Watch the Convocation Ceremony

SPJIMR Mumbai hosted its 21st Annual Convocation at its Mumbai campus on 18 May 2024. The event marked a significant milestone for nearly 700 graduates across nine diverse programmes, including full-time, executive, modular, and doctoral courses. Renowned corporate advisor and bestselling author Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan presided as the chief guest, alongside Mr. Deepak Parekh, Chairman of the SPJIMR Governing Council, and Dean Prof. Varun Nagaraj.

The ceremony commenced with the traditional graduation procession led by SPJIMR Associate Deans Prof. Renuka Kamath, Prof. Preeta George and Prof. Snehal Shah. Mr. Deepak Parekh officially declared the convocation open, highlighting that the Class of 2024 participants were graduating at a remarkable time for India, which is poised for unprecedented growth. He emphasised the need for capable leadership to drive the nation’s $5 trillion economy mission and urged graduates to seize this opportunity, stating, “Today, with an MBA from a premier institute, you have the potential to become leaders and CEOs at an early age. I wish you all the best and immense success.”

Dean Prof. Varun Nagaraj applauded the key achievements of each graduating batch in his welcome note. He advised participants to challenge the cynical stereotype of MBAs as ‘Mediocre but Arrogant’ by embracing excellence and practising confident humility. He urged, “Let the knowledge and values you have acquired serve you well. Let them navigate you to aim higher and differentiate yourselves by pursuing excellence while remaining anchored in confident humility.”

In his inspiring commencement speech, Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan illustrated seven key factors from his latest book ‘The Tomorrow Leader’, that will help distinguish the participants’ leadership:

  • Enthusiasm: Emulate figures like Abdul Kalam, who showed passionate commitment to his work and vision for the future.
  • Positive Obsession: Cultivate a positive obsession with the future, ensuring it will be different and better than the past.
  • Curiosity: Maintain a child-like curiosity throughout life. Stay inquisitive despite formal education and societal conditioning.
  • Embrace Change: Recognise that the future will not mirror the past. Progress comes from imagining and embracing new possibilities.
  • Core Leadership Tasks: Understand that fundamental leadership tasks remain constant. You will be remembered for how you adapt and innovate.
  • Perception: Develop the ability to perceive the invisible, hear the unheard, and feel the intangible. These skills are essential for leadership.
  • Self-Learning: Continue learning independently. The institution has prepared you, but ongoing self-education is crucial for long-term success.

Mr. Gopalakrishnan emphasised that these are crucial factors towards becoming future-ready leaders, urging them to remember, “If you can carry away one message, let it be this: what will mark you out in your future is your ability to teach yourself curiosity and humility.”

SPJIMR leadership team, faculty members, professionals, and graduates’ families and friends applauded enthusiastically as 700+ participants received their graduation certificates. 65 participants received the Dean’s Honour, and 18 achievers were awarded the Scholastic Medals. The ceremony concluded with the customary hat-throwing ritual, symbolising the end of an eventful journey at SPJIMR for the graduates, who now join the ranks of over 15,000+ SPJIMR alumni worldwide.

The SPJIMR community congratulates the Class of 2024 and wishes them every success in their future endeavours. The Annual Convocation also celebrates SPJIMR’s commitment to nurturing socially sensitive leaders for positive social impact.

17:30 pm Convocation procession starts
18:00 pm National Anthem
18:01 pm Declaring the convocation open by the Chairman, Governing Council, SPJIMR
18:02 pm Invocation prayer
18:03 pm Welcome address by the Dean, SPJIMR
18:13 pm Chairman’s address and introduction of the Chief Guest
18:20 pm Award of certificates to the scholars of the Fellow Programme in Management
18:23 pm Award of Scholastic Medals to the participants of the Post Graduate Programmes
18:27 pm Award of certificates to the Post Graduate participants on the Dean’s Honour List (DHL)
18:40 pm Convocation address by the Chief Guest
18:55 pm Award of certificates to the participants of the Post Graduate Programmes
20:44 pm Closing of the convocation by the Dean, SPJIMR

*This will be followed by the customary Graduation Day celebrations and dinner.

R Gopalakrishnan

Executive in Residence

A corporate leader for 55 years, Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan has served as the Chairman of Unilever Arabia, Managing Director of Brooke Bond Lipton, Vice Chairman of Hindustan Lever and Director on the Board of Tata Sons, as well as several other Tata companies. He is an independent director and non-executive chairman of Castrol India and an independent director of the Press Trust of India (PTI). He also serves as a Distinguished Professor at IIT Kharagpur.

An erstwhile newspaper columnist, he continues to write every month for financial papers and has authored several books. He actively engages in both instructional and inspirational speaking worldwide and in India.

Mr. Gopalakrishnan has a wide repertoire of subjects like Business in India, Markets and Customers, Governance and Strategy, Organisation and People, and Innovation. He relies on practical examples, rich with anecdotes rather than theory or analytical frameworks. He is known for his unusual management course titled ‘LWNT – learning what nobody teaches’.

Mr. Gopalakrishnan studied physics at the University of Calcutta, engineering at IIT Kharagpur, and attended the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Glimpses from Convocation 2023

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