Sunday, July 7, 2013

After 3 Years!

An eventful 3yrs have passed by. All of us have cushy jobs, none a long term entrepreneur though some did give it a try, and some still in-progress. Most bachelors found their better halves, some have added kids and yet there are some who have chosen to remain single. The bigger GMP 2010 family has definitely increased in strength.

All this while this blog was out of action or was it? Here is how it was still making its presence felt:

Vision, mission, plan and execution are important elements of any organization. Can this blog restart on the PLC curve with your help? How are those important element going to be re-defined?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Innovation at Work

It’s about time that most of us would have joined work. We would have got used to the processes at work and probably even started getting frustrated seeing some of them. We might have even cursed ourselves that how we are a tiny fry in a big organization.

We have also heard the tales of how some organization are innovative and entrepreneurial in nature while others have none of these qualities. People would go all lengths to be part of these organizations. So is innovation restricted to only the likes of Google or 3M. We can delay it into eternity by thinking that our time for making the changes will come when we reach the place of CXO’s.

Alternately we can do something which is being advocated by Robin Sharma in his latest book” Leader without Title” and try to make small but incremental changes in our work place irrespective of our position. Well appears easy but is it difficult to implement?

I found a live example of some one trying innovation from unexpected corner. Every day while going back from office to home, I would face a traffic jam at the Hope farm circle. It is not due to heavy traffic but a specific reason.

All along the square are four lane roads except for the one going to Chanshankara, which is two-lane road. There are no free left turns at the square. Just on the beginning of the road is the assumed bus stop for passengers who wish to board the bus going towards Chanshankara. Since this road remains narrow throughout and has heavy traffic there is no space for making an alternate bus stop ahead of this one. As a result when the buses going towards Chanshankara stop, to take the passengers, traffic behind them going towards Chanshankara comes to an absolute halt, most of the times on the very square itself. So even when the light turns green for the other sides of the square the vehicles cannot move due to blocked square. Many fellow commuters and I have seen this scene, honked in agony and many a times curse the people who travel by bus, as if they had a bus stop choice. The traffic policeman standing there would turn a blind eye to this episode which plays itself many times over in the day.


It is here that I saw an example of ingenuity and leadership at grass root levels. Some of the policeman tried a novel idea. Since shifting the bus stop was not in their power they devised a solution keeping it a “hard constraint”. They started halting the traffic coming from Chanshankara much before the traffic signals equivalent of two buses length from the signal. Under this arrangement the bus would stop at the bus stop at the beginning of the road. However other vehicles would move from the side of the bus, traveling in the opposite lane for a while before they would cross the bus and reach ahead of the bus and follow the normal lane. Incidentally, keeping the traffic light of their side green for an additional 10 seconds compensated the traffic, which was halted much short of traffic signal. Though the solution defies the traffic laws (of moving in your lane), it offers the best solution under the given set of constraints. I was really amused with this simple solution, which was put forward and implemented by just two things – Common sense and a willingness to make a difference.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lessons for driving car in Bangalore

With GMP over, we could probably make this blog a part of "cached pages" or make it a melting pot of our experiences in life after GMP.With this in mind:

It is not that I have not experienced the traffic of Bangalore before.But experiencing it while being in the driving seat is a different feeling.Some observations/lessons for driving car in Bangalore based on my learnings from driving my car from Airport road to ITPL-

1. If you thought only small creatures were nimble(And you have not seen the Elephant ad of Accenture),you need to see the Bangalore city buses in action.The drivers will cut your path with such precision,you will bite your nails.

2. While driving in Bangalore on a 4 lane road-2 lane for each side of traffic, drive as indicated in the picture.At many a places where there is a U turn facility available, the vehicles get stuck for a long time as they are unable to turn due to high speed traffic coming from other side.In case you are driving at the outer edge of the road,you will get stuck behind this traffic awaiting U turn.The bus drivers of Bangalore would keep changing lane to at the bus stops,in that case too you will have the best chance to speed up in the gap.

3. Consult for one ways lest you will find yourself running around in circles.There is no scope for consulting while on the move as there is no place where you can get your vehicle to a side and ask for directions.

4. If you are going to some destination in town,find the location of the nearest mall where you can park your car and with that as base use the auto for commuting.There are just no parking slots in Bangalore.

5. Dont feel happy ,if you jumped a traffic light and are not apprehended by the cops.He would have noted your number and will either send the notice home or pass information on the walkie-talkie to the cop at next square.

6. And for each car journey you think of taking,evaluate whether you can avoid that by a combination of daily or monthly bus pass as with the air conditioned volvo..u can avoid driving atleast for office.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Catchy title for XLRI GMP 2010 Graduation Ceremony

The title says 7 doctors turn managers. We had 6 not 7 doctors in the batch. Anyways here is the link.

XLRI GMP Class of 2010 - The final shot

Our Graduation ceremony has been covered by Press.

Here are links

Jamshedpur, May 12: For a crop of 131 professionals from the corporate world, it was like revisiting their graduation day in college today.

The occasion was XLRI’s graduation ceremony for students of one-year general management programme (GMP) as well as those of executive diploma in human resource management (HRM), which was taught in India and Dubai.

A total of 96 GMP students and 35 HRM students (19 from India and 16 from Dubai) were handed over certificates by Father E. Abraham, the director of XLRI, and chief guest H.M. Nerurkar, the managing director of Tata Steel. Kailash Nandalal Jialdasani bagged the director’s medal this year.

“Those who graduated today are not freshers. They have considerable experience in the corporate sector and had come back to pursue courses here for enhancing their knowledge. I hope these students will step out and add value to their services. The students who are present here are lucky to be in this part of the world as the south east is flourishing with business opportunities,” said Nerurkar.

The GMP programme is meant for middle-level managers. They are primarily from engineering background but their profile is nonetheless diverse — from IT to fashion technology to academics.

Almost all of them had seven years of executive experience when they joined this programme.

This year, the students were sent to four different universities across the world for more exposure.

“Coming back to books was a unique experience, thanks to our families for supporting us. College was good with so many courses, assignments and great professors, who have moulded us to be sharpened managers. We will cherish our stay here forever,” said Anshuman Jaiswal, one of the graduating GMP students.

XLRI officials said the 2010 batch had set a new benchmark with their initiative, resilience and a rare commitment to pursue their dreams.

Friday, April 16, 2010

International Exposure Module for GMP (09-10)

Here is the summary of International Immersion for GMP 2009-2010 post on XLRI website

International immersion was an exciting & enriching experience of XLRI's one year General Management Program (GMP) (2009-10), five groups of students travelled to 5 different geographical locations across the globe – to Chicago and New Orleans in USA, Munster in Germany, Lille in France and Manila in Philippines, showing the emphasis XLRI puts on diverse international experience that its students would bring to the class.

The 3 week long program focused on familiarizing the students with business climate and industrial scenario of their host countries, as well as giving them a chance to execute a project for different organizations there. For example, the group that went to AIM, Manila visited world Head quarters of Asian Development Bank and participated in round table conference on State Owned Enterprises. The group also worked on consulting projects for companies like Cognizant, Jollibee Foods Corporation, Lafarge etc. and helped them in strategy development & developing forecast model.

The team Germany was accompanied by the Dean of GMP program, Dr. Pranabesh Ray. Germany is the home of world's most respected companies like SAP, BMW, addidas, SIEMENS, Deutsche Bank etc. Applying class room teachings, the group developed insight into German manufacturing industry through value chain analysis and studied the corporate strategies of big and medium size companies in Germany.

The Chicago group got an unique opportunity of attending CII Conference headed by Mr. Sam Pitroda (advisor to Prime Minister of India), also present were business leaders from Chicago & India and professional turned academician, Raghuram Rajan (IMF Chief Economist, 2003-2006). Further, the group made a visit to Chicago Board of Trade. The group also made a presentation on "Destination India" day, highlighting the exciting business opportunities & quality of human resources present in India.

The programme for the New Orleans group was hosted by Tulane University. Besides Company projects, students also participated in a strategy simulation game (CAPSIM) where they created and managed virtual companies that competed against each other for 8 simulated years. Students acting as top management of the company took decisions in various management areas of marketing, operations, finance and HR. The group not only completed the simulations successfully but also made it to the global top 10 rankings amongst world's foremost B schools and Corporations who they were playing the game with.

The France team went to IESEG at Lille and did marketing & strategy projects for the world's 4th biggest Home-Improvement Retail company, and visited EU Parliament at Brussels and Paris to interact with local businesses.

According to the Dean, "the international immersion programme not only helps executive GMP students understand the nuances of new economic order but also showcases Indian talent to the world".

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Signing off on a winning note

The Faculty led by Prof Sengupta threw a challenge to GMP batch for a football match.The timing for GMPians could not have been better.With fourth term coming to a fag end, there was little excitement in the routine.GMPians took the challenge.What followed was a break from the late nights and some "Forced" practice sessions in the morning.Sourav Samtani led from the front,even if it meant giving morning wake up calls to the team members.Eventually colleagues used to avoid meeting him at dinner time fearing that he will coax them into a morning session next day.
To pull the rest of the batch to the field,Suraj fired his salvo by his mail...which served both as an invitation and a warning.
Extract reproduced below.
"They were not educated like the learned Romans;  Only thing they could read were the ferocious eyes of their opponents. They did not belong to the noble blood, but they tasted blood to entertain the nobility,
When elite Roman studied astronomy and geometry, they learned the language of swords, arrows, dust and blood.
They were the Gladiators ……the entertainers of the elite.
 2000 years have passed…………………………but the legend continues,

So as the elite GMPians will busy themselves with books, Some would be fighting for the pride of GMP on the football ground.
They don’t enjoy Grades, they don’t cherish Ranks,
What they enjoy is bruised knees and bleeding elbows.
Coming to cheer them is not the matter of Choice; It is the matter of Guts."

The mail did the trick. With GMPians coming out in big numbers, the stage was set for the big show.
 As the Sun dropped a few degrees to welcome a hot evening, the XLRI football field heated up with an excellent football .The standard of play was expectedly high. Faculty team produced a performance in the first half that saw them levelled at 0-0 despite the GMP capturing the ball for 80% of the time. This first half included intense attacks by the GMPians, strong defence and some excellent airborne goalkeeper enabled saves by the faculty team.
Half Time- GMP- 0………………Faculty- 0
On the risk of a little digression, it should be pointed out that the referee was also feeling the intense competitive heat, but made his all time best efforts to keep up with the fast paced game. There were a few controversies regarding referee deciding against giving offside on two occasions but the high voltage drama continued with the right sportsman spirit. It was a fun filled game with spectators from all age groups. Adults, children, extra players and refreshment serving staff all cheered for their favourite side. The huge number of onlookers ensured enormous vocal output. Photographers with their variously sized cameras clicked every detail of the match.
 The second half saw the introduction of young blood from the faculty team. These kids were campus residents and threatened complete demolition of the tiring GMPians. It was this half that saw increasing attacks from the faculty team. However GMPians led by their captain drew the first blood and scored two goals in quick successions. GMPians produced their best display in the past few weeks and proved too strong for faculty team, progressing to the final whistle with a couple of goals more. Thus the lead stretched to 4-0 and XLRI GMP team won the match with a BIG-BANG.
End of the match- GMP- 4…………………Faculty- 0
The agility of our professors and staff members showed their fitness and commitment level. The camaraderie amongst players was evident throughout the game and the post match handshakes and appreciation of each others’   game added to the healthy playing atmosphere. XLRI, we would miss so many things related to you and this match would certainly be one amongst them.  

Photograph courtesy- Durgesh,Omkar,Hemant and Venkat
Article composed by Pracheesh and Ankit

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Branding - The GMP style

Since the very day, GMPians stepped into XL, they were enthusiastic about strengthening the brand - GMP. The creativity reached its peak when the mail trails started with various slogans to be printed on their T-shirts..... My mail box would have over 200 mails with multiple ideas and suggestions on what should be the design on our 'planned' T-shirts.... We got many many suggestions and some of them are listed below.
"often emulated seldom matched","XLence is everything, rest is IIMaterial or ISBullshit" , "XLence is everything,rest is all IIMaterial", "...neither S nor M, nor it is L... live life in XL...", "it's here... passion n knowledge gel......n together we XL...", "...the confleuence of knowledge brings XLence...", "Live Life XL size", "XLence Rules"
Arguments and counter arguments in favour or against these slogans kept on pouring in our mail boxes. This was just the beginning of a year full of brainstorming sessions for many more things to follow...We started contacting vendors in Delhi, Ahmedabad, Kolkata etc but none of them was ready to print 100 odd pieces as it was too less a quantity for a whole seller. I personally contacted over 20 vendors and asked for samples. Few of them responded positively and most of them simply agreed to send samples but never reverted.
We tried to get in some vendors locally but the quality of the fabric was the issue. Finally we got hold of a vendor in Delhi who was ready to deliver us our most awaited sweat shirts with customized design..
But problems didn't shy away from us even now. The extreme fog in northern India kept on delaying the consignment which could reach us only till the end of January. Rest is just history... For remaining days of winter...the favourite color of GMPians was Black and the most number of times I read XLRI - GMP in a fortnight was on the back of GMPians walking around.
Here is the design we finalized....

And the efforts are on to get t-shirts now!!


Monday, March 29, 2010

Environmental Markets – The next big thing!

Business opportunities in the Environmental Markets – This was the theme of talk delivered at XLRI by Dr. Ram Babu, CEO - General Carbon. He has over 35 years of professional experience in the Environmental sector and has worked with institutions like National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, PricewaterhouseCoopers and CantorCO2e.

Dr. Ram’s work in the private sector includes environment impact assessments, environment & energy audits, quality & environment management systems and corporate governance benchmarking. From 1999, Dr. Ram focused on developing Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. Ram has participated in setting up many of the systems and processes of the Clean Development Mechanism, which includes development of methodologies, registration of over 50 projects and issuance of over 25 million CERs. Dr.Ram has led some of the early transactions in the compliance and voluntary markets and has been instrumental in developing a variety of carbon finance structures.

Dr. Ram Babu’s visit to XLRI, one of the country’s top notch Business Schools, is part of XLRI’s initiative to impart effectual corporate leadership amongst its students through frequent and periodic interactions with industry experts as part of the CEO Forum. The event was attended by students of General Management Programme(GMP), Business Management and Personnel Management students and faculty.

With consensus finally taking shape around Copenhagen, green technologies and environmental markets offer immense business opportunities in the near future. Dr. Ram Babu in his opening remarks highlighted that in a path breaking paper by the leading economists of the world, the value of services provided by the biosphere have been valued at 1.8 times of Global GNP. With increased focus on climate change and higher commitments of nations under Copenhagen, he opined that the share of Climate balance management Systems/Service in the global GDP would reach a level of 5% by 2020 surpassing the share of IT sector.

He briefly outlined the opportunities in the environmental markets viz., Incentive and market based mechanisms, Open trading under regulations, Self Organized Private deals and Certification and eco labeling of products and services. The market in carbon credits alone is estimated at around 50 billion dollars. Impressed by the keen interest shown by the students of XLRI in becoming partners in tapping this huge opportunity, he offered help in incubating ideas in this domain. Some of the ideas which found favor were investments in improving efficiency in various domains like energy utilities, cold storages, automobile and manufacturing sector etc to generate carbon credits.

The event was very interactive and Dr. Ram Babu answered many questions of students. The questions ranged from the mechanisms under CDM, project financing for carbon credit projects, types of technologies and industries which offer opportunities under carbon credits, etc.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Post Admission FAQs

1. for unmarried students, does XLRI provide a single room or is it on a twin sharing basis?
For unmarried students, the accommodation is a single room with attached bathroom, table, chair, bookshelf, AC, telephone, internet and lightings. The rooms are cleaned daily and there is dedicated housekeeping staff employed by XLRI. You can be assured of a comfortable stay while at XLRI’s GMP residence
2. Do we need to carry an n/w cord with us for the laptop, or is it wireless access to the network?
An n/w cord is always useful. The college is Wi-Fi enabled and each room has a LAN point. Each student is provided with a LAN cord within the first couple of days. To remain connected with the first minute you enter your room, you may carry an n/w with yourself.
3. Are there any shops within or near to the campus to purchase household items?
Jamshedpur is a small city and major shopping centers – Sakchi and Bistupur are about 10 minutes on bike. Within the campus, there a small shop but I don’t think it can handle your grocery requirements. There are a couple of shops just outside the campus gate which should be able to satisfy all your purchase needs including groceries and others.
4. What expenses do we have to budget additionally during our stay?
I understand that food is not included in the fees. Can’t think of any major expenses other than the phone and daily misc spend. You should factor about 50K-1L for the international immersion.
5. Do we need to buy any additional books during the course or are the notes provided by Profs enough?
No additional books need to be bought. They are supplied by the institute. You can choose to carry a few notebooks or you can buy them here.
6. Is there any constraint on the dress code during regular course work?
I hope casuals are okay. During the first term, a professor insists formalwear for managerial communication classes. Otherwise, its casual wear. Formal suites are required for formal gatherings and interviews
7. I understand that hectic would be a small word to describe your schedule, but how often do we get time to interact with student societies? Is there an opportunity to suggest an idea and start your own club?
Students are free to form their own clubs and information exchange committees with GMP peers. GMP has Finance committee, Canteen Committee, Admin committee, Online Group, Toastmasters club and Sports committee. XLRI also has well established clubs encompassing all programs of XLRI, concentration on diverse areas where GMP students are welcome to join. Some examples are: CRESENT (consulting club), Finax (finance association), Maxi(marketing association), Fire@x (Industrial relations & Labour law), SIGMA( social initiative for Managerial assistance) and many more. Information about other clubs is available on XLRI website. Usually, students participate in the events organized by various societies.
8. How often do we have alumni meets or sessions with head honchos? I am asking purely from an n/wing perspective. Such sessions keep happening around the year.
On an average, you can expect to see at least two guest lecturers/CEO forums per quarter. Alumni meets are more planned and happen 1-2 times during the year. There are guest lectures even during regular classes with people from the industry contributing to current topics.
9. Please shed some light on the waitlist conversion ratio . Please convey some inputs on the chances of waiting list candidates and till what number can a waiting list candidate expect for conversion to a final call along with the time frame for the same.
In my batch, I think the waitlist number upto 15 was admitted.
you will have to be patient at least till the time admitted guys pay their first installment. Waitlist processing starts only after this date.
11. Do you suggest one should get their own vehicle during their stay in the campus ?
It is highly advisable to get your own vehicle to campus. Jamshedpur is a small city and it increases your mobility within the city and campus. A lot of my batch mates (including me) have their vehicles (car and bike) here on campus. There is ample covered parking area available with the residence blocks. It takes at most 10 mins to walk down to your class from the GMP residence, so even not having a vehicle is not a big deal.
12. Do we have to pay the mess charges in the beginning itself or do we have the option of making monthly payments towards it ?
Mess charges are usually paid along with the installment. We paid 40,000 for annual mess charge. There’s a new cafeteria near the GMP blocks which should also present some decent options!
13. Any suggestions on the preparatory ground work I should do before the course starts ?

The one year at XL is going be quite hectic. You can choose to rest before all the fun (on the run!) begins. If you are keen to start early, you can brush up your skills in Probability, Basic accounting, a little bit of micro and macroeconomics. I suggest you to start following the economic trends and getting used to the terms.