By Padma Ravichandran and Suha Sureshwar

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

– Henry Ford

In times of unprecedented disruption and high-velocity change, the path forward is through continuous learning, and having the intellectual curiosity to remain relevant.

Gone are the days when you learned a profession and practiced it throughout your entire career. There is a compelling need to evolve. To learn, unlearn, to work and to repeat.

GAVS strongly advocates investment in its people and unlocking their potential to innovate and drive growth.

GAVS, in partnership with GLIM (Great Lakes Institute of Management), one of the Premier Business Schools in India (founded by a Professor Emeritus at Kellogg School of Management) conducted a “Customer Centric Leadership Program” for the Business Enablers  at GAVS – Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Finance and Operations, and Administration Support.

It enabled the teams to discover important Leadership Traits through Engaging and practical sessions with clear focus on building confidence and providing toolkits to lead others. Since these are the teams responsible in influencing the morale, productivity and health of the workplace, many “real world” experiences, and examples prepared the participants to identify their Leadership Strengths and Struggles.


Prof. Keshav kindled the change agent in each participant. He focused on how collaboration, self-trust, and flexibility can lead the way to us being outcome focused and enable our decision making. The journey of being Assertive commenced with role plays, and situational case studies on being self-aware, self-regulated, self-motivated to build Effective Relationships on the bedrock of empathy. 

Influencing for Effective Leadership

Prof. Suresh Varghis, emphasized on how leaders listen to connect, and provided influencing framework in personal leadership. He also challenged us with thinking patterns of a creator. Further he provided us with tools, and skills to strengthen influencing. The participants learned sociograms to map stakeholder relationships, based on trust.

One of the exciting exercises was to create a personal vision board, and while the participants created a personal vision statement, the need to be aligned to an organization’s vision, and making it real, was brought to the fore. Humanizing GAVS’ vision statement, brought out the GAVS DNA in each of the participants. The session closed with an understanding of How to Influence with Integrity.

Process Excellence

Prof. Keshav along with Prof. Venu, emphasized that there is a process in every walk of our life and we subconsciously follow the process in every single activity we do. They then went on and spoke about why process improvement brings in better efficiency and productivity, better customer and employee experience, and better management of risk to enable profitability.

Teams discussed on observing processes at a function level, assessing the impact on stakeholders to mitigate risk, and maximizing profitability, to bring in improvements.

Emotional Intelligence

It was “Back to School” days for the participants, as this session was on campus, and the participants were back to a classroom to understand Emotional Intelligence at work.

Prof. GN. Radhakrishnan made us realise the importance of how our Interpretations play a major role in the way we react or respond to a situation also stressing on the importance of not suppressing our emotions. He further discussed about the ability to manage emotions at the workplace, with focus on emotional literacy – the facets and process of emotions. After multiple role plays, he discussed with the participants on the various tools that would help us in managing emotions.

Such learning opportunities enable real-time on-demand content for heightened self-awareness.

The topics chosen for the program were pertinent to our area of work and the sessions were structured to first give us an understanding of the topic, evaluate where we stand and finally give us tools to improve. The professors ensured that the group was participative and all of us went back at the end of each module with at least one takeaway for us to work on and improve professionally. The revelations we experienced were tremendous and have surely motivated all of us to look at the way we do our work differently. As a group, it gives us confidence that Together we can achieve greater heights. It is a matter of great pride for all of us to be jointly certified by Great Lakes Institute of Management and GAVS.