Excellence is not a tool, but an IGTCian’s attitude, desire and passion. Auf Wiedersehen PGPBA Batch 2018 – 2020:Convocation Ceremony 2020

The lights at Royal Opera House glimmered with hope, as IGTC’s PGPBA Batch 2018 – 2020 marched down the aisles to take their seats in the grand auditorium, tassels bouncing in excitement with each step taken. Beneath each black cap was a student with a smile from ear to ear and pride in their eyes. At their side were their proud parents, eager to make time stand still for the evening. Flashlights and cameras levitated each graduate to the status of a celebrity for the day. In the blink of an eye, capstone projects, Monday formals, unending presentations, new and old friendships, walks at marine drive became memories in this chapter of IGTC. Another story was imprinted on our hearts before it sets off to new beginnings.

In the true spirit of German punctuality, the Convocation Ceremony for PGPBA Batch 2018 – 2020 commenced with IGTC Director, Radhieka R Mehta welcoming the dignitaries, graduates, parents, faculty and corporate mentors, followed with an address by Georg Graf, President of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and the Regional Representative of Freudenberg Group. “I commend IGTC on the choice of venue for this occasion, the Royal Opera House, noting its construction featuring both Indian and German architectural elements, which perfectly encapsulates the conjunction of Indo-German education and society being celebrated.” His vitalizing introduction to the evening emphasized on perseverance being key to his successes.

Mr. Graf’s welcome address was followed by a journey down memory lane by Paurus Nekoo, General Manager Sales, Lufthansa Group and IGTC Alumni of PGPBA Batch 1995 – 1997. He highlighted the changes, but yet similarities, that he sees in IGTC then and now, and how the German Dual Education System has been a hallmark of IGTC’s rapport in the industry since its inception. “When a company selects you and invests in you, they invest their time in you during the practical sessions. There is a higher management focus in your training. This is a huge difference versus other programs.” Mr. Nekoo went ahead to encourage the batch to embrace change, to never stop learning, to believe in themselves and to be humble. From such humility stems sensitivity toward culture, gender, the environment and toward other fellow humans. He punctuated the end of his address by speaking of gratefulness engendered by humility; that every graduate moving out into the real world must venture forth with a sense of gratitude toward their home country, to never forget where they come from.

Following the footsteps of an accomplished alumni, had to be the current champions! On behalf of PGPBA Batch 2018 – 2020, Sanjeev Srinivasan, Manar Lakdawala, Gargi Paliwal, Susan Thomas and Mayank Washimkar delivered the Valedictory Address to the audience.
“When I think of the IGTC Alumni network, it reminds me of Vodafone; always happy to help and follows us wherever we go. Right from admissions, to our search for accommodation, to constantly motivating us to cope with hectic lectures and multiple projects, to guiding us during placements, our Alumni have given a direction to our scattered thoughts. They have passed on the IGTC legacy to us; for us to uphold.” – Manar Lakdawala, trained by ATE Group and recruited by Häfele India.

“Today I am happy to have started my corporate journey as a part of the Managing Director’s team at Mercedes Benz India Limited. Working for business development and strategic projects, now I see the bigger picture that we were all trying to paint with all the subjects taught at IGTC; be it the role of culture in strategy or legal intricacies in data driven marketing.” – Mayank Washimkar, trained and recruited by Mercedes Benz India Limited.

“IGTC has helped students to channel their ambitions in the right direction and to achieve incredible dreams. At this very end, I have realised that our time is limited; so, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.” – Susan Thomas, trained by Bayer Group and recruited by Knorr Bremse Technology Center.

“Finally, an intricate web spun out of ethics and responsibility coupled with the analytical skills that I honed in my strategy class has become my framework for the future. Today, I stand in front of you as a young business professional, with the ability to add colour to life and break the monotony. I gaze into the future, unfazed, with a belief that excellence is not a tool, but it is my attitude, my desire and my passion.” – Sanjeev Srinivasan, trained and recruited by Phoneix Mecano India

We are all different pigments of colours but when spun together on the wheel, we come out as one single colour i.e. white. No matter where our journey started, we all have made it here together through the same combination of determination, sacrifice and a whole lot of hard work. Why IGTC is what I am often asked. I reply to that question with another question: “Tell me, what else is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” Gargie Paliwal, trained and recruited by Covestro India.

Music is a language that transcends all barriers. It connects us to one another, reminds us of who we are, speaks for us when mere words are not enough, and reflects our hearts emotions in their real and vulnerable way. Believing in this, the highlight of the Convocation Ceremony was a musical on ‘Dreams and Imaginations’ by the Singing Tree Choir of the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation. Talented conductor, Salomé Rebello, had planned a beautiful set comprising of songs including ‘We Will Shine Like The Sun’ a 2018 winner of the Hongkong Children’s Choir Competition, ‘A Whole New World’ from the award winning soundtrack Aladdin, ‘A Million Dreams’ from the acclaimed soundtrack The Greatest Showman, ‘I Believe I Can Fly’ from the movie Space Jam, ‘Shosholoza’ a mining song sung by the tribes in South Africa for encouragement and hope, and ‘Aazaadiyaan’, an inspirational song from the Hindi movie Udaan. The Singing Tree Choir was beautifully complemented by IGTCians from the junior PGPBA Batch 2019 – 2021, who joined the choir, also played some musical instruments and danced to a beautiful contemporary choreography by Ankit Tanna.

On this high note, metaphorically, it was time for Chief Guest Ronnie Screwvala to take the floor. A man who has left his mark on media, entertainment, sport, e-sport, philanthropy and empowerment of the underprivileged, Mr. Screwvala is undoubtedly one of the most people of the 21st century. He opened his address feeling overwhelmed by the sense of pride that he felt on watching this batch move forward into the world to pursue their dreams. “Most people spend their lives trying to live a life that others want them to live. It takes more than just good education to succeed in today’s global environment: it’s about collaboration without simply competing to win. It’s a tough world and getting an education is no longer an event that ends, it’s a continuous process and each and every student that walks through the doors of IGTC leaves as a perpetual learner, one who never shies away from change, but adapts and rides the waves of the storm.”

Riding strong on the uplifting themes of the evening, the Guest of Honour, Dr. Juergen Morhard, Consul General, German Consulate General, Mumbai, took the stage to deconstruct what it meant to have dreams, the central theme of the evening. “Dreams without goals are always meant to simply remain dreams. Even when you have the training and the skills to succeed, you need to have the guts to fail. If you don’t fail, you are not trying to achieve your goals. It doesn’t matter if you fail while trying to achieve those goals, because the effort you put in makes it worth the journey to get that point.” This fear of failure should be tempered with a layer of discipline, a lesson that Dr. Morhard demonstrated through iterating his own life experiences.

At this point, every eye in the audience sparkled with dreams and a heart full of imagination. It was time for the maverick, Boman Moradian, the most loved member of the IGTC faculty, to deliver a Masterclass to the graduating batch. While he appreciated the theme of the day being ‘Dreams’, he wanted the batch to be very clear on the ethical dilemmas that they would face during their personal and professional path going forward. He posed an ancient predicament: would you choose to be right or would you choose to be paid? At the end of the day, the question remains: who are you accountable to? As with his lectures, Mr. Moradian concluded with a very clear but lasting answer for all their future endeavors in the corporate world, a poem titled The Guy in the Glass, by Dale Wimbrow (1934). “For it isn’t your Father or Mother or Wife, whose judgement you must pass. The feller whose verdict counts most in your life is the guy starting back from the glass. He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest, for he’s with you clear up to the end, you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test, if the Guy in the Glass is your friend.”

The evening reached a pinnacle with the felicitation of the award winners. The awards given out were:

  • The Dr. Guenter Krueger Award for Excellence in collaboration with Max Mueller Bhavan, Goethe Institut and Lufthansa Group: Abhishek Bhattacharya and Abhishek Dhatavkar.
  • The Siemens Award for Excellence: Manar Lakdawala and Sanjeev Srinivasan.
  • The Bayer Scholarships ‘Championing Success’ – Abhishek Bhattacharya, Abhishek Dhatavkar, Mayank Washimkar, Prajakta Sontakke and Priya Kumari
  • The BASF Corporate Governance and Business Ethics Award – Rushabh Shinde

A heartfelt Vote of Thanks was extended by Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce to the dignitaries for the evening, parents and most importantly to the IGTC faculty and IGTC team on the graduation of another successful batch, who will contribute to the German business community. The students gathered on the stage for one final photograph with their respected faculty and to bid farewell to each other.

While it seemed as though a chapter was closing, one could only sense the junior batch filled with inspiration to write their own story. Each of these students realized that they have to step up to a new challenge, to take the place of leadership from the exiting seniors. No longer are they the ones looking up to others for leadership, but they have to become the ones leading.

The musical evening of “Dreams and Imagination” left everyone with a feeling of hope and pride. What lies ahead is a new adventure and a new sense of hope for the future.

Article contributed by Aishwarya Tadpatrikar and Danesh Fatakia from PGPBA Batch 2019 – 2021.