What Habits Have To Do With Your MBA?

One day, when I was browsing through the daily newspaper, I came across this quote:

 “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit”. – Aristotle

And eureka! The long known fact suddenly started making sense to me. When we do something repeatedly, it becomes a habit.

What Habits Have To Do With Your MBA

If we repeatedly complete tasks on time, punctuality becomes a habit. If we always listen carefully to people, good listening becomes a habit.If we exercise regularly, maintaining good health becomes a habit. So for a person with a reasonable number of good personal and work practices good performance becomes a habit!

After my graduation in engineering and working for two years in the industry I felt that my career needed a boost. On analyzing multiple career options I realized that my true interest rested in the area of business management.

Earlier as an engineering student, I had a belief that once my studies are over and the day I start to work, I will automatically become a great professional.

Quite contrary to what I believed my experience in the industry taught me that there is much more to work than mere academic scores that we gather in schools and colleges.

Good work is a result of the uniqueness and commitment that each person brings to the table when he or she assumes a task and completes it. And to excel in one’s area of work, good performance should be a consistent rendering and not a one-hit wonder.

When I joined IBS, I knew that I wanted to make the most out of my MBA. In addition to the academics, I was determined to learn the tricks that make people excellent performers. To develop habits that would prepare me for the corporate world, MBA was the best platform to get started. The environment there is similar to any corporate workplace. You are expected to be very professional, you have to learn to work independently and in groups, you are subjected to stress and have to meet deadlines.

Business is based on relationships. People run business. To do business and to be in business one has to know how to relate to people. Networking is one of the key factors in any business. During our MBA we meet a lot of people. It begins with our classmates. They come from different places and different backgrounds. As a nature we tend to flock around with people whom we like or who match our frequency.

We must remember that networking is much beyond personal preferences. Irrespective of what we dislike about a person we must learn to build a neutral relationship with that person. In our career span we are bound to work with all sorts of people. Knowing to build and maintain professional relationships will reduce people-related stress to a great extent in our work life and will keep us focused towards our work.

Communication is no doubt a must have skill. But many people with good communication skill fail to use it to their advantage. Communication is not only about expressing your ideas clearly and precisely it is also about being able to invoke a response from others. We tend to shut ourselves out once our speaking is over. We need to develop the habit of completing the loop by listening and understanding what others intend to say to us.

The feeling that time is slipping away and we are not in control of the work to be done propels us to eleventh hour acrobatics. With lot of struggle and stress we manage to finish the work. But we don’t realize that we are habituated to putting things off until the last moment.

MBA provides an excellent opportunity to break this habit. It gives us an opportunity to set a target, prioritize and plan our work and work according to the plan. Presentations, book reviews, projects need preparation well in advance. Dividing the work in small sections always reduces the load.

Reviewing our work after it is completed is very important. Reviewing improves the overall quality of the work and gives us another opportunity to make changes wherever required.

We are often required to take strong and important work related decisions in our life.  Working on case studies, real life examples and practical business scenarios during MBA helps us to learn to arrive at a good decision based on information and facts and not merely on gut feeling.

Professional behavior is expected the day we enter a B- school. Taking care to maintain professional etiquette and dress code clearly reflect on our confidence.

MBA with working

Most of us already that these habits are important but knowledge is of no use unless it is not applied. We always resolve to get started also but we fail midway and drop it all together. The challenge as Aristotle mentioned is to repeatedly do it over and over again.

I found that the below tips are very helpful in keeping us stuck to a habit!

  1. List: Make a list of all the habits that you think are important.
  2. Prioritize: Analyze the list and number them starting with the one, which seems to be the most important one followed by the next one.
  3. Work on only one habit at a time: When we are in a good mood we want to do all the good things at once. Later on it becomes so overwhelming that we let go. Instead start the other way round. Let go of everything else and include just one habit to your routine at a time and stick with it for one month.
  4. Don’t over do: Do little of it, do it more often. For example, if you have picked up time management skills, don’t pull out all the old pending work and start work on all of it. You will lose energy and interest. Instead allocate some time everyday for your current work and some time everyday for pending work. Over a period of time, you will see that you are up-to date with your current work and you are in control of old pending things too.
  5. As soon as the month is over add another habit to the routine.
  6. You are never too late to start again. Whenever you find yourself slipping away, jump into it again.

Found a hilarious note on WatsApp the other day which goes as below-

People often say that motivation doesn’t last.

Well, neither does bathing.

That’s why we recommend it daily.”

Contributed By : Sanjit Das, Class of 2005, IBS Hyderabad

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What should you expect from a B-School?

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Tips to set the right direction for your MBA

M-B-A, Master of Business Administration has become one of the most sought after courses in the recent years. It is because post-graduation in an MBA from a B-School makes us corporate ready (proved by the increasing acceptance for MBA graduates from a variety of corporate fields) regardless of the undergraduate background we may have to our credit.

Thus, the demand is matched with the increase in number of MBA seats in existing Institutes by the increase in number of institutions offering Diploma courses in Management. With more number of Management course offerings (the place and field of study) the prospective candidates now have a plate full of options to choose from. Yet, with these options come confusion and this multiplies, as the selection of the choice is a life changing one.

Such life changing decisions need to be made smartly, so before proceeding on the selection let us fully understand and set the right expectations that guide our selection process, with a little help from your friend, who has successfully crossed the Rubicon (selecting a right B-School) and reaping the benefits (by securing an apt placement) by making the right decision then (by choosing IBS Hyderabad). I would like to discuss few finer tips that would help shape-up your selection process.

  • Diversity- “Making of a multi-faceted personality”

“Management education cannot be taught, it needs to be self-learned and experienced”. To master in this field you should keep your mind open to new experiences and be aware of the differences stemming from a single point. To learn this you should share experiences with a mixed group of people who hail from different age groups, geographies, cultures, languages, academic backgrounds and professions. This experience is an invaluable asset in your life-time as it shapes your decision-making process and Emotional Intelligence to a great extent.

Additionally, having a diverse knowledge helps you grow and progress in your career. Luckily my institute had a planned set of pan-India selection process and a systematic classroom was set up wherein people from different categories (by profession, education, geography, languages, etc) were evenly split among the classes and the classes were shuffled every semester which helped us learn a wide variety of different experiences from different people.

  • Faculty-“A ‘NO’ to teaching!”

You may ask “If Management education cannot be taught, why should we speak of the Faculty?” It is because the right learning can happen only under a right faculty. The faculty discussed here are the people who have the right blend of academic background which is enriched with years of corporate and teaching experiences.

A good MBA institute takes effort in selecting the right faculty and learning from them shapes up an individual’s thinking prowess and introduces them to different ways and dimensions in approaching a particular issue. Such remarkable faculties will also present you with a huge number of high-profile industrial contacts. In order to receive the best from them, you should show your thirst for excellence and knowledge as they would frequently encourage you to participate and raise intelligent and sensible questions from time to time.

  • Curriculum- “Design for Doers”mba graduates

When you have the right mix to discuss and a great faculty to direct you to your cause, the next step is to understand that the essence of right learning happens with the right curriculum, as this is going to be the theme on which the great minds are going to work. An MBA is a real-time course and has one of the most dynamic curriculum which need to be updated every year or even every semester. To ensure this, the top end institutes offer a hands-on-experience to theory oriented program in the ratio of 80:20 ratio. This type of curriculum is brought about by the means of Simulation exercises (offline and online), Summer Internship Projects, Tie-ups with Entrepreneurs and Incubation centers, Case methodology, mini-real time business projects, etc.

They also give a major component of evaluation for the above techniques ahead of theory/ written examinations and most Institutes follow an open-book examination. You should understand that in an MBA curriculum it is not about teaching the right solutions but it is about learning and using the right tools to solve an issue by your analytical, logical and emotional abilities in a proactive way, which premier B-School faculties are known to inculcate in their students.

  • Infrastructure- “The training ground”

There is no exception that the B-School’s infrastructure should also facilitate a flawless functioning of students, faculty and the management. This encompasses uninterrupted power supply, internet and telecommunications connectivity, clean water and a rich, natural environment. This will help the students in campus to be in tandem with the changes happening in the society and economy in real-time and also help them to go ahead with the curriculum in a smooth pace.

A Wi-Fi campus, video-conferencing facilities for placements and lectures, air-conditioned class rooms and the like have become the order of the day in many institutes. A special mention should be made for the libraries which should be well stocked with the proper books. They should also include quality national & international magazines (viz. HBR, TIME, FORTUNE, etc) and newspapers subscriptions (The Wall street Journal, Washington Post, Mint, etc), with online subscriptions to international business and social research databases (like Wharton Research Data Services, Proquest, EBSCO, etc). These are the qualitative resources that an MBA graduate has to rely heavily upon to evaluate his business case inferences.

The institutes should also have a complete refreshment and rejuvenation infrastructure through of games and sports facilities. These would include the availability of board games as well as infrastructure such as indoor stadiums, swimming pool, auditorium, open air theatre and gym, etc as these enhance the quality of study in the institute.

  • Investment-“Nothing comes without a price- better you go higher the price”

Premier institutes offering management education charge considerably higher Tuition Fees/ Education cost, but here I would like you to consider that amount as an investment for your future and not a waste of money. If an institute is able to offer the above said quality atmosphere, then the individual is sure of becoming erudite and thus he would be able the make profits of such investment. It should be considered as “Investment for life” and not as cost for education. I am not trying to justify the fees that these institutes charge you, but they promise to give their heart and soul to kick-start your career. Thus, the fee alone should not hinder your decision making.

  • Placement- “A Cakewalk”

“What is the placement scenario?” This question should be the last question that you should ask if you have selected an institute with above expectations as the core of your selection. An MBA institute which offers the right faculty, a diversified and a deserving student mix, dynamic curriculum, supportive infrastructure is itself a brand (viz. IBS group of Institutes, IIMs, etc). Such brands are meant to attract corporate across the globe for placements, because the global and domestic corporates foresee the graduates from such branded institutes as smart and impeccable.

So friends, all in all, do select an institute which

  • Puts you with the right mix of people
  • Presents to you high quality faculty
  • Does have real time curriculum (enriched with cases and real-time business projects)
  • Encompasses you with reliable infrastructure
  • Charges you the correctly for “Value for Money”
  • Connects you to the proper corporates to fetch an apt placement

It might be hard to appreciate the above mentioned items during the course of study however its benefits would be reaped post MBA.  Steve Jobs famously said, “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards!”. Thus I am proud to announce that I am able to connect them now and I am thankful to my alma mater- IBS Hyderabad for making me a better professional.

All the best.

Contributed By : L. Gowtham ( Class of 2013, IBS Hyderabad )

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MBA for Aspiring Entreprenuers

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“Should I go for an MBA degree? Is it really worth it?” These were the concerned questions that an anxious gym-buddy, who also happens to be an aspiring entrepreneur, asked me one day. An apparently affluent non-MBA diamond merchant who stealthily overheard our conversation, interrupted us by highlighting his view which was – “An MBA curriculum is meaningless for entrepreneurial success.”

“Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, Bill Gates of Microsoft, Sergey Bin & Larry Page of Google did not go to business school. In spite of that, they are the some of the richest entrepreneurs in the world! So, it would be better for you to invest the time and money on your dream venture instead of a Business school.” He continued by adding that doing so would more likely increase the odds the start-up’s success. He did have a point there. However, he had inadvertently poked just the tip of the ice-berg . On retrospection, the question seems to have a lot more depth to it. So let’s try to analyze the truth behind the ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ analogy.

Just using ‘Google’ to learn more about the life-stories of the richest entrepreneurs shows us that all of them had a massive interest in the field of their venture to begin with. This was backed by the passion, experience and real-world education in their core fields before they started their ventures. This equipped them with a required set of skills. With Google, Larry and Sergey spent years learning advanced computer science. It was only afterwards that they build a revolutionary search engine.

Similarly, Bill Gates had been programming since the age of thirteen. At 15, he developed a traffic-management program that fetched him $20,000. In 1975, he had dropped out of Harvard and formed the world’s largest software business ‘Microsoft’, just because he was confident of his knowledge, skill-sets and experience of creating something new and managing it. These were the exact things that would have been taught in an MBA school, which is why he dropped out.

The same holds true for Mark Zuckerberg. At a tender age of 12, this child prodigy created a sophisticated messaging program called ‘Zucknet’. Much later, at Harvard, he created ‘Facebook’ after spending hundreds of hours perfecting it in his dorm room. David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ is a perfect medium to demonstrate the hard work that went behind creating Facebook.

If you pay attention, you will see that the common thread connecting these three success stories is that all of them basically had an ‘extraordinary product’ that was created by immense talent, passion, effort, time and hard-work. And most importantly, they knew how to manage all these in an efficient manner. Unfortunately, not all aspiring entrepreneurs possess all these qualities at once. This is where the role of an MBA comes into play. An MBA degree will provide you with practical knowledge of business basics. You’ll get to learn useful business concepts, create business plans and acquire finance & marketing tools. An additional benefit of studying at a B-School is ‘Networking’. It would greatly benefit you if you make it your ulterior motive and focus from Day 1 that you have build a personal & professional network with batch-mates and faculty, particularly those with an industry experience.

Networking with batch-mates might seem odd considering all you are starting from the same point. However, their contribution might be helpful in the long run, when they might be successfully managing businesses in various fields. Likewise, choose an industry-based faculty as your mentor. If he is equally passionate about your venture idea, he may even open doors for you into his trusted business network, thus greatly benefiting you in return.

An aspiring entrepreneur needs to tread his path carefully and choosing the right B-School is the first step on the way. It would be helpful to hand-pick those B-Schools where ‘Case-Study method’ is an integral component of their academic curriculum. It will help you understand the pitfalls and risks on which other businesses have struggled with. Let us see a real-life case to support the theories discussed till now.

In the year 2002, Google founders Sergey Bin & Larry Page wiped out the entire managerial layer in an innovative experiment. The motive was to strip away the managerial barriers faced by the idea development team, by flattening the hierarchical structure. The experiment failed terribly and soon witnessed an end. Google realized the hard way that managers, especially those trained in some of the most reputed B-schools, are virtually indispensible in an organizational structure.IBS M (5)

A B-School can perform similar wonders on an aspiring businessman who has an entrepreneurial spirit but lacks more formal analytical skills. The skills acquired by a management student remain identical irrespective of whether he becomes a manager in an MNC or starts his own business. However, there is a downside to everything. A veteran management professor once said in an interview, “In my opinion, entrepreneurship is a matter of the heart and education is a matter of the brain. It is difficult to teach a heart.” I share his perspective on the above statement as an entrepreneur may be defined as a person who has a risk-taking appetite and a fearless attitude. These attributes are inherently ingrained into his/her personality.

An MBA education can teach someone to take wise decisions based on calculated risks. But can it teach someone to enjoy taking those risks? I am not very sure about that. Some students who have endured the rigorous years of an MBA program often compare its schedule with the intense military training. So let me to give you a beautiful analogy explained to me by a worldly-wise Indian Army Colonel, who is also a distant relative. This analogy draws the similarities between entrepreneurship and military training.

India, for example, spends crores of rupees on its soldiers so that they are absolutely prepared to fight battles when required. They are trained to fire rifles, use hand-combat and operate in simulated high-pressure situations. Although, all that training only goes so far. The Colonel added that he could never anticipate how a soldier would respond on- ground. He may choose to hide in his foxhole, run in the other direction, play dead or face the situation and fight like he has been trained when the bullets start to fly.

How someone responds to extreme-stress circumstances depends mainly on one’s intrinsic nature, which is hardwired into one’s personality. The training provided will only take you so far. The same theory is applicable to entrepreneurship. Learning Finance, Marketing, HR & Business Strategy can be very helpful. They will fetch you good GPAs, but dealing with the real-world outside your training ground is a different ballgame altogether. It is equally important to be self-confident, passionate, curious and extremely street-smart. If you don’t have these natural qualities and instincts, you are likely to face issues as an entrepreneur.

So I personally believe that MBA programs do equip the future entrepreneurs with some valuable tools. They may help them in avoiding silly mistakes that the beginners make. In spite of all the tools and training, it is up to the individuals to decide whether or not they have the heart to tackle unexpected and unpleasant obstacles that usually tag along with new businesses.

That’s when the real bullets start flying. Do you have it in you? Think! Introspect!

Takeaway: Entrepreneurship is 70% Execution and 30% Analysis, whereas most B-Schools teach you to become the exact opposite. So choose your school with utmost care. To me, real world experience is the best teacher, but an MBA degree will give you a solid foundation which may help you launch your business venture with utmost confidence. I am not sure whether the probability of success will increase drastically but I am certain the probability of failure will reduce significantly.

Contributed By: Pranshu Awasthi ( Class of 2007, IBS Gurgaon ) 

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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.

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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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CII Western Region Edge farm HR Case Study Writing Competition, 2015 – 2016

DSC_6678CII Western Region organized the first Edge farm HR Case writing competition in 2014- 2015.  This competition has been conceptualized to increase the range of cases available for teaching at B schools in the Indian business context.  The core team Edge farm is headed by Mrs. Rani Desai, Chief People Officer, Deloitte.  She is supported by Mr. Prashant Verma, Member Core team, Edge farm, Joint General Manager HR, ICICI Bank.  One entry from IBS Gurgaon reached the finals in 2015:  “Home to Hearth: A case for Women Entrepreneurship” authored by Dr. Shalini Khandelwal and Prof. Jean Saldanha.  It was presented at the finals in Mumbai in Feb 2015, by Dr. Shalini Khandelwal.  It was later published in the Corporate Citizen Magazine.

For the 2015 – 2016 competition, 2 cases from IBS Gurgaon reached the finals:

  1. “Yes to Human Capital Optimization and Engagement for Achieving Business Excellence” by Dr. Shalini Khandelwal and Dr. Reshmi Manna ( secondary data) and
  2. “Compostwali of the Daily Dump: A Catalyst for Transformation and Cultural Change” by Prof. Jean Saldanha and Ms. Hempriya Banga ( primary data) .

DSC_6687Both cases  were presented in Mumbai on Feb 26, 2016 for the final evaluation.  There were 5 cases under primary data and 5 under secondary data, presented at the event.  The esteemed jury was headed by Mrs. Usha Thorat, Retd Dy. Governor of the RBI.  Other members of the panel were Dr. Asha Bhandarkar, Dean and distinguished professor, IMI Delhi, Mr. M.S. Mani, Senior Partner, Deloitte, Dr. Gautam Sinha, Director, IIM Kashipur, Mr. K. Ramkumar, Executive Director, ICICI Bank, and Mr.  Bigyan P. Verma, Director, GNIMS Business School.  Other participating B Schools included IIM Trichy,  Symbiosis Institute of Business Management,  Bangalore, IIM Indore,   Kohinoor Business School and L.N. Welingkar Institute of Management.

The case “Compostwali of the Daily Dump: A catalyst for Transformation and Cultural Change”   authored by Prof. Jean Saldanha and IBS student Ms. Hempriya Banga won the first place under the primary data category.  CII has advised that they will be publishing this case in the Corporate Citizen magazine within a few months.  The case study is based on the business run by PBK Waste Solutions Pvt. Ltd, Bangalore, which drives the segregation of domestic waste and recycling it into compost.  The case has brought attention to the serious problem of garbage piling up in our cities, how we cannot afford to ignore it any longer and how the solution needs to be found at every level.  The manner in which the organization is run by the protagonist and the manner in which mindset change and transformation has been achieved in society were the focus of the case.

DSC_6774All case writers were questioned and given feedback by the jury.  The winning case was given inputs from Mr. Ramkumar on how it could also be positioned as an entrepreneurship case if it was modified slightly, with additional business data;Dr. Bhandarkar suggested that it could be rewritten in the Ivey format for greater acceptance and Dr.Verma suggested that large scale commercialization should be suggested. The author would like to highlight that, after presenting the case, Mrs. Usha Thorat, retd. Dy.Governor of the RBI has taken details regarding composting and indicated her intention to start the activity and the Director of IIM Kashipur has shown keen interest in incorporating the community waste solutions highlighted in the case, at IIM Kashipur.