It was a bright sunny afternoon on 30th October 2014 and the students expectantly awaited the arrival of the day’s special guest Mr. Bernhard Steinrücke, Director General, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. A thunderous applause by the students of both senior and junior batches of PGPBA at IGTC greeted the guest on his arrival. Ms. Nisha Alavandi of the senior batch presented the welcome speech on this occasion.
Mr. Steinrücke readily took the floor to address the gathering of vibrant students and began his talk with a brief introduction about himself. He relived his stint as the head of Deutsche Bank when it first opened its doors to the Bangalore community. He also noted the growth of Bangalore city over the years and exclaimed Bangalore as “young and dynamic city”.
Mr. Steinrücke further explained the role of IGCC and his role in it. He elucidated that IGCC is a unique network which fosters trade and business relationships with offices all over the world to cater to the interests of different spectrum of people. Thus, he recounted how his experience of working at IGCC in India has widened his horizon of topics of interests and Indian art and culture in particular.
Also, he attributed the success of Germany to the system of Dual Education and certain factors which are unique to Germany. He expounded the factors one by one. Firstly, it is the mainstream functioning of Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’S) which are usually family – owned and at the heart of German innovation. They are specially termed as “Hidden Champions”. The second factor is the On-the-Job training which is provided to all students in Germany as a part of the core curriculum thanks to the dual system of education. Thirdly, it is the organization of trade fairs which brings out the latest innovations to the rest of the world. Lastly, it is the development of networks by the Chamber of Commerce which involves over 5 Million, which is inclusive of trade and service sectors including international networks. The specialty of the Chamber is that it is corporate run and membership is mandatory under the law in Germany.
During the next course of interaction, Mr. Steinrücke zealously interacted with the students and ardently listened to their interests and hobbies. He encouraged students to gain maximum benefit out of the course and urged them to learn German language. He demonstrated the easiness of learning the German language by a short speech titled “How easy the German language is?” which was clarified by him in English after completion of each sentence in German.
Finally, the session was opened for questions and answers with students who threw a volley of questions at Mr. Steinrücke. The questions ranged across different topics such as interests about India, current Indian Government and expectations from it, to sports activities such as German football team and comparison between investment situation in India and China. He sportingly replied to all the questions and encouraged the students to be innovative and responsible Brand Ambassadors of IGTC.
The interactive session came to an end by delivery of Vote of Thanks by Mr. Vikram Magal of the senior batch who thanked Mr. Bernhard Steinrücke for making time from his busy schedule. The entire session was enlightening and had truly left the students impressed with his cheering and enterprising nature along with detailed explanation of issues and clear thought process. The conversation with Mr. Steinrücke was indeed inspiring and the students have already geared up for another meeting in the near future.