Monday, January 23, 2006

PG Mumbai Meet !

What happens when 21 pagals sharing a common unique bond meet at a particular venue ? A big blast and traffic block of course :-) . (PG stands for the best MBA community online ) . Among the pagals someone who stood out was a guy who was in his first year MBA from Pune but managed 5 IIM calls despite hectic acads. Then there was another fellow who had 99.5 %ile with no calls and then we had some mere mortals like me. All the pagals came together at a hotel in downtown Mumbai past sunday where we had dinner and thereafter proceeded to Juhu beach for sharing some more quality time. More on the meet here . ( scroll down for pics )

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Why do IIMs want to go abroad ?

Lot of discussion and heated exchanges are going around on the issue of whether it is proper for the IIMs to go global and so thought of chipping my 4 annas. ( could not resist ! ) . However my comments are restricted as to understanding the rationale of IIMs to set up a centre abroad .You have the liberty to decide whether it is right or not .
Let us first look at the 6 IIMs and then try to look at out as to the reason why the IIMs are keen to go global. Out of the 6 IIMs A, B and C are the dream destination of many aspirants and over a period of time have strong recognition among companies and students in India. IIM-L no doubt is a hugely upcoming institution but to think of it as in the same league as IIM -A, B and C would be wrong . As far as IIM - I and K are concerned although they are a IIM brand still I have seen some people preferring the likes of XLRI and FMS over these IIMs. So what I am saying is that practically it would be feasible only for the top three to open up overseas centers. No disrespect to the rest three ( i would be more than happy to get here ) but they still need some time before they possess the debonair for setting afoot the bigger pie.
If you do a SWOT analysis for the IIMs you would quickly understand that there are a lot of threats and competition for the IIMs from within India from institutes like ISB , SPJAIN etc and then you have some of the cream which reckon that ivy league schools are any day better than IIMs . This stand is due to the lack of brand penetration of the IIMs in the Global market. It is very unfortunate that even after conducting one of the toughest tests in the planet and getting the best of students ,these reputed institutes don't figure among the Harvards and Whartons of the world. This is because the selection procedure in IIMs is more based on your CAT score ( read quant ability ) rather than focusing on the overall profile of the candidate which includes quality workex and leadership qualities. Their is a gradual change perhaps and that is the reason that IIM - A has come out with its one year PGPX course for people having around 7 years of workex.
Moving on if you review the current job market, a lot of foreign MNCs have set up their regional centers here in India and some of them offer a executive MBA from some eye candy Bschools in the US. The graduates who had formerly used the route of going to an IIM and then grabbing a job now have the ecstasy to go for a workex of about 2 - 3 years in a top MNC and thereafter apply to a top US B-School. Should I say that nowadays grads are becoming wiser !
Though it is next to impossible that IIMs won't get outstanding students but increasingly the number of the students opting for a US Bschools would be greater. This puts pressure on the IIMs to recast their existing strategy to be the best in the world .
In order to counter any scare of being the numero uno in the field of imparting MBA education atleast in India and likewise planning for the future growth I reckon some of the IIMs have decided it was better to go global . When the economy is booming and lot of US and European MNCs are setting up their centers in Asian region , it is the best time to showcase the research and consulting prowess for our prestigious institutions by moving into busy corporate places like Singapore or Dubai.
My wish is that we create many more versatile institutions such as the IIMs so that the demand for management education can be catered in our country but at the same time being in a fast moving global environment it might not be a bad idea to go abroad and set up facilities which promote learning from both the sides .

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Devils Advocate Rocks !

Thats the name of the show which is hosted by Karan Thapar and whose guest this week was none other than the media savvy Pak. President Gen. Pervez Musharaff. This is the same man who had taken the then Vajpayee government by surprise during the Agra summit when he addressed a section of the media in a " chai party " of which the Indian govt. was taken by surprise . He came across as a person who was very dynamic and charismatic leader . Years have passed through and I till very recently maintained that he still was an impeccable media savvy politician in my eyes.
But all that changed on hearing his inane remarks on the show cast on CNN IBN Live. It was more of a stress interview for the poor General as he had tough time countering the questions from Karan Thapar. The very first thing is that I hate to see all diplomatic efforts on full throttle once a year during the Indo-Pak series. If one needs to sincerely move any further in dialogues then the process must be continuous in nature. Coming back to the interview a couple of statements by the General made me bounce of the floor laughing ! One of them was something like this "The Pak army is a professional unit . It has fought 2 wars ( General ji forgot Kargil and also that Pak lost all the wars it fought ) . Its not like any Banana Republic " . Though not hilarious one another thing that he mentioned was that the Indian Army move out of 3 places Kupwara, Baramullah and Srinagar . ( General ji is trying to build a palace in mid air ) . During the whole interview he was countered by Karan Thapar that he will think 10 times before having an exclusive interview with any Indian Journalist. Bravo Karan !
But then the final statement summed up the whole interview. Mr Thapar said at the end of the interview "General Musharraf a pleasure speaking to you on Devils Advocate. " Mr Musharraf shot back saying that " Thank you . The name is very correct . " This was the only answer which impressed me of the General.

Mr. Thapar next lets take the case of Mr. Kiran More.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

A peek into History

It all started when one of my friends casually told me that this whole Aryan Invasion was a big sham. And I thought Aryans should be credited for the origin of the word Xenophobia. Duh ! On a more serious note I was taken aback, afterall this is what we have been all taught consistently in schools and the very little of history I remember. I was a bit amazed by hearing his statement and so thought to venture into history on my own. Fortunately landed my hand on Nobel laureate Prof. Amartya Sen's Argumentative Indian which opens a new dimension to the whole history of India . For instance in his book Prof. Sen mentioned that Buddhism was prevalent in India for nearly 1000 years ! Though very hard to digest this truth , I have been forced to believe that this might have been really possible.

Let us take the Indian mythology. There are 10 incarnations of Lord Vishnu which includes the following Malsya , Kurma , Varaha , Narsimha, Vamana, Parshurama, Srirama, Balarama, Srikrishna and finally Kalki. Now there is a another version which claims that instead of Balarama it was Gautam Buddha who would be the incarnation of Lord Vishnu and to a great extent I believe it is true. As per the hindu mythology it is a well known fact that Laxmana who was Lord Rama's younger brother in Ramayana was in fact a incarnation of the Seshnag ( The Snake on which Lord Vishnu rests. ) . Now Seshnag reportedly requested Lord Vishnu that he be the elder brother in the next incarnation which was gracefully accepted by the lord. Hence the theory that even Balarama is an incarnation of Lord Vishnu may not be afterall true. But then are always different schools of thoughts which at times may be outlandish. All this leads one to believe that Gautam Buddha was indeed an incarnation of Lord Vishnu but then I am still confounded as to why Hindus don't regard Buddha as one of their deities . Well it may be little difficult for anyone to prove that Buddhism was a dominant in our country for 1000 years but certainly it did influence great kings like Ashoka and even today maintains a unique tang.

It seems the mythology debate runs through even our history for as recent as 200 years. While researching stuff on our history I found that our recent history seems to have been forged and has various different schools of thoughts. Due to this we may afterall never know the true heroes and the villains in particular who screwed our country and everyone will have a different school of thought, many of them brainwashed with the help of our corrupt historians, educational system and the media.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Government intends to curb adulteration of fuels.

Finally it seems that the government seems to be taking some action after the unfortunate death of S. Manjunathan , the IOC officer. As per new reports the quality of fuels would also be checked by independent bodies. I am not sure how much of this would actually have an impact on the local goons who sell adulterated oil with healthy connection with the politicians. Anywhichways as of now for more on this please check this link.