We had the pleasure to talk with Mr. Mohammad Kashif, Analytics Manager at Aditya Birla Group and an ABGLP Associate. He is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore from the Batch of 2017. He specializes in Machine Learning and Deep Learning application in Manufacturing, Logistics and Procurement Analytics.
Here are a few snippets from the interview with Mr. Kashif -
Interviewer: ABGLP is known to groom individuals into exceptional leaders. How is knowledge transferred from the leaders to the new joiners in ABGLP?
Mr. Kasif: If you are in ABGLP, you have access to upper management, we know that we are group resources and big things are expected from us, they know that we are from premier B-schools so there are expectations. By now ABGLP has matured a lot and have gained a lot of traction in most of the ABG businesses. People in leadership also take notice of you and the thing you learn from it is that once you have a discussion, you will have to do the grunt work but while you are putting in your hard work and extra efforts at lower management, the upper management recognizes your work and efforts and there are discussions always. So you have an opportunity but it is up to you how you build onto it.
Interviewer: What are the major human and cultural values that ABG helps employees inculcate/refine in them?
Mr. Kasif: We have multiple businesses and there is a synergy in everything that we end up doing. If you see we are working in manufacturing and are very heavy in B2B and when you are working in a manufacturing division it is ingrained in your DNA to collaborate. For example, in Ultratech, you have to work with people on the ground, collaborate with the government. People in Ultra-Tech are good with marketing, sales, and production but for data analysis and data science, they have to collaborate with others and then come to a concept of group function or corporate function and a functioning office.
If you read about Mr. Kumar Mangalam Birla, he is a charismatic leader and his charisma is what inspires the company in a manner how he has taken the business ahead that resonates in our inspiration, how an individual conducts business, and that is what inspires us. There are times when ABG has taken financial setbacks so that our values are not compromised.
ABG is growing in communication externally in terms of linking the brands to ABG. People know about Ultra-Tech, about Allen Solly but they were not able to link it to ABG, which is changing.
Internally, we have town halls to communicate about the various businesses, various functions and also various mailers about internal rewards and recognitions which helps in appreciation and building motivations, one such example of recognition is the Chairman's Award.
Interviewer: What are the pre-requisites for an employee to make the best use of all the available opportunities at ABG?
Mr. Kasif: Employees should be subject matter experts, that is of utmost importance, the second most important thing is employees should be thickly skinned to rejections as rejection do not mean that you are a failure, it only means that at that point, your manager thinks that it is not the best way forward. A third important prerequisite is to have trust in your managers and that is something MBA graduates should learn quickly, they should not overwhelm their managers rather they should keep building on their case slowly and constantly.
Another important quality required is a constant improvement and constant ideation along with your daily tasks.