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Monday, December 20, 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

Gladwell.com: What is Blink about?

Book Review by Mathew R.Perry

Friday, December 17, 2010

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!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

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 way ready to write a excerpt on the workshop, since me my self is trying various areas touched by Mr. Sanjeeb. May be one day I will write a post on motivating others and living a commendable life! Meanwhile, sharing couple of wonderful videos which will help you to improve yourself and keep with you for life time.

Talk by Prof. Srikumar Rao on this topic:

TED Talk by Prof. Dan Gilbert on "Why Are We Happy? Why Aren't Happy?"

The second event was a public screening of a documentary on Bellary Iron Ore Mining issue in Karnataka. Titled, Blood & Iron: A Story of the Convergence of Crime, Business and Politics in Southern India was created by a renowned journalist, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta.

Monday, December 6, 2010

An Introduction to Organizational Theory

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 uncertainty which are not managed properly and human factors like bounded rationality or opportunism. The degree of complexity, formalization and centralization of authority/decision making dissipates the Organizational Structure. Organizational Theory deals how we can build world class organizations and maintain it to be one. Mintezberg's Model (http://www.12manage.com/methods_mintzberg_configurations.html) provides the authentic view of the affect of structure in organizations. Another important aspect of the structure of an organization is the linkage mechanisms for effective communication and coordination. It can be:

- Pooled Coupling (pooled resources;each unit works independently; Eg: franchisees or bank branches)
- Sequential Coupling (high interdependence; Eg: Assembly line)
- Reciprocal Coupling (Looping communication reciprocally; Eg: hospitals in which communication channel flows back and forth between doctors to lab to pharmacy to lab to doctors).

Linkage mechanisms (Communication) can be:

1) Vertical Or Horizontal or Diagonal
2) Personal or Impersonal
3) Permanent or Temporary (Committees or Task Forces)
4) Advisory or Authoritative

Organizational Theory also studies about the impact of incentives,whether tangible or intangible in order to keep the employees motivated and positive cooperation among each other. These in turn is affected by the structure of the firm and other complex attributes.

Another area that OT deals with is the linkage and coordination mechanisms to manage interdependence within organizations. They include:

- Markets [Commercial Contract]
- Bureaucracies [Employment Contract]
- Clans (An organic association that resembles a kin network without (in majority) involving blood relations) [Psychological Contract]

Market mechanism is effective when performance ambiguity is low; therefore high levels of goal in-congruence and opportunism can be tolerated. The key here is formalization. Clan organization is most effective and efficient when goal congruence and opportunism are low; therefore high levels of performance ambiguity can be tolerated. The key here is socialization. Bureaucracy is most efficient when all three factors - goal in-congruence, opportunism and performance ambiguity are moderate. The key here is to include both formalization and socialization.

Organizations face four facets of uncertainty:

1) Technology
2) Environment
3) Size
4) Strategy

Technology refers to the work processes, techniques, machines and actions used to transform organizational inputs like materials or information into outputs like products or services(Ref: Perrow's Definition - http://www.provenmodels.com/41).

"Different technologies impose different kinds of demand on individuals and organizations, and those demands had to be met through an appropriate structure" - Joan Woodward (http://www.provenmodels.com/39).

Two themes underlay the uncertainty when we take the organization-environment in perspective: One is the amount of complexity in terms of domain,information and change. Second is the scarcity of resources - raw materials, skill sets or financial resources.

The information and change complexity can be resolved with structural flexibilities. Some optimal suggestions are:

- For Medium Sized - Organic v/s Mechanistic(Bureaucratic) - Latest thought is to combine both to achieve high problem solving skills (organic) and efficiency (mechanistic)

- For Large - Buffer Organizations in which buffer departments will directly take care of the uncertainties from the environment and keep the technical core from any distractions

- For Very large - Loose Couplings to minimize subunit interdependence

The resource uncertainty can be handled with the help of favourable linkages, joint ventures & ownerships, control of environment/domain, associations, lobby group etc.

As mentioned, Strategy is one of the important factors that affect the design of an organization. To get a elaborate view on the role of strategy see the post on Introduction to Strategy.

For a company's success, technology, structure & strategy must be aligned.

Some of the other interesting topics that were discussed in my class were:
Managing learned helplessness (Giving up and quitting because you believe that whatever you do it doesn’t make any difference)
Developing Organizational Citizenship Behavior (Going above and beyond the call of duty for the sake of the organization and its mission, objectives & vision)

An advisable format of change in the organizational culture is to start as a clan, move towards bureaucracy, later into market mechanism and finally back to clan. Structurally it is advised from simple structure to professional bureaucracy & product focus to adhocracy with clan control.

The most important Managerial Skills required for a manager or a leader are:

- Planning, Organizing, Coordinating & Controlling (Rational actor model based on task oriented roles)
- Negotiating, Team Building, Maintaining & developing personal network (Organizational politics model based on relationship oriented roles)
- Willing to take calculated risks & having a vision

Another aspect, that the organizational theory deals with is the organizational politics. I learned from the class discussions that politics is not always bad and in some cases a requirement. Read more about organizational politics @ http://managementconsultingcourses.com/Lesson30Power&OrganizationalPolitics.pdf

Last but not the least, organizational politics also deals with organizational culture and its impact on a firm's success. Hear from Peter M Senge about Organizational Culture here

"The successful implementation of both TQM and downsizing programs, as well as the resulting effectiveness of the organizations’ performance, depended on having the improvement strategies embedded in a culture change. When TQM and downsizing were implemented independent of a culture change, they were unsuccessful. When the culture of these organizations was an explicit target of change, so that the TQM or downsizing initiatives were embedded in an overall culture change effort, they were successful. Organizational effectiveness increased. Culture change was key." (from Diagnosing & Changing Organizational Culture by Cameron & Quinn

Organizational Theory also deals with Organization design and development which is an action oriented systematic, continuous and ongoing process of planned change through the application of knowledge of a number of discipline, not just limited to behavioral sciences. Peter F. Drucker in his classic article "The Theory of Business" deals in detail how one should go with it. Some excerpts:

A theory of the business has three parts. First, there are assumptions about the environment of the organization: society and its structure, the market, the customer, and technology. Second, there are assumptions about the specific mission of the organization. Third, there are assumptions about the core competencies needed to accomplish the organization's mission. The assumptions about environment define what an organization is paid for. The assumptions about mission define what an organization considers to be meaningful results; in other words, they point to how it envisions itself making a difference in the economy and in the society at large. Finally, the assumptions about core competencies define where an organization must excel in order to maintain leadership.

The specifications of a valid theory of the business are four fold:

1. The assumptions about environment, mission, and core competencies must fit reality.
2. The assumptions in all three areas have to fit one another.
3. The theory of the business must be known and understood throughout the organization.
4. The theory of the business has to be tested constantly.

There are two preventive measures to keep an organization alert and capable of rapidly changing itself and its theory.

1. Abandonment - Do a thorough analysis of your products and processes every couple of years or an optimum number of years and redesign them if required
2. Study the environment and non customers

To diagnose problems early, managers must pay attention to the warning signs. A theory of the business always becomes obsolete when an organization attains its original objectives. Rapid growth is another sure sign of crisis in an organization's theory. Any organization that doubles or triples in size within a fairly short period of time has necessarily outgrown its theory. There are two more clear signals that an organization's theory of the business is no longer valid. One is unexpected success - whether one's own or a competitor's. The other is unexpected failure - again, whether one's own or a competitor's.

Key Seasoning Lessons in Executive Development (from "On breaking the glass ceiling" by Lisa A Mainiero)

Stage 1: Political Naivete
Stage 2: Building Credibility
Stage 3: Refining a style
Stage 4: Shouldering responsibilities 


Openware/Free Courses:

Lecture Name: 30 - Organization Theory - I by Prof. K.B. Akhilesh, IISc Bangalore
Must Read Articles:

Single Loop and Double Loop Learning, Chris Argyris and Donald Schon
Teaching Smart People How to Learn, Chris Argyris
Diagnosing Organizational Culture, Roger Harrison
The Theory of Business, Peter F Drucker

Reference Books:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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!

Monday, November 29, 2010

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 application in any field of business irrespective of whether it is marketing or sales or finance or even HR

Another myth that was broken this quarter was HR is always boring. I believe I will take some of the elective course in this are too! Another fact that was once again strengthened was that I may not be fit for finance and I am not good @ mathematics (Yeah! I know I am an Engineer, cracked entrance exam in flying colors and CAT to a decent level : P )

Already a Professor taking next quarter's Marketing class has started her duty with mails :)

Next week is a break from classes and studies which was really due!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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://highered.mcgraw-hill.com/sites/0070620164/student_view0/index.html

Monday, November 22, 2010

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 information technology.

I would consider the companion site of the book to be mediocre considering fabulous additional resources provided with other books.

A caution : Out professor used to mention that the newer editions of the book have drastically changed and many, out of focus. Hence would recommend you to clearly go through your course content before buying it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Saturday, November 6, 2010

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 to implications to managerial decision making.

A must read for students and managers!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

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 that the services are becoming more individualistic. As per industry research reports, individual IT services are way above corporate IT services. Once the services are commoditized, 'catering to many' becomes important. The success of a firm will be predominantly based on two factors:

1) Simple and easy communication to the consumers
2) Accommodating financial structure

The above factors fasten the process of achieving and sustaining success in the fast changing IT services sector. Once the services become consumer-centric, as in any other commodities, differentiation becomes the key factor.

Innovative and effective ways of marketing, financial engineering models and changing incentive models to keep the best brains are required and he stressed that these are what you should and are trying to develop in a B School.

On a lighter note, he also discussed on various career opportunities in technology sector and product management was highly commended on! :)

Friday, October 22, 2010

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...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Preparing for India's Future by Arun Shourie

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 mentioned that the major differences are in the Gross Domestic Savings(China ~40% and India ~25% of GDP) and Gross Domestic Investment(China ~40% and India ~38%); India improving in the latter front. This is a good sign.

We are moving from a services base to a manufacturing base. We are reinventing manufacturing with the help from the bright Indian Entrepreneurs(Eg: Bharat Forge, Tatas) and Shourie expects soon India will be the center of manufacturing factories overtaking China. Within services sector also, we are improving in all the fronts. India is now becoming the hub for product design, tele medicine, legal services and you name it, we are!

Many view India as having so many problems, however in Shourie's opinion problems means equal number of opportunities too. Unless we grow deeply across lines and sustain the same, Indian economy will not prosper and become powerful. In Shourie's words, the two great challenges India is facing now are:

1) Creating a resilient society
2) Scaffolding of states in turmoil

and the important thing is the reforms needs to be designed and coming from the former ones. It has to come from the majority of the population - middle class and educated ones.
Mr. Shourie noted that technology plays an important role in leading our future and innovation. He cited examples like tele medicine(country's best doctors diagnosing patients even in the internals of villages) and education. He pointed out that no nation will now be easily ready to give India high technology for any cost since they see us as competitors. So what is the solution? - INNOVATION

Later, he discussed about how to achieve inclusive growth. He mocked that now this word has become a cliche with some examples. According to him, not all opportunities may be attractive to all; it differs from people to people, place to place. He quoted from a Morgan Stanley report that growth in wealth of a nation incurs from (a) Equity (b) Property ownership and (c) Gold price. In India, only 7% holds equity and only 47% live in pakka houses. Mr Shourie noted that initial endowment matters, but what matters more is a good governance.

In India, organization of the society is broad. Small proportion of labor is highly unionized, some have aristocracy, some do not even have access to designated minimum wages. What results is skewed outcomes! As an example Shourie pointed out that, there are no shortages in the schemes for poor in India, the problem lies in the fact that there are so many of them to handle. According to him, some of the suggestions for inclusive growth are:

1) Instead of schemes, go for direct cash transactions. He mentioned that UID is a very good initiative.
2) Individual must be the unit of state policy and must be done by objective secular culture; must be identified through parameters like income level or education level of parents.
3) Target those inequalities which are impeding access to opportunities like malnutrition and education.
4) Don't kill growth solve inequality. Lift the base.
5) Maximize and distribute growth
6) Attend to extreme adversities (Eg: Farmer suicides; the loan amounts of some of them are ridiculously low)

The key factor that we can make use of in improving the rural infrastructure is technology. He also noted that we its a demanding one to improve the skills of labor. Overall we need to improve the governance. According to him, the present format of constitution is not optimal for a population of more than a billion. We have to change this. Before recruiting even a peon in an organization, we take rounds of interviews, where as 60% of those who are ruling us are illiterate! People who are worthy never get a chance to dirty their hands. This is another difference of India from that in China. Changing this is our biggest challenge. And Mr.Shourie suggested some of his opinions on how we can go about with this:

1) Excel in our profession
2) Lobby for excellence in society
3) Do not compromise on our values and never rationalize our compromises
4) Apart from our profession, take one institution for social issue and be an expert on it
5) Change the nexus that business can manipulate Government and civil servants for its own vice

Mr. Arun Shourie was the first personality to see in person after coming to IIMB (Yeah, I saw already Mr. Harsh Manglik ;) but still...). Overall it was a nice talk, however didn't like some instances where he behaved like a typical politician :)

ps: This is a personal excerpt based on individual understanding of the speech delivered. The opinions mentioned in the post may or may not be the ones the speaker intended to.

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; however interestingly, it seems to be attracting me!! - may be because of the Professor or because I can easily relate whatever is discussed in the class; Organizational behavior seems to be a nice area to explore. Unfortunately, I haven't got time (really??; well not in a mood to study at all :p ) to read the text or for that matter even a single reading assigned! Macroeconomics seems to be little better, but it proved the other way to an extent after the last quiz.

In office, the days are getting even worse with an additional responsibility of coordinating a small team. Overall, life is becoming little miserable :(

An interesting FB status from a fellow PGSEMer : "Company claims half...IIMB claims another half...what will happen to me and my better half;) hehe"

Sunday, October 3, 2010

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 ideas to the judges.

The participation in the quiz was marvelous that the elimination round was a tough one to do in the prelims. The quiz master, Thejaswi Udupa did a wonderful job with interesting questions putting his real quizzing skills. The event paved way for some of the best quizzers in the country to meet again and compete.

With all competitions going everywhere, a talk for a change was required; and no one was disappointed. A wonderful, inspirational and informational talk on Challenges in preparing for India's future by Mr. Arun Shourie followed. I will write about this in another post.

IIMB never sleeps, Vista days are no exceptions. A post meridian corporate dinner followed with industry stalwarts joining the student and faculty community of IIMB. It was a good experience with discussion sprawling over industry growth to challenges to academics to family.

The main attraction for the third day was the Media Conclave attracting personalities like Shobhaa De, Gul Panag, Ramanujam Sridhar participating!

Overall the first b school fest experience was a nice one...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

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 customer.
Is Product Manager same as a Project Manager? NO...A Project Manager manages a set of projects. He/She mostly works on managing product development activities.
Whereas a Product Manager manages a set of projects related to product strategy, business model, planning, and other activities throughout the Product Life Cycle. But to an extent, product manager role depends much upon the organization, its size and the industry sector.

What are the roles in the Product Management career path. This link provide a good view on the various levels - http://ask.goodproductmanager.com/2008/08/18/what-is-the-best-product-manager-career-path/

How can one become a good product manager? Some of the tips I heard through out the sessions in the conclave were:

1) Understand the requirements & needs of the customers out there; interpret them and productize the idea. Still customer is @ the center!

2) Thorough market research. Make strategic moves. There may be many problems out there to solve. We should select the right problem that the product manager's team is capable of solving. Facts should rule over intuition

3) Customers are the key to a product manager. However make sure a single customer doesn't rule you

4) Enabling the Sales team, getting their respect at the same time making sure they understand the capabilities and limitations of the product is the KEY. A product manager needs to play the role of an orchestrator for the stakeholders, rather than just another stakeholder

5) Have the courage to say NO irrespective whether it is the key customer or the development lead! (really?)

6) Learn to prioritize and adapt. At the same time no compromise on quality even if you are working for the best brand in the industry! (that is why yours is the best brand :) )

7) Product Manager is the one who have no reportees , even then have to manage everyone in the product team, so learn that skill!

8) Execute like a CEO (Product Manager is the CEO of his/her product)

Some of the success mantras of best product managers:

1) Give the due importance to 4Ps (I have personally witnessed how much time one of the best teams spend time in just picking the right name!)
2) Time the product launch

3) Balance the requirements & features in each version (its not just prioritizing, its the judicious decisions based on facts and domain experience)

4) Always measure how the product is doing (Unbiased and rigorous)

5) Product Managers are the Value Managers!

Below is a good video on how to excel in product marketing and product management career, a panel discussion @ Stanford Graduate School of Business.

ps: The excerpt is based on my understanding of the session. It may or may not be what the speaker intended to. Also I am only a aspiring product manager :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

123 Business & Management Resources

Here is a compilation of links to 123 useful business and management resources. Please feel free to add in the comments any missing resources that you think will be beneficial for all.


001. Harvard Business Review Blog
002. Harvard Business School Working Knowledge
003. MIT Sloan Review
004. Knowledge@Wharton
005. India Knowledge@Wharton
006. Mckinsey Quartely
007. Management Skills Blog
008. Businessblog360
009. The Funnelholic
010. The  Personal MBA
011. Alt-MBA
012. Quick MBA
013. TNMG4U
014. Free Management Library
015. Cranky Middle Managers
016. HBR Email Newsletters
017. Sun Tzu's Art of War
018. Business Balls
019. Billy Cox Blog
020. Mind Tools
021. Software Insider's View
022. BNET - The CBS Interactive Business Netowrk
023. CEO Lessons from the Cricket Field
024. Computer Business Reviw
025. Inside MBA
026. Value Based Management
027. MBA Club - India
028. Net MBA
029. India Business Blog
030. Business Gyan
031. Service Co-Creation
032. Business Intelligence Resources
033. Managing the Digital Enterprise
034. California Management Review
035. Management Internet Library
036. The Knowledge management Center


037. Vijay Govindarajan's Blog on Strategy & Innovation
038. Sramana Mitra on Strategy
039. IT Strategy Blog
040. Consumer Product Strategy blog from Forrester
041. Strategy + Business 
042. Strategic Management Society
043. Blog on Change & Strategic Management
044. M&A Daily
045. Economic Strategy Institute


046. The Leadership Hub
047. The Practice of Leadership
048. Motivation Live 

Time Management

049. 43 Folders


050. Sales Journal
051. The Selling Sherpa
052. The Rainmaker Maker
053. The Growth Guy
054. Idea Sellers
055. Heavy Hitter's Sales Blog
056.  Garth's World - Life of a Sales Guy
057. Sales Blogcast
058. SOCOM Sales
059. Sales Tips - SalesMarks
060. Sales & Sales Management Blog
061. Inside Sales Experts Blog
062. Selling Power
063. Championship Sales


064. HR Magazine
065. CiteHR
066. HR.com
067. HR Guide
068. Human Metrics
069. HR Links - Nottingham Business School


070. Vitamin Integrated Marketing Communications Program
071. Influential Marketing Blog
072. Euromonitor Podcasts
073. Unconventional Marketing Blog
074. Marketing Practice
075. Business Analyst Times
076. Brand Channel
077. Know This
078. Direct Marketing News
079. Clickz
080. FMS Marketing Club's Blog (Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi, India)
081. IIM Shillong's Marketing Magazine


082. Negotiation Tip of the Week
083. Business Negotiation Made Easy


084. Prof. Jayanth R. Varma's Financial Markets Blog (IIMA Professor)
085. Financial Edge
086. Financial Management Training Center
087. Niveshak - IIM Shillong Finance Magazine
088. CiteFin
089. Barkley's Comprehensive Financial Glossary
090. Numa Financial Web
091. Wachowicz's Web World  WEB SITES FOR FINANCE STUDENTS
092. Currency boards & Dollararization
093. Digital Dashboard from WSJ

Product Management

094. Product Management Pulse
095. Ask A Good Product Manager
096. How To Be A Good Product Manager
097. The Accidental Product Manager
098. The Cranky Product Manager
099. Product Management Insights
100. Launch Clinic
101. All About Product Management 
102. Software Product Manager
103. On Product Management

Project Management

104. PM Student
105. PM Podcasts
106. PM 411
107. Cutting's Edge Project Management
108. The Project Management Hut
109. Gantt Head
110. Project Reference


111. Startup Nation
112. Your Story - Where Entrepreneurs connect
113. HBS -  Entrepreneurship Resources
114. NEN Online
115. Pluggdin
116. Kauffman - The foundation of Entrepreneurship
117. Stanford University's  Entrepreneurship Resources
118. 1000 Ventures
119. Zero Million
120. http://www.entrepreneurship.org/
121. International  Entrepreneurship
122. StartUp Blog
123. MIT Enterprise Forum

Sunday, September 12, 2010

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).

Friday, September 3, 2010

India Product Managers Conclave

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.


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

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Book Summary : The Mckinsey Way by Ethan M. Rasiel

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 follow the MECE rule: mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive.

The consultants try to solve a problem to the highest possible extend at the first meeting itself: Creating an Initial Hypothesis(IH).

To structure your IH, begin by breaking the problem into its components - the KEY Drivers. Next make an actionable recommendation regarding each driver. Later breakdown each topline recommendation into Benefits & Issues.

The above exercise will lead to an issue/solution trace. For testing the IH, recheck all the IH of team members; check for other possibilities.

-> Understanding the 'right' problem is the key.
-> Don't reinvent the wheel. Every problem will be similar to another; but at the same time unique.
-> Don't make facts fit into your solution
-> Make sure the solution fits for your client. ( A wonderful business solution is useless if the company lacks the resources to follow the advice.)
-> Sometimes problems may be unsolvable (suggest alternatives)

Ethan later talks about various rules that can be applied/checked for problem solving like:

- 80/20 Rule
- Don't boil the Ocean (Smarter analysis)
- Find the KEY DRIVERS (that affect your business)
- The Elevator Test (You should be able to explain your solution in 30 seconds)
- Seize every small opportunities while solving a problem (these will boost the morale and your credibility among the clients)
- Always think of the big picture
- Learn to say "I don't know"
- Don't accept "I have no idea" (Challenge it irrespective of whether it comes from others or from you yourself!)

The second part of the book talks on 'The Mckinsey way of working to solve problems" i.e how Mckinsey implements the model in a day to day basis by going through a real life like case.

Ethan argues that the right way to sell a service or a product is not to barge into your customer with samples and glossy pictures of benefits; but to be there at the right time and make sure the right people know who you are. Mckinsey never sells or advertises, it markets by very valuable insights and publications.

Set definite milestones which you can achieve. Don't give false impressions.

Later he talks about how important teams are in Mckinsey. The success of team is in forming the rightly skilled members. Also he talks about how teams are kept in harmony. However these seemed to be just general gyaan on team building :)

An interesting advice is "The first rule of success in a hierarchy is: make your boss look good. To please your boss, do your job well. Keep your boss informed, but not overloaded with information."

Later, Ethan talks about how a consultant takes the interviews with the clients. Prepare well with checklist before the interview and start the interview with general easier ones before moving to specific and sensitive ones. 7 tips for successful interviews:

  • Have interviewee's boss set up the meeting
  • interview in team/pairs
  • listen carefully
  • pharaphrase - analyze a subject's answers thoroughly
  • use indirect approach to get to a topic
  • don't have long interviews
  • use columbo tactic

All work done, but without presenting it well, there is no use!

The final parts of the book talks about how to survive @ Mckinsey and Life after Mckinsey...

A good read indeed!

Monday, August 30, 2010

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 them, and spend some night-outs. So far 6 exams, 5 assignments, 3 subjects and a quiz over. So far interesting.... :)

Was part of organizing an event, attended another B School event and going to contest for an election!

Quarter 2 starts on September 10. A tough mathematics subject awaiting... :(

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

4 Principles for Effective Requirements Lifecycle Management

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 the use of a consistent process

How can we identify what all are the needs of the entire stakeholder community? - Usually a very lengthy, complex essay format explaining the requirements in a short will not help to identify the requirements properly. An exercise in clear and concise descriptive writing is the key.

Whether we are working on the problem or the solution we have to analyze the gist of:

The best ways to identify the answers is to explore & use the various approaches. Requirements understanding is not merely technical, but its more about understanding people. We have to understand the problem as much as we do the solution.

Recognizing the stakeholders need starts with understanding, whether we are working on the problem ( state what stake holder's want to be able to do - capabilities)  or the solution (state what the system must do - function) . The three things to be aware of are:

1. Defining the problem  - What are we trying to do? (WHY?)
2. Defining the solution   - What our solution will/can be for this? (WHAT?)
3. Designing the solution -  How are going to do it? (HOW?)

A proper structure for requirements helps us to:

1. Understand context
2. Assess completeness
3. Identify repetitiveness / conflict
4. Navigate / Search requirements

Creating templates is the next level which can include document structure, boiler plate text, requirements template & project templates.

Another useful way of improving the identification/usefulness/navigation of requirements is using attributes. Some of the examples are identifiers, types, priority, status, performance etc

The underlying idea behind the principle of using structure to manage complexity is to use abstraction levels. Define the problem at different levels - we should first discuss in the stakeholder's language rather than developer's language. The general rule of thumb is to provide as much information as needed - but not more & avoid design at early stages. We have to ask, why you want to do this until we reach the root of the problem.

How can we move from one level into another - decompose the requirements according to the level. The decomposition can be into for example, high level requirement, system requirement, design requirement, components requirement and so on. Efficient use of UML diagrams and use cases can be used in complement. Next is the allocation of various sub system of requirements to high level system requirements. This will help us to understand the questions we asked, why are we building this -> where is it implemented? -> how do I test this component? This traceability is important to show the answers to the management/governing body.

The next principle, encourage collaboration across life cycle is essentially requirements management across the enterprise :  Starting with the Board - setting the vision to the Developers - Using the lowest level requirements & tools. The next important thing is requirements definition & management should be integrated into the product life cycle.

The final principle - promote the use of consistent process is essentially, automate the requirements process. The key is that we should be able to measure the requirement process. A typical benefit the traceability can be easily achieved using a tool. Also, many of the quality standards & processes like CMMI requires measurement. Effective requirements realizes quantifiable savings and with a tool you are able to measure it. Using a requirements tool, the whole flow is possible - document structure, attributes, filter to focus, view related information & view historical background information

Thus the benefits of effective requirements life cycle management are:

1. Greater Confidence (For all stakeholders)
2. Ability to manage change
3. Improved customer / supplier relations
4. Visibility of progress / status
5. Improved cost / benefit decisions

Sunday, August 15, 2010

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 know phrase:

"Oh Man!, again today I have to see the **** boss; I want to quit the job today!"
"I should not be working like a slave like this! I should do something different!!"

The thought provoking question he was continuously asking was "What is stopping you from doing these??"

The typical answers were:

1. Lack of competency & network
2. Social Obligations (barriers from kins)
3. Lack of investment power

He counter argued for each of these by mentioning his views which were truly thought provoking. Some of the excerpts:

Working in a company for 2-3 years will not help you to build a core competence or a influential network. Even if you are an MBA from IIM, you will just be placed as an employee, say as Marketing in charge for a product in a region for a country in the firm with many products, above which many groups & hierarchy. You will not gain much by working in the profile even for 5 years to start a firm; better you can start it straightaway. If you are adamant that you will start only after a couple of years of working, go for a challenging job; a self example he explained of taking up the CEO post after graduating from IIMA of a firm which was seized by bank because of bankruptcy.

I liked the way he kept on saying, "what are you? A Management Trainee! ; I am the chief executive; even if its a bankrupt company!!". The point he was trying to make was, even though he spent less than 2 years there, the experience he got was more than even if you work for 20 years! because you will have to deal with every aspect of the business; make the decisions & trade offs.

Some of the other aspects he discussed were on the number of partners, one should look for:

- If you are saying my partners are like minded; you will fail! What you require is those who complement each other. We need a visionary & an executor, a missionary!
- One person starting alone a company is not advisable since you will be just stretching yourself a lot. With regard to this, a person asked whether hiring all the best people out there and put to work will help? Professor's answer was NO: If that is the case World XI would have always won against any country; Coco cola would have been the best software company today; Infosys would have entered steel market today. The point he was trying to make is always not the investment alone matters; it is the core competency!
- 2-3 Partners is the optimum; More than that is like too many cooks spoiling the soup!

Next for the social obligations/barriers, his views were again thought provoking:

If you cannot convince your parents, kins; how are you planning to convince the customers, the employees, the Govt: .... You should learn the art of being cruel or professional or rude or adamant or whatever you call it! You should believe in your instincts. The couple of things I liked the most in regard to this discussion were:

1) Don't always try to please everybody. You will have to make some calls. Also don't sugar coat in your discussions thinking, "what the others will think about me!". Put what you want cut and straight. Also, learn to draw a line - make the other person understand couple of times, third time, literally kill him, if the person is not coming into your terms or find another way! to get what you intend to.

2) What your parents really mean, when they say "Son, business in not your cup of tea; why take risk". They say this because the way their minds are tuned because of their 9-6 jobs. However, you should understand that, they aren't really against business, they just want to see you as:
 (a) A happy person
 (b) Financial sound to some extend
 (c) A respected person & one who bring pride to them

So, as long as you can convince them that these are all possible by being an entrepreneur too, then what else you need!

With regard to the last point, that its tough for a middle class person to raise capital, he argued that, at the present condition, raising even 20 L is not a tough thing; If courage is there, anything is possible! He explained about his own journey and the Renuka Sugars' journey.

Some of the other aspects he touched were:

- Any market is infinite in a country like India. He touched the examples of sugar industry, the IV bottles & his company etc. It doesn't matters whether the industry is profitable or not; what matters is whether you are profitable or not in it.

Generally he advised, too much of calculations is not needed; some craziness and illogical thinking are required for entrepreneurs :)

Finally, he talked about women entrepreneurs, which he mentioned is even tougher. He advised either be solely concentrating on career or think something once the family is settled!

Even though the session was mesmerizing, I am not sure how far a middle class person can still take the huge risk, given a decent paying job out there.....

Some other posts on his talks/sessions:




ps: All the views/excerpts in this post are my interpretations/opinions only. It may vary for others!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Pehel 2010

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


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 see some one receiving the same with their children on the stage.

The star events of the evening started after these with a traditional start - a Kannada solo song. Later the event really spiced up with dances & songs. Finally closing the event with a cultural parade showcasing the diversity of IIMpur... I forgot one thing, it was indeed a family event with performance even from the extended family members of PGSEM!!

This was one of the best Pehel in the near past. This was the unanimous opinion from the senior batches.

" we had a lot of fun and the event was one of the better ones we see at PGSEM...."
" Fantastic job guys... well planned - well executed!"

PGSEM 2010 rocks!!

It was indeed a wonderful experience for me too.

  • contributed to posters,invitation,buzz mails
  • spammed a lot!
  • talked to 'THE' Director of IIMB & Chairperson of PGSEM couple of times
  • did a little stage coordination
  • invited faculty & met the professors who selected me for PGSEM @ IIMB :D
  • participated in a cultural fashion parade :P
  • worked closely with some of the new friends, whom I am sure will be having long lasting relations

What more can one expect from the first event @ a B School!!!

Pehel 2010 in Pics...

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


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 there who are ready to somewhat run behind things. And I am back now creating some spam :) and in parallel writing this post(Sunday 2:19AM)...Its really hard to keep every stakeholders in mind while  organizing an event :( I wish & pray the event becomes a grant success.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Book Review : Financial Accounting A Managerial Perspective by R Narayanaswamy

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!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

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.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Economics - Blogs & e Resources

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Book Summary : Time Power by Brian Tracy

Last week, I took the first book from IIMB Library. I have no time even to read the text books issued; so didn't plan to take any text books. I saw relevant book for all like me -

Time Power by Brian Tracy. Here is my summary:

Brian starts the book with usual motivational stuff to attract to the book & time management in general. He talks about the 3 myths or barriers to time management everyone may face:

 1. It affects the naturalness and spontaneity (You will lead a mechanical life!)
2. Negative Mental Programming (I am like this by birth :) )
3. Self Limiting Beliefs (I don't have the ability!)

Brain continues the book by explaining some of the techniques you can use to be more effective and improve your performance like:

1. Use positive self talk
2. Visualize yourself as highly efficient
3. Act the part
4. Benchmark against the best (Have a role model)
5. Become a Teacher
6. Be a role model to others.

I liked the three Self Esteem Builders :

1. Determining Your Values
2. Striving for Mastery
3. Knowing What you Want

This book is full of good tips & tricks like:

Twelve Proven Principles for Peak Performance
The Seven Practices of Time Power

new habit pattern formation takes about 21 days of practice and repetition
Some of the tips that Brian Tracy explains in this book are:

- "Your ability to clearly and systematically create goals, and plans for their accomplishment, will help you more to achieve success and happiness than any other skill you could develop."

- How to achieve your goals faster & remove the obstacles.

I liked the four ideas for personal organization:

1. Neatness Is a Key Habit
2. Stand Back and Evaluate Yourself
3. Refuse to Make Excuses
4. Work from a Clean Desk

Further, Brian explains in detail how to set the priorities. Nice to see he also mentions the Pareto's Principle

Four Steps to High Productivity:

1. Set clear written goals & objectives
2. Develop detailed plan of action for aceiveing your goal
3. Set clear priorities
4. Concentrate single mindedly on important thing you can do to achieve your set goal

When you accept complete responsibility for achieving your goal, people will emerge to help you and guide you along the path to your success. But when you make excuses, blame others, and expect them to help you, they will ignore you and avoid you. When you look to yourself first, you are far more likely not only to be more successful, but to attract into your life the support of the people you need. If you look to other people to help you achieve your goals, you will almost always be disappointed.

to be continued....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

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 lots of sub groups and assigned tasks for each. The SAC Senior members were furious on the way we were handling the organizing since we haven't got the green signal from Director so far :P So finally, we decided to postpone the event to August 8, Sunday.

We have started slowly the projects. We have to submit two by August 21 and another by September 4. Lets see how sincerely we can do them ;)

1st experience of organizing an event @ IIMB

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 been participating in organizing a college event. As usual lots of roadblocks, challenges; but budget seem to be not a constraint here.