Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Book Review : Blink by Malcom Gladwell

This was one of the longest book in terms of time it took for me to read. That doesn't mean anything about the book, it was just because of the time constraints I was facing over the past months.

Now, about the book - it was good read, but I felt lost somewhere on what was the point he was trying to make. First few chapters he talked about the power of decision making at the first sight or the first couple of seconds or minutes or rather intuition. Later, he ascertains his thoughts by giving examples from a wide spectrum. He continues by talking later on the pitfalls that can happen in such decisions. He also discusses how our background and culture can impact our thought processes.

With all the explanations, examples and concepts, he makes his point that we can learn and develop the ability to control the unconscious mind, prejudices and benefit from the power of blink!

This book is worth a read. Many summaries are also availble in the net. Some being:

Wiki Summaries: Blink

Gladwe…

And Quarter 3 starts...

A week break went on a fly and I am already one week into the third quarter. This time we have four subjects - Marketing, Law, Operations Research and Managerial Accounting. First two is interesting, the remaining two seems to be a struggle. We got "THE" book on Marketing by Kotler.Its like a medical book, with all glossy paper and colorful pictures. Next week itself we have quizzes. We are back in full swing to case methodology in all 4 subjects!

And the seminars and talks continues to happen in the campus. Today, we had a team from Wikimedia including Danese Cooper, Chief Technology Officer and Alolita Sharma, Engineering Program Manager @ Wikimedia Foundation. They talked about the growth statistics, vision & future plans for wikimedia and in general wikipedia. Tomorrow we have a talk on careers in IT consulting.


The IIMB life is back in full swing!

Two Different Encounters!

Who says B School talks only about business & money. The respectable & responsible institutions of the country always caters to all, may not be directly, but at least indirectly!

We had two events in last weeks, one a workshop for better living based on eastern philosophy and the other a public screening of documentary on Bellary - Iron Ore issue. Both were impressive and eye opening.

Drawn on various un conventional thoughts derived from Indian & Budhist tradition, the workshop on enlightened leadership was conducted by Mr. Sanjeeb Patra, an IIM Calcutta alumnus and Director, HSBC. The session was interesting since, whatever concepts were discussed during the session were backed by his own personal experiences during his 18+ years stint at HSBC. Some of the areas that were discussed during the one day session were:

- Happiness and skillful ways of living life
- Developing mind strength/control and the benefits of meditation
- Motivating others and team members

I am in no …

An Introduction to Organizational Theory

Image
Organizational Theory is the macro level analysis of firms or organizations. It analyzes the firm as a whole. It deals with people at a broader level - how organizations are structured and designed, the motives behind control and coordination mechanisms for communication and day to day activities etc.
In fact, we analyze the organization in all perspectives for its success, thus making its connection with other areas like strategy or operational efficiency or financing. It tries to understand how one designs the appropriate organization structure to help handle interdependence, manage diversity and cope with uncertainty. OT differs from organizational behavior such that, OB takes a micro approach and deals in a root level with the behavior of people.
Organization Theory broadly deals with:
- Structure of a firm - Design of the firm - Managing Uncertainties - Organizational Politics - Organizational Culture
The organizational failure results from ill-structured forms, high levels of uncertaint…

What they teach you at B School

Your learning should be for lifetime and MBA is no different!

In an endeavor to bring an idea about what is taught in a B School, I am thinking of writing and collecting the most useful chunk of every subject I learn in the B School that will be useful for the entire life. And I believe these writings will be useful for all the readers. Please let me know your comments!!

Please note that these collections are based on my understanding of the subjects and those concepts which I think will be always useful in our professional and personal life. Please feel free to add your own resources in the comments which you think will be beneficial for the readers!

Also note neither 20 lectures or case discussions with full of energy, debate & discussions nor a complete subject can be written and understood in a single blog post. Please consider this only as a bird's eye view or a refresher!

Quarter 2 - A retrospective

Second quarter went like a bullet train. My  mind is still fresh with the basics of macroeconomics and probability; but today, a lot have been covered and also I have completed those courses.

This quarter was very hectic with lots of quizzes, extra sessions and assignments. Organizational Theory was the most interesting subject and statistics was the scariest! Another reason, why this quarter was fast because it was eventful with our Business Fest; a conference for Product Mangers; a couple of industry talks and finally the open house for next year admissions.

The subjects in this quarter were more demanding, interesting and two of them the foundation stones for many of the courses to come The classes I enjoyed the most were our OB Professor's with his 18+ years of gyaan and jokes. I believe I will be able to comprehended more the articles in business and financial papers with the Macroeconomics classes. We got a gist of six sigma with the statistics classes and also it applicatio…

Book Review : Complete Business Statistics

What can I say about this book? Simply superb!
There are some books which I fell in love with, Complete Business Statistics by Amir Aczel & Jayavel  Sounderpandian is one of them. When I started the course, I was totally blank. With the high rigor at the school, this book helped me to reach to some level in understanding the concepts!

It explains well all the concepts of introductory statistics lucidly. The way the authors handled the use of excel is also good. The most important thing which I liked was the templates of the books. It really helps (caution: it may also be counter productive). It also covers the basics of advanced topics like multi variate analysis, chi squared tests and decision making to good extent.

I strongly recommend this book for any introductory level business statistics course. The only cons I was noticing is real life problems. But I am sure in the latest edition, that would also be included.

Don't forget to use well the companion site @ http://higher…

Book Review : Organizational Theory, Change and Design

Organizational Theory, Change and Design, Indian Edition by Richard L. Daft was one our prescribed text books for the core course on Managing Organizations. However, this was also one of the typical examples that can happen in a B School were, we rarely bank on a text book since the reading materials and cases provided by the Professor is exhaustive enough for a life time!

However, I had read majority of the text(at least as a novel :) ) and found the book extremely useful and interesting. This book provides a solid theoretical foundation along with real life examples. I liked the way the author started each chapter with a real life case and explain the objectives of the chapter.

However, in many sections, it was written in a very theoretical, philosophical way which looked to me to be in-practical or confusing.

The 4th edition (India Edition) covers briefly all aspects of organizational theory starting with uncertainties to modern topics like aspects of globalization and impact of in…

Case Interview Resources

Web Resources

http://caseinterview.com/
http://www.casequestions.com/
http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~jgsmcc/the_interview.htm [This link has all the resources you need under one umbrella]
Kellog Consulting Club Resources


Guides:

Vault Guide to Case Interview
Case in Point by Marc P. Cosentino


How to approach a case interview?

Book Review : Macroeconomic Policy Environment

Macroeconomic Policy Environment - An Analytical Guide for Managers by Prof. Shyamal Roy was one our prescribed textbooks for this Quarter's core course on Macroeconomics. It is in fact written by one of IIMB professor.

This book is predominantly targeted for Indian context and hence I feel a good read for all Indian B School students. At the same time, you will not see any flaw in terms of international contexts. This book is highly recommended for those who like to understand from a real life scenario perspective about Indian economy, concepts that a manger should be aware of and how the various economic factors affect a manager's decisions

The attractive thing about this book is its written in a lucid manner, which even a layman can easily understand. All the concepts are explained in a simple manner with very less equations or mathematical treatment. It covers all aspects of economy starting from GDP calculations to aggregate demand/supply to monetary & fiscal policies…

Long Days.........

Wasn't it a holiday, wasn't it a weekend??

It doesn't matters for us :) lectures, quizzes, exams and industry talks !! this is a typical day here.

And today, irrespective of being a Sunday, I worked for more than 8 hours on an assignment we need to submit this week!!!

It has been quite sometime since I wrote here and I believe, no need of explanation :)
I am planning for a night out - not for studies, but to watch a movie ;)

Closing the post with a brief on the talk by Mr.Subhash Dhar, Senior Vice President, Infosys that we had last Saturday. He is also an IIMB alumnus. The talk was predominantly on the Indian IT services sector and opportunities for MBA graduates in IT/ITES industry. He started his speech with his life as an IIMBian, struggle in start ups and technological firms and finally about his stint @ Infosys.

Some of the interesting facts he stressed on were the consumerization of IT and its impact on the corporates and the way they look at the new trend. He noted…

Book Review : Marketing Secrets by Peter Spalton

Well, I picked this book since it was small and with a hope that all real life secrets will be available under one umbrella. I had to attend an interview in short notice, so there was no chance to read Kotler and all which I haven't seen yet.

May be because I was expecting too much, to be frank, I was disappointed.

The book is written in a very lucid way explaining from the basics to some tips touching online marketing. I liked the way how he explained some sections like how to develop effective marketing mix ("shoot with a rifle, not a shotgun")

This book serves the purpose of a quick and easy reading to understand some gyaan on marketing; at the same time touching all aspects of marketing. I think, if you are already in the field, this book can be an effective brush up/refresher!

A one time read...

Preparing for India's Future by Arun Shourie

Image
Mr. Arun Shourie an eminent Indian journalist, author, intellectual and politician was one of the prominent speakers at Vista 2010-11, the premiere business festival of IIM Bangalore. He has been an economist with the World Bank, a consultant to the Planning Commission, India, editor of the Indian Express and Times of India and a minister in the government of India.

Here is a personal excerpt from the speech he delivered on "Preparing for India's Future: Challenges & Opportunities"

The session started of with the Director of IIMB, Prof. Pankaj Chandra reassuring that India is diverse not only in terms of culture or religion, but more in terms of the skills she posses. Indeed, we are doing well economically and socially.

Shourie started his talk by emphasizing that India is in a good position and continuously improving its hold on the world economy. The sad part is that we ourselves are underestimating the capabilities of India. Comparing India with China, he mention…

Was this my cup of tea?

ps: this post may be demotivating!

I am really fed up...scared, irritated, and whatever negative thought you can think of...

WHY? You may ask. Unfortunately I am in such a situation...so far 1/3rd of the second term has been over and I have no clues what these subjects are all about? Already two quizes over, another scheduled for this week. Mid terms from Oct 15.

In a B School, there are three things you can look into academics, extra curriculars and sleep. General notion is, you can concentrate on at most 2 out of these three. But for poor souls like us, PGSEMers there is one more to look into - Job; and for more unfortunate souls, a family too to look after. That way, a bachelor like me is a little lucky :)

I am Engineer by degree, by profession, but I hate maths; I don't know why and when I became like this.

Its regrettable, if the Professor who teaches Quant is in a different level from those like me and he expects much more! I never thought, I will be interested in HR; howeve…

My First B School Fest!

Participating in a b school fest was one of the things I was looking forward to when I joined IIMB.

Where else will you get this chance? pitching your ideas to VCs, fighting for the idea you put forth to the best brains and intellectuals in the country, making strategies for the startup or making financial forecasting for exciting new venture ideas. The two days of IIMB's premiere business fest, Vista 2010-11 went just on a fly. I didn't participate in any competition, was afraid :) however, was still a volunteer :p It was really a good experience and a learning for other events if I am participating!

The second day was more exciting with wonderful participation from the corporates. The second day hosted four corporate events including two business plan competitions and a quiz. The b plan competitions witnessed arduous way up convincing the judges about the strategy plan for the cases given. The classroom witnessed fierce discussions, the finalists trying to convince their ide…

How to become a good product manager?

Last Sunday, I attended India's first ever Product Mangers Conclave. Interestingly it was organized by PGSEM students in collaboration with industry. Some of the sessions were hard core product management stuffs, future challenges and opportunities. For a person like me who is not a product manager and just looking for various areas to look for after MBA, the sessions on careers and product management were of more interest. Here is a personal excerpt from some of the sessions I attended.


Let's start with Who is a Product Manager? The one thing I kept of hearing was Product Managers are the CEOs of their products. The more catchy part was Product Managers have a better chance of becoming the actual CEOs :) Wikipedia defines product manager is the one who investigates, selects, develops, products for an organization, performing the activity of product management.

A person that usually focuses on inbound planning activities to increase a product's perceived value to the custom…

123 Business & Management Resources

Quarter 2 begins...

Literally, quarter 2 started with a bang with a professor sending more than 50% of the class out of the class second day itself. ;)

This quarter we have again three subjects - Organization Theory, Business Statistics and Macroeconomics. One professor is really old, one very tech savvy and the last one young & a US return :)

I think macroeconomics will be interesting - at least I can better understand the newspaper articles on GDP, inflation & RBI actions :)

A side effect that I can expect this quarter is more usage of open source tools especially spreadsheets and statistical packages, though I have Excel 2007 with me :) Our Professor is a an open source enthusiast!

This month is going to be again very busy with parents visiting, a conclave coming next week and a major B School festival in the end. I wish to participate in some events in Vista....lets see.

By the way, I won an election unanimously :p I will be the coordinator for Branding and Communications Cell (BnCC).

India Product Managers Conclave

Image
With the growing importance of Product Management in the Indian industry context, IIMB invites you to the India’s first ‘Product Managers' Conclave, 2010’. The event aims to leverage the vantage position of IIMB to pitch fork the aspirations of the industry to realizable heights. The event would help Product Managers and Product Marketing managers to discuss, debate, network and work together for common goal of excellence in their fields.
industry 

IIMB invites all the stake holders of product management to be a part of the conclave and enrich the event.

Visit www.iimb-pmconclave.com for more information and agenda.


India Product Managers Conclave

Book Summary : The Mckinsey Way by Ethan M. Rasiel

Image
I believe this is one of the titles, most of the B School students will read. Also, a plethora of summaries, abstracts, tips from this book are already available in the internet. Still here is my notes from the book:
Caution : Don't expect you will think like a Mckinsey Consultant, just by reading this book! I believe no learning will be equal to actually being a Mckinsey Consultant :)
The Mckinsey Way written by Ethan M. Rasiel provides a good insight about the company, its consulting processes, some of the frameworks, life of consultants and tips for aspiring consultants. 


McKinsey & Company was founded in Chicago in 1926 by James O. ("Mac") McKinsey, an accounting professor at the University of Chicago, Booth School of Business, who pioneered budgeting as a management tool.
The three pillars of building a solution @ Mckinsey are:
1. Fact Based 2. Rigidly Structural 3. Hypothesis Driven
The Firm promotes clarity of thought and expression. Every document has to follo…

Quarter 1 - A retrospective

3 months passed by as a B Schooler. Days were flying; still can't believe one quarter out of ten is over. Sometimes I feel happy there are nine more to go; sometimes I frown, only one is over; nine more to go :)

It is a memorable time and will be for at least for awhile. I met and made new friends, some of same age group, some old some of same wavelength some out range league :) Studied and applied (really? ;) ) applied three subjects, which I felt were interesting at least in the beginning and I am sure will benefit me some time in life.

I learn t to read an annual report, understood some Games All Accountants Play (GAPP :p ), understood something about pricing, OPEC & cartels, some gyaan on Strategy, price wars and so on. Among the three subjects, I enjoyed Strategy, though I didn't participate much in the class discussion. The interesting part was when the Professor finally agreed that strategy is 50% luck!

After years, did some academic projects, debated a lot during t…

4 Principles for Effective Requirements Lifecycle Management

Image
IBM Innovate 2010 happened in Bangalore on August 17 & 18. I attended an interesting session on "Ensuring Project Success: Four Principles for Effective Requirements Life cycle Management" by the IBM Rational Expert Dr. Keith Collyer. A small excerpt from the talk:

ps: The excerpt is based on my understanding of the session. It may or may not be what the speaker intended to.

Since this was an IBM Rational Product/Development Conference, his thrust in the beginning itself was on the use of tools for effective requirements management, which I also agree to an extend. The software and the systems are becoming more complex than ever day by day. So is the time frame of projects. Effective requirements management is as important as the effective development or testing or project management. The four principles that Dr Keith stressed on were:

1. Recognize the needs of all stakeholders
2. Use structure to manage complexity
3. Encourage collaboration across the life cycle
4. Promote t…

Entrepreneurship Workshop by Prof. Sunil Handa

Yesterday I bunked a class of a top IIMB professor to attend a session by a top IIMA professor :p

However I was not disappointed. It was some of the first best sessions, I had till now @ IIMB. It was the Entrepreneurship workshop organized as part of the event Eximius, the Entrepreneurship Summit at IIM Bangalore.

How more motivating can a session be more than this! At the same time not with just only motivational gyaan! but also the hard facts and some cruel, real life things that can be expected from an entrepreneurial career.

Prof Sunil Handa started the session informally with an intriguing question "Why are you here? " After some intersteing answers from audience like "I have floated a company now; would like to get some tips on how to move forward", "to understand how it is like to be an entrepreneur from your experiences", "always wanted to attend a live session of the famous Sunil Handa" and so on... he started talking about our well kno…

Pehel 2010

Image
July 30 - Isn't the Pehel tomorrow? - Noway!
July 31 - Shall we postpone it to next quarter?   
               Or Shall we have it on August 7/14?
               Finally, Director - its confirmed; we have to conduct Pehel on August 7

              WhatTTTT?

Though all behind the scene works were about to be finished; we were not really sure of how prepared we are to conduct our first ever program in a week's time.

However, today I can write - it was a grand success!!! The way people chipped in when the need aroused was simply superb!

Started with some very nice fun games for kids and couples, pull in for the crowd was easier. I am sure all should have enjoyed the old balloon shooting, tattoo, caricature & the pyramid games.

The formal event started with the Director & Chair person's speech, and later from our always present Professor Singh. I am sure, many of us will be interested in his elective :) Later the DML awardees were given the certificates. It was nice to…

chaos!

Another hectic weekend; though still interesting :)

Got the Microeconomics mid term paper - good score ;) 4 more weeks in Quarter 1. Have to submit two projects in 3 weeks. In one group, we haven't yet come to a conclusion on which is the topic we are concentrating on :P (One looses temper explaining his/her view; other looses patience; another is trying to resolve the issue and i am keeping myself as a silent spectator :). ) For the second project, the Professor is still teaching the area on which we have to concentrate as part of the project, so can leave it for the time being! . For the third project each one of the group is banking on the remaining seven :P

And finally, the date for Pehel is fixed. The date was back & forth changing and finally it will happen on August 7th. So many problems & back offs :(.  We were in the campus printing the invites, putting it in the notice boards, inviting faculty & informing seniors till night. I am relieved some 6-8 guys are th…

Book Review : Financial Accounting A Managerial Perspective by R Narayanaswamy

Image
Financial Accounting: A Managerial Perspective by R Narayanaswamy covers well the basics of accounting starting from the basic accounting equation. One attractive thing about this book is that it has lots of problems in every chapter :) If you have time and ready to do, you are with the right book. The book also have a good amount of business cases, though with no analysis.

One thing I liked the most was the tool that is provide in the student's resources (http://phindia.com/narayanaswamy/student_resources1.php) .

The book covers all the basics theoretically from basic accounting equation to cash flow statement analysis. A good read for getting acquainted with the subject!

Book Review : Microeconomics by Pindyck, Rubinfeld & Prem L. Mehta

Microeconomics by Robert S. Pindyck, Daniel L. Rubinfeld and Prem L. Mehta was the recommended text book for us.

I have to say wonderful book! Less mathematical treatment with emphasis on real life cases and just required mathematical treatment. I never expected this subject will be interesting - not sure was it because of the textbook or the professor :) The book covers at a intermediate / introductory level from the basic of microeconomics like supply & demand to game theory & asymmetrical information scenarios.

I really liked the example cases explained in the textbook. It covers most of the topics in introductory microeconomics. If you can get the solutions to the problems, this is the best book even for a self study :)

The students resources are not so impressive; However as I mentioned earlier, if you can get the solutions to the exercises; its good enough.

Economics - Blogs & e Resources

A good week...

Last week was a good one for me. We got the FINAC mid term paper. To my surprise, it was not as bad as I thought, and was average in the class. One thing which was interesting was even in this level, people were fighting for 1/2 and 1 mark. The microeconomics professor came with a smiling professor since his latest book was released last week & was happily mentioning about it. Then he moved his topic of discussion and said, you may have come out of the exam hall with all smiling faces; but there was a tricky question, for which most of you didn't answer properly!!
The Strategic Management class was also good with case discussions on Indian Airline Industry and Walmart. I participated in both the discussions which had become a rare one for days now. It is interesting to see how we can establish that a firm is 100% successful; at the same time it is full of controversies in reality!

Last Saturday, we finally saw lots of participation from the class for Pehel. We have now formed …

1st experience of organizing an event @ IIMB

Image
Pehel 2010

The first event to be organized by the incoming batch.

Hey! wait, you are already there; you might ask...OK let Pehel is the first event to be organized by the first PGSEM :P It was supposed to happen in the 1st week or 2n week of July. But unfortunately, it has been postponed till 1st week of August. By then, we would have almost completed our 1st quarter :)

This time, I volunteered for those activities in which I have been not so active during college days - communications & stage coordination. So far, the communications part has been good. I believe I was able to contribute individually something. Let's see what happen for the stage coordination.

@ IIMB, anything is possible. I learned (well, a crash course with just minimal tricks) about photoshop, publisher, printing...

As usual, I was able to see people strong & sincere in logistics, program coordination, innovative ideas and also those who are there in the group for namesake :D

After around 4 years, have …

1st set of mid terms over

Things happen so far. I am not able to see how days fly. Still remember the orientation days....ah! already the first set of mid terms is over.

Yesterday, there were two exams. One on Microeconomics - which was easy (may be the Professor knew we are poor souls; but the funny thing is he was scaring us too much and also forced us to attend many tute sessions by his Associate) and the second one was on Strategy which was a case on Apple, 3 hours - nice part was the Professor even arranged a tea for us during the exam :) Our Strategy Professor used to say there are no right & wrong strategy - I would like to extend it by saying there are no right or wrong analysis in the strategy exam also ;) Only GOD knows how much marks will I get!


I thought, since the exams are over, its a relief at least for the next one month. I opened my mail - boom! an assignment in FINAC to be submitted by Thursday! And we have barely a month to give the final projects for two subjects..So the tough time is n…

weekends are getting more hectic!

6:30 AM - 7:30 AM Travel (to IIM)
8:00 AM - 1:30 PM Classes
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM Exam
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM Again Classes
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Travel (back to home)

And today is Saturday!! To add more, have classes again from 8AM tomorrow. Weekends are getting more hectic compared to weekdays. And today's exam...pathetic, seriously!! I never thought I will degrade to this level! I thought Financial Accounting was the subject, I understood & liked the most among the three subjects; but I was proved wrong today. May be, saying 'if you like an area most, you may not score/do well; also, if you score in an area, you may not be so good at it' is true


Next week, we have 2 mid term exams & 2 cases to analyze. Text book wise , both cover 6 chapters :O And the Microeconomics Professor had mocked us today saying, it will either be tougher or more tougher irrespective of whether it is an open book or closed book exam. And also advised to score as much as possible in mid term, since it …