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A stringent admissions process is to ensure a very quality classroom for rich peer learning

Screen Shot 2016-03-03 at 3.06.03 pmConsistent rankings, accolades and placement records have been among many other factors that led to SCMS Cochin’s surfacing out to be one of the sought after Business Schools of Kerala . But beyond that, what works for the B School is the constant evolution in strategies, programs and initiatives that gives its students the cutting edge advantage. Dr. Filomina George, Director of the Management School of SCMS sheds light on them and reveals how rather than harping on its achievements, the B School constantly looks ahead and paves way for the future.

The admission process of PGDM 2016- 2018 batch that is underway is definitely on her mind. The institute has been known for its student diversity and the school does not want to keep any stone unturned to ensure a rich classroom experience for its future batches either. “Our institute is a brand in itself but we need to bring more visibility to it. Even the IIMs reach out to students in different parts of the country and we are definitely doing that this year,” she says.

Prof. Filomina also talks about the importance of stringent admission process, which maintains student quality that leads to an enriching classroom environment. Students from different backgrounds enroll for their program and SCMS Cochin strives to level the playing field. “We start off our program with a 6 weeks foundation course where they can get oriented to us, management education and basic concepts, and the way of life here. They also have mentor programs, which allow them to integrate with fellow students and faculty members,” she adds.

Interesting thing to note is that the institute not only draws students from different parts of the country but faculty members as well. According to Prof. Filomina it is an interesting facet that needs to be talked about because, “They come here to understand the length and breadth of the education system, which our B School seamlessly offers them. The teaching and learning experience for both, students and faculty members is quite dynamic. We have a judicious mix of academically and professionally qualified faculty members, and their experience is further enhanced with us.”

SCMS Cochin has always been an institute that has kept up with the latest in the industry. Now with the emphasis on Skilled In India (Skill development) and getting new entrepreneurs on the scene, the B School has revamped its entrepreneurship course as well. “The three credit full course has gone through a major transformation with a series of people from the corporate world, domain experts, proven entrepreneurs as well as new/budding entrepreneurs sharing experience with students. They thus learn the nuances of starting a business, which is vital to them,” she says.

Prof. Filomina also states that the emphasis at SCMS Cochin is on creating professionals and entrepreneurs, who are socially conscious and responsible. It tries to build that sense of responsibility towards society through different programs. “Through our social outreach program, Parivarthana, we go to schools and educate them on burning issues in our society. We talk to the children about conserving natural resources how to be guarded against drug abuse , cyber crimes etc. and this helps our students grow into well rounded professionals with strong values,” she concludes.

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Posted by on March 3, 2016 in Faculty

 

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SCMS faculty adheres to the thumb-rule of 40% theory, 60% practice to teach Supply Chain Management and the opportunities it offers

IMG_0725“I have always had the passion for teaching. I like interacting with people and inspiring bright young minds, in particular. That’s the reason that, as soon as I completed by PhD, I decided to move from my corporate career to academics,” says Dr. C. Sengottuvelu, Professor and Head of Consultancy Division at SCMS group. The corporate career he talks about is almost two decades long and includes stints with big names like Kirloskar, Bharat Electronics Limited and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. But, he claims to have found his true calling with SCMS Cochin, where he is keen on shaping future managers and offering them a high-quality education.

Dr. Sengottuvelu is a prolific academic himself. After completing his BE from Indiana University, he went on to earn several degrees and certifications, including his PhD and a “Certified Purchase Manager” certification from the Institute for Supply Management in the U.S. Today, he brings his academic strengths and industry experience into the classroom at SCMS Cochin. “During my corporate assignments as well, I was a research faculty for company’s in-house training programs during induction training. I believe I can bring that experience to the table and ensure that students gain from it in the classroom,” he says confidently.

Dr. Sengottuvelu is a well-known name in Supply Chain Management (SCM), which is interesting because SCMS Cochin School of Business offers the niche stream as a part of its program. Given his experience in the field, one would like to know about the opportunities it presents future managers. “Companies have begun to realize the importance of supply chain management as a part of their business. Since it’s a vast domain, it’s difficult to limit a person’s role in the field. That means professionals in SCM have several opportunities to grow. With companies taking it more seriously and implementing new strategies things are bound to get better,” he adds optimistically.

According to Dr. Sengottuvelu, those who want to make a career in the field need to understand SCM as a process from end to end. He then emphasizes the importance of different steps, right from information generation to data collection and analysis. Talking about the course offered by SCMS Cochin, he says, “We have an in-depth course for those in systems and operations, and also retail. There is more service-focused learning for those in Finance, HR, Banking, etc. Maybe we can think of special certifications in the future because some students are good at mental planning, while others could be at sourcing and procurement.”

Clearly, the institute is constantly evolving and offering the best opportunities to its students. It’s also seen in its faculty base that includes names like Dr. Sengottuvelu, who are ready to share their industry experience with students. Here we have him draw out important elements of corporate life for students: “To begin with, as a professional you have to complete all your tasks in a timely manner. You also need to have a proactive approach where you anticipate things and are prepared for different situations. Another aspect is working with numbers, which is a place where the newer generation still needs to work on.”

With his two decades of experience in the industry, Dr. Sengottuvelu has seen it change drastically. He also understands the demands it has of management professionals of today’s times. He sheds light on them for the benefit of aspirants, saying, “The fact remains that the industry is driven by companies and they are looking for young minds who can visualize the entire business process. Given the importance of Data today, the industry also wants professionals who can make decisions based on it. Decisions should be made in a structured way with facts and figures and with the support of data. That will be a hallmark of successful managers.”

Finally, we have Dr. Sengottuvelu talking about his bond with SCMS Cochin and all the initiatives it takes to create these successful future managers. “There are three components of high quality education: faculty base, student pool and academic environment. They are carefully brought together at SCMS Cochin,” he explains, before continuing. “We are not just focused on creating future managers but entrepreneurs as well, and there’s a dedicated program for that. As for me personally, I believe in the formula: 40% theory, 60% practice. I try to bring that to the classroom and ensure complete student involvement, which works wonders for their learning.” His concluding words ring true for an ever-changing field. And, students should heed his words, as they are entering a world that is moving at a faster pace than previous decades. Through his experience and knowledge, Dr. Sengottuvelu is a good guide for this long road ahead.

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2015 in Faculty

 

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Mr. Sudheer Sudhakaran talks about how his industry experience benefits students of SCMS Cochin School of Business and wins him their respect.

Sudheer SudhakaranMr. Sudheer Sudhakaran, Associate Professor – Marketing at SCMS Cochin School of Business, has had over two decades of work experience, out of which 15 years were spent in corporate environment wearing different hats in Sales and Marketing, Business Development, Distribution Management, Administration and HR Functions. His last stint before turning to academics (he joined SCMS Cochin in 2008) was with Gujarat Cooperative Milk Federation (GCMMF) Limited as a Regional Head in Kerala. But, he admits that throughout his professional career a role in training functions “chased him” – at the corporate office, at the regional office and even at the factory where he was hands on with all the workers and their issues.

That’s how his passion for teaching grew – today he is a man on a mission to offer an innovative learning experience to his students at the institute.

After completing his Masters in English Literature, Mr. Sudhakaran did his PGDRM from IRMA (Institute of Rural Management, Anand). However, in spite of his interest in teaching, his move toward education happened to him by chance.  While juggling with the Amul and Sagar brands “My ex-Managing Director just asked me one day to start a Marketing program for employees who weren’t from the marketing field. Since then I have coordinated several programs and given guest lectures at institutes,” he explains.

“But full-time teaching only happened after I came back to my home state of Kerala and saw this opportunity with SCMS Cochin. I knew that if I wanted to be in academics full time, this is as good as it gets.”

Mr. Sudhakaran adds that he was excited about the fact that he was moving from an institution under the patronage of Dr. Verghese Kurien to one guided by Dr. Subramanian Swamy.  His role model is the fictional professor Dr. Indiana Henry Jones, Jr., who is able to swing from the classroom into the field and back! “As a professor you need to earn the respect you get,” he says. “The industry experience that faculty members have gives them an advantage because they can complete the classroom teaching with examples and anecdotes. That’s something I intend to build on.”

He then goes on to talk about the learning experience at SCMS Cochin and the different initiatives it has for its students to ensure that they come out at the other end of their two-year academic stint as industry ready professionals. “SCMS is unique because we look at contemporary issues and give ample opportunities to students to move out of classroom learning to go for real life experiences,” he explains. “The Integrated Management Learning Program takes the stage fright out of the students. Right from conferences to workshops, students take part in several initiatives focusing on everything from entrepreneurship to environmental issues.”

Mr. Sudhakaran also talks about different electives offered by the institute, and how building a knowledge base in different streams can actually help the future prospects of students. According to him the industrialists have echoed that “At various points in time, depending on the needs of the business, people have to engage with different teams, or move out of teams for that matter. That’s where your skills in multitasking come into the picture. Moreover, you are expected to adjust quickly and make these mental and emotional switches. The dual-course specializations are in keeping with industry thinking.”

With his own experience in six different verticals that included corporate, factory and territory handling, Mr. Sudhakaran understands the challenges of the industry and what it expects from future managers. He also talks about the opportunities that lie ahead of them, saying, “Today, the business process is more sophisticated and the entire scenario will require new skills of a higher order. A whole new world of jobs will come up and young management students need to take multiple experiences to understand how the new business will function in the future. They can look forward to a bright future if they are passionate about what they do. Concluding on a positive note, Mr. Sudhakaran sees a bright future for new graduates willing to accept a trajectory of domain experiences.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2015 in Faculty

 

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Prof. V. Rajagopal reveals the efforts taken by SCMS Cochin School of Business to create professionals and leaders of tomorrow

Screen Shot 2015-07-27 at 2.51.01 PMIt is not very often that management students get an opportunity to learn from a scientist with over three decades of work experience, including the Ministry Of Defense. SCMS Cochin School of Business has made that possible with the presence of Prof. V. Rajagopal, who also has a stint with Centre of Science and Research to his credit. The professor of Quantitative Techniques, who holds MBA and LLB degrees, talks about the importance of practical training for students and how the institute prepares them for the professional journey ahead.

However, at the onset we discuss Prof. Rajagopal’s own journey from an industry professional to an academic, and how his expertise helps students. “I never thought I’d become a teacher, but I really enjoy it,” he tells us. “My experience was mostly in infrastructure management and I also worked with the Kerala Government science and technology department. I have worked in different industry sectors and interacted with professionals from various fields. I hope and try to share that experience with my students at the institute.”

Ask Prof. Rajagopal about his own experience with SCMS Cochin, and he doesn’t hesitate to list the institute’s merits: “I am keen on doing my PhD and I had heard that the institute encourages research, which interested me to a great extent. Of course, the reputation of SCMS Cochin is impressive and I can say that my relationship with the institute has been cordial. I have had no reasons for complaints, something you can’t say, even with corporate houses.” He further adds that the institute looks after its own, be it the faculty members or students, which is endearing.

However, Prof. Rajagopal is also the first to admit that there are challenges along the way. While in R & D he could set his own pace, but in his current position he has to be prepared for the fact that things can hectic for an academic. As far as the students of today, he says, “I feel that there are many students who are not in it for learning and gaining knowledge but mostly concerned about employment prospects. It’s a challenge to try and change that mindset and to cultivate an interest in learning. Regardless, we strive to optimize our resources and give them the best education possible.”

Faculty members at SCMS Cochin try to do that by employing new-age teaching pedagogy to make things more identifiable for students. Prof. Rajagopal sheds light on his own teaching techniques, saying, “Whether I am teaching statistics or ethics, I try to relate the concepts they are learning to current scenarios and things happening in the industry. But if you have to offer a certain quality of education, it begins with the kind of students you select. SCMS Cochin is quite particular about quality, right from that stage to the placements.” Prof. Rajagopal stresses this last point, which says a lot about the quality of the students at the institute.

To offer practical training to his students, Prof. Rajagopal also recently took them on an industry visit to Volvo. There are several such industry visits organized by the B School to give students exposure to varied fields. And, as Prof. Rajagopal explains, they are an important experience for students: “The Volvo trip was a big learning experience for them because they realized that you can’t compartmentalize management education; it is a sum of all activities and different streams overlap at one point or another. We have about three to four industry visits every year, which means plenty of exposure for the students.”

Prof. Rajagopal also talks about the Industry Interface sessions with experts and their influence on students. He believes that in addition to classroom learning, such experiences help students network and can have an impact during the placement season. “Things get very competitive when recruiters come over for placements,” he explains. “You can’t deny the fact that employers are looking for industry ready professionals. The focus of education at SCMS Cochin is to groom professionals who can also make a difference to the society.” These concluding words say a lot about Prof. Rajagopal’s desire to be a part of the process of educating tomorrow’s leaders – this dedication translates into a rich learning experience for students at the institute.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2015 in Faculty

 

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Prof. Srikrishnan shows the way for future managers in IT

IMG_0721One of the highlights of learning at a reputable B School like SCMS Cochin School of Business is that students benefit from the vast experience of its faculty members, many of whom have worked in the industry for several years. Prof. Srikrishnan is one of them, and he has more than two decades of experience in the IT industry with big names like HCL and TCS. He recently completed his PhD from Cochin University of Science and Technology, and is now sharing his experience with students at the institute. We talk to him about his own transition and that of students into future professionals.

Right at the onset Prof. Srikrishnan opens up about training in IT and how it has evolved over the years. “IT is constantly evolving and we have built the material for training, organizational training, teams, etc.,” he explains. “Now there are tools that are even superior to those used in different parts of the world. So, when students come for their PGDM, we are able to innovate and update the curriculum based on the latest trends in the industry.” He then offers some examples of training he offers his first and second year students to drive home his point.

Prof. Srikrishnan admits that he has always been interested in research and teaching, but it’s difficult in India to keep switching between academics and industry. That’s why after completing his PhD last year he made the call to get into academics full-time and found SCMS Cochin the best fit for his goals and approach to teaching. “It is a place that not only works towards offering best opportunities to students, but the faculty members as well,” he says. “I love the platform I have for teaching at the same time I can nourish my research aspirations here too.”

So what does the IT domain have in store for managers of the future? Prof. Srikrishnan sheds light on the challenges and opportunities, saying, “Now there are opportunities that were unheard of ten years ago, but at the same time the path is filled with intense competition. Hence, students should have a career plan that leads them toward their professional goals. I also recommend working on one’s career, rather than just looking for money at the beginning. The first couple of years as a professional can be spent in building a career of one’s choice.”

The IT industry saw a meteoric rise before things dipped to a low during the global recession. With that scenario at the back of one’s mind, it’s only natural for aspirants to feel apprehensive of the future prospects. But Prof. Srikrishnan is optimistic, and he lays those doubts to rest: “The future is going to be very different, especially since around eight trillion dollars will be invested in Smart cities. In the world, there is one point seven trillion dollars worth of outsourcing possible now. Only two hundred billion of that is being used, which means there is big scope in the future.”

Prof. Srikrishnan also lays out the roadmap for future professionals in the industry by dividing it into Tier I, Tier II and Tier III companies. “Tier I companies are big names where things are generally safe,” he explains. “But you have to be on guard, technologically sound and constantly at your best in Tier II and III companies to survive.” SCMS Cochin does its part to help its students do that by imparting training through methods like PPT, video presentations and laboratory experience. This is the type of practical training that can help aspirants make the transition to the professional world.

Moreover, the institute focuses on placements for its students to make sure they have the best opportunities available to them. Prof. Srikrishnan reveals heartening facts about the industry and what employers are looking for in aspirants: “New companies are coming to the forefront and they are offering new roles like Business Analysts to students. We try to build a professional work ethic and team spirit amongst students so that they are appealing to the recruiters. IT is a process of continuous learning, updating your skills and being enterprising. Only then will you rise up the ladder of success.” With an impressive mix of industry experience and academic knowledge, Prof. Srikrishnan is a voice to listen to. His dedication can help students learn about the changing industry trends, and his knowledge can guide students as they transition into professional careers.

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2015 in Faculty

 

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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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