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Samir Mehta
Mihir Parikh
Head of research and knowledge management, Nishith Desai Associates

Which course did you attend and when?

I attended a course titled ‘Managing and Transforming Professional Services Firms-India’ in January 2012 at Harvard Business School, Mumbai.

What is your background?

I did my schooling in Godhra. I graduated in mechanical engineering from Ahmedabad University. In 1989, I joined Nishith Desai Associates, a law firm. In 1991, I went to the US to complete my MBA from Georgia State University, Atlanta. I completed a PhD in business administration with a focus on artificial intelligence in financial decision-making. In 1997, I joined NYU’s polytechnic school faculty for its technology management programme and was the founding director of the PhD under that programme. In 2004,  I joined the University of Central Florida in Orlando as a professor. In 2011, I came back to Mumbai and re-joined Nishith Desai Associates in my present capacity.

What were your key takeaways from the course?

One key takeaway was the ‘balanced scorecard approach’, which states that an organisation should not focus only on financials. A company should instead look at how people are learning and growing, how it deals with clients and its employees to deliver value for the organisation. Secondly, there was a case study on the Taj group, titled ‘Ordinary heroes of the Taj’, focusing on the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attack. The learning from this was that students will be inspired to give their all while serving customers if the training and culture required in organisations to motivate employees are explained to them. Last was an outstanding professor, Ashish Nanda, who converged viewpoints of students from different industries into a common perspective while learning case studies, and was energetic and full of jokes and anecdotes.

What did you like the most about the course?

The faculty was the key highlight as they brought the dull study material to life with their innovative teaching methodologies.

What did you not like about the course?

During the course, the classes took place in the conference room of a hotel, which is not very conducive for learning. The authorities could have hired a classroom instead.

As told to Adit Mathai

What’s On

Transforming small and medium enterprises programme

  • Where: IIM Ahmedabad
  • When: October 6-19
  • How much: Rs 1,15,000
  • Email:

Effective Recruitment and Selection

  • Where: IIM Indore
  • When: October 7-9
  • How much: Rs 35,000
  • Email:

Stepping into leadership

  • Where: ISB Hyderabad
  • When: October 8-11
  • How much: Rs 100,000
  • Email:

Creating High Performance Organizations

  • Where: IIM Bangalore
  • When: October 13-15
  • How much: Rs 60,000
  • Email:

HR Audit- Leading to Internal Auditor Certification

  • Where: XLRI Jamshedpur
  • When: October 14-18
  • How much: Rs 60,000
  • Email:

Finance for Non-Finance Executives

  • Where: IIM Kozhikode
  • When: October 15-17
  • How much: Rs 35,000
  • Email:
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