Archive for March, 2006

ISB in the News!

March 31, 06 by Bharani

There was a sizzling news item in Today’s Economic Times about ISB. Attached below is the press clip.

ISB grads rake in $200,000 packet

• Dollar Dreams Hit New High


THE B-school moolah route has hit a new high this year. Five students of the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, have been offered $200,000 plus (about Rs 1 crore) pay package. This is just the floor level. While the figure is one of the highest ever, the fact that as many as five students from one batch have been offered such a package is unprecedented in the history of ISB.

You would be surprised to note that chief marketing officers in America earn base salaries of that level, and here we are just talking about MBA grads out of India. To be fair, these are lateral placements, and so these students are not 23-year old fresher who have bagged such a deal.

Though exact figures are still under wraps, it is believed that at least one of them could have even been offered more than the all-time record in India clocked by an IIM-C grad five years back — $225,000 per annum.

ISB spokesperson declined to confirm or deny the news saying: “We will be making a public announcement about the placements this year next week.”

To my knowledge there is only partial truth to this news. May be I am ignorant! But the issue here is not about the news, it’s about the media’s intention about the news.

I wonder how “word-of-mouth” news about placements can be published just like that without proper verification. Media people are clearly after selling “hot” news without verifying if the news is authentic or not-authentic. The situation is same in all countries especially as far as B-schools are concerned. I can see this news in two ways…Either there are some people in ISB who are providing “insider” information or News reporters are trying to hype the situation and setting up the institute for failure! To be honest, I am fed up with these kind of “Highest salary 1 crore” (The figure which is apparently a result of B-schools converting the GBP/EUR figure into Dollars and then into Rupees, each at the highest possible exchange rate at any point of the year!!!)…Phew! There is much more about B-schools than just placements or salaries….

PS: Couple of weeks back, I mentioned that 25 odd people are jobless and searching for their fit. The situation has vastly improved with many of those people getting a job offer according to their requirements. One of my friend in that 25 group, now has 4 offers to choose from ! It’s just the question of time….Patience is the key!

Ah! There comes the finish line…

March 30, 06 by Bharani

Completed my final assignment in ISB. The classes are done. I have now officially met all the course requirements and have majored in Strategic Marketing and Information Technology. Now, I can proudly calll myself as “MBA” (or “equivalent to MBA” for the purists!). :) It would be tough to hold back my excitement when I get the certificate duly signed by the deans of Wharton, Kellogg, London Business school and ISB. Was this experience worth it? Have I transformed in a positive way? Have I acquired sufficient entrepreneurial and leadership qualities? Will I bring about positive impact to my professional life, personal life and society? Right now, my mind is numb…Sometimes, I have this empty feeling when I try to think what have I gained from this programme…The change has happened beneath the conscious layer of mind…So, the important changes might be latent for quite sometime, before it reaches the melting point and shows up….As always, Time will answer. But I can definitely say that I am a satisfied customer as of now. How much value I derive from the product depends on my usage preference. Unlike the electronic products which lose value exponentially, this one increases in value exponentially…It should and it would!

In 9 days time, I will get the complete ownership and title for my investment. The biggest investment that I have every made in my life…[16 lakhs + Opportunity cost]. I know it’s ’sunk costs’, ‘non-recoverable’ etc., I would see this as a strong foundation…just like the strength of foundation is determined by the depth to which the pillars are ’sunk’!

Now only the exit formalities remain. There are some ‘pending’ items in “TO-DO” list. Will try to get it done asap.

ISB Blogs – My list!

March 28, 06 by Bharani

My attempt at ranking the blogs of my colleagues at ISB. A tribute to the fellowship :)

Consistency of Blogging, Content, Style, Informational value, Entertainment, number of visitors, bringing in new traffic etc., (not necessarily with same weightage)

My ranking: ISB Blogs [Batch of 2006]

1. Vijay Mulbagal

2. R Ramkumar

3. Raghini Rarajam

4. Ankur Warikoo

5. Amit Sharma

6. Ford Perfect

7. Ramakrishnan A

Other blogs that I enjoy much, but couldn’t differentiate:
Chandrashekar Vattikutti
Anoop Vijayakumar
Vaibhav Fadnavis
Venkatesh Adavi
Vineeth Kumar
Alok Srivastava
Girish Krishnan
Karthik Ganesan
Karthik Ramachandran

Something…to think about!

March 27, 06 by Bharani

There has been quite a few cribs that went around about the ‘information asymmetry’ or ‘informational advantage’ exploited by some of my colleagues in ISB.

First and foremost is the Academics. Thought I don’t want to name any particular person or any particular incident, I would like to make a point on the “Transition of notes” from previous batch students to current batch. The academic curriculum in ISB is more or less same every year (It’s the same case with every institute/university in the world). So, Possessing the notes/solutions from previous batch in fact provides the person with ‘unfair’ advantage. Though this definitely hampers the learning, this serve the purpose of getting good grades! (Yes, incentives for getting good grades is high for some career-aspirants). The onus is largely on the outgoing batch to maintain the decorum. When there is no supply, demand will be automatically curbed!…But given the fact that there are some close friends who enjoy the alum-student relationship, this cannot be completely curbed…In my opinion, incoming students who will be future business leaders, should keep out of this definitely….The pressure and stakes are so high that some students go to any extent for getting good grades. Though, we have a strict ‘Honour code committee’ in ISB [wherein the punishments/penalties are very severe], it has not completely eliminated the trend…Keep in mind though that such cases are very few…but have significant impact!

Second is about placements. The general opinion is that the ex-professional relationships help in placements. For example, if a person is coming from big FMCG company, and is aiming at big 5 consulting company, then chances are that there will be alums from FMCG company who hold key positions in consulting companies. This relationships or ‘bonding’ opens the back-door for few. I don’t quite agree that this is ‘unfair’. In this case, the personal relationship is helping the student to gain a foot-hold in to the destination company. Moreover the kind of ‘acquaintance’ or ‘past relationship’ helps only as far as getting to know the insider information. There is no way a person can pass through just by ‘knowing’. Now this ‘insider information’ is extremely important [Resume tips, interview tips, job-related-info, positive word-of-mouth etc.,]. This is where the ‘networking’ ability of students play a role! But from what I have seen, this kind of pro-active networking/contacts helps big time…

This kind of bonding is strong among IITians, some top FMCG Companies, etc., For many students, who don’t have either of the above background, that ‘bondage’ does not exist. ISB will provide them with such a ‘bondage’ which they can exploit later…!

Third is about ‘insider information’ within ISB. For example, there has been stories that some people enjoy preferential treatment from CAS [Career Services wing in ISB]. The information about the arrival of some key companies or job postings circulate among the select few much in advance, where as the majority of students will know the news only one-two weeks before the deadline! This ‘lead time’ helps in getting a head-start in preparation! Here, the personal rapport with relevant personal helps…again, it can be argued that it is the initiative of the students, which is paying off!…but I wouldn’t buy that argument, as the information asymmetry shouldn’t have existed in this case atleast…

The purpose is not to take a swipe against anyone. The purpose is to convey that such situations might occur and to be prepared to handle such ‘information asymmetries’. I hope people are smart enough to handle the situations….! As far as the outgoing batch is concerned, this is what we will be dealing day-in and day-out in real life! Life…please be kind on us :)

DKDC Framework!

March 27, 06 by Bharani

An attempt at my own 2 x 2 matrix creation :) …Don’t read too much…

The X-axis represents the amount of interest you have for any topic.
The Y-axis represents the amount of knowledge you have about any topic.

You might come across any topic/person/activities in your life. You might either know about the subject already or not. You might either have interest for the subject or not.

This framework suggests you 3 ways for knowing and generating interest about any subject. So you basically start at the “Don’t know Don’t care” quadrant. You have to reach “Do know Do care” quadrant. As you can see, there are 3 ways to reach the destination.

1. Generate interest about the subject and simultaneously learn about that! [Travel diagonally]
e.g., You are forced to do a project in your work with a particular technology. You don’t know the technology and you don’t have interest for that either. As you work your way through the project, you get to know about the technology, and as you know, your interest grows parallely!

2. Learn about the subject and then generate interest for that subject! [Traverse Y-axis first, then X-axis]
e.g., You are going to a restaurant..You see all alien menu items! You are hungry. So, you should order something and try it out. If you like it then you will generate an interest for it!

3. Generate interest for the subject and then learn about the subject! [Traverse X-axis first and then Y-axis]
e.g, First impressions, Love at first sight, Infatuation etc., If your further learning about the subject reveals more unpleasant ’secrets’, then you will ‘permanently’ go back to “Do know Don’t Care” quadrant!

So, everyday in your life, keep exploring subjects that you “don’t know and don’t care”…and then consciously make effort to deposit the subject under your “do know do care” quadrant! Only very few subjects make it to that quadrant…and stay in that quadrant…Whatever remains in that quadrant, nurture those!


March 26, 06 by Bharani

Got hold of this pic couple of weeks before….when I was searching my past archives. Big pat for correctly guessing the person….!

Good days…

March 26, 06 by Bharani

Friday -> Boat cruise + Dinner + Dance + Beer
Saturday -> Movie + Dinner
Sunday -> Dinner + General Masti in my balcony

Can’t get better than this! and I can’t get more spoilt than this :) Well, I am enjoying my days…

Am just managing to keep up with assignments..just! It has become a question of motivation! Another 2 more days of class…and then, I am officially MBA! Realization of once-a-dream…It will sink in soon….

ISB – EDS placement report.

March 25, 06 by Bharani

“…Hyderabad, March 24: EDS, the $20.5-billion global technology services company, appears to have discovered a rich vein of managerial talent pool graduating from the Indian School of Business here, with Plano, a Texas-based firm, making 14 job offers to the Class of 2006.

Thirteen of the offers have been accepted. The median annual salary for eight of the offers, at the level of Senior Consultant, is $100,000 (about Rs 46 lakh), EDS India spokes-man Satyajit ‘Toto’ Lahiri told this newspaper on Friday. “These offers are for EDS’ elite Global Manag-ement Programme and the students being placed in the US are being paid at par with our offers at top US business schools like Fuqua School of Business at Duke University and Sl-oan School of Manageme-nt at MIT, with five years’ work experience,” he said.

Five other graduates we-re made offers as “consultants” with an annual compensation package of $80,000, while two have been offered positions as “specialists”. The “specialists”, with a compensation package of Rs 15 lakhs per annum, will be based in Mumbai. He said the ISB graduates are the first MBAs that EDS had recruited from and Indian business school. The selected candidates will spend their first 24 months at EDS working in the company’s global headquarters in the US.

“They’ll work with senior executives across EDS in identifying and capitalising on new growth opportunities in areas including applications development and business process and transformatio-nal outsourcing,” he said. “The candidates will be gr-oomed for leadership roles in the company, possibly in Latin America, Eastern Europe or elsewhere…”

EDS discovers a rich pool of talent at ISB

Cruise on Hussain Sagar lake!

March 24, 06 by Bharani

80 people, all Students and family members…
One cruise boat, entirely ours for 2-and-half hours…
Food on board…
DJ on board…
Free booze on board…
Dance floor on board…

Excellent experience…! Everyone enjoyed the evening fully…

Admissions department arranged this party for the volunteers who helped in evaluating and interviewing applicants. Kudos to them.

True friends…

March 23, 06 by Bharani

I was counting the number of True friends in ISB, who I can say that I know very well and can turn for help anytime. The count stopped at 8! There are numerous other good friends, friends and acquaintances. I have good relationships with many people, but the desired depth has not been established, mainly due to lack of sufficient interactions and spreading the effort with vast number of student body…

I perceive the 8 to be true friends. In 20 days time, the 8 will be dispersed throughout India spanning Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Hyderabad….There is a common link between all 9 of us…No one is from Dean’s list! Not that my association is bad ;)