Onam Celebrations @ Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Onam, the annual Keralite harvest festival was celebrated with much vigour at the Great Lakes, Gurgaon campus this year.

The festive environment was colorful with girls wearing lovely sarees and boys wearing dhotis. The mood for the Onam morning was set with the fragrance of flowers, girls from all the three batches busying themselves with pookalam (traditional flower arrangement). All of them participated in it and as a competition the best floral arrangement was to be judged by the faculty team and awarded suitably.  The floral designs have evolved from the traditional circular shape to unique designs depicting different cultural and social aspects

The sadya (traditional Onam lunch) was served on banana leaves and served with rice along with at least an array of 4 dishes. Traditional pickles and papadam are also served. Dessert was ‘payasam’, a sweet dish made of milk, sugar and other traditional Indian savories.

The day ended with photo sessions and interaction among the students about the cultural affinity and the multi-culturalism we imbibe as a campus.This was the introduction to Onam for some of the students, and hence was another opportunity to get a glimpse of Kerala’s culture and celebrate in this great place where various cultures come together. Everyone showed overwhelming response as Great Lakes family.

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Independence Celebrations – The GL way….

Enveloping the dreams and aspirations of an awakening nation, the Independence day at the Great Lakes,Gurgaon campus was a memorable celebration for the fun of the moment, the visions shared by Uncle Bala and for the reason this is the one and only time that as a student of the revered institute, we will be able to do so.

Dressed in our ethnic best in the morning, we hoisted the national flag and sang the national anthem with the faculty and staff at the campus and hostel celebrating Indian Independence. Following the same, we eagerly waited for Uncle Bala to address the burgeoning spirits of the leaders and managers of the future. Uncle Bala shared his memories of Independence day and his deep love for motherland. He said it is important for the new generation to work hard and keep in sight one’s nation’s pride and well-being for being the true son of mother India. He shared his life’s experiences how he has not feared to fight for the righteousness of his fellow nation-mates abroad and never bent to corrupt practices with deep belief in this nation and for its upliftment in all spheres. He shared his vision of bringing affordable quality education available to more and more people in India.

Soaked in the light of vision for the future, we were enlivened by the patriotic songs sung by the students that was heart warming. Following the same, we had a dance show celebrating the Indian spirit performed that strung together with the lively moment and was hailed well by all.

Subsequent to the same, students shared their experiences and all they want and wish to do going forward. Everyone agreed upon having roots deep in the nation for its glory and also express the need to categorically be particular and work on the issues the nation faces even after years of sovereign governance.

This interaction was followed by distribution of sweetmeats. With the value of work is worship for a country’s progress, we so very well understood the unifying strength of patriotism necessary to be felt each passing day.

Hopefully, the Crusaders embark upon the grand and brighter vision…..

Chairman’s Reconnect 2 – ‘Format to make your presentation a unique 360-degree experience’

1 August, 2012

My dear young friends,

A month ago, I started my monthly letter to first batch students of PGPM/ MBA as my “Re-connect” exercise. I am expanding it to the second and third batches of Great Lakes Gurgaon and NPTI besides the current batch of Executive PGPM of Great Lakes IEMR and its faculty members. I feel connecting our minds once a month is a nice idea.

During July’12, three vital things happened.

1.     Celebrating 75th Birthday of Prof. Bala Balachandran, the founder of Great Lakes, Chennai on 5-July-12.

2.     Conclusion of Amir Khan’s popular show “Satyamev Jayate” on Sunday 29-July-12.

3.     Collapse of Indian Power Grid on 30 & 31-July-12 { I will share my perceptions on this in the next letter }

Let me start with Prof. Bala’s event. When I reached Chennai to participate in the celebrations, I was surprisingly received by Sandip Dalvi (one of the Al Gore awardees) and Chitranjan Das (Recipient of Gold Medal for the Best all-rounder, PGPM Energy’12) at the Airport. We went for lunch (photograph attached) and both of them shared their exciting experience at Cognizant.

Lunch with Sandip & Chitranjan

At Great Lakes, Chennai it was all excitement, jubilation and celebration. 75-years of long journey can be as rewarding as Bala made it !! At the campus, I went for a morning walk from the GH and could see Prof. Bala’s signature in the ambience. I could feel his love for space, love for nature and love for butterflies. It was Prof Bala’s Campus without even naming it, in all facets right from eco-friendly platinum rated infrastructure to academics to philosophy connecting “Global Mindset to Indian roots”; all his efforts propelled by intellect and steered by values, as he himself puts it. However, it was formally named as Dr. V. Balachandar Campus by His Excellency, Shri K. Rosaiah, Hon’ble Governor of Tamil Nadu.

I noticed naming of admissions office as Lake Ontario which perhaps signifies that students are entering an ocean of knowledge. “Ontario Hydro” signifies oceanic potential of water and energy. Water symbolizes pure knowledge. I got a feel of it when Prof Bala had taken me and my wife to the Great Lake in the North Western University campus in Chicago on 31-May-12. Truly oceanic lake, you can’t see the other end. There I realized, what inspires Bala. Someone saw in Bala, a perennial source of renewable energy and someone compared him with God particle which can create mass (self worth) and energy in youth.

Let me turn to the other genius Amir Khan whose historic serial “Satyamev Jayate” came to an end on Sunday 29-July-12. An exceptional success to this program can be attributed to the socially sensitive issues that were raised touching the chord of every Indian and of course the format of the 1-1/2 hr. session.

His format made it a unique 360-degree experience.

1.     He brought to the show people whose moving personal testimonies focused attention on the issue more powerfully than anything else could have.

2.     He provided startling facts and figures, often sourced from Government surveys.

3.     He used videos on selected topics where visual impression could be impactful.

4.     He called in experts to give the issue some perspective and analysis.

5.     “Case studies” provided very strong anchors to his themes.

6.     Amir Khan and his team did a lot of research before coming on show.

7.     He always held out a ray of hope by highlighting either a success story or a way out of the problem.

8.     Throughout he kept the tone of the show quiet and dignified.

9.     His sessions proved to be a one-stop window to understanding complex problems.

10.  The program definitely created mass awareness on an impressive scale.

Don’t you think we professionals including faculty members have some things to learn from the above?

During our usual 1-1/2 hr presentations also, we can perhaps ensure that-

1.     We narrate our personal experiences focusing attention on the issue being raised and encourage the audience also to share their experiences.

2.     We can provide interesting facts and figures, from authentic sources.

3.     We should use videos/ slides on topics where visual impression can be impactful. Man is visual minded. We always prefer TV over Radio. Visual impressions stay longer since nerves connecting eyes to the brain are 25 times longer than those which connect ears to the brain.

4.     We should always provide some perspective and analysis.

5.     “Case studies” are real life stories carrying very strong supporting messages and we normally use them for effective learning/ training.

6.     We also need to do a lot of research before coming to the session.

7.     Success/Failure stories always give clues for tackling the problem/ issue. In fact, any kind of stories will help hang your concepts. You have not forgotten the stories told by your grandmother.

8.     Session has to be participative and dignified, encouraging everyone to think.

9.     Most complex problems can be made to be understood by structured and simplified approach.

10.  Your session can definitely create awareness on an impressive scale, so much so that audience will remember it for years.

Wish you all success with the 10-commandments for your Industry presentations/ class room sessions.

Satyamev Jayate !!!

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI Scholar, D.Engg., FNAE, Hon.D.WRE

Chairman, Great Lakes IEMR, Gurgaon, NCR, Delhi
Co-Chairman, Advisory Council, Great Lakes-Bauer Global Energy Executive MBA program, University of Houston
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI / REL)

No job is small or big, the way in which you do, makes it small or big (c)