Chairman & CEO of IBM Arvind Krishna delivers special address

Dr. Arvind Krishna

“Your generation is more global, educated, tolerant, and technology savvy than perhaps any that has come before it. It is because of the kind of minds that exist here at IIM Bangalore, I know that we will surprise the pessimists. This is your generation’s world to shape. I am eager to see the problems you will solve and the solutions you will create,” said Chief Guest Dr. Arvind Krishna, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of IBM, during IIM Bangalore’s Convocation ceremony, on April 16th, 2021. The entire event was held, in virtual mode. Chairman of the IIMB Board of Directors Dr. Devi Shetty and IIMB Director Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan addressed the graduating students. The event also included an award of gold medals given to students.

Gold medallists

The awards include gold medals for Best All Round Performance, Best Academic Performance, First Rank and Second Rank.

In the Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) 2019-2021, Piyush Kabra received the gold medal for first rank, Karan Kumar Agarwal for second rank and Samir Kaushik Shah for Best All Round Performance.

In the Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGP) 2020-2021, Sumit More won the gold medal for first rank and Abhinav Goswami for Best All Round Performance.

In the Post Graduate Programme in Enterprise Management (PGPEM) 2019-2021, the gold medal for first rank went to Venkata Naga Swaroop Muvvala and Jagadish Revanna, while Gurunathan Subramanyan received it for Best All Round Performance.

In the Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy and Management (PGPPM) 2020-21, Akta Jain B won the gold medal for Best Academic Performance.

A total of 624 students from various programmes graduated, this evening. The programme-wise details are as follows. Doctoral Programme (PhD): 22 students, Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP): 435, Executive Post Graduate Programme in Management (EPGP): 72, Post Graduate Programme in Enterprise Management (PGPEM): 71, and Post Graduate Programme in Public Policy & Management (PGPPM): 24.

Dr. Krishna advised the graduating students to be curious and persistent. “Curiosity is what will allow you to find problems that are worth solving. It will give you a new sense of what the word ‘discovery’ means, and will lead you down all sorts of interesting paths. Ultimately, it is your propensity to learn throughout your life—not your intellect, not your degree, not even your experience—that will determine your success. Being insatiably curious will give the fuel you need to learn how to learn throughout your life. I can guarantee you that it will not only make you a better person, but also a much better business leader.”

He added that persistence is another key to take best advantage of the opportunities around us. “Be aware, take paths less travelled, and look for the opportunities that are hidden in plain sight. What is certain is – the more curious and persistent you are, and the more you are aware of these opportunities that exist around you, the more you will give luck a chance. Wherever life takes you, whether you decide to create your own business adventure or join one, you will need to be persistent to see your ideas come to fruition. This is especially important in a context where the world of business is moving faster than ever and innovation is imperative.”

Citing examples of the innovations that went behind the invention of the light bulb, penicillin, microwave, radioactivity, X-rays, or even the COVID-19 vaccine, he pointed out that it is often the people with the most grit who end up making a difference.

Dr. Krishna observed that finding meaning in one’s work is another stepping stone to all-round success. “To succeed, it is important to have an understanding of what motivates you; of what makes you tick—at a fundamental level. Finding your source of intrinsic motivation means finding the one thing that brings purpose to everything that you do. You don’t have to be good at everything. What matters is the area where you can be the most useful and where you find the most meaning. Also, try to figure out what is the motivation of those around you. The only way to go is to understand how and why you and those around you derive deep meaning from work.”

Expressing his optimism about India’s future, he said: “India is expected to remain one of the fastest growing economies in the world. India today is a technology powerhouse with more than half of the world’s largest 1200 multinationals having set up their R&D centres in the country. I have immense confidence in your generation’s ability to take on the challenges of our day, use this as an opportunity to build a better future and fix some of the fault lines that the crisis has exposed.”

Chairperson’s message

Dr. Devi Prasad Shetty, Chairperson, Board of Governors, IIM Bangalore, shared his message in which he welcomed Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan, who took charge as Director of IIM Bangalore in July 2020 and has been ably leading the institute in these challenging times. “Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan has been listed among the most influential management thinkers from India. After serving a five-year term as the Director of IIM Indore, he returned to IIM Bangalore where he is currently Director. He has wonderful plans for the institute and we are poised for enhanced growth and excellence.”

Dr. Devi Shetty highlighted the excellent efforts put in by the faculty, students, alumni and staff of IIMB which led to the school scoring big in national and global rankings, as well as some of its other accomplishments.

To the graduating students he said: “I am sure these will be takeaways for you in your road to success and you will continue to take the name of IIMB and our country to greater heights. IIMB helps its students to upskill and reinvent themselves to be able to keep the organizations they work for competitive and growth oriented. As you walk out of this beautiful campus, do remember that you should not be swept away by success alone; please integrate your personal success with a commitment to public good, especially for the less advantaged.”

Director’s address

Professor Rishikesha T Krishnan, Director, IIM Bangalore, highlighted some of the achievements and accomplishments of the institute. He spoke about the new programmes being offered: the Post Graduate Programme in Business Analytics leading to an MBA, and the Mahatma Gandhi National Fellowship which is supported by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, Government of India. He listed the awards won by the faculty for their research and publications. He spoke about some of the outstanding achievements of the students. He pointed out that the Class of 2021 has been recruited by reputed companies despite COVID-19 disruptions. He also listed some of the achievements of the school’s alumni and thanked donors for their generous support.

Congratulating all stakeholders who have been quick to respond to the various challenges brought about by the pandemic, he said: “The delivery of our academic programmes had to undergo a significant change. We took immediate action to start the delivery of education through the digital mode. My special thanks to our students and our faculty for adapting so well to this challenge.”  He said he would like to especially thank the administration and the steering committee which has created a tight system and continues to keep the campus safe.

Distinguished Alumni Awards 2021

IIM Bangalore had also announced the names of the recipients of the IIMB Distinguished Alumni Awards for 2021. The awardees are Revathy Ashok, PGP 1980, Co-founder, Strategy Garage; J Laxman Rao, PGP 1982, Chairman & Managing Director, Mold-Tek Technologies Ltd. and Mold-Tek Packaging Ltd., and Sameer Nair, PGP 1996, Co-founder, Gram Oorja.

The awards, instituted in 2007 at IIMB, are given to alumni in recognition of their achievements of exceptional merit and excellence in their chosen field of endeavor – be it industry, management, entrepreneurship, research, academia, or social service. Each recipient of the prestigious award receives a citation and her/his name is engraved on the Wall of Fame at IIMB.

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