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Distinguished Speaker Session - Dr. Tessy Thomas

Hyderabad, July 14th, 2021: Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Hyderabad, organized the seventh session of the Management Orientation Program "ABHYUDAY" on the 14th of July, 2021. The session featured guest of honor, Dr. Tessy Thomas, Distinguished Scientist, Director of Advanced Systems Laboratory-DRDO, and Director General - Aeronautical Systems (AS) at DRDO. The session began with an opening address by Prof. Dhananjay Singh, Assistant Professor – Marketing, IMT Hyderabad. Professor Dhananjay spoke about the various achievements and accolades Dr. Tessy Thomas achieved in her illustrious career. He talked about her association with the 'Agni' missile development program since its inception and her role in developing strategic missile systems from 2014 to 2018. "For her stupendous work in missile technology, she has been called the missile woman of India," elucidated Professor Dhananjay Singh.

The opening address also included an explicit mention of various awards garnered by Dr. Tessy Thomas, including her recognition by the Institution of Engineers, Telangana, with the distinguished woman scientist award in 2016 for her contributions to missile science technology. By highlighting "her list of accomplishments and accolades are many more," Professor Dhananjay concluded the opening address and officially kickstarted the session.

Dr. Tessy Thomas began her address by detailing the roles and capabilities required of a manager and contrasting them with those of a leader. She accentuated that a manager's role in any organization is order and consistency, planning, budgeting, organizing, and staffing, to accomplish objectives and problem-solving. She emphasized that nurturing & delivering change, developing & sharing a vision, aligning people together, and motivating & inspiring the whole team are critical responsibilities of a leader in any organization. She also highlighted that change management enhances the performance of the entire organization.

She further addressed the students by underlining the management of high-end technology. She mentioned that high-end technology management is a niche area of project management and bifurcates into four critical dimensions: tech management, time management, man management, and product management. She exemplified her experience of developing high-end technology and stressed the risk factors and backup options by citing an example of one of the DRDO projects. She elaborated on the management roles in research and development, wherein a techno manager is a personnel having combination of technical knowledge and managerial ability.

The session was followed by a brief question-and-answer segment to address student's curiosity. She addressed queries relating to the process of project completion at DRDO by mentioning that developing and preparing a missile requires "5 - 6 years of labour-intensive efforts of thousands of brilliant minds across the country spanning multiple organizations, including DRDO, industry, and academia." She also elaborated with a specific, explicit mention of the existence of the technology gap and its rectification for the relaunch of missiles in case of failure. This was followed by a brief interaction by Prof. (Dr.) Sriharsha Reddy, Dean (Academics) and Director Designate, IMT-Hyderabad, with Dr. Tessy Thomas. He congratulated her for her accomplishments. He further mentioned that inviting Dr. Tessy Thomas was a part of the vision of IMT Hyderabad to nurture socially responsible business leaders. The session concluded with the vote of thanks proposed by Prof. Dhananjay Singh. He summarised the fundamental concepts of management theory elucidated by Dr. Tessy Thomas, including product quality management, man-management, high-end technology products, and the need for a visionary to have the right mindset of a business leader.

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