Archive for July, 2005

‘800′ expected for First Information session!

July 30, 05 by Bharani

I am feeling much better after 2 days of rest. Yesterday, I even managed to participate in frisbee tournament. In the evening Dumb charades and a Tamil movie kept me busy.

Tomorrow will be a busy day in ISB. Around 800 prospective applicants are expected to turn up for the first Admission Information session in ISB! That’s a huge number. Admission committee expected 400, but the response is twice as big. Will try to meet some applicants tomorrow along with my colleagues.

The interview for Media Coordinator position is planned tonight. I will be happy if I get the position, even otherwise I will contribute in otherways…

Some of you would have heard about “Asha for Education”, a Charity organization. They organize every year a program called “Work an Hour”.

“….Each year volunteers from around the world come together in a show of great human spirit, to help educate underprivileged children in India. Work An Hour, or WAH, as it is popularly known, is a simple concept. We ask you to symbolically contribute one hour of your time towards the cause of children’s education by donating an hour’s worth of your salary or more. The event symbolically begins on July 4, the American Independence Day, reaches an apex on August 15, the Indian Independence Day, and finally culminates on September 5, which is celebrated as Teachers’ Day in India….”

Socially caring individuals can contribute in whatever small ways they can…Even spreading the word will be a great contribution…


Diary 28th July 2005

July 28, 05 by Bharani

With utter carelessness towards personal health, a form of sickness was inevitable. I was not feeling well for past 4 days. I thought I will get over it somehow. But somehow it happened that I ignored my body, ignored my sleep. Now I have severe mouth ulcers, bodyache and tiredness. I slept from 2:30 p.m. yesterday afternoon till 8:00 a.m. today, with just a break for dinner. Still I am not feeling the general well-being. This weekend will be relatively free compared to next 2 weekends. So will take ample rest while managing the workload and other commitments. I see that the lack of relaxing days in Term-2 break is the reason for this form of ‘tiredness’. Also, when I look back at my own posts, most of the postings have been made in the early mornings [3-6 a.m.]. Gosh! I have realized many times that my quality of sleep is not good, so I have to compensate it with quantity.

I will consciously try to sleep early for next one week. No matter how much I study, there is always something waiting to be read[academic & non-academic]…So, will try the ‘lean’ approach [Skim-listen] for sometime. Have 9 more months ahead of me in ISB, so I better take some ‘rest’ now. Also, it’s high time that I visit my parents. I think I am a bit home-sick too! Term 3 break, I am definitely going chennai…

Diary July 27th 2005

July 27, 05 by Bharani

How did I begin Term 3? I overslept! yes, I missed my very first class of Term 3, just because I overslept!! Well, I don’t have any explanations other than a very conducive climate for sleep and possible sleep deprivation.

From day 1 of Term 3, we have zillion readings to be done each day. Only way to beat the race is to read fast! The reading speed seems to be the weakest link for everyone. You are as efficient as your speed of reading. So, I have been trying to increase my reading speed and so far been able to achieve miniscule success…It is success anyway!

I was reading Operations management chapters and Entrepreneurship case till 4:00 a.m. Just as I decided to sleep, I went to kitchen to drink water. I was surprised to hear “Suprabhatham” from my quadie’s room! So I went and enquired “what’s up?”. He said he slept early in the night so he is waking up now…He then informed me about articles to be read for Leadership Development program. A thought ran over my brain. “I have a couple of cases of oversleeping. Should I risk missing morning class? or Should I continue studying and sleep in the evening?”. My conscience answered “Don’t sleep!”. So I started reading this article by Peter F. Drucker – “Managing Oneself”. Amazing article! Nothing out of the world. But, whatever you knew already has been formalized, organized and delivered to you in a new perspective. Now I am set to read another article “How Hardwired is Human Behaviour?” by Nigel Nicholson. I love reading such philosophical or psychological articles.

I have been thinking about couple of posts. One about passion in life and other about…which I am still thinking about!

I am beginning to do lot of reading. I am reading every 2-3 days about one particular Industry in the world. So far I have covered Pharmaceutical, Advertising, Entertainment, Aerospace industry. It’s not a thorough reading, but a general grab on the industry. In order to make these side-tracks in ISB possible, I have to cut short my time in academics. One technique is to read fast. Other technique is to share the workload with Group. And I am lucky to have such a wonderful study group who is cooperative in almost everything…

BTW, I was surprised to see the following comment in website of one of the leading educational counselling firms.

Bharanidharan, a blogger from the Indian School of Business talks about exams (with class by class summaries)! Yes, not all business school students are presently on summer break. The nice thing about this blog is that it has dozens of links to other ISB bloggers who are documenting their journey through the program. A must for those of you considering ISB.
http://way2top.blogsome.com/2005/07/19/recount-on-subjects/

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  • Term 2 – Break.

    July 23, 05 by Bharani

    Term 2 break is coming to an end. We spent almost 2 full days in Competitive Strategy project. We did managed to submit the assignment on time. We did a decent job. It was not our best effort. We could have done lot better…but we ran out of energy after strenuous Term 2.

    Spent whole of Saturday sleeping, watching movies, Playing cards. Sunday it’s time for studies again!

    I met my Aikya family on Thursday evening. Mr. D.V. Manohar, the owner of “The Hotel Manohar” [Sri Shakti Group] hosted us cocktail party in his Presidential Suite. He is a great Entrepreneur. He has diversified into many different business like LPG, Alternate Energy, Family recreation, Hospitality and Education. Inspite of his success, he was very humble and was a great host. Overall, It was a very fruitful and relaxing evening.

    For past few days, it is raining continuously in Hyderabad. If I am in my room, I normally sit next to my window and watch the rain…It’s a very pleasant feeling. The following is the view from my room in a bright sunny day. I also have a big balcony…I walk across the balcony in the evenings and nights and enjoy the breeze…I think I am the only one in my quad to utilize the balcony..

    I am also uploading the Section-B group photograph taken recently. We had our Section-B day, with everyone wearing the Bright-red Section T-Shirt. The caption of our Section-T shirt is “B transforms Trauma”! It signifies that we are not transformed by trauma, but rather we transform the trauma..

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

    Recount on subjects…

    July 19, 05 by Bharani

    Exams are out and over. I felt comfortable while taking the examinations, with little confusion in concepts[Global Economics and DMO]. That feeling for me was a moral victory and I am not even bothering about what marks I will get, after 2-3 months of uncertain feeling in ISB. It’s amazing what a change in attitude does to one’s confidence. I normally tend to worry lot about the kind of image I create on others, and that invariably leads me into lot of inward consciousness and shortage of confidence at times. I just shifted that attitude and am trying to not worry about what others think about me. My quadie A is a big inspiration to me in that front. He looks very relaxed always and just don’t worry about things…A happy-go-lucky person!

    2 Terms in ISB has passed. When I look back now, I am wondering what are the learnings which are of practical use.

    Economics:
    I hated those supply and demand curve when I had basic economics in my undergraduate days. But I realized now that anything and everything in the world can be represented in this supply and demand format. Somebody was saying “Economics is all about graphs”. I was wondering what that means. But Professor Krishna Kumar, who taught us Global Economics, also taught us how to apply the concepts in real world situations and more importantly to visualize economic situations in terms of graphs! When you learn a new language, you tend to have a lag between hearing the words and interpreting the meaning. But once you have ‘internalized’ it well, there is no middle level translation required. In the same way he almost took us to that stage by making us to intuitively interpret those graphs…Nice. A proper direction has been shown to us. It’s up to us to build the knowledge in economics, by consciously relating to day-to-day happenings. I am not sure how much of economics we will use in Professional front though. Anybody who has better idea can throw some light.

    Buzz terms: ‘Consumption Smoothing’ [lifeblood of many classical graphs], ‘Keynesian and Classical approach’, ‘It depends…”, ‘Comparative Advantage’

    Marketing:
    The take-away has been the Markstrat experience. A wonderful simulation game. We were able to see the pathetic results of ‘hunch’ approaches and realized the importance of number crunching in marketing. But many people might wonder how number crunching and marketing are related. We also got few gyaan on marketing strategies, marketing research, marketing plan etc., Again I am wondering how much of this I will apply POST-MBA. (Most probably I will end up in IT services).

    Buzz Terms: Many to mention…

    Strategy:
    It was nothing but case analysis. 10 cases related to various successful strategies pursued by companies across the world were discussed in the class. The companies were Coke, Intel, Jollibee Foods, J&J, McKinsey, Otis, CISCO, Nucor Steel, Dell Computers and Walmart. Each company had some competitive advantage and we analyzed those and summarized them as take-aways. Corporate Culture, Knowledge management, Diversification, Alliance Strategies, Managing high velocity industries, Managing High Asset industries, First mover advantage, Globalization were some of the areas that these companies excelled on. I would have appreciated if some India-centric cases were included. There are many great examples of successful Indian companies. Hmm…

    Buzz Terms: ‘Sustainable Competitive Advantage’, ‘Value chain’,

    Statistics and Decision models:
    Hopefully this is the last of Statistics that we will see in ISB. We have seen enough of Confidence Intervals, Standard error, Normal distribution, Central limit theorom, hypothesis testing. If first term taught us the skills of Regression [Multiple and simple],this term taught us how to harness the power of computer for dealing with uncertain conditions [Decision making under uncertainity]. We dealt equally with Linear programming [Simple, Integer, Binary] and Monte-carlo simulation. These concepts will be of practical use. We will be constantly applying these skills throughout the course I believe. I will revisit these concepts sometime during this week…

    Buzz Terms: ‘Shadow-price’,’Sub-optimal’,’I.I.D – Independant and Identically distributed’,’Correlation & Collinearity’.

    Accounting:
    We learned to interpret and prepare financial statements. That’s it. A more important subject for managers – “Managerial Accounting” is coming up next Term..

    Only 9 more months in ISB remains…I have developed a bonding to this place. I will really miss this place when I leave ISB. May be that’s the reason why I am not going home even in Term breaks :-)

    25% mark is only two days away…

    July 17, 05 by Bharani

    It’s been busy 3 days. Lots of studies and preparation. But the experience was much better than before, as I am already exposed to the conditions in Term 1.

    Tomorrow we have 2 exams. Global Economics and Competitive Strategy. Day after we have Marketing Decision making and Decision models and optimization.

    I just saw the schedule for next term. It’s mind boggling. We have 4 regular subjects. On top of this we have LDP [Leadership Development Program] and we have an elective subject on Entrepreneurial venture. I am planning to take up that elective. If I take that, then effectively I have 6 topics to deal with! Workload in ISB seems to be an exponential growth curve…

    During the Term break, we have Competitive Strategy project to finish. So wednesday and Thursday will be dedicated for it. That leaves only 3 days for me to relax. The last day Sunday will go for preparing for first class of Term 3…That leaves only 2 days for full relaxation :-( . I also have to start analyzing and choosing the electives. Before coming to ISB I was planning to major in Finance and Marketing, with minor touch on Enterpreneurship. Now my brain is bit fuzzy after seeing all courses. So should talk with alums during this term break (No better resource than them :-) )

    Exam time again!

    July 15, 05 by Bharani

    It’s Exam time again. Everyone has gone back to their shell. But somehow I get a feeling that people are much prepared for exams than they did in Term 1.

    Many people are relying on groups for sharing the preparation load. Our group is doing a good job on that aspect.

    Nothing much to write…I will blog more after the exams…

    Bird’s eye view of self…

    July 11, 05 by Bharani

    Admissions Task force meeting had full attendance. Around 70 students turned up. The Admission committee showed us the presentation that will be shown to the prospective students in info sessions, in their forthcoming tour. The first impression was good. But there were areas of improvement, so we provided some feedback.

    Subsequently, they briefed us on the framework for evaluating students. Each of us will be evaluating 10 applications on an average. Admissions committee’s evaluation will complement this. When evaluating applications we have to be obsolutely impartial, and have to shed our pre-conceived notions and assumptions. As they said, we are evaluating not just an application but also deciding the future of an applicant. So enough measures has been taken to ensure that each application receives full attention. I was quite pleased with the framework. It does evaluate all aspects of application. A single sentence “We don’t eliminate, we select!” sums up the attitude of admissions here. Very Professional.

    Watching the presentation brought back the memories of my application days. The thought of studying in ISB, faculty, Peer group, classrooms etc., was very exciting during those months.

    But now, I am so much immersed in the work load that I am not able to enjoy my stay here to the full extent. Every now and then, I am going 100 feet higher and trying to see what is happening to a person called Bharani. This is what I observe:

    “..He looks very tired. He is not spending time in gymnasium, sports. He has dropped weight. He has changed his hair style to studious look. His time-management schedule that he planned is far from reality. He seems to blabber some new jargons in the day-to-day conversations. He is not calling home often. He is observing the people in ISB very closely and trying to learn from them. He has completely shed his ego and what seems to remain is only his self-respect. But wait….He seems to deal each situation in his life as a case. His thinking pattern seems to be changing course. Economics and business news makes sense to him now. He is slowly dropping his shyness towards girls and doesn’t look down anymore..His listening skill is improving. His concentration span is elongating. He has identified his areas of improvement and working on it…But someone should say to him that he has to continue sharpen his strengths..What is he doing now? Oh! He seems to be writing his blog…God knows what binds hims to that…!”

    Term2 approaches finish line…

    July 10, 05 by Bharani

    Term 2 has been very busy, but I have thoroughly enjoyed it. The courses this term were of relatively more practical relevance than those in Term 1. Global Economics is one subject which I like the most. Except for few relatively poor lectures/sessions, all other sessions in all courses had some key take-aways for all of us.

    We are entering into Final week of classes in Term 2. The week after, our end-term exams begin. The weightage for end-terms is quite varied.

    Marketing Decision making – 35%
    Decision Models and Optimization – 50%
    Global Economics – 45%
    Competitive Strategy – 40%

    Rest of the marks are awarded through Group projects, Case-studies, Homework assignments and Simulation games.

    We still have some of the group works, assignments and projects left. Once that is completed, it’s time for individual heroisms again..

    I am part of Admissions Task force. This year I believe 80+ students will be part of Task force. We really need big number as the number of applications are expected to grow, and we need as many people from various backgrounds to evaluate applications from corresponding backgrounds. We have our first Admissions meeting on Monday.

    My blogging frequency is slowly coming down. But that is quite expected with increasing involvement in MBA program…But I will try to discipline myself…

    Lens for chicken…

    July 06, 05 by Bharani

    “In late fall 1974, Daniel Garrison, president and chief executive officer of Optical Distortion Inc (ODI) had asked Ronald Olson, marketing vice president, to develop marketing plan for ODI’s new and only product – a contact lens for chickens….”

    What the heck? Lens for Chicken!! But alas, we had to look beyond logic, rational, sympathy and emotion to develop a marketing plan for this ‘glorious’ product. During the course of reading and analyzing the case, I learned about Chickens more than I have learnt in my entire life. What is the average life of Hen? How many eggs does it lay? What is broiler (I am a Vegi!)? What is debeaking? etc., BTW, debeaking seems to be a profitable industry too! It was a 15$ million industry in US during 70’s.

    This product is one of the excellent examples of human intentions to make quick money, ignoring the harm caused to other life forms!This product was a result of an accidental discovery…You can find more about the Chicken lens here…

    http://www.upc-online.org/RedLens.html

    Grades of three subjects in Term 1 has been announced so far. I have not done well nor have done bad…Hoping to pull the score marginally in this Term…

    The amount of assignments and effort required for assignments is increasing day-by-day. So is our ability to complete those assignments…Have to wait to see who wins the war…Assignment or ISBians?