Achieving Dreams in the Land of the World CEOs

Onam Festival in Kerala, India. Source: Personal Documentation
Onam Festival in Kerala, India. Source: Personal Documentation

India has created the best company executives in the world and produced the second-highest number of CEOs (Chief Executive Officers) after the US. Raihand got the opportunity to study MBA (Master of Business Administration) at Mahatma Gandhi University in the land of CEO producers with funding from the ICCR scholarship. Let’s read Raihand’s study journey through this article. 


The Reason to Choose India

India is a country that is well-known for its achievements in science and technology. As a reader, you can easily access many educational videos on YouTube featuring professors from India. Additionally, readers can search for original research from India on platforms such as Google Scholar, a journal platform for research articles. India is also a country with one of the highest economic growth rates, ranking fourth in the world and surpassing developed countries such as Germany and England, according to research conducted in the Economic Survey 2023. This supports friends who want to study business, economy, science, technology, and more. With that said, the wonders of science can be explored in either Gandhi Land or Bollywood Land. India also offers an affordable cost of living, making it an attractive destination for students.

As you know, India is a country with many CEOs. The example is Deepinder Goyal (CEO of Zomato), Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft), Sundar Pijai (CEO of Google),  Shantanu Narayan (CEO of Adobe), Rajesh Gopinathan (CEO of Tata Consultancy Service), Arvind Khrisna (CEO of IBM), Punit Renjen (CEO of Deloitte), Neal Mohan (CEO of Youtube). That’s why India is also called CEOs Country because India is a country that produces many successful CEOs. It also is the reason I choose India as a destination country for study. 

Allow me to introduce myself. Hi, my name is Raihand Ramadhani Abdul Sayeed. I am currently in the second semester of the Master of Business Administration at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala, India, where I was awarded the ICCR (The Indian Council for Cultural Relations) Commencement Award. My motivation for pursuing further studies abroad was supported by reasons and data. After researching several countries, including India, I found that India deserved consideration for further studies in Gandhi Land or Bollywood or CEOs Country. As mentioned before, India has much to offer, particularly for those interested in pursuing a master’s degree in fields such as business, economics, science, or technology.

Before becoming an ICCR Awardee, I didn’t have much knowledge about areas in India. When I first began my research, I was not familiar with the different regions and states in India. With the help of the internet and WiFi, I explored different areas in India. My research led me to four areas: Gujarat, Kashmir, Kerala, and Jammu. I discovered that these regions were clean and offered a decent quality of life. I continued my research during the ICCR scholarship 2022 registration period to gain more insights into the different areas in India.

Speaker at a Conference at Mahatma Gandhi University. Source: Personal Documentation
Speaker at a Conference at Mahatma Gandhi University. Source: Personal Documentation

After conducting my research on the areas in India, I recited a prayer and said “bismillahirrahmannirrahim” before registering for the ICCR scholarship 2022. The process involved filling out my personal information, choosing a university and region, writing a motivation letter, and uploading it to the ICCR website. I then submitted my registration on the ICCR website. For your information, friends, the selection process took between one to two months, depending on the tentative conditions set by ICCR. The Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) is a scholarship awarded by the Ministry of India Overseas to high-achieving students in ASEAN, Nepal, Afghanistan, Africa, and other regions for S1 (Bachelor), S2 (Master), and S3 (Doctoral) levels.

After registering on the ICCR website, I received a call from the Indian Embassy in Indonesia, informing me that I had passed as a 2022 ICCR Scholarship Awardee and was accepted at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala. Following my acceptance, I prepared my files for departure.

Start the Journey

Kerala is an area in South India that has a high index of education and literacy compared to other regions. Additionally, it boasts low pollution and the least corruption when compared to other regions in India. The people in Kerala are friendly and open-minded, and they do not base friendship on caste. There is a high tolerance for each other, with various religions coexisting, such as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Catholicism, among others. Therefore, for those who plan on continuing their studies in Kerala, India, there is no need to worry about adapting to the region.

In short, upon my arrival in Kerala, India, I was warmly welcomed by Indian friends at the university on the first day of class. We quickly became acquainted, and someone even asked to take a photo together. Their friendliness and open-mindedness made me feel at ease. On the weekend, my friends invited me to explore Kumarakom, which is known for its backwaters and bird conservation. While there, we enjoyed traditional Kerala food such as Sharkara Varatti, Rice, and Sambar. We also visited Kochi, where we took a bus from Kottayam and then a boat to cross. In Kochi, we were able to admire buildings with rich European old architecture that held significant meaning and history. Furthermore, we had the opportunity to visit clean and beautiful beaches. To top it off, my friends and I celebrated Onam for several days.

Visit Kumarakom, Kerala, India. Source: Personal Documentation

Onam is a harvest festival celebrated by the Malayali people of Kerala, South India, irrespective of their religion or caste. This festival is exclusive to Kerala and lasts for 10 days, during which people take a break from their daily routines like work or school. During the festival, my friends and I enjoyed traditional Kerala music and danced together. We also witnessed stunning dance performances by our friends from Kerala. The festival concluded with a feast where we relished delicious Kerala food such as Rice, Sambar, Sharkara Varatti, Kari Inji, Kalan, Pachadi, and more. The Onam holiday is also an occasion for Malayali people to spend time with their relatives and family at home.

Utilize time effectively

Studying abroad is not going for a walk to fill spare time, but it can also offer opportunities for personal and professional growth. During my time studying abroad, I had the privilege of becoming a speaker at two international conferences. The first conference, organized by the Faculty Connection International at Mahatma Gandhi University, focused on the challenges faced by migrants coming to Kerala and the facilities that are just enough for incoming migrants to work and study in Kerala. As a speaker, I was able to share my ideas and insights on the topic. The conference concluded that Kerala is worth migrating to for work and study because the government provides clean sanitation, high-quality health facilities, and affordable medicines. This makes Kerala an excellent place for migrants to settle and pursue their careers.

I also had the opportunity to speak at the Business Education in the Millennium Era event, which focused on the impact of technology in the world of education. My presentation focused on the use of VR (Virtual Reality) and AI (Augmented Reality) in education, and how these technologies can enhance learning experiences for students. Overall, my experience speaking at these international conferences was invaluable, and it allowed me to broaden my knowledge and network with professionals in my field.

Speaker at International Conference at Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India. Source: Personal Documentation

Runner-Up Unforgettable Moment

Time is money. If you can’t utilize your time, it will be useless for you, but if you can, it can be beneficial. I don’t waste time on useless things, so I registered for a Business Competition in Kerala, India to gain knowledge and experience, and to get exposure while studying in Kerala. Moreover, I thought that if I only studied without any experience outside of learning activities, it would be boring. So, I joined a Business Competition in Kerala, India.

First, I went to Kerala Fisheries and Ocean University in Kerala, India, with my friends (Yaseen, Athira, Nijin, Sonu, Navya, and others) by bus. Then, I registered for the Business Competition. After that, I entered the room where the competition had four rounds. In the first round, I had to answer some short questions within 15 minutes. Then, the judges announced who had passed to the next round. I was grateful that nine other students and I had passed to the next round.

I was grateful that I and 9 other students passed to the next round. In the second round, I matched with Yaseen in one group to compete against other teams (there were five teams consisting of two students each). In this round, Yaseen and I had to guess the logos of companies. Then, the judges announced the results, and we passed this round. Next, we moved on to the next round where we had to guess some public figures like CEOs, Prime Ministers, Writers, and so on.

After that, the judges announced the results, and we passed to the next round. In the next round, the fastest correct answer received a point, and this round had a penalty of minus one point for every incorrect answer. Although this round was challenging, we managed to pass as the runner-up in the Business Competition. I am grateful that I could represent my campus and my department (Master of Business Administration, Mahatma Gandhi University, Kerala, India) and pass as the runner-up in the Business Competition.

Me and Yaseen succeed as runner-up in Business Competition in Kerala, India. Source: Personal Documentation
Me and Yaseen succeed as runner-up in Business Competition in Kerala, India. Source: Personal Documentation

Internship in Chennai, India

Currently, I am doing an internship at Nabati (Enerlife Private Limited) in Chennai, India, as a Human Resources Intern. During my internship, I have gained a lot of knowledge and experience in coordinating with the Human Resources Team at Nabati. One of my responsibilities was conducting exit interviews with employees who wished to leave the company. I asked them about their reasons for leaving. I interviewed the staff who wanted to leave the company such as why they wanted to leave, what make them want to leave Nabati’, and other related details. With the Human Resources Team in Nabati, I coordinated and communicated with each other about the preparation like what was required or needed in the event, what the objective of events was, and so on. 

Nabati also provided training on calculating the Provident Fund and Employee Pension Scheme. The Provident Fund is a popular savings scheme introduced by the EPFO (Employee Provident Fund Organization), under the supervision of the Government of India. The Employees’ Pension Scheme is a social security scheme provided by the EPFO for employees working in the organized sector, after their retirement at the age of 58.

Then Nabati explained to us how to calculate ESIC (Employees State Insurance Corporation). ESIC is a social security scheme offered by the Government of India as per the Employees State Insurance Act, 1948. This scheme provides protection to employees against disablement/death due to employment injury, sickness, and maternity. Employees must be subscribed to the scheme to get medical care and other benefits. My internship at Nabati in Chennai, India has allowed me to gain experience and knowledge that I never had before, as rules and regulations between Indonesia and India are different. Thus, I have gained a new perspective on Human Resources in India.

Rhea (Internship Student from India), I (Internship Student from Indonesia),  and Sonu (Internship Student from Nepal) Visit Nabati Factory in Chennai in India. Source: Personal Documentation
Left to Right: Me (Internship Student from Indonesia), Rhea (Internship Student from India) and Sonu (Internship Student from Nepal) Visit Nabati Factory in Chennai in India. Source: Personal Documentation
Miss Swathika (Assistant of Human Resources from India), Rhea (Internship Student from India), Me (Internship Student from Indonesia), and Sonu (Internship Student from Nepal) Visit Nabati Factory in Chennai in India. Source: Personal Documentation
Miss Swathika (Assistant of Human Resources from India), Rhea, Me ,and Sonu Visit Nabati Factory in Chennai in India. Source: Personal Documentation

I also had the opportunity to visit the Nabati factory in Chennai, India. Before entering the manufacturing area, I was required to wear a white coat, cap, and mask and wash my hands to ensure hygiene and sterilize bacteria. Once inside the manufacturing area, I observed the formulation area where the ingredients such as vegetable oil, butter, powder (milk powder), flavour (cheese, chocolate, or corn), maltodextrin, emulsifier, and acidity regulator are measured for wafer production. The formulation area is a confidential area because Nabati has secret recipes for measuring doses.

Then, I see a big tank that contains cheese and chocolate which are mixed in the mixer area. Next, I observe machines for mixing vegetable oil, butter, flavour (chocolate or cheese) and powder before being mixed by the mixer. The mixture contains vegetable oil, butter, powder (milk powder), flavour (chocolate, cheese, corn starch), maltodextrin, emulsifier, sugar, and acidity for the wafer.

The next process involves temperature control and cutting of the wafer. After mixing the ingredients like vegetable oil, butter, powder (milk powder), flavour (cheese, chocolate or corn), maltodextrin, emulsifier, and acidity regulator,  the wafer contains three layers: the first layer is cream, the second layer is cream, and the third layer is wafer. The wafer then undergoes a temperature process before being cut into the size decided by Nabati’s SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) of 14.4 cm * 9.6 cm.

The next step is packaging where the wafer is packaged in unique packaging and placed in a box containing 24 units of wafer. The box is then placed in a cupboard box where one large cupboard contains 24 boxes of wafers. The products are stored and then shipped and distributed to retail stores and shops around India, such as Chennai, Kerala, Hyderabad, etc.

As closing statement, studying abroad is not only about travelling and taking photographs. It’s also about acquiring knowledge and experiences, and making friends who can guide you towards a positive environment.


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Hi everyone! My name is Raihand Ramadhani Abdul Sayeed, and I was born in Pandeglang, Banten, Indonesia. I am a graduate of Information Systems from Bina Nusantara University and am currently studying at Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala, India, where I received the ICCR Award. During my time as a Bachelor's student at Bina Nusantara University, I worked as a teaching assistant at the Information System Laboratory. Currently, I am serving as Vice Internal Department for the Indonesia Students Association and Design Committee on Y14 ASEAN. Additionally, I have joined the entrepreneurship club at Mahatma Gandhi University to gain knowledge about entrepreneurship and pursue my goal of becoming an entrepreneur. For more insight about my experiences, please visit my Instagram (@raihandr99).


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