Address by Mr. Ashwin Tirthakar, IGTC, Mumbai Topper @ IGTC Convocation 2010

In a journey of life, there are moments when we stop for a while and try to reflect back on path travelled so far. This may not change the path but it gives us opportunity to learn and unlearn and of course, moments to cherish.

Honourable dignitaries on the dais, esteemed guests, distinguished Faculty, administrators, Friends, Family and, of course, the graduating Class of 2010…

Last decade has been a decade of transition not only for Indian economy but for Indian students as well… especially for those from non-metro cities and small towns, like me. It’s a period when our role models are changing from scientist, social workers to Ambanis and Mittals of the world, CAT is became most sought-after examination and MBA is becoming the New-normal. Like many others, I was also aspired to be a part of this Great Indian Growth Story and I started exploring various options. What attracted me towards IGTC was its unique dual education system offering six-month industrial exposure, that too with German MNC. I was selected as a trainee by a company ‘ invented for life: BOSCH ‘. In words of Godfather, it was an offer I could not refuse.

So, in August 2008 I joined IGTC with a dream in my eyes, along with other 41 aspirants, my wonderful batch mates. But it was not easy to for me to get into the grooves of management education instantly after a gap of 4 years and even more difficult to adapt to beats of this maximum city… But IGTC understood it better. A well-designed Induction Week, consisting of ‘a two-day bond building workshop’; a series of guest lecture by key industry experts, made us comfortable and helped all of us to gel into a cohesive unit. And who can forget that amazing motivational speech delivered by Mr. Moradian! He broke all shackles of fear, doubts and apprehensions in our mind and told us what it takes to be really successful. Thank you sir, for inspiring us…!

Exceptional faculty has always been USP of IGTC. They are not academicians… but they are experts, best in the business with rich industry experience. They have shared their knowledge and experiences with us and imparted us with diverse vision. If Mr. Mahajan Sawant asked us look beyond books, Kotler, Porter to understand Marketing, then Mrs. Sarojini Seth introduced us great work of Adam Smith or Keynes to understand Economics. If Mr. Nimkar taught us thescience of market research, Mr. Anil Naik taught us theart of designing strategies. If Mr. Korivi taught us to identify irrationalities behind financial numbers and market behaviour, Mr Fakih taught us rationality of financial fundamentals and the market behaviour. And if Mr. Kasture stressed on the importance of values and ethics in corporate culture, Mr. Hariharan stressed on the importance of innovation and value discovery in these competitive environment. And we are equally obliged to rest of faculty also who enlighten us with their perspective. Friends, we may scale new heights in our professional lives in the future but it is these exceptional personalities who have built foundation of our knowledge. We’ll always owe our success to them.

Each institute or organisation has its own unique value system. IGTC has its own…We have a value system of taking initiative and being self-starters, competitive instinct but with a collaborative, sportsman spirit. As in any socio-economic order, the value system flows from top of order, even so at IGTC, it flowed naturally and continuously from our Director Radhieka Mehta. She always wants her students to be complete in every respect and does not settle for anything less than best for her students. May it be with the selection of faculty, arranging guest lectures, coordination with the training companies and finally working toward getting us placed in our dream jobs, her personal involvement and drive is what made IGTC tick like clockwork and everything fell in place.

Sometimes we achieved, so did we falter sometimes. Sometimes we were sensible, so were we crazy sometimes. But she was there as our central support system whoguided us, encouraged us and of course used stick as well at times. Discussion of IGTC would be in complete without mentioning Stella Ma’s, a senior member of our IGTC family; deep baritone, strict disciplinarian but equally soft at heart and caring. She has been like a second mother to us. Sajitha Ma’m and Meghna Ma’m belongs to middle generation in our IGTC family who are always there to take care of our day today issues. And of course, there’s Deepak… our caretaker but equally great friend. We were a world in itself and this family atmosphere provided us a sense of security which in turn helped us to get best out of us.

Another important aspect of IGTC has been its training companies of likes BOSCH, BASF, VOLKSWAGEN, SIEMENS, AUDI, HELLA, ENDRESS & HAUSERS, MERK and many more. Honestly speaking, more than training, these companies are helping young aspirants like us to realise our dream… My six-months training with BOSCH hasnot only instilled confidence in me but also gave me unique opportunity to experience work culture of world class companies. It has taken me to anotherlevel of motivation.

Friends, let’s now acknowledge most critical aspect to whatever we achieve in academic or professional life… our family and its support. This support is more than physical or financial. It’s psychological or even spiritual in nature. It’s our family which decides our core value system, our culture and our perspective towards life. In my case, I left almost a govt. Job and left my father in bit of financial mess but he never complained. Rather, my family showed their faith in all my decisions… and this faith, trust, confidence keeps me going always.

Friends, let’s not consider this as end to our education… rather it’s a beginning of it… One more graduation is waiting for us, a graduation from university of life. There nothing will matter more than our determination, value system and hard work. It’s extremely difficult to get through this university but not impossible at all. IGTC has laid the foundation… let’s work on it. And make this wonderful institution proud.

Last but not the least, as I said Ambanis and Mittals may be new role models but there are many of us, who admire the likes of Mr. Deepak Parekh, Dr. Y.V. Reddy, Mr. Kelkar, Mr. K.V. Kamath. They are our role models. They epitomise exceptional leadership with strong value system and social commitment. Thank you Sir, for inspiring thousands of us!

Let me conclude this speech by a quote of Swami Vivekananda:

“Take up one idea. Make that one idea your life – think of it, dream of it, live on that idea. Let the brain, muscles, nerves, every part of your body, be full of that idea, and just leave every other idea alone. This is the way to success… that is way great spiritual giants are produced.”

Thank You.