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

Alumni Speak: “The two years at Great Lakes helped me understand the dynamics and parameters of management from all possible dimensions.”

Abhijit Panda, a student of PGPM (E) 2015-17 batch, recently got recruited as a Pre-sales Consultant by HCL. Let’s find out what he had to say about his Great Lakes journey.

Q1. What led to your decision of pursuing an MBA?

“I’ll have to start at the beginning for that. I completed my B.Tech in Electrical Engineering from CV Raman College of Engineering Bhubaneswar, Odisha and after working on the technology front in IT sector for four years, the job profile got extremely monotonous and devoid of any sort of real challenge. I wanted to go back to school to unlearn and learn new crafts. I wanted to understand various aspects of business that help professionals take strategic decisions. I also wanted to have a 360-degree outlook of the global business scenario around me. Hence, in order to understand various key aspects of business (Financial, Marketing, Operational etc.), I decided to undertake a formal full time MBA course.”

Q2. How did the two years at Great Lakes help you transform? Did you achieve your goals for which you wanted to pursue an MBA?

“Absolutely. These two years at Great Lakes helped me understand the dynamics of management from all possible dimensions. I could understand the strategies, parameters, regulatory frameworks at play which govern the entire business ecosystem. The intensive classroom teaching along with guest lectures by industry experts broadened my learning curve and the live project opportunities were really helpful for my preparation.”

Q3. Mention two key personality traits that you acquired during your Master’s?

“The two important and key traits were Leadership and Time Management. Being a student council member as well as a member of various committees helped me immensely in acquiring the above-mentioned traits.”

Q4. That is great. So, what all communities were you a part of?

“I was a member of three student committees; BPR (Branding & Public Relations), Toastmasters and CREST (Annual Management Fest).”

Q5. Mention three key highlights of your program.

The three key highlights would be:

  1. Diverse and Industry Relevant Subjects offered in the course.
  2. High-quality Mentoring sessions by Professors
  3. Live project opportunities to enhance skill sets and be industry ready.

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

“My advice to the future Great Lakers would be to come to Great Lakes with an open mind to learn and create new dimensions. You will receive an enormous amount of support from everyone out here as well as ample avenues to showcase your talents. Work hard, build new skills, innovate, participate in prestigious B-school fests and be the best version of yourself as you walk out of the campus post two years.”

Alumni Speak: “What Great Lakes offered was a holistic learning approach that helped me immensely in my career.”

Abhishek Agarwal graduated from Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, in 2016 and is currently working as the Product Manager at 91Mobiles.com. We recently had a chat with him about his professional life after graduation.

Here are some excerpts from the conversation.

 

Q1. What were you doing professionally before joining Great Lakes?

Before I started with my MBA at Great Lakes, I was working at IBM developing business applications in SAP for FMCG and utility sector projects.

Q2. It sounds like you had an interesting job profile there. So, what pushed you towards pursuing an MBA and why did you choose Great Lakes for your Master’s?

Yes, it sure was an interesting and challenging job profile, but I realised that there are limitations to how much impact one can have on the decision-making without developing business skills and perspective. Once this realisation kicked in, doing an MBA was the fastest route to achieving my goals.

The prime reasons for choosing Great Lakes, Gurgaon, were the one year advantage, world-class curriculum and the location. Also, a lot of hard work and dedication went into getting accepted in this prestigious institute.

Q3. How did the one year at Great Lakes help you transform?

First of all, I’d like to clear the misconception that one-year MBA’s course structure and curriculum is less challenging than its two-year counterpart. If anything, the one year MBA curriculum is more arduous in nature than a two year one, as you learn the same amount of concepts and fundamentals in lesser time. And trust me when I say that the one year at Great Lakes was so hectic and challenging that now I feel I can take any challenge thrown in my way by the corporate world head-on quite comfortably with poise and ease. Also, Great Lakes made me more of a logical and structural thinker, which is extremely important for my current job role.

Q4. Tell me more about your current organisation and job role.

I am currently working as a Product Manager at 91Mobiles, which is a Gurgaon based startup that helps people find the right gadget at the right price. My job role encompasses everything from product conceptualization to its final implementation.

Q5. Mention the key highlights of your GL experience.

  1. Enlightening guest lectures, unparalleled practical exposure via industry interaction and great faculty
  2. Learning and fun always went hand in hand.
  3. And most importantly, I don’t think I slept for more than 4 hours per day on an average, during my one year at Great Lakes.

Q6. How would you describe the peer learning experience in and beyond the classroom at Great Lakes?

It was, without a doubt, a great experience meeting and learning from the people of my batch who came from diverse professional backgrounds. It made me understand the corporate world from so many different points of views. There is just so much that you can learn in a classroom, but what Great Lakes offered was a chance to learn even from my batch-mates and it is this type of holistic learning approach that helped me immensely in my career.

Q7. What advice would you like to give to the future Great Lakers?

I would just like to tell them to make the most of their time here at Great Lakes as it will prepare them for the corporate world. You can learn a lot from the faculty and your peers, so keep your eyes and ears open all the time and learn as much as you can. Also, build a solid network as you never know when and where that scrawny kid or the school jock would be able to get you out of a mess or help you crack a deal. Always remember Uncle Bala’s (Great Lakes’ Dean Padmashri Dr. Bala V Balachndran) words, “Your network is your net worth.”

Purple Cow

Destructive marketing is built in products

Traditional ways of marketing are gone. The old virtuous cycle of ‘buy ads – get distribution –sell product – buy ads’ is now gone for good. So, what is the new way to cut the hyper-clutter and stand out in marketing and sell your product?

Stop advertising and start innovating.

Seth Godin, the marketing guru and bestselling author, explains the new era marketing strategy in a unique manner of a purple cow. Suppose you are travelling to someplace and you see the normal black and white cows that you encounter almost every day. Would you look at them twice? Would you talk to your friends about them? No, right? But, what if it’s a purple cow? The chances of discussing a purple cow are definitely much higher. In the same manner, any product which is remarkably different than the ones existing in the industry will raise curiosity among the potential customers.

Remarkable Product

It comes from people who are making something for themselves.  From here, they are able to project the same for multiple audiences. Here are a few examples:

  • Howard Schultz spent months in Italy, drinking coffee and learning. He was in love with coffee. Thus, Starbucks evolved.
  • Rony Abovitz, CEO Magic Leap, drew inspiration from his childhood fascination with scientific fiction in Star Wars. Later, he started working on augmented reality in his garage in Miami and went on to becoming the fastest Unicorn after first equity round.
  • Ray Kroc, coming from the sales background, fell in love with McDonald’s on his very first visit. Later, during the opening of his first store in Chicago, he emphasised on creating the exact taste of French fries and went on to contact research fellows in many universities to replicate the same Californian taste.
  • At around late 2007, roommates Chesky and Gebbia could not afford the rent for their apartment in San Francisco.They decided to put their loft on rent online(on their own website) with beds for three guests and homemade morning breakfast. They named this concept as Air bed and breakfast which is now known as Airbnb.
  • On a snowy Paris evening in 2008, Travis Kalanick and Garrett Camp had trouble hailing a cab. In order to solve this very obvious and every day modern human problem, they started Uber – tap a button, get a ride. How simple can it get!

Sneezers

Zespri had a daunting task to launch a new kind of kiwi which is golden in colour with an edible peel. Instead of mass marketing the new food in U.S., Zespri took a risk and introduced it in an upscale Latino community. This community is a regular eater of mangoes and papaya which closely resembles the new kiwi but tastes very different. Such niche Latino community had both the time and the inclination to try something new and different. Over a period of time, this Kiwi grew in popularity among Latinos that Zespri (back in 2001) made a business of $100 million worth.

Sneezers are the first category of people on earth who will, willingly, learn about your product, take the risk to try a product, and bear the pain of introducing it to their friends. This way, marketing strategy becomes much more productive and cheaper. Another benefit in targeting such genre of potential customers is that they are always on the lookout for new stuff. This requires minimum advertisements and marketing expenditure. All you need is to be creative enough to come in their eyesight and, automatically, the rest of the story unfolds.

In case, if you are short of ideas,

  • Find the niche market
  • Create the remarkable product in the right way 

Law of Diffusion

Today, even with narrowing down your potential customers through digital means, your marketing efforts can still fail. The reason being you are one of the 50 marketers who is targeting the same individual for the same set of products and services.

Hence, rather than a push marketing, marketers should devise a pull strategy.

 

law-of-diffusion

  1. Left to Right

Most of us are already aware of ‘Crossing the Chasm’ by Geoff Moore. How can’t it be given a serious thought over here? An idea spreads from innovators to early adopters to the early/late majority (sneezers comes before these). The company should target the innovators and early adopters and strategically build the initial marketing efforts around these two categories. Using the typical mass media strategies would not be of much help at this stage.

  1. Marketing Budget Offloading

The maximum sales and profits come from early and late majority people. Only when your product is being accepted by these people, then only you should offload your maximum budget. Many great astonishing products spent most of its capital on mass marketing. Such marketing efforts came too soon before the idea spreads.

Take-aways:

  1. The message that Tiffany’s blue box and Leaning Tower of Pisa delivers, Pantheon in Rome does not. The marketing is not done for a product. It’s built right in.
  2. Greatest remarkable products and companies such as Starbucks, Apple, Disney, Reliance Industries have been started and successfully ran by marketers. From product development, manufacturing to communicating the value proposition, such passionate marketers have their heads involved in the entire product cycle.
  3. When the company becomes big, it loses its entrepreneurial charm and focuses on profitability. Hence, pick the right maverick in your company for product development and get out of his way.
  4. Work with sneezers. Get Permission from them. Alert them beforehand on upcoming products. Work with them to sell your idea to a wider Audience. (Donald Trump utilised such ‘Stakeholder Driven Media’ internet platforms like breitbart.com to spread his ideology to significant yet unique Americans).
  5. If your company has reached a stage, where nothing seems to be working and marketing department is facing the major brunt, talk to your engineers or product developers and customers. Rather than selling what they wanted to sell, new Best Buy CEO, Brad Anderson, listened to customers and realigned the entire strategy based on their inputs. Often, it was hard and longer in approach but produced more results (and, cheaper too), than typical boring ads and staying that way.
  6. Learn from people who have a track record of launching such remarkable products. Dive deep into the fans’ magazines, trade shows, design reviews – do whatever it takes to feel what your fans feel.

 

Author: Rupam Lathwal

PGPM Class of 2017, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

Alumni Speak: “In today’s fast-paced world that thrives on cut-throat competition, a Bachelor’s degree is just not enough to fuel an individual’s ambition.”

pk

Piyush Kant is the Director of Business Development at GCE Group and is responsible for the Indian and South-East Asian market of the Energy Efficiency Consulting Giant. He joined Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, in 2010 in the first batch of the B-School. We recently sat down with Piyush to find out how the PGPM-Energy program of Great Lakes helped him in his career endeavours.

Here is what he had to say.

Tell me about your professional background before joining Great Lakes and also about what made you pursue MBA?

Piyush: After completing my engineering in Computer Science from Kurukshetra University and before joining Great Lakes, I was working with Cisco Systems as a Network Engineer.

In today’s fast-paced world that thrives on cut-throat competition, a Bachelor’s degree is just not enough to fuel an individual’s ambition. If you have a hunger to make it large in this corporate jungle; knowledge and understanding of the intrinsic factors focused on running a business and managing the people is imperative. This is why I didn’t stop after becoming an engineer and went on to pursue Masters in Business Administration.

Q2. So, why did you choose Great Lakes?

Piyush: I had a keen interest and passion of working in the energy sector and when it comes to energy, Great Lakes’ reputation is unparalleled and unmatched. At the time I joined the institute, it was Great Lakes Institute of Energy Research and Management (IEMR) – a one of a kind B-school with a focus on energy sector and its dedicated disciplines.

Q3. How did the two years spent at Great Lakes help you transform as a person?

Piyush: A lot actually. For starters, it turned a carefree man into a responsible one. I learned the true sense of empathy, the power and benefits of networking, traits necessary to become a leader were imbibed into my personality here, and most importantly, I learnt the art of learning from failures, how to overcome my fears and the thin line difference between confidence and foolishness.

Moreover, the institute helped make me a better person as it taught me that no reward is greater than the feeling of giving back/contributing to the society.

Q4. Mention three key highlights of your Great Lakes experience.

Piyush:

  1. Diverse professional background of the students that facilitated learning beyond classrooms
  2. Excellent practical exposure and personal interactions with the world renowned industry leaders
  3. Highly motivated, energetic and experienced faculty

Q5. Which faculty members/guest speakers impacted your education and learning experience the most?

Piyush: Although the entire staff of Great Lakes holds an extremely special place in my heart as I would have never been where I am today without them, but Dr. S.K. Palhan, Mr. Mohan Lakhamraju and Mr. BVR Vamsi (Powergrid Corp India) had the most lasting impact on my learning.

Q6. Describe the peer learning experience at Great Lakes in and beyond the classroom in one word.

Piyush: Can I use two? “Exceptionally Brilliant.”

Q7. Tell me about your current organisation and job role. How do you think going to a B-school has helped you in your career?

Piyush: GCE Group operates in the sphere of financial consulting, audits, industrial safety, energy efficiency consulting etc. It is the largest Energy efficiency consultant on the globe, headquartered in St. Petersburg, Russia. I am currently serving this organisation as its Director of Business Development in the Indian and South-East Asian Region.

As I stated earlier that I have done my graduation in Science from Kurukshetra University, grabbing this job and rising up to this level in the energy sector would have been impossible for me if not for Great Lakes.

Q8. What advice would you like to give to the future Great Lakers?

Piyush: I would like to tell my fellow Great Lakers that – Explore more about yourself, discover what you really want to do and achieve in your life and believe in yourself at all times. Then, start working on your dreams to inspire yourself and keep moving forward. Remember, there is no shortcut to success and there is no such thing as a free lunch. So, always keep working hard for your dreams, spot opportunities, grasp them and keep climbing the ladder, however, slow the pace may be.

All Between Success and Failure!

I AM NOT GOING TO WRITE HERE ABOUT SUCCESS AND FAILURE, THIS WRITE UP IS ALL THAT COMES BETWEEN OUR PERCEPTION OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE.

While success can give us the boost to do well in future endeavors and to perform with more sincerity, failure challenges our capability to do any job and it makes us believe that we are not capable of it. Going with the doubled sincerity and doubled dedication after a failure gives the person a required platform to outcast his last performance.

successBut is it that easy? After debacle, definitely not. We need to understand that success and failure is part and parcel of life. Growing up on failures and learning from them is the mandatory ingredient needed to concoct a perfect recipe called Success. Confidence and self belief are the two ingredients that are necessary to keep you going after a failure. History is replete with examples of people who braved failure to achieve success and make it big.

It’s up to us to decide which side of the fence allures us the most, the self content side, the side where people accepted things as they came, never challenged and never asked for more from their life or the side where people never gave up, they just kick started themselves after every debacle and went after the thing they aspired for more than anything else.

I would like to conclude with the famous saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing, but in rising up every time we fail.”

– HIMANSHU SHUKLA

Samurais, PGPM Gurgaon Class of 2016

Alumni Speak: ‘Don’t stop when you are tired. Stop only when you are done!’

Great-Lakes-Gurgaon-AlumniSANA QAMAR INTERVIEWED SANJAY SIROHI, PGPM GURGAON CLASS OF 2014 STUDENT. SANJAY IS WORKING AS AN ASSOCIATE CONSULTANT WITH MAVERIC SYSTEMS LTD. – AN IT SERVICES FIRM BASED OUT OF CHENNAI THAT OPERATES IN 3 DOMAINS VIZ. BANKING AND FINANCIAL SERVICES, TELECOM AND INSURANCE.

How did you benefit from the PGPM course offered by Great Lakes?

SANJAY: Great Lakes provided me a platform to learn about many dimensions of business – management skills, business ethics and what not. But most importantly, it helped me improve myself exponentially – both in professional and personal aspects. Like any other batch in such a program, our batch was a fine blend of students from different domains (Yes, IT ruled… again). I believe it is imperative to accommodate such a mix to enable us to learn from each other while we are on the go. I met some really inspiring people in my batch, who I am sure will become big names in their respective industries some years from now. Then, undoubtedly the faculty! With some truly renowned names of the management education system in India teaching us, I couldn’t have asked for more. From the antics of Bappa Sir to the textbook teaching style of Dr. Das, from the in-house group of scholars to the external faculty / industry speakers – we had it all! Not to forget the living legend himself, Uncle Bala kept visiting us every now and then for a pep talk! I was able to build a very strong network of people during that one year – thanks to Great Lakes! I realized the importance and utility of a good network only after coming to Great Lakes. As Uncle Bala always says, “Your network is your net worth”.

What is your current role?

SANJAY: I am a Business Analyst in the Banking and Financial Services domain, predominantly servicing clients in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) market areas. My key responsibilities include facilitating stakeholder meetings to elicit project requirements, performing gap analysis to define project scope, designing a plan to achieve the project goals and managing the requirements for the end-to-end delivery. I have been a part of 2 projects on Islamic Banking so far in the organization.

What was your live project and how did you get it?

SANJAY: I did a live project for Pro Activ Foods Limited, an FMCG firm in New Delhi. The project objective was to increase the online sales of their food products. As a team of 3 members, we tried to analyze the factors that influence the category selection in e-commerce.

Give us some insights on the industry you are in.

SANJAY: Over the years, Management Consulting has become extremely important for businesses to achieve superlative performance. Every organization longs for a sustainable efficiency improvement for long term success. To be a part of this industry, one must know the basics of business really well. Enterprises across the globe are trying to look for opportunities/areas of improvement that would help them in enhancing their business in more than one ways – solve issues, create value, maximize growth and improve business performance. To be an independent advisor, you need to be always on your toes and capable enough of providing alternatives to cater to the client needs as you are considered to be an expert brought on board for (presumably valuable) external advice. One must be mentally prepared to operate with agility to win in this dynamic business environment.

How did you plan and prepare yourself during the 1 year at Great Lakes to arrive at your desired job/role?

SANJAY: I knew exactly where I wanted to see myself a year down the line. To be precise, it was the management consulting job profile. Since ours was the first batch wherein ‘Analytics’ was introduced as a stream, I thought of being ahead of the curve. I had absolutely no knowledge of ‘Finance’, but thanks thanks to some wonderful teachers at GLIM, I developed a keen interest in the subject and took it up as my minor specialization (along with Marketing – which I believe is a must in an MBA grad’s profile). I was fortunate enough to find an extremely dependable mentor in Dr. Das early in the academic year. I was very comfortable sharing my goals/views with him. He guided me every now and then, and was instrumental in developing the self-belief in me. He truly was a pillar of strength for me during my stint as he kept motivating me to work harder and pursue my ambitions. He was officially assigned to be my mentor for one year, but to my good fortune is a mentor for life. Based on the feedback of the Placement Committee, the faculty members and a couple of Alums, I figured out the top 3 companies I need to focus on during the campus placements. As luck would have it, I managed to clear the first one that came in for recruitment.

Please share your valuable insights for PGPM, batch of 2016.

SANJAY: Some of the key points to remember are:

  • Know where you want to be. Nothing should deter you from this stance. Be adamant about it.
  • Figure out a specialization in line with the kind of role you want to opt for.
  • Keep performing a status check of where you are and where you want to be. I suggest you to do it after every term – it is a rather good time for retrospection.
  • Prioritize the companies you want to target. Appearing for every interview coming your way is not a good approach to find a relevant job.
  • Read extensively about the company coming in for campus placement. You should be able to talk about the company for at least 5 minutes with any CXO level personnel.
  • It is important to understand what role the company has to offer to you. And it is equally important to identify what you have to offer to the company, and communicate how you seem fit.
  • Don’t stop when you are tired. Stop only when you are done!

-SANA QAMAR

Samurais, PGPM Gurgaon Class of 2016