Celebrating the 80 Years of Dr Bala V. Balachandran

It was the day of Guru Purnima when we were to meet the founder of our prestigious institute, Dr Bala V. Balachandran and it was an honour to be with him to celebrate his 80th Birthday on this auspicious day. All 270 students on campus were extremely excited to be the first ones to welcome him here in India. The campus was bussing with hyperactivity, students were preparing for the cultural event in every corner of the campus with never seen before passion, and kaleidoscopic colours of ethnic dresses could be seen everywhere. The entire aura of the campus was exuding enthusiasm as we were looking forward to celebrating our Guru’s birthday on the eve of Guru Purnima.

The amphitheatre had massive arrangements to make the upcoming evening etched in our hearts forever. A great stage was setup with a potpourri of decorations, lights and cameras, and each one of us was instilled with delight to welcome our founder with sparkling energy and zest.

Everyone was spellbound when he finally arrived. The energy that he has even at the age of 80 is something you’ll have to see to believe.

The evening started with birthday greetings given by great dignitaries and our dear faculty members. The heart touching poem on the journey of Dr. Bala written and recited by our very own professor, Dr. V.P. Singh awestruck everyone present in the amphitheatre. This poem was all about struggle and challenges faced by Uncle Bala and how he managed to overcome all the challenges to shine bright like a star. In the words of Uncle Bala, “A great aptitude with a good attitude takes us to a higher altitude” and he has gone way beyond the extra mile to prove it.

Next, it was time for students to showcase their talents for which they had put in a lot of effort, taking out time from their busy schedules and practising rigorously to greet Uncle Bala. There were some fabulously mesmerising performances comprising of dance, drama, singing and the stage was completely on fire. The energy of the Great Lakers didn’t end here, we had a spectacular flash mob where all the students joined and performed an amazing random act.  We also had an electrifying power-packed dance performance which was a mix of Bollywood, Bhangra and Fusion. I really enjoyed being part of the flash mob and the group dance performance. Not only did we had relentless practise sessions (helped me lose some weight as well :P), but also learnt so much from peers, made great friends and had the most memorable time of our lives.

 

 

 

 

 

Uncle Bala was fascinated and spell bound by the amount of energy and creative young talent we have at our institute. He gave us his blessings and sang a beautiful song for all of us. It was an unforgettable moment for everyone in attendance. All his teachings and inspirational words have motivated us to move ahead and achieve great heights with a positive attitude. The heart-felt memories of this day would be cherished by us forever.

Last but not the least, we all wish that you keep on climbing the ladder of success and keep on inspiring us for many more years to come. Wish you an amazing year ahead, Uncle Bala.

Author: Sakshi Khurana

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

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The Pilot Episode: ‘The one with the Sweet Beginning’

Even as we were in the first week of our stay inside our lush green campus in Gurgaon, thoughts like – getting ourselves accustomed to the hostel scenario,  interacting and knowing our peers, a probable change in our biological and sleep cycles and the hunch of going back to books(that still feels intimidating) were on our minds. A plethora of similar emotions was playing a strange medley in and around us. Then, Great Lakes came up with the outbound trip to Rishikesh, the most fitting pilot episode to our newest series in life- The B school experience.

Our trip began on 19 May as we boarded our buses and started our long and fun filled night. Antakshari, Dumb charades, singing and dancing were the norm for the night… This was just the beginning!

We reached our pristine and beautiful campsite ‘Life missions’ in the morning and got ourselves ready for a day filled with unforgettable adventures. We split into two groups. One group geared up for a thrilling tryst with Rappelling as another started for an electrifying Rafting experience on the river Ganges.

As I braced myself for my rendezvous with rappelling, I could not help but wonder what it would feel like. The thought of hanging from a tall bridge with just a rope to our rescue felt awesome! I am obviously talking for myself. I am sure the same was not the case for people with Acrophobia. 😀

Cut to the actual experience, it did feel awesome! It was amazing to let go and hang almost perpendicular to the bridge and slowly descend systematically. It also gives a sense of trusting the guide who was giving all the instructions. Trust is what drives all businesses! In retrospect, it seems there was so much of sub-conscious learning happening.

Next, we had a team exercise of building a bridge with straws. Working in teams and collaborating amongst each other was a fun learning experience, to say the least.

As the day approached noon, we returned to our campsite, had lunch and eagerly prepared ourselves for Rafting. The review provided by the other group that returned added on to the excitement. We started off and reached a location called ‘Marine drive’, strapped ourselves with life jackets and helmets, and made sure we took proper instructions given by the Rafting coordinator. I can vouch for the entire batch by saying that this experience was, without any argument, the highlight of the trip.

As we started rowing our rafts in unison, we came across quite a few surprises. For a person who is new to the rafting world, the idea of encountering ‘rapids’ was massively thrilling. Our coordinator gave us direct and lucid instructions before each of the four rapids we challenged. These were:

  1. Good evening
  2. Sweet 16
  3. Roller coaster
  4. The three blind mice

Each of these rapids has a special memory with all of us. Experiences like standing inside the raft with the probability of falling over, taking a toss in the river, witnessing an ever-beautiful landscape across the river and getting ourselves lost in a myriad of senses and thrills as we witnessed the beautiful sunset are a few souvenirs we took back home from this experience.

As the Rafting escapade ended, we had one more learning experience in the form of a raft building exercise that was veritably fun filled and utterly enriching.

Coming back to our campsite, an evening with the bonfire and music awaited us. With our batch having a talent spectrum ranging from professional violin players, drummers and guitarists to melodious singers and dancers, this evening was exactly what we needed to feel refreshed.  As we dispersed to our tents after such a happening day, we all had a sense of belonging amongst each other.

We struggled to wake up the next day, but Palhan Sir’s meditation session filled us with reinvigorated energy as we headed off to a trek. Returning from a short hike, we had one final meet up focusing on the assessment for the two group activities. It was fun witnessing all the teams doing interesting introductions and victory dances.

None of us was in a mood to leave Rishikesh and the trip back to Gurgaon did seem long. Nevertheless, the end of this eventful trip marked the start of our ‘B-School’ journey.’ A journey that will surely be filled with ups and downs just like the rapids that we faced in Rishikesh. But if we work together then I’m positive that we’ll all get a chance to perform our victory dances at the end of this year.

 

‘IN THE MIDST OF MOUNTAINS’

A trip to a beautiful place,

Uttarakhand, you blessed us with your grace.

Driving through your mountains’ maze,

Mesmerised by your rain’s presence.

Drifting down the bridge like a pro,

Amidst the mountains’ meadow.

To get rid of phobia of heights,

Rappelling was an amazing exercise.

Ganga, the mightiest of the rivers

Embraced us with all her ardour.

Feeling the quivers in her waters,

Rafting, an experience gifted to us.

An evening with a Bonfire,

Music, you are the sire.

Guitar, Violin and Drums singing to its melody,

Musicians tuning to all its glory.

Staring at the sky of twinkling stars,

Sleeping in the mother nature’s arms.

Opening eyes to the beautiful misty morning,

Waking up to the sun between the mountains, rising.

Meditating early in the morning,

Trekking through the hills in the surrounding.

Relaxing by the river that’s flowing,

Folks playing water volleyball, enjoying.

An end to a beautiful journey,

A lovely opening to a new Odyssey,

Cheers to a lot of memories,

As a fan of F.R.I.E.N.D.S, It is

‘The One with a Sweet Beginning’.

 

Authors: Samuel Johnson & Prithvi Naadig

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

International Yoga Day 2017 – An Exhilarating & Rejuvenating Experience

 

“Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self and to the self”

      -Bhagavad Gita

Yoga provides a holistic workout wherein it helps us beat the stress and attain inner peace by relaxing the mind, making internal organs healthier and toning our body. Three years ago our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, persuaded the United Nations to declare 21st June as the International Yoga Day and the third edition of International Yoga Day was celebrated with full zest and enthusiasm by the Gladiators (PGPM batch 2017-18) at the Gurgaon campus of Great Lakes Institute of Management.

The day started with all the students geared up to take a step towards a better and healthier future. It was a time to recall the disciplines that originated in ancient India. Our entire batch of 120 students, along with our dear Prof. S K Palhan, did asana and pranayama to embark on the journey of a healthier and happy mind. The following meditation session was full of tranquillity and helped us eliminate all our anxiety and worries. Yoga session was followed by team games and nutritious breakfast comprising of detoxifying drink and fruits.

The ultimate purpose of International Yoga day is to promote Yoga and endeavour towards making it a part and parcel of everyone’s daily routine. Needless to say, the benefits of a yogic routine are numerous and keeping this in mind, we, as the future business leaders, pledged to practice yoga in our daily lives making the day truly successful.

 

Author: Sakshi Khurana

PGPM Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Annual Sports Meet: the fight to win!

It was one helluva of an event that had the perfect mix of enthusiasm, dedication and the fight to win.

great-lakes-gurgaon-annual-sports-meet

The annual sports day concluded on Sunday, 27th October with much fanfare and fun minus all the mishaps (READ: Injuries, pains, muscle tears) etc. The games had all the teams of Vulcans-PGPM Energy’15, Ojas-PGPM Energy’14 and Titans PGPM’14 along with Alumni and Faculty teams meeting each other for the first time on fun grounds and playing against each other, with ferocious spirit of winning the game and upholding the spirit of being fair… with one and all… So, whether it was football or cricket everyone came out with their set of ploys for the game and played with their full might.

When it comes to sports the common myth of girls not being sporty enough went for a complete toss when even the girls of the three teams came out in the open and played with full enthusiasm and aplomb. On the other hand no game is complete without the perfect audience and our fellow Lakers were very dedicated when it came to a fan base… So be it braving the cold or the harsh sun… the Lakers were all game for the GAME!!!

great-lakes-gurgaon-sports-winners

As the games ended it was time to savour some hot piping pooris with rice, sabjis et al at our very own Swiss cottage kitchen! Which was a foodie’s delight for those two days of pure fun.

As the curtains closed for the sports day, it was time to announce the winners and the losers; but all in the spirit of game!

great-lakes-sports-meet-result-table

Wish this wouldn’t have ended so soon! Hope to come back again with more fun unlimited!

Happy reading 🙂

Warm Regards,
Events Committee
Great Lakes, Gurgaon

An odyssey to remember

Long before we stepped foot into Great Lakes Gurgaon, we received an email saying that we’re going for a team building program to Rishikesh. Considering that it was a land that I had never been on, I decided to go. Moreover, who would say no to river rafting and rappelling?

Come 24th May, we left Gurgaon for the trip. Although, in a most congested thing that was claimed to be a bus – a little box which was the only negative of the whole trip. Well, guess that was an apt beginning to our outbound training – as the whole purpose of the trip was to open our minds and teach us the art of ‘adapting to change’. It’s said, a true champion can adapt to anything and indeed, we needed the skill to ace the one year program!

After a tough night, we reached Camp Alpinestar. And guess what? We had to embark on a tiny trek (with luggage et al.) just to reach the campsite. But the view that awaited us was worth it – tents by the riverside and the sacred Ganges gushing in all its glory right by it. Yes, it was awesome.

We were split into two groups with three teams each. Group one (with me) went for rappelling and Group two went for rafting.

On the way to Stream Rappelling...

On the way to Stream Rappelling…

Wow! Where do I start about the trek? I’m contemplating on whether to start with how unfit we all were or how super fit the guides were. With temperatures burning our face off, we started climbing from some random point. A few minutes into it and we were like “Dude, this is not a trek. This is easy.” Clearly, we spoke too soon as like in the video games the trek just got tougher and tougher! Long breaths, frequent breaks and gazillion liters of water later, we finally reached our destination. All our fatigue vanished the instant we jumped into the icy cold water.  “The climb was worth it”, was all we could say while the guides were setting up the rappelling gears. It took us close to two hours to finish the rappelling. The most difficult part of rappelling was the start. After that, it was a (not so gentle) breeze and we enjoyed every bit of it. Then we headed back to the camp to grab some lunch and prep up for river rafting.

Geared up for Rafting...

Geared up for Rafting…

Stepping out right after lunch was a difficult choice. But then, that was our only choice! So, off we went for rafting. The currents were pretty strong that evening (that would make us go faster \m/). After a safety speech by our very own “fake Brit accent Rishikesh guide”, we were all set to have the time of our lives!  Braving the strong rapids, continuous rowing and a dip in the Ganges is something one can only be experienced. And I’m glad I did!

“Bunta”, a popular drink in the region was available on the river bank – a must have if you go to Rishikesh. So, of course we all had to have it! What more can you ask for in a day? Well, a bon-fire night that ended with delight and peals of laughter at our very own guitarist Abhinav Tiwari’s talent and antiques! That done, we called it a night. Well, to be precise, a full moon night without electricity which we survived with torches and mobiles.

Come 6 AM next day, and we were all up and ready for a refreshing meditation session by the Ganga. Prof Palhan explained to us the benefits of meditation and each of us made a mental note to incorporate this much needed eight minutes into our daily routines.

Meditating on the bank of Ganga!

Meditating on the bank of Ganga!

Then, we moved on to a few fun and interesting team building exercises like the Frisbee relay and the Egg drop game which helped us know our team mates better before leaving the camp for Gurgaon with a lifetime of memories.

New Beginnings @ Great Lakes Gurgaon…

Landed at the Delhi airport and the first thing I thought was that my face was going to tear off because of the 40 degree heat wave. It made the Chennai heats seem like a breeze. FACT!

Thank God for the AC cab, I made it to the college. The admissions team handed over a few documents for me to fill and then there was the long wait for sorting through the fee, accommodation and scorecard papers. Finally, I was done with the registration process around 4 pm and was ready to be taken to what would be my home for the next year.

Day 1 of induction started with a bang and gave us a proper feel of the year that was to be.  With more than 10 hours of interactive sessions with our Directors and professors and fantastic Powertalks from CXOs of 2 companies – Mr. Sandeep Aggarwal, Founder and CEO, Shopclues.com and Mr. Eric Fridolfsson, South Asia Head, IKEA, followed by a farewell cum welcome party in the evening – our day was jam packed. And all this, even before the course had actually begun. Looked like it would turn out to be a year to look forward to!

The first day also taught us a lesson in contingency planning for the lectures that were supposed to be round up by 5:30pm continued till 7:30pm leaving us with no chance to go back to our hostels and change. And we did well for beginners. For, come 8 pm, we were at Club Rhino, ready to party in our full fledged business attires!

Great Lakes Farewell and Welcome Party

L to R – Titans Rithvik, Richa, Ehtisham and Yogesh @ Club Rhino, Gurgaon.

Great Lakes Gurgaon Titans Party

and when the drinks kicked in !

 

 

Seeing the professors and seniors recollecting their time together made us realize that we were only a year away from a party like this organized for us and that, indeed, there was no time to stand and stare in a yearlong MBA program!

But all good things come to an end. And so did the party. And finally, we headed back to our rooms wondering whether we could battle the hangover and wake up early enough to make it to the Convocation the next morning!

Yogesh Babu

A proud Titan
PGPM Class of 2014
Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon