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‘Standing out’ while ‘fitting in’ at PepsiCo – thanks to SCMS Cochin School of Business!

561788_405259276197780_1929446394_nAbhishek Sharma, by confession, is “addicted” to the hectic schedule of SCMS Cochin School of Business.

“The journey at SCMS Cochin School of Business has been very interesting so far, with lots of new things to learn. Infact when I’d gone home during the break, it was like life had come to a complete standstill!”

Currently doing a Summer Internship Programme with one of the biggest global MNC’s, PepsiCo, Abhishek says that he hardly feels any stress at his workplace since he’s used to handling deadlines and stress at SCMS Cochin School of Business.

“It’s a nice company with nice people. I have a very young and helpful mentor, who is a boss during work hours, and after office is like a friend. I am in PepsiCo Premium segment where there are four brands of PepsiCo – Quaker Oats, Tropicana Juice, Gatorade, and Himalayan mineral water, which is manufactured by Tata and marketed by PepsiCo.  My project involves the placement of Gatorade in PepsiCo ‘PUSH CART’, which will be a new thing for PepsiCo since their premium brand is not placed in push-carts. I am doing a feasibility Study on setting up this business for them.”

A graduate from Ranchi University, Abhishek went to school in Kalimpong, a beautiful suburb of Darjeeling in west Bengal.At the fag end of his first post-graduation year at SCMS Cochin School of Business, Abhishek had sent his resume to the PepsiCo India Ltd., as they had announced vacancies for intern. A week later he was shortlisted and sent across a call letter for SIP.

“My communication faculty at SCMS-Cochin helped me in getting my Resume, and Cover letter done. Since this was the basis of selection in my SIP, it was crucial that my strengths and achievements were highlighted correctly.”

Abhishek’s workplace is in Gurgaon; a 2-hour journey by metro from where his residence is, in Noida. Since his project is market-oriented, he doesn’t have to go to Gurgaon everyday, but spends a substantive number of work-hours visiting distributors and vendors.

“On a given day, I sometime visit 3-4 distributor.In the NCR, this can be quite a task especially when the distance between distributors is 20 kms or more. I have to first take appointments from the CE (customer executive), TDM, and HOS (Head of Sales). My day starts at 7 in the morning and winds up at 7 in evening… that is, if I’m in luck with the Delhi traffic. Add to this the heat, and now the substantial rain, and you know the challenges beyond the workplace.”

Considering these challenges, Abhishek’s projects are coming along remarkably well. He attributes the unflinching support of his mentor at SCMS Cochin School of Business, Prof.R.T.R.Varma, as one of the main reasons.

“The most challenging part of my work is to coordinate between two teams of PepsiCo, which is the Franchise team – which has all soft drink brands – and the Premium team – which I am working with. Since my work is placement of Gatorade in pushcarts, which is controlled by franchise team, I have to convince them that the presence of Gatorade is not going to hamper the sales of their soft drink brands. You see, the franchise team doesn’t get any incentive for placement of Gatorade, while the incentives for pushing soft drinks are quite a bit.”

Abhishek believes that while classroom teaching is of great value when it comes to merchandising and devising strategies, at ground level sales you are very much on your own.

“Kudos to my SCMS mentor as well as my workplace mentor for helping me out on this front. Frankly speaking, education in south India, as a whole, is really good.  Educational institutions still insist on strict discipline, which is missing in North India. It is what makes a man, a gentleman and professional -absolute essentials in today’s corporate life.”

Often known to concoct elaborate meals for his friends and family, cooking is the one thing Abhishek misses most ever since he has joined SCMS Cochin School of Business. However, he does find time to carry forward his love for novels, and listens to devotional and soft music to relax.

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Posted by on August 6, 2013 in News Room, Student Life

 

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22ND batch of SCMS Cochin School of Business inducted with traditional grandeur

Mr. T.  K. Jose (Chairman, Coconut Development Board, Kerala) calls for inclusion of new generation management professionals in government machinery to maintain speed and professionalism

 Early on the morning of the 29th of July 2013, the auditorium at SCMS Cochin was packed with a select group of youngsters. Young men in their summer formals, and women in their salwar-kameezes and sarees spoke in excited, hushed tones on what was clearly one of the most important days of their lives. As the clock struck 9 AM, the inaugural session of the induction programme of the 2013-15 Batch – or 22nd Batch – of Kerala’s flagship B-school, SCMS Cochin School of Business, came to order. Dr. G. P. C. Nayar, Chairman, SCMS Group, presided over the function. He shared the dais with Mr. T. K. Jose (Chairman, Coconut Development Board, Kerala) and Mr. Ravi Soman (Senior Business Leader, VISA Inc., California) striking a balance of two eminent personalities from the public and private sector, respectively.

“New generation management should enter the field of governance in order to maintain the speed and professionalism in both the public and private sectors,” Mr. T. K. Jose was quoted as saying in the occasion. Mr. Jose also highlighted how SCMS Cochin School of Business has been instrumental in bringing in good management practices to the coconut industry of Kerala. “It is high time the qualification for government jobs in India is changed to include professionally qualified individuals for specific positions, so as to improve speed, objectivity and transparency. No Indian university is offering a degree or PG programme in coconut processing, whereas several such courses are available in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.”

On his part, Mr. Ravi Soman praised SCMS Cochin School of Business for its multi-cultural learning environment and a diverse set of students from various states in India.

“Google can give information, but never experience,” said Mr. Soman, while handing out one of the most important lessons to youngsters entering the world of business management. “That happens only through the ambience and environment of an institution.”

The incoming students were given a panoramic view of the business world by two of the stalwarts of SCMS Cochin School of Business, Dr. V. Raman Nair (Director) and Dr. Filomina P. George (Academic Dean).

The 2-year PGDM programme at SCMS Cochin School of Business is split into six terms in all. First, of course, the students have to go through a Foundation course. The aim of this Foundation course is to bring all students from different academic backgrounds up to a certain basic level. To achieve this objective, students are taken through sub- courses on the Principles of Management, Business Environment, and basic skill development modules on Accounting, Quantitative Techniques, Computing and Language.

“Getting through SCMS Cochin School of Business is a dream come true for anybody, especially if you happen to be from Kerala, as I do,” said one of the new comers enthusiastically . “The mix of academically and professionally qualified faculty members, who also come with rich industry experience, gives SCMS the edge. The stress on discipline, adaptability, social values and ethos has ensured that SCMS alumni do extremely well wherever they go.”

During Year One the Batch of 2013-15 will be given basic knowledge in all the functional areas of management. A lot of emphasis will also be laid on soft skill development, experiential and self learning through an Integrated Managerial Learning Program (IMLP), Outbound Training and co-curricular activities that supplement the courses. Year Two will comprise a full term internship in a chosen field with an organisation. This will be followed by three to four courses in General Management. Marketing streams are offered to all specializations along with 4 courses in each term in their respective areas of specialization.

Here’s wishing the 22nd Batch a great learning experience in the sprawling, beautiful campus of SCMS Cochin School of Business!

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Events, News Room, Student Life

 

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SCMS-Cochin ushers in a new trend – attempt to get an SIP on your own, before going for the companies that come for on-campus placements

SUMMER INTERNSHIP PROGRAMMES NOW BECOME LIVE TRAINING FOR FINAL PLACEMENTS

SCMS-Cochin has ushered in a very interesting concept for the Summer Internship Programme. The companies that made themselves available for SIP recruitment saw a significant increase over last year, with corporates like HDFC, Federal Bank, Bank of Baroda and South Indian Bank in the BFSI category; Madura Fashion & Lifestyle, Reliance Trendz and Future Value in the Retail segment; giants like Pepsico, Hindustan Coca Cola and, of course, other regular recruiters like TCS, Sony, MoserBaer, Asian Paints, Berger Paints and Fresenius Medical Care coming in. Quite a few new recruiters, like Oberoi Hotels, FlipKart, Volvo India, Hitachi, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Marks & Spencers, Bosch, Total Oil India Pvt. Ltd. and Singer India were also seen for SIP recruitment at SCMS-Cochin. However, this time around, much before the start of the SIP, SCMS-Cochin had carried out a detailed brief and training for the 21st batch. It was preparing all the 173 students to go out and crack SIPs with companies of their own choice, rather than wait for on-campus SIP recruitment. The result was nothing short of spectacular.

“It was a conscious decision on the part of the SCMS-Cochin management,” says Mr. George Joseph, the Placement Cell in-charge at SCMS-Cochin. “As part of our blue oceans strategy, we wanted students to explore the market, negotiate, and create connects in industries and organisations of their own choice. Basically, we wanted them to dig deep within themselves and find out what they were passionate about and go after it with all their might. To say that the results have been astonishing is an understatement. Of the 173 students of the 21st batch (2012-14), 159 cracked SIPs on their own, in organisations of their choice. The remaining 14 had the luxury of choosing from among the very best. This was a complete reversal of trends, where students were actually choosing companies and not the other way around. It has also led to an unprecedented increase in the number of students that have converted SIPs into pre-placement offers.”  

Quite interestingly, this has also led to a pan-India dispersion of SIP locations, with states from the far East (West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand) as well as Northern and Western India (UP, Haryana, New Delhi, Gujarat, Rajasthan) recruiting at par with the traditional recruiting strongholds like Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and, of course, the home state of Kerala.

“But the most important aspect of letting students go out and crack their own SIPs as a policy was the positive change it brought about in them in a very short period. They realised that market conditions were not favouring them, and began responding and preparing accordingly. The Faculty Mentors of each student closely oversaw the entire process. We have a very unique way of getting feedback from the Corporate Mentors. Our Faculty Mentors interact regularly with respective students’ Corporate Mentors either on the phone or over email. The most unique part is that midway through the project, our Faculty Mentor seeks an appointment with the Corporate Mentor and meets with him to find out about the student’s progress. This is religiously followed here in our institute; irrespective of where the Corporate Mentor is located, our Faculty Mentor definitely meets with him/ her.”

While students are encouraged to seek their own SIPs, the tight control over the feedback process – all students have to send weekly reports to their respective guides with their Corporate Mentor’s signature and office seal – remains the same. With this new approach to SIP becoming an unqualified success, it won’t be long before other premier institutes go the SCMS-Cochin way, giving more power and control to the students when it comes to their destiny.

 

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20TH Batch of SCMS- Cochin all set to pass out with an international perspective of ‘Emerging Kerala’

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19th April 2013, Cochin: The Convocation Ceremony of the 20th Batch of SCMS-Cochin will be held with traditional grandeur, on the 26th of April 2013, between 10 AM and 1 PM. Graduating students of the foremost B-school in Kerala will be receiving their Post Graduate Diploma from Mr. Shibu Baby John, Minister for Labor and Rehabilitation, Government of Kerala, who will be the Chief Guest and deliver the Convocation Address. Shri Adrian Williams, Head – Human Resources, Thomas Cook (India), will be addressing the student managers as the Guest of Honour.

During their 2 years course at SCMS-Cochin, the 20th Batch has had the fortune of organising and being a part of several events of national and international stature; foremost being the ‘Emerging Kerala – Global Connect 2012’ summit held between 12-14 September 2012. This The mega-event, held at Hotel Le Meridien, Cochin, had the Prime Minister of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh and the Defence Minister, Shri A.K. Anthony addressing the global corporate and political fraternity, on why India perceives Kerala as the next big business hub, and the possibilities that Kerala offers. As a part of the organising body for this summit, students of the 20th Batch found the opportunity to interact with and hear to global thought leaders and businessmen.

“This batch has done exceedingly well on all counts,” observed Mr. Pramod P. Thevanoor, Director, SCMS Group of Institutions.“The placements have been more than satisfactory. Almost 50% of the batch will be joining the Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance sector. New managers groomed at SCMS-Cochin will also be joining the FMCG sector, Consulting firms, and IT & ITES sector. Interestingly, this year quite a few of our students are headed for Media and Entertainment companies, which is great considering this is the fastest growing space.”

 Showing remarkable resilience to the overall slowdown, SCMS-Cochin attracted more than 20 new companies to its campus this year. 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.

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2013 in Events, News And Events, News Room

 

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“In the current ever fluctuating and challenging economic trends, it pays to equip yourself with knowledge and the experience offered at SCMS- Cochin” Says Unnikrishnan P S, Placed as BD Manager at HDFC Bank, 2011-13 Batch

208-A-FK2225-UNNIKRISHNAN P SUnnikrishnan is smiling all the way to the bank. After all that’s where he works now!

A native of the beautiful backwater township of Kollam in southern Kerala, Unnikrishnan describes his tenure in SCMS-Cochin as a “rollercoaster ride”.

“The two years at SCMS-Cochin have been full of twists and turns with umpteen number of activities, seminars and programs, fast-paced curriculum and fun all along. With a good CGPA, and placement as a Business Development Manager in HDFC – with a reasonably good package – I finished this rollercoaster ride with a smile on my face and content in my heart. Fact of the matter is that the two years as SCMS-Cochin simply disappeared in a jiffy, leaving me wanting for more.”

A Mechanical Engineering from Government Engineering College Barton Hill, Trivandrum, Unnikrishnan had decided on a post-graduation in Business studies even while he was doing his B.Tech. He chose SCMS Cochin because of its reputation of being the best B-School in Kerala.

“SCMS-Cochin truly lives up to this reputation, also because of its steady placement record. The array of experienced and qualified professors and lecturers leave no doubt in this. I believe my experience with SCMS is indeed the drive that landed me in the job that I am currently selected for. They say it’s a “dog-eat-dog” world today, and the level of competition is at heights never experienced before. In times like these it pays to equip your-self with knowledge and the experience offered at SCMS-Cochin.”

Unnikrishnan defines the three-month Internship and subsequent thesis preparation as the most challenging phase of SCMS-Cochin. The first-hand experience at corporate life, doing a project under tight scrutiny – the project was regarding a market analysis for branch expansion of HDFC Bank in Bangalore – and strict timelines and the pressure to do a good job, made him realise the value of the discipline at SCMS-Cochin! Unnikrishnan’s profile as Business Development Manager under Home loans department at HDFC Bank covers functions of Sales, Marketing, as well as CRM.

“In the current ever-fluctuating and challenging economic trends, I plan to hold my ground, stick to my first job for a while, try to gain experience and exposure and play it out slow. It would be unwise to jump ships when the sea is rough because you never know which ship sinks to the bottom first. Although the current trends hint anything but betterment in the immediate future, I believe a prosperous career can be shaped out through dedication and perseverance.”       

With a 5-year plan firmly in place, Unnikrishnan sees himself a fair distance up the corporate ladder in the duration.

“If you are not moving fast enough, you are not moving at all. I believe 5 years is a good, long period to learn the tricks of the trade, position oneself for promotions and take big strides towards growth in the organization.”

Ambition, no doubt, is made of stern stuff, and Unnikrishnan clearly comes across as some who has it in ample quantity.

 
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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in News Room, Placements

 

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“Even in these times there are opportunities galore for those who are determined and clearly focused. IT is something that has been deeply ingrained in me at SCMS-Cochin.” says Sachin Vijayan, Assistant Manager, Madura Fashion and Lifestyle, 2011-13 Batch

SachinAs a son of an Armyman, Sachin Vijayan enjoyed studying and growing up in various parts of India. But after a B.Com from Mahatma Gandhi University, when it came to selecting a B-school for his management education, he decided to journey back to his home state, Kerala.

“SCMS-Cochin is the most prestigious B-school in Kerala. Since I wanted nothing but the best for my post-graduation in management, I targeted SCMS-Cochin. These two years at SCMS-Cochin were filled with all kinds of colors. It was fun, challenging and motivating for me, in the process helping me transform into a better personality. The learning helped me realize that wherever I reach in my life I should never forget my roots and those who helped me reach my destiny.”

While Sachin acknowledges that from Day 1 itself SCMS-Cochin challenged him to think out of the box and look beyond self-imposed limits, the most challenging phase came during the internship with Pantaloons Retail India Ltd.

“All of a sudden we were exposed to the practical side of the classroom teaching, and its real time application in business. The learning was immense. To a large extent, I was able to crack my placement as Assistant Manager at Madura Fashion and Lifestyle because of my internship with Pantaloons. My internship helped me gain experience in all the verticals and ensured I was 100% prepared for the challenges of placement with a retailing giant like Madura.”

Sachin believes his academic experience at SCMS-Cochin has made getting a job seem easier, and on expected lines. To him, the best thing about the course is that it is absolutely up to date.

“If you walk where your passion leads you, success will follow you. As students of management, we often make the mistake of picking up a particular specialization with the sole aim of getting placed. My advice to my younger colleagues is, choose to specialise in a subject you are passionate about. If you enjoy learning, you will definitely achieve success.”

Sachin Vijayan is by nature a cautious man, given to thinking twice before taking any decision. He likes to create a link between the practice and theory, before going ahead with something.

“Since my area of interest is HR, I keep in mind that people are not just motivated in monetary terms but they need better recognition at work. It is for this reason that I believe that, even in these challenging times there are opportunities galore for those who are determined and clearly focused towards what they want. It is something that has been deeply ingrained in me at SCMS-Cochin.

Sachin Vijayan confesses that rather than “hop, step and jump” in his career, he would rather spend a long time with the organisation he currently is. 5 years down the line, he sees himself as a regional HR manager at Madura Fashion and Lifestyle.

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2013 in News Room, Placements

 

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“The course, which is designed in consultation with the current industry trends, makes us job ready and gives us a finishing school exposure.” says S. Prabaharan, Batch- 2011-2013

FK-2320 PRABAHARANSCMS student S. Prabaharan says the school’s practice of learning through experience prepared him well for the corporate world.

Recently recruited by HDFC Ltd. as the Business Development Manager-Management Trainee, Prabharan strongly feels that “the curriculum that put students into a corporate scenario gave enough opportunities to learn and I optimally used that opportunity.”

Originally from Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu,the engineering graduate chose SCMS because he wanted to experience a different state and culture in order to break out of his comfort zone and grow. He definitely found that at SCMS.

“SCMS life allows students to find possibilities within uncertainties” he said, and managing those uncertainties taught him a lot, with the most challenging example being conducting a post-budget analysis for a finance forum. Prabaharan says the school gave him enough basic knowledge about marketing concepts and management to fit in well in his new position. “Professionally, the academic experience gave me a complete exposure of management knowledge in all the necessary areas like finance, operations, marketing and human resources. The course, which is designed in consultation with the current industry trends, makes us job ready and gives us a finishing school exposure.”

His SCMS training also shattered a lot of myths about management for him and allowed him to confidently answer questions about marketing and leadership when being interviewed for placement.

The courses provided at SCMS really pay off when it comes time to enter the world of work, says Prabaharan, because they give you job-ready skills and the brand value of the school, which provides a competitive edge in job market. Thanks to his education, he believes he can bring to the job creative and unexplored ways to overcome problems and meet target goals.

Based on his personal experience, he has some sound advice for graduating students being interviewed for placement. Prabaharan says they should market themselves throughout the placement process, ask company-related questions, present a clear dimension of the topics and be honest and confident in their answers. Sticking with the basics and delivering with confidence is the secret to cracking the placement process, according to Prabaharan.

As to what the future holds for him, he remarks: “After five years of experience I want to start my own venture… until then I will give my maximum to learn from opportunities.”

S. Prabaharan

PGDM

Batch- 2011-2013

 
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Posted by on April 15, 2013 in News Room, Placements

 

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