“16 years after graduating from the Goa Institute of Management, it’s been either IBM or Microsoft for Mr. Dhiresh Britto”
Senior G&A Platforms Manager (HR & Headcount), Microsoft
Class of 1998
For someone who candidly confesses to being undecided which career path to take prior to completing his post graduate course in Management from GIM, Dhiresh Britto has shown remarkable certainty about the way forward.
Dhiresh was placed from the campus at GIM back in 1998 with the Piramal Group in Mumbai. He had to move to Bangalore within the first few months with IBM because of personal circumstances. The move proved to be successful, and when Dhiresh decided to move on after nearly seven-and-a-half years with IBM, he was the HR business partner to various business groups across IBM India - including the IBM India CFO’s organisation - advising and facilitating processes across a wide range of HR programs and policies.
Prior to that he spent a number of years in HRIT as an IT Project leader for the e-HR self-service projects and systems delivery for IBM APAC, a job he was able to perform thanks to his “indecision” after graduating.
“Since I was undecided about what I wanted to do immediately after my graduation, I decided to educate myself in computer applications and systems, over and above the odd, informal work assignments,” says Dhiresh, explaining how he became knowledgeable in IT. “I also did a part-time diploma in Personnel Management at XIM Mumbai. This gave me a head start in GIM where I had already decided to specialise in HRM. As a result, I was able to invest more time in other subject areas such as marketing, finance and operations during my time there and I learnt more than I otherwise might have. In hindsight, slowing down the pace of things immediately after graduation gave me time to do a more thorough introspection and assessment of my own interests and needs.”
In early 2006, Dhiresh moved from IBM to Microsoft, where he is currently positioned as Senior G&A Platforms Manager (HR & Headcount). Asked what makes him compatible with recruiters from dream companies like IBM and Microsoft, his disarming candour surfaces. “I honestly don’t know,” he says with a smile. “Very often a recruiter’s view of what is ‘good’ can be very different from that of the hiring managers or decision-makers. But what has landed me the jobs I have had has mostly been a question of fitting the job profile, team and company culture and the ability to convey to the hiring managers and decision-makers that I was worth the risk. It was also about having a genuine interest in the position, as well as the determination to make a worthwhile contribution if given the opportunity to do so.”
Dhiresh is associated with a wide range of HR innovations and initiatives in both IBM and Microsoft, especially in the spectrum of e-HR, technology applications in HR problem solving, and IT-enabled HR Service Delivery.
Dhiresh is recognised amongst his peers at both IBM and Microsoft for his uncanny ability to combine knowledge of the business and subject area, with an understanding of technology applications. According to Dhiresh, this has a lot to do with Mr. Blaise Costabir’s classes back in GIM. “The courses in Production and Operations Management (POM) by Mr. Costabir are the ones that stand out for me above all. Through those courses, team work, and exercises, we didn’t just learn the subjects - we really had learning about life. I often remember Mr. Costabir’s assessment methodology. With the class divided into groups, one set would present while the other would grade the presenting groups. Then the teacher would mark the grading groups based on his own assessment of how they rated the presenters. So, whether you were in a presenting group, or a grading group, you had to know your stuff. And if you asked him to justify his grading beyond a certain limit, he would simply smile and say it was subjective. That’s pretty much what happens in the real world.”
Dhiresh also describes the courses in Organisational Behaviour, Sales and Distribution Management (SADMAN) and IT/MIS/BPR as extremely useful because of the subject matter expertise they built, and the thought-models they exposed one to..
“My time and experiences at GIM changed me forever. I came to understand what was essential to succeeding in the real world. I also gained a much better understanding of myself - my strengths and weaknesses. But, most important of all, GIM gave me the confidence and determination to harness my skills and interests towards making things better.” “Also,” adds Dhiresh Britto with a grin, “it’s an open secret that while at GIM I met the lovely lady who is now my wife. Nothing could be more life-changing than that!”
Dhiresh has many stories about his days at GIM between1996-98. The parties in the quadrangle of the old Ribandar campus, long evenings at Gene’s, night trips to Miramar, the Pav Bhaji vendor near Don Bosco’s in Panjim, the various fests and events, and the ritual birthday drenchings.
“Fun was abundant and varied. Most nights - and late at that - there’d be lots of people just chilling out in the quad, sharing jokes and some enjoying a glass of hot milk. The latter led a senior fellow student friend to humorously refer to GIM as ‘the land of milk and funny’!”
Dhiresh believes that one of the major reasons the Goa Institute of Management is now listed amongst the Top-20 B-schools in the country is because of the mutually- reinforcing alumni-institute relationship.
“It’s in Goa, it means a lot to those who come into contact with it, and leaves no one unaffected, mostly in good ways. In GIM’s case that has to count for something,” concludes Dhiresh with a knowing smile.