Mar 29, 2017

International Exposure: Japan, Utkarsh Maurya, MBA 2nd Year

JENESYS 2016 from 27th Feb to 7 March 2017.
About JENESYS 2016
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan promotes people-to-people exchanges between Japan and the various nations of the Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean regions. The Asian and Oceanian regional component of this exchange program is called “JENESYS 2016”- Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youths.
Around 250 students and working professionals were invited for the 7th batch of JENESYS 2016 (Theme: Economics) from 12 countries: India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Singapore, Timor-Leste, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Brunei and Vietnam. The objective is to promote mutual trust and understanding among the people of Japan and participating countries, and regions, to build a basis for future friendship and cooperation.
The Indian Delegation
23 youths were selected from India; out of them 15 were students and the rest were working professionals. From IIT Kanpur, 3 students were selected.
The journey begins
The Indian delegation met at Delhi International Airport to catch flight to Tokyo/Narita Airport on the evening of 27th February. We arrived at Narita International Airport on the morning of 28th February. Government officials from JICE (Japan International Cooperation Center) were there to welcome us.  We got accommodation in a Disney group hotel: The Emion Tokyo Bay. After quick refreshment (The Japanese are very punctual), we, along with the delegates from other countries, attended the orientation program in Tokyo. The countries were divided into various groups. Two coordinators from JICE were assigned to each group. Every morning, health check-up was done for all the participants.
On 1st March, we attended keynote lecture on Japanese geography, culture, politics and economy. We got to know lots of interesting things about Japan. Then Group A (India, Cambodia, Philippines and Thailand) was move to Akita Prefecture by Shinkansen Bullet Train. The journey of 657 Kilometers was covered in less than 4 hours while enjoying the view of cities, mountains and snow in Akita. We stayed in the warm and comforting Akita Youth Hostel.
Akita Prefecture
On 2nd of March, Akita Prefectural Government delivered lectures on roles of local government, regional SMEs and their relations with participating countries. Then we visited two power plants: Tohoku Electric Power Plant and Kazeno-Matsubara Wind Power Plant. We were given outline of the power plants and also got an opportunity to interact with engineers and company officials.
On 3rd March, we attended presentations by 3 companies: Nippon SMT Co. Ltd (Information and Communication, Energy), Hokuto Bank (Finance) and Dynamic Sanito Inc. (Pest Control). Then we had luncheon with local business persons and officials.
After that came the most significant part of our visit. A two-day homestay with Japanese families. I, along with 4 other Indian delegates, stayed in a cheerful farmer family (with all the modern day gadgets). We had the opportunity to interact with them (using Google Translate and a Japanese-English translation book given to us on the first day J ), have authentic Japanese Food-Sushi, Kiritanpo and Green Tea, wear Kimono (tradition dress). The host family also took us to snow clad mountains and freezing Lake Tazawa-the deepest lake in Japan.
On 5th March, we attended the farewell party with our host families. The Mayor of Akita City was there to welcome us.  When we went back to the youth hostel, all 23 of us sat together to discuss our action plan which we had to report the next day. The presentation was to be divided into 3 parts: our knowledge and image on Japan before coming, what we learned in this program and what we would like to do after going back to home country. After a healthy discussion, we prepared our 8-minute presentation.
Tokyo
On 6th March, we moved to Tokyo. Filled with enthusiasm to be one of the presenters for the action plan reporting from the Indian side, we delivered our presentation to Japanese Government officials, embassy representatives of the participating countries and all the participants. It was well received. We were awarded certificates from JICE President and Managing Director. Then we had our farewell party in which each country presented a 3-minute cultural program. We departed with the hope of meeting our new friends from other countries in future.
Departure

On 7th March, we boarded flight from Narita Airport to Delhi Airport. We reached our home safely with good memories and a great learning experience. I am thankful to the Japanese Government for providing us a fabulous opportunity and on being a fantastic host to all the participants. Long live Indo-Japan friendship!!!

-UTKARSH MAURYA
 MBA,
 2nd Year 

Feb 25, 2017

Tips from Top - "Impact of Technology on Human Behavior in Industry: Human Behavior and the Future of the Corporate World”. Mr Prateek Dubey, Director – HR, IDFC Bank

On the bright morning of 25th February 2017, the students of MBA, IIT Kanpur had the opportunity to interact with the HR Director at IDFC Bank – Mr. Prateek Dubey. Mr. Dubey, with his work experience in various major firms of the country – Coca-Cola, Suzlon Energy, and Jindal Saw Ltd to name a few – provided invaluable insights into the world of human relations and psychology. Sir covered a variety of topics in his talk and kept the seminar engaging with many activities and brainstorming sessions.

Mr. Dubey started off with engaging the audience with a rudimentary question – what is MBA? He went on to explain that MBA can be defined as the most beautiful attitude, as it is the attitude of the manager that makes him a leader and makes all the difference. As an example, he claimed that a Chartered Accountant would probably know much more about how the finances of any firm work than an MBA would, but it takes the decision-making ability and aptitude for quick thinking that makes him/her the manager.

Talking about the impact of technology on our lives, Mr. Dubey talked about how in today’s world, we tend to think about how another person can benefit us, and only then do we consider spending time with him/her. We have social media like LinkedIn and Facebook to reveal all such information for us, and in future, everyone will have access to psychometric profiling software that will enable us to gauge another person’s usefulness without even meeting them. This has long term impacts on HR and recruitment, as psychometric tests will enable a firm to hire or reject any potential candidate. Here, Mr. Dubey gave a disclaimer: however intelligent AI becomes, the need for humans will always be there in order to consider all the contingencies before making a final decision.


Another aspect that Mr. Dubey talked about was leader-follower dynamics. More often than not, it so happens, that we tend to blindly follow our leaders. This is a dangerous attitude, as it can have grave consequences. The leader might falter, but more than that, the followers will not have a chance to grow themselves. Showing the audience, the other face of the coin, Mr. Dubey told us about the followership theory: a successful leader comes only out of diligent followers, which is to say, the ability of the leader is limited by the attitude of the followers too.


Mr. Dubey kept the talk an engaging one by carrying out many group activities throughout in order to elucidate many concepts relating to psychology and human behavior. He also touched upon a variety of topics such as moral duties of humans, cognitive biases, group dynamics, placement scenarios in colleges, the history of IDFC, and a lot more. It was on the whole, an enriching experience with innumerable lessons that the students got to learn on a simple Saturday morning.


Feb 21, 2017

Tips from Top - "An Interactive Session with our Distinguished Alumnus”. Mr. J N Gupta, M.D. – Stakeholders Empowerment Services.

There is nothing better than getting important insights about the real world from someone with immense experience. The exposure becomes even more valuable when the knowledge comes directly from the top and from someone who has been in our situation prior to their glorious journey. The students at MBA IIT Kanpur were fortunate to get such a golden opportunity when the 1977 batch Alumnus of the institute, Mr. J N Gupta, M.D. at Stakeholders Empowerment Services, visited the campus during the recent 40th year reunion.



Sir began his address by emphasizing the importance of clear communication. He went beyond emphasizing by demonstrating the same throughout the seminar. He suggested the audience to always be content with their current possessions and to never draw comparisons with what others had. Further, he added that in every situation, one must try his/her best, yet keep realistic expectations. This according to him was the mantra for happiness in life, which he himself had practiced over the years and as a result he could proudly claim that every single day of his life had been happy!

Moving ahead, sir revealed the trick to build confidence in superiors about oneself. This could be achieved with a ‘never say die’ attitude and resolute self-confidence. The consistency to take well informed and considerate decisions bolstered the same according to him. He suggested that as everyone was intelligent in retrospect, hence every decision should be evaluated according to prevalent situations when it was taken, by putting oneself in the person’s shoes.

Noting the glow in eyes of the aspiring future leaders, sir listed his success mantras for the audience. These included importance of team work, habit to exceed service expectations, and presence of faith in self-abilities. Emphasizing on team work, he said that co-workers should be treated as family members and a strong bond of trust should be built with transparency, fairness and dependability. Further, he suggested that one’s opinion should never be subservient to anyone’s and instead it should be independent of all others’.


Sir ended the enlightening session by quoting the legendary leader, Nelson Mandela: “I never lose. I either win or learn.”