Uncovering the Secret of Success in the Corporate Sector: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

Uncovering the Secret of Success in the Corporate Sector: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr ASHISH JAIN

VICE PRESIDENT – RIGHT MANAGEMENT, INDIA

We often take our freedom on social media for granted. We love to show off our brand new purchases, check-in at some of the finest bars and pubs in town, share an insane number of selfies and also express our religious and political views before a large audience. We often forget that we are, in fact, being watched and judged. Our current employers, our prospective employers, nearly everyone who scrolls by our posts builds up an opinion about us.

7th July 2018: It was a bright Saturday morning. The Ninjas –PGPM batch of 2018-19, at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon – were once again decked up in their sharp suits, armed with notepads, pens and laptops, to attend a talk delivered by Mr. Ashish Jain, Vice President of Right Management, India, and his colleagues, Shivpriya G and Ishana Singh. After weeks of exams, project submissions and assignments, an interactive industry engagement event was well overdue. The Ninjas were in for a fruitful learning experience from people who have made the most out of their personal experiences and grown immensely in their professional lives.

Right Management India: Right Management is one of the leading talent development and career management firms in the world. Established in Philadelphia, USA, in 1980, the company has grown by leaps and bounds by establishing its presence in the US, UK, Canada, China and India. It acquired People Tech in 1996 and Coutts Consulting in 2002. It now is a leading brand under Milwaukee-based Manpower Group, one of the largest Fortune 500 staffing firms in the world. Manpower Group CEO Jonas Prising holds a seat at the World Economic Forum. Right Management has participated in the VivaTech Convention, which is a major platform dedicated to technological innovations, where many promising start-ups also come forward to showcase their offerings. The firm is also actively involved in leveraging Artificial Intelligence to ease the hiring process for corporates.

Ashish Jain: Ashish Jain is an alumnus of Institute of Management Technology, Ghaziabad. An MBA specialized in Human Resources and Marketing, Ashish has also completed the HBX CORe Credential of Readiness certification from Harvard Business School. He began his managerial career as a consultant with Positive Moves Consulting in 2008, and worked with the firm until he joined Right Management India in 2010. He started off as a consultant and has worked his way up to the post of Vice President in a matter of 8 years and is now spearheading various digital initiatives in the firm, bringing Artificial Intelligence to the field of talent acquisition and hiring.

Social Media – A Deal-Maker or Breaker: Ashish Jain and his colleagues took the Ninjas through a 90-minutes journey to show them how the effective use of social media, or the lack of it, can make or break a person’s career or a business. Quoting numerous examples from their personal lives and from around the world, they delivered the importance of leveraging social networking to connect with people in a manner that it opens up new pathways towards fruitful career opportunities.

Social networking sites have their own beauty as well as pitfalls. They give each person a platform to interact with people spread across the globe, to present their talents and achievements before all of their friends, to bask in the glory of their latest acquisitions of property or automobiles or to voice their opinions regarding various socio-political affairs. And this is exactly where we need to tread carefully. Suddenly an obsession to rant on political or religious matters, to post an album full of selfies or boast about one’s capacity to consume alcoholic beverages no longer seem to be one of the best things to do on social media. Recruiters increasingly screen candidates on the basis of their social media footprint to analyze their personality and determine if they are fit to be a part of their organization.

The Big Five Personality Traits – Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism (OCEAN) – form the parameters on which recruiters are beginning to gauge a candidate’s potential to adhere to the organization’s culture, uphold its values and attain its goals. These traits can be measured by conducting personality tests. But sometimes, going through a person’s social media footprint, itself, gives a brief idea about his or her traits. The opinions posted by a person, his or her comments and reactions to contrasting views from others, language, grammar and vocabulary, relevance and importance of the subject in question, and many such factors paint a near-clear picture of how that person might behave in a corporate environment. Sharing posts related to one’s career aspirations and passions, posting relevant and sensible comments on related posts, following influential persons and thought leaders, having a reasonable balance between followers and followed users, following the right people at the right time and steering clear of controversial topics can, on the other hand, help one bag the dream job he or she is looking for.

Social media has become a powerful tool for self-expression and sharing feedback. Corporates are becoming more and more cautious about their interactions with customers, and they have to. We live in an era where a single tweet or a Facebook post from a highly dissatisfied customer can cause a company to lose customers and also cause its share prices to dip considerably. In such an era, a company cannot afford to be indifferent to its customer’s needs and complaints.

In Conclusion: What started as a tool to connect with people, socialize and meet like-minded people has now turned into a major contributor in myriads of aspects of the corporate world. Let us make wise use of this free-of-cost utility to enrich our lives and form beneficial connections. Just like we have learnt to isolate our personal lives from our professional lives, let us also learn to choose among our choices of social networking tools to showcase our personal lives, our hobbies and aspirations, our career progression and capabilities, each in its own best way. As rightfully stated by Ashish, 65% of talent acquisitions take place through referrals. And referrals are created through strong connections with the right people over the right channels. Ashish Jain and his colleagues from Right Management have shown the Ninjas a new perspective towards social media which the Ninjas are keen on following diligently going forward.

Author: Bruno Nellissery

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Advertisements
The Joy of Giving: Karma Yoga Session 1

The Joy of Giving: Karma Yoga Session 1

July 7th, 2018

“Don’t give to get. Give to inspire others to give.”

~ Simon Sinek

One such choice we made is to explore the side of our personality which allows us to be generous in giving, without expecting anything in return.

We, the students of PGPM 2019 – NINJAS, started our journey on 7th July 2018 with the same mission in mind. Red walls, lush green compound, enthusiastic students in the uniforms planting trees, joyful teachers; these are the visuals which welcomed us to the Primary Government School of Fazalwas, Haryana. It was euphoria all around; innocent faces, wide smiles, genuine conversations. We were elated by seeing the school kids deeply involved with themselves and maybe this is what it is called “being in present” or “mindfulness”.

After a quick introduction, we were pleased to witness various performances by students such as dancing, singing, and mimicry. Post the icebreaking session, we were quick in executing our plans for the day. Teaching tables through Vedic mathematics technique, unleashing the talent hidden in the students by asking different questions about their likes and interests, engaging them by playing games with them. We clapped, danced and laughed along with them and got lost in the moment forgetting all the worries, assignments or projects. There was a sense of belonging and blissfulness in those tiny classrooms with minimum facilities. It gave us immense pleasure to have connected with these kids when they were over the moon sharing with us their fantasies, friends, and little playful fights they had amidst strong bonding. At that moment, we felt there is a lot of selfishness in giving back to society which is the immense satisfaction and happiness you experience in the process.

Giving back to society not only makes us generous, it also adds purpose to our life and happiness in doing something for others who need it more. Giving back to society is de-stressing too, it helps us to realize our own self and manage our inner relationships to make us live a more balanced life, allowing us to keep a balance between our daily chaos and our need to become a more responsible citizen and an individual.

Seeing the sheer joy and happiness on the kids’ face and knowing that we have been a small reason behind those smiles has been an unparalleled experience. And we are forever in debt to the Karma Yoga initiative of Great Lakes, Gurgaon for introducing us to such joy.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or what you’ve accomplished. It’s all about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

~ Denzel Washington

Author: Urvi Sehrawat

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

4th International Yoga Day Celebrations @ Great Lakes, Gurgaon

4th International Yoga Day Celebrations @ Great Lakes, Gurgaon

It was just another Thursday morning at an ultra-modern B-school campus, but something was different about it. Students were seen marching out of their hostel rooms in pyjamas and t-shirts at dawn. Such enthusiasm wasn’t a daily occurrence for these future managers when it came to waking up early. So, what was the occasion?

This was how Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon celebrated the 4th International Yoga Day on 21st June 2018. The event, spearheaded by Prof. S K Palhan, provided a glimpse of how traditional Indian values and practices still play an important role in our modern education system. Students gathered in numbers to attempt various Aasanas and realised the importance of a healthy body along with a healthy mind. Prof. S K Palhan addressed the students on how yoga can be instrumental in inculcating discipline in one’s life and how it could substantially improve individual productivity.

The initiative that started with Mr Narendra Modi delivering a speech at the United Nations General Assembly back in 2014, has become a revolution now. To quote Mr Modi, “Yoga is an invaluable gift of India’s ancient tradition. It embodies the unity of mind and body; thought and action; restraint and fulfilment; harmony between man and nature; a holistic approach to health and well-being. It is not just a form of exercise but a lifestyle pattern to discover the sense of oneness with oneself, the world and nature. By changing our lifestyle and creating consciousness, it can help in our well-being. Let us work towards adopting an International Yoga Day”. It garnered support from all around the globe and created history when a total of 177 nations co-sponsored the resolution, which is the highest number of co-sponsors ever for any United Nations proposition of such nature.

What does Yoga mean? It comes from a Sanskrit word ‘Yuja’, which means to bind and unify. Yoga embodies the concept of a consolidated entity. It suggests that one’s body and mind need to work in coordination to attain paramount intellect and spiritual strength. Scientific studies have further supported it by stating its effectiveness in curing diseases and ailments like cancer and arthritis. 21st June is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere and shares a special significance in many other parts of the world, hence it was termed apt to be named as something so important and symbolic to Indian tradition.

International Yoga Day every year is no less than a festival. We have witnessed people and leaders gathering in masses to uphold the movement and represent our ingenious values on an international platform. Educational Institutions, alike, have contributed to creating awareness amongst our youth who are going to be future leaders, hence it becomes even more important to include them in this movement. Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, is amongst those institutions that believe in ‘holding on tight to your core values in the pursuit of excellence’ and hence, the institute never fails to make a valuable contribution to such indigenous initiatives.

The Yoga session was very well received by everyone. Students collectively agreed that they found the experience quite rejuvenating. Many students shared their experiences. Some of the students, who attempted Yoga for the first time exclaimed gleefully “Yoga se hi hoga”.  Provided the hectic college schedule, others admitted it as being the most peaceful experience in their last 1 month. Prof. Palhan seemed happy looking at the students sharing their exhilarating experiences. He said that yoga should be a part of everyone’s routine and not just a one-time thing. He called for students to imbibe it in their habit and witness the difference for themselves.

Author: Prateek Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Vicks – Generations of Care: Marketing beyond Product Promotion

#TouchOfCare: On March 29th, 2017, a new video advertisement promoting the Vicks brand created a sensation by striking the most sensitive nerve of the Indian population. Created by Publicis Singapore, the video, spanning 3 and a half minutes, tells the story of a young girl Gayatri who is on her way to boarding school. 10 years ago, Gayatri lost her mother to a life-threatening disease and was later adopted by Gauri Sawant. Being thrown out of the house at the age of 18, Gauri has seen her own share of struggles in life before she met Gayatri. Gauri raised Gayatri as her own child, pampering and looking after her all along. Gayatri recalls a memory of being ill and Gauri using Vicks to treat her and spending the night by her side. In a span of 10 years, the two grew closer to each other, surpassing the mother-daughter relationship and becoming best friends. Gauri wants Gayatri to become a doctor. But Gayatri aspires to become a lawyer, for her mother Gauri, a transgender woman.

The ad has received 10 million views on YouTube and has been one of the most touching ads to go viral in recent times. This video has been a part of numerous “Try not to cry” challenges as well. A guaranteed tear-jerker for most who have watched it, the video still continues to be shared on social media more than a year after it was released.

Vicks as a Brand: For generations, Vicks has been a part of nearly every household around the world. It’s an easily available over-the-counter medicine for mild fevers, cold and cough. Vicks VapoRub ointment, along with other products under the brand, basks in the glory of a 96.5 market share in the “VapoRub” segment. What began as an innovative new home remedy christened Vick’s Magic Croup Salve in 1905, by pharmacist Lunsford Richardson and Dr. Joshua Vick, was later rebranded as Vicks VapoRub in 1912. In 1985, American multi-national consumer products manufacturer Procter and Gamble Co. bought the Vicks brand and has been manufacturing and distributing its products worldwide. Vicks VapoRub can be found among the common medicines in a large number of households and even in travel kits of people all around the world.

The Evolution of Vicks VapoRub

“Mother”: With a brand image and a market share as immense as it has, why Vicks need to invest in such an emotionally charged advertisement to grab the attention of the masses? The answer lies in the very heart of Indian values and culture. In a typical Indian family, the father is the head of the family, following a patriarchal family system for centuries. But it’s the mother who breathes life into the family. A mother is someone who has borne intense pain to give birth to her children and raise them. And she continues to do so for the rest of her life even after her children have grown up and are capable of taking care of themselves. She spends sleepless nights when one of her children falls ill. Right from working and earning to doing household chores like cooking, a mother always does everything keeping her children in mind. For a majority of children in India, as well as a fair share of adults, there’s no worry in the world that a mother’s touch and soothing words cannot cure. Through this ad, Vicks and Publicis Singapore emphasize this very sentiment which has been the cornerstone of Indian families for ages. And Vicks VapoRub has been one of the instruments of motherly love as most Indians have a memory of falling ill and their mothers applying Vicks VapoRub on their chest, nose and foreheads before they drift off into a peaceful sleep for the night. And the ad reinforces this role that the product plays. But the story does not end there.

Discrimination against Transgender Women: India has a population of roughly 4.9 lakh transgender women. Discrimination against them is on the rise. Every day, they are subject to harassment in public, often even of a sexual nature. They are despised and looked down on by “normal” people as an abomination. There have been cases of doctors refusing to examine transgender women or trying to molest them during an examination. Humiliation has become a daily routine in their lives. In recent times, a number of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and Institutions such as Sahodari Foundation and The Transgender Welfare Society have taken the bold initiative to stand up for transgender rights and welfare. But a lot more needs to be done so that the discrimination is curbed and transgender women are treated and respected as a member of the society that we all are a part of.

Marketing beyond Product Promotion: With subtle product placement in the video, the Vicks VapoRub ad calls the attention of the vast Indian society towards the concerns of the neglected and harassed transgender women of India. It showcases the capability and calibre of such a woman in raising and taking care of a girl child all by herself through the true story of Gauri Sawant and her daughter Gayatri. The adoption law makes it difficult for a single man or a woman to adopt a child. And it makes it much more difficult for a transgender woman to do so, owing to societal norms and taboos. Gauri Sawant sets an example by fighting all odds in making the right choices in life with pride.

Watch the heart-touching video here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zeeVEKaDLM

Author: Bruno Nellissery

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Alumni Speak: “Switching from IT to Consultancy was a crucial step for my career, but making this transition wouldn’t have been possible without a formal business education.”

 

Freshly recruited by KPMG India as a Consultant in the IGH (Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare) domain, Sayan Chaudhuri (PGPM 2017-18), is experiencing a major shift in his career and enjoying the challenging new role. We got in touch with him recently to discuss his MBA experience. Here are a few excerpts from the interview.

Q1. Tell me about your professional background before joining Great Lakes, Gurgaon, and why did you decide to pursue an MBA?

Before joining Great Lakes, I was working as a Systems Engineer at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) for more than 3 years. Even with a promising career trajectory at one of the highly acclaimed MNCs, I believed the time had come where I needed to upgrade my skills for moving up the corporate ladder and explore the strategical side of the business so that I could make a direct impact instead of just following orders. Acquiring an MBA degree from a tier I institute seemed like the right way to facilitate the career switch and Great Lakes, Gurgaon gave me the perfect platform to make it possible.

Q2. How did the one year at Great Lakes help you transform into the professional that you are today?

The journey from a hardcore IT profile of a Systems Engineer to a Strategy Consultant at one of the Big 4s was not an easy one, but Great Lakes ensured that I completed it with perfection. There was a lot to learn and the unwavering support of the acclaimed faculty at GL ensured thorough preparation for the corporate challenges that lie ahead. Most importantly, the ample practical learning opportunities that I received in the form of interactions with renowned industry experts helped me understand the day-to-day business challenges and prepared me for the job that I’m in today.

Q3. Mention three key highlights of your Great Lakes experience.

  • Inspiring & Esteemed Faculty
  • Unparalleled Exposure in the form of Corporate Lecture Series and Live Projects
  • The Ice Breaking trip to Rishikesh

Q4. Which faculty member/guest lecturer impacted your education the most?

Choosing one faculty member from a pool of such gifted mentors is next to impossible, to say the least. All the skills that I acquired in the last one year are a result of the collective effort of all the faculty members at Great Lakes, combined with all the esteemed corporate mentors and CXOs who took the time out of their busy schedules to interact and educate our young and eager minds. Therefore, selecting any one of them would be an unfair assessment on the same.

Q5. Tell me about your current organization and job role. How do you think going to a B-school has helped you in your career?

I’m currently working with KPMG India as a Consultant, tasked with catering to the needs of the IGH (Infrastructure, Government & Healthcare) clients of the firm.

As I mentioned earlier, switching from IT to Consultancy was a crucial step for my career, but it was the right one and without the help of a formal business education it would have been next to impossible to achieve the same.

Q6. What advice would you like to give to the future Great Lakers?

The one year at Great Lakes is filled with omnipresent learning opportunities. More than anything, your peer group is an untapped reservoir of knowledge. All your batch mates have come from diverse occupational backgrounds with a combined experience of 100+ years. So, use that. Learn from their experience, form lifelong bonds and as this is going to be your last academic year (most probably) don’t forget to have fun.

 

S&P Global: An Interactive Industry Engagement Session

S&P Global: An Interactive Industry Engagement Session

May 25, 2018

The PGPM Class of 2019 at Great Lakes Institute of Management Gurgaon welcomed executives from S&P Global – Mr Dushyanth Sekhar, Director – Content Automation Robotics & Extraction (C.A.R.E), Ms Nupur Jain, Talent Acquisition Lead, Gurgaon, Ms Rajni Kataria, Analyst, Talent Acquisition, Gurgaon, and Mr Saransh Arya, Content Systems Analyst, Operations Enablement; to speak on the fourth industrial revolution – Robotics, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, on Friday, May 25th, 2018.

S&P Global has been providing intelligence that is essential for clients to make decisions with conviction for over 150 years. S&P provides data and analytics, research and commentary, benchmarks and credit ratings through the collective strength of its divisions – S&P Global Ratings, S&P Global Market Intelligence, S&P Dow Jones Indices and S&P Global Platts.

Mr Dushyanth said, “Machines are becoming like humans but still a large part of it is mathematical (cognitive computing).” With a higher degree of innovation, S&P Global seeks to reduce the need of human interventions in tasks which are irksome and mundane otherwise.” He emphasized that he strongly believes in the democratization of technology. Growth in technology has paved way for companies to develop better algorithms and influence their market accordingly. Furthermore, machine learning has changed the definition of traditional programming and in the modern times, the output itself is the program. According to Mr Sekhar, the trick is feeding a data set that will teach the algorithm to decipher the data.

Great Lakes Institute of Management also focuses on coupling analytics with business knowledge which gives business graduates of this generation an opportunity to introduce newer concepts to the corporate world. Therefore, this interaction between S&P Global and Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, was a perfect platform for sharing new and innovative ideas in the said fields of Machine Learning, AI and Analytics.

Author: Hita Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Has 21st Century Competition led to the Abolishment of Business Ethics?

Has 21st Century Competition led to the Abolishment of Business Ethics?

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”- George Orwell

On September 18th, 2015, United States Environmental protection agency issued a notice of violation of Clean Air Act against Volkswagen for tweaking its diesel engine in order to bypass the emission test. 11 million Cars, worldwide, between model year 2009 and 2015 were identified to have faulty systems. This proves how contemplating an unethical decision with its apparent short-term benefits is eventually a recipe for disaster.

For a business entity, ethics can be categorised as its responsibilities towards (i) its customers, (ii) its employees, (iii) the government and (iv) the ecological balance of our planet. We need ethics as they are vital for the proper functioning of the economic, political and social network which will eventually lead to the overall development of the human race.

So, how and why does unethical behaviour creeps into a system and make highly intellectual business leaders lose track of their ethical responsibilities? The answer lies in the fact that any deviation from ethical practices is mostly the result of the current competitive corporate culture or pressure from the higher managerial food chain, which can emerge when a company is unable to live up to its financial expectations. To overcome these bottlenecks, leaders eventually end up bending the rules and this is when ethics and policies collide.

Let us take an example of child labour. If a firm hires children as its major workforce, it can drive down its prices. Now to remain competitive, the rival firm has to relook into its cost structure and come up with an optimized price point. Should the firm also look to hire children in its workforce? Is it ethical? Will this help in cutting costs? The instinctive answers to these questions may be yes but in the long run, it will not serve the purpose of growth. History is full of references to organisations which have linked good ethical practices with their performance and have eventually outperformed their competitors financially.

Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices has listed Tata Steel and Wipro as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies for the year 2017 and 2018. Points are awarded to an organization based on; ethics and compliance program (35%), culture of ethics (20%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%). Prior to 2017, the Indian Steel giant, Tata Steel had also bagged this award in years 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Over decades, ethics has been a major driver for Tata Group. One of the core ethic business principles that the company follows is to fully support the development and operation of competitive open markets. It may be pointed out that this policy hampers the organization’s revenue, but In the long run, these policies promote a strong public image based on trust and relationship.

The challenge for those in business is to identify ways to do what is ethically correct while maximizing a shareholder’s wealth. Before taking any decision, the leadership of an organization must introspect what impact their decision will have on the organization and society as a whole in both the short and long run. The importance of ethics has been reinforced into business organisations and business individuals time and again.

As Henry Ford once said, “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business”. Ethics in businesses is present; the difficult question is how to make it more prevalent.

 

Authors: Saurav Dhar & Rishi Raj

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon