Responsible Management Education

Celebrating Second Convocation of the SBS Swiss Business School Graduates at IILM, Lodhi Road

IILM, a forerunner of International Undergraduate Programs in India since 1996, achieved another milestone on October 31st 2017. Second Batch of the students pursuing their BBA in Entrepreneurship were conferred their graduate degree of SBS Swiss Business School. It was indeed a proud moment for SBS Swiss Business School, as well as for IILM to see their students, dressed in ceremonial robes, eager to receive the Degree.

The convocation ceremony was held at the Lodhi Road Campus at 3.00 PM. The proceeding started with the arrival of the Chief Guest, Prof Bert Wolfs, Dean, SBS Swiss Business School.

The academic procession comprising the Undergraduate Faculty Members was led by Dr. Daisy Mathur Jain, Dean of the Undergraduate Business School (UBS). Recitation of Saraswati Vandana by the students of Banyan Tree School and lighting of the lamp by Prof. Bert Wolfs, Dr. Shuchi Agrawal (Director UBS), Dr. Jain and Izabela Karanfiloska, (Program Manager, MBA, SBS Swiss Business School) marked the beginning of the event.

Dr. Jain embraced the presence of graduands, parents and guests and delivered her welcome speech.

Dean’s Message to the Students

It is a matter of pleasure and great honour that we have gathered here for the graduation ceremony of the Bachelors of Business Administration (Entrepreneurship) SBS Swiss Business School.  On behalf of IILM Undergraduate Business School, I extend warm greetings and welcome you all to this very solemn and at the same time a joyous and fulfilling occasion.

This day is important for students as well as the Institute.  It is indeed a proud moment for us to see  young  ladies and gentlemen coming  out  with  flying  colours  and all set to  begin  a  new  journey. As   young   graduates,   you   are   about   to   embark   on   your   own extraordinary   journey   and   create your   own   life   adventures. I congratulate you for the hard work that you have put in during these three years. A new chapter is about to begin.  A myriad of new challenges and options are on your horizons. There are several paths that you all must have decided to pursue now after graduation – like starting your own entrepreneurship journey with your fresh ideas, or furthering your family business or pursuing higher education. No matter what path you choose – THINK BIG! That is how you will succeed. I urge you to be focused and serious while trying to achieve your goals. However, in this process don’t make your life too serious. Make it a habit to be happy while you solve all your difficulties in life. This is only the beginning.

Do keep coming to your Alma Mater and share your success stories with us. Congratulations once again.

The Dean took the permission of the Chief Guest to declare the Convocation open. She welcomed and introduced Prof Bert Wolfs- Academic Dean, SBS Swiss Business School. Prof Wolfs is a PhD, MDP (Harvard Graduate School of Education) and a founding member of SBS Swiss Business School and holds the position of the Academic Dean and DBA Program Manager at the Institution. Dr. Wolfs also is a lecturer on SBS educational programs with a special interest in entrepreneurship and e-commerce, and holds the Albert Einstein Peace Award from IAEWP. Furthermore, he is a certified lecturer of Swiss Vocational Education Training (VET) students. Dr. Jain also introduced Izabela Karanfiloska, Program Manager –SBS Swiss Business School.

This was followed by a brief Address by Ms Izabela Karanfiloska who was happy to congratulate all the graduands. She emphasized that the Convocation Day stood as a moment of great pride for the students, and she wished success to all the young graduands.

Director’s Message to the Students

Members of IILM Board of Governors, Distinguished guests, proud parents, colleagues and dear graduating students.

On behalf of the IILM fraternity, I extend a very warm welcome to each one of you on the annual convocation for the Class of 2017. With pleasure I want to share that the year 2017 marks the 25th year of our legacy in education.

Our undergraduate program aims at inspiring students to be innovative in their thoughts and actions and to grow as entrepreneurs. Today India is brimming with ideas and energy.     At IILM, we do our best to energize this new generation so that our country can reach new heights of greatness.

Dear Students today marks the culmination of an enriching journey by you and also the beginning of a new, fascinating one. All of you have gathered here on this special occasion   but I see a lot of missing faces. Do you know why? I am proud to share that

30 of your batch-mates that is one third of the batch has got admission in various universities abroad for pursuing Masters. This is indeed a big achievement. Ashna Gupta is in University of Warwick, UK, Shrey Bharadwaj University of Leeds UK, Kunal Chugh in RMIT Australia, Krishan Katyal in Grenoble Graduate School of Business, France to name a few.

Many of you have started your own entrepreneurial venture.  Bhavaya has started Built Natural- Recycling plastic to make T- Shirts.- Tejas who is currently in University of Bristol UK  has created an app ‘Madfad’, Piyush Popli is working on bio-gas plant. Vishesh Jhalani on jewellery e-commerce site and Pranav Agarwal has started his own venture ECHO. Others have gone back to their family business and bringing in innovation there. We are indeed proud of you all.

IILM through various initiatives like Entrepreneurial Development Centre, Annual Higher Education summit, Centre for Excellence for family business and specialized mentoring is helping and guiding students to realize their aspirations and dreams.

I would now like to briefly highlight some of IILM’s major achievements during the last year.

I am proud to inform that in the EdUniversal rankings of best business schools in India, IILM has been ranked 10 in 3 Palmes of Excellence category for 2017. Headquartered in Paris, Eduniversal is a global ranking and rating agency specializing in higher education.

I am also proud to inform that IILM has been accorded the prestigious SAQS Reaccreditation by AMDISA for a period of 5 years. SAQS is an international system for quality assurance and accreditation, an EFMD supported initiative in South Asia. Only 15 Business schools in India have received this accreditation.

 IILM is a member of the United Nations Global Compact Initiative – “PRME”, and has earned the coveted ‘Champion business school’ status. This year in July during the Global Forum in New York, PRME launched the India Chapter. IILM is a Co-lead along with Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore and S.P.Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai. This is indeed a great honour for us.

Our Gurgaon campus has applied for University status and I am happy to share that we are in the final stages of the process and very likely to get it soon. The university will focus on liberal education having schools in liberal arts, Management, Design, Technology and Innovation.

This year  as part of the IILM Global study program   our undergraduate students attended 3 week programs at Seneca college Canada and ISM  Germany where they studied modules on strategic management , Entrepreneurship  and innovation .The program also included visits to companies such as Porsche, Mercedez Benz ,Google, IBM and Bosch. The students found the experience very enriching. In the coming years we will continue to strengthen this initiative.

Our undergraduate program focuses on providing experiential learning to our students along with the regular management courses. We have introduced innovation weeks, held three times a year, with a special focus on social innovation. Courses like entrepreneurial case studies, family business management, small business field studies and regular  company visits help to inculcate in our students the skills required in today’s world.

Now to today’s event:

Dear Students, today you come to the end of a journey which you had started 3 years back!   I am sure you will miss the rush to reach the class on time, the assignments to be submitted, not to forget the thesis and number of reworks it required. Well you all did a commendable work and Shubham Gupta and Saachi Narang’s thesis has been published in SBS Journal of Applied Business Research. I would like to congratulate you .It is your hard work that brought you to this finishing line. I know this is a big day and you will enjoy and remember it. I would also like to congratulate the parents and families of the graduates. Your support to them was essential to what they have achieved. So it is your moment too to enjoy and remember.

Today you are set to embark on a new journey, a journey full of challenges and opportunities.  You should be willing to take on the challenges and capitalize on every opportunity that comes your way. Draw inspiration from the famous lines by Steve Jobs “Don’t let the noise of others opinions drown out your own inner voice.” So be honest, be bold and believe in yourself and the world will be at your feet.

Once again Congratulations, Class of 2017. We are so very proud of you. Enjoy this momentous day and, as you go out into the world, please keep us in your hearts. You will be in ours.

Prof Bert Wolf’s Message to the Students

 

Prof wolfs delivering his congratulatroy address to the fresh graduates

Prof  Wolf’s delivering his congratulatory address to the fresh graduates

 

Respected members of IILM, dear ladies and gentlemen, dear parents, dear honourable guests….

Dear Students, Congratulations to the Class of 2017, you have made it!

Usually the Dean has to speak for hours, but the students are not actually interested any more in what the Dean will say. So, I will do my best to keep it short and simple.

It is an honourable day and a respectful day for you. It is definitely a day to remember. You belong now to the small part of the population worldwide which possesses the Bachelor’s Degree, a Bachelor’s Degree in Entrepreneurship. You have learnt how to manage risks, you know how to think risks, and how to diversify your risks. As your parents and grand-parents have always told you, don’t put all the eggs in the same basket!

Now, life is simple. Life often asks three kinds of questions- the first question that people usually ask is, “Where do you have your degree from? Do you have a degree?” As of today, you are in the possession of a well-respected degree. The second question people ask you is, “Which language do you speak?” You definitely must say that you have mastered the language of entrepreneurship today. Besides that, I encourage you to learn more languages. Language is an ice-breaker. Learn in twenty languages how to say “hello” and how to say “thank you”. The world doesn’t end in India. The world is broader than India. So, if you can break the ice with other people and other cultures, it’s always appreciated. And the third question they ask you in life is, “Who do you know? Don’t say you know me! Who do you know?” So, continue to expand your network, continue to interact with your professors and continue to interact with your classmates. But, also look and know who the alumni of last year are? And you may know that we have alumni all over the world. So, try to connect with these people because there are whole lot of opportunities for you. I wish you good luck with that.

I also would like to thank the administration of the Institution for their outstanding task which they have done this year and the previous year. We are proud to be associated with you. And also, dear Graduates, you should thank your faculty. Dhanyawaad (thank you)!

Dr. Jain then presented the candidates from IILM Undergraduate Business School to be admitted to the Degree of Bachelors of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship, announcing the names in alphabetical order.

The Degree was handed over to one hundred and eleven qualifying graduates by the Chief Guest, and the candidates who could not receive the Degree in person were conferred the Degree in Absentia.

The Chairperson, Mrs. Malvika Rai was requested to give away medals and certificates to the meritorious students as follows:

Dr. Kulwant Rai Gold Medal for securing First Position in Academics was awarded to Shubham Gupta.

Dr. Kulwant Rai Silver Medal for securing Second Position in Academics was awarded to Nikunj Agarwal.

Awardees of the Special Prize for the Best Thesis Saachi Narang and Tejas Kumar. The Award was conferred upon Tejas Kumar in absentia.

Mrs. Malvika Rai, Chairperson IILM, conferring Dr. Kulwant Rai Gold Medal on Shubham Gupta for Academic Excellence

In the end, the Dean, IILM UBS sought permission from the Dean, SBS Swiss Business School and declared the ceremony closed. Then audience then rose for the National Anthem after which the Academic Procession and the fresh graduates assembled for group photographs.

All Graduates, parents and other invitees were welcomed to partake of high tea, during which the Management, the Director, the Dean and all the Faculty Members interacted with one another and shared their happiness and best wishes.

 

 

 

 

22nd Convocation of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Management Program

IILM celebrated 22nd Convocation of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Management Program at its Lodhi Road Campus on 25th August 2017. 296 students from IILM Graduate School of Management, Greater Noida, IILM Institute for Business and Management, Gurgaon and IILM Institute for Higher Education, New Delhi were conferred their PG Diplomas in Management.

Mr. Bharat Kaushal,Managing Director, Hitachi India Private Limited was the Chief Guest on the occasion. Mr. Kaushal has the unique distinction of being the first Indian Managing Director of Hitachi. A distinguished business professional, Mr Kaushal has over 25 years of industry experience specializing in macroeconomic policy, government advisory, project finance, debt restructuring as well as in mergers and acquisitions. He is an alumnus of Columbia University where he pursued Masters in International Affairs and Northeastern University where he secured his Masters in Business Administration. He graduated from St Stephen’s College, Delhi.

Message from the Chief Guest, Mr. Bharat Kaushal, Managing Director, Hitachi India Private Limited

In his address, Mr. Kaushal congratulated the young graduates and said that, “We could not have asked for a bigger blessing for the day than Ganesh Chaturthi. This is may be the most auspicious signal for you all. It is a privilege for me to be here on the day of Convocation of an academic institution. I think an academic institution is one of the highest points of recognition that one receives personally as a part of their own growth. My association with IILM was born in 1993. I have known it reaching many several pedestals and I think it is also important to thank for the important roles played by the younger generation of the Rai family. Anand and Aarti, thank you very much for your contribution.
I was in a flight about one and a half hours ago before I came here and I was thinking what to say to this smart lot of graduating people who are already very intelligent. And I said to myself that maybe I should not leave them with theory, but share something about what I have learnt in my own life’s journey. Some of the observations I have may be relevant for today and some of those may be used as you get on in life.

Message from the Chief Guest, Mr. Bharat Kaushal, Managing Director, Hitachi India Private Limited

Message from the Chief Guest, Mr. Bharat Kaushal, Managing Director, Hitachi India Private Limited

The first thing that I want to share with you today is that you must always set a goalpost for yourself. This is a water ship moment. You have culminated whole lot of learning that has gone on until today and you embark on upon a sort of really big opportunity from your own businesses to envisioning new ideas, starting up your own ventures, to companies and institutions where you will find jobs and work and learn in every sphere. But leadership is an important goalpost and the only way to set that goalpost is to start taking ownership from the first day. You have to put your heart in where your mind is. Not every job is going to be intellectually fertile or stimulating. But it is important to take ownership of what you believe in. You will learn that not every position is about CEO’s job. Leadership is the most important aspect of every job and so you have to pay attention to your work as though it is your own company. And finally, somewhere recognition for your sincerity will fall in place. The other thing that I want to say is about learning continuously. You must build on yourself constantly. I am standing in front of you. I am going through a reinvention myself. Even at 49 years of age, I put efforts to constantly learn and reinvent myself more and more. In the end, I will talk about social evolution. If we look at this whole evolution that we have been undergoing, it has always been a balance of continuity and change. But just this time, the word progressive disruption has made the whole thing change so much that we have altogether different perspectives about this is how education, skilling, work and everything else around us should be. You should always be ready to deal with the rapidly evolving environment.

And like I have said, some of the things I have shared with you may be relevant today and some of them are those on which you can reflect upon and use them later in life. But the most important thing to remember in life is that things have their own way of finding a course to reach you. And everything doesn’t have to be planned. Of course, you have to be diligent and keep organising yourself for tomorrow. The opportunities are opening and it is nothing like before. I come from a humble background and I went to St. Stephen’s College thinking that I will join the Civil Services. But then things changed entirely and this is where I have landed up today. But definitely about my interest in India, and this is also what I say to my Japanese colleagues all the time, is that I am good person to be your team is because I am a very proud Indian.

I have come here to be a part of your celebration and to share with you that you need to believe in yourself and go ahead in life. God bless you!

Awards and Recognition

The Chief Guest, Mr. Bharat Kaushal and Mrs. Malvika Rai presented Gold and Silver Medals to the toppers from three Campuses. The winners of the Gold and Silver Medals respectively were Navneet Kaur and Lochan Surana from New Delhi Campus, Shubham Agarwal and Sagnik Das from Gurgaon Campus and Joseph Davis and Sajib Dhar from Greater Noida Campus.

Summer Internship (SIP) has always been an integral part of the Curriculum at IILM. It has proved to be instrumental in enhancing the credentials of the students and also in fetching them a fulltime job. Mr. Bharat Kaushal extended the award to Pooja Falwariya from IILM Institute for Higher Education, New Delhi. She did Internship on Human Resources Practices (Talent Acquisition) at Marks & Spencer. Best SIP award from IILM Institute for Business and Management, Gurgaon was extended to Sagnik Das for Internship on Marketing Assessment of Bakery Fats Cargill India Private Limited. Best SIP award from IILM Graduate School of Management, Greater Noida went to Mansi Singh for Internship on Big Data Analysis at Benzara.

IILM SIP 2017

IILM honoured six faculty members with the Excellence in Teaching Award. The faculty who won the award for teaching core modules are Prof. Rajkishan Nair (Greater Noida Campus), Prof. Ruchi Shah (Gurgaon Campus) and Prof. Rahul Mishra (Lodhi Road Campus). The faculty who won the award for teaching elective modules are Prof. Raju Majumdar (Greater Noida Campus), Prof. Pinky Goswami (Gurgaon Campus) and Prof. Devika Sharma (Lodhi Road Campus). The Award winners expressed their joy and gratitude to students as they mentioned that this day would not have been possible without a successful partnership with them. They also thanked the Management for providing them with a platform to exhibit their knowledge and skills and recognising their efforts.

IILM also nurtures the tradition of recognising its senior alumni every year. This year, Dr. Smitha Girija welcomed Mr. Anil V Vallecha, Senior Service Delivery – Financial Operations, American Express. Mr. Vallecha is IILM alumnus from the Class of 1998. Mrs. Malvika Rai, Chairperson, IILM, presented an award to him. Mr. Vallecha took pride in recollecting his memories at IILM and mentioned that “I have spent the two most eventful, exciting and action packed and professionally enriching years of my student life which forms the foundation of where we are going in future. You have a rock-solid launch pad and an establishment to take you further. Take risks with your careers, take risks with your capabilities, get out of your comfort zone and take on responsibilities which you think you will not be able to accomplish, believe me you will be surprised.”

Annual Report

Read More : Annual Report By Dr. Smitha Girija

Dr. Smitha Girija, Director PGDM took the opportunity to highlight some of the major achievements of the Institute with the audience.

She mentioned that the Association of Management Development Institutes of South Asia (AMDISA) has awarded the prestigious SAQS Re-accreditation to IILM for a period of 5 years and IILM’s Greater Noida Campus has been re-accredited by National Board of Accreditation (NBA). IILM is also a member of the United Nations Global Compact Initiative – “PRME”, and has earned the coveted ‘Champion business school’ status. This year in July during the Global Forum in New York, PRME launched the India Chapter.

IILM has set up a Centre for Excellence in Family Business which is an institutional member of Family Firm Institute, Chicago. The Centre aims at research and training, discussions through conferences and seminars which will help its family-business students, alumni and parents.IILM has also constituted an Entrepreneurship Development Centre with the primary aim of encouraging entrepreneurial mind-set among students.

Another integral part of the PGDM curriculum is the Global Study Program. The students get the opportunityto learn at IILM’s partner schools in Germany, France, Spain and Canada for four weeks and acquire global exposure, which has proved to be of great value to the students.

Message from the Directors PGDM

Prof. Smitha Girija, Director of IILM Institute for Higher Education in her inspiring words said to the students,“The world you inherit poses great challenges and huge responsibilities. Change is inevitable, whether you want it or not. The institute through our curriculum has tried to promote individuality and innovative thinking. This would help you to be the architects of a new world. Do remember you belong to a small group who are equipped to take such challenging role. This goes beyond having a job in a company or any other organization. This requires you to remain connected with the society. Embrace the challenges and get ahead of the change. We are all excited to watch you as you step into the real world and become creators of the future.

Prof. Taruna Gautam, Director of IILM Graduate School of Management, Greater Noida wished many happy returns to the students and said “Convocation is an opportunity to come together and take a resolve to move forward. As you proceed in your lives I hope you will continue to learn and reflect upon how you are changing even as you change the world around you. I am sure you will treasure all the efforts that others have put in to get you to where you are in your life now. Remember to thank those who supported you and return that by supporting others to achieve their best. This is not the end of your learning rather you are now going from a closed and protected classroom, to an open classroom. Keep the student mindset alive in you, so that you can scale greater heights in your profession. Your success is going to be your humility. You are the ones who will not only make your own destiny but have a say in the entire country’s destiny.

Prof. Siva Krishnan, Director of IILM Institute for Business and Management, Gurgaon in his congratulatory address to the students stated that “I am sure, this is one of the most important occasions in your life where you all are eagerly waiting to hold the graduation certificate in your hand to chart the destiny of your career. This is also a day where you can take immense pride, as it is a reflection of the passion, determination, and hard work that you have exhibited over a period of two years that has finally bore the fruits. I have no doubt that the fruits of your labor are going to be really sweet in the coming days. At the same time, it is equally important to be conscious of the fact that the world is changing fast and technology getting obsolete even before it completes its product life cycle. Adaptability and skill set requirements have become a major challenge due to this fast-changing scenario and will continue to pose further challenges in the coming years. This has put theonus on all of you to be a continuous learner. And today, it is just the beginning of that process and not an end. I strongly believe, the capacity to learn is a great gift, the ability to learn is certainly a skill, and the willingness to learn is undoubtedly a choice. I am happy that at IILM, all of you have got this mix absolutely right.

Message from the Deans PGDM

Prof. Joyeeta Chatterjee, Dean of IILM Institute for Higher Education in her congratulatory address to the graduates said, “A new chapter is about to begin. A myriad of new challenges and options are on your horizons. There are two different paths you can take now after graduation – either you can aspire to build big things and move ahead in life very fast or decide to ride a very comfortable journey, bearing no risk. Most of you are taught to think big! Build rocket ships by being patient and persistent. And most importantly be around people who want to build rocket ships. That is how you will succeed. I urge you to be focused and serious while trying to achieve your goal. However, in this process don’t make your life too serious. Make it a habit to be happy while you solve all your difficulties in life. This is only the beginning. You are now going from a closed and protected classroom, to an open classroom. Do keep coming to your Alma Mater and share your success stories with us. Congratulations once again.

Prof. Raju Majumdar, Dean of IILM Graduate School of Management, Greater Noida inspired the students by saying that, “As you roe on from here and now, here is what I want to share with you for tomorrow and ever after… do make your bed every day, for an eye for the detail and this small achievement in the beginning will surely motivate you to take up and complete bigger and bigger tasks throughout the day, and if in the end you have a bad day, you have a bed already made to sleep it off. Never give an excuse and do not take a shortcut. Please remember the road to success is almost always a difficult one, but it is this journey that creates winners and separates them from the rest. Remember your school poems? Robert Frost and his ageless lines

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

When we meet again, I am sure you all will have lot of success stories to share. We will wait to hear from you always; do come back when you have time and help us grow.

Prof. Vidhisha Vyas, Dean of IILM Institute for Business and Management, Gurgaon congratulated the young graduates and said “The world you inherit is beset with great challenges. Change is upon us – whether we want it or not. Yet – you have the greatest opportunity in generations: to be the architects and builders of a new world. You will not just be a cog in a big machine (as many of my generation were) but you will be a node in a vibrant network of engaged individuals. Your successes will be sweeter, and your disappointments will be easier to bear, if you have the love and support of family and friends. I end with this thought: Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.Wish you luck for your all future endeavours.

The Convocation concluded with the National Anthem.

Book Review – But What If We’re Wrong? by Chuck Klosterman. Amberley Publishing (2016)

Klosterman’s novel But What If We’re Wrong (2016) stems from his scepticism about the beliefs system which human beings have been carrying forward like a legacy. At the very outset, he debunks this beliefs system and speculates upon the possibility of it being false. He broaches a range of subjects from pop culture, music, sports, philosophy and science to display his uncertainty around them and the reader comprehends that the author is against all the principles of conformity.

The apparent contrarian that Klosterman is, he urges his readers to expand the horizon of their thought process and create their own truth by critically examining the given state of affairs. He underlines that believing what is being portrayed is so intrinsic to human beings that they do not even harbour the minutest idea of questioning the depicted reality. The underlying intent of the author injected by regular dose of humour is to make the readers question the cultural and scientific theories which are, by default, believed to be universally true. He implores his readers to become disassociated from the pictured truth and analyse themselves the various things around them.

He explains that the starting point is to set the premises that we are wrong, as such a process would facilitate thinking in an objective manner. The second step which he explains by touching a stream of objective and subjective issues characterising the current world is, to wonder how these things would really appear in a distant future as he supposes that, “it’s impossible to understand the world of today until today has become tomorrow.” Such an approach, he believes, would make his readers find the truth.

The author remarks that a child is not under any pressure to demonstrate his conformity with others and therefore conceives things according to his or her own reality. On similar tangents, he hopes the readers embark on such a process. However, what is striking about the Klosterman is that he doesn’t impose such a move on his readers. He is rather the one who leads by example. The work is baked with a series of interviews with various thinkers, namely, Amanda Petrusich, Brian Greene, David Byrne, Dan Carlin, George Saunders, Jonathan Lethem, Junot Díaz, Kathryn Schulz, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Nick Bostrom, Richard Linklater, and Ryan Adams among others. The author first dissects their thoughts, and then demystifies them, in order to arrive at his very own understanding around them.

The interwoven layers of thoughts of various theorists and intellectuals coupled with Klosterman’s own opinion around them define the peculiarity of the book. Through the simplicity of the language employed and wit, the author keeps the readers’ interest activated till the end.

To conclude, the book is definitely worth a read. Happy reading!

Miss. Geeta Gogia
(Assistant Professor – French)

Importance of Group Discussions

Group Discussion

Group discussion (GD), by virtue of the term, means exchange of views by participants on a given subject. The whole idea is to bring together a set of people on a common platform to share their ideas, thereby giving an opportunity to exhibit not only their knowledge, but also to understand and enhance their learning by absorbing the thoughts of other people.

Advantages of Group Discussions

Better understanding of the subject : GD offers a great opportunity to the discussants to take a deep dive into the subject, and understand it profoundly. It expands the horizon of knowledge and learning. In addition, it extends a chance to the participants to improve their abilities to think critically and develop their analytical skills.

Solve problems : Since GD brings together a group of people holding diverse opinions, it also perceived as one of the sought after ways to arrive at solutions to problems. Because of the fact that people bring in a wide range of insights, GDs help in changing the thought process from a narrow to a wider view, thereby paving the way to solutions.

 Improve listening skills and confidence : Since GDs necessitate the contribution of ideas and thoughts, the participants are required to be listen keenly to others’ observations. In this sense, group discussions are a fantastic way to enhance listening skills, and also boost the confidence of speakers by engaging them and encouraging them to express their thoughts.

Enhance communication and interpersonal skills : While one aspect of GDs is that it encourages people to share their knowledge, the other important aspect is that it gives an opportunity to people to build their communication skills. The participants, in the process, learn how to express their ideas while also respecting viewpoints of others. This in turn contributes to the development of interpersonal skills among the peer group.

Team building exercise : GDs help in developing teamwork and leadership attributed in people, which are extremely important in the current context. Working in a group helps them increase tolerance and respect towards others, and also how to unanimously arrive at conclusions.

After learning various benefits which people may derive from participation in group discussions, it is important to highlight that this activity holds a special importance in academic and professional set ups. On one hand, GDs reflect the values of coexistence, motivation, tolerance and acceptance for others, on the other hand, they are a key tool for recruiters. During the selection process, they help the hiring team to identify if the job applicants possess the values which mirror the principles and the vision of the organisations. The organisations today not only stress on the knowledge pool of the candidates, but also give lot of importance to enthusiasm and adaptability in the workforce. This helps us explain why academic institutions, and especially management schools emphasise GDs.

Mentoring at IILM

The word ‘mentor’ may be described in simple terms as a person who gives a younger or less experienced person help and advice over a period of time, especially at work or school. In this context, ‘mentor’ is understood as a person who provides assistance and guidance to his or her ‘mentee’- the person who is being guided, and the objective of ‘mentoring’ is to bring out and nurture the best possible abilities in the ‘mentee’.

It may sound clichéd, but the fact is that in current times we do not want our leaders to be a knowledge bank. Instead, we want them to manifest themselves as dynamic individuals who are capable of handling various situations and people at work. IILM has the tradition of implementing a robust mentoring program for each and every student in order to ensure that its graduate and post-graduate students are prepared to handle the world outside.

The various aspects of the mentoring program at IILM are:

  • Academic and Career Counselling: When a student is selected to pursue studies at IILM, s/he is also allocated a dedicated mentor, considering the fact that young and fresh undergraduates and graduates have numerous expectations related to their academics, career and future plans. The mentor remains in regular contact with the student providing guidance and insights to the mentee. The focus is on academic and professional planning, in addition to personal development.
  • Direction and Guidance: At IILM, the objective is to not only to focus on the core job of guaranteeing academic learning to the students, but also ensuring that within the framework of the mentoring program, mentees share their aspirations and areas of interest with their mentor. The mentor then extends to them all the necessary direction and guidance, which may shape them as effective and successful leaders of tomorrow.
  • Identification of Strengths and Opportunities: The mentor helps the mentee identify his or her strengths and areas of opportunities and development in order to create a nurturing environment. This allows the mentee to achieve his or her academic and career goals through regular interactions between the two.

To quote a few examples:

  • There are students who need help in expanding their family business. In such a situation, the mentor usually connects them to the faculty who has specialized in family business studies or the Entrepreneurship Development Cell (EDC) that caters to nurturing young entrepreneurs.
  • Similarly, there are students who wish to work with leading organizations. With the rich pool of faculty at IILM, who come from industry as well academic backgrounds, the mentor helps provide an understanding of the industry operations to the mentee. The Career Development Cell (CDC) works closely with the mentor to make the students employable.

Thus, the process functions on the basis of regular interactions, expressing and meeting expectations and sharing experiences and follow ups with the mentees. The outcome of mentoring program is, hence, transformation of undergraduates into responsible business professionals.

Mentoring Plan for Staff and Faculty Members

It is noteworthy to mention that the mentoring program is structured not only for the students but also for the all the faculty and staff members. When a new joinee becomes a part of the IILM family, the senior faculty and staff members, including the Deans and the Directors mentor them to understand the modus operandi of the system. During this process, which may be defined as the learning curve, the new joinees understand the dynamics of the system, the process flow of their job profile and are provided continuous inputs and feedback to handle their roles independently.

In a nutshell, the mentoring program is an integral part of the IILM system, which enables each and every individual to define their goals and expectations, draft a plan and then work on the accomplishment of those goals.