The annual graduation ceremony at most educational institutions are a devoted to celebrating the most important point in a student’s life. This is point were each individual is filled with unbridled optimism towards a future of achieving their hopes goals and dreams. It is a time were we sing peons to the efforts of students, the support of parents, faculty and administration which helped them learn and develop as individuals. As you look at the smiling faces of students you can help but wonder what the future holds for each of them. Some of them will reach for the stars some of them will meter down their goals according their perception.

The day of convocation is a day of idealism and happiness of the days gone by. The students had come in as individuals and strangers while leaving as friends and as a batch with camaraderie and aspirations to lead the transformation of the world into a better place. However learning is a lifelong process and any institute worth its salt recognizes that its primary objective is to instil the ability to learn continuously in its students. They also have to be a microcosm of the real world with challenges and trials mimicking the real world to prepare them to recognize and proactively handle them in the most effective manner. Lastly they have to demonstrate the importance of having a personal value system and a code of ethics that will take them much farther in life than any skills they may learn in a professional course.

It is with this intent that IGTC was formed in the early 1990’s to emulate the structure of a German dual education system to better serve the needs of what was then a rapidly growing India after liberalization. There were obviously concerns of how such a system would prove useful for students raised in a traditional British education system. IGTC has gone on to prove with the success of its multiple batches that a system which facilitated conversion of knowledge into practical applications faster. This is even more imperative in today’s rapidly changing digital world that such academic endeavours grow and develop further. It is important that students look at the big picture of where they fit into the society and environment as whole.

The Convocation Ceremony of PGPBA Batch 2016-2018 of the Indo-German Training Centre Held on 17th February 2018 commenced with the singing of the IGTC anthem, which is a legacy in itself to live by and at its coda the entire hall at The Gallery’ – Four Seasons Hotel in Mumbai was reverberating with “Phenomenal we will be”. Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General Indo-German Chamber of Commerce then addressed the students congratulating them on their graduation and reiterated that youngsters are running the country today saying “As world looks at India, India looks at you”, which is not only a great achievement and privilege but also an abundant responsibility.

In the President’s welcome address Thomas Fuhrmann, President, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce and Managing Director at TUV Rheinland India Pvt. Ltd. congratulated IGTC for its 27 years of contribution to providing sophisticated training and moulding students to be enablers of successful businesses. “We, Germans, are very proud to see that the Dual System is contributing to the businesses in Germany and that the concept here is India is immensely well-known and accepted” He ended his address with the promise to become a partnering training organization with IGTC Mumbai in the near future.

Dr. Juergen Morhard, Consul General, German Consulate General in Mumbai and Guest of Honour urged the students to celebrate this feat as they had gone an extra mile to arrive at this destination. But he also cautioned them not to see this as just another milestone, but as a stepping stone in the lifelong path of learning and development. “The personalities and the way of thinking developed at IGTC despite the challenges and resistances will transform companies helping them thrive and help the country grow”. In conclusion, he hoped that even though graduation speeches are ephemeral, the graduates would cherish the joy of this morning throughout their life.

It was also a touching occasion for Christa Lützenkirchen, Head of Global Human Resources, Covestro Deutschland AG, being one of the primary architects of IGTC’s training programme in her capacity in Human Resources at Bayer, as she reminisced on the challenges faced initially while advocating the dual programme in India. She expressed her pleasure to be present at such a momentous occasion and to see the system implemented so many years ago, still works. “It is not about the ‘I’ but what ‘We’ can do together, it’s about society and not ourselves and this is the philosophy on which IGTC is still run” Her message to the graduating class was as leaders of future it was their duty to feel responsible for themselves and ‘Make the World a Brighter Place’.

The keynote address was given by the Chief Guest R.S. Subramanian, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, DHL Express India. He shared his personal story of beginning his career in the corporate right after graduating from IIM and how in his illustrious career he moved between 12-13 different roles which helped him acquire insights into various aspects of business. He ended by advising students saying “there is no substitute to ‘burnt shoe leather’ where you meet your customer/ consumer face to face and talk which leads to ‘KYC- Know your customer’. Both are extremely important to succeed in your careers. Next deserve before you demand and finally to never stop learning”. He also highlighted the rapidly changing technology landscape of today, while on a lighter note he joked about his struggles of switching to his phone to make notes for this very speech.

Kamlakar Takavale, Vice President, Human Resources, Volkswagen India advised the graduating batch “Industry likes to recruit result oriented people, go- getters, who can play the role of a team member as well as a team leader as well as people who can handle responsibilities & challenges well. You have a dream of being someone who can contribute to decision, strategy & policy making in the organization. IGTC helps you realise that dream with the dual system of education. At the same time, it is essential to gauge whether the company culture & individuals expectations are a right fit or not. The industry also evaluates whether the highly skilled people also has the right behavioural aspect. Thus your training exposure helps the right person for the right job”. He then congratulated them for this milestone.

Suhas Rane, academic faculty for Logistics and Supply Chain Management at IGTC began by informing the audience that even faculty get nervous during convocations companies get a chance to see the final products of the faculty (the students). He then in his classic laconic style had the following advice to his graduating students:

  • Be aware enough in life to not constrain your life to a silo and be open to the new things in life
  • Prove yourself, challenge yourself
  • lf continuously and never waver from the path of self-improvement
  • Never give up, there is always a way ahead, it just has to be forged
  • Fulfilment in life come from giving, therefore volunteer
  • Strive to a goal of self-actualisation and don’t expect remuneration for everything you do
  • Failures teach you more than successes

Finally it was time for the graduating batch to share their experience. However this batch decided that their parents, the faculty and companies should have the privilege of experiencing what they had achieved over the last 18 months which they conveyed through a very emotive video.

The toppers of the class then continued with an encouraging speech that left the entire class aspiring to become future leaders. “The quality of our expectations determine the quality of our actions.” The outcome can only be as good as our effort. What lies in our sphere of control is our efforts so we have to give our best shot. The programme taught us to focus on our goal even when the going got tough. As we were always pressed for time, we learn to think on our feet becoming more creative and resourceful. We learnt to work as a team, adjusting to one another’s weaknesses and playing to our strengths. Some amount of patience and tact was involved but we all emerged as good team players, a learning that will prove to be most essential as we start with the working phase of our lives. And now after all the memories of the last 18 months, we now have the biggest sign of hope – US!!My fellow future managers and CEO’s because we have lots more work to do.” Their final assignment to the batch being, ‘Let us begin today for a better tomorrow’!”

It was then time for the students to reap the benefits of all their hard work- The distribution of the certificates. Each students was called out with a unique title – one that described them the best, each student came up the stage and collected their PGPBA certificate while the entire audience cheered them on with immense gusto.
Some of our Award Winners for the Batch were:
Tanay Kadam, received the ‘BASF Award for Business Ethics and Corporate Governance’ from Paramita Sarkar, Head-Nutrition and Health, South Asia, BASF India Suresh Babu, Head- Compensation and Benefits, BASF India and Swati Arora, Human Resources, BASF India. Through a specially-designed curriculum, top management professionals from BASF enter the IGTC classroom to engage students in a course that sensitises them to the topic of Business Ethics and Corporate Governance. Paramita Sarkar, Head-Nutrition and Health, South Asia, BASF India spoke of the four important aspects of business – Accountability, Fairness, Transparency and Independence. She also spoke of the unwritten codes of conduct while proudly mentioning about how BASF has been continuing to abide by them since its inception in India.

Aadish Tanskale, Anuj Sharma, Purna Gothoskar and Sakshi Aher received The Bayer Scholarship ‘Championing Success’ award from Rohit Sharma, Head- Human Resource Operations, Bayer India and Amruta Ayya, Human Resource. Bayer India presents this award to the 4 students who best emulated values of Bayer- LIFE (Leadership, Integrity, Flexibility and Efficiency) and rewarded them with a cash scholarship of INR 50,000. Rohit Sharma, Head- Human Resource Operations, Bayer India, in his speech left the class with a profound message saying “The chances you take define what you will become. Our job is to be a better person than yesterday”

Rutuja Sindekar and Rahul Shetty received ‘The Siemens Award for Excellence’ from Lakshmi Chatterjee, Head- Strategy, Siemens Ltd.; Pramod Sant, Head of Import Export and Export Control and Customs, Siemens Ltd. and Rupesh Basu, General Manager, Human Resources. The Siemens Award for Excellence is a prestigious award presented to two winners who exemplify consistent demonstration of the Siemens values of “Innovative, Responsible and Excellence”. This award reimburses to the student the entire IGTC tuition fee. Lakshmi Chatterjee, Head- Strategy, Siemens Ltd. advised the students saying “the values of Siemens Ltd. are not only core to our company but also on how to succeed in life, so keep them with you always”

Anindita Subramanian, Gayatri Ghate, Sharvari Agashe and Rahul Shetty received the Dr. Guenter Krueger Award for Excellence from the dignitaries on the dais. This award of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce (IGCC) in conjunction with the Goethe Institut recognizes and awards the top students by giving them an opportunity to study a language course with the Goethe-Institut in Germany. The formal certificate will be awarded to the winners at the next Annual General Meeting.

After the distribution of the certificates Radhieka R Mehta, Director, Indo-German Training Centre gave the vote of thanks and bid adieu to the graduating batch with her final piece of advice “I had a dream to work in Disney world. I used to go to Disney world and I used to be very happy with the parade and for me that was the world happiest place to work there. After working at IGTC, I realised that IGTC has become my Disney world. You all are entering the International work place now and just go there and create Disney Worlds wherever you are!!” Her words thus ensured that the magic of IGTC remained alive in them in all walks of life.

It was then time to capture the final memory as a batch a faculty, corporate partners and the VIP’s for the day – the graduates of PGPBA Batch 2016-2018 posed for a group photograph. They then said their final good bye and marked the end of a chapter in their lives as they ceremoniously tossed their graduating caps towards the skies.