365 Days @ Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Should I start off like any other “typical” narration about “The MBA/PGPM Life” or is there another way? In fact, that is what I learnt first here at Great Lakes. There is another way. All you need to do is stop “running” and enjoy the view because the picture you’ve wanted to paint all along is turning out to be better than expected.

There were obvious apprehensions prior to the dawn of the program, leaving the professional world as we know it in hope of embarking on much challenging journeys in life through unchartered waters. Yes, I know that feeling because I was reading up on schools like you are right now. That feeling will soon be put to rest once you realize that the friends you make here are going to last a lifetime.

The “Ice-breaker” trip we had to Rishikesh drove home the realization that of all of us “are in this together” and made us work that way from that day on. Win or lose, we’d do it together (especially the white water rafting). And, either way we would end up indulging in multiple rounds of “bunta juices: A delicacy of the location”.

The Outbound Trip

The Outbound Trip

I’m writing this post at the very end of my program here at Great Lakes. Well, almost. And looking back I really can’t understand how the time has flown by. Yes, there have been a ton (quite literally) of trainings, classes, exams, late night study sessions, projects, more projects, and the always entertaining group assignments. Watch out! This is when the person you would’ve killed a thousand times over in your mind becomes a friend and you realize that you were judgmental. To anyone in any B-school past / present saying otherwise, trust me they’re trying really hard to be cool. To all the B-school grads that’re reading this, am I right? Or am I right?

Assignments & Fun

Great Lakes, Gurgaon is known for two things in particular. First, we are the front runners in having in our curriculum two of the fastest growing industries in India, Energy and Big Data & Analytics. Big Data & Analytics isn’t just a mammoth sized file with a gazillion numbers but indeed is a thinking business. “Lateral thinking” methodologies are put to the test and all Great Lakers are Analytics minors at Gurgaon. Second thing Great Lakes is known for is the extraordinary faculty- Great Lakes has spared no measures in reeling in the best of teachers who not only cater to other premier schools in India but abroad as well. Having a global perspective of learning has only strengthened the meaning of our motto “Global mindset. Indian roots”.

While I could give a run-down of the academic portion, projects and lecturers of the program it’s also important to describe other critical aspects of the program and that is the out of class experiences that are critical to our development as business leaders in a culturally diverse world. Great Lakes, Gurgaon has a lot (And I mean “A LOT”) of Industrial speakers who take the time out from their busy schedules and interact with the student. Imagine meeting and interacting with HR head of Ikea, the founder of Shopclues and the former MD of Wrigleys within a week of you being in the campus! These interactions are important as they are a link between what we learn in class and what the business world really expects from us. While our “live-projects” and Empirical research projects also gives us such insights, the sheer quantum of knowledge that is shared in these sessions can be compared to none. Uncle Bala calls it “Experiential Learning and insights”. We couldn’t agree more.

Mr. Sankar Ramamurthy, Executive Director - PwC

I was among the lucky three to visit the Chennai campus for three days. Although both campuses are identical in academics and most events are replicated across locations, the student life is completely different. To put it in a nutshell: “In Chennai, I know more people. In Gurgaon, I know people more”.

Let me shed some light on the activities. While some enjoy swimming or working out when we find the time to, there are some who diligently play every day. Yes, every day just by learning to manage their time better.

“Be an opportunist” Uncle Bala’s words were taken a little too seriously. Be it going that extra mile to make things happen in college or quite literally going “the extra mile” to land in Jaipur for a weekend at a classmate’s place! Either way, the fact is that we’re a culturally diverse group and know very little of cultures other than our own. This program also gave us an opportunity to live and experience other cultures. Yes, I am from Bangalore and have now come to realize that “sarso ka saag” tastes a lot better than it sounds.

Celebrating Onam

“The best year of your life” has long been associated with Great Lakes’ PGPM program. Having experienced it myself, I realize calling it “the best year of my life” is merely an understatement. Never have I been exposed to such miscellany, where differences are celebrated and they blend perfectly to form a different kind of culture beyond religion, and other social nuances. A culture filled with humility, respect, and at the same time, courage and tenacity to take on the world.

Group

It has been an honor and I hope this narration has been helpful. From the corner table of the classroom, Yogesh Babu, signing out.

– A Titan

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Chairman Emeritus Reconnect 19 – Geeta’s Message

My dear young friends,

Geeta’s most pronounced shloka says “You have the right on the effort but not on the result. You don’t have to worry about the result and you cannot refrain from your efforts”.

This appears very tough to follow. How can someone make efforts without aiming or thinking of results? All great things start with dreaming, envisioning, target setting and then targeting. How can this happen without constantly thinking (not day dreaming the positive result either) about the aim for regularly strategizing and direction scrutiny? For example reaching Mars can be the aim but how can it be possible without constantly monitoring its path and step-jumping the gravitational orbits of Earth and Mars.

The answer perhaps lies in the difference between “thinking & worrying”. Worrying goes beyond thinking of the aim. It is thinking about the situation of not getting the results. It definitely distracts your attention on the target. And let us see what happens if we miss out the result.

1. We will have to try again.
2. We will have to try with more precision.
3. We will have to try with more vigor.
4. We may have to discard the target and try some alternative target.
5. In any case getting into the chain of “Ever extending targets”
That is life. A continuous struggle! Life is larger than any result.

In a recent NDTV telecast of “25 Living Legends of India” Amitabh Bachchan quoted his father’s teaching to him. Shri Harivansh Rai Bachchan told him “If things work out to your wishes, it is good; if they don’t, it is still very good.” Again very tough to understand! How it is “still very good”, let us evaluate;

1. We will have to try again, with more precision and vigor.
2. If it does not happen again, we may have to discard the target and try some alternative target which may prove to be more fruitful.
3. In any case getting into the chain of “Ever extending targets”.

After commissioning the first unit of Lower Sileru Hydro Project (4×115 MW) on 23-March-1976, a team of chief engineers went to Dr. N. Tata Rao, the then Chairman of APSEB, thinking that they will all rejoice with him and perhaps will get his congratulations first hand. Contrary to their expectations, Dr. Tata Rao commented “That is O.K. What is happening on the No.2 Unit?” That is the philosophy of “Ever extending targets”.

Since life is not death, it is a continuous journey of “Ever extending targets”, it could be a new target, a repeat target with more vigor, a modified target or an alternative target; what keeps you going is a target!

A new year is unfolding like a blossom with petals curled tightly, concealing the beauty & fragrance within… Happy New Year 2014!

Satyamev Jayate !!!

Best wishes and Regards,

Dr. B.S.K.Naidu

M.Tech., Ph.D., CBI Scholar, D.Engg.(Calif), FNAE
Hon.D.WRE (ranked amongst 30-most eminent scientists in the world)
Chairman Emeritus, Great Lakes, Gurgaon, NCR, New Delhi, INDIA
Former Director General (NPTI & CPRI / REL), Ex-Director (REC)/ Executive Director (IREDA)

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