Journey of Bronze Medalist – MBA 2019-21

Indeed, I still remember the first sight of the entrance of IIM Kashipur, the glimpses of lush green campus and being lost in the similar-looking hostel blocks on the first day. The thought that I would be an MBA graduate from an IIM was exciting and I was looking forward to it. One month into the program I had realized that this journey is not going to be easy. A lot of lectures, assignments, projects, nights out and networking were involved. Ultimately, the continuous and consistent efforts paid off and helped me achieve the Bronze medal. I am overwhelmed by receiving the medal, but a medal was never the aim. I believe that focusing on the process is more important than expecting the results. I would like to express my gratitude to the professors for helping me in the process. A special thanks to my friends who definitely had a major role to play in the process. Now, I can say with confidence that through various experiences over the past two years I have gained good skills and improved my personality. Finally, one simple piece of advice for the future batches – ‘Focus on what you want in the long term rather than what seems good in the short term’. Wish you all great careers ahead.

About the Author

Kaipa Guru Charan Reddy is alumnus of IIM Kashipur. He is the bronze medalist of MBA 2019-21 Batch. He is currently working as the Senior Analyst at EY-Parthenon. He has also been a business consultant at Decimal Point Analytics and has interned with Larsen and Toubro on a project to evaluate hedging decision of MGO, required for operations of L&T subsidiary. He has also worked as a senior manager at Tata Motors in Sales & Marketing department.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn

( We thank the Alumni Relations Committee of IIM Kashipur for serving as a bridge to beget  valuable insights about the journey of becoming a gold medalist from our erudite alumnus. )

Journey of Gold Medalist – MBA-WX 2018-20

While I was posted at a small village in West Bengal, on a fine evening, my husband called me and said- “I want to do MBA from IIM Kashipur and classes are held at Dehradun, will fly down to Dehradun, will enjoy the chilled weather away from city hustle bustle”. I was taken aback and reaction was like- “Are you insane!! you will fly from Mumbai to Dehradun for enjoying chilled weather, you can do your MBA from Mumbai also”. But he has his own logical reasons and somehow he convinced me to join him in this journey to fulfill my dream to have an MBA from IIM. In the process, my transfer took place from rural village to Mumbai, the city of dreams. Then the journey from Mumbai to Dehradun started. The airports became my second home where I took some rest after office, and airplanes became my study room on weekends especially during exam, the backseat of the car became my bedroom while travelling from Delhi to Dehradun, no matter how hostile the weather is. The travelling in shivering chilling weather and sleepless nights became part of our life on weekends. Then, at Dehradun, green blanket at FRI was so soothing to our tired exhaustive sleepless eyes. During the course, we learnt management and was practically implementing management as well, that credit goes to my husband, Nitesh. I believe “where there is Will, there is Way”. It was the determination and focus that made this exhaustive journey thrilling. Every success has its own recipe, the recipe of my success of becoming Gold Medalist is my late father’s blessings, mother’s support, professors’ guidance and above all my husband, who is my strongest motivation, inspiration and his belief on me make this challenging journey complete with a gold medal.

About the Author

Bithika Karmakar is alumnus of IIM Kashipur. She is the gold medalist of MBA-WX 2018-20 Batch. She is currently working as the Assistant Manager at Punjab National Bank. She is Skilled in Management, Banking, Financial Analysis, Team Management, and Retail Banking. Earlier at Union Bank of India,she has handled operations in the branch, looking after the loan department domain and other regulatory banking affair relating to payment remittance, handling and resolving customer

You can connect with her on LinkedIn

( We thank the Alumni Relations Committee of IIM Kashipur for serving as a bridge to beget  valuable insights about the journey of becoming a gold medalist from our erudite alumnus. )

Journey of the Best All Rounder – PGP 2018-20 batch

Keeping a balance of Academics, Committee work and fun activities is not just something that helps you learn and grow, but it also keeps your rhythm going. When I joined the Placement Committee, a lot of people asked me whether I’ll be able to find time for my academics or other activities. But one of the most important aspects of MBA is probably Time Management and once you do this well, you can do a lot more than just sail through. Enhancing my classroom learnings with active discussions with professors and peers, supplementing it with corporate competitions to utilize the classroom learnings in real world corporate case studies, and networking with corporates in order to foster institute relations with corporates – this is what I found myself doing for majority of my time at IIM Kashipur. But along with all this, spending time with a bunch of my peers – some of whom have turned into my extended family – was also something that got me through these two years and learning from each one of them made me a better person.
While I think each person has to carve their own journey, a suggestion would be to try and explore as much possible – sign up for a subject you think you find challenging but also interesting, take part in as many corporate competitions possible, do your committee work diligently and be a part of at least one to help a little in running the institute. You will always find the support from management and our beloved faculties!
All the best!

About the Author

Chirag Dixit is alumnus of IIM Kashipur. He is the best All-Rounder of PGP Batch 2018-20. He is currently working as Equity Specialist at Bloomberg LP. He specializes in Equity Analytics – client workflows and also has a focus on – BQL (Bloomberg Query Language), Launchpad, Bloomberg for Education (BMC) and MYBB transfers.

You can connect with him on LinkedIn

( We thank the Alumni Relations Committee of IIM Kashipur for serving as a bridge to beget  valuable insights about the journey of becoming a gold medalist from our erudite alumnus. )

Journey of Gold Medalist – PGP 2018-20 batch

My journey with IIM Kashipur started much earlier when I appeared for the CAP (Common Admission Process) Interview on Feb 14, 2018, and the panelists were Prof. Patra and Prof. Batra, it was a very interesting discussion ranging from Climate Change Policies to estimating the number of 4-Wheelers sold per year in Delhi NCR. Obviously, back then I did not know they were from IIM Kashipur, but in the first term itself, I got to learn subjects on Statistics & Entrepreneurship from them respectively, which was a delight!

I personally believe, before starting our MBA journey, we must jot down some pointers as our goals, which we want to achieve before the course ends. These goals can be different for different students, depending upon our needs and the bigger picture, which we are stitching for our professional careers. 

For instance, from Day-1 my goals (plans) were to enhance my presentation skills (by taking lead in Group Projects while Presenting), networking skills (by joining ARC), and learning consulting mindset (by going beyond the scope of group projects & participating in case study competitions). I was also very clear with my priorities, top being the academic, then ARC & Prep-Cell responsibilities, and then case study competitions. Again, these priorities can be different for different students.

In my engineering, we had the options to select our Majors, and mine were Mechanical Design & Operations. And, since I was familiar with Operations Concepts, I preferred to choose Strategy, Marketing as my Majors and HR as minor. As I believed, these involved more of case-studies and classroom-based discussions, which is difficult for me to learn on my own. Finance & IT-Analytics, I decided to learn by my own, which I am continuing even today (Currently focusing on M&A Synergies). Learning should never stop!

About the Author

Vishvendra Singh Tomar is alumnus of IIM Kashipur. He is the gold medalist of PGP Batch 2018-20. He is currently working at the COO’s Office, L&T Technology Services Limited in the field of Corporate Strategy & Business Operations (Program Management). He  is a seasoned professional with an excellent proven track record on both professional as well as academic fronts. He has around 4 years of work experience, ranging from Product Analyst to Consultant during his association with PepsiCo (GVIC), Samsung Engineering, Dictiondock and L&T Technology Services (in chronological order).

You can connect with him on LinkedIn

( We thank the Alumni Relations Committee of IIM Kashipur for serving as a bridge to beget  valuable insights about the journey of becoming a gold medalist from our erudite alumnus. )

Beyond the Statement: Diversity & Inclusion

“We must not only learn to tolerate our differences. We must welcome them as the richness and diversity which can lead to true intelligence.”

–Albert Einstein

Embracing, including and respecting are the three things that almost every individual expects and deserves in life. The Oxford Dictionary defines diversity as “having a great deal of variety”. Looking further, we find diversity in various contexts—politics, ethnicity, nature, language, gender, race, skin colour, physical and mental challenges, etc. I believe diversity means accepting and respecting each other’s differences.

June is considered to be the pride month every year, commemorating the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. This year marks the 52nd anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, widely considered to be the start of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement in the U.S. The month marks the celebration of love, acceptance and being proud of who we are. Acceptance of diversity and spreading awareness about inclusion is a year-long, life-long activity and cannot be encapsulated within only one month, but still almost whole of the world celebrates this month to show their support for each other and to shower the support for eliminating the discrimination shown to the sexual minorities. We need people to question stereotypes and prejudices and go beyond the thought of discrimination to attain inclusivity in the sphere rhetorically.

India is still a developing country, but it has achieved wonders in embracing diversity technically. The path-breaking amendment to article 377, on September 6th, 2018,  decriminalizing homosexuality has created a benchmark in our country. After the partial quashing of the article, many organizations have planned and implemented diversity and inclusion in practice. Like, special drive to recruit LGBTQ+ people, medical leaves for sex reconstruction surgery, giving paternity/maternity leave benefits for the adoption of children and insurance benefits to partners are some of the many initiatives taken up. 

IIM Kashipur is trying to catch up with the developments and trying to adapt to the social and legal changes. It has set the benchmark to be one of the pioneer institutes for introducing the Diversity and Inclusion Club, which aims to embrace the diversity and inclusion of gender, sexual orientation, and physical disabilities. Besides, the club aspires to build a society represented by a community of informed, empowered and committed individuals who would be aware to acknowledge the diversity of any kind. In the two-year programme of MBA, to render the best of the knowledge and extensive social, legal and academic understanding, IIM Kashipur has also introduced the ‘Diversity and Inclusion’(D&I) course as a prime subject. Apart from the D&I course, courses like Organizational Behaviour focusses on how our society needs improvement in terms of practical embracement of diversity, it is done by sharing real-life stories, videos of talk shows by LGBTQ+ speakers and guest lectures from the industry. IIM Kashipur also focused on D&I as the theme of the TEDx Talk in the year 2019, where various speakers across the country joined to share their thoughts and experiences. IIM Kashipur has always thrived on offering inclusivity. With the help of our students and the Diversity and Inclusion Club, we will join hands to offer support to many oppressed individuals still seeking their rights to choose their sexuality.

Changes don’t turn out to be magical in just a single day or a single month. It is about showing up for the community every day – all year round!

About the Author:
Dr. Devjani Chatterjee is currently the Chairperson, Student Affairs at IIM Kashipur. She holds a PHD in the Organizational Behavior area from Industrial and Management Engineering Department of IIT Kanpur and is Assistant Professor, Organizational Behavior & Human Resource at IIM Kashipur. Dr. Chatterjee has many international journal publications, books and book chapters to credit and also presented papers in reputed national and international conferences across the world. She worked as a faculty in the OB area in IMI Kolkata before joining IIM Kashipur. She serves as a reviewer of many international journals of reputed publication houses and is also the Editor of the journal “Journal of Open Innovation Technology, Market & Complexity”, a Springer publication. She held many administrative posts like Library Chairperson, Research Committee Member, Seminar Co-ordinator, FM Convenor, HR Club Mentor and others at IMI Kolkata. She is the vice president of the prestigious Society of Open Innovation Technology, Market & Complexity.

Deadlines are sacrosanct

 ” Deadlines are Sacrosanct “The three magical words every Bschool graduate gets to hear very often. The phrase has been used many times by all, however, its importance, it seems, is yet to be known to many. The only sacrosanct rule at all IIMs is punctuality.

Good Management is only appreciated in its absence. So, while waiting for my food order in a queue made me realize how unaccustomed I have become to queues, waiting, and things not happening as they are supposed to. This further made me admire the beauty of time and how efficiently things happen in IIM Kashipur.

 I remember my first week of induction which was by far the busiest and most rewarding schedule as I was given a rehearsal for the life waiting ahead for me. I was reassured over and over that we will sail through it and no one has ever died of insomnia. For a moment 24 hours felt quite less seeing the ocean of things lined up -course work, assignments, enrolments, orientation sessions, alumni meet, student body meets, senior interactions, batch meets round the clock and then you have sacrosanct deadlines for them.

 If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who missed their deadline by a minute and has been awarded one grade lower than what they would have received if they had submitted the assignment on time.

 All this is done not to scare anyone nor does any faculty enjoy doing so, it is done to make us part of an erudite culture that values time above all commitments. As every management institute does, the IIM Kashipur framework serves as a paradigm of effective management. All tasks are done from a “better never than late” mentality, based on the central principle of punctuality. 

 The obligation of punctuality extends not only to students but also to both faculty and staff. No one is permitted to waste someone else’s time, resulting in a super-efficient system.When you have grown used to such a culture indoctrinated for the system to function smoothly, even a 15-minute line seems weird.

So my only tip is value and plan things ahead of time and keep an action plan ready for last moment hiccups. My go strategy for the same was to simply set all my clocks ahead by 15 minutes (and then forget about it).

About the Author:
Sakshi Poddar a Computer Science Engineer by qualification is now pursuing MBA (Analytics) from IIM Kashipur. She is a part of various student bodies like the Media and Public Relations Committee and Admission Support Body. She is an IT professional with 2 years of experience in Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She loves traveling and dancing. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

Why Women Are the X-Factor in the New Working Environment

New ways of working and leading are desired in today’s business environment.  In order to succeed in that system, organizations will need two fundamental sets of skills. The first being digital skills for which many organizations are actively hiring software developers, data scientists and analysts, experienced designers, and people with critical digital skills. The second skill set, however—is just as important: human-centred skills in areas such as communication, collaboration, motivation, emotional intelligence, creativity, and imagination.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, its economic disruption and uncertainty, has only underscored the need for these skills. Over the next decade, these leadership skills will become must-haves as traditional, top-down approaches decline in the face of fast, highly collaborative, agile organizations. Nonetheless, today’s leaders will have to navigate uncertainty and comprehend the needs and challenges of various stakeholders in the ever-changing scenarios. Leaders must be empathetic and able to encourage others, inspire teams, develop relationships, and learn with humility, in a business world with increasingly differentiated, multi-functional teams that operate independently.

A NEW LEADERSHIP MODEL

While algorithms can perform standardised processes and make straightforward decisions much faster, cheaper, and more accurately than humans, other skills – which only humans can leverage, such as empathy, imagination, and judgment—are essential for complex problem-solving.

That’s why, in today’s agile organisations, leaders don’t just issue orders based on their own expertise or experience instead, they identify a problem and then support autonomous teams that do the actual work of solving that problem. Such leadership necessitates a level of vulnerability, such as someone who encourages and supports people who have better knowledge about a given subject than their superiors and are more likely to find a solution. 

Then, the question arises – How can women leaders contribute to this change? Something that many people already know – women tend to be highly empathetic, with strong emotional intelligence, active listeners who solicit ideas, collaborate, share credit, and change course when necessary. It has also been observed that when there are more women on a team, the collective intelligence of the groups tend to increase. Moreover, gender-balanced teams are how diverse leadership teams boost innovation than their competitors, and perform better. While empathy and relationship-building skills appear to be uncommon among leadership candidates, most organisations will find them in their own untapped pools of women employees and managers.

GROWING EVIDENCE OF WOMEN’S ABILITY TO LEAD IN THE NEW WAYS

Empirical evidence suggests that many of the essential leadership qualities are more likely to be displayed by women.  For example, a recent study published in Harvard Business Review found that women in leadership roles were ranked higher than men in a variety of key competencies, such as encouraging and motivating others, building partnerships, cooperation, and teamwork.

When looking at more granular skills, researchers from a German university discovered that women, in general, can accurately decipher emotions from people’s faces. Another research discovered that women are better at reading body language than men. According to a third study, men detect subtle signs of emotion like depression just around 40% of the time, while women can notice them 90% of the time. Furthermore, a study published in the journal Science found that having more women on a team improved the collective knowledge of the groups. Rather than attempting to dominate a conversation or a task, women are more likely to consider others, elicit feedback, listen actively, and take turns contributing. As a result, women-centric organizations have become more collaborative and better able to tap into the potential.

For organizations that understand the need to work and lead in new ways, and the imperative of diversity, the message is clear: workplaces need to identify people with these skills and put them in leadership roles. That was true even before COVID-19, but the pandemic has emphasised the relevance of empathetic, collaborative leadership. Companies that wish to reap the benefits of these leadership skills must increase their efforts to recruit, retain, and encourage women.

About the Author:

Payal Singh, a Production Engineer by qualification is currently pursuing MBA (Analytics) from IIM Kashipur.  She is a part of  Team Insite- Admission Support Body at the prestigious institution. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

Rising Steel Prices: Can Fintech save MSMEs in distress?

The Alumni Relations Committee of IIM Kashipur has served as a bridge to beget valuable insights about the role of Fintech in MSME from our erudite alumnus. This article covers the questions surrounding the issue of rising steel prices and how Fintech can save the MSMEs in distress.

A sharp rise in raw material prices, (especially steel) over the last few months has impacted the recovery of manufacturing, construction, and small and medium industries from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The MSME industry needs to provide steel at reasonable prices so that export competitiveness of value-added products is maintained

A sharp rise in raw material prices, (especially steel) over the last few months has impacted the recovery of manufacturing, construction, and small and medium industries from the COVID-19 pandemic.  The MSME industry needs to provide steel at reasonable prices so that export competitiveness of value-added products is maintained.

Fintech lending platforms have the ability to address the credit gap for small businesses. Most digital lending platforms which used to rely only on equity and debt capital are now also looking at post loan origination sources of capital such as securitization and direct assignment transactions to improve liquidity. The fintech, banks, and NBFCs will play a huge role in powering small businesses in the post-pandemic new world and will help in reviving the economies. These new and innovative lending models will not only strike a right balance between financial stability and growth but also encourage a focus on the credit needs of small businesses in the country and NBFCs and fintechs are considered as better equipped to support this endeavour.

To understand the reasons behind the bullish prices, we can look at some of the factors affecting the price of steel:

Supply And Demand-

As with any commodity, supply and demand is a huge factor that determines steel prices. The higher the demand and the lower the supply, the higher the price. As lockdowns were gradually eased and construction work resumed, steel prices started rising with the rise in demand.

Moreover, the prices of steel are determined not just by current supply and demand, but by forecasted supply and demand. The more information available, the better this can be predicted, and the less volatile prices will be. We must also strive to be aware of inventory in the supply chain in every link from the steel mills to the end-user.

Industry Trends-

Price is also influenced by the demand of the various industries steel is used for. If the auto industry is strong, for example, steel demand may be higher; the same goes for construction, packaging, and other businesses that rely heavily upon steel.

Costs of Materials-

Scrap metal and iron ore are two of the main materials used to create steel. If there is a limited amount of these resources available, demand exceeds supply, and the cost of materials will jump up.

Iron ore fetching a year-end price of $175 a tonne on the Dalian Commodity Exchange (DCE), is now the world’s best performing major commodity for the second year in a row. Indian Steel Association (ISA) calls for Government Intervention and demands a six-month ban on iron-ore exports, restriction of e-auction sale to steel- and pellet-makers. The Government suspects that the steel-makers might be indulging in the manipulation of production to lift prices, forming a cartel in the cement and steel industry. However, on the contrary, in the steel industry where two major players, namely, SAIL and Vizag Steel are government-owned are also a part of the same trend.

Costs of Shipping-

By the same token, materials used to create steel and finished goods can be costly to ship, a factor that may help determine the price.

Time of Year-

Time of year has its effect on many industries, and those that use steel are no different. Holidays, weather, and seasonal highs and lows affect the output of new products, either raising or lowering demand. Seasonality can impact shipping patterns and transit modes.

All these events have left the MSMEs in jeopardy. Nothing was happening for several months because of the pandemic. The projects were shut down or were on hold. The rise in steel prices is eating into their narrow margins making it more and more difficult for them to sustain. A big issue of MSME credit gap can be solved by fintech lending platforms if they are able to access reliable digital data sets that can assist with credit risk analysis and cash flow-based lending, the regulatory framework supports a low-cost KYC and customer onboarding process and if these platforms themselves are able to tap into a wider set of channels for their own sources of capital.

About the Author:

Mr. Shahrukh Khan, an Alumnus of IIM Kashipur who has completed his PGP in the year 2019 is currently handling the Product & Process – OfCommerce at OfBusiness. While at the campus, he has been a Class Representative and Joint Secretary of Wellness Coordinators. He has also represented IIM Kashipur in multiple TT Tournaments.

Management from a Homemaker’s Lens

The word Management as defined in the dictionary means the process of dealing and coordinating with people. Management is a never-ending loop that begins when one gets up in the morning and ends when one sets the alarm for the next day and goes to sleep.

 Management is always conceptualized as a fancy degree from a Business school and jargons like Presentations, Entrepreneurship, SWOT, ROI, etc. Management is inevitably present and significant in all these fields, but what we often forget is that management is applicable in all walks of life. It covers all facets of our lives. We ignore this fact because we have been so used to doing these roles that we have forgotten about the management nature. Even a trip to Goa with friends or relatives requires proper planning so to effectively manage one’s schedule for an enriching experience.

 If we deep dive into our daily life schedule, I see my mother implementing all my MBA lessons in some way and the best part is though those decisions or acts of her do not bring any life-changing decisions but are pivotal for the smooth functioning of the house.

 The duties of a homemaker are frequently looked down upon, but as we look closely, we can see that becoming a homemaker demands immense management skills. One of the most difficult examples of management is managing an entire family, taking care of everyone’s special needs, settling petty conflicts among children, maintaining the bonds intact, ensuring food is prepared on time. All this might sound so simple when we compare it to the life of an MBA graduate but it is equally challenging and complex.

 If we draw an analogy between the life of a manager and a homemaker, it is quite indistinguishable. The only difference is the nature of the work they both execute. Just like in an organization, A manager is the one responsible for streamlining the tasks, planning things ahead of time so that the needs of the clients are fulfilled on time, and addressing the grievances of its employees. In the same fashion, Homemakers must plan for the whole family, predict future challenges, multitask and make the most use of their resources, and be armed with plans for any last-minute hiccups.

 Let us take a few examples where we see homemakers implementing various concepts of MBA.

 Before buying any vegetable, she does a SWOT analysis for it and checks for if it is the best available product in the market.

She keeps a close record of all house expenses and makes sure every expense is recorded and gets tallied with the money she has in hand. In some or the other way, she exhibits great accounting skills.

She doesn’t have a degree but yes she is a perfect manager and a successful leader.

About the Author
Sakshi Poddar a Computer Science Engineer by qualification is now pursuing MBA(Analytics from IIM Kashipur. She is a part of various student bodies like the Media and Public Relations Committee and Admission Support Body. She is an IT professional with 2 years of experience in Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She loves traveling and dancing. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

Management is an Art!

There are many B-Schools to provide you with the Knowledge of Management but is that enough? Is knowing it all enough? I believe it’s not. To be a successful manager you need to possess the art of applying the right knowledge (the craft), at the right time (the vision) and most essentially, delivering efficiently to the right people (the communication). Books and professor’s knowledge can tell you what different tools and frameworks you can use but which to apply where needs an understanding so deep it will be a tragedy to not call it an art.

A good manager must also have imagination and the audacity to redesign their organisations or the way they work, just as an artist needs vision, and a strong commitment to realise them.

One may argue about the new and improving scientific methods being taught to and applied by the up-and-coming managers for better decision making, or about those skills to derive unexpected success by making probable failure surrender to competence and nerve. But Management has always been more than that. Not all great students have been great managers, and not all great managers have started strong. It takes more than just the technical skills and intuition to be a good manager.

To be a good business manager, one needs to perfect their skills in dealing with people and express themselves verbally, just as an artist needs to master his craft. 

Moreover, just like the art has no right or wrong similarly the managerial decisions can’t be labelled correct or incorrect. In fact, in management failures can lead to new opportunities. There is no perfect formula for success.

Therefore, I strongly believe that Management is an Art and the artist needs to keep on practicing the art to achieve the epitome of success in the career.

About the Author:
Dr. Ankita Gabhane, Dentist is pursuing MBA from IIM Kashipur. She is an active member of different student bodies like the Cultural Committee and Admissions support body. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.