Saturday, December 28, 2013

Travelogue: Trekking to Hampta Circle

........And very soon in my tent I realized how difficult it is to sleep on a down sloping hill, with 3 other people in it sharing their stories & fear of bear, cold winds, rainfall & snowfall. Next morning waking up at 7am, few of us noticed the mountains covered with snow had turned golden with the aid of sunlight. When I woke up, I saw the sunrays falling on snowy mountains as if God had created life-size scenery from his brushstrokes. The sunrays sliding through the tree leaves and falling on my face were showering their warmth in contrast to cold wind hitting my face......

......During the trek, many times I realized what harm our reluctance pays to physical fitness, a necessity of life, construing it irrelevant. I got an insight into the difficulties faced by native people of such places. Things that we take for granted, they could be of such a worth at any random place & at any point of time in someone’s life.

Catch the full travel experience by Abhishek Kumar-MBA 1st year here on his blog.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

VIPANAN – The Marketing Summit

     Can Big Data truly replace Creative Marketing?

Big data is already a buzzword in the field of Marketing. Marketers are getting increasingly interested and involved in capturing and analyzing Big Data for a variety of reasons. For a management student, it is of vital importance to understand about this new concept. DoMS, IIT Roorkee found such an opportunity to discuss the topic and learn from the industry leaders. The event was marketing summit, Vipanan which was organized on 15-Sep-2013 at Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee in association with ISTD Dehradun chapter. The event was sponsored by brands such as Namo Alloy & Indian Oil and conducted by MarkIIT, the marketing club of DoMS, IIT Roorkee. There was an aura of excitement in the department and students were enthusiastic about the same.

The event saw participation of some of the industry stalwarts. A total of four eminent personalities joined the occasion and shared their experience with the students. Their brief profiles are mentioned below.

Mr. D. Bhattacharyya – Sr. Executive Director (HR), IFFCO
Mr. Shushobhan Chowdhury – VP and Head of Digital Strategy India, JWT
Mr. Raghu Iyer - Head Marketing (Vaccine Business), Panacea Biotech Ltd.
Mr. Divyang Gupta – Account Manager, IBM

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Reminiscence 2013

Alumni meet is always an emotional subject for students, be it current students or passed out ones. The passed out students are eager to go back and feel the life where it all started and on the other hand, current students have a chance to meet the seniors and learn from them. We, at DoMS, had such an experience on 20th Sep 2013. The occasion was Reminiscence where three batches (first year, second year and recently passed out) of the department came together. It was one of the most awaited events for the students. The passed out students came to collect their degrees and were looking for reunion whereas second year students were having an opportunity to meet their seniors again and revisit the good times. Even first year students were enthusiastic about meeting their seniors. 

The event was organized by Alumni committee of DoMS, IIT Roorkee. It started with a welcome speech and then our Head of the Department Dr. Santosh Rangnekar addressed the students. The event was also graced by Dr. M. K. Barua who appreciated the efforts of the students.

After the addresses it was time for some thrilling performances. A series of high voltage and enthralling performances were given by the first year batch. Meanwhile the alumni were entertained by various fun games. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Exuberance 2013

Management Education is always spoken in the same breath with personality development. And what better way one could find out other than sports. DoMS, IIT Roorkee being a premier business school of the country, always plays a proactive role in this regard.

Recently it conducted Exuberance 2013. Exuberance is the annual sports meet of DoMS, IIT Roorkee in which MBA students from first and second years play against each other. It is basically a test of nerves, talent, confidence and ability to stand the pressure. The benefits are manifold. Not only it imparts basic management skills like teamwork and perseverance, it also serves as an ice breaker between the two batches.

Monday, September 2, 2013

My first month experience of IIT Roorkee MBA

My Dear DoMSIITes,

Being an engineer, it gave me an immense excitement to pursue my journey from the gates of IIT Roorkee. Like a lot of other engineers in the country, I felt an urge, to go beyond my profession as a software developer and look forward to being a techno- manager. And here I was, with eyes full of dreams of becoming someone big…

I disembarked the train at Roorkee station and tried to inhale the city which was going to be my 'partner in crime' for the next 2 years. But the first look rooted me to the ground. And my first and only scepticism occurred that it was going to be hard living in a small town after living almost half my life in the city. But the journey towards the Indian institute of technology made it a lot easier. The famous Ganga Canal spanned nicely in the way provided freshness that no words can describe. After completing registration process in the campus, it was time to begin my hostel life. Someone has rightly said, “The best years of your life are spent in your hostel.” Since I had already lived in the hostel in my undergraduate years, it was no stranger to me.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Operation's Summit: Avyudaya 2013

In the contemporary world, the buzzwords are PPP, supply chain, investors, shareholders, customer, rural supply chain etc. To highlight these issues and to bring lucid perspective on these important issues, Operazione (Operations Club of DoMS, IIT Roorkee) organized AVYUDAYA-2013 in association with an ISTD Dehradun Chapter on 15/03/2013. The event was graced by the presence of eminent speaker like 
Mr. Mangu Singh , Managing Director – Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC)
Mr. Shammi Dua, Head - Logistics and customer service – Akzo Nobel India Ltd
Mr. Keerthi Prasad, Head - Program Management Office Business Transformation, CSC
Mr. P. K. Garg, Indian Railway Service of Engineer
The summit was sponsored by IFB, global leader in home appliances and Valuence training and Research Pvt. Ltd., a knowledge services provider company.
We were also fortunate to have Prof. S. P. Gupta, Deputy Director of IIT Roorkee, with us. The event started with the lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries and a welcome note by Dr. Santosh Rangnekar, Head of the Department. Dr. Rangnekar emphasized the need to develop oneself in entirety. He talked about the multitude of clubs which department has and the various summits which they have conducted.

Guest Lecture - Mr. Harsh Kumar & Mr. Sanjay Kumar

Entrepreneurship has always been a sought after area for management students. And it is crucial for them to have a firm understanding about the challenges and environment. On 20th March 2013, we were fortunate to listen to two eminent industry experts Mr. Hersh Kumar and Mr. Sanjay Kumar. The students were ecstatic and looking forward to a learning session. A welcome note is presented for the guests.

Mr. Hersh Kumar has done his engineering from IIT Roorkee in 1978 batch with a gold medal. He also completed his masters from Wayne State University, USA. He is also a distinguished alumnus of IIT Roorkee. He is a social entrepreneur and founded over 67 companies worth several billion dollars. Currently he is the chairman of AK Shipra Group.

Mr. Hersh started by saying that the first myth about being a successful businessman is that one need to have a management degree. He said that not having an MBA degree is good for him as it allows out of the box thinking. He also stressed on the fact that a new generation is better than the older one. He recalled his interaction with his son and how the new generation is doing a good job. The speaker advised not to consider choosing a career as a starter. We should not plan for either job or career, we should plan for life. One has to have a holistic view and he/she should follow the passion.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

VIPANAN: Marketing Summit 2013

 “Sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Why is sustainability so crucial? Are we on the right track and will our future generations be able to meet their needs? How is it impacting the marketing perspective of business? To get answers to such questions MarkIIT, the marketing club of Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee organized Vipanan on 23rd February in association with Investcare and media partner The Pioneer.
Eminent speakers from the industry Sanjeev Johar, J Chandra Mohan, Rohit Kumar and Guarav Mittal shared their experiences with the faculty and students on the topic “Three structures of sustainability: Technology, Green Management, Social Responsibility and its impact on The Marketing Perspective of Business and Organization”.

The summit started with the traditional lighting of the lamp and the welcome address by the head of department Dr. Santosh Rangnekar.  This was followed by the brief introduction of the topic by Dr. Jogendra Nayak. The speakers were then called on the podium to share their views on the topic.

Monday, March 11, 2013

MANTHAN: Finance Summit 2013

These days we see a plethora of new laws that have been introduced into the banking sector. Do these laws and policies actually serve as an enabler for growth? How should investors behave during a financial crisis? To build a clearer perspective regarding some of these topics Vitharth, The Finance Club of DOMS IIT, Roorkee organized Manthan 2013 on the 24th of February. The Event was graced by the presence of some eminent speakers from the industry, the esteemed faculty of the department and the students.

The event started with the traditional lighting of the lamp and the welcome note given by the head of department Dr. Santosh Rangnekar. This was followed by an introduction regarding the theme of the event by Dr. A.K. Sharma. He stressed on the fact that during these troubled economic times how the banking sector had to balance the lending aspect at the precise rates to the common people as well as provide financial assistance to the industries. He also stated that the three main goals of this sector were priority lending, rural banking and Financial inclusion.

The next speaker to take the Dias was Mr. Paresh Seth, CEO at Indus Advantage iBank. Mr. Seth stated right from the outset that he promoted a free market economy. He felt that the idea of introducing new players into the sector was not very prudent as it to incur additional uninvited costs. Whatever changes were to be implemented could have been done with the existing players in the sector at a fraction of the cost. He also stated that even though new players would give cause to rise in employment in the sector that it would be short lived as some players would end up exiting.

Regalia 2013 : Annual Alumni Meet

It is always special to go back to the roots. DoMS IIT Roorkee witnessed such an event on 16th Feb 2013. The occasion was Regalia, an annual Alumni meet of the Department of Management Studies IIT Roorkee. The students were ecstatic and thrilled about the occasion and a chance to meet their seniors. There was an aura of and enthusiasm prevailing in the campus and preparation were on full swing. Keeping the tradition, Regalia 2013 started on a high note.

The event started with the lightning of lamp by Prof. J L Gaindhar, President of Alumni Association IIT Roorkee. The occasion was also graced by Prof. S. C. Sharma, Dean Alumni Affairs, IIT Roorkee and Dr. S. Rangnekar, Head of the Department of Management Studies. The alumni were presented with mementos by Prof. Gaindhar and Dr. Rangenkar.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Guest Lecture: Mr. Manoj Soni (President-Suppy Chain, Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd)

SCM starts and ends with the customer

Supply chain is always considered an important factor of any business, more so for a manufacturing organization and future managers should have familiarity with this aspect. DoMS, IIT Roorkee got an opportunity on 23rd Jan 2013 to strengthen the knowledge and listen to Mr. Manoj Soni, President – Supply Chain at Jubilant Life sciences Ltd. Mr. Soni is an engineering graduate from NIT Jamshedpur and having two decades of experience in Supply Chain and Operations.

The session started with welcoming Mr. Manoj Soni by Dr. S. Rangnekar, HoD, DoMS. Then Mr. Soni is introduced to the department, its values and strengths. Afterwards the session began with a note that supply chain is an integral part of any business. Contrary to popular belief of being it between suppliers to buyers, it actually starts and ends with the customer. Mr. Soni mentioned Walmart as an example to explain how supply chain can do wonders for an organization. According to him, Supply Chain Management (SCM) is not only about cost effectiveness but is also related to agility and adaptability where interests are aligned with the customers.

He also emphasized that one should not only understand SCM of its own organization but also of competitors in order to provide better value. Dominos delivery deadline of 30 minutes is given as an example to describe the case. Then the speaker talked about SCOR measurement. He said that it is vital to measure the effectiveness in quantitative terms. The SCOR model has four functions of planning, sourcing, making and delivering functions. This model captures more than 100 matrices though organizations usually work on 50-75 matrices. Mr. Soni stated that planning function is the most important among all of them. The session was concluded with a stress on the need of customer profiling.

A question-answer round was followed after the question. The students had put a diverse range of questions related to ethical, operational, environmental, safety and human related aspects. These queries were aptly responded by Mr. Soni by citing Jubilant as an example. He opined that leakage in supply chain occurs mainly due to the absence of a proper control mechanism. He spoke about some of the unethical practises in pharmaceutical companies. Another main concern is lack of discipline in India to which speaker suggested greater regulations a way forward. The discussion began to end on this note.

Overall it was an enlightening and satisfying session and students got an opportunity to learn firsthand experience of supply chain management. This session proved immensely helpful their professional growth.

Guest Lecture: Mr. Kishore Chakraborti (Vice President, McCann Erickson))

Marketing has always been a favourite area for management graduates. Therefore students are always looking out for knowledge on this front. On 18th Feb 2013, DoMS IIT Roorkee saw such an opportunity. The students got a chance to listen to Mr. Kishore Chakraborti. Mr. Kishore is having more than 25 years of experience in marketing & advertising and current working as VP of McCann Erickson. He is having a vast experience in consumer insight and also created various advertisement campaigns.

Mr. Chakraborti started the session with a brief note about the world of advertisement. He emphasized on the common sense and said that advertisement actually deals with the small things of the life. He stressed on understanding the small dreams and meeting customer needs. According to him, everyone wants to see himself/herself as the projected value. He also spoke about challenges in data gathering as people are reluctant to share information.

The speaker then began the topic of “Connecting with Customers in an era of Uncertainty”. He talked about how the old marketing concepts are no longer relevant in the contemporary world. He explained the industrial age marketing principles – Marketing Warfare, which has died now. He gave example of Fortune 500 companies of then and now and showed how there is a paradigm shift from old school of thoughts to new school of thoughts. He mentioned DOS commands of IBM vs the click commands of Microsoft to depict the transition. The overall message is to understand consumer language and this is the area where marketing is changing.

Mr. Kishore then talked about the “Challenges of Change” on four parameters – technology, communication & connectivity, media and consumer. He mentioned that in today’s world it is not only communication between man to man but also between man to machine. He highlights the fact that the desire to connect is never ending. Earlier it used to be postcards, now it has been replaced by mobile phones. Now the man himself is acting as a medium of communication.

The speaker also explained how things have changed “Beyond Economic recession”. He talked about recession of time, space, patience, relationship, energy & resources. He explained with the example of Dominos which is entirely positioned on 20 minute plan. He also gave example of how LCD tv has secured its position among household as it saves lot of space. Another major change is that consumers don’t wait for a particular brand and brand loyalty is no more existing. Marketing now has become more evolutionary. With the depleting natural and energy resources, products need to be developed on novel ideas to meet the consumer needs.

Mr. Kishore then touched upon the “Inflation of Roles”. He gave an example of women Horlicks ad and how it has been transitioned. He drew a parallel between earlier generations and current one. Earlier generations used to live a routine life whereas the current generation does not want to follow the established rules. He mentioned a modern age woman who not only plays a role of mother but also others such as a manager and a diva. He connected motherhood to glamour hood which was not the case earlier, through an example of Malaika Arora Khan.

The speaker also talked about the “Problem of Attention”. He said that there are too many touch points as well as one plays too many roles in the life, with too little time. Mind is experiencing multiple things and it is constantly looking for new form of excitements.

Next topic discussed was “Context of Attention”. In current times, consumers have very little time therefore it is not easy to connect with them. Consumer is a moving target and most of the connectivity happens on the streets. The speaker showed several innovative advertisements to substantiate the concepts.

The speaker then spoke about “Preempting the Reality”. An example of Aircel was given as how it generated huge visibility and reach. Mr. Kishore said that connecting with customer is the main issue and marketers have to apply innovative methods for it. He reiterated that there is no rule in marketing. Even a proven path can result as a disaster.

The speaker also elucidated the “Innovation in Conventional TVC”. He said that creativity plays a big role in this regard. Happydent was taken as an example to show how Mr. Prasoon has come up up the brilliant idea. The entire ad was about 90 seconds so it would not be wise to air this ad due to cost constraint. Therefore ad was applied on cricket matches. It not only gave desired result but with a lesser cost.

The speaker then talked on “Death of Traditional Media”. He put the fact that there are only 7% of the internet population as compared to tv. Mobile on the other hand, has certainly larger reach but it has limitations attached to it, such as TRAI embargo on spam messages. The speaker also stressed that viral marketing such as “Kolavari Di” is not happening every day. As for flash mob, the speaker termed it as a flash in pan which lost its momentum after the initial success. He showed us an ad of Japanese pharma company SSP to explain the use of internet in advertising world.

Next in line was “Emerging Web and Tech World”. The advances in technology have revolutionized the entire marketing. The internet is a potential tool for transition from information to idea to things. Things such as sixth sense are even making the difference between virtual and real blur. The technology has put us under constant surveillance.

Last topic was the “Power and its Price”. In today’s time there is a greater amount of knowledge and more personalization. The change is actually triggered by the technology. The definition of copy has also changed. Now original is only those things which can’t be copied. Emotion is one of them. Hence marketing in current scenario is emotion driven.

The speaker the summed up the entire conversation by suggesting on adopting green marketing, being socially responsible, continuous improvement and change. He talked how Sirf Excel has travelled from cleanliness to conservatism. This was the concluding point of the discussion. Overall it was an extremely insightful discussion encompassing various aspects of marketing. A vote of thanks was delivered to guest by Dr. S. Rangnekar, HoD, DoMS IITR. The students thoroughly enjoyed the learnings gathered from the session.

Guest Lecture: Mr. D. J. Syam (Retd. AGM, BHEL)

Investment in R&D is the need of the hour

DoMS is never short of interaction with industry leaders. And we again had such an opportunity on 22nd Jan 2013 to meet Mr. D. J. Syam, retired AGM, BHEL. Mr. Syam has over 39 years of vast industry experience with around 32 years in BHEL. He has authored three books and fourth is in the press, on various business topics. 

The session started with welcoming Mr. D. J. Syam by Dr. Rangnekar, HoD, DoMS and Prof. J. L. Gaindhar, president of alumni association, IIT Roorkee. Then a brief profile was introduced to him. Mr. Syam was particularly interested in department magazine and also exhibited enthusiasm for contributing to it. The speaker began the conversation with a note that it is better to have pre-exposure to industry. Fresh starters would need more mentoring and in the current environment where people and organizations have less time for providing training, it would be a difficult situation for the beginners.

He then went on to discuss various aspects of business such as salient issues in industrial administration, management processes and basic operational system in an industrial organization and globalized competitive business environment. He gave some real life examples related to operational challenges and suggested ways to avoid them. He also talked about the challenges India faced in 1970s its pursuit of technological advancement. He describes what issues India faced, how Siemens lent a helping hand and then GE followed the suit. Additionally he cautioned that no technology is evergreen. Like a product, a technology too has a life cycle and hence focus should be on optimization.

Mr. Syam also touched upon the corporate governance. He explained deviation from ethics is one of the main reasons behind the failures. The cases of Satyam and Adidas were referred to substantiate the point. Mr. Syam also spoke about lack of R&D and particularly the less participation of the private sector. He appreciated the positive role of public sector companies in this regard. He however agreed that there is a need for more investment in R&D area. He compared the R&D expenditure between Indian and global companies as well as research and innovations outputs. According to him, R&D is directly related to the investment.

He then explained the various support functions such as material management, quality management & control, marketing and sales or commercial coordination, finance and accounts, IT and lot more. He discussed the roles and importance of these areas. Lastly he concluded with a discussion on industrial organization structure.

Towards the end of the session, a note of thanks was delivered by Prof. J. L. Gaindhar to the speaker. Overall it was an insightful session and covered several topics. The real life example and views would definitely be helpful for the future leaders.

Friday, January 18, 2013




Corpostrat, one of the few Centre Stage events of Cognizance 2010, is the flag ship event of the Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee. This is not just another B-Plan Contest that we are now used to seeing in almost every college event. This aims to get the best out of the contestants’ both idea wise and also tests their marketing, strategy and decision making skills.

Corpostrat invited ideas and abstracts to address the growing problem of the digital divide. As many as 70 entries were received of which 8 teams were selected to participate in the first round on 26th March, 2010. Teams from BITS-Pilani, IIFT Delhi, IIFT Kolkata, NMIMS Mumbai, DCE, MIT Manipal etc were among the final 8. The first round was the Presentation round where the participants were given 20 minutes to present their ideas and 10 minutes for the Q&A round. The judges for the event included Prof. Vinay Sharma, DoMS, IITR, Prof. Shishir Sinha, Dept. of Chemical Engineering., IITR, Prof. M.K.Barua, DoMS, IITR, and two other judges from Onida India. The ideas presented were innovative, ground-breaking and impressive to say the least. Ideas varied from providing Tourist Kiosks at select locations to Building movable bridges on rivers to opening Innovative online Music Services. It obviously was a tough event to judge as was seen by the small margins of separation between the winners and the rest. But eventually 5 teams were selected who then entered the final round of Corpostrat.

The final round of Corpostrat was where participants had to fight it out in the open, a real world simulation of strategy and skills. Teams were given a budget of 100 INR each with which they had to make any sort of purchases and then make stuff out of the same and then try and sell them back! Different teams had different ideas; one team introduced gambling games, card games etc whereas another had mini-bowling and ring throwing games to attract money. Another team completely based its strategy on a shoot the cane game and ran all around the campus attracting huge crowds. While another team coerced a customer into buying a self made Sachin T-shirt for a princely 700 bucks! It sure was fun for all the teams who were each assigned volunteers from the organizers. 3 hours hence the winner had to be decided and BITS-Pilani came out on top making 2010 INR with NMIMS a close second at 1950 INR. What’s more, the teams got to keep the money they made! A wonderful Return of Investment of almost 20 times!

Pranay Sharma, Sayantani Chanda & Rishabh Bhandari from NMIMS Mumbai were declared the eventual winners of Corpostrat based on scores from both the rounds with Kushal Agarwal & Abhishek Kaushik from BITS-Pilani taking second spot. Aniruddha Jhawar, Sitanshu Gupta & Ashish Vaya from IT-BHU, Varanasi took the third spot. The winners took home 12000 INR, the First runners-up took home 8000 INR and the second runners-up, 5000 INR.

All in all, the event lived up to its billing and attracted huge crowds on both the days. The completely new format of Corpostrat seems to be a huge hit and certainly is here to stay for the years to come!

MAGNATE:(27-28th March)
Three rounds of electrifying thoughts and ideas. Participants were screened on their analytical and logical abilities in the first round, which was a written test. The fun started in the second round as they participated in Extempore, which gave the event 7 participants. These 7 participants were then asked to participate in a mock press conference where one by one they assumed the role of a controversial personality and were grilled by the rest of the participants as reporters. Divya Jain and Lekhsmi P of IIT Roorkee secured the first and second positions respectively and Rishabha Garg from AMU secured the third position. The event was judged by Dr. Rajat Agarwal, Dr. Nagendra Kumar, Mrs. Samiksha Jain and Mr. Tapan Susheel from HT. All in all, the event was a great hit.

Department of management studies organised a game simulating the real stock market scenario. The game was named DOMS Stock Exchange (DSE) and attracted a participation of more than 120 teams from all over the country. The USP of the game was that one could trade in the Stock Market through SMS or by calling .The screening was done through a business quiz which included questions mainly from current business affairs and some general topics also, out of the 120 teams that participated in the first round, 40 teams were shortlisted based on their performances in the quiz. Each team was allotted a broker who took their orders and sold or bought the shares for them. The game could also be played though mobile phone as continuous news updates were sent to the teams through SMS. The event saw participation from varied spheres like civil as well as Earth Sciences, not to mention the ever eager Management students who trade in the real stock markets on a regular basis, many teams from other colleges participated and performed exceedingly well.
The concept was appreciated by all the participants and was termed as a great learning experience by those who want to learn trading in real markets.

MIND YOUR BUSINESS (26th-27th March)
Mind Your Business is a business simulation game designed to give a feel of how various functions are linked to each other and how each contribute to the overall success of a company. The first stage of the event was held on 26th and was a simple business quiz to test the basic knowledge of business terms. The event saw close to 100 entries for this round. The best eight teams were chosen to compete in the second stage.  In the second stage each team was provided with a laptop containing the business model simulated on excel. After a brief introduction, the teams were explained the rules of the game. As the day progressed the environment grew fiercer with teams trying to out bid their rivals and gain market share. The winning teams were decided on the size of their asset base. The event was a huge success mainly because of the enthusiasm shown by the participants and the successful coordination by the event coordinators.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Silver Jubilee Alumni Meet: Shaping the Future

It is always an emotional subject for anyone to be back to the roots. And it becomes even more touching when it happens after a long time. DoMS, IIT Roorkee also witnessed it on 24th and 25th November 2012. The occasion was silver jubilee alumni meet, a chance for former students and now industry stalwarts to return to Roorkee after a gap of 25 years. The alumni as well as the institute both were equally jubilant for the moment. Not only these two days gave us a chance to meet them but it also provided an opportunity to listen and learn from these experts. A total of eight eminent personalities gave their views, opinions and thoughts on the topic “Shaping the Future” which has now achieved relevance as never before. The event went on for two days and proved immensely helpful for students to get an insight and understanding of real world business.

Day One: 24-Nov-2012

It was a fine day and the students were eagerly waiting for the occasion. Four distinguished people from industry put forward their vision. Their brief introduction is mentioned below:

Mr. Arvind Mohan Mathur (AM): Mr. Arvind got his engineering degree from IIT Roorkee in 1987. He then joined IIT Delhi and completed his masters in 1990. He earned his doctorate from Michigan State University in 1996. He also holds an MBA degree from New York University - Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He has over 12 yrs of experience in the Pharmaceutical Industry in business management, market access, consulting, strategy and marketing & sales capacities. Currently he is the Head, Hospital/Specialty Business at Novartis.

Mr. Gaurav Saxena (GS): Mr. Gaurav is also passed out from IIT Roorkee in 1987 with a degree in chemical engineering. He has around 25 years of industry experience and currently serving as an AVP at Reliance Industries Limited.

Mr. Siddhartha Guharay (SG): Mr. Siddhartha obtained his chemical engineering degree from IIT Roorkee in 1987. He then joined the University of Missouri-Rolla and completed his masters in 1991. He is having more than 30 years of industry exposure. Currently he is working as Chief Engineer-Process at MottMacDonald Pvt Ltd.

Mr. Mayank Sharma (MS): Mr. Mayank completed his graduation in electronics and communication engineering from IIT Roorkee in1987. He has over 9 years of working experience. Currently he is the VP and Head - Africa Market Unit at Comviva.

As evident, the profiles of the guests were very impressive and everyone was expecting an intellectually satisfying session. The event started with welcoming the alumni by Dr. Rangnekar, our head of department. Then a brief profile of our department was presented to the guests. Then the session started in the form of a panel discussion followed by question and answers. And the summary is given below:

Q: How do you see IIT Roorkee ten years down the line?
SG: Always draw your lesson from the past. Adapt according to the outside world. Visualization of the future plan is very important.
AM: Future is uncertain and it is difficult to see it. However trend is visible for us to see. IIT Roorkee has definitely grown on its reputation. To shape the future, we must have to shape ourselves first. We should also prepare for the change. One should need to focus on learning new things. Based on that capability, future can be shaped. Another key aspect is innovation and this is where we should concentrate and contribute.
GS: Study of the engineering sciences gives us certain tools. But this does not alone guarantee success. One important characteristic is the spirituality quotient. Mr. Gaurav mentioned the Deepak Chopra’s book “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success”.
MS: One must keep the passion for excellence. If the passion is not present, future can’t be held. The example of the Ganga Canal was cited by Mr. Mayank to show how this passion resulted in an engineering marvel.

Q: What is your idea about entrepreneurship and how one should approach for starting a new business?
AM: Being entrepreneur is the coolest thing. One does not need to get permissions from others to do anything. But entrepreneurship also carries a certain amount of risk and this should not be avoided. Therefore the here comes the Passion, the first ‘P’ of entrepreneurship. Without passion, one can’t get success in anything. One must also focus on the initial five to ten years of the business as they are the most challenging ones.
MS: For every success story, there are hundreds of untold failures. We should still remember the success. Every failure brings more possibility for success. Failure as popularly believed, may not be dramatic. We should be ready for failure and recover from it. Entrepreneurship is deemed to be working independently which on the other hand, is actually working according to many stakeholders like consumers, partners, employee etc.
SG: In an entrepreneurial venture, trust between partners is extremely important factor. Hence the selection of the partner is very important in entrepreneurship. The example of Dhirubai Ambani was quoted to suggest that we should not get too upset by failures. At the end it is the belief which works. Additionally, attitude is a vital factor. Knowledge can be gathered, skills can be developed but attitude one carries with oneself. And that decides the success or failure. Lastly, there is need of the value based education system.
GS: the primary purpose of entrepreneurship is “how to serve better than others”. This is the theme of any business. One should learn about the need, explicit and implicit and act accordingly.

The panel discussion was concluded with this note and now it was the time for questions from the audience.

Q: How conducive is environment for entrepreneurship when compared to 25 years ago?
MS: It is certainly much better. There was no concept of venture capital then. Now a days funding is very easy and environment is positive. One should note that first group most often comes from a near circle such as family, friends etc. Even the big business enterprise capital is actually small funding from some very rich people. The share is low as it carries great risk.

Q: Please tell us about your journey.
AM: After my graduation, I worked for BPCL at Bombay for one year. Then I joined IIT Delhi to pursue my master degree. After my masters, I went on to join Michigan State University for my PhD. I have also got two patents in my name. I also for around 7-8 papers published including one of them in the “Nature”. Later I completed my MBA from New Jersey. One should plan according to the goal. The sooner you know what you want to do, the better focused you are.
SG: After graduation, I worked in Haldia Petrochemicals Limited which has government has stakeholder as well. Generally government organizations are viewed with certain denigration. One should not overlook the status and contribution of PSUs. These PSUs have actually built our nation. There is no dearth of talent either. The fault lies somewhere else. Another point was, an engineer should acquire the hand-on experience. This is required in case of better management even.

These were the questions in front of the guests which were aptly responded. Then a note of thanks was delivered to all our esteemed guests and it marked the end of the day. It was truly an enriching experience for all of us and we were eagerly waiting for the next day.

Day Two: 25-Nov-2012

The second day was even more rewarding to us. Apart from the panel discussion, we also got to listen to two other eminent personalities from industry, Mr. P. Balaji and Mr. Parag Gupta. They spent some valuable time with us and shared their views on a range of topics.

Mr. P. Balaji, VP & MD, Nokia India is an IIT Roorkee alumnus. He got his engineering degree from IIT Roorkee in electronics followed by post graduation in management from IIM Ahmedabad. He has over two decades of experience in IT and Telecom industry working with organizations like Sony, Ericsson, Lucent, AT&T and Tata group. Another great speaker is Mr. Parag Gupta, MD, Vopak India. He also earned his degree in mechanical engineering from IIT Roorkee and did his MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. Mr. Parag also has about twenty years of experience in sales, marketing, business development and general management. These alumni talked about how to gear ourselves for the future, what skill sets one needs to have particularly in entrepreneurial context, a brief yet insightful idea about current industry and also gave valuable advice to students.

After the enriching session, it was the time for discussion on the subject line “Shaping the Future”. This day again saw four eminent personalities from industry. The format was the same, panel discussion succeeded by question and answers. Their brief introductions are as follows:

Mr. Anupam Singh (AS): Mr. Anupam got his engineering degree from IIT Roorkee in computer science in 1987. He completed his masters from PHTO Utrecht, Netherlands in 1991 and also holds an MBA degree from IIT Delhi in 2000. He has more than 20 years of experience in building engineering teams from scratch, leading start-ups as well as large product teams. He is the Co-founder at SharedReach.

Mr. Amit Dayal (AD): Mr. Amit completed his graduation in computer science from IIT Roorkee in 1987. He then joined the University of California and completed his masters in 1989. He has also done MBA from University of California in 2000. He is having more than 20 years of experience and currently working as Vice President Engineering, Yahoo.

Mrs. Shivani Arora (SA): Mrs. Shivani did his graduation in computer science & technology from IIT Roorkee in 1987. She completed his master from IIT Delhi in 1989. She is also an accomplished badminton player. She has over 20 years of experience and is currently working as technical manager at Alcatel Lucent India Ltd.

Mr. Vineet Shukla (VS): Mr. Vineet got his engineering degree in industrial engineering from IIT Roorkee in 1987. He completed his masters from IIT Delhi in 1988. He is having more than 25 years of experience and is currently working as a Program Manager at Tata Technologies Ltd.

In addition to these distinguished speakers the occasion was also graced by other alumni. We had Mr. Alok Mahajan from KPMG, Mr. Sanjay Saxena from HDFC Ergo, Mr. Pradeep Ahluwalia from State Street Corp, Mr. Ravindra Gupta from Man Diesel, Mr. Bhupinder Singh, Mr. G. Srinivas from NPCIL, Mr. Sanjay Keshwani from Dassault System, Mr. Deepak Chawla from ZenPrise, Mr. Deepinder Setia from CONTRAIL System, Mr. Amitabh Diwakar an architect and Mr. Arun Agarwal from Shell. These experts also shared his views with the audiences.

As again, the profiles of the guests were very extraordinary. The event started with welcoming the alumni by Dr. Rangnekar, our head of department. Then these guests were introduced to our department through a presentation. Afterwards the panel discussion began.

Q: How do we shape the future?
AS: Future is actually in our hands. My belief is, the way you can shape the future is by acquiring the entrepreneurial spirit. Passion is a very important factor for the success. Another factor is persistence which is also essential for success. The next factor is ownership. One should remember that ownership is never assigned, it is always acquired.
SA: Basics of communication are very important. Another thing is that we desperately lack planning. We might be good in execution but we must focus on planning part.
VS: We are deciders of our own futures. Vision is really a big thing for shaping the future. Also consistent teamwork is the key for the success. Conviction is significant for success as well. Lastly, knowledge is something which can be acquired but wisdom can’t be.
AD: Technology is the new mantra. Whatever you do, technology will be a part of it. Therefore we should embrace, not go away from technology advantage. Future of technology is around products, not the services. So we have a mindset that we have to build great products.

It was a fruitful dialogue and next was the specific queries round.

Q: With respect to IIT Roorkee, how do we go about i.e., what is the road ahead?
SA: IIT Roorkee has lots more potential than it has today. The major area of focus is planning. People in other countries put a lot of efforts in planning which is not happening in India. Also, a lot of people want to do things for IIT Roorkee but they have time constraints. IIT Roorkee should produce a game plan to go about how to get best results from people who do not have enough time but have the will to contribute.

Q: Apart from passion and persistence, how important is the idea?
AS: Ideas are necessary but converting them into tangible thing is the key. It is therefore more important to spend time thinking. Ideas can’t be generated by sitting at home. Expose yourself to the outside world and learn what is going on around the world.
AD: before any idea, we have to check whether it is required at all. The reason being, if it is not satisfying any need it is not fruitful.

Q: Talking in the context of Indian IT industry, we see a lack of innovation. How we as managers, can mitigate this issue?
AD: Usually a lot of focus is given on services rather than products. However products are the area where there is a lot of scope of innovation. Services generally have optimization rather than true innovation. This has been recognized and there is increased focus on innovation. Now most of the service organizations also operate in product domain.
VS: Today the market is changing which is giving a lot of push for the product development. In the future, we expect to see innovative ideas from this section mainly.
AS: Prima facie, product development provides a comparatively low return on investment to the service provider. People should understand what product development is. Building or creating a product is the easy part. The tough part is to sell it and manage it over the time. But that is where revenues are generated. In comparison, the service industry is a lot easier. However product development is very learning and it adds tremendous value to the person. Organizations always look for a person with significant product development exposure.

Q: What are the must-haves for starting up an entrepreneurial spirit?
AD: the first thing we should look for is, are you solving a problem or it is just for the sake of it. The next important consideration is, do you have the right team.
AS: Finding the right team is like marriage. We need to spend time with a person to evaluate if we can trust the person. It is extremely important. Second, it is not about the idea but the passion about the idea.
SA: One must be ready for the failures. Once we know we can handle it, we can focus on it in a much better way.
VS: Learn to be risk taking. Discipline is very important yet we should also have enough flexibility to take up new challenges. Discipline should not be translated into rigidness.

This was the last query and it marked the end of the session. A note of thank was delivered to all guests. This marked the formal conclusion of the session. Overall, it proved to be a very useful session which would definitely help students in their grooming as future managers and leaders.