The year 2020 has been bizarre and transformational, especially with regard to global travel, social interactions and means of communication. With the vanishing of physical contact, it was important to feel the spirit of oneness, the energy of being in this crisis together and to believe that many others like us have overcome the barrier and so shall we. Role models and inspirations had to be from within.

With this belief, on Monday 31st August 2020, the Indo-German Training Centre initiated its 1st Alumni Talks, a bi-monthly signature series for the IGTC Alumni by the IGTC Alumni. It was also a symbolic tribute of IGTC’s entry into its 30th year, and the start of the new academic year for the PGPBA and EBMP batches.

The chosen experts for flagging off this inspirational series were highly experience and accomplished alumni from the corporate world.

  • Malini Pant, Executive Director, JP Morgan (PGPBA Alumni 1991-1993)
  • Madhu Vazirani, Principal Director, Accenture (PGPBA Alumni 1992-1994)
  • George Ettiyil, Senior Director South Asia, Lufthansa Group (PGPBA Alumni 1996-1998)
  • Harsh Tewari, Vice President Engineering and Technology, Fanatics Inc (PGPBA Alumni 1997-1999)

Filled with immense pride, Radhieka Mehta, IGTC Director hosted and moderated the evening. Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, IGCC welcomed all the alumni, corporate partners, faculty and current students to the event, expressing his pleasure on the genesis of this idea. It was a time to acknowledge ‘resilience, restructure, reset and restart’ as the mantra for the new decade.

All the four alumni spoke on topics close to their hearts, with a disclaimer that the views expressed were purely in their personal and not professional capacity.

Insights on “Business Resilience” by Malini Pant, Executive Director, JP Morgan

  • Bouncing back from a setback in the face of persistent problems or disruptions and converting threats into opportunities.
  • Crises will no longer be seen as black swan events, organizations should be on their guard for such eventualities. Building business resilience is of prime importance.
  • Adaptability is the key and having Recovery capabilities is utmost important. Change or disruption is inevitable but transformation is by conscious choice. The only certainty is the uncertainty.
  • Consideration of your existing supply chain and its adaptability to meet challenges, horizon scanning, empowering individuals and having resilient teams and processes is the need of the hour.
  • Have a quick-fire strategic points in store for the next 20 years.
  • Insights on data security, cyber-attacks, digitization impacts.

Insights on “Restarting Aviation under Covid-19” by George Ettiyil, Senior Director, Lufthansa Group

  • Quick assessment, response and a clear vision of possibilities will make for an enduring brand
  • Accept the outcome irrespective of its limiting nature.
  • Create the right set of shareholder values and put people ahead of business logic; a humane approach to a business.
  • Facing an unusual crisis like COVID-19 requires drive, strategy and courage.
  • Optimism and risk taking ability are the keys to working in a pandemic stricken business environment

Insights on “Fanatics: Built to Last” by Harsh Tewari, Vice-President Engg Engineering and Tech, Fanatics Inc.

  • During a crisis, revenues of 95-97% companies are bound to go south; however revenues of the rest increase by leaps and bounds.
  • 3 golden words – BUILD TO LAST
  • Focal areas include agility, foresight, flexibility, crisp and robust forecasting.
  • Prioritize increasing business leads during a crisis. Rise to the occasion to make a difference; Fanatics = Fantastic.
  • Other insights include using a bird’s eye view for organizing a company and creating a unique niche

Insights on “Mindful Well-being” by Madhu Vazirani, Principal Director, Accenture

  • Ikigai- A reason for being, mindful living; steering towards “What I love to do”.
  • COVID-19 has contributed immensely to the ever increasing digital overload and societal change. Neuroscience in recent years has realized that our brains are plastic and not plaster.
  • The brains response during a crisis: FIGHT OR FLIGHT.
  • Mindful training – Prepare, Anchor (Breathe), Alertness.
  • Mind training and mindfulness helps in being more relaxed in this stressful world.
  • Bring in a few minutes of silence on a chaotic day.

The advent of the pandemic has hit the breaks on globalization and has ushered in a host of changes, these have impacted the personal, social and the economic spheres. Social distancing and isolation have become a way of life; yet business priorities cannot take a backseat. Therefore, it is important to ‘Think smart! Adapt fast!’

COVID-19 in essence has served as a teacher; it has helped us recognize challenges, learn from them and has molded us to adapt to the resulting changes. Organizations thus have to make the best use of the current business environment whilst retaining employee trust and customer confidence.

Rise above the chaos and give change a chance.