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 & resume management, 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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Education should never cease: A week of new beginnings and new hopes!

With changing times and the unpredictability set in by the pandemic, various industries have had to undergo a series of unprecedented transformations; and the physical classroom has also had to take this in its stride. It now has a new address in the online world and demands a new wave of learning; a tech-enabled education system that nevertheless ensures that conceptual knowledge and skill building remain at the forefront. Education should never cease!

With this spirit, IGTC inaugurated its 29th Post Graduate Programme in Business Administration on Monday, 31st August 2020 and its 11th Executive Business Management Programme on Saturday, 5th September 2020. For the first time, it was a hybrid inauguration – the symbolic lamp of knowledge was lit by Radhieka Mehta, IGTC Director, IGTC team members and a few student representatives, who were physically present at IGTC, while Bernhard Steinruecke, IGCC Director General, Harkant Mankad, Faculty and the entire class participated virtually.

Radhieka Mehta warmly welcomed the incoming students and managers, complimenting them on their decision to invest in their education during turbulent times and thanking them for their trust and faith in the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce as their academic destination. Bernhard Steinruecke followed with an energizing address on Indo-German relations, an insightful peek on the ongoing pandemic world and the serendipity that this PGPBA and EBMP batch would be the first batches that he would teach after his retirement next year!

For both batches, Day 1 started with Dr. Mankad and his fascinating weave of the world of Economics; with economic history for the past 2000 years being depicted on one chart; from the times of Vasco De Gama to VUCA world. Terminologies were explained, keeping the managers mesmerized and glued to their seats throughout the day, there couldn’t have been a more flamboyant start to the programme!

The incoming 29th PGPBA batch is quite a homogeneous group, containing an equal mix of graduates across genders, academic backgrounds and work experiences. On the other hand, the 11th EBMP Mumbai is a heterogeneous group of 19 managers across the 25 to 53 years of age, with 3 to 30 years of experience in various industries such as logistics, chemical, services, manufacturing, electrical solutions and healthcare services. The common factor binding all of these was an insatiable appetite for knowledge and the confidence to emerge stronger for the post-pandemic world.

For the IGTC team members, the inaugurations symbolized happy culminations of the exhaustive, but turbulent, admission processes during the lockdown period. With a hope that the most difficult path in the woods is now left behind, IGTC looks forward to lead all the PGPBA students and EBMP managers to gain the highest standards of education whilst continually striving to excel leaps and bounds!

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IGTC Alumni Talks: The bi-monthly signature series for the IGTC alumni by the IGTC alumni

The year 2020 has been bizarre and transformational, especially with regard to global travel, social interactions and means of communication. With the vanishing of physical contact, it was important to feel the spirit of oneness, the energy of being in this crisis together and to believe that many others like us have overcome the barrier and so shall we. Role models and inspirations had to be from within.

With this belief, on Monday 31st August 2020, the Indo-German Training Centre initiated its 1st Alumni Talks, a bi-monthly signature series for the IGTC Alumni by the IGTC Alumni. It was also a symbolic tribute of IGTC’s entry into its 30th year, and the start of the new academic year for the PGPBA and EBMP batches.

The chosen experts for flagging off this inspirational series were highly experience and accomplished alumni from the corporate world.

  • Malini Pant, Executive Director, JP Morgan (PGPBA Alumni 1991-1993)
  • Madhu Vazirani, Principal Director, Accenture (PGPBA Alumni 1992-1994)
  • George Ettiyil, Senior Director South Asia, Lufthansa Group (PGPBA Alumni 1996-1998)
  • Harsh Tewari, Vice President Engineering and Technology, Fanatics Inc (PGPBA Alumni 1997-1999)

Filled with immense pride, Radhieka Mehta, IGTC Director hosted and moderated the evening. Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, IGCC welcomed all the alumni, corporate partners, faculty and current students to the event, expressing his pleasure on the genesis of this idea. It was a time to acknowledge ‘resilience, restructure, reset and restart’ as the mantra for the new decade.

All the four alumni spoke on topics close to their hearts, with a disclaimer that the views expressed were purely in their personal and not professional capacity.

Insights on “Business Resilience” by Malini Pant, Executive Director, JP Morgan

  • Bouncing back from a setback in the face of persistent problems or disruptions and converting threats into opportunities.
  • Crises will no longer be seen as black swan events, organizations should be on their guard for such eventualities. Building business resilience is of prime importance.
  • Adaptability is the key and having Recovery capabilities is utmost important. Change or disruption is inevitable but transformation is by conscious choice. The only certainty is the uncertainty.
  • Consideration of your existing supply chain and its adaptability to meet challenges, horizon scanning, empowering individuals and having resilient teams and processes is the need of the hour.
  • Have a quick-fire strategic points in store for the next 20 years.
  • Insights on data security, cyber-attacks, digitization impacts.

Insights on “Restarting Aviation under Covid-19” by George Ettiyil, Senior Director, Lufthansa Group

  • Quick assessment, response and a clear vision of possibilities will make for an enduring brand
  • Accept the outcome irrespective of its limiting nature.
  • Create the right set of shareholder values and put people ahead of business logic; a humane approach to a business.
  • Facing an unusual crisis like COVID-19 requires drive, strategy and courage.
  • Optimism and risk taking ability are the keys to working in a pandemic stricken business environment

Insights on “Fanatics: Built to Last” by Harsh Tewari, Vice-President Engg Engineering and Tech, Fanatics Inc.

  • During a crisis, revenues of 95-97% companies are bound to go south; however revenues of the rest increase by leaps and bounds.
  • 3 golden words – BUILD TO LAST
  • Focal areas include agility, foresight, flexibility, crisp and robust forecasting.
  • Prioritize increasing business leads during a crisis. Rise to the occasion to make a difference; Fanatics = Fantastic.
  • Other insights include using a bird’s eye view for organizing a company and creating a unique niche

Insights on “Mindful Well-being” by Madhu Vazirani, Principal Director, Accenture

  • Ikigai- A reason for being, mindful living; steering towards “What I love to do”.
  • COVID-19 has contributed immensely to the ever increasing digital overload and societal change. Neuroscience in recent years has realized that our brains are plastic and not plaster.
  • The brains response during a crisis: FIGHT OR FLIGHT.
  • Mindful training – Prepare, Anchor (Breathe), Alertness.
  • Mind training and mindfulness helps in being more relaxed in this stressful world.
  • Bring in a few minutes of silence on a chaotic day.

The advent of the pandemic has hit the breaks on globalization and has ushered in a host of changes, these have impacted the personal, social and the economic spheres. Social distancing and isolation have become a way of life; yet business priorities cannot take a backseat. Therefore, it is important to ‘Think smart! Adapt fast!’

COVID-19 in essence has served as a teacher; it has helped us recognize challenges, learn from them and has molded us to adapt to the resulting changes. Organizations thus have to make the best use of the current business environment whilst retaining employee trust and customer confidence.

Rise above the chaos and give change a chance.

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“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”- Peter Drucker Indo-German HR Partner Meet reflects during Covid-19

On 12th August 2020, 42 HR Partners across 24 organizations connected virtually to engage in a very stimulating dialogue on the ‘Role of HR in Business Continuity during Covid-19’. The virtual Indo-German HR Partner Forum was hosted by Lanxess India Pvt. Ltd.

Neelanjan Banerjee Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Lanxess India launched the partner meet and welcomed all the HR colleagues with his interesting perspective on Business Continuity at Lanxess India. Key takeaways from his address included:

  • Lanxess employees remained connected throughout these 150 days of the pandemic including weekends
  • Their ‘Performance Culture” is not about ‘what’ you achieve, but also about ‘how’ you achieve it.
  • They doubled the mediclaim for every employee, covering both the employee and his/her spouse
  • They successfully started manufacturing sanitizers in-house
  • For them, the mental wellbeing of the employees was as important as physical wellbeing.
  • The top management connected with all employees and spent more than 40 hours with each employee group to know the actual pulse of how the employees were dealing with the situation.
  • It was not as much about doing 99 things right, as it was about ensuring that even 1 thing does not go wrong.

The second speaker was Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. He vehemently thanked the HR partners for their contribution, ideas and motivation to keep the employees engaged, which in turn kept the organizations running. His message was loud and clear: Life has to go on! Corona is not the end of the world. There will be life after Corona. So it is important how we manage ourselves to prepare for that time. Promising full support, he urged the HR partners to reach out to the Chamber if they needed any help, because only then it would be possible to find solutions for their problems.

After the welcome addresses, it was time for the experts to take centre-stage and share their key initiatives, innovations and strategies implemented over the last 4 months to deal with the pandemic. The sharing of best practices was anchored and moderated by Risha Bhattacharya, Head People Management, Lanxess India. Despite being from diverse industry sectors, it was uncanny to see the similarities in the HR interventions of all the German organizations. Only the flavor was different. Probably this is what makes most of them ‘great places to work’.

Key insights shared by Dr Shilpa Kabra Maheshwari, Executive Vice-President and Country HR Head, Siemens India:

  • Siemens started early and made a crisis management team that connected leadership to all levels.
  • They are going fully digital with leadership learning. The organization jumped to a digital platform ‘My Growth’.
  • HR slowed down with hiring but ensured that hiring of all critical positions continued with virtual onboarding.
  • Each team member had a buddy to reach out to, a 24 hours well-being helpline platform was established for support, and virtual well-being sessions were conducted.
  • They introduced a travel and health app to know the health of all its employees across plants and offices in various locations across the country.
  • They reviewed insurance process, tie-ups with hospitals to provide support to employees during the hospitalization process from detection of fever to discharge.
  • As an organization, employees follow mindfulness to restrain work calls strictly from 9am to 6pm, no calls during lunch breaks and weekends.
  • They have announced ‘work from anywhere’ policy, which enables employees to work for more than 3 days outside of the office, attempt to reduce carbon footprint and hiring across borders.
  • They have tied-up with Godrej for furniture to setup office at home, and also provided a platform where employees can purchase PPE kits, thermometers etc

Key insights shared by KS Harish, Country Group HR Head, South East Asia, Bayer Group

  • Bayer maintained a very strong crisis management, leadership feedback and first-level manager connect.
  • They initiated an extremely effective and unique Resilience Program, which was conducted once a week for 4 weeks. The purpose of this programme was mindfulness, slowing down, focussing energies on one thing at a time, not multitasking, overcoming distractions, taking frequent, short breaks of 1 minute, restraining and bringing down the phone pickups from the current average of 80-100 times a day to 30 times a day. They have subscribed to the Ewaris App to help their employees for mindfulness.
  • They initiated Long Service Virtual Awards to appreciate employees, to celebrate their milestones and to induce positivity. This included videos and photographs of good times.
  • In keeping with their vision, ‘Health for all, Hunger for none’, they engaged in various Corporate Social Responsibility activities and made heroes of employees who actively participated in these initiatives.
  • They set up a purchasing portal for better work-from-home office setup.
  • Learning was a big winner at Bayer
  • Pulse surveys conducted with contracted labour indicated feedback that 70 – 80% were fine.
  • They ensured that trust, empathy and empowerment of all employees.

Key insights shared by Santanu Ghoshal, Vice-President HR, Schaeffler Group:

  • Schaeffler launched an initiative wherein 1 leader communicated to all the employees once in 7 days, either through WhatsApp or through the company portal to reward and to keep the positivity high
  • In addition to give huge thrust on digitalization of learning; they undertook two strong initiatives to build a learning culture.
    • Learning Circles, wherein they took the social learning approach, shared videos and case studies, and brought the community together to discuss it over a short duration of 2-2.5 hours.
    • Think Tanks, which was focussed over a longer duration of 2 months on technical training topics with a group of employees and subject matter experts.
  • They found it difficult to get the contractual employees back to work
  • They focused on mental wellness through extensive use of the Employee Assistance Programme app developed and run by Compsych.
  • They launched Corona Kavach with Oriental Insurance, special medical insurance for Covid-19, in addition to the normal medical insurance scheme.
  • They recognized that the greatest challenge, going forward, will be long-term workforce management; transition to work from home culture, enabling managers to balance work pressure and empathetic handling of team members. The HR professionals will play an important role in coaching and counselling both managers as well as employees to achieve results.

Key insights shared by Sunil Antony Head HR, Lanxess India:

  • In last 6 months of the prevailing pandemic and newer working conditions, LANXESS found innovative ways to reach out to every employee.
  • The merit process was concluded successfully, by transitioning into a paperless exercise this year, due to onset of COVID-19 around that time.
  • The organization conducted Virtual Employee Engagement activity every Friday to connect not only with all employees but also with their families. This helped significantly to build a better connect, engagement, morale boosting and understanding, due to extended Work from Home office for many employees.
  • They did not have programs to deal with mental well-being which leads to stress, depression and loneliness in many employees. Hence, they focused more on programmes around mental and physical well-being under their ‘Health and Well-being’ framework. They also plan to launch the Employee Assistance Programme soon.

Key insights shared by Padma Gupta, Director – Human Resources, Häfele India:

  • Hafele has decided Friday as a no meeting day, so that employees get time to do all the pending work
  • For junior staff, they have arranged impromptu chai corners to get them in groups to talk, since some of them have not spoken for months.

By the end of the thoroughly engaging 2-hour discussion, it was evident that all the companies had gone through a roller coaster ride. More than brick and mortar, they were made up of flesh and blood, and people management was the biggest intervention required during this turbulent times. The challenge was to reposition the role of HR to manage this intervention. Undoubtedly, it was a time when culture eats strategy for breakfast!

We look forward to our next Indo-German HR Partner Meet on 16th October 2020 to be hosted by Siemens India!

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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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A new decade inspires a new purpose – the 3C model – for the Indo-German HR Partner Forum!

On 13th February 2020, into the new decade, the Bayer Group hosted the 1st meeting of the Indo-German HR Partner Forum. KS Harish, Country Group HR Head, who has been one of the founding and senior most members of the forum, facilitated the agenda throughout the day with the highest level of engagement. Joining him with equal fervor was the entire HR team including colleagues Vaibhav Rane, Priya DCruz, Jaideep Iyengar and Dr. Rajesh Parekh; and Sarita Bahl, Country Group Head – South Asia, Communication and Public Affairs.

Bayer with its new vision “Health for All, Hunger for None” had recently undergone an integration with global biotech giant Monsanto. This acquisition – its process, its challenges and its outcome – was an interesting case study for the remaining partners in the forum. It resonated with the spirit of the forum that always believes in sharing and benchmarking best practices and learning from each other.

Through an interactive dialogue across various stakeholders, Harish passionately narrated the entire integration story emphasizing on the following topics:

  • Managing change and communicating exhaustively to inculcate a culture of oneness
  • Magnifying inclusion by creating programmes that enables girls from an agricultural background to enter the sales force and physically challenged individuals to enter the Bayer Shared Services
  • Managing performance

Through the detailed case study, it was evident that the Bayer Group had sailed through this difficult phase with success. In a pulse survey conducted, they had emerged with the highest scores on Customer Focus, Experimentation, Collaboration, Pride, Trust and Advocacy. And this really meant huge kudos to the entire HR team!

Post lunch, all the partners indulged their collective energies and strengths to pave a new way forward for the Indo-German HR Partner Forum in the new decade. Four working groups presented their ideas on the following topics:

  • Purpose of the IGTC
  • Value Proposition for Business Eco System
  • Staying agile and in tune with environment
  • Looking beyond Business


The new purpose was defined as the 3Cs –

  • Collaborating and Networking
  • Contribution to Business and Society
  • Competency Building

The fulfilling and enriching day came to a close by bidding an emotional farewell to Dr. Lakshmi Nadkarni, Director HR South Asia, BASF India on her retirement. Dr. Lakshmi leaves behind a legacy by initiating “HR – Horizon Redefined”, a series of joint learning and development programmes for the enhancement of the HR Fraternity. The forum will always cherish her mentorship and guidance!

The next meeting of the Indo-German HR Partner Forum will be held on Thursday 14th May 2020 at Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company, Pune.

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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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