7 Right Reasons to do an MBA.

See if you are doing it for one of these reasons.
 

1.To Fast Track Your Growth.
A good MBA program gets you ready for the corporate world. With an MBA, it is likely that you will start 3-5 years ahead in terms of role and responsibility as compared to a graduate without any professional qualification.

Fast Track Your Growth2.To Earn Money.
Making good money is one of the reasons that people pursue an MBA. It is a fair reason. A good MBA institution assists you in getting a job with an established company and good salary.

EARN money3.For Better Career Prospects.
If you want to lead a company, MBA is a good bet. All other things being equal, a company will choose someone with an MBA to lead.
For Better Career Prospects4.To Build a Network.
Ask a person with some degree of success in life – about keys to success. This person will most likely tell you that – hard work, perseverance and right connections – are required for success.

Who you know, matters a lot.  At a good MBA college – you meet a large group of students from diverse background. Many of these students will become CEOs, famous entrepreneurs, and established leaders. When you need the right connections – they will be there to help you – like you will be there for them.

Then there are alumni of that college – the students who have passed before you. These alumni automatically become part of your extended network.

To Build a Network5.To Acquire Knowledge.
Knowledge is power. At work, it helps if you know more. MBA is a mental and physical boot camp where you learn to acquire, process and retain knowledge. You not only acquire knowledge but also get different perspectives, and learn new skills that help you move forward.

To Acquire Knowledge6.To Understand the Business World and Get Ready Before You Get an Actual Job.
Summer internship program (SIP) is an integral part of management education. SIP prepares you to take up the challenges of the real world in future.

Understand the Business World and Get Ready Before You Get an Actual Job7.To  Grow with Better Communication and Interpersonal Skills.
Making presentations on different topics is an important part of a well rounded MBA program.
This helps in improving communication and interpersonal skills (because you work with a group of students).
Interpersonal SkillsThese skills help you make a good impression in meetings and win over people. Effective communication also helps in developing and maintaining relationships that helps you grow in life and at work.

Now you know the right reasons to do an MBA. Do you want to pursue MBA for one of the reasons shared above or you have another reason of your own?

Contributed By : IBS India

5 good reasons to enroll in Management Program

A management program is very well thought about decision these days. Especially for 2 reasons, the fee structure and the sudden influx of colleges, institutes offering MBA programs. All talk about distinctiveness, placements, corporate exposure etc as the reason to be a student’s preference for a management degree. Few of the colleges also allure students by the way of foreign exchange programs to become a choice but what most of them miss out on is to educate/inform the student – on why they should take the program.

The counseling usually covers selling/over-selling the college to the students without guiding them on why a certain management program is beneficial for them considering the personality traits, the professional skill-set, and the market condition and job opportunities it offers. This particular blog post is been thought of to help the students make the best choice in their careers and professional life.

The 5 most significant and good reasons to enroll in a Management Program are:

Overall Personality Advancement

2 years of an MBA Program helps a student gain overall career advancement. It not only helps one tread the career path in a knowledge driven way but also in terms of personal grooming, professional skill training, power networking etc

In any work profile, communication skills coupled with great listening and ability to work in teams with geographically & culturally different people is considered the biggest challenge for anyone to excel in work abilities. Business communication and the personal ability is given equal weight-age as to business decisions by the hiring experts and an MBA Program enables a candidate to gain that personality advancement in life which is there to stay forever.

Other than that, it enables the students to think logically and communicate sensibly. One will learn to read business statements and help you to analyze the business & market situations and empowers you to lead and react accordingly in the work environments.

Global Perspective

A management program certainly adds a Global Perspective to how a candidate understands, thinks, reacts to a business situation. The business world is forever changing and its dynamics are dependent on many factors which makes it difficult for anyone to translate and understand the situations. An MBA Program is well-rounded education degree which educates a candidate on general management and all the significant aspects of  business situations, also the pedagogy is such that – the entire learning experience is logic driven and hence adds to the global point of view.

A student learns the basics of a chosen stream in the under-graduate courses. Such courses are backed by basics and knowledge and the application of them is not understood in real world. The MBA Programs adds up the applicability to what a student learns in the under graduate programs. In order to work in a robust environment, a student needs to first understand and then think rationally, the mere knowledge of subject is sometimes not enough in those business environments and that is where the practical application and global preview of businesses come into picture which is only due to the global perspective, an MBA provides to a student.

Problem Solving and Decision Making

The education in MBA Program is imparted through a range of applied techniques like case studies, role plays, and business frameworks. They not only teach the business system but make the students learn though numerous opportunities of applying thoughts and practices.

IBS India follows the best of Case Studies enabled education system; their two dedicated bodies for Case Study Methodology are called as IBS Case Development Centre and IBS Center for Management Research. Here we believe that a case study format enforces the thinking ability of a student and also imparts the best lessons of decision making. It not only forces the students to wear the thinking caps and reach to business decision but also helps in team work & group dynamics. A management programs possibly works as the first school to impart the culture of synergy by working together and learning through the process.  The lessons taught for problem solving and decision making also covers the skills like assertiveness, negotiations etc and further touching the aspects of delegation and leadership.

Career Advantage

MBA offers career advantage in the best possible ways. Not only it starts with the grooming and fine-tuning the personality aspects of a student but it also helps in adding value through various other aspects of a business environment.

Power Networks is one of them. It is not necessary that only when a student lands a job, s/he gets into the power networks but MBA Program enables the same during education by means of management fest, annual events – like conclaves, conferences , job fairs provides the required industry interface and hence introduces the students to inner circle.

Summer Internships and Management Projects are other sources of offering career advantage to the MBA students. They enable early exposure and with the help of corporate guides they learn the basics of corporate culture. The placement culture in a management program also provides a lot of industry interface and therefore it adds to the career advantage. The expectations of the corporate world are well explained in the pre-placement talks. Some even arrange the mock interviews, the assignments and the written tests to give students a feel of corporate atmosphere and how they can further grow in the business environments.

Career Change & Future Avenues

MBA is just one program which offers a student with a variety to change careers and choose to switch streams in future. The program doesn’t limit the options for a candidate.  Many a times it is been observed that a student of arts in an under graduate programs – chooses a career in finance merely for the interest s/he develops in the MBA Program. You can see engineers taking up creative genre of careers and there are those who turn to hospitality as the career options.

Not only the career switches and changes, MBA also empower the students to take up entrepreneurial risks for they finish up confidant about the business practices and situations. They are equipped with the networking & people management skills which ease their quest to start on their own and test the market waters.

So, in a way we can say that MBA opens up the future avenues for the students, not only to choose what they to do in life but also the create forces to enable others make & earn a livelihood.

Contributed by : IBS India

Building Soft Skills

AAEAAQAAAAAAAALYAAAAJDlmMTEyYTdhLTU5ZGYtNDE2Yi05NTk3LTJhNjkwMjc3NzQyNwIn this age of competition, soft skills are necessary for any student to make even a slight impression in the industry. The need becomes even more evident since students come from diverse backgrounds, whether it is geographical area, or schooling. Many students don’t have the opportunity to study in the metros, where presentation skills are paid a lot of attention. So training them in this area becomes necessary to get the students ready for their jobs and the corporate world.

There exist several deficiencies in the manner in which students generally present themselves. Apart from being weak at decision making, they are unable to talk fluently in English. They either use slang, or Twitter language, or there are serious lapses in their language skills. Even the way they talk, they are seriously lacking. They are either too aggressive, or too submissive and diffident. They need to be taught that they need to have an even tone while in discussion with others. They need to develop a habit of making objective points in a persuasive style.

The above can be possible when there is a consistent effort to raise their level of self-esteem and confidence. According to my experience, it is possible to practice communicating in a particular language. At ICFAI Business School we have a language lab which is not mechanized, but works under the guidance and supervision of able instructors. Under the instructor led process, students can practice their skills and polish them with particular and pointed feedback.

While working in a particular language, written skills are equally important. So also with English, especially for management students. I have seen student’s written presentations suffer from the use of inappropriate tones, and sometimes the quality of language is so poor, it is a pitiable situation. There have been innumerable such instances where students have been unable to write a decent letter of application. What these students need is constant practice and individual feedback to help improve the situation.

Another skill that management students need to develop is the skill of working together. Cooperation is very essential when working with a group at work. It is a critical skill to have in the corporate sector, which also invests a great deal in team-building activities. Unfortunately, by the time students enter a B-School, they have been through such competitive rat races that there exists a dog-eat-dog policy among all of them. A reason that adds to this feeling is that there is stiff competition when it comes to placements. These rough edges need to be rounded off, with group and experiential learning. Once students learn how to work in a group, leadership skills will follow.

Pro-active leadership is soon becoming the order of the moment. The days of receiving instructions are over. Decisions have to be taken on the spur of the moment, wherever one is. Skills of self-leadership, self-awareness, acting confidently and making decisions under stressful circumstances and different situations need to be inculcated. These skills should be such that they enable the leader to guide and if necessary, subtly influencing others if need be. These skills in turn would enable students to corroborate and compete with each other.

The above skills will make sense only if they are presented well, not only in terms of language, but also in terms of attire. Students should learn how to be ‘reasonably’ normally dressed. I say this because I have seen students go out to extremes in terms of attire. Sometimes they are so casually dressed, even for an interview that the panel does not take them to be serious about anything. On other occasions, they are overdressed, due to which they are overwhelmed, and are unable articulate due to that discomfort. We at IBS encourage students to learn how to carry themselves and be confident and comfortable with whatever they wear. Along with attire, great attention needs to be paid to basic etiquette, including how to behave in different situations, how to sit, voice modulation and so on.

Simultaneously with the soft skills, creative thinking ability needs to be encouraged among students. Every single person is creative in his or her own way, but our education system, unfortunately, is structured in such a way that the requirements are extremely rigid. It suppresses the abilities of the students. A combination of developmental activities and changes in the teaching-learning process can create the scope of creativity. We have a branding activity that students engage in, where they choose a brand and market it. It keeps them thinking throughout the time they spend at it. They make billboards and other pitches and a jury of selected members judges the activity. Just imagine the thought processes and the effort that goes into such an exercise. This kind of identification stays with the students throughout the year. My suggestion to all faculty members is to create conducive conditions in their classrooms to unleash this creativity.

Creating the opportunities for students to develop these skills is essential, since students need guidance on it. In my experience, I know that change is possible, but the degree of the change depends on the person. However, as educators, we must try.

This article originally appeared in FREE PRESS JOURNAL.

Contributed By : PROF. Y K BHUSHAN

Prof Y K Bhushan is Senior Advisor & Campus Head at ICFAI Business School, Mumbai. He has held several positions of leadership in professional bodies of management education in India and in the South Asian region. He is the Past President of AIMS, AMDISA and ISTD. He is currently a President Emeritus of ISTD. He is a founder member of SAQs and is on the SAQs Awarding Committee.

Right Electives govern your Career Goal

shutterstock_71149627Management education is not like other streams of education which have monotonous  class room teaching. Students have to possess flair for self-learning. It focuses mainly on the factors which influence on the conduct of businesses, techniques to understand the organization and the economy. Management education requires extensive analytical skills and the students should have the ability to understand various internal and external factors that affect the organization or business.

The current day business manager is required to have greater proficiency in functional knowledge; problem analyzing skills, communication skills, inter-personal skills, self- confidence and motivation, management skills and entrepreneurial skills. The students aspire for MBA degree to advance in their careers or to become businessmen establishing their own.

The first year of the program is basically common for all the students across all b-schools or universities.  Electives determine the course specializations which attract students and recruiters. Students who have not decided on their career goals may get confused with a host of electives that are offered in various fields; they require a piece of advise from all quarters. However, students who are highly focused on their career path are likely to know exactly which electives they have to pick up.  The career path is governed by the right electives chosen in the program. It is easier for certain people as they would have been involved in certain activities, for example, a student has been involved in marketing or selling after his graduation and would like to progress in marketing or sales, he or she must choose the marketing electives to become a marketing specialist; or if the student has worked in a bank after the graduation, he or she must pick up electives pertaining to finance or banking to advance in the field of banking or finance.  However, if the student does not have a proper career goal, then guidance from seniors must  be taken before choosing the electives as per the current opportunities available in the market.

Again, electives should not be chosen for short term gains.  Many students select the electives which would help them to move ahead fast in their business, but these students tend to face elective regret as they go longer in their business.

It is also important to keep in mind the academic background, professional background, personality and interest before selecting electives.  A person who is an extrovert with excellent communication skills, outgoing personality should go for marketing jobs as these jobs demand such qualities.  An introvert may look for operational jobs in logistics, baking, supply chain management or human resources.

In addition to the field of specialization you are  interested, it is advisable to take some electives which have communication and presentation skills embedded in them.  The recruiters know the students they select have strong analytical and problem solving skills, but they realize after sometime they their students can not pitch for new clients, negotiate business with clients to lead the company.

Some of the areas the students should focus are globalization;  communication and presentation skills, ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, not for profit organizations etc.

Globalization: Business have no boundaries these days. Hence, it is important for the students to also understand various business perspectives of other countries, culture of other countries, regulatory compliance for business in other countries; financial transactions of business.  Students may consider picking up electives such as International Business, International Finance and Trade; global management, GAPP etc.

Presentation and communication skills:   While students may have tremendous business and technical skills required to be a successful person in their career or business, but if he or she can not give a coherent presentation, their career will be at stake or will not be successful  in business.  Students without any doubt should attend the class that help them to make effective presentations and interact with others to be able to do business across the continents.

Ethics: Not many electives are offered that address business ethics in b-schools.  It is important for a student to be successful in business to have followed business ethics. There are several things beyond keeping the stake holders happy and doing the business without breaking any laws, but to become ‘professional’ .

Corporate Social Responsibility: B-Schools have built into the curriculum the idea of corporate social responsibility and offer electives.  These electives prepare students for sustainability and corporate social responsibility efforts to make a positive impact on the company.

Nonprofit management: There are several not for profit organizations in the world.  Electives pertaining to management of not for profit organizations will benefit the students from learning how to raise funds and financial management in not for profit organizations. As the funds are a major crunch in the not for profit organizations, students learn how to manage organizations with meager sources.

Students may  keep in mind the above topics while selecting their electives, they will become an ethically grounded professional managers who can add value to their organizations.  They will be able to make a mark and presence felt in their organization and achieve their dream career goal.

Good Luck and take a right decision.

Contributed by: Dr.P.Venkateswarlu, Program Head, PGPM

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IBS Advantage – Continues Beyond Graduation

DSC_3284 (497)As an IBS Student one receives many advantages: a framework with which to analyze problems, a sturdy knowledge of business theory- but perhaps the most important of all is a network of other successful people to tap into. Being a part of an institution which is unparalleled in excellence in business education over 20 years in the country there is a strong sense of belongingness and togetherness that is shared between the 37000+ alumni at IBS Business School.

IBS Alumni Federation is a membership organization which has a diverse and rich history of bringing alumni together to support the institute, its students and each other.

Alumni and students interaction and mentor-ship is encouraged all year round at IBS to strengthen the bond between current students and the alumni. As mentors, IBS Alumni serve as exemplary examples for the men-tees, the current student to have a clear understanding of their corporate life ahead. The alumni regularly participate in taking knowledge sharing sessions to share their experiences in the corporate world into the classroom for the students. The student’s benefits from this session as they are able to appreciate the concepts learnt in the classroom put into practices in the real world when the alumni take such session.

Various workshop and seminars are conducted by the alumni to further augment student’s development at IBS. Some of the workshops conducted regularly include Microsoft excel training workshops, seminars on personal finance, stock market investments, digital marketing, and entrepreneurship to name a few. The students are groomed to be a holistic business professional – to learn beyond the prescribed.

To make the students face their final placement interviews with confidence, mock group discussion and personal interviews are conducted by the alumni. Alumni with rich corporate experiences are invited at campus to form part of the jury and conduct mock group discussion and personal interview for the students which enables them to perform better in final placements.

IBS Business School has not only nurtured business leaders but also successful entrepreneurs. Alumni Entrepreneurs have achieved great success and their start ups are also ranked amongst the worthy startups in India. The startups are in various industries including eCommerce, financial advisory, digital marketing and education.

At the institute regular engagement programs are planned and executed with aim to bring both early stages and experienced entrepreneur alumni together to foster better networking and collaboration between the alumni and students who seek to have their queries resolved with regard to owning a startup, funding dynamics and other details of startup.

At IBS Business School we believe that Once a Student- Alumni Forever. The IBS Alumni Federation is for all IBS alumni who seek personal, professional and intellectual opportunities because IBS Advantages continues beyond graduation. The alumni strongly believe that the opportunities for self leadership provided by the institute and the value of community service instilled in them leads them to strive for excellence in all their endeavors.

To support our strong alumni community, IBS offers professional development to all the alumni to aid them in contributing towards self and organizational success. Workshops and knowledge sharing sessions are organized for the alumni to benefit them professionally. This serves as an important means to the success of graduates as they continue to network and collaborate with each other, which serves as catalysts to ensure their firms/ business flourish and thrive. This collective excellence contributes equally to the growing generation, the institute and the society as a whole.

The institute is active in organizing regular reunions and alumni meets for its alumni to foster better association and collaboration between the alumni. The alumni meet are hosted not only in various parts of India but also in foreign locations like Singapore and Dubai. The IBS torch bearers are spread across the globe in various industries and the alumni meet serves as an important means to connect and re-connect between the alumni and the institute.

IBS Business School takes pride in its growing family of brand ambassadors and their accomplishments.

Contributed By : Prof. Prapti Paul, IBS Gurgaon, Faculty Member (Finance) & Alumni Coordinator.

 

TEACHERS –MENTORS IN THEIR ALCHEMIST ROLE

wert copyThe teachers, trainers, mentors, guides and the like make significant contribution to the transformation of individuals, enterprises and society.

Look at how civilizations have evolved in different parts of the world, reached their zenith and decayed in to oblivion. Did teachers have any role in this?

Leaders at all times had the good fortune of learning at the feet of Great Masters. Indian mythology and history is replete with scores of examples of how our greatest heroes were shaped by great masters like sage Vashistha, Dronacharya, Chanakya, etc.

Alexander the Great was tutored by the philosopher Aristotle, the student of Plato.

It is metaphorically said that “the battle of Waterloo was won on the fields of Eton”. History would tell that this idiom is based on actual facts. The grand old British traditions of discipline and capacity to suffer hardships with fortitude made the British students believe that they were superior beings born to rule over the world. The result was establishment of British Empire stretching from Canada to Australia. Distancing from these values by the British and emergence of higher order of leadership based on superior knowledge like that of Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela proved to be contributory factors in disappearance of the Empire.

The leadership of the world has always gone to nations which were in the forefront of knowledge generation, continuous technology up gradation and innovations in the field of manufacturing, trade, finance, construction, architecture, medicine, planning, management, art, music, culture, etc.

Creative and imaginative teachers were at the root of European Renaissance of 13th to 16th centuries ,Industrial Revolution in 18th and 19th centuries and development of internet, e mail ,facebook,whatsapp and the like in late 20th and early 21st century. Most probably, the first email system was used at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1965.

Even the theoretical foundations of various economic systems- capitalism, socialism and communism, – and their underlying rationale was built by economic and management philosophers like Adam Smith, , Karl Marx , Keynes, Schumpeter, Peter Drucker and the like.

All these great masters were powerful generators and disseminators of knowledge.

Their presence was so overwhelming and intense that it was almost impossible for anyone who came near them to remain uninfluenced. They were source of inspiration to countless through their lectures, speeches, books, letters, conversations, etc.

Their focus was always on seeing the larger picture and developing perspectives which go beyond the immediate concerns.

Let me share with you a small incident which had a powerful influence on my being.

In November 1973, after completion of two year training as Indian Economic Service probationer, I (along with a batch mate) was posted in Department of Economic Affairs of Ministry of Finance where our division was headed by Dr Manmohan Singh, the then Chief Economic Advisor to Government of India. My batch mate and I, being young and enthusiastic, were very keen to contribute and make a mark. We were provided office space and other facilities befitting our level but no work came to us for several weeks nor were we involved with the ongoing activities.

This made us restive and put a question mark on our self-worth. To come out of this, both of us decided to meet Dr Manmohan Singh to apprise him of our inner feelings. The meeting materialized quickly and we made measured submissions.

Dr Manmohan Singh heard us fully, and then turning to me, pointedly asked, “Have you gone through all the research reports and occasional papers brought out by IMF on how monetary policy has worked in different countries passing through various stages of development? Have you gone through all the Reports and reviews of monetary policy carried out by RBI in last 20 years?” Seeing my visible discomfort, he continued, “Who prevented you from studying what was happening around the world in respect of areas assigned to you?” In the same breath, he added, “You are not expected to wait for work to reach you. In fact, you should create useful work which could help in better decision making through incisive policy analysis.”

This brief interaction completely transformed my attitude towards work and life. The lesson I derived was that the key to success is in your own hands and should never be handed over to anyone else. Nor should we blame others for our non performance. All limitations are imposed by the self only.

Repeated salutations to all such Great Masters because of whom we call ourselves matured and civilized.

Contributed By : Prof. S C Sharma, Director, IBS Business School , Gurgaon

Are You Being Polite?

45ASDSome time back, an American friend of mine was telling me about her experiences traveling in India. During the course of her conversation she said, “The other day in Delhi I stopped to ask for directions from a biker. He took a lot of trouble to give me detailed directions. But, before I could thank him for his patience and time, he had zoomed off!”

She sounded aggrieved and rather annoyed that she hadn’t been able to express her gratitude to the random passerby. And therein lies a tale!

I do not want to generalize but I think that many of us, lack ‘good’ manners. This is not to say that we are not helpful or that we are extraordinary in that respect. The French, especially Parisians, are known to be very rude, particularly to tourists who do not know their language. And they are certainly rude to their British neighbors. Germans are known to be very dour and not very forthcoming in smiling a greeting or acknowledging one.

But for a very sociable and garrulous race as we Indians are, I am amazed that we fail to be polite to the people around us and with whom we interact on a daily basis. Politeness, it is said, is the courtesy of kings. I believe that we should make it our courtesy too. How much time does it take us to say ‘please’, ‘sorry’, ‘excuse me’ and a ‘thank you’?

Politeness in our Daily Lives

A couple of years back, there was a picture, which went viral, of Reserve Bank Governor Raghuram Rajan, saluting the security person at the office gate. The accompanying news item mentioned that this was Dr. Rajan’s usual practice.

Truly, tell me –

How many of you would thank a cab or auto driver for the ride?

How many of you remember to thank the waiter/server/cleaner in a restaurant?

How many of you even think that the people who work in our homes as cooks, drivers, or house-help merit a simple ’thanks’ at the end of their chores?

How many of you would thank the door attendant at a mall, hotel or restaurant?

How many of you acknowledge a motorist for stopping at an intersection and allowing us to pass?

How many of us stop and allow other motorists to pass with a friendly wave?

How many of us remember to thank our mothers for those daily meals she prepares?

How many of you would thank your parents when they drop you off at your college or place of work?

Exactly.

Yes, certainly, they are all just doing their duties or jobs and many of them are being paid for it too. However, why shouldn’t we still thank them? Why do we take these things for granted, that we fail to acknowledge it?

I have noticed that we are very bad at apologizing, most especially when we are on the road and behind a wheel. Somehow, our good manners just seem to fly out of the window as soon as we climb into our cars.

I have avoided confrontations on the road just by the simple expedient of saying, ‘I’m sorry’, irrespective of whoever was at fault. It does not make me a lesser or an inferior person, just because I happened to apologize first. On the contrary, it actually serves to cool down tempers, while time isn’t wasted in useless arguments trying to prove who was in the right and who was in the wrong.

Politeness at Your College

MBA aspirants take note – you have a good chance of impressing at the time of group discussions and interviews with your impeccable manners. Most candidates are usually too nervous at those times to pay much attention to the civilities, but remember it matters.

  • Greet the receptionist or the person who is co-coordinating arrangements with a smile
  • Remember to thank them too
  • Men, if there are lady candidates do remember to hold the door open for them and allow them to be seated first (we women are emancipated but we still appreciate chivalry!).
  • At group discussions, don’t jump in and interrupt other speakers. Let them finish speaking before you start to make your points
  • When you walk into the interview room, greet the panel with a smile
  • When they ask you to take a seat, say ‘thank you’.

Which brings me to the question – how many of you remember to thank your teacher at the end of a lesson? Do you think that they may feel that their efforts are being appreciated if you did that? Think about how you would feel if your professor thanked you for doing your assignment.

Politeness at Work

In the corporate world especially, there is very little of politeness, but it is a place, which has the most need of it. In the struggle for promotions, jobs, higher salaries people often forget that they are dealing with humans first – creatures with feelings. You may be stingy with praise, but that still should not stop you from saying a simple ‘thank you.’ Sometimes that may be all that is needed to boost somebody’s morale.

I used to work in a multinational company and one of my bosses was the toughest woman, yet the most polite that I have ever worked with. I found it quite pleasant and intriguing when she would thank all of us at the end of the day when we were leaving. Sometimes she would thank us for individual tasks done. She would also preface all her requests for work to be done with a ‘please, would you…..?”

One of the most polite industrialists that I have met is Ratan Tata, former chairman of the Tata Group. I have never heard him speak rudely to anyone, even if he is upset or irritated.

You may well ask – why should we say ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry’? Isn’t it enough to feel it? You may feel it, but does the other person know it? Unless you verbalize it, how will the other person know what you mean or feel?

Politeness is not merely words but a form of appreciation. It shows that you respect the feelings of others and that you are mindful of their sentiments and their efforts. It motivates and encourages them.

Politeness and good manners are guaranteed to win you friends and it is the easiest way to influence people – provided you do it sincerely. Whatever your role in an organization and at whatever level you start, politeness will make the way smoother for you, in addition to your other skills.

For those of you, who are on the threshold of a career, you should know that while your achievements and performance will win you admiration, tributes and accolades, good manners and a pleasant behavior will make you well-liked, loved and esteemed. People will like doing business with you; they will trust you; they will feel comfortable with you; they will want to ally themselves with you.

On that note, let me thank you for reading this blog!

Contributed By : Janaki Krishnan , An entrepreneur in the education and skills sector. Prior to this she was a business journalist. Writing continues to be her abiding passion.

IBS – Pioneers in Technology-enhanced Learning.

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All walks of Life is invaded by the technology.  Incredible technological revolution has taken place in the last two decades, be it a mobile phone or internet.  People have become so dependent on the gadgets that they feel insecure without them irrespective of their age or status.  When the technology is ubiquitous, why not the ancient face-to-face teaching on black board be replaced with interactive learning technologies, as the present generation are more tech-savy and participatory.

Any subject whether it is science, history, geography or mathematical problem can be taught with the use of technological tools by narrating them in a story with audio-visual, graphics, pictures and text etc.  Technology-enabled teaching has been transformed through different stages. Initially, it was through the use of overhead projector, transparency sheets for presenting graphs, text, photographs etc.  Then, the magentic tapes and video clippings were used to make students to actually see and understand the concepts.

It is mind boggling that a plethora  of technological tools are available for teaching today such as emails, online chats, twitter, facebook, social forums, blogs, search engines, video conferencing etc.  Faculty can communicate with the student using all these tools, to clear their doubts, monitor their performance, assignments, quizzes, sending reminders, form groups of students for discussions. The Learning Management Systems enabled academic institutions to integrate various learning modalities for making learning personalized and participatory.

IBS Learning Management System

IBS takes pride in being the pioneers among the B-Schools in implementing technology-enhanced learning.  IBS has customized Moodle (Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment), an open source Learning Management System (LMS).

Quicforce, the IBS Learning Management System (LMS) is a key differentiator among the B-Schools in India. It facilitates faculty to build a dynamic learning environment and online social learning communities through blended learning approach. Blended learning (thoughtful integrating of technology with face-to-face learning) approach to teaching-learning enhances student’s learning experience and improves their learning outcome.

IBS LMS: promotes blended teaching-learning process; serves as an integrated platform for content management and delivery, interaction, communication, assessment, grading and reporting;  provides an extended and enhanced learning experience to students through the iBooks (interactive courseware) and learning resources and activities created by the faculty; engages students in constructive, collaborative and social learning process; creates a master learning resources pool contributed by faculty members.

Faculty share teaching material, lesson presentations, video clippings and audio clippings of the concepts to provide enhanced, extended and flexible learning (anytime and anywhere learning) opportunity to students.  Quicforce facilitates formative and summative assessment, grading and feedback. IBS faculties assess student’s performance through online quizzes, participation in discussion forums and individual or group assignments. Group assignments and projects arouse curiosity in the students to explore and experience social learning.

Quicforce (http://quicforce.ibsindia.org/) at IBS breaks the monotony and attracts the students focus, foster inquiry and create interest, thereby, stimulating retention.  Sessions become more interactive, collaborative and students move from passive reception to active and participatory learning.

Contributed By : Dr. Venkat (PGPM Program Head, IBS Business School)

Why Sales Experience is Essential for You.

salesSeveral years back I had occasion to chat with S M Datta, who was the former Chairman of Hindustan Unilever (HUL). It was during his time that Tata Oil Mills Company merged with the Indian unit of Unilever; Brooke Bond India and Lipton India merged together to form one company and that entity was further absorbed into HUL.

SM Datta was one of those who had risen from the ranks in his company. He went door-to-door and shop-to-shop in urban, semi-urban and rural areas across the country peddling soaps, shampoos, detergents and toothpaste. It was a tough and grueling schedule that he and several others in the company had to follow but an invaluable learning for the future chairman.

“I learned a lot in those days. Interacting with our distributors, the local stockists, the shopkeepers – I don’t think anything can substitute for that kind of field work.” He carried  the insights which he got during those initial years and that set the groundwork for his rise in the company. Datta said that he continued this habit of reconnoitering even after he became a senior executive with more responsibilities.

Since then many people, I have spoken to, have told me that irrespective of their area of specialization, management school graduates – and indeed all aspiring managers – should have a stint in sales when they start out on their careers.

The reason is very simple. All companies make products and services that customers will buy. Unless you know your customers very well – whether they are retail or end-user industries – how will you know what they want? The sales people are the customer facing people and the depth of understanding that they get is unparalleled.

Sales for Finance Professionals

Those who go into the accounting or finance fields and then join an organisation, most often have very little connect with the products department, the operations people, the sales and marketing people. I do not mean that they have no clue as to what the company is doing, but they have very little appreciation of what the sales people go through. I have seen a lot of conflict situations arise between the finance and other functions and most of it is due to the fact that finance often does not understand the ground realities – literally!I have known of finance department officials raising all kinds of audit queries whenever other departments – especially sales and purchase – come up with their budgets, requirements etc.

Whether you are in the accounting department or in a corporate finance role, if you have a greater understanding of the sales function and the customers of the company, you will be able to do greater justice to your job.

Sales for Marketing Professionals

The marketing function is one of the most crucial in an organisation since it involves finding new places and areas where a company can sell its products or services. In companies where the sales and marketing functions are combined or overlap there isn’t much problem since the marketing staff will also be responsible for sales. However, in larger organisations, the two are distinct functions and I have heard of marketing staff complain that the sales people were not following up on their leads and so on.

Marketing involves a long-term strategy for tapping new markets, establish client relationships, and that includes promotional activities. Sales people, let me repeat it here, function on a more micro level where they deal with customers on a one-to-one basis, match the products to the demands of the customers and so on. Selling is the objective of all marketing efforts.

By now you would have understood that marketing and sales have to complement and supplement each other; but this can happen only if both can realize the problems that each would face. For example – a retail company may have established the need for a supermarket in a particular area. However once the shop is set up the sales people may find that the ground realities are different – the local population there may be looking for credit purchases; they may require home delivery; they may want the shop to be open for longer hours; they may want particular products which the shop may not be stocking.

A thousand things can go wrong or be different which the sales people will have to cope with.

Sales and Branding

I often say this to all sales employees – the sales force of any company is its ambassadors, its brand managers.

If you are a prospective customer:

Who are the people who come cold calling at your door – the sales people.

Who are the people whom you interact with the most during the initial days of purchasing a product – the sales people

Who are the people with whom you follow up – the sales people.

Who are the people, based on whose behavior, you decide to buy a product – the sales people

Who are the people from whom you get knowledge of a product – the sales people.

Considering the importance of the sales force, don’t you think that those managing the branding of a company should have some exposure to sales? Yes, the person responsible for branding and promotions etc.,should be creative but also has to have a good knowledge of the company’s customers.

Who do you expect the brand promotions to impress – existing and prospective customers!

Operations& Research

In large companies, the people responsible for creating and developing products or services for customers are often those who have the least contact with them. They operate behind the scenes and depend on the feedback from their sales, marketing and customer support personnel to know how people are reacting to their products.

This is, at best, second hand information. I think some sort of a sales exposure to such people would be invaluable as they get direct responses from the consumers of their products. Imagine you are a baker who sells bread and cakes. If you were solely dependent on a sales person to sell your products, you will have very little first-hand knowledge of how your customers are reacting to your products. You would have to rely on your sales person to get the required feedback and you would have no way of knowing whether you are getting the right message or not. If you had an opportunity to talk to your customers directly, wouldn’t that make a difference to you?

It is no coincidence that some of the foremost leaders of many leading companies have been sales people and have spent a good part of their lives in that function, listening and talking to people.

If an army marches on its stomach, I would say that a company forges ahead on the feet of its sales army.

Contributed By : Janaki Krishnan , An entrepreneur in the education and skills sector. Prior to this she was a business journalist. Writing continues to be her abiding passion.

Fortifying Education with Experience at IBS.

mrntor1“Fortifying Education with Experience at IBS” through Student Mentor ship Program.  Research indicated that Mentoring by an academician in the school/college for a period of two years has been found to be very effective in combating several factors.  Studies have shown that there is a strong positive correlation between students involvement in mentoring relationship and the successful outcome in the school.

Mentoring

As the students are from pan India, they are given a hand holding from the day one they join the school and continue to guide until they complete the program and leave the school. Majority of these students come out of their homes for the first time, they will be under tremendous stress because of new environment, new college, new friends and lot of books to study. It is the time, they require someone to give them a comfort of commodore.  Mentoring helps because it guarantees a new student who has come to a new place that institute provides someone to care of me. Students see in the mentors an valued friend who is there to help in any situation.

Each faculty has a different style of advising or mentoring, but the fundamentals remain the same for the faculty.  Faculty mentorsplay a crucial role in the success of students at IBS as we keep hearing from students who have completed the program even after several years they do remember the faculty who have mentored. It is also the responsibility of the students to part the responsibility for ensuring more productive and more rewarding mentoring. Both the mentor and mentee play the role for successful mentoring.

IBS has institutionalized “Student Mentor ship Program” to promote quality learning experience.  Student Mentoring provide a platform for the men tee to freely express himself/herself in pursuit of his/her goals; to provide guidance in academics; to enhance students’ eligibility for placements by reducing cases of academic afflictions; to help students realize that they should be a part of  solution to their problems.

Student Mentor ship Program

Each faculty (Mentor) is allotted 20 students (10 from junior and 10 from senior batches).  The Mentor allots time to the students every week for meeting them in their office.  The are scheduled in the time table. Mentors also act as interface between the student and parent for information of their wards.  There are several ways mentors help the men tees (students):

Support for Settlement: Helps the junior batch students to adopt to new environment; Helps in getting to know the places in the city; Helps in knowing Dos and Don’s of the place

Support for education: Mentors keep track of attendance of the students; Mentors guide in assignments and cases to improve academic skills; Mentors monitor the evaluation of the students and counsel them if necessary; Mentors help to improve the students self-esteem; Mentors help them to improve communication skills.

Support in the workplace: Mentors helps the students to set their career goals and ways to achieve them; Mentors through their industry linkages, help the students to meet the professionals from industry, identify internships and placements.

IBS has a large alumni base working in India and abroad.  As a step forward, mentoring is not only done by the faculty, but also by the alumni.  Alumni guide the students as to how to prepare for the interview and pick up the right job.

Contributed By : Dr. Venkat, Program Head, PGPM, IBS Business School.