Tag Archive: KIAMS Alumni


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.

4Abhijit Das, student of PGDM Batch 17 at KIAMS believes that his placement as a Management Trainee with Pathfinder Publishing Pvt. Ltd (the company that runs careers360.com) is a big deal not only because of the reputation of the company but the fact that it is the perfect culmination of his academic tenure. The going has been tough for him as he lost his father during the first year of PGDM. But that only pushed him to excel in his studies and focus on the placement process. He admits that with the help of his faculty team and friends at the institute he has managed to get the final outcome he was hoping for.

Reflecting on his two years at KIAMS, he says “The placement with such a prestigious firm was the icing on the cake. My mother, who is a housewife, was extremely supportive during these two years. The placement has made our dream come true. But at the same time I feel the knowledge and confidence I have gained at the institute will help me in the long run. It certainly helped me crack the all important placement interview.” He goes on to add that all the assignments and activities he was a part of during his program helped him learn in the best possible way. That coupled with the confidence he had gained enabled him to impress his recruiters.

After completing his graduation in engineering, Abhijit was working in the construction field but soon enough realized that he needed to boost his competencies to build his career prospects. That’s why he chose to do his PGDM from KIAMS and believes that it’s a decision that has held him in good stead. “I would like to specifically mention the contribution of our faculty members in molding us as future professionals. They were always available to clear our doubts, point out mistakes and help us rectify them in a constructive manner. I believe this relationship goes beyond placements and will be with me for the rest of my life,” he states.

According to Abhijit, every day spent at the institute was a stepping stone towards his future career. The Summer Internship he did at Tata Steel helped him put the concepts he had learned into context and that’s how he made his mark during the placement interview. He is now at the cusp of an exciting journey ahead. “KIAMS has been a new life experience for me and it has prepared me for challenges in my career. Managing product life cycle, Project development and management, Planning, Scheduling, Co-ordination with different teams, Product testing, Market Research and analysis will be some of my job responsibilities and I feel up to the task,” he adds confidently.

Ask him about the aspects of his life at the institute that he is going to miss and Abhijit mentions different celebrations, the time spent with his friends and the campus itself. He holds those memories close to his heart and is going to cherish them for a long time to come. He also has valuable advice for his juniors at the institute. “You should follow your dreams and identify your area of interest. Whatever domain you choose; be it Product Management or Operations, you will find a lot of scope in it if you have in-depth knowledge of the subject. Try to build on your learning and the sky is the limit,” he says all ready to spread his own wings.

Avisek Sarkar believes in following his instincts and mak3ing smart decisions at the right time. That’s why the engineering graduate who was interested in technology decided to switch to management. He says that he wanted to give his career the best platform, which is why he opted for the PGDM with KIAMS. He now stresses that he has managed to combine his technical abilities from engineering studies with analytical, logical thinking from his management program. Perhaps that is what impressed his new employer; Oracle Financial Services Software.

The excitement of being placed with a global powerhouse like Oracle is written large over Avisek’s face. He also realizes that his corporate journey has only begun and he will have to prove his mettle. “The role I have been offered is in financial analytical application development. As a member of the software engineering division, I will have to do detailed design based on high level design specifications. I will also have to assist in system planning, scheduling and implementation, testing bugs, building enhancements etc. I feel prepared for these challenges thanks to my learning at KIAMS,” he says.

Bagging campus placement with a corporate biggie like Oracle is no mean feat. There is a great deal of preparation that goes into making one’s mark in the interview. Avisek sheds light on the process as he says, “One thing that went in my favour was the fact that I had domain knowledge. I also believe you need to be calm and composed during the interview to be able to make the best impression.KIAMS not only helped me build a solid foundation of knowledge but through different initiatives like IRP sessions ensured that I had overcome my fear of public speaking. It reflected in the interview and helped me a lot.”

Avisek also asserts that his learning at the B School was intense with long hours on a daily basis. But his faculty members made things easier by keeping things relatable. His SIP with Novotel Kolkata also enabled him to get valuable practical exposure that he counts on as he prepares for his corporate sojourn. “My time with KIAMS has been a memorable journey altogether. Even the tight class schedules, late night group studies, presentations were fun and lively for me. I am going to miss the hostel life, time spent on the campus and just hanging out with my friends whenever I want,” he says emotionally.

His advice for juniors who might be interested in a job profile like his – “It’s a Financial Analyst profile and if that’s something you are interested in as well then you need to have a strong base in finance and economics. Practical exposure besides academics is also important. But above all be confident and stay true to yourself. You will achieve your goals if you believe in yourself and put in the efforts.” That’s something he himself has done, and is now reaping the benefits for it.

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.

downloadfile-1Mr. Saad Beg counts himself lucky that he found a campus placement with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (“PwC”). He admits that he received incredible support from faculty members at KIAMS, which made it possible to bag the job. They were there to guide him every step of the way, be it the interview stage or the video conference that sealed the deal for him. Mr. Beg started out as an Associate with the company in 2011 and hasn’t looked back since. He has found his strength in Transfer Pricing, a field he specializes in.

Talking about his current job profile, which has him based in the PwC office in Gurgaon, Mr. Beg says, “I work as a Transpricing consultant. The transfer pricing domain has gained impetus in the recent past especially due to globalisation of the Indian economy. A plethora of new companies are investing in India while several Indian companies are investing in subsidiaries abroad. At times like these the companies are required to price the inter group transactions, which is when transfer pricing as a domain gains importance.

He further goes on to add “The tax authorities of each of the countries want to ensure that there is no base erosion of the profits and that the appropriate income is being offered to tax. Considering the same, the transfer pricing regulations have been formulated. Our job as a transfer pricing consultant is to help the multinational groups to determine the arm’s length price (a price which would be charged between two independent companies which do not have any common control).”

There is definitely a lot to learn about  Transfer pricing market, and Mr. Beg doesn’t disappoint in his talk about the key aspects of his department: “There are three aspects involved: an annual compliance report that is a mandatory requirement prescribed under the Indian Income Tax Act, 1961;  Second, the assessment proceedings and the subsequent litigation that arises when the arm’s length price has to be justified before the revenue authorities; and  lastly, but the most important are the planning projects, wherein we helps the company in structuring a transaction, determine the billing models, setting up a pricing mechanism, etc.”

Over the years, Mr. Beg has worked with some top tier companies like Religare, Bain & Company, , Ranbaxy, Pepsi, etc. He worked in an industry that was vital to the transition phase of the Indian economy, and he has now seen the Indian economy come into its own on the global stage. But how will FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) affect the price regulation? He ponders the question before offering insight: “With the new Government, there are expectations and incentives for the manufacturing business, especially with FDI coming in and  we are hoping that there will be a growth in the market and economy.”

Price Transfer seems like a niche field, but Mr. Beg was drawn to it and has made it his own. For students who are interested in a career in the field, he has some valuable inputs. “It is an interesting profile; if you are looking for a consulting profile, then you get a feel for that” he says. “Transfer pricing might start out being about taxes, but it goes much beyond that and covers various aspects of business. It was earlier perceived that the job can be done by a CA, but that notion is changing globally and in India as well. There is a lot of scope.”

Mr. Beg has managed to win recognition for his work with the company. He was promoted within a year of joining PwC And, when asked what the companies  look for when recruiting, he says, “In addition to the academia, people who are dedicated to what they do and take responsibility for their work. .Candidates should have a ‘problem should have a problem solving attitude as it will take you far in your profession.”

These are some of the things he himself learned at KIAMS where he took on responsibilities like the role of Hospitality Representative. Mr. Beg not only turned things around for the department but for himself in the long run too. He says that he will always be appreciative of his education at the institute. In a concluding remark, he advises that all students and professionals should “Respect others and their opinions even when they differ from yours. You can’t make it an ego issue, instead, you have to come together and resolve it. That will not only help you get peace of mind, but it will also help you grow.”

raj-vijayanMr. Raj Vijayan is a KIAMS alum who, after dabbling in different fields for a time, eventually found his calling in Operations. He first gained exposure to the corporate world during his days at the institute through a three-month internship with Satyam Computers. He then earned a campus placement with Odessa Technologies, which, he admits, worked well for him. Reflecting on this experience, he says, “I had an engineering background, so I was looking for an opportunity where I could use both my degrees and deliver.”

Since his first job, Mr. Vijayan has built a strong portfolio for himself and today works as the Manager of Supply Chain Integrations at Flipkart. He had chosen Operations and Marketing for his PGDM and now is happy that he can follow his passion to the hilt with a big name company. “For me it wasn’t a market-driven decision to choose the subject at KIAMS; I have genuinely been interested in it, always,” he explains. “Operations management can be used across different functions of the organization and I was inspired by the scope it offers.”

Mr. Vijayan has good news for aspiring students. He believes that with several foreign companies setting up their base in India along with the expansion of Indian corporates, there will be a growing need for professionals who can manage the operations. He himself has worked with top brands like Lenovo and Adidas; however, he admits that being associated with Flipkart is the most exciting. “What makes it different is that I work for an end to end supply chain,” he says. “My role is to see technology and automation projects happening across Flipkart’s supply chain.. It has been a thrilling experience so far.”

Working with a brand like Flipkart offers Mr. Vijayan plenty of opportunities to learn, and as a manager he has to adapt with the changes the business demands. He admits that at the rate at which the industry is growing, they have to continually improve from  process and technology perspectives. It is hard work and, at times, fast-paced; but, he continues to look forward. This is clearly seen in the mantra that the successful manager follows: “My focus is on learning new things and being open to new technologies. I want to contribute in achieving Flipkart’s goals and be part of India’s e-commerce story.

In spite of his prolific CV, Mr. Vijayan is keen on learning every single day at work. And that’s what his advice is for young students who tend to focus on big brands, especially in the first phase of their careers. “At least in the first few years you need to focus on learning and adapting to the corporate environment, “ he advises. “If you have that opportunity with an organization, that should be good enough. Once you have that understanding, you can go for whichever brand you want to work with.”

Mr. Vijayan also recommends that management aspirants should find out more about the career they want, from the challenges to the responsibilities, before taking the plunge. “If you think that a particular field will give you enough opportunities that you will enjoy, be responsible and accountable; then go for it. Always follow your instincts,” he encourages. He agrees that student perspective  should be different, they should pay  more attention to the career opportunity; rather than too much of a focus on the brand name.

Looking back on his time at KIAMS, Mr. Vijayan has many fond memories. He remembers the moments shared with his batch mates, which is one reason why he feels a deep bond with the institute. He visits the campus twice a year and interacts with the faculty and students. Ask him about his biggest learning at the institute, and he quickly replies, “The importance of teamwork. We learned how to work together as a team and towards a common goal. That learning will always be with me for the rest of my career.”

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.