Nirma University (IMNU) Alumni Experiences: Throwback to the Good Old Days at IMNU

As I sat down to respond to the interview
for Kaizen Magazine while taking a late night flight from Mumbai to Kolkata on
an old rickety Air India flight, it actually made me think and reflect upon my
life so far. In the hustle and bustle of everyday corporate life, we almost
forget to take a break and think of our lives, and I don’t mean our family
life, just our personal lives, but our individual life journey. So I would like
to first of all thank Kaizen Committee for giving me an opportunity to reflect
back on my life and remember my days at IMNU which I consider as the two best
years of my life. I miss everything about life at IMNU, my classmates, faculty, state of the
art classrooms, auditorium, Talent Night, Richter, Placement week, conclaves,
pre-placement visits, cultural programs, B- School competitions, benches, tapri
ki chai, midnight birthday bumps, LAN gaming, bike trips to nearby restaurants/
theatres, exam stress, sleepy lectures, and the list is endless.

I can with 100% confidence say that back
then and till date, the course content and rigour is as good as some of the
best B- Schools in the country. We were also fortunate to have some really good
full time and part time faculty members who ensured that the students learned not
just from lecture delivery but also from other means like case study
preparations, winter projects and class discussions from peer to peer learning.
I still miss some of those very interesting lectures in OB by Nina Ma’am, Prof.
Anup Singh (Ex Director), Prof. Mallikarjun to name a few.

I strongly feel that in a B-School as much
learning takes place outside classrooms as does inside. I think, MBA and
ensuing corporate life is very unique in the sense it gives very limited
importance to academics and theoretical knowledge. I think today organisations
are looking at more rounded personalities who have good people skills and
common sense or street smartness. I strongly recommend my friends pursuing
their MBA right now to get involved in as many activities as possible.

Apart from learning, they also bring in an
element of fun into your studies which you may not be able to get once you pass
out. I can’t imagine my life at Nirma without those millions of calls I would
have made to various companies inviting them to campus or visiting companies
like Infosys and Wipro as a part of Pre-placement Visits, marketing our college
or even those late night counter strike sessions or participating in Nirma
champions League and playing football and cricket under lights. All these
experiences are priceless and I am glad I made the most of it while I could.

If I were to describe my experience at
IMNU, there is only one word which comes to my mind and that is “Blissful”. I
was also fortunate to have some of the greatest friends which thankfully even
today are equally close. I had two years of work experience before MBA and I
think that gave me the maturity to quickly settle into a corporate environment
post MBA.  Also being part of Placement
& Hostel Committee at IMNU, being an organising committee member for
various conclaves are almost “semi corporate roles” and are good learning
grounds for budding managers like us. Working with professors, placement officers, college admin in a way trains you to take up more formal and structured
corporate roles.

The life journey for me has been quite
interesting, from a shy small town boy to a
Mumbaikar working for the biggest and most revered corporate house of
India, I can say that the journey has been most fulfilling. Honestly, as a
school boy I had very modest dreams, confidence and aspirations. I think my
career started shaping up once I came to Mumbai to do my engineering, this was
the first time I was out of my comfort zone and the 4 years at Mumbai in one of
the best engineering colleges really gave me lot of confidence and a desire to
achieve more, go further.

However I passed out during the peak of
“Dot Com” bubble burst and there were no jobs in the market. I was one of the
lucky 20% in my batch to get decent job. So, I started my career as a Sales
Executive for Medical Instrumentation Company. This Sales experience gave me
tremendous confidence and that’s when I decided to make a career in marketing.
Once I joined IMNU, the exposure to various facets of management further gave
me confidence to become a wholesome manager.

Today if I am a confident Manager, it is a
product of accumulation of various life lessons and education I have had from
time to time. So today I reflect back on my life with lot of contentment. When
I was in IMNU, I was passionate about Automobiles (I still am), which led me to
do my summer training with TATA Motors in 2005 and I was highly impressed with
this Indian company fighting it out with many foreign players. I was also
impressed with the TATA group, its rich heritage and value system.

Thus I decided to make it a point to join
TATA Motors after my MBA. Luckily I made it through TATA Motors in the Pre
Placement Interview process and I was extremely fortunate because on that day I
was the only one to be selected out of the 19 MBA graduates from various
colleges who had similarly done projects with TML. The 3 years at TML were a
wonderful experience with a very steep learning curve. Here I was part of many
interesting happenings in a brief span like inkling of TATA – Fiat JV,
Operationalization of Ranjanga on plant for making TATA and Fiat cars and
launch of Nano. How-ever, in my 4th year at TATA Motors, a wonderful
opportunity called TATA Administrative Services came across and I was fortunate
enough to make it into TAS as an In House candidate.

As a part of TAS, I have been experiencing
the business diversity of the group and in a way have landed in the current
sector by default rather than design. TAS has also given me a unique
opportunity to get associated with projects of national importance.

On a lighter note, I strongly believe it
depends on each one of us how we manage our time at office and draw a line
between personal and professional time. I don’t think that one has to
necessarily put in extra hours to “get noticed”, after all it all depends on
whether you are able to deliver on what you are supposed to. I think lot of us
make a mistake of taking our jobs too seriously and in the process
compromise  on our personal lives. I
always remind myself that my company has hundreds of managers but my family
doesn’t have that luxury. As regards to the economy, all in all, I think the
budding managers at IMNU should be optimistic about the future of the country
but at the same time prepare for a tough year ahead.

The most important thing in life as you
grow is to take care of your physical and mental wellbeing!

Authored by Mr. Jaldeep Virani, Senior Manager-Metals, Tata International (2004-2006 Batch)