I distinctly remember my first Marketing Management class on the first day of my MBA at Indian Institute of Management Rohtak. The lecture was going to be delivered by Dr Shivendra Kumar Pandey (who is fondly called SKP), one of the best professors I have had till now.
The first thing he asked someone in the class after wishing good morning was “Who are you”? The excited student told his name, upon which the professor raised his eyebrow and asked again “Who are you, sir ji”? This time a little intensely. The confused student again told his name. The professor was not happy and moved to next student. The dialogues were repeated. Again, the next student, same dialogues until someone finally told the name of the Senior Marketing Executive, Mr S C Jain, the decision maker in the A-one Starch Products Limited case study which we were supposed to read for that class. The professor applauded for that student and asked the other students also to applaud by saying “inko dijiye taaliyaan” (meaning give him/her applauds). The logic behind this was to feel the pressure which Mr Jain might have experienced at the time of deciding for the company by stepping into his shoes and assuming ourselves as Mr Jain for the remaining 70 minutes of the class.
After thoroughly asking everyone in the class the case facts, he asked us for our opinions on what he should do followed by a series of ‘Why’ and ‘What if’ questions. This ensured no one in the class was saying anything just because he/she felt Mr Jain should do this or that. The opinion was to be backed appropriately by the rationale. Whether the opinion was very impressive or just a standard answer, but when a proper rationale backed it, the professor said, “inko dijiye taaliyaan” and everyone in the class including the professor applauded.
The most exciting part of the class was you could never dare to lose your attention from the topic because you may be randomly called for your opinion (which was usually followed by series of questions on what has been discussed already in the class to take a better decision). Moreover, to show that he was not biased towards any student, in particular, he used to create a random number in MS Excel, which represented the roll number of the student.
After an enchanting session of 75 minutes, he asked us to ‘analyse’ and not just ‘read’ the case studies provided to us for next classes.
Which ABG Company do you want to work for and why?
I would like to work in Aditya Birla Fashion & Retail Ltd. because I have always wanted to learn about the changing fashion trends and how it will affect the consumer behaviour, manufacturers and the retail outlets. I believe I will get to learn a lot about the dynamic fashion industry, the customers and their behaviour. I will try and apply the marketing concepts that I have learnt at IIM Rohtak to benefit the organisation (even though by a fraction).