Friday, June 30, 2006

Editor's Round Table at ISB

The students of the Indian School of Business, are organising a Mega event - the “Editors’ Round Table” being held on Saturday, July 1, 2006 at the ISB. The event will be held from 2:15 pm to 4:45 pm at the Khemka Auditorium.

The topic of discussion for the Round Table is:

Is the lack of political involvement amongst the youth a threat to economic growth?

We have invited interesting speakers for the Round Table and they are:
Alam Srinivas – Editor, Outlook Group
Kaveree Bamzai – Executive Editor, India Today
CRL Narasimhan - Associate Editor, The Hindu
Kumar Ketkar - Chief Editor, Indian Express Group
Niranjan Rajadhyaksha – Deputy Editor, Businessworld

In a world where professional preferences take precedence over political opinion, and political involvement is restricted to sporadic and half-hearted expressions of solidarity over individual issues - like the recent increase in reservation - the health of the Indian polity is seriously under threat. When political opinion can change the course of countries, it is disheartening to see the world's largest democracy lounge in political decadence; with the youth not doing much to change it. We hope to generate a healthy debate on this subject and sensitise the Indian youth to issues that have the power to influence our future. It will be a pleasure to have you participate in the interactive session during the Round Table.

If anyone interested in participating you can register at

Monday, June 26, 2006

Mumbai Dabbawalahs

Just two days back we had an interactive session with Mumbai Dabbawala association. They spoke about their clock-wise efficiency, low-cost operations. They are really experts at supply chain management. These people are really famous for their clockwise precision in supplying meals and were recently accorded a six sigma performance rating. They have only one error in 6 million deliveries.

What is that really so interesting about them?

Out of 5000 work-force very few understand English. They don't even understand the terms logistics, supply chain management etc. Delivering almost 2 lakh lunch boxes everyday using cycles and local trains and with perfect accuracy of time without using any technology is not the easy thing. Everyone is a share holder in the entire supply chain irrespective of the potential they have or the position they are in.

The few funny comments made by Raghunath Medge (Association President) and Gangaram Talekar in the presentation are

"We didn't even know the six sigma certification given to us. When we were told about it, we wondered what metal sigma was, gold or silver,"

"When we got a call from London that Prince Charles would like to meet us during his visit in Mumbai, we said he could meet us at Churchgate station at 11.10 am as we could not disrupt our regular operations,"

"I don't understand terms like logistics, supply chain or time accuracy...I just know my work is to deliver lunch boxes on time,"

The presentation was very humorous and inspiring. There is lot to learn from these guys. A long way to go. Hats off to Dabbawalahs for their dedicated work.

Here are the few newspaper clippings which covered about Mumbai Dabbawalah's presentation:

Now slowly these dabbawalah's are also becoming tech savvy. They recently launched an SMS service to expnd its customer base.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

que pasa?

Buenos dias (Gud Morning) . Wondering what is this. Some of you might have figured out by now. Yes, I am learning the spanish language. Basically I love learning languages.(That doesn't mean that i know many languages). I know telugu, English, Bit of Hindi, Bit of tamil, Lil Bit of malayalam. In my previous company there are people from different regions like West bengal, orissa. From them I used to learn few words and reiterate those words. I used to have lot of fun talking to them with the very few words I know, in their respective languages. Of course I miss all that now. Anyways am learning spanish to compensate that. I guess I took a good decision to learn the spanish language. Many of my friends asked me where the hell I get time to learn languages. 4 hrs in the weekend is ofcourse a big chunk of time. But I felt, out of the hectic schedule and the trauma we face, this kind of course gives us some pleasure and fun. Trust me guys! Its really fun. But yes even this course has mid-term and end-term:-D

This term is quite hectic than term1. Markstrat is taking almost half of the term2's time. We are supposed to take 7 decisions for markstrat. Till now we finished only first decision. BTW our firm is performing pretty good in the markstrat world and we stand 3rd in the entire markstrat world of 90 firms (As of now). Hope we continue the same for the coming periods too.

Till term1 we used to have assignment deadlines by morning 8 or 8:45. So most of us used to finish the assignments by 2 or 3 in the morning and submit them at that odd hours. But yesterday we have got the DMOP assignment deadline at 12AM. I have seen many people catching their assignments and running at 11:59PM. LRC was totally crowded with the people waiting for their prints at the LRC printer. Check the snap of the log of the LRC printer. This is just the sample.
Loads of work to do. :-(
Adios. Hasta luego (Bye. See you later)

PS: Que pasa? means Wassup?
Markstrat decisions is nothing like fixing some key values to your product attributes, allocating some R&D Budget, allocating the sales force, distribution channels, targeting the proper segments, fixing the price, deciding on production of number of units for each brand etc etc.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Markstrat & Lemonade

Markstrat is the simulation of the real business phenomenon particularly the strategic marketing phenomenon. We were divided into groups and each group represents a firm. E ach firm faces a competitive environment in which four other firms operate similarly. We have to make strategic decisions like brand portfolio, product design, distribution, pricing, advertising, salesforce, Segmentation& positioning strategy, R&D etc under uncertainity. We were given certain budget and we have to allocate the budget intelligently or rather i should say strategically. In the process of this simulation, we have to make 7 decisions about our product characteristics, budget allocation etc stuff.

I am sure this will be pretty interesting as this is just the simulation of real market. Every group will be eager to see the firm's results at the end of the period (after every decision) and the profits/losses they make. But this is gonna take most of the term2's time.

I remember playing Lemonade game few months back which is also just a simulation of real market. But there are no competitors in that game. Its just a monopoly. My highest profit was some $143. If you guys wanna play that game follow the link:

You will have complete control of the inventory, supplies, pricing, quality etc. Based on the weather, price you charge and the quality of your product your product gets sold. Believe me this is really an interesting game. When i played the game for the first time I could just make some $35 I think. See whether there is a budding enterpreneur in you. Report back your profits if possible:-)

Sunday, June 11, 2006


From tomorrow our term2 starts. Good thing about term2 is our classes will be in the afternoon. I am sure most of our section guys crib about this term's class timings as the classes immediately start after the lunch. May be with two cups of tea in the two breaks I can overcome sleep.

Four subjects in this term are:-

1. Competitive strategy (CSTR)
2. Marketing Decision making(MKDM)
3. Decision models and optimization (DMOP)
4.Global Economics.(GLEC)

I am sure I enjoy the subject Global Economics. From the size of the coursepack of competitive strategy, i can say that we are gonna learn many things about strategy, competitive advantage, strategic moves etc. We need to do 10 cases for this subject. One thing which really pricks me is all the 10 cases are american cases. They could have added few Indian cases in the study. Anyways no one is stopping me to read the extra case right! (But where the hell i get time to read. Newazzz for sure i will manage myself to read. Lemme see).

And in the Marketing decision making, I think the markstrat will be interesting. This will be as interesting as the marketing management of term1. And the last subject for the term- Decision models and optimization. Looks this is Quant oriented subject with some statistics involved. Till now i didn't even look at the index of this subject. Getting scared by seeing the size of the coursepack itself.

Just few hours back I came to the campus. Need to read one case and few pages from the course pack for CSTR. Feeling sleepy, but..... can't help. Will try to finish the case atleast for now.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

End of the Beginning

Today is the last day for term1 and we have our term1 exams on coming monday and tuesday. Yes! 2 subjects per day. We learnt a lot in this short period. All the 4 subjects are helpful and we can use this knowledge in real time scenarios. I will try to give the gist of all the 4 subjects.

Marketing:- All we learnt in this subject is, how to market your product, which customers to target, what is the right time to launch your product, how you will be able to differentiate your product, At what price you should sell your product. what is the customer life time value, What is the economic value for your prodcut etc etc. In short marketing is all about serving the consumer needs in a mutual beneficial manner. We did 4 cases in marketing which covered all the main topics of marketing. Ofcourse still there is lot more to learn in marketing.

Small example which we noticed while we are doing our assignment in a group room. There were different markers in the room. On one marker it is written as "Please replace the cap after use". On other marker it is written something like "It can sustain for more than 24 hours without cap". This is nothing but product differentiation right :-)

Micro Economics:- This subject is very interesting. Ofcourse lot of calculus involved in the first half. The main topics we discussed here is Opportunity cost, Marginal costs, Consumer and producer surplus, Monopoly, Oligopoly, Game theory. Generally when we have two options, we choose the option which gives more profit. But while calculating the cost, we never consider the cost we are foregoing by not choosing the other option. That is nothing but opportunity cost.

For Eg: Cost of our education at ISB is 13+1.5+1+miscellaneous = 16 lakhs. What is the cost of not coming to ISB. Our usual salary. On average 5 lakhs(p.a). So the total cost of MBA at ISB is around 21 lakhs. My God!!!!

I cannot explain you all the concepts here. But believe me this subject is really interesting particularly the last concept Game theory.

Financial Accounting:- This subject covered all the basic concepts of accounting, like the 3 financila statements, depreciations, amortizations, depletions, Stocks, Inventory, Bonds,Leases etc stuff. I don't need to tell the importance of accounting in the real life. Without accounting its tough to survive.

Still am not confident in this subject. I guess i need to work hard in this.

Statistics:- Though this subject initially was very confusing (atleast to me) now am able to understand this subject well. It is all about sampling, regressions etc stuff. Statistics helps a lot when we need to estimate or predict, or how to pick up the samples, how to do regression analysis on the samples, how to analyse the results etc.

But don't you think we are bombarded with too much stuff. As I said before, if we are able to finish everything on time, including pre-reads, post reads etc then there is no need to worry at all. Or atleast if one can listen well and concentrate in the class lectures then its fine.

Apart from academics what all we learnt in this short duration:

1. Getting ready in 5-7 minutes. I mean to say getting up from bed at 8:35 and being there in the class by 8:45.
2. Finishing the work perfectly (bug free code i mean) in the11th hour.
3. Taking the photograph of the notes rather than writing it.
4. Giving good excuses if we fail in any work.
5. Sleeping in the class by keeping laptops open or by keeping cap (As Mr. G do in the class usually).
Lot more to write.

For now I will end it here, as i need to do lot in accounting.