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Mr. Raj Vijayan talks about a career in Operations, urging students to focus on learning in the workplace rather than focusing on a placement with an established brand name.

Posted on: September 30, 2014

Mr. Raj Vijayan

Mr. Raj Vijayan is a KIAMS alum who, after dabbling in different fields for a time, eventually found his calling in Operations. He first gained exposure to the corporate world during his days at the institute through a three-month internship with Satyam Computers. He then earned a campus placement with Odessa Technologies, which, he admits, worked well for him. Reflecting on this experience, he says, “I had an engineering background, so I was looking for an opportunity where I could use both my degrees and deliver.”

Since his first job, Mr. Vijayan has built a strong portfolio for himself and today works as the Manager of Supply Chain Integrations at Flipkart. He had chosen Operations and Marketing for his PGDM and now is happy that he can follow his passion to the hilt with a big name company. “For me it wasn’t a market-driven decision to choose the subject at KIAMS; I have genuinely been interested in it, always,” he explains. “Operations management can be used across different functions of the organization and I was inspired by the scope it offers.”

Mr. Vijayan has good news for aspiring students. He believes that with several foreign companies setting up their base in India along with the expansion of Indian corporates, there will be a growing need for professionals who can manage the operations. He himself has worked with top brands like Lenovo and Adidas; however, he admits that being associated with Flipkart is the most exciting. “What makes it different is that I work for an end to end supply chain,” he says. “My role is to see technology and automation projects happening across Flipkart’s supply chain.. It has been a thrilling experience so far.”

Working with a brand like Flipkart offers Mr. Vijayan plenty of opportunities to learn, and as a manager he has to adapt with the changes the business demands. He admits that at the rate at which the industry is growing, they have to continually improve from process and technology perspectives. It is hard work and, at times, fast-paced; but, he continues to look forward. This is clearly seen in the mantra that the successful manager follows: “My focus is on learning new things and being open to new technologies. I want to contribute in achieving Flipkart’s goals and be part of India’s e-commerce story.

In spite of his prolific CV, Mr. Vijayan is keen on learning every single day at work. And that’s what his advice is for young students who tend to focus on big brands, especially in the first phase of their careers. “At least in the first few years you need to focus on learning and adapting to the corporate environment, “ he advises. “If you have that opportunity with an organization, that should be good enough. Once you have that understanding, you can go for whichever brand you want to work with.”

Mr. Vijayan also recommends that management aspirants should find out more about the career they want, from the challenges to the responsibilities, before taking the plunge. “If you think that a particular field will give you enough opportunities that you will enjoy, be responsible and accountable; then go for it. Always follow your instincts,” he encourages. He agrees that student perspective should be different, they should pay more attention to the career opportunity; rather than too much of a focus on the brand name.

Looking back on his time at KIAMS, Mr. Vijayan has many fond memories. He remembers the moments shared with his batch mates, which is one reason why he feels a deep bond with the institute. He visits the campus twice a year and interacts with the faculty and students. Ask him about his biggest learning at the institute, and he quickly replies, “The importance of teamwork. We learned how to work together as a team and towards a common goal. That learning will always be with me for the rest of my career.”

Categories: Alumni Profiles