Responsible Management Education

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 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.