Feb 25, 2017

Tips from Top - "Impact of Technology on Human Behavior in Industry: Human Behavior and the Future of the Corporate World”. Mr Prateek Dubey, Director – HR, IDFC Bank

On the bright morning of 25th February 2017, the students of MBA, IIT Kanpur had the opportunity to interact with the HR Director at IDFC Bank – Mr. Prateek Dubey. Mr. Dubey, with his work experience in various major firms of the country – Coca-Cola, Suzlon Energy, and Jindal Saw Ltd to name a few – provided invaluable insights into the world of human relations and psychology. Sir covered a variety of topics in his talk and kept the seminar engaging with many activities and brainstorming sessions.

Mr. Dubey started off with engaging the audience with a rudimentary question – what is MBA? He went on to explain that MBA can be defined as the most beautiful attitude, as it is the attitude of the manager that makes him a leader and makes all the difference. As an example, he claimed that a Chartered Accountant would probably know much more about how the finances of any firm work than an MBA would, but it takes the decision-making ability and aptitude for quick thinking that makes him/her the manager.

Talking about the impact of technology on our lives, Mr. Dubey talked about how in today’s world, we tend to think about how another person can benefit us, and only then do we consider spending time with him/her. We have social media like LinkedIn and Facebook to reveal all such information for us, and in future, everyone will have access to psychometric profiling software that will enable us to gauge another person’s usefulness without even meeting them. This has long term impacts on HR and recruitment, as psychometric tests will enable a firm to hire or reject any potential candidate. Here, Mr. Dubey gave a disclaimer: however intelligent AI becomes, the need for humans will always be there in order to consider all the contingencies before making a final decision.


Another aspect that Mr. Dubey talked about was leader-follower dynamics. More often than not, it so happens, that we tend to blindly follow our leaders. This is a dangerous attitude, as it can have grave consequences. The leader might falter, but more than that, the followers will not have a chance to grow themselves. Showing the audience, the other face of the coin, Mr. Dubey told us about the followership theory: a successful leader comes only out of diligent followers, which is to say, the ability of the leader is limited by the attitude of the followers too.


Mr. Dubey kept the talk an engaging one by carrying out many group activities throughout in order to elucidate many concepts relating to psychology and human behavior. He also touched upon a variety of topics such as moral duties of humans, cognitive biases, group dynamics, placement scenarios in colleges, the history of IDFC, and a lot more. It was on the whole, an enriching experience with innumerable lessons that the students got to learn on a simple Saturday morning.


Feb 21, 2017

Tips from Top - "An Interactive Session with our Distinguished Alumnus”. Mr. J N Gupta, M.D. – Stakeholders Empowerment Services.

There is nothing better than getting important insights about the real world from someone with immense experience. The exposure becomes even more valuable when the knowledge comes directly from the top and from someone who has been in our situation prior to their glorious journey. The students at MBA IIT Kanpur were fortunate to get such a golden opportunity when the 1977 batch Alumnus of the institute, Mr. J N Gupta, M.D. at Stakeholders Empowerment Services, visited the campus during the recent 40th year reunion.



Sir began his address by emphasizing the importance of clear communication. He went beyond emphasizing by demonstrating the same throughout the seminar. He suggested the audience to always be content with their current possessions and to never draw comparisons with what others had. Further, he added that in every situation, one must try his/her best, yet keep realistic expectations. This according to him was the mantra for happiness in life, which he himself had practiced over the years and as a result he could proudly claim that every single day of his life had been happy!

Moving ahead, sir revealed the trick to build confidence in superiors about oneself. This could be achieved with a ‘never say die’ attitude and resolute self-confidence. The consistency to take well informed and considerate decisions bolstered the same according to him. He suggested that as everyone was intelligent in retrospect, hence every decision should be evaluated according to prevalent situations when it was taken, by putting oneself in the person’s shoes.

Noting the glow in eyes of the aspiring future leaders, sir listed his success mantras for the audience. These included importance of team work, habit to exceed service expectations, and presence of faith in self-abilities. Emphasizing on team work, he said that co-workers should be treated as family members and a strong bond of trust should be built with transparency, fairness and dependability. Further, he suggested that one’s opinion should never be subservient to anyone’s and instead it should be independent of all others’.


Sir ended the enlightening session by quoting the legendary leader, Nelson Mandela: “I never lose. I either win or learn.” 

Tips from Top - "An Interactive Session with our Distinguished Alumnus”. Mr. Pravin Tripathi, C.E.O. – Magic 9 Media & Analytics Private Limited.

The students at MBA IIT Kanpur were fortunate to get golden, pragmatic insights into the world of media analytics and marketing research when the 1977 batch Alumnus of the institute, Mr. Pravin Tripathi, C.E.O. at Magic 9 Media & Analytics Private Limited, visited the campus during the recent 40th year reunion.


Sir briefed the audience about his company’s work which provided services like: advertising, media planning, brand consultancy etc. Wherein the core functions included analytics, design and quality control.

Sharing his knowledge with budding professionals, he spoke about his past projects and the nuances involved in successfully completing those. Remarkable out of the same was a project for U.I.D., which involved design of a continuous learning program to get insights about its potential adopters. Emphasizing upon the importance of the continuous learning program, sir stated that consumers continually provided useful insights and hence marketing researcher ought to listen keenly. There existed a statement in every move of consumer (purchase/ no purchase) and every single transaction was pregnant with ‘learning’ according to him.

Sir also talked about an interesting project in Karnataka, in which public survey was done to gauge the political sentiments prior to an election in the state. A remarkable feature of the project was the usage of 'WhatsApp' to transmit live data (during on field interaction with the respondents) to the control room.

Further, he discussed about the N.C.C.S. (National Consumer Classification System), its historical evolution via S.E.C. and lucidly explained its paramount importance for every marketeer.

Moving ahead, sir told about an ongoing TAM (Television Audience Measurement) project for BARC India (Broadcasting Audience Research Council). He stated that in simple terms, the project objective was to answer the question: ‘What India watches?’ The discussion spanned over the technicalities and nuances of marketing research process. The students were enlightened about the real world challenges in such a large scale project and subsequent pragmatic methodologies to overcome the same.  

Feb 5, 2017

Tips from Top - "Various dimensions of leadership." Mr Amit Kasliwal, India Head - Corporate Sales, Ford India.

Leadership is one of the most desired traits for success in life and MBA students at IIT Kanpur were fortunate to get a fresh perspective on the topic from the top echelon of corporate world, when Mr Amit Kasliwal, India head of corporate sales at Ford India visited the campus to interact with the students.


Sir described leadership as the zeal to identify and solve problems. Citing an example, sir said that India has a myriad of problems and out of those; transportation was one of the major issues. Ford is dedicated to solve this problem. Talking specifically about the corporate sales department, he told that by selling cars to taxi operators, they created entrepreneurs, thereby solving the problem of job creation at that level.   

Further describing leadership, sir claimed that a leader must have a long term view, and should be enthusiastic about other’s agenda, thereby creating opportunities and ‘win-win’ situations. According to sir, and rightly so, sustainable leadership can be achieved by exhibiting the desired qualities consistently and perpetually.



Moving ahead, sir candidly listed and lucidly explained the traits of a successful leader as the ability to prioritize in life, being conscious about one’s behaviour, ability to leverage other’s perspective by being sensitive to their feedback; and the competency to gauge people’s strengths and weaknesses. A true leader must support the weaknesses of the team members to ensure the best outcome for the team.

Sir then asked the students to think about how the world has evolved over the years, and we could reflect that life had become more convenient over these years. This according to sir was made possible by none other than the leaders of the world, who kept on solving various problems at various levels!

Opening the Jackpot, sir advised the aspiring leaders in the audience that to become ‘C.E.O.s’ they must spend time with C.E.O.s! A leader must be able to adapt faster and must not get carried away by extreme situations. This trait, according to sir was evident in Virat Kohli, current captain of the Indian cricket team. Further, Sir said that it was important for a leader to build trust by meeting the commitments, which in turn should be made by thinking properly before doing so.


Sir ended the enlightening session by motivating the audience to take the charge of their lives by taking the ‘remote control’ in their hands because the key to success according to sir was this consciousness about one’s life.