Of dreams, courage, and determination – Conversation with alumnus Vikas Fofandi, MBA Class of 2017
|Vikas Fofandi has always been a dreamer. Even when caught in the net of an old profession followed through generations in his family, he never lost hope of a better future. Not many in Vikas’s family had thought of pursuing formal education, but Vikas dared to listen to his rebel heart. The first big step involved completing engineering studies. The second bold move was to pursue an MBA programme. With dreams in his eyes and mustering courage, a determined Vikas arrived at Amrut Mody School of Management in 2015.|
“I am the first person in my family to study at a university,” remarks Vikas, as he explains the kind of steam he had to handle before joining the MBA programme. “I had several talents, but no confidence. That was a bad combination. It was like hiding your light under a load,” says Vikas, while narrating how the MBA helped him in his career.
While one might expect the boy from a family of fishermen to be shy in an MBA classroom, it was quite the contrary. From day one at Amrut Mody School of Management, Vikas got engaged in multiple activities, clubs, and committees to learn from every single opportunity coming his way. “I didn’t underestimate the curriculum or the thoroughness of the MBA programme. From presentations to simulations, I was everywhere. I was nervous, afraid, and apprehensive. But never, for once, did I step back from immersing myself in the experience,” shares a smiling Vikas.
So, how exactly did he utilise his two years of MBA education? Vikas was attending back to back classes, workshops, and team activities. From choreographing group and solo dance performances, winning trophies at fests, and preparing strategic presentations as classroom assignments to spending hours in the library and learning from motivational lectures and industry interfaces, he was truly absorbed in all-round learning. He observes, “It was amazing to see what an MBA programme could do to you. And, to top it, Amrut Mody School of Management’s faculty made me push my boundaries every single day.”
The internship with Birla Sunlife Asset Management Company in 2016 offered tremendous industry exposure and further prepared him for the rigours of corporate life. Spending 60 days at the company, he developed a paper on “Performance Evaluation of Selected Mutual Funds”. His paper was nominated for 361° (the Inter College Summer Internships Project Competition of Amrut Mody School of Management) and Business Standard’s B-School Summer Internship Projects 2016 awards.
What was the net result of his commitment, dedication, and sincerity while pursuing MBA? Vikas won the cherished Gold Medal of Class 2017.
At present, Vikas is working as an Analyst at Knowcraft Analytics.
For someone like him, the sky is the limit.
Janki Mehta gains tremendous HR experience, while interning with Zydus Hospitals
|You can carry out a task. But it is another matter to execute it responsibly. A “smiley” programme as part of the Employee Engagement Strategy at Zydus Hospitals helped Janki Mehta, student of Amrut Mody School of Management, Ahmedabad University, gain a well-rounded understanding of what it takes to be an efficient HR professional. Spending the summer at Zydus Hospitals as an HR Generalist, Janki shares, “Things became more interesting when the ‘smiley programme’ got going.”|
A smiley programme may sound “cute” and easy. But, in reality, it can be otherwise. Janki explains how the programme was a critical activity led by the HR department to encourage employees to be nice and polite to patients. However, the initiative was not gaining in popularity. The activity was simple: patients were given smiley badges and then requested to share them with employees who were most helpful and affectionate. At the end of every month, employees had to submit their smiley badges to the HR department and collect INR 50 against each badge. But here lay the challenge: employees were either forgetting or not submitting the badges. Going to the root of the issue, Janki came up with a solution: instant gratification.
Janki proposed the solution to her senior; however, she was not encouraged much, initially. The reason: Zydus Hospitals being a sprawling establishment, how could one inform all the employees regarding this latest change in policy within few hours? Taking up the challenge, Janki managed to inform all staff members individually within one and a half hours. When she returned, a pleasant surprise awaited her right outside the department room: a long queue of employees waiting to claim prize money. Such is the power of strategy, commitment, and hard work.
So, what was Janki Mehta’s biggest take-away? She says, “If I have a possible solution for an identified issue, then I need to speak up and stand accountable for it. After all, accountability and confidence brought me success.”
Given Janki’s passion to interact and work with people, choosing an MBA programme in Human Resources was easy. The literature graduate joined Amrut Mody School of Management to get trained in corporate culture and functions. The classroom learning helped her absorb the basics of HR, but the internship with Zydus Hospitals put a real time spin on them. Working in a hospital with people from different backgrounds is demanding but also fulfilling. The internship experience has made Janki confident of taking on any challenge that comes her way.
With a broad smile, Janki concludes: “We learned various recruitment steps in the classroom. I could understand the hospital followed similar methods, while modifying them to suit particular needs. Similarly, things learned during internship helped me to better appreciate certain concepts taught in the classroom. It was interesting to see why certain ideas succeed while others falter in an organisation.”
Aakar worked on the branding of Amul, Cera, Sharpex, and Adani Wilmar and more during Summer Internship
|For advertising enthusiasts, the Amul campaigns are nothing less than holy grails. Imagine the rush of feelings Aakar Amin (MBA Class of 2018) of Amrut Mody School of Management, Ahmedabad University experienced when his Summer Internship with Triton Communications offered him the opportunity to handle some of the key clients of the company, including Amul! Aakar worked closely with the company’s senior advertising professionals to pitch presentations, develop creative briefs, and come up with effective copies. His joy knew no bounds when he could round up content for Amul’s product specific packaging.|
Aakar Amin is a BBA graduate who joined the MBA programme at Amrut Mody School of Management to boost his career interests in Advertising and Branding. When Triton Communications arrived on campus to select interns for the Account Planning and Client Servicing department, Aakar was nervous but confident. Excelling in the selection rounds, he was soon walking into the Triton office everyday at 10 am. In advertising, you know when to walk into your workplace but you don’t know when you can walk out of office. Some days Aakar was having an easy 6 hours. Other days he was working for 10 hours and more, supervised by his “super-efficient team and amazing mentors”.
So, what was it really like to be in the competitive world of advertising? How did it feel to rub shoulders with experienced professionals? Aakar is quick to respond: “Every bit of the internship was amazing! The real high came when I saw the team conceptualise what must go in the hoarding and print advertisement of Sharpex. It didn’t just end there. I witnessed what goes behind creating healthcare brands when the project involving
Sterling’s Accuris Pathology Lab developed in front of my eyes. It was phenomenal to see messages taking giant shapes with the aim to fetch brand recall! Each day I learnt from my mentors and colleagues. The Triton experience is deeply imprinted in my heart!”
So how did his MBA help during internship? Aakar narrates how one day he was asked by his senior to conduct a Perception Mapping for the Sanitary ware Industry. “Case studies are integral to the MBA curriculum at Amrut Mody School of Management. Almost everything we learn is backed by case studies, which help anchor concepts to real life. Having performed such exercises in the classroom sessions on Marketing
Management, I was fully prepared to handle the task.”
Just when you thought an internship programme cannot get any better, there’s more! Aakar’s experience also stands out, given the clients he worked for. The illustrious list includes Cera, Sterling Hospitals, Amul, and Adani Wilmar. Indeed, diversity at its best.