Bengaluru: “If your presence adds value, your absence will make a difference,” pointed out Vikram Utamsingh, Managing Director, Alvarez & Marsal India, who was the Chief Guest at the inauguration ceremony of IIM Bangalore’s one year full-time Executive Post Graduate Programme (EPGP) batch of 2019-20, held on March 27, 2019.
While addressing the new batch, he listed the skills that the students need to imbibe, and hone, to become successful in any organization. “Deliver value and exceed expectations. Do it right when no one is looking. Go beyond what you are required to do and balance the risks. Always be objective and get the facts right. Treat others the way you want yourself to be treated. And never compromise on integrity, because trust is earned when actions meet words. You cannot let that slip, personally or professionally. Nurture integrity in team members as well.” Elaborating on that, he advised the students to do what was right and not what was easy, to take responsibility and give credit, to step up and take charge of failure of self and others, and to do the most difficult talk themselves.
He discussed a few other vital skills for success like entrepreneurial spirit, taking responsibility to help fix problems, calming a hostile environment, putting firm before self, etc.
“Learn from failure. One good thing about failure is that it makes you humble. It may shock you, but failure readjusts goals. So, tackle failure as a feedback, fix it and move forward. A lot depends on if you embrace or succumb to failure.”
He went on to say that hard work is vital and brings luck. “Focus on doing ordinary things in an extraordinary fashion, then you will be able to build your brand well. Everyone has the will to win, but preparing to win is crucial. Remember, quality of work is the best kind of advertising. Teamwork is also essential.”
Vikram Utamsingh’s inspiring speech was followed by an interactive session of the new students with the Chief Guest.
Earlier in the day, Professor G Sabarinathan, Chair, Admissions & Financial Aid, and IIMB faculty in the Finance & Accounting area, shared the batch profile.
Prof. Sabarinathan pointed out that in the current batch, there has been an improvement in gender ratio from 21% to 22%, an increase in international work experience from 26% to 36%, PSU/Government sector from 12% to 21%, and engineering from 81% to 86%. There are more students from the finance sector (6%) and energy sector (21%). “We have a class of students from fairly diverse backgrounds. The next one year will be rewarding for all of you and you will emerge as transformed individuals,” he added.
This was followed by an address by the EPGP Chair, Professor R Narayanaswamy, IIMB faculty from the Finance & Accounting area, who welcomed the incoming batch and gave an overview of the programme.
Professor Abhoy K Ojha, Dean, Academic Programmes and IIMB faculty from the Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management area, briefed the students about the administrative set up of the programme, and discussed the nature of engagement required from the students for this challenging programme. He went on to advise the students: “Keep reminding yourself that you are students at IIMB, although you all have some amount of work experience. Please do not take the position of customers here, we are educationists here – we prepare you for the future. We need to maintain the high standards and rigor of IIMB. But remember, even if we need to take some harsh decisions, you will be the beneficiary of that. We will treat you as adults, but we expect reciprocal sense of responsibility from you. Moreover, you have to display high standards of ethical behaviour – we deal with such issues very strictly. We also expect you to display good citizenship behaviour. Remember, we are custodians of ‘Brand IIMB’. You also have to adjust to the realities of a highly talented group of people, which might become stressful at times. But you will not be alone during such times. Other than the support of your friends and family, there is counselling service on campus that you can count on. So, learn well from the formal sessions, international immersions and from each other, and be great ambassadors of the programme.”
Shruti Sharma, Vice President, Development, Salaam Bombay Foundation and alumna of EPGP Class of 2011, shared her learnings and takeaways from IIMB with Batch XI of EPGP. “The USP of the program is that we all come with experience, which helps us understand problems better and ways to solve them. We start thinking differently and the learning becomes a part of us.”
She further said that knowledge and confidence were her two big takeaways from IIMB. “One of the constant factors in my entrepreneurial journey is creating social value – this is a huge contribution that entrepreneurs can make to society. The power of giving is very humbling. No one can take away the spirit of entrepreneurship from you, there is a little bit of that in all of us. If and when you consider the journey of entrepreneurship, be proud of creating social value.”
Professor G. Raghuram, Director, IIM Bangalore, congratulated the new batch by saying that they have taken a very wise decision to invest one year to study in a top rated programme. “It is not about changing tracks or boosting your career. The EPGP at IIMB would be a completely transformational journey for you. I would advise you learn fast as the world is changing, so be aligned to the changes and to your goals. Plan well during the course, focus on preparation, be open to multiple perspectives, and remember that problem formulation is important for analysis and execution.” He also recommended that more than work-life balance, what is needed is work-life integration. “We need to be prepared for the ‘downs’ of life, but remember that nothing is permanent, not even failure”, he added.
The EPGP is an intensive programme designed to enhance skills and capabilities essential for responsible positions at senior management levels. Challenging and globally oriented, the objective of this programme is to produce future leaders who can handle the dynamic corporate environment.