Archive for September, 2005

Koshied..Kundoed…and Mojoed!

September 29, 05 by Bharani

We have a Presentation for PAEV (Planning an Entrepreneurial Venture) project tomorrow, where we have to present our ideas and defend our venture against 3 other teams who will act as potential investors..Sounds interesting…So to the story, We had to prepare a PPT. Myself, S and N started preparing PPT at 10:30 and winded up by 12:00! The session was ‘highly’ productive. N has many things to be admired about. He says time constraint is the factor which pushes him to think fast and be on his toes. I never looked at time constraint that way…That was a paradigm shift..He has never suffered from “Perfectionist Syndrome” in life…I had major Perfection syndrome before ISB, but I have gradually evolved now to make compromises…

So, S pitched in and said about the change that MBA brings in a person…”To shed the Perfection syndrome”. By the time one graduates out of an intense B-school experience, he/she will understand that the world is full of constraints and no longer will feel burdened by constraints, but rather feel motivated by it…This has been the opinion of 2-3 alums that I have talked with. They compare their pre-ISB experience and post-ISB experience and notice this ability to work ‘well’ under constraints and pressure as a winning change…

Another interesting story in ISB…somedays back, the word “Ganguly” was officially added to OXford dictionary. The word means “To come in and go out quickly”. On similar lines, ISBians have coined three terms! Koshied, Kundoed and Mojoed (Based on the last names)

Koshied – One who bids very high and wins all the courses (and ends up having lesser points for future courses!)
Kundoed – One who bids high and still ends up winning no courses. (This can be generically applied to people who bid rationally and lost all the courses…so I can say I am kundoed in 4 courses :) )
Mojoed – One who gets all the courses with a minimum point of 1 for each course!! (If a course is undersubscribed he will be charged only one point). I mojoed in one course :)

So, one can listen to talks like “People who are kundoed this term will be koshieing next term…People who koshied this term will be kundoed sometime in future term(s)..Mojoeing needs a factor of luck, as you can’t guess which course will be undersubscribed”…Creativity at full flow…ISBians are good at spamming…there are many such spams…

Strange mind…

September 28, 05 by Bharani

At the risk of sounding pessimistic, I am writing my thought process that went through my brain after seeing the bidding results!

“…I felt a stark loneliness surrounding me for a moment. Whoever came to my mind appeared selfish…including close friends…Whatever be the close bonding, when it comes to personal needs and personal care, selfishness takes priority. The future terms appeared full of back-stabbing, ditching, and whatever similar stuff….If this is of any distant indication to recruitment season, God save me…

After all, you are on your own…People however social they might appear, they always manage to take care of themselves…But I am some crazy kind…If I see good social atmosphere, I believe the system so much and become dependant on that…I always does this mistake…

Buddy, this is not a place to be ‘good’…this is a place to be street-smart…to be shrewd….to be cunning, foxy, knavish, wily!!!!

Will I acquire this attributes?…Should I imbibe this into my system? and if so, when will I imbibe this into my system…Sometimes, it’s very tough to change the underlying characteristics..isn’t it??…”

All this in a short duration of 10-30 sec! Then my rational part tookover and consoled me…Now, I see opportunities emerging out of the situation…Subjects like Rural marketing, Knowledge management are appealing to me!!!

PS: I tried just to capture the insecure feeling that I felt for a brief moment…Nothing more nothing less..Many of us would undergo such thoughts at some point of time in life…

Wait buddy!

September 28, 05 by Bharani

The ‘Elective Bidding process’ has engulfed the campus. There are all sorts of techniques, strategies, backstabbing, hiking up the price through rumours going on…I bid for 5 courses, out of which I got only one. Now, I am waitlisted in 4 courses…The course which I got is undersubscribed, so I will be charged only 1 point and the remaining points will be returned back…scrutinizing the strategies followed by others through whatever information provided in the bid reports on the intranet. Waiting game for me…

Fly in the Urinal

September 26, 05 by Bharani

Today’s MO class on “Innovation at Work” was rocking. Tina Dacin, the great professor from Queen’s conducted a small exercise in the class. She asked each study group to come up with a creative ways of improving the Neck-Tie. So all groups went crazy and came with all weird ideas. Some of the ideas can be found below:

1. Electronic Tie with inbuilt Bluetooth capability. This will facilitate Tie-to-Tie Communication!

2. Bio-Sensor Tie which will monitor the heart beat and automatically send signals to doctor wirelessly in case something goes wrong!

3. Making markings on the tie to facilitate adjustment of tie length

4. Bio-Tie and Easy-Tie with anti-stink features. Automatically fills aroma around you in case some girl comes near you!

5. MP3 capability in Tie with headphones and inbuilt microphone to help you in presentations!

6. Spare cloth in Tie to shine your shoes!

7. RFID-based tie. A sort of inbuilt smart-card. Identification facility will be inbuilt. So you just have to swipe your tie!

8. Cool-tie. Coolant around the neck of the Tie!

9. Lie-detector in the Tie!

10. Self-protection Tie for girls! Which will throw itchy powder if anyone troubles the girl!

11. New fabric in the Tie, which helps the Tie owner to adjust the length of the tie, after the tie has been knot!

12. Marketing-gimmick ties. Tie which can be twisted to any shape(according to the product eg. Coke bottle shape!)

13. Retractable tie, which can be shaped to bow-tie.

14. Holographic Imprint of tie on the shirts. No Tie. But Tie-manufacturer wouldn’t accept this solution naturally! so discarded.

15. Tie with hidden pocket to store your money…

and many more crazy ideas…It was a funny session. At the end of the session, she showed us a video on IDEO company and how it manages innovation in the company…Am really impressed with that company, rather that job!

Finally she showed us the following picture(without any words on it) and asked us to find what’s unique in the picture. Then she said the actual ‘funda’ behind this. Innovation at Schipol airport! Weird world….:)

Faff!

September 22, 05 by Bharani

“Art of Faffing”, that’s what the subject Managing Organizations turning out to be. Consider the following:

A stream of research done by McKinsey & Company consultants, HBS and SBS profs culminated in 7-S Framework. Conclusions:

1. There is no single best way to organize!

2. The ideal organization is one that is aligned with or “fits” its environment.

3. An organization is a complex system with inter-related elements, each of which contributes to an organization’s effectiveness.

Wow…that’s insightful. Nearly all subjects in Management are turning out to be codification of Common Sense. But the irony is that Common sense is highly uncommon among common and supremely common people of today. That’s why such research studies are needed I believe…

Instead of naming the degree as Master of Business Administrations, one should rename the degree to MCS – Master of Common Sense!

Another key take away from MBA, (sorry, MCS) is usage of 2×2 matrix. There is even a book written to illustrate the power of 2×2 matrix. “The Power of 2×2 Matrix: Using 2×2 Thinking to Solve business problems and make better decisions”. The authors have captured 50 classic 2×2 matrices in this book. Actually, I have started like this approach. Whatever you try to articulate, if you can fit it in this 2×2 form, it makes the communication easier and brings in that “MBA” Jazz to your ppt :)

Resume workshop

September 20, 05 by Bharani

CAS organized a “Resume Workshop” today. A general gyaan on “Art of writing Business resume” was disseminated.

1. Recruiters expect the resume to have a strong “Managerial” flavour. Managerial functions like Planning, Organizing, Leading and Controlling should be emphasized. Managerial Roles like Interpersonal relationship, Information Dissemination, Decision making should be highlighted.

2. All the Job activities should be listed.

3. Make the resume Achievement oriented.

4. Collate the Job Descriptions, Competencies, and skills based on the target recruiter and job.

5. Wait for Company to broadcast the Job Role to fine tune your resume appropriately.

6. Address whatever couldn’t be addressed in Resume in the EOI (Expression of Interest). All your key personal skills, academic achievements, other minor professional achievements, your interest for the job can go here.

This is the first of CAS initiatives. The following activities are planned for next 2-3 months

1. Profiling/Career Counselling
2. Resume One-on-One Session
3. Mock Interviews/GD’s/Case Study Analysis by CAS
4. Career Seminars/Mock Interviews by Industry experts
5. Talks/Workshops by Industry Experts.

In December, Pre-placement Talks and presentations will happen. Before that, the wishlist of the students like desired companies, desired roles etc., will be collated and a final list of companies will be drawn. Based on the popularity of the company among the students, the recruitment dates for respective companies will be announced.

The Placement Committee is fully formed. Each Placement committee representative will have 11 students under him. He will serve as a bridge between the sub-group of students and Placement Committee. The Placement Committee will serve as a bridge between Entire student body and CAS.

One of the statements made by CAS officer is still resonating in my mind. “The Peer pressure during those placement days will be tremendous. Your friends who got offers would say ‘All the best’ and you will feel miserable to be still in search of job.” He also said, “The people who don’t get job initially are the ones who get 20 lacs or highest salary figures”. “Each one of you have come here with a dream, a goal. Chase it and you will achieve it. Don’t compare yourself with others.” Some people will be terribly confused after 4-5 interviews that they don’t even remember what they said to whom…This year, for the first time, 10 full days are dedicated for placements. No classes, assignments, exams during those period. It’s the period only for chasing the dream. Most of the people will be placed during that period. Whoever couldn’t secure an offer, will continue wage the battle till graduation. CAS will support them fully.

The Placements in ISB is unlike what we see in Undergraduate or IIMs. Even in IIMs, the interview process would not last for days. But here, the whole process is a long-drawn one. Some interviews span weeks. Recruiters come with a free state of mind, as they don’t have to give offers immediately (as they do in IIMs). The upside is that roles, salary, location are all negotiable.

Shortcomings ISB…

September 19, 05 by Bharani

Posted this in Yahoo groups…So, placing it my blog for reference…

Let me type my long-winded answer (Thanks to the term-break that I am enjoying in my home).

Seeing these kind of ‘attack’ mails brings back my memories of Application days. Even I was at times sarcastic/skeptical about few things while I was applying for ISB (but not to the level of MBAAspirant :) ). Believe me, we (admits of ISB’06) had so much of heated debate with our previous batch (Class of ‘05) on various topics like Increased fees, revised meal plans, hidden costs, lack of visibility on placement news etc., etc., Some of the applicants even accused the then students for not showing the negative aspects of ISB and defending ISB at all costs. Exactly the same tempo that you guys are displaying now!

Fast forward 4 months…All those tongues, all those cribs have ceased to exist. After witnessing the ISB experience first hand, everyone is convinced on all the aspects that they complained before. To be honest, I wanted to write about the shortcomings in ISB, as I perceive it. But somehow didn’t materialize. Here are some of the shortcomings (Most of the things are hinted in the blog). This is strictly my opinion. I have zillion positive things to write about ISB. But one should get an idea of the short-comings too…Here goes the list.

1. One year is extremely short and intense than what you could perceive or imagine. At some point of time, I was longing to learn more about a subject, but the time constraint didn’t allow me to do so. In the end, I have marked many things in my ‘TO-DO list after ISB’.

2. Not all faculty are great. Some were excellent (some real superstars too). Some were above average. But there were few, who were just average. In the end, Law of averages puts the faculty rating well above average.

3. Beyond a point, I couldn’t handle assignments in the encouraging spirit. Due to the time constraint, I prepared half-hearted solutions. This is not a problem unique to one-year MBA, it’s common across all educational institutes. Only it is marginally severe in one-year MBAs.

4. Almost 80-90% of the faculty are visiting faculty. This mechanism doesn’t help us to build good relationship with professors. Professors are always reachable through emails. But this can’t substitute the one-on-one in true sense. [Advantages: You get best possible professors from various institutes through this model]. Another concern is the number of permanent faculty in ISB. ISB is making efforts on this front vigorously.

5. Competition. Even though ISB operates on a global model, the competition and academic experience is truly Indianish! This is not the case with other global B-schools. (IIM’s operate on a different model, so the academic competition is expected there). The rat-race is definitely on. Experienced candidates would not be prepared for the rat-race. Mostly, candidates who are relatively fresh from college (1-3 years away from college) and who are from top institutes like IIT tend to perform better. Raw competition sometimes gets on your nerve. Be prepared for this. If you want the positive side of the picture, take this: “If you can perform well in ISB you can perform well anywhere. Just by staying amidst this competition, you will raise your bar.”

6. Diversity. Diversity is brought in only by 30% of candidates. 70% of candidates are from IT background. There is diversity within IT industry, but that’s at micro-level. At the macro-level, diversity is still improving. International representation is what ISB is aspiring and still working hard for.

7. Accredition: ISB is still not accredited. As far as what I have heard, an institute has to complete 5 years before applying for accredition. So, I am expecting ISB to go for accreditions after this year. This is an external factor.

But one important topic stills remains a puzzle. Placements. For most of us (sparing few entrepreneurs), placements is the ultimate thing in a B-school.

Think about the following points:
– ISB has been increasing the batch strength every year by around 20%. Every year it has also managed to increase the batch average salary (by around 10%). This isn’t a simple coincidence.

– The average and median salary figures should be taken as average and median in the true statistical sense. The ‘most-experienced candidates’ and ‘brilliant-for-consulting’ candidates fall in the right side of bell curve. The ‘lesser-experienced-candidates’ fall on the left side of bell curve. Ofcourse, there might be few exceptions or ‘outliers’.

– Leaving aside 30% of diversity candidates, around 70% of the class is from IT industry. Naturally, the kind of companies that visit the campus for recruitments are also skewed towards IT.

– ISB and it’s career assistance wing CAS can only serve as a bridge between Recruiters and students. It’s up to the students to convince the recruiters on their calibre and convert the interview to offers. CAS and Place committee(Student body bridging the students and CAS) works closely with each other to bring the correct kind of recruiters matching the student needs. Rest depends on YOU.

As Ram rightly said, the onus of increasing the batch size is on ISB. It has to work that much extra harder to place the students. As you rightly guessed, ISB does lot of planning before deciding on the student intake. But what surprised me when I joined ISB is the acceptance ratio. Against the 320 estimated intake, 350 joined! While this represents the positive image that ISB has in the minds of applicants, it also throws a fear of extra load during the placements. This has been my concern so far in ISB.

If ISB has been able to attract more recruiters every year, and able to place all the students every year, then one thing is clear. The ISB alums are really doing a good job. One of the strong points of ISB is it’s alumnus. They are working hard not only for their personal glory but also for the brand ISB. I can personally vouch for this. Each and every alum that I have interacted with displays a strong passion for ISB and are making efforts to bring back their employers to the campus to recruit more. Something is really special in this aspect.

We are still in our core-terms, where learning the concepts is important. More career related activities will happen in the later part of the course. By then, we will have more insights to offer. The placement committee is still under formation. We don’t have the details on Placement cap yet. It’s currently worked upon. The general feedback from employers so far is very good.

One suggestion. For very real specific concerns, there is no substitute to one-on-one interactions. Come to ISB. Talk to the students. Talk to the management. Get your queries clarified. From what I have observed the more closer you get to the subject, the more truer the picture you will get. Forums will help you in getting answers for less controversial topics [Admission & application related queries, faculty, infrastructure etc.,]. Amidst this busy schedule, the last thing that students would want to involve in, is a debate with prospective applicants on a topic which can be discussed on and on..

Order of free information flow:
* Friends who graduated from ISB > Campus Visit & student interaction > Personal mails > Groups & blogs.

If I have to say one aspect, which I strongly admire about ISB, it is the willingness of ISB Management to accomodate the feedback. All these faculty list, subject list, infrastructure enhancements, curriculum specific changes are driven by constant feedback.

ISB – Intersection.

September 19, 05 by Bharani

Iqbal…

September 19, 05 by Bharani

Yesterday went for Nagesh Kukunoor’s movie “Iqbal”. Inspirational movie. It’s about a village boy, dumb and deaf, making as a bowler into Indian team. The story spins around his life, the obstacles he faces and his determination. As I went without any expectations, the movie was a pleasant surprise for me. Two songs in the film are also very good. “Aashaayen…” and “Khelenge Khelenge”…Have downloaded the songs and listening…Kapil Dev has made a guest appearance too! As Indianblogger is leaving hyderabad and heading towards his hometown Bhubaneshwar, we had a get-together. All the best B…

Well, back to ISB. Two professors are done with their sessions and two new professors have joined the bandwagon. Both of them are very good. Considering the kind of vague subjects they are teaching, they are doing excellent job. Tina Dacin, from Queen’s University, Canada, is lively person. She knows how to carry the class…

As I write, it’s exactly 1 hour left for count down timer to cross the 200 days mark!

Diary 17th September 2005

September 17, 05 by Bharani

Recently a person has secured admission for ISB class of 2007(courtesy Yahoo groups)! ISB has introduced a rolling admissions for International students (includes indians holding foreign passport). I was totally stumped to see that admissions offers for next year is promptly under way so early. It makes me feel that we are nearing the end of our course :)

Entire class of 2006 appears to be relaxed. Thanks to 3 faff courses. Parties, Inter-section tournaments, cultural shows, Quiz..you name it. Focus has clearly shifted to Placements also.

From now on, ISB student body will be busy organizing events at ISB, participating at various B-school events etc., till the end of January. We have various events like Poseidon, Leadership Summit, Business venture summit etc.,

ISB is offering a course on “Macroeconomics and Policy instruments”. This course is offered by none other than Dr. C. Rangarajan, ex RBI Governer. The courses and opportunity like these makes our investment worthwhile. Tomorrow we have 4 hours of classes on Khemka auditorium.