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Sunday, April 21, 2013

My story: Thanks to IIMC Alumni Association

Five months ago I was working as a senior editorial member at a large media group, responsible for their fixed income and Reserve Bank of India coverage in Mumbai. One winter afternoon, when I rushed into my South Mumbai-based office in one of the two-hundred-year old heritage buildings to file the first take of an important assignment at the central bank, I saw my usually cheerful boss lost in thoughts. I kept quiet till my story was published and then over a cup of coffee asked, what was bothering him? He said he is struggling to find the right kind of people for editorial operations and has little time left (not more than a month).  I understood the gravity of the situation, for our newswire, which is at its inflection point fighting two international behemoths in India. Manpower is the biggest strength as well concern. We have to be quick.

I proposed we should try recruiting students from IIMC. My firm primarily recruited freshers from a Mumbai based institute run by a reputed Jesuit society, that has produced giants in journalism, cinema and advertisement world. He agreed to my suggestion purely from the belief that the few IIMCIans who work with him are the best in the industry. But there was another issue, he wanted experienced people as well as those who will be excellent reporters, writers and with analytical skills and passion for journalism. I again proposed that we should take help from the IIMC Alumni Association.

He entrusted me with the job of finding the right talent. I sought help from IIMC Alumni Association. Fellow alumnus Ritesh Verma, Harshendra Verdhan in Delhi and Suryakant Mishra, Krishna Pophale in Mumbai supported the idea and Ritesh posted the recruitment advertisement in the various alumni channels immediately despite his busy schedule.

Within a week I had 220 applications in my mail box, which I carefully sent to the editorial and human resources team. Each one was screened by the editor himself and the HR head. Many were selected for an editorial test followed by an interview. Finally 18 people were selected. Eighteen is a large number if someone understands the current media scenario. Most of them were from IIMC.

The whole operation finished in about a month.

My boss told me that IIMCians are really talented and focussed and he would love to recruit them from campus and this year as I understand they have called people from the current batch in Delhi. I have proposed such activity for Dhenkanal and Amravati branches as well.

I therefore would like extend my sincere gratitude to the alumni association for helping my company in finding the right talent. I want to tell you that young IIMCians have a great opportunity to connect with their seniors on this platform and benefit from the opportunities.

In the CVs I had received, there were many IIMCIans whom I knew-- my batch-mates, seniors, juniors and even freshers.  I want to disclose that there were two IIMCIans who were related to me as well. But as we understand in the professional world, the competition and quality is what keeps you going. Both my relatives were not selected-- one was rejected in the written test and other in interview.

The point I want to make is that while IIMC Alumni Association as an umbrella body can help people get contacts, inform about opportunities but it cannot guarantee anything. Even our parents don’t guarantee our professional life unless they are billionaires and own industries.

I would request young alumni members to have faith in themselves and journalism if they really believe this is their call. Because journalism like movie industry is not meant for everyone. There is a bit of luck, competition, talent and relationship management that lands you the big job.

The alumni association will give you the desired strength and right guidance. It will tell what’s happening where. It will also provide you with some exclusive opportunities, but yet there will be competition. So have faith in yourself and the system. If one would understand the reality then one must know that the media scene in India is not at all rosy. Many businesses have shut in the recent past, the ones up are on their toes and the ones that have survived the cascading effects of the Lehman Brothers-triggered-financial crisis of 2008, are not recruiting big time. Yet the supply of fresh graduates is always there, which has painted a dark picture for many journalism aspirants in the recent years.

And I am sure every senior member on this alumni association can tell harrowing stories of their own struggle. Many of us are at very senior positions in different segments of the media industry, yet we have not got it easily. Everyone has struggled, has been humiliated and yet has kept that belief. Even today no one is ever sure about how the economy is going to do. But as true Indians we must have the enormous hope which has helped us to survive as a civilisation, sustain our multicultural society and produce unmatchable philosophy.






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