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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Knowing Samuel John

SCMS1At SCMS-Cochin, we all have our strengths; individual qualities that can be expansively carved out in beautiful words. All… except one. Because when it comes to Samuel John a thousand words cannot say, what a few photographs can.

When Samuel John joined the 21st Batch of SCMS-Cochin, we saw him just as the rest of the world did – a young, well-groomed man who had worked hard to get into SCMS-Cochin, and like the rest of us would make a fine young manager of men and resources.

We couldn’t have been further away from his reality. And Samuel jolted us out of our impression with this unimaginable-for-us feat.

It was a revelation. Samuel John is a ‘Brown Belt’ (2nd Dan) in Karate, a Tae-scms2Kwon-Do ‘Senior Green Belt’. The pacid calm of his countenance comes from the fact that he has attained a level in Yoga,which only its unrelenting practitioners do. From Hip Hop, MJ, and Freestyle dancing as a semi-finalist in Boogie Woogie auditions, to Bike Stunting, Wheeley, Surfing, and Burnout; all of a suddent the rest of us at SCMS-Cochin were re-introduction to Samuel John – the real ‘Disco Fighter’!

With time we saw and learnt more from this amazing Samuel John. We got to know about his exploits at All Madhya Pradesh United Karate and Yoga Championship – 2006 (4 Golds and a Bronze),All Bhopal District United Shito-Ryu Karate Championship – 2005 (2 Golds and 2 Silvers), and All Bhopal Inter-Dojo Karate and Yoga Championship – 2006 (2 Golds).

While we were still coping up with this newfound avataar of Samuel John, he chose a different platform at SCMS-Cochin to let us know there was still a lot more to him.

SCMS 4Back home at Bhopal, Samuel John is a rockstar! Every time you mention ‘Living Stones’ (his rock band from college of which he still is a central part), Samuel’s eyes sparkle with glittering exploits; like the time when they performed ‘LIVE’ in front of a ten-thousand strong gathering of head-bangers in Bhopal. Let the electric guitar in his hand not fool you; Samuel is equally rocking on the Keyboards and Drums.

With every passing day, we at SCMS-Cochin realise that Samuel John is special. We have now stopped trying to guage the depth of his talent. As a parting shot we leave you now with ‘The Bioscope called Life – as seen through the lens of Samuel John’. His photography will tell you about the close proximity to nature of this Bhopal-born-Malayalee, as well as his leanings towards social service (Samuel was the Youth Secretary of the IFGM Church, Bhopal for 2 consecutive years 2010-2012, and is also the President of the Student Body, Inter Collegiate Prayer Fellowship of Bhopal).

scms5scms6scms7By Samuel John himself…
Passions mean a strong feeling or emotion, something that is desired intensely.So when people speak of passion they generally mean a hobby or interest. I have a different way of looking at it. My passion is not just a hobby; rather it is “to live life to the fullest”. For this reason I did not restrict my passion to a certain type of expression or medium.

Now, behind every passion there is a motive… a purpose… something that we want to achieve, seek or convey. Suppose a person’s passion is dancing. What does he want to achieve and convey through his dance? The essence of his dance could be grace, freedom, elegance, and/ or exercise.By practicing different disciplines, I grow and enjoy; and in the bargain, entertain, help and encourage others to discover and realize their potential and talents.

To excel, one must have excellent interpersonal and communication skills. I thank my God that he not only blessed me with a lot of it, but also gave me countless opportunities to build and develop it all the more.

Being a student at SCMS-Cochin, my first and foremost desire and obligation is achieving academic excellences. While I work towards it, I am enthusiastic about my passion as well, so I try to blend academic distinction in SCMS-Cochin and my creative passion, thus enjoying all the colours of life.

By Jayeeta Patatunda
SCMS Batch 21


 

 

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2013 in Student Life

 

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“HUMANE 2012–‘Aligning HR with business strategy’” National seminar on HR at SCMS-Cochin

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SCMS-Cochin played host to some of the most distinguished HR practitioners of India at the national seminar on Human Resources, HUMANE 2012 Held on the 26th and 27th of December the two-day seminar saw stalwarts from the HR spectrum exchange views on‘Aligning HR with Business Strategies’. The experts shared their knowledge and interacted with the young guns of SCMS-Cochin on a variety of topics like employee engagement, social media and HR, and Workforce Diversity

Providing the mandate for a thought-provoking seminar, Professor P.C Pillai, Group Director, SCMS-Cochin, drew a vivid comparison between the immense importance of Human Resource management today, with the 1970’s, when he was an employee in a reputed bank, and when most of the organisations did not have an HR sturcture in place.

Inaugurating the seminar, the celebrated DRDO Scientist and Director of NPOL Dr. Anantha Narayanan, spoke about the importance of HR management event to career scientists like him.

“With technology changing so rapidly, one of the biggest challenges of HR is to train its employees to avoid them from becoming outdated. If the management is able to understand the employee’s social, economical,and personal needs, it will be highly successful in retaining their employees. Manpower is beyond doubt the most important asset of an organisation. Connectivity through communication is the important link between management and the work force. This is not just good PR, it is also good HR.”

One of the most informative speakers during Humane 2012 was Mr. C.S. Anil Kumar, Zonal Head Operations of South Zone Reliance Retail, who gave a stunning account of how HR is driving businesses in various areas of the corporate.

“According to surveys, 17% of HR professionals and leaders have confirmed that they are invited to participate in the initial stages of major enterprise initiatives. HR is now a business partner; it is a tool that supports profit making of the company. To link HR with business, you should know your business first. Therefore, increasingly, HR practitioners are now being chosen from amongst those who know the business from the ground level upwards.HR is shifting from organisation of the business, to the business of the organisation” remarked Mr. Kumar.

The session by Mr. Shebu Raphael, Vice President – HR, Deloitte, was thoroughly enjoyed by the students of SCMS-Cochin, since it was high on the humour quotient.Drawing inspiration from scenes of Malyalam cinema, Mr. Raphael, simplified the current HR scenario for the benefit of the future managers from SCMS-Cochin. With great ease Mr. Raphael was able to establish that employee retention ultimately is the difference between an iconic corporate entity, and a ‘fly-by-night’ operator.

Mr. Narendra Kumar, Zonal Head – HR, Coca Cola, spoke intensely about the future of HR. He drew attention to the changing trends of HR, highlighting the linkages between strategy and HR.

He said, “The priorities of a global HR leader today should be on developing a comprehensive talent strategy. This should be closely followed by creatively engaging employees, improving managerial performance, knowing where and when to differentiate, and lastly measuring and monitoring results.”

Focussing on the influence of advancing technology and social media, Mr. Praveen Kamath, General Manager & Global Head – Talent Transformation at Wipro BPO reminded that, “Technology is the key for any business today. You have to realise the need of the hour. Technology is not just changing the role of HR, but how we conduct HR management as well. 87% of the companies today use Linkedin for recruitements. Social Media is a tool for every business to stay up… and updated.”

Over the two days of Humane 2012 the audience at SCMS-Cochin bore witness to some of the most stimulating discussions on all aspect of the subject. There was a series of Panel Discussions like the one on ‘Employee Engagement’, with eminent panelists like Mr. Abraham George, Partner at STEPZ HR, and Mr. Bijwish Babu, Manager – HR (International Recruitments & Rewards) at BankMuscat.  Two of the Panel Discussions drew a lot of interest, since the moderator was a SCMS-Cochin alumni Ms. Annu Mathew, currently a Talent Strategist with Accenture. One of these discussions was on Workforce Diversity, which had Mr. Rajesh Nair, VP Ernst and Young, and Mr. Vinod Subramanian, Associate Director, Flexability Limited, as panelists. The second Panel Discussion was on Social Media and HR with eminent panelists like Mr. K. N. Ajith, VP – HR & FMS at Mytrah Energy (India) Ltd., and Mr. Kishore Poduri, HR Head at DBS, Mumbai.

The experts from the industry congratulated SCMS-Cochin for creating the platform for an extremely ‘topical topic’. It was generally agreed by the students of SCMS-Cochin that the seminar had been an eye-opener on more than one front.

 

 
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Posted by on January 29, 2013 in events and activities

 

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9TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON E-GOVERNANCE AT SCMS-COCHIN “Tapping Into Global Thinkers To Find The Way Forward In e-Governance In India”

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One of the most anticipated conferences on e-governance in the country, the 9th International Conference on e-Governance (ICEG-2012) was held on the 29th and 30th of December 2012 at SCMS-Cochin. Despite the festive season, subject experts from various parts of the globe like Dr. Waltraut Ritter (Research Director, Knowledge Enterprises, Hong Kong), Ms. Chandana Unnithan, Deakin University, Australia, and Dr. MP Gupta, Professor  & Chair-Information Systems & E-governance, IIT Delhi shared their thoughts at ICEG-2012. More than 30 shortlisted Papers and case studies on various aspects of e-governance were presented over 5 plenary sessions.

Welcoming the luminaries during the inaugural session Dr. V. Raman Nair, Director, SCMS-Cochin, presented a fairly incisive study of the current state of e-governance in India, and why e-governance was absolutely essential to balance out the lopsided growth story of the country. The stage was then set for Major General (Retired) Dr. R.K.Bagga, Chairman, CSI SIG e-governance, to present the macro view at the national level. Dr. V.P. Joy, Principal Secretary – Finance, Government of Kerala, thereafter discussed how e-governance was panning out in the home state. The inaugural session also saw eminent speakers like Mr. Satish Babu, President, Computer Society of India, Dr. MP Gupta, Professor  & Chair-Information Systems & E-governance, IIT Delhi, and Ms. Chandana Unnithan, School of Information Systems, Deakin University, Australia bring their expert opinion to the table.

The Keynote session had Ms.. Neeta Verma (Senior Technical Director, Data centre & Web services Div, NIC) opine on ‘Open Government Data: A New Opportunity to Serve the Citizens’, while Mr. Anand Parthasarathy (MD, Online India Tech Pvt. Ltd.) dwelt upon ‘Citizen Services in an Internet Age: Harnessing the mobile edge.’

The three plenary sessions were organised around the subjects of ‘e-Governance & Inclusive Growth’ and ‘e-Governance – Implementation Issues and Challenges’. Papers were presented on topics ranging from ‘Uses OF VoIP IN E-Governance’, to ‘Access and Awareness of Mobile Market Information Services for market linkages among farmers in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu’,Open Government Data – more than 80 formats’, Survey on Various Initiatives and Challenges of Mobile based Public Services in India’, and ‘A GIS Based e-Governance Solution for School Mapping and Educational Micro-Planning – a Case Study of the State of Maharashtra’.

The evening of Day 1 (29th December 2012) provided the distinguished delegates at the 9th ICEG at SCMS-Cochin with some delightful retreat from the hectic brainstorming of the day.. The PGDM students of SCMS-Cochin enacted the rich cultural heritage of Kerala through a dance and drama show. “I cherish your great hospitality for which Kerala will be very special in my memory,” said Dr. M P Gupta from IIT Delhi, echoing the sentiments of the luminaries at the conference. “I am most impressed by Gayatri (who anchored the show) and her team for putting up this splendid cultural program. I have found a positive environment in SCMS-Cochin, and happiness all around.”

On the final day of ICEG-2012 a special two-and-a-half hour session was organised to sum up the ‘Best Practices in e-Governance’. This session was truly a ‘special’ one for the students of SCMS-Cochin, with distinguished academicians, industry practitioners, and government officers actively brainstorming to come up with issues, solutions and applications of e-governance that could work in the Indian context. Apart from Dr. Waltraut, Dr. Ajit Babu, Dr. Biju Soman, and Dr. K Jayakumar(Joint Secretary CSIR/DSIR, Ministry of Science and Technology) left no stones unturned to plant the seeds of a better e-governance structure in minds of the audience at SCMS-Cochin.

“I would like to thank SCMS-Cochin for organising and executing ICEG 2012 so well,” said Ms. Chandana Unnithan, a subject expert from Deakin University, Australia. “You were meticulous, patient and timely.  Especially Dr. Sengottuvelu and all the student community who supported this event – the cultural program was fantastic. My personal congratulations to the singing team and the dance team — they were very creative.”

“The Conference has been successful in giving an overview of e-governance and related areas to the audience through keynote addresses and various special sessions,” pointed out Dr. V. Raman Nair, Director, SCMS-Cochin. “It had some good research presentations by young research scholars in its plenary sessions.”

Keeping in mind the growing importance of e-Governance, SCMS-Cochin is undoubtedly opening up avenues for its students through exposure to global thoughts and efforts in this domain.

 

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2013 in events and activities

 

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Student Vineed Vijay is an expert with his camera and believes that every moment of life can be made “picture perfect”

VineedVineed Vijay, a first year PGDM student of Batch 21 is known in campus for his love for photography. Photography, poems, script writing, direction, etc are Vineed’s interests. Recently in an interview, he shared his experiences and passion towards Photography.

Vineed does not even remember the age from which he started using a camera. “It seems like it has been with me ever since my birth”, remarked Vineed smilingly. He remembers using his uncle’s camera and wasting many film rolls clicking random snapshots. According to him, photography is his life- “A camera gives you the ability to see life in everything you see.” He loves the world of colors and says that photography is a world full of color.

Though he loves every snap taken by him, he cherishes his collections from his trip to Chittar, Kerala, with his friends. He prefers taking outdoor photos, landscape /portrait depending on the situation. When asked an opinion about the role played by smart phones these days in the field of photography, he says, photography captures a moment which cannot be recalled and a picture remains memorable. Smart phones help in the same when it is difficult to carry a camera in hand. Better options and better cameras are available with smart phones now. They help us use it during emergency situations as well and of course nothing can replace a real lens and a camera but smart phones are smart innovations.

He believes in capturing the true emotions and natural expressions of a person through random snaps of the environment he is in. Vineed says that “Every picture or photograph has a story to tell”. For example he says there is a photograph of a kid from Africa. It has got a best photograph award too. In it a vulture waits for the fall of a malnutrition kid, this shows the story of a country darkened by hunger and poverty.

He loves to click pictures and receive appreciations. He says that it is more pleasing to hear than be part of a picture. But he occasionally participates within the frame of a picture. He believes that being good at one makes him better at the other and that is what the management education has helped him understand. He feels that every individual is unique. Sachin Tendulkar is his motivational icon.

An inspirational quote of his is, “Hope is a waking dream” and he says “Always see life in everything before you and try to see with your heart and not through your lens/camera. That way you will be picture perfect.”

-Leya Elizabeth Mohan

PGDM – 21

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Student Life

 

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SCMS-Cochin Out-Bound camp instils Leadership and Teamwork.

Physical training, leadership skills and teamwork were all in evidence in SCMS-Cochin students in their annual Out-Bound Training Programme held at Suryanelli in the Munnar district. Student Jayeeta Putatunda found it to be “the most exciting part of the whole PGDM course”. She said that details of the event were kept shrouded in mystery until finally a notice was posted outlining guidelines on what to take, the weather conditions, camp tents and facilities.

On December 14th, the first batch with three faculty members started out at around 11:30 a.m., reaching the camp at 5 p.m. The camp, said Jayeeta “was a scenic spot with a perfect integration of hills, rivers and greenery that created a very soothing and peaceful environment.”

Under the direction of Commander R. Madhusoodanan, Chief Trainer with Kalypso Training, the SCMS-Cochin students were briefed on the activities ahead and then relaxed with snacks in front of a camp fire. True to form, they played various games such as antakshari and passing the ball before retiring to their tents.

The SCMS-Cochin crew was up at 6 a.m. the next day and after breakfast, had different warm-up exercises in separate teams. These include exercises such as passing the ball randomly, the tile chain exercise and carrying the ball only with ropes attached from one station to another. This was followed  by a debriefing by the commander about what happened in the exercises.

As Jayeeta explained, the intention was to enhance the way they worked as a team and the way they communicated effectively to achieve set goals. “That is the point at which we realised that OBT was not only about fun tasks, but also involved a practical learning experience out of our regular organisational behaviour classes,” she said. “We learned mostly about leadership and how an effective leader can motivate and influence a team and guide its members to achieve individual as well as organisational goals. The actual experiences made the theory perspectives more clear.”

But the best was yet to come – river rafting. SCMS Director of Academic Administration, Pramod P. Thevannoor, Director Dr. V. Raman Nair, Dean Dr. Filomina P. George and Hostel Administrator Mr. Balagopal arrived that day, providing encouragement and taking lots of pictures

For the SCMS-Cochin students, rafting was a new experience as they had to make the rafts with bamboo shafts and tires, but keeping safety and cost effectiveness in mind. It was another event that called for teamwork.

Other events held during the Out-Bound Training Programme included Hill Trekking, which fostered team bonding, assisting each other and motivating tired participants. This was followed by an activity called ‘passing through the spider web’ which required dedication, concentration and effective planning.

The whole OBT experience “was very special in terms of learning as well as forming new bonds and strengthening the old ones,” said Jayeeta. “We, the students of SCMS, thank the management,  faculty, the Kalypso Adventures Team and all our fellow students who made this entire event a grand success and so meaningful in our lives.”

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in events and activities

 

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“At SCMS- Cochin, the HR department spans the globe to find out the latest global academic practices, and seeks expert opinions from eminent industry practitioners to keep the curriculum up-to-date.” – says, Lt. Cdr. (Retd.) Shalini Nandwani Associate Professor – HR, SCMS-Cochin

Shalini NandwaniProfessor Shalini Nandwani is one of the finest examples of the diverse backgrounds from which SCMS-Cochin draws its faculty members. A great asset to SCMS-Cochin for nearly three-and-a-half years now, Professor Nandwani has practised Human Resources in extremely challenging conditions, as a Lieutenant Commander in the Indian Navy for 12 years. Prior to joining SCMS-Cochin she was Chief Manager, Human Resource Management Group, ICICI Bank Ltd.

“While working with Officers and Sailors in the Navy, I realised the importance of training in Human Resource management, and also my passion for it. On moving into the corporate sector, my role was not limited to training alone, but a major part also included recruitment. It was during campus recruitments at engineering, management and other specialised institutions that I felt I could make a difference in the academic sphere.”

With a Masters in HR from Pondicherry University, Professor Nandwani has a PG in Business Administration from MDI Gurgaon. She believes that with the advent of technology – especially the internet – students today have a much shorter attention span, and “prefer not to understand in the class”. Therefore, before every class, she has adopted the simple policy of scanning the net space for what’s happening in the business world related to that session. She further bolsters her classes with copious use of audio–video media, case studies, webinars, etc.

“A quality-conscious B-school like SCMS-Cochin updates its curriculum annually to remain effective. At SCMS-Cochin, the HR department goes to great lengths to find out the latest global academic practices, and seeks expert opinion from eminent industry practitioners to keep the curriculum up-to-date. When something new emerges in the field, beyond-the-curriculum classes or forum hours by industry experts are introduced through the Institute Industry Interaction programme. Seminars, workshops and discussions are also used to provide students with real-life inputs. It is for this reason that I encourage students to carry out field studies and mini projects, and interview professionals from concerned domains; all this is apart from giving them creative assignments.”

Professor Shalini Nandwani is of the opinion that the responsibilities of the HR department will continue changing and become more diverse and complex.

“Technology is changing continuously… and changing everything. Work culture in a knowledge society is yet to stabilise. Organisations are growing from rags-to-riches in no time, and vice versa. The dimension of working population is changing. With all this come a lot of challenges for HR managers. Organisations today expect their employees to deliver results from day one, and employees expect more from organisations in terms of rewards, recognition, freedom and flexibility. While successful organisations have realised the importance of HR as a department, HR itself – in most places – needs to understand the nuances of business and develop its capabilities and strengths.”

Professor Nandwani advises her students at SCMS-Cochin that the best way forward is to work hard on being a subject matter expert, but apply equal stress on gaining knowledge about the business.

“It is the only way of being efficient and effective from day one,” she concludes matter-of-factly.

 

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Faculty

 

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