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Prathidhwani – The Alumni Conclave

IMG_4735Institute of Management, Nirma University organized Prathidhwani – The Alumni Conclave on 15th February, 2014, celebrating the contributions of its alumni in various fields across industries. The Alumni Conclave is an endeavor by IMNU to bring together its alumni on a common platform to speak about their experiences to the current students.

The inaugural session was addressed by Mr. Kunal Sharma – VP- Marketing, PepsiCo., who sought to share his learning from the corporate world to the students. Getting the right job in the right organization is important. Organizations “hire for attitude and train for skills”. Talent can take one so far, but what takes one beyond is attitude. The real world is very different from the one experienced in the classroom. MBA in itself cannot make a good manager. A manager is made by consistent demonstration of one’s capabilities and gaining the respect of his colleagues, subordinates and superiors. In the early stages of the career, what you learn is more important than what you earn. He advised to put in “one degree extra” in whatever they do as that is what differentiates winners from the others. He urged the audience to go beyond the rulebook and add value.

The second address was by Ms. Sonal Ramrakhiani – Senior Client Partner, TCS, on business excellence. Business excellence is the sum of the excellence of individual employees. Excellence is about commitment to constant improvement by the organization. Business excellence requires a committed and good leadership. The essence of leadership is the achievement of results beyond the ordinary. She also spoke about the TATA Business Excellence Model which teaches us the other aspects of excellence such as “doing things better than yesterday”and “deliberate attention to trigger meaningful change”.

The first plenary session was addressed by Mr. Sachin Gupta, Co-founder & Director, Varhad Capital on the topic of sustainability. The concept of sustainability provides many answers to some of the pressing issues the world faces today: include more women in management as it has been found to help economies grow by 50-60%; India should focus on introducing more institutions to create leaders, in place of factories manufacturing mere managers. Till now, the global focus was on the environment only, but now the companies have been asked by the United Nations to follow Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) guidelines. Business schools can also contribute effectively through the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (UNPRME) initiative.

The second plenary session was addressed by Mr. Vikram Gupta, Innovation Head, LG Soft India Pvt. Ltd. He spoke on Innovation. Discovery and invention of new products keep happening at companies, but innovation happens only when these inventions are commercially successfully. Innovations have to be in line with the strategy and business of the company in such a way that non-technical employees are able to understand the details. For more innovations, the company should take care of the employees, their ideas and how these can be promoted. Also, innovation can happen only when employees are very good at their work. For this, companies have to promote training of employees at various levels.

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The valedictory session began with Ms Anjali Gulati, Founder and Director, Rize@Peoplekonnect Pvt. Ltd. speaking about  gender diversity at the workplace. She shared that workplaces with more than 30% women in the workforce have higher profitability, attributing it to better decision making, goal orientation and organizational excellence. 80% of consumer decisions are made by women demanding more features in products due to busy lives. Today organizations are grappling with various issues: increasing the percentage of women in organizations, engaging them for growth, re-inducting them post a break, as well as sensitizing the men at the workplace. The advice for women is to stay connected to the people, the domain of work and the company.

The session was continued by Mr. Sumit Bhatnagar, Director-HR (Asia), Dell. He spoke on the topic of Managing Careers. Students can choose between being a generalist and being a specialist. A generalist will work across various roles and industries in a short span of time whereas a specialist will work in a similar role for long time. But, students should realise that there is no wrong career choice, it depends on their capabilities and their likes and dislikes. He advised students that in their career choices, they should think about the long term, stay up-to-date and periodically re-evaluate themselves and their career path.

The conclave was organized by Kaizen – The Alumni Committee.

(Content Courtesy: Media Committee, Photo Courtesy: Pratikriti – The Photography Club)

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