HR Partner Meet

‘Even the most resilient ones need to recharge themselves!’

Organizations and HR professionals have faced innumerable challenges and obstacles in the face of the raging pandemic. Amidst all the adversities there remains one crucial mission, ‘taking care of oneself, while taking care of the world around us. Even the most resilient ones need to recharge themselves! With this thought in mind, IGTC hosted the quarterly meet of the Indo-German HR Partner Forum on Tuesday, 18th May 2021.

With over 20 key HR professionals in attendance, the underlying theme for the meet was candid sharing, personal anecdotes and incidents on the following areas:

  • One of my fondest recollections from the last one year.
  • A new learning that caught my fancy and promises to stay.
  • What I look forward to in the near future.

Some of the strongest sharing included building connections, retaining relationships, investing in learning, developing hobbies such as biking, running, singing and gardening, celebrating the small things in life. Meditating, yoga and spending time in prayer proved to be strong anchors of Mindful Living. From engaging in daily chores to sound parenting to strengthen the family bond, the HR Forum left us with one very important learning ‘Count your blessings, celebrate the good happening around you. Invest in yourself. It is ok to sometimes be selfish and take time out.’

Seeking new experiences during the pandemic also emerged as a strong theme during the HR Partner Forum Meet; exploring hybrid work solutions, engaging with connections using peer-to-peer app solutions, volunteering and assisting individuals affected by the Coronavirus, etc. The session closed with all the HR Partners feeling personally reconnected, despite not meeting in person, which will enable them to continue trusting and supporting each other professionally for the benefit of the Indo-German fraternity.

To know more about the activities of the Indo-German HR Partner Forum, please connect with Radhieka R Mehta, Director, Indo-German Training Centre on

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Making sense out of economics

Dr. Harkant Mankad, the senior most faculty at the Indo German Training Centre (IGTC) Mumbai, conducted a one day training workshop for corporate executives with the theme of “Making Sense out of Economics – National and Global”.

The workshop, with the expressed take away to understand the complexity of economic policy and assess the alternatives of scenario for the economy in near and medium term, focused on the post pandemic challenges for the economy of India and of the world.

Economic growth was the result of spending by the consumer, creation of new capacities by private investors and by the government. The pandemic has adversely affected earnings, i.e., purchasing power and had caused 7.5% negative growth of Indian economy, and nearly 5% negative growth of global economy. Drawing an analogy from the stalled car, Dr. Mankad indicated how monetary and fiscal authorities are pushing the economies with cheap money, deficit budgets and increasing debt.

Cheap money policies of the central banks, including RBI, has heralded the regime of low interest rates, excess global liquidity, asset price inflation, and expansive public dent. Bond markets, always having significant role in monetary economics have moved to center stage. Through bond buying programs, central banks keep the interest rates low, push liquidity in the economic system, encourage borrowing by state and private players alike. A significant part of the liquidity has found escape in speculation on stock, money and commodity markets.

A debt bubble was brewing, high probability that a burst of the dent bubble in medium term would have the derailing effect on economies, like that burst of housing bubble in 2008.

On fiscal side, the governments have gone for deficit funding. The US has already spent or is committed to spend $7 trillion, over 8.5% of global GDP. With the US $ as the global reserve and accounting currency, expansion of supply of the US dollars is the cause for global inflation in general and commodity and stock price inflation in particular. In India, for understandable reasons, the application of FRBM (Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management) Act discipline has been further moved to 2026 and may need to be moved to the end of the decade because of the fiscal needs of the second wave of pandemic.

In short and medium term, economies of the world, including that of India, will have to live with inflation and economic stagnation. Stagflation of 1970s may reappear nullifying the power of economic policies to have a positive impact on the direction of the economies. China by supply of cheap goods, provided inflation antidote for last 25 years. With Anti-China, pro-nationalist economic policies in the west and in India, disruption of China supply chain would put increasing pressures of inflation. It will hurt the other economies more than that of China. India will face both demand pull and cost push inflation.

In interaction with the participants, Dr. Mankad also discussed the prospect of select industries, of increased productivity and possible increase in unemployment by push that pandemic gave to IT and AI sectors, effects of policies of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’, aspects of foreign exchange rates and of the US dollar, and of energy insecurity of China. He concluded with his favorite quote, “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”

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Learning through Culture’s Eyes

Culture hides more than it reveals and strangely enough what it hides, it hides most effectively from its own participants. Years of study have convinced me that the real job is not to understand foreign culture but to understand our own.

Edward T. Hall

The Indo-German Training Centre organized an Open Programme on ‘Intercultural Adaptors’, presented by faculty Mr. Jugal Choudhary on 2nd March 2021. An alumnus of Harvard Business School, Boston, he is accredited in Intercultural Management by The Hofstede Centre, Helsinki and, is a visiting faculty at IIM, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

Our world is increasingly becoming interdependent on resources, services and products from far-away geographies. Differences in cultural values between nations have posed very significant challenges and have led to huge financial losses. These differences are hard to observe and are even harder to deal with. The traditional approach of providing ‘Cultural Sensitization’ to executives has major limitations.

Intercultural Adaptors are culture-specific tools, templates, structures and process changes that allow an effective connection across different cultures; much like an electrical plug-socket adaptor. These Adaptors are developed with the aid of well-researched cross-cultural frameworks and allow an individual to act in alignment with his/her native value system and yet communicate and collaborate seamlessly with individuals and systems from a different culture. Jugal’s unique approach of creating Adaptors to connect across cultures has been successfully applied by several global companies.

Two organizations ThyssenKrupp Materials IT Services India Pvt. Ltd. and Evolute Systems Pvt. Ltd. nominated managers to participate in the programme. These participants belonged to backgrounds as diverse as Information & Technology, Strategy and Software. Before the programme a pre-course survey was done with the participants; some of the key issues raised were:

  • Communication gap between onsite and offsite teams
  • Germans do not like our sugar-coated responses and instead ask for a lot of details
  • Often behaviors are interpreted in unexpected ways
  • It is hard to build trust with ‘them’

Through interactive games, role plays, case studies, videos, quizzes and presentations, participants learned about popular frameworks of cross-cultural differences and the concept of developing Adaptors. The participants couldn’t stop laughing at themselves when they learned about challenges westerners face when communicating with Indians.

The day-long cultural journey concluded with a presentation by the participants of actionable plans, for themselves individually and for their organizations.

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The Chemistry between Ethics and Corporate Success!

BASF, the largest chemical giant in the world, took the PGPBA Batch of 2019 – 2021 on an unusual corporate expedition; one spanning 6 lectures. This journey familiarized us with the ethics and principles that are so firmly ingrained into the moral fabric of the organization.

Over the last 4 semesters, we had learnt in great detail the importance of corporate governance and values via our curriculum in various functional areas. The final milestone before graduation, was learning how to incorporate ethics in each of these functions from the BASF stalwarts.  BASF India brought to light the importance of ethics and values through live examples and numerous case studies in areas like Marketing & Communications, Procurement, Legal & Compliance, Finance and Human Resources. BASF has now set high benchmarks for us in our personal and professional lives.  Today, it is an undisputed fact that whenever every IGTCian thinks of Ethics, they will first think of BASF.


Opening lecture by Mr. Krishnamohan Narayan, Managing Director BASF India

The series commenced with an interactive session with Mr. Krishnamohan Narayan emphasizing the underlined principle that when a business is built on CORE values it tends to survive in the long run; as compared to companies that look for shortcuts and instant profitability.  As a man of his word, he stood for ethics over profitability when asked to choose between the two. Business Ethics are truly tested when the contract rightly favours both parties signing the contract. Companies today must have a futuristic view and with the present environmental crisis following the compliance norms would be the only way to survive.


Marketing & Communication Lecture

Mr. Bhavik Doshi and Ms. Deepti Shetty in their opening remarks added that in the online space how a person or a brand communicates, effects the audience perception. This was demonstrated through Hindustan Unilever’s response to the Green Peace onslaught on their brand Dove; for harming the environment. Hindustan Unilever was tactful by not responding immediately while simultaneously taking required steps to become a more sustainable brand. This taught us how fragile a brands image truly is and sometimes it is better not to react as any further communication could be detrimental to the company.  In contrast, today individuals prefer following faces associated with the brand rather than the brand itself; personal marketing is now taking precedence over brand marketing, and this is visible through the examples of Elon Musk, Vishal Sikka, Chanda Kochhar etc. 


Legal & Compliance Lecture

This session focused on SEBI Regulations and the Code of Conduct presented by Mr. Pankaj Bahl and Mr. Pradeep Chandan. It began with an explanation of corporate governance encompassing stakeholders, communities, transparency, values, processes and practices followed by the organization. It enhances customer centricity, partnerships, shareholder value & community and environment responsiveness; companies have severely neglected their responsibility towards the community and the environment.  CSR and corporate governance was brought into SEBI regulations; it remains a compliance as every individual has different integrity. This was demonstrated through the example of ENRON, where employees inflated financials and made fraud representations, resulting in bankruptcy in 4 years. Hence it is up to individual corporates to comply in order to sustain.


Procurement Lecture

The procurement session by Mr. Venkateswaran Srinivasan and his team made us introspect on our day-to-day behavior. The Kahoot activity gave us insights on how often we choose to be unethical when it comes to mundane tasks like following traffic laws or travelling in trains without a ticket.  The team pointed that it is more likely to be unethical in the procurement department, here is where ethics are put to the test. Procurement deals with suppliers on a daily basis where cost and quality manipulation is most likely; the role play highlighted the importance of buyer awareness in such a transaction. A discussion on compliances by both internal as well as external stakeholders revealed that no matter how big or small a part of BASF you are, ethics always takes priority.


Finance Lecture

Ms. Meenakshi Mishra began with an explanation on the increasing financial scams in the VUCA world; a small change in a numerical can drastically alter the image of an organization for the worst. The Code of Conduct is essential especially for senior management; this helps to keep a check on individual ethical practices. The Code of Conduct governs Financial Reporting at the organization with respect to forex volatility, incorrect practices, misreporting, unauthorized transactions, outsourcing risks and fraud processes; and its associated policies. The Approval Matrix ensures zero unauthorized transactions, with the accountability lying with multiple managers. 


Human Resources Lecture

The series concluded by Ms. Nalini Nutan and Mr. Samsundar Palaparthi addressing how the path to robust ethical culture begins with Human Resources. A company’s beliefs and values are truly tested in the face of pressure; this was explained using the Iceberg model which states that 80% of an individual’s behaviour is dependent on beliefs and values; 20% is based on skills acquired. They also highlighted the need for a whistle-blower policy for employee protection. We had the opportunity to analyze the mistakes that Jet Airways made and also learnt how the case would be different had the organization followed ethical corporate governance and cared for the staff that had displayed loyalty toward the organization for years.

Through this series we learned the importance of a detailed Code of Conduct which can answer questions that may arise amongst employees when faced with a dilemma. We also understood the importance of hiring individuals whose personal goals and values align with that of the company. It goes without saying, BASF left us with some unforgettable lessons that we will take ahead in our personal and corporate lives.

The end of the BASF lecture series marked the end of our time at IGTC and the start of our journey in the real world where these lessons will help us navigate our way to success.

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All aboard the Learning Bus!

The Indo-German Training Centre’s Post Graduate Programme in Business Administration (PGPBA) has been a confluence of young minds for 3 decades now. However, learning took an online detour in 2020. Students from diverse educational, cultural and professional backgrounds who came together during this difficult year, were by no means hampered in their enthusiasm to learn. Despite being at home and studying only in a virtual space, they learnt to collaborate as a team under the expertise of world class faculties at IGTC and stumbled on a gold-mine of learning. Enlisted below are their diverse learnings and assignments accomplished in the first four months.


Fundamentals of Management: The Whole Nine Yards

Knitting a beautiful tapestry with the available fabric; Fundamentals of Management essentially wove the entire curriculum into a work of art. Learning several managerial concepts and theories like Theory Z, McKinsey’s 7s model, core competencies of an organization, corporate level strategies, value chain analysis etc., and connecting them with every subject at IGTC in order to make informed decisions.


Managerial Economics: Imaginative learning at its best

Managerial Economics helped move beyond traditional economics, and build a rational solution to obstacles faced by organisations with a 360-degree view of micro and macroeconomic concepts.

  • Suggesting ways to improve the livelihood of the elderly in Toyama, Japan; a country with a disproportionate age demographic.
  • Understanding the role of smart technologies in shaping the global future.
  • Curating a financial newspaper for the year 2025 and predicting the scenario considering several PESTLE factors (political, economic, social, technological & ecological).


Marketing: Fish where the fish are

Beginning with the 4P’s of marketing, this module took us on a journey covering service marketing, brand equity models, pricing strategies, new product development, marketing communication and promotion strategies, B2B marketing, advertising, sales promotions, CRM

  • Collaborating on a project and understanding various dimensions of marketing keeping in mind both B2B and B2C scenarios. The project concluded with a presentation on the marketing plan, tactics & strategies, SWOT and situational analysis, financial projections and finally idea implementation.
  • Solving a number of B2B Marketing case studies along with a classroom discussion on the same.
  • Assessing decision making units for different B2B industries.


Operations Management: A well-oiled machine

The founding stone of every modern business irrespective of their nature of the operation. The course is designed to understand key concepts like Theory of Constraints, Lean Manufacturing Techniques, Total Quality Management, and Toyota Production System in most simplified way putting customer at center of Operation management principles.

  • Interacting through Case studies like Birmingham Machines, Federal Express and Nuclear fizzle to understand key concepts of operation.
  • Learning and understanding companies on the recovery road in the aftermath of the pandemic.


Organizational Behaviour: A case of Creative Classwork

Organizational behaviour involves steering an organisation in the right direction, understanding and predicting organisational life, nature and activities. It highlighted ways to increase employee morale and studying group dynamics in the organizational setting, classroom activities involved:

  • Evaluating yourself with various personality tests to understand behavior and concepts.
  • Creating a case study on an assigned topic, probing its different aspects this was followed by an enactment and presentation of the case.


Human Resource Management: People & Culture

The subject aimed to dive deep into various aspects of human resource management and how it influences overall growth of the organization. Hiring Process, Competency Mapping, Target and Goal Setting, Employee Value Proposition etc. are some of the keys concepts covered in the course.

  • Using the Mural app students were to enlist various factors affecting the organizational structure. This being a group activity students were required to contact an alumnus or a senior working/ training with a German company and study the organization structure of that particular industry.
  • Converting the goal statements of an organization into SMART goal statements, based on various criteria


Finance & Accounts: In for a Penny, In for a Pound

Finance plays a significant role in the value chain of the enterprise. It starts with accounting and ends with financial strategy. A 3 tiered course allows for an understanding of this journey by creating ledgers, trial balance and balance sheets. Finance enables individuals and organizations design a course of action to control the costs. Subjects were taught using Microsoft Excel thus enhancing the online teaching-learning experience.

  • Determining the performance of a listed company through the calculation and analysis of various financial ratios.
  • Conducting weekly MCQ based tests via ‘Testmoz’ to revise learnings and to test understanding of the subject.


IT for Mangers: Think Big, Think Data

IT for managers aims to gives a combination of two very dynamic aspects of any business: Management Expertise and IT. The course allows student to explore various tools like SAP ERP, Emerging technologies like block chain, AI and machine learning to deliver the intended value leveraging IT technologies.

  • Improving productivity, automating data processing and enhancing business performance by studying process efficiency in business.
  • Gaining insight on how mangers can leverage technologies like Block Chain, Machine Learning and Robotics for making better-quality decisions through an understanding of Wood Energy and Rolls Royce Case Study.


Quantitative Methods: The Number Game

Understand the implications of the numerical solutions derived from statistical tools like mean, median, mode, standard deviation, binomial and poison distributions, hypothesis testing and its application to business use.

  • Enabling descriptive, predictive and prescriptive analytics which is critical for any organization by studying live data from different sources and statistically interpreting them.


Research Methodology and Market Research: From Ground Up

Mapping out the profile of a customer using a structured process and analysis techniques. It helps gain valuable insights into several demographical information essential in creating a tailored marketing campaigns.

  • Emphasizing various stages involved in a structured and scientific market research.
  • Conducting secondary research for gaining critical insights into different sectors and providing recommendations.
  • Modelling and interpreting publically available data sets, interpreting results and making statistically sound decisions with the help of IBM SPSS.


Visual Analytics: The Art of Storytelling

The intermingling of data analytics and visualization of information is at the core of Visual Analytics. With the right methodologies and accurate data representation viewing high volume data is simplified thus leading to swifter decision making.

  • Preparing business data according to target audience, using methods like Complaint Received vs Processed, Attributes of Service Provider and Tier wise breakdown of clients.


Business Communication: The Power of Words

The dependence of individuals and organizations on the virtual space today has further emphasised the importance of communication. It aids in planning and decision making, facilitates coordination and establishes effective leadership.

  • Pitching a start-up idea to prospect investors and laying down the quarterly plan for a year.
  • Writing a report to the investor of the start-up, including a brief update of milestones achieved in the particular time period.
  • Building networks, both formal and informal through various groups and influencers to promote the start-up.


The pandemic has posed a number of challenges in the online learning sphere, and with the close of the first semester, students are now gearing up for internships at the various training companies. Banking on the curriculum learnt, they are now confident to embark with renewed spirits and excel at their organizations. With 2021 being the corner, the PGPBA student now turn a new leaf, a corporate leaf.


Article contributed by Chetan Chaudhari, Harshita Maru and Pratik Anand, PGPBA Batch 2020 – 2022

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Corporate to Classroom: Launch of 1st All India Executive Business Management Programme

Exceptional beginnings happen under the most unusual circumstances. At a time, when normalcy is still a desired reality, IGTC Mumbai aspired to work on an ambitious project of expanding its high-impact Weekend Executive Business Management Programme (EBMP), which was confined to a local Mumbai and Pune reach, to an All-India Executive Business Management Programme (EBMP) with a more significant demographical reach. By no means, this was an easy proposition, but then being phenomenal has always been the mantra at IGTC!

Bringing together managers from across the country and facilitating learning and growth, the All India EBMP Batch borrows from the accepted international block or modular approach; the programme spans 16-months divided into 6 blocks of 9 days each to be held every 3 months at IGTC Mumbai.

On 9th January 2021, IGTC opened its doors to 23 seasoned managers from Gurgaon, Jaipur, Kolkata, Rajkot, Bangalore, Nashik, Pune and Mumbai. It is inevitable to say that we created a ‘Little India’ under one roof at IGTC. The inauguration began with the lighting of the lamp. The batch was warmly welcomed with an address by Radhieka Mehta, Director IGTC. In his opening remarks, Stephan Halusa, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce attested the credibility of the IGTC EBMP and congratulated the managers on surfing the learning wave. Other speakers at the inaugural ceremony included IGTC faculties Shuaib Fakih, Boman Moradian, Dr. Harkant Mankad and Dr. Anita Bandyopadhyay along with many of the HR and Business Heads across the sponsoring companies. All of them endorsed the spirit of being resilient and overcoming the tough year 2020 and congratulated the managers on positively embarking on this journey of lifelong learning.

Since 20 were attending in person at IGTC and 3 of them were attending online, IGTC faculty and team had to deal with the complexity of delivering the programme in a hybrid mode. The first quarter of 9 days introduced the managers to four fundamental modules. Here is what was covered and what they have to say:

Financial and Cost Management by Mr. Shuaib Fakih

Concepts explanation began with basic finance concepts such as Balance Sheet, Profit and Loss Statements, Valuation Ratios, Equity and liability, Performance Evaluation, Profitability, ROCE, understanding the Annual Report. The faculty explained concepts relating it to live examples of Reliance Retail. Concepts learnt in the classroom were then applied to the Joy and Kwality assignment to test conceptual clarity.

Mr. Fakih had the most difficult challenge at hand, of teaching finance to non-finance professionals. The hallmark of a great teacher is to keep it simple, and avoid using the ‘jargon’. And the way he explained the financial topics, from a Manager’s perspective, was astounding. He maintained a bird’s eye view and regularly explained the context and relevance of different approaches like ratios and costs. The examples and the exercises were designed to make us think and evaluate different scenarios to be able to make better financial decisions.

Gary Chandy, Deputy General Manager – Marketing, Minda Industries Limited

Emerging Leadership by Dr. Anita Bandyopadhyay

A highly interactive session with an immersion into several human and corporate themes such as Organization Design & Structure, Strategy, Career Planning, Goal Setting, Performance Evaluation and the Appraisal Process, STAR Technique, Talent Management and Interpersonal Interaction. The Johari Window, an evaluation tool provided them opportunities for self-introspection and insights. The module ended with an assignment on Career Planning, to be studied in light of their current work environments.

“I expected a session on HR topics but I didn’t know that Dr. Anita Bandyopadhyay is a rare breed; she effortlessly combines her core strength i.e. HR with business sense. She explained how our SMART goals should help businesses to grow. With her flair and anecdotes, she made us reflect on our own values, our goals, our communication styles. She singlehandedly raised the self-awareness quotient of the group by more than a few points.”

Subhendu Kusari, Associate Manager, Voith Paper Technology (India) Pvt. Ltd., Kolkata

Marketing Management by Mr. Sagar Narsian

The Marketing module dived deep into concepts such as the Product Life Cycle, New Product Development, Product Value Canvas and Marketing Segmentation. Marketing Strategies, were discussed at length covering Concentrated Marketing, Differentiated Marketing, Undifferentiated Marketing and Custom Marketing. Marketing concluded with assignments on Consumer Research, PESTEL and SWOT analysis.

“Marketing is about ‘meeting customer needs and wants profitably’. And Mr. Sagar Narsian, is excellent at conveying this mantra and ensuring that we imbibe it. From precipitated silica to SCADA systems to manufacturing auto components to fax machines to FMCG, his knowledge in different industries and products was dumbfounding. Apart from marketing strategies and segmentation and product value canvas, topics like Buying Centre were an eye opening and will probably help us in closing deals faster.”

Dharti Rathod, Founder and CEO, Imark Consulting and Training, Rajkot

Managerial Economics by Dr. Harkant Mankad

Dr. Mankad left the batch stunned not only with concepts in macroeconomics but the history behind world economics. The first 2 days of the module took the managers into the major drivers of the modern economy, demography, technology, foreign exchange, digital revolution, political and migration crisis and of course his favourite topics of the Oil-Dollar battle, Globalization and the VUCA world!

“Candid yet profound, Dr. Mankad seems to have the world history and economics at his fingertips. He aptly narrates how seemingly unconnected events and causes on one part of the world leads to impact another geographically apart. From him, one can visualize the shape of the world’s future far ahead from the present. I loved his style of being so grounded in his perspectives and had a great time learning from him. Undoubtedly, he had the entire class engrossed in rapt attention.”

Krishnan CL, Deputy General Manager, Bosch Limited, Bengaluru

After this intense classroom experience; the managers returned to their professional lives with new perspectives and learnings that they will continue to observe, practice and integrate in their workplace. This defines the duality of the German Education System, which is the cornerstone of this learning experience. IGTC looks forward to next 16 months journey with the All India 1st EBMP Batch!

The cornerstone of the program, the vastly experienced faculty, exceeded my expectations. They broke down complex topics into easy to understand concepts with practical applications and made the learning fun. Their diverse experience meant we had a plethora of relevant examples from the industry. The IGTC team offered amazing hospitality to what is an eclectic batch of professionals from different industries and domains. I couldn’t have asked for a better start to the program. I am happy that I made the decision to join this program and I am excited about the journey.

Abhishek Gupta, General Manager, SMS India Pvt. Ltd., Gurugram

The programme is very practical and interactive. The faculty and support staff are exceptional, the engagement they have maintained since Day 1 is something that I was not expecting with an executive programme.

Prasad Nawathe, AVP – Research, Decimal Point Innovative Research Solutions, Nashik

This has been by far one of the best courses I have ever attended. The data provided to us is immaculate, clear and in-depth. Faculties keep us more engaged with relevant and real life examples which indirectly attracted our interest towards each module. Thank you IGTC.

Dipika Gavankar, Senior Digital Media Strategist, Pressto Drycleaning and Laundry Services Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai

TYFBA….Thank you for being Awesome!! A BIG thank you for taking care of us as kids!!

Sachin Hon, Senior Manager, Glatt Systems Pvt. Ltd., Pune

Article contributed by Abhishek Gupta, General Manager, SMS India Pvt. Ltd., Gurugram, 1st All India EBMP Batch 2021-2022

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When leaders of tomorrow cross paths with the leaders of today!

The anecdote goes ‘One teaches; two learn’, however at the Indo-German Training Centre this equation is slightly modified; when brilliant industry professionals candidly engage with PGPBA students; we can only say ‘One teaches; a hundred learn’.

Our eminent guest speakers for the term included:

  • Praveen Chandola, HR Head India and HR Business Partner, Sennheiser India
  • Amit Kalra and Divya Kalra, Co-founders, Innovate4India
  • Dr. Lakshmi Nadkarni, Ex. Director Human Resources, BASF India

Praveen Chandola: 20th October 2020

A human resource professional, Praveen Chandola has been a part of Sennheiser India for over 13 years. With expertise in training and coaching, he imparted his ideas and experiences on the subject to the students. The key discussion revolved around coaching; and its distinction from counselling, mentoring, consulting, training and athletic development.

Coaching is all about asking questions on a deeper level, it helps raise awareness around an issue and generates new thinking in order to arrive at a solution. The coach will only move you in the direction of your goal, and it is you that needs to find your path.

To make an impact to the IGTC students, Praveen Chandola offered to coach 5 students pro-bono for a span of 3 months.


Amit Kalra & Divya Kalra: 26th October 2020

Amit Kalra; member of the management team at Hilti and Divya Kalra, a change maker; together have co-founded Innovate4India.

With the aim of grooming conscious leaders, Innovate4India works around 4 ideologies that can change India:

Build Communities of Purpose, Frame 108 Questions by 2021, Create Challenge Contests, Build Communities of 200000 Innovators by 2025. The four areas that they wish to work in include Waste2Wealth, Jalvitran, Linking the Unlinked and Rural Connect.

In a move to promote various sustainable development goals among IGTC students, Innovate4India encouraged them to join the momentum and to submit proposals for a month long internship. 5 teams put forth their proposals on the topics – Scraping old cars and batteries, Safety of stray animals, Over-population, Plastic waste management, and Education in rural India. After review, the first two proposals have been shortlisted for the internship.

In a move to promote various sustainable development goals among IGTC students, Innovate4India encouraged them to join the momentum and to submit proposals for a month long internship. 5 teams put forth their proposals on the topics – Scraping old cars and batteries, Safety of stray animals, Over-population, Plastic waste management, and Education in rural India. After review, the first two proposals have been shortlisted for the internship.


Dr. Lakshmi Nadkarni: 1st December 2020

A stalwart in the field of Human Resources, Dr. Nadkarni has been closely associated with IGTC for over a decade.

The VUCA world in 2020 has been amplified leaps and bounds. The commencement of internships at several training companies has resulted in a shift from Paying to Learn to Paid to Perform & Learn. It will give the students an opportunity to launch themselves.

The key insights of the session included: observing and blending with the organizations culture, the importance of 5 C’s – Choice, Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking & Creativity, expected behavioural traits, ethics, anticipated challenges, the difference between policy and politics, the role of Values, Beliefs and Morals in the organization etc.

We are no stranger to the drastic changes that have surrounded us in the last couple of months, and we expect such changes to continue for the generations to come. These sessions have made us realize that a vision of the future is now crucial; and coaching conscientious future leaders must become an educator’s resolve.

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IGTC Alumni Talks: Our Signature Series Rejuvenating the Alumni-Faculty Bond

‘Destiny knows the way to find you’. It was destiny itself that led to the crossing of over a hundred paths on a single evening at the Indo-German Training Centre. Ushering in the second edition of IGTC Alumni Talks: Our Signature Series on Friday 30th October 2020, with over 185 participants; in attendance, an IGTCian can only say ‘Amor Fati: Love your Fate’.

As IGTC inches closer to its 30th anniversary, we look forward to connecting every person who has been a part of this spectacular journey since its inception; this includes students and alumni from both the Post Graduate Programme in Business Administration as well as the Executive Business Management Programme and the esteemed faculty.

The speakers for the evening were 2 distinguished alumni, who have excelled in their roles and experiences in industry.

  • Pallavi Shastri, Director – Human Resources, Eli Lilly Services India
  • Sudeep Patade, Vice President – Finance, Deutsche Bank

The IGTC Alumni Talks also had a very special addition to its agenda, ironically it wasn’t an alumni but our very own senior faculty, Dr. Harkant Mankad. Host Radhieka Mehta, Director – IGTC welcomed all the alumni, faculty, corporate partners and current students to the event. All the speakers addressed topics that they are passionately involved in, all the views expressed were purely in their personal and not professional capacities.

Insights on “Capacity building to stay relevant” by Pallavi Shastri, Director – Human Resources, Eli Lilly Services India.

Her mantra is anchored on 3 pillars: Collective Intelligence, Systems Thinking and Keep Learning.

  • We are part of a bigger whole, and this impacts everything and affects our life in infinite ways. In order to be relevant; ‘built to adapt’ takes precedence over ‘built to last’.
  • Adaptability is key to a successful transformation while accounting for vulnerability, reflection, and fostering curiosity to drive change in the long term.
  • Capability is broader than competence, it encompasses: Competency, Ability, Mind-set, Learning and Openness.
  • Collective Intelligence: The brain of many is greater than the brain of one. Embrace a culture of celebrating failures. You do not need to know everything. Fail fast; fail safe. Find yourself a mentor.
  • Systems Thinking: The need to look at the bigger picture and our position in the network of ecosystem. Reflect and Connect. With different kinds of people; from NGOs, various forums, as diverse as possible, to gain insights about ourselves and ecosystem around us. This will help us to act instead of react.
  • Keep Learning: Keep sharpening your saw; continue to nurture your curiosity through continuous learning. Learn one skill a year, and take up one project for change, this will trigger the collective intelligence.


Insights on “Technologies to keep business relevant” by Sudeep Patade, Vice President – Finance, Deutsche Bank Group

  • Varied technologies are available and can be used as enablers, we need to decide which of them is more relevant
  • Feasibility of mobile technology has led to a large influx of companies on this mode. Remote working technologies have increased collaboration and has made remote working a reality.
  • Need for data protection has increased cost and has put IT under pressure.
  • Open Source Software is used across many fields and is here to stay. It enables users to switch from one software to another without spending much.
  • Cloud Computing has gained prominence in 2020 and forms a large part of the social network. Cloud will not change the world, but will run the world, it is the next big enabler.


Insights on “VUCA world in 2020 got more VUCAoed” by Dr. Harkant Mankad – Senior Faculty, IGTC

  • Markets are going south, uncertainty is at its best. COVID has created more questions than answers. You can’t be under illusion or delusion in the COVID world. COVID is capitalist in nature, in its approach to wealth, and income distribution.
  • IT is the biggest winner in the pandemic, the biggest losers are Construction, Airlines and Migrants.
  • However VUCA the world gets, the next decade belongs to China and Ali Baba.
  • There is a 5% contraction in global GDP, but an increase in global population by half a million people. China’s population will age, and India will have a more assertive younger population, hence reducing dependence.

‘Change is the only constant’, but what happens when change and uncertainty become the norm? How do business and individuals cope in the prevailing context? One thing is for certain, businesses and individuals now have to accept their new found realities, however unappealing it may seem when compared to past realities. Isn’t this the whole point of resilience?

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Design Thinking for NürnbergMesse India A specially curated training programme

“Thinking like a designer can transform the way you develop products, services and processes – and even strategy”- Tim Brown, CEO, IDEO (Innovation Design Engineering Organization)

The new normal necessitates a new way of learning, working and achieving results, and IGTC had to lead by example during this time. Inspired by the above quote, IGTC engaged with its senior faculty member Mr. M Hariharan to curate a special programme on Design Thinking for NürnbergMesse India, one of the 15 largest trade fair companies in the world with a portfolio of 120 national and international trade fairs and congresses at the Nürnbergberg location and worldwide. Faculty Hariharan, Director, Savoir faire Management Services Pvt. Ltd., is a certified expert in Design Thinking from MIT Sloan. He has conducted 700+ training programmes on Lean Management, Strategic Cost and Profitability Management, Theory of Constraints and Design Thinking.

Spread across 6 sessions of 2 hours each over a period of 3 weeks, the programme aimed to instill the design thinking approach and methodology for business excellence. It engaged with the audience to:

  • Innovatively traverse through the unstructured PESTEL challenges keeping customer-focus as the central theme
  • Broad base the innovation mindset and channelize the already present creative minds
  • Create a collaborative multidisciplinary approach to look at the big picture, think holistically, ideate and implement customer-centric solutions
  • Be vehemently empathetic on users and stakeholders and relentlessly search for solutions to human problems
  • Bring in response-ability; the ability to respond to changing customer needs
  • Nurture an environment to fail fast fail safe

The senior management team of 29 managers immersed themselves into the programme framework – Inspiration, Ideation and Implementation – to apply their learnings and emerge with 6 live projects relevant to their industry. The mapped the entire trade fair process from conceptualization, designing, marketing, organizing and benefitting from it. Their final presentations were based on the following topics:

  1. Virtual Event on Broadcasting Technology
  2. Existing Event on Cold-Chain, Industrial Refrigeration & Reefer Transportation
  3. Existing Event on Organic Products
  4. New Event on Hybrid Power and e-Battery
  5. Marketing strategies to promote virtual events
  6. Operations handbook for virtual events

Despite the various, existing challenges, the Design Thinking Training Programme was an extremely satisfying engagement that created an impact on all the participating managers and the organization. This is what some of them had to share:

“The design thinking course equipped us with greater understanding of the customer journey and enabled us to analyse their needs and concerns. It delved into its core reinforcement theory that ultimately it’s about our customers at the centrepiece in whatever we do at our workplaces. The course then put spotlight on implementing the design thinking approach to our ongoing exhibition planning and work process. It is much recommended course for everyone in business. The faculty was brilliant and our journey with the course in its every detail was truly insightful.”

Guru Prasath, Group Director, Member of Management Board, NürnbergMesse India Pvt. Ltd.

“The design thinking programme tickled our laxing common sense intuitions. We learnt to understand and ascertain needs of others, not to assume and form a perspective i.e. an immersion process. It made us learn a new concept of thinking and behavioural changes, which we need to adapt, practice and follow in our daily life rather than on a project basis.”

Satyendra Mehra, Group Director, Member of the Management Board, NürnbergMesse India Pvt. Ltd.

The design thinking training program was extremely engaging and invigorating, inspiring us to think beyond the realms of project management. The whole process from ideation to prototyping, helped us map the journey of the end user and identify points where our services and offerings could be better aligned and more catered.

Rucheeka Chhugani, Director, Corporate Affairs and Communications, NürnbergMesse India Pvt. Ltd.

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“HReimagine – A New Era of HR Leadership”- Indo-German HR Partner Meet

On Friday, 16th October 2020, Siemens Ltd. hosted the quarterly meet of the Indo-German HR Partner Forum on the topic “HReimagined: A New Era of HR Leadership”.

Organizations have been facing umpteen challenges in unknown situations; with no defined solutions. The pressure has been mounting on the HR partners to step up their game, to focus on inclusion, leadership, learning, empowerment, AI and technology, communication, skill development and information management, and to provide solutions to secure the future of their employees and the organization. Hence, as a part of the Indo-German HR Partner Forum, professionals connect, collaborate and share best practices that empower them to create new opportunities for businesses and to build a stronger ecosystem.

Dr. Shilpa Kabra Maheshwari, EVP & Country Head HR, Siemens Ltd. launched the event by setting the context and by sharing what Siemens is doing around the key pillars of the theme. Key insights from her presentation included:

  • The new era of HR Leadership is anchored around four key levers – Leadership 4.0, Continuous Learning, Workplace Strategy and Technology.
  • Siemens is moving towards a Trust-Based Leadership, where managers empower teams and outcomes are most important. They are shifting away from the traditional PMP to growth talks & development.
  • The Siemens Scholarship program for economically weaker backgrounds, especially women, and the apprenticeship program at the Siemens Technical Academy are gaining recognition globally, as the students continue to develop business aligned innovations.
  • Power packed sessions on important people topics and AI based learning platforms are rolled out for employees to learn anytime anywhere.
  • HR Chat bot called CARL is being used to answer questions on transactional topics, and digital tools such as concept board are being used to collaborate and ideate within and outside Siemens.
  • Mobile working guidelines are released to allow employees to work from home for 2-3 days in a week.


Sunil Mathur, MD & CEO, Siemens Ltd. set the business context and shared perspectives on how to stay ahead of competition in this new normal. Key insights from his inspiring address included:

  • Change will be constant and disruptive. Business continuity needs to be looked at holistically.
  • Shareholders will expect more focus on society, environment, government and law issues.
  • Customers are demanding more and asking for customized solutions within limited time. Collaborating with customers in this virtual environment will be the key.
  • Classical supplier relationship are changing to co-developing solutions for the customer. This will require fresh competencies and new ecosystems.
  • With digitalization coming in, geography has become history. The traditional mindset that we need the workforce to be close to customer is now changing. There is a need for a skilled and competent workforce that can deliver value to the customer from anywhere.
  • Company will be as strong as the weakest link in the leadership team.
  • Most important priority is Communication, Communication and Communication.

Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, IGCC acknowledged and applauded the efforts of the HR professionals in maintaining business continuity over the last six months. He mentioned that the German government has recently introduced a new Indo-Pacific strategy where it is now questioning the over dependency on few countries which was realized during this whole pandemic situation. They are now keen to shift the focus to other countries such as India, Australia etc. The ‘can-do’ attitude of Germans and the ‘never-give-up’ attitude of Indians will only further strengthen the Indo-German relations. On this optimistic note, Bernhard Steinruecke also announced his upcoming retirement and introduced his successor Stefan Halusa, Designate Director General, IGCC to the Indo-German HR Partner Forum.

The meeting moved on to a Panel Discussion with 3 eminent HR partners: KS Harish, Country Group HR Head – South Asia, Bayer, Mr. Suresh BR, Country Head HR, Bosch India and Dr. Shilpa Kabra Maheshwari, EVP & Country Head HR, Siemens
Key takeaways:

  • In the new normal, Bayer has passionately communicated its vision, “Health for all, hunger for none” and refreshed the 12 attributes under their LIFE values – Leadership, Integrity, Flexibility and Efficiency to make their employees understand the company vision clearly. Harish had an interesting perspective that the employees’ skills will be the new currency of the future. Keeping this in mind, they have stepped up the learning and social initiatives. Self-learning, micro-learning and wellbeing programs have been introduced for employees. Organisation wide learning applications have enabled the field force to onboard customers to new technology platforms. In the Pharma business, doctors have moved to meeting medical representatives through digital connect programs, while in the CropScience business, they have successfully migrated their customers, the farmers, to the digital platforms to share agricultural practice information and demonstrate product efficacy.
  • Bosch has been positively handling working virtually and ensuring employee engagement and collaboration. The pandemic has certainly accelerated the pace of change and there is super energy and enthusiasm to bring about a change at Bosch. According to Suresh, employee experience will be the DNA of the organization. It is important to reimagine work and redefine the workplace design, which will define how work gets done.
  • Siemens believes that the gig economy will change the way we work. Millennials desire work, which is challenging along with flexibility. Full time and part time work has been implemented and flexi/freelance work is being implemented. Sabbatical options are also available to allow employees to pursue their passion and enhance their skills. There is a significant focus on reskilling and upskilling for future employability.

Dr. Juergen Morhard, Counsel General, Federal Republic of Germany in Mumbai addressed the high-profile audience by praising the IGTC management programs and the high quality of engagement maintained with the German companies. He endorsed the responsibility of the leadership in today’s turbulent times to ensure how their teams are coping, their wellbeing, the impact of digitalization and the acclimatization to home offices. On behalf of the HR Partners, he warmly welcomed Dr. Wayne Brockbank, Clinical Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan as the Power Speaker on the “Role of HR in Creating Market Leadership”. In his keynote address to the HR Partners, Dr. Brockbank touched on the following:

  • Shared detailed results of research conducted to understand the challenges of market leadership faced due to the environmental trends impacting the world today such as high velocity disruptions, complexity, dynamic and non-linear inconsistencies.
  • Questioned the fundamental HR assumptions and biases to make all the partners understand that HR’s role is not only to build individual capabilities but also organizational capabilities to win in the market at a speed and quality that is at a higher level than the competition.
  • Demonstrated the use of insightful statistics to objectively measure the effectiveness of HR activities and to derive the value created by HR for various stakeholders.
  • Explained the correlation among Employee Performance HR, Strategically Integrated HR practices, HR Analytics and HR’s role in Information Management on business performance, external customers, investors, communities, regulators, line managers and employees.
  • Emphasized the need to fully understand the company portfolio before designing the HR strategy and shared the sources of competitive advantage and their weightage in overall success. Raised curiosity to introspect and think on the question, what is the culture we need to have to increase competitive advantage?
  • Exemplified Disneyland as the best example of customer service that makes everyone go back again and again.

Dr. Brockbank concluded his presentation by giving the HR Partners the AAA model as a mantra for success:

  • Acquire and Explore; be intellectually curious, access information and insights from qualitative and quantitative sources with an open mind; understand the business question
  • Analyze, prioritize and debate what is important and what is less important; have honest discussions with different views and perspectives to inform better conclusions
  • Apply to Action the information that is available

This insightful meeting was attended by 60+ HR Partners from leading German organizations. The 3.5 hours long engaging discussions and exchange of ideas came to an end with the realization that it is the right time to look at the opportunities that this pandemic situation has brought with it. This event surely gave the platform to strategize on the way forward beyond these turbulent times.

To know more about the activities of the Indo-German HR Partner Forum, please connect with Radhieka R Mehta, Director, Indo-German Training Centre on

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