The Dignitaries on the Dias
On the auspicious occasion of Gudi Padwa, 23rd March, 2012, the Indo-German Training Centre, Mumbai hosted its 19th Convocation Ceremony to mark a new beginning for the Batch 2010-2012. The newly opened Sofitel Hotel was an apt venue - alluring with radiance, brimming with the spirit of accomplishment and stirring with the hospitality of the host junior class, who participated fully and responsibly with the IGTC management to welcome each and every guest.
Mr. Stephan Gerlich, Country Group Head, Bayer Group of Companies graced the occasion as the Chief Guest, while Mr. Prasad Chandran, Chairman of BASF Companies in India and Head, South Asia and Dr. Bernd Forster, Deputy Consul General, German Consulate General in Mumbai were the two Guests of Honor for the evening. Mr. Nimal Bhogilal presided over the function as the Past President of the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. Amidst proud parents and distinguished guests from industry and academia, the 48 IGTC students proudly donned their black robes, fighting mixed feelings of happiness and achievement as well as sadness to bid adieu to their peers and to end their beautiful 18-month long learning process, all in the same flash of time.
The evening commenced with the welcome address by host Mr. Bernhard Steinruecke, Director General, IGCC, who is always at his best when faced with an audience of students. In his parting words to the class, he reminded them that they should always remain proud of the fact that they have had the unique opportunity to undergo a business programme, based on the special Dual System of Training, which is the most important of the four pillars of success for the German economy – the other three being the German Mittelstand i.e. the family owned companies, the German System of Trade Fairs and the Bi-lateral System of Chambers of Commerce. Mr. Nirmal Bhogilal, Past President, IGCC seconded this opinion and reinforced his belief on the uniqueness of the German system which has resulted in strong leaders and role models within German companies in India such as Mr. Stephan Gerlich of Bayer and Mr. Clas Neumann of SAP, who have made it to the top owing to this unique model of education.
The welcome addresses were followed by the sharing of experiences by the IGTC students, faculty and training companies – all integral parts of the unique dual system. IGTC’s symbol of achievement and the recipient of the prestigious Dr. Guenter Krueger Award for Excellence, Mr. Karthik Shivshankar, recalled how his journey of 18 months was like the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to that of a butterfly – from entering IGTC as a fresh Chemical Engineer to graduating as a BASF Grow Trainee (a special management initiative to develop their talent pipeline). He gave credit for this “sheer magical” transformation to elements such as an encouraging environment, scrupulous students, sincere staff members, excellent professors and an institute which is truly distinct from others. In his own humble way, he paid tribute to the faculty by means of aptly chosen management jargons, which left the audience in splits. He profusely thanked his training company BASF for giving him an excellent platform to enrich himself and an opportunity to accomplish his dream.
The second student to share her thoughts was IGTC’s symbol of transformation, Ms. Sayama Kazi, who was the senior most of the batch not only in terms of age and experience, but also in terms of dedication, perseverance and emotional maturity. This young lady from Ratnagiri dispelled all doubts to prove her mettle and emerge successful as Manager- Business Development with Evonik Degussa. She stressed on the fact that to keep delivering to the best of our ability it is essential to refresh the two key factors knowledge and education at all times.
Ms. Chitra Chandrasekhar, Academic Faculty for Statistics and Operations Research at IGTC started off in her trademark style with sharing an in-class joke followed by an inspiring speech to the graduating students. She adviced the graduating batch to keep learning all the time because learning motivates and brings enthusiasm in one’s life; to give back to our family, our organization, our institution and our society at large as this virtue keeps us grounded at all times and is an essential factor to achieve success in life.
Mr. S. Ramesh Shankar, Executive Vice President-HR, Siemens Limited expressed his joy of being one of the founding companies of the IGTC and highlighted how Siemens has been successful in recruiting 148 IGTC students since its inception. As a mentor from industry, he gave a beautiful acronym “DREAM” which would serve as a guideline to the graduating batch.
This way Mr. Ramesh Shankar beautifully weaved a DREAM of life for the graduating batch.
Dr. Bernd Foster, Deputy Consul General, Mumbai who had lectured and interacted with this graduating batch earlier, congratulated the students for their hard work and successful completion of the programme. According to him, the success of the IGTC is due to its two offerings at the same time; excellent management education and hands on practical training.
The Guest of Honor, Mr. Prasad Chandran, Chairman, BASF Companies in India and Head, South Asia addressed the graduating batch. He stressed on the importance of the graduating day and requested each student to make a commitment to himself by penning down a hand written charter which will define the way forward throughout their life. They must note down the guiding values in their lives; values which cannot be compromised at any cost. He also advised them to build their own sustainability model which must have their economic return, their work life balance and most importantly their role for inclusive growth.
Finally, Mr. Stephan Gerlich, Country Group Head, Bayer Group of Companies gave a brilliant keynote address to the students. He shared personal experiences of his journey from being a trainee to the top boss at Bayer. He adviced them to remain flexible and mobile in their career paths; to unquestioningly accept the opportunities that come their way and to trust what the organization has to offer. He also shared how Bayer as an organization summarizes its values in the word “LIFE” where
The evening moved on to the most awaited part - Distribution of Certificates. To begin with, the Dr. Guenter Krueger Award for Excellence and the Bayer Scholarships Awards were announced. All the students also received the BASF Corporate Governance and Business Ethics Certificates, along with their IGTC Certificates and the German Language Certificates from the Max Mueller Bhavan. Mr. Gerlich and Mr. Chandran awarded the certificates. Representatives of companies such as Bosch, Evonik Degussa, Lanxess, Siemens, BBraun, who had played a vital role in training the students were also invited to participate in handing over of the certificates and the mementos, thereby encouraging all graduates.
Finally, the Vote of Thanks was proposed by Ms. Radhieka R Mehta, Director, Indo-German Training Centre. She extended her gratitude to the esteemed dignitaries for gracing the occasion and inspiring the students with their words of advice. She conveyed her sincere appreciation to the management of all participating companies, who have been training partners and final recruiters for the Batch 2010 - 2012. She also thanked the faculty and the Max Mueller Bhavan for not only endowing the students with knowledge, but also the required soft skills, morals, ethics and values. She promised to continue IGTC’s tireless efforts to be a strong service provider in the field of business management training for the member companies. And last but not the least; she congratulated her forty-eight students who had made her proud by becoming a force called IGTCians and by making their mark in the German organizations.
Time to Bid Bye
Post a formal photograph session, the caps went up in the air and it was followed by the sweet tradition of a cutting a cake to mark every happy occasion at IGTC. The sweetness of desserts, post a splendid dinner, could almost be felt in the environment. With tearful eyes and a sad heart filled with an abundance of good wishes and blessings, the graduates were then bid adieu. But as we turned, in that very moment, the junior batch of 2011 – 2013 was promoted to being “seniors” and the show continues at IGTC!
A proud moment for the entire Batch 2010-2012