Tag Archive: Kirloskar Institute of Management Studies


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.

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IMG_3510 (1)It has been a fantastic learning experience so far at KIAMS and I am already seeing significant personal improvement. The learning experience began from Day 1 of the Inauguration where we were told that we could reach our goals if we played our parts with all honesty and sincerity. It instantly instilled a sense of responsibility amongst us.

We were also introduced to the MRC Club, which has become an integral part of our lives. It enables us to showcase our writing, photography and other skills, and it brings out different facets of our personalities. The MRC Club is an important element in the overall grooming of  students, and everyday there is something new that we learn through it.

I will always remember my second day at KIAMS because we had to participate in a fun game that stressed the importance of teamwork. It also offered us insight into the functioning of corporate organizations, which is important knowledge that we have been building on since. But, most importantly, it helped students break the ice and build a bond of friendships.

When you start with a full time PGDM program at a B School, there are a lot of adjustments to be made. Living with strangers on campus can be tricky; but through such fun activities and, of course, various assignments, we have managed to develop trust amongst us. We are motivated to work together for two years and reach our individual and collective goals.

Here I have to mention the contribution of our faculty members and seniors, who are pushing us to do better and achieve our goals. They are always accessible and share their knowledge with us. Listening to our seniors discuss their SIP presentations was inspiring, as we wanted to be in their shoes and prove ourselves.

KIAMS also does its best to offer students an understanding of how corporations function. We have learned so much from guest lectures, delivered by a “who’s who” from the industry. There have been seminars and an MBTI session that has given us a fair understanding of what  industry expects out of us and how intense the competition is.

We also had the first taste of the competitive spirit within the batch during the Representatives positions selection process. Everyone participated with vigour in the group discussions, and the presentations taught us how to present ourselves in the best possible manner. Various class representatives have been selected and they are all keen to deliver on their promises.

Therefore, you can say that KIAMS has given us a laboratory experience for what we will experience as we enter the corporate arena. It has developed our reasoning and analytical skills, which will come handy when we step out in the world as professionals. I am looking forward to further experiences with the institute, which will truly test our mettle and our knowledge.

2Ask for Prof. Abhishek Narasimha on the KIAMS campus at Harihar and you are sure to be greeted with a smile and directions to the ‘YouTube Prof’. You look inquiringly at the student, and all you get is a matter-of-fact:“You’ll know when you meet him.”

An Engineer with a PGD in Signal Processing and Communication Technology from Coventry University, UK, Prof. Abhishek Narsimha prima facie teaches nothing remotely close to any of his Engineering subjects. That could be because of his other education – an MA in Political Science. Well, that too is not something he teaches at KIAMS. Prof. Narsimha has been, for quite some time now, been teaching HR purely out of his passion for Organizational Behavior, Cross-Cultural Management, Business Ethics & CSR. A compulsive researcher, Prof. Narasimha has many papers and articles to his credit, which he has presented at a number of prestigious seminars and for which he has gained recognition. So where’s the connection in his academic background?

“A very strong connection, actually,”he says with a smile, answering a question he must’ve been asked a thousand times. “Engineering helped in shaping my analytical and rational thinking, while Arts have helped me in developing my softer side. I try to combine both, to bring out a wide range of perspectives. For instance, while discussing supply chain issues in Business Ethics, it is important to bring in issues like the Savar Building Collapse in Bangladesh, where workers were exploited and were employed under norms violating the charter of ILO. Moreover, promotion of democratic values like freedom of expression, just and humane conditions of work, as well as the promotion of human rights, should be the main goal of every business. It’s what the long term sustainability of any organization depends upon.”

He rattles of a number of crises that have arisen due to globalization, like the mining of Coltan (an important mineral in laptops and mobile phones) during the Congo Civil War (1997-2003), and moves fluently into the importance of cross-cultural understanding.

“Owing to globalisation, the erosion of territorial significance has been an important phenomenon in social, political and economic activities. It has led to mass consumerism and similar consumer lifestyles around the world. But at the same time, it has revealed inherent diversity and has led to an expression for stronger cultural values in different parts of the world, which are rooted in traditions. Like the promotion of the Coca leaf in Bolivia, the failure of Walmart in Germany and rise of Pan-Islamism in Egypt. Therefore, we can see a dialectic interaction of globalization with respect to different cultures. Cross-cultural understanding today has significant implications in HR policies, Marketing, as well as in identifying a right business strategy to target a particular country.”

He then goes into the nuances of why McDonalds serves McAloo Tikki, or PizzaHut sells Birizza (Biryani + Pizza) in India.

“Every choice”he concludes, “is finally a combination of the head and heart.”

And what’s with this tag of “YouTube Prof?”

“Ah!”he exclaims breaking into a smile. “I use videos from YouTube to bring in the concept. We keep the delivery simple and clear in the classroom. We do a lot of group assignments to get students to apply these concepts to real life scenarios. Of course there’s reading material, but I include a lot of discussions and debates around key issues based on the material.”

Prof. Narsimha comes across as an idealist, which is not so surprising considering that he is still young. He concedes that being from the same generation helps him connect with his class better. His work with Shiksha Aadhar, a community initiative for the education of underprivileged children in and around Electronic City in Bengaluru, has been well acknowledged; though he prefers keeping a low-profile when you broach the subject.

“I’ve always been interested in gaining knowledge and sharing it with people. It’s why I took up teaching. I believe it is necessary for young people to get into teaching to contribute towards building a better future with holistic individuals. If all young people take up corporate jobs or get into startups, who will take up the baton of imparting learning in society?”

Prof. Abhishek Narsimha is currently researching the efforts of Dharavi Market, a social enterprise startup, working to bring the craftsmen of Dharavi (one of Asia’s largest slums in Mumbai) to the World Wide Web.

Dharavi Market attempts to break the myths about slums being places of poverty and misery, and helps realize the spirit of entrepreneurship among slum dwellers. They have a website where they display the products of the craftsmen, and they have an app they can use to upload their products directly on the website of the company. There are a wide range of products from shoes, leather jackets, apparels to pottery products all made by the people of Dharavi.”

Given that most of the research in business management focusses on large corporates and new age startups, this seems like quite a revelation. Prof. Narsimha, for one, is extremely excited about this social experiment.

“After all, it’s not every day that you come across an opportunity to go beyond the regular stuff, and explore entrepreneurship at the bottom of the pyramid.”

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.”

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!

Kirloskar Institute o f Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) has seen stupendous success in the first phase of its placement process with 64% of the Class of 2014 already being placed with some of the top recruiters in the country. There has been a lot to talk about for the institute, as the maximum package offered to a student so far is Rs. 6.5 lakhs per annum. But that’s not all; the average salary package is a substantial Rs. 4.3 lakhs per annum as well.

The institute that was set up in 1991 with the idea of creating a world class centre for excellence in management education, research, training and consultancy, has gained reputation for its consistent showing during the all-important placement seasons.

This year, KIAMS has already drawn the attention of top name companies from different industry sectors including Banking, Financial Services, FMCG, Real Estate, KPO, IT, Telecom, Retail, Consultancy, Market Research, Sports and others. As a result this phase of placement that brought to the campus 60 recruiters in all, offered brilliant opportunities to students with varied interests and aspirations for their future.

Prof. Shruti Das, Placement Head, KIAMS says, “Not only are we happy with the number of recruiters that came to our institute but we are glad to see such a varied spectrum of employers. We’d like to maintain such versatility in terms of employers for the benefit of our students. We are hopeful that the results will be even better when the second phase of placement is complete.”

Of course, the institute has all the reasons to be hopeful after managing to sway 32 new companies its way during the first phase of placements alone. Some of the top recruiters for the institute this year include CRISIL, PWC, BNY Mellon, SBI Life Insurance, Airtel, Coffee Day Beverages, Bridgestone, GENPACT, Odessa Technologies, Bajaj Capital, L&T Infotech, Idea Cellular, McNroe Consumer Products, ITC Hotels and Decathlon.

While in discussion with student Nishanth Joseph, Batch 2014, who recently got placed with Idea Cellular, he states- “KIAMS gave me deeper understanding of various concepts in marketing and prepared me for the corporate world. It made me more adaptable and flexible, and shaped my skills and personality, which led me to this job at IDEA Cellular.” It is on similar note, that Garima Kakkar, Batch- 2014, who is all set to join IKYA Human Capital Solutions Limited, mentioned- “It was only five years ago that I was living a completely sheltered life in a small hill town. Only when I moved away from home and eventually came to KIAMS that I started finding my feet and gaining in confidence. Now I feel all set to dip myself into the corporate rigmarole.”

IMG_20140110_201942Garima Kakkar of KIAMS (Batch 2012 – 14) has gone places from her sheltered background in Dehradun. Gaining in confidence and managerial skill sets in her short time at the institute, she’s already managed to get her foot into the competitive world of professionals. She got hired by IKYA Human Capital Solutions Limited during her campus placement program and this could just be the beginning of a glittering professional sojourn for her.

The scale of her achievement can only be put in context once you know more about her background, which Garima reveals animatedly. “It was only five years ago that I was living a completely sheltered life in a small hill town. I was the youngest among six siblings and was generally quite protected. Only when I moved away from home and eventually came to KIAMS that I started finding my feet and gaining in confidence,” she admits.

This small town girl was always aware of the fact that she’d have to get a cutting edge professional degree to make her place in the corporate world that she was drawn to. It made her realize the importance of choosing the right B School, to pursue her future dreams. “To become a leader and gain good managerial skills, I needed the best resources available in terms of faculty, industry exposure and other supportive therapies. It was then I opted for KIAMS,” she says.

Thus began Garima’s journey towards a professional career she aspired to. And along the way she did her best to make it a journey of self-awareness and personal growth. “Through the course of my PGDM at KIAMS I have consciously tried to develop my strengths and work on my weaknesses. Of course the initiatives organized by the institute help us tremendously in not only understanding management concepts but a lot about ourselves too,” she adds thoughtfully.

She mentions the Professional Personality Program (PPP) and Jamboree, couple of initiatives organized by KIAMS in particular, as the ones that shaped her personality and professional beliefs. One of the objectives of such initiatives is to make sure students are industry-ready when they step out in the real world. Garima took these programs rather seriously, and that according to her, saw her through the all important placement interview.

IKYA was the first company that came to KIAMS during the placement season this year. And it was also the first ever job interview for Garima but she clearly managed to cope with the pressure and challenges it posed. “The learning at KIAMS had helped me get my basics right. I also went for the interview with clarity of mind and strong belief that I had gained through the initiatives organized at my institute. It held me in good stead through the interview,” she says gratefully.

She might come from a conservative family in small town, but Garima has a knack of adapting to situations quickly and making the most of what she has. She recalls how she pursued her passion for hair styling by simply looking at videos on YouTube because she couldn’t get herself enrolled for classes. It made her realize that you don’t need approval from others to build belief within your own self.

Over time, with her stint at KIAMS, Garima has become more self-aware and believes that she can assert her choices a lot better today. It’s this adaptability, presence of mind and confidence that she hopes to bring to her work at IKYA, and she is raring to go.