Lockdown Buster: Learning Transformation

It was mid-January when we the students of IGTC PGPBA Batch 2019 – 2021 were undergoing our Practical Training Term I at our respective interning companies. While we were intensely enjoying the exposure of working on the projects, the internet was getting flooded with mystery analysis of a deadly Coronavirus spreading in China. The initial reactions were typical as we scrolled over social media, filled with random memes, fake videos and fake home remedies but we never imagined then that this local Chinese virus was about to come to us in the next few weeks capable of causing a colossal impact.

Beginning February 2020, we returned to IGTC from our interning companies for Theoretical Term II with great enthusiasm for being back in class with our peers. We were charged up for the upcoming term with more interesting subjects in our curriculum and with even more experienced faculty. . The term was just shifting gears and picking up pace, when the very virus soon become a serious outbreak globally. The COVID-19 pandemic had hit India now with several positive cases triggered as people travelled. 

On 12th March 2020, observing the trend of the virus of the European nations, the Government of India comprehended India’s situation, and decisions were made to slow down various sectors starting with tourism and education first. By this time there was an abrupt halt as all the educational institutes were shutting down leading to a natural demotivation amongst the student community. The economists globally forecasted an upcoming mammoth recession. IGTC similarly decided to shut to abide by the strict orders of the state government. Natural fear and chaos were amongst us students too, but the IGTC director, faculty, and administration team had created a learning plan for us. They demonstrated tremendous strength, agility, and focus to continue the delivery of lectures on the online platforms immediately. It was merely with a break of 2 days that IGTC ensured that we migrated to our lecture schedules online. IGTC kept being optimistic, motivating and had its principle clear, “If you can’t FLY, then RUN. If you can’t RUN, then WALK. If you can’t WALK, then CRAWL. But whatever you do, keep the wheels in motion.” This was an inspiring situation for us while the country was getting into total lockdown. We were made to experience nothing but positivity.

As the new normal continued, we encountered a bunch of hurdles such as internet instability, lagging bandwidth and videos, sound and mic issues, senior faculty adapting with the new digital platform, and the new way of online teaching, but more importantly, time management, discipline, and self-motivation. All of us were bound to sit in front of our laptops for almost 12-14 hrs a day including 6-8 hrs of online classes with group/individual projects, subject-wise homework, and regular after-class studies. Non-Mumbaikar students started leaving for their hometown since the situation did not seem to improve. The graph rose steeply with rising cases worldwide and it was time we all became aware of the seriousness and massive impact of the pandemic on the global economy. Lockdown situations around and terrifying news all over acted as a fuel to the fire impacting our emotional state of mind.

IGTC stood by us rock-solid to boost our morale constantly, they guided us to look beyond the horizon to aim for the silver lining. The faculty, by giving examples of COVID-19 situations, tried their best to deliver us the key learnings. They hinted to us that if we learnt to rise and shine bright in such unforeseen events, we will develop a unique spirit in ourselves and be the resilient, unbeatable ones. The new mantra was “Zusammen sind wir stark!” says Yashashree Borse, Management Trainee, Siemens Ltd.  By the end of Term II, we all successfully faced rapid fires such as quizzes, polls, online mid-term tests, engaged in group case study discussions in breakout rooms, submitted all our assignments, put under the grill of online vivas and presentations, and finally completed written examinations under a self-declared ethical pledge of integrity under the observation of the IGTC team! “All permutations and combinations are possible at IGTC!” quotes Akshay Bhagwat, Management Trainee, Hirschvogel Automotive Group.

After 3 months, we can proudly say that we have all sailed through it all. Be it common issues or personal problems, they were all attended immediately and on priority by the IGTC admin and faculty. A suitable solution to every problem was applied to every respective issue via regular open discussions and feedback daily. Being a part of IGTC, everyone has graciously accepted the new normal. We are trying our best to adapt and imbibe the core values of the IGTC anthem “Nurturing Curiosity, Seeking to Innovate, Infusing Optimism, and Inspiring Excellence.”

Unlike few B schools which were not prepared to face such unpredictable situations, IGTC has shouldered the responsibility and accountability of educating us; its precious batch of 100 students; to stand apart from the crowd and to build a confidence to overcome every possible hurdle on the path all along, be it our personal or corporate lives. “Now we know that there are no dead ends, only sharp turns, but there is always a way out” quotes Namita Gulavani, Management Trainee, Siemens Ltd.

This crisis has changed us and we have a great story to tell! Change management was a subject in our curriculum, now we can say that we have lived through it at IGTC.   

Article contributed by Ronak Contractor, Management Trainee at Siemens Healthineers, PGPBA Batch 2019 – 2021

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IGTC’s Admission Process 2020: Overcoming Covid-19 crisis

The admission process is the first step towards a new future of any student. And to fulfil that desire, IGTC proficiently took its admission process forward online without having to putting anyone’s future on hold.

The various challenges before the IGTC Management included:

  • How to conduct the group interaction and selection process for the applicants?
  • How to retain good applicants as other business schools were moving ahead quickly with the process?
  • How to process admissions without university examinations pending for some applicants?
  • How to conduct the selection for the “meritorious, but less privileged applicants” for the Siemens Scholarships?
  • How to get the partnering companies on board for internships amidst so much uncertainty and chaos?

The difficulty along the path was to bring the companies on board to conduct the Personal Interview Process and to adopt trainees for the coming year and to uphold IGTC’s USP of the German Dual System. IGTC consulted the Indo-German HR Partner Forum to tailor a few key processes and adapt to the current lock-down situation.

Following this decision, almost 200 applicants from various cities across the country underwent the Online Test and Group Interaction over April and May 2020. After great rigor and scrutiny, 95 applicants were finally shortlisted to meet the companies for internship selections.

Despite business challenges, ARaymond Fasteners India Pvt. Ltd, B Braun Medical (India) Pvt Ltd, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Co., Bosch Automotive Electronics India, Bosch Limited, Brose India Automotive Systems, Covestro India, DBOI Global Services, Ethosh India, Faurecia India, Forbes Marshall, Hafele India, Helpline Impex, Hirschvogel Automotive Group, Knorr-Bremse Technology Center India, KSB Ltd., LANXESS India, Pune Gas Systems, Schott Kaisha, Siemens, T-Systems ICT India and Wirtgen India were extremely supportive in participating in the Trainee Selection Process. They interviewed applicants for various profiles ranging from Sales and Marketing, Digital Marketing, Corporate Communication, Project Management, SCM and Logistics, Accounting and Finance, Human Resources and IT.

Frequent online interactions and briefings on every company requirement and profiles, online trainings on how to tackle content for online interviews, how to develop an effective on-screen presence ensured that there was no gap in the process and the applicants remained enthused and engaged over a period of 6 weeks. The Company – Trainee matchmaking process was completed with great precision. Admissions were closed in mid-June, just like IGTC would like to believe, it’s a normal year!

“Even in this critical situation of lockdown, IGTC has conducted the admission process very professionally. A couple of interactive sessions were also conducted online which helped us to prepare for interviews as interaction at a personal level by physically visiting the institute was not possible during this pandemic. The personal involvement of all the faculty members ensured that everyone gets an equal opportunity to prove oneself and gain admission to this prestigious institute.”
Kshipra Godbole, selected by Faurecia India, PGPBA Batch 2020 – 2022

“All experiments are learning experiences even when they don’t go as planned but talking about IGTC, the experiment was very well planned and executed by all members. All representatives were always active and available on time by working hard from home. This is a good example of dedication and teamwork.”
Suraj Jadhav, selected by Forbes Marshall, PGPBA Batch 2020 – 2022

The precise exchange of information and careful hand-holding throughout the interview process was unlike any other. While everyone was filtering students using mark sheets and entrance test percentiles, IGTC evaluated me as a human being. The application form was a thorough personality check. Writing multiple essays and answering several thought-provoking questions, I could introspect and discover my true strengths and aspirations. Today, I believe I know a lot more about myself than what I knew earlier. I thank you all for your guidance and am looking forward to interacting with you soon, but please not over the internet this time!
Aditya Mukund Deo, selected by Siemens Ltd., PGPBA Batch 2020 – 2022

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“Nothing has more strength than dire necessity.” The perfect example of this statement is the movement toward digitalization in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. The world didn’t have a choice and it was a time to demonstrate agility to rise to the occasion. IGTC certainly believed in being the one to showcase this. Fortunately, IGTC had proactively begun its journey toward digitalization since 2018. This pre-emptive effort outshined in the summer of 2020 when the world came to a standstill.

IGTC’s highly customized, digital dashboard called “Access@IGTC” was developed by Autuskey Technology Development Pvt. Ltd., an IT consulting company in Pune. It is a one-stop-shop for all the IGTC premier workflows. It is a platform, which connects across all the IGTC stakeholders including the IGTC team, IGTC faculty, PGPBA students and their parents, EBMP managers, and IGTC partnering organizations. The last piece, the IGTC alumni module, is still in the development stage.

The digital dashboard facilitates the following features:

  • Online applications at IGTC: receipt of online application forms, application form fees, recommendation letters, supporting identification and academic documents
  • Admission process at IGTC: allocation of online test and group interaction slots, process evaluations and marks, allotment of partner training companies and dispatch of admission letters
  • Academic Programme Management: student profiles, timetable and lecture schedules, leaves and attendance, faculty remuneration calculation, faculty feedback, seating and assignment grouping, course materials, assignments and project submissions, and examination papers, marks and results, placement data, tuition fees payments.
  • Library: Database, issuance and late fee management.
  • Database Management, emailing and notifications to all stakeholders.

Undoubtedly, Access@IGTC proved to be the lifeline across all IGTC stakeholders during this pandemic and ensured that all processes at IGTC could remain in motion without any barriers. We discovered that we were able to stay afloat despite turbulent waters. Now is that what we can claim as a milestone achieved?

Access@IGTC: ONE Dashboard, MULTIPLE views for various stakeholders.

Student Student Login
Corporate Corporate Login
Faculty Faculty Login
Staff Staff Login
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Business Learnings from BC to AD: Before Corona to After Disturbance, Destruction, Devastation?

Even as the highly infectious, COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to wreak havoc and spread uncertainty across the globe, the only grain of truth is that the world will never be the same when all this subsides. Hence, on 3rd April 2020, the Indo- German Training Centre announced its first webinar on “Business Learnings from BC to AD” by faculty M. Hariharan, popularly known as the “The Game Changer” by all IGTCians. By education, he is a Chartered Accountant and a Cost Management Accountant. By profession, he is the Director of Savoir Faire Management Services Pvt. Ltd.

In his inimitable style, Mr. Hariharan touched on the following key topics for business preparedness:

  • Adapting to the PESTEL challenges of COVID 19
  • Learning from the challenges
  • Applying learnings to business survival and growth

The webinar was attended by an overwhelming audience of 230+ invitees comprising of IGTC alumni (PGPBA and EBMP batches) from all over the world, and corporate members from partnering companies. The community deeply appreciated the content as it was the start of the ‘new normal’ and there were a lot of apprehensions and questions about new strategies to thrive business.

Mr. Hariharan concluded his presentation by infusing optimism in the audience “In the struggle for survival, the fittest win at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.” The must-dos to be followed are:

  • Personal Hygiene: extending that to better workplace management
  • Societal Care: extending that to more inclusive business models
  • Environmental Care: extending that to more eco-sensitive business models
  • Work-Life Balance: extending that to making jobs less movement needed
  • Adapting to the changes: extending that to inculcate flexibility in work place

The webinar concluded on an extremely encouraging note, “Tough times never last; tough people do”.

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Convocation Ceremony 2020

Excellence is not a tool, but an IGTCian’s attitude, desire and passion. Auf Wiedersehen PGPBA Batch 2018 – 2020:Convocation Ceremony 2020

The lights at Royal Opera House glimmered with hope, as IGTC’s PGPBA Batch 2018 – 2020 marched down the aisles to take their seats in the grand auditorium, tassels bouncing in excitement with each step taken. Beneath each black cap was a student with a smile from ear to ear and pride in their eyes. At their side were their proud parents, eager to make time stand still for the evening. Flashlights and cameras levitated each graduate to the status of a celebrity for the day. In the blink of an eye, capstone projects, Monday formals, unending presentations, new and old friendships, walks at marine drive became memories in this chapter of IGTC. Another story was imprinted on our hearts before it sets off to new beginnings.

In the true spirit of German punctuality, the Convocation Ceremony for PGPBA Batch 2018 – 2020 commenced with IGTC Director, Radhieka R Mehta welcoming the dignitaries, graduates, parents, faculty and corporate mentors, followed with an address by Georg Graf, President of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Representative of Freudenberg Group. “I commend IGTC on the choice of venue for this occasion, the Royal Opera House, noting its construction featuring both Indian and German architectural elements, which perfectly encapsulates the conjunction of Indo-German education and society being celebrated.” His vitalizing introduction to the evening emphasized on perseverance being key to his successes.

Mr. Graf’s welcome address was followed by a journey down memory lane by Paurus Nekoo, General Manager Sales, Lufthansa Group and IGTC Alumni of PGPBA Batch 1995 – 1997. He highlighted the changes, but yet similarities, that he sees in IGTC then and now, and how the German Dual Education System has been a hallmark of IGTC’s rapport in the industry since its inception. “When a company selects you and invests in you, they invest their time in you during the practical sessions. There is a higher management focus in your training. This is a huge difference versus other programs.” Mr. Nekoo went ahead to encourage the batch to embrace change, to never stop learning, to believe in themselves and to be humble. From such humility stems sensitivity toward culture, gender, the environment and toward other fellow humans. He punctuated the end of his address by speaking of gratefulness engendered by humility; that every graduate moving out into the real world must venture forth with a sense of gratitude toward their home country, to never forget where they come from.

Following the footsteps of an accomplished alumni, had to be the current champions! On behalf of PGPBA Batch 2018 – 2020, Sanjeev Srinivasan, Manar Lakdawala, Gargi Paliwal, Susan Thomas and Mayank Washimkar delivered the Valedictory Address to the audience.
“When I think of the IGTC Alumni network, it reminds me of Vodafone; always happy to help and follows us wherever we go. Right from admissions, to our search for accommodation, to constantly motivating us to cope with hectic lectures and multiple projects, to guiding us during placements, our Alumni have given a direction to our scattered thoughts. They have passed on the IGTC legacy to us; for us to uphold.” – Manar Lakdawala, trained by ATE Group and recruited by Häfele India.

“Today I am happy to have started my corporate journey as a part of the Managing Director’s team at Mercedes Benz India Limited. Working for business development and strategic projects, now I see the bigger picture that we were all trying to paint with all the subjects taught at IGTC; be it the role of culture in strategy or legal intricacies in data driven marketing.” – Mayank Washimkar, trained and recruited by Mercedes Benz India Limited.

“IGTC has helped students to channel their ambitions in the right direction and to achieve incredible dreams. At this very end, I have realised that our time is limited; so, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Susan Thomas, trained by Bayer Group and recruited by Knorr Bremse Technology Center.

“Finally, an intricate web spun out of ethics and responsibility coupled with the analytical skills that I honed in my strategy class has become my framework for the future. Today, I stand in front of you as a young business professional, with the ability to add colour to life and break the monotony. I gaze into the future, unfazed, with a belief that excellence is not a tool, but it is my attitude, my desire and my passion.” – Sanjeev Srinivasan, trained and recruited by Phoneix Mecano India

We are all different pigments of colours but when spun together on the wheel, we come out as one single colour i.e. white. No matter where our journey started, we all have made it here together through the same combination of determination, sacrifice and a whole lot of hard work. Why IGTC is what I am often asked. I reply to that question with another question: “Tell me, what else is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Gargie Paliwal, trained and recruited by Covestro India.

Music is a language that transcends all barriers. It connects us to one another, reminds us of who we are, speaks for us when mere words are not enough, and reflects our hearts emotions in their real and vulnerable way. Believing in this, the highlight of the Convocation Ceremony was a musical on ‘Dreams and Imaginations’ by the Singing Tree Choir of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation. Talented conductor, Salomé Rebello, had planned a beautiful set comprising of songs including ‘We Will Shine Like The Sun’ a 2018 winner of the Hongkong Children’s Choir Competition, ‘A Whole New World’ from the award winning soundtrack Aladdin, ‘A Million Dreams’ from the acclaimed soundtrack The Greatest Showman, ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ from the movie Space Jam, ‘Shosholoza’ a mining song sung by the tribes in South Africa for encouragement and hope, and ‘Aazaadiyaan’, an inspirational song from the Hindi movie Udaan. The Singing Tree Choir was beautifully complemented by IGTCians from the junior PGPBA Batch 2019 – 2021, who joined the choir, also played some musical instruments and danced to a beautiful contemporary choreography by Ankit Tanna.

On this high note, metaphorically, it was time for Chief Guest Ronnie Screwvala to take the floor. A man who has left his mark on media, entertainment, sport, e-sport, philanthropy and empowerment of the underprivileged, Mr. Screwvala is undoubtedly one of the most people of the 21st century. He opened his address feeling overwhelmed by the sense of pride that he felt on watching this batch move forward into the world to pursue their dreams. “Most people spend their lives trying to live a life that others want them to live. It takes more than just good education to succeed in today’s global environment: it’s about collaboration without simply competing to win. It’s a tough world and getting an education is no longer an event that ends, it’s a continuous process and each and every student that walks through the doors of IGTC leaves as a perpetual learner, one who never shies away from change, but adapts and rides the waves of the storm.”

Riding strong on the uplifting themes of the evening, the Guest of Honour, Dr. Juergen Morhard, Consul General, German Consulate General, Mumbai, took the stage to deconstruct what it meant to have dreams, the central theme of the evening. “Dreams without goals are always meant to simply remain dreams. Even when you have the training and the skills to succeed, you need to have the guts to fail. If you don’t fail, you are not trying to achieve your goals. It doesn’t matter if you fail while trying to achieve those goals, because the effort you put in makes it worth the journey to get that point.” This fear of failure should be tempered with a layer of discipline, a lesson that Dr. Morhard demonstrated through iterating his own life experiences.

At this point, every eye in the audience sparkled with dreams and a heart full of imagination. It was time for the maverick, Boman Moradian, the most loved member of the IGTC faculty, to deliver a Masterclass to the graduating batch. While he appreciated the theme of the day being ‘Dreams’, he wanted the batch to be very clear on the ethical dilemmas that they would face during their personal and professional path going forward. He posed an ancient predicament: would you choose to be right or would you choose to be paid? At the end of the day, the question remains: who are you accountable to? As with his lectures, Mr. Moradian concluded with a very clear but lasting answer for all their future endeavors in the corporate world, a poem titled The Guy in the Glass, by Dale Wimbrow (1934). “For it isn’t your Father or Mother or Wife, whose judgement you must pass. The feller whose verdict counts most in your life is the guy starting back from the glass. He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest, for he’s with you clear up to the end, you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test, if the Guy in the Glass is your friend.”

The evening reached a pinnacle with the felicitation of the award winners. The awards given out were:

  • The Dr. Guenter Krueger Award for Excellence in collaboration with Max Mueller Bhavan, Goethe Institut and Lufthansa Group: Abhishek Bhattacharya and Abhishek Dhatavkar.
  • The Siemens Award for Excellence: Manar Lakdawala and Sanjeev Srinivasan.
  • The Bayer Scholarships ‘Championing Success’ – Abhishek Bhattacharya, Abhishek Dhatavkar, Mayank Washimkar, Prajakta Sontakke and Priya Kumari
  • The BASF Corporate Governance and Business Ethics Award – Rushabh Shinde

A heartfelt Vote of Thanks was extended by Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce to the dignitaries for the evening, parents and most importantly to the IGTC faculty and IGTC team on the graduation of another successful batch, who will contribute to the German business community. The students gathered on the stage for one final photograph with their respected faculty and to bid farewell to each other.

While it seemed as though a chapter was closing, one could only sense the junior batch filled with inspiration to write their own story. Each of these students realized that they have to step up to a new challenge, to take the place of leadership from the exiting seniors. No longer are they the ones looking up to others for leadership, but they have to become the ones leading.

The musical evening of “Dreams and Imagination” left everyone with a feeling of hope and pride. What lies ahead is a new adventure and a new sense of hope for the future.

Article contributed by Aishwarya Tadpatrikar and Danesh Fatakia from PGPBA Batch 2019 – 2021.

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EBMP Capstone Projects of the 6th Pune Batch 2019

“Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome.”
Nothing could be closer to this adage for the graduating managers of the Executive Business Management Programme, who had diligently invested more than six months, as a part of their learning journey, to work on live projects to impact the profitability of their organizations. IGTC necessitates that the Capstone Project or Final Business Plan is the application of all the acquired management principles and concepts and it marks the culmination of the intense, one-year programme.
The 6th Pune EBMP Batch 2019 of 55 participants was divided into 13 groups. The groups were guided by IGTC faculty and administration to work in the following directions:
New Product Introduction

  • Industrial Valve for the power plant industry, which would significantly improve control over fluid flow, result in improved efficiency and longer life of the plant
  • Top Latch Seat Structure of a Vehicle, which would be a 40/20/40 split and fold flat functionality, with less number of parts and process offering lightweight and contributing to fuel efficiency
  • Building automation software that would improve energy efficiency, safety and reliability of electrical types of equipment in buildings
  • Industrial Safety Shoes, which would be trendy, light and fashionable. A combination product ensuring safety not only on shop floor but also in daily life
  • Metal Hose Connector, a product that would to help diversify existing Fuel Quick connector business and reduce dependency on fuel line connector business

New Service Launch

  • “Un-new”, a modern-day thrift store for pre-owned clothes, to reduce the carbon footprint generated from the dumping of our used clothes
  • Trading and disposal solutions for Lithium-Ion Batteries, which focused on imports of these batteries and gave an environment-friendly disposal solution, thereby offering an end-to-end product life cycle management
  • “V-Serve”, Car Service Aggregators with pick-up and drop service, along with live streaming of the actual service process of the car, providing convenience to car owners as they can do complete transaction from mobile phone

Plant Setup

  • “New assembly line setup for Silent Chain System” which comprised of development, installation and start of production from local facility which will have benefits such as customer proximity, lower costs and better service to customers
  • Indigenous Battery Manufacturing Unit establishment with projected market share, plant capacity, flow, and investment decision
  • Relocation of an automotive production plant to India to lower costs and increase market share, along with a detailed business case study on Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

Operations Profitability

  • Installing a robotic welding assembly line, which improved efficiency of the assembly process and space utilization for optimized inventory control
  • A business turnaround, which emphasized fixed cost reduction by applying the Kraljic model for inventory optimization and envisaged reducing the supply costs by offering bundling facility

The projects were reviewed and questioned by a viva panel comprising of IGTC faculty S. M. Fakih, Sagar Narsian and Dr. Suhas Rane; IGTC Director Radhieka R Mehta; senior representatives and mentors from the respective organizations. Undoubtedly, the projects had a serious implication on the profitability and growth of the organizations, which in turn became a strong reason for the overwhelming success of the Executive Business Management Programme.

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EBMP Inauguration of 7th Pune Batch

“Sapta” or “Seven” is considered an auspicious number in India, e.g. Saptarang, Saptasur, Saptapadi, Saptarishi, Saptasindhu, Saptadhatu and many more. What could be better than starting the New Year and the New Decade 2020 with the 7th Batch of the Executive Business Management Programme in Pune! It certainly takes an extra mile to achieve success and realize dreams on your career path. Setting aside their personal and family time for the next one year, 53 managers in Pune embarked on their learning journey at IGTC on Saturday 11th January 2020.

Continuous nominations of high potential managers came from the existing partner organizations such as A Raymond Fasteners India, Bosch Chassis Systems India, Brose India Automotive Systems, Glatt Systems, Knorr-Bremse Technology Centre India, KSB India, Mercedes-Benz India, Schaeffler India, Škoda Auto Volkswagen India, ThyssenKrupp Industries India and Vulkan Technologies. This, not only came as a strong endorsement of impact of the programme, but also reinforced IGTC’s resolve toward delivering excellence in management training that would lead to sculpting future leaders and impacting profitability for these organizations.

Besides the close partners, the 7th batch also drew managers nominated by other Indo-German member organizations such as Ferrero India, Haimer India, Kuebler Automation India, Pearl Coating, Price Waterhouse & Co, Schuler India, SPXFLOW, Volp Software and Learning Systems India, VR Coatings, Wikus India and Wuerth Industrial Services India. The managers came from leading positions in the automobile, engineering and manufacturing industries with an average experience of 12 years. Being technically strong and operations oriented, most of them looked forward to enhancing their business and commercial acumen and upskilling to enhance their career graph.

Joining the grand inauguration ceremony were the following dignitaries – Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce; Georg Graf, President, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce; Mira Dalvi, Regional Director, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce; Fino Babu, General Manager, Hotel Crowne Plaza Pune City Centre; IGTC teaching faculty Dr. Harkant Mankad, Sagar Narsian, Rajeev Chawla, Anant Amdekar and Jaya Joshi and Radhieka R Mehta, Director, Indo-German Training Centre. All of them applauded the managers on their decision to pursue the programme on weekends and inspired them to continue on this path with all momentum.

Over the first weekend, the managers attended the most thought-provoking lectures on Managerial Economics by Dr. Harkant Mankad in his unique story-telling method. A global perspective on factors influencing geo-politics and world economics enlightened them. It opened horizons and set them thinking on the VUCA world. We wish them the very best for the year that lies ahead!

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Certificate Awarding Ceremony, EBMP 6th Pune Batch 2019

What is life without challenges? And what is more cherished than the feeling of having conquered all of them, both foreseen and unforeseen? The Certificate Ceremony of the 6th EBMP Pune Batch was the true embodiment of this victory.

One year of intertwining high pressure jobs due to receding market conditions with a rigorous academic schedule comprising of lectures on weekends, frequent tests, assignments, open book exams, and a detailed final business plan, was no small feat. Surely, each and every one who had fully participated and lived through this journey deserved a grand celebration and recognition, and the IGTC team went all out to organize and host a beautiful ceremony on Saturday 11th January 2020 at the O Hotel, Pune.

The dignitaries for the grand evening were Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd.; Marja Einig, Deputy Consul General, German Consulate General Mumbai; Georg Graf, President, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. And the other dignitaries were the 55 graduating managers off the dais, who stood tall and proud in front of the audience consisting of their senior corporate partners, faculty and family members.

Bernhard Steinruecke opened the event by sharing his happiness on always beginning the New Year with an event linked to education, upskilling, career progress and transformation. He also highlighted the growth and momentum that the EBMP course has gained among member companies year after year.

President Georg Graf did the formal welcome on behalf of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. In his speech, he advised the participants to remain grounded. While the business of business is business, he urged them to never compromise on their ethics and social values regardless of where the world is going. His key message was “Business of business is now purpose, responsibility and sustainability.”

Chief Guest Gurpratap Boparai, Managing Director of Škoda Auto Volkswagen India Pvt. Ltd. started his speech by fondly recalling his early days when he was a student too. While he also spoke on imbibing the right values and ethics, he emphasized on humility. By remaining humble, one continues to learn, not only from the people who are above on the corporate ladder but even people who are below. Very candidly, he shared that corporate life is not always smooth. Just like business cycles, there will be ups and downs in one’s career. One has to tide over them. One has to be persistent, not give up and continue to do one’s best. Results come but sometimes it is not as instant as desired. He concluded by stating, “One cannot afford not to continue learning, as we do not know how the world is evolving, the downturn in one’s career also has to be wisely utilized”.

Guest of Honour Marja Einig, Deputy Consul General, German Consulate General Mumbai elaborated that lifelong learning will be one of the aspects which will have to be integrated in the work-life as digital technologies change the whole the way of life, how will robotics and artificial intelligence improve lives and the planet as a whole in a positive, constructive way. She also added, “This strong and lively Indo-German network of mutual support, including your companies who trust in the value of this program since many years, is a fantastic basis for your future development – please stay connected with this crowd for the years to come.”

To give the audience a short insight into the life of an IGTC student, Dr. Harkant Mankad delivered a short but powerful lecture on ‘Economics in Hard Times’. He emphasized on how the last decade was extremely difficult and stressful, and the fact that we have entered in the age of perpetual crisis, a sign of time where repeated disruption and less resolution is becoming the new norm.

On behalf of the graduating EBMP managers, a core team of 8 managers – Kalpesh Gupta -Vulkan Technologies Pvt. Ltd, Vignesh N- Tata Technologies Ltd, Susmita Vaikar- Siemens Information Systems Pvt. Ltd, Harmandeep Sokhi- Happy Beverages and Foods Pvt. Ltd, Prashant Bhandari-Bosch Ltd, Sandhya-Kimberly Clark India Pvt. Ltd, Anup Honrao, Anup Upasani- ARaymond Fasteners India Pvt. Ltd and Shreya Joshi- Knorr-Bremse Technology Centre India Pvt. Ltd. recreated the avalanche of wonderful memories in the form of a heart-warming video and some personal narratives. The core of their speeches were some promises:

  • a promise to remember that before they become future CEOs, they need to remain present CEOs of their own lives
  • a promise to be master players of their own game before they take on the world
  • a promise to compete with oneself first
  • a promise to enjoy every aha-moment with a child-like innocence
  • a promise to be fair, to be real, to let synergies drive the world

The evening concluded by the most awaited distribution of trophies and certificates followed by the Vote of Thanks by Radhieka Mehta. The audience stood up for the IGTC Anthem. The graduating batch took a final bow at IGTC. They bid adieu to a year that ended fruitfully, one where they had upgraded their knowledge and renewed their urge to think innovatively and seek excellence.

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Supply Chain Management Forum

In April 2019, some member companies of Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) recognised the need to form a ‘Supply Chain Management Forum’, a platform where they can share best practices of the industry and provide appropriate solutions to the industry problems. The key members of the forum include representatives from Bosch Limited, Bayer India, BASF India, Brose India Automotive, Covestro India, Evonik India, Fuchs India, KSB Ltd., Lanxess India, Siemens Ltd., Thyssenkrupp India and Volkswagen India.

The first meeting of the forum was held at Siemens Ltd. on 4th April 2019 to set up the objectives and the functioning of the forum. An engaging dialogue and brainstorming among partners lead to the generation of several ideas of mutual interest or concern such as:

  • Recommendations for suppliers / business partner development
  • Focus on compliance, sustainability, digitalization, innovation, risk management, tail spend
  • management, supplier finance, payment on time (PoT), GST and taxation
  • Conducting expert talk sessions and trainings with regard to Purchase / SCM
  • Discussing policies, guidelines and alliance sourcing

Considering the latest need of the business to strike out balance between the social, economic and environmental aspects, the second meeting hosted by Bayer Group on 25th July 2019 focused on the topic of ‘Sustainability in Supply Chain Management’. Representatives of the participating organizations shared their respective practices to achieve sustainability in Supply Chain Management (SCM) while also pointed the pain areas in maintaining sustainability.

  • Bayer Group believes in adopting sustainability in SCM right from operations to the end of value chain by adopting 4 steps towards suppliers: Awareness, Nomination, Performance Evaluation and Development.
  • BASF India states its purpose as ‘Chemistry for Sustainable Future’. BASF’s logistic team aims at reduction of carbon footprints by reducing the usage of coal fuel and road transportation and promoting railways and waterways. However, while doing so challenges such as limited awareness of suppliers, low importance of Environment Health Safety (EHS), resistance of suppliers to change and unwillingness of stakeholders to share responsibility are faced by organisations in the industry.
  • “At BASF, sustainability means an alignment of economic success with environmental and social responsibility. To live up to its purpose of ‘Creating Chemistry for Sustainable Future’, BASF India has implemented the TFS (Together for Sustainability) initiative to improve sustainability practices within the supply chain. The company has also started auditing suppliers as a part of the TFS program. BASF shared how its logistics team aims at lowering the overall carbon footprint by reducing the usage of traditional fossil fuel as well as in road transportation, promoting railways and waterways. The company noted that during the implementation of sustainability-focused initiatives, limited awareness and thus resistance among suppliers, low importance paid to Environment Health Safety (EHS) concerns, and unwillingness of stakeholders to share responsibility are some of the challenges faced by organizations in the chemical industry.”
  • Thyssenkrupp India shared its efforts toward maintaining sustainability among the civil / erection contractors from the unorganized sectors. It celebrates Supplier’s Day to recognise and to train their key vendor partners.
  • Bosch Limited instituted a ‘Supplier’s Panchayat’ which is for ‘Voice of Suppliers’ (VOS).
  • Siemens Limited links its organisational values – Excellence, Innovate and Responsible to sustainability.

The next meeting of the SCM Connect will be held in December 2019 and will be hosted by BASF India. The Indo-German Chamber of Commerce acts as an anchor and facilitator of the SCM Forum.

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EBMP 9th Mumbai Batch 2018 – 2019 Certificate Ceremony Hosted During German Days in Mumbai

Amidst the grand celebration of the German Days in Mumbai, IGTC hosted another extraordinary Certificate Awarding Ceremony for the 9th EBMP Mumbai Batch 2018 – 2019 at the RWITC, Turf Club, Mahalaxmi. 32 graduating managers had a new story to tell and it looked nothing like their past. Their learnings were significant – holistic but focused, action-driven business acumen, high customer orientation and uncompromising attitude toward personal values, and social and environmental responsibility. Something had changed as they had travelled together on the learning journey for the past one year, making them wiser and more confident to stand out, face challenges and emerge as future CEOs.

The dignitaries for the event were Chief Guest Jürgen Wolf, Managing Director, Häfele India; Guest of Honor Dr. Jürgen Morhard, Consul General, German Consulate General; IGCC President Georg Graf; and IGCC Director General Bernhard Steinruecke along with IGTC Director Radhieka R Mehta. The audience included many corporate partners, HR partners, IGTC faculty and families of the graduating managers.

The ceremony was marked with inspirational speeches, sharing personal life lessons from the dignitaries to the graduating managers:

  • Bernhard Steinruecke, in his opening remarks, reiterated that skilling and reskilling should be a lifelong process that is imperative to keep pace with the changing world. He also commented on the beautiful coincidence of having the soccer legend Klaus Augenthale’s presence during the German Days, who was going to coach young girls in the game of soccer. There was no doubt that IGCC has many innovative ways to instill the message of skilling and reskilling!!
  • IGCC President Georg Graf advised on the importance of both professional and personal ethics. Passionately, he exclaimed “You and me are responsible for our value systems. One should not believe in people who put others in a corner and claim that they are the ones behind the work done. There should be disbelief in people who want to build concreate walls and live behind the walls.” He concluded his speech by appreciating the good work done by IGTC and complimenting the family members of the graduating managers for their unstinted support in the learning process.
  • Guest of Honour, Dr. Jürgen Morhard, Consul General, German Consulate General congratulated everyone on their success and reflected on how it was a proud moment for all the IGTC faculties and families. He shared his personal story of how participating in a rowing competition taught him the value of team work and the importance of having the most appropriate leader. In this experience, he also learnt life lessons of always having a vision of what the fellow competitors are doing. He concluded his speech by stating “Indian hearts and German minds have always had a lasting impact. IGTC professors have given the toolbox and the program has changed you internally. Now work according to your instincts to create a phenomenal impact.”
  • Chief Guest, Jürgen Wolf, Managing Director, Häfele India shared his personal experience of the time when he was completely unaware of the know-how of different departments in his organisation. His quest for learning made him know more about each of them. Even at the age of 62, he ensures that he learns something new daily. This helps him overcome challenges and inadvertently gets exposed to more knowledge. He also strongly advocated that learning is perpetual and it should never stop.

With such a distinguished dais and audience present to applaud the graduating managers, they also ensured that they spared no effort to brilliantly showcase their year-long learning journey, which had culminated with the holistic capstone project:

  • Vikrant Yevle, Research Executive, BASF India Limited was the first to take the stage to introduce each and every batch mate with a personalized introduction that did justice to the camaraderie that they had grown to develop at IGTC.
  • Gurpreet Kaur, Key Accounts Manager, Häfele India and Disha Aggarwal, Director, Pheonix Appliances Private Limited elaborated that course was perfectly designed to enhance their thinking process and decision making skills and to mould their future as desired by them. One of the best things that they claimed to take back from the course is the experiences of their fellow classmates and professors. Everyone had brought some experiences to the table when they started this course but they soon realized that whatever they had learnt, whatever that has brought them to IGTC, won’t take them where we want to go. And hence they learnt how to unlearn and to prepare themselves to be in the management of change.
  • Himanshu Mamtani, Zonal Manager – Key User Sales, Bosch Limited presented the futuristic, important and value adding project in his organization, because it had an environmental cause and impact. The project involved developing BS VI injectors for light commercial vehicles on roads with lowest cost and ease of adaptability that will further simplify the use of tractors and other off-highway applications within 4 years from now. With the programme learnings, the group was able to make the project economically viable, work on reduction in cost/unit, and dive deep into exploring the savings potential. He summed up “learning is called as experiential as when we learn, we are able to emit, able to demonstrate improvement at our workplace in-terms of KPI improvements”.
  • Sayontoni Banerjee, Senior Executive and Rohit Mishra, Business Development from Siemens Limited, presented their capstone project, which was a live business plan to localize the existing Siemens Vacuum Circuit Breaker (designed at Germany), so that it would make their electricity grids better, smarter and more reliable. This project was perfectly positioned under the ‘Make in India’ program driven by the government. Their project aimed to reduce the cost over existing product and import content, to drive business through direct and indirect channels, to improve the market share and profit margin, and to improve operational efficiency and control inventory by standardization. All aspects of marketing, operations, finance, costing and strategy, culminated to positively reduce the material costs. This led to higher margins and ultimately identification of a higher addressable market through kit concept for global Siemens factories and Channel Business for Retrofit and OEMs. The team profusely expressed their gratitude towards the distinguished faculty for their mentorship and support in the execution of this live project.
  • Philomena Fernandes, HR Business Partner, Inde Global Consulting LLP and Mandar Vilankar, Senior Manager, Quality Assurance, Siemens Limited presented their entrepreneurial project, wherein they had joined hands with a start-up named Brightsandz to embark on a mission to spread awareness about Electro-Magnetic Pollution and to promote the use of laptop radiation shields. They assimilated their yearlong learnings in a) understanding the market, b) formulating a promotional strategy and focusing on the price cohort to arrive at the apt price c) studying the advantages of the patent law which could be applied to product development and its promotions, d) creating a material flow and a single line flow for production that helped them to cater to the increased demand with cost optimizations and e) preparing the P&L and other financial statements. Based on these learnings, they were able to help Brightsandz to sell more than 300 plus pieces of the electromagnetic shield in the last six months as compared to 500 pieces in the previous five years.
  • Viraja Redkar, Strategist, Uma Surgicals and Disha Aggarwal, Director, Pheonix Appliances Private Limited shared their social cause project, which was based on integrating a day-care and old-age home together under the same roof. Learning about the changing demographics and an increasing average life span in the subject of Economics, there was no doubt that these two industries (childcare and eldercare) were going to see a huge boom in the future and never go out of demand. This team based their project on assimilating the 8Ps of service marketing, supply chain and its effects, and correct pricing that would influence the service to emerge with a strong, impactful project that moved the audience due to the sheet passion with which they believed in it and presented it!
  • The graduating managers’ extraordinary tribute ended with a personal poem penned by Himanshu Mamtani, Zonal Manager – Key User Sales, Bosch Limited, thanking each and every faculty member with a little anecdote, on behalf of the entire batch.

Finally, it was time to award the much-awaited certificates and trophies to the graduating managers, to give a vote of thanks to the dignitaries for their precious time and encouragement, to take a trip down memory lane with a video flashback, and to end it all with a ceremonial cake cutting and a little jig on DJ Bravo’s Champion! It was surely an afternoon to remember, followed by an extended after-party at the IGCC Oktoberfest with the German band Die Kirchdorfer! The euphoria and memories will remain etched just as deep as IGTC’s best wishes to all of them for a very bright and phenomenal future.

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Indo-German HR Partner Forum ‘Building and Sustaining a Great Place to Work: DHL’s Journey’

DHL Express, the world’s leading international express service provider, has been named the Best Workplace in Asia for 2019 by Great Place to Work Institute. To learn the secrets of this journey, the 3rd meeting of the Indo-German HR Partner Forum was held on 14th August 2019 at DHL Express (India) Office. The discussion theme for the day was “Building and Sustaining a Great Place to Work: DHL’s Journey”.

Representatives of the following partner companies attended the meeting: Baerlocher India Additives, BASF Group, Bayer Group, Bosch Limited, Brose India Automotive System, Covestro India, Fuchs Lubricants, Häfele India, Kärcher Cleaning Systems, Knorr-Bremse Technology Centre India, Lanxess India, MAN Truck & Bus India, Schaeffler India, Siemens Ltd, TUV India, Volkswagen India, Wacker Metroark Chemicals.

All dressed in bright yellow, the young, vibrant DHL HR Team welcomed the HR Partners warmly to their pride, their Great Place to Work. The hosts of the day were R. S. Subramanian, Senior Vice President and Country Manager and Sunjoy Dhaawan, Vice-President HR, DHL Express Limited. It was a pleasure that Bernhard Steinruecke also chose to attend the meeting and spend the day networking with the HR Partners.

R. S. Subramanian opened the day with an extremely engaging presentation on DHL Express. DPDHL Group has about 550,000 employees in more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, DHL connects people and businesses securely and reliably, enabling global trade flows. They have created a culture which prioritizes hard work, passion, pride and focuses entirely on the customer. They aspire to be the most global, most quality driven and most customer centric organization. To meet this objective, their strategy for year 2020 is based on 3 key pointers:

  • Focus on what has made them successful to achieve industry leading performance.
  • Connect across organization to achieve quality and service excellence.
  • Grow by finding and capturing new opportunities.

‘First Choice’ is how DHL imbibes the practice of Continuous Improvement. They have imbibed a culture and mindset to address challenges, solve issues sustainably and strive for excellence. More than 170,000 employees engage in Performance Dialogs. It is a community of 36,000 trained experts, experienced in the methodologies and established with a proven set of tools and techniques to help each other to improve on a daily basis. They have 29,000 process improvements to their credit.

Hand-in-hand with process improvements, comes responsibility to their employees, to society and the environment. This strong sense of responsibility has a major influence on the way they conduct business and is the foundation of their corporate culture. They aim a target of zero carbon emission in 20 years. They plan to achieve this by the following 3 steps:

  • Go Green – The program’s main objective is to reduce and/or avoid emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants
  • Go Teach – The program aims at turning society’s attention to improve future opportunities of young people by employability training
  • Go Help – Partnership with the United Nations in Disaster Management Response Teams
    It is truly credible that they have touched 15500+ children, planted 50000+ trees, rehabilitated 500 drug users, trained 300 youth, saved 220+ lives through first aid and trained 3000 police personnel in crisis management.

After a short networking break, Sunjoy Dhaawan engaged the HR partners with the DHL Journey over the last 6 years of creating and sustaining a Great Place To Work and how people practices have contributed as a chief enabler in ensuring motivated people delivering great service quality, which ensures customer loyalty and profitability. The openness with which the entire HR Team shared their best practices, initiatives and numbers was indeed very encouraging and inspires trust in the forum members. It was also very engaging to note the DHL 1-2-3-4-5 Story around culture building. The culture at DHL Express is driven by strong respect for employees, customers and community. This forms the core reason for the existence of the company and the practices followed.

  • One signifies that employees stand as As One, which makes them ‘The Logistics Company for the World’
  • Two signifies the 2 guiding principles of ‘Respect’ & ‘Results’
  • Three signifies the quest to deliver on 3 bottom lines for key stakeholders – provider of choice for their customers, employer of choice for their people, and investment of choice for shareholders, while being responsible to the environment
  • Four signifies the 4 pillars of the FOCUS Strategy – motivated people, great service quality, loyal customers, and profitable network, denoting the virtuous cycle of engaged employees, quality focus through processes, customer loyalty and strong business performance
  • Five signifies the 5 core competency framework that defines and measures people leaders

Undoubtedly, the magic mantra at DHL is Speed, Can Do Attitude, Right First Time and Passion. They are a strong believer of the quotient P = GQ, which means people deliver growth and quality.

After lunch, the HR partners were addressed by the Director – Customer Service on the Insanely Customer Centric Approach. He enlightened the audience on how team DHL ensures future success by creating a culture that is truly focusing at placing the customer at the center of everything they do. His statement “we don’t carry shipments, we carry emotions”, struck a chord with every partner.

The HR partners were then given a tour of the Customer Service Floor and taken to different HR Kiosks to give an impression of why DHL is one of the best workplaces. Through the diverse DHL HR Kiosk, they learnt about DHL’s Internal Awards, WeCare Programmes, Employee Health and Wellbeing Initiatives, Talent Acquisition, Reward and Recognition, CIS Learning and Development, Employee Engagement, Diversity and Inclusion. It was also very inspiring to see the digitalization journey in HR for DHL Express as they have been able to digitalize the entire employee lifecycle experience through which they engage the heart and minds of 3200 employees spread across 50+ offices in India.

As a fitting conclusion, Bernhard Steinruecke gave DHL a new meaning to their acronym – Dedication, Human and Legacy, and the HR partners could not help but remain in awe to this giant logistics service provider. What a wonderful learning experience at a Great Place to Work!

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