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Seminar talk by Mr. Ishwar Subramanian, CEO, Akzonobel India

Topic: Interactive Session

Date: December 28, 2009

Speaker Profile :

Mr.Ishwar Subramanian joined in July 1994 as Finance Director and was recently promoted to the position of Country Coordinator and Managing Director at Akzo. Before this, Mr. Subramanian has worked with Birla. Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young. He is a member of Young Presidents Organisation and holds the regional office for South Asia. Mr. Subramanian has served as the president of Indian Paints Association and has also been a member of CII Committee on chemicals. He has been a visiting faculty at Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Bangalore. Mr. Subramanian obtained a bachelor’s degree in commerce from Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi University. He is a certified Charted Accountants. He has also completed the General Manager’s Programme from Standford University (1998) and the Presidents Management Programme at Harvard,2003.


“The illiterate of today is not those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn” .

Mr. Subramanian made this remarkable note while interacting with the students of KIIT School of Management, KIIT University. While a student asked the question Why MBA degree is preferred  in corporates, while a simple graduate can do the same job?

He made it very clear that how MBA is a toolkit which helps you to improve decision making ability. To develop better critical thinking skills, to sharpen strategy and tactical skills, to develop appropriate leadership skills, to broaden ones scope and to develop a global mindset. Therefore, an MBA provides the modern manager with tools and skills needed to identify new opportunities for organizational success. MBA programs are designed to make one aware of different approaches that have traditionally helped in managing organizations. Nevertheless, according to him understanding people’s dynamics is important, it’s not your individual genius but a person who can carry on with other people is important. Here an MBA provides a person with the ability to understand the nuances of business and the dynamics involved in managing it.

Corporates hire attitude not skills, you have to be reasonable, practical and adaptable. For that principle of learning is important, you should always try to learn how to learn.