Tag Archives: IIMK

Abhabanerjee

Konversations with Abha Banerjee

Abhabanerjee As part of the Women’s day celebration at IIM Kozhikode organized by the Gender Sensitization Club of IIM-K, motivational speaker and leadership author, Abha Maryada Banerjee was invited to address the K-community. Besides, Abha  being India’s first woman motivational speaker of international acclaim, she has written two books on Women leadership. The Public Relations Cell got the opportunity to converse with her

 

You are considered to be India’s first woman motivational speaker. What made you choose this seemingly unconventional profession?

I used to be a lawyer. From early on, I was socially inclined and I had a vision to contribute to society. I believed social change was possible. I was in this zone of building people. We need to build people if we want social change. The only thing available, at that point in time was law. I took law presuming that it will get me into the social sphere or places where I could either cause an influence, an impact or in some sort of way get involved in the social system but it was a different ball game altogether and I eventually made up my mind that personal development, motivation etc was an industry in the west, at that point of time. 20, 25 years ago. And when I looked at it, I realized, this is where I need to be, if I really need to follow my vision of building people. I need to understand people first, I need to understand how people can be built, how minds can be built. So I quit law after 10 years of practise and re-educated myself at the age of 34, to do what I am doing today. And I think it was a very wise decision because I am doing a lot better over here. I have helped lakhs of people across the world. It was unconventional, but I did not think it was because I understood it so well, that I thought everybody will pick it up but that wasn’t the case

Did you face any hurdles, along the way?

Too many things happened at that time, but eventually I found it was very important like bathing. Like you bath every day, every day you need motivation. It took me a lot of time to convince people that it works. I had to work for 3-4 years initially for people to be able to see value. Now of course it has mushroomed, everybody is doing it. A lot of people can talk but to have the power to influence and impact people in a positive way is a skill that one should learn. I have taught to many people on how to work on building others. So unconventional as it may be, it is the most important thing, people should be able to learn from. It is like a complimentary education. We get educated in a traditional academic sense but we need to build people. If we don’t do that, the education also sometimes can be wasted.

You have written a book “Nucleus” on women leadership, what do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

Firstly, women are not supposed to be leaders. There is this perception that women live, not only in India but also in societies abroad, where a woman is not deemed to be leadership material. She is not deemed to be strong, she is not deemed to be mentally tough That is one of the key reasons, why we don’t see a lot of women over there. Secondly, women have to bear kids, they have to raise children.

Leadership per say requires a lot of energy and commitment for anybody who takes it up, be it a man or a woman.  Women have to give away a lot of time to things like family, which is equally important. It we choose to do both it can be extremely tiring and exhausting. In the social sphere, in the corporate sphere or in politics, the amount of time it takes for a woman to get there, it is easier to find men who would want to do the same job.  So by the time you can identify a woman who can do it, there would be 20 men standing there, saying they can do it. Plus, on the top there is more men than women so it is easier for them to hire men. Men feel uncomfortable with the stronger leadership women show. They tend to sort of push you back a little bit or cause hurdles on the way. And I don’t think it is with bad intention. We as a society have not evolved enough to see women standing side by side with men or women doing bigger stuff or women doing things that men are doing.  Nowadays things are changing, which is very good. The last hurdle I would say is in women’s minds. Who do not consider themselves leaders because they have always been taught to stay in the background. They have been taught to play from the periphery. To calm down and let things be.

Can you name one individual whom you would call your inspiration?

There are so many people. However, I am a follower of Swami Vivekananda. He is no more but his teachings and who he was as a person is still relevant. I started reading his work at the age of 9, and by 13 I would call myself a full-fledged fan. I would do anything his teachings said. But when I picked it up and I could relate to what it says, it becomes part of your personality. His thoughts are very modern, very cosmopolitan it terms of equality between men and woman, about religion, about society, about the east and the west and about how we build ourselves. He was one of the key influences in my life. He taught that we have to build ourselves as people, if we want to build other

 

You are a mother, entrepreneur and you travel around the world. How do you maintain a work-life balance?

I don’t believe in this word called balance. I use a word called integration. When we talk of balance, we presume that there is lack of it. So it is a matter of prioritizing what is important to you. Keeping in mind, I have to take care of my family, my children, my work, my husband and myself. I have had to prioritize everything in my life. I have very little social life, I do not watch television or movies, I have very few friends, I do not go out, I don’t eat out. So that is the time, I spend with my family and my work. I have always had an office, but I have never worked from an office. I have worked from my home. And I make sure I work from 8 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon, when my children are at school. Now that they have grown up they are not depended on me anymore. Also I systematize everything. I make sure things are in place. I enjoy coming to places like IIMK, this is more useful than me being out elsewhere.

What is your message for IIM K students?

Celebrate your potential. You have huge potential, you have to identify it, you have to work on it and make sure you build yourself to a point that people can see you and be helped. Always be happy with yourself but keep building on everything that you have, whether God has given you gifts of any kind, talents, education, people around you

Interviewed by | John | Rohan | Public Relations Cell – IIM Kozhikode

 

Abha_Banerjee

Celebrating Women – IIMK sets a precedent

Abha_Banerjee

International Women’s Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor at IIMK on Saturday. It was a student initiative made possible the by a collaboration of individuals who believed in the cause and came forward and volunteered to make the event a great success. Guests for the event were Chairperson of Student’s Council Professor Om Kumar and Leadership Author and Motivational Leader Abha Banerjee.

The event comprised of speeches by four young women who spoke of their life experiences on a variety of topics ranging from ambition, loss, being strong, leadership and sexual abuse. Abha departed some great tidbits of wisdom on managing life, dreams and getting the best of out of both.

But the part of the event which hit an emotional note with the 100 odd students present was a surprise in the form of video. This video consisted of messages from the parents of certain girl students. Many eyes welled up when fathers and mothers spoke about how proud they were of their daughters, how happy they were that they were blessed with a girl child, and how much they missed them.

It happens very rarely that you get to a part an evening filled with emotions, honest admissions, hope and solidarity. International Women’s Day celebration at IIMK yesterday evening has set a precedence for the many events of such kind to come.

audience_womens_day

 

It was an intense event, a single of its kind, which raised many pertinent questions about the kind of society we are living in. Abha spoke about how times had changed and how women today had a forum to express themselves, how they could step out in the public and speak their minds and about things which went wrong with them. I think, as a society, it is great that we have progressed from equality to equity. But the task is not yet done. It is upon us, the future parents, the future adults to take make this equity a triviality. Our children should say with surprise – really, you were treated differently just because you were a woman?!

By Preeti Bhonsle (PGP 20)
Some of the moments from the event

DSC_0005 DSC_0009 DSC_0012 DSC_0021 DSC_0024 DSC_0064 DSC_0073 DSC_0074

 

 

 

IIMB dominates Sangram 2010

Things didn’t start the right way. 3 tyre bursts, 1 hour spent at the checkpost convincing the inspector-in-charge regarding the validity of the bus documents and finally travelling by local buses to reach our destination IIM Bangalore, the scheduled venue for the Sangram-2010. These were in some ways signs of things to come, and in a small way also responsible for them.

Sangram 2010 never went as per our expectations. There was a buzz around that IIMB was seeing Sangram as a practice ahead of some events they considered more major ones. Upset by these rumours we wanted to prove them wrong by displaying our might, but then a result of 11-3 in favour of IIMB does cut out a sorry face of IIMK in this particular event. Except for Basketball, Chess and Pool where IIMK emerged victorious on account of some stunning displays of skills and expertise, other events are not worth boasting about. The scoreline though does not indicate that it was a close competition for most parts of it.  Badminton, throwball, carrom, football and swimming saw close games which could have gone either way. K-ites succumbed not because of lack of talent but because of lack of practice, which ensured that IIMB edged ahead in these events. Of course they had the advantage of playing in familiar conditions . On the other hand some of  our tired souls, on account of the journey we had, playing in new conditions could not match upto the performance of IIMB players. The chess team did an intelligent thing when they requested their game to be held on the next day, though it was sheduled a few hours after we reached there. This master stroke was followed by several master strokes which saw the team coming out with flying colours. There were few positives, but we need to focus on reasons why we failed to live up to our own expectations. The sports was a true winner when most of the games were played in a great spirit. The event highlights the all round development that happens in IIMs, truly getting reflected in fine overall performances in such events.

We congratulate IIMB on their spectacular success, but we also respect the never say die attitude that our college mates displayed. As Sportscom member Arjun Rao aptly put ” come Sangram 2011, and the things will be different”. Till then it is time to keep playing and keep improving, and above all keep having fun. Sangram 2010 was a grand success, and IIMB will agree it will remain one of the very best events to have been held in their campus. Cheers to the two of the best colleges of the country for making it possible.

Snapshots from Hell…story of Stanfords, Harvards…and IIMs

Snapshots from Hell- the making of an MBA – this book by Peter Robinson is about the life of a student of Stanford University. He is a poet, a writer, and somone who wrote speeches for the former President Regan, and was employed in White House, before he decided to go for business studies. Peter Robinson’s Snapshots from hell is a unique insider’s account of the life at a business school, and is useful for every prospective student who is looking for the answer: what is a business school really like? When I talk about prospective students of a B-School, I mean any good business school, and it is equally enlightening for the audience of our country, and has an interestingly universal appeal. It is useful for MBA applicants, students, business professors, and anyone else with an interest in the difference between advertising and reality of the world of MBA.

During his frenetic first year at Stanford, Peter Robinson began keeping a journal of his day to day incidents which actually evolved into this book. The life is compared to life in hell, for most parts of the book, exploring the various challenges that one faces. In a gradual manner it also brings out the various positives, and goes on to explain why a couple of years spent in such a place is seen as a huge value addition in the corporate world. The way he lands himself a job, and goes on to admit that it is only because he is a student of such a college that he has managed the offer, is an important message that he conveys. The book is particularly useful for the section, which in Indian context comes from a non-engineering background, and is often under the impression that the MBA course is going to be a stiffer challenge for them to overcome. Another important part is where author reveals the value of an MBA degree from a college like Stanford. He quotes his professor who says that even if students at Stanford and other top b-schools are not grounded hard and simply asked to play golf and enjoy life for 2 years, even then companies would recruit them in abundance and at a premium price. The author does not approve or disapprove of the point per se, but manages to present an idea that the mere association with a Stanford, or say IIM, increases the brand value of a person. This somewhat explains the psyche of a large pool of MBA aspirants, for whom getting an entry into a MBA college serves as a much bigger motivational factor than the prospect of education that follows it. If the aspirants, or the present and past students think over this, they will relate to this idea.

The book also has to its credit, one of the topics for a XAT essay, in the year the book was reelased. Interestingly the topic was Stockholm Syndrome, where one falls in love with someone who has kept us captive. Similarly as a student we are bound to find the life in a B-School hell at times, but we just can’t help falling in love with it at some point of the course. The book is highly recommended to the aspirants for getting a first hand account of life in a b-school, and trust me, life at an IIM is not much different from the life at Stanford. It is equally beneficial for the present students to develop their perspective about the whole MBA education. As one of the noted reviews of the book mentions “this book is a must for anyone who is thinking of making an investment of their time or money in an MBA”.

CAT 2010 HelpLine by IIM Kozhikode students

http://www.pagalguy.com/2010/09/get-your-cat-prep-queries-answered-by-iim-kozhikode-students/

http://www.pagalguy.com/forum/cat-and-related-discussion/58575-cat-2010-helpline-iim-kozhikode.html

IIM Kozhikode students came up with another example which proves why this college’s education system is producing responsible and conscious managers. The initiative taken a few years ago has now become a legacy of IIM K and the Official CAT helpline on Pagalguy, the country’s website on MBA preparations, and is once again being managed by Kozhikode students. It is symbolic of the inherent nature of the student community here which is ever willing to make its contribution in the educational, environmental and social domain in whatever possible way it can. The Media Cell, IIM Kozhikode which is largely instrumental in coming up with this initiative, has mentioned that CAT is largely a game of confidence and temparament, and such last minute expert mentoring is aimed at helping students primarily on this front.

The aspiring students are reaping rich benefits in the thread. Many of them have been continously mentioning that the thread is serving as a major confidence booster, while many have been impressed with how any type of doubt or query has been analyzed and answered by the IIMK students. Of course the fact that the suggestions come directly from the people who have been there, done that, and made it into the dream college, is acting as a crucial inspirational factor. The thread already has over 14000 views and more than 300 posts in close to four days.

With more and more students of IIMK joining in this noble venture, and more and more aspirants discussing their issues on the thread, this step is bound to create a major impact.

Rashmi Bansal inspires IIM K potential entrepreneurs

Rashmi Bansal was invited by ECell to visit the campus on 19/09/2010. She held an informal session with students talking about her books “Stay Hungry Stay Foolish” and “Connect the Dots”. She also spoke about some interesting entrepreneurs she happened to meet in Kerala. She spoke about some entrepreneurs whose stories could not be published in the book “Connect the Dots” but were interesting stories. Examples included two alumni of IIMK who are into the business of Banana chips. She also gave a very interesting example of a young entrepreneur in the incubation centre, NIT Calicut. She used this example to convey how inspirations may be there everywhere around us, we need to have the tendency to look for them. Rashmi also guided students regarding the importance of having informal interactions with faculty members because they always have stories which can be enlightening to students.

On being asked about examples of “Failure in entrepreneurship”, she told that there is nothing called a permanent failure in entrepreneurship; it is like an addiction, you would seldom feel like closing down a business and going back to job. She told she has never met any person who has felt like a failure after being an entrepreneur. If you don’t succeed it is a lesson, if you do, you fulfil your dream.  A job is a safe option…. so one can rather seek the adventures and do something new than work in a job with limited exposure. Students were lucky to get some practical advice from her when she told them that every campus has around 10 percent students who are capable of making it big if they try something different, but every student should use the time in the college to discover if he or she belongs to that 10 percent. When asked about the difficulty in getting a book published in India, she said “ one should write for himself, and his satisfaction, publications and audience will follow”.

She spoke about

  • Her experience as a book writer
  • How she ended up being a writer?
  • What the life of a writer is like?
  • Journalism as a career option
  • Challenges that one faces in starting up and maintaining a magazine

She was full praise to the architecture of the buildings on campus and the beautiful natural landscape around the campus. She commented that the campus looked very different from the other IIM’s and it is the most beautiful of all the IIM’s that she has seen. She liked the concept of Contemplation Room and Meditation Centre in the campus.

Asking yourself the quintessential question… Why MBA?

All of us have encountered this question and have developed responses that are both impressive and inventive. These responses reflect our perception of an MBA program which more often than naught is the result of certain stereotypes. To utilize something one must first perceive it. As much publicized, the MBA program has immense potential to be tailored to suit one’s personal requirements. But like any tailored fitting its usefulness is limited by one’s ability to perceive oneself in that outfit. There are several stereotypes attached to an MBA program. The numerically inclined want to pursue a career in finance or economics, the verbally inclined want to go for marketing or HR. Although these traits are necessary, they are by no means sufficient.  The most important quality of an MBA program is its versatility. It has the ability to be much more than just a degree.  Business, as we understand it, is based on certain principles spread across measurable disciplines. But a component of business cannot be compartmentalized. Any business activity is driven by five impulses (or “senses”) – finance, marketing, operations, HR and strategy. Finance tells you which option is most profitable among a list of alternatives. But who generates the list? Similarly marketing delivers value to your business. But how valuable do you want your business to be? Operations optimizes processes. But what level of optimality do you want? HR manages people. But which people do you need to manage? Strategy builds business intelligence? But how much intelligence is sufficient? The answers to these questions may not be available in text or speech. But these answers can be deciphered by application. The knowledge of these answers is the “sixth sense” of business. This knowledge (sixth sense) is both critical and elusive. It is this skill that one needs to acquire through an MBA program.

Regards,

Media Cell