Monday, 28 January 2008

ISB - Ranked 20th in World

I could not blog regularly, so I thought that I should not blog at all. However, the news is such that I just could not hold myself back.

ISB has been ranked at 20 in a list of top Global Business Schools. Wow! What an achievement for a school that is only 6 years old.

The story of ISB is indeed amazing. At a time when MBA was viewed as valuable and possible mostly for students freshly out of an under-grad school, ISB initiated the concept of minimum work experience of 2 years. At a time when 2 years of MBA programme was a given, ISB initiated a one year programme. Many thought that it would not be possible to ensure quality education in a years span. However, contrary to expectations, the one year program actually turned out to be the biggest strength of ISB. Many experienced people found the opportunity cost of 1 year worthwhile and best faculty found the scheduling of classes feasible to come on a short trip, give lectures and move back. There are many other interesting facets that contributed to the success that ISB today is. However, I’d rather leave them for another post or for some one to properly analyse them in a structured case study.

For now, I’d like to rest and join the campus going wild in celebrations.


Tuesday, 2 October 2007

'Section' that became 'Whole.'

Today was the last class for Term 4 and our last class as Section E – probably the 'most rocking' section of Class of 2008. I dare say there were many who envied the section for the unity and the spirit of togetherness that it had – but thats besides the point. [Ok guys! we all like to blow our own trumpets, right? I blew it for my section ;-) ]

I still remember the initial few days in ISB before the sections were formed. It was like a lost world. One felt suddenly lost in huge pool of 450 students. It was only after the sections were formed that formal and informal groups actually took shape and we, at least I, felt comfortable in this huge crowd. The beauty of our section was that the section itself became a whole – a whole big group.

We had some of the most amazing times together, be they

In cheering for our Section in sports competitions

Birthday Dunkings

Our section parties

Theme Dressing

Or our last day as a section today.

We were always a close knit circle of friends having “the time of our lives.”

There could not have been a better person than Professor Ramana Sonti to do the cake cutting honours for our last class as a section. Professor Sonti is perhaps a testimony to the fact the resident faculty at ISB are no less (in some cases, may be even better) than the top notch visiting faculty form the top notch universities of the world. (Thank you, professor, for making learning a greatly enriching and 'fun' experience).

The section part of the Section E might be split into several sections from the next term based on the electives that each one of us opts for, however, the ‘whole’ that developed in the section, I hope, will last for a much much longer time.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Coin-Box initiative on ISB website

“There is so much to talk about, but so little time…..” standard cliché it is but absolutely true for any student of ISB, especially for me. I keep thinking that I will write about a particular thing on the blog. However, by the time I find time, the issue gets stale and I end up not writing anything at all.

I wanted to write a post on the ‘coin-box’ (Yes, another post on it. If you have heard the word ‘coin-box’ for the first time on my blog, read the link posted in the end) but conveniently forgot about it. Nevertheless, here it is.

The ‘coin-box’ has become quite famous and quite a star. The initiative was carried as a news item on the ISB website and was widely appreciated by all the students and also by many eminent people in corporate and academic field. Some of the mails that I got appreciating the initiative were really heartening. The best was perhaps by Dr. Krishna Tanuku who saw this simple initiative going way forward.

Read the story at

P.S. Yeah! Finally I managed to post another post fast and also keep it short! Hope I’m able to do that more often.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Secret Behind India’s Twenty20 World Cup Win – Me!

Outrageous! Is that what you said on reading the title of the post? I can give you statistical proof that it is me who is really behind the Indian victory. Don’t believe me? Read on.

I found perfect ‘statistical correlation’ between me not watching the match and the Indian cricket team doing well. I ran a regression analysis on several data points, with each point recording my watching the Indian team play and the actual happenings in the match. Believe it or not R2 came out to be 99 % (For those with no stats background it means that my not watching the cricket match and Indian team doing well are closely related to each other).

I did not watch the first match between India and Pakistan and India won. All excited about the prospects of our team, I watched the next match with New Zealand and India Lost. I didn’t see the next match with England and again, India won. My friends somehow noticed this ‘correlation’ and didn’t allow me to come near the television set in any of the matches. Result? India won all its matches to reach the finals.

I believed that it was a case of statistical correlation and not of a causal relationship. Hence, I dared to watch the finals. But guess what? The moment I entered the hall in which the match was being screened live in ISB, India lost its first wicket. A couple of my friends saw me come and banished me from the hall. I somehow, slowly managed to again sneak into the dark of the hall and gosh, India lost its second wicket! I could not understand why this was happening. I was again blamed for the loss of second wicket and now no one would allow me to set foot in the hall.

I desperately wanted India to win, so I went back to my apartment and kept myself away form the live telecast. On and off, I kept following the score on the news channels. In the last couple of overs of the Pakistani Innings, believing that Pakistan had no chance, I dared to switch on to the live telecast and saw four sixes being hit by Pakistan. My heart sunk. Was my watching the match really so bad for the Indian team? It could not be. I convinced myself and stayed put to watch the last over. First ball bowled: a huge wide. “Switch off the TV, switch it off,” my heart told me, but my mind wouldn’t listen. Next ball: a huge Six hit by Misbah! I was aghast! “Shucks, I thought, I actually bring bad luck to Indian team,” and immediately switched off the TV. Dejected that I had put India in a losing position, I move out of my room. But the moment I moved out, I heard huge roars of victory all over the campus. I came running back to switch on the TV and to my great joy, found that India had won the match.

"Yippppeeeeee," I screamed! My sacrifice and efforts had finally born the fruit. “My sacrifice?” Is that what you are asking? Hey, who do you think won the match for India? Jogi, by bowling that silly ball which even Boycott's mom could have hit for a six? Man, it was not Jogi but me who won the match for India by switching off the TV at all the right moments, the most important of all being the last ball of the match!

P.S. If you are convinced and would like to thank me for my 'efforts' then you can send some of the prize money being given to the team members to me also or you could also just thank me by leaving a comment on the blog (Well, I’m quite considerate you see). And if you don’t believe me, you could mail me and I can send you data of my regression analysis....:-)

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Manthan at Tata Institute of Social Sciences

This post is to raise a toast in honour of all the students of the TATA Institute of Social Sciences (TISS) in general and the organizers of ‘Manthan,’ the flagship event of TISS, in particular. Man, some hosts the students of TISS are! The warmth and hospitality they exhibited during our stay in their beautiful campus is truly remarkable.

I and other friends of mine went to the TISS campus in Mumbai to participate in the finals of an event called ‘Anveshan – The Assessment Centre,” designed to select the “Best Managers of India,” and were floored by the royal treatment meted out to us and the other participants. We always had someone escorting us to wherever we wanted to go or needed to go. We just had to ask and there was a volunteer to help us out – actually we didn’t even need to ask! In fact, we felt a little embarrassed by the importance being given and asked the organizers not to bother much. However, for them it was not a bother at all but in fact a great pleasure to help us out and ensure that we had a great time.

The event (Anveshan) itself was really enjoyable and well designed – except for the results. I didn’t win, so I can’t obviously say that the judges were right, can I? ;-) Nevertheless, the event was won by my other friends from ISB so I didn’t have any real reason to complain. ISB actually made a clean sweep at Manthan, also winning Udghosh, their B-Plan competition.

I, personally, had a really great time at TISS and this has a lot to do with the great company I had of the student organizers of Manthan. Renjeni, Shamil, Vaibhav, Shibashish, Yuvaraagi, Mandip (hope I got your spellings right. Do mail me if that's not the case) and several others. A big thank you to you all guys for making our stay at your campus so memorable. You can count us to make your visit to Hyderabad and ISB as enjoyable, whenever you choose to visit us. I am not sure if we can match your hospitality but nevertheless we would try. We would love to have you all as our guests at ISB and have a chance to express our gratitude.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Hyderabad Blasts - questions worth asking.

There are certain aspects about the blasts that seem to be ignored in the media. Some of them are given below:

First time children have been targeted (Lumbini Park is essentially a Children's Park). It has always been religious places or localities with large populace of particular communities that have been targeted. Presuming that terrorists are actually behind the blast what brings about this change in strategy?

Gokul is a very busy place. Gokul Chat Bhandar is a place always crowded with people. You would not find an inch of space to stand in the place. How could someone plant a bomb without anyone noticing? It should not be difficult to find out form the people about any suspicious objects placed at Gokul

How was a ‘terror-hand’ unearthed within an hour of the blast? What is the info that prompted the police to ‘declare’ terrorist intent behind the blast?

Explosives found at 16 other places. What the heck are the police and indeed the political establishment doing? Intelligence agencies have warned time and again that Hyderabad had become a beehive for a lot of terrorist sleeper cells. Yet, no action or efforts were visible at the ground level of any efforts made to unearth the sleeper cells.

Why does no one ever get caught for such blasts?

Why do such acts always happen in Congress regimes? This is no outlandish claim but perfectly verifiable fact (You could browse the net for a chronology of the incidents). Hyderabad was prone to communal riots and terror attacks before NTR became the chief Minister. While NTR was the CM hardly any incidents of this nature happened. However, once NTR lost power and the Congress came back, the incidents of communal and terror disturbances resumed again. They stopped when the TDP party of NTR came back to power. Hyderabad saw a long period of peace for 9 years under the TDP regime (Chandrababu Naidu replaced NTR as the Chief Minister after a year). Unfortunately, the TDP lost power again and guess what? The communal disturbances and Bomb blasts have resumed again. Who is in power? The Congress Party.

This comes as no surprise to the Hyderabadis for most of them know where the priorities of the Congress lie. The people here have a special phrase to describe the Congress regime – “Mana Rajyam” or ‘our government.’ The ‘our’ in this phrase, however is not the common man but the powerful businessman, leader, politician or a powerful goonda or a terrorist. These sections have great freedom to do what they want that is why they call it their government (‘Our Government’).

Man! I’ve already written a lot……Can’t write more – have two exams on Monday. Will try and update more once the exams are over.

Let us pray for all those who lost their lives in the blast and also for those who engineered the blasts. May God give the perpetrators of the crime good sense to see and realize what they are doing.

Friday, 17 August 2007

Blog-Life Balance

Well, it has been a long absence from the blog. I had been giving a lot of time to the blog at the expense of other activities. So, I decided to stay away from it for while but not this while. I’ve got the blog-life balance all messed up. Will be working towards getting it right.

A lot of ‘river’ flows down the bridge in ISB in a matter of days. We had speaker sessions, more speaker sessions and yet more speaker sessions at ISB in the days gone by. We had Prof. Jeffrey Sachs, Rajat Gupta, Kush Medhora (CEO of Home Solutions, a Future Group Company) and a host of others who shared their pearls of wisdom with us. However, the most impressive of all were our guest faculty for the PaEV (Planning an Entrepreneurial Venture) course – Manish Sabharwal from Team Lease and Sanjeev Bikchandani and Hitesh Oberoi from InfoEdge (the team.

Manish Sabharwal was a revelation. He spoke non stop for 90 minutes without ever losing the audience’s attention. Not a single pause, no umm….aahh….fillers and a brilliant inspiring speech. I was floored by his wax-eloquence and his knowledge.

Sanjeev Bikchandani and Hitesh Oberoi walked us through the trials and tribulations of their entrepreneurial journey. Their, especially Sanjeev’s, faith and belief in the idea and passion towards entrepreneurship were so inspiring. Both of them were quite modest about their success and had none of the airs usually associated with great achievements. All along their presentation I was looking for the factors that made them successful and gave them the competitive advantage over their competition. For some reason, I felt really glad that they succeeded and I really wish them much greater successes. They inspired so many of the students to actually take up entrepreneurship rather than look for placements – this to me was the biggest gain of this session.

Hope to be back with you all soon after setting my ‘blog-life’ balance right!