from XLRI Jamshedpur and was associated with some prominent organizations like Birla Kennametal, Patheja Forgings and Autoparts Mfrs. Ltd., and Cummins India Limited. Ms. Payal Parikh has completed her PGDHRM, Human Resources from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies and has worked in Emerson for over a decade.
  2. Payal began the session in an interactive manner asking the students what they knew about the company followed by a company presentation that covered Emerson’s history, its brand promise, core offerings & key brands, key customers, the diversified businesses under Emerson’s umbrella and the global scope. She gave us a few pointers for our journey in the corporate world, stating that luck comes to those who are “Prepared” and most importantly people should have fun and make the most of the journey! Ms. Payal patiently answered all questions that the students had.
  3. Anirudh introduced a formula for ‘Success’ that he has coined –

Success = Capability X Network X Luck

This implies that someone doesn’t become successful because of just one attribute, but a presence of multiple attributes ensures success.  He talked about how Gen X and Gen Y work together in Emerson Process Management and that it speaks well about the company’s culture.

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He led us through the concept of ‘Building Culture’, by firstly defining what is culture , asking if culture is important in an organization, if yes, why and what value does culture bring. He pointed out the increasing need of a strong culture, owing to the ever changing business landscape and how it impacted not only the organization as a whole but also its employees and customers. He also spoke about the new things that had influenced their organization’s culture in India.

The core idea he conveyed was how company culture impacts business results. The major success points for Emerson’s cultural leadership include: collaboration, matrix structure, global teams, social media, global leadership perspective, real CSR, wellness of employees (emotional as well as physical and strong focus on ‘values’.

He spoke about the Competing Values Framework (Fig 1) which talks about cultural assessment and in turn helps leaders work more comprehensively and more consistently in improving their organizations’ performance and value creation. We were also exposed to the Organization Planning Key chart and a Learning Agility Measurement Tool – VIL which is in the experimental stage at Emerson.

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Figure 1 – Competing Values framework by Kim S Cameron and Robert E Quinn

Overall, it was a very interactive session led by affluent speakers with enthusiastic participation from the students.  The session was attended by around 60 students who found the session to be highly informative and useful. On a closing note, Mr. Anirudh mentioned that he has visited many campuses, but the interaction with bright TAPMI students was excellent. The lecture came to an end with a vote of thanks proposed by the TAPMI MIP team.

Guest Lecture Session by Mr Tojo Jose, Executive Vice President HR at Blue Star Limited

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Mr. Tojo Jose, who is currently the Executive Vice President HR at Blue Star Limited and has over 28 years of experience in the field of HR, agreed to engage the students at TAPMI in an interactive, inspiring and informative session on Friday August 1, 2014, sharing his views and experiences on the need for HR, what any company is looks for and how we, as managers, can transition smoothly into the corporate world.

Starting with the need for HR, he spoke about the diverse range of tasks and activities practiced in Blue Star and how the HR department effectively contributes to goals and operations of Blue Star Limited. Swinging back and forth between the HR universe and Blue Star, he shared an immense wealth of information on how Blue Star operates and how it distinguishes itself from its competitors not only on the basis of its core strengths but also non-core technologies.

Following this, he shared what the corporates were really looking for in the managers. In the list of desirable traits, hard work was on the top, emphasizing its need and necessity. Love for innovation, technology, and data came next because without these, you simply cannot succeed or survive in the corporate world.

On the non-professional front (equally important if not more) came traits like ethicality, humility, and respect, for these traits are needed irrespective of the company you work with, what your job entails, and where you are; after all, these define you much before even your work does.

Following this discussion, he presented his views on mistakes that people made while transitioning into a corporate which on surface seemed trivial but contained volumes of meaning which are not apparent and indeed quite humbling. For instance, managers commonly prefer to take jobs in the towns of their preference, in companies of their preference, and/or salaries of their likings; and keep the kind of work they want to do in the periphery; only to later realize and regret that this was not the job they wanted to do, and thus getting chained to that job for a time that becomes painfully long to endure.

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At the end, he gave a few tips to the students. He advised them to never hesitate to ask questions, to cultivate hobbies, to save, and to take good care of health, for these are necessary if you want to climb the ladder of success.

In this short compact session he managed to share nuggets of gold with the budding managers and aspiring entrepreneurs, and made many of us look at HR as our majors in the following year. We thank Mr. Tojo for engaging us in such an informative yet enlightening session.