Jun
29

A New Jewel added to the Crown – First Cohort of PGP Analytics Graduate from FIIB

In this day and age where people and processes generate data every second, it’s very important to make sense of that data generated. We no longer answer the question if data is important, rather we are seeking the answer to how best we utilize the data we have to make impactful decisions. There’s no doubt that managers of today take decisions only if they’re backed by strong data. Information and statistics are the magic spells that prove points and change minds. As the old adage goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Being the institute that always stays a step ahead with the current trends of the industry, FIIB’s Post-Graduate Certification Program in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics (PGCP BI-DA) equips students with all the necessary tools and techniques to manipulate and make informed decisions. Driven by the core value of excellence, the curriculum offered is industry focused and ensures that the graduates stay ahead of the curve. FIIB works with IBM, a global technology and innovations leader to keep its faculty and contents up-to-date. The partnership especially focuses on delivering cutting-edge analytics skills for data backed decision making.

The program was tailored towards the requirements of both full-time students as well as working professionals. The blended learning environment offers minimal disruption to the work-life balance of professionals. The tools used to handle large amounts of data are advancing more rapidly than any other technology today. With better tools, comes a better understanding of the resultant information and patterns, all of which are evolving extremely fast. To answer various business questions, data is subjected to rigorous modeling and insight extraction.

The first batch of PGCP BI-DA that successfully graduated with us learned data manipulation by IBM Cognos, tools like R, MySQL, and VBA. There’s a notion that Data Analysis is mostly quantitative which is just a myth around it. In Fact, most of the decision making requires skills like visualizing and critical thinking. That is why they studied courses like Visual storytelling and Demystifying analytics to name a few.

When asked who need to pursue this course, Mr. Prashant Verma, who teaches Analytics at FIIB replied “Everyone who makes decisions in organizations, whether at a lower level or at the higher level needs to have the understanding of Business Intelligence. We can no longer take decisions based on our gut. Let’s take a day to day example where you look at Google maps before you leave to offices, we make choices of when to start, and which routes to avoid on the basis of inarguable data, that’s how much data has changed our lives.  There’s much more emphasis on using analytics in the way we work as well compared to just a few years ago. Regardless of the profile you work for, you need to be aware of the changes that are happening around you and if you aren’t prepared for them, it’s high time you start now.”

True enough, the first cohort came from versatile profiles ranging from language experts to data entry. FIIB is proud of them and congratulates them heartily for their accomplishment.

Like every end calls for a new beginning, with the graduation of the first batch, we also welcomed the second batch for the Post-Graduate Certification Program in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics. They bring with them experience, enthusiasm, and most importantly desire to learn.

Here are the companies they represent:

Jun
29

Foundation courses at FIIB: Strengthening the Bonds and Inculcating the Cultural Heritage

A step into a new life always arrives with a mix of emotions, especially if is the beginning of a new academic inning. As expected the students arrived on the orientation day with a baggage of feelings. Some were excited while many others were understandably nervous. The New North orientation program was the ace plan to regulate these feelings and make the students feel comfortable and at home.

The orientation day started with registrations of the students and their document verification. The batch seemed very enthusiastic to begin the new phase of their career.  The registration and document verification were scheduled from the morning till the mid of the day. The interactive sessions commenced at 12:30 on 8th June 2018, which began with the traditional lamp lighting and Saraswati Vandana. The Students were addressed by Dr. Digamber Parsad, who is his speech emphasized the importance of ethics and dedication during these two years for students.

On the day two of the orientation program, the students were asked to informally introduce themselves. This was a crucial step to make the students comfortable after a month of frequent group discussions and formal interviews. It also led us to know many exciting sides of our students through the extracurricular talents they possess. It was very refreshing to know that a huge bunch of them are either fitness or sports enthusiasts which clearly displays the discipline they have invoked in their lifestyles. Apart from this, the students very creatively displayed their dancing, singing, beatboxing and mimicking talents.

The cultural club at FIIB has also got the students keenly and enthusiastically involved in many activities which make them realize the power of teamwork and design thinking. Students were asked to construct paper towers, irrespective of their shapes and sizes and the team whose tower stood the tallest won the game. The learning that a strong foundation is required to reach new heights was the one thing that mattered more than the result.

There are numerous ongoing foundation activities which are ongoing. Mr. Vinayak Pant, a beloved alumnus of FIIB and Advisor, South Asia Regional and Training Assistance Center, IMF visited the students to share his experience and words of wisdom with them.  The students are also in regular conversations and session with their faculty mentors, anyone to one conversation with them will bring better clarity of thoughts to the youngsters.   

There are several visits from industry experts planned for the newbies so as bring a bulk of corporate experience to their classrooms. The students are enjoying their experience with the co-curricular and extracurricular activities. A level unlocked for the institute, by making the students feel welcome and at ease.  A journey of miles stays ahead of us, but as they say ‘Well Begun is Half Done.

Jun
29

Scholars, creators, and thought leaders – Faculty at FIIB are superheroes without capes

Scholars, creators, and thought leaders – Faculty at FIIB are superheroes without capes

“A teacher ignites the fire that fuels a student’s thirst for knowledge, curiosity, and wisdom” – Anonymous

An educational institution is shaped by its faculty, and since it is the faculty who plays the pivotal role in mentoring and guiding students to become leaders of tomorrow, FIIB is proud to be home to adept academicians whom the students always look up to. Every faculty member fulfills multiple responsibilities in paving a successful career path for their students.

Their job doesn’t end there, as critical thinkers, they take up research to solve the complex management challenges that arise globally; they contribute to the training of industry leaders and other faculties through Management Development Programs and Faculty Development Programs; They challenge students in and outside the classroom; They are learners as well, they continuously commit towards fostering knowledge and turning it into applicable concepts of real world.

Their decades of industrial and academic experience helps students understand the real-life complexities and learn through the knowledge their faculty acquired through the lifetime. That is why, once the students enter FIIB, their faculty become their lifelong mentors. Among our faculty are renowned researchers, published authors, and award-winning innovators and research scholars.

“The most important thing for faculty is to put learning first, despite whatever. That means turning every experience of students into something through which they learn the concepts of Business, management, and life. It’s important that they are prepared for the testing times that corporate life throws at them. They spend the most of their time at college with us, that puts a huge responsibility on our shoulders to mold them into success-ready individuals. Of course, it’s not easy but knowing that these people who are listening carefully to each and every word that we speak in the classroom have the potential to become the game changers of the marketplace and economy keeps us on our toes to keep ourselves updated and make learning impactful” said Dr. Nimit Gupta, Best Faculty at FIIB 2018  who is also awarded for “Outstanding Contribution to Nation” by National Excellence Award for Innovative Teaching 2017.

Dr. Anil Kumar Sinha, Director at FIIB  said, “Our faculty is multifaceted and practice what they teach. Their numerous awards, research papers, and publications stand true to the fact that learning doesn’t stop and with every new batch, you unlearn and relearn along with the students. Our faculty members are a mix of both experienced and young scholars who maintain a balance between traditional and conventional teaching methodologies”

Here’s a glimpse at our Faculty Showcase:

Collective Industry Experience of Faculty : 122 years
Collective Academic Experience of Faculty: 171 years
%age of Faculty with Ph.D: 71%
%age of Faculty with more than 10 years of industry experience: 36%

Jun
05

Making the FIIB MBA Market Driven

FIIB Unveils its Redesigned MBA for Preparing Data Savvy Managers

Management education has seen its fair share of transformations over the years. If significantly surveyed, we can break up these transformations into stages which run hand in hand with the various technological advancements in different eras. While, the aspirants of business management are out looking to fast track their careers all the way to the top, corporates are in search of career ready individuals who are set to drive their business on a progressive trajectory. The global business atmosphere is in dire need of
the professionals who have premonitive market skills and superior understanding of the future requirements.

World-over top B-Schools are recognising these changes in trend and taking strides in the right direction for developing data savvy managers. However, in India, the response from the B-schools has been slower and piecemeal. Most schools have responded to the rapidly changing needs of the industry through the introduction of specific elective courses in the curriculum. Only a handful have made large scale changes that will eventually lead to thriving careers for students in the wake of the digital disruptions that are changing the 21 st century workplaces.

FIIB is one such B-School. Committed to producing business leaders that can meet the world-scale challenges of the 21st century, FIIB, is reinventing its MBA curriculum with the demand of time and being in sync with the future progress. FIIB, as of late finished up a comprehensive exercise to investigate the amendment of its courses. A conference of industry experts was conducted at FIIB so as to receive valuable inputs from the recruiters about the challenges in the current industry and the demand of tomorrow. This round table conference at FIIB was attended by of experts from dotConverse Social Media & Online Marketing, Genpact Dassault Systemes, Supply Chain Consultants, Axience, Ericsson, DTDC, Quatrro Global Services, InnerWave, andFractal Analytics.

In the words of our Executive Director, Ms. Radhika Srivastava at the opening session for the curriculum deiberations, “Businesses are questioning the relevance of MBA education and hence its graduates given the digital disruptions that are taking place currently. Data is surging through organizations presenting seismic opportunities and challenges for growth. These changes require a completely different skill set irrespective what functional area, sector or administrative role that one is involved in. While working together and communicating effectively are still the most important employability skills, there is a strong demand for students’ abilities to turn data into insights, and hence enable evidence-based decision making. This calls for a highly evolved sense of thinking and problem solving, exposure and comfort in use of relevant IT tools to analyze big data sets, as well as a multi- disciplinary approach. As businesses reshape, so must the B-Schools.”

The Deliberations
The discussion with the industry experts guided us to the conclusion that the data analysis is the demand of the time and is thoroughly applicable in all the specialisations. Analytical reasoning and sound technical knowledge of data manipulation has made its way through every business, small or large and holds the key to be successful leader- manager. The globalised world has relatively become smaller through the means of advanced communication, which has resulted in a humongous amount of data generation. This data is uniquely relevant in every organisation and the information generated on its analysis holds the key to: predict customer trends and behaviours; increase business productivity, and drive effective decision-making.

The discussion panel unequivocally emphasised on the pertinence of integrating Business Intelligence and Data Analytics into the full time program for every specialization. The highly statistical analogy from the industry experts and the discussion with the core academic committee of FIIB shaped the implementation to follow up in three steps: Firstly, bring data driven thinking and exercise which uses insights from data processing in each domain’s course; Secondly, integrate specific tools in maximum possible courses; and lastly, offer cutting-edge, innovative specialization courses that are developed and taught by practitioners.

The Outcomes
We are all set to start a new academic year with our 24th batch and are ready to deliver our new core curriculum to these 180 students. In the new core, FIIB has introduced seven new courses with each of them adding structural and practical values to classroom courses in
every specialisation.
Demystifying Analytics, Visual Storytelling, IT Tools for Managers, Big Data Ecosystem, Predictive Analytics are some of the new courses that the students will be taking this year. Each of these courses have been developed under the guidance of some of our highly valued recruiting partners and experiences visiting faculty. These include practitioners from companies such as Mobiquest, Oaknorth Global Pvt. Ltd, Girnar Software, Moolchand Hospital, Kelly Services, Bharti Airtel Ltd, S&P Global, Amriprise Financial and Universal Data Solutions.
FIIB has been always quick on realising the essentials which benefits the career of its students, and this set of discussions confirmed that we have been on the right track since quite some time. Introduction of Business Analytics as a part time program was one of the first steps in this direction, and now with the collaboration with IBM for certification in Business Intelligence and Data Analytics since 2016, FIIB has converted its baby steps into leaps against all bounds. Executives from various reputed organisations such as Moody’s Analytics and WNS are already pursuing our part time program at FIIB. FIIB has also received “Best Academic Input in Business Analytics” at 25th B-School Affair & Dewang Mehta National Education Awards in November 2017.

FIIB has embarked on a journey with an arsenal full of career options to create enhanced employability for its students with exponential outcomes. Through our new analytical, data-driven approach to all coursework, the faculty bench strength, business success of our alumni and ambition of our students, we are confident that our programs will not just keep pace with the changing needs of business, but anticipate and contribute to that change through innovative research and education. As Ms. Srivastava explains this further “At FIIB, we are reinventing ourselves through a complete curriculum redesign with a focus on preparing students for the challenges of the current world-of-work. Skills are easy to impart, and therefore in many ways an education that just focuses on skilling has become a commodity. What’s more important is the focus on developing the right mindset. A mindset that is entrepreneurial in nature; We are focusing on designing learning experiences for students, as exposed to strict courses. We’re looking at collaborating both internally across our faculty and externally with the industry to deliver an education that makes the students employable and ensures that they drive growth in their careers as well as the organizations they are engaged in. We are not just trying to make incremental changes; we are working to disrupt business education such that it is relevant to the needs of business and society.

Jun
05

Worlds apart or similar at heart? – Helping students work across cross-cultural teams

With the advent of globalization, borders across management have vanished deepening the richness of understanding about the global foundation of business. In this entirely new equation, learning from experiences is as important as learning from traditional resources. As a Business school with a mission to advance the practice of management and produce leader-managers of business and social relevance, FIIB organizes the annual acculturation program with Sam M. Walton College of Business at the University of Arkansas, USA to enhance intercultural understanding and cross-cultural sensitivity. While interacting with to-be-managers from a different culture, students develop greater competence to work with businesses of global impact, with clearer insights into the global complexity of the managers, enterprises, and markets.

A group of 27 students of Sam M Walton college of Business visited the FIIB campus on the 19th of May 2018 for three days to work with 18 students of FIIB; to learn various facets of each other’s culture and how they affect the way people do business. Students from both institutions were preparing for months in advance to portray their culture to each other. Describing the enthusiasm of the students, Prof. Vidya Iyer, FIIB who was in charge of the program said “They are overjoyed planning the interaction with Sam Walton, these students have undergone a rigorous selection process to be the ambassadors of Indian culture and the energy radiating from them is palpable”

 

Day 1 – “Create your own learning day”

The day started with students of FIIB welcoming the students of Sam Walton with tika and maala reflecting how Indians receive their guests. Echoing the sounds of happiness, the campus seemed vibrant with students from both institutes meeting and mingling with each other. The students were divided into teams with a mix of FIIB and Walton students. The teams have already planned to explore Delhi from a multifaceted framework of political, socio-economic, and cultural interactions. Some of the most popular destinations picked out by them are: Sarojini Nagar & Palika Markets; Gurudwara Bangla Sahib; Jantar Mantar; National Museum; Lotus temple; Khadi India

Visiting these places provided practical insights on how culture has a direct affect on business and management. In the evening, they came back to the campus to present what they’ve learnt during the day. “This exercises did not just give us an opportunity to take our American friends around the city but also have some beautiful and interesting discussions on topics ranging from politics to food, leisure to school, transportation to family”, said Ankita Joshi, student from FIIB.

 

Day 2 – “The Amazing race”

The teams had to reach pre-decided places on time, finish challenges given and send a picture in the group, so that the judges can ensure the completion of the task. The team that completed the entire visit and reach the end destination first was to be declared the winner.

“I interacted a lot with my team members to find out what are the things that are similar in US and India. We exchanged our views on Religion, lifestyle, punctuality, education, eating habits, mythology, and language.Although we thought we would be completely opposite from each other, we found it isn’t so” said Camielle, student from Sam M. Walton College of business.

This race tested the interpersonal skills and the ability of students to communicate without confusion. The aim of this race was to inculcate cross cultural communication and team dynamics to achieve a common goal while working in a diverse environment. Most of all, it was about learning and enjoying together despite and differences one may find.

 

Day 3 – “A glimpse into the Indian way of Business” 

After a quick breakfast, the students of Sam M. Walton College of Business went to a visit to the one of the largest milk processing plants in Asia. The business graduates got to know a lot about how the plant functions from the moment of procuring milk till it reaches the outlets & retail shop for sales. The most satisfying thing about the milk which the company provides is that it is never touched with hands while processing it. The quality measures are very strong and that’s the reason it has been awarded continuously for its Excellence.

The students were shown the fully automated control room, milk processing area, storage tanks & were also briefed about the entire supply chain model of the company. After the students had a first-hand exposure of the various processes, they were served with yogurt, probiotic drink and ice-creams. Knowledge and fun were the ingredients of the day! The students were highly inquisitive during the entire visit. The quench of thirst of students were well taken care of, both for knowledge as well as milk.

 

Other Interactions

Among other sessions, FIIB arranged for two interesting sessions with external guests. In the first session, Guru Jyotsna Shourie along with her disciples Ms. Nandita Kalaan and Ms. Amrita Sivakumar enthralled the audience with their repertoire of various facets of Bharatanatyam. To the visiting American students from Walton college, they made Indian classical dance seem so real and effortless.They revealed that the most important lessons of business can be learned even on the dance floor; partnership, variation, clear communication, adaptability, building an audience and persistent to name a few.

The other speaker was Ms. Radhika Chopra, Founder of No. 3 Clive Road, a luxury Tea brand that disrupted the $12 billion Indian tea industry spoke at FIIB about starting up in India. With an all women team and working in an industry that employs close to 3.5 million people (mostly women), she spoke about the challenges of building a niche brand that not just helps brew tea but stories as well. No. 3 Clive road with its exquisite hand blended teas and premium letter-pressed stationery throws some light on how differentiation can bring value to a brand. When asked by the students if the colonial name has ever been misunderstood she said, “This is about an Indian company reclaiming back its history.” Her outlook on business and branding provided much needed insights to young entrepreneurs looking out to start up.

Each day was full of discoveries and new experiences to the students. Prof. Vikas Anand from Sam M Walton who has been associated with FIIB since the last 13 years said, “Despite coming from two opposite parts of the world, the students realized that they aren’t that different at all. In the end all that matters is the similarities we find while working together”

In the words of Ms. Radhika Shrivastava, FIIB’s Executive Director, “This is the 10th year anniversary of this program.  The long standing success of the program is a testament to the fruitful partnership and a flourishing friendship we have with the Walton College.”

This program broadened the horizons for FIIB students to understand the complexities of working with culturally diverse teams only for them to find out that people who seem worlds apart could be actually similar at heart.

Jun
05

FIIB Rides The Winds of Change — Converting Internships Into Full Time Jobs

A changing corporate world, a changing economic scenario, where Indian consumers are shifting towards a spending economy to saving economy, As a Business school with a promise to challenging the students to achieve their potential, is FIIB keeping up with the pace of ever altering Business world?

Ms. Radhika Shrivastava, Executive Director and member of the Corporate Internship Program Committee, FIIB says yes, explaining how the learning at FIIB is  “Contemporary and Market Driven.” FIIB has always emphasized on its ground breaking experiential learning opportunities that sets its students apart. Through this 3 month internship, students get a taste of solving relevant business problems firsthand.

Doesn’t every student who pursues management, take up internships, then what makes the Corporate Internship Program(CIP)  at FIIB different? Are the students able to correlate classroom concepts with complexities of corporate cubicles? By the end of the internship, did the student evolve into a manager? To answer these questions, the CIP committee at FIIB was formed. With changing times, it becomes increasingly essential that every experience the student has should directly coincide with the career path he/she wants to explore. This year, the CIP committee evaluated the effectiveness of the program and revamped some aspects of it.

 

From CIP to PPO:

Business organizations are looking for pragmatic managers, game changers, and out of box thinkers. Internships help the organizations test the hard and soft skills of a student to see if they’re a right fit to the organization. Therefore, this is an excellent opportunity for students to earn that pre-placement offer by displaying their grit and business acumen. To prepare the students on what is expected from them at internships, and how can they strategically play their strengths to make the most of their internships, FIIB conducted a 3 day SANKALP (an acronym for Skills and Knowledge Align to Lead and Perform) training workshops during which all the queries regarding their internship were solved.

 

Faculty Mentors:

Every student was assigned to a Faculty mentor who guides them through the internship. The mentor has regular interactions with their mentees to check progress, suggest improvements, and help them overcome any setbacks. During their internship, the faculty also visits them twice in the organization to help them walk through the corporate journey without difficulties.

 

Corporate Mentors:

Strong partnerships with corporate is one among the many advantages FIIB is proud of. “We wrote to our corporate partners that When the students step out to work, each of them should be assigned to a corporate mentor who will be their go-to-person if they’re facing difficulties. Our students are sauve and are polished to grasp the real world challenges. They are problem solvers and hands on managers. We believe that they’ll add value to the organization and in turn learn from them Therefore we asked their corporate mentors to ensure the student understands his/her profile and does their work efficiently so that when they come back to campus, they have a whole new perception of  corporate issues”, says Ms.Radhika Shrivastava.

 

Outcome orientation:

CIP is about learning through action. Students who are selected for different roles work with the organization learning their responsibilities, and how to handle multiple business scenarios. After the successful completion of the internship, students need to submit a report on their finding and learnings. When the learning is outcome oriented, why shouldn’t the report be? So, instead of mentioning reviews of literature and presenting research work, the report is a summary of quantitative aspects such as the responsibilities they’ve handled, the challenges they’ve faced, and the solutions they’ve implemented. This way, the focus stays on application of concepts, not just learning them.

 

CIP 2018 at a glimpse:

Close to 70 companies like ITC, IDBI Federal, Pepsico, Amul, Hindustan times, Reliance jio, DishTV , Shopclues, and OYO rooms selected students for different roles ranging from Business development, HR management, account management, and operations.

Some of the interesting  projects the students are working currently on are:

  • Strategies For Evangelizing The Customers Of ICICI Securities Of Mutual Fund Scheme
  • A Comparative Study Of Recruitment Channels For MATRIX Cellular Services.
  • A Study Of Warehouse Management With Special Focus On Warehouse Relocation Process At Genex Logistics  

These recent changes in the program reinstates the flexible and active learning opportunities at FIIB. “It’s necessary to adapt, or when needed, maybe subtly shift our focus. The question is not merely how and what experiences they are exposed to, but how effectively they can shape up the student’s career”, says Ms. Radhika Shrivastava, Executive Director, FIIB when asked about the recent tweaks in the program. Well, with an institute keenly toiling to be the launch pad, the future of these students is bound to be catapulted for success. What are your thoughts?

Jun
05

The epilogue to what has been a blockbuster script – Convocation 2018

Well, who doesn’t like a story ? But how does a blockbuster story differ from let’s say average ones? We say, the magic lies in the script. The script that defined the success stories of 143 FIIB racers who graduated this year isn’t just magic, it’s a careful composition of just the right amount of skills and execution. Let’s look if the elements that contribute to a blockbuster script apply to the 2 years long script we’ve written for our students.

Character

Characters bring life to the story and the character of an individual is defined by the traits and qualities distinguishing them. With core values of Right, Accountability, Collaboration, Excellence, and Respect, our students are the front-runners of management education. These qualities caught the attention of coveted employers like Ernst & Young, HDFC bank, Berger Paints, and Decathlon Group etc.

Action

What’s the use of strategies, if you can’t follow them through? Equipped with essential skills like resource planning, problem solving, and decision making, our young graduates don’t just wear them on their sleeves, they put these skills to action in the organizations they’ve interned with or placed in. This element is the reason our students are critically acclaimed over the world.

Timing

Committed to producing leader-managers, FIIB has always stayed ahead in creating a curriculum which is always in sync with the current market expectations. Time and again, we identified the changes needed in our curriculum and pedagogy so that our students stay ahead in the race. Well, somebody rightly said, with great timing, unreachable becomes reachable and unattainable becomes attainable. The success of our graduating students is a testament to this fact

Sound

Have you ever heard the background score of the movie – The Dark Knight? While the action and timing hooks you to find out what’s going to happen next, the background score builds up the intensity. What’s it got to do with students? Easy there, our smart, spirited, dynamic, purposeful, and focussed students created enough buzz for themselves in the industry that employers like HDFC bank, Protiviti, KENT RO Systems Ltd., S&P Capital, Blackrock, and many more visit our campus again and again to recruit talent that from us. (psst, you can too; drop a mail to cmc@fiib.edu.in and we’ll take care of the rest)

Visuals

They say that 80% of learning happens through visuals. Ask our students, our curriculum is designed in a way that students get to experience management concepts by actually working side by side with organizations and people. They don’t just learn the consumer behavior in textbooks, they see it happening. Since, the learning is experiential, the experiences are lively.

On the convocation evening, industry leaders, parents, and faculty stood witness to this blockbuster script of our students when they celebrated their graduation proudly with placement offers in their hands, most of them having started their journey with the corporate by then. “We’ve visited scrap markets in Delhi too, we’ve went on a business study trip to Dubai too; FIIB taught us that management concepts are in every corner. My corporate internship helped me understand the complexities of the business world. In these 2 years, I’ve grown as an individual, and I’ve learned so much. Every professor here went out of his/her way to guide me when I had difficulty wrapping my head around some concepts. I’m placed in Berger Paints, and I am excited to take on the world”, spoke Akash Ranjan Patra, student and recipient of the R K Shrivastava all rounder award for 2018.

We have been directing such scripts since the last 23 years and we believe the assimilation of skills, hard work, and the flexibility to adapt constitute the secret ingredient of this blockbuster. What are your thoughts?

Mar
30

Bridging the gaps – How Meraki transformed ideas to execution

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure” – Bill Cosby

 

The businesses today that are taking the economy by storm were once just somebody’s ideas. The difference between those ideas and accomplishments is a plan to see them through. FIIB’s Meraki is a Business Plan Competition for students who are bold enough to knock the doors for new opportunities. It is organized and conducted by FIIB’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship  which is dedicated to the support of entrepreneurship.

 

Every year Meraki receives hundreds of entries from top colleges of India and South Asia. After careful evaluation of the plans, 10 teams are qualified to present to a distinguished jury panel of top serial entrepreneurs and VC’s of India Inc from firms like Waterbridge Ventures, JP Morgan, Lightspeed Ventures, Venture Garage, and Nexus venture partners amongst others. The teams present as serious entrepreneurs seeking seed funds for their start-ups from early stage investors. Judges evaluate the plans based on the likeliness to invest in them.

 

Mr. Manish Kheterpal – Partner, WaterBridge Ventures who has been the member of Meraki’s judge panel since the conception spoke about the Indian entrepreneurship scenario saying, “Entrepreneurs are the driving forces of India’s booming economy. They are literally changing the way we live. Look at Uber, Look at Oyo. Fortunately, the young people are keeping up and striving hard to innovate. I agree Innovation is hard, but execution is harder. So it’s better to have a progressive plan rather than a perfect plan. What I look for in startups is hunger to succeed and grit to face the challenges head on.”

 

Giving advice to collegiate entrepreneurs on pitching, Mr. Vishal Dixit, Ex-Partner, Mayfield Ventures said, “Once you identify yourself as an entrepreneur, Whenever you are talking to customers, or pitching for funds or hiring people on board, remember you should always be selling and when you are selling, the people are buying your stories not your products. You should be a master storyteller to convey an interesting yet honest story about your company that your audience should relate to. Every interaction will teach you something, put those lessons to use and sharpen those storytelling skills maintaining the same passion and energy while narrating.”

 

Meraki is crafted with an aim to give a real-world experience to student entrepreneurs who want to make it big in the world by fine tuning their business plans and elevator pitches to generate funding to successfully commercialize their product.  Let’s hear it in the words of Mr. Yashash Agarwal, 2 times winner of Meraki (2015 & 2016) how Meraki has helped his start-up emerge:

 

Q: You participated in Meraki twice and won both the times, can you tell us about your experience?

 

Yashash: ​Participating in Meraki has been a great experience and winning feels great always. *smiling* In both the years, the judges’ panel comprised serial entrepreneurs and investors whose feedback was of immense value to us. That’s actually worth a lot lot more.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about your organization and business model?

 

Y: Gamezop is an online games’ publisher. We specialize in HTML5 games – these are games that can be played on the browser without downloading any app. HTML5 games work on Android, iOS, Web, TVs, feature phones, in-flight systems etc. We procure games from developers globally, as well as make games in-house. We optimize these games for developing markets and partner with companies to distribute our games. We work with several messengers, utility apps, telecom operators, browsers, handset manufacturers across the globe. We have a portfolio of 200+ games now and we are one of the largest aggregators of HTML5 games globally. Our partners use our games to drive engagement and monetization for their platforms.​

Q: How did you first hear about Meraki?

 

Y: I believe it was through a start-up focused Facebook group. I can’t precisely remember the name of the group but I remember seeing it and was intrigued to participate. Gamezop was in its early stages, I wanted to grab opportunities that let me meet and network with industry experts and VCs​. Meraki was the perfect chance.

 

Q: You spoke about networking with people, What kind of impact did that have on your business?

 

Y: Meraki helped us validate our hypotheses early on. Beyond the mentorship that we received at the event, as I said earlier Meraki has been a great networking platform – one where we met several fantastic start-ups and start-up founders.​ I am still in touch with a few of them and once in a while we discuss future growth strategies apart from the light-hearted conversations.

 

Q: Did the suggestions given by the judges at Meraki help you, if so, in what ways?

 

Y: We were at different phases of our start-up journey in both the years that we attended Meraki. In both the years, we received valuable industry insights from the judges which helped shape our product and our revenue model.​ A lot of great advice has helped me have clearer goals and measurable outcomes.

Q: If you could pick one unique experience at Meraki, what would it be?

 

Y: ​Meraki’s sheer focus on the quality of the judges panel is a big value-add for any start-up. The focus on the diversity of the start-ups that attend the event is a big plus too.​ So, putting it together the one thing that’s best about Meraki is the quality of network you can make and the people you meet.

 

Q: Budding entrepreneurs at FIIB want to learn from you, What are your suggestions to them ?

 

Y: ​If there’s one thing I have learnt in the last few years, it’s the importance of cheap and quick execution. Nothing helps quite as much as putting your product out in the market and iterating on it based on user feedback.​

 

During the last 7 years, Meraki has seen an exponential 600% growth in terms of the number of participants, this year being colossal with 2500+ B-Plans. As walt Disney rightly said, “The world is full of great ideas, but success only comes through action”,  FIIB always strives to be the supporting ecosystem to Smart, Spirited, Dynamic, purposeful, and Focussed leader-managers and Entrepreneurs who are willing to break the boundaries and act on their plans.

Mar
30

From Classroom to Boardroom – Leaders of today challenge leaders of tomorrow

An institute’s alumni reflects its past, depicts its present and succours its future.

 

In the rapidly changing and competitive world out there, it’s important that students should be trained in advance to meet the challenges of corporate head on. Learning from seniors who can give them a clear perspective on decision making and conflict resolution in complex environments does exactly that. Our accomplished alumni acts as an effective role model and our students look up to them. FIIB’s alumni often joins hands with us to develop analytical, assessment, and judgment skills in their juniors that they can exercise throughout the course of any career they choose to pursue after MBA.

 

One such initiative was taken by Mr. Jitandra Singh, COO of eJOHRI who is an alumnus from the batch 1998-2000 of FIIB. He has experienced being a student at FIIB, to becoming a graduate, and heading an organization. His unique experiences help the students grasp the abstracts of the corporate life. During his visit, he said, “I am a strong advocate for my college in the corporate, the experiences here often contributed to my milestones in business. Since the past 18 years, I find ways to connect with my alma mater. I have always been ambitious and dreamed big, through this case study I want to meet my juniors who are like me; who don’t mind a bit of a challenge. eJOHRI is on a great trajectory and I am searching for some brilliant minds who could see the problems as opportunities. ”

eJOHRI is India’s omni-channel platform where a large number of jewellers showcase their designs online. By providing a common platform to several reputed jewellers of India, it opened up a new dimension in India’s ecommerce sector. Through a video case study on eJOHRI, Mr. Jitandra challenged the wits of the students to collect, assess, and apply relevant management concepts to solve the real-time problems of eJOHRI and suggest appropriate courses of action.

 

If you need to succeed in management, you need to learn as fast as the world is changing. Case analysis and brainstorming play a key role in shaping the students’ lateral thinking and creative approach to problem solving in this dynamic environment. They act as miniature versions of  problems that arise in the world of business thereby encouraging students to put the concepts they learn in textbooks into action. In his case study, Mr. Jitandra spoke about the uniqueness of the business model and gave a brief background of the organization and its competitors. Some of the questions posed by him to the aspiring managers were about the additional benefits that E-Johri can offer to its partner jewelers in order to increase their sign-ups on its platform, the talent requirements, and an organogram for the 2-year growth strategy?

 

24 students took the challenge and presented their solutions to a faculty selection panel. From those 13 were selected to the FIIB’s Sam Walton exchange program. “In most of the classes, after learning a core concept, we are encouraged to dive into numerous case studies and implement what we’ve learnt to solve the questions. I was super excited when I got to know that we are to work on eJOHRI challenge. Those were all real time issues and it’s a level up from what we are used to. I’ve spent hours researching, analyzing, and coming up with solutions that are relevant, scalable, and executable. I feel happy that I could work on such an opportunity.” said Ms. Anjali Srivastava who was among the students who got selected for the exchange program. “Some of them identified the constraints really well, they categorized the issues into functional areas, and suggested the outline to implement the solutions”, said Prof. Vidya Iyer, member of the faculty panel,  while appreciating the reasoning and brilliance students put into analyzing the case.

 

On providing additional benefits to the jeweler partners, students suggested organizing jewelry expo for the retailers to showcase their unique products to attract more signups on the platform. The best of the solutions were put together and the results were sent to Mr. Jitandra who responded “I am impressed that the students came up with the suggestion of jewelry expo. In fact we were in discussions regarding the expo internally, coming from students who probably are not familiar with the corporate, it is commendable. I liked the organogram as well. Now that they have a taste of what it feels to solve business problems, I suggest they should try even harder to better themselves. Also I look forward to challenge them more.”
We understand that even a diamond needs polishing, the students here have continuously proved their wits, hardwork and dedication towards building a successful  career. That is why FIIB – a serious, hard-working “no-hype” institute works hard to instill the right attitude and aptitude for managing businesses through multidimensional and brain teasing opportunities to better the best.

Mar
28

Be Involved and Be Evolved – The Power of extra-curricular activities in Management Programs

An educational system isn’t worth a great deal if it teaches young people how to make a living but doesn’t teach them how to make a life. At FIIB, we understand that the overall development of a student can only be achieved through academic learning as well as extra-curricular and co-curricular activities. To support that, we have a unique student employability skill enhancement program called B-Involved.

 

Under this program, students are allocated ‘Employability Points’ for taking part in extracurricular activities and these can be ‘cashed-in’ for rewards which include internships, project placements, work experience, training and vouchers. B-Involved encourages students to gain skills and experiences that set them apart and makes them ready for the life they are about to step after their education. Being Involved does not mean the student has to always participate in colossal projects. It could just be a small initiative taken by them or they could be volunteering for a part of a project/activity. Each experience helps students demonstrate creativity and passion that adds to their all round development.

 

Some of the prominent clubs like Udaan (Entrepreneurship club), Brand Rover (Marketing club), and Sigma (Operations Club) nurture the students to understand their core subjects in a fun way while the Cultural club, literature club, and drama club often act as a medium of entertainment for students. “This year 100% of the students are involved and they view these college years as a positive experience and feel they are a vital part of the institute. Extracurricular involvement is a key tool to personal development; the students are not only are in it for entertainment and enjoyment purposes, but most importantly, to gain and improve skills which otherwise cannot be learnt through just academic learning.”, said Prof. Kirti Sharma speaking about how B-involved strives to build a “whole-student”

 

This academic year B-Involved concluded its activity calendar wherein 2 students, Afreen Singh and Bhoomika Taranekar achieved Gold level after clocking more than 200 points.

We have asked them about their experience. Here’s how the conversation turned out:

 

Q: How does it feel being the first time GOLD winners of B-Involved?

 

Afreen: The feeling was very overwhelming and I was absolutely elated to be the Gold winner. Frankly,  I didn’t expected the golden slab as I was only concentrating on building my skills and making friends during the activities I have participated.

 

Bhoomika: When we were first told about the B-Involved Program, I was really excited to explore what the clubs can do for my professional development. Prof. Kirti Sharma said we would be awarded a Gold pin if by the end of this year, we could get 200 points. I always liked being challenged and I set the target of being involved in all the activities. That way, I was able to have fun and also improve my team building and communication skills. So, when I was awarded the Gold pin, I felt accomplished and extremely happy.

 

Q: You have really worked hard to score 200 points, how do you juggle education and extracurricular activities?

 

A: Well, I feel that it is always about managing your time efficiently and planning your day properly. My first focus was always academics, but soon I realized that these activities are equally important. So, after attending the regular classes, I made sure to participate in club activities. Soon it became a habit and all the activities fell in place.

 

B: It was not simple in the beginning but the incredible learning I got from participating in the clubs, and the mere satisfaction that my time is utilized in the best possible way kept me going on. The secret is to divide your time equally for academics and extracurriculars. Often participating in the clubs helped me grasp the concepts of the subjects well. So, even if it was tiring at times, it is definitely worth it.

 

Q: Tell us what are the activities that interest you?

A: I like to entertain people. It gives me a sense of accomplishment when my hard work is rewarded by cheering from the audience. That is why I participate in singing, dancing, and drama.  

 

B: At FIIB, there is an activity for every one.  I am a member of Sigma Club – A club dedicated to teach operations management in an interactive and hands-on way and I volunteer for different events that take place like ‘Samavesh’ (The annual cultural fest) and ‘Meraki’ (B-plan competition at FIIB). Participating in these activities helped me learn multi-tasking, enhanced my communication skills, and make connections with new people. Through these experiential  opportunities I get a taste of real world challenges and how to solve them.

 

Q: You have mentioned some positive effects these activities have on your management skills, can you explain further?

 

A: These activities bring the best out of me as they boost my confidence level and morale; They taught me not be scared of the stage, rather grab the opportunity as a blessing. Thanks to all the involvement I had in these activities, I now do not hesitate to communicate with people. I think I have improved my presentation skills quite a bit too.

 

B: I remember an incident when I was incharge of decorating the whole campus for Samavesh. I had to manage a team of students and delegate responsibilities, it was a hefty task and there were conflicts on several decisions. Being the team leader, I had to take key decisions and resolve conflicts. I noticed that my negotiation skills and judgement skills have improved. The faculty who are associated with the clubs act as mentors and guide us along the way. I thank Prof. Arpan particularly for always being supportive and giving me clear idea on how to tackle sticky situations.

 

Q: How did joining these clubs enhance your learning?

 

A: Being a part of the cultural club enhances my presentation skills. I have made most of my friends taking part in the regular activities conducted by these clubs. These act like my stress-busters. Apart from teaching me several soft skills, they also make me feel energized to look forward to all the classroom learning so that I can apply those concepts here. This is the reason I motivate others to take part in process too.

 

B: I am a part of Sigma club and Brand Rover club. These clubs compel us to be updated about the current affairs of Marketing and operations. we participate in several quizzes which are very informative. They challenge our wit and motivate us to probe into what’s happening in the corporate world and how it is related to what we learn. I am specializing in Marketing and operations and these clubs help me a lot in understanding the classroom concepts in an interesting manner. In fact when I was interviewing for my Corporate Internship with shopclues, these experiences gave me a strong background to talk about my commitment and inquisitive nature which were crucial in bagging the opportunity.

Q: What do you think kept you motivated for staying involved?

 

A: Knowing that through my singing and dancing, I can entertain people and those loud cheers are for me, makes me dizzy with happiness. That itself is rewarding enough. I wanted to have this happiness throughout my college life, hence the reason to stay involved.

 

B: I participate in every activity that happens at the campus, I am known as the ‘B-Involved’ girl by my friends and faculty. It makes me feel proud and happy. I believe that the highest reward for hard work is not what you get for it but what you become by it. I have evolved into a better person both academically and socially. Once in a session with the Executive Director, Ms. Radhika Shrivastava, out of hundreds of people she interacted with, she recognized me by my name. These little yet humbling moments keep me motivated.

 

Q: Soon a fresh batch of students are joining FIIB, what would be your advice to those who want to follow your footsteps ?

 

A: My simple advice to them is “Be curious, there will always be an opportunity lurking around and you might find it in the least expected places. Also remember to have fun while you learn.”

 

B: I would ask them to identify what their flaws are, and join those clubs and activities which would help overcome them. I would say, “Sometimes you might feel it’s difficult and you would be tempted to give up, that is when you need to double your efforts. Quoting my favourite saying, if you change the way you look at the things, it will change the things you look at. “

 

These are the students of FIIB who not only excel in academics, but are also on the front end leading the B-Involved program. All in all, having good grades can add a sash on your graduation gown and fetches you great knowledge. Although it is a great achievement in itself, having work experience through the different activities, meeting and interacting with new people and developing social skills, along with having a valuable work ethic, is much more important in the long run.

 

Through 10 clubs that cater to co-curricular and extracurricular activities, numerous events, workshops, and seminars that happen round the year, FIIB provides an exemplary individual focused and career oriented education that helps students evolve into successful professionals and industry leaders.

 

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