In Conversation with FIIB Alumnus Mr. Trailukya

A PGDM alumnus from Fortune Institute of International Business graduating in 2007, Mr. Trailukya Dutta was glad to share some thoughts and memories from his 2 years at FIIB and also from his present career-

Please briefly tell us about your current position including your responsibilities and job tasks.

Currently I am working with the DS Group, deputed in the mouth fresheners division as a Senior Marketing Manager and responsible for marketing and management of the brand Baba Elaichi and Baba Supari. My role includes planning marketing activities, managing the product line and taking care of 360 degree product launch campaigns.

How did your experiences and learnings at FIIB prepare you for your career?

FIIB has given me a global perspective accelerating my career faster. As a student we not only explored the domestic market, but also went through case studies of international brands and market as well. The Institute and Faculty polished my skills for a larger perspective.

After so many years of passing out, is there any special moment of day at FIIB that has been etched in your memory forever?

Well, there are many. But in particular, I can’t forget about the one at “Ad Shades”- the marketing debate that we had initiated under guidance of Prof. Freda J Swaminathan. In one session of the debate while referring to the images of a few known faces in Indian advertisements; I quoted by mistake that Shahrukh Khan carried a ‘multisexual’ image. The right word was ‘metrosexual’, not multisexual. All my classmates and Prof. Freda burst into laughter. I really had no clue until I was explained how slip of the tongue can create a hilarious situation.

You were one of the star performers of your batch. What tips will you give to future Management students to excel in their academics?

I have observed from my experience that the Corporate Sector welcomes individuals with an entrepreneurial bend of mind. Proper decision making is not possible unless there is an in-depth knowledge of a particular subject. I would recommend that every management student must attempt to excel on the basics of every subject and try to polish their entrepreneurial skills. For eg. those who wish to pursue a career in Marketing and Brand Management ; they should first make them familiar with sales & distribution process to understand the criticalities in different market conditions. I would want them to remember that there are no shortcuts to produce original results. The two years at PGDM are they days to get ready and prepare for future competitions.

How does it feel to be a part of the Alumni governing body? What is your opinion about the alumni of FIIB?

My heart is filled with joy to be a part of FIIB once again. My dream is to reunite the alumni spread across the globe in different projects. I believe that with united and synergetic efforts we will be able to bring significant positive changes to the Management scenario in India.


5 Reasons Why You Should Get A Management Degree

A PGDM, MBA or any other management degree is not merely a higher degree after completing grad-school, but is of several other benefits to a student’s personal and professional life. It gives an individual an advantageous entry into the global marketplace. A management degree is one of the best tools to own in today’s challenging economic times.

Let us highlight five major advantages of a management degree-

1. Confidence: It is one of the many intangible advantages of enrolling into a management institute. A PGDM experience can help in boosting a candidate’s self-esteem significantly. Full time management programs provide abundant opportunities through a number of activities like debates, presentations, case study etc. to boost up the levels of confidence. There is a considerable difference in the confidence levels between a management student and a normal master’s degree student.

2. Leadership: A 2 year PGDM program also enhances a student’s leadership skills because of the rigid training involved. The 2 year program including extra-curricular activities and teamwork sharpens students’ leadership skills making them capable of handling business situations from a realistic point of view. These programs focus on developing a student’s leadership qualities by moulding them into future CEOs and Managers.

3. People Management Skills: A Management course teaches students about people behavior and dynamics, reactions, attitude and trains them how to deal with them, motivate and inspire to get maximum productivity. These are some of the basic skills that we need to inculcate to work in higher positions in an organization.

4. Networking: A management degree provides incredible advantages to build a robust network of important individuals from all business sectors. This network has the potential to build a solid career timeline in years to come. A strong network of alumni will exponentially increase the networking possibilities that can be converted to working advantages later. A strong group of alumni with engaging, receptive and good connections is a priceless asset.

5. Understanding business: A PGDM can help in understanding and getting a holistic perspective of the essential small and large components of a business. Studying management helps an individual to become part of a great network of professionals, organizations and potential recruiters giving an overview of the business world. A holistic understanding will not only help in organizing business activities but also assist in managing business processes.

A management degree is a great tool to accelerate a person’s career in the right direction. Of course there are a number of opportunities where an management degree may not add value; but in most sectors of business, a management degree is a passport to a profitable and rewarding future.


Recap of my journey at FIIB

“If you think you can, you can!
If you think you can’t, you are right!”

I feel a deep pleasure of satisfaction for having been a part of FIIB and opting for PGDM. I still remember the day when I entered this college and everything came out to be so exciting on the very first day!

Like every student even i had earnestly desire  of getting placed with a good reputed company that too with my own efforts and be a delight to my college – faculty, friends and everybody.

FIIB has not only imparted subject knowledge but has helped in developing my personality and skills. A number of activities like Toastmasters, seminars, conclaves, regular competitions, presentations, everyday assignments, case study analysis through plays, discussions etc. not only made me more alert and hardworking, but also converted me into a multitasking individual and introduced me to leadership qualities.

I was an active core member of our Marketing Club which had helped me to learn how to organize events, and be professionally active with good personality skills and I have participated in various co-curricular activities as well, which made me more competent with a changed attitude and endless enthusiasm.

Faculties here at FIIB, have been extremely considerate, polite and cooperative. I realized that Fortune Institute of International Business was the best place for me to learn, explore and grow as a professional.
I feel much advantaged that I am a part of this college which has a defined, constructive way of providing education with a proper set of curriculum.

“To arrive at the winning point one has to work hard from the beginning”.

My luckiest break has been getting accepted into FIIB for PGDM.  Grilled training sessions, group discussions, writing skills, general knowledge and soft skills given by Business Communication Trainers at our college from the very 1st year has sharpened my skills and allowed me to be absolutely certain of knowing myself more appropriately. This not only gave me feeling of self-assurance arising from an appreciation of my own abilities, but I have become more focused about what wanted from my career, and then with all the hard work, frequent practice of interview with oneself, daily sessions, I looked up towards the interview and became industry ready. The Corporate Relations Cell had been playing the role of an effective backbone by giving a proper communication with the recruiting companies.

I still remember how difficult it was to clear every round with different level of stress every time and at times losing hope; but then what worked for me is not repeating same mistakes twice in interviews. I could not afford to repeat my mistakes and tried to overcome them by practicing again and again.

The knowledge, learnings and experience I have been showered with in these 2 years of my MBA is of great worth and will always remain my precious achievement. As I am going to enter into a new phase of life, I will miss my every golden moments cherished with my friends, college mates, and Faculty at FIIB.


Mall and Mela Trips- A Fun Way to Study Retail Management

Students of Retail Management at FIIB in the second year of PGDM, have to do a couple of trips as a part of their course curriculum. The first trip entails a visit to a mall, the most organized format of retail in India. The second is to an unorganized format like a Mela or a Haat. As the course faculty I am supposed to take the students out for the educational trip.
In the month of February I had taken the students of Retail Elective for a trip to Ambience Mall. This trip entailed students to understand the zoning of the mall, which typically meant to understand the layout of the mall. There is a reason the stores are located in a particular way across the different floors of the Ambience mall, Gurgaon. There are anchor stores in each floor with their adjoining vanilla stores, which facilitate movement of stocks from atleast one store if the choices of customers are not met while shopping in the designated Anchor stores. Anchor stores like Zara in the ground floor & Westside in the first floor are stores that actually drive footfalls inside the mall. People visit the mall for these stores & then move to vanilla stores to pick up additional items or accessories for their original shopping basket. Students were given a complete tour of the mall with detailed explanations on security management, entertainment events organized for visitors, restaurants & bars which total 45 in number & cater to diverse food palettes of visitors, gaming zones to pander to the sport enthusiasts & the electronic, apparels, cosmetics, books & footwear stores for all & sundry visitors. In totality the mall aims to target their niche clients as also general visitors who come in the category of those who want to “hangout”. This visit was followed up by reports from students who also did comparative analysis of atleast two similar format stores from within the store.
In the month of March (towards the end of the month) students were taken to the Kisan Haat in Chattarpur for a look into working of unorganized sector where farmers bring their produce for sale to customers directly. The day we visited Kisan Haat there was a Dastakar Green Mela that had been organized. The atmosphere was like a village mela with traditional handicrafts on sale, and their creators (the artisans & weavers) trying to sell their products. Prices were a wee bit high, but one could make out that the quality was good & the fresh produce was actually fresh. Students had a field day interacting with the salespeople who had come from far of villages from across the country. They tried to understand the manufacturing process, the distribution systems, the pricing strategies and their linkages with various NGOs for better outreach in urban areas. This visit too was converted into reports written by students who had visited the Mela.
Do enjoy the pics that are with this blog, to get a pulse of the fun that students had in field learning!


How to Transform Peer Pressure into your Advantage

Peer pressure- in simple terms refers to the pressure that peers can have on each other. It is something that not only exists at middle and high schools but also lingers on for a much longer period than that. It is one of the common factors to influence important decisions like Choice of Business Schools for your management course or Choice of your latest car model.

Peer pressure can have both positive and negative impacts on making concluding decisions around many crucial phases of life. Sometimes it may contradict your options and challenge you to deal with the unfavorable and unwanted. Given below are a few techniques to tackle this inevitable factor:

  1. Understand your own worth: Instead of disliking or giving up something simply because a parent or a friend wants you too; there is a need for knowing your own values and understanding your worth. There is a need for balancing the new and what you already know about. There should be a clear perspective about what you want to achieve and what you like to help yourself.
  2. Listen to yourself: Peer pressure may help you discover unexplored territories and help you to do things you wouldn’t normally do. But it is not alright to succumb to peer pressure every time you are on the verge of taking important decisions in life. Sometimes, you may need to get away from situations that make you feel too uncomfortable. Listen to your gut-feeling in such situations and do what is appropriate according to you.
  3. Be Confident: No matter how much you are ready to listen to others and accept norms set by them; no matter how influential your peer group is- the final decision-maker should be none other than you. It is simpler said than done; but you need to be confident and stand up for what you believe to be right. It may be your educational concerns, it may be a simple deal about cricket match or it may be a lifetime decision connected to your career goals. In spite of the pressure you experience from others, you have to be a brave-heart to seal the deal all by yourself in the end.
  4. Build a good network: Although you may have a group of wise and experienced individuals in the form of friends, relatives and mentors; you constantly need to keep expanding your network. It is a good habit to expose yourself to new sets of friends and well-wishers to see new form of beliefs, ideas, thought- process and inspiration.

Take responsibility for yourself and focus on doing what is best for you! There are many healthy ways of dealing with peer pressure. You may need to say “No” at times; you may need to agree at some other occasions and yet remain silent at others. While it is good to be open to ideas from others, the final signature in a deal should only be yours!


Do you have an Opinion? … Express it!

Express your opinion

Arvind Kejriwal squats outside Krishi Bhavan to make a point. He heckles the Home ministry and incites the common man to do the same. Agree with this style of functioning? Reject it outright…? In either case, you have an opinion.
Sachin Tendulkar retires…you have a point to make!
Rahul Gandhi makes a speech….you have lots to say!

Having a point of view is a reaction to a stimulus. It is our response to an item of interest, concern or importance. It could be political, social, economic or religious. It signifies cerebral activity and emotional response. It is very often involuntary and immediate. However, to make it decipherable and understandable, we need to follow a structure and a flow, so that the expression is eloquent and the message, articulate.

Expressing an opinion necessarily requires the following:

1. Access to information - Could be accidental (I happen to have heard someone discuss this on the metro today), habitual (I read the Editorial today of Economic Times) or by design (My friend suggested that I read ‘The Black Swan’ by Taleb)

2. Seeking further facts on specific items - Requires effort (I Google’d this extensively and spoke to XYZ about it) and is done intentionally.

3. Being receptive to divergent points of view - Following articles of political/ social commentators (I read Tavleen Singh’s article in The Indian Express, I agree with Ramchandra Guha, I cannot see Shobha De’s point of view). This is an essential element of opinion making because it is likely to make you aware of possibilities, analyses and implications that you may not have thought of.

4. Formation of a point of view - Having gone through the first three steps, a point is most likely already taking shape. Putting pen to paper is the next logical step.

5. Articulation - Finding the appropriate tone, it is time to tell others what we think. Just let them know WHY we think, WHAT we do. The most critical element of this exercise is having thought-through reasons for our opinions. We must remember that, that is what will separate the grain from the chaff.

The ability to opine, debate and discuss have always been considered as a measure of a person’s intelligence and leadership. From Plato and Aristotle to Rousseau and Machiavelli, opining has been the thread that has held great minds together. From radicals like Hitler and Mussolini to real change leaders like Gandhi and Mandela, the ability to mobilize millions on the basis of their conviction was praiseworthy. Whether or not that would necessarily hold true for us common folk, it would most certainly provide someone an insight into our ability to think and react with any degree of authority.

And do remember that this someone could be a potential employer, a likely supervisor or even a possible fan!


Shape your Nation- Vote for India

Indian General Elections to the 16th Lok Sabha has rolled off since7th April and the process will last till 12th May 2014. The election will cover 543 parliamentary constituencies of India and also is the largest election to be held in the world. Each voter will have the equal opportunity to shape the future of this great nation.

The real picture of a democracy is sketched by its voters. That’s why; voting is not only a right, but also a big responsibility. Exercising this power is crucial for ensuring a stable and progressive government. The question is not what if only one vote goes missing; the question should be what impact a single vote can have on a democratic system. Before you think that casting your vote is not that important, run through these six reasons why every eligible citizen should vote:

  1. Vote for your Rights: To be able to vote is your constitutional right. As an independent citizen of an independent nation, you must vote to exercise your rights.
  2. Vote for your Health: All important decisions regarding medical care, health and hygiene for the common people are either determined or influenced by the government. It is your responsibility to elect a ruling party, which will take care of the necessary health concerns.
  3. Vote for your Education: A better government means better education for everyone. Be it your children, your neighbor or for yourself; vote to ensure better facilities in the educational sector.
  4. Vote for your Children’s Future: As responsible parents, you ought to take care of your kids’ future. Since they can’t vote; you will have to do it for them to safeguard their future and make certain that they do not face any complications later just because you didn’t vote to choose the right administration.
  5. Vote for a Positive Change: Elections are instrumental in bringing on changes into various dimensions of a society through mass participation and standing for the right party, the right candidate! Your vote is an opportunity to bring a positive change into the society and also the nation.
  6. Vote because it counts: There is power in numbers. While your vote is your voice; it has no value at all if you are not going to exercise its power. Every vote counts; make it work.

Finally, if you do not vote and someone “Not so right” is elected; pointing out mistakes later or complaining about the ruling party would be deemed meaningless. You have tremendous power at your hand. You can contribute towards changing the system and make it work- make the best use of your right.


Digital Marketing MDP by FIIB At PHD Chambers Of Commerce | 4th April 2014

On the 4th of April 2014 Prof Jones Mathew & I had organized an MDP in PHD Chamber for the SME sector. The MDP revolved around the theme of Digital Marketing – cutting edge strategies. The venue for MDP was Shriram Hall, PHD Chamber, Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi.
Participants came from diverse backgrounds across multiple industries. There were representatives from a Law firm, a Marketing firm, a Nutrition firm, Real Estate firm, 3rd party inspection firm, metal recycling firm, Consumer durable firm, RO equipment firm & Media firm. Most of these organisations had an annual turnover of not more than 10 crores. Frankly the only organisations that I could recall from before were The Tribune (Print media based out of Chandigarh), Environics (a company that manufactures radiation control chips for consumer electronics), and LivePure (an RO water purifier company, which has Sachin Tendulkar as their brand ambassador).
One common thread across all these organisations was the keenness to adopt Digital Marketing as a platform to reach out more effectively to their prospective audience. All the participants had been requested to get their laptops & a data card for internet connectivity. This facilitated the training process.
The MDP began with a welcome address by Dr. Krishna, head of Training cell of PHD chamber. He exhorted all the participants to be as interactive as possible, and they were so. They were a lively bunch of Digital enthusiasts in the age group of 25 – 35, and they had plenty of queries and a huge willingness to learn.
The training began with an introduction to Digital marketing by Prof Jones Mathew. This got the participants warmed up to the idea of a hands-on workshop. He talked about the emergence of Social media networks as a huge platform in India not only for individual use but also for organizational purposes. This set the base for further discussions. From there on I took over as it was my domain expertise, and got the participants working on one of their Social media sites – their Twitter Handle. Those who didn’t have one, it was created for them on the spot. Those who had made suggested modifications to increase their online visibility. They were introduced to the concept of Hashtag marketing, developing Followers while also Following relevant Twitter Handles. This session was wrapped with a video on how Twitter was used by Parle Group to manage their inventory across thousands of store pan-India.
Post lunch Discussion shifted towards discussions on customer engagement & referral generation while leveraging upon the concept of Conversion Funnel. Then there were elaborate discussions on Website management, Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing, Paid advertising, Utility of Blogs & Blog Management, and finally Social Media Analytics. Sample analytic output sheets were shown for a Twitter Handle & for a LinkedIn site. Discussions then revolved around the interpretation of the analytics sheet and how such information could be of utility in reaching out to existing & prospective customer.
The day finally came to an end around 4:30 pm with Prof Jones encapsulating the day – long session in the perspective of SME sector, since all the participants were from either a Small or a Medium enterprise. They were infact encouraged to get in touch with FIIB for any consultancy required in this field. The response was great from the participants’ side as well as from the organizers, and we wish to host more such corporate training sessions in the near future.


Ready to Sail: My two years at FIIB


The idea of choosing PGDM as my career sprang into my life for several reasons. I had always wanted to become an entrepreneur and I knew that a management degree was crucial to empower myself with necessary management skills and entrepreneurial abilities.  Since I had opted for BBA as my academic discipline during graduation, preparing for PGDM was not very difficult. I was fortunate to get myself enrolled in the PGDM program at Fortune Institute of International Business, primarily because it was structured around the standard and contemporary industrial aspects.

Life at FIIB was splendid. Everything around the Institute has been special for me. The 2-year course at FIIB has helped me to acquire the analytical tools necessary for academic training and gave a working knowledge of many things related to management. Special efforts from our Faculty members, Business Communication Trainers and special guest lectures & seminars elevated my wisdom level to new heights. Besides, I was also a student head at the Cynergy Club (FIIB Student HR Network), where the responsibilities assigned to me helped me to grow as a leader.

Things I learnt at FIIB:

  • It taught me how to ‘Network’. The opportunity to study with a batch of focused students, support and guidance from a group of learned mentors, a huge network of seniors and alumni members was like an add-on to my career. This network has not only helped me to grow as a student, but also as a future management professional.
  • We were taught how to be more focused, goal-oriented, creative and connected. The FIIB Curriculum provided valuable skills and practical vision to become market ready.
  • The most important element that I learnt in these two years. I learnt was-“How to Plan” things. Planning is crucial to success in every aspects of life. PGDM at FIIB included trainings and exercises that has fostered values of team work, planning and accomplishments to carry out in the real business world.

When I look at myself, I can see a lot of positive changes in my personality. My journey from joining FIIB as a student to joining  Stellar Search as a Research Associate has been incredible! Today I am at the threshold of a new career, ready to take on challenges and march out into the world with a vision and knowledge that I could only imagine about a few years earlier.


Your Check list before an Admission Decision into MBA

MBA Admission Check List

As an MBA aspirant, there are chances that you will be short-listed for admission processes into more than one college. Besides preparing for the GD and PIs you must have a clear understanding of your decision parameters before beginning with admission formalities. Preparing a check-list is recommended. It will help in two ways- first, to ascertain if you are in the right place or not more importantly to help you form a decision. Second, it will enhance your chances of getting selected into the college of your choice.

Let us discuss what kind of questions you should ask and which elements should be verified before you pin down your decision. This will help in making the right choice of the right college!

Academics and Curriculum

The first step is to have a clear concept about the courses offered and the degree you will be awarded. While you may want to pursue an MBA degree, the college may actually be offering an equivalent degree.

It is necessary to have a concise and clear knowledge about specializations, majors of courses of study that a college offers. Take a good note about the teaching methodologies and examination schedules as well. Check if the curriculum matches contemporary industry trends and requirements.


Moving ahead, it is important to have correct information about the Faculty members. They are going to be your mentors for the next two years and will be responsible for shaping your career timeline. Try to gather facts and figures about the Faculty members both in terms of academic experience and industry connect before finalizing your admission.

Student Life

Most colleges welcome the idea of talking about student life in their campus. You may ask questions like the availability of residential facilities for students, options of extra-curricular activities they indulge in, the role played by student clubs and initiatives around experimental learning. Alternatively, you can communicate with the current batch of students of a prospective college to get a pragmatic understanding of this critical aspect.

Placements and Career Opportunities

It is completely alright to talk about your career prospects. Mapping an Institution based on placement records alone is not a very sensible idea; yet, it plays a significant role. Ask specific questions about what career opportunities are provided to students; if sufficient training and guidance are provided to enable a sound career. What is the probability of landing a promising employment opportunity upon completion of the management program; what the last year placement reports were like; is there a genuine career counselling team and so on.

Practically, it is not possible to ask a dozen questions during a one on one admission interview. But prepare at least three important questions on what you ought to know about your future institution. You have only one shot for getting into your Management Degree. Make the most out of it; choose the best as you can to become the best you want to be!

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