Tag Archive: KIAMS Alum


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Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies recently organized a conclave “Attitude Skills and Knowledge (ASK) and employer’s expectations on skills & employability” at its Harihar campus. The event held on the 26th of September brought together several big names from industry and academia to discuss the attributes that can make successful management professionals of tomorrow. Given the high relevance of the conclave, it was only natural that we talked to some of the students to evaluate its overall success.

Arpit Sharma, B 17 was one of them and he believed that it was a privilege to listen to names like Mr. Swami Nathan Krishnan, Vice-President and Head Marketing, Coach and Mentor – Sasken Communication Technologies, Bangalore. “Since I am passionate about my chosen specialization of Marketing , I was very excited to listen to the stalwart from the industry,” he said confidently. “It has been a valuable experience for me and I hope it will bridge the gap between where I am today and where I want to be professionally.”

This conclave is the first in the series of events KIAMS will be organizing this year, in its Silver Jubilee year. Students like Arpit remain appreciative of the fact that the B School holds seminars and conclaves regularly to offer them hands-on experience. Others like Vinay Kant Maurya, B 17 look at it as a responsibility to learn and deliver. “I won’t let these opportunities go in vain. I will do my best to make the most out of them and interact with professionals from different industries and learn from their experiences,” he says.

When asked if he had any suggestions on the subjects for future conclaves and seminars Vinay Says, “It would be great to hear from professionals in specific areas like finance, operations, and International Business. It would help us with specific exposure for our future careers.” Arpit, on the other hand, wants future seminars to delve into digital marketing, e-commerce, and rural marketing. He believes these areas are evolving and knowledge on the subjects would give them an edge. But for now, they seem thrilled by the takeaways from the recently held conclave.

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On the evening of 16th September, it was time to welcome the God of Knowledge and New Beginnings as students of KIAMS, Pune celebrated Ganesh Chaturthi. It is one of the most popular festivals in the country, especially in the state of Maharashtra. The celebrations at the institute were in keeping with the rich tradition of the festival – and this year, the students of Batches 17 and 18 kept the tradition going with a night of enthusiasm and revelry.

Ganesha is definitely one of the most endearing Gods (known to be the remover of obstacles), and he holds a special place in the hearts of millions across the country. Students, in particular, worship Lord Ganesha and seek his blessings to get through their academic challenges with flying colours. Therefore, it was only natural that he was welcomed on campus with open arms. As the chants of Ganpati Bappa Morya rang in the air, there was a feeling of peace and excitement all around.

The reading room on the KIAMS campus took the form of the manadapam, which was going to be Ganesha’s home for the next days. Some of the students created colourful rangoli at the entrance of the room to add to the ambience. The festivities began with the Arti ceremony, an event students embraced with a lot of energy. The chanting of mantras followed and it created a serene atmosphere in the hallowed presence of the Lord.

It turned out to be a welcome break for the students as they got some respite from their deadlines, presentations, etc. They were dressed in their best traditional attires as they mingled and took part in the festivities with gusto. Some of them had even taken the efforts to learn the Artis, which they sang in good spirits during the ceremony. A time of great camaraderie indeed.

Of course, in Lord Ganesha’s presence, no one was to leave without sweet rewards for their efforts. As his favourite sweets were brought out of the kitchen one after the other for offerings, students were in for a mouth-watering treat. But, of course, the best part of the event was that students from different parts of the country, and from different cultures, took part in the celebrations as one, which is in keeping with the true KIAMS tradition.

Mr. Rajkumar Vijayakumar, KIAMS alum from Batch 2006, has built a strong career in the banking industry over the past eight years. He got his campus placement with the prestigious ING Vysya Bank.. Having worked over a substantial period as the relationship manager for the bank in Kerala, Mr. Rajkumar felt all set in taking his career to a new direction.  That’s the reason he moved on to Dhanlaxmi Bank, and after a successful stint there, joined AXIS Bank in November 2011. He has consistently climbed up the ladder in the tricky banking sector, which in itself speaks a lot for his efforts and determination.

Today, Mr. Rajkumar works for the third largest bank in the country and handles the portfolio in Kerala SME proposals.  After being in the banking industry for many years, what is it about his job that he enjoys the most? “I am mostly involved in the examination for sanctioning loans based on collateral security,” he tells us. “This work is very different from finance in the corporate world. But, there is a lot of thought involved in maintaining the right balance and achieving the right parameters. Your practical experience comes into play, and most of the loans we have offered haven’t gone bad.”

However, one has to realize that the banking industry is target-driven, which includes its own set of challenges. Mr. Rajkumar though has a simple philosophy to cope with the pressure: “For me, the most important mantra is to not think about the targets. If you get daunted by the target, you will never achieve it. I break down the targets according to different quarters. When you break it down, it doesn’t seem too overwhelming.” And, smiling, he adds, “You need to have a plan for how you want to proceed. If something goes wrong, you should have a backup.”

Mr. Rajkumar’s simple but effective strategies give you the impression that you are speaking to a man who has gained tremendous insight into the banking sector. Present day students can only benefit from his take on the changing scenario in the banking industry. He offers his valuable inputs, stating, “After Nationalization, banking has gone way beyond collecting deposits and lending money. There is a wide array of products, including insurance, which brings in a lot of money.” He further encourages students to gain experience in big banks in the private sector or some of the major nationalized banks for valuable exposure.

From his words you can tell that Mr. Rajkumar has always been passionate about Finance. In fact, he worked with UAE Exchange, handling transaction and accounts of their products before joining KIAMS. He believes that things took off on another level after his academic stint at the institute. “The third trimester in particular was helpful for my aspirations because we had a program called Management of Bank& Insurance Companies,” he reflects. “It was mostly taught by professionals who had experience in the field. That was truly helpful.”

Talking about KIAMS takes Mr. Rajkumar down memory lane. And, he admits that though he hasn’t been back to the institute, he stays in touch with his batchmates through social media. He also feels a bond with current students at the institute, for whom he has thoughtful advice: “Banking might seem boring, but it is a good career option. You have to be adaptable and flexible because managers keep changing, just like banking norms. There are several opportunities for you but it’s important to build your network once you are in the profession.”

1231208_563739057013790_628061968_nWhen Ms. Saumya Manglik was pursuing her management dreams at KIAMS she had the unique distinction of getting a Pre Placement Offer during her internship with HUL. She was the only one in her batch to do so. According to Ms. Manglik, it put her in a position to be able to choose the companies she wanted to opt for during campus placement. She was offered a corporate position by Future Group. She let go of her PPO at HUL and joined Future Group, because of the profile that she was offered. That’s how her journey in the retail industry began, and now it still continues seven fruitful years later.

Looking back on the time gone by since her days at KIAMS, Ms. Manglik says, “It has been an amazing journey. I was handling the vertical for Human Resources for Future group. I was with them for 4 years and got promotions over the last seven years. Her achievements are noteworthy, especially when you consider her short stint with Larvij International in Moscow. “It was just a few months after my college and before starting my placement with Future Group. I had participated in a few management competitions and their COO of Larvij International invited me to Moscow to work on some projects with them,” she says modestly.

Ms. Manglik clearly was determined on making the most of the opportunities that were coming her way. And it’s this go-getter attitude that has enabled her to scale new heights of success. She was the Manager, of Human Resources at Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and will be shortly, taking a new profile with another giant in India. But, she is quick to assert that she only does a job she likes. “Yes, my seniors know that if they give me a job that I don’t like, it won’t go down well. The easiest way to get the best out of me is to give me something challenging,” she adds with a smile on her face.

Ms. Manglik admits that there are two things at the back of her mind when she decides whether or not to take up a task: “I am financially secured and I am a girl. This is a huge security net and an advantage that very few people may enjoy. If I don’t like something I can simply walk away, without thinking of the financial implications of it. Not everyone has this benefit and therefore for me, the key is whether I get to learn and grow in any project. This security net, actually makes me very good at what I do, because I am able to do it fearlessly and confidently”.

So, being a woman at the top of her game, what’s her advice to other young women who want to join hospitality industry? “You need to keep your head straight and have a value system in place,” she says. “You need to know what you want from life. The industry has matured enough to treat women at par; all you need to do is focus on your work and nothing will be able to stop you and get in your way, definitely not your gender. ”

Today, Ms. Manglik is in a position to hire “professionals”, but she insists that her company focus on looking for “right people” instead. She has an interesting philosophy: she believes that if you are a culturally fit person, you will turn out to be a good professional; but only a good professional might not always be a culturally fit person. Elaborating further, she says, “For me it’s 90% attitude and the rest is skill and knowledge. You can gain knowledge and skill over time, but it’s not the same with attitude. I love my team and I love to take care of each and every one of them. They are my biggest strength. In-fact, one of my ex-team members at Fairmont was also from KIAMS.”

Knowledge and skill are two things she gained in abundance during her time at KIAMS. But importantly, Ms. Manglik learned life lessons that she still relies on today. “Everything I learnt at the institute, I have managed to use in different aspects of my life,” she tells us. “Be it relationships, education, time management or professionalism. Everything you do in college, you do it again in the walk of your life,”

Little wonder, that she misses the institute and regrets not being able to go back. But she remains in touch with her batchmates as she makes a place for herself in the field of human resources.

374636_10151054155185093_1905988035_n (1)Vishal Mohal is a young and dynamic professional, serving as a Senior Associate in Investment Banking at Copal Partners. Vishal’s success began with a PGDM program at KIAMS in 2009. “My journey as an investor banker has been very rewarding; and KIAMS, with its perfect blend of theoretical and practical instruction, helped me realize my ambitions” he says. Vishal was always interested in Strategy Management and, as a motivated student, he interacted a lot with the faculty to learn and understand the nuances of the industry. “At KIAMS,” he tells us, “the faculty was very good and the kind of cases they made us go through were very insightful. They actually activated our thought processes and made us think about real-life scenarios, rather than only focusing on the theory”.

He is glad for the practical approach at KIAMS, since he believes it is extremely important in his field. “A business school, very often, teaches you only the principles and the formulas and how to calculate within certain parameters; however, this does not give you the experience and the exposure,” he says. “In India, the stress is on theory – developing a thought process about a task in the future is lacking as compared to other countries.” He also thinks that real-world, in-depth experience helps an investment banker understand his customers’ needs and fears: “The main thing for an Investor is that his investment should be secure and it should be able to generate profits. As an Investment Banker we always have to keep this in mind”. However, Vishal feels that, as a market, India is not yet prepared and presents many uncertainties; and, the Indian Economy, while much improved, still has immense potential to explore. “Theoretically, we are prepared but practically I would say we are not,” he continues. “We are not that strong and we need more people to take up investment banking as a career. It does take a lot of time, as you have to start as an Analyst, but, gradually, you move up the ranks. But, if you are humble and bright enough, then you may find yourself moving up the ladder rather quickly.”

Vishal, however, is a practical man who laughs when the ‘glamour’ of investment banking is brought up: “You might say that it is a glamorous job, but Investment Banking requires a lot of hard work and long hours. A successful investment banker works more than 65 hours every week –but, of course, there are lot of incentives, including the earning potential.”  Explaining his work more he says, “The most important aspect for an investment banker is to identify the right opportunity at the right moment and to assess it with full honesty. He should not be biased. You have to consider each and every factor and you have to determine the merit of that opportunity. That is the most important role and trait of an Investment Banker”.

KIAMS has given Vishal more than an opportunity to build his career – he also found his life partner at the institute. He loves his work life irrespective of the difficult time commitments and the challenges that he faces every day. He believes that the industry is growing in India and offers immense opportunities to youngsters who want to enter the field. Vishal is completely fulfilled and satisfied in his work; however, he believes he would want to come back to KIAMS someday and teach Strategic Management!

IMG_0024“For anyone to survive professionally, hard work is mandatory. Some choose to work hard right at the early part of the career and some in their latter; but everyone does. I chose to finish the hard work part at the start of my career.” These are the words of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS)’s alum Mr. Gaurav Setia. Mr. Setia has worked hard in the tough financial sector, and has earned the title of Assistant Vice President and Team Leader at ICICI.

But Mr. Setia admits that he had to begin at the lowest level when he started out in the world of banking. “I started at the bottom after being placed with ICICI Bank as a senior officer,” he says, describing the beginning of his journey. “After working rigorously there for two years, I moved to HSBC where I had a stint for about five years. Then I returned to ICICI, in their Securities Ltd. division, as a Chief Manager for their Private Wealth Management vertical. Today I manage about 100 crores of their assets.”

As a Private Banker, Mr. Setia’s days are packed with meetings and client lunches and dinners. These important meetings take up most of his time, leaving little room for a personal life. He is quick to remind youngsters that there’s no such thing as work-life balance at the start of one’s career. But he is enthusiastic to add, “Most of the time, a happy professional life automatically results in a happy personal life.” And as a professional, Mr. Setia has some noteworthy achievements to his credit. In his professional career, he has moved up six levels in nine years. He also acknowledges the fact that assets managed by him have grown from 2 to 100 crores. That wouldn’t have been possible without having the requisite skills for his job, which is something that he points out: “Excellent relationship skills, knowledge and advice. All three skills are interlinked and you can’t move forward without the others.”

Luckily for Mr. Setia, he developed these skills during his time at KIAMS. But, according to him, two of the most important skills he gained at his institute are presentation skills and problem solving: “I’ve always had an upper hand with my colleagues in these two aspects. We had to go through hundreds of presentations at KIAMS and our problem solving skills were tested during Pragati(the rural marketing fair at the institute). It taught us how to break down our problems into smaller parts and solve them.”

He also remains aware of the importance of theory lessons learned at the institute and asks today’s students to pay attention to them. He recommends relating a concept learned to a real world problem because that’s what companies are looking for today. He believes there is a place for young professionals who can apply their theoretical knowledge into practice as they can be assets to the organizations they work with.

Not only has Mr. Setia been put through the paces in the industry, he has also seen setbacks like the global meltdown in 2008. But he has been through it all and has carved a place for himself in the industry today. However, his advice to youngsters who want to make it as professionals is rather simple and practical: “Sometimes all it takes to sail through tough times is to put your head down and keep working hard.” That’s exactly what he has done with great success.