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Podium 2017

The Podium is the annual corporate interaction series of IIM Shillong. At The Podium, IIM Shillong invites speakers from the corporate world to share their industrial experiences with the students thus helping them to get corporate insights into the various industries that these leaders belong to. Speakers from diverse backgrounds like Marketing, Finance, Operations and HR Domain come every year to share their expertise.

This year the Podium sessions were graced by the following industry stalwarts:

Session 1: M.K. Anand, Managing Director, Times NetworkSession 2: Tankeshwar Baishya, Senior Director- Supply Chain, Philips India LimitedSession 3: Sunil Kumar Sathyanarayanan, Business Director- South Asia, Adhesives Division, Henkel Adhesives Technologies IndiaSession 4: Dhawal Katkar, Vice President - Self Care Business, Piramal Consumer Products & Pramod Gite, Vice President - Human Resources, Piramal Enterprises LimitedSession 5: Dr. Michael D Patra, Executive Director & Member, Monetary Policy Committee, Dr. Praggya Das, Director, RBI, Dr. Pratik Mitra, Director, RBI and other honourary RBI delegatesSession 6: Rajesh Nair, Head Business HR Corporate, Tata Motors Session 7: Michelle Suradkar, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, MullenLowe Lintas Group

Session 1

M.K. Anand 

Managing Director, Times Network

Mr. M.K. Anand’s career is backed with an experience of 25 years across the fields of Broadcast, Digital and Print media. He has spent the last 7 years as part of the top management across marquee companies. Prior to serving as the Managing Director of Times Network, a post he has held for the last 3 years, he has served as the Managing Director for Disney Media Networks - India, as CEO - UTV Broadcasting, and as CEO- Bloomberg TV India. He is an alumnus of Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai where he completed his MBA in Human Resources Management.

Sharing his life experiences, Mr. Anand talked about the importance of finding purpose in life and in every human endeavor. He talked about his corporate career and how purpose allowed him to formulate strategies. He inspired the students by stressing that a strategy could not exist without a sense of purpose.

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Mr. M K Anand addressing the students of IIM Shillong

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Mr. M K Anand with the students and Director of IIM Shillong

He discussed with the students the role of media in shaping the thoughts of the masses and the onus and responsibilities of ethical and moral media. The discussion over change in media over the years with the advent of social media garnered special enthusiasm from the students and he cautioned the students about the misuse of social media platforms.

Mr. Anand left the students with a lot to chew on as he concluded the session on the note of being fearless.

Quote: Life is an interplay of purposes and if we align these purposes, we will be able to achieve our goals.

Session 2

Tankeshwar Baishya 

Senior Director- Supply Chain, Philips India Limited

Mr. Tankeshwar Baishya currently holds the position of Senior Director of Supply Chain for the Indian Subcontinent at Philips India Limited. An alumnus of NITIE Mumbai, Mr. Baishya earned his Post- Graduate Diploma in Industrial Engineering. Speaking about the Sales and Operations planning, Mr. Baishya talked about its sundry stages and importance.

The students learned about S&OP planning, design, process model, calendar and performance measurement. Mr. Baishya highlighted the importance of leadership commitment, stakeholder participation and company culture in a robust S&OP.

He stressed that in order to satisfy the customers cost effectively, it was pertinent that the company culture allowed Supply Chain Management to challenge Sales & Marketing, and the company leadership in general. Open dialogue between various departments was the key to success, a point that was driven home by numerous examples quoted by him.

Students discussed the impact of GST and Industry 4.0 on consumer goods companies and could learn to appreciate the importance of supply chain management in the strategic plans of organizations.

Quote: Striking a balance between efficiency and customer service is necessary for an organization’s success.
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Mr. Tankeshwar Baishya interacting with the students of IIM Shillong

Session 3

Sunil Kumar Sathyanarayanan 

Business Director- South Asia, Adhesives Division, Henkel Adhesives Technologies India

Mr. Sunil Kumar Sathyanarayanan is currently the Business Director of South Asia, Adhesives Division at Henkel Adhesives Technologies India, a position he has held for the past two years. He is an alumnus on Coimbatore Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta. Mr. Sathyanarayanan has had a distinguished career spanning over 27 years with rich industrial B2B experience in both Sales and Marketing functions in organizations such as BP and Carborundum.

Through a very interactive session, Mr. Sathyanarayanan discussed leadership and key account management. He reiterated the need to lead and get involved, irrespective of one’s position in the organization hierarchy. He took the session forward by relating the primary aspects of Key account management: Communication, Relationships, Business Acumen and Learning ability with the key aspects of leadership: leading teams, leading stakeholders, leading change, and leading performance.

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Mr. Sunil Kumar Sathyanarayanan, Business Director- South Asia, Adhesives Division, Henkel Adhesives Technologies India

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Mr. Sunil Kumar Sathyanarayanan provides valuable insights to the students of IIM Shillong

He touched upon the importance of being a sensitive leader, building trustworthy relationships with stakeholders, keeping alive the appetite for staying on the learning curve, and of upskilling, especially in today’s VUCA world. Mr. Sathyanarayanan also addressed several questions along the lines of building and managing high performing teams, developing future leaders, recognizing successors, and adapting to changing hierarchy and structure in organizations.

Quote: “Learn to be a sensing leader. Ultimately it is leaders with humility who tread the path of success.”

Session 4

Mr Dhawal Katkar, Vice President - Self Care Business, Piramal Consumer Products

Mr Pramod Gite, Vice President - Human Resources, Piramal Enterprises Limited

Mr Dhawal Katkar, Vice President - Self Care Business, Piramal Consumer Products has over 20 years of experience in Sales, Marketing and Branding across FMCG (L’Oreal, Godrej and Heinz), Media (Disney, Time Warner) and OTC sector. An alumnus of SIBM Pune, he has launched many new products and managed innovation pipeline. Mr Katkar has helped unlock equity of major brands like Garnier, Godrej Hair Colours, Complan, Nycil, Cartoon Network, HBO, Warner Brothers etc.

Mr Pramod Gite, Vice President - Human Resources, Piramal Enterprises Limited  heads HR for Consumer Products Division and PEL Corporate functions and also leads the Digital HR initiatives. With a Bachelors in Science and Master’s in Human Resource management, he has an overall experience of more than 20 years in manufacturing & pharmaceutical sectors.

Speaking on the importance Piramal is laying towards the self-care category, Mr Katkar highlighted the need for a strong on-road workforce since today, consumer demand is not much of a problem area, the distribution is. The necessity to out-think the competition, identifying opportunities and understanding buying patterns

While citing examples of products sold by the company, he outlined the inportance of consumer trust in a brand, the difference between the buying process of regular FMCG products and pharmaceutical products and how this impacts the marketing strategies. As a bottomline to his talk, Mr Katkar lay ephasis on promoting brand and people since they ultimately constitute the key levers for growth.

QUOTE : “People make Brands. It is of utmost importance is to value consumer trust in Brands and to ‘Recruit, retain and reward the consumer’ for the success of a brand.”
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Mr Dhawal Katkar addresses the students of IIM Shillong as Mr. Pramod Gite (R) looks on

Session 5

Dr. Michael D Patra, Executive Director of RBI and Member of the Monetary Policy Committee

Dr. Praggya Das, Director, RBI

Dr. Pratik Mitra, Director, RBI

The institute welcomed Dr. Michael D Patra, Executive Director of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and Member of the Monetary Policy Committee, Dr. Praggya Das, Director, RBI, Dr. Pratik Mitra, Director, RBI and a number of honorary delegates from the RBI to share their insights on India’s monetary policy and other policy initiatives by the RBI as part of RBI's Outreach Program. Organized in association with Niveshak- the Finance Club of IIM Shillong, the event was conducted with the aim of discussing the Monetary Policy Report which was published in October 2017. Dr. Michael Patra is a Fellow of the Harvard University and has served in the RBI which he joined in 1985, in various capacities over the years

The panel shared their valuable experiences on Monetary policy and Fiscal policy co-ordination, growth rate and inflation balance, and the role of financial markets in understanding the expectations from the economy. Talking about the importance of general population in driving the economy, the panel said, the RBI tries to communicate every decision credibly to the people by explaining complex ideas in simple terms, to have people’s expectations on board. The challenges and impediments faced while satisfying all the stakeholders were also discussed and role of investment in GDP growth was looked at in detail.

The students engaged in an interactive session with the panelists and discussed the impact of major structural reforms such demonetization and implementation of GST. RBI and MPC form the bedrock of the Indian economy and learning from them was an enriching experience for the students. The delegation was invited as a part of the Podium series of the institute, taking forward the legacy of enhanced collaboration among the students, academia, and the corporate world.


Panel Discussion with Dr. Praggya Das, Dr. M D Patra, Dr.Pratik Mitra, and Mr. Anurag Asthana


Dr. M D Patra, Member of the Monetary Policy Committee addresses the students of IIM Shillong

Session 6

Rajesh Nair,  Head Business HR Corporate, Tata Motors

Mr. Rajesh Nair is a senior professional with over 24 years of experience across various domains of HR, strategy and sales and marketing with substantive expertise in HR Operations, strategic HR activities, HR policies and diversity initiatives. He is also a subject matter expert in the areas of Brand Management, marketing strategies, customer care and network development.

Mr. Nair, shared his invaluable experiences of life and enlightened the students on the key to building a successful career. During the session, students learned the importance of finding passion in life. Focussing on the success in the long run, he motivated the aspiring managers to focus their energy on exploring their areas of strength and interests. Drawing lessons from the lives of many great leaders, he said the first few years of career are meant for learning and one should not be affected by the failures as they allow an individual to learn.

Mr. Nair talked in detail about the automotive industry in India and how companies like TATA Motors are over hauling the industry by focussing on new technologies. The role of government policies and the aspirations of the Indian market were discussed in length. The key point of focus was the shift from conventional cars to electric cars and the infrastructure and capital required to make the shift.

The interactive session gave the students valuable thinking points on building career, at a crucial time when they must make decisions which will have significant impact on their career trajectory.

Quote: “Aspirations are important. What is it that you love to do, and what is it that you are good at doing?”

Mr. Rajesh Nair

Mr. Rajesh Nair shares valuable insights with the students of IIM Shillong

Session 7

Michelle Suradkar, Group Chief Human Resources Officer, MullenLowe Lintas Group

Ms. Michelle Suradkar is the Group Chief Human Resource Officer, MullenLowe Lintas She has a hotel management background and a Master’s degree in Management from the Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. With 15 years of experience, she has worked with Coca-Cola, India before joining Lowe Lintas. Ms. Suradkar illuminated the participants about how to be successful manager and be effective in one’s career path

Focusing on 4 key components to career success – Passion, Curiosity, Communication and Grit, Ms. Suradkar spoke about how these four ingredients, when effectively employed, will enable one to move from average, to good, to great.

The driving force behind work is what passion is. The ways to exhibit it, and nurture it are multitude such as volunteering for work that goes above beyond what the expectations are, learning the details of every aspect of the organization and leveraging strengths properly, all the while loving your company visibly. Ms. Suradkar also touched upon an oft ignored topic – what if you don’t know what your passion is? The simple answer given was to set small goals and be micro ambitious in all pursuits. The key to growth is curiosity – ask good questions, utilize your research skills and read a lot and be ready to constantly learn. The next focus was on how important communication is, and how to be effective at it. The essence of communication lies in expressing confidence, and not viewing everything as competition.

The final ingredient in getting from good to great is grit. How one reacts to a difficult situation and when things go wrong is a key differentiator in individuals. The talk ended with a discussion on how to manage professional stature and the importance. Ms. Suradkar’s words left the students with a clear picture of what the corporate world expects, and how to exceed those expectations.

Quote: “Take ownership of your own learnings, learn from your experiences, have command over your communication skills, take a holistic view on an issue and always look at the bigger picture”

Ms. Michelle Suradkar

Ms. Michelle Suradkar addresses the students of IIM Shillong