Wednesday, March 19, 2014
The SIMSREE campus witnessed yet another important and enlightening guest lecture, delivered by Mr. Ashutosh Zawar.
Mr. Ashutosh is a rank-holder C.A. (13th All India Rank in May 2002 CA Foundation and 29th Rank in November 2003 CA PE-II exams) and a Bachelor of Commerce from University of Pune. Over the last 3 years after co-founding Academy of Financial Training (AFT), apart from managing the Business Development and day-to-day activities of the business, he has over 1,000 hours of professional training experience. He has been instrumental in launching new training programs and innovating curriculum and training delivery style. The firm has successful training across Basics of Finance, Financial Modeling, Corporate & Project Finance, and Financial Risk Management. Mr. Zawar also provides advisory services to Small and Medium businesses for fund-raising.
Prior to AFT, Mr. Zawar has had around 5 years of experience ranging from Auditing, Investment Banking, Corporate Advisory and Financing Transactions. He worked for over 3 years with the Project Finance team at IDFC, a leading financial services company in the Infrastructure domain, he has worked on sectors such as Healthcare, Education, Tourism, Telecom and Power. His work profile included Operational and Financial Modeling, Business Appraisal, Valuation Analysis, Drafting of Terms and Commercial Negotiations. Before joining IDFC in 2007, he worked with Morgan Stanley’s Investment Banking team for around 2 years
In the lecture, Mr. Zawar emphasized on the importance of Microsoft Office in the financial sector. He stressed that fluency in softwares like MS Excel, MS word is extremely important and it is an indispensable part of the career.
The session was quite interactive throughout, and Mr. Zawar fielded the questions asked by the students with comfort, answering each of them.
Saturday, March 8, 2014
8th March saw a flurry of activity on the campus at Sydenham Institute of Management Studies, Research and Entrepreneurship Education (SIMSREE). It had to be, after all it was the 8th Of March’14- Launch of the movement ‘HER initiative’ (Hi)!
‘Hi’ says that women are already empowered & now it’s time to take initiative! Women could be a true driving force, if only they could take those initiatives, howsoever small!
The audience consisted of a mix of students from different colleges and streams - all of whom who were very curious to know about ‘Hi’. It focused on creating a platform where women students could get inspired & imbibe the initiative-taking qualities of esteemed women entrepreneurs! This was followed by a business-plan workshop to train students and aspiring entrepreneurs with specific techniques and tools to create a road map for actualizing their personal business idea.
The women speakers who graciously agreed to address the audience were all fabulous achievers in their own right and in their own fields! The initiatives spoken of in their respective fields helped the students gain perspective of the manner in which one can take the proverbial plunge into entrepreneurship. Overall, the audience absolutely loved the concept & supported the movement. Our speakers also lauded the initiative and wished it the best of luck.
‘Hi’ now aims to become a full-fledged movement & become an organization which helps women, especially students, by training and mentoring them with the help of accomplished women entrepreneurs/intrapreneurs. All this whilst trying to create a brand out of ‘HER initiative’ & utilize the same in fashion apparel; the revenue of which would be used to self-sustain and spread further the movement of ‘Hi’.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Sankalp '14, a social of SIMSREE, was held with great fanfare on March 2, 2014. Organized by the Student Social Responsibility (SSR) Committee at SIMSREE, Sankalp is about creating an impact in society by creating awareness about burning social issues. It counts on the decision-making capability of MBA students to generate solutions for social organizations in need.
Last year, Sankalp’s theme was ‘Empowerment of Women’ and it was a resounding success. This year, in light of the 2014 elections, ‘Voting Awareness’ theme was chosen casting a spotlight on voting in India. Factors such as social media, the AAP, endless scams and indecisive leaders have led to a reinvigorated voter base, including a huge youth group. However, in the past, this has seldom resulted in a high voter turnout.
(Link : - 'Article - Voter Registration Drive')
(Link : - 'Article - Voter Registration Drive')
On March 2, the main event kicked off with an addressal by eminent filmmaker and activist Mr. Ashoke Pandit and Prof. Sangeeta Pandit (HOD Finance, SIMSREE). After a short break, the case competition kicked off with Dr. Anup Ramani and Prof. Sangeeta Pandit serving as judges. This competition was tailored around a live case in association with the ‘Indian Cancer Society’. Participants were tasked with solving a problem faced by ICS.
After this, the event continued with a social B-plan competition judged by Mr. Anil Agarwal (Head of Corporate Financial Planning and Analytics at Syntel), Mr. Sugato Basu (GM - Corporate Marketing, Syntel) and Mr. Sandeep Varma. The four finalists in this event presented fascinating ideas backed by facts and figures.
Friday, February 28, 2014
Mr. Akerkar started his lecture by explaining basics of ERP, its use and implementation in a company, methodology and benefits in different departments. He also gave students the information about the history of ERP and how it modified the technology over the years. He gave insights to the students about supply chain, bottlenecks in supply chain and the role ERP plays while dealing with these bottlenecks.
Mr. Akerkar talked about Business Development Process. He made students familiar with various concepts like Make to Order, Make to Stock etc. He shared his experiences and gave real time examples for better understanding of students. He said that the approach, consulting attitude, exploring and expansion plays a crucial role in development of any business process. Sir made the session very interactive by taking the example of ERP implementation in a college (say SIMSREE) and asking students how it could be used in various college activities like admission, lecture schedules and finance.
Students also got to know about ‘Change Acceleration Process’ (CAP) module and 7 steps involved in implementation of CAP. They also got insights about Proposed Framework for Change management.
The lecture was very informative and engaging. Being able to listen to and ask questions of such an informative speaker was a real benefit to the SIMSREE students. We thank Mr. Akerkar for his valuable guidance.
Sunday, February 23, 2014
Literathon is the flagship literature event of SIMSREE, organized by Sydenham Management Review (SMR) Committee. Literathon’14, sponsored by LeadstartTM publishing, was organized on 23rd February, 2014 in the Sydenham Management Excellence Center at SIMSREE.
It comprised of two events: -
1. Acumen: Acumen is a research paper writing competition which aims at providing a platform for young management students to present their ideas and views to the business community.
2. Bibliophilia: A book review competition which gives young management students a way to showcase how a thought provoking book has imprinted their minds.
Inauguration ceremony of Literathon started at sharp 9:00 AM in a packed auditorium, first with the national anthem. It was followed by the traditional lighting of the lamp by our dignitaries Mr. Suresh Nimbalkar - Senior Vice President, Hansa Research, Mr. Ninad Karpe – CEO, Aptech and Professor Agnello Menezes – Economics, St. Xaviers College, who were also the judges of Acumen. The inauguration ceremony ended with a short video showing a glimpse of the activities conducted at SIMSREE to the audience.
Acumen was the first event. The finalists for Acumen were from JBIMS, SIMS, IIM-I, IIM-L and NMIMS. Each team tried to showcase their research to the esteemed jury. The research papers covered different fields of management viz. Marketing, Finance, Operations and HR. The presentations were followed by a Q&A round, where the jury not only asked insightful questions, but also suggested future avenues to the teams for their research.
Finally the team from SIMS (Mr. Atish Bakhru and Ms. Shivani Sharan) emerged victorious, their topic of research being ‘Customer Perception Analogy for In-store retail vs. Online Retail of same electronic company’.
Team from JBIMS (Mr. Manish Tewani and Ms. Ajita Ranade) finished a close second with their paper ‘Revamping the Sales and Marketing Strategy for the Indian Pharmaceutical Industry’. The dignitaries were especially pleased by the effort put in by the students and also advised them to use such analytical skills in all walks of life.
The jury then shared their experience and feedback about the papers and the event with the audience. Acumen ended with the prize distribution to the winners which included cash prizes and books from our sponsors.
Post-lunch, Bibliophilia started with the same pomp and fervor as Acumen. The judges for Bibliophilia were Dr. Ambi Parameswaram - Advisor and Former CEO, DraftFCB Ulka, Ms. Anjali Kriplani – Author “Never Say Never” and Prof. Leslie Rebello – Director at LRMEI & L.R. Associates. Teams for Bibliophilia were from institutes like SIMS, SIMSR, PUMBA and SIMSREE.
After the presentation and a grilling Q&A Round the winner was Ms. Harsha Dharmaskar, who reviewed the book ‘1984’ by George Orwell and the runner-up was Mr. Ayush Samantroy, who reviewed ‘For God’s Sake’ by Dr. Ambi Parameswaram, both from SIMSREE. The jury was impressed by the details with which the books were reviewed and the intuitive way in which various management concepts were explained citing examples through the books. With the feedback from panelists and prize distribution to the winners, Bibliophilia and in turn Literathon’14 signed off a successful completion of its 3rd year and with plans of becoming bigger and better in the form of Literathon’15.
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Over the years, Finance stream has been regaining the momentum among MBA aspirants. In SIMSREE itself, more than half the batch constitutes of Finance aspirants. The reasons can be attributed to many and is beyond the scope of this article. Within finance, Private Equity and Investment Banking are among the preferred career options. The SIMSREE students were in for a pleasant treat when Mr. Parimal Sheth, from J.R. Laddha Financial Services came down to the campus for a guest lecture on ‘Private Equity, Venture Capital and Investment Banking’. Mr. Sheth, a CA by qualification with over 25 years of experience in Investment Banking, is the Director-Investment Banking at J.R. Laddha.
Keeping with the SIMSREE tradition of maximum industry interaction and corporate connect; this was a very good opportunity for all the students to get an insight into the field of private equity and venture capital. To be very honest, such opportunities are very rare to come by. The batch expected Mr. Sheth to share his experiences in his area of expertise and he did not disappoint. He was kind and humble enough to oblige and kept the floor open for discussions and doubts. Mr. Sheth also shared insights on the recent closure of an M&A deal by JRL wherein a Japanese stationery giant acquired an Indian Notebook manufacturer. Post this; he started off the presentation with a brief description of the means of finance for a company: the traditional means. That set the floor to begin the lecture on venture capital and private equity. Many of the students have wrong notions or misconceptions and people in the audience were clueless about these terms. Mr. Sheth then gave the objectives of a venture capitalist. Venture capitalists take higher risks for higher returns and help growing companies to become stable. The guest then took the audience through the different stages of funding, right from idea generation to a large business. The stages of private equity are many from seed stage, start-up, expansion, mezzanine, buyout and so on.
Sir then told about the sectors that venture capitalists look for and shared some live examples like Flipkart, Zomato, Quikr, RedBus, Jabong etc. The questions started coming in from the audience. The students seized this opportunity and kept flooding the guest with questions and doubts. One hot topic of discussion was the deal between Facebook and Whatsapp. The batch was eager to learn more. There was a very good question that India lags far behind China in terms of venture capital and private equity. Mr. Sheth was quick to reply that though India lags behind, India is doing pretty well to its standards and the situation is getting better.
A very big confusion among youngsters was cleared: Difference between Private Equity and Venture Capital. Venture capital involves high risk but less amount of investment as it deals with early stage of investment, whereas private equity involves high investment as well as high risk as it comes in to picture during the expansion stage of a company. From there on, Mr. Sheth went on to explain the PE/VC investment process. He concluded his presentation by sharing the success stories in the VC/PE deals like JumboKing, Gowardhan and BIBA.
It is rare that students get to interact directly with someone who has made his career in investment banking. It was great to see the level of interaction between the audience and the guest; full marks go to Mr. Sheth for bringing in the comfort level due to which the students could ask as many questions as possible. The Q&A session ranged from process of venture capital, the ways to attract VC funding, JRL role in fund raising process to Tata Corus deal.
It would be appropriate to say that the batch was more enlightened about the way private equity works. It was perhaps one of the most insightful lectures by a corporate on campus. Sir was kind enough to share his contact details and invited students to ask any queries or doubts anytime.
At this early stage of students’ careers, it is very important to learn from the successful people of the industry to attain success. Mr. Sheth brought with him a high level of humility and expertise and inspired everyone to have the same. He had little to gain from the session, but he cancelled appointments to make it on time. SIMSREE appreciates his way of giving back to the society in the form of knowledge.
Finally, SIMSREE students thank Sir for taking out time from his busy schedule and coming down to campus. Everyone is looking forward to such an eventful lecture on campus again.
Sunday, February 16, 2014
Sunday afternoons are usually meant for sitting back and relaxing at home. But Sunday afternoon on 16th Feb was rather an exciting one for SIMSREE’ites. Because, they witnessed an industry stalwart unfolding his vast and profound work experience in front of them. An alumnus of 1979 PGDBM batch, Mr. Nitin Gokarn, visited back his alma mater on 16th February, 2014. He is currently working as Vice President of Supply Chain Management at Bharat Serum and Vaccinations. Prior to this, he has worked as Head- Supply Network Operations ( Logistics & SCM) at Merck Ltd, Head - WH, Distribution and CFA Management at Novartis and as Manager- Sales Admin and Distribution at Johnson & Johnson. He talked about ‘Supply Chain Management and its functions’.
Mr. Gokarn began with the session on a note that accuracy and perfection are of utmost importance in Supply Chain Management (SCM). “In SCM, we need to be 100% perfect for being successful”; Mr. Gokarn Said. Gone are the days when SCM was only about warehousing. It now spans across various functions such as Manufacturing, Quality, Customer, Finance, Legal aspects etc. Hence, SCM is said to be the ‘Central Nervous System’ of any organization.
Going deeper into the topic, he explained the factors that are important for raw materials and finished products from SCM point of view:-
Raw Materials Side
Finished Products Side
Customer Order Processing
Raw Materials Inventory
The epic moment of the session was when Mr. Gokarn gave analogy of ‘Bhagwad Gita’ to put more light on SCM. As it is well known, Arjuna had fought the war against Kauravas in Kurukshetra. In that war, Lord Krishna was the charioteer and there were 4 horses driving the chariot. Mr. Gokarn associated every element of it with different terms in SCM. According to him, Arjuna was the ‘Logistics Manager’, Lord Krishna was the ‘Director’ and he termed 4 horses as four separate functions within an organization viz. Production, Sales, Purchase, Finance. He opined that synergy and collaboration among these 4 functions, as was there among those 4 horses, is necessary for the smooth and efficient functioning of an organization. Further, he gave different illustration about 4 horses. Those horses can also be termed as ‘When’, ‘Whom’, ‘What’ and ‘Where’; referring to ‘Timely delivery of the right good to the right person at the right address’. As a result of this, the batch was able to envisage altogether a new perspective about the functions in SCM.
In today’s world, being lean and slim is of utmost importance. So how can any company be an exception to this? “No company wants to reduce the manpower in its sales department, as it’s a revenue function. So it tends to reduce manpower in the service area like supply chain”, Mr. Gokarn commented while emphasizing on the cost cutting measures taken up by the companies. Operating Costs, inventories, resources, budgets are always on the radar of an operations team within any company, as it tries to reduce the cost of all these factors. The main aim is to reduce the expenses on the non-productive and non-value adding factors and thereby increasing the productivity and hence profits. But it’s rather a cumbersome task as an SCM professional has to face plethora of challenges; the prominent ones being forecasting accuracy, sales skew & space crunch, huge rise in property rentals, rising freight costs, tropical & humid climate, shortage of drivers, conflict management etc.
As Mr. Gokarn has been associated with the pharma sector, he gave certain facts about pharma industry in India:-
• India has the largest number of USFDA approved plants outside of USA
• Though R&D hasn't been the core of Indian pharma industry, there is an intense competition within the sector
• No. of wholesalers: - 55,000
• No. of retailers :- 6,00,000
• Interstate permits make the distribution of drugs within the country challenging
• Pharma industry is growing at 12-13% and it is dominated by Indian companies
• Price Control & Government Regulations are currently posing the greatest challenge to an Indian pharma industry
India is a second largest exporter of generic drugs to USA. Recently, USFDA (US Food and Drug Administration) has raised concerns over the substandard quality of drugs produced and exported by one of the plant of a renowned Indian pharma company. Also, it has slammed the doors of American market on the imports of generic drugs from that particular plant. This is a huge setback for the continuously growing Indian pharma industry. Fetching reference to this incident, Mr. Gokarn claimed that for any pharma company it is necessary to understand the concepts and practices suggested by the watchdog (USFDA) on manufacturing, clinical practices, quality assurance, quality control and data integrity, across the supply chain. “Do it right the first time” is the key for any manufacturing company.
By the end of the session, students had got a fair idea about SCM and about the important challenges faced by it and also the pharma industry in India. All in all, the Sunday afternoon proved to be worthwhile for the students of SIMSREE. They found the session to be highly informative, filled with lot of facts and real life examples pertaining to current affairs. SIMSREE thanks Sir for taking out time from his busy schedule and helping students understand the different aspects of SCM.