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Monthly Archives: March 2015

“You need to gather more information about your areas of interest and consider the consequences before making any career decisions,” suggests Ms. Cuckoo Joy, Manager, Centre for Excellence, General Electric Company, Texas to students of SCMS Cochin School of Business at their latest III

Cuckoo JoyStudents of SCMS Cochin School of Business recently had the privilege of listening to Ms. Cuckoo Joy, Manager, Centre for Excellence, General Electric Company, Texas. She is a renowned professional who has made giant strides in the industry and is a much sought after speaker. Therefore, her talk held on the 12th of March attracted students in large numbers. The fact that the session revolved around student aspirations and the challenges they face while realizing them, made sure that the audience had plenty of takeaways at the end of the day.

Ms. Joy opened the engaging session by asking 20 students to share their aspirations. She then made them open up about their fears regarding meeting these goals, before offering helpful advice to each one of them. According to her, “You need to gather more information about your areas of interest and consider the consequences before making any career decisions. It’s very important that you understand the nature of the risk involved before jumping into something new”.

That’s something the seasoned professional would know a thing or two about. Ms. Joy shared some of her experiences in order to shed light on the risks she is often faced with: “There are two major roles for me: Risk Manager and Contract Manager. The Risk Manager takes care of identifying the risks involved and mitigating them. The Project Manager claims a leadership role and supports the managers to identify risks and to deal with and settle issues with clients. Planning and interacting with co-workers helps in coping with a multitude of risks.”

The aspirants in the gathering were interested in knowing what the industry looks for when hiring new professionals. Ms. Joy offered them insight into employers’ minds by describing three qualities she considers important. “Integrity, Temperament and Presentation are three qualities one must possess in the corporate world”, she stressed, hoping to drive home this point. “Integrity is the most important of all and it’s something you just shouldn’t compromise on. It adds to your credibility”. Adding to that, she urged to students to avoid corruption, and said that if you are faced with it, you might want to change jobs.

Talking about the significance of wholesome involvement in different aspects of an organization, Ms. Joy said, “You shouldn’t miss a single opportunity to volunteer. That’s because every interaction is a learning experience.” This interaction with her was definitely turning out to be a huge learning experience for students, who were then introduced to Ms. Joy’s own aspirations. The much-accomplished professional hopes to work with underprivileged children. This was a point that made students realize the importance of giving back to the community and the larger society.

Being a top rung woman professional isn’t always easy, as one has to wear several caps. But Mrs. Joy had a strong message during the Women’s Day week as she believed nothing was impossible for women. And what’s her advice to management hopefuls? “Have a dream, aspire for something in life and just go for it. You must do what you want to do to, and know what you really want,” she added thoughtfully. Ms. Joy concluded her session with a rendition of “I too have a dream” that left the gathering inspired to make their own dreams come true.

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Posted by on March 21, 2015 in Faculty

 

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Humane 15 organized by SCMS Cochin School of Business brings Talent Management to the fore.

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SCMS Cochin School of Business organized its much anticipated Humane 15 on the 19th of February, with welcome attendance by dignitaries from different industries. Given the growing stature of the event, this year’s National Conference drew large numbers and eminent personalities, who came together on a platform to talk about “Talent Engagement: Need of The Hour”. The aim of the conference was to share and discuss ideas for Talent Management in organizations that need to update their strategies in keeping with the changing times.

Among the leading names who took part in the discussion were: Mr. Roshan. K. Menon, Executive Vice President Binani Zinc Ltd.; Mr. Rajesh Nair, Director (Markets), Ernst and Young; Mr. A.S. Girish, H.R. Head, Apollo Tyres Ltd.; Mr. Deepak Pillai, H.R. Business Partner, Google; Mr. N.Ahmed Ali, CEO Cornicopia; Mr. Umesh Kamath, Director, UST Global; Ms. Shreeja MS, H.R. Head, Harrison’s Malayalam; and Mr. Abhishek Shukla, H.R. Consultant, Political advisor, Psychologist and Author.

Prof. P.C. Pillai, Senior Group Director, SCMS Group, started the day’s proceedings with his Welcome Address. In it, he talked about the need for balancing efficiency and equity in the corporate world. It was then time for an engaging talk delivered by Mr. Menon, who said, “The most challenging task today is to meet the expectations of youngsters joining the corporate world. Talent is a critical input for any organization, which is why it’s retention and management is crucial.” In order to make this topic more relatable for students, he offered examples of how his organization approaches issues of retention.

Mr. Nair emphasized on the 11 60 principle, which basically means a person is likely to change jobs 11 times in 60 years until retirement. Stressing the responsibilities of managers, he said, “No work life balance exists and a strong team is the one that has people from different cultures.” According to Mr. Girish, the free flow of information within organizations is important. He also talked about the “Apollo Honouring People” program initiated by his own organization, which is very successful in ensuring Talent Management.

Mr. Pillai started the discussion in the second half of the session by talking about different reasons that encourage people to work in his organization, Google. Among the important ideals mentioned were “Accepting employees as they are, significance to culture, avoiding biases, open mindedness, care given to employees”. Mr. Ali then offered insight into the world of HR, reminding students that it’s a challenging field because managers have to understand the requirements of the organization and the needs of employees. Despite the challenges, he believes it’s gratifying and rewarding field.

Mr. Kamath, a renowned name in the field, explained that “Employee engagement involves three aspects: say, stay and strive. Vision, mission communication and facilities provided by the organization to the employees play a crucial role for engaging employees.” Ms. Shreeja had her own take, as she believes employee management is the enjoyment an employee gets in doing the work that has been assigned to him or her. She also emphasized the importance of activities like job rotation, internal magazines, and flexible timings for employee engagement.

The final speaker for the day, Mr. Shukla, started his talk on a rousing note by saying, “To win over the marketplace you need to start with winning at your work place. An effective HR professional is one who listens to, analyzes and tries to understand the problems of his/her employees.” He also talked about the different elements that are involved in Talent Management, while suggesting ways to nurture the talent of employees. That was the purpose of the conference, which the speakers manage to convey in their inimitable styles.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in News And Events

 

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SCMS Cochin School of Business holds an invigorating session on Women Empowerment and discusses self-defense techniques with participants.

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While the Nation talks about India’s Daughter, SCMS Cochin School of Business organized a thought provoking and inspiring workshop on Women Empowerment. The workshop held on the 10th of March brought together women achievers in their respective fields, and offered empowerment and self-defense lessons to all participants. Overall, the message was that women of India are the backbone of our society and our economy, and the country cannot progress without its women being empowered.

Three women who had inspired and broken barriers in their chosen field were present on the day as keynote speakers. There was a lot of anticipation in the air, as those in attendance were eager to listen to Ms. Mrinmayi Joshi, I.A.S. Assistant Collector, Ernakulam, Mrs. Jyothi Aswani, Chief Aswani Lachman Das Group, and Dr. Mrs. Mary Anitha, Founder, NGO “Break the Silence”. But it was Dr. Radha Thevanoor, Director SCMS Group, who, on a rousing note, set the ball rolling for the workshop.

Dr. Thevanoor began by talking about the exploitation of women in her younger days and compared it to the present. She then made a big impact with the audience by saying, “Women should never develop a feeling of inferiority because it can adversely affect their overall development. Things are changing and there are people who don’t see a girl child as a burden – it’s heartening. There has to be a balance between men and women for the greater development of society.”

It was then up to Mrs. Aswani to deliver the Inaugural Address and she began by saying that women are God’s most beautiful creation. She also stated that the inequality seen in the past has been drastically reduced today, especially in South India. She then shared her own experience of moving home from Jhansi to Cochin before adding, “Of course, there are security concerns that have to be tackled. But in life, failure should be seen as a stepping stone to success.”

The theme of Women’s Day, “Make it Happen”, was the focal point of Ms. Joshi’s session. She expressed her belief that with persuasion, sincerity and commitment even an ordinary person can outshine an extraordinarily talented individual. She concluded her motivating talk by urging the audience to “Be aware of who you are so that you can achieve your dreams in an efficient manner. Concentrate on your strengths and try to overcome your weaknesses.”

Dr. Anitha, who runs the NGO “Break the Silence”, was at the helm for the last session of the day. She struck a chord with her audience by saying, “Success is a combination of intelligence and emotional quotient. Dreams can be achieved through involvement and dedication.” She concluded her session with a demonstration of various self-protection and defense techniques. Thus, with an impressive list of speakers and inspiring words, the workshop delivered the very important message of Women Empowerment.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in News And Events

 

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National Conference on Infrastructure held by SCMS Cochin School of Business is a huge success.

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On the 13th of March, SCMS Cochin School of Business hosted a Finesse 2015 themed “Infrastructure Financing – The Key to Sustainable Growth”. The relevance of a National Conference on Infrastructure, given its significance for economic growth that our country is aiming for, was definitely huge. Students at the institute got a taste of that as the conference invited big names from the field. They had come together on a platform to share ideas on how to deal with challenges to the growth of infrastructure, which is the backbone of a burgeoning economy.

The day’s proceedings began with the rousing welcome speech delivered by Dr. Filomina. P. George, Director, SCMS Cochin. She set the tone for the conference and emphasized its significance for today’s times. Mr. Elias George IAS., MD KMRL, then delivered the inaugural address, while Mr. V.G Mathew, MD, CEO SIB was at hand to offer the keynote address. The session was presided over by Patron of Finesse, Mr. Venugopal C. Govind, Senior Managing Partner, Varma & Varma.

Mr. Elias George focused on the Kochi Metro and described how it could be an accident waiting to happen. He also talked about the difficulties in finding funding for infrastructure projects and putting it to good use. His insightful session ended with him highlighting the role of women and technology in the growth of infrastructure. Mr. Matthew enlightened the gathering about the role of commercial banks in the funding of infrastructure projects. He offered the students a peek into how banks look at infrastructure, while describing different reasons for projects failing in the country.

There were several high points during the Presidential address delivered by Mr. Govind. According to him, “The major concern in infrastructure projects is a lack of initiative in taking sophisticated risks. In spite of the rising opportunities, there are numerous challenges faced by the infrastructure sector due to a lack of innovation in building and financing models.” From the role of the budget to different stakeholders, he talked about various factors that impact infrastructure. Ms. Nithya Rani closed the informative session with a Vote of Thanks.

It was then time for the always enthusiastic and invigorating panel discussions, with the first one focusing on the topic “Role of Banks and Financial Institutions in Infrastructure Funding”. Mr. Santhosh S, Associate Professor of the institute, opened the session for the eminent speakers, which included Mr. Abraham Thariyan, Ex Executive Director, SIB and Mr. Giby Mathew, M.D, Celebrus Capital Ltd. Mr. Santosh explained different concepts like project viability and asset liability mismatch while talking about the need for a wider role for the insurance and pension fund sectors.

Mr. Thariyan carried the discussion forward by talking about the gap between the requirement of project finance and the actual finance allotted. He focused on providing examples from the recent budget, and he suggested that banks be given more long term funds for financial feasibility. Mr. Mathew shed light on the significance of exit routes facilitated by the government, which allow the funding institutions to get out of a project. He also highlighted the role of capital market funding in infrastructure and suggested amendments in regulations for financial institutions to get better results.

The second session on the “Role of institutional Facilitators in Infrastructure Funding” was moderated by Mr. A V Jose, Associate Professor, SCMS Cochin, and it had leading names like Mr. Jyothikumar, Executive Director, KSIDC and Mr. Jaikrishnan G, Director, Management Consultancy, KPMG on the panel. Mr. Jose talked about the link between infrastructure and economic development, and how the former contributes towards the latter. He also opened the discussion on institutional facilitators for the speakers to follow up on.

According to Mr. JyothiKumar, “Financial institutions are involved mainly in three areas of a project: development, financing and facilitation.” His insight included the modalities of projects, which was highly informative for the students in the gathering. Mr. Jaikrishnan believed, “All parties involved in infrastructure development should be in a position to gain. Infrastructure financing should address two aspects: getting the right skills and integrating community sentiments.” The valedictory session, with a presentation by Mr. Arihant Jain, Student Representative of Finesse, ended the proceedings for the hugely productive conference.

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in News And Events

 

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SCMS Cochin School of Business to host conference on Infrastructure Financing; draws big names from the industry and academia for the event

SCMS Cochin School of Business is hosting a National Conference, Finesse 2015, which focuses on the crucial element of economic growth; Infrastructure. The conference “Infrastructure Financing – The Key to Sustainable Growth” will be held on 13th March when all roads will lead to the institute’s campus. Given the significance of the conference it is expected to draw renowned names in the industry, academia and research besides students who stand to gain a lot from the experience.

India is aiming for massive economic growth in the near future, but for that to happen we need to have a concentrated focus on infrastructure. While it is seen that the demand for infrastructure is growing, the supply has been more or less stagnant. And one of the major roadblocks for that has been the financing for infrastructure. The conference will aim to address that and several other issues, which pose a challenge to growth of infrastructure and thereby the economy.

The idea behind the one day event is to bring different stakeholders on a common platform and have them share ideas that can help create a roadmap for infrastructure financing. Given the relevance of the topic, it’s only natural that the conference has drawn big names related to infrastructure. The much anticipated inaugural session will bring together the likes of Mr. Elias George, IAS, MD, Kochi Metro and Mr. V. G. Mathew, MD & CEO, South Indian Bank.

Some of the other big names that the event has drawn include Mr. Venugopal C. Govind, FCA, Managing Partner, Varma & Varma & Patron Finance Forum, SCMS,  Mr. Abraham Thariyan, Ex. E.D, SIB, Mr. Giby Mathew, MD, Celebrus Capital Limited, Mr. Anod Radhakrishnan, AVP, HDFC bank, Mr. Jyothi Kumar, E.D., KSIDC, Mr. Jaikrishnan G, Director, KPMG and Mr. A.V. Jose, Associate Professor, SSTM.

Together with faculty members from the institute, these distinguished guests will talk about different aspects of infrastructure financing and share their own experience with the participants. The day’s activities have been divided into sessions that will cover practically everything, from the “Role of Banks/Financial Institutions in Infrastructure Funding” to the “Role of Institutional Facilitators in Infrastructure Development”.

Keeping the discussion timely, Budget implications on infrastructure projects will be discussed by Mr. Arihant Jain. Thus overall the conference will strive to find solutions to the difficulties involved in infrastructure financing with the help of knowledge sharing amongst the stalwarts in research, academia and industry. What’s more, it will offer a dynamic learning experience for the participants who can get insight into the world of infrastructure from the experts.

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in News And Events

 

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Professor R. T. R. Varma, HOD of marketing at SCMS Cochin School of Business talks about the constantly evolving world of marketing and explains why Digital is the way forward.

IMG_0757“Teaching is all about academic discipline..” These are the words of Prof. R. T. R. Varma, who is also the HOD of the Marketing department at SCMS Cochin School of Business and one of its most senior faculty members. With over 25 years of industry experience in Senior Management positions in Marketing and General Management in both the public and private sector, he is able to offer students a wide range of knowledge in important marketing concepts and business trends.

Prof. Varma believes that industry experience for academics can go a long way in helping bring students a corporate perspective on things they learn in the classroom. “It’s particularly true in areas like Marketing where your experience in the industry setup can be brought to the classroom to make things relatable to the students”, he explains. “I constantly try to do that at the institute because I want the students to understand how they can use their classroom learning in the real world when they become professionals”.

Clearly, Prof. Varma has a lot of insight into the world of marketing, while also seeing it evolve over the years. So, he strives to help his students keep abreast with the latest trends in the industry: “IT is changing just about everything in the industry. Recently, we had a seminar on how it’s even transformed a creative area like advertising as the whole process can now be digitalized. In fact, digital is the way forward because that’s the demand of the consumer – you just cannot avoid it.”

He further elaborates on the importance of digital by saying that it works because it has made things easily accessible; in addition, it enhances value by reducing cost. Prof. Varma is also of the belief that the profile for marketing professionals is changing in today’s times. According to him, it is due to the changing demands of the consumer: “Today, it’s all about the orientation of the customer and not just marketing to him or her in the traditional, age –old ways. Therefore, the roles in the industry are changing dramatically. This is exciting in many ways, including the fact that it offers a new scope for future professionals.”

But of course, those who want to make a place for themselves in the dynamic marketing domain need to have certain skills and competencies. Prof. Varma sheds light on these skills, saying, “The first thing is that you need to be information-savvy to make the most out of marketing. Since customer behavior is changing a lot, you need to try and understand it to build trust and, above all else, loyalty. That’s the reason the emphasis should be on long-term approaches and tactics rather than crisis management.”

Prof. Varma, self-admittedly, is not a “conventional” academic and doesn’t like the use of the chalkboard in the classroom environment. Over the years, he has devised his own strategies and gotten into a comfort zone with PowerPoint that effectively replaces the conventional chalkboard. “I would never want my students to think that anything I am telling them is from some heavenly waves. I work hard to source and prepare my material as I present it to them,” he says with a smile. Given his popularity amongst students at the institute, his methods are clearly working.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in Faculty

 

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Ms. Dipti Lunawat, SCMS Cochin School of Business, clears misconceptions about Finance and talks about the opportunities it presents young management professionals

IMG_0761A Chartered Accountant by profession, Ms. Dipti Lunawat has gathered valuable industry experience, having worked with some of the top names in the field of consultancy. But, she admits that she was always interested in teaching, and that it was definitely her true calling. She already embraced teaching during her articleship as a CA, but her first B School assignment with SCMS Cochin School of Business is what has gotten her really excited. Here, the Assistant Professor talks about her forte: finance and how things are changing for those who want to make it big in the industry.

For starters, Ms. Lunawat believes that students who do their management programs from reputable B Schools definitely have an advantage. According to her, this is due to their ability to keep up with changing trends: “Firstly, they are more aware about current affairs. As a B School student, you will be updated about the latest trends in the industry. There is also a lot more focus, which in my opinion is appealing to the industry. Yes, there might be some issues with the fundamentals of Finance but that’s where my or any teacher’s role comes in play”.

However, Ms. Lunawat has words of encouragement for students who might be intimidated by the thought of the high-level of number-crunching involved in Finance. She believes it’s more of a mind game and there’s no reason for beginners to develop a phobia about it because there are means like computers, calculators, etc., to offer them respite. “Irrespective of your background, you can excel in Finance if you develop an interest in it”, she says. “At the end of the day, Finance is about analyzing different situations and how you focus on solving problems”.

Ms. Lunawat is also of the opinion that a specialization at the PGDM level is important because it lets budding professionals express themselves in their areas of interest. It could be finance for some, while for others it’s the dream of becoming an entrepreneur. The good news is that the institute strives to prepare them according to their interests. “It’s true that many of my students want to become entrepreneurs”, she states. “I give them projects and ask students to ponder the issues in them. They can then apply all the concepts they have learned to come up with effective solutions”.

Ask her about an important aspect of learning for students at the institute, and Ms. Lunawat replies without batting an eyelid: “During the two years of their program, students have to work with deadlines constantly and that’s the best thing they learn. That’s because when you look at professionals in the corporate world, many of them struggle to keep up with deadlines. The mentorship program at the institute is also beneficial to students because they can find out ways to deal with the challenges that they might face.”

The mentorship program is taken very seriously by the faculty members who devote their time every evening to answer student queries. Ms. Lunawat encourages students to make the most out of this program and other opportunities offered by the institute. “SCMS Cochin is a great place to learn things because the institute tries very hard to equip you with all the skills required to make your place in the corporate world”, she says. “The two years’ residential program also lets you develop your personality and grow as an individual”.

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2015 in Faculty

 

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