Many aspiring management students come to KIAMS to pursue their PGDM program partly because of the brand name associated with the institute. Kirloskar is one of the premier industrial groups in the country and offers solid support to it own B School. It was one of the reasons why Alok Kavthankar from Goa made his way to KIAMS. And, the institute has lived up to its promises—Alok not only excelled in the program, but also he is set to hit the ground hitting with his new job at KIAMS’s Centre for Executive Education.
Alok has been hired by KIAMS Executive Centre, which is one of the best launching pads he could have landed on for his professional journey. The institute strives to create its own management leaders, and Alok will be moulded accordingly, which is something that he is excited about: “It is great to be absorbed into the system, which guides you as it makes it easier to understand the intricacies better. My job will be my extended MBA; learning continues at the centre of learning.”
Kirloskar Centre for Executive Education is a training centre for working executives where the aim is to create customized programs for employees of Kirloskar group and other manufacturing companies. It is a field that is evolving and going places in the country, which gives immense hope to Alok. “My main responsibility is to establish a framework of delivery to these executives,” he says. “I am quite excited because we are planning to roll out a pilot program for KPCL (Kirloskar Pneumatics) middle management in April.”
His job seems quite demanding, especially for someone who is at the onset of his professional career. How well prepared is Alok for the challenges he is likely to face on the field? It seems that he is ready to take on any challenge. “I feel I am well equipped with skill sets required for this position,” Alok says. “At the MDP centre we will be using all the resources of the institute; I am well acquainted with the faculty, which will help us design the executive programs. Being an insider, the time required to adapt is zero. In fact, I started working on the day I joined, and my colleagues call me in-house alumni.”
Alok reminds us that this is not his first job and that he has had a couple of stints as an engineer. But he realized soon enough that to enhance his career prospects he needed to boost his managerial skills. That led to his decision to do his PGDM. “KIAMS made me more industry ready in terms of managerial roles,” Alok explains. “The course structure and unique pedagogy enhanced my knowledge. The course has made me more resourceful as a human being. The wide range of subjects, which were taught, gave me an essence of the giant machinery that drives the world.”
Of course, Alok was helped by the internship program at BDB India Pvt Ltd, which he believes was a truly enriching experience. Working with the market research firm in Pune made him realize one important thing: he was not cut out for working in cubicles doing routine jobs. And it has made him appreciate the opportunity at KIAMS Executive Centre even more. Alok feels that “Freedom under the right mentorship is paramount in early stages of your career and I am getting that at KIAMS.”
Alok believes that he is in the right place at the right time because Executive education is growing at a fast pace in India. But over time he would like to specialize in manufacturing management and get into full time consulting. Also, he is not averse to the idea of teaching part time, especially in his area of interest that remains manufacturing.
As we conclude our chat, Alok talks dreamily about “zero gravity flights” offered by NASA. They are the closest one can come to weightlessness without being in space. That’s the adventurous activity that’s on the top of his list. Well, he has already taken the flight of fancy professionally and embarked on a corporate adventure. It must already make him feel like he is in the right “space”.