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The Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS), recently held an Assessment Centre for employees of the Kirloskar group. The initiative, held between 16th and 24th December, attracted 70 employees from companies such as KBL, KPCL, KFIL– and KITL. It turned out to be an interesting exercise for the participants and assessors, and ended up bringing an extra level of high energy and enthusiasm to the campus.

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The participants came in four groups of between 17 and 18 each, and also included women employees from the companies. They got a chance to spend two days with renowned faculty members including Dr. Gopal Iyengar, Dr. Janaki Naik, Dr. V. S. Pai, Prof. Bidyanand Jha, Prof. Anand, Prof Seshasayee, who acted as assessors. The carefully-planned exercises and activities involved a fair amount of thinking and doing, which was an engaging challenge for the participants.

Some of the important activities which formed part of Day 1 included creating a logo, case presentation and presenting business issues. It gave assessors a chance to judge the participants on several levels including imagination, innovation, stress management and emotional maturity.

Day 2 involved activities such as Nails, Three Island, Capture the Market and Presentation –My Venture. Finally, the participants had to go through an interview, which not only tested their initiative, but drive and assertiveness as well.

The professionals gave these activities and exercise their best shot and the competition was fierce. What made things more interesting was they were marked for every exercise. This was done on a scale from 1 to 5, with one being the lowest. Participants did their best to score well on each of these counts.

Participants enjoyed the fact that the whole process was a good blend of qualitative and quantitative analysis that tested their mental faculties. They particularly were challenged by the fact that, at times, they had to think on their feet and out of the box, which they found invigorating. And that somehow seemed to gel well with the idea of an Assessment centre like this.

They reported that they returned from the centre feeling energized, motivated and with a clearer vision than ever before about how they wanted to go embark on their future journey.

While the participants gained a lot from the initiative, the assessors also took back a lot of positive energy from it. There was a general consensus that they thoroughly enjoyed the process and found it quite exciting. Moreover, they loved the fact that they were kept on their toes for two days with every group of students. Thus it turned out to be an 8-day Assessment Centre that ended up creating a win-win situation for all. Added to that was the energetic buzz it brought to the campus.

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DSC01736From the nervous student on his first day at KIAMS to being the HR manager at Tata Power Company Limited, Mr. Manish Tiwari has come a long way. It’s a fulfilling, decade long professional journey that began at KIAMS in the year of 1999 and has been a rewarding experience for him. And to think that he took an impromptu decision of joining the institute makes his story all the more exciting and the journey more eventful. Now being the Manager HR at Tata Power Company Limited, Mr. Manish shares with us few valuable insights about KIAMS, HR domain and the industry at large.

Mr. Tiwari, a student of Batch 4 at the institute goes down the memory lane as he remembers his initial days at KIAMS. “I chose the PGDM program with this institute because of known and trusted name of Kirloskar attached to it. Initially I was quite nervous but am glad I took this decision. Over the period of two years the institute nurtured me and gave me the confidence and competence to face the real corporate world out there,” he says.

KIAMS offered Mr. Tiwari the right platform to launch his professional career from. And it was through campus placement that his professional sojourn began. He remembers, “It was Gammon India Limited, and I worked with the company for two years. I joined the company as a management trainee and my work involved long hours on the field for recruitment and talent development activities. But I believe it contributed to my professional ethics to a great extent.”

Over the years, Mr. Tiwari has managed to carve a niche for himself in the field of Human Resources. It’s a constantly evolving domain of profession that is gaining more power and decision making authority with each passing day. What does he make of the changing scenario in his field? “There is a continuous effort towards making HR more strategic for organisations but the truth is that it is still perceived to play the role of only providing services to its employees. The possible way forward is to increase focus on a strategic role and making service delivery processes more efficient through outsourcing and use of technology,” he says matter-of-factly.

While Mr. Tiwari remains practical about the positioning of HR in organizations today, he can’t deny the growing importance of HR managers. Being one himself, he sheds some light on the role and responsibilities of HR managers, and things that can be done to better their performance. “HR managers can play active roles by identifying and tracking talented individuals who are not only competent but team players as well. It’s the need of our times but HR managers face a practical problem that they can’t be everywhere,” he says.

But that doesn’t mean there’s no way out of the quandary for HR managers. Mr. Tiwari himself offers a suggestion, “There is a need to think through the whole approach of HR positioning in organizations and rediscover HR’s role. We need to increase its area of influence through more data collection points and analyzing trends,” he adds.

Given all that’s at stake and responsibilities on his shoulders, does Mr. Tiwari manage to maintain the work-life balance that many in the corporate world struggle with. Again with his refreshing candour he explains, “In Indian context ‘work life balance’ is still far from practice. It is a desired state and contemplation but lacks completeness. Improved economy and higher level of awareness can force the corporate world to look into it more creatively and inclusively in the future. An increasing number of women employees joining the corporate sector can give further impetus to this mission.”

So being dedicated to their work with a lot of stamina and high tolerance for ambiguity is something Mr. Tiwari expects out of future aspirants. He also advises future HR professionals to be more realistic of their prospects. “We may or may not get an environment conducive to learning and growth in an organization but one can do a lot by observing and staying inquisitive to learn new things. That helps immensely,” he says.

These are the qualities that Mr. Tiwari himself showed, which have led to his inspiring professional journey so far. But he plays it down as he concludes, “It has been a journey of self discovery and a continuous effort of keeping oneself relevant with changing times.” Clearly, it’s something he’s managed to do brilliantly thus far.

Ashim Chahal
PGDM General

But I wasn’t too sure of my decision even as I joined KIAMS. I even thought of shifting to another college at one point. I am glad I didn’t. We had a small and interactive peer group. The batch was supportive, yet extremely competitive. A peer group of 11 boys and 16 girls, our main focus was on maintaining our GPA throughout.

Doing my majors in marketing and finance, I was able to easily strike the right balance between studies and fun. In the first year, we used to enjoy our journey to the hostel from college. The time spent with each other is something that is deeply engraved in my heart. On getting to the hostel, I focused on studying. Now that in 2nd year we have considerably fewer classes, we have more time for fun. Studies are never affected and we keep the right balance. I think this is one of the benefits of our small peer group.

Professor Sunil BrijKishan is one member of the faculty I am deeply indebted to. His Business Communication classes helped me overcome my stage fright and helped me to develop skills and confidence in public speaking.

All this greatly helped me in my summer internship where I joined Liberty Shoes as a finance researcher. My job was research intensive. I have now been placed at Genpact in the management department. My job profile is growth-oriented and is inclined towards statistical research.

I believe that not being nervous and just being myself has helped me greatly in securing this job. KIAMS has been instrumental in my growth as an individual. For this, and for everything that life has to offer now, I am grateful to KIAMS for making me what I am today.

Ashim Chahal

PGDM General

Divya Kanoudia 
PGDM General

I joined KIAMS after completing graduation in Chemistry Hons. from Jamshedpur, my home town. KIAMS has been a valuable addition to my educational profile. It is here that I have learnt to think rationally and to analyse situations from different perspectives. The campus and the faculty more than made up for the otherwise dull city though initially I was scared to join the college. My first ever class at KIAMS was of Marketing with Ananth Ram Sir. I have majored in finance. My roommates were from the Southern and Western parts of the country. Our diverse eating habits, accents, etc. was something that brought all of us even closer. Most of the students in my batch were from Gujarat.

A particular Haryanvi friend of mine has been a great source of inspiration to me at KIAMS. His pleasing talking style and even the way he walks is something I admire. Also, it was great fun to teach the many South Indian, Marathi and Gujarati friends of ours Hindi. Funnily, I found it difficult to learn any of their languages.

One major benefit of being at KIAMS was the cultural and educational diversity it had. This diversity helped me in acquiring different perspectives to every problem I faced. The diversity at KIAMS has helped us evolve as individuals. KIAMS has been instrumental in shaping my personality from an immature, childish and confusedfresher into a mature, responsible and patient individual. I have gained a lot during my years at KIAMS.

“It has given me the flexibility to adjust to every situation I might ever face.”

Divya Kanoudia

PGDM General

My years at KIAMS were the first ever away from home. Though it was initially difficult to adjust to a life of independence and responsibility, the years at KIAMS are amongst the most memorable ones in my life.

KIAMS was where a shy and diffident graduate like me transformed into a confident, charming and ready-to-take-the road belle. The numerous interviews, presentations, exhibitions, etc. helped me gain the much-needed confidence. The spirit of excellence that was constantly and consistently focused upon by our professors was aided through the research works entrusted upon us. Along the way, I learnt how to work in a group, in coordination with others. My peer group at KIAMS was like an extended family. We celebrated birthdays, had fun and pulled each other through. When  I fell ill, they took care of me. When I was homesick, they extended support. When I was down, they helped me get out of it. The campus was also an integral part of my life at KIAMS. Its greenery and serenity always calmed me down.

I did my summer internship at Indilox. My job profile was of encashing fund management, analyzing balance sheets, computing ratios, etc. This was my first individual interaction with the corporate world. The interactions at KIAMS were integral in preparing me for such a job since even though I had mentors guiding me, each thing I did was for myself. Here I learnt that self-dependence is the key to success. You cannot depend on others; you must believe in yourself.

What I would like to advise you is to give your 100% to anything you do. It is important for you to realise that these are the years that will guide you towards a successful life. When you study, focus. When you play, have fun. These are the years that will change your outlook towards life. These are the years you will miss in future. These are the years that I wish to never let go off.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Drishya, a management graduate from KIAMS, recently was selected for the position of Account Manager at Mafoi. She got this opportunity through campus placement. “Though I was not very keen on giving interviews to the recruiters who came down for campus placements, my family and friends thought I should give it a shot and I actually made it,” said Drishya.

Asked about her professional journey so far, Drishya said she joined Infosys after her graduation. Working at Infosys gave her good experience, but she soon realized in order to grow professionally she would have to get more education and eventually decided to join a management program at KIAMS.

“Joining KIAMS was a wise decision. I have learned a lot during my two-year stay at the campus,” said Drishya. She said it has been a great experience studying at KIAMS. Drishya spoke at length about how they worked in teams which gave them good exposure to team dynamics. She praised the KIAMS faculty for being supportive and co-operative. “KIAMS teachers are wonderful,” she said.

Asked about her interview rounds and experience with the interview panel at Mafoi, she said students first appeared in a group discussion round and their performance in this round determined who was selected for interviews. In the interview, she was asked questions related to her work experience at Infosys and her experience at KIAMS. Drishya said: “They asked about my experience at Infosys and the add-ons that I got from KIAMS. They basically wanted to understand if I met their expectations”.

Drishya is really thankful to the faculty members and her seniors at KIAMS who helped her learn and grow as an individual and made her confident enough to face the challenges that may arise in her professional career. She said at KIAMS she learned how to strike a balance between her personal and professional life.

Drishya will be joining Mafoi Management Consultants Ltd., Chennai, on April 2 and is really looking forward to assuming the role given to her.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A short chat with Rahul Pugalia – a product of the 7th Batch of Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies – and you know the kind of people who were instrumental in catapulting Yes Bank to unprecedented success, in a very short span of time. Rahul is one of those guys, who constantly seek to innovate… to improve things around them. Rahul was picked up by Yes Bank in 2006 directly from Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management, and has ever since been a part of the phenomenal growth story of Yes Bank. As a Relationship Leader, he currently handles Yes Bank’s relationship with SME’s with annual turnover upto 200 crores, taking care of their short-term and long-term requirement.

Out of his BCA and – Post CAT – straight into Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies, Rahul more than covered up for his lack of experience with his tenacity and thirst for knowledge.

I was blessed with an inspiring set of batch-mates at KIAMS. We had a great mix of people in our batch, coming from different cultures. From each culture and domain I would gain new organizational knowledge. Infact, it was during project discussions between students, that I learnt the most, especially when we disagreed strongly from one another. I realized that we disagreed because we had experienced different solutions to the same problem. These disagreements were a source of new ideas… new ways of doing things.”

My best teachers, for all practical purpose, were the activities and Projects held in KIAMS. It was here that I imbibed a competitive spirit. Activities like ‘Pragati’ – the rural mela, an annual event – honed our sales pitch. It more than covered up for our real life lack of experience. We actually had to go around selling the concept of Pragati. It was the first time most of us actually got to do real selling, and it wasn’t easy.”

With MCA being the usual route after BCA, Rahul innovated. He knew that Finance and Programming, both involve analysis. If he’d gone into MCA, he’d end up at the programmer-level. That’s when a chat with a few of his cousins helped him zero-in on MBA in Finance. Marketing as a minor did not crop up till he got to KIAMS.

I start my day by identifying clients I have to meet, sifting through pending requests and prioritize them, ensuring that all the client-calls are properly timed – so that none of the clients are missed or kept waiting – and generating leads for my future cases. This happens till about 3 o’clock. Post 3 o’clock, I work on the best looking prospects.”

“It was at KIAMS that I realized that in the corporate world, all are competitors. At KIAMS, it was not just about academics but also about extra-curricular activities. You were required to work with teams, work on ideas, finalize, and implement. Pragati was one such activity at KIAMS. We spent a lot of time in

conceptualizing, designing and organizing the entire thing… stuff I’ll remember my entire life.” Always on the look-out for improving things, he thinks it would be a good idea for the Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies to think ‘local and SME’ when it comes to the Finance program at KIAMS.

“We were expected to do a lot of feasibility Reports on different projects, and do ratio analysis at KIAMS. It would be far more beneficial if we picked up local companies from Davangere to check on their financials, interpret their data. You see if we do a TATA or a GAIL or an Infosys, chances are, we will not be able to get their financial guys to come down to KIAMS and allow us to pick their brains on what is the reason of improvement in the ratio… or what is the comparison with the industry. Chances of interacting with the management of smaller and local companies are far higher and far more beneficial in KIAMS.”

A “virtual club”, the Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies (KIAMS) Operations Club’s goal is to gain a good understanding of
operations.

Club members said they want to learn “what is really happening in the industry.”

A relatively new Operations club, began in 2011 and consists of 13 members from the seniors, 10 from the juniors, three faculty members and alumni. Because the Operations Club is a “virtual club” operating online, it doesn‘t have any co-ordinators. “We just have initiators – students who started the club,” said club members. Being an online activity, anyone can initiate a discussion and we all participate.” With a forum on Facebook, “We get a lot of responses from the students. For example if we post on a particular topic, students usually give their point of view on that particular topic and will give live corporate examples in which the concept is being used.”

The club has also caught the attention of KIAMS faculty.

“Earlier there was input only from students, but now faculty as well as alumni working in the operations sector also comment on the topics,” said club members. “It’s a two-way interaction. If students have any questions, they can ask their questions on the forum and the faculty/alumni always respond.”

In addition to its online activities the club does organize some events.

“We do have some sub-events happening during Pragati. Even during Operacy we organize some Ops-based quizzes – themes may differ from year to year.” Being in the club, having to manage time for discussions, members have learned if having a face-to-face discussion doesn’t work they can always connect on Facebook and have an online discussion. It’s a continuous process providing daily interaction with classroom knowledge forming the basis of discussion.

As with any organization, there are challenges to be faced. “One challenge that we face is that sometimes new concepts that we post as topics on our FB forum get only bookish answers from students,” said club members. “Earlier, when the faculty and alumni were not a part of this forum, we were not making much progress in terms of real-life examples being given to us. Also, sometimes when we want actual data, or examples of real-time implementations, getting them can get difficult. But with the faculty and alumni coming in, it’s now much better.”

While Prof. R.N. Venkateshwara helped start the club and even held a session on an operations topic to help members to understand the field, students took over the club from there.

“But we do have a lot of support from faculty and alumni on our online page,” club members said. Future plans include converting the  club from a “virtual” organization to a physical one, but in the interim they can be contacted at their Facebook thread: https://www.facebook.com/groups/161946767207751/