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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...