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Monthly Archives: June 2015

Bhargava Krishna, state level cricketer reveals how his PGDM at SCMS Cochin School of Business can help his “sporting” goals for the future.

BargavaSCMS Cochin School of Business has consistently attracted talents from different fields who come to the institute to pursue their management dreams. As you walk around the campus you don’t know who you might run into. Like Bhargava Krishna, a state level cricket player for example. He opted for his PGDM program from the institute after playing two years of professional cricket and now aims to merge the two for the benefit of future players from his district. Here he talks about his passion for cricket, the business aspect of it and how he plans to come out on tops.

Talking about his road to SCMS Cochin Bhargava reveals, “After my graduation I took a break from studies and dedicated two years of my life to professional cricket. But it came to a point where I knew that I didn’t want to be dependent on my parents so I decided to focus on business. I had heard a lot about this PGDM program and opted for it to give my goals the best shot.” However as he learns the trick of the trade and gets an insight into the corporate word, he remains committed to his love for cricket and wants to make a difference.

Bhargava talks about his humble beginnings as a district level cricketer from Karimnagar, a small town that still lacks the facilities budding players need. In a dream reminiscent of actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s character in the movie ‘Kai Po Che’, he wants to lead the way for cricketers in the area. “There are a lot of talented players who don’t know the way forward because there aren’t enough facilities, a proper coach. There is lack of mentoring that we are getting here at the institute and that’s something I would like to change,” he says passionately.

Post his PGDM, Bhargava plans to start a club that will create a healthy environment for budding cricketers with all the facilities at their disposal. He also hopes to be in a position to be able to guide them on achieving their goals as professional cricketers. According to him these are exciting times for cricketers because, “Earlier people believed that cricketers didn’t have a future unless they played for the National team. The IPL has changed that and given them an exciting platform to make big amounts and showcase their talent at the same time,” he adds.

Bhargava also talks about the commercial aspect of the game where players are auctioned by teams in the IPL and how it involves business acumen too. In fact, he stresses on the importance of business sense and training in every field as he says, “My PGDM will help me understand how to commercialize things so that young cricketers, who are from middle class families, can display their talent while earning their livelihood too. One thing I know for sure is that whatever I do it will be related to cricket because it’s a passion that won’t go till I die.”

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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Student Life

 

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Libin is ‘the Star of IMLP’ at SCMS-Cochin

Libin DanielIn SCMS Cochin School of Business, innovative ideas bounce mostly of the spring board of interactions between faculty, students, parents, industry, and academia. One Innovation in particular is the IMLP or Integrated Managerial Learning Program. The IMLP has complemented the academic sessions in classrooms, and is more-or-less a student-driven program, where students judge, help and push each other to nurture soft-skill and knowledge. It’s a regular co-curricular activity now. The beauty of IMLP is that every student and faculty of SCMS Cochin School of Business believe it is their baby; so strong is the sense of association! If IMLP is the jewel in the crown of SCMS Cochin, Libin – the Best Speaker for the 3rd time in a row – is undoubtedly it’s star.

Libin went to school initially in Dubai, and then in Jabalpur (MP). He graduated in Business Management (BBM) from Reva College Bangalore, picked up enough job experience in Bangalore before appearing for his MBA, and cracking SCMS Cochin.

“I chose SCMS Cochin over B-schools in Bangalore, because the super Manager in my past company was an alumni of SCMS Cochin,” says Libin in a self-explanatory fashion. “I had other friends who were alumni of SCMS Cochin. So, that gave me a personal bias towards this college.”

Clearly, the alumni of SCMS Cochin are doing a fantastic job in bringing in quality managerial talent to their alma mater.

“PGDM from SCMS Cochin has given me a great platform to hone my talent… that is if I have one,” adds Libin with an open smile. “It has definitely enlightened me about my flaws, and given me a chance to improve. I was not as disciplined as one should be, but SCMS Cochin has given me great sense of discipline. This has given me the necessary perseverace to nourish and grow my talents.”

With the onset of the internship season as the B-school calendar goes, Libin is ready to set sail for a SIP with Kotak Mahindra Bank.

“I’ve received a verbal confirmation…. just waiting for the formal letter, before I dash of to their office.

Libin choice of internship is interesting. He intends specialising in Finance in his Final Year at SCMS Cochin, so Kotak Mahindra is the right choice. But the project he has accepted belongs to the Marketing domain.

“It’ll help me try out all the management techniques and skills that have been imparted to us at SCMS Cochin,” he clears the air.

 
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Posted by on June 29, 2015 in Students Speak

 

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Ms. Sheela Kochuouseph, V-STAR group, reveals the key to becoming a successful entrepreneur in her Industry Institute Interface session.

The Industry Institute Interface sessions at SCMS Cochin School of business are well-known for drawing big names from the corporate world who come and share their experiences with students. Things were no different this time around as Ms. Sheela Kochuouseph, Managing Director of the V- STAR group visited the campus and talked to the students about women empowerment and the importance of taking risks to make a place for oneself in the business world.

While there are an increasing number of women entrepreneurs making their presence felt today, there are unique challenges they have to surmount. A successful entrepreneur in her own right, Ms. Kochuouseph reflected on the difficulties she had to go through while setting up the V-Star group. Going down memory lane, she talked about how it all began for the illustrious group and the journey it has gone through over the years.

The group has been involved in several CSR initiatives, which she covered in great detail in the session, while also highlighting their significance. It was interesting for the students to hear about Ms. Kochuouseph’s personal journey from her childhood days; on this topic, she also emphasized the importance of keeping good health. According to her, while it’s important to keep your mind focused on the goals, it’s imperative to maintain a healthy diet to be mentally and physically fit.

The III session was not only informative for students, but inspiring as well; Ms. Kochuouseph revealed to them the skills required to becoming entrepreneurs, and how they can impact the growth of the nation. “Failures are stepping stones for success and one should view them as opportunities to return back with more strength,” she said motivating the gathering. “They are a part of everyone’s life and you should never be disheartened by them.”

Ms. Kochuouseph had inspiring words for young girls in the audience who harbour dreams of being managers, entrepreneurs and leaders of tomorrow. Ending her talk on a high note, she said, “Don’t be afraid of being creative and developing your own ideas for an enterprise. Try and be a role model to others and inspire them.” That’s something she herself does and it was evident in the Q & A session that concluded the proceedings.

 
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Posted by on June 25, 2015 in Faculty

 

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Labour Commissioner Mr. Mohammad Sayid talks to students about Labour laws and the professional challenges they will face as future managers in his Industry Institute Interface session.

Through its Industry Institute Interface sessions, SCMS Cochin School of Business does its best to offer its students a platform to learn from the experiences of corporate bigwigs. This particular session was a unique opportunity for them to hear about a different, yet integral, aspect of business: labour laws and issues. Mr. Mohammad Sayid, Labor Commissioner, Ernakulam District, was the esteemed speaker for this session and he made students aware of the challenges young managers face when dealing with trade unions. His talk also highlighted the importance of keeping the labour force satisfied.

One of the crucial elements of keeping employees happy is a fair level of pay, and Mr. Sayid began his talk stressing on its significance. He then shed light on different mechanisms and strategies that can be employed for the redressal of grievances put forth by unsatisfied employees. What made the talk truly informative for students was the fact that he described in great detail the various rules and regulations organizations have to follow in order to operate successfully in India. This was information that the gathering absorbed as they look forward to their professional journeys.

While there are rules and regulations to be followed when it comes to labour laws, there are exemptions offered by the Government as well. Mr. Sayid shed light on these exemptions in the session; this discussion was followed by making future HR managers realize the many responsibilities of this position. According to him, HR managers have a huge role to play in organizations as the bridge between business owners and their employees. While the students are often told about this from an employers’ perspective, it was interesting to look at things from the point of view of labour.

Finally, Mr. Sayid shared his own experiences as a labour commissioner and explained his office’s functioning. He talked about the hierarchy followed in the labour commissioner’s office and the period for the redressal of grievances. He emphasized the importance of learning labour laws and updating one’s knowledge in the field, too. The eye-opening session gave managers’ insight into the views of labour. The session culminated with a question & answer session. Mr. Sayid took time to answer each of the questions and offered further insight into the intricacies of the relationship between business owners, managers, and labour.

 
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Posted by on June 24, 2015 in Faculty

 

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Mr. Nobin Philips describes how SCMS Cochin School of Business works towards creating successful professionals and entrepreneurs of the future.

nobin k philip (1)With a proven track record in academics and industry both, Mr. Nobin Philips has been an important addition to the faculty team at SCMS Cochin School of Business. Mr. Phillips, who recently joined the institute as an Assistant Professor, has an MBA in Finance and Marketing from University of Wales. In addition, he has 7 years of solid experience in teaching management at different universities in the UK. After working with big name institutes internationally, Mr. Philips was keen on working with a top B School in India. He admits that SCMS Cochin was an obvious choice and his journey thus far has been fulfilling experience.

At the institute, Mr. Philips, with his dual specialization, is in a position to offer classes in both Marketing and Finance (Insurance). Moreover, he brings his experience teaching in foreign universities to the table. If you ask him whether he sees any big differences between students in the two countries, he replies, “The big difference is that students are more focused on learning abroad,” he laments. “I studied in one of the best colleges in the world but I was told there that their MBA wouldn’t guarantee us a job. It’s the opposite here and students are only working towards getting a job. This kind of focus has to change.”

According to Mr. Philips, students should look at management studies as a means to know more about business and how it works. This is something his institute tries to imbibe amongst its students. He believes that’s why you see a huge difference in students once they complete live projects and are ready to leave the B School. “I think any college can help the bright students learn and graduate,” he explains. “But you know the true education level of an institute when average students do well and I am proud that we have managed to do that here. We keep doing our best to encourage students towards their holistic and well-rounded development.”

However, the fact remains that Marketing and Finance is considered to be a lucrative domain of management, which is why it draws a large number of students. But does Mr. Philips think that career opportunities are reason enough for aspirants to opt for it? “There are so many misconceptions. One being that if you talk well, you are good for marketing; and, if you like numbers, you are a fit for Finance. None of this really applies when you are working in the real world,” he says. “That’s why we want our students to be managers, so that they can plan, strategize and have an all round approach to challenges. Aptitude is something that can grow in you.”

Mr. Philips also adds that most students know the specialization they want to pick after their first year. The institute also does its best to lead them in the right direction; however, for some, entrepreneurship might be the goal and SCMS Cochin encourages that as well. Mr. Philips sheds light on that, saying, “We have an entrepreneurship cell where we have only 40 students. We have conversations with them to understand what their goals are, and we organize conferences and seminars where they can interact with industry experts. We also ask them to come up with a business plan while working closely with start-up companies.”

Clearly these initiatives have been carefully thought out to give students of the institute the cutting edge advantage. Mr. Philips himself endeavors to ensure that they are not lagging behind, and he gives us insight into describes his approach to teaching: “We try to focus on case studies in the classroom and they learn to relate to concepts with their practical applications. So even if they don’t know the theories well, they gain an understanding of industry practices. We also have mentees at the institute and we try to ascertain what they lack in terms of education, whether it’s skill, motivation or any other factors. We then try to address these issues so that the students flourish in their two years with us.”

And it’s this personal approach and dedicated attitude towards teaching amongst faculty members that makes SCMS Cochin one of the best places for learning for management aspirants.

 
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Posted by on June 17, 2015 in Faculty

 

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Mr. Sreekumar Pillai, Professor, Marketing, uses his 25 years of corporate experience to groom future management professionals at SCMS Cochin School of Business.

IMG_0712With his 25 years of experience in the corporate sector, out of which 19 were spent outside of India, Mr. Sreekumar Pillai never thought he would enter academia. But fate and personal reasons brought him back to his roots in Cochin and he came across the sterling work done by SCMS in the world of management. Impressed by the vision and mission of the institute, as well as the setup of the organization, he decided to join the B School as Professor, Marketing. He has taken to it like a fish to water and is excited about making a difference in students’ lives.

Mr. Pillai’s impressive resume includes a stint with Britannia Industries as a Commercial Manager; in addition, he was a Resident Manager with Conagra MCAPBV, a joint venture company in Rotterdam. He also worked in Cashew Operations in Unito Holding, Director of Legal and Finance of Star Nut and Food International B.V. Capelle A/d Ijssel. His vast experience is now being leveraged as an academic: “I am now focusing on my career as an academician while I await my Ph.D. I also want to get exposure through socially oriented programs.”

A member of SCENSER, the research organization of SCMS Cochin, Mr. Pillai is reveling in the encouragement he has received from the institute. “We have a lot of management developmental programs that we offer to governmental organizations like India Post, Kerala government,” he says. “I am very interested in these programs, which is why I have chosen to combine my teaching with research and social development processes.” Despite these goals, Mr. Pillai’s highlighting achievements are his time spent with students and the brilliant feedback he receives from them.

Clearly, like all the faculty members of the institute, Mr. Pillai is dedicated to the cause of offering a high-quality education to students and making them industry-ready. Discussing the main attributes of SCMS Cochin that enables it to give its students the edge, he says, “Of course, the faculty base is rich in experience. Moreover, the program is industry driven, which ensures that our students keep up with the latest trends and strategies in the real world. This also benefits me as a faculty member of the institute.”

And how does he use his own industry experience for the benefit of the students? Mr. Pillai ponders before responding, “Whatever concepts I teach I am able to relate them to industry experience, which is appreciated by the students. It makes my teaching more credible and students stand to gain a lot out of it. I am also involved with III sessions, an industry institute interaction initiative where we have experts coming to the campus to deliver talks every week. With my network of contacts we manage to draw some big names.”

It’s interesting to know how, according to Mr. Pillai, these initiatives benefit the students. He offers us insight into the present scenario in management education to explain the impact these sessions can have: “We have seen common deficiencies amongst students. Since most of them lack the vision and focus, they get a reality check from industry professionals who have been there and done that. They give students valuable tips and draw them a roadmap of what to expect from the industry. They also learn what the industry expects out of them.”

So what is expected out of future management professionals with a specialization in marketing? Mr. Pillai reminds us of the changing face of marketing in today’s digital environment and also focuses on retail management, which, according to him, is a subset of marketing. “We make things interesting for students through realistic projects rather than just classroom learning,” he explains. “We talk about interactive, affiliate marketing and students need to make the most out of it because that’s the way forward. Marketing in India is getting more sophisticated and you have to be up for the challenges that come along with it.” In his concluding remarks, Mr. Pillai illustrates his value as an educator – and student will surely benefit from his knowledge and industry experience.

 
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Posted by on June 16, 2015 in Faculty

 

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“There is only one Harrods (London), and we’re very proud that our journey begins here”

For Anith Puthiyankath (SCMS Cochin, 1997) getting his products to the shelves of Harrods (London) has been as much about producing the very best, as it is about saying the story well.

anithA postgraduate in Business Management from SCMS Cochin, 1997, Anith Puthiyankath grew up in the world of business, as a 3rd generation member of the Ittiyera Group: a 100 –year- old family business,producing and trading edible oils, started by his grandfather in the year 1921. Anith, while being proud of this legacy, always wanted to have a startup of his own…a blank canvas to paint the picture he wished to. This led to the inception of World of Origins, in 2012.

“Kerala, my home state, is a top tourist destination… legendary for its rich spices. During my travels, I often noticed the presence of products from Kerala, in some of the grandest stores in the world. Even though they were perceived in the same light as the choicest red wines from Burgundy or the finest balsamic from Modena, not much was mentioned about the producers or the region. I was convinced that if consumers were interested to know more about the French and Italian estates, they would most definitely be interested in finding out more about the Keralian producers in this exotic land.”

Thus began the journey for both World of Origins and its first brand K BY TYNDIS. The ‘K’stands for ‘Kerala’ and ‘TYNDIS’ is the name of an ancient trading port in Kerala, which currently lies beneath the sea, destroyed by a massive flood in 13AD.

Within a few months of its launch,the K BY TYNDIS premium organic virgin coconut oil found itself on the exclusive shelves of Harrods, London. Following this promising start, the plan for K BY TYNDIS is to become a portfolio of the finest natural products that Kerala has to offer. K BY TYNDIS second product –the organic Wayanadan TGSEB Peppercorns –is poised to top the success story of the virgin coconut oil.

For Anith, these peppercorns – officially the highest grade of pepper in the world and native to Wayanad in Kerala – represent a lot more than just a product, it is also about the people, the place and the traditions.It has taken two years for the product to hit the shelves of some of the finest retailers in the UK and Germany. For this project, in 2013 World of Origins entered into a joint venture with Vanamoolika – a community of about 400 organic farmers in the mountainous region of Wayanad.

“With the Wayanadan project, we are working closely with Vanamoolikato revive the Wayanadan TGSEB peppercorns which have almost become extinct. Due to low yield and lack of commercial propositions, the farmers have been replacing it with higher yielding varieties. Unfortunately our farmers hadn’t realised that not only were they destroying something special, but they were also endangering their own identity.The reviews so far have been fantastic and we are now taking the Wayanadan to other European markets.”

Looking into the future Anith says, “There is of course only one Harrods and we are extremely proud that our journey begins here, but they are not alone when it comes to fine food retailing. They may not be of the same size or as iconic a name as Harrods, but there are a number of retailers across Europe and elsewhere who share the same passion and philosophy. It is this group that we are talking to, a group that looks beyond the product and its packaging”

Clearly, Anith’s business is a heady concoction of his business education; a free mixing of his roots (SCMS Cochin), with his connects from University of Leeds (MBA in Marketing).

On his 2nd MBA and his time at SCMS Cochin, “I decided to do a second MBA only because I went to SCMS Cochin straight after my graduation and I approached it pretty much the same way as my undergraduate degree. I felt I didn’t make the most of it. I was older when I attended Leeds. It also had a multicultural environment and the average age of the class at Leeds was much higher; meaning it was a much more experienced crowd. I enjoyed my time at SCMS Cochin and it instilled a strong discipline in me. There is one particular incident that I remember well, involving the late Mr. Pradeep Thevanoor; someone very dear to me. One day, he stopped me at the gates for turning up in a pair of jeans and a baseball T-shirt. He made sure I went back to the hostel and dressed appropriately, even at the expense of missing my morning lectures. I learnt my lesson as nowadays I almost always am dressed for the occasion.”

Anith is now taking his art of reviving, preserving and marketing the finest produce, beyond the realms of Kerala. World of Origins is currently working on new projects with local producers in Asia and Central America.

Though a startup, World of Origins now sits within the Ittiyera Group, which Anith co-manages with his brother Ajith. To celebrate the Ittiyera legacy, a new brand of coconut oil called Iis now in the pipeline, designed purely for the domestic market.“With I, we want to offer a different proposition to what is currently available – a brand that captures our heritage but at the same time is in tune with the future, as we recognise the importance to evolve with the times; otherwise we risk becoming a part of folklore.”

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2015 in Alumni

 

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