Wednesday, January 25, 2012



Simplicity is the most powerful yet harmless weapon one can have. Prof. JK Mitra is one such man and his life's gaph is truly exponential by nature. Determination and dedication are adundant in his educational background which includes BA Hons., MA Hons, and PhD in Psychology. Prof. Mitra got associated with IIPN in 1982 and is adored by one and all for his immaculate teaching methodologies which appear elusive to many a modern day professors. A legend by every sense of imagination, Prof. Mitra is living proof that, with spirit and belief, there is nothing that cannot be done. He recalls his days of youth when he was a typical Bengali, much in lines with the inspirational Hrishikesh Mukherjee's 'Anand.'

Robert Frost's poem in the year 1915 ended with the words, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference”. Similarly, Prof. Mitra has trailed a trek that needs immense determination and it is not for people who choose the path that has been trailed by many people before. Dr. J.K. Mitra got into RK Mission in West Bengal which was one of the best schools back then housing the Xth toppers from across the state. “RK Mission had the reputation of putting people into streams that suit their attitude”, he iterates. His mother wanted him to become a doctor, and his father wanted an engineer, but in accordance with Robert Frost, Prof. Mitra opted for psychology. At St. Xavier's College he pursued his BA. Hons in Psychology. This was also the college where Dr. JC Bose studied. “I topped the batch, won a gold medal, and received national scholarship”, he reminds us with joy. He then adds, “Those days were a different kind of time”.

Prof. Mitra then moved to Delhi for his MA. “I also got the job of research associate at the University of Delhi”. After completing that, Prof. Mitra pursued his PhD from Calcutta University and worked as lecturer there in the Department of Advanced Psychology. He spent four years there. After his marriage, he finally got back to Delhi in 1982. He remembers how Prof. NR Chatterji used to cajole him to start teaching at IIPM. “I also remember how Dr. MK Chaudhuri used to visit canteens of institutes and find out about the best professors from the students, before inviting them to take classes at IIPM”, he adds. Those days for two sessions, the fee was Rs. 37.50. This is how Prof. Mitra finally got associated with IIPM. “I was teaching subjects like Organisational Behavior, Group Dynamics, Industrial Psychology, and, Management by Objective”, he says.

Prof. Mitra remembers, “The infrastructure was not great back then, but, the basics were right always”. There were overhead projectors in IIPM which many institutes did not possess. He tells us that Dr. MK Chaudhuri was very adaptive to technology. Maximum emphasis was made to get the best books for the students, and the quality of students was good. “The main difference was noticed in the students when they graduated. There was treamendous value addition in the final output that came out of IIPM”, he opines. The highlights of the curriculum according to him were the freedom to learn, experiment, innovative, and actively participate. He talks about how Dr. MK Chaudhuri used to feel that management was the most interesting course to teach and learn because of the rich pedagogy. “With the various case studies, games presentations, debates, the students got phenomenal exposure. Even ordinary and nervous individuals came out as eloquent speakers and went on to ride the corporate tide with panache”.

Speaking on the cherished memories at IIPM, Prof. Mitra believes that everything back then was fun. He says, “If you love a place and the people, and they love you back, you will enjoy every single moment of yours”. That is why he feels that he never got strained by teaching. A firm believer in solid work, Prof. Mitra reveals how he had a totally different approach towards case studies to ensure that every student reads in at least once. “I used to take a rapid fire round of some 40 questions from the case study in 'true' or 'false' frame, and one could answer them correctly only on reading the case”. Coming to Indian education, Prof. Mitra says that the idea of education is to develop a strong foundation to allow students to explore, thing, imagine, experiment, and generalize. According to him, the prime reason for the success of IIPM is the fearless attitude. “Once you are fearless, you are ready to face any challenge head-on”. Also, because of Dr. MK Chaudhuri, some of the best practices were adpoted from XLRI. Today, he thinks IIPM has grown manifold times. “It is one of the best publishing houses in terms of variety”. He appreciates the initiative to start “Cult” which will help the alumni to reconnect. But, he emphasizes that there are more frontiers to conquer for IIPM. He goes on to opine how Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri has given it a grand shape since 2000, and many a times people do not recall the early hardships that Dr. MK Chaudhuri had to face.

Prof. Mitra claims, “Few more leaders are required in the field of teaching with higher levels of passion”. Interested in cooking, classical music, and mythology & sci-fi TV serials, He met his wife Mrs. Chhanda Mitra during his days of MA in Delhi. They have two sons Wrick and Ritwik. And then, he uses the simplest of lines with the most sublime message, “I generally enjoy everything around”.

To the young aspirants of today, his message is to try and develop a strong self belief. One should not expect that everything one does is going to be perfect. He explains how making an incremental improvement everyday is important. “As long as you have the spirit to improve, you will end up being a happy person if not the most successful”. He then concludes by stating that at the end of the journey, one must be able to say with pride, “I tried my best.”

Cult celebrates and salutes the indomitable spirit of Prof. Mitra.

Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
IIPM: What is E-PAT?
IIPM Mumbai Campus
Planman Technologies is Leaders in educational publishing solutions
IIPM - Admission Procedure

Management Guru Arindam Chaudhuri Dean Business School IIPM


Friday, January 20, 2012

Good management art of making problems interesting!

IIPM: What is E-PAT?


It was overwhelming to see a big smtile on his face the moment we entered his office. He is a very Jovial, courteous, sophisticated and friendly person with a positive approach and a very honest individual by nature. He is a person who places immense trust and confidence in the people he works with. His interest for marketing & sales shows how dedicated and hardworking he is. He has a great personality and an even greater sense of humor. He follows a participative style of leadership and believes personal engagement with the employees is very important and so is emotional quotient is applicable. Today he is a successful professional and delivers best in his career role.

Mr. Amit Saxena has had an intensive career in corporate sales and is still going strong in his knowledge base and learning. His stepping stone in sales began back in 1998 when he joined HOPE Technologies Ltd. After gaining an experience of 4 years over there as an Area Manager for sales, Mr. Saxena's next stop was Aditya Infotech. He served there as Regional Sales Manager for almost 2 years. His career graph in sales kept its flight with GrapeCity India where he was Sales Manager for another couple of years. And, since June 2006, Mr. Saxena has been the Regional Sales & Channel director at Bentley Systems for South-East Asia operations.

Good management is the art of making problems so interesting and their solutions so constructive, that everyone wants to get to work and deal with them.” For our 1998 pass out Mr. Amit Saxena, his course at IIPM helped him improve on certain areas he was not noticing till that time. He says he learned a lot about finance at IIPM and also Executive communication especially on how to give presentations, that learning continued for 4-5 years and it still continues. He remembers P.C. Bagga sir and his classes. The Placement also happened at IIPM. It was easy to get into an organization but it was more important to get the right one. He had a group of ten people at IIPM and they had loads of fun during their college days at IIPM as they used to organize various parties.

Mr. Saxena was among the last few people who got placed. He wanted something in sales or marketing in the technology sector. At IIPM, he got the placement that he wanted, and since 14 years he has been in this industry. Now, he is into a business where they say, “They Improve the quality of life of people”. India is changing and it is a growing economy and he feels good that he is a part of an organization that is contributing towards this change. His attitude hasn't changed a bit but things around have changed a lot. His career started with campus placement at Hope Technology with a little known background. It was a software product company and he always wanted to join that. During the placement season at IIPM, he was getting very choosy about his placement, so Prof. A. Sandeep asked him what kind of a placement he wanted. They got this company for him which required people from Civil and Merhanical engineering but he was an Electronic Engineer. It was a challenge for him and he worked there for four years. Mr. Saxena had a great learning experience in his first job. Subsequently, he grew from a sales executive to an Area sales manager and when he joined Aditya, he was a Regional sales manager. His earlier years of work till Aditya was completely in an Indian environment and then he moved to a Japanese company, Grape City which was a software development company and this profile included less of sales. He worked there for two years and then after this Bentley happened to him. It is purely a software company for Infrastructure development.

Mr. Saxena has been managing teams since 10 years. But, at Bentley, specifically he is managing teams in India as well as in South East Asia. As a Global company he is getting to move in other areas as well. He shares that the software solutions market in India is very big but engineering side is a very niche sector. The twelve year plan is coming and major investment is going into infrastructure, and Bentley provides tools for that. Whether it is a metro or petrochemicals, many more organizations who are big clients of their solutions, will be getting in new projects. They are also a part of Reliance refinery, which is the largest in the world.

On asking his take on Engineering with MBA as a course, he says, the combination is great as it helps a lot. Most of the things he grabbed were because of engineering but over a period of time he realized some was due to MBA at IIPM.

During his summer training at Schlumberger he did marketing research for India's Electricity Scenario. It was very interesting, as he had to travel to remote areas not only in Delhi but also in parts of Patiala and Mumbai – where there was privatization of electricity, and get a feedback from them. The company did not give such projects to freshers, but he was fortuitous enough to get something like this in his training period.

Mr. Saxena does not follow any particular leadership style as he has been learning till now about how to manage teams. Earlier he had a team of five to six Indian people, but now the team he manages includes people from different places like Philippines, Malaysia. He ascertains that basic leadership qualities remain the same and they just differ a little according to the people. His style is more participative. He acts as a guide to new people. He just needs to tell them what they have3 to do and how they will go about it.

According to Mr. Amit Saxena there is a lot of difference between a college and workstation. It is very different for a new person especially who has only been there in the organization for 6-7 Months. It takes time for them to settle down and get used to new technologies. He feels that the very low level of attrition at Bentley Systems is because of a great work culture. The challenges are already disclosed to the employees as the interviews conducted by them are very open. They hire people from IIT's NIIT's and students from regular engineering colleges as well as well as people from non engineering background.

Mr. Saxena states that the impact of recession was very much evident at Bentley as their core business is related to infrastructure and the economy. During recession, all the projects were seized, and work flow came to a standstill. This had a direct impact on their revenues.

For young aspirants, Mr. Saxena says that a technical back-ground certainly helps. The concepts are there but things are changing fast. And hence he feels that it is imperative to have good leadership skills. A clear vision along with hard work, are also very important. “Make it a passion if you like it”. Affirms Mr. Saxena. He also adds that one should never underestimate what he or she is doing. He urges the youth to create opportunities, work hard, and learn regularly. He affirms that reading is very important to keep pace with people. “There are so many people learning today. And never forget the rule that whatever you have been doing in past leads you where you are today”, he opines.

On Bentley's corporate structure, Amit Saxena opines that, nowadays, most organizations invest a lot into corporate grooming as it is a very important aspect while representing an organization. He says, “One should be smart and sharp in understanding what your organization wants from you”. The account managers are also directly reporting to him. He is managing people who are sitting in Malaysia and is engaged into remote management as he needs to keep pace with people. He also needs to find a reason as to why a person is not performing well, and find a solutions to it. Mr. Saxena iterates that one needs to get into their group of juniors. They need to engage people into participative style of leadership. “Personal engagement with the employees is very important and the emotional quotient is applicable”, he adds.

On being asked about the pre-requisites of a good salesperson, Mr. Saxena says that the DNA of sales professional is to meet their targets and proper communication is very important. As new products are being released everyday they need to keep pace with that by being well informed. Pick up a few points and work on it. Real well about your customer and don't forget moral grounds are very important too.

When asked to share something personal, Mr. Saxena speaks candidly about his wife and family. Mr. Saxena's wife is a veterinary doctor. She comes from Ludhiana. She was a top performing student in her class and she was 2nd in Ludhiana. She did her B.V.S and masters from Punjab Agricultural University. She works in an old veterinary clinic, that is running since 1963 and is associated with it for seven years. They have a single daughter Ashvika. He travels a lot due to his work but he makes sure that he spends weekends with them. His organization takes them on holidays when they achieve targets, to very exotic locations. Where he gets to spend time with his colleagues as well his family. In closing, Mr. Saxena share his love for cricket and informs us that he won “The man of the match” in a tournament in Delhi which was sponsored by Mail Today. So if not a corporate, he would have been a cricketer. Thus it is often said, 'to each, his own'! We at Cult express our deep regards for his future endeavors.

Visit below mentioned IIPM articles.
IIPM Mumbai Campus
Planman Technologies is Leaders in educational publishing solutions
IIPM - Admission Procedure