Monday, October 15, 2012

Teach me a skill, get me a job

IIPM: The B-School with a Human Face

Vocational courses in Kerala fail to meet industry criteria

For several years now, Kerela has witnessed the mushrooming of institutes offering vocational courses. While they appear to be addressing a very real requirement, the institutes don't measure up to any criterion. They do not follow the guidelines set by government's science and technical education department nor do they offer facilities or expertise that could measure up to the needs of the industry. Most often than not, the degrees or diplomas offered by these institutes have no value in the market.

A student taking a fibre technician's course, for instance, spends roughly Rs 30,000-40,000 for a three months course. In three months, he undergoes around 40 hours of training on how to join a fibre cable. This training requires the student to learn on the machine. Since the cost of acquiring the machine (Rs 5 lakh) is prohibitive, the institutes rent time on machines being used by companies in the field.

Young and unemployed, throng these courses in the hope of landing a well-paid skilled job. They get taken in by advertisements that promise unrealistic salaries and foreign assignments. “Earn Rs 10,00 p.m. in India and Rs 50,000 p.m. abroad” claim most of them. The ground realities, however, are different. An employee of a fibre cable company would get this kind of pay only after 4-5 years of working on the machines.

This is the case with the firefighting course too. The certificates issued are not recognised by the industry. The story repeats itself in other more common disciplines as well. Courses in hotel management lack the facilities and expertise to impart modern management techniques that would be at par with the world's best. Naturally, candidates passing out of these institutes fail to get a sure footing in the industry.

In the resultant chaos, students make use of whatever they have to make their way to other parts of the world. More often than not, the candidates end up doing jobs that are different from the one they trained for or for salaries half of what they could have got had their certificate held any merit.


Friday, October 12, 2012

Deepika Padukone: The born diva

Her restrained style can do little to belie that oomph. Deepika Padukone has quietly but steadily risen up the notches in an industry deemed to be rather tough for the godfather-less. In a chat with TSI, the bright-eyed star reflects on life, career and fame…

Deepika with Akshay
As a model-turned-actor you are one of the rare cases of making it big in the industry after modelling. Did you anticipate it?
How sweet, thank you. I never really advertised it or thought of it that way. I have always been very focused about life, what I want to do and achieve. It has definitely not been easy because I don't have a background in the film industry. My decisions were always my own. I had to take my own calls and at the same time, I learnt the craft and understood the ways of the industry, without really having any godfather as such. I was really lucky to have landed Om Shanti Om as my debut film.

Deepika with Shahrukh
How was it working with SRK in your very first movie?
It was unreal because, initially, when Farah told me that she wanted me to do a film opposite Shahrukh, somewhere it felt like this couldn’t be for real. When she took me to Shahrukh's house to meet him, that’s when reality hit me and that’s when I realised the magnitude of what I was getting into and how big the film was. I think I am very fortunate to have worked with the kind of co-stars and the filmmakers I have worked with.

Your father has been a famous sports personality. While growing up, did you experience fame at any level?
I have had the most normal childhood. In fact, I realised pretty late that he’s famous. I remember when we used to step out, people would come to him for pictures and autographs and I wouldn't understand what it was until I was old enough to understand that there is such a thing as being a celebrity and being famous and that my father is both. It was always nice watching him because he was the regular father at home and he handled fame and success very well.

Deepika Padukone
Didn't you ever consider following in his footsteps?
I think somewhere I always knew that this is what I wanted. I did play badminton and I played pretty well. I even played at the national level. I was doing everything that one should do, but somehow my mind wasn't there. My dad would advise me to take up a profession that I was passionate about. My interests lay in modelling and acting and being in front of the camera. So I pursued that.

You have done two films with Saif and you have a third one coming up. Would you say you share good chemistry?
Yes, I think Love Aaj Kal did well for both of us and people liked us as an onscreen couple. I'm glad that people want to see more of us on screen. My upcoming movie with him is called Cocktail.

There was Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey and then Aarakshan… Is it a conscious decision to do serious cinema?
Oh no, not at all. In fact, Khelein Hum Jee Jaan Sey was completely unplanned. I always go by the script and my gut instinct. At the end of the day, I feel cinema is about entertainment. So, whatever form it maybe in – a love story, an action film, a hard-hitting drama – as long as it's entertaining, that's what’s important.

Deepika Padukone
You have been very open about your relationship statuses to the media. Didn't you worry about your privacy being intruded upon?
Well, in my past relationship, we did decide to speak about it because somewhere we believed that if we were honest about our relationship, people would allow us our privacy. But I learnt that’s not the case because there is no end to constant speculation and what people say about you. So I have learnt my lesson and I have reached a point where whether I am in a relationship or not, there is a certain part of my life the media needn't know about.

Would you say that in the last few years spent here, you have become wiser to the ways of the industry?
Every industry has a certain way it functions and I have spent the last few years just figuring out the ways of the industry and the way one works. Even when it comes to deciding scripts, it's not easy when you are being offered many films at a time. It's difficult to choose what works and what doesn't work, but I believe that I should finally go with my instincts and do my work honestly.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

IIPM Review: Vision and Employee Engagement

IIPM Review MBA 2012

During a recent interaction with a senior corporate leader who highlighted the importance of aligning the organisations vision with the vision of its leader, one realised how important vision is in rallying all the resources of the organisation together. It is the leader’s job to create, articulate and reinforce the vision that he has for the organisation so that he can then align people with the vision and therefore achieve the organisations goals. Often organisation’s without such a will and vision fail to reach their objectives. I have often heard of inspired leaders who have led their people to attain goals that were seemingly unobtainable. And over the years I have also seen many such examples of people displaying extraordinary efforts to achieve what seemed tough, if not impossible to achieve.

Many might think that vision is overrated and serves no real purpose in the corporate world. However, in my opinion, it tends to be the binding force that gets employees together and keeps them together for extended periods of time. Employees who feel that they are one with the vision of the organisation will most oft en exert extraordinary levels of efforts to achieve more than what is possible. In such scenario’s, it makes sense for the organisation to ensure that each and every employee is aware of the vision and also has a buy in. There are numerous examples of how organisations have achieved this in the past and then have gone on to claim dizzying heights in their industries.

In this issue of CULT, we have featured two individuals whose passion and dedication to the cause of making IIPM a revolution have borne fruits and the results are for all to see. One of them Mr. Amit Saxena a professional who had worked in the industry before coming on and working in IIPM stayed in the institute due to the passion and the connect that he has with the vision of the institute. Having spent time on various organisations, he has seen the difference that one man’s vision makes in the growth and development of the organisation. Mr. Rajat Thareja has been a rock for the organisation as he has stood the test of time and has weathered many a storms. Both Mr. Saxena and Mr. Thareja have worked closely with each other over the years and behind the scenes to give it all that they have. During our interview with them, we found that both of them stressed on the fact that for them the key engagement was due to the fact that they feel a part of the vision that IIPM has. It is this common passion of bringing about a change in the country that iipmites share, and that helps then overcome all obstacles and achieve heights in any orgnaisation that they work for. It is for this same reason that year after year the institute is able to retain the best minds within its folds, and these very inspired and passionate people are the ones who are the reason for the success of the IIPM revolution.