One of the most important parts of a B-School is its alumni base. GIM attends to this important part throughout the year and welcomes them back to the college, annually, in the Grand Alumni Meet (GAM). The Students Alumni Relations Cell (SARC) worked really hard to put on a grand show for the alumni who attended GAM 2016.
GAM 2016 had a lot in store for the alumni as well as the soon-to-be alumni, i.e. the current batch students of GIM. Let’ see how the day moved forth on 14th August, when the good went grand.
Industry Speaker Talk, by Mr. V. Ravi: Mr. V. Ravi, CFO Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services, spoke about the finance industry and how their company came to be amongst the top ones not just because of the work they do but also because of the values they work with. He said that Mahindra is more about attitude rather than aptitude. Putting emphasis on the value of humility, Mr. Ravi said, “Only when a person has humility, he would accept that he still has many things to learn. Any successful executive has to have the desire to learn. Continuous learning is a must.” He said that the entire Mahindra conglomerate runs on a common value system:
- Accept no limits
- Alternative thinking – Create your own path;
- Positive change – Giving back to society. Not just a donation but Profit, Plan & People (3 Ps)
He elaborated that Mahindra doesn’t just state these values but abides by them in practice through various policies such as
- ESOP – Employee social option scheme to take a little time off to give back to society through social empowerment causes.
- Corporate Garage – Within the group, they try to create intrapreneurs. Encourage employees to propose their business ideas and try their concepts, protect their salary for a specific time frame and within the system become an intrapreneur.
Mr. Ravi explained that unlearning is a necessity in the world today which changes its pace more rapidly than ever. With the advancements in technology, he said that the future holds challenges for Artificial Intelligence in the field of Behavioural Finance.
Student Alumni Interaction Session: Distinguished alumni came forth to have domain-specific interaction sessions with the students. The students were free to ask any industry or career related questions that they had in mind, and the alumni were more than ready to explain everything in detail. Sagnik Ghosh (Batch of 2000), Vaibhav Sharma (Bath of ‘98), Perry Goes (Batch of ‘95), Rajat Mishra (Batch of ‘05), Neetant Shirodkar (Batch of ‘04), Ketan Hajarnavis (Batch of ‘99), Ashley Dias (Batch of ‘05) had a session with the students in their field of interest.
Distinguished Alumni Award of this year was given to Ms. Shilpa Gulati (HR and Ops head at Ikea, US, first Indian woman to reach this position). Her family members received the award on her behalf and many of her batchmates went up on stage as well. One even gave a very emotional, heartfelt speech about what an amazing woman Ms. Shilpa Gulati is and how she fought against the biggest battles of despair and transcended one of the most difficult situations. A student of ’98 batch, she spent 15 years in the industry with her 2 kids, balanced her role as mother and career woman, breaking all the barriers of gender and race in a global organization. She was diagnosed with breast cancer but this did not deter her. She was offered the role of CFO while recovering from this disease. Cancer had travelled to her brain. She did not take up this role but took up role of HR instead. She has excelled in her career despite facing immense emotional and physical turmoil and has given a new meaning to the title of being distinguished.
Ms. Shilpa Gulati’s Family Members
Entrepreneurship Conclave: The conclave begun when Fr. Romuald D’Souza, the founder of GIM, addressed the crowd to a thunderous applause. He spoke about the journey of GIM and what lies ahead in this continuous journey to make GIM even better.
The conclave moved ahead with the keynote address given by Prof. Olaf Zylicz, Director, Warsaw University of Technology Business. His talk addressed the issue of entrepreneurship culture in India and he compared the same with the culture in other parts of the world. Prof. Olaf defined national culture as a country’s shared practices and values and said that it can support or impede entrepreneurial behaviour at the individual level as it impacts the business at early stages of it. Culture is a powerful thing and as a manager, according to Prof. Olaf, we have a huge responsibility as we can modify the organizational culture.
Second address of the conclave was given by Mr. Madhusudan Ranganathan, Investor & head at BD & Strategy for Vigyanlabs Pvt Ltd. He talked about the importance of strategy in business and stressed on the fact that the strategy should be aligned with the idea that the world is constantly changing, “Tomorrow-proof your company because the environment is constantly changing.” Mr. Ranganathan advised the students to work with start-ups to understand the challenges of the market in a better way.
Twitter Mining Session was conducted by Mr. Sanmeet Singh Walia who is an alumnus 2011-13 batch and an Adobe and Google certified Analytics Professional. The talk was a little technical but extremely fascinating and consisted of a few important topics like Text Analytics and its importance, various kinds of Text Analytics and their applications, Twitter API, extraction of data from Twitter Data, R, how to link Twitter API, code for Mining Twitter Data, scraping data from Imdb, Amazon and various other miscellaneous Q&A on Analytics.
GAM 2016 saw a lot of energy, footfalls, reminisces, laughter, cheers, and even some tears. What we didn’t see was the sweat of SARC to make this event into a grand one. With the standards set even higher than before, we’ll look ahead as to GAM 2017!
Behind the scenes set up