Breathing Life into a Brand

Breathing Life into a Brand

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr AVIK CHATTOPADHYAY

Co-FOUNDER – EXPEREAL INDIA

27th July 2018:

Fridays at Great Lakes, Gurgaon, generally mean a session with a seasoned industry expert. Dressed in our formal best, armed with laptops and notepads, the Great Lakes’ PGDM batches, Aztecs and Jaguars, were ready to welcome Mr Avik Chattopadhyay for an interactive session focused on Branding. Being a marketing enthusiast, I was eagerly looking forward to this session.

Mr Avik Chattopadhyay: He is the founder of a brand consultancy firm, Expereal India. The firm deals with building strategy for several brands. He possesses extensive experience of more than a decade in Branding for the automobile industry and has previously worked with giants like Volkswagen, Maruti Suzuki, Apollo Tyres, Peugeot, to name a few, in leadership roles.

The interactive session majorly focused on the characteristics of a brand that keeps it relevant in the long run. Mr Chattopadhyay explained that at the heart of each and every brand, lie some core values and characteristics which derive its purpose and are in-sync with the hearts of the consumers. If a brand cannot connect with its audience, it is eventually and inevitably going to phase out.

He further added that the idea of a brand is applicable to everything, from products and services to organizations, teams and even individuals. In order to substantiate his words, he offered examples of prolific standings like that of the Nalanda University – standing for knowledge, the Pyramids – standing for their engineering marvel, and the Himalayas – standing for both tranquillity and as a symbol of challenge. While these can be perceived as products from a marketing perspective, there are individuals like Elon Musk, Christopher Nolan and Steve Jobs who are nothing short of a brand in themselves.

He explained that in today’s context, a brand is something that is highly misunderstood and many a time is just equated to a bunch of tangibles like a logo, slogan, advertising or maybe a Facebook page. A brand in its entirety is way more than that and is reflected by “what it stands for.” It is something that is promised and delivered consistently.

Having worked with some of the most reputable brands – Maruti Suzuki and Apollo Tyres – he then took the students for a Case Study ride to showcase how these two companies came out from a series of troubles and bad market standing and how they were able to turn around the brand image to what it stands for today.

In the case of Maruti Suzuki, he described the worst couple of years in the company’s timeline i.e. from 2000 to mid-2002 and how that was a major motivation to introduce a product which entirely revolutionised the Indian automobile market. The product was Maruti Suzuki Swift. While Swift was built for a newer target market and was designed as per it, the entire project remained true to the brand idea of Maruti Suzuki, which is – democratization of mobility.

A similar case of Apollo Tyres was discussed. While Maruti Suzuki had a very inside-outside approach to solve its problem, Apollo did just the opposite and succeeded too. He laid out the importance of setting and adhering to benchmarks along with devising a long a term strategy to be truly successful.

The session turned out to be more enlightening than any of us imagined and that was evident by the storm of questions Mr Chattopadhyay received from the knowledge-hungry Great Lakers. To conclude, this was one of the sessions which will be in the memory of everyone who aspires to make a career in Branding.

Author: S SnehanshN

PGDM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

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

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

GREAT LAKES GUEST LECTURE SERIES – Mr ASHISH JAIN

VICE PRESIDENT – RIGHT MANAGEMENT, INDIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Author: Bruno Nellissery

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

The Joy of Giving: Karma Yoga Session 1

The Joy of Giving: Karma Yoga Session 1

July 7th, 2018

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

~ Simon Sinek

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

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

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

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

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

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

~ Denzel Washington

Author: Urvi Sehrawat

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon