SWIM – Successful Women in Management, the one of its kind of event in B Schools celebrating the Success of Women. The first event of the Champions Batch, the Class of 2009 of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai was carried with a bang today. The event was a huge success and all the guests, speakers, participants and the organisers were rocking for the whole day. The SWIM community, initiated in 2005, works towards identifying and drawing inspiration from successful women from various walks of life. SWIM is conducted to identify and promote Women who have the traits to assume leadership roles in management. It enables and empowers women to be effective, ethical and socially conscious members of society.
SWIM, this time had the theme ‘Women as Trailblazers – Dreaming, Exploring and Discovering new horizons’. The basic agenda comprised the Keynote address by the Chief Guest, Ms. Anu Aga, Power Talks by the guests, Panel Discussion moderated by Mr. T N Seshan and a post lunch ‘Quiz’. The theme was well justified with the list of guests of honour. Ms Anu Aga, Director Thermax, was the Chief guest and along with her, Padmasri Sudha Raghunathan, noted Carnatic Vocalist; Ms. Mridula Ramesh of Sundaram Textiles and Ms. Hemu Ramaiah, founder of Landmark agreed to share the main stage along with our beloved Founder and Honorary Dean of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Dr. Bala V. Balachandran .The Executive Director of PGPM at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Prof. S. Sriram was also present. All the guests shared their experiences at length with students, giving the insights of the corporate world , women as an upcoming entrepreneur and how she maintains the balance of society. Ms. Anu Aga in her opening speech said that it was important to balance professional responsibilities and personal life and emphasized on Vipasana or the art of living. Ms Sudha Raghunathan talked about her journey to becoming a maestro in classical music. She discussed the challenges faced during her journey, and how she overcame them. Ms. Hemu Ramaiah opined that it is important to think out of the box to reach “the other side” and achieve success. She elaborated on the lessons learnt in running an entrepreneurial venture. According to her, entrepreneurs must plan when to start and exit a business plan. Ms. Mridula Ramesh talked about four success enablers for women, namely role models, proving early competence in a language known by competitors, courage, and family support.
Power Talks was followed by the launch of the SWIM magazine having the write-ups of eminent women writers and some Champions. The magazine work was all done by the in-house team of enthusiastic students i.e members of Gravity team.
The event had a panel discussion on the topic “Educated, Intelligent, energetic, and just in her forties – can she still pursue her career dreams”. The discussion was moderated by Mr. T. N. Seshan, former CEC of India. The panel included Ms. Pushpa Kandaswamy, Noted TV producer, Ms. Indra Subramanyam, MD, Ehrlich Lab, Ms. Lalitha Maheswaran, HR Consultant and Ms. Sarda Ramani, president of C I Global Solutions. Mr. Seshan introduced the theme, and enraptured the audience with his characteristic persona and witty remarks throughout the discussion. Ms Indra Subramanyam stated that desire is what takes women towards their goals. She also said that for a country to prosper, men and women must work together without compromising on domestic life. Ms. Pushpa Kandaswamy said that relations were more important than numbers. She vehemently supported the theme and emphasized that women are adaptable, efficient and capable of multi tasking. According to Ms Sharda, determination and grit are important and even if one were to take a break in professional life, one can still get back as and when one feels like, and make the best out of it. Ms Lalitha, a visiting faculty at Great Lakes, addressed the women in the audience and advised them to define success for themselves, and not neglect their own selves. She said every decision taken will have its own consequences, it is important to make a choice and live by it. This was followed by an open house session where the audience, comprising the distinguished guests, students and faculty, posed a variety of questions related to women’s lives and their career orientation.
The tasty lunch was followed by the quiz ‘Les Quizerables’ in which almost 46 teams participated from different colleges and corporates. Six of them qualified for the final round and the winners bagged away a whopping total prize money of 35000 rupees.
The SWIM and Gravity teams toiled for almost two months along with the help from Events, BPR and all the champions for the success of the event. It was the best example of team work and how the same can bring laurels and charm.
The media covered the event with full heart and some of the links for the same are as follows :
As the dawn comes, the thought process for the next events have already started grabbing the minds of the Champions… Keep looking the space for the upcoming events like Sangamithra, The HR Summit, The Lattitude.
(P Murlidhar Naidu)