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Home Recruiters PGDM (GM)XL Forum Series

XL Forum Series

XL Forum is an initiative driven by the PGDM (GM) batch of XLRI. The forum allows students to interact with industry stalwarts, who share valuable insights on their roles and responsibilities, their knowledge about the industry and the diverse corporate challenges they face. The interaction gives students a wholesome experience by providing a taste of the corporate world along with the incredible exposure and learning experience they get in the classrooms.


Emmanuel David

Mr. Emmanuel is a strategic leadership coach. He has broad and comprehensive industry experience in HR domain. Time and again he demonstrated his HR strategic plans that bolster organization objectives. He is an Advanced Hogan Assessment Interpretation certified professional.

Key Learnings:

  • Leadership is not only about the contextual aspect but on improvising the self and helping others.
  • For crisis management, the collective approach of planning and execution holds true with a positive attitude of teamwork.
  • In an organization it is the responsibility of each individual to make choices on the positive use of power.
  • Expertise can be bought, but relationships have to be built. So, focus on investing on relationships along with improving expertise.


Samir Sathe

Mr. Samir is the current Executive Vice President of Advantage India, which is a global philanthropic organization active in 20 countries. He has 29 years of experience in deep research, global strategy and transformation consulting both in for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Samir is an author, speaker and disruptive thought and execution leader. He has been published and featured in leading dailies and fora. He is ‘Master of Change’ from INSEAD, France and trained in executive coaching to solve business problems.

Key Learnings:

  • Idea whose time has come can’t be stopped AI and ML are here to stay and there may be a loss of job initially but in long run this is going to create more jobs for sure.
  • Beyond books, it also include more about the culture beyond classroom and the relationship you develop with professor and how and with whom you seek.
  • This gen is more aware and with exposure and knowledge comes the responsibility and don't limit to chance have the attitude of doing things at best in which you have control.


Revathy Kotteeswaran

Ms. Revathy Kotteeswaran is a Principal Consultant at PwC India. She has more than a decade of experience in translating business requirements to analytical questions and building models that add measurable business impact. She has experience in understanding dynamics of digital marketing, providing precise and actionable solutions to business problems and derive meaningful insights from huge data inputs. An alumnus of IIT Madras and Anna University, she demonstrates a wide area of knowledge in the data science domain equipped with the latest IT tools and technologies.

Key Learnings:

  • A deeper understanding on the marketing Analytics aspect, it’s significance in today’s environment.
  • An understanding of the different aspects of B2B marketing and what is Analytics’ role in it.
  • A deeper understanding of the different skill required to make a career in Analytics.


Arjun Vaidya

Mr. Arjun is a lead venture investor at VerIinvest. He has experience in business development, marketing and business strategy areas. He is the Ex-CEO and the 6th generation ‘Vaidya’ for Dr. Vaidya’s: New Age Ayurveda. He was the first Ayurvedic Entrepreneur to be featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30 Asia List for and Business World 40 Under 40 List.

He’s a World Economic Forum Global Shaper, a Mentor at AIM and a part Brown University’s Young Alumni Advisory Council. A podcast by name of Direct to a Billion Consumers is run by him which is on navigating India’s complex and exciting FMCG ecosystem.

Key Learnings:

  • A way to repackage and rebrand the ancient Ayurveda to modern consumers was the conception differentiation with Dr. Vaidyas.
  • You may be a great founder, but you have a maximum of 16 hours in a day. Thus one must use the the power of an empowered team in building an empire.
  • Founders vision drive, and passion is important but for creation of an organisation hyperscale strong leadership roots are very important.


Kulathendral L

Mr. Kulathendral L is the head of Innovation at Vaibhav Global Limited, launching innovative jewelry and lifestyle products to the customers in the US through ShopLC and UK through TJC. He is responsible for managing the Innovation lab and the startup accelerator of VGL.

He is a Post Graduate in Business Management from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Key Learnings:

  • Three aspects are critical for scaled innovation: customer/market need, product fit in the company's portfolio, and scope of market disruption.
  • VGL Group's product development philosophy is based on Design Thinking, centered on the consumer's needs. The organization also follows the agile mindset and believes in the fail-fast-fail-forward method while building a new product.
  • COVID has been a blessing in disguise for the Retail sector. The sales have increased through the online channel. Currently, the industry is looking at strategies to sustain the growth aided by the pandemic.


Dhritiman Sengupta

Mr. Dhritiman Sengupta is the current National Head of Corporate Sales & Strategic Account Management (North, East & West) at Randstad India.

He is also a TTA (Total Talent Architecture) Specialist handling Executive Search/ RPO/ Senior and Mid-level hiring/Flexi Staffing/ Technology Staffing/ Sales & Trade Marketing/ Engineering Specialty Staffing).

Key Learnings:

  • Technology helps one understand more and reach out to not only customers but their customers also much better. Doing so, you can create the right kind of solution.
  • Whatever one does in life sales is an integral part of the same.
  • In the current world sales activity has gone up by 4x, this is positive outcome of the pandemic since everything has become online.


Karthi Madhavan

Mr. Karthi Madhavan is presently the Country Head of Tata Consultancy Services, Taiwan, ROC. He has over 25 years of experience in Business Operations Management and Growth, Delivery Unit Management, People Management and Coaching and International Business in IT and Services Sector across various geographies. Karthi has held several key roles and portfolios in his career. Before joining the Tata Group, Karthi had a very enjoyable and a learning sales stint of 4 years in Asian Paints Ltd, after which he went on to work as a Senior Manager in MobiApps, An Arthur D' Little Company. His special focus was on Product Development and New product launches in Telematics and Wireless Technologies across India, Europe and South East Asia.

Key Learnings:

  • Change is the only constant. With the rapid technology change, the service delivery model also changes. Operational efficiency and innovation are both keys to excellence in delivery.
  • Sales skills are crucial skills to acquire for any individual. Some of the best CEOs come from a sales background. Sales are the ability to connect with people.
  • Leadership is all about character. When it comes to role models, we should be looking at everyday heroes-ordinary people who work hard for their future generations with integrity and excellence.
  • For any business, the top Line is Vanity, the Bottom line is Sanity, and Cash flow is reality.


Amitabha Chakraborty

Mr. Amitabha Chakraborty is a seasoned finance professional with over two and half decades of extensive experience in identifying deep value equity investment opportunities in India. He is experienced in the life cycle of PE Investment including Due Diligence, Deal structuring, Deal negotiation, Deal closing, nurturing the investment through strategic inputs and Exits. Board-level expertise in financial structuring and operationalising strategic business plan in portfolio PE investee companies. Hands-on in operational turnaround strategy in portfolio PE investee companies.

Key Learnings:

  • If one thinks that just by reading books and learning from the internet would help one to valuate a company then he or she is definitely not on the right track. These learnings might just help us to understand about the company and its performance. Truly there is no well defined steps to valuate a company as there is also a psychology and a conviction aspect to it and hence projected valuation of a company depends from person to person. One can only get better at it through experience & better foresight.
  • This session gave us an idea about how to evaluate a company when the times are tough. In those challenging days, It’s important to evaluate all the companies in your basket and understand if they can sustain for the next 1-3 years. If the chances of survival are less then the investment can be channelised to companies where better returns are expected.
  • It also gave us a rich understanding of the private equity firms. We also learnt about risk appetite and how to control it with the apt hedging strategies. The philosophy of exploring the moats in investments and how to keep one's investment process continuing in the time of market crashes was also well discussed.


Sriram Iyer

Mr. Sriram Iyer is a Certified Strengths Coach and a Human Resources practitioner with over two decades of experience. He has helped anchor complex cross-border staffing initiatives spanning multiple geographies, business units & technology segments. Based in Singapore since Jan 2012, he has strong exposure to the JAPAC region and has a knowledge of the cultural and immigration related nuances of the region.

Since 2018, he is the Founder & CEO of hrtech.sg, a Singapore-focused HRTech focused Market Development and Analyst firm that helps Singapore enterprises in identifying the right-fit, best-in-class HRTech solutions for solving their business and HR challenges. Prior to becoming an entrepreneur, he has also played leadership roles with Singtel Group and Cognizant Technology Solutions in Singapore and India. He is a proud alumnus of National University of Singapore (Singapore) and Symbiosis Institute of International Business (India).

He talked about the lifecycle of an employee when he gets into an organization virtually and the role of technology in the HR processes - onboarding, talent development, compensation and benefits and HR operations.

He gave us the 5 key learnings required for the HR transformation:

  • Role of Change Management
  • Identifying Business problems
  • Importance of Culture
  • Having clear measurement metrics
  • Change is the journey ahead