Welcoming the Apaches – PGDM Class of 2019-21

Welcoming the Apaches – PGDM Class of 2019-21

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, PGDM Batch of 2021

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, was bustling with energy and excitement on 9th July, 2019, as it welcomed a fresh new batch of PGDM students. The program saw a total of 144 students pouring in from different parts of the country to make this state-of-the-art campus their home for the next two years.

The inaugural ceremony was presided over by dignitaries from Gartner, world’s leading research and advisory company, along with the renowned faculty of Great Lakes Institute of Management.

Dr. Debashis Sanyal, Director of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, with Mr. Arindam Mukhopadhyay, Vice President and Global Head of Consulting COE at Gartner

Dr. Debashis Sanyal, Director, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, addressed the new batch of PGDM students, and applauded them for their well-deserved candidature. He expressed his delight over the growing competition and high-quality of applications that the institute received. After introducing the students to the faculty, he went on to share his wise counsel with the students. He informed the students that this day marks a transition from a structured environment to an unstructured world, where qualities such as flexibility in thinking, benevolent mindset of working in a team, optimism in the face of challenges and failures, and making the most out of time in the campus will help them succeed.

At the commencement, Mr. Arindam Mukhopadhyay, VP and Head, Global Consulting COE, Gartner, delivered the keynote for the orientation of the fresh young minds He congratulated the batch for making it to the premier institute and threw light on what awaits them after they graduate. His presentation drove home the fact that we are living in a dynamic world, where fundamental shifts are occurring across sectors, thus frequent innovation is indispensable to continuous growth. He emphasized on the importance of Industrializing Learning, which refers to developing cognitive thinking in future managers on a wide scale in order to drive constant innovation. He strongly advised students to demonstrate a Champion Mindset. The mindset urges an individual to follow the mantra of “Know it, Own it, Do it, and Persevere” to enhance growth on a community, organization and an individual level.

Furthermore, Mr. Ravi Kumar Anand, Campus Recruitment and Relationship Leader, Gartner, recommended that students research and understand the kind of role they would like to pursue in the future and use this platform to work towards the same by developing the required skillsets for their dream role. He inspired the students to expand their view of possibilities and take charge of their careers by putting sincere and constant efforts.

Dr. Vikas Prakash Singh, Program Director for PGDM Program at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, and Professor of Economics

The commencement event concluded with Dr. Vikas Prakash Singh, Program Director for PGDM at Great Lakes Gurgaon, delivering the vote of thanks and, keeping up with the Great Lakes tradition, announcing the name of the new PGPM batch – The Apaches.

PGDM 2021 Cohort at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Know it, Own it, Do it, and Persevere.

Compiled by Elim Panda, PGPM “Spartan”, Class of 2020

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

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Why should an Experienced Professional pursue a One-Year MBA?

Why should an Experienced Professional pursue a One-Year MBA?

Experienced Professionals

Many of us are attracted towards the prospect of earning an MBA within one year, instead of investing two years in a conventional MBA program. There are ample of institutes and universities abroad that offer one-year MBA programs, taking in the best of experienced professionals and training them to take up much higher roles. But how is a two-year course delivered in one year and how does it differ from two-year programs? Who is this program more appropriate for? What are my gains? Let’s find out.

Where is the sharp contrast when it comes to a one-year MBA?

A one-year MBA, designed for professionals with at least two years of work experience or more depending on the business school offering it, leverages the same experience and industry exposure to steer classroom discussions. Yes, discussions, and not lectures. A typical classroom session involves a faculty member guiding the discussion around concepts and students relating to those concepts through their own professional experiences, applying them to historic business cases and developing pragmatic solutions to business problems. A whirlwind of insights and perspectives ensue, questioning conventional wisdom and the status quo itself. The faculty does not need to begin from basics and can get down to business quicker with such a cohort.

Peer Learning facilitates faster learning and wider perspectives

Summer internships are not a part of the one-year curriculum as the students already have the industry exposure that they need. Instead live-projects and experiential learning programs provide an opportunity to work on projects with companies, under the mentorship of a faculty member (and often also an industry mentor) and develop innovative solutions to real-world business problems. This helps a student to be confident as a management professional by the end of the course.

A one-year program cuts back on redundancy and gets students to speed by leveraging their own experience. The quality and completeness of the curriculum is maintained to ensure a holistic learning experience, with peer-learning forming a major component of it. People from different educational backgrounds, industries and job profiles come together to share their insights, applying their experiences to concepts and relating them to real-word examples.

A mature and more industry-aware cohort

How intense does it get?

As stated by most premier business schools conducting such programs, one-year programs are quite rigorous but they do bring out the best in each student. Class hours are longer than those in other programs, followed by assignments, projects, readings and case analysis for the next day. To quote a one-year program alumnus from an Ivy League business school, the first few core terms are in fact a pressure cooker. But that same rigor trains a student to stay charged up and handle tense situations and unpredictable challenges at workplace. And what else does this reward one with? Let’s look at the benefits.

A much lesser opportunity cost:

The longer you stay as a part of a workforce, the harder it gets for you to take a break and live without a steady income while pursuing higher education. This opportunity cost increases with the duration of hiatus. Here the opportunity cost is the income that you forego when you take a break from work and pursue higher education. Existing loans and family responsibilities make it even more difficult to take a break for two long years. A one-year program halves the opportunity cost and lets you get back to your professional and personal life in a year.

A quick leap:

There are those who work hard and wait for the next appraisal, traverse the hierarchy and climb up the corporate ladder. And then there are those who jump a few levels and take up managerial roles by investing their time and efforts in management education. It’s one year in a business school versus years of appraisals and job changes. An investment of money, time and effort in the former saves one all the time and effort that would be spent in the latter.

A step ahead of the rest:

While fresh minds are still in their second year of management education and busy getting placed, the one-year graduates are already awaiting their first appraisal. Who wouldn’t want faster returns on investment?

Students from diverse backgrounds in a one-year MBA class

One-year programs are gaining more and more traction every year with some of the elite institutions in the country such as Indian School of Business, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, SP Jain Institute of Management and Research, and others rolling out these programs for experienced professionals. Admissions to these programs are conducted through major management entrance exams such as GMAT, CAT and XAT, and follow the same rigorous admission process with Test Score and Profile-Based Shortlisting, Essays/Statements of Purpose, Written Ability Tests, and Personal Interviews. Both types of programs cater to different types of audiences and carry equal credibility. It’s just a question of how appropriate a particular program is for an aspirant based on experience and background.

What comes after an MBA?

What comes after an MBA?

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr ROHIT KUMAR

CX PRINCIPAL – SALES & MARKETING STRATEGY – INFOSYS

18th August 2018

The weekends at Great Lakes, Gurgaon, after an end-term exam, aren’t complete without an interactive industry engagement event. This one was particularly more exciting as the PGPM batch of 2019, The Ninjas, gathered around to welcome Mr Rohit Kumar, the CX Principal for Sales and Marketing Strategy at Infosys, for a session on various career options in the IT sector after an MBA. Being an Infoscion myself, I was eagerly looking forward to the session delivered by a fellow Infoscion of a calibre to look up to.

Mr Rohit Kumar: An engineering graduate from G.G.S.I.P. University, who later completed his MBA from the reputed S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research in 2012. After working for over 3 years as Senior Manager for Engagements at Nagarro, he took the helm at Infosys in heading the Sales and Marketing Strategy for the Oracle CX Cloud practice in 2016. He has more than 13 years of experience in business development, client acquisition, customer relationships & marketing. He has worked with clients across the world, focusing immensely on understanding the pain-points of the customers. Mr Kumar has an in-depth understanding of the IT industry and has varied project experience that gives a unique flavour to his working style. Before his MBA, he has worked with reputed firms such as IBM and SAP.

Mr Kumar set the tone for the session by talking about how the industry is segmented into various Verticals and Horizontals. He emphasized on how having a vertical depth or horizontal experience is the key to success. He also reinforced the importance of MBA graduates re-inventing themselves from time to time, once they enter the corporate realm, and being always able to think on their feet.

What are the options for an MBA graduate?

Mr Kumar walked us through the different types of profiles that an MBA graduate from an IT background can pursue, leveraging all his years of experience before choosing to join a B-School. He explained how a candidate with leadership skills and the ability to work under pressure can look for a role in Project Management. Having sound technical skills, a know-how of various business dimensions and a keen insight into the minds of the costumers make one perfectly suitable for this role. Additional relevant certifications are a bonus.

Consulting is another lucrative career option which is open to management graduates. Explaining the differences and drawing demarcation lines between Strategic and Management Consulting, Business Consulting, and Technical Consulting, Mr Kumar cleared all misconceptions and ambiguity that management students usually have regarding these roles. Sharing insights from his own experience in working with some of the leading service providers in the IT Industry, Mr Kumar shed light on the current scenario in the business world, especially on how the thin line between Business and Technical Consulting is disappearing with each passing day, and on how companies are preparing themselves to have a strong presence in both the domains.

He also spoke about other roles such as Business Analyst, Sales Management, and Pre-Sales Management. While Sales Management requires a candidate to be extremely innovative and creative, pre-sales demands domain expertise and the ability to think about multiple solutions to a given requirement in order to create a variety of offerings for the customer to choose from. A business analyst, on the other hand, is expected to have requirement analysis capabilities coupled with excellent communication skills.

What should be the approach of an MBA student?

Mr Kumar enlightened the students on the right approach towards pursuing the role that would do justice to their experience and skills. Identifying one’s own skills and also identifying the kind of work that would be truly enticing is extremely important for an MBA student. At the same time, it is vital for a student to follow the companies they aspire to be a part of and keep themselves abreast with what the industry experts are talking about. In addition to this, growing one’s network and developing a niche skill holds crucial importance in skyrocketing one’s career growth.

Importance of LinkedIn

LinkedIn, the social network for corporates, has become an important tool for corporate networking and Mr Kumar strongly emphasized on its relevance and how an MBA student can leverage it to improve their future prospects. He inspired the Ninjas to step out of their comfort zones and do what most people hesitate to – add a minimum of 20 influential people to one’s connection every day while sending scheduled emails on one’s professional and academic development every 3-4 months to all connections in order to gain more visibility. This tactic bore fruit for Mr Kumar as he landed 5 offers through LinkedIn alone by the time he graduated as an MBA. LinkedIn is a platform which every professional should use to the extent of its potential and connect with a number of people who would eventually open doors to more gainful opportunities and a fruitful career ahead.

Concluding Thoughts

The session turned out to be an extremely enlightening experience and this was evident by the whirlwind of questions Mr Kumar received from the ever-enthusiastic Great Lakers. To wrap it up, the talk delivered by Mr Kumar will forever be etched in our minds as we prepare ourselves and follow his advice for our placement season and look for the right jobs in the right firms with the right attitude and approach. Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, expresses its deepest gratitude to Mr Rohit Kumar for sharing his extremely valuable insights with the upcoming graduates.

Author: Arpit Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

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

The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

The Success Mantra for Start-Ups: Great Lakes Guest Lecture Series

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr DEEPAK GOEL

CEO – KARMACIRCLES

“Do. Or Do Not. There is no try” – Yoda, Jedi Master

Understanding of the above quote is an important pre-requisite for an entrepreneur to be successful. The path of Entrepreneurship is the one that is filled with utmost uncertainties that one can face compared to the other naturally progressing career options.

Being an aspiring entrepreneur, Great Lakes, offered me ample opportunities to interact and learn directly from the masters of this trade. As the campus is located in the corporate hub of the country, Great Lakes, Gurgaon enables extensive industry engagement with entrepreneurs, CXOs and industry experts as they visit the campus regularly to share their perspectives with the future business leaders of the nation. That’s how our batch (PGDM 2017-19) got to meet Mr Deepak Goel, CEO & Founder Karmacircles.

Mr Deepak Goel’s Guest Lecture at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon was a compilation of his life and thought processes that aimed at providing the students with a more Entrepreneurial viewpoint of life rather than just living in terms of pay packages. An IIT-Delhi educated techie who went on to live the “American Dream” with his job at Microsoft to pursuing his MBA at UC, Berkeley to working at multiple companies from scratch with an entrepreneurial spirit and making them grow to where they are today, he has worn multiple hats because of his multi-faceted skill sets. This is what differentiates him from the other bunch of entrepreneurs, at least in the Indian context. He truly learnt the art of Entrepreneurship in and out, theoretically and practically to be able to follow his life calling of creating Karmacircles.

The lecture was a mix of Startup Organizational Culture, Valuation of Startups, General Principles of Success and quite an insightful bunch of advice to the multiple questions asked by the Students.

At the start of the lecture, he laid a very simple formula for a successful startup involving just four steps. (1) Identify the problem you want to solve, (2) Solve the problem, (3) Monetize the Solution created and then (4) go for more money to scale up the solution. A rather simple algorithm which in reality is really difficult to follow as even developing/handling that one simple product/solution is quite complex. This is what calls for the Product Management Concept. Explaining his understanding and experiences in Product Management, he expressed dissatisfaction of how Product Management is done or pursued by organizations in India as it still remains to be a highly misunderstood concept in the country. Being a seasoned professional in the field, he emphasized how the concept can help in building successful products within a company, going on to creating multiple successful companies within a big company, like Google. Working at Microsoft, he knew much more about Google and its processes than Microsoft which earned him the name of “The Google Guy.” He then shared some insights as to how Google managed its Product Line and has grown from a Search Engine to the huge yet entrepreneurial tech-conglomerate it is today.

He then went on to share his learning experiences under the guidance of Eric Ries of the Lean Startup fame and even Eric Ries’ Guru Steve Blank. The two major concepts he learnt were The Value Hypothesis and Growth Hypothesis. When these philosophies are incorporated in a company in its ideation phase, it significantly enhances its probability of achieving long-term success, thereby, ensuring value and growth creation.

Explaining Value Hypothesis, Mr. Goel talked in detail how companies can create value. Not just in monetary terms, but value that customers can relate to. But for doing so, the companies must have an eagle eye vision of the solution of the problem that they set out to tackle. Giving real examples from the start-up and corporate world, he differentiated how certain companies create value straight away to companies that create value over time.

Constantly comparing his Valley experience to his Indian experience, he stated that Indian start-ups and new-age companies mainly focus only on creating monetary value but not the intangible value and many of those companies go on to create initial momentum, to a great extent monetize it, but keep pushing their goalposts for the value creation. One of the main questions he raised during the lecture was whether these companies will be able to continue the momentum once the cash inflow slows down.

Explaining Growth Hypothesis, he talked about continuously doing what you do best and create personal and home-ground advantage in areas as such to create a true product that can grow sustainably over time.

Commenting on the Indian attitude of approaching jobs, he shared his story further and explained how he took several pay cuts in order to expand his learning curve, something he finds lacking in the Indian scenario. Linking the topic, he shared the factors one should consider while taking up a new job and said that the person you are going to work for, is the most important factor. Not being completely driven by package but rather through the group one is going to work with and the learning outcome one has out of the job as other major factors. He advised students to be ethical and act professionally when it comes to working in organizations.

In the last few minutes of the lecture, he gave a brief glimpse of his passions which include, Social Networks, Mentoring, and creating valuable products that solve problems. Being an aspiring entrepreneur myself, I found this session to be the most illuminating.

Such interactions with industry stalwarts prepare the students for the challenges of the business world and Great Lakes gives utmost importance to these guest lectures as they are the most crucial ingredient for developing business ready managers. The importance of these interactions is evident with the fact that 150 plus industry leaders, entrepreneurs and CXOs have visited Great Lakes last year and shared their valuable insights with the students to prepare them for what’s to come.

Author: S SnehanshN

PGDM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

The Great Lakes Approach to Learning Microeconomics

The Great Lakes Approach to Learning Microeconomics

The concepts of microeconomics are the driving force behind the key personal and business financial decisions that we make in our daily lives. Therefore, it is imperative to understand the core fundamentals of microeconomics via experimentation rather than through mere theoretical observation. Coming from a technical background, my concepts of economics were, let’s just say, a bit blurry. But, I and many of my classmates who share the same academic and industry background learnt the entire concept of Microeconomics in a matter of days through experimentation.

The Micro-Economics project of Term-I at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon was very different. As part of this project, the batch of 120 students was divided into groups of six and every group had to start a business inside the college campus. The business could be anything from product manufacturing and home & personal care to food delivery and miscellaneous services. Our investment cap for the business was established at INR 500 and initially it seemed impossible to start a business under that amount. But all the groups then started analyzing the market, needs and demand of their target customers. Everyone did extensive market research before starting the businesses to understand the requirements and needs of their target market. Market research was done through questionnaires, by conducting interviews, taking suggestions etc. Every group collected the primary data about their prospective customers before starting the business. After the research was over, it was time to put it to use and execute the business idea. There were twenty groups and hence, twenty businesses. Some of these were SantaKaBanta (a soda point corner), Fortune Coffee (a small scale coffee house and coffee delivery service), IceExpress, DeliverIt, a Bhelpuri corner etc.

Our group started a business named “Need2Home.” It was a delivery business in which we delivered anything and everything that is required by the students on a daily basis and could be bought from the nearby areas. On day 1 we designed our team’s pamphlet and distributed those among the students and staff members. We then started taking orders. Initially, we didn’t get many orders and most of the orders that we did get were from immediate friends. But, slowly our business started picking pace and after 2-3 days of providing impeccable services, we became quite famous among the students. We enjoyed managing all the important aspects of running a business like marketing, operations and maintaining balance sheets. Although it was a project of Microeconomics, we applied the knowledge of all the subjects that we had learnt in Term-1 of our course.

We had quite a free hand when it came to experimenting with our business. We (i) fluctuated the price of the services depending upon the market conditions (ii) reduced the profit margin (iii) made demand forecasts etc. Initially, we had kept a higher profit margin but due to severe competition from another team, we had to lower our margins. However, due to this, we managed to secure a large number of orders and as a result also managed to increase our sales figures substantially. And yes, we had a competitor in this small business space. We also felt threat from Amazon, Flipkart and other e-commerce entities because, as a small scale business, we did not plan on entering the online marketplace.

The Happy Customers!

Altogether, it felt like having a real business. By the time the project got over we earned more than INR 5000 in revenue. Considering the fact that we invested about 100 bucks in the venture, it was a tremendous achievement.

Finally, we had to prepare a report based on the data collected from our business. We used all the basic concepts such as demand equations, curve, cost function, profit maximization, regression analysis and demand forecasting techniques to prepare the business report.

This project helped us in the following ways: (i) It broadened our vision towards the various business dimensions, (ii) It helped us understand the concepts of Microeconomics, and, (iii) it gave us the ability to realize and overcome the challenges in business world.

It was truly an extensive and amazing learning experience and we enjoyed every bit of it. I believe such projects help a lot in practical understanding of the theoretical concepts and we are extremely grateful to our faculty, Dr V.P Singh Sir, and the college for providing us such wonderful opportunities to learn in a practical manner.

Authors: Akhilesh Tripathi & Shubham Singh

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Sitting in the Hall of Fame

Even at the age of 80, Dr Bala V. Balachandran, is an inspiration to many and a motivation to many more. His energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and, most importantly, wit are the key traits that make him so loved and respected by all.

Having an opportunity to attend his class was truly a blessing. After interacting with this great gentleman, I often kept wondering what is it like to be successful at the age of 80? What keeps him going?

When asked the same, Uncle Bala said, it’s the enthusiastic students and their never ending thirst of knowledge. Seeing, interacting, teaching and always being surrounded by people in their twenties make him feel twenty at heart and the love and respect that he receives from then is what encourages him to achieve more and do more for them. Well, this is ‘attitude being gratitude’ at its finest and speaks volumes about the character of this phenomenal person. It is in my personal opinion, that it’s not just being successful but doing it the right way is what differentiates the men from the boys.

So, what was it like to attend his class? The aura of the class comprising of the enthusiasm of the students and the respect that he commanded were among the first oblivious things that can be observed. The constant humour, witty one-liners, the command and expertise over the subject (duh! he is the pioneer of the subject) and his constant real-time illustrations are the composition of his class.

The key take away for a student from Uncle Bala’s class are the real life experiences shared, industry specific problems defined and the strategic methods implemented to solve the same which are in correlation with your academic subjects helping you bridge the gap and connect the dots.

In his short stay of 3 days and 10 hours of classes, he has given us much to cherish and the impression that he has left on us students will be everlasting.

Author: Ashwin AN

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon