Understanding Analytics and Data Science in the IT Consulting Landscape


Mr. Arindam Mukhopadhyay,
Vice President & Global Head of Consulting COE, Gartner

Studying at Great lakes, Gurgaon brings unique experiences for Jaguars every day. Adding further to our enriching experience, we recently had a very exciting session with the Team Gartner. The speakers including Mr. Arindam Mukhopadhyay, VP & Global Head of Consulting COE, Mr. Sushant Mondal , Sr. Consultant and Mr. Ravi Anand, Campus Recruiter explained the topic and also spoke on  how Gartner functions for providing consultation to the IT Companies.

Beginning the session, a student introduced our guests to the audience stating their achievements, which left us Great Lakers in awe. Excited at the opportunity to learn from the best, the students welcomed our guests with a huge round of applause. Kicking off the talk for the day, Mr. Ravi gave a brief outline of the talk. He then handed over the mic to Mr. Arindam who introduced the students to Gartner and the ideals and ethics the company was built around. He then elaborated upon the various industries that Gartner provided its consulting to, customer service and support, finance, marketing and sales, research and development, etc. being a few of them. The consulting prowess of Gartner was made clear and it was welcomed as such by the eager audience.

“Trusted insights, strategic advice and practical solutions, is what Gartner offers its clientele.”, said Mr. Arindam. “Who do we serve? And “What do we do?” were the questions that flashed on the projector screen, the answers to which were extensive and exhaustive in nature. Leaving no bits out, Mr. Arindam helped create a mental image about Gartner, about what they do and how they go about doing it and finally he addressed what being an employee at Gartner entails. With this he ended his talk and called upon Mr. Sushant to take over the talk.

Mr. Sushant Mondal,
Senior Consultant, Gartner

Mr. Sushant,senior consultant at Gartner immediately won over the crowd with his smiling face and sweet demeanour. He began his part of the lecture with a question,“What is AI?”, to which he got numerous answers from the informed crowd. Welcoming all the responses, he added “The bare bones definition of AI could be,automation of something that a human can do.” The talk then briefly ventured into what AI can be in the future and how and when it will surpass the intelligence of humans. Coming back to the present, our jolly guest explained to the students the hows’ and whats’ of data. “Data is generated in huge amounts but the inferences that can and should come through the data are absent. This is where Gartner comes in. We analyse the data, provide actionable insights to the clients and help solve their business problems”, said Mr. Sushant. Adding to it he continued, “Most consultants end their work here, but at Gartner we also help with the execution of these strategies if the company desires it.”

Moving forward, Mr. Sushant gave intricate details about the processes that are followed by Gartner to provide the best possible consultation to their clientele. He then gave a few real-life examples of how Gartner had helped companies from different industries like healthcare, pension fund and manufacturing. An impromptu case was presented to the students from them to work upon in a way similar to how Gartner would, the solutions to which were then discussed.

This was indeed an extremely informative and detailed lecture by Gartner, the likes of which our Jaguars had not experienced. We are thankful to Gartner for dedicating their resources for our students, who left the auditorium which was beaming with gratitude.

Authored by Indrajeet Vadgama, PGDM ’20, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Advertisements

Analytics and Artificial Intelligence: An enlightening session with Mr. Jaidev Deshpande

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES

Mr. Jaidev Deshpande

Senior Data Scientist, Gramener

Picture this, you’ve just had a scrumptious meal and you’re now back at your desk. The mirage of a soft bed and a warm pillow invites you to indulge in a little afternoon siesta. Your eyes feel heavy already. But if you’re a Great Laker, it would rather be a different story altogether. The ever-energetic Jaguars (and Aztecs) of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, had suited-up and gathered in the auditorium for an interesting take at Analytics and Artificial Intelligence by Mr. Jaidev Deshpande, Senior Data Scientist, Gramener, orgainzed at the campus recently. Taking the eager and curious students on a journey, our storyteller opened the talk with a brief introduction of what data analytics entails. He started off by displaying a beautiful image of ice-capped mountain ranges and asked the students to find out what’s wrong about the picture. A light murmur rang throughout the room as the students put their grey-matter to use, one of the attendees was able to identify that the peaks were extraordinarily pointed. Impressed, Mr. Jaidev said, “You are correct, the mountains are superimposed on a graph, of the US 2008 Recession to be precise.”

Moving on, he took the students on a virtual tour of the work he and his team had performed and the pinnacles they had achieved over time. He won over the enthusiastic students with the mind-boggling inferences and patterns that can come out of the data. “Nothing is random”, as Mr. Jaidev would like to state, is quite true in a practical sense. In order to drive his point home, he had a few students come up to the podium and arrange themselves randomly. Well, randomness was just an illusion, as the students were smitten when he explained that even that randomness had a pattern, which manifested itself on close observation.

The next part of his talk emphasised on knowing how to think, in terms of System 1 and System 2 thinking. Establishing references to the seminal work, “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, Mr. Jaidev explained the concept of “Availability Heuristic” through real life examples from his own personal and professional life. He further explained the significant hindrance that biases can have on the pattern recognition in data. Again, to illustrate his point, Mr. Jaidev engaged the students in identifying patterns in certain charts and data visualizations. His hypothesis was immediately confirmed and he concluded saying, “As soon as you see data, you try and find patterns in it. But these patterns are biased and you miss out on the bigger picture.”

Mr. Jaidev delivered a truly eye-opening and awe-inspiring perspective to analytics. The session went beyond just a classroom session and compelled the students to consider the infinite possibilities which they had not fathomed so far. Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon expresses its heartfelt gratitude to Mr. Jaidev for taking his time out and enlightening the curious Great Lakers with lessons that will last for a lifetime.

Author :
Indrajeet Vadgama, PGDM ’20, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon

Establishing a Profitable Start-up

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr APOORV JAIN

VICE PRESIDENT – BUSINESS, URBANCLAP

28th August 2018

“India ranks third amongst the global start-up ecosystem with more than 4,200 new-age companies. We are living in the age of start-ups and the reason behind this is that the youth today has the potential to innovate and the passion of being able to shape their own destiny.” Says Mr Apoorv Jain, VP – Business, UrbanClap, while interacting with Great Lakers.

Mr Apoorv Jain | Vice President Business | UrbanClap

Mr Apoorv Jain: Mr Jain possesses close to 7 years of experience in helping build start-ups both across India and abroad. In his previous work experience, he had worked with brands like Rocket Internet and OfficeYes.com in Operations leadership and P&L leadership roles and served Lazada as Vice President. He has also previously launched Witcraft Marketing Private Limited.

While interacting with Great Lakers, Mr Jain answered some of the most vital questions, aspiring entrepreneurs must ask themselves before embarking upon their entrepreneurial journey.

  1. Why Entrepreneurship?

Mr Jain started the discussion by addressing the most important question – why do people want to become an entrepreneur? “Let’s face it! One of the major motivations for anyone to become a businessman is Money. Maybe not every entrepreneur is in it solely for the financial aspect but finances are a necessary evil.” He added, “Some of you might be in it for the purpose of being in control of your own destiny, but whatever the motivation is, the key is to write down the goal in specific and measurable terms. Goals are always more effective by putting a number on them which can be measured.”

He went on to talk about how budding entrepreneurs are the ones who find themselves leading and not following. Every entrepreneur feels the need to solve a problem and create an impact. The passion with which they drive the solution is what determines the success of the startup. Moving on with examples of successful start-ups, Mr Apoorv explained the 1 by 100 rule, that is, nine out of ten start-ups fail within the first five years of their inception. Out of 100 startups that come into existence, only one makes it to the big picture. “Every day is a success or a failure in the life of an entrepreneur. Intrinsically, not every day in your company can be a success. It is on the days of failure that you need to remind yourself of your goals and missions and stick to them.”

  1. What is the Right Mix of Ingredients for a Perfect Start-up Recipe?

Mr Jain stated that there are a lot of “whats”, “hows”, “whens” and “ifs” that need to be answered before launching an enterprise. If you are an accomplished marketer or a salesperson, you can help the business reach great heights in lesser time. It is beneficial to have a skilled pool of resources within the company, starting with the founding team. Not all successful entrepreneurs have experiences in all business domains, but most of them are true leaders and are passionate about their idea, and that is all that is required.

Another major deciding factor is the investment. Needless to say, this is the tricky part of the journey. To appeal to the investors, you need to sell your idea and to do so you need to believe in your solution to the problem identified. Last but not the least, market trends are vital in deciding the time of the launch. So, one needs to keep following them with an eagle eye.

  1. How to finalize on the idea?

Mr Apoorv answered this question by explaining UrbanClap’s business idea and how it has been able to come up with something that brought a significant change in the way consumers use services and products. He explained, “The start-up should be focused on solving consumers’ problems in an innovative manner. For an entrepreneur to identify a consumer’s problem and solve it, it is necessary to first realize that problem themselves. Either you have experienced the problem in your own life or have seen it in the lives of those around.”

He added, “To act on these ideas and make a decision, you will need to carry out an extensive market research. This helps in understanding the sustainability and longevity of your idea. The millennial generation is growing at an unbelievable pace and the business idea needs to be aligned with the fast-changing technology to stay relevant.”

  1. The Founding Team

“Quality of the founding team is directly proportional to the success and growth of the business. In most cases, the relentless pursuit of the co-founders is what derives the success of a company. There are two categories of people who entrepreneurs choose from, first, the ones they believe are essential for the success of the startup, accounting to their excellent skills and talents and second, the ones without whom they don’t want to continue on their journey of success.”

Mr Jain concluded the interaction on the note that the consumer should always be at the centre of every decision and primary research is very important to ensure customer centricity. Primary research helps in understanding the gaps in the market and in determining the market size. It can also act as an initial motivator to enter into a certain market.

Author: Anindita Srivastava

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Telecommunication – Enabling the Fourth Industrial Revolution

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr SUNIL SAYAL

CFO REGION INDIA, NOKIA SOLUTIONS & NETWORKS

10th September 2018: Nokia, a brand that has a special place in all our hearts. Growing up, there hardly was any kid or adult in the 90s who didn’t own a Nokia. So, both the Ninjas (PGPM) and the Aztecs (PGDM) 2019 batches were supercharged to welcome Mr Sunil Sayal, CFO Region India, Nokia Solutions and Networks. Mr Sayal took the time out to share his immense experience of the telecom industry and talk about the ongoing fourth industrial revolution.

Mr Sunil Sayal | CFO Region India | Nokia Solutions and Networks

Mr Sayal is a finance professional with close to three decades of experience across both MNCs and Indian Corporate houses. He is a member of ICAI and ICSI and holds commerce and law degrees from Delhi University. He has been working in the Telecommunication Industry for the past two decades with Ericsson in the past & currently with Nokia Solutions and Networks and has witnessed its evolution in India since its infancy to the present era.

Mr Sayal started his talk with the history of past industrial revolutions. Steam engine powered industries and rail-roads had sparked the first industrial revolution, followed by the second revolution energized by electricity. The third spurt of massive productivity gains was triggered by development and advancements in the domain of computing and web-based internet. Mr Sayal believes that the fourth industrial revolution would be empowered by the explosion in digital information, Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence, with telecom being its biggest enabler.

He discussed the growth of the telecom industry starting from Analog Voice to current 4G making telecom industry an integral part of everyone’s life. A life without a 4G connection is now not imaginable. Mr Sayal shared interesting facts regarding the contribution of the Telecommunication industry towards the development of India. Having 1146 million subscribers, telecom industry contributes to 6.5% of GDP and has generated over 4 million jobs besides attracting big scale FDI. India and China are currently the #1 consumers in global data traffic. In his words, “We sit on the cusp of a revolution in information”, and the numbers are a definite proof of his statement.

How has Airtel managed to be the #1 company?

Mr Sayal highlighted the factors behind Airtel’s immense success in India. Airtel has been the leader in the telecom industry since its inception and has always enjoyed the biggest pie in the market share. Innovation is one of the biggest factors behind Airtel’s success. To quote him, “Either you innovate or you die out”, and this seems to be the motivation behind Airtel’s mission. Airtel, which had the first mover advantage, capitalized on the opportunities it got and never failed to take the lead in bringing technological changes in its services and quality rather than following the competition. While the strategy of adopting pay-by-capacity and network outsourcing to companies like Nokia and Ericsson has given them the competitive edge in improving the quality and services, having a brilliant brand connect has helped them in establishing the link with high revenue customers.

Why weren’t Vodafone and Idea able to challenge Airtel’s reign?

The two companies which recently merged to become the biggest player in the telecom industry bringing further consolidation in the industry have historically been the second and third biggest companies in the market. The guest discussed the gaps which kind of prevented these two great companies with extremely renowned parentage from challenging Airtel’s reign. Vodafone, which brilliantly established brand connect with its unique advertisements, fell short of providing a better alternative to Airtel’s services. While getting involved in the taxation dispute hurt the company during its early days, being a global company, it was perhaps not so successful when it comes to thinking and executing with local considerations in mind. Idea, too, lagged in establishing a concrete strategy to outsource or insource their networks and were not in a dominating or leading position in the cash-rich telecom circles of the country.

Jio – the disruptor?

The latest entrant in the Industry, Jio, has been able to disrupt the market with its out of the box thinking strategy and huge risk-taking appetite. Jio entered an already saturated market with its ground-breaking innovation and technology and became the first player to launch its services with Pan-India 4G coverage which helped them reach every corner. It launched its services with path-breaking industry-changing cheap tariff plans. While most companies would prefer taking services from well-established brands, Jio took a risk by purchasing the network equipment from a new entrant– Samsung, and invested hugely in R&D from best brains across the globe and provided the best quality services to the consumer. Mr Sayal quoted Mr Ambani, “Data is the new Oil”, which seems like the motivating idea behind Jio’s strategies.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution

For his concluding thoughts, My Sayal explained the contours of the upcoming fourth industrial revolution which will be triggered by the introduction of 5G powered IoT. ”5G delivers extreme broadband, ultra-robust, low latency connectivity, and massive networking for the Internet of Things to enable the programmable world, which will transform our individual lives, economy and society”. Enabling the fourth revolution would require enabling massive capacity everywhere through Ultra-broadband, realizing the agility of software-defined business through Cloud and igniting the new businesses of IoT.

This, in his opinion, was the shape of things to come which will guide the future of the global telecommunication industry.

Author: Arpit Gupta

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

HR – The Way Forward

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr SANJEEV SHARAN

DIRECTOR (HR – GLOBALIZATION) – ZTE TELECOM LTD.

Thursday, 13 September 2018: An enthusiastic crowd, comprised of 100 plus Jaguars (PGDM 2018-20 batch), gathered in the auditorium dressed in business formals looking as sharp as Obsidian Blades, to learn about the significance of HR in companies from one of the best the field has to offer. Mr. Sanjeev Sharan, Director (HR – Globalization), ZTE Telecom Ltd., was in the campus to provide us with in-depth knowledge of the role of HR in the 21st Century and covered various topics like, expectations of businesses from HR, ways in which HR can be the core of a business and clarified if the time is ripe for HR to change to avoid going extinct; in an insightful interaction.

ZTE Telecom Ltd.

ZTE Corporation is a Chinese multinational telecommunications equipment and systems company headquartered in Shenzhen, Guangdong, China. It is one of China’s leading telecom equipment manufacturers. ZTE operates in three business segments – Carrier Networks (~54%)-Terminals (~29%)-Telecommunication (~17%). Being a Chinese company, its workplace policies and culture are quite different from those followed by Indian organizations. This was an interesting insight into work cultures followed by companies outside India for the attending crowd.

Mr Sanjeev Sharan – ZTE Telecom Ltd.

Mr Sanjeev Sharan is currently working as the Director (HR-Globalization) for ZTE Telecom Ltd. and is an accomplished HR Professional with over 24 years of experience in renowned organizations. Mr Sanjeev has been working as Director (HR-Globalization) with ZTE for 4 years and has also worked with MTS Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Reliance in the past. During his professional career, Mr Sanjeev has over 18 years of work experience in the Telecom industry in the HR Department. He is a strategic HR professional with Global experience and has a strong exposure to Culture Building, Performance Management and Business HR. He also headed the Globalization Project based in China with a focus on setting up HR led processes and policies aligned to Global Best Practices.

Role of HR in companies today

Expectations of businesses from HR

Mr Sanjeev started off the lecture by introducing the Great Lakers to the relevance of HR. He explained why people would want to join HR and also stated that HR is about finding the “Right people for the Right role”. According to him, HR is no longer a support function but has matured to be an advisory function. Everything that can be measured, should be measured and HR has the responsibility to find ways to accurately measure the data related to the employees and advice the top management accordingly. Another requirement that businesses have from the HR function is to get into the mindset of the person whom they are investing money in, so as to understand the value that he may provide to the company. He also put forth the fact that technologies are changing at a rapid pace, companies are struggling to keep up with these advances and are now seeking the help of HR to fill the gap between the emerging technologies and the manpower required to utilize these technologies profitably.

HR as the core of businesses

Mr Sanjeev stated that the core functions of the HR department are its “ FLEXIBILITY” in processes. He further explained that Business focus should be “married” to HR focus to achieve higher goals. He then dived into the key areas where currently HR spends maximum time (Recruitment, engagement, payroll and incentive calculation, etc.), brushing up on the tasks that are undertaken in each area. His belief is that “Power of HR is how you align it”, HR practices that are the result of an extensive study of data gathered from various processes within the company will provide more fruition than generic HR practices. Mr Sanjeev then linked business challenges to HR, explaining HR’s role as an advisory figure to business, helping them in building right leadership mindset, measuring productivity, fair evaluation culture, maintaining right talent pool and right people identification.

The Way Forward

The final topic tackled was if the time is ripe for HR to change to avoid becoming obsolete. Mr Sanjeev having two decades’ worth of experience was the perfect person to address this topic as he gave significant insights into the change that already is taking place in the HR departments across the companies around the world. He said, “The age-old HR practices have to be discarded due to the changing work environment. Knowledge is power and this is what HR has to conform to in all its functions. Deep industry and competition knowledge, networking, automation to reduce man-days, focus on culture fitment are few standouts in the recruitment function of HR.” In regard to careers, he stated that “data-based decisions, promotion linked to organization need, capability and performance-based promotion are the factors which build careers.” He then moved to Analytics in HR, as the world today is based on data and the analytics of this data. He explained that there is no place anymore in HR for “I think….& It Should”, as every action and every decision has to be based on appropriate facts and data.

To conclude, it was an exciting and interactive session for the Jaguars which helped the young B-School students understand the nuances of HR and how the theories they learn in classes get applied to the corporate world.

Author: Indrajeet Vadgama

PGDM, Class of 2020, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Holistic View of the Various Nuances of the Tax Structure

Holistic View of the Various Nuances of the Tax Structure

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Ms PREETI KHURANA

EDITOR IN CHIEF – CLEARTAX

Sunday, 19th August 2018: “There is no rest for the wicked.” This idiom was tailor-made for the Great Lakers. When the world enjoys quiet and lazy Sunday mornings, the ambitious Great Lakers are always up and ready in their sharp business formals, armed with their laptops and notepads, to welcome an industry guest in the campus for an interactive learning session. This week we met Ms Preeti Khurana Chief Editor, ClearTax, who expounded the various nuances of the tax filing system, elaborated on the recently implemented GST tax structure and gave the students a holistic view of the Indian tax regimen.

ClearTax

ClearTax began as an “Individual tax return filing” platform. It has now ventured into multiple areas including Tax Cloud which is a bulk return filing system for Chartered Accountants. Along with possessing a dedicated “GST Return System” which facilitates GST invoicing, returns, supplier performance reporting and online e-way bill generation, it also has its own “Investment platform” which is regarded as the #1 platform in India for mutual fund investment. Another differentiated category which ClearTax caters to is the “Start-up regulation”. It helps start-ups remain cognizant of the compliances, manages their accounting and bookkeeping and expedites their tax filing. It is also instrumental in providing comprehensive knowledge about tax regimes, investment and accounting to the people.

Ms Preeti Khurana

Ms Preeti Khurana is currently associated with ClearTax as the Editor in Chief. Prior to this, she has served as a Budget Manager and an Assistant Manager at American Express and PwC respectively. She completed her C.A in 2004 and started her career with PwC. Post that she joined American Express where she spent 7 years of her corporate career, but later on, realized that she wanted to pursue something more exciting. It was then she decided to call it quits and joined ClearTax. At ClearTax she serves in various capacities, which includes customer support for tax filing, sales pitching for the product as well as drafting the complete tax guide at the portal which even a layman could understand. She believes that if you put in your best efforts to accomplish a goal, you will definitely be able to achieve it.

Recent changes in the Financial Services

Technological developments

Ms Khurana started by stating “The future is paperless and presence less” owing to the recent developments on the technological fronts, and how it has impacted the financial sector. She explained that this change has vastly opened up the business avenues by broadening the target market in terms of the tech-savvy users, but it has also opened up new challenges regarding issues like data privacy and data theft. She also talked about how the cumulative use of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT) is changing the face of the Financial Services sector and how the business is being transacted in the global space. “Heightened need for collaboration and threat of competition coupled with the massive amount of regulatory oversight would be prevalent in the times to come” said Ms Khurana. Commenting on the differentiation that the financial companies face, she said that though these organizations are extremely asset light, their core investment area turns out to be data security, rules around which are yet to be framed and this would have several major implications on the taxation.

Worldwide Taxation

She also took the students through the worldwide taxation phenomenon and reiterated that how digital companies like Facebook and Instagram would face challenges in their taxation policies in the times to come owing to the digitalization and globalization. These companies which initially accounted their taxes based on the presence of a Permanent Establishment (PE) will now also be forced to pay taxes in countries where they have a significant economic presence in terms of revenues and subscriber base. This, she said, would have several ramifications as the International Tax laws and treaties would have to be revised. There are also humongous challenges with regard to generation, storage and retrieval of such large amounts of data.

GST

The Goods and Services Tax or the GST implementation was also expounded by Ms Khurana. The students were awestruck with how she explained the entire GST regime in such a lucid manner. She explained the need for switching to the GST system and the flaws which were present in the indirect tax system which led to cascading of taxes, non-compliance and difficulties in tax filing procedures. She further elaborated on how GST has simplified the entire system by bringing all the taxes into the ambit of a single one and the simplification of input credit claims by suppliers, the launch of the e-way bill to prevent leakage of revenues and the easy tracking of the movement of goods throughout the country. Ms Khurana stated that although the new system has simplified the entire tax structure, it has a downside in the form of costs of compliance shooting up, discrepancies in the dating and receiving of tax bills and proper mechanisms to track the interstate movement of goods and contingencies in tax filing for real estate.

To conclude, it was a fruitful session which helped the students in understanding the nitty-gritty of the tax structure and the recent developments in the global marketplace. This knowledge will be a great asset to the students not only aspiring for a career in finance but every single one of us.

Author: Bhawna Ahuja

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

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