Thursday, January 15, 2009


Two things shook me in 2008, one was the unimaginable Chapter 11 filing by our firm and the other was the dastardly 26 /11 Mumbai shooting war.

I hope that we construct a ring of steel that will keep us aloof of such rampage in the future. In the days subsequent to the attack their was anger all around and even I had drafted a post, venting my anger at all, media in particular . However did not publish the post at that time, because felt that it added only snob value. Recently came across the Axis bank's
website which mentions away through which you could contribute to the families of the slain security personnel. This isn't the one and only thing we ought to be doing, but is surely one which is of a positive outlook.

Coming to the Chapter 11 Filing of the firm, it was completely unexpected and took me off-guard from a career perspective. I was not sure whether to come to work , however my managers addressed our issues brilliantly. Till this point of time I was in a world of comfort zone, and my earlier plans for studying further were put on hold due to my sheer laziness. I regretted the decision of deferring my FRM exam. That all changed in one day and after some soul-searching I decided to give all the exams which tell then I had postponed starting with NCFM module Derivatives to the Financial papers in Actuaries. In the meanwhile our firm got bought by a big Japanese firm and all our jobs were saved. However the event posed a larger question on developing one's core competency and I knew that evetually it had to be in Risk. By sheer luck I recieved an interview call with a firm for their actuarial team & some of the questions asked were 1) How many ways can u provide to get the number of black telephones present in the city of Mumbai 2) Tell us the Micro and Macroeconomic impact of counterfiet currencies . Needless to say my interview was superb & I was offered a job in the actuarial team and have lapped up the offer graciously. However, with the joy comes the agony--- of leaving this firm, my colleagues, my managers ...........Indeed one ought to take tough decisions when it comes to career and it is high time that I pull my socks up.

To all my colleagues in the firm , may the very best occur for you guys and God bless all of you.

Before winding up the post, a few souls whom I am highly indebted, here are my personalized notes of farewell.

To Ajit: Without your support I could not have dream t of pursuing further studies.

To Suresh: I will always remember the support and faith extended to me .

To Shyam : I have always valued your advise noteworthy, may you achieve greater heights.

Hopefully, would start posting a bit more regularly .................till then...........ADIEU

Thursday, June 07, 2007

IIM L GD / PI experiences

For the uninitiated, had received a call from IIM-Lucknow for the WMP program conducted in Noida.

GD : The topic of discussion was " Whether governments should encourage the use of open source softwares ? "

We were 6 of us and 15 minutes gave each of us a lot of opportunity to express our views, though in between their was a slight confusion when a participant quoted " Google Earth " as a open source software. Now their is an essential difference between a open source code software, freeware and shareware. As far as the topic was concerned I adopted the middle path quoting pros and cons for both and was happy that had not committed any blunder.

After the GD we were asked to wait outside and were served with cold drinks :-)

Interview : 2 professors P1 and P2 who were also their for the GD .

Me : Knock, Knock.... May I come ?
P1 : Yes, yes .... Take your seat .
Me : Thank you.( Take seat and wish both of them )
P2 is least concerned to what I am saying ... He is browsing through some files ( Probably mine)
P2 : Can I have a look at your certificates and marksheets and eh your salary slips also ?
Me : Sure Sir... Hand it over them.... P1 gives a dirty look to me so as to say that you are so disorganised . ( Anyways by this time I feel a bit comfortable and the butterflies would have taken a break )
P2 : So tell me about yourself .
Me : Blah ... Blah ( had ratofied it )
P1 : So why do you want to join this programme ?
Me : Told him that after 12th itself I wanted to do an MBA ( big mistake ) .... hence took up BMS + 3-4 work ex
told about my future plans and how IIM L can help me in that also praised Lucknow a great deal.
P2 : Not convinced .... why BMS .... looks at my marks( they are horrible ) you have not done justice to the opportunities you have got in your BMS . Your marks are pretty low. You won't be able to take on the rigour here .why don't you give CAT and apply for the regular 2 year course ( as if they have a seat reserved for me ) , you can earn much more than what we do .
Me : Sir I understand that, however please understand that this is something I have been planning for a long time ... blah ... blah
P1 : no but why specifically this programme
Me : (abhey kya inko samjta nahin hain kya ) As I told earlier ....... blah blah
( Least expected that my interview would branch out to my acads ) Also added that" the marks mentioned do not justify the potential manager in me ." ( 2 nd big mistake )
P2: Brilliant answer .... ( me surprised ) ... so why do you want to do an MBA in that case.. you already have the capability to manage. gave me some examples. ( Shot myself i guess)
Me: No sir I want to acquire technical skills , blah blah ...
P1 : Let me tell you that many guys have flunked this programme, so be prepared to work hard (me :-) .. P2 doesn't like it ) in case you get selected :( .
P2 : Tell me something about the work you do.
Me : ( well prepared for this ) Gave him a very short answer. ( Expected the panel to quiz me on this ) No questions asked . ( Mistake and perhaps the biggest ... must have elaborated my job )
P2: What is this quizzing and philanthropy ?
Me: Explained .
P2 : That's all from us . You can take your certificates . All the best.
Me : Thank you .

Overall a very poor show. Would give myself not more than 3.5 / 10 and am pretty confident that I won't make it to the program. Anywhichways was a good experience and hope to handle my interviews better in future.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Return of the beast ...

Had been to my alma matar last Sunday to compete ... errrr... egregiously participate in the 6th edition of the Armageddon Business Quiz. A lot and I really mean it a lot has changed since 2001.

As far as the quizzing part goes it makes me dumbfolded to see some mindboggling questions being answered. Researching the questions itself is extremely tiresome but answering those questions is simply amazing.....I wonder if their is a change in the type of questions which was less of corporate history and more of some brilliant trivia (, Charlene Drain - thanks research ) . Oh yes this was the first time I ever travelled in the college lift and it was good to see the room which was reserved for corporates having AC, cushion chairs , glass boards etc. This was also the first time that I tasted the Masala Pav from the nearby Quickchef reastaurant and boy was it damn good ! And Dhananjay unusally did not pull the legs of the participants or utter the words " Brilliant, absolutely brilliant answer" . Anywhichways we love to see you hosting and winning quizzes.

Hope to start posting a bit more now that I know that writing blogs make lot of money. Down with Celibacy, the beast has come back !

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The Bond Leaves for Wharton

Bond - I cannot find a better word for a ordinary BCom + MCom ( but eccentric or pagal ) guy making it to arguably the best B-School in the planet, Wharton School of Business. Incidentally he is also the owner of the popular MBA forum "" . The forum has helped scores of people get into leading B-Schools all over and all of them are indebted to him immensely. Though the forum started as a MBA centric forum it has beautifully branched its activities into many other areas such as community services.

His story is source of inspiration for thousands of wannabe MBA's . He is already making headlines by interviewing none other than the great Marketing Guru Dr. Philip Kotler . I am sure that in the coming years we will hear more of him and his company.

All the very best to him !

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

" Mumbai Spirit, my foot !! "

The above words were uttered by former Mumbai Police Commissioner Mr. M.N. Singh in a talk show yesterday in a private TV channel in defence of his views that people in Mumbai have become insensitive to such atrocious incidents. So have Mumbaikars really become apathetic ?

My answer is a resounding yes .

I would say that if not " Insensitive " the Mumbaikars have " Resigned " their faith on the Government machinery . The response from Mumbaikars have shown us that despite the failure of the government machinery the common man on the street took the onus on himself
rescuing and helping scores of innocent people. But then their is another hidden picture perhaps which I realized when I talked to people. Some people were sensing an opportunity to invest in stocks as the News Channels all over were beaming the ominous reports of the blasts . Some were very casual in the approach saying that one day everyone one has to die and all that crap . Others said that they had no option but to carry on with their routine life as such incidents take place every now and then. I agree but then does the action of carrying on with regular life due to compulsions speak about the Mumbai Spirit.

For me the Mumbai spirit is about the Hotel owner opposite Churchgate station who served tea and snacks free of cost to to people, its about people who queued all along the roads offering water and snacks , tempo wallas offering transportation to people,blogs set up instantly offering to contact relatives, people queuing up outside hospitals the very next day to donate blood and of course people who were part of the initial rescue operation .But then if you let out your emotions you know such people exist in minority and the fact of the matter is that people ( including me ) have no choice but go back to work in the same old train hoping that they would never become a target . Hope that the city which we all love so dearly never ever faces such incidents in the future so as to question its spirit !!!!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

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Saturday, June 10, 2006

World Cup Reviews

The most awaited sporting event has really kicked off with 5 matches already being played as of now and boy already it has given the footballing pundits a kick in the arse. Here's my take on some of the matches played so far.

Germany ( Hosts ) VS Costa Rica.

Michael Ballack the talismanic midfielder was not playing for Germany and Lehmann was in charge of the post instead of Oliver Kahn. Within 17 minutes 3 goals were already being scored and Germany was ahead 2 -1 and this lasted for the rest of the first half. Normally you would expect a team like Germany to slow down the pace of the game in the 2nd half by playing defensively but instead they displayed their attacking prowess with retaining the classic 4-4-2 formation and in more than one occasion the Costa Rica custodian was brilliant to the task. In the second half Germany did little to slow down the pace and were rewarded in the 61st minute when ace striker Miroslav Klose scored his second for the match and it seemed as if they had done enough to seal the match. But within the next 15 mins Wanchope pulled one back when he smartly cut open the offside trap . Now the match was really gripping and had this match ended with a 3 -3 draw it was as good as a loss for the hosts. But then thanks to a classic long ranger shot by a German midfielder in the closing minutes of play the match ended with Germany scoring 4 goals. From a audience point of view it was thrilling to watch some attacking football but for Germans they need to fix their defense else them reaching to quarters would be unlikely.

England VS Paraguay.

One of my favorite strikers Roque Santacruz and arguably one of the best defenders Carlos Gamarra were up against tournament favorites England . I am sure that they had butterflies in their stomach or else what can one make of the 3 rd minute own goal conceded by the great Gamarra trying to defend a David Backham free kick. The thorn in the flesh this time was a lanky 6'7 striker Peter Crouch who caused ample problems with his height through out the match and it remains to be seen if Michael Owen is kept in the reserves for the upcoming matches with Rooney and Crouch taking on the attacking responsibilities. For most of the first half it was England who had the possession but then occasional brilliance from Paraguay striker Valdez gave a few scares to the English supporters. The first half ended with a 1 - 0 scoreline. Come second half and Beckham and co . were happy to defend unlike their German counterparts and slowed the pace of the game considerably. But then this is one tactic which threw them out of the last world cup when they tried to defend a 1-0 advantage against Brazil only to concede 2 goals. But thankfully for England they could hold on to their goal advantage and the match ended with a smile on Beckham's face. If Paraguay has to progress through to the knock out stages then they need to tighten their midfield and not allow opposing teams to have a go on their goal from 20 - 30 meters as was evident with the likes of Lampard having a go every now and then.

Trinidad & Tobbago VS Sweden

A country with a set of players assembled from a population of a mere 1 million takes on a team having stars such as Freddie Ljungberg and Henrik Larsson . Being the underdogs T&T knew very well that they had to defend ver well and The whole world had predicted that not less than half a dozen goals would be but put past through T&T. But surprise surprise the first half ended with honours being shared and frustration for the Swedes as they were denied by the good keeping of Hislop. The second half starts in a rather poor note as Avery John was sent off after a second yellow. So now it was T&T's 10 VS Sweden's 11. Sweden push hard but it was T&T who miss out to take the lead after hitting the cross bar. As time moved on Sweden pressed harder but were held to a 0-0 draw . Immediately after the draw I changed my television channel to see if Brain Lara ( also from T&T ) playing the test match was knowing what had just taken place and boy was Lara happy.

The match between Sweden and Paraguay in this group should be really cut throat (and unless T&T upset Paraguay or England ) and this match could well decide who moves ahead to the quarters.

In conclusion all I would say is that no team in the word cup fray is a weak link and it is very much possible that a few upsets takes place. A lot of teams are keen on playing more attacking football and it would be interesting to see if my favorite team Italy ( traditionally more defensive ) in action tomorrow having strikers of the quality of Totti, Del Piero, Vieri and Toni also adopt the attacking style. But I think they wont !!