The sunset on 18th March, 2014 saw the beginning of a new life for the students of the Indo German Training Centre (IGTC) Mumbai and Kolkata, Batch 2012-2014 at Blue Sea Banquets, Worli, decorated in synergy with the new logo and colours of IGTC – light blue and yellow.
It was a cause for huge celebration as the journey of 18-months during the Post Graduate Programme in Business Administration (PGPBA) had transformed 61 happy-go-lucky students into management professionals and into a close-knit family ready to take the corporate world in their stride. The event was graced by the presence of not just parents and faculty of the graduating students but also by many corporates from the diverse training companies.
The event began with a welcome address by Mr. Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC), who warmly greeted the dignitaries on the dias, proud parents, faculty and company representatives in the audience. He spoke to them of how this year marks the 100years of German language education in India, the partnership with 1000 KV schools and the vision of having one million German learners in India by 2017. He then handed the floor over to the dignitaries.
Mr. Tapan Singhel, Vice-President, IGCC and Managing Director and CEO, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance Company took a flashback in time as he remembered his management days. He highlighted how the current generation should have a desire to make a difference with their learnings and have a continuous desire to achieve something more in their lives. He mentioned that by inclination he wanted to become a scientist but by default, he became an insurer, two extreme ends, but ended his speech by saying ‘Good things happen if you believe in them’.
The welcome address was followed by the sharing of experiences by the IGTC students, Mr. Amol Lokegaonkar and Ms. Tasneem Muchhala. They started off by saying that the Convocation gowns are not only a symbol of their achievement but are also a reminder of how fortunate they have been. Everyone does not have access to this unique German dual education system and that they felt immensely privileged. While their experience of 18 months was all about case studies, assignments, laughter, stress, library gossips, and much more, they stressed the fact that the Graduation is not the end; but the beginning of a new journey to pursue their dreams. As they walk into the wider world today, they carried the responsibilities of both, being members of the IGTC family and the society at large. They signed off with a promise on behalf of the class that each one of them will make their alma mater IGTC extremely proud. Their enriching journey at IGTC was then further exemplified by a beautiful video.
Mr. S. M. Fakih, Academic Faculty for Finance and Strategy at IGTC gave a final piece of advice to the students on how to manage stress. He also mentioned that this batch was so special for him since only this year, he had the opportunity to teach them Finance and Strategy, which spanned the duration of all the 4 theoretical phases. Known for his subtle sense of humour, hecharmed the crowd with his wit, personality and profound advice. Ms. Padma Gupta, Director – Human Resources, Häfele India Pvt. Ltd. spoke on behalf of all the training partners. She emphasised that the German System of Dual Education is a brilliantly conceptualized platform which benefits the students as well as their training companies. She was of the opinion that the students are better equipped as they have been with the company during their internship stints. Hence, it is a win-win situation for both.
Mr. Michael Ott, Deputy Consul General, German Consulate General in Mumbai who plays an important role in maintaining the collaboration between the two countries, expressed his happiness to be present at the Convocation Ceremony again. He spoke of the Indo-German Urban Mela and the lasting Indo-German relations and ties. He advised the students to go and grab the plethora of opportunities available in the world outside.
The Guest of Honour, Prof. Dr. Dorothea Wagner, Vice-President, German Research Foundation (DFG), was warmly welcomed by Mr. Steinruecke. She reflected on her mesmerizing research on calculating traffic with the help of algorithms, through which she plans to build the best navigation system in the world for public transport and make travel cheaper, quicker and comfortable. She is also the recipient of the one-million dollar Google Focused Research Award for Next Generation Route Planning. It was a proud moment for IGTC when she said that she could feel the positive vibrations amongst the students and when she goes back to Germany, she hopes to see the same streak of positivity in her students. She concluded by Grüsse Aus Karlsruhe i.e. greetings from Karlsruhe and wished them Herzlichen Glückwunsch i.e. Congratulations!
Last but not the least; Chief Guest Mr. Baba Kalyani, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Forge Limited gave his keynote address. He spoke about positive energy in his business. He mentioned about the change in workforce from blue collar to white collar for more number of skilled workers and less strikes. He mentioned about how German ties have helped India after independence in terms of innovation and technology. He joked with the graduating students that he felt like a fossil today in front of them because at the time when he graduated the world was predictable whereas today the world has become unpredictable. He gave them two guiding principles to be able to succeed in life; first is to always keep faith in what one is doing, which would keep one focussed and second is to never keep angst i.e. fear. So, go out and conquer!
The distribution of certificates began amidst a lot of cheering and joy. Each student was also presented a customized crystal plaque as a souvenir from the IGTC along with their certificate. The Dr. Günter Krüger Award was presented to Shashank Chandrasekharanfrom IGTC Kolkata and to Amol Lokegaonkar from IGTC Mumbai. The award for the BASF Corporate Governance and Business Ethics Seminar Series was presented to Ramanathan Parasuramanfollowed by the Bayer Scholarships of Rs. 50,000/- each to three students – Tasneem Muchhala, Rohan Vaidya and Shamit Jana.
Finally, Mr. Bernhard Steinruecke proposed the Vote of Thanks and gave gifts of appreciation to all the dignitaries and special guests. Post a formal group photograph, now it was time for emotions to unfurl, and the fresh graduates partook in the quintessential hat-toss ceremony, cheering each other and soaring their hats as high as their aspirations. They evening ended on the quote of IGTC’s favourite faculty, Mr. Boman Moradian, “Dream and act because dreams without actions is equal to timepass