Term Zero, Great Lakes’ unique online learning series, to support the current and incoming batch was conceptualized to allow students to get insights and perspectives from the world’s best faculty and CXOs leading Fortune 500 companies, globally. This series is aimed at enabling students to acquire key skills for a rewarding tenure at Great Lakes. Term Zero is designed to enable the students to be better prepared in terms of leadership, academics and placements.

Term Zero is Great Lakes’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic. With on-site learning suspended (following recommended safety protocols and regulations set forth by authorities), Term Zero aims to engage incoming and current students with the faculty and with each other, prepare for future recruitment and gain insight into the world of management from various corporate and academic leaders. Term Zero also takes advantage of Great Lakes’ online learning platform, Great Learning, to smoothly facilitate sessions and provide a top-notch online infrastructure for the students.

Term Zero kicked off in May with the Global Thought Leader Series, which saw eminent academics from universities such as Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Chicago Booth, Kellogg and NYU, among others, conducting lectures on a number of topics from leadership, design thinking and innovation to valuation and the business of trust. The academics also interacted with the students by taking their questions. The series ran alongside the CXO Connect, a series of webinars by globally renowned CXOs of leading companies such as Accenture, TCS and Infosys, who spoke about the issues that corporations and their employees face today and the ways in which they are working on overcoming these issues.

Term Zero also featured Great Lakes’ annual Successful Women in Management (SWIM) series which saw three icons of the corporate world - PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi, Apollo Hospital Enterprise’s Preetha Reddy and Biocon’s Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw - address the students and shared insights on the challenges and tribulations they’ve faced as women in the management.

The final series of speaker talks will commence in the last week of July, as a celebration of the successful completion of Term Zero. This series sees sessions with leaders from varied backgrounds, including sports, real estate and construction, healthcare and entertainment.

Sudhakar Balachandran

Dr Sudhakar Balachandran

Director, MBA Program – University of Illinois, Chicago

The finale week will kick off on the 28th of July with Dr Sudhakar Balachandran, Director, MBA Program – University of Illinois, Chicago. Dr Balachandran has an MBA from Kellogg and a PhD from Harvard. On the professional front, he has vast business experience as a management consultant and corporate executive. He has also held senior management positions with Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), and Ernst & Young. Professor Balachandran has also served as a corporate executive at the Baxter Healthcare Corporation.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Dr Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw

Chairman & Managing Director, Biocon Limited

On 29th July, the third session of Term Zero’s SWIM (Successful Women in Management) series, with Dr Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairman and Managing Director, Biocon Limited will take place. A successful technocrat of global standing, Dr Shaw heads India’s leading Biotechnology enterprise, Biocon. She is highly respected in the corporate world and has been recently voted by Nature Biotechnology as The Most Influential in Bio-business person outside Europe and the USA. A leading US trade publication, Med Ad News, in its 2007 listings has ranked Biocon 20th amongst the leading biotechnology companies in the world and the 7th largest Biotech employer globally.

T.T. Durai

T.T. Durai

Former CEO, National Kidney Foundation, Singapore

The series will continue with T.T. Durai, the former CEO of the National Kidney Foundation, Singapore addressing the students on the 30th of July.

There will also be two days of Sangamitra, Great Lakes’ annual cultural fest (conducted online this year) once by the alumni of Great Lakes on the 29th of July and by the current full-time PGPM students on the 31st of July, followed by the PGDM students in mid-August.

N. Srinivasan

N. Srinivasan

Vice Chairman & Managing Director, India Cements

N Srinivasan, the Vice Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements and Former Chairman of International Cricket Council, over his corporate career, has served as the President of the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry and is a member of the Executive Committee of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). He also served as President of the All India Organisation of Employers and was a member of the Prime Minister's Council of Trade and Industry. He has also headed several cement lobbies. However, it is Mr Srinivasan’s love for sport that has made him a well-known public figure. He served as the Chairman of the International Cricket Council (ICC) and former President of the BCCI, the governing body for cricket in India, as well as a former President of the All-India Chess Federation.

Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid

Former Indian Cricketer &
Captain of the Indian National Team

Rahul Dravid, Former Indian Cricketer and Captain of the Indian National Team, will be co-hosting the session with Mr. N Srinivasan on 1st August. Famously known as The Wall, Dravid is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen in the history of cricket. He is also the Director of Cricket Operations at National Cricket Academy, Bengaluru, India. He also monitors the progress of India A and India under-19 cricket teams.

R. Madhavan

R. Madhavan

Actor, Writer and Film Producer

On 2nd August, R. Madhavan, renowned actor, writer and film producer is set to address the students through another promising live session. Madhavan made a breakthrough as a lead actor in the film industry through the movie Alaipayuthey in the year 2000. He has won an array of Filmfare awards including Best Male Debut and Best Male Actor (Tamil). Some of his most popular work includes Alaipayuthey, Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein, 3 Idiots and the web series Breathe.

Vijay Govindarajan

Dr Vijay Govindarajan

Coxe Distinguished Professor,
Tuck School of Business &
NY Times Bestselling Author

The series will also see Dr Vijay Govindarajan, the Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth University's Tuck School of Business, and the author of Reverse Innovation, a New York Times Bestseller interacting with the students of Great Lakes. Dr Govindarajan served as General Electric's (GE) first Chief Innovation Consultant and Professor in Residence and worked closely with their then CEO, Jeff Immelt. He has published more than twenty articles in top academic journals and his pieces for the Harvard Business Review, “Engineering Reverse Innovations” and “Stop the Innovation Wars” won McKinsey Awards. He has also been a keynote speaker in the BusinessWeek CEO Forum, HSM World Business Forum, TED, and World Economic Forum at Davos. Dr VG (as he is popularly known) will deliver his lecture on Thursday, August 6th, 2020.

The current and incoming students at Great Lakes have responded very positively to Term Zero. A number of them particularly enjoyed the Thought Leaders series which gave them the opportunity to interact with top academics in business education. The professors, in return, offered a clearer understanding of the future of the MBA, how the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way humans have to conduct their lives, let alone in the workplace or at school, as well as the theoretical approaches to management and business. The CXOs offered a different point of view to the students; a more application-oriented approach to the coronavirus and its impact on the workplace. They also spoke about the importance of the MBA at the workplace and how it enables future managers to have a methodical and practical approach to issues. The SWIM leaders, in particular, offered important insights into the gender dynamics in the workplace and emphasized the importance of adaptability.

Aside from the leadership insights, Term Zero’s online classes on data science, innovation, business ethics and programming helped the students, especially those from a STEM background, gain a basic understanding of economic, statistical, operations and management concepts, which will be fully expanded upon in various modules over the academic year.

Term Zero is set to conclude in August with the students well-prepared and enthused to begin their journey at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai.


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