Monday, September 20, 2010


On 18th September 2010, a Saturday, the third Corporate Wisdom session in the academic year 2010-2011 was organized. The speaker was Mr. P. Jeevan Jose, Head of HR, Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance. We students thought that the topic would be ‘expectations of the corporate world’. When the session started however, we saw that the topic title on Mr. Jose’s presentation was ‘Expectations...’

Mr. Jose began by asking us a simple question-‘What is shelf-life?’  A fair number of people were aware of shelf-life in the general context, but the shelf-life he referred to was the shelf-life of an MBA. He defined the shelf-life of an MBA as ‘the average time spent in the first job’ and that the shelf-life was a disappointing one year and six to eight months. This figure is not at all surprising to most of us. But companies, he said, though not astonished, are trying very hard to unravel the mystery behind the number. So, we figured, that the ‘expectations’ being discussed were not only the expectations of companies of MBAs, but also the expectations of the MBAs of companies and of their B-school. Some of the common expectations of freshman MBAs are getting a good job with a high salary, social recognition etc. Ideally though, the expectations of MBA students should be to learn to add value, to question, to seek answers and the alternatives, to learn to analyze and channelize the efforts of not only themselves but also their colleagues.

The audience was absorbed. What we had just heard was a little out of the ordinary. None of us anticipated that a discussion on expectations would be so thought provoking. Most of us were waiting to know what the world wanted out of us, in terms of what services we were expected to provide. But nothing more crossed our minds.

Going beyond the classroom, when we had finally touched upon what the corporate expected of MBAs, Mr. Jose gave us a beautiful example to illustrate, that the companies hire MBAs not for their fancy degrees but for their ability to see problems with great attention to detail while not losing sight of their long term objectives. He went on to add that the corporate world seeks a professional- one who can work unsupervised and who can certify his own work as complete, a person with integrity, speed of execution, courage and immense patience.

As a final piece of advice, he said that an MBA student must plan not for a job, but for a career and happiness, must practice professionalism, seek counsel, learn from diversity, learn to influence people without power and most importantly, he must have the heart to admit that he doesn’t know.

Our minds were processing question after question once the session had ended. So much had been conveyed with so little that was said. The session had opened our minds to a new dimension, one which not many people stumble upon while still in college and fewer still would recognise when not guided by great people such as Mr. Jose.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wealth Management: IndusInd style

We had Ms. Sushri Mishra, VP of Wealth Management in IndusInd Bank address us on Wealth Management on the evening of 3rd September, 2010.

Ms. Mishra started with the growth of Wealth Management through the years in India. UTI was the first to offer Mutual funds in India in 1964, after which PNB followed suit, but this happened only in 1991 – nearly 30 years later! And before 1993 (which was when the first private Mutual Fund came into existence in India), the size of the Wealth Management industry in India was roughly Rs. 64000 crores. Today the size is Rs.7 lakh crores. Even though it has grown, the growth has been extremely slow – it took a decade to cross the Rs.1 lakh crore mark!

The number of Mutual Fund houses today in India is about 36, but comparing the size of the Wealth Management with that of the banking industry’s, which boasts Rs.40 lakh crores, the percentage is pitiful compared to the size of the Wealth Management industry in the United States of America – over 80% the size of their banking industry! India therefore is relatively far behind America in this space, but how relevant is this ratio to us and what does it really mean? Our own classmates answered this question posed by Ms. Mishra. It is indicative of a stable system, where there is a lot of savings (which, coincidentally, was the reason why India was less affected by the recession than other country) but it also speaks about the potential for growth of this industry in the country.

She then spoke about the career growth in this industry and the scope of the industry itself. As with any entity, growth of the industry can be measured in terms of current standing, and future prospects. Already the banking industry has assets worth Rs. 40 lakh crores and it is set to grow in future because apart from the metros, the other parts of the country such as the rural, semi-urban and even the non-metros are seriously under-serviced.

She spoke about how FII’s seem very attractive because they bring in a lot of money inflow into the system but they also bring with them their own risks – volatility of the market! Whereas, the FDI’s which are pretty heavily regulated and controlled, could be freed and it is heartening to note that economists in the country, have recently been leaning in favour of this trend. Earlier, India’s GDP contribution in the world market was
about 2% but now it has nearly doubled and it growing at a rapid pace and the one of the industries that could reap the immediate benefits of a spurt in economic growth is (not surprisingly) the banking and wealth management industry!

At the end of the session, there were quite a few interesting questions thrown up by the students, which Ms. Mishra expertly fielded and she was pleasantly surprised and of course, pleased by the active participation of the class. It goes without saying that the students enjoyed the session and came out feeling at least a fraction more enlightened about Wealth Management as an industry and a career option for an MBA graduate.

Contributed by:
Lakshmi Kavya, MBA 1st Year

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