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Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai hosts its 11th Convocation

  • 611 students graduated across 5 different full-time and Executive programs
  • 6 best outgoing students and 4 academic toppers awarded with gold medals

GREAT LAKES CONVOCATION 2015Chennai, 15th July 2015: Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, held its annual Convocation at the CTC Convention Center, Chennai. The chief guests for the occasion Mr. Ratan N Tata, Chairman - TATA Trusts participated in the convocation interaction and Mr. Faizal E Kottikollan, Founder and Chairman, KEF Holdings, Dubai delivered the presidential address.

A total of 611 students graduated this year across five different full-time and executive programs including PGPM, PGDM, PGXPM, PGPM (Flex) and PGP-BABI. Six best outgoing students and four academic toppers from each program received Gold medals during the graduation ceremony.

Welcoming the gathering, Dr Bala V Balachandran, Founder, Dean & Chairman, Great Lakes Institute of Management, said, “It gives me great pleasure to welcome our Chief Guests to Great Lakes. I feel proud to be present here on the 11th convocation ceremony of Great Lakes in the presence of our honorable guests. I firmly believe that it is a confluence of diverse thoughts and ideas which make an institute grow and reach even greater heights. I can say with conviction that today’s graduands stand by this very principle of diversity at Great Lakes. Step out and make your alma mater proud.”

Speaking on the convocation, Chief Guest, Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman – TATA Trusts, said, “I express my deepest and genuine congratulations to the graduating class. The purpose of this curriculum given to you at Great Lakes will be realized once you leave this place. And that is when your real learning starts. Just be yourself and be driven by the desire to make a difference.”

GREAT LAKES CONVOCATION 2015Delivering the presidential address, Mr. Faizal E Kottikollan, Founder and Chairman, KEF Holdings, Dubai, said,” I am privileged to be in the presence of Mr Ratan Tata, who has been my inspiration. I would like to congratulate all the students on their milestone. Today, as you graduate, I wish you all to be different and think different. Just hold on to your values as it is these values that will define you as a good human being.”

Mr. Ratan Tata and Mr. Faizal E Kottikollon were awarded Life Time Achievement awards by Dr. Bala for their outstanding contribution to Management and Global entrepreneurship. The event also saw the release of the book – “Living Legends Learning Lessons”, authored by Dr. Bala and Ms. Kavipriya, alumna of Great Lakes. The Book was released by Mr. Ratan Tata.

Besides academic toppers, medals and certificates were awarded to nearly 70 graduands in the following categories - Dean’s Merit List, Domain toppers, best Empirical Study and Committee contributors.

One of the highlights this year was, twenty graduating PGPM students from Great Lakes who completed their six weeks exchange program with University of Bordeaux , France in July 2015, will also be receiving their MBA (Level- M2) degree in European Business Administration and International Business from University of Bordeaux subsequently during Bordeaux University’s graduation ceremony .




Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, held its annual Convocation on August 7, 2014 at the Chennai Convention Center. The guests of honor Mr. S. Ramadorai, Chairman, National Skill Development & Vice chairman, Tata Consultancy Services delivered the convocation address. Mr. Mahesh Menda, Chairman & Managing Director, World of Electricals, Dubai, delivered the presidential address.

Welcoming the gathering, Dr. Vaidy Jayaraman, Associate Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, also highlighted the significant milestones achieved by the Institute in the last one year. In particular, he mentioned about Great Lakes receiving the prestigious AMBA accreditation.

GREAT LAKES' CONVOCATION  2014Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, Dean & Founder, Great Lakes Institute of Management said, “I am delighted to share your happiness on this joyous occasion and would like to congratulate every student graduating today. All of you must be very thankful to your parents who have made it possible for you to be here today.”

Congratulating the graduating students, Mr. S. Ramadorai, Chairman, National Skill Development & Vice chairman, Tata Consultancy Services said, “Our leaders have always emphasized an inclusive growth model. Each one of you must realize that unless all regions and communities and fellow citizens have equity of opportunity and equal share in development, we will all have to pay the prize.” Sensitization towards the community should be an integral part of your business approach, added Mr. Ramadorai.

Delivering the Presidential address, Mr. Mahesh Menda, Chairman and Managing Director – World of Electricals Dubai said “I am very happy to be part of this convocation to witness additional 573 talented workforce heading out of the premises to bring about positive change in the country. I wish to emphasize to all bright minds here on the importance of decision making. Learn from your experience, from all the wrong decisions you made, and then you will understand how to make right decisions.”

Following the chief guests addresses, the graduation certificates were handed out to the graduating classes. The academic toppers, outstanding students and various committee toppers were awarded with gold medals for their achievements. A total of 573 students graduated across 5 different programs including PGPM, PGDM, PGXPM, PGWPM and GEMBA.

Convocation Photo Gallery 2014



Great Lakes' Convocation 2013

The event commenced with Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, Dean & Founder, Great Lakes Institute of Management, declaring the ceremony open. In an enlightening speech, Dr. Bala expressed his happiness and wished the graduating students all success in their professional careers. Keeping up with the philosophy of Great Lakes, he added that the sole purpose of attaining the best education is to give back to the society and to create opportunity for all.

In his Convocation address, Mr. A. Vellayan, Executive Chairman of the Murugappa Corporate Board, emphasized the importance of developing new perspectives and facing challenges in the real world with the right spirit and said that, “Students should develop the skills to adapt to situations. Best managers, were always those who listened to signals from the noise around and made the best use of it. Smart people would always pounce on opportunities to learn from others", he added.

Delivering the Presidential address, Mr. Ramesh Vangal, Chairman of the Katra Group, asked the graduating students to keep aspiring, and to put their minds together to make the difference that is required by following ethical practices. “Human beings have no limitations – except the boundary of one’s skill. So, if one can think big and work towards it, a crisis can be turned into an opportunity. And, every crisis has an opportunity. All that matters is how you flip your mind’s switch,” he said.

Prof. Sriram, Executive Director, Great Lakes Institute of Management, reported that a total of 429 students graduated of which 362 students were from PGPM Class 2013 (Mighty Mamallas), 30 PGXPM students of class 2013 and 37 students were from PGWPM class 2012.  As a part of the convocation ceremony, academic and extracurricular honors were also handed over to the meritorious students.

T. A. Anandvishnu was the academic topper from the PGPM batch while the best Empirical research study award was bagged by Abirami Muthia. In the PGXPM batch, Mr. Rajagopalan TS, CFO, WABCO was declared the best outgoing student while Mr. Arun Kumar, Associate Director, Product Management, Roamware Inc. was the academic topper. Lavanya Saraswathi was declared the academic topper for the PGWPM batch, while Meenakshi L was awarded two gold medals for being the academic topper as well as the best outgoing student.

Excitement and joy flowed as families and friends cheered for the graduating students who received the degree certificates from the chief guest. And the students celebrated their graduation by throwing their caps in the air.

Convocation Gallery



Great Lakes' Convocation 2012

The Convocation for the Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) Class of 2012 (referred to as Spartans) and the Post Graduate Global Executive Program in Management (PGXPM) VI – Academic Year 2010-12 was held at the Great Lakes' campus. Dr. Bala welcomed the next batch of PGPM students (referred to as Mamallas) in the presence of distinguished guests Shri. N. Chandransekaran, CEO & MD of TCS Worldwide, Ms. Jennifer A. Mclntyre, Consul General US Consulate General in Chennai.

Shri. N. Chandransekaran, CEO & MD of TCS Worldwide delivered the convocation address to the enthusiastic gathering and handed over the certificates to the graduating students. Gracing the occasion, Shri. N. Chandransekaran, CEO & MD of TCS Worldwide, said, “You have accomplished something very few people do – the gift of quality higher education! I am optimistic that the baton of progress is in the hands of youth who form the majority in this country."

 Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, Founder & Honorary Dean, Great Lakes, said, “The students of Great Lakes are ambassadors of ‘responsible citizenship’. He remarked that the students of Great Lakes have been moulded to exhibit the highest levels of integrity, commitment, loyalty and responsibility in doing their duty to corporate India, the world and by extension to society at large.

Awards were given to deserving students for their outstanding academic achievements. Hiran Hitesh Nanalal was awarded the Bala V Balchandran award for Best Student – Male, while Avani Mittal was awarded the Bala V Balchandran award for Best Student – Female.

In addition, several other students were given medals and certificates. The convocation ceremony concluded with the formal welcoming of the next batch of the PGPM students (Mamallas). While welcoming Mamallas, Dean announced the signing of MoU’s with 3 leading Universities namely FUDON University, China, CUOA University, Italy and Bordeaux Business School. The MoU in effect facilitates academic collaboration, International immersion, exchange of students and also for exploring research opportunities in various areas.

With these kinds of agreements and many more to follow, Great Lakes will be developing best- in class contents for the students which will enhance the learning values and make them Business Ready Managers.

Convocation 2012 Photos



Great Lakes' Convocation 2011

On April 28, 2011, the packed auditorium of Chennai Trade Centre cheered the academic procession led by Dr. Bala V Balachandran, Founder & Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Mr. Azim Premji, Chairman of Wipro Ltd., Dr. D. Purandeswari, Honorable Minister of State for Commerce and Industry walking in purposefully for the solemn, yet joyous event. It was an occasion to remember for all who came to the function – Graduation of class of 2011 of PGPM (Gladiators) and PGXPM V (team Apex) besides welcoming batch of 2012 (Spartans). Prathiba & Vijayashree of the Spartans invoked the blessings of Almighty through an invocation song.

The Executive Director, Prof S Sriram, welcoming the gathering, presented the Director's report for the year in which he dwelt at length of the extraordinary achievements of the Gladiators who had participated in more than 100 competitions Nationally and won numerous prizes. He also presented the accomplishments of the faculty and the Institute in various fronts during the last one year.

Dean and Founder, Dr. Bala V Balachandran, declared the convocation open and obtained the assent of the Academic Council seated on the Dais for Graduating the students invited for the Convocation. He welcomed the dignitaries and advised the students of the graduating class to take care of their parents who have made them what they are today.

The Chief Guest, MrAzim Premji, in a soulful and moving address, lamented the "rot" that had set in in the country's systems and politics. He regretted the fact that corruption was deep-rooted in a land that was once famous for its integrity and high ethical standards. He exhorted the graduating class to be steadfast in their commitment to morals and values, even if tempted to swerve from the path of truth. In his speech, he also mentioned how happy he was with Great Lakers who worked at Wipro; in fact, he termed their performance "exceptional".

Ms. D Purandareswari, appreciated Great Lakes for becoming a top notch school in a short span of seven years. She said that India is now an economic powerhouse and that its economy is poised for further growth. This being the case, she said the graduating students had a great opportunity to play a big role in this growth. She advised the class to aim to be world class managers. She said that constant and continuous innovation was the need of the hour and concluded by asking the students to always remember "TI" that stood for "Think India" or "Team India" or "Total Innovation".

The Dean, Prof Bala, then presented the Certificates to the graduating class of the PGPM Class of 2011 (the Gladiators) and that of the PGXPM V (Team Apex). Meritorious performances were then recognized and awarded.

Convocation 2011 Photos



Great Lakes' Convocation 2010

Great Lakes Institute of Management held its sixth convocation ceremony of its Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM) class of 2010, referred to as Patriots and Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) batch of 2009. The new batch of PGPM Class 2011 referred to as Gladiators were welcomed at the convocation ceremony at the Chennai Trade Centre.

The class comprising of 260 students graduated with honours amidst jubilation and cheer. Present at the occasion were the Chief Guest, Mr. N. R. Narayana Murthy, Chief Mentor, Infosys Technologies Limited, Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, Founder & Honorary Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Mr. Andrew T. Simkin, US Counsel General in Chennai, India and Mr. Mahendiran, Managing Director, Godrej Sara Lee Limited.

Mr. Narayana Murth, Chief Mento, Infosys Technologies Limited, addressed the enthusiastic gathering. Mr. Murthy quoted William Bryan who said "Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of Choice! It is not a thing to be waited for; it is to be achieved". Mr. Narayanamurthy advised the graduating students and said, "Act upon your destiny! As future CEOs and leaders, you should aspire to achieve miracles - both for your company and the country".

Mr. Moorthy also emphasized to the students on the importance of treating the customers in a business properly. He said, “A corporation’s survival depends on satisfying and exceeding the customers’ expectation. Unless we live up to the best examples of the customers’ focus and customers’ fairness, we cannot enhance and maintain our market share. My hero in this is late Sam Walton. He said, the customer is the only boss, he can fire everybody in the company from the chairman to down, simply by spending his or her money somewhere else.”

Mr. Narayana Moorthy then handed over the certificates to the outgoing students. During the convocation ceremony several awards were given to deserving students for their excellence in curricular and co-curricular achievements!

Convocation 2010 Photos



Great Lakes' Convocation 2009

Great Lakes Institute of Management held the fifth convocation of its PGPM class of 2009 (referred to as Champions), third convocation of PGXPM (Executive MBA) and welcomed the new batch for 2010 (referred to as Patriots) on April 28, 2009 at a glittering event in Chennai Convention Centre. The class comprising of 162 & 38 students respectively graduated amidst jubilation and cheer. Present at the occasion were the Chief Guests, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Former Under Secretary General, United Nations; Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, Founder & Honorary Dean, Great Lakes, Dr. Arthur D Warga, Dean, Bauer College of Business, Houston, USA, and Mr. John T McNabb, Chairman, Dean’s Executive Board, Bauer College of Business, Houston, USA.

Speaking at the convocation ceremony of the Great Lakes Institute of Management, Dr. Shashi Tharoor urged students to strive to make a difference in whatever career they chose. "I believe that as managers you have the responsibility to think about those who are not as fortunate as you are. I had the rare privilege as a young man to work with those who have lost everything - the world's refugees. I derived a lot of satisfaction from being able to lend a hand to families who lost everything, including hope. It is a privilege to help human beings. Whatever career you choose, make a difference," he said.

Emphasizing on the need to make the information revolution more inclusive, Mr. Tharoor said that students had to be aware of the poverty line. "The key to the internet divide is the computer divide. Pointing out that life was a continuing task of self-education; he said there was always more to learn, even for ambitious managers of global companies.

Congratulating the students on successfully completing the Post Graduate Programme in Management, Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, Founder & Honorary Dean, Great Lakes, said, “We began Great Lakes with the singular focus on creating a management institute of excellence. Through your journey at Great Lakes, we hope we have sowed the seeds of excellence within you. I congratulate and wish you every one of you success in the Great lakes voyage that you have undertaken.”

Dr. ArthurWarga, Dean of Bauer College Houston said that Great Lakes was all set for a take-off, a word that had come to be synonymous with Houston, the place he hails from. He praised India and said that Great Lakes was going to make India proud. He talked about global warming and said that Houston was known for its energy management program and said that in future, there were plans to teach energy management programs in India by partnering with Great Lakes.

The mood at the convocation ceremony was one of enthusiasm and joy. Witnessing the historic moment in the audience, were the eminent Board members, faculty, parents, friends, and relatives of the students.

The convocation ceremony concluded with the formal welcoming of the PGPM class of 2010 (called as Patriots). The event was followed by the inauguration of Great Lake’s new green campus at Manamai, Mamallapuram, later in the evening.

Convocation 2009 Photos



Great Lakes' Convocation 2008

The Jaycees (Class of 2008) and the EMBA students graduated with top honors in the presence of Dr. Bala, founder, Great Lakes. This is the first time both the PGPM and the EMBA students are graduating together. Mr. N Ram, Editor-in-Chief of The Hindu and Mr. Ramalinga Raju, Founder and Chairman, Satyam Computer Services Ltd graced the occasion with their presence and addressed the students. The day also saw the welcoming of the Champions (Class of 2009).

Dr. Bala, in his energetic welcome speech paid glowing tributes to the guests on the dais. He also took the opportunity to formally welcome star personalities like Prof T.N Seshan, Dr. Nirmal Gupta, Dr. Rakesh Singh and Dr. Taruna Gupta who had agreed to guide Great Lakers in their quest for knowledge. He expressed confidence that the next convocation will be held in the sprawling new platinum rated campus being built along the scenic ECR.

Mr. Ram in his speech exhorted the business ready managers of Great Lakes to work together to improve the not so impressive Human Development Index of our country. Commenting that China and India are crucial to the stability of the regional economy, Mr. Ram stressed the need for inclusive growth to maintain the current growth momentum. Being a political editor, he commented that Great Lakes is just as old as the present UPA government and in a lighter vein said he would stop the comparison there. He attributed the stellar success of Great Lakes to the clarity in vision and purpose, good curriculum, staff members, efficient admission policy, good infrastructure, linkages with industry and knowledge sector, and involvement of students and faculty. Mr. Ram singled out the Mandarin language (taught here as part of the curriculum) for specific praise.

Delivering the valedictory address, Mr. Ramalinga Raju spoke of the need for students to not just become good managers but also able leaders. Cautioning against complacency, Mr. Raju urged the graduating students to leverage knowledge and technology to fully exploit the tremendous opportunity awaiting them. He opined that such an approach is imperative to be successful in today’s dynamic business scenario.

The eagerly awaited moment unfolded soon after the speech by the guests. Watched by proud parents, bright young men and women walked up to the podium for their moment of glory. The students were in for a pleasant surprise as Dr. Bala announced surprise scholarship awards for select students.

Convocation 2008 Photos



Great Lakes' Convocation 2007

The students of the class of 2007, fondly called as “Crusaders” by Dr. Bala, Dean, Great Lakes received their certificates for Post Graduate Program in Management. The certificates were awarded by the Honorable governor of Tamilnadu, his Highness Mr. Surjeet Singh Barnala. The event was also marked by the presence the Chairman of Infosys Foundation, Mrs. Sudha Murthy.

Mr. Barnala in his address said, "We need to create our own model of management in line with our national ethos". It is in resemblance with the very motto of Great Lakes that is “Global Mindset and Indian Roots”. The Guest of honor, Mrs. Murthy in her address appealed the students to be compassionate. "You are stepping into the corporate world. If you are not compassionate, you will lose out on emotional quotient" added Mrs. Murthy.

The students were facilitated for their outstanding academic success. Awards were given out to students who excelled in all the horizontals at Great Lakes viz. Finance, Marketing, Operations and Human Resource and Strategy.

Amidst all these awards the show stealer was the “Popularity Award” for the faculty members which generated maximum vibes and tickled the lighter spirits of the students.

The ceremony also marked the launch of “Herald”, a research journal set up under the aegis of Yale Research Center. It has research papers submitted by eminent academicians from various fields.The year also saw the setting up of Kotler-Srinivasan Center for Marketing Research. The first international conference for the same would be taking place in December this year.

Great Lakes also laid foundation stone for the state of art campus being built on East Coast Road near Mahabalipuram.

The pillars of any educational institution are their alumni. The Alumni portal was thus launched with the aim to reunite the alumni of Great Lakes. It also provides a discussion forum for the alumni and would thus facilitate them to share ideas and information on a common platform.

Convocation 2007 Photos