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Monthly Archives: March 2013

“Why only the best management colleges in India are equipped to train professionals for Research and Analysis domain” says Kakoli Choudhury, Alumnus SCMS Cochin, Batch 18

Kakoli_PicAn alumna of Batch 18 (2009-11) of SCMS-Cochin, Kakoli started her career with Genpact and had a stint of 18 months there. Having recently made the switch to Blue Ocean Market Intelligence – the company that handles the primary and secondary research for one of its primary client that is Microsoft- she expects to inculcate more knowledge and expertise in this field.

“The learning and exposure that we received at SCMS-Cochin was immense. My professional journey has been smooth so far because I am in a field that interests me. But one of the reasons why I have been able to do well is a clear-cut understanding of SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences). It is a part of the SCMS-Cochin curriculum. It is something which is extensively needed in my current job to synthesize the data based on various analysis and then present them to the clients.”

Kakoli’s job demands constant client interaction and executing customised research studies for clients. This involves everything from assistance in developing proposals, to coordinating with DP team for data tabulation and with analysis team for data analysis needs, down to creation of PowerPoint reports that includes data populated in the form of charts, graphs. But most importantly, her clients like Microsoft also require insights to substantiate and add value to these facts and figures. Defined by colleagues as “Inquisitive, compassionate, methodical, and cheerful”, Kakoli’s typical day at her workplace is an interesting mix of work and fun with colleagues and seniors.  Ofcourse, there are days when slogging is inevitable, to maintain client delivery ‘on time and accurate’.  It is on such slog days that her tenure at SCMS-Cochin helps her the most.

“At SCMS-Cochin, we learnt to work under immense pressure and deliver the best. I still recall the mad rush to meet the 9:15am deadline for submission of given assignments. Ofcourse now it all seems like we actually had a lot of fun even during those strenuous times. We were a big batch; 250 students from every possible field, state, and culture across India, and some from abroad as well. The competition within SCMS-Cochin was fierce, but that’s why, not only have most of us survived the tough economic scenario, but have actually thrived. The PDP (Personality Development Program) was just awesome. It was an icebreaking session that helped our batch gel beautifully. The OBT (Outbound Training) again, was a well-organized episode. It made us understand the real meaning of teamwork, which is a must in today’s corporate world”

Kakoli Choudhury believes that while new B-schools are mushrooming all over the countryside, aspiring managers should assess the quality of education imparted as well as the quality of students passing out of the colleges before enrolling into the college.

“In my domain, hiring is an on-going process because the need for market research is growing increasingly important in almost every industry. The catch is that not only should you have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, but should be well versed with the research and analytical tools, and be armed with a systematic approach. Without these skills, a person cannot go too far. If you are looking to get into the Research and Analysis domain, only top-notch management colleges can prepare you well enough to get in. Further, since most of the market research companies are service-based, so placement scenario has a direct connect with the need and affordability, and satisfaction of the client.”

Kakoli Choudhury underscores that the biggest USP of SCMS-Cochin is its group of veteran Professors. She believes that the transformation of students at SCMS-Cochin is largely due to them. To the aspirants who are apprehensive about SCMS-Cochin’s firm disciplinary measures, she reminds that rules and regulations have been responsible for batch after batch of matured managers from SCMS-Cochin.

“You will be far better organized and punctual than you are, and will know exactly how to prioritise work. These qualities were the most important part of my transformation at SCMS-Cochin.”

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Marshall brings an air of optimism to SCMS Institute Industry Interaction

paul_marshallPaul Marshall, CEO of The Association of Business Schools based in London, United Kingdom, surprised students and infused them with an air of optimism at a recent SCMS-Cochin Institute Industry Interaction session.

Marshall, who received his BA, MA and PhD from the University of Sussex, began his career as assistant planning officer at the university in 1997, assuming the post of assistant to the senior management group in 2001 and then becoming executive director of the 1994 Group of Universities in 2006.

He is currently a member of the BIS business schools taskforce and the board of EQUAL. Between 2009 and 2010 he chaired the national Creative and Media Diploma Development Partnership Higher Education Advisory Group and was a member of the Research Concordat Strategy and Executive Groups.

Viewed as highly articulate, confident, persuasive, able to motivate and communicate, Marshall is an experienced and innovative strategic planner with an expert knowledge of the education system in England.

He told his audience of SCMS students that he is confident about SCMS’ soaring even higher with its new school in London (SCMS is establishing a business school in London as part of it’s initiative to have a footprint in the global business management education sector. Dr. John Ryan, a highly accomplished academician, with several years of professional experience in academics and industry has been appointed as the Head of School.)

He said, “B-Schools help us understand the essence of real time business relations, which a book or Google cannot do,” noting their importance lies with their experienced staff and real time exposure.

Terming SCMS an “A” grade institute fulfilling all the essentials of a good B-School, he said there is great opportunity for international students in Britain and that should be optimally used for future progress.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Events

 

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SCMS-Cochin organizes a corporate powered sequel to PANORAMA 2013

Stalwarts from the Retail industry provide valuable perspective at Panorama 2 to the passing out batch of SCMS-Cochin before they join the corporate world

Mr.Venu nair.While a sequel to Panorama 2013 – barely one month after the successful conclusion of the 2-day annual convention on Retail Marketing – may surprise many, those who understand SCMS-Cochin would realise the purpose. With a series of policy decisions and ensuing readjustment in the Retail Sector, SCMS-Cochin organised Panorama 2013 – Part 2, to ensure that when its passing out students step outside its walls, they are fully aware of the opportunities in what is being seen as the sector that will create the next million jobs.

Held on the 7th of March 2013, Panorama 2013- Part 2, was presided over by Professor K.J. Paulose, Dean of Academics, SCMS-Cochin. The focused session at SCMS-Cochin allowed the budding managers to interact with two well-known Retail strategists, in the form of Mr Venu Nair, MD, Marks & Spencer – the hip and happening apparel brand, part of Reliance India Ltd – and Mr. Naveen Philip, MD of Kuttukaran Popular Vehicle Services Ltd, one of the leading automobile retailers in Kerala.

After a brief introduction of the M&S brand’s entry into the Indian apparel industry with a 51 – 49 % partnership with Reliance India Ltd, Mr Venu Nair elaborated on the numerous hurdles faced initially. The purposed was to align the future managers from SCMS-Cochin on the likely problems that international retailing powerhouses would be facing while entering indian markets once FDI in multi-brand retailing is cleared – as well as the solutions of these problems. Mr. Nair reflected on the change in the M&S approach, based on the needs and wants of the Indian customer. He highlighted the use of IT systems in tracking, identifying and analysing customer preferences and stressed the reasons why he foresees a bright future for the company in India’s growing Retail sector.

Mr. Naveen Philip opened his session by breaking the myth of “Popular = Maruti. He elaborated on how many automobile manufacturers use the company’s services for marketing and distribution. He stressed the fact that automobile purchases are still a store-based operation, even though customers have an upper-hand nowadays with the plethora of information available online. Mr. Philip presented facts and figures to back his analysis that even if customer preferences are influenced by online appeals, in-store experience plays motivating and deciding factors.

The ensuing ‘brief’ Q&A session with the two experts, understandably, turned into a barrage of questions from the audience at SCMS-Cochin on the interpretation of various policies on retailing, what it implied for retailers of different products, and how different players in the retail sector were leveraging these changes.

“Both the industry professionals went out of their way to ensure that we had all our doubts and questions were taken care of,” observed Unnikrishnan from the 20th Batch of SCMS-Cochin.“The advantage was that after Panorama-1, we had a break of nearly a month to read, discuss within ourselves and generally think things through. That’s why the hour and a half session on changing trends in the field of Retailing, was far more lively and interactive. It was indeed a fitting sequel and grand closing to Panorama 2013.”

The gesture of organising a Part 2 to Panorama 2013 underscored the reason why SCMS-Cochin has such a deep connect with the youth. Clearly, the management of SCMS-Cochin sees this as an ‘Opportunity Sector’ and is therefore going the extra mile to expose its management students to Retail. Irrespective of the industry that students are being placed in, the think-tank of SCMS-Cochin clearly feels that Retail sector will see the maximum growth in the near future, with numerous players all set to enter the Indian space.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2013 in Events, News And Events

 

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The SCMS Marketing wizard was discovered by ‘Quintessence’

marketing wizardThe Marketing quiz conducted by Quintessence, the Marketing Grid of SCMS-Cochin, showcased the knowledge and talents of the students of PGDM Batch 20. The quiz, hosted as the Grand Finale to the last chapter of the Quintessence sessions for Batch 20, was met with wide appreciation and applause.

The session was hosted by three talented and charismatic quizmasters, Mr. Sairam Ravisanker of the Retail batch, Mr. Mohit Mohan of the Systems & Operations batch and Mr. Suraj Antony of the Retail batch of PGDM 20. Four teams from each of the specialisations – Finance, Human Resource, Systems & Operations, and Banking & Insurance took part. The Retail batch hosted the event, thereby forfeiting the chance to participate. The rounds were full of fun-filled yet intriguing brain-teasers, each round having a mix of visual, verbal and video-based questions.

The rounds progressed rapidly, with the cheering crowds making a noise for the team they supported. The faculty played a special role by being part of the final round and each teacher displayed his/her acting talent, which finally led to questions from the world of films. In the end, when the dust settled, the Finance team walked off as the winner. Much to the surprise of competing teams, consolation prizes were awarded to all the participants.

The event was colourful and exciting and was able to keep the entire audience engaged. With all its fun and extravaganza, it was indeed a grand finale to the marketing grid sessions – and truly the ‘Quintessence’ of Marketing.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2013 in Events

 

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“SCMS-Cochin has something that most B-schools today do not have – Discipline. It has been the single most important factor that has helped me rise in my organisation.” says Deepjyoti Das,Batch of 2009-11

30102010232For many of his course mates from SCMS-Cochin – and colleagues at Videocon – Deepjyoti Das is the ‘turnaround man’. After all, you don’t often come across somebody who goes from being a Management Trainee, to Sales Officer, to Business Planner – reporting directly to the COO (South) – in just 9 months after passing out of a B-school; certainly not in a corporate conglomerate like Videocon.  Until less than 4 years back, Deepjyoti was the typical small-town boy from the Eastern states of India.  He did his intermediate from KV, Silchar (Assam) and thereafter pursued a BBA from NSHM, Durgapur (West Bengal). That he cracked a management college of the caliber of SCMS-Cochin did not surprise many; he had all the requisite qualities to make it. What did surprise his acquaintances was that despite seemingly good options closer to home, Deepjyoti actually decided to break the proverbial umbilical cord and move from extreme east to extreme south, in Kerala.

“SCMS-Cochin has something which most B-schools today do not have – Discipline. Yes, things were tight when we joined as freshers. Right from the Hostel Warden to the Faculty members, everyone was strict at SCMS-Cochin. But that is exactly what future managers need – Discipline. It was a privilege to attend classes of greats like Prof. Paulose, Prof. RTR Varma, Prof. Appala Raju, Prof. Deepa Pillai, and Prof. Sudheer Sudhakaran. Being late for such classes would imply that neither did you respect your management training, nor the legends that were imparting it to you. I have no hesitation in saying that Discipline has been the single most important factor that has helped me rise in my organisation. As my boss says, we must work for ourselves; and to work for ourselves, Discipline is the first thing that has to be adapted.”

To Deepjyoti Das, SCMS-Cochin stands for a lot many things. It stands for Sports meets, long chats, Bike excursions, running around for notes and PPT’s and group study on the night before exams, and Coffee breaks at 3 AM that tasted far better than anything at Barista of CCD. But most of all SCMS-Cochin stands for good friendship.

“Samar, Rahul, Hillol, Kakoli, Susmita, Pritam, Prashath, Jose, and John; they were like my brothers and sisters from different mothers. We all know that our deep connect is for a lifetime; whether we talk once every day, or once a year.”

It is now nearly 2 years since Deepjyoti passed out of SCMS-Cochin but time has clearly not dimmed anything.

“Sunday was the only day that we could give some extra taste to our taste buds. We would be up early on Sundays and travel a good hour-and-half to ‘Dal-Roti’ restaurant in Fort Kochi – the best North Indian Restaurant in Cochin, as rated by my fellow batch mates and me. It was the ‘lunch of the week’. What can I say of Durga Puja. Being a Bengali, I presumed it would be very tough and sad to be away from home during Durga Puja. The only Durga Puja in Cochin was organised by the Bengali Samiti of Cochin in Kadavanthara. Thanks to this, I never felt away from home in those 2 years.”

Deepjyoti is pretty much in the fast lane today, taking care of Business Planning in the Consumer Durable Division (LCD/LED and CTV) for the 14 branches in South India. But 18 months back, when he started out in the corporate world, things looked a lot more challenging.

“For somebody who cannot pronounce a single word of Tamil, being a sales trainee in Chennai, can be quite a handful. I used to think, “this is not where I belong; after all I am an MBA”. How can I sell a LCD or Refrigerator to a dealer who has never spoken English or Hindi in his entire life? How will I approach him? There were a lot of rejections and reality checks, but thanks to my seniors and the lessons learnt at SCMS-Cochin, I stuck to the job at hand. I started to pick up Tamil, and with sustained effort, business also started to generate. I was recognised as the top 3 performers from a group of 68 MT’s. It was a fantastic confidence booster.”

Deepjyoti Das cautions aspiring management students that a good management college can be a make or break issue, when it comes to one’s career.

“There are B-schools mushrooming all over the country, and most of them do not adhere to quality standards. Before joining any management college do an extensive survey and research about the credentials of the B-school. We were lucky enough to get through SCMS-Cochin. With a bit of luck and hardwork, you too can make it!”

                                                                                                                Deepjyoti Das,

                                                                                                                Business Planner – South India, Videocon

                                                                                                                Batch of 2009-11, SCMS-Cochin

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2013 in Alumni

 

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SCMS-Cochin emerges as overall champion at Daksh-2013

Design more color 1SCMS-Cochin took the overall champions trophy at Daksh-2013, a national level fest hosted by De Paul Institute of Management, Angamaly, Kerala, held on 22nd& 23rd January 2013. Daksh is an annual management fest conducted by De Paul, attracting talented budding managers from across the country. Daksh-2013 was no exception and the event was attended by numerous renowned management institutions from south India, including SCMS-Cochin, Rajagiri Business School, Amrita School of Business, Christ College Bangalore, and many others.

Daksh-2013’s arsenal included events in various streams of management, such as Finance, Marketing and Human Resources. The main event was the Best Manager contest, named “The Gladiator”. A business movie contest and corporate walk contest were also held. Each event was unique and innovative, and designed to test the mettle of the participants. Riddled with puzzles and surprise rounds, every event or “game” made sure that the winners would have to break their backs and wrack their brains. The games took the participants for a ride in which their EQ, IQ and Team Skills were tested.

SCMS bagged first place in the Finance event, Marketing game & the Best Manager Contest,and even qualified to the final four in the business movie contest. Unnikishnan P.S. was selected as the Best Manager after a gruelling two-day event in which over 12 contestants tested themselves. The team of Aouf P.A., Chandan Kumar Dutta, Neeta HaridasandPraveen won the Finance game through a brilliant display of financial knowledge and team-play. The team of Sairam R., Mohammed Febin, Gayatri Nair and Chitra Mary Eapen won the marketing game. The team was praised highly for their creativity, ingenuity and well-honed marketing skills. A team consisting of Steffi Thomas, Athira Unni, Yashica Raichura& Samuel John represented SCMS-Cochin in the HR game.

With three victories in the bag, SCMS-Cochin was declared the overall champion and was handed the prestigious Daksh-2013 Overall trophy. The winners received cash prizes and certificates of merit.

The team’s success won commendations from the SCMS-Cochin management and faculty alike. The students once again proved their amazing talent and successfully carried forward the legacy of the college.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2013 in Media, News And Events

 

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Placement season well on track at SCMS-Cochin as it enters the final stretch

Recruitment data from top-notch B-schools like SCMS-Cochin show BFSI (Banking, Financial Services and Insurance) Sector on positive growth path

 Going by the statistics of recruitments at one of the best management colleges in Southern India, the BFSI sector is clearly in a turnaround phase. Of nearly a hundred management students who have been placed so far, almost 50% will be joining the Banking, Financial Services and Insurance sector. Apart from this, 6 students from SCMS-Cochin will be joining the FMCG sector, 12 students will be going to consulting firms, and 8 will join the IT & ITES sector. Interestingly, Media and Entertainment companies have recruited 5 students so far – an unprecedented high. Showing remarkable resilience to the overall slowdown, SCMS-Cochin has attracted 18 new companies to its campus this year. So far, more than 30 companies have recruited from SCMS-Cochin, while another dozen companies are conducting their interview process at present.

The CTC hasso far ranged between Rs. 4 Lakh per annum to Rs. 6.5 Lakh per annum. However, foreign recruiters are yet to make their presence felt. As a trend, foreign recruiters come in only towards the end. Last year too, Kadence International appeared in the later half of the placement season and made an offer of Rs. 13 Lakhs per annum to one of the management graduates. The regulars at the SCMS-Cochin campus included top companies like Deloitte, Coca Cola, Pepsi Co, HDFC Asset Management, ICICI Securities, Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, Hawkins, Berger Paints, Madras Cements,Kotak Mahindra, Asian Paints, ITC, Reliance Money, Malayala Manorama, South Indian Bank Limited, etc. Those who have recruited for the first time include companies like HSIL, Future Generali Life Insurance, Muthoot FinCorp, ICICI Prudential, Spices Board, Decathlon Sports India, Medgenome Molecular Diagnostics, etc.

At SCMS-COCHIN, the placement season starts in mid-November. By this time students have not only completed their internships, they have also had enough time to discuss and clear all the doubts that would’ve arisen during their respective SIPs. SCMS-COCHIN has corporate relations officers based in all major cities across India, who liaise continually with the human resources heads of all major corporations, ensuring that they have a smooth visit to the institute for on-campus recruitment.

SCMS-COCHIN has a transparent set-up with regards to placements. Once recruiters send the desired job profiles and compensation packages to the institute, SCMS-COCHIN shares the information with students. Interested students then register and indicate their preference to the placement department. This system works to the advantage of the student as well as the recruiting organisations. Rather than run after every opportunity, students can channel their energy in cracking the organisation in which they are genuinely interested. Organisations, ofcourse, do not have to go through the entire batch –only the really interested – when they arrive on campus for the interviews.

All students, whether or not registered for a particular company, attend the Pre-Placement Talk (PPT) given by the company. This is in keeping with the ethos of the SCMS-COCHIN academic council, which looks upon the placement process as an extension of the institution’s pedagogy. This ensures that future managers from SCMS-Cochin get an overall feel of the market and how organisations think and behave in the world today.

Over the years, SCMS-COCHIN students have gained placements in top-notch firms across the globe, and its alumni have brought pride to their alma mater. Going by current trends, quite a few placement records of SCMS-Cochin are likely to take a tumble.

 
 

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