Tag Archive: kiams academics

5As a BBA graduate, Megha Dey could have opted for an MBA to further her career prospects. But she chose to do her PGDM because she believed that the curriculum would make her industry ready. After spending two years at KIAMS, an institute she had heard a lot about, she agrees that she made the best decision. She has now been placed in a facility management role with Quess Corp Avon, which is a subsidy of the global giant IKEA. Here she shares the journey of her transformation from a hopeful student to a confident management professional.

When asked to put her journey with KIAMS in words, Megha counts many positives. According to her things that seemed difficult and intense when doing them were also a huge learning experience in hindsight. “The rigorous presentations were definitely tough but they were totally worth it at the end of the day. I have learned so much about team effort besides gaining theoretical and practical knowledge. While the job I have bagged is the perfect entry in the corporate world for me, the knowledge I have gained during my time here will last me a lifetime,” she says.

In her new role as a professional with the company Megha will be responsible for meeting clients and discussing various facilities offered. She will also have to strive to boost the sales of the company. She is keen to prove her mettle by delivering on these tasks, just like she managed to impress during the placement interview. On what went right in the interview, she says “I had gathered fair bit of knowledge about the company, which is why I could talk about different scenarios and offer them the best solutions. I also relied on my SIP experience with Bank of Baroda (Kolkata) to come up with relevant answers during the interview.”

Megha mentions the IRP sessions at KIAMS as the main preparation for placement because not only did they improve her communication skills but they also helped her answer situational questions, which were the crux of her interview. Above all her confidence gained during the PGDM years showed clearly. That’s her advice to her juniors at the institute as well. “Be confident and everything will fall into place. Pay attention to classroom learning and projects because that will prepare you well. But also make the most of your time on the campus and with friends because it won’t come back,” she ends on an emotional note.

After karen-saldanha-250-225x300completing her graduation in Oman, where her parents both work as corporate professionals, Karen Saldanha decided to come to India to pursue higher education. She was keen to pursue a career in management and believes that KIAMS has helped her in a big way, borne out by her placement with HDFC Bank.

Karen admits that it took her a while to get over the initial shock of being chosen as a Relationship Manager by HDFC Bank because there were several other right candidates for the job. She also thought her interview wasn’t going too well but managed to turn things around for herself. “Initially it was going all wrong and I think I gave some wrong answers. At one point they even gave me a chance to learn the correct answer for one of the questions. I came back having prepared for more than that, which might have impressed them,” she says with a smile.

She also talks about the efforts taken by her institute to prepare her for the placement process. According to Karen the courses in GD, interviews and business communications groomed students and instilled confidence in them. “Besides that the modules where we were taught what the industry expects of us were very helpful. They had included courses on Customer Insight, Digital Marketing, Strategic Management, International Business, Brand Management, Consumer Behaviour etc and they helped us tremendously,” she adds.

Karen also points out that though she had got placed in her very first attempt she chose to not accept the offer as she wanted to make a bright start to her corporate career. She expects it to happen with a big name like HDFC where her job responsibilities will include, “Meeting clients and addressing their problems, ensuring cross selling of banking products and overall maintaining good relationships with them. I did my internship with Reliance Retail, Chennai and believe that experience will come handy in my job,” she asserts.

While Karen is on cloud nine at the moment, she also feels a hint of sadness knowing that she won’t be spending time on campus with friends. She states that one major advantage of a residential PGDM program is that you make friends for life. Ask her if she has any advice for juniors and she says, “Take efforts to match industry’s needs of skills and knowledge, pay attention to classes and do your assignments diligently. The secret to my good grades is 100% attendance. You might also want to create a LinkedIn profile because networking is the key.” Speaking like a true professional, she already is.

Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) organized a guest lecture and Interactive session for students of PGDM with Mr. PS Krishna Prasad, Head, Luminance Knowledge Center. Held in Lecture Hall 5 on 13th of September, 2014, at 2 pm, the topic titled ‘Hedge Fund History – A Perspective’ was divided into two sessions – the first session dealt with concepts of hedge funds and the next one gave an overview of opportunities in the field.

Professor Geetha Madhuri began the session by introducing the speaker to the audience. Mr. Prasad took over the dais and urged the students to interact, rather than simply listen, in order to gain a better understanding of the topics discussed. He began by introducing the history and background of hedge funds, explaining that they were an investment vehicle that pools capital from investors and invests in securities and other instruments. He then explained the difference between Hedge funds and Mutual funds: “Hedge and Mutual funds are both pooled investments; however, Hedge funds are from qualified investors and are less regulated, while Mutual funds have large and diversified investors and are highly regulated”. He also explained the difference between Hedge funds and Private Equity.

Talking about the investors he said, “There are two categories of Hedge Fund investors – Institutional and Individual.” He then touched upon the norms and guidelines for both categories of investors. The investments usually come from Foundations, Corporate pension funds and Public & State funds, he said. Explaining the structure of a Hedge Fund, he said, “Hedge funds have three principal units – the investors, investment management Co., and the hedge fund itself, which is either a LLP or a Co.” He then launched into the advantages of hedge funds, including their limited liability designation; he also discussed their flow through tax obligations. Various investment styles were also discussed along with the types of fees and stakeholders. Mr. Prasad ended the first session outlining the challenges associated with Hedge funds and the developing trends forecasted up until the year 2018.

The second session was about career opportunities in finance sector. He responded to the students’ queries and spoke to them about various roles like support (accounting), markets, operations (accounting/data crunching), analysis, strategy (visioning, conceptualization and planning), management, and other services like rating services. The students interacted with the speaker to understand the industry expectations and gaps in their learning. At the end of the talk, the session was closed with a sincere vote of thanks to the speaker, Mr. Prasad.

SomsubhraSomsubhra Chaterjee grew up in the small district of Bankura in West Bengal, but he always wanted to go places and make a name for himself. That’s the reason the engineering graduate who had a working stint with Wipro Technologies, decided to pursue his PGDM program with KIAMS.

Discussing the “life altering” decision of joining KIAMS, Somsubhra says, “I’d heard about the brand from relatives and knew it was flourishing. It made me realize that we would get the best support and amenities at the institute. When I came here I found out that the campus is ideally located and breathtakingly beautiful. It’s the perfect environment for students to learn and have a great time, too. Of course, I partied during my program but I was also focussed on my studies.”

But from now on it’s going to be all work for Somsubhra, who will be working in corporate sales with his new employer. Although he was interested in HR when he started out with his management program, today he is convinced that he’s cut out for sales. In fact, that’s the feedback he got from his faculty during a mock interview session. That’s when he decided to focus on sales and started working on his communication skills, which helped him get through the selection process.

During all-important interview, Somsubhra gave his best and made sure he wasn’t going to let go of the opportunity. “I did everything I was asked in the interview,” Somsubhra explains. “Right from explaining STP of weather as a product to selling a celesta coffee vending machine to the HR, I was prepared for everything they put me through. And I knew every word on my resume, which is important because they can ask you anything what is on that piece of paper.”

His confidence during the interview was boosted by the preparations he had been through thanks to the comprehensive placement program created by KIAMS. He also mentions the contribution of his faculty and friends who supported him while he prepared for the interview. And now that Somsubhra has gained a foothold with a reputable company, he would like to understand the working methodology of a large organization so that he can boost his future career prospects.

However, he also understands that he will be faced with challenges along the way. How does he plan to cope with them? “I will draw on my experiences during my internship with Fi-Tek, LLC Kolkata,” he says. “My stint at the market research firm gave me firsthand knowledge of working in a team and putting my point across with differing views all around. It also helped me with my presentation skills, which will come handy in my new job.”

Somsubhra doesn’t consider himself to be a long term planner, but now that he has entered the corporate world, he would like to grow with his present company. And, he is hopeful for better things along the way because he is gaining experience in the exciting world of sales, which, according to him, is important for every marketing person. “A lot can happen over coffee,” goes the tagline of the chain he’d be working for. And a lot can certainly happen for him, too.

From a management student to associate professor at the Global Business School, Hubli to an associate professor at KIAMS, it has been a natural progression for Prof. Ashok Patil who joined the KIAMS team last month. Prof. Patil excels in the field of corporate finance, a subject he is teaching at KIAMS.

“Being a management student myself – I am pursuing my PhD as well – I know my subject and also the importance of imparting education the right way,” he says. On being asked how he makes his classes more interesting and engaging, he says: “I involve the students in group discussions in order to bring out new ideas, encourage role-play to practice real-time market scenarios and conduct question-answer sessions wherein I clarify their doubts. All these elements are an integral part of my classroom sessions to help the students pick up things easily.”

To create a better understanding of the various aspects of management, Prof. Patil says he picks up live examples. All the management workshops he has attended, he says, come in handy as he incorporates all those teaching methods in his own sessions.

As far as prerequisites for a good manager are concerned, Prof. Patil says, a manager should be able to analyze a situation appropriately before making any decision. “He must be a quick decision-maker and result-oriented,” he adds. “Managers should be dynamic and keep themselves abreast of the latest in their field,” he says, confident KIAMS will be able to help the students achieve this objective. “They should be up-to-date and should be analytical in decision making.”

Prof. Patil has been an achiever in his own right. His passion for teaching has helped him bag a number of prizes including second prize at the National Conference on Entrepreneurship and Business Development in India. He was also chosen for having the best paper in the technical seminar Track C-101. One of his papers, ‘Role of Trust and Control in Financial Services Outsourcing: An Empirical Study’ has been accepted in a peer reviewed journal. Another paper, ‘A Critical Review of Outsourcing, Off shoring and Offshore Outsourcing of Financial Services’ has been submitted for approval at the Institute of Management Education and Research, Belgium.

KIAMS is happy to welcome Prof. Patil on board and looks forward to this high value addition to the PGDM course.

It’s been nearly eight years since Prashanti Akepati passed-out of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies. Since then, there have been quite a few alumni gatherings, but she’s never gone back to KIAMS.

“Somehow, I feel that KIAMS belongs to the current batch of students. I spent two wonderful years in that campus. The day I appeared for my last exam at KIAMS, my purpose of being there was fulfilled.” 

As a Senior Manager (Operations) with the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Department at Bajaj Allianz, Prashanti co-ordinates with the user departments and IT and helps make the communication process smooth, so that the system is developed as per the user requirement in the shortest possible time. Prashanti starts her day with a review of the tasks-to-do, followed by assignment of work to her team, coordinating with different departments, discussions regarding implementation of new processes, and finally, taking stock of the targets achieved and the ones that are to be achieved.

“I love being behind the scene… an anonymous force which has a huge impact on all users, pan-India. All changes in the system process go through the UAT, making us central to the smooth running of the system.”  She points out that a reputed B-school like Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies is a great launch-pad that pushes you to a higher rung in the career ladder.

“It was at KIAMS that I learnt the art of listening. Very often you will see two people saying the same things, but not agreeing with one another. One has to listen, to be able to deliver what is needed. The most important thing that KIAMS taught me was the ability to learn… and unlearn. The day we think that we know more than others, is the day when our growth ceases in that environment. One has to be open to learning every day to be able to perceive opportunities and grow further.” Intake at Bajaj Allianz for a B-school grad is as a management trainee (MT), but within a year a MT is promoted to Assistant Manager. That’s when the real climb begins.

“Acceptance among peers is hard for MT’s, as they are seen as a privileged lot who are given fancy salaries and titles, without having proven their worth. The peer pressure that a management graduate goes through in the 1st year is immense. I have seen around 4 to 5 batches; every batch faces the same attitudinal issues. Quite a few leave after the first year – year and a half. It is not the solution. I want current batches at KIAMS to be prepared for such conditions.” However, what an ordinary executive learns in 3 years, an average management trainee packs in one year, thanks to B-schools like KIAMS. MT’s have to work twice as hard and smart, perform under pressure, take quick decisions and learn on their feet – stuff we were put through, at KIAMS.

The trick, says Prashanti, is to understand the organizational perspective. After all, graduates from KIAMS are expected to fill in the shoes of the mid-management. “Passing-out of KIAMS with a good designation and package is just the beginning. With it comes the responsibility and accountability of taking decisions, abiding by the decisions taken, managing the team, and upholding the values of your organization. KIAMS teaches you to be a jack of all trades, but outside, you’ve got to be the master of atleast one. In real life work environment, one is valued for one’s knowledge of the field.”

Prashanti thanks Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies for her confidence and independence, and letting her know the importance of ‘employability’. “Nobody is indispensable. Constantly evaluate your contributions to the organization, and whether they are valued or not. Don’t be complacent; you never know when an organization would like to dispense with you.”

Prashanti Akepati
Senior Manager, Operations
Bajaj Allianz Pvt Co. Ltd. 

To be a runner up in an international competition, where faculty members of major business schools presented best of their unpublished work, speaks volumes about the excellent analytical work of Dr. V S Pai. 

Students at KIAMS are painting the town red on their professor’s Chak De Phatte kind of success. “We are really not surprised because he has an uncanny ability to explain the most difficult of problems in the easiest possible way,” says PGDM student Drishya.

What we like the most is that he goes beyond the text books and connects everything with the present scenario and developments. This really kind of hooks students to his class,” says PGDM student Rohit, another die-hard fan of Dr. V S Pai.

Although, with more than two decades of experience under his belt, Dr. V S Pai never took the competition lightly and always knew his work needed to be elaborate and analytical in order to come in the first three. His writing work explained how Tata Teleservices entered into a joint venture with NPC DoCoMo of Japan to improve the performance of their telecom venture.

Management theories and practices are fast evolving in the present business scenario where mergers and acquisitions have long become a norm. Challenges faced by business are myriad and new, requiring managers to think on the feet and develop a truly international perspective. Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies has a reputation to groom future business leaders in the art of not only surviving but also outshining in the competitive world of business.

“We at KIAMS are fortunate to have an experienced and talented faculty member like Dr. Pai, whose international exposure will help students develop international perspective and transform into world class business leaders,” says Dr. Gopal Iyengar, Director of KIAMS.

Dr. Pai has some advice for the students. “There is no short cut to excellence and this holds true for everyone. I keep updating my knowledge and skills, and writing papers is a kind of passion for me” says Dr. V. S. Pai. “Awards and recognition always follow tenacity, so keep your goal in mind and toil hard to achieve it,” advises Dr. Pai to his students. But he warns against being workaholic as it saps one of energy and life. “Work hard and party harder has been my mantra and it has worked very well for me till today,” laughs Dr. Pai.

Kirloskar Insitute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) has all that it takes to build and foster a successful manager – for the stakes are high. Research shows that between half and three-quarters of business alliances fail due to poor relationship marketing. Today’s economic climate requires them to have a quick turnover while lowering costs and increasing the amount of functionality they can deliver. This climate thus mandates that organizations master at least three critical skills to ensure that performance goals are being met: metrics, negotiation and relationship management.

To address the topic of how to make alliances or relationships succeed, we spoke to Prof. Akash Mathapati, Sr. Lecturer, BBA, MBA who teaches Relationship Marketing, Marketing Management and Brand Management to the students of KIAMS. With 6 years of rich industry work experience behind him, Mathapati gives us fantastic insight into the emerging need of relationship management and outlines what students and budding managers can do to move this from an individual skill into the realm of an organizational capability. He is also a frequent writer and speaker on issues of Brand Personality and Consumer Buying Behaviour, having presented papers in International Conferences and Research Publications.

“When I talk about Relationship Management” he says, “I incorporate it as a holistic distinction between two different kinds of RM. The first kind is focused on a particular transaction or relationship say, with a customer. The second is focused on organizational capability, i.e. what processes, tools, and skills does the organization need to have in place with its suppliers, vendors & other stakeholders to have a truly effective RM.” said Prof. Mathapati.

He adds that, “Ultimately, the cost of a bad relationship can be the outright failure or sub- optimization of the enterprise or effort.” Simply put, a poor relationship can prevent an effort from delivering up to its potential. “The fact that individuals and organizations have different interests, cultures etc. is the reason you need a RM. We all have different sets of experiences, and we interpret data in different ways and thus form conclusions. All of these differences need to be managed.”

Indeed the job opportunities are fairly moving up in this vertical (such as Banking, and IT and ITes Services) as more and more companies are realising to the inadequate attention of the working relationship as being a major cause of failure of an alliance, be it with a customer, supplier or a vendor.