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Guest Lecture Series - XOL

The Guest Speaker Team (GST) dons the hat of bringing industry experts across different industries and fostering professional relationships between the speaker and the student beyond the classroom experience. The team comprises five focused members who come from diverse backgrounds. Leveraging the XLRI platform to invite impactful speakers for the interactive sessions helps strengthen the cohort’s linkage with the industries. Students’ active involvement in learning from the speakers on the latest business trends, strategies, market opportunities, and career growth contribute to their steady rise on the ladder of practical managerial pedagogy.

Batch 2022 - 2023

How to get the best out of XLRI MBA
Mr. Sumit

Sumit Agarwal represents himself as “an accidental engineer & MBA by choice,” and his achievements are evidence of his choices. During undergrad, he got PPO from Microsoft during internships and spent almost three years as a software engineer, majorly working on end-to-end web technologies. He also received PPO while interning at P&G during his last year at XLRI. He joined P&G as an HR business partner, India sales- North & East division & e-commerce, managing a business of INR 6000 Crores. Apart from working as the HR business partner, Sumit also worked as a consultant for P&G’s distributors on coverage expansion, GTM strategy, etc. With over five years of experience, Sumit has taken the entrepreneurial route and is managing a manufacturing business in the ferro-alloys industry. In addition, he is on a mission to help MBA aspirants, current students & corporate freshers with a host of strategies and helps with 1:1 mentoring sessions. Sumit represented Jharkhand State Cricket as a captain for a T-20 tournament organized by ATC India.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mr. Agarwal shared the nostalgic touch of his MBA journey at XLRI Jamshedpur. He spoke about everything ranging from his engineering and MBA journey, building and incorporating a vision and the right mindset for our MBA journey, and the required efforts and skills to get the best out of this journey.
  • Mr. Agarwal spoke about the three most important aspects that would help us gain maximum output from our work and studies: time management, focus, and networking.
  • Mr. Agarwal shared his input that the World has evolved with the sudden COVID-19 lockdowns, and the impact and importance of Online Courses have surged.


Ambidextrous Leadership & Sustainability
Mr. Vivek Sonthalia.jpg

Mr. Vivek Sonthalia is a Certified Chartered Accountant with over 15 years of experience in business of driving growth and qualified as a silver assessor in TBEM, i.e., Tata Business Excellence Model. He started his career with Tata motors and is currently the head of finance at IFFCO Beauty. IFFCO is one of the largest manufacturers of FMCG products in UAE, and Mr. Vivek has been contributing to transforming the Finance functions across six business units in 5 countries. Mr. Vivek loves Cricket. His group organizes T20 cricket matches annually in the UAE, where global teams participate.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mr. Vivek conversed with the students on various topics, including the role and benefits of ambidextrous leadership.
  • He also highlighted the points about sustainability and its importance for the future.

Insuretech – Future of Insurance amid Digital Disruption
Mr. Asit Rath

Mr. Asit Rath is the Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director at Aviva India. He possesses 22 years of versatile experience in the Banking and Insurance Industry across different verticals, such as Operations, Bancassurance Distribution, Digital Transformation, and Brand Development. He was among the top of the talent pool at ICICI Prudential Life Insurance from 2005 to 2019 and made his way up the ranks. Before Aviva, he served as Prudential Myanmar's CEO for three years, setting up the first fully digital financial services company in Myanmar. Mr. Asit is passionate about making a positive change in society through financial products and services, exploring new ideas, and collaborating with various businesses and ecosystems.

Key Takeaways:

  • He mentioned that the only way to change the consumer's insurance mentality/ thinking is by educating them because insurance is not planned only for use in good times; this can be very helpful in health benefits, which consumers generally ignore.
  • Hard problems related to insurance need to be solved.
  • Promoting employees to develop healthy habits to gain proper mental health.
  • He provided insights on Health insurance related to severe illness and things that will develop about Genetic diseases.


New digital transformation paradigms
Mr. Anandh Venkat Raman

Mr. Anandh Venkatraman is associated with Dell Technologies as a Global technology leader, managing the Consulting Business & Global COE teams in Bangalore and Cairo, Egypt. Heading the Global Centre of Excellence for consulting, he is responsible for Digital Transformation, IT Transformation, Workforce Transformation & Program Management Consulting Divisions. He has been instrumental in bootstrapping Services Engineering, guiding the team in Presales, and Delivering transformation engagements to enterprise customers. With his experience spanning over 25 years, Anandh brings a blend of technology and management expertise and has consulted at several Fortune companies across the globe.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mr. Anandh has elaborated a lucid explanation of what digital transformation means and how traditional organizations in different industries, like- Hospitality, Cab Services, Telecom, Fintech, and Automobile, are transforming themselves to the journey of being Digital Organisations.
  • In the paradigm of Digital transformation, the Valuation of a company is primarily based on technology, not on profitability. To drive this transformation effectively, companies must dare to innovate or be left behind continuously.
  • He has also shared his views on exciting topics like- the future of talent in a digital organization, how microservices can change the game of a business, and why data is the new fuel.

Future of Banking
Mr. Anupam Verma

Mr. Anupam Verma is associated with ICICI Bank Limited – International Financial Institutions Group (IFIG) as Head and Chief Executive of the International Banking Unit IFSC GIFT City. He is responsible for maximizing 360-degree banking opportunities by forging strong partnerships and providing end-to-end banking solutions for International Financial Institutions (IFIs), their GICs, and their customers (MNCs, Global Funds, or NRIs) in India. He also heads the International Business of ICICI Bank at IFSC GIFT City. Mr. Anupam also had an opportunity to work as the Chief Executive for ICICI Bank Singapore and Regional Head for South East Asia, including offices in Malaysia & Indonesia. He has more than two decades of experience across businesses (project finance, corporate & institutional banking, global FI, fundraising, private banking, and retail) in India & international markets. He was associated with Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) on multiple initiatives and recognized by #SINDA for his valuable contribution to the Skills Future initiative of the Singapore government. He is currently on the Board of Directors of SWIFT India and Receivable Exchange of India Limited (RXIL).

Key Takeaways:

  • He shared his rich experience with the fast-changing customer needs of the traditional banking system. And how traditional banks have been developing themselves to offer multiple services on a single platform. Traditional banks are moving forward with a concept of ‘Technology first, banking second’ to create an ecosystem for the customers where ‘banking’ is just one organism.
  • Mr. Verma lucidly elaborated concepts like the foundation of digital currency (recently launched by RBI), the Agility of banking sectors to adopt the revolutions in the banking industry, the vision of ICICI bank toward making One Bank for the entire ecosystem (From individual to all segments of corporates).
  • He has also shared some thought-provoking insights regarding the internationalization of UPI, Financial Inclusion, the banking industry’s contribution to making India the 3rd largest Start-up market, etc.

Product Management Overview
Mr. Vignesh Kumar

Mr. Vignesh Kumar, the Director of Commerce & Lifecycle Operations at Cisco. He holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Management from S.P Jain Institute of Management & Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, and a Mechanical engineering Degree from Madurai Kamaraj University. He has 17 years of experience in strategic consulting, product and pricing, customer insights and analytics, and Business Strategy & Operations. For the past eight years, he has worked extensively in the cloud computing domain (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS). Before Cisco, Vignesh worked as the Director of Product and Pricing Cloud Infrastructure at VMware. He has worked with leading companies such as Oracle, Dell Technologies, and Capgemini. During his stint at Capgemini, he co-authored the World Wealth Report (2009 & 2010) and Asia Pacific wealth report (2009), jointly published by Capgemini and Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. Vignesh is a TEDx speaker and has delivered sessions on the start-up ecosystem, technology trends, leadership concepts, and motivation talks for the next generation. During his free time, he likes to spend time with his family, mentor young professionals, travel, and maintain his blog.

Key Takeaways:

  • Product management can be understood as a circular model consisting of 3 components: product strategy, product development, and product marketing.
  • To start a professional career in this domain, a person's background does not matter as long as they are passionate about products and new ideas and can learn.

Demystifying Consulting
Mr. Bharat Dudeja

Mr. Bharat is associated with Kearney as a Practice Research Manager. He has over a decade of international experience across Energy and Process Industries, with projects spanning workforce analytics.

Due Diligence, Cost Optimization, Supply Chain Management, Market Entry Strategy, Market Sizing & Assessment, and Digital Transformation.

Key Takeaways:

  • Understanding the Consulting firms working environment.
  • Relevant Skill set and problem-solving approach demanded by Consulting.
  • How to prepare for consulting case interviews.
  • Demand for professionals with specialised knowledge in niche areas like ESG, Supply chain management etc.

Knowing, doing that makes you being
Mr. Bharat Dudeja

Ms. Suparna Kapoor is the Deputy General Manager HR at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.

She possesses a wide range of knowledge in various fields, such as technology, people management, business strategy, and operations. Over time she has excelled in developing initiatives that have impacted revenues, facilitated the achievement of ambitious strategic goals, increased customer satisfaction, and enhanced human abilities.

She has accomplished an impressive feat by leading over 250 programs and 15,000 sessions, reaching a diverse audience of more than 8,000 executives from entry-level to C-suite positions and hundreds of students and young adults. With a career spanning 30 years, her expertise primarily lies in the technology-intensive fields of aerospace and telecom.

Key Takeaways:

  • discussed concepts like organizational and personal effectiveness.
  • She explained about the four resources- Body, Mind, Emotions, Energy and Time management.
  • She explained and gave insightful thoughts about the five pillars of effectiveness. Breathe & be present, Move & Play, Pause & Reflect, Choose & Act and Acknowledge & Express.
  • Why reflection is important.

Batch 2021 - 2022

Economic Reforms

Dr. Krishnamurthy Venkata Subramanian is an Indian economist and the current Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) to the Government of India. Dr. Subramanian is an alumnus of IIT Kanpur, IIM Calcutta, and Booth School of Business, University of Chicago. He completed his Ph.D. under the supervision of Luigi Zingales and Raghuram Rajan and has worked with expert committees for SEBI and RBI and various global corporations, including JP Morgan, ICICI Bank, Tata Consultancy Services. Dr. Subramanian has earlier worked as an executive assistant to the chairperson of the Fixed Income Money Markets and Derivatives Association of India. He is an expert in banking and economic policy and was a member of the PJ Nayak Committee constituted by the RBI to review the governance of boards of banks in India.

Key highlights/takeaways from the session:

  • India must focus on economic development by three pillars - (a) Macro focus on growth and use the resources for micro focus of welfare program; (b) Enable privatization to create wealth; (c) Increase focus on virtuous cycle (Private investments leads to increased public consumption as their disposable incomes rise)
  • Capital spending is critical. The Government spends Rs 100 in capital/capex spending, which turns to Rs 250 for the same year and then to Rs 450 over the next few years due to the multiplier effect; Thus, the Indian Government is focusing on capex spends rather than on revenue spends
  • India is making a V shape recovery, and this decade will be the decade of India. The Government is ready to provide help to every section with the assistance of digital technology


Inspired Decision Making: A Narrative Journey

Mr Arun Maira is an author, former Chairman (India) BCG, former member Planning Commission, and Chairman, HelpAge International. Mr Maira has had an illustrious career as a management consultant, a hands-on leader, a consultant to leaders, and a thought leader on subjects of leadership and institutional transformation, in the private, public and social sectors. He has been at the apex of decision making for the most prestigious global organizations and shared his thoughts, ideas, and a piece of his illustrious career.

Key Learnings

Never earn your laurel and rest & rust on your laurel - Never be complacent and rest on your accomplishments and achievements & rust on them eventually.


World Class Leadership – Insights from coaching world class leaders

Manoj Vasudevan is an internationally renowned Next Level Leadership Readiness Expert who helps executives and entrepreneurs to breakthrough to the next level of their career, business and life. He is the 2017 World Champion of Public Speaking, CEO of Thought Expressions and chief mentor at Next Level Unlimited.

Manoj holds an MBA from Imperial College London with 25 years of leadership experience in strategy, management and technology with many major MNC clients in Asia, Australia, USA and Europe. Manoj is the author of the international bestsellers including Mastering Leadership The Mousetrap Way and How To Become The World Champion of Public Speaking – The definitive step-by-step guide.

Key Learnings:

  • Taking initiative without directive; one has untapped leadership potential; taking ownership of the problem and getting it fixed and not take it as a problem but as an opportunity.
  • Competence is important but confidence is paramount.
  • Great leaders create great leaders and not blind followers; people don't enjoy macro-management, they enjoy autonomy, infuse the idea and not just communicate the idea. Objective is to not impress but to inspire.


Disruption and Resilience: A Growth Mindset

Dr. Rupinder Kaur is a leadership coach, an inclusion proponent, and a military veteran. An avid researcher, she believes in evidence-based practice and has coached more than 150 senior leaders across 2 BIG 4 consulting firms.Her domain expertise is building, aligning, integrating & sustaining leadership development initiatives at scale. She has deep expertise in building a learning culture, through stakeholder buy-in, designing and managing systemic change initiatives, using the power of coaching to lead behavioural change in young leaders. Basis on her tryst with failure and resilience, she shared a couple of thoughts with the batch:

  • Disrupt yourself to reinvent a new You
  • The Four F formula: Fail fast and Fail Forward
  • Learned Helplessness to Realistic Optimism
  • Finding Meaning as a Way of Developing Resilience
  • Ritualized Improvisation for a Growth Mindset


Creating Your Personal Brand Via LinkedIn

XLRI PGDM (GM) batch of 2021-22 hosted Mr. Priyank Ahuja, Product Manager and Consultant (ex-ISB and NUS) for a session on Personal Branding Via LinkedIn. In a jampacked session, Mr. Priyank covered the basic fundamentals of creating the right kind of profile, focusing on how to emphasize one's strengths while also making the profile appealing, and then went into detail on how to correctly network with other senior professionals. He also answered a series of wide-ranging questions on how to write LinkedIn-appropriate content, and the correct and strategic use of hashtags.

Key Learnings

Maintaining a coherence in individual branding, focusing only on relevant topics, making your profile attractive for anyone who visits.


Differentiate yourself as an Executive MBA candidate

Capt. Pranav is an Ex-Indian Army Officer with commendable experience in managing the entire gamut of Leadership & Human Resource Management, Talent Management, Talent Development, Change Management and Operations Management. He is currently heading the HR department at Renault India.An alumnus of IIM Lucknow, he has over 15 + years of extended experience in Human Resource Management & Development and hands-on experience in Project Management. He addressed the PGDM (GM) batch by giving case studies about Real-life Leadership Challenges from the HR perspective. He shared his thoughts about the 'Leadership Endurance' in tough Situations. Also, he addressed the batch about the leadership quality - Resilience - "Bouncing back" is what we need to do when we face disappointment, defeat, and failure, but instead of wallowing or letting things keep us down, we get back up and continue on with our lives was the key learning during the session.


Managing Change

Dr Busrai has over four decades of HR experience covering all aspects of HR including IR, Recruitment, Training, Remuneration, Policy, Operations, Divestment, cross-cultural workforce and HR Shared Services. He has held senior positions in both operational and strategic HR at organizations including Unilever PLC India and Kenya, Motorola Asia Pacific, Shell Malaysia and IBM India. Dr. Busrai is the founder of 'Aquil Busrai Consulting' which offers Executive Coaching, HR Strategy, Leadership Development and Training. Dr Busrai spoke about the importance of scenario planning and gave a sneak peek into what is going to happen next in terms of Jobs, Processes, Ethics. During the session, he also touched upon how business is going to change moving forward in the VUCA world.


How to Network Through LinkedIn

XLRI PGDM (GM) batch of 2021-22 hosted Mr. Sampark Sachdeva (Winner of LinkedIn Spotlight 2019, TedX speaker) for a session on how to network through LinkedIn. Mr. Sachdeva took the students through a detailed masterclass on content creation. He answered student questions on how to properly create their own brand through content, how to reach out to senior-level industry leaders, and how to position themselves to gain traction on the platform, leveraging it to find the right opportunities.

Key Learnings

  • Developing content and networking with industry leaders the correct way.

Career Path in Consulting

Mr Anshuman Jaiswal, Principal, Digital Transformation at Kearney is an esteemed Alumnus of the XLRI PGDM(GM) batch of 2010. He has over 16 years of industry and consulting experience serving clients globally. He has advised and served client executive leaders on a broad range of technology topics including IT and Digital Strategy, Operating Model & Organization Design and Cost and Operations Transformation. He is also passionate about learning technological disruption, teamwork, global outlook, people and culture. He had an interaction with the PGDM (GM) students through a session on "Career Path in Consulting". The session had numerous insights and enriching thoughts such as "Treat your career as a marathon and not like sprints". It was a great learning experience for the audience.


A Right Mentor Can Change Your Career

Mr Saurabh Nigam, Vice President, Human Capital at Omidyar Network India. He is a Post Graduate Diploma holder in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations (PM&IR) from XLRI. He is also the only Indian who holds the SPHR, GPHR, and HRMP certifications from SHRM, USA simultaneously, and in the first 10 globally. Mr. Saurabh has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Future HR Leaders of the Country by People Matters & DDI International and is a regular speaker on Compensation & Benefits, Talent Management, and Managing Gen Y. He had an interaction with PGDM (GM) students on the topic “A Right Mentor Can Change Your Career”. He shared his thoughts on every successful mentorship being built upon a strong mentor-mentee relationship. Also, embarking on your career is tough, and being mentored can help you achieve your professional goals and objectives in ways you wouldn’t have otherwise expected. He also shared that as a leader, one essential role is to coach your mentees to do their best. This way, you’ll help them make better decisions, solve the problems holding them back, learn new skills, and otherwise advance their careers.


Design your destiny

Mr Himanshu Saxena is one of the world's leading executive coaches and educators. He is a retired military officer, corporate executive and entrepreneur. Mr Himanshu is the Founder and CEO of Centre of Strategic Minds. COSM is a Thought Leadership Pursuit, designed to groom Strategic Minds who can deliver bold business impact through Big Picture Thinking and relentless execution. He shared his insights on "Design your destiny". Some of the key learnings are: How to activate our own potential, how to maximise it for greater success, how to minimise blind spots, and improve individual and group capacities for problem solving, communication, and conflict management.


My Journey Through Sports Anchoring

Ms Ridhima dons multiple hats as a Sports Presenter, Live Broadcaster, Anchor, Public Speaker, Emcee and Corporate Trainer. In her anchoring career, she has been a part of several premium events like the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019, ICC Women's T20 Cricket World Cup 2020, The NBA, Asian Games 2018- Jakarta, Common Wealth Games 2018 and a host of events with Sony Pictures Networks India. During the session with PGDM (GM) students she shared her experience about Broadcasting industry.

Key learnings:

Sometimes the Career chooses you and it takes hard work and a whole lot of preparation to excel in the chosen field.

Passion is the difference between having a job or having a career and it's beautiful when passion comes together with career. The 3 C's that built career are Choices, Chances and Changes - Choice to take a Chance to see the Change!


Starting Up Post B-School: A Success Story

Dr Dhaval Shah is an XLRI alumnus and the Co-Founder of Pharmeasy - India's leading and one of the largest healthcare delivery platforms. Pharmeasy is one of India’s most celebrated unicorns and recently acquired Medlife. Dr Dhaval is an Ex-Mckinsey consultant and shared his insights on his start-up journey, his learnings, and the making of a unicorn.

Key Learnings

Key to any start-up’s success is its team. Having that closely knitted team with whom you do not just work with but have fun building everything along the way is extremely underrated. If you can’t have a hearty laugh when you are all messed up - makes the mess even messier.

Going full-stack and having an end-to-end visibility on supply chain can make all the difference to a healthcare delivery start-up’s success.


Introduction to Case Solving

Mr Pavan Sathiraju is a serial entrepreneur specializing in management consulting and business case solving. Mr Sathiraju is an ex-Mckinsey Consultant and an alumnus of INSEAD and NIT. He is also a co-founder of Cases Over Coffee - A peer-to-peer professional learning (and case solving) network. He shared his valuable insights on how to approach and structure thoughts while solving business cases and guesstimates in interviews.

Key Learnings

Understand basic frameworks, how to build your own custom frameworks, structure your thoughts, clarify the objective of the case, and develop creative thinking.

Build your business fundamentals by reading case studies, business articles. This will help in picking important developments in the business world.


Transformational Leadership

Mr. Jaspal Bajwa is the founder and executive coach at Sunya Circle - Authentic Leadership Associates. He dons the hat of a coach and consultant for Transformational Leadership and Organizational vitality. He has delivered innumerable coaching sessions across 20+ countries with a Net Promoter Score of 95. He has had a remarkable global corporate career for three decades with big brands like Nestle, Bausch &Lomb, Marico, Dr. Reddy's holding the positions of CXOs across different geographies. He is an associate of Marshall Goldsmith coaching global network & the Fons Trompenaars network for Cultural Intelligence (CQ). He holds a PCC accreditation from ICF and a CVPCC from Centre for Coaching Mastery, USA.

He has done his post-graduation in MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, batch of 1976.

A profound practitioner of the art and science of Life and Leadership, he lives by his mantra 'learn, unlearn, relearn, and at the end serve.'

Key Learnings:

  • The Journey of transformation leadership starts from within.
  • While success is important, what is more important is getting happiness out of success.
  • Co-creating brand experience is of utmost importance.
  • The 3 KY's which are very important are:
    • Know Yourself
    • Know your Business
    • Know your customer


The Future of Indian Automotive Industry - Current challenges & emerging trends for growth

Mr. Venkatram Mamillapalle is the Country CEO and Managing Director of Renault India Private Limited (RIPL).

Mr. Venkatram comes with over 30 years of automotive experience and spearheads Renault's operations in India and SAARC countries. Before holding this role, he was the head of Renault-Nissan AVTOVAZ in Russia. Additionally, he held several leading positions with various Indian and global OEM's including Eicher Tractors, Delphi Automotive Systems, Tata Motors, Lombardini India, and General Motors (Korea). He is an expert in Supply chain management, quality, manufacturing, and logistics. He has been part of the Executive Committees, Boards, and International Boards of the companies in the past.

Key Takeaways from the session:

  • Transformation of automotive technologies over the decades - Pure Mechanical to Computerised form.
  • Factors that may impact EV market - Battery cost, charging infrastructure, availability of Lithium, and challenges in recycling batteries.
  • Autonomous vehicle is a future possibility, coupled with the challenges associated with cybersecurity.
  • Ownership of personal vehicles may become extinct. Retail of the future is Ridesharing & Subscription models.
  • The need for modern and sufficient infrastructure to improve the supply chain's efficiency and support automotive industries.


Renewable Energy- The future

Colonel Rohit Dev is a dynamic leader who moved on from the Indian armed forces after an illustrious and exemplary career.

In his military career, he has been at the top of his profession, held all prestigious appointments, and had detailed insight into the Operational Logistics and Supply Chain Management of a strategic field organization in the Northern Command.

He is a graduate of the National Defense Academy and holds an MSc in Operational Arts and Strategic thinking.

He is currently the COO of Punjab Renewable Energy systems private limited.

A very eminent speaker, and we would see him at debates happening around geopolitical issues, nation-building, and the bioenergy sector on various news channels.

Colonel Rohit Dev spoke of the need and possibilities in the biomass energy sector. He also answered students' questions on the various aspects and challenges in this sector while giving his insights into how other countries are utilizing this sector and where India stands.


Super Conscious Leadership - From conformity to clarity

Acharya Prashant is an emerging champion of socio-spiritual awakening in the world today. An alumnus of IIT-Delhi and IIM-Ahmedabad, and a former Civil Services officer, He is an acclaimed Vedanta Philosopher. Apart from that, he wears various hats: a veganism promoter, an environmental activist, a science activist, a campaigner against superstition, and a champion of essential human freedom.

The 10,000+ videos and articles uploaded by him on the Internet, freely available to all, make the world's single most extensive online repository of spiritual content, of which more than 5 million minutes are watched daily. He has been regular speaker at IITs, IIMs, many other prestigious institutions, as well as platforms like TED.

Key learnings:

  • Spirituality and religion are not to be confused with each other. Spirituality is more concerned with how free a person is from within. More freedom one has internally, more spiritual one is.
  • Conscious, practical approach towards real world problems is the only way to sustainable living.


Building your professional brand with LinkedIn

Ms. Shikha Nautiyal is a market development and product development professional with tremendous sales experience. Her career story is about driving innovation and helping companies evolve rapidly by leveraging technology. She has worked as a Senior Strategy Manager at Mahindra Rise and is currently the Account Director at LinkedIn.

Key takeaways:

  • How businesses and executives can build their brand leveraging LinkedIn platform.
  • How we can unleash the power of LinkedIn to build winning teams, engage our customers, develop our people, and connect with the wider network to drive results.
  • We need to learn to inspire, interact, influence people so that we grow together as a big network of professionals.


Current Trends in HR Transformation and Strategy

Swaroop is an HR Professional and an Associate Certified Coach from International Coaching Federation. He has approximately 10 years of work experience in the space of Strategic HR, Talent Management, Total Rewards, HR Analytics, and IT.

Currently, Swaroop is working on Global HR Transformation at Schneider Electric, a global specialist in energy management and automation with operations in more than 100 countries.

He is an alumnus of XLRI Jamshedpur and further studied Leadership & Business Strategy from INSEAD.

The session was enriching, and the audience got insights into the transformations happening across the industry and how one should be with time in the VUCA world. The students were made aware of organizations, structures, and Jargons in different sectors. And also the skills in demand across industries. The examples used to convey the message made it easier to relate and understand.

POST COVID world and possible strategies for IT/ITES

Mr Apurva Chamaria is the SVP and the Chief of Staff to the CEO & MD of Tech Mahindra. He leads the growth initiatives around Cloud, AI, and Wave 4 businesses. He earlier donned the role of Chief Revenue Officer at RateGain, a leading SaaS company serving 12000+ customers globally. He was also the Global Head of Corporate Marketing for HCL Technologies. Before HCL, he was the youngest country manager at Ranbaxy Laboratories (now Sun Pharmaceuticals), leading the business in Australia & NZ. In 2016, he was awarded the "Marketer of the Year" award by World Leadership Forum, "Digital Marketer of the Year" by IAMAI, and "B2B Marketer of the Year" by Paul Writer. Mr Chamaria got Recognized by The Economic Times as amongst the top 10 angel investors in India in 2018. He's a columnist for the Pitch and Digital Market Asia magazines. His published books include 'You are the key – unlocking doors through Social Selling' and 'Master Growth Hacking.'

Key Learnings:

  • Technology is rapidly reshaping the world, and the future belongs to the AI revolution.
  • The only way machines and humans can work together is by humans being humane and empathetic managers.
  • Unlearning and relearning will be the success defining factors for future managers and leaders.

Importance of personal branding

Ms Soma Pandey is a dynamic HR leader with solid global experience and a strategic partner in multinational companies across BPO, ITES, HR Services, and FMCG sectors.

She has a corporate career spanning 25 years that began with a firm grounding in employee-industrial relations in ITC Ltd and later advanced to anchoring and leading CEO transition, organization transformation, M&A assimilation, divestment, and change management in varied contexts. Most recently, as a CHRO of Firstsource, she has a track record of building competent, motivated, and successful HR teams.

Soma Pandey is also a hands-on coach with a bias for action and results, bringing innovative yet straightforward and pragmatic solutions to complex business challenges.

Key Learnings:

  • The importance of personal branding and the method to build one by understanding the key factors below,
    Authenticity - Being oneself
    Awareness - Know about one's perceptions
    Articulation - Define one's brand value
    Amplification - Sell one's brand
  • Everyone is a brand oneself. One must endeavour to "know" and try to project one's quality and skills to the world so that others can make use of it.

Fostering Diversity Inclusion at the Workplace

Sonica Aron is the Founder and Managing Partner of Marching Sheep, an HR advisory firm specializing in Strategic HR advisory, Diversity and inclusion interventions, employee health and wellness and capability building. An XLRI post graduate, Sonica has worked with companies like Pepsico, Vodafone, Roche Diagnostics and ICI paints. She started her career with a sound understanding of business where she went route-riding with Pepsico and was part of the team that launched Pepsi 200 ml at Rs 5. She was the first lady HR Manager stationed at a factory in Upcountry UP and there the seeds to her diversity practice were born. Sonica is passionate about HR, empowering people and all things in between. A mother of two, she decided to set up Marching Sheep in 2013 with a vision of making a difference to peoples' lives and careers, and driving respect and equality for all.

Key Learnings:

  • The need for diversity and inclusion measures to include even men as they also are at a receiving end of stereotypes.
  • About the RPWD act, expansion from 7 to 21 disabilities
  • Diversity is a fact and we need to work past our biases and assumptions.
  •  Building awareness of issues will empower leadership to empathize and equip their employees with the right support and right environments.

Enterprise Innovation and Agility with Cloud Computing

Aditee is currently working as the Director-IVS Solutions and Strategic Partnerships at Microsoft. She is a Technical Sales Leader with expertise in Digital technologies, Cloud Native and large-scale application architectures, to fuel the next phase of growth for Enterprise Businesses. Led transformative engagements for enterprise customers across verticals. She has built Strategic Partnerships with ISVs, Start-ups and commercial partners to help them grow a healthy cloud business. She has led technical evangelism to build niche skills in Students, Developers and Women in Tech. She has multi-Geography experience across US, Australia, UK & India. Digital Influencer and Technical Speaker for Cloud and Digital Technologies.

Key Learnings from the session:

1) The way of working has changed completely:

  • Respond -Navigating the Now
  • Restart - Planning the comeback
  • Reimagine - Shaping the new normal

2) Innovation Building Blocks Include:

  • Modern Collaboration
  • Cloud Native Architectures
  • AI Powered - UX, Logic, and Everything
  • Seamless Integration
  • Fully Managed Data
  • Seamless Operations
  • Security as the foundation


Supply Chain: A competitive advantage

Mr. Rahul Awasthi is currently the Executive Vice President at Dabur India Limited. He is an experienced supply chain professional with a demonstrated track record in the FMCG industry in the manufacturing, technology, innovation, and supply planning domain.

He has done multiple Strategic and execution roles in top companies. He possesses deep manufacturing, outsourcing, supply and distribution planning, S&P, manufacturing excellence, innovation, sustainability, and quality expertise.

Mr. Awasthi spoke about the challenges and opportunities in today's volatile and uncertain times. He emphasized that the supply chain is seen not as a support function but a true enabler for growth.

Good supply chains help organizations to survive in turbulent times and thrive when there are tailwinds.

He also talked about how the supply chain has shifted from being seen as the back office function it once was to a strategic driver of business growth with time. He further explained the increasing complexity of supply chains and how supply chain managers must use a combination of tools, techniques, and approaches to understand the need, control cost challenges, and meet everyday and long-term challenges.


Corporate Innovation and Building Digital Ventures

Pritam Dutta has over 13 years of International experience in Driving Digital Transformation across FMCG & Manufacturing space across currently based out of Bangalore Currently working as Head of Digital Transformation @ Anheuser Busch Inbev (Budweiser inc) He has driven huge competitive advantage across companies by leveraging Digital Disruption. Since 2018, Pritam has helped shape the Global Data Strategy at Unilever which have led to creation of competitive advantage and a new business with over 200-Million-euro business. In 2017, Pritam was part of the $1 billion-dollar Unilever acquisition of Dollar Shave Club a (complete Digital Business model) which achieved over 40% YOY growth in first year of operations & is currently one of the fastest growing subscription-based Business Models. In 2017, Pritam when based in Manila lead the Asia Digital Transformation Forum driving Innovative cross Industry partnership across the Digital ecosystem In 2016 Pritam's programme on transforming Employee Experience using Artificial Intelligence was selected by Deloitte Berkins & Wall Street Journal as one of the Global Best Practices of driving Digital Transformation.

Key Take Aways :

  • The importance of having people who have failed on your team. Failure tells us, people have worked towards ambitious goals and come up against challenges.
  • The need to work with start-ups as partners
  • Interested in financial inclusion but cautious of side effects of any measures. Ex: - Farm loan waivers make lenders wary of lending to farmers.

Flipkart's Culture & People Centric Focus

Mr. Krishna Raghavan is the Chief People Officer at Flipkart and brings over two decade of experience working in product companies across the US and India. He has extensive experience with E-commerce apps, SaaS delivery models, engineering leadership and management, product startups, enterprise solutions/integrations, and running 24/7 high availability product operations. Mr. Krishna was the Technology Head for Flipkart's Fulfilment Services, and Customer Experience Groups. In the course of his tenure at Flipkart, he has also spearheaded the launch of the marketplace platform and has led multiple strategic technology initiatives for Ekart.

Mr Krishna has been a part of some of the prominent tech companies such as Yahoo and Cleartrip. He is also a leadership coach and has a track record of building competent, motivated, and successful teams within an organization.

Key Learnings:

  • Entrepreneurship, Inclusion and Sustainability being key pillars of Flipkart's Culture. The whole ecosystem is built around authentic communication that is instrumental in enduring any adversity.
  • Taking out the fear of anxiety in your employees, will be the most important thing in managing your supply chain - in post pandemic world


Digital Real Estate Boom in India

Mani Rangarajan is the Group COO of the Elara Group, the only full-stack real-estate company in India. The Group operates Housing.com & Makaan.com, two of India's largest real estate portals and PropTiger, one of India's leading channel partners. He heads sales, business development, monetization, marketing, operations, research, and data solutions at the Group. Mani has extensive global experience in P&L management, monetization, operations, finance, and strategy in the internet and financial services sectors in over 25 countries. Mani has held executive-level roles in companies such as Citigroup, Yahoo! and with leading Silicon Valley start-up companies including Boku, Kosmix, Cloudera, and the Climate Corporation.

Key Learnings:

  • Growth in the real estate market in India post Covid-19 times
  • New opportunities in the digital segment of the real estate industry
  • Expansion of the digital tech to broader market like healthcare, etc.


Digital Transformation with AI & Business Strategy

Mr. Dhaval Thanki is the Vice President of Asia Pacific, ME & Africa at LogiNext, Worlds # 1 AI powered transportation automation platform. He has 16 years of experience in the digital, CRM, analytics space. Skilled in Strategy, Business Development, Product management, Account Management, Client Servicing, Digital Marketing, Analytics, Retention Marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Precision Marketing & Product Marketing.

Key Learnings:

  • Digital transformation - AI is just one of the 5 elements (Strategy, Digitization, AI, Customer Experience and Analytics.)
  • Automation is the first and necessary step to Intelligence. And it requires relatively lesser effort for businesses, but can help unlock a lot of value.
  • Create huge business impact and deliver increasingly richer customer experiences.


Entrepreneurship Growth and Competitiveness in recent times

Mr. Rajat Jaiswal is a high-flying pilot with over 7,000 hours of flying experience and co-founder of Noida-headquartered burger brand Wat-a-Burger. In just over five years, Wat-a-Burger has grown into a well-known desi burger brand in India with over 60 outlets across 21 cities.

A deep thinker, problem solver, and motivational speaker, Mr. Jaiswal started his career as a pilot at a private airline in 2009. He then moved to SpiceJet as a Flight Commander, eventually becoming a Senior Captain at a leading airline company.

Key Learnings:

  • Being persistent towards your goals pays off
  • Importance of a strong supply chain network in any entrepreneurship endeavor
  • Clarity towards your target audience and a clean and concise positioning statement can help in creating a concrete competitive advantage


Positive Intelligence (PQ) - New age human skill for sustainable behavioural change

Mr Rajeev Nayak is the CEO of Exponentium Coaching & Consulting and has over 20 + years of Pharma Leadership experience in India, Asia & Eastern Europe. He is the Ex Country head – Ukraine, Dr Reddys Labs and has had held leadership roles in large Pharma MNCs, including Dr. Reddys, Ranbaxy, Cipla & MSD. He is the Member of the International Coach Federation (ICF) and has 100+ Hours of Executive & Life Coaching Experience.

Rajeev has extensive experience in building Coaching Cultures in organizations and Coaching leaders in Executive Positions to Create High-Performance Teams.

Key Learnings:

  • Traditional leadership training focuses on insights than muscle, treats symptoms than the cause and does not have a of common framework for different issues
  •  PQ and the neuroscience behind behaviours and how it is linked to our activities and thought processes. information on different personality types including "The Hyper achiever, Hyper-Rational, Hyper-Vigilant, Pleaser, Perfectionist and Victim"
  • Road to Sage Personality à 5 Sage Powers - Empathise, Explore, Innovate, Navigate, Activate
  • Performance of an individual= Potential - Interference "Potential" includes the capabilities well as the ability to learn. "Interference" represents the ways that one undermines the fulfilment or expression of the capacities


Setting up successful B2B E-Commerce Opportunities and Challenges in recent times

Ms. Pallavi Chelluri is the Director Marketing at Moglix. Pallavi brings 11 years of experience and expertise in the domains of B2B marketing, strategic sales, and consulting. In her current role at Moglix she leads the company's initiatives for brand building, demand and lead generation, corporate communications and sales enablement. During the course of her career thus far she has held leadership roles while working with leading enterprises across the supply chain, technology, heavy engineering, and PSU verticals. In her last role at Siemens India, she led the development of Siemens' Digital Center that provided IIoT solutions and anchored business development, marketing, and sales of custom digital services and products of the company to mid-market and enterprise customers. An alumnus of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, Pallavi is a gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering from the Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She takes keen interest in business model innovation, creative problem solving, brand storytelling and mentoring young leaders.

Key Learnings:

  • What differentiates B2B from B2C
    - Individual purchasing for their business
    - Buying in large quantities
    - Buying industrial grade items
    - Buying and selling are governed by organizations processes and rules
    - Credit cycle
    - Tax invoicing
  • B2B Ecommerce is headed towards
    - Consumerization
    - Integration
    - Intelligence


Transitioning to a managerial role at the workplace

Mr. Ram is an alumnus of IIM Indore batch of 2012. He has been with the IT industry for over 14 years. He started as a developer and has gone on to take up leadership roles within the industry. With a techno-managerial blend, he has led teams in software development and software delivery. He is currently responsible for several growth functions within his current organization, such as learning and pre-sales.

Mr. Ram talked about the skills needed to excel at the workplace, the ways to handle conflicts, the managerial skills required from the digital perspective, among many key takeaways. The session was really insightful and would definitely help us in our transition to a managerial role.


Digital and Preparing for Digital Careers

Mr. Raghuraman is a software professional, with a passion for software, IT and Technology. Raghu spent the first 16 years of his career in India, before moving his family to the USA. He has over 35 years of experience in the technology industry, working in several large organizations, including Citibank, Dell, General Motors and now as a Senior Vice President, Digital Engineering at Schneider Electric.

The session was very informative, where Mr. Raghu talked about his experience of Digital, and what lies ahead for businesses across the globe to adopt. It's not just working with data and automation, It's about re-examining the way businesses work. Where future managers have to focus more on delivering than only managing. And certainly, working towards adding value than just working on automation.


What Accelerated Digitization Means for India

Mr. T R Ramachandran (or TRR as he is known) is the Group Country Manager for India & South Asia at Visa, the global leader in Payments. In this capacity, he is responsible for Visa' franchise and P&L and all of Visa's activities in these countries, including Business Strategy formulation, Product development and commercialization, Sales & Business Development, and partnerships and relationships with financial institutions, FinTech's, Merchants, Governments, and other Payment's ecosystem participants. He is also a member of the Visa Asia-Pacific Leadership Committee.

Key Learnings:

  • The underlying forces driving digitization in payments in the Indian context
  • The new exciting spaces in digital payments: open ecosystems &
  • Trend of open banking & finance and its importance

Daring to "BE WHAT YOU CAN BE"

Mr. Armstrong Pame is an IAS Officer, a TEDx speaker, popularly known as the "Miracle Man" of Manipur. He truly manifests the duties & responsibilities that come with the tag. The IAS Officer's first claim to fame was constructing a 100 km stretch of road been built in the state, joining two inaccessible villages Tusem and Tamenglag, in 2012. The arduous task of building the "People's road" was surprisingly completed without any help from the government and instead by the money raised through social media. In 2012, he was nominated for CNN-IBN Indian of the Year in the Public service category. Armstrong Pame is also the founding curator of the Global shapers Community, Imphal hub under the world economic forum. He is now declared as Young Global Leader of the class of 2018, as announced by the World Economic Forum.

Key Learnings:

  • The meaning of leadership in an efficient perspective, expectations from society
  • Importance of vision and its implications for a purposeful life
  • Finding opportunities amid disappointments and difficulties


Interactive Session

Mr. Vivek Nawathe is the current Head- PaaS of SKF Group, where he oversees transformation services and digital tech performance. He worked with leading companies McKinsey & Company, Reliance Industries Ltd., TRF Ltd., and others. He has ~15 years of experience with leading Energy, Chemicals, Manufacturing, EPC, and Mining organizations across India, Australia, SE Asia, Europe, and Latin American regions. He has been responsible for Performance transformations spanning operations, maintenance, supply chain, marketing, and Capex - including digital/Industry 4.0 aspects; Strategy development, implementation, and refinement; business development and product/service introduction to markets.

Mr. Vivek also co-founded a B2C technology-enabled start-up, one of the top 3 selected by the Government of India for National level start-up awards in 2018. Mr. Vivek is an alum of XLRI Jamshedpur of GMP batch of 2010-2011. He was nominated for the TATA Business Leadership Award - 2013.

Key Learnings:

  • Strategies for the evolving digital transformation markets
  • Critical skills for an MBA to bridge the gap between the current and future trends
  • Challenges to overcome during a transition from a technical to a managerial role
  • Expectations of the recent consulting firms from business leaders


What it takes to thrive in a High Growth Start-Up

Ms. Sana Nayyar is an HR generalist with 9+ years of diverse experience across roles (Business Partnering, Learning, Recruitment, Operations) industries (Transport, Logistics, Corporate) and business types (large global organization, technology startup). She is currently heading the HRBP function for Urban Company, based out of Gurgaon.

She completed her B.Sc. Hons. in Business from the University of London, following which she went on to do a diploma in Economics and Masters in International Employment relations & Human Resource Management from the London School of Economics.

Key Learnings:

  • Adaptability is absolutely critical to sustain oneself in today's dynamic world. Getting put up in an undefined space – a blank canvas, and being able to build things, processes, solve complex problems will define one's success.
  • Bureaucracies in organizations are the roadblocks to sustainable growth, albeit necessary. Organizations should aim to limit these bureaucracies as much as possible. People and teams are not built by these artificial roadblocks.


Interactive Session

Mr. Gautam was a Lead Talent & Learning Consultant, Certified Agile HR Coach, LEAN, and Six Sigma methodologist with expert insights into behavioural assessments, talent management solutions, skill development, and succession frameworks.

Passionate about building and implementing scalable talent & organizational development solutions anchored in innovative technology and user experience design, manifesting a productive cultural shift to deliver measurable business value.

With 18+ years of talent management & development experience, amidst in-depth expertise in building strategies for end-to-end delivery across global markets. Projects include global change initiatives across 14 countries on performance management, skill enhancement, leadership development, talent marketplace, diversity equity inclusion, and career journey for campus hires, along with designing long-term talent engagement strategy, uncovering behavioural and skills insights for talent landscaping, and implementing through Agile HR teams.

Key Learnings:

  • How to Build Skills Everyday
  • What is Ikigai
  • How to be ready for unknown challenges and Power of building network
  • Identifying own Advisory Board for Self development
  • How to obtain 4C'S Cheer leader, CRITIC, COACH, CONNECTOR

Interactive Session

Ishaan is currently working as Assistant Vice President at Citi and is part of APAC Campus Recruitment and University Relations Team. He holds PGDM - HRM from XLRI and has over 7 years of experience across industries. He is passionate about early careers and talent development. He is also a certified Project Management Professional from Project Management Institute, the world's leading association for the project, program and portfolio management profession.

Key Learnings:

  • Banks are collaborating with FinTechs to accelerate digital transformation and stay ahead of the curve. This in turn is generating various employment opportunities in the BFSI space
  • Customer centricity, cognitive proficiency, and people management lie at the heart of a successful career in the BFSI sector

Transformational Trends Impacting Mobility

Kaushik Madhavan is currently working as Vice President-Mobility with Frost & Sullivan, managing the Automotive & Transportation business unit for the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.

He has previously worked with Nissan Motor India Pvt. Ltd. in Product Planning. Worked with a cross-functional team in charting out the passenger vehicle product/technology roadmap for Nissan and Datsun in India. He specializes in Competitive benchmarking, Market entry strategies, Product portfolio, Market expansion strategies and Emerging technology evaluation.

Key Learnings:

  • Transformation of product based automotive market to a more service-oriented mobility market.
  • The Four future Scenarios of Mobility.
    • Multimodality of Mobility
    • Platformization of Transport
    • Technology singularity in Mobility
    • Transcendental Mobility
  • Projected growth of Indian economy from the shared mobility model augmented by aspirational Indian mindset.


Advancing in the new normal – a leadership perspective

Mr. Raghavan is a business leader with more than 25 years of experience in sales, marketing, key accounts, and strategic planning across Middle East and Africa and Asia Pacific. He is also a Master Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma. He has been with 3M for more than 24 years, currently as Director for their Commercial Solutions Division (CSD) in their second largest region, Asia. Prior to 3M, he worked at BASF, a German multinational.

Aside from his core functions, Manohar is also passionate about mentoring young leaders.

Key Learnings:

  • Booming e-commerce, global brand trends entering Asia, mergers and JV's.
  • There are six styles of leadership including, coaching, commanding, visionary, pacesetting, democrazt, and affiliative.
  • Prioritization always starts with setting right priorities, focused on creating values for the shareholders.


Digital Transformation in the Automotive Industry

Mr. Mahesh is the current Vice President – Human Resources of Mercedes-Benz Research & Development India Pvt. Ltd. (MBRDI). With an overall experience of nearly 24 years in Human Resources, Mr. Mahesh is a versatile leader with deep expertise in Human Resource Management, Leadership Development, Cultural Transformation, Change Management, and Digital Transformation in HR.
He has been handling the entire HR gamut, and he has built up a diverse organization in terms of talent acquisition and development in the last couple of years. He has transformed the HR function focusing on ‘customer dedication’ and ‘digitalization’ which has made MBRDI the largest R&D unit of Daimler AG outside Germany.
Mr. Mahesh studied Personnel Management at the Institute of Business Management & Research, Pune, and received his Master’s degree in Personnel Management from the University of Pune

Key Learnings:

  • Digitally enabling the automotive sector is the new hot trend.
  • The transitional phases of the automotive sector over the years.


Strategy and Digitalization

Mr. Subramanian currently leads strategy for the Cummins group in India.

Previously, he held the role of strategy & digitalization for the Distribution systems business of Siemens India. In his 6+ years at McKinsey and Siemens Management consulting, Subramanian has significant experience in spearheading transformation programs and developing business and corporate strategies for players across sectors (e.g., Logistics, Cement, Oil & Gas, Conglomerates, Engineering) and across functions primarily in Strategy, Operations, and Sales & marketing.
Subramanian has several national and international papers and articles in Operations and Strategy to his credit.

Key Learnings:

  • The major trends driving the industry like climate change actions, digitalization.
  • Importance of the VUCA world and resiliency
  • Emerging start-up environment for newer technologies


International Expansion @ OYO
Mayank Singh

Mayank Singh delivered the session "International Expansion @ OYO" in the XLRI Industry Expert Connect Series on 9th February 2022,
Mayank Singh, the Director - Merchant Product at OYO, has led expansion in 6 countries across the Americas and South-East Asia. An ISB alumnus, he has 9+ years of experience in fast-paced growth startups and consulting. Before OYO, he worked at Deloitte and a startup called Indix.
He loves to play basketball in his free time and is a wannabe coffee aficionado.

Key Learnings:

  • Tactics the company followed to sail through the expansion challenges, including adopting the new technology specific to the latest market requirements, hiring local talent and imparting OYO culture to them, building direct demand channels from scratch, battling competition and copycats and new innovative deals for different markets.
  • Importance of the prelaunch activities required for a successful market entry, including Market research, compliance and legal, hiring, Tech setup, and operational setup with a 100-day prelaunch plan.
  • Approach to stabilize & scale the operations post-launch – Market sizing and city prioritization and deep dive to establish hotel chains and plan for on the groundwork including recruitment, marketing and communications and deploying them.


Managing the Millennials
Mr. P Senthil

Mr. P Senthil is an accomplished HR Leader, He has straddled various sectors: FMCG, Engineering, Hospitality, Oil and Gas,Metals and Minerals in his career spanning 29 years. His contributions have been significantly in the areas of culture building, Design of Talent Management systems, Leadership Development & Assessment Centres, creating a high performance work culture, Strategic HR aligned to the Business goals, setting up HR systems in start-ups and Employee engagement practices.
Mr. Senthil brings fresh thinking to any context and believes that every context is unique. He therefore adds custom-fit Value to People challenges and issues. A keen learner armed with a sharp grasping ability connects, relates, and gets to the root of any issue. He is known to hit the 'Bulls eye 'while coming up with solutions.
Mr. Senthil's last two corporate roles were as CHRO at Tata Steel and Director-HR at Cairn Energy. He led HR at MNCs and Indian conglomerates straddling across sectors before these. As a comprehensive HR Leader, he has led various OD initiatives, M&A integrations, and Leadership development initiatives. An accredited Coach from CFI, he has coached the top CXOs in both the Public and Private sectors.
The session was very insightful, where Mr. Senthil talked about his incredible experience and how one should adapt to the changing leadership qualities from the perspective of Millennials. The session allowed the students to interact and get their queries answered.

Key Learnings:

  • How one should work on creating a strong company culture
  • How offering a work – life Balance environment creates a constructive impact on performance of the employee.
  • How correct leadership and guidance can enhance employees professionally.
  • How one can leverage the cutting edge technologies to increase efficiency.


Demystifying Product Management in Software World
Samarth Upponi

Samarth Upponi delivered the session "Demistifying the Produtct Management in the software world" in the XLRI Industry Expert Connect Series on 15th February 2022,
Samarth Upponi, Head of Product & Engineering in the E-commerce Marketplace at Rakuten has over 15 years of experience in the industry, he has pursued his mba form IIM Bangalore and holds computer science engineering degree from RV college of Engineering Banglaore. He has vast product experience in the companies like Cisco and Edulistic.
He is an avid book reader and loves sports.

Key Learnings:

  • A few Hard skills are required to get in product management, such as knowledge of UI/UX and understanding of the Business model and web development. Still, soft skills are critical in order to excel as a product manager, like influencing without authority, ability to take the initiative and articulate communication.
  • Difference between a good product and a bad product, the idea of the origination of the product can come from any department of the company and sometimes the consumer.
  • There are three elements involved, namely Input, Output, and Impact. We need to understand that Input should be minimized, and at the same time, output and the impact should be maximized with the limited resource available.
  • A Product manager should have an accurate understanding of the requirement since there are differentiated understandings of the requirement within the various departments.
  • The impact of a user story in creating a product is quite high and plays an important role in order to define the customer journey path.


Skill Set for Future Finance Leaders
Mr. Anil Suneja

Mr. Anil Suneja comes with over 16 years of experience. He has previously worked in Deloitte before joining Baxter International, where he has worked for nearly 15 years. In Baxter, he has donned various hats including that of Finance Manager, Finance Controller of Philiphines and Thaliand Region, Finance Head of India Region, and currently as the Director of Finance for Indian and South East Asian Region. In his current role, Mr Suneja is handling commercial, captive and shares services including IT (GDCI) and R&D with more than $125M overall business size across locations.
He has been felicitated with Global Finance Leadership Award multiple time and various other awards at regional and country level.

Key Learnings:

  • Future of finance is inevitably going to be different than it is today and so are the required skill sets for finance professionals to be “relevant leaders”
  • Core finance skill sets must match the changing business scenario to drive long term value with ease of doing operations
  • Agile mindset in finance is transformational for the next generation of finance leaders.


Financial Inclusion- Innovations and Storytelling
Ms. Debolina Bose

Ms. Debolina is the Director, Audit at Grant Thornton LLP. She has over 14+ years of experience in Statutory Audits in US GAAP, IFRS, and IGAAP. She joined the INDUS office in 2014 and has worked on various public and private companies across industries, specializing in the CIP industry, Technology audits. Before joining Grant Thornton, she was associated with KPMG and EY in a client-facing Audit services role in the India offices, handling the audits of various listed clients covering CIP and software companies.
Ms. Debolina has expertise in the CIP, Technology, Software Real Estate, NFP sectors.
She is an MS in Finance, MSc in Economics from St. Xavier's University, and a CA & a CS from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Institute of Company Secretaries of India.

Key Learnings:

  • The need of financial inclusion in today’s social setup – 6 key digital ways
  • The incorporation of data analytics and automation in financial services
  • The emerging trend of innovation and how it is changing the face of audit services


Understanding Business as a Leader
Arnab Ghosh

Mr. Arnab is a passionate finance professional with 23 years of expertise in Financial Reporting, Audit and Accounting Advisory and Financial Risk Management, driven by hunger for knowledge and diversity in the world. He has been associated with Macquarie since 2013 and is currently a part of the Macquarie India leadership team for strategic initiatives. He has led the Corporate reporting vertical as Associate Director at Macquarie group.
Mr. Arnab started his career with PWC in India in 1998 and has been associated with auditing and consulting large corporates like SAIL, NALCO, Maruti, CLP India, Hutchison India, Airtel group, HCL Technologies, Ballarpur Group, Essent N.V, KPN N.V., Schlumberger Finance and many more.
She is an MS in Finance, M.Sc. in Economics from St. Xavier's University, and a CA & a CS from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Institute of Company Secretaries of India.

Key Learnings:

  • Valuing People Over Profit. Social responsibility is becoming more and more important for a company
  • Risk planning involves identifying the most important risk events in advance, prioritizing them, and developing the appropriate risk response plans.
  • The Great Resignation is a phenomenon that describes record numbers of people leaving their jobs after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Companies now have to navigate the ripple effects of the pandemic and re-evaluate how to retain talent.


Changing Business Landscape and Our Preparedness
Praveen Kamath K

Mr. Praveen Kamath K delivered the session "Changing Business Landscape and Our Preparedness" in the XLRI Industry Expert Connect Series on 19th March 2022.
He has over 25 years of strategic HR & leadership experience working in large scale Manufacturing, IT & ITES organizations with a proven track record of leading global leadership teams, processes & talent management practices.
In the last 15yrs, he has been associated with Wipro Limited, managing multiple roles including Global Leader for Talent Acquisition; Global Leader for Training & Development; Global HR Business Partner & HR Strategic Initiative Leader across businesses in the US, Europe & Rest of Asia.

Key Learnings:

  • Sustainable Employability is where the employees and employers are trying to reach. It involves the combinational development of resilience, engagement, talent development, physical and mental health.
  • Millennial Employees are radically different from the previous generation. There is a need to balance the workforce transformation and project challenges. To maintain this balance, employees should
    1. Enhance the new skills and increase professional network
    2. Broaden knowledge of different functional areas.
    In a similar manner, employers should
    a. Develop leaders through new roles and challenges
    b. Appreciate cultural diversity and inclusion in the workplace


A Responsive “Citizen Centric” Public Administration is the key to success of modern civil society
Nidhi Khare

Ms. Nidhi Khare, presently Additional Secretary in Department of Consumer Affairs is an IAS officer of 1992 batch from Jharkhand Cadre.
She has held several important administrative posts such as Administrator, Patna Municipal Corporation and Collector of Jamshedpur, Madhubani, and Dumka districts. She has worked in the sectors of Education, Labour, Health, Disability, Environment and Finance.
About 20 years ago, she worked in the sector of Sanitation and several panchayats of Jamshedpur became the first in Jharkhand, to receive Nirmal Gram Puraskar for being Open Defecation free.
In Government of India, Presently as AS in Department of Consumer Affairs, she has been instrumental in notifying Protection of Consumer Rights Act and drafting 18 Rules and Regulations including those on E-commerce, Direct selling etc. She is the first Chief Commissioner of Central Consumer Protection Authority (CCPA).
Earlier, she has served as Joint Secretary in MHA, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate change and Ministry of Expenditure.
She has travelled extensively across the world to places like USA, Netherlands, France, Turkey, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.
She is a trained classical Hindustani vocalist and loves to spend her time reading extensively on diverse subjects like Anthropology, Economics and History. She has a keen interest in arts and has mentored social activists engaged in public service.

Key Learnings:

  • The difference between the granular and accurate targeting use of technology.
  • The seven core design principles across the goals to reach the vision.
  • Single window system for administrative approvals, tracking and updation.
  • Grievance’s redressal.

Lifelong Learning
Ramachandran Sundararajan

Ramachandran is a Principal Consultant in the thought leadership team in Infosys – the Knowledge Institute, or IKI.
He is the lead for Manufacturing and Engineering domains. Ram has more than 24 years of experience in the digitization for industrial applications. His topics of interest are Industry 4.0, Sustainability, Servitization and Future of work.
He is a regular blogger and speaker on these topics in multiple channels. He has co-authored a book titled “Neoskilling for Digital Transformation” along with Prof. L. Prasad, IIM Bangalore, published by Wiley India. He is a mechanical engineer with a Masters in Production Engineering and his Executive MBA - PGPEM from IIM Bangalore.

Key Learnings:

  • Reskilling – to keep up with the rate of change
  • Blended learning is the future of education
  • Combination of soft and hard skills to make an impact in today’s businesses
  • Technology and the role of automation is pivotal


Diversity & Inclusion
Sharmila Sherikar

Ms. Sharmila is a Senior Talent Management professional with in-depth experience in the entire gamut of People programs and processes. She has extensive exposure to managing change during acquisitions and mergers, building capabilities and talent during high growth phases, executing appropriate HR interventions, outplacement, and transition management. She has been the Head of HR for the Americas region for Virtusa for the last 18 years. She is Responsible for managing People processes for one of the company's fastest-growing regions.
The session started with the current statistics and the priorities the organization these days are setting to achieve their Diversity and Inclusion goals. The speaker also pointed out why diversity and inclusion is imperative for an organization and how diverse talent together with diverse perspective helps in achieving culture of inclusion.

Key Learnings:

  • Achieving Diversity and inclusion goals are not only limited to gender and how Virtusa is an equal opportunity employer with zero bias with objective to create a better experience for their employees and stake holders.
  • She also talked about how Diversity and Inclusion is an integral part of Virtusa’s OGSM- Objective, Goals, Strategy and Measures and how they have progressed on achieving D and I goals as it is one of its key objective.
  • About the recently developed programs to nurture future leaders of certain section of organizations. Also some specific to women employees to enable leaders leverage personal and team’s motivational drivers, decision making and interaction patterns to enhance organizational efficiency.
  • How the various initiatives at Virtusa helps in building stronger organization wide collaboration to enable expand their boundaries and support each other in enhancing individual and collective performance.


AI in Business : Challenges & Opportunities
Tathagat Varma

Tathagat Varma is the Vice President of Strategy & Operations at Walmart Global Tech India. Tathagat is a veteran software executive, product leader, technology strategist and innovation evangelist with over three decades experience building product and tech organizations with American, European and Chinese Fortune 1-500 companies and Silicon Valley unicorns.
He is currently heading ‘Technology Strategy and Business Operations’ at Walmart Global Tech India. A Postgrad in Computer Science & XLRI alum (PGCHRM), Tathagat is currently pursuing PhD in AI/Business from Indian School of Business, Hyderabad.

Key Learnings:

  • Economic impact of Artificial Intelligence is large and also people's jobs will be majorly impacted by it however there is a low ROI and high failure rate associated with Artificial Intelligence projects. So we as Managers will have to critically evaluate the AI projects.
  • There are many business benefits of Artificial Intelligence but there are many challenges such as getting the right data for training and also avoiding any bias towards any specific community, race, or gender.


Batch 2020 - 2021

Valuation: Misconceptions and Challenges

Prof. Aswath Damodaran is a legend in the field of corporate finance and valuation, and the author of the most widely used textbooks in B-schools across India. He is the Kerschner Family Chair in Finance Education, and the Professor of Finance at NYU Stern School of Business. He has done more than almost anyone in establishing valuation as a separate field of study, and is widely acknowledged to be one of the finest intellectual minds in the world.

Key Learnings

Prof. Damodaran, in a freewheeling discussion, touched upon the following

  • How valuation is neither an art nor a science, but a craft
  • The nuances of the difference between valuation and pricing
  • The bias and misconceptions that arise in the world of valuation
  • The influence of disruption on valuation


Creative Leadership - Collaborative Governance

Dr. Kiran Bedi has been India's first and highest woman ranking officer having joined the Indian Police Service in 1972. Her expertise includes more than four decades of Public Administration, Creative and Reformative Policing and Prison Management. She is currently serving as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry. Dr.Kiran Bedi shared her insights during the leadership talk on Creative Leadership - Collaborative Governance.

Key Learnings

The management students of the day must understand how COVID-19 as a challenge was handled by Human Resource Management in organizations. It is a class case study by itself in risk management, planning, and resource deployment.

The three key lessons for management students are UHF, which stands for Uncertainty, Health and Family.

COVID 19 has taught us how significant UHF is in our daily lives.

  • Preparing for uncertainty
  • Valuing health (over wealth)
  • Value of Family and Friends


Case Problems: The Structured Approach To Consulting

Mr. Marc Cosentino, global case interview preparation expert and author of Case in Point, in an interactive session with the students of PGDM(GM) discussed the need for resilience and structured problem-solving both in consulting and in the real world. He answered queries on the need for entering the consulting world with prior experience and also shared his thoughts on how the consulting world is adapting to the new global reality. He encouraged a discussion on the importance of not just frameworks, but of the structured mindset. The session was organised by XLRI's PGDM(GM) 2020-21 batch, led by Kautilya Consult Club.

Key Learnings

The foundation of case-solving lies not in the solution, but in the method; knowing the right approach and having the right mindset is the key to good business case solving.


Customer Success - The What, How, Why and Why Now

Mr Santosh Sahoo, Customer Success, Sr. Director at MuleSoft, shared highlights of his professional journey with the students of PGDM (GM) at XLRI on 27 September, 2020. Mr Sahoo has over 17 years of diverse experience across Account Management, Customer Success, Strategy, Program Management and Delivery. Having worked extensively in eCommerce, Advanced Analytics, Cloud technologies, he has a proven track record of beating revenue and profitability targets by building trusted relationships with CXOs/VP suite.

In his session he gave an overview of the industry and the growth opportunities.

Key Learnings

  • Customer success is a trend, and it is accelerating
  • The value of customers and the central focus on them
  • Outcomes are critical to the success of customer service plans
  • Desired outcomes and exceptional experience result in Customer Success

Musings on Surviving and Thriving in the Corporate Jungle

Mr Gautam Khanna, Vice President and Global Head of the Modernisation Practice at Infosys, shared his mantra on how to survive in the challenging corporate world. Mr Khanna has over 22 years of experience in IT services delivery, program management and sales. He covered a wide range of topics like importance of failures, workplace politics and how to curb counterproductive work behaviour.

Key Learnings

  • No failure is catastrophic if you handle it well
  • If you have a part in your team's success, you have a role in their inability to succeed also
  • Conflicts are part and parcel of organizations, focus on positive disruptions

The New Leadership Paradigm in Light of COVID

Mr Sanjay Banerjee, Director at SS Supply Chain Solutions, is an experienced professional with an enriching journey in Marketing Management, Business Planning, Medical Devices, Sales, and Biotechnology. During the leadership talk, he shared with the students various trends in multiple industries, especially healthcare, which helped students to understand company strategies that are continually evolving with changing environments. A pandemic situation like COVID-19 assesses the preparedness of an organization and the leadership acumen of its leaders.

Key Learnings

  • Empathy goes a long way when leading an organization
  • Being proactive and prepared goes a long way in crises
  • There are learnings all around us in the leaders leading the world and organizations today we need to absorb

Climate Change and Role in Consulting

Mr Sandeep Kumar Mohanty, Director in PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd. in the advisory line of service, has over 10 years of experience in management consulting. He has advised corporates, investors, in diverse geographies on investments, across energy and infrastructure landscape. Mr Mohanty kickstarted the leadership talk by discussing the day-to-day dealings of a management consultant. He also shared insights into climate change - a topic that he considers very close to his heart. He emphasised on the importance of staying informed about climate change and the emerging opportunities.

Key Learnings

  • A typical day in the life of a management consultant.
  • Human impact on the environment (I) is a function of population size (P), per capita consumption (C), and technology used to produce what is consumed (T).
  • Green Finance: Green Bonds that are specifically earmarked to raise money for climate and environmental projects.

Value-based Leadership and Negotiations

Vice Admiral Jaywant Korde PVSM, AVSM, VSM is a veteran of the Indian Navy and has served the nation for over 40 years and retired as the Chief of Logistics for the Indian Navy. He is a keen sportsman with exceptional educational qualifications, and the recipient of three presidential medals the Param Vishist Seva Medal, Ati Vishist Seva Medal and the Vishist Seva Medal.

In his talk he spoke about his humble beginnings and his journey to top leadership position in the Indian Navy. He also discussed value-based leadership and its importance in these difficult times, people being the most critical assets and the importance of influence for a leader. He also spoke at length about negotiation skills, stages of negotiation, elements of negotiation and practical tips for conducting negotiation. He shared a few anecdotes where he had applied negotiations skills and ‘walked the talk.'

Human Resource Management in FMCG

Mr Jaswanth Sharanarthy is the Head of Learning, Talent & Organizational design at Cavinkare with over 13 years of work experience in Human resources, Learning and development and Talent Acquisition. He addressed the students on the topic Human Resource Management in FMCGs.

The Key takeaways were

  • Importance of being People-centric
  • Importance of staying ahead of technology disruptions
  • Always keep learning

Building Personal Value Proposition

Ms Zulekha, Head HR, Times Business Solutions, Times Internet addressed the students on the topic Building Personal Value Proposition. She emphasized on understanding and playing to the personal strengths and weaknesses. "One must do a stock check of what is available and what is feasible," she stressed. Further, she provided valuable insight into personal branding and differentiation. She stressed on #doingourbit no matter how the circumstances played out. In the informative session with Zulekha, who is also a GMP alumna, the students had a lively interaction.

Career Choices and Subjects for Leveraging your MBA

Mr Sujoy Mitra, Technology Head at HomeTown, the retail chain of Praxis Home Retail Ltd, addressed the students on the topic Career Choices and Subjects for Leveraging your MBA. Coming from a vast experience of more than 18 years of building IT strategy in retail and IT services, Mr Mitra broke down the pros and cons of the entire spectrum of roles related to the IT domain. He stressed heavily on how robust an MBA curriculum is for sustainable growth. He highlighted the importance of topics such as NPV, cash flow, hypothesis testing, cluster analysis, project management and many more and also he suggested reading How to Measure Anything by Dr Douglas Hubbard. Mr Mitra is a 2007 batch alumnus.

ABC of Self Check-In

Mr Deepak A Deshpande, Vice-President, Tata Business Excellence Group at Tata Sons, interacted with the students on the topic ABC of Self Check-In. Mr Deshpande, who has more than 27 years of industry experience in Human Resource and Business Excellence, tapped into how the students are feeling in this pandemic situation through a live co-creation canvass. He used Cynefin framework to classify those feelings into complex, complicated, chaotic and straightforward. The interactive session helped the students assess their own thoughts and feelings. The students also shared their personal emotions and experiences during the session.

Top Five Skills Product Managers Need to be Successful in Today's VUCA world

Mr Ram Padmanabha, Vice President, Product Management at Publicis Sapient, shared his thoughts on the topic Top Five Skills Product Managers Need to be Successful in Today's VUCA World. Being a product manager himself, Mr Padmanabha gracefully guided the batch on dealing with VUCA situations as a product manager. He advised countering volatility with 2x speed thinking, uncertainty with differentiation, complexity with Cynefin Framework and ambiguity with agility. He also discussed the five must-have skills for a product manager:

  • Customer Focus
  • The Business Acumen
  • Understanding of the Tool Capabilities
  • The Core Product Development Craft
  • And the magic ingredient: Skillful Negotiation and Collaboration

Tête-A-Tête on Scaling Sustainably: Creating a Successful Startup

Mr Amey Mashelkar is the Head at JioGenNext, RIL and Jio Startup Mentoring Programme. He has run his own startup and is also a strategic angel investor in seed-stage startups. Mashelkar shared anecdotes from his professional journey of mentoring over 150 technology startups in their go-to-market, business model, commercial partnerships with Reliance, fundraising and facilitating startup acquisitions for Jio. He tried to inspire the students by citing examples of start-up ventures and their journey to success. He also encouraged the general management batch to present their business ideas.

Leadership Lessons- an Interactive Session

Mr Raj Narayan is the Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at Titan Industries Ltd. He is an international HR professional with over 25 years of experience as head of HR and member of the management team in different organisations. He is an esteemed alumni of XLRI Jamshedpur of batch 1982-84.

He pulled anecdotes from his professional journey as a leader and how one needs to make hard decisions with kindness. He narrated the incidents of crisis management, team management and conflict resolution in his career and how to address these challenges.

The Importance of Nimble Thinking: An Interactive, Multi-Case Study Approach

Mr Neeraj Goel is the Chief Finance Officer at Jaquar & Company for Global Operations - Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia. He has 23 years of experience in manufacturing, trading and servicing sectors while working with global, Indian, MNC and Global Fortune 500 companies. He addressed the GM batch by giving case studies for Real-life Leadership Challenges in the corporate world in various domains - Human Resources, Marketing, Financial Management - and encouraging students to brainstorm solutions.

Innovation Management and Design Thinking

Mr Sumant Sood is the Head of Innovation, Titan Company Ltd with over 30 years of experience and specialisation in Innovation Management, Design Thinking, Sustainability, Business Excellence, Corporate Communication, Customer Experience.

He addressed the GM batch by giving examples, stories and case studies for interweaving innovation into strategy, design thinking, business acumen. He emphasised on using creativity for business excellence, on enhancing the culture of innovation, on enhancing innovation knowledge and on working with businesses to achieve high growth rates.

Industry Expectations from HR perspective

Mr Chandrasekhar Mukherjee is the Senior President of Human Resources at Bhilosa Group and was previously the Chief Human Resource Officer at Magic Bus India Foundation. He shared his experience of working in both Greenfield and Brownfield projects and assignments, including working in different work cultures like MNC, Indian Companies and Government of India. He also talked about his experiences of working in different sectors such as technology, FMCG, media, BFSI, chemical, manufacturing and public sector and his learnings from international assignments in Europe, Malaysia and Nepal.

Mindfulness and Well-being in our Lives

Ms Ruchika Sikri is the Head of Wellbeing Learning Programs and Strategy at Google (California, USA). She has over 10 years of experience at Google and is equipped with a wide range of expertise in People Operations. She addressed the GM batch on subjects like Leadership Development Program Design and Management, Talent Management, Succession Planning, HR People Program Management, Performance and Compensation Planning, Mindfulness, Yoga, Emotional Intelligence and Mental health.

Intelligent Marketing

Mr Dhaval Thanki, Director - Solutions Business, Cartesian Consulting, has 16 years of experience in the digital, CRM, analytics space and is skilled in Strategy, Business Development, Product Management, Client Servicing, Digital Marketing, Analytics, Retention Marketing, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Precision Marketing & Product Marketing. He shared his ideas on how to build the concept of Intelligent Marketing from scratch. Audience have gained insights of systems that tracks marketing efforts/patterns and its positive effects on sales.

Corporate - Campus - Corporate: Making the most out of the loop

Mr Saurabh Nigam, Vice President, Human Capital at Omidyar Network India. He is a Post Graduate Diploma holder in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations (PM&IR) from XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur, India. He is also the only Indian who holds the SPHR, GPHR, and HRMP certifications from SHRM, USA simultaneously, and in the first 10 globally. Mr Saurabh has been recognized as one of the Top 25 Future HR Leaders of the Country by People Matters & DDI International and is a regular speaker on Compensation & Benefits, Talent Management, and Managing Gen Y. He addressed the GM batch on negotiable and the non negotiable values we work with, Corporate Culture and identifying the right mentors. He shared the ways to keep business simple if founders do not lose sight of the problem, it means the organisation is going in the right direction.

Healthcare Industry - How Information Technology is shaping the space

Mr. DK Venkatesh, Global Delivery Head - HLS (Healthcare and Life Sciences) at Virtusa. He is a Senior Global Technology Delivery Head with close to 30 years of career span, experienced in delivering Digital and Cloud Transformation services to multiple Fortune 500 clients across various industries including Communication, Hi-Tech, Media & Entertainment, Utilities, Chemical, Oil & Gas, Healthcare, Lifesciences and Insurance. He addressed the GM batch on "Healthcare Industry: How Information Technology is Shaping the Space". He explained about the healthcare providers expand into new markets and content with evolving state and federal regulations around access to care, streamlining the contracting process is critical. Transformation of claim processing and unleash productivity with Pega SCE and Cloud Migration.

Future of Work

Mr. Satish Rajarathnam, Sr. Vice President & Head - Strategic Resourcing at Mphasis. He is associated with several industry groups and associations such as SHRM, Agile Leadership, LEGO serious Play, PCMM, Six Sigma, ISABs India and NFNLP, among others from which he has received certifications marking him a qualified practitioner. He interacted with the students and divulge into the varying aspects of ‘Future of Work, Workplace and Workforce.' He shared his insights on how the industry is going to transform and the dynamism that students will experience when they embark on their career.

Product Speaks - Variety & Veracity of Product Management

Mr. Sumit Garg, Product Manager, Microsoft. Technology enthusiast and is also an XLRI PGDM(GM) 2012 alumnus. Before joining Microsoft, he has worked with IBM, EdgeVerve, Oracle and Amazon.

In his session he gave an overview of the Product Management Role:

Key Learnings

  • Business - Business Management Acumen with exposure/ flexibility to work across multiple functions
  • Market - Market Understanding. Able to visualise market potential. Marketing and Sales aspect for a product space
  • Product Management - Product Management expertise. Road mapping, Prioritisation, Market Research, Strategy.
  • Domain - Understand the problem and gaps for the domain/ industry/ practice in questions
  • Technical - Exposure to technical aspects, technology behind a product User
  • Software Development Collaboration - Agile/ Scrum Product Owner expertise
  • Experience - User Design and Experience element

Career Conversation

Mr. Manoj Jindal, VP- Supply Chain Management, Himachal Futuristic Communication Limited. He has over 17 Years of professional experience He is an Electronics Engineer with a double MBA from XLRI (Jamshedpur, India) and Cranfield School of Management (London, UK). He has expertise in procurement, e-auction, cost reduction, business strategy, strategic sourcing, working capital optimization, negotiations, competitive bidding, financial Analysis & contract management.

He addressed the GM batch and gave his valuable insights on :

  • How to leverage GMP for future career
  • Career landscape in Supply Chain Management vis Covid 19
  • Career growth trajectory
  • Challenges in supply chain
  • Interview Preparation advice

The Race to Forty: Insights on Career Planning

Mr Hetal is a dynamic and accomplished business leader with 21+ years in the tech industry. He has worked in Senior Management role across Asia for Wipro, Microsoft, LinkedIn and Intel.

Mr Hetal is a Startup Evangelist and prominent Angel Investor with a portfolio of 25+ with start-ups across different segments of Business, Enterprise and Consumer. He is a ' Mentor of Change ' for Niti Ayog and mentors school children on Innovation programs. Walking the GM students through his journey, he gave valuable insights into what differentiates start-up ecosystems from that of enterprises and what can management graduates understand, evaluate, and seize the opportunities in both the spaces.

Emotional Intelligence-Business Tool

Dr Geetraj is a researcher & a PhD holder from University of Oxford (UK), a certified Master Coach, a psychologist, an MBA in HR, and a certified Trainer in various modules. He has worked and trained under world's best Trainers and Master Coaches such as Eric Berne's Institute, Myers Briggs (MBTi), Stephen Covey (7 Habits), John Maxwell to name a few.He currently Heads the HR & Organization Development Team at Mount Meru Group, Tanzania.

He addressed the GM batch and gave his valuable insights on Characteristics of Emotional Intelligence: Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Motivation, Empathy, Social Skills and the ways to improve the Emotional Intelligence.

Growth and Stability in Corporate Life

Swami Samarpanananda, Ramakrishna Mission Vivekananda Educational and Research Institute, Belur Math, Kolkata, shared insights on the topic "Growth and Stability in Corporate Life'. Swamiji covered many important topics during his lecture, for instance, the importance of detachment in life. Swamiji explained to the students that they must learn to look at stress in a new way. "Stress is a reality in the jobs you aspire to, but you are going to be compensated well exactly because you have the capability to handle such positions. It's a package deal" he said. Also, he shared his thoughts on how to develop and channelize their spiritual and mental energies to achieve excellence in the field of business management.

Leadership Lesson series

Dr. Anil Kumar Misra, Chief Human Resource Officer, Magicbricks, is a Human Resources leader with over 22 years if experience across diverse industries, from Manufacturing to Hospitality, IT, E-commerce. Dr. Misra began the session by addressing the challenges faced due to the current challenges like the surge in job cuts, dip in the compensation, possible hiring freeze, appraisals put on hold and how many organizations are finding it difficult to sustain because of flawed government norms and evident sub problems like migrant labour movement. Dr. Misra also elucidated some goodness from the COVID-19 STOP. Where S is for Social Distancing, for both companies and individual. T for travel time reduction (research says that a person spends on an average 36% of his/her time, commuting to office and back. Thus, this has a huge impact on the productivity). O for office occupancy saving as organisations will minimise fixed costs of office rentals. Lastly, P for pollution and health hazards, a decrease in which is a boon for the society. Also, he shared the ways remain relevant in VUCA world through embracing change, believing in the ‘Reverse Mentoring process’ and learning new technologies.

Airline Scheduling Process

Mr. Ankur Garg, Chief Commercial Officer, Air Asia India. During the interactive session, he gave a broader outlook about in-house Reservation Management System and analytical models, pricing strategy, organization restructuring and quality talent induction, and re-engineering of business processes. Also, he shared his deep insights about revenue ownership, pricing strategy, corporate planning, M&A, restructuring, operations improvement, cost optimization and analytics.

Date with Artificial Intelligence

Mr Deepak Mishra, Director - Customer Insight & Analytics, Refinitiv. Mr Deepak is an Analytics professional with 13+ years of experience in developing and applying AI/Machine Learning algorithms for Marketing, Customer Insight & Credit Risk analytics. He shared his insights on developing Models and Strategies using Artificial Intelligence/ Machine Learning algorithms to generate actionable insights. Also, shared his concepts to Design and Build AI solutions for business to enhance customer experience followed by retention and growth.

Credit Risk Analytics - Scorecards and Managerial Credit Decision Making

Mr Ranjeet Singh Rawat, Manager- Decision Analytics, Navi. Technology enthusiast and is also an XLRI PGDM(GM) 2013-14 alumnus. He has an extensive Credit Risk & Customer analytics knowledge and comes with diverse work experience in Analytics, Research and Computer systems. He has shared his thoughts on Underwriting model & Credit decisioning i.e. amount and interest rate strategy, Portfolio deep dive, segmentation, risk actions, scrub analysis, recommendations and Application & Behavioural Scorecard consumption, calibration, validation and Risk strategy.

Atmanirbhar Bharat: Homegrown talent in drug manufacturing and Learnings from the Pharma sector

Mr Sameer Nagarajan, Global President, Human Resources at Cadila Pharmaceuticals Limited. Mr Sameer is an esteemed alumnus of the XLRI HRM batch of 1988. His expertise areas include leadership development and talent management, strategic business partnering to deliver organisational outcomes. He is driven by a passion for people and performance. During the session he shared his thoughts on rapid technological advancements which are constantly changing the way pharma companies operate, deliver services and engage their workforce. He shared his deep insights on how the evolving pharma business processes have made it necessary for HR leaders in the pharma sector to drive a change in their people management practices and his talent management learnings from pharma sector.

New Era of Innovation - Intelligent Automation & Advanced Analytics

Mr. Vartul Mittal who is a leading Technology & Innovation Specialist and a seasoned Digital Transformation & Automation leader. He has 14+ years of strong Global Business Transformation experience in Management Consulting and with Global Capability Centres. During his session, he gave a broader outlook about Intelligent Automation which has been changing the nature of work for over a decade. He shared his insights about how It has replaced labour intensive tasks, undertaken repetitive ones, escalated the speed of production and generated new streams of work. He has also shared his experience about strategies & challenges in enterprise wide adoption of Automation - crossing over from RPA to RPA + Cognitive , identifying the right operating model & establishing governance, Leadership & talent development, orchestrating stakeholders and board level endorsement.

Application of Data Science in Supply Chain Analytics

Mr. Debasish Mishra, Data Scientist - Amazon Internet Service and an esteemed alumnus of the XLRI PGDM(GM) batch of 13-14. He has vast experience in Data Science, Machine learning, DeepLearning experience in supply chain retail, manufacturing and general insurance business. He shared his thoughts on the impact of Data Science on Supply Chain Functions. He mentioned that Data-powered decisions can help supply chain businesses set the standard for operational success. Also, the Fast digitisation and ready availability of data has provided the path for big data analytics in the supply chain industry.

Quality Management & Design Thinking in B2B Markets

Mr. Ashok Ramachandran, CEO and President - Schindler India & Asia Pacific. An enthralled crowd heard Mr. Ramachandran trace his own journey from Chennai to Australia, then to Vietnam and Malaysia, as he rose through the ranks as a capable leader, inspiring his peers with his indomitable will. In a free-flowing and interactive session, Mr. Ramachandran spoke at length about the qualities inherent in a good leader, the importance of people skills, and the uncompromising focus on consistency in quality.

Workforce Entrepreneurship

Mr Pankaj Bansal is the Co-founder and CEO at People Strong. He has been on the founding team of Altran's BPO division and is on the board of companies like Work10M, Sunstone zEduversity, Empower foundation. He is also the founder of a trust YOUinYOU for empowering young minds. He addressed the students on the topic Workforce Entrepreneurship and shared anecdotes from his professional journey.

The key takeaways from the talk were

  • Believe that your work is a reward and find out the "WHY" that drives you and inspires you
  • Importance of emotional equity and positivity
  • Ownership and accountability empowers an employee driving them to excellence
  • One value that always comes handy: be a peopleist

Some Sizes Fit All

Mr Akhil Gupta is the Vice Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and Executive Chairman of Bharti Infratel Ltd. He has played a pivotal role in Bharti's phenomenal growth in the telecommunication services sector and also raised billions of dollars through project finance for the Group.

Mr Gupta narrated his life stories, challenges and leadership dilemmas that came his way in his career. He discussed different ways of convincing one’s seniors, investors and shareholders to approve tough decisions. He also narrated his risk management experiences in Bharti Group.

Handling Challenging Times

Mr Anil Bhasin is the President at Havells India Ltd and an acclaimed motivational speaker, life coach and guide. He has served the FMEG (Fast Moving Electrical Goods) sector of Indian economy for over three decades. In his leadership talk he spoke about his professional journey that started as a sales representative. He shared his experiences of handling challenges and managing crisis situations as President of Havells.

Suppliers Matters - Supply Chain Management

Mr Aditya Verma, Chief Executive Officer of DNS Fine Chemicals, Procurement and Supply Chain Professional with three decades of experience, shared insights on how critical it is to select the right supplier for growth and sustainability of organization as well as to handle variety of market disruptions. Mr Aditya's specialities include Business & Supplier Development, Purchasing / Global Competitive Sourcing & Supplier Relationship Management, Strategic Thinking & Leadership, Negotiations.

He has also recommended the students develop the three C's that define the credibility of an employee/manager-Connectivity, Competence, and Character. He has concluded the lecture by introducing his latest book, "Supplier Matters", to the students. There was a lot for the students to take away from the lecture, subject matter and a whole new perspective toward procurement.

Leadership and Business Lessons: From the Lens of a CEO

Mr Sameer Chadha, CEO, KPMG Global Services. A seasoned professional, he has held several strategic leadership positions across diverse fields, including at third-party service providers and captive units of major multinational organisations. Prior to KGS, he spent eight years with Barclays Shared Services, initially as the COO and then CEO for about six years. During the interactive session, he shared his perspectives on diversity and inclusion, weighing the total value proposition for selecting Future shaping roles, the importance of Charismatic leadership over Authoritative Leadership and having a strong moral compass.

Dynamics of Shipping Industry

Mr Maneesh Pradhan, Managing Director, Anglo Eastern Ship Management (I) Pvt. Ltd. He addressed the batch about the shipping sector which has been facing turbulence due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact of containment measures adopted by major economies, which has weighed down on the demand. During the session, he shared his thoughts on the shipping business, which is marked by high capital intensity, volatile freight rates, commoditised product offering and high level of fragmentation. He gave his insights on the coronavirus outbreak and its disruptions in container shipping flows and global supply chains.

The Power of an Entrepreneur with a Purpose

Mr. Sarathbabu Elumalai is an Indian entrepreneur, social worker and politician. He is the founder and CEO of FoodKing. He is an alumnus of BITS Pilani and IIM Ahmedabad and is also designated as an honorary alumnus of XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has been the recipient of a host of awards including Pepsi MTV Youth icon (2008), Example to Youth Award (2008), RITZ Chennai Youth Icon (2010) and CNN-IBN Award for Young Indian Leader (2011). During the interactive session, Mr Sarath describes his rise from a Chennai slum to his journey to the nation's premier management institute to becoming a successful entrepreneur. The entire session was truly inspirational with lots of insights about entrepreneurship journey.

The Art of Product Storytelling

Mr Sandeep Kochhar is an IIM-Bangalore alumnus and the founder of BlewMinds. He is a professional storyteller and his firm BlewMinds works in marketing, human resources, and tech. He shared the art of being the medium to be a better storyteller and insights on what makes online content viral. He is on a mission to transform lives one story at a time.

Key Learnings

One must find their micro niche to create maximum impact and storytelling is a powerful instrument to drive change and transformation.

Being credible and trustworthy lies at the heart of a successful leader/ successful organization.

Divide your story in the following elements - Content (What) ; Delivery (How) ; Evidence (Why)