Friday, December 31, 2010

What a year it was!!!!!

What a year it was? That’s how most of us wish to talk about the last year… In my case it was exactly like that.
It was a year when things changed completely overnight. I once again got to live as a student and that too in the most famous and prestigious School of India i.e. Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. Instead of chasing schedule deadlines I was worried about surprise quizzes, assignment submissions and project deadlines. Some said it was all very hectic, stressful and so on. Frankly speaking I enjoyed it all.
It was a year when dreams came back to my eyes .That was not because I got to sleep very less over last so many months. It was so because I started re-discovering myself. I got to meet so many exceptionally talented people that I had never had an opportunity anytime before.
Once again the latent extracurricular insect in me came out. I couldn’t resist participating in IIMA TNITE. We had a rocking time at Dassada. IIP was fun and learning combined. London and Dubai trip were bonus add-ons. So many activities in such a short span of time. Phew!!!!!

It was a year when I discovered the joys of observing an infant doing everything for the first time. I was blessed to witness the magical transformation of a newborn every day. These memories are going to stay for lifetime and may be more….. Wish you all a very Happy New Year 2011…

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Writing MBA essay

I have tried to come out with a process for writing MBA essays. Please note that these are my personal views and not a comprehensive list in any way. 
Joining MBA is your step in entering the business management career. As in any business decision the objective for making such a decision should be very clearly thought out. Make sure you write this objective separately and keep it always with you. 
Writing an MBA essay basically requires two important aspects: 
  1. First and foremost know about yourself. You as a person should come out very clearly in your essays. Take time to think about yourself and make sure that your essays portray you holistically and give some valuable information to admission committee.
  2. Next important thing is to know about the institute that you are applying for. It is very important to know the institute that you are applying for. Collect all the background information about the College. Get information about professors and their work. Try to interact with alumni and current students to know more about different activities associated with college.  Basic idea of doing this exercise is to show your interest about the college. Admission committee is very keen to gauge your interest level in the college. 
Some important stages while writing the essay: 
  1. Pre-draft phase: During this phase you jot down all the points, which come to your mind regarding the essay topic. Do a thorough brain storming by yourself and come up with all the points that you want to be included in your essays. Do not be concerned with word limit at this stage.
  2. Draft phase: Once you have all the ingredients for your essay, start giving it a shape. Put your ideas into structured sentences. Some important things to look for are:
    1. Decide the flow of essay. What should come first and what later?
    2. There should be no jumbling up in essay. All the points coming out in your essay should come out as a series and not in a haphazard manner.
    3. Start thinking about world limit.
    4. Do not repeat the same thing by saying it in different words. This makes your essays boring.
    5. Do not go overboard either on your strengths or weaknesses. Try to give as much objective picture as possible.
    6. Avoid pleading in your essays. Sometimes candidates give reference on their weak background to boast about their achievements. Please note this is my personal view. You can take your own       call.
    7. Avoid unnecessary verbosity in your essays. They don’t add much value to your cause. 
  1. Final draft: At this stage your essay is almost ready. Do a thorough review for any grammatical or logical errors. It is advisable to have two to three rounds of thorough review at this stage. If possible you can ask your spouse or a close friend to have a look at your essays and solicit some feedback from them.
  2. Submission copy: This is the copy that you will submit for evaluation by admission committee.  Look for any formatting issues. Read it for final time and press the submit button. Now everything is in hands of admission committee. You have done your best and be rest assured that best will come out after all your hard work and pain. Best of luck for interviews…

PGPX VI interview short list is out

Interview short list for PGPX VI is out. Congratulations to all of you, who made it to this list. 
Give all your best for writing the essays. Make sure that you spend enough time on making your draft essays. Also review it thoroughly before sending it to PGPX office.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dinner at Vishala

Today evening we went to Vishala for dinner. We were accompanied by two of our friend’s family also. My car had a narrow escape from a close kiss by a big truck lorry. Thankfully we reached safely all in one piece.

It was a dimly lit place. Most of the light was coming from kerosene lit lanterns. After long long time I saw a real lantern. I have seen lots of lanterns used in many of the restaurants. It has become a fad for resorts and restaurants to use lanterns. Most of the time these lanterns have electric lamps in them to provide illumination. As per me this is grave injustice to the pure soul of lantern. Lantern is meant to be illuminated with kerosene and not with Edison’s Electricity.

Searching our way we reached inside this spacious place. A man in traditional headgear welcomed us with rose sprinkled with synthetic aroma. I think this is again injustice with the soul of rose. Its original sweet smell deserves more respect. I have suddenly started behaving like film critic. I am talking more about souls and originality. May be operations management class at IIMA PGPX is having more than it’s share of influence on the poor soul (once again.. I told you…) of mine.

We were asked to pay in advance. Now this is never heard of in Indian style restaurants. Vishala is supposed to be a restaurant showcasing Indian traditional culture, craft and cuisine. It also boasts of a utensil museum. We were too hungry to be bothered by matters of history.

Our next stop was at puppet show. Kids had a great laugh at this. All of them enjoyed this thoroughly. Of all the arts showcased at Vishala this was in true traditional style. After this we stopped for some time at this central place where some local artists were trying to enthuse patrons with garba, ghazals and bhangra. Now this is truly something to cover all the different hues of Indian music in one setting. I was by this time almost starving for some mouth watering fair. I had already gulped 3 glasses of raw mango “panna”.

We were made to sit on ground to enjoy our dinner. Now it’s not easy for ladies to maintain this posture for a long time however slim they may be. When the serving started it was like avlanche of food items being served on the pattal(leaf dish). Initially I was impressed by sheer variety of dishes. Slowly I started tasting one dish after the other. Now I have to be very honest here. Truly speaking I wasn’t impressed with any dish in particular. I was constantly searching for a dish, which I could feast upon. Sadly I just kept roaming from one dish to another. Service was good and prompt.

After this came the best part of the evening. We once again went to the central place where local artistes were trying to serve potpourri of Indian music laced with western beats. We made demand for some old ghazals. The singer was not prepared for those numbers. He tried to impress us with best of the numbers in his repertoire. We also joined in chorus to enjoy the best part of evening. After this a bunch of young hip crowd came with guys in funny hair does and gals in skimpy revealing clothes. I think to be hip you have to follow these basic traits. They demanded some disco garba and bhangra. The artisans obliged promptly with whatever they could do. Suddenly everybody was dancing there. Kids, spouses everyone had their share of latkas and jhatkas.

We had meetha pan to put icing on our dinner expedition. Home journey back was uneventful. Overall an enjoyable evening in company of friends and family…. It’s surprising to have this kind of relaxed evening for a serious PGPX student at IIM Ahmedabad…

Monday, May 17, 2010


Went today to see film houseful. I am a big fan of films in slapstick comedy domain. Somehow I didn’t like this film. I felt all the tricks in comedy arena were desperately employed to create humor unsuccessfully. Film producer and director were aware of shortcoming in story line. Therefore they have relied heavily on skin show by lead actresses. Most of the time they keep on dancing in skimpy clothes near a pool or sea beach. First half of film is somewhat palatable but meanders aimlessly in second half. Final climax scene with laughing gas doesn’t looks convincing. You just don’t get involved with characters. After you come out of theater you don’t carry any part of film with you.

Things have been very hectic for us here at PGPX. There were three quizzes in last week. It took the wind out of sail for majority of participants. Almost every face in new campus on IIMA looked lost and puzzled. When stress crosses a threshold you become numb to it. The only positive thing to happen was that we have crossed another benchmark in physical and mental endurance.

We have also gained one important skill during our stay here at IIM ahmedabad. Me with some of my syndi-mates have become almost experts in predicting surprise quizzes. We were able to predict both the surprise quizzes accurately last week. We shared our prediction freely also with other batch mates. Very few from other syndi-groups believed us because we were new in the market. Going forward we will be listened more attentively for our quiz forecasts. Hope we can master this art and make some business out of it. These days I am thinking of making business out of everything!!

Tomorrow we have another quiz. This is not the surprise one at it was announced one week before. I should be preparing for it instead of writing this blog. Somehow I don’t feel same kind of excitement as in a surprise quiz. That’s perhaps the reason I am not so much worried now. Trying to maintain my composure and belief in this vast world of management theories and jargons…

Below are some photographs from PGPX innaguration session.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Nature in all its glory

Nature in all its versatility is present on IIMA campus. Cats, Dogs, Squirrels, Monkeys, Parrots; you can spot everything here. Every morning and evening sky is filled with birds migrating to and fro from their nests. It’s like being in a bird sanctuary. Langoors(Big monkeys with black face), that too big ones numbering over a dozen are there to give company to occupants of PGPX hostel. Security guards have a tough time warding them off from living areas.

You can always hear chirping of birds at almost any time of day. It’s like a constant music going on in the background. You don’t need an Ipod or any other music device while going for a jog. Just hear the sounds coming from all sides. It’s like nature creating a perfect symphony to keep you in good humor.

Suddenly this craze of night football has started within the PGPX community. This game typically starts around at mid night in PGPX lawns and goes on for almost an hour or so. I am not sure if this will be a continuous feature in the coming days also. One of the profs was quite puzzled to see this night football game. I can sense his discomfort as the profs pride themselves by burdening us with all the workload possible in an academic environment. Lately two of my group mates have started going to gym. I have been advising them to keep this adventure as secret. If faculty gets a whip of it, they are sure going to have a re-look at the workload and would invariably end up increasing it still further. I only pray that such a thing never happens.

Just one more update: Elections of major committees other than placement has happened. Some able guys have got the charge of some important portfolios. I am sure they will do a good job in coming days.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Vote for me, I promise you the World!!!!!

These are election times for IIMA PGPX batch. Things are getting hot literally. Elections have added spice to the otherwise academically overloaded life at PGPX. People are gearing up for big elections due for Placecom, Media rep and other posts. Obviously most talked one is the one for placement committee. Everybody has or her own view of this very important committee.

Potential candidates have already started their campaign in style. There are some who have already positioned themselves even before arriving at Ahmedabad. They consider placecom position as mater of life and death. Their only big aim in life now is to get into this committee. They have been giving hints about their aspiration both in public and private. A very common style is to bring about the placement talks in any possible forum. They live, eat and sleep placement. I am sure placecom will be in safe hands if these guys get elected.

There are others who have already declared themselves almost elected. They are promising moon to ordinary mortals like me. They will ensure that most of the fortune 500 companies make a beeline for PGPX batch when the placement season starts. In this category there are some who are even promising to bring blue chip companies from some particular countries. I know you PGPX guys already know which countries I am talking about.

Covert campaigning is on full swing both at MSH and Dorms. Some of the wives have also joined this golden initiative of their husbands. There is already talk going on spouse circles about how the future placement committee should look like. Whether it should have more experienced or harder working energetic guys; everything is getting discussed. Opinions and choices are being exchanged. Thank God kids are still out from this whole election business. They think that this is some other election that usually happens in this country.

In between this, there are some who have still not opened their cards. They want to jump at last minute and spring a surprise for everybody. All kinds of strategy are being put in place. People have already started using the learning obtained in MD (modeling of decision) and OB (organizational behavior) classes. Decision trees are already in place for smooth ride to success in elections. My only worry is that they may be putting half-baked knowledge to use and it may backfire for them.

What about me? I am having the best seat in the theater to watch this very interesting aspect of PGPX life. Way to go PGPX. You guys rock…

Monday, April 26, 2010

Give me some sleep. Give me some pill……

The above title of this post is a very poor attempt by me to rhyme it with a  famous song of recent blockbuster 3 idiots. Hope you don’t mind it.

Why are Pharmaceuticals not coming up with formulations that can fight sleep deprivation? We hear so much advancement in medical science. Lots of new drugs keep hitting the market everyday.

I believe all management schools present a very good market for “anti sleep” tablets. Students with deep “red eyes” are constantly looking for some magic potions that can make them sleep immune. Batch mates of PGPX batch at IIMA have started walking sleepy eyed with confused looks in the face. Everybody is somehow trying to catch up with mandatory reading for all the classes. If you are not adequately prepared, you are bound to be caught of-guard in the class and Profs are very sharp in identifying ill prepared students. Most importantly you don’t want to miss the action in the class just because you fell asleep while reading the class assignment.

I feel really blessed to be in the company of such accomplished individuals. PGPX batch of 2010 is a gathering of very talented professionals who have already made a mark for themselves. Everybody here comes with a very strong and focused insight on his or her respective field. Learning accomplished in class discussions is of highest order. Discussion in individual groups and informal gatherings provide deep insight into some of the best practices prevalent in the industry.

Given a choice I would like to have as much interaction as possible. The only thing coming in way is paucity of time because of extra heavy workload. On top of it Profs keep reminding us that things are going to be more uphill in coming days. I am not sure what will happen to most of us. We desperately need a pill so that we can be wide awake for next 51 weeks. We have just crossed one functional week at IIMA PGPX!!!

Saturday, April 10, 2010


I Reached IIMA on 8th April. Past two days have been hectic considering the many tours of neighboring schools for my daughter’s admission. I was under impression that school admission in Ahmedabad may be slightly less painful than Bangalore. It’s not the case. Schools charge heavily under the guise of admission fees. We need admission for a year and paying hefty amount for admission fees looks unreasonable. I have got assurances from some of the schools. Let us see how things unfold in coming days.

IIMA campus is majestic and very impressive to say the least. Lots of open spaces invite you to take long walks in the campus. Accommodation provided for Married students is also very spacious and comfortable. It comes with all the amenities required for modern life. Meenu and Kuhoo have got an instant liking of the campus. Choti is also behaving properly by not howling and she is also smiling more. The bond between two of us is increasing by day.

On the registration day I was greeted with approximately two tons of books and study materials. Faculty here is no mood to give us any respite. They are making all arrangements to submerge all of us deep in the intricacies of management theories and concepts. Let us see how things shape up. I have lost my precious sleeping cycle thinking about the load of books. I have yet to open a booklet from the tons of reading material provided to all of us.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chili Grenades

Yes you heard it right. Chili grenades are the latest weapon addition to Indian military. Made from Made from thumb sized “bhut jolokia” or “ghost chili”- the spiciest chili pepper in the world, according to the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records -- the grenades are expected to immobilize suspects. Trials are on for this weapon and they are intended to be used by women against attackers and for the police to control and disperse mobs.

Last day in Office

Yesterday was my last day in organization. I had to say Goodbye to this great workplace after spending seven and half years of some fantastic time with very creative and supportive Colleagues. I got to learn lots of things professionally during this time. Lots of people provided me with much needed encouragement and support whenever required. It was lots of fun getting opportunity to work with such a great bunch of passionate technologists.

Whenever I left any organization in the past I used to maintain a stoic self and be as un-emotional as possible. This time it was something different. I could sense all the affection of my workplace team and friends. Though I maintained an outer calm, but could sense waves of emotions running high. I will always remember this bunch of enthusiastic and friendly individuals. I would like to say only one thing. You Guys Rock!!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Second Degree

I just finished reading “Second degree” by Prashant John. Before I say something on this book let me describe how I chanced upon this book. After putting my papers I have been doing nothing worthwhile for last couple of weeks. I was forced by my family to accompany my Father to Jayanagar 4th block to get our travel bags repaired. While my Father was busy with the repair shop, I went to near by Sapana book house to glance through some of the new arrivals.

In the display section of new arrivals I could see this book “Second Degree” displayed very prominently. Seeing IIM-A on the cover page caught my attention instantly. I must confess that the book got me hooked immediately.
PGPX program from IIMA is a relatively new one. Having started in 2006 it’s still in its nascent stage. Prashant john was member of the first batch of PGPX. He comes out as someone with a very unassuming personality and a chilled out attitude. His main motto is to be out of rat race when everyone is there to be in the same rat race. This provides for a strong narration and objectivity of the book.

“Second degree” can be treated as Bible for any PGPX aspirant. It provides chronological description of all the PGPX modules and the very interesting student life at IIM-A campus. This book is very different from books such as ‘Five Point Someone’ written on campus life. Even though there is some fiction interlaced in the writing, it’s basically to make the reading more interesting. Fiction never overtakes the factual description in whole of the book. One gets to know small details like classroom seating position of students as well as difficulty level encountered in some specific subjects like cost accounting. Reader becomes completely familiar with assignments, quizzes, CPs and end term tests effortlessly while navigating through the book.

Prashant has a strong hold on humor and this comes out very beautifully all throughout the book. All his characters like Sweety, Subbu, Berrywala, Prasad, Bongo, Jignesh and Daddu add the humor quotient to the book in their unique ways. They also provide insight into student life at campus and everyday struggle of a typical business school student.
Prashant develops the plot of the book quite nicely by introducing all his characters elaborately and describing the induction session in detail. This provides for some engrossing reading. He seems to be in somewhat hurry during the later part of the book. Sometimes he comes out as a very bored soul and tries to rush through in the end chapters. He could have provided more substance and retained his magic as in initial chapters. Nevertheless by this time reader is fully immersed and so doesn’t mind these blips.

PGPX is relatively unknown entity in corporate World. A very fascinating reading like “Second degree” is sure to make it very visible. Prashant has done a great service to his Alma matter by coming up with something like this. I recommend this book to anybody looking out for some fast paced instant fun with lots of insider stuff on IIM-A PGP

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Why to do a one year MBA?

1. First and foremost it provides you with an opportunity to get more skills required for higher management roles. It certainly helps you cope better with everyday issues that you face in your workplace. It invigorates your learning cells and you are ready to take a deep plunge!!

2. Quite often than not you can reboot your career through one year MBA program like PGPX from IIMA. You have already spent significant amount of time in your job. By this time you are very clear on your likes and dislikes. You would have also created some new taste in finance or marketing or any other subject. MBA enables you to give a fresh boost to your career by making you choose right job post your MBA stint.

3. The one year MBA program makes you come out of your lethargy zone. This makes you believe that you can slug it out for many days non stop without little or any sleep. You suddenly feel that you are much more capable to slog than you actually thought about your kind self. In the nutshell it makes you much more confident to face the corporate world.

4. If you do your MBA from a premier institute like IIMA or ISB, it adds lots of value to your profile. It also increases the networking opportunities with very accomplished Alumni and batch mates who go on to make a mark for themselves.

5. Everybody has his or her own style of management. You would have tried some of your beliefs and theories while doing everyday management job. When you go to an MBA School you get an opportunity to validate your ideas and theories. It provides you opportunity to thin k much more and deeper on your favorite management topic and come out with your interpretation of the same. This whole process can be very fulfilling and rewarding in the long run.

Richest Lord of Earth!!!!

Day before I made the trip to Tirupathi with my parents. This trip was long overdue and I am happy that we could make it this time. It’s needless to say that it was a divine experience. Even though it was relatively less crowded day, then also we encountered long queues of devotees. It was a sea of humanity immersed in devotion to Lord Srivari waiting patiently for its turn to have a glimpse of Lord Almighty.

I am happy that I could accomplish this journey and have darshan of the richest and most benevolent Lord of Tirumala.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Placement Buzz from IIM's

Recently we have seen lots of news on IIM placements. All major newspapers are full of IIM placement stories. Basic underline theme is the substantial improvement in placements compared to last year. I feel placement statistics reflect the general optimism seen in economy. I also feel that placement statistics should not be over hyped. What eventually matters is the wisdom and knowledge gained by any student from his/her Alma matter.

One-year full time MBA is still in its nascent stage in India. ISB started it in 2000 followed by IIM Ahmedabad in 2006. One can still see clearly that Industry awareness on the value derived from One year MBA is still very low. There has been lots of media coverage on IIMA’s two year PGP program but It’s PGPX placement has got very little coverage. Almost all the IIM’s have one-year MBA courses running with them. Still we can see Industry and media is mostly focused on two year MBA by all the IIM’s.

I sincerely feel this scenario will change very fast in coming years. Industry will see the value and depth in one-year MBA programs like PGPX from IIMA. The candidates coming out from these programs bring invaluable experience and learning from the Industry. Their learning also from the program is also very high. Faculty in all the IIM’s has repeatedly vouched for superlative value from one-year MBA participants. Some Industries have already taken the lead in recruiting from programs like PGPX. They have returned to campus repeatedly to repose their faith in these one-year MBA programs. I am personally quite optimistic on the value derived from one year MBA programs like PGPX from IIMA.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Our little angel!!

Some Good news to share with you all. We were blessed with Baby Girl on 11th Feb last Thursday. Both kid and Mother are doing fine. Kuhooji is of course very happy to get a new baby doll. She has been inviting all her friends and aunties to see her cutie chota bachaa.

A kid’s birth is an experience which can only be felt. It is very hard to describe it in words. You have this new feeling of your immediate family getting extended. Lots of joy rushes through your blood. You just want to continuously see the face of the newborn. This experience is quite exhilarating in itself.

In the meantime I am getting used to my new possession Canon DSLR.I would like to spend more time with it to get more familiar. I will also try to share some photographs shortly.

D-day is approaching fast. I have to get ready for one year intense learning session at IIM Ahmedabad. Lots of pending assignments need to be completed. I intend to finish all the items in the list at the earliest possible.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Not much on TV!!!!!

Lots of things to do before taking the plunge into the world of learning and more learning….

By the way TV viewing, particularly Hindi entertainment channels, has suddenly become a dull affair. Not much to flip through on the Weekdays. On weekends there are programs which are able to grab your attention for longer period of time.

STAR has been slowly losing its early lead all through the last year. It seems they have lost any motivation to produce good entertaining stuff. They refuse to come out from their mould when competitors like Zee and Colors are eating their viewership with Good mix of Soaps and reality based shows. Colors have definitely done some smart thinking to come out with their bouquet of interesting mix of programming. They have been able to attract both regional as well as urban audience. Zee has also got it’s act together and started focusing it’s serials on rural set up to attract big viewership. Star has been a big looser in this churning up. It seems they are lost in deep slumber and nobody is bothered to seriously rectify the situation in its favor. Sony has also been not able to keep up pace with the recent developments. They also have yet to come out with something innovative to register their presence.

I seriously feel there is lot of opportunity for entertainment channels to increase their bottom line. We are yet to see a Quality talk show on any of the existing channels. The reality shows are also missing mark by being repetitive. I feel some of the key players should seriously focus on increasing the quality and quantity of content to increase the latent viewership. In one of these days it may happen sooner than later…..