9th Graduation Ceremony: Chennai Business School

Chennai Business School (CBS) hosted its 9th Graduation Ceremony on Friday, 21 August 2015, at the TAG-PS Dakshinamurthy Auditorium, PS Senior Secondary School, RK Mutt Road, Chennai 600004. The Keynote Speaker, Mr Anand Sundaresan, Vice-President and MD, Schwing Stetter India Pvt Ltd gave away the certificates. Mr Ramesh Kymal, Chaiman & Managing Director, Gamesa Wind Turbines Pvt Ltd, gave away the special awards in the presence of the Governing Council Members, The Director, The Dean, Faculty Members, staff and students of CBS and parents and family of the graduating students.

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“HUMANOMICS – Every new smile brings to achieve our goal”

A new world without hunger, though we may not satiate the hunger for many. Nevertheless, we took an initiative to serve at least 50 people. We came up with a team of 6 core members (Neetasha, Rodriques, Aravind, Shankar, Varsha, and Rahul). We planned to keep an offering box in our class, so that we can get as much of our contribution to serve the noble cause.

The initiative was launched on July 22nd officially by our Dean Prof. Sridar along with our class peers. We officially titled it as “HUMANOMICS – Every new smile brings to achieve our goal”. Our students and professors started contributing to the cause, and finally we planned to execute the event on a fine day to start our first mission.

We received some amazing information from Prof. Anish to join the Robin Hood Army to support #Mission100k campaign happening in India and Pakistan.

What is #Mission100k?

Robin Hood Army, internet media and news company Scoop Whoop and Uber collectively launched #Mission100k. We already had the idea called Humanomics, with the mission statement “To uplift the life standard of poor people”. We collected around Rs.3000 from our batch mates and professors and started our first mission on 15th of August.

We joined Robin Hood Army and wanted to create an impact so we divided our group into two. One group concentrated in and around Velachery and the other team went to Purasawakkam and Perambur. We distributed 50 meal packets to the street dwellers, children and the not so fortunate ones.

We were emotionally moved when few of them thanked us from their heart. Little Drops of Water Make the Mighty Ocean, likewise our little actions made immense happiness to the not so fortunate.

— Rodrigues Bernard (CBS 2015-16 batch)

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Entrepreneurial Journey: Mr Vaidya Nathan, Founder & CEO, Classle Knowledge Pvt. Ltd.

Man’s first step towards success begins with a dream. Regardless of our social or economic background most of us have a little dream hidden somewhere deep inside. As a kid, one probably dreams about having more toys and chocolates, but as we grow older one starts to dream about being his/her own boss at one point or the other.  Only some of the bolder ones dare to make these aspirations public. Entrepreneurship is the answer to these dreams and aspirations. In today’s generation, the majority of the working class have ideas of being entrepreneurs, but lack the knowledge and guidance on how to achieve their goals. On this note, I would like to say the CBS batch of 2015-2016 was blessed to have someone like Mr. Vaidyanathan to address us on Entrepreneurship.

Mr Vaidyanathan needed no introduction; most of us had already googled him and were curious to find out how one could be so successful in his career. He is globally renowned. Mr Vaidyanathan is the founder and CEO of Classle Knowledge Pvt Ltd. He has held remarkable positions in Cognizant Technology Solutions such as Asst. VP & Global Innovation Leader, Chief Learning Officer, Program Director and Delivery Head. He is a trained researcher, problem solver and innovator. Mr Vaidyanathan’s discussion on entrepreneurship was more like a live case study than a one way lecture. It was highly interactive and there was a lot to take away from the session.

What we learnt:

We understood that the first main challenge an entrepreneur faces are the social difficulties. One should keep his ego aside but still keep it intact. More importantly entrepreneurship is not an ego trip. One should never start a business just for the sake of boosting his ego. We should know that the CEO of a company leads a double life. He has no fixed working time and every little decision he makes will affect the lives of his company and employees. He should train his mind to look for opportunities.

Mr Vaidyanathan also highlighted that every move you make should have a purpose. The difference between transactional thinking and systems thinking was explained and the importance of co-creation rather than one way creation was analysed with suitable examples. He also told us the importance of creating life time customer value (LTCV).

As the discussions went deeper, we finally started to look at the bigger picture on how to begin an entrepreneurial venture and how to be sustainable. According to our guest speaker, the most important quality one should have is to be able to listen to others. He should welcome changes as the principle of business are the same but the rules change from time to time.

Mr Vaidyanathan strongly believes that the educational space is an important sector as the future of the nation and the world depends on it. We also learnt the importance of quality learning.  His company, Classle Knowledge Pvt Ltd, is a reflection of his strong beliefs on the importance of education.

On the whole we realized that as time is rapidly changing with technology, old school business models are also adapting. With the help of social media “everybody knows everybody”. There was a time when you looked for opportunity, but now opportunity looks for you. We have to be aggressive and grab it. The world doesn’t wait for you.

The session was so fast paced and interactive that we did not realize that his allocated two hours was over.  As they say, all good things must come to an end. I hope this end is just for now and we have more sessions like this with Mr Vaidyanathan.

– Arjun Bargav (CBS 2015-16 batch)

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Why is Sociology Important for Marketers?

It was a pleasant Saturday morning and we already knew that the topic for the lecture was on Sociology. However, before the lecture, I had a preconceived notion of Sociology. I thought that Sociology was boring and wondered, what it had to do with Marketing anyway…? Until Mr. Mohapatra proved me completely wrong.

He started by saying that “Man is a social animal”. And there is a need to be with other human beings as it is one of the primordial needs (basic needs). That is why putting a criminal in isolation inside the jail is considered to be a punishment. Unlike Physics or Chemistry, Sociology is derived from many subjects and it correlates with other subjects like Psychology, History, etc.

Basically, Sociology can be split in to 4 segments.

  1. Where do we come from? That’s the Social anthropology

There are broadly four major classifications of our origin in India:

  • Aryans, also called Caucasian – Constituted the regions of Eastern Europe and Western Arabia (referred to as Asia Minor).
  • Mongoloids – Constituted the Chinese. They are also referred to as Yellow skin people.
  • Negroids – (Black) Constituted the Africans. The exposure of sun and ultraviolet rays turned them black.
  • Indigenous people – The people who don’t fall in the above 3 categories are said to be Dravidians.

In India, the Middle India (Mumbai, M.P, Orissa, West Bengal, A.P), we still have no clear indications of their origin and it is believed to be mixed. India is also called the biggest diversity pool. (Scientists also believe that if any drug needs to be introduced to the whole world, it can first be tested in India so that it covers the major types of people around the world.)

The diversity scenario is a nightmare as well as an opportunity for marketing people as they have to face stiff challenges in catering to the requirements of different kinds of people.

  1. Where are we now? The Social Heuristics

Currently, we see a lot of people migrating from one state to another within India. We also see a lot of inter-caste marriage and inter-regional marriage taking place. More women are getting educated. A recent survey shows that the number of women who complete graduation and post-graduation is more than the number of men who do so. (It is uncertain whether this is a good trend or a bad trend.) On the other hand, we find the underdeveloped states such as Haryana, Rajasthan and U.P are old fashioned. (Women still wear purdahs)

Average per capita income is around 1500 dollars. Though this is low, when compared to the USA and other developed countries, it is a huge development, considering that the average per capita income was around 300 dollars just 20 years ago.

We find more rural people coming to cities for job opportunities. Most working class people such as restaurant waiters, workmen in salons, security guards and so on are mostly from Orissa, Bengal and the North Eastern States. Few have a proper shelter to live in. Thereby we have an opportunity in the construction industry as there is a shortage of houses for them.

Nowadays, we find Western clothing replacing the old fashioned Sarees for women. Men are piercing their ears…  Fashion industry is one such industry which is full of opportunities.

  1. Where are we going? The Social trends

As the years have gone by, with the introduction of fast food and junk food, natural food and organic food have become more popular and people are ready to get them by paying premium prices. The need for medicines, clothing and transportation have increased. Emphasis on fitness has resulted in more gyms and yoga centres. The processed food is more sought after and purchasing in supermarkets have increased tremendously.

Gordon Wu has written a book named ‘Mega Trends’, in which he states that regardless of cultural differences, when people have money to spend, they all spend it the same way. When a man becomes richer,  he spends money by order of priority on: eating well, buying good clothes, getting good appliances, buying out a property, providing a good education to his children, buying bikes and cars, travel within the country and finally travels abroad… Beyond that, if you have too much money and do not know what to do with it, you may finally end up buying islands…!

  1. What do we gain out of all these? The Social Economics

In India, we generally relate that fair is beautiful. It is just the mindset of the people. Hence the demand for fairness cream is high in India. Whereas, white people believe that black skin is healthy and that white skin is vulnerable to wrinkles. Nowadays, things are slowly changing. There are various campaigns by leading actors and high profile people. Hence, dusky has become more acceptable.

Therefore all these 4 attributes are highly important in marketing as it is all about understanding the people. This is where sociology plays a vital role as it helps us understand people and target the right product to the right people.

Mr. Mohapatra wound up quoting the example of Visconti Pens of Florence, Italy which he uses, a pen known as the Homo Sapiens, made of 50 percent lava. The pen can withstand heat up to 150 degrees Celsius without being melted as would be the case with regular resin or celluloid.

If marketers wait too long, they may very well lose the opportunity. Visconti Pens of Florence seized that opportunity.

-S. Chandramouleeswaran (CBS 2015-16 batch)

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Best care post 60 just a call away: J Krishna Kavya

City-based start-up reaches out to the elderly in need of healthcare

Janardhanan*, who turned 80 three weeks ago, has been bed-ridden for close to a year. Recently, his son fixed a date for a house warming ceremony for his new home. Janardhanan, however, was unsure if he could attend. But, instead of giving up hope, he got in touch with city-based start-up HealthAbove60 to find a solution. When he finally attended the function, with the help of doctors and nurses, the family’s joy knew no bounds. For the HealthAbove60 team, it was just another day’s work.

The start-up, which began last year, caters to the needs of the geriatric population. “We provide all kinds of care — from counselling to home healthcare — to help the elderly lead a comfortable life,” J. Krishna Kavya, co-founder of the startup said.

They have a team of doctors, including specialists, to undertake house visits; nurses for daily care and even people for undertaking health checkups and physiotherapy at home. “For many of the elders, a family physician who knows their condition and who can prescribe and even deliver medicine is essential. For others, just someone who will listen to them is enough. We make sure we provide elders all these services,” she said. The home nurses go through a rigorous weekly or bi-monthly training process to help them care for the elderly, and a number of checks are in place to ensure that the quality of service is high, she added.

In the past year, 500 clients used their services. They can be reached at 9884639400 orresponse@healthabove60.com.

– The Hindu, 08 August 2015

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Marketing Field Assignment: Super/Hyper market/Online Grocery Vs. Local kirana shopping behaviour of consumers

This was actually the first group assignment given to us in CBS. Most of us had no prior experience in taking surveys or doing market research.  We, as a class, were still fairly new to each other and had just begun to form our own little groups.  Our Professor Mr. Anish Ravi broke this comfort zone and split us into totally different groups. Initially we were all a little confused on how to go about doing this group assignment, in our new groups.

Our topic was, “Super/Hyper market/Online Grocery Vs. Local kirana shopping behaviour of consumers”. I am going to list out a few skills we developed while doing this assignment.

The first aspect we learnt was planning. We learnt how to plan as a group and structured a blue print on what had to be done. We also learnt the skill of work allocation. We allocated each other a few tasks which we thought we could contribute to the team. The main quality was the core of the assignment, team work. With the given submission date in mind, without team work this assignment would be almost impossible.

Although we had a cold feet when we had to approach random people and question them about their grocery shopping habits, we got used to it and began to enjoy it. To be honest, we had a lot of fun while conducting the survey.  I was surprised that most people took time to answer our questionnaires when they learnt that we were from a B school. Some of the kirana store owners were really friendly and very patient with us and gave us a great deal of knowledge about their business and customers. Only due to this assignment did I realise that people are actually buying groceries online. I always thought it was only a myth but now I have proof that quite a number of people from the IT sector do their grocery shopping online. We learnt the pros and cons of each method of grocery shopping.

Our observation: kirana shops are safe and will continue to exist or even grow over the years in spite of the competition from the big players. The super markets and hyper markets will have intense competition and will have tough time holding up. The online grocers will be a dark horse, their growth will cause great impacts on the super markets and hyper markets.

On the whole, I feel that all of us have taken the first step to understand the Indian market as a management student. Our thought process has been totally altered. We learnt how to collect data, process it and present it as a group. We learnt to identify the strengths weakness of each other and use it to the betterment of our team. Presentation is a great skill which every management student should possess. Without good presentation, excellent field work may go unnoticed.

During our class presentation I understood that each team had out done the other in certain aspects. We are no more strangers now. All of us have bonded well as a team. I could sense that there was a healthy competition between the teams and it was difficult to outdo the other teams.  We look forward to have more interesting assignments like this and learn more in our tenure at CBS.

– T.Arjun Bargav (CBS 2015-16 batch)  

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Dilemma of a Manager: Mr. Pradipta K. Mohapatra

What will you do when you are faced with a dilemma? Do you make an instant decision and regret it later?

In our daily life we might face many dilemmas but we must take a decision based on proper reasoning rather than in haste. Most of us are going to be managers in our near future and we need to focus on sharpening our decision making skills.

It is essential that managers agree on a process for dealing with dilemmas. Mr. Pradipta K. Mohapatra, a member of the Chennai Business School governing council, is a business leader with over three decades of experience in managing large Indian businesses as well as British, American, and Japanese Joint Venture companies in India. With his own impeccable comic timing, Mr. Mohapatra’s 2 hour lecture helped us understand how, when we are spoilt for choices, we can arrive at a solution and make the right choice before it’s too late.

He told us that not every ethical dilemma has a right solution. Reasonable people often disagree; otherwise there would be no dilemma. In a business context, however, it is essential that managers agree on a process for dealing with dilemmas. To help us understand better, he gave us an example about a life incident of Bowen H. McCoy.

McCoy was an MD of Morgan Stanley, a leading investment firm, who participated in a new sabbatical program that the company had launched, for 6 months. He decided to go on a hike to the Himalayas. He went along with his friend Stephan, an anthropologist, to reach an 18,000-foot pass over a crest. They met a lot of people from other countries during their journey. As they were trekking, mid-way, they found a Sadhu almost naked, shivering and suffering from hypothermia. They gave the Sadhu clothing and helped him stay alive.

Everybody there contributed in reviving the Sadhu and then passed on the buck, but nobody took complete responsibility for the Sadhu’s well being. McCoy realized how they had walked by an ethical dilemma without appropriate action…

What happened with the sadhu is a good example of the breakdown between the individual ethic and the corporate ethic. Where is the limit of our responsibility in a situation like this? Mr. Mohapatra explained to us that the instant decisions that executives make under pressure reveal the most about personal and corporate character. Managers must come up with answers based on what they see and what they allow to influence their decision-making processes.

After helping us with dilemmatic decisions and situations, he also talked to us about the growing awareness all over the world of women’s empowerment; Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PEPSI Co., being the best example of a woman who is not only a good daughter, mother or a good wife but someone who is capable of being the best at her profession as well.

Women are not in any way less than Men, and hence they must be given equal respect and opportunity.

Mr. Mohapatra concluded by telling us how important it is to learn and gain knowledge at every point in life, so that we can take right decisions when it matters.

We sincerely thank Mr. PK Mohapatra for sharing with us such excellent examples of successful people. The session was truly inspiring and his words will definitely help us in the long run.

Neetasha Patnaik ( CBS 2015-16 batch)


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