Monthly Archives: June 2012

From Muscat To SCMS-Cochin: Raj Nair Returns After 15 Long Years.

The 18th of June 2012 can well be defined in the annals of SCMS-COCHIN history in just one word – ‘Persistence’. It was the day when SCMS-COCHIN’s ‘persistent’ efforts in bringing one of its most professionally-‘persistent’ alumni finally bore fruit. Raj Nair, Business Manager, EINT Automotive LLC, W.J. Towell Group Company, returned to SCMS-COCHIN 15 years after he had passed out, and was deservingly awarded the ‘Home Coming’ T-shirt by Professor Sreekumar Pillai.

Raj Nair, in his pre-dinner talk with the current students of SCMS-COCHIN, could not help reminiscing about his days at SCMS-COCHIN. He confessed, “This visit was long overdue. I had promised to visit on many occasions but somehow it never materialised,” offering that it was better late than never.

Raj spoke earnestly about the art of persisting in whatever you do. He advised the youngsters to constantly be on the lookout for the opportunity that they would want to – and could – convert into a lifetime pursuit.

“Today SCMS-COCHIN is an established brand, with its alumni spread across the globe. But things were not as easy for us 15 years back. While the better known institutes at that time had industry knocking on their doors, we at SCMS-COCHIN really had to stretch ourselves to be noticed. There was a feeling in each of us to go that extra mile. When I passed out with the 4th Batch of PGDM from SCMS-COCHIN, I had a job offer from Hallmark in Pune as a frontline sales-person. While working there, an opportunity from EINT Automotive L.L.C. W. J. Towell Group Company, as a Sales Executive in Muscat, Oman came my way. I persisted and landed the job, and ever since, I’ve seen no reason to shift.”

Today, Raj Nair is the Head of Business of his vertical in EINT Automotive. The fact that he has stuck to the job and risen through the ranks over a period of 14 years is a testimony to his hard work and determination.

Bringing in a flavour of humour to the entire proceedings, Professor Pillai said that if Raj wouldn’t have ‘come home’ to SCMS-COCHIN this time around, they had planned to lay an ambush for him!

“We know he is on a vacation, and are absolutely thrilled to have him back and share his experiences and meet his mentors here at SCMS-COCHIN at such short notice. Alumni like Raj Nair are the reason why the otherwise impenetrable gates of corporate houses abroad open up for students of SCMS-COCHIN.”

Raj interacted with the students and answered their queries regarding his job, his corporate experiences, his family life and, most importantly, the challenges of landing a job abroad as well as being part of the same company for more than a decade.

SCMS-COCHIN was a life-changing experience for me. It is where I learnt to remain positive, in success and in failure,” he finally summed up.

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Posted by on June 29, 2012 in Alumni


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Knowledge Application Key Takeaway Of PGDM Course At SCMS-COCHIN, Says Saurabh Das..

Honest, forthright and straightforward: that describes Saurabh Das, a PGDM (Marketing) alumnus from the 11th batch of SCMS-COCHIN.  Reminiscing fondly about his alma-mater, Saurabh is emphatic that SCMS-COCHIN is no run-of-the-mill institution, but one with impeccable academic credentials, which focuses on learning through the application of knowledge. When looking back at his two years at SCMS-COCHIN, Saurabh gets extremely nostalgic about his days at the old campus. He yearns for those days gone by, where he and his classmates would stroll around the scenic campus after classes and have light snacks and cups of tea at the canteen.

About the professors at SCMS-COCHIN, Saurabh is all praise as he has learnt a lot from them. He describes the classes at SCMS-COCHIN as practical ones that go beyond just reading and studying. This is what distinguishes SCMS-COCHIN from other institutes. The lessons learnt there helped him and other students like him to tackle real life problems. A contented Saurabh says the journey from SCMS-COCHIN to now has been smooth sailing.  Having started out as an associate with Convergys some seven years back, today Saurabh is the India contact centre manager handling core call centre operations at OSI Systems, Hyderabad.

At OSI Systems, Saurabh handles a small contact centre with a head count of 36 people who report to three team leaders and are supported by a subject matter expert, and a voice and action trainer. “My core team is basically five members: three team leaders, subject matter expert and voice and action trainer. They report to me and manage the India call centre,” says Saurabh. About the SCMS-COCHIN alumni placement trend in call centres, Saurabh says, “Very few people from SCMS-COCHIN have joined call centres. As you have to work night shifts, your biological clock goes for a toss.” Saurabh says that while the call centre sector is challenging, there is no rapid growth as the sector has now reached a plateau. In hindsight, a PGDM degree in a call centre is not a liability, says Saurabh. What’s more important, he adds, is that one should keep performing as an associate or a team leader or a subject matter expert, and prove one’s mettle every day.

So as a call centre professional, what are Saurabh’s learnings from the industry after having graduated from SCMS-COCHIN? Says Saurabh, “Firstly, a manager should know that a business is driven by people and not by a process and he should put people first, because people make the process and the process generates revenue. In short, the focus should be on PPR:  people, process and revenue. These are the three things a manager should possess. Follow your people, work for their betterment, show them how they can get ahead. If your people work for you they will follow the process and create new processes. They will create that niche with which you can generate revenues.” Little wonder, then, that SCMS-COCHIN’s emphasis on a people-centric approach has helped Saurabh quickly climb the ladder of success. His advice to the present lot of students at SCMS-COCHIN is: study hard, don’t get bookish, apply knowledge, enjoy everything and love what you are doing.

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Posted by on June 26, 2012 in Alumni


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SCMS-COCHIN Goes Global With Collaboration With ABS, UK And ACBSP Accreditation.

Accolades from the media, endorsements from heavyweight corporates, consistently top rankings notwithstanding, the School of Communication & Management Studies, Cochin (SCMS-COCHIN) after firmly entrenching itself as a top 25 B-School in India, has now clinched global credentials through its collaboration with The Association of Business Schools, UK, (ABS, UK) the authoritative voice for all the B-Schools of UK universities. This laurel follows close on the heels of SCMS-COCHIN being the 7th B-School in India to earn accreditation from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), a global agency that is responsible for the accreditation of B-Schools, headquartered in Kansas City.

This collaboration with ABS, UK and accreditation with ACBSP, has now catapulted SCMS-COCHIN into the top league of B-Schools in India. All the leading B-Schools in the UK are long-standing members of ABS. Members benefit from sharing issues and best practice as well as developing initiatives and policy through ABS. These include: development and training programs, access to ABS research, and Biz Ed Directory listings (online course directory). Besides this, ACBSP’s stamp of approval means greater visibility for SCMS-COCHIN and better placement opportunities for its students, as most of the global corporate giants have a policy of visiting only ACBSP accredited B-Schools for recruitment. Accreditation is considered the hallmark of a quality B-School education, and students at SCMS-COCHIN are thrilled by the honour bestowed upon it from ACBSP.

Pradeep P Thevannoor, Group Director SCMS, says, “We are proud of this association with ABS as it helps in attaining our goals of a pan-global presence and to provide international-level education to our students.” Paul Marshall, Chief Executive, ABS added, “We are delighted to welcome SCMS-COCHIN as an affiliate. Business and management is global by its very nature and with its input will enable closer ways to collaborate and consolidate forward.” For the faculty, the journey has been just as rewarding as the end results. Prof. Mariakutty Varkey , HOD Systems Department says the accreditation by ACBSP is just another indicator of the excellence one can expect at SCMS-COCHIN.“ The accreditation process has also helped SCMS-COCHIN to integrate a series of globally recognized best practices with regard to our programs and courses.”

ABS, UK CEO Paul Marshall said his organization is excited to add SCMS-COCHIN and extend its portfolio of existing 117 UK business schools. With addition of SCMS-COCHIN, ABS hopes to deliver quality and consistency in all its management education initiatives. Paul Marshall added that it is imperative that ABS serves and represents all its members, and its growing international base and partnerships will enable them to have a holistic approach on a global scale.


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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in News Room


Students should make the most of the numerous placement opportunities provided by SCMS-COCHIN, says Seema Deepak .

Life has come full circle for Seema Deepak. As a student more than a decade ago, she would hit the road every morning to reach SCMS-COCHIN. But things have changed. Now, she is working for the SCMS group and handling the placement and internships of the students. Of course, much water has flown under the bridge during the last decade. “I passed out in 1999 and since then SCMS-COCHIN has really progressed exponentially—the campus is huge, it boasts one of the best faculties in the industry, infrastructure is excellent, and the placement scenario here is very encouraging,” says Seema.

Seema explains that placement is not merely the month-long on-campus show. “Actually, placement activities go on round the year, but become visible only during campus interviews. It takes a lot of hard work to bring good companies to the campus to conduct these interviews,” explains Seema.

She is always busy meeting with industry representatives and new companies, apprising them of the high-quality education imparted at SCMS-COCHIN, sharing the institute’s excellent track record and inviting them to fish in the talent pool of SCMS COCHIN.“The trick lies in communicating your good work to the companies, and then your track record stands as proof of your claims. But you need to keep all communication channels active and remain in touch all the time,” believes Seema. These interactions also help in exploring internship options for the students and in finding good guest speakers who give them insights into the real corporate world.

Seema Deepak believes that placement opportunities for the students have grown tremendously as India emerged as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, and one that is making its presence felt at an international level. “SCMS COCHIN has responded swiftly to the business demands, and as a result the young managers passing out from here are industry-ready. This explains why a growing number of companies show interest in our campus interviews,” says Seema.

She advises students to try their best to secure placements through campus interviews, gain a few years of work experience and then bargain hard for future opportunities. “If you are not hired by the company of your choice, try to make use of the opportunity that is offered to you. Sometimes students choose to give one opportunity a miss, hoping to get something big in the near future; but at times they keep waiting endlessly for that opportunity,” warns Seema.

Before joining SCMS-COCHIN, Seema worked with many organisations and gained valuable experience. She also worked as a merchandiser for a garment export company inBangalore. Now, she is happy working for her alma mater. “You kind of re-live your college life when you see your juniors working hard to do something big in their life. I really love working here,” says Seema with a lingering broad smile.

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Posted by on June 22, 2012 in Alumni


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Geordie Job Pottas, SCMS-COCHIN BAtch 2010-12 – “SCMS-COCHIN Graduate And World Record Holder Reflects On Life.”

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SCMS-COCHIN graduate Geordie Job Pottas already has a lot to be proud of. Not only is he in the Limca Book of World Records for setting a world record in the category of “Fastest Counting of Letters in 50 Words Having a Length Between 11-20 Letters Each with a Total of 800 Letters” in 3 minutes and 50 seconds, he was also awarded “Best Outgoing Student” in his graduating class at SCMS-COCHIN. To say that this journey from SCMS-COCHIN to world record holder has been a heady one is an understatement.

“For me, the two years at SCMS were a period where my life was transformed. It was here that I gained the confidence to become a public speaker. SCMS’ environment forces one to dig deep into one’s soft skills, explore them and then reproduces them…At the end of two years, I feel a sense of richness in me from the vast experiences there. It forces one to grow up as an adult in terms of maturity and wisdom.”

Being named “Best Outgoing Student” was an achievement that Geordie did not expect, but was the capstone on an already impressive educational journey. “To be frank, I had never expected such an honour to be bestowed upon me. It was a complete surprise! It feels amazing to become one. SCMS values curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Having the right attitude in life is very important, and I am happy to know that SCMS awards one on that aspect too, other than just pure academics. I have an A+ grade, but I wasn’t the best in terms of academics. I believe that it is the overall judgement about a person being a good human being that is valued more at SCMS.”

When it comes to talking about the key to his success, Geordie is extremely introspective. “Being humble and being ready to learn at every instance of your life is very important. Life should be exciting. The moment we stop enjoying something, it becomes boring. Try to find something that gives you happiness in what you do; the results will come automatically.”

Life after SCMS-COCHIN has been exciting for Geordie. With a world record under his belt in the Limca Book of World Records, he is now eyeing a chance to get into the Guinness Book of World Records. Beyond that, Geordie is still looking to the future. “Goals in life, they evolve. Apart from my professional goals, to add value to any organization that I am with, I have some life goals too. I would like to see myself as an entrepreneur. I would also like to travel with my family.”

Wherever he goes in life, Geordie has much to thank SCMS-COCHIN for. Not only did he learn academics, he learned about life and values. “The most important values that I shall carry from SCMS are the virtues of discipline, team-work, hard work and the importance of trying to be the reason for others to feel glad about themselves.”

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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Students Speak


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Seniors At SCMS-COCHIN Are Known To Welcome Freshers With Open Arms.

Ragging is a vice that has ruined the lives of many youngsters. Sometimes ragging creates such terror in the minds of freshers that they are scared to death when they step into the college campus. Thankfully, SCMS-COCHIN has always displayed bonhomie towards freshers. Here seniors play the role of elder brothers—always guiding and helping.

On behalf of the seniors, I would like to welcome all the freshers who have decided to be part of our ever growing family.

Treat others the way you would like to be treated—this is the mantra that guides us at SCMS-COCHIN. I believe that being a senior is like being an elder brother who helps juniors adjust to the new atmosphere and guides them to make the best of the available resources.

It is true that we seniors enjoy certain privileges but we should never forget the responsibilities that come along with this.  The fact that we are more informed and know more about the campus puts us in a position to help juniors. Of course, we get our due respect as seniors when we play the roles of guides and mentors. Well, being a senior means we are looked upon as role models. We really have to watch our actions and need to be guarded in our behaviour in order to set a good example for our juniors to emulate.

We will be able to meet the new batch only after the 17th of September. We are doing summer internship projects till 14th September but in our absence, freshers will be welcomed formally by the college.

Till the time we meet, I would like to give some suggestions to my juniors. They should make the most of the world class infra-structure at SCMS-COCHIN and utilise all available resources. They should make every effort to enhance their knowledge and skills. The college has a rich library with more than twenty thousand books and two hundred journals. They should make use of the language lab and actively participate in extra-curricular activities as it grooms their overall personality.

We all will have a bash when we formally meet at college. Just be ready with interesting jokes, songs or anything that you would like to share with us. We also have a lot to share with you. You will be impressed with our knowledge and smartness—after all, we are your seniors!

Kumar Pankaj


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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Students Speak


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Stafan Alex, SCMS-COCHIN Batch 2011-13 – “Learns To Focus On Creating Store Loyalty”

SCMS-COCHIN student, Stafan Alex, knows the importance of gaining real-world experience, particularly in today’s competitive marketplace. With this knowledge, Stafan has taken steps to qualify and undertake an internship with Reliance Fresh, a division of Reliance Retail Limited. The three-month internship, located in Mylapore, Chennai, is going to prove to be a challenge for Stafan but is one that he is eager to accept.

Rather than simply working at Reliance Fresh, Stafan is developing a specific project plan that, upon completion, will have immediate benefits for the company. “My topic is customer retention and loyalty. This is one of the integral strategies used by many businesses. As far as retail stores are concerned, they sometimes use these strategies by which regular customers are enrolled into the company‘s customer database. These customers are provided various offers and incentives in order to retain them. My project aims at studying the actual scenarios in a retail store and how Reliance is using customer retention strategies in their business.”

Stafan has divided his project into four phases to learn about the customer retention strategies that have been adopted by Reliance Fresh. Additionally, Stafan will be studying the model used for differentiating profitable and non-profitable customers, the factors making a customer loyal to a store and then developing a modifies customer service model for Reliance that uses all of these results and consumer buying behavior. Through this internship, Stafan hopes to gain deeper insight into the area of customer retention in retailing. He prepares for the project by with objective of looking at the shoppers and customers at the store and based on the study develop a model which can help the Reliance Fresh convert the shoppers also into life-long customers.

Stafan anticipates challenges in data collection process as people visiting such stores would be in a hurry and may not be willing to answer a long questionnaire, thus he intends to collect data by using  a questionnaire, personal  interviews and by observation. -. All this has to be done when the store is open without disturbing the flow of customers in the store hence the Cooperation from the Reliance Fresh management will be very crucial for the project, he understands.

For Stafan, at the moment its literature review time as he prepares to understand the theories that are converted in to working models by researchers and he will be carrying a measuring instrument   which could be best suited for a store like this one, conduct a pilot study, check the measurement instrument for reliability and then proceed for the data collection and analysis.  He plans getting to know the store operations by being a part of it. He feels it serves as an excellent chance for him to learn more about consumer behavior. This, in turn, the project should   prove to be useful towards his specialization in Retail and Merchandising. “Through this project, I aim to develop a customer service model that incorporates the learning I had in my courses. If the model after the test run proves worthy, it can be implemented.”

Given the commitment and drive that Stafan exhibits, he is well on his way to seeing this to realization.

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Posted by on June 19, 2012 in Internship


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Dr. Swamy voices his confidence in youth to continue fight against high-level corruption

SCMS-COCHIN learned about the fight against corruption in a March 6, Industry Institute Interaction (III) session featuring Dr. Subramanian Swamy.

Dr. Swamy, an eminent economist and ex-parliamentarian, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of SCMS-COCHIN.

Being a veteran orator and a fighter against corruption, he conducted the session on corruption at higher levels, which ran for an hour and a half at the seminar hall of SCMS.

After the welcome address by SCMS Group Chairman Dr. G. P.C. Nayar, the session was started by Dr. Swamy defining corruption as the misuse of public office for a decision which is not justified in merit. The major part of the session was about the 2G scam (in which it was said mobile licences and airwaves were granted in 2008 to companies which, the CBI claims, were ineligible), the people behind it and the follow up action to date. He explained the way he brought the case into the limelight and how he is trying to take the other culprits before the law.

Dr. Swamy outlined how the spectrum was sold in 2008 at price levels which existed in 2001, causing the nation a loss of 1,76,000 crore rupees.

He said corruption is an epidemic which brings in sub-optimized decisions and pointed out ways in which it allows black money to flow in the economy.

The methods to fight corruption are to implement apt punishments and give importance to our ancient values and lifestyle, which was less materialistic, said Dr. Swamy. He insisted the young managers to understand the Indian value system and rather than running behind the materialistic pleasures in life and slowly change the corrupt practices prevailing today. Dr. Swamy expressed faith in youth to fight corruption.

A vote of thanks was proposed by Prof. K. J. Paulose (Dean, SCMS).

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Posted by on June 6, 2012 in News Room


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Sindu Pandalai : From Homemaker to Cupcake Queen

SCMS alumni Sindu Pandalai knows how to multi-task. Full-time mother and now entrepreneur working to create a cupcake empire, Sindu is doing it all.

“If there’s anything we learnt at SCMS, it was positive thinking,” says Sindu. This is a philosophy that Sindu has fully embraced. She is a burgeoning entrepreneur who is running both a cupcake business and her home successfully.

Before embarking on this endeavor, Sindu worked with the UB Group’s Spirit Division. After working for the company for four long years, she elected to choose motherhood over a career. However, it wasn’t long before the marketing and finance major decided to combine her passions: business and family. Today, she has her own “The Cupcake Factory”, a one and a half-year old company that she runs from her home.

Sindu believes that the transition from business woman to homemaker to both wasn’t a conscious effort but a natural transition. A baker for the past 11 years, she became so good at making desserts that she was volunteering to do just that every time there was a family get-together. Despite the popularity of her desserts, the idea of starting her own business didn’t occur to her until a friend asked if Sindu could supply 50 cupcakes for her daughter’s birthday.

Sindu delivered the cupcakes to the birthday party and was surprised when they were gone almost as soon as the box was opened. The same couldn’t be said of the birthday cake, ordered from a professional baker, which just sat there, waiting to be cut. Her friend suggested that Sindu think about pursuing her craft on a professional level, and Sindu’s instincts told her the same thing. Armed with her academic experience from SCMS, Sindu decided to seize the moment.

Sindu doesn’t own a store but works from home. With a belief in the importance of fresh ingredients, Sindu’s business is thriving. Positive response from customers has led her to create a Facebook page, and she is in the process of developing a website for her company.However, one can see her work and interact with her on The Cupcake Factory Facebook page

Upon graduating from SCMS, Sindu said her mother was initially concerned when she learned that she would be working for a liquor company, but the concern soon passed. Her husband, however, has remained very supportive of all her decisions, whether she worked at the liquor company, quit to become a full-time mom or started her own business.

Sindu is one of those lucky few that have found a happy medium in their life. While she has no sage advice for future managers/entrepreneur, she does offer one piece of wisdom: never be afraid of trying. According to her, it is better to try and fail than not trying at all and regretting it later.

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Posted by on June 1, 2012 in Alumni


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