Thursday, November 27, 2014

An Entrepreneur's Diary

Minding his business from an early age:
My family has always been business oriented and I think I have it in my blood. I even had an opportunity to manage my uncle's medical store as a child. Even in college I was involved in various entrepreneurial activities and taking up a job was never an option for me. So after completing by B.Tech, although I had a placement offer, I started my own project where I was doing something for the Indian Railways.

Rise and fall and rise again:
I had a great experience working as a Railway contractor and I got to learn about everything; from project tendering to final work completion. Of course there were hiccups along the way and I faced setbacks, but I knew I would bounce back again. That’s the nature of business, which is something I learned from an early age. My entrepreneurial journey so far has been for about 4 years and has got me many opportunities to work with people from diverse backgrounds, including a few projects with The Painting People, Australia.

Management training to understand business:
Whatever I know of the business world, I have learned it though my own experiences. But I wanted to get proper management training to understand business, which is why I chose SPJIMR. It is a B school that has an entrepreneurial approach, which suited me perfectly. The program gives me space and time to pursue my business interests while I get learning opportunities in every domain to hone my skills.

Overall SPJIMR experience:
The journey has been exciting although initially I took time to adjust to the new place. I find it very refreshing now and get exposed to things that I have never done before. Faculty members here are very accessible and I am lucky to have talented batch mates. It’s a brilliant experience sharing ideas with them and learning from them.  With the help of E-cohort I also get to work on my business. What more could I ask for?

Its never too late to Learn!

Pranav Tatwawadi, PGDM 16, Operations Management is all about being an all rounder and a well-groomed personality.

Scholarly beginnings:
One of the biggest highs for me in my academic journey has been winning the NTSE scholarship that is awarded by the Government of India. It’s special for me because only 1000 students from all over the country are given the scholarship every year and I was one of them.

Varied interests:
I am a sportsperson at heart and I believe that playing sport not only keeps you healthy and fit but builds the right attitude in you as well. I played badminton and have represented my college and previous employers at various National level tournaments.

Four years ago I started learning the sitar, which is considered to be a difficult instrument to learn. But I give one hour of my time daily to practice and it helps me find inner peace. I have given certification exams and played at various concerts. Being on stage performing is a unique high.

Professional journey:
As a software engineer I worked with Oracle for about three years. I used to be a software developer for their EM cloud control and it was a great place to work because I learned a lot.

Future plans:
You’ll often find people who have worked in manufacturing plants opting for Operations Management. But I chose it as specialization for my PGDM since I have keen interest in it. I believe gaining knowledge of operations is helpful because I can apply it in every field and achieve my career goals.

Overall SPJIMR experience
It has been a wonderful experience so far as I am learning each passing day. I also believe that your life should be colorful and SPJIMR is adding new colors to my life every day.

The Reliance Retail Champions!

It was Saturday, the 13th of September when Damodar Mall, the man who built customer strategy for Reliance group visited SP Jain campus. The college was abuzz with excitement as many had heard a lot about this eminent personality. Additionally, he was had authored a book titled, ‘The Super-market Wala’ whose copies were to be sold at the campus. There was another perk to this event, the organizers of ‘The CEO talk series’, i.e. Industry Integration Forum, also declared a competition the winners of which were to receive a certificate from Mr. Mall himself.
The competition was interesting. It was to arrange various selected items found in a retail store in various places using the map of the store provided. However, it was to be done in just a few hours. My team, consisting of Dhinesh Babu and Saurabh Kumar apart from me,was quite psyched about the competition as we had a basic idea about the arrangement of items in stores to make them appear lucrative to the customer. We were unsure if we would be able to finish it in time for the deadline but we were optimistic. So we sat together and worked on our strategy during the breaks between each class. There was an initial conflict of ideas but we could soon find common ground and we finished the task just in time for submission.
During the lecture, we came to know that quite a few other teams had also handed in their submissions and we were unsure about our chances of a win. However, when the winners were announced at the end of the session we were elated! Our hard work and optimism had surely paid off. 
All in all, it was a productive day and the lecture by Mr. Mall was informative and engaging.

~Maneesha Akshay PGDM 2014 Marketing

PGDM and PGEMP join hands to make BCP a success!

Business Consulting Projects, a unique industry-integration pedagogy at SPJIMR to expose the students to the world of consulting and providing exposure to problem framing and dealing with ambiguity, is in its second year since inception. The students, in the course of this program, take up live consulting projects from the industry and conduct extensive secondary research to arrive at the problem definition for their clients.
The BCP initiative is a result of a fruitful collaboration between two programs at SPJIMR – the PGDM (2-year full time Post Graduate Diploma in Management) and the PGEMP (Post Graduate Executive Management Program) programs. The executives from the PGEMP program are the Clients who bring the live projects from their work organizations and the PGDM participants are the Consultants who perform extensive research on the ‘symptoms’ of the project to arrive at the problem definition. It is a win-win situation for all with the PGEMP executives being benefited with a direction to their projects and the PGDM participants getting a real-time exposure to the industry and the importance of research in any consulting project.
With increasing the interaction between the two programs being an important agenda of this initiative, there were several formal and informal meetings organized between the Clients and the Consultants, where the Clients were periodically apprised of the progress of the projects. The feedback on this initiative from the industry has been encouragingly positive. “The team did extremely well, identifying the problem and defining it in context of the domestic market. The insights given on how the problem can be handled are extremely helpful with limited understanding they had”, says Snehil Kumar, a participant from the PGEMP program. “This has been a great learning and enriching experience for me from my various interactions with the highly energized, creative and enterprising team of consultants assigned to the project. The study carried out by the consultants has also provided new insights into the need analysis have been extremely helpful to me in conceptualizing and planning the project”. 
Clearly, the BCP as an initiative is on the right track in achieving the goals it set out to achieve, with each year being better than the previous. It also stands as a testimony to the idea of collaboration between various programs of an institute to create a better learning atmosphere and leveraging the best of all worlds.

~Srikant Jhanwar PGDM 2014 Operations

The Drought

As far as his sight could go, there was nothing but a drought..
A drought of what he assumed was his life . Meaningless, without any motive ,living without a reason. Just plain survival .Every day was a battle, a battle with his own self….. a battle with the rest of the world……a battle that he knew would never end .But he also knew, that he had to fight for every second that came his way ,struggle for every breath .Being born into this world and then getting abandoned just like that ,is one of the worst things that could happen to anyone .It is like planting a flower which u recently bought from the nearby nursery, and crushing it the next moment without giving any thought to how it would have adorned your garden .Ajay had eventually learned it and accepted the fact that fairy tales only existed in books…..Peter Pan was just a creation of J.M.Barrie, and there were no fairy god "mothers" in the real world.
It was one of those days when he had had nothing to eat…the kind woman who lived around the corner and used to offer food to him…..not because of pity ,but more because, she saw in him his dead son who had died when he was 6, was out of town...and there was no one else in this world who would empathize with him…..take pity on him for any reason...
When the hunger was unbearable, Ajay had to put his guard down .He went out, searching for something on which he could lay his hands on .He didn't mind stealing ,snatching or any of those things that this society frowned upon .For him there were no rules ,this society never took to him and he never took to the rules of this society.
At a distance he saw the local chat shop .He had stolen from that place a couple of times before ,got caught once too ,but with no other alternative ,Ajay decided to go for the kill .He had to do it .The hunger was driving him crazy . The expression, helplessness was mocking him, and was gleefully resting on his face. He was too proud to ask someone for something, so stealing was the only option left for him .He went slyly around the corner to the backside of the shop where there was a tiny window. He checked…..there was no one looking behind…..he extended his hand to get anything he could reach for .Bulls eye it was for him!! He managed to reach to a packet of bread .And slowly and steadily he tried to withdraw his hand with the packet still in his hand…..
One of the customers noticed it….she yelled.."chor..!!!"..the chatwala turned back…..saw the hand withdrawing and disappearing ..his servant ventured out of the shop and went towards the direction where he had seen the little boy disappear ."The boy has not learned anything from the last beating ", he mumbled under his breath .With rage in his disgusted eyes, the servant strolled the dirty road, and he looked everywhere but couldn't find the boy .Finally after an hour of searching he gave up.
Ajay was hiding in the basement of a nearby building from there he could see the servant retrieving back to the shop .It was time for him to go back to his abode and enjoy his meal for the day. A hard earned or rather well earned meal ,or so he thought .He had hardly started his walk back to his shack ,his home ,that a boy about his age came like a lightning from nowhere and snatched the bread packet from his hands and started running .Ajay being more agile and a natural sprinter ,without wasting any moment chased him, pinned him down  and snatched the packet back from him .He was about to hit the boy when that boy pleaded and begged. He told him that he was an orphan and had had nothing to eat that day .The intense hunger had resulted in him snatching the packet from Ajay..
Ajay could see his reflection in that boy .He held back his blow, still in midair....inches from touching that boy's face .He felt sorry for that boy and without caring much and saying much he offered half of the bread loafs ,took the boy back to his shack and asked him to stay with him henceforth.
Minutes before sleeping Ajay had these thoughts…. he wasn't alone in this world .There were others like him too….and in even worse conditions .He thanked god for more reasons than one - in spite of being an orphan there was this lady who took care of him ,all his limbs were still intact and he was able to do some work every now and then and stayed afloat..and finally for providing him a friend and making him experience a new feeling of friendship…..he wasn't alone in this battle of his… one ever is .Sooner or later you always find someone to bear and share your burdens and make this world a slightly better place to live in .For Ajay clouds had finally started to take varied shapes…….and finally the drought was beginning to end!!

~ Varun Dhingra PGDM 2012