Challenging the Conventions- Innovation in recruitment process

Why conventional recruiting is passe`? When we peep into the history, the answer pops out and emanates from the enigmatic stories of the Mahabharata. The sole cause for which Mahabharata was destined to happen was the game of gambling. Had it been great strategic decision making put to place, this whole epic of Mahabharata would not have happened, but surely it would have impoverished us from the valuable & epoch making lessons to be learnt.

Students engrossed in the play and evaluators noting down their strategies

Game is more about the decisions you take along the course of its execution and the strategy you follow keeping the end vision in place. It appraises the skills pertaining to team spirit, visionary attitude and consciousness of criticality of resources in an individual. Trying to evaluate individuals by offering the opportunity to display their skills in gaming is not a mere hog wash to digress their attention from stressful recruiting process wherein herds of people come to apply their luck. Rather, it psychologically tests the mettle, the organizational fitment of an individual, which is difficult by conventional recruiting methods like GD’s, Aptitude tests & Interviews.

When in a team, an individual has to be responsive to the needs & demands of the team. He not only has to prioritize professional & personal goals, he also has to show tolerance towards other team members. He has to scan & identify circumstances when to shift roles from being  team leader to team member & sometimes even a follower. Unresponsive  to such calls can misled an entire team and can jeopardize the mere existence of a team.

Tatvic, a Google certified web analytics partner & a recruiter at B. K. School has been proactive in adapting to the changing times & hence instituted for the first time in its history, a recruiting method where traits of an individual were mapped to the organization’s needs & requirements through gaming. In the game of “Limbo”, though simple in nature, the catch was to play it with limited resources. Not only the teams had to score the maximum to win, they also has to show great team dynamics to prune & weed out unwanted information from a vast pool of information available to the participants.

Article published in Gujarat Samachar on 13th Oct, 2012

Organizations today are keeping momentum with the fast pace world and are innovating and revamping their recruitment methods in a dynamic, ever-changing economy. Such innovations are welcome as they not only are beneficial for them to grow with like minded people, but also help candidates to choose a career where they best fit into.

To read more about the objective behind this unique process please read this article.

As reported by:

Tapan Jain
MBA-II, 2011-13

A calm and composed individual, Tapan works as the member of the Placement Committee, at B. K. School. He also represents B. K. School as Campus Reporter for Business Standard, a leading business newspaper daily. He is passionate about reading books and writing articles.

2nd conference on Indian Placement Reporting Standards @ IIM – A

“I was told by the college authorities that my role would simply be to greet and have lunch with the company officials visiting the campus for placements, while majority of the work would be handled by the student themselves,” said Prof. Saral Mukherjee, former Chairperson of the Placement Committee at IIM Ahmedabad, in his captivating speech during the 2nd conference on IPRS (Indian Placement Reporting Standards) organized at IIM Ahmedabad on 29th September, 2012. “However, the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis was an eye opener for all of us in the placement committee at IIMA,” he added.

Even if you are a housewife, or a student of 10th grade, or for that matter a pan-wala, you must have heard, at least vaguely, about the placement figures running in ten’s of lac or may be even in crores, bagged at premier institutions like IIM’s and other b-schools. As per the facts presented by the placement officers from various b-schools of the country, viz IIM-B,C,K, XLRI, IIFT, GIM-Goa, SPJIMR and others, it is nothing but a hype created by media reports who want to sensationalize the placement figures. “For a year I was seething within looking at the wrong figures quoted by media reports about the placement figures before I stumbled upon the idea of IPRS,” said Prof. Mukherjee. That was the time when he conceptualized something called ‘Indian Placement Reporting Standards’ that would help in providing factual and authentic salary figures to students, aspirants and their parents, media, and companies visiting for recruitment.

27 b-schools in the country were the signatory to the IPRS adopted last year and out of them 5 schools have already got their placement figures audited and are posted on their website. This year the objective of the conference was to review and analyze the difficulties faced by institutions that have already got their figures audited or are in process of auditing. This was the first year for B. K. School to attend the conference. B.K. was represented by me and Dixesh Shah, Placement Committee members at B. K. School. It was a moment of pride and honor that Dr. Sarla Achuthan (Director, BK School), Dr. Prateek Kanchan (Placement Officer, BK School) and our fellow committee members (Tapan, Jagdish, Jayvant, Nilang, Saharsh and Sneha) considered us worthy enough to represent B. K at such a national level conclave and share our views among the distinguished members of the conclave. Though most government institutions would argue that ‘for us the center of focus is academics and and not placements’ but that is not the reality these days. Of course teaching management principles and involving students and faculties in carrying out quality research is of utmost importance but one can not just give a blind eye to placements. Placements actually play a role, though not a solitary one, in defining an institution’s quality of students. Prof. Mukherjee never wanted management aspirants to take absurd amount of financial loans for getting into institutions which does not release exact placement figures. CTC is not a good estimate of what a student would ‘actually’ earn after graduating from an institute. IPRS aims to discourage malpractices adopted by various b-schools in the country where the students are taken for a ride.

During the IPRS conference, 29th September, 2012, @ IIMA.

But it is not a menace created by b-schools alone. Media has played an important role in caramelizing such baseless placement figures. Media tends to convert international salary figures into Indian currencies which makes the figure run into tens of lacs or may be in crores, which is a wrong thing to do. Media should also understand that getting exact placement figures for a current batch is very difficult as placements is an ongoing process, esp. for people of executive management programs.

Of the many agendas discussed, one of prime importance was the problems that the institutions adopting IPRS faced last year in getting their data audited. Among many, compliance by the companies visiting the campus for placements was a major hindrance because of fear of getting their compensation figures shared known to their competitors. To top it all, auditing the placement figures is a hectic and time consuming process. For institutions, especially like us, where faculties are already over-loaded with work, and the management course being non-residential, it becomes really difficult to manage acads and months long auditing process simultaneously. However, despite such hurdles there is little to no argument over the efficacy of  IPRS being not a good standard for an institution. It can provide an institution better negotiation power with companies and get good quality students.

By the end of the day long session Prof. T. V. Rao insisted that we should have transparency in our placement figures as it is our duty to practice the  ethics and values that we want our student, and to-be-managers, to follow. Prof. Mukherjee closed the conclave with the statement that ‘lack of standards is not a standard’. If an institution thinks that it is not obligatory for it to disclose placement figures or follow any standard of reporting placement figures then it should be upfront in mentioning the same on it’s institution website. I hope that IPRS indeed becomes a standard for management institutions proliferating in the country. It is aimed to bring order from chaos. Let’s see what revisions are suggested by the participating institutions in the coming months to the IPRS draft.

Reported by:

Ankit Khandelwal, MBA-II, 2011-13

The author is the (Ad hoc) Editor of BK Diaries. 

His interests include blogging, reading books, watching movies, and playing guitar.

Financial Planning for Young Investors

Having financial knowledge is no good if one does not know what are the basic mistakes a young (not in age but in experience of investment)  investor usually makes. B.K. School of Business Management, Ahmedabad, welcomed Dr. Deepak Raste, Associate Professor at Sahjanand Commerce College and a SEBI certified Financial Resource Person, who was here to share something about his personal experiences in the investment markets and what SEBI & NISM have to say to young investors. Before I begin to report the session I will start by quoting famous saying which goes like:

“Early to earn implies early to save & early to invest”

-Warren Buffet

Planning of finances is a necessity for all individuals. May it be a student, a professional or a senior citizen; Financial planning comes into picture at every stage of life. The early you begin to manage your money, the better it is. Looking at a survey conducted by Nielsen, consumer spending has increased by more than 100% over last decade. People out here are spending more than they are saving. A recent study showed that professionals between age group of 21-35 believe in enjoying their life and leave the savings part for the later stages of their lives.

Dr. Deepak Raste

Dr. Deepak Raste conducted a seminar on SEBI’s and NISM’s initiative called Lessons on Financial Planning for Young Investors. The session was about the importance of savings and investment and financial instruments available to help us choose the best suitable method of investment. He began by introducing the need of financial planning in the early stage of life. He explained it through an example of a college going student planning to throw a party where he has to decide on budget and make a financial plan. He insisted the students to prepare a monthly budget which should include all the sources of income and expenditure.

Income

Expenses

Pocket Money College Fees
Part-time assignments Party
Prize Gift

Keeping a personal budget will allow a student to manage his monthly expenses and will not face financial crunch. Just like professionals, students also complain about month ends. He also explained the steps involved in Financial Planning Process which are:

1)    Gather financial data

2)    Identify financial goals

3)    Identify financial issues & gaps

4)    Prepare a financial plan

5)    Implement financial plan

6)    Monitor & review the plan

While preparing the prerequisites to the financial plan, he advised us to have all short term, medium term & long term goals jotted-down on a piece of paper. It will act as a parameter to decide upon the saving & investment strategy. One important thing to note while working on goals is that all the goals must be SMART goals.

S-Specific

M-Measurable

A-Attainable

R-Realistic

T-Time bound

He also mentioned about the Risk-Return trade off. He quoted that “level of your investment depends on the level of risk you take and the higher the risk, the higher is the return ”. Compounding is a tool that helps you make phenomenal growth in your investments over a period of time, to which he added, “Do not forget the rule of 72.

While making a decision on which investment to choose, he asked us to look at the inflation level. Inflation level and the return on investment will tell you if you’re on the right investment plan. He also explained the instruments available in the market such as:

1)    Tax saving schemes such as NSC(National Savings Certificate), PPF etc

2)    Equity  Linked Savings Schemes (ELSS)

3)    Infrastructure Bonds

4)    Insurance (ULIP, Health, Life etc)

5)     Mutual Funds & Equity Markets

The class engrossed in the interactive session

After deciding on the investment instrument, it is necessary to have a proper investment strategy. Systematic Investment Plan (SIP) is the most used and renowned investment strategy to start off with. A fixed amount of money is invested in the selected financial instrument through ECS from bank account and maintains the investment level. He quoted an example of Mr. Warren Buffet that he started earning at the age of 14 and started saving that time itself. Dr. Raste advised the youth to change the mentality of spending more than saving. Instead, he insisted on saving today to help tomorrow.

At last, he emphasized on keeping track of all of the investments and stay informed about issues that may affect investments like taxes & inflation. He finished by quoting “Try to differentiate between needs & wants. The jug of wants is larger than jug of needs. Income will fulfill needs but to fulfill your wants, there is no other option but to invest”.

As reported by:

Siddharth Gandhi
MBA (FT) 2011-13

The author is a member of IT Infrastructure Committee at B.K. School.

An engineer by profession, he is passionate for a career in a technology-based firm that provides financial consulting and solutions. He is an ardent lover of LAN gaming and likes to explore MS Excel for statistical analysis. 

Gujarat’s GIFT – Opportunities in Mega Projects in India

Just read the following bullet points and guess what’s the common thread connecting them all.

  • Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project
  • Kankaria Lakefront Development Project
  • Bus-Rapid Transit System
  • Mass-Rapid Transit System
  • Statue of Unity – Proposed largest statue in the world
  • GIFT – A global finance hub

There’s no doubt that Gujarat has a lot to brag about, be it about being a power surplus state, or being a cradle of entrepreneurs, or a state with a rich cultural heritage, or blessed with being the birth place of the Father of the Nation, and lot many other similar facts. But is this all that speaks the glory of this sacred land?  Definitely not! What makes Gujarat even more distinct and special is that it is  a place where there is a zeal to achieve what is never achieved, there is a courage to venture into lands that have for long remained secluded and there is a passion to contribute selflessly to the overall development of the nation with a spirit that is unmatched. Standing in the same line of such developments is GIFT city project, a multi-million dollar project being executed near the banks of river Sabarmati, as a bridge to global financial capabilities.

Mr. Dipesh Shah
Vice President
GIFTCL, Ahmedabad

Today the students of BK School of Business Management, were exposed to the vision and objectives behind this dream called  GIFT  city- Gujarat International Finance Tec-city. GIFT city is one of the many projects undertaken by the Government of Gujarat in order to increase the dominance of Gujarat as a state equipped with state-of-the-art technology and world class infrastructure that would uplift its overall economic positioning among the other states of the country. Visualized during the biennially held 2007 Vibrant Gujarat Global Investor Summit, GIFT aims to provide high quality physical infrastructure, so as to make foreign and domestic financial service/product firms extend their roots to this state of rapid infrastructure development. It also aims to help many finance  and tech firms relocate their operations from cities like Mumbai, Bangalore, Gurgaon etc. where infrastructure is either inadequate or very expensive.

Mr. Dipesh Shah, Vice President, GIFTCL, and his team – Mr. Nisarg Acharya and Mr. Sushant Bhatt – introduced the MBA-II (2011-13) students to the opportunities GIFT city holds for managers and what are the projects that can be taken up by the MBA students to understand more about the scope of GIFT city. With his impeccable speech and zest for what he does, Mr. Dipesh Shah explained to the curious audience the competencies that needs to be developed for managers like us in order to gain an edge over the other B-school students in the state.

For those who don’t know more about GIFT, here are some main highlights of the session.

  • GIFT has bench-marked itself with global financial hubs like  Shinjuku (Tokyo), La Defense (Paris), Dockyard (London) to create a city with Social, Residential and Commercial zones.
  • Development of GIFT is divided – in terms of years – into 3 phases: (3.5 + 4 + 4) years.
  • GIFT will have facilities like Discharge System for Drinking Water, Solid Waste Management System, Centralized District Cooling System, ICT, and Power Supply (~1000MW)
  • GIFT’s target business segments are:
  1. Financial Services Operations (Back-office of banking, Insurance and Asset Management Companies, International micro-finance hub)
  2. IT services (Software Application development and maintenance)
  3. Capital Markets & Trading (Participation in global capital markets, International commodity trade hub)
  4. ITeS – Companies delivering IT enabled services
  5. BPO Services
  6. KPO Services

GIFT is prone to bring in 1 million jobs in coming years and it is the need of the hour to gear up in harnessing the capabilities of the young minds in the state to become competent enough to be employed in GIFT. As per the Market Demand Assessment done by Mc Kinsey & Company, almost 69% percent of NRI’s are ready to relocate to Gujarat if given an opportunity of employment in GIFT. This brings to light the immense opportunities GIFT city holds for the employable youth of Gujarat. As per Mr. Dipesh Shah, all that we need is to work in developing two important facet of competencies, viz. the technical competencies and the behavioral competencies, especially in three zones- Capital markets, Core-Financial services, and IT/ITeS services.

We again would like to thank Mr. Dipesh Shah, and his team, for sparing time in conducting the session. Besides being an insightful session, it made us more aware of the on-ground happenings of GIFT city project and the objectives behind its developments.

As reported by:

Ankit Khandelwal
MBA-II, 2011-13

The author is the (Ad hoc) Editor of BK Diaries. 

His interest includes writing blog, reading books, and watching movies.