IIMB welcomes EPGP Class of 2021-22 on 2nd April
New Delhi: Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIMB) welcomed 75 students to the virtual inauguration of the globally ranked one-year full-time Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGP) 2021-22. Twenty per cent of the class this year comprises women. Twenty per cent of the batch is from non-engineering backgrounds.
Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIM Bangalore, Professor Abhoy Ojha, Dean Programmes, Professor Ashis Mishra, Chairperson, Admissions, and Professor Sabarinathan G, Chairperson, EPGP, addressed the class, this afternoon.
Pointing out that the last year has prompted fresh thinking in strategy for the country’s growth, Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan said frameworks were being built for changes in order to boost economic growth. “There is a good chance that many of these projects and investments will create a whole set of new opportunities for professionals like you in the years ahead. The timing you have chosen to join this programme is quite opportune from the perspective of the growth of the economy. Study the business environment carefully before you focus on specific sectors,” he said.
Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan also emphasized that companies are going through transition with a shift to digitalisation. “The opportunities will require all of you to have a good understanding of contemporary changes. You must make your efforts to supplement what you are learning in the classroom. You must show initiative in organizing and attending industry events and inviting globally-respected speakers to address you,” he added.
Offering a recap of the 6-8 month journey leading up to this inauguration, Prof. Ashis Mishra shared the profile of the 11th batch, which has considerable diversity and whose average GMAT score is 690, average work experience is 7 years and average age is 30 years.
Prof. Sabarinathan welcomed the class and congratulated them for making it to the programme. “The EPGP is an important component of the portfolio of programmes offered by IIMB. The 12 months that follow will be an intensive and exciting challenge. IIMB does everything it can to ensure that these 12 months are academically fulfilling for each one of you. The programme has helped transform and accelerate the careers of a large fraction of its alumni.”
In his address, Prof. Abhoy Ojha said IIMB has drawn many lessons from its online onboarding of the previous batch that the Class of 2021-23 will benefit from. “The feature that separates leaders from managers is their ability to take decisions in uncertain times. You have shown your leadership qualities by taking the plunge. There will be challenges and I am sure you will negotiate them well. IIMB has been among the most proactive among B-schools in the country in responding to the challenges thrown up by the pandemic. We hope you will get to experience the beauty of the IIMB campus very soon.”
Urging the participants to reprogramme their minds and become students rather than customers of IIMB, Prof. Ojha called upon them to be proactive and engage with the community. Delving into the subject of ethics and etiquette, he pointed out that academic integrity and behaviour of the highest standard are expected of everyone.
‘Become game changers’: Mukesh Sharma
Mukesh Sharma, Country Head and Member of the Board – Greater China, Tech Mahindra, and an alumnus from the EPGP Class of 2010, delivered the special address as chief guest.
Urging the new cohort to become game changers, Mukesh Sharma said: “Strategic leadership, whether you are a manager, leader or entrepreneur, is about engaging with change, setting directions and persuading others by creating lobbying points. It’s important to take people along and make them believe in your dreams.”
Applying concepts from the MBA classroom to the world of practice, Mukesh said: “Strategic leaders are those who handle pressure with confidence, optimism, tenacity, and enthusiasm (COTE). They take responsibility for their actions. To become a strategic leader, network and make yourself known, train yourself to cross rivers (read obstacles), develop 2 a.m. courage, perfect the art of persuasion, become game changers and nurture a passion for excellence. Temper your ambition with patience and humility.”
Describing the one-year spent in the EPGP programme as equivalent to leading a hermit’s life, he said this would prove to be a year of transformation. “On my laptop, I still have a folder which stores all my coursework at IIMB,” he confessed, elaborating on how he continues to draw from cases taught at IIM Bangalore.
Crediting the EPGP with changing his life, Mukesh spoke of his professors fondly and recalled how one of them had told him that was no fun rowing one’s boat in calm waters! “I took the plunge in 2010, packed my bags and moved out from my comfort zone in Delhi by accepting a job in Japan. I remember, in 2010, in Tokyo, meeting and asking Prof. R.T. Krishnan how long it takes to turn around a business. In a B-school classroom, it takes just a few hours! Prof. RTK smiled and told me it’s a process which takes time. I am grateful to him for that advice. It helped me persevere.”
Mukesh is credited with expanding the business in the Greater China region by opening new companies and forming joint ventures in new technology areas. He is also president of the Indian Association in Shanghai. He is a TEDx speaker and hosts cultural and business events related to India and China. Mukesh has 21 years of multi-disciplinary professional experience, having worked with companies in India and Japan in the automotive industry.