For 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!”
Business Planner – South India, Videocon
Batch of 2009-11, SCMS-Cochin