Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sometimes being the lowest cost producer doesn't help !

More than a month since I posted anything. Came across this interesting article from the Economic Times which outlines the woes of Indian FMCG companies, which seem to be having a problem selling their exports at international prices (higher than domestic prices) in markets other than their home countries because of under cutting my the merchant traders. Infact they seem to be facing the heat from their own brands in the international market

Well not unusual its an arbitrage opportunity and it will be explioted no doubt. Companies like Marico seem to have learnt their lessons and are offering market specific packaging a with local language covers. Every problem.. is an opportunity for an innovative mind afterall.

Friday, November 19, 2004

Work, Family, Personal Life: Why Not All Three

We have lost the capacity to fall in love, for many reasons, but above all else because we take ourselves so incredibly seriously.
(Rabbi Shmuley Boteach)

Before you think am into some mushy/preachy kind of stuff, this is a quote from a article covered in HBS- Working Knowledge series. The quote was made at Möbius Leadership forum session titled "Walking the Tight Wire: Family and Career, Finding the Balance".

There were three spaekers at the conference, Myra Hart (HBS professor), Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, a popular speaker and author and Scott W. Ventrella, a management consultant & an adjunct professor at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business.

Two take aways from the whole story....

a) Work & Family life balance is being covered in business schools and not left to self help books and such similar mentors. Also means they have more competition at their hands now :)

b) I hope I am not sterotyping but, what struck me was, the proff's(a female herself) research work was specifically done with female graduates of HBS. According to her about 40 percent of HBS female grads take time out from the workforce at some point in their careers to either raise families or pursue other options such as working at nonprofit organizations etc. If this is the case in Harvard wonder would be the percentage for females who attain higher education in India.

Wonder why men don't have to do that. Though work life balance as an issue started with men, it indeed has bigger connotataions for the fair sex. In case of men it is more about giving attention to family while in case of women, the issue somehow boils down to her having to make a choice between the two.

Why is work life balance not an issue for the males? Two possible expalnations can arise. either u expect & appprove of males neglicting one of the two. ( No need to specify which one would not get their attention). Or is they we force males to put a strong face, not come out with rheir problems and not ask for help in trying to live a better life because its not manly enough? I guess either of the explanations is not the kind what we would rationally approve and yet we continue with age old traditions.....

Interestly if this was not all , the Rabi had another observation about equality of sexes. According to him,

women have fought for equality and in so doing have lost their souls. They have responded to the model of the classical hero...Equality for women was a step back for women.. real greatness is where you don't have to prove yourself constantly

(This reminds of a little tiff I had with a team mate this evening over some project work. My rather weak attempt at delegating a difficult part to him on the pretext that he is a guy, was met with 'try to a behave as equals' retort)

Anyways....maybe i'll go with the proff's opinion....

I think you have to look at how you value your choices on multiple dimensions.... People shouldn't just choose work based on prestige or salary.....If you're satisfied with the kind of work you're doing and the place where you're doing it, you will be successful...... And so you will open up doors you can't even imagine. But if you let others define what success is…then it's easy to lose sight of yourself.

Let the woman of today define her success. Maybe this is the only way she can lead a balanced life.

Online ads.. more

Well continuing from my last post, this piece from Vikram's blog is a must read.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Ad spend is growing but, aren't you missing the point ?

Economist.com | Media industry
Was reading this story as to how the advertising industry seems to be back. Revenues for media groups and ad agencies are picking up. What I found interesting was the fact that not only media but also Internet Advertising specially that targeted at the search engines is increasing.

This is in line with a rise of 40%, to $4.6 billion, in the revenues from advertising over the internet for the whole of America during the first six months of the year, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a firm of consultants, and the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). In Britain, such advertising is growing even more quickly, albeit from a lower base. There, revenue from advertising over the web grew by 75% during the first half of the year.

Put all this in the context of the project we did for our Marketing Research course. We found that really net savvy people the sample including students here with 24X7 access and professors (Dr, Madhukar Shukla & Proff Fenn) along with others whom we roped in for our online survey outside the campus, clearly indicated that internet ads are not effective. Forget about purchase intention, internet advertisement did not generate any significant recall.. Not one of them could recall an internet ad with product, brand and usage correctly matched.

Infact I put forward this point when I attended a panel discussion at the imes Group Media Conclave at IIMA.
Yes we do need new ways to target the consumer, as the marketing head of ICICI Prudential mentioned. Infact ICICI Pru's circulating pamphlets through the now famous - "Dabbadwallas" of Mumbai is a great viral marketing idea. One pamphlet being read by a group of 10/15 executives at a lunch table and loads of Word of Mouth publicity after that. But I disagreed with Yahoo India's country chairman Mr Neville Taraporewalla's suggestion. He believed Net is that one breakthrough different medium that can capture customer attention, in this cluttered world.
Not in India, not just as yet......

Infact I still stick to my point, media seems to have lost respect for the customer and probably has forgotten that too much indundation leads to switching off. It has already happened on TV, the trend is fast catching up in case of print and on internet.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Bush or Kerry- My two cents

Nov 2, the Us presendential elections. Over the last few days the media has been ablaze with news about out how Bush and Kerry are tied in the race. Infact this election saw candidates fighting it out on the last day breaking the old traditions.

Another election joke goes that when asked to mention his three mistakes , Bush's answer was..Last Debate, this debate and the next debate. :P

The London based Economist has picked up Kerry over Bush. The Economist tries to do an fair analysis of candidates. Afganisatan thus is as a sucess for America & Bush. Though Osama was not captured, all Taliban training camps were destroyed. And now we have had successful elections there. Even Iraq according to them is not a mistake ( Probably a result of -" The coalition of the Willing" being supported by UK). However according to economist whats wrong was the way the aftermath of Iraq war was handled. The treatment given to POW and also the American treatment of Israel-Palestine issue. Infact a friend of mine working in America prefers Bush because - 'He has leant the ropes' , a euphemism for ' he has made all the mistakes he could'.

Kerry's vacilating records on foreign policy, Iraq war and his protectionist attitude & fiscal policy preferences against deficit are his problems. However in the end the paper decides for Kerry without any convincing arguments except stating that Bush has refused to learn from his mistakes. Infact to my surprise they approve Kerry because

...his plan for the next phase in Iraq is identical to Mr Bush's, which speaks well of his judgment. He has been forthright about the need to win in Iraq, rather than simply to get out . I could not understand why the paper believes that Kerry will definitely approach the palestine issue in different way.

The full article is here

Which brings me to my conclusion. A Duke university proff today said that the choice in US elections was about Bush/No bush rather than Bush/Kerry. All over the world outside USA atleast people seem to be deciding whether Bush is should be the next president or not. Thats wat the BBC correspondents in different countries concluded. And that is the way ecomomist seems to have decided - No Bush an therefore a Kerry

Am not a great bush supporter and the first paragraph of the economist story probbaly sums it all for me..

This year's battle has been between two deeply flawed men: George Bush, who has been a radical, transforming president but who has never seemed truly up to the job, let alone his own ambitions for it; and John Kerry, who often seems to have made up his mind conclusively about something only once, and that was 30 years ago




Monday, November 01, 2004

WB aid for Faridabad YMCA Engineering Institute & related thoughts

Faridabad YMCA Engineering Institute gets WB grant
My college has been selected as a World Bank "Networking Institute" to get an aid under "Technical Education Quality Improvement Program" to improve the infrastructural facilities.
..
Googled a little more to find out that similar aid has also been sanctioned for fifteen other colleges to Karnataka (including REC Suratkal) to develop them into centres of excellence. Considering how India is becoming a a center for skilled manpower we definitely need to improve both the quality and quantity of institutes part from our flagship IITs and IIM brand names to get the required critical mass for such leadership. I have seen the growth of engineering colleges in Haryana since my final year in the engineering college. Private ownership up of institutions was allowed around then. Unfortunately, I have also seen how quality was compromised in the process. Private partnership in education is needed to ensure we have sufficient number of institutes to serve our growing population. But the loopholes in the system need to be plugged. Unfortunately AICTE has not able able to ensure it, not in haryana atleast. Am wondering if ranking of engineering colleges like business schools is a way to improve things.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

The Da Vinci Code - The two different perspectives

Well yes I am a late reader. But I did finish "The Vinci Code" yesterday. I sat up whole night reading the book on my comp. Amazing thriller. The official reviews are here.The Da Vinci Code � Book Reviews � Official Website of Dan Brown

But ofcourse I looked around and as expected the book has been controversial enough. Thankfully it hasn't been banned like some others of similar kind. Book puts some question marks on Christianity as we see it today and no wonder some Christian scholars raised a hue a cry against the following paragraph in Chapter 55 among many others.

…“The Bible did not arrive by fax from heaven….The Bible is the product of man, my dear. Not of God. The Bible did not fall magically from the clouds. Man created it as a historical record of tumultuous times, and it has evolved through countless translations, additions, and revisions. History has never had a definitive version of the book.”

The statements are made by the historian character Teabing, answering some questions from the two lead characters about the nature and background of their quest.

Interestingly what made the scholars react against the book was the following text in the prologue of the book
"FACT"
All descriptions of artwork, architecture, documents, and secret rituals in this novel are accurate

Read a comprehensible list of the objections of the Christian scholars here . The site mentions itself as Tektonics -The building blocks for Christian faith.

But all said and done, the controversy has helped a book a lot. The book has been on New York Times bestseller list (Fiction of course) for quite some time now. If want my opinion, I loved the book. It builds up amazingly. I couldn't get away from my comp the whole of yesterday night though my eyes were aching. Though its true that the end isn't quite as riveting as the rest of it. But it's still worth it. Even if partially true or fiction, it gives you the story from a different perspective. If you believe being spiritual is different from being religious, and the religions of the world are less than perfect, the book doesn't shake anything inside you. But religion/faith/beliefs are a very personal matter and what might be acceptable to many readers of Dan Brown might also evoke equally opposite reactions from others.

Friday, October 08, 2004


Bharti - The division of functions Posted by Hello

Outsourcing - Indian firms show the way in Telecom

Well the noise about outsourcing causing job losses hasn't died down completely. But here have Bharti Televentures here trying to correct some misgivings. Text books say outsourcing is what companies in developed world do to cut costs right? Outsourcing means that you hive off some off the non core functions of your company.

Wrong! outsourcing could also mean a company from the developing world deciding to give management of its network to the Nokia, Siemens & Erricson. Sunil Bharti Mittal redefined non core again when his decided to outsource his network management and systems functions( these to IBM) . So what is no-core for bharti ? Managing the Airtel brand :) Bharti has gained a lot in the process - It will save huge amounts in Capex over the next few years. The idea is a first nad has its risks. So, the world is watching because if this succeeds we have a number of telcom companies willing to venture because someone here in India has shown them the way.

Read the full story here - The man who gave away his network

Friday, October 01, 2004

Of Corporate Communication and Blogger Support!

As a policy I refrain from using my blog for any kind of endorsements or viral marketing but this one really needed a mention. I have been really missing my blog after it was deleted some two months back. The other day I just shot a mail to blogger support asking if they restore it , without expecting anything to happen actually, but guess what in about 48 hours I have mail saying my blog is back. I love this. Wonder if anyother blog hosting site would have done it.

Coming back to issue of using blogs for endorsements and corporate communication, blogs seem be taken very seriously. For example, Harvard Business Review in its Sep 2003 issue published a narrative case study- 'The Glove Girl' to discuss how bloggers could impact organizations. The case discusses if an online diarist whose opinion seems to be credible to people outside but who can sometimes be indiscreet and incorrect, is a liability or an assest to an organization. What should te organization do about it ? This case study is fictional but harvard making a case for blogging definitely gives the issue a significantly important dimension.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Fin funda - Real Options and Strategy

SAPM cases are most interesting. Every case session enlightens you so much about the real action in world of finance . Would be discussing the the Real Options Case tomorrow.

Real options is the extension of financial option theory to options on real (nonfinancial) assets. In contrast to the valuation of financial options where decision-making it is a matter of shopping for the best deal on a specified contract the valuation of a real option requires that it be identified and specified..

While the Present Value Calculations and standard Discounted Cash Flow techniques are needed as check on strategic analysis, they can not estimate he option value attached to a new/profitable line of business.

According to Myers

"Strategic planning needs finance. Present value calculations are needed as a check on strategic analysis and vice versa. However, standard discounted cashflow techniques will tend to understate the option value attached to growing profitable lines of business. Corporate finance theory requires extension to deal with real options."
Stewart C. Myers, Sloan School of Management, MIT (1984)

So does the market price real options ? Consider this ..

Lucent. - If you used a traditional analysis based on projections of cashflow from current products, Lucent would be priced at just over $4 per share. Since its spinoff from AT&T, Lucent has been trading far above that amount, often in the range of $70 per share. The difference is the capitalization by the financial markets of Lucent's growth options

Amazon.com. - Company went public before becoming profitable and announced in its IPO prospectus that it would not be profitable in the near future. Amazon.com is also a growth option play. A large part of the company's value is its strategy to make strategic investments today that create options - opportunities to possibly make further investments in the future. Enhancing Amazon's value is Wall Street's perception that the company has the managerial abilities to execute these options.

Cable industry (The case for tomorrow) - Laura Martin of Credit Suisse First Boston has used the real options approach to value cable plant.

Real estate - Emphirical evidence suggests that real estate prices reflect development options and research papers such as Quigg (1993) prove it.

The real options approach has and can thus be been applied to water infrastructure, film , industry, technology sectors like telecom, R&D sectors like Pharma, Biotechnology and capacity critical sectors like Power.

Get the real options FAQ here while I wait for Proff Mohanty to shred the case threadbare with his analysis tomorrow (or today its past 5:00 am already;)

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Sumantra Ghoshal (1948-2004)

"This is a belief that business and, by implication, both entrepreneurs and managers, are the key engines of both economic and social progress. It is business that creates and distributes most of an economy's wealth, that innovates, trades and raises the living standards of people. So business is and must be a force of good..."
Sumantra Ghoshal (1948-2004)

A tribute to management literature's most prolific and creative writers by the man who succeded him as the dean of Indian School of Business

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Achieving dreams - The story of Dr. V

To gradually make this blog impersonal was a conscious choice. But I really want to share what I felt today after the class and more than that the reason for it.

Am still looking for words - impressed (not good enough), proud (yes, but only partly correct), motivated .(yes indeed), but more than everything else humbled and touched.

Here is this one man who had a dream, a vision - to eradicate needless blindless and with it he had, a dedication to pursue that dream. Something that made Aravind hospital a case study in Harvard Business Review. A business model to serve people but one that is self sustaining and growing. A business model that does not rely of donations. It serves the community and does that from its internal accruings and efficiences. A man who has involved three generations of his family in serving people. I salute you Dr Govindappa Venkataswamy. The man whose name all those mangement professors could not pronounce and just called him Dr V. The man who has done 100,000 successful eye operations with his cripled hands.

I can't show others the video that I saw, the this link -The vision of Dr V covers the facts of the case.

What started as a 40-bed hospital in little-known Theni near Madurai has become a global centre for excellence in eye surgery - the Aravind Eye Hospital. It now boasts of a 5,500-bed setup spread across five hospitals in Theni, Madurai, Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and Pondicherry. What's even more amazing is that this fast-growing, sustainable model has been possible despite the fact that two-thirds of the patients at Aravind are treated free of cost.
Someone said this 'success and growth story' is something they should show to all b school grads. Can it help ?. Is it motivating enough when all efforts are going into selling soap or working on excel sheets. This is not something you can teach, it can only come from within.

Thanks a lot Prof Prabhu for sharing this with us.


Sunday, August 08, 2004

Of strategy through movies and arbit stuff

One of my favorite courses this term is winding up. Strategic Management or Corporate Strategy and Policy as the gentleman teaching us, Proff Ganesh Prabhu likes to call it. He is really an amazing professor. Learnt a lot about real life companies, analyzing their environment, their strategies and also how to deduce and solve their problems. More than three hour session today and no one is complaining. How can we if he decides to give us a lesson or two in hostile takeover and principles of shareholder wealth maximization with a movie - Other People's Money This review describes this Derry Devito comedy as a business essay. Danny Devito plays the role of short greedy weird Larsen Garfield. The star cast includes Penelope Ann Miller and Gregory Peck. Danny takes over undervalued companies and makes money by liquidating them. His next target is New England Wire and Cable Limited. The company is unlevered and would fetch 2.5 times its share price even if sold as scrap. But the owner ofcourse do not want to loose the company.

That reminded of the just failed takeover attempt by Philip Green Of Marks and Spencers. Three bids which were rejected by the Marks and Spencers Management. The shareprice did fall after te takeover bid failed as this article states, but according to analysts the company gained overall because of the measures that the bid prompted chairman Stuart Ross to adopt. Plan to look for more info and financial data about the case when I get some time. Useful links and contributions are most welcome.....

Anyway in the class discussion the proff said management puts their careers in stake in an organization and hence it is probably not unreasonable on their part to expect something more than ordinary shareholders. He justified the expectation of some extra compensation expected by management in case of takeovers etc and how that would increase efficiency by increasing their stake in the system. Would it? Am not sure actually. If that were the case Enron, Arthur Anderson would not have happened. After all isn't is an accepted and logical conclusion these days that ESOPs more often than not lead to artificial inflating of stocks prices. Wanted to argue/discuss but then it was almost 10 pm and junta looked as if it needed food so gave up the temptation for CP :) ..Peer pressure works...;)

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

YourManinIndia.com - For anything you need in India and WTO

YourManinIndia.com - For anything you need in India - A TTK Service A new concept. This site provides services to Indians living and working outside India for what they want to do but could not. Starting from buying,selling , renting real estate to providing legal advice to filing tax returns to taking care of their old/sick parents. The service was covered by BBC today which made me go and check out their website. ET too covered it a few days back. Accomplishments enough for a website that was started just four months back. Entrepreneurship needs creativity indeed.

By the way, more WTO, It seems Brazil, Australia and other developing countries won a big battle which one court ruling that the EU subsidies to sugar farmers were illegal. BBC has been playing the story for last two hours not missing to mention that the ruling is confidential ( hmm ? funny eh?). The Brazilian official too couldn't hide(intentionally displayed ??) his happiness though he said , "Umm Its confidential, we can not talk about it, BUT we are satisfied" ;)

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

WTO gets a breather

One day past the deadline of July 30, the world leaders decided to give WTO a extension. The developed countries apparently promised to get rid of agricultural subsidies, the biggest concession so far. So the european union and US have fallen in line.Though the developmnet is being hailed s big step forward for developing and third world countries, do not jump to conclusions - There is a lot of read between the lines. Apparently the agreement does not talk about any numbers or deadlines. Many subsidies have been excluded - the countercyclical subsidies of USA, the rich can still protect their sensitive, and the pooor their special products. The poorest countries on the other hand have been relieved of the tarrif cuts, another dilution in the agenda.

The saving grace - the deadline for Doha round of negotiations has been extended to next year. More time to persuade people, opportunity to talk to an American president who is not immediately burdened by an election an ofcourse people ready to compromise atleast in principle - the rich countries ready to pay a price for developing markets.

Full analysis in this Economist article

Sunday, August 01, 2004

From the playground to the podium

From the playground to the podium
Interesting article this on Presentations.com. It talk about things that men and women can learn from each other. It starts with the old quote, "When a man gets up to speak, people listen, then look. When a woman gets up, people look; then, if they like what they see, they listen." (could help mentioning it here). Anyways it continues with some examples to suggest how gender sterotypes are not completely baseless. There is this to reference to a book by Judy Tengly, "GenderFlex :Men & women speaking each each others language" , which says presentors should customise their approaches to appeal more to the opposite gender in the presentions. (The book of course was controversial - am planning to look for it).

The article says men would be better if they emulate the inclusiveness of female interactions and the give and take of their politics. According to another author, women tend to be better at striking a dialogue and hence draw the audiences in to the presentation.

Men on the other hand have voices that work in their favour. The article refers to something I have seen so very often , the tendency of women to raise their voices into a little girl pitch, which lowrs their credibility.Male voices are definitely more authoritative than women. Men tend to use fewer words while women tend to qualify statements & digress. No wonder men are believed to be decisive. The article furthur talks about how a man tends to downplay his doubts (true true so very true ..) and a woman her certainity.

Last but not the last ...."Good planning separates the women from the girls, the strong from the weak, the confident from the fearful, and the men from the boys." (Phyllis Mindell, How to Say It for Women , Prentice Hall Press, 2001)

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Birthday Wishes

This is one birthday I can not forget
Happy Birthday

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Loans for TCS IPO

Well this is radical. I went to Bishtupur (the popular market here in the Jamshedpur) this evening and from a moving auto saw two men holding a banner which read Loans available for TCS IPO. Couldn't see the name of the bank whose initiative it was but never the less its amazing in more ways than one. 

-> The banks seems have become really aggressive. How often would you found them jumping at opportunities like this.

-> Indian advertising is reaching out to make an impression in all nooks and corners of the country. Earlier I   Thought you could find such advertising only in hep places in metros (Multiplex complexes in Delhi for example)


-> Last but the not the least, the days of IPO are back. Another good sign for stock market. While at work back in May in remember how one company asked the underwriting firm (my summer internship co) to go slow with their IPO after the stock market crash. Maybe they too would have come back now. Thank you TCS, its good for you too.

->What is also evident is that retail investor is focus of everybody's attention. He is expected to be interested in and important enough to provide an opportunity big enough for launch of schemes targeted at him

Good days ahead for all three kinds of players here if these expectations are meet.
Searched the net to come across this article:  India's Uco Bank Extends Finance for TCS Float


Friday, July 23, 2004

The 9/11 investigation report is out too

NDTV.com - US welcomes 9/11 report Interesting coincidence (?) this. My watching of the movie coincided with release of this report which blames the 9/11 attack on "failure of imagination" (gosh really interesting terms these - open to interpretation :). Well the report blames US government, the institutional shortcomings but spares the US president. Coming in the wake of impending November presidential elections, this is definitely a relief for republicans and Bush Junior. As I listened to BBC news no wonder Bush welcomed the report and talked about fast implementation of the recommendations of the commission. As did the Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry. So just as it happens in India I guess there is just going be a lot of talk and little or no walk with both sides trying to cash in on the report in elections.

Its 5:00 am, am far from sleeping. Its high time I get my body clock in order & catch up on some studies. As the yahoo status message of a friend states..from tomorrow change ;)

Tomorrow is the only day in the year that appeals to a lazy man. ~Jimmy Lyons

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11 - About freedom of expression and corruption.

I have become a total nocturnal animal. Its 6:00 am and I have just finished Farenheit 9/11. The movie was thought provoking. That the US interests in Iraq were oil is wide known but movie made me think about something else. Some time back in a curruption index ranking India was ranked 83 among 133 countries. Tried to look for USA, it was way up at no 18. Am still wondering is this too is a case of halo effect (or arm twisting ?) for a developed nation. No this is not to say I believe everything that is depicted, infact the political associations and message of the movie seems to be too obvious. But never the less, the even if half of it happened, its enough to change my view that politicians in our country seem to be the worst lot.

But I can't deny one thing, in India you could not have had public screening of such a movie. In no way could it have CNN.com - 'Fahrenheit 9/11' breaks records - Jun 27, 2004">broken records. Infact the wounds of tehelka are still fresh. The largest democracy of the world is definitely is not open to criticism or people pointing fingers at the skeletons in its closet

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Sony and BMG - The german japanese marriage

The two strategy courses really intererst me this term. For example the news of the upcoming merger of Sony and BMG. Together they command would 25% industry share (second largest after Universal). With the top four players cornering 80% of the market share, no wonder the independents and other small players are crying foul about the BBC NEWS | Business | Sony and BMG merger backed by EU">EU approval of the merger. All might not be good for small consumers as the companies together will be able to crack down better of piracy and cheap music, the major problems faced by music industry. The merger is still undergoing antitrust review in the US though.

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Technology Companies test the market

The IT success story had been watched the world over. Google created ripples earlier this year by launching the gmail service that redefined the standards for free email services.(That reminds me my two invites are still open). The company has now filed $2.7 billion IPO. The IPO is being handled by Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston but, what is interesting is Merrill Lymch pulled out of the IPO citing poor profit potential. This unofficial site discusses the IPO. Analysts advise investors to buy it and then sell ASAP considering the possibility of hyped valuations.

On the Indian scene after last two years of dilly dallying, TCS is finally coming to the market. The company has already submitted its red herring prospectus to SEBI. Last heard it was supposed to be priced around Rs 800/share. Unofficial word says the company plans to launch its IPO on July 29, which coincides with be centenary celebrations of the group.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

The Budget

The Economic Times article does not mention how much is the excise duty on computers. If you have similar problems access the full text of budget here

Anyways what affects people like me majorly

- The 8% excise duty on computers has been removed. My new computer should cost Rs 2000 less atleast.
- The collateral requirement has been waived for educational loans up to Rs 7.5 lakh from Rs 4 lakh (Doesn't help much. Banks did not follow this anyway)

Anyways this is what I could make of the budget, trying to address the concerns raised by Stephen of Morgan Stanley.

+ Plans to make procedures for registration and operations simpler and quicker for FIIs
+ Investment ceiling for FII's in Debt funds has been increased from US$1 billion to US$ 1.75 billion;
+ As far FDI is concerned, caps have been raised in Telecom (74%), Insurance(49%) & Aviation(49%)
- Disinvestment targets for 2004-2005 reduced to Rs 4000 crore
- Profit making PSU's not to be sold
+ If your taxable income is below 1 Lakh no tax (Rs 9000 saved/year)
? Non Resident Deposits no longer welcome(interest to be taxed)
+ Reasonable Fiscal Deficit at 4.4% of GDP

Capital Gains Tax
- Long term capital gains tax abolished
+ Small investors - Short term capital gains taxed uniformly at 10%from earlier 10%/20%/30% regime.
These two apparently led to the a lot of selling pressure from small investors.

- Transaction tax on all securities (15 basis points)
This one sent the capital markets on a nosedive. Would majorly affect big players, brokers and mutual funds who churn their portfolios often. More so beacuse its across the board and cannot be escaped. (Future and Options and bonds included).The FM also planned to put an end to bonus and divident stripping. No longer can you make a killing by those bonus shares. I hope dad has booked some of his profits.

All the direct taxes of course need to be approved by the parliament first.The criticism of the budget is though it promised "Growth, Stability and Equity", And it does seem to be satisfy the last two of its objectives , the growth part seems to be meant for certain sectors like agriculture

Anyways here it direct from the horse's mouth. An interview with Mr Chidambaram after budget






Controversy Sells ?

Well I wonder if that's a question. But it came up again in class during the discussion of ethics at workplace . The professor referred to increasing reporting of interpersonal abuse in the media as proof of its increasing clutches on our society.

I think the reality is different. With survival pressures heating up in all sectors. Organizations are thinking of ways to sustain and grow their market share. Strategies like innovative advertising, new products, added functionalities etc do not work in case of newspapers websites and other such means of communication. For a newspaper TOI (Times of India) defied the assumption that you can not anything innovative to it by 'giving readers what they want'. (Check out a previous post here).It today is the market leader. If I look around, the same phenomenon exists everywhere. Talk of websites like Indiatimes. All those who have learnt that you can't sustain by catering to the elitist customer. Post a controversial news/spicy photo/article and the no of hits to your sites multiply many times. Catering to people who want celebrities and other such news on page three is a thing on the past. Now such articles occupy their proud place on front page. The increase in no the hits or circulation once you publish something is definitely worth it, seems to be the consensus. Parveen talks about an incident reflecting this in his blog.

This is one issue I have told many people about...So here it goes again...

We had this Kamasutra sex survey a month ago, the results of which were published in many leading magazines.The Times of India had published them too, in the front pages of its supplement, The Hyderabad Times. The next day, a guy wrote a letter to the editor. I don't remember it verbatim, but I'll try...

"Sir, Nowadays we have been seeing that the Times is publishing more non-news items than news items...Many people in my organization are thinking of stopping the newspaper, since there are kids at home who read the same stuff...I don't think you should have published such stuff in the main pages...."

The reply from the editor was..
"Dear Reader, Thanks for your valuable opinion. May we suggest, our esteemed sister publication, "The Hindu"


The message being there is no moral dilemma what so ever. No wonder most of our class is circumspect about the media. We have learnt not to take things at face value.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of USA and a co author of Declaration of Independence wrote in a private letter, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man". His opinion of newspapers was

" The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper."
" The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."

Anyways coming back to the issue the professor raised, I think increasing reporting reflects something else, that there is increasing awareness, that what was under the carpet is being talked about and rectified. That hence is a reason for hope, a step forward
-----------------------------------------------------------------
People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news. A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963)

Monday, July 05, 2004

Stephen Roach's (MD, Morgan Stanley) take on India

The onus of good interview lies on the interviewer. An interviwer who knows his subject and asks good specific questions can definitely make the interview much more interesting. I realized this as I read a conversation with Stephen Roach telecasted on CNBC TV 18 (The article doesn't mention the interviewers).

Over the last few months, there has been a lot of concern about what Foreign Investors think about the future of Indian economy. Many half baked articles/analysis tell you how they will be concerned about 'reforms' etc. Stephen Roach clearly specifies his watchlist - Privatization, Infrastructure, and Foreign Investment. But the real beauty of the analysis is that the interview takes the issue deeper. Privatization- why ? What do the foreign investors want? Efficiences in Indian industries or just reduced deficits. Would diluting stakes do or is strategic sale the only option? Foreign Investment - What do the FI's want - would better procedures bring them back or an increase in caps would be needed?

The interview also analyses the Indian growth story - If services, then why? Is the government wrong on going back to the Manufacturing and agriculture? Lots of issues like this which concern those who have been watching the markets and policy announcements.

Now that you have read my views on the article, you can read the full text here

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Export orders for Indian Concept Car - Reva

I fell in love with that pleasing green coloured small small car when I saw Reva for the first( and last so far) time in a road in Rohtak, Haryana.Reva -the electric car made by Reva Electric Car Company has got export orders of 500 units from British company Going Green Plc according to this ndtv article . Reva was developed as a choice for clean city driving. The car has classy looks. It can seat 4 people (2 adults and 2 children ) comfortably. The car travel up to 80 kilometres in the city once fully charged (6 hours/9 units/Rs. 35-40 approx) and is easy to drive with no clutches and gears or engine vibrations for that matter. Its easy to park too because of its small size.

Reva is an joint venture with 80% Indian stake. With a production capacity of just 6000/year I won't say Reva has changed the face of Indian roads but it definitely is the shape of things to come.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Job fairs arrive in India

I just read that an IT Job Fair is coming up in New Delhi on July 3, 4

A job fair is a place where a lot of recruiters come together at a common place to recruit candidates. The purpose of a job fair is to provide a common place for candidates to look for suitable employment and offer an army of highly qualified candidates to a desirable employer as this article on strategic recruitment using job fairs describes. World wide job fairs are one the most commonly used method of recruitment. However the concept is not that popular in India unless you consider the on campus placement of major institutes. This on campus placement has restricted access and is on a much smaller scale.

But such recruitment techniques will definitely make both job seekers and providers life easier.


Friday, July 02, 2004

Gmail invites on auction ;)

I have just realized I have more email space than I need (or can handle)- 1 GB each of rediff and google. And also on traditional mail providers as yahoo and hotmail.

I haven't even used my Gmail invites yet. Its a little late but I am still sure many visitors to this mail would be interested in this. So do write back with your bid.....

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

What I did this summer?

Did I mention my stay in Bollywood included a few (now that's an understatement) movies...

"Yuva" - I liked this Mani Ratnam flick a lot. For those who havn't realized Mani ratnam has finished his India tour with this movie- Bombay (Western India), Roja (South & Kashmir), Dil se (North East, Ladakh) and now Yuva (Calcutta). A real movie about the lives of young people. The one liners were really funny. The chemistry between Abhishek and Rani is amazing, and somehow the height difference enlivens it further. Vivek is looking good and Kareena her usual self, though I must say Ajay Devgan inspite of his good acting, looks too old to be college student. Read New Times reivew here

Main Hoon Na - Well a huge hit. A typical commercial movie with all elements in the right mix though you might need to shut down your brains. But some real action shots inspired fron Matrix. Read the TOI review here - Main Hoon Na - so what? ( The title had me gigling).

Murder - This one was popular for all the 'wrong' reasons. The Mallika Sherawat act. Though I must say film trailers were probably purposeful to attract the masses to theaters. A copy of the english movie Unfaithful, the one does not come any close to it.

Passion of Christ - If you have a weak heart, or even a moderately strong one, I won't recommend this one. It has lots of blood, gore and violence. And it its moving, shocking, hurting and painful throughout. I would say it doesn't tell a story, its just a depiction of last few hours/days of Jesus's life and it shakes you.This Mel Gibson movie has had its share of controversies. One of the most academic reviews I could get.

Meenaxi-A tale of three cities. - Directed by MF Hussain,the heroine of this one is NOT Madhuri. Tabu is really good and picture is a visual and audio treat. Nice colors and music. Only if you ask me, its not a movie at all. It makes you scratch your brains for a story. This Webindia review captures the essence beautifully.

......................

Controversy Sells?

Well I wonder if that's a question. But it came up again in class during the discussion of ethics at workplace . The professor referred to increasing reporting of interpersonal abuse in the media as proof of its increasing clutches on our society.

With so much wiring of the world and now India, I guess survival pressures are heating up in all sectors. Which, makes organizations think of innovative ways to sustain and grow their market share. We often talk of innovative advertising, new products, added functionalities and improved services used by companies to do this. But what could be done about things like newspapers websites and other such means of communication. For a newspaper TOI (Times of India) defied the assumption that you can not anything innovative to it by 'giving readers what they want'. (Check out a previous post here).It today is the market leader. If I look around, the same phenomenon exists everywhere. Talk of websites like Indiatimes. All those have learnt that you can't sustain by catering to the elitist customer. Post a controversial news/spicy photo/article and the no of hits to your sites multiply many times. Catering to people who want celebrities and other such news has shifting from page three is a thing on the past. Now such articles occupy their proud place or front page. The increase in no the hits or circulation once you publish something is definitely worth it, seems to be the consensus. Parveen talks about an incident reflecting this in his blog.

This is one issue I have told many people about...So here
goes again...

We had this Kamasutra sex survey a month ago, the results of which were published in many leading magazines.The Times of India had published them too, in the front pages of its supplement, The Hyderabad Times. The next day, a guy wrote a letter to the editor. I don't remember it verbatim, but I'll try...

"Sir, Nowadays we have been seeing that the Times is publishing more non-news items than news items...Many people in my organization are thinking of stopping the newspaper, since there are kids at home who read the same stuff...I don't think you should have published such stuff in the main pages...."

The reply from the editor was..
"Dear Reader, Thanks for your valuable opinion. May we suggest, our esteemed sister publication, "The Hindu"


The message being there is no moral dilemma what so ever. No wonder most of our class is circumspect about the media. We have learnt not to take things at face value.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of USA and a co author of Declaration of Independence wrote in a private letter, "I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form
of tyranny over the mind of man". His opinion of newspapers included the following

" The advertisement is the most truthful part of a newspaper."
" The man who reads nothing at all is better educated than the man who reads nothing but newspapers."

Anyways coming back to the issue the professor raised, I think increasing reporting reflects something else, that there is increasing awareness, that what was under the carpet is being talked about and rectified. That hence is a reason for hope, a step forward......

------------------------------------------------------------------
People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news. A. J. Liebling (1904 - 1963)

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Group Think

The tendency of a group to act unanimously and to gag to directly or indirectly members with a dissenting opinion. Group think ensures everyone follows in line and organizations, teams and forums work under the illusion of unanimity. Its easier for the group to think colllectively if the members are or made to believe that are taking a moral stand.I read all this in my OB textbook and I used to believe all this happens only in textbooks till my summers. The loan application that we processed was an eye opener.But things lately have been much more than that.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Freedom of expression does not mean mudslinging. There has been too much of that on my personal blog. So I have decided to remove stuff.
------------------------
Thought for the day- "Every right has a corresponding duty."
The Indian Constitution

Saturday, June 26, 2004

EQ Vs IQ

Thought for the day - Is it really true that Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) and IQ are inversely proportional to each other ? If you are intelligent , is it necessary that you have have a low EQ, that you have to be unable to face the situations life throws at you. That you find it difficult to accept things , mingle with people and adapt to society. Yes, people quote Albert Einstein as a perfect example.

But then, does one necessarily lead to the other. If you can't handle life does it means you are intelligent or vice versa.Look at the people around you and think...

Well, Was offered an explanation like this for an issue when I started a discussion with a friend. Too hard to digest. Can't believe. The world would be such a difficult place to live otherwise. Come on, I only thought u could not have a beauty with brains;)

-Do not face the sky and spit,for the spit falls back on you.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Am back it XL. First few days will be spent figuring out the electives and courses. The new batch is also on campus. Suddenly we are seniors. Summers is indeed transition in so may ways. This time its indeed different from when I was here last year this time. I just don't mean the fact that I was beginning the course and was new to campus.This term there is this sudden urgency , this realization that another few months is what we have got to be the perfect fit for the corporate roles that we want. Last it time the feeling was accomplishment, this time its of impatience and a sudden scarcity of time too.

The senior's placements are still fresh in my mind. 'India Shining' effect and the bumper harvest that B-Schools had. But suddenly things have changed now. We have the 'Father of the reforms', Dr.Manmohan Singh as prime minister and the 'Dream Budget' man as FM but still it seems the faith of investors both foreign and as a cascading effect retail is yet to come back. The crash of that black monday, May 17, 2004 is fresh in my mind. The Nifty graph at NSE India kept on plunging and plunging. Trading was stopped twice i think. The greatest ever fall of 800 points from last days close in a single day in the stock market. The stories have it LIC and UTI were asked to buy by the finance ministry and ultimately it closed some around 560 points down. Since then it has been 'Range Bound' to quote the CNBC India's hosts. ( I have been watching the channel day in out while I was home)But its rather amazing this see saw effect that I saw. Am told traders have been making a lot of money through systemically shortselling and futures and covering up in this market.Equally interesting is this mutual fund scene. Never knew there were so many different options mutual funds provided. The ICICI securties allotment receipt made much more sense to me this time.

This is also something I owe to my summers, this sudden keen interest in the functioning of the stock markets. What was earlier just a general interest has suddenly changed into this keen desire to know how everything works. I have also started making some small effort in this direction.Have taken the job of dad's advisor for his investments. Can I do it ? I definitely think so.

Read 'Rich Dad , Poor Dad', back home in Delhi. Good book to learn the basics of making money. No its not about giving some ten point receipe to be rich, the book talks the importance of financial education and unconventional but perhaps extremely logical way of being independent. Does help you get a perspective on money.

Am reading ' Catcher in the Rye'. everyone has been praising it a lot. Will talk more about it once i finish the book.

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Well as my time as Mumbai draws to close, it has indeed been a learning ( and really enjoyable) experience. New friends and contacts , sightseeing and lots on practical enrichnments. "Summer projects are not about rocket science", to quote a friend of mine. Won't go in the details but This is one sentence any b-school student will identify with (after his/her summers ofcourse)

Anyways submitted the first draft of my report.Was generally appreciated. (Though its different I don't see what is there to appreciate about it).There has been a lot of learning in terms of structured financing though. And no it seems I can't say I have a hand in giving the money that went into developing of the first planned hill station town of India- the loan was refused. ( I shouldn't complain I am the one who has been describing the plan as unviable from the beginning )

Preparations are up the grand party that happens during summers one event everyone is looking forward to- The Alumni Meet. Called up some people and talked to them it felt really nice to realize the Xl bond. People you don't know you seem all eager to attend to you.

Have had the first rains of the season.Something like pre-monsoon showers od delhi. Yes the rains are different but still I think delhi feels better after rains pretty logical because the place is less humid...


Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Am having a great time in Mumbai. Though would have preferrred a more elaborate project brief but can't complain about life outside office. Haji Ali and Heera Panna , Crossroads and Fashion Street, Mahabaleshwar and Alibaugh have seen them all.

Have been having discussions about which of the cities is better Mumbai /Delhi. The conclusion varied depending on what you want in life For professionalism & career growth definitely mumbai, convenience however is something you can not buy here.(Its too costly). Delhi has its own pluses. Lesser population, less crowded. Wider roads, lower cost of living. Infact bombay has become mumbai since I came here last, both figuratively & literally

Friday, April 09, 2004

Hi

Hello Mumbai. Am in mumbai for two months for my summers. Quite a place to be I must say. Have been a great fan of city since I visted it the first time with my parents some six- seven years ago. I just love the pace at which this place moves and the independence & professionalism that comes with it.

Live & work very close to the see so get to see chowpatty & marine drive when I am not sleeping.

Though being here means I won't be blogging much. But then good things in life come at a price

Hey catch me here while the fun lasts

Monday, March 22, 2004

Fourty five minutes to the BRM end term but just couldn't resist blogging on . have been listening to MAIN HOON NA since yesterday. Read review's here . Nice feel good music. Farah Khan's first directorial venture. No the story is not different ;). But maybe the Sharaukh, Sushmita charm will carry this one through. Though should start from where did Anu MAlik source the music of this one.

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Blogging is defintely amazingly addictive. People do wonderful things to differentiate their blogs from the rest . Infact just realized my text only version is pretty elementary. Blogging has gone the visual way with photoblogging

Check out this picture blog by Rajesh Krishnamurthy

Also interesting is Nilesh Chaudhri's photoblog , the only one listed in the Indian category at the above site

Academic
Well endterms I did mention them right. have had three more. The lesser said the better,. But never the less if you need some online resources check out www.course.com also specifically MIS MCQ's

Saturday, March 20, 2004

How many times you have gone to a newspaper site and not got the satisfaction that comes from reading a hardcopy. Infact one school of thought believes it was of the reasons why newspapers decided to go inline. Most of them believed online versions would not satiate the real readers thirst for scanning through that ruffle of fresh crisp paper in their hands every morning would actually increase sales. So if you too think online papers are not the real thing check this initiative by Newspaper on the web n Really cool

Infact as I look back Times Of India is indeed a organization that has changed itself with the times. ( I shall purposely refrain from taking the judgmental line here). No wonder its one the most widely circulated one in India. Come of think of it, first with Saturday magazine,first with gloss paper magazine, first with supplements , first to cut prices to give competition a run for a its money, first come up with city editions, first to go color, first even to turn itself almost into a tabloid. Doesn't it sound like an organization that reads the customers mind, is first to embrace change and innovation.Quite unlike some dogmatic others. No wonder it has sustained on the growth part of its curve for so long.

Come to think of it being able to read and situation , change yourself is such an amazing quality to have and yet it so few of us have it. Even the bravest among us don't take to criticism constructive/otherwise kindly to talk of changing something because of it.

Infact it makes me think of three different proffs on campus - one insists that he does not believe in the present system of things, he is cool & different infact his whole perspective on life and education is different, all this supposedly does not matter to him. Really nice man to talk to but when it comes to taking the fact that maybe we do not agree with some of the things he says- he gets into this mode of convincing us that his point of view method of thinking and everything related to it is right, and ofcourse he very nicely says that we'll realize its importance later in life.

There is this another teacher who again can not take criticism. He has decided our opinions on the matter are not important. Though he won't make a nicely disguised effort of trying to prove his point of view right, he will just classify us as wrong. This is not to say I do admire his patience in dealing with some stuff but nevertheless its definitely takes a lot to look objectively at things on certain times

and then there is this third one he completely dismisses the system , he refuses to be part of it or acknowledge its use what so ever. For him it belong to a world which he has accidently entered and doesn't want to do anything with. He refuses to believe that this system to caters to a section of people who are smart, intelligent, capable in their own right

Come to think of it which of these three approaches would be a success if I were to find my way outside... Life is so full of lessons every where



Friday, March 19, 2004

Gosh Gosh What Am I doing!! 4 hours to an endterm and I am wasting time here reading people's blogs & surfing the net.

The fight is not in four hours though. Its in the fact that I found enough reasons to waste time yesterday also and am just at the starting stage of my preparation(read I am yet to begin). God bless me!

Anyways Parveen has a pretty interesting blog while Ashok's at first glance to be so much like mine.

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Have added embellishments to my blog, the links and the comments feature to ensure its not me blabbering out stuff to the world and the communication is two way :)
Of course I am assuming that there are people who land up and interested in getting back to about the cryptic stuff I write here ;)



OKie just finished the match and we lost by 12 runs. Some fight though Tendulakar's 141 and the also towards the end. The crowd in front of the TV in all three hostels was at its excited best.

Today was the begining of the end of the term (interesting sentence right :)Finished with the Organizational Theory endterm. Was an easy one.The real fight is some other papers actually. next job for day the SPSS lessons


Saturday, March 13, 2004

Am back to blogging. Ofcourse i have not been as regular as I wanted to be. Can't even say did whatever was to be done in the last 10 days. Three projects still stare at me right in the face .Anyways endterms, projects and all that is here to stay.I have learnt to live with all that. With all committee elections and room allocations over, the level of tussle/activity at this place has come down a bit. To be honest there were quite a few surprises here & there. I too learnt a lot of lessons in the process.

The real action today was the narrow finish to first India-Pakistan one dayer, which we won by 5 runs. Even the BRM proff was busy watching the photo finish as we sat waiting in class. On the academic front, there were tests for certain electives, HR ones primarily. Professor Madhukar Shukla also floated a new one ,'Cross Cultural Management'. No I did not take the test..;)

Was wondering the other day, at this place you are cut off from the rest of the world, just like an island in the sea. You get your supplies from the mainland and for all practical purposes that is your only link/concern. You don't need to bother beyond this place. I wish life was that insular, isolated, but its not. Maybe B-Schools should realize this strange irony in the process of creation of managers. After all elitists like us are supposed to deal with very different ground realities out there.

Anyways, just to close off got this very interesting forward from a friend. Now
everyone talks about sun signs and people,but in the process of being politically correct, most us talk about only the bright side of the coin.This one exclusively focuses on dark one, pretty unusual.

Dark Side of your Zodiac Sign
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Capricorn (dec 22 - jan 19)
You are rather materialistic and it is fueled by your fears of financial disaster. this makes you complain about monetary woes, irritating many with your obnoxious attitude. you can also be a social climber, manipulating your way up the ladder; name-dropping all the way to the top. once in a while, you'll have morbid thoughts about death something that scares you because you have no control over it. you tend to be obsessive about your mortality sometimes.
Advice
Stop worrying about losing money, and you'd rid yourself of unfounded nightmares. stop manipulating others and you'll be free to concentrate on attaining your goals. get rid of your phobias and you'll be able to relax more and enjoy yourself.

Aquarius (jan 20 - feb 18)
You tend to be too idealistic and naive sometimes. practicality gets thrown out of the wind! ow by you many times. cool and aloof, you rarely want to deal with deep emotions. you like to give advice but don't like to receive it. and ideas and inspirations that you sometimes neglect or follow through with them are constantly bombarding you. or else you are constantly shifting focus, giving people the idea with no staying power.
Advice
Take time to explore your private feelings. not all people see things your way. and just because you come up with ideas, don't expect other people to do all the work for you. learn to trust people and accept advice.

Pisces (feb 19 - mar 20)
You are an escapist - you have this knack of avoiding issues if they seem unpleasant. you delve into past memories to escape your present woes. there is also a tendency towards alcoholism and even drug abuse - you are on a search for some kind of 'high'. you also love to flirt and too much of it may send the wrong, dangerous signals out to! other people. once in a while, a dark mood will descend on you and you become rather unsociable and withdrawn.
Advice
Trust your instincts, but also be in control of your perceptions. whenever the escapist tendency hits you, join a seminar or get a pep talk from a friend to get your perspective right.

Aries (mar 21 - apr 20)
A warrior at heart, you thrive on challenges and any strife and dramas, you are tempted to stir things up, just to keep yourself happy. you are also rather intolerant of mistakes and don't have patience for weakness or failings in others. and sometimes, you can be quite a snob as well you like to be seen at the right places or wear the right clothes. and you're also prone to bossiness. your restless nature may make you quit a project suddenly if you can't sustain the interest.
Advice
Get off your high horse and pay your dues before people will accept you. lea! rn to be more tolerant of others and try to see the other person's side of the story. if you believe in what you do, you can move mountains.

Taurus (apr 21 - may 20)
You are stubborn and like to hold onto things, not wanting to let go of anything or anyone. you are slow to anger, but when you do get worked up to a rage - everyone step aside! you also have a selfish streak and can be quite sneaky as well. and although people may see you as helpful and agreeable, you sometimes have an inner struggle wanting the approval of others while sticking to your own opinions. you also tend to be suspicious of others and question their motives.
Advice
Stop being mean and try to be nice. learn to forgive and let go of your past disappointments. learn from your mistakes and have faith in yourself and others as well.

Gemini (may 21 - jun 21)
Your devil-may-care attitude sometimes could bring harm to! yourself - you tend to live on the edge sometimes. many of you believe that you don't deserve success, somehow feeling guilty for it. you may give others too much of yourself sometimes that you lose yourself. you may be prone to suppressing motions as well. and at times that makes it difficult for you to accept affection and love.
Advice
Work at listening to others and don't be tempted to try daring devil stunts all the time. and try doing something for yourself and once in a while, in between, doing favors for others. you're human, after all.

Cancer (jun 22 - jul 22)
You can get carried away with emotions - your anger is overwhelming and your sadness can depress all those around you. you're also ultra-sensitive to other people's emotions and are affected by these as well. you tend to react before you think and then brood about what you may have done or said wrong. you are also prone to p! eriods of morbidity, thinking dark thoughts. feelings of insecurity creep in now and then, making you snappish or else you try to win the approval of everyone at your expense.
Advice
Accept that you are hypersensitive to emotions and work with yours. go with the flow and by doing the right thing, you set an example for others. work with others and this will help build your confidence and open you up.

Leo (jul 23 - aug 22)
On the rare occasion you lose your temper, you can turn into a savage beast. you seem to need an audience as well, to help boost your confidence and ego, sometimes. other times, you get caught up in the outward dramas of your life that you neglect what you're feeling inside. this results in a delayed reaction when emotions sneak up on you and you get hit with a whammy. you also tend to be proud and aggressive, cloaking these with your charm. when things don't go your way, you g! et impatient and may even throw a tantrum.
Advice
Learn to spend some time alone with yourself and get to know yourself better. and learn to experience your emotions at the moment; don't store them up for another time. and know that not all means justify the ends.

Virgo (aug 23 - sep 22)
You have a martyr complex, feeling that you were put on this earth to do good work and not receive any credit for it. you tend to be ultra critical of yourself and others and you also worry about things that are beyond your control. a little pessimistic sometimes, you tend to be an intellectual snob. you bottle up all your insecurities and fears, and hesitate to reach out for help. and once in a while, you become a busybody that's when you also feel responsible for other people's problems.
Advice
Modesty has its own limits - take credit for your efforts. give yourself a break and know! that you do not have to be successful in everything you do. keep focused and don't get tangled in other people's affairs too often.

Libra (sep 23 - oct 23)
Your inability to reach a decision in matters of personal action is legendary. you like to weigh all the alternatives and hear every side of an argument - but this may take time and opportunities may pass you by because of it. you also like to expand energy on people who may not deserve it - you want to help the underdog. you are also sensitive to criticism and may take mild statements of fact very personally.
Advice
Follow your instincts and act on them - stop sitting on fences. don't blindly trust people; learn to be a little more discriminating in your offers of help. learn to think for yourself and don't be swayed by persuasive tongues.

Scorpio (oct 24 - nov 21)
You have a revengeful streak and a long memory for past hu! rts. sometimes you're downright spiteful. when you suffer, you make sure others suffer along with you. sometimes, you may even use deception to get what you want and to influence others to stay out of your way. you may even believe these untruths and unrealistic fears will grow on you. once in a while, you may come across someone that just rubs you on the wrong side for no apparent reason and you make it your mission to bury him or her.
Advice
Flight the negative emotions that arise in you, and resentment will not sour your life. don't' give into temptation to tell lies, learn to conquer your strong tendency towards revenge and things will fall into place for you.

Sagittarius (nov 22 - dec 21)
You've got a big mouth and unwittingly hurt an insult people with it. you can even go to utter strangers and give unsolicited advice and comments. you also seem to enjoy verbal duels with others! whenever you can. and you sure can make sore losers, even suspecting foul play if things don't go your way. you have a knack for confrontation and you can't resist being sarcastic. you also don't think too much of many people, because you have mild superiority complex. vanity is also a trait in many of you.
Advice
Learn with whom you can be frank otherwise keep your comments to yourself. discretion is the better part of valor. curb your cockiness, and you can combine it with your concern for serious issues, aiding in your search for truth.


Sunday, February 29, 2004

If next ten days in my life go smoothly i ' think i 'll sail through this term
neways have macro eco quiz tomorrow. And I am damn scared. The other day we heard some eco grads saying the proff has touched upon everthing they did in the last 5 years starting from class XI.

Ya there are some disadvantages of having teachers who know their course too well. Every time we ask her a question she uses it to delve into a whole new concept. Neways all said and done I really like the proff. Maybe my fascination for eco has something to do with my being an engineer.

Amazing what all are you supposed to know in MBA. FRom accounts to OR to production. We have our Production proff who has a compalint that the students in generall do not go for the subject because they don't find interesting/paying enuff.

To quote a friend of mine..."Wat is this world coming to'

Monday, February 23, 2004

Well, its my time to make a statement which has been attributed to me so often that I have started beliving that I actually said it ;). I am waiting for the grind to start. Don't have much of an option actually. The next 30 or more days are almost packed. A quiz or a midterm or a project submission everyday henceforth. Maybe its time time to pay whatever relaxation we got from proff's for CRP so far.Things are hectic for other reasons also

Come to think of it an FM case session from 10:00 pm to 2:00 am. I am mightly pleased.Makes you feel you really are in a B-School.

On second thoughts as a stage in my life, B-School has been a learning experience much more about how things and people behave Than just functional knowledge. Though sometimes I have my own doubts if my perceptions & inferences are actually true. How much of things can you take at face value afterall? Its really amazing to see Organizational Behaviour in play. So much of action and really interesting stuff. Fundas For Power, Politics, Influence (infact we have electives being offered by people to deal with things like those outside this place), so much to see observe and imbibe. Looks strange sometimes, I mean the stakes are not as high as people believe them to be. Maybe its too easy to get carried away, loose your touch with the ground coz its a big B-School. I hope unlike some of my friends, I don't find that world outside really strange, difficult etc etc. Afterall it can't be very differnt from this. As compared to this engineering college used to be simpler.

Its really great fun whatever goes around :) Lost of action and I am not complaining. It would not have been complete without this i guess. My only contention, Will I learn enough just by observing or should i jump in too ;)

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Strategic Marketing
Interesting article by some from IIMC this about latest developments and changes in the Life Insurance business. After IT, Pharma and Telecom probably insurance in another sector set in for growth. I didn't realize we have 13 Private sector Life Insurance companies now. Infact we had three of the big ones coming over for our CRP.
With stagnation coming up in developed countries it seems we have companies who are ready to join hands with Indian firms to to use their reach and understanding of the markets. Interestingly enough the article gives LIC its due and does not blindly support the supposed win formula of private sector to focus only on urban markets.
Though my info is a little old but there was a time when LIC was the only public sector Insurance firm which has a profitable underwriting business.The other General Insurance companies used their investing income to finance their underwriting operations
Looking at the growth though, I really think I should have pushed the cause of private sector with dad a little more.

Friday, February 20, 2004

Satyam to expand in Chennai, hire 3,000 - The Economic Times
I have started noticing such headlines much more I guess.india Shining or whatever , I guess whatever they write say & tell makes much sense to you when it touches your life. Placemnets are over and i am back to blogging.Needless to say they were awesome. Days lots of hard work and now the party mood all around after that.We have had two wet nights (booze & dance parties) in three days after that.

But coming back to the real issue, I see the point how all those numbers:the sensex, the GDP, The Forex Reserves, The FDI etc etc make a direct impact on my life and also that of others around me. The exapnsion mode has ensured that 'The Firms' are investing into producing more, in turn needing more people and leading to the bonanza that we & other B-Schools are having.

Not that I didn't know all that but just that with Placements this year I am directly seeing macroecominics in practice so close to me.
Anyways these news items also set the trend for next year (or so quite a few of us hope :) things are going to be better.

With seniors moving out , infact quite a few of them have already left, the moody is slightly senti too. There are congratulations and you did it for us messages floating around. I am amazed at the effort put into the thing by people of by batch, the Logs, Controls, Services and Stucos & Cocos. I guess its just comes naturally to you here.The reverse dunking and getting even, the informal committee handovers and thank you treats, my discovery of XL continues.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

League of MBA Bloggers
It helps to find out you have a community of people out there going through the same experience , writing similar kind of stuff as you are.
This blog collection from students present & perspective (MBA's) from across the world is really interesting

The few that I went throu talked about similar Stuff a guy from Wharton talking about time management, networking & sleeping in class.It almost like deja vu

Monday, January 26, 2004

Jan 25, 2004 or Jan 26, 2004 early morning if i want to be precise.Seniors nite is my second realization of the bonding that exists at this place. The last one being Summer Internship Process. Did I really see some people walking out the small audi with tears & red eyes.The rational me would have said no But the real me says indeed. If I could feel slighly emotional about this place yesterday when I still have an year to go, those who are leaving this small self contained little world of ours would really be feeling the loss. Hats off to dracula n the video team for coming up with such a good show.Our efforts were really paid off today when some of them conveyed thjeir heartfelt appreciations

Anyways Macroeconomics seems to really interesting.Dr Reshmi Mitra, amazing proff. Am keen on finding out if she still with XL. She too seems to be a part of the 'XL tradition' though. Thirteen years old if not more

Friday, January 23, 2004

The waters are deeper than i thought.
My reaction to to Moody's lifting of Indian curency's credit rating has been that of relief. Playing the investment advisor can be tough & tricky as I found out in last few days of supposed correction that ET welcomed in its editorial. Needless to say I was vexed. Its for the first time I tried to offer stock market advice & my first prediction seemed to have fallen flat in its face ;)
But two days later today thanks to SEBI clearing air about the ban on participatory notes the markets to be back on track again. But moral of the story there are a lot of things I need to learn & understand. Apparently as Proff Mohanty said, there are a little too many things at play there. Finanacial Management after all deals only with expected price of a share.The road from Finance Concepts to Stock Markets is tougher than I thought.

Friday, January 09, 2004

The days of luxury are almost over.The grinding begins from tomorrow.
Anyways I read this interesting article by an alumni of ours. HR isn't my forte but still what he wrote struck me a on a completely different plane.
Gautam Ghosh writes.

" In the pre-electronic days, even though knowledge was the big thing, it was no good till there was the tangible expression for this knowledge.Then, it was assumed that the knowledge was no good without the other skills like manufacturing, building, etc. Expertise was no good unless it was bundled with other skills, probably prompting George Bernard Shaw to remark "Those who can, do. Those who can’t, they teach!". "

How true. He goes on further to coment on things have changed today (which might be true as far as HR context of Knowledge Management is concerned).The article has been voted among the best of 2003 by HR.com

I am still not sure they have on the plane that I am thinking. Idea seems to have lesser importance than the implementation. Taking a small example from the world, we remember Wright brothers who flew the first plane not the people who made unsuccessful attempts before them. Even in course of my life I see people who are valued or who seem to headed up are not those who can think well but who can conceptualize & present well.

Reminds me of the debate topic recently - "Creative Thought is better than Scientific Thought". Its definitely not if a professor of HR in the institute is to be believed. The idea can not sustain its forte without being given a concrete form- not in the world I going to be living in for the time to come.Much as I wish to side with the idea the rational part of my brain insists n putting the implementation higher up in the list. Precisely what they say management teaches and what organizations evaluate you on.Proff Fenn would have called this the group think or peer pressure effect perhaps .

This tussle of idea and implementation in my brain is an old one though. I see a very consistent pattern to what side I take & why? Its introspection time again perhaps.........

Monday, January 05, 2004

The days of luxury are almost over.Classes from tomorrow.
Anyways I read this interesting article by an alumni of ours. HR isn't my forte but still what he wrote struck me a on a completely different plane.
The gentleman(Mr Gautam Ghosh) writes.

" In the pre-electronic days, even though knowledge was the big thing, it was no good till there was the tangible expression for this knowledge.Then, it was assumed that the knowledge was no good without the other skills like manufacturing, building, etc. Expertise was no good unless it was bundled with other skills, probably prompting George Bernard Shaw to remark "Those who can, do. Those who can’t, they teach!". "

How true. He goes on further to coment on things have changed today (which might be true as far as HR context of Knowledge Management is concerned).The article has been voted among the best of 2003 by HR.com

I am still not sure they have on the plane that I am thinking. Idea seems to have lesser importance than the implementation. Taking a small example from the world, we remember Wright brothers who flew the first plane not the people who made unsuccessful attempts before them. Even in course of my life I see people who are valued or who seem to headed up are not those who can think well but who can conceptualize & present well.

Reminds me of the debate topic recently - "Creative Thought is better than Scientific Thought". Its it definitely not if a professor of HR in the institute is to be believed. The idea can not sustain its forte without being given a concrete form- not in the world I going to be living in for the time to come.Much as I wish to side with the idea the rational part of my brain insists n putting the implementation higher up in the list. Precisely what they say management teaches and what organizations evaluate you on.Proff Fenn would have called this the group think or peer pressure effect perhaps .

This tussle of idea and implementation in my brain is an old one though. I see a very consistent pattern to what side I take & why? Its introspection time again perhaps.........

Am still wondering why my last post has not found its way up there on my blogspot.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

The last fortnight of 2003 was eventful, not in my life but definitely on campus.Term break, Dalma Trek,Delhi trip ( 3 days of comfort back at home piggybanking on a debate;)), HR Conference (Missed this one) and then MAXI Fair. The icing on the cake of course was the alumni reunion. On campus after 25 years..I expected too see some old, tired people, but there they were!! bigshots in their companies, all so full of life. Nostalgic - Quite a few of them were on the dance floor till the wee hours of morning. They laughed, they joked, performed skits, mimiced proffs et all with confidence & as syko pointed to us that generation of XLERS could actually sing ;).MAXIFAIR seems to be specifically designed to improve the creative talents of first year management students. It all culminated on December 31 with a dinner before joining the wetnite (the official party with bonfires) on campus

2004 seems to have begin on too relaxed a note. Strangely enough as I write all this, I realize I haven't made any new year resolutions. I guessed I have matured enough in life not to go through the trouble of making things just to break them.

Three days without classes is quite a luxury here at XL. Life has been slow, infact close to a full stop the last few days with me trying to figure out what all I need to do. I have managed to come up with a long list to decide to do everthing which is not even remotely related to academics.So it has been three movies & about 50 odd mails ( the regular new year stuff ) in last 2 days for me.

The last few hours have been on the net which, has resulted in my signing up for blogspot and ryze. In 2003 was LIVE2READ (another's writers community this). 2004 seems to for blogging and ryzing