On this note, the beat of the drums, the cheer of the proud parents, family members and corporate partners, and the fluttering heartbeats of the 76 graduates, we kicked off a celebration that could be heard miles away. Louder than the hum of the city and louder than the cheers from the IPL stadiums just a few metres away, was the sound of celebration and jubilation arising from the IGTC Convocation Ceremony being held at the The Taj President, IHCL SeleQtions ballroom.
Two batches of proud IGTCians – 29th PGPBA 2020-2022 Batch and the 1st All India EBMP 2021-2022 batch – took their steps into the professional world as strong and independent managers and as bearers of the IGTC flag. All set to take our director Radhieka R Mehta’s words to heart, they pledged to “raise a banner, where a banner never flew”.
IGCC Director General, Stefan Halusa commenced the ceremony with a warm welcome to the dignitaries, corporate partners, faculty members, parents and graduates. He expressed his immense joy of finally being able to host his 1st IGTC Convocation Ceremony and reiterated the IGCC focus on training, dual mode of education, dynamic curriculum update; all of which add up to the fulfillment of the IGCC mission – Our members success is our success!
The graduating managers of the Executive Business Management Programme, Abhishek Gupta, Dipika Gavankar and Gary Chandy then took the floor to share their learning experience. As a batch that started during the pandemic and concludes in the middle of a war, they have indeed had many opportunities to learn. In their opinion, the class learnings have been force multipliers and have had cascading effects in other dimensions of their lives. Armed with a new VUCA (Vision – Understanding – Clarity – Agility), they find their approach to their careers and their personal lives more organized, more deliberate and more strategic. They have been able to recognize their values and what matters to them; what is the next role they want to target and how they want to grow. This graduation was a milestone in their lives, a milestone that doesn’t show the distance travelled but the distance that lies ahead!
Jumping out of their zoom screens and without any e-notes, the graduating students of the full-time Post Graduate Programme in Business Administration – Adrian Pereira, Hitarthi Somaiya and Vishrut Pande – swept the audience off their feet with their smashing, heart-touching and humorous valedictory address. Reminiscing moments with anecdotes on interdependence and friendships among peers, knowledge and gratitude for the faculty and the IGTC team, indebtedness for their families, and aspirations for the future that awaits them in their organizations, it was a treat to join them in celebrating their success.
As a representative of the teaching faculty, Dr. Harkant Mankad congratulated the Zoom-ers on surviving this VUCA world and left them with one farewell lesson – to learn to recognize pretense, which is all around us in corporate and personal life, and to take a quiet moment to discover oneself and to start loving oneself.
Chief Guest Puneet Chhawal, MD & CEO, The Indian Hotels Company Limited delivered a very personal and touching keynote address. He started by making a special mention of how this ceremony was the perfect embodiment of the Indo-German relations, as he witnessed young Indians wearing a German sash spontaneously singing “Vande Mataram” with an aspiration to make their country proud. He echoed the same pride in his identity as a member of both the German and Indian hospitality industry, with both fraternities accepting him with open arms and allowing him to be the best and truest version of himself.
Through his life experiences, Mr. Chhatwal gave an insight into ‘Intuitive Leadership’, in the face of an adversity such as Covid-19, when the entire hospitality industry had to deal with operating on ‘Zero Revenue’. Most management books were rendered irrelevant and useless. It was the spirit of humanity that emerged significant and true to the test. He talked about how his fraternity, the entire industry, the employees, all came together to tackle the pandemic and it’s aftershocks, how they have truly gone above and beyond the call of their duties to extend their signature ‘hospitality’ to anyone in need.
The audience got an overwhelming sense of faith and belief from his words.
- How every milestone in his career, built up to where he stands today.
- How every failure that did not make sense, helped shape his journey down the road.
- How every time that he chose his values over an opportunity and monetary gains, fate would have it come back to him.
These were lessons, not taught in formal education, but learnt over a lifetime.
He closed his address by sharing the Carlson Credo:
“Whatever you do, do with integrity;
Wherever you go, go as a leader;
Whoever you serve, serve with caring;
Whenever you dream, dream with your all;
And never give up!”
Guest of Honour, Dr. Jürgen Morhad, Consul General, German Consulate General in Mumbai was emotional as he addressed an IGTC event for the last time. Addressing the management graduates as strong, emotionally resilient personalities, he applauded them on their learning journey through the pandemic and reminded them to continue their spirit to survive, to learn, to change and to adapt. He emphasized that education is a valuable asset that does not guarantee instant gratification, but requires patience to learn and to accept oneself to truly find success. He advised the graduates to take smaller steps and to jump smaller leaps so as to not miss the slivers of happiness and good that might pass them by in a blink of an eye.
The applause that echoed after Dr. Morhad’s words rung deep into the night as the Dr. Guenter Krueger Award for Excellence, the Siemens Award for Excellence, the BASF Award for Corporate Governance and Business Ethics and the Graduation Certificates were handed out. The proud parent paparazzi captured every moment of fame of the graduates, while many corporate mentors joined the frame with pride. The evening concluded with a very personal gratitude extended by Radhieka R Mehta and with the IGTC anthem resounding in the venue, IGTCians at heart…phenomenal we will be!!