Tag Archive: kiams faculty


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.

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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.

photoChoosing the right specialization for your management program is as important as picking the right B School. While the Marketing domain is widely discusses, the Finance sector is still considered to be a niche. It’s ironic that the stream that has consistently offered exciting and high profile career opportunities for management aspirants is believed to be a field only for those who like to crunch numbers. That’s why we have Prof. Gita, KIAMS shedding light on career prospects and dispelling some of the myths surrounding the field.

Prof. Gita is a Asst. Professor at the B School and has 12 years of experience as an academic, having worked with several reputable educational institutes in the country. Her expertise in Finance is evident from her sterling record, and today she shares her experience with the students at KIAMS. As we begin talking about Derivatives in the market, she says, “In the initial days of derivative trading, Commodity Derivatives were popular. However, things have changed now and Options, Futures, Forwards, and Swaps have gained in prominence as well.”

According to Prof. Gita, derivatives should be chosen based on the objective of the investment. That’s something not only investors need to know, but also those who want to work as professionals in the field of derivatives. She delves deeper into the responsibilities for future aspirants, saying, “They are quite similar to that of Equity Researcher or Portfolio Manager. You’d have to carry out an in-depth analysis of the underlying asset and the performance of the Derivative. The goal is to help the investor make a smart investment choice.”

But at the end of the day, aspirants are keen on knowing their career prospects and future opportunities. Prof. Gita leads them in the right direction as far as Finance Derivatives are concerned: “At National Stock exchange alone, the Average Daily Trading of Futures & Options was around 120055.59 Cr in the year 2013-14. That kind of voluminous trading in itself should tell you about the lucrative and challenging careers in the field. Financial services sector and institutions under it have several opportunities for derivatives professionals.”

In fact, Prof. Gita believes that the entire Finance sector is buzzing with exciting options for professionals of today and tomorrow. According to her, Finance goes beyond just number crunching and is, in fact, integral to every business. “Every business needs cash flow and when money comes into the picture, you need professionals who know the basics of finance for decision making,” she explains. “Financial Analyst, Equity research, Financial Controller, Treasurer, Risk Management Professional, Fund Manager – there are several rewarding careers ahead of you.”

Her institute is also doing its best to prepare its students for careers in Finance Derivatives. It has offered them different electives, which Prof. Gita believes can be very useful for interested students. “Futures & Options Basic Course and Futures & Options Advanced course have been specially created to offer students an insight into the field, she says. “That coupled with the understanding of spreadsheet calculations can help students gain knowledge of Finance derivatives to build a flourishing career in them.” Obviously, Prof. Madhuri is positive and enthusiastic about the field of Finance. And, she shares this enthusiasm with her students who look to her as a mentor as they work towards their professional goals.

Director-puneDr. Janaki Naik, an academician with 22 years of work experience has complete clarity and belief that a course may be called well designed only if it improves the employability of a student. She says, “Academia should get inputs from the corporate world, before a course is designed to ensure that the industry get young professionals who can hit the ground running”.

Explaining the process of designing a world-class course she says that KIAMS keeps two major stakeholders at the centre of course design – the students and the recruiters. The course, thus is designed for the market at large and the sector orientation is built in through elective choices. The students have a wide choice as the course is multidisciplinary in nature i.e., a student is free to choose electives across streams to equip himself/herself for a career of his/her choice. This is the USP of the course at KIAMS and one can also do general management if one chooses to, without specializing in any area.

The system builds competencies that the recruiters find a fine combination of subjects which they may not generally find in other candidates. For instance a student from KIAMS may have a dual specialization in HR & Finance, or Operations and Finance/HR. “A wisely designed course”, she states, “Is one which gives a student freedom to choose a career and get formal education for the same, which is generally not possible in our education system.”

A course is designed to cater to the length and breadth of the competency basket required. The first years caters to the spread and the second to the depth. KIAMS draws on Bloom’s Taxonomy to create the right spread and depth. The PGDM Curriculum comprises of   sub-systems which are the functional and integrative subject areas of Management. Each course has its own ‘Objectives’ and ‘Learning Outcomes’, which have to be aligned with the PGDM curriculum objectives and learning outcomes. The learning outcomes are in the personal, professional and social domains and the objective of the program is providing professionally trained manpower for industry to manage the functional system for current and future performance levels and providing community and society a member who is aware of his societal responsibilities while engaging in professional activities and who holds the two simultaneously.

The course development at KIAMS maps to the global perspective of management and enables development of new age skills of Strategic thinking, Creative problem-solving, Leadership skills and Communication skills. She believes that faculty evolves with the course and the faculty’s personality coupled with the course content can help young management aspirants succeed in the increasingly competitive world.

vspaiProf. Dr. V. S. Pai of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies makes it big once again with his research paper on Godrej Consumer Products Ltd. (GCPL) being accepted for publication in the Business Case Journal, USA. While Dr. Pai already has around 70 publications to his credit, the significance of his latest achievement is huge. “Business Case Journal, USA has an acceptance ratio of 10-12%. I am glad I could crack it,” he acknowledges.

Prof. Pai has a prolific, almost three-decade long career to boast of. He has worked with numerous educational institutes of repute like Gulbarga University & Manipur University, TA Pai Management Institute, Manipal, ICFAI Business School, & ISFAI Institute for Management Teachers, Hyderabad before coming to KIAMS. But he still manages to find time in his busy schedule for his research. He attributes that to his “passion for research and, of course, the subject. One also needs to have self-discipline. But above all, there’s the desire to achieve that keeps you going.”

It’s passion that drives Dr. Pai to choosing a particular subject for his research, but he also has a practical approach to his research. “It might start with your passion for a subject and your personal interest in it, but you also have to think about data availability and research trends,” he says wisely.

So what is it that made Prof. Dr. Pai work on this particular paper about GCPL? “The company was engaging in strategic and daring acts, especially globally. It had focused its energies on emerging markets and that caught my attention,” he explains.

He was also more than willing to offer further insights into the paper. “It was a wonderful example of how a family run business is seeking to go global. So far, it has been successful in emerging markets of Asia, Africa and Latin America,” he adds.

GCPL, as Prof. Pai points out, decided to focus on globally emerging markets. The company managed to do that with success, but is it the right way to go for Indian businesses? “Yes, most definitely, especially when targets are emerging markets. GCPL and Dabur Ltd. are glorious examples of such an approach in the FMCG sector,” he says positively.

Prof. Pai also has some pointers for overseas acquisitions, which we might see a lot of in the future. “Identifying a target available at a reasonable price, due diligence, timing of the deal, integration with the parent company, looking for synergies, whether to replace the existing CEO and the top team or not – these are just some of the factors that go into the success of an acquisition,” he says.

Going in for overseas acquisitions might be one thing, managing disparate subsidiaries in different countries is quite another. But Prof. Dr. Pai has a three-step strategy that can benefit companies. “Developing strong, entrepreneurial business units with their own resources and capabilities, managed with high levels of strategic and operational autonomy,” is step one. “Then you to enable a rich horizontal flow of knowledge, best practices and other resources across units. Finally, you create a corporate engine that fosters and maintains an exciting sense of purpose,” he explains his strategy.

Prof. Pai’s passion for teaching is visible in the way he tries to explain different concepts with clarity. Does he incorporate his research findings into classroom teaching too? “The cases are discussed in case sessions; empirical papers are dwelt upon during lecture sessions,” he agrees.

And are there any other papers that one can look forward to from Prof. Dr. Pai? “I’m working on an empirical research paper with my colleague at KIAMS. I’m also writing a case on the challenges faced by Nokia, now acquired by Microsoft, and a case on Cipla Ltd. with a co-author from the US,” he says. Obviously, we can expect a lot more from this erudite academician, who is not content to rest on his laurels.

Joint Research with Prof. Hiremath of KIAMS evinces positive reaction in the international academia

V S Pai_casualFor over a decade now, Prof. V.S. Pai of KIAMS has been travelling the world (over) for his research works; and come June 2013, Bangkok will be added to this impressive list of destinations. Between 6th and 8th of June 2013, Prof. Pai will be amongst a list of international invitees at the SIBR Conference on Interdisciplinary Business and Economics Research, hosted by the Faculty of Economics, Thammasat University, Thailand.

“This shortlisted paper is a joint research with Prof. Chetan Hiremath, who is a Professor of Stats and Quants at KIAMS as well. We studied the performance of 45 companies – 15 each from three groups of firms, namely foreign subsidiaries, domestic private, and public sector companies in India. Our intent was to determine which of these displayed superior economic performances. We analyzed data for two points of time – 2002-03 and 2011-2012 – using four measures of economic performance. These include operating profit margin (OPM), net profit margin (NPM), return on net worth (RONW) and asset turnover ratio (ATR). We employed the WELCH Test (W-test), Bonferroin post-hoc test the Linear Discriminant Analysis technique as well as Chi-square test. Interestingly, our findings reveal that, all of them performed at par. This is very important for Indian industry as it indicates that even after two decades of liberalization of the economy, domestic firms have remained as competitive as their international counterparts.”

His list of impressive research works notwithstanding, Prof. Pai is as keen on hearing other luminaries as he is about presenting his research papers. He says that the pull of rubbing shoulders with researchers and academics on an international platform is a great motivation for him.

“Co-authoring the paper with Prof. Chetan Hiremath, has been a wonderful experience. This paper is driven by use of statistical and quantitative tools, and therefore was of interest to him. The paper has benefitted much from his expertise. Infact we have already started work on another paper, which is an extension of the present paper I’m about to present in SIBR 2013. I remember, Prof. Hiremath was so excited with the progress of this paper, that once when he came rushing to my office to defend his statistical findings, he nearly tripped over and fell down. Fortunately, I was right in front of him, and was able to help him regain his balance; saving him from becoming a laughing stock for those around!”

Once the paper is presented at the SIBR Conference on Interdisciplinary Business and Economics Research, the detailed version will be sent across to an international journal for publication.

“Researchers thrive on three essentials – sheer passion for research, publication – especially in peer reviewed journals abroad – and the joy of finding something new in the world of business. Sound research skills, tenacity, patience and the grit to question the status quo can make you do wonders. KIAMS is very supportive of faculty members doing research. Infact my entire trip to Bangkok is funded by the institute.”

Prof. Pai is positive that when the right kind of opportunity comes their way, KIAMS will make it possible for its faculty to visit countries in the Americas and Europe, to present their research finding.

“Nothing is a greater boost for a elite B-school like KIAMS – especially the student community – to see the faculty enhance its reputation on the global stage, bringing glory to the institute,” he concludes.

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In what is a matter of great pride for all Indian B-schools, Professor Bidyanand Jha of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies has won top honours for India in what is recognised as one of the most prestigious conferences globally. The 7th Annual University of Colombo Conference, had 45 shortlisted paper presented by eminent faculty from countries spanning from Australia to Germany. The sheer magnitude of this feat by Professor Bidyanand Jha of KIAMS can be gauged from the fact that there were 30 submissions from the best brains from the topmost institutions of India; Professor Jha’s paper was the only one selected from India for presentation at the 7th Annual University of Colombo Conference.

“Goes to show that if you truly and passionately believe in a subject, then you should go after it at all costs. With the support of the management at KIAMS, I had been researching the young Indian consumers’ perception of Mobile Internet for commercial purpose for nearly one year before this conference. The subject truly intrigued me and I was more than happy to present my research at the conference. The most overwhelming experience was when – as one of the ‘top 5’ papers at the Conference – I had the honour of presenting my findings to what seemed like the entire University of Colombo! The huge hall was filled with dignitaries, faculty, and students of University of Colombo, as well as the international participants.”

While the second prize did include a sum of 1,50,000 Sri Lankan Rupees, it was the honour attached to the event that certainly carried more weight for Professor Bidyanand. Since his research paper is to be published in the January edition of the Colombo Business Journal, Professor Bidyanand –who is back in KIAMS – is currently busy adding a few modifications to the paper, addressing the comments he received at the Conference.

“The mobile gadgets with internet facilities for various operations, has gained popularity among young consumers. It is essentially to be connected with their social and commercial groups. However, the gap between standardization and adaptation of Mobile Internet for commercial purpose in the country still persists. While industries are looking for transformation of their process from physical to virtual market, empirical research in the field of standardization verses adaptation is still limited in the field of young consumers. In order to enrich the literature in this context, which is currently limited, my paper explores the young Indian consumers’ perception of Mobile Internet for commercial purpose.”

Professor Bidyanand’s subjects for research in this paper are the young under-graduate and postgraduate consumers between the age of 15-22 residing in metropolitan cities. The sample size for the data collection has 250 responses, of which nearly 200 respondents reported that they use Mobile Internet enabled device.

“I see this as a new beginning. God willing, next year I will bring another award winning paper for KIAMS, in another International Conference. I’m targeting the NSU (National University of Singapore) conference, and an opportunity to be published by a few more international journals.”

Professor Jha believes this particular paper has changed his outlook towards research. He has learnt new techniques to improve the quality of his research work. He has already begun to share his insights with his students at KIAMS.

Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies’ (KIAMS) Professor T. Viswanathan has a philosophy in life – ‘No Pain, No Gain.’

When it comes to academic rigour at KIAMS, he says, “The Faculty Council of KIAMS, our visiting faculty and our partners from the industry conducted a three-day workshop to design and develop the framework for academic rigour.”

Prof. Viswanathan said that KIAMS teaches management education in a holistic manner and that the sole purpose of academic rigour is to identify the expectations of industry and make students ready for industry through a robust process.

“Today in our country the problem of employability is more critical than unemployment,” he said. “Industry feels there is a wide gap between the required competencies versus the actual competencies available. In order to bridge this gap, a few companies have started their own finishing schools at a huge investment. KIAMS aspires to develop the appropriate competencies in its students through academic rigour.”

In order to maintain a high level of academic stringency, Prof. Viswanathan said that the curriculum is revised every three years with input from industry experts and visiting faculty. It is further adapted by getting feedback from recruiters, alumni and faculty who been involved in consulting assignments, conferences and corporate training programmes. Following all that input, a draft proposal is made and sent to an expert panel for vetting and approval.

He pointed out that the KIAMS curriculum includes real life examples, contemporary topics in every discipline, case studies and simulation exercises.

“Academic rigour is a compendium of hard and smart work with a flavour of fun,” said Prof. Viswanathan. “It facilitates the students in their bid to excel in multi-skills and multi-tasking. It is a way of life at KIAMS.”

Students in every course must do intensive reading and have strong knowledge of basic concepts, guiding principles and the application of concepts in real life scenarios.

KIAMS indeed puts the ‘rigour’ in academic rigour.

“In a span of ten weeks, the students must complete at least 16 assignments, about eight to 10 tests, projects, presentations and a case study,” said Prof. Viswanathan.

Regarding the need for maintaining high standards of academic rigour, Prof. Viswanathan said, “India is going to have a larger work-force population in the future. While it is expected to increase the productivity level, industry feels there is a huge gap between the expected skills and the actual skills, which the students must energise through academics. The students must then equip themselves to acquire the skills expected by industry.”