Archive for March, 2006

Some good links…

March 20, 06 by Bharani

MBA – stuff!

The following websites captures the essence of MBA. They neatly provide the summary of all key concepts.

www.quickmba.com
www.netmba.com
www.valuebasedmanagement.com
12 Manage [Thanks Vijay for the last 2 links…]

Supporting materials:
Damodaran Online
“Finance made easy!” – That would aptly fit the title. Prof. Damodaran has even put up all his lecture videos for others to learn!

Kotler – Marketing Textbook Complete – Online The bible of Marketing. I Haven’t read the book end-to-end yet!

Online Statistics Reference

Consulting Preparation: [Amazing resource for Consulting interviews]
Kellogg Consulting Club

Coming to the blogging world:
http://www.weblogsinc.com/ [A network of more than 90 top-notch blogs on subjects ranging from economy, electronics to automobile and cinema!. A very good starting point for top-notch blogs…]

The Indian Economy Blog [This one I like very much. It’s all about perspectives :) ]. Do remember to browse through the wonderful links on the side bar of this blog. Good Starting point…

Happy browsing…I am posting this for my personal reference too…

SPAMS!

March 20, 06 by Bharani

For the past 6 months, my blog has been a target of SPAMS. The Spammers target the old posts which are 4-6 months old and inundate them with words describing private portions of human body and some ugly acts. I mass-delete them every fortnight. But in the recent past, the intensity has increased and they are targetting posts which are just 1 months old!

In another 20 days time, I will neither be able to dedicate quality time for my blog nor get access to high-speed connection in home. So, keeping in mind about the long-term needs, I did two things. I installed “Spaminator”. This has done a good job in killing spams. But still 20% of the comments leak through. So, I enabled an option which says “Accept the comments from people who have one approved comment in the past”. So, you might have to go through the first-time moderation. I think this is an optimal approach. Please don’t hold this moderation against commenting…Comments form 50% of any blogs :)

What’s going on in Campus?

March 19, 06 by Bharani

– People are going out for dinners, purchases, pubs, outings etc.,
– Efforts for yearbooks are in full swing.
– Parties in ISB are on hold until everyone is placed or until CAS process is closed (March 25th). I am hoping that everyone is placed by then so that parties can be celebrated without a zilch of hesitation.
– People are backing up their stuff in their newly bought external hard-drives or in CDs, depending upon their requirements.
– The DVD section looks empty all the time, as everyone is watching movies like maniac.
– Recreation centre is always full.
– Orientation activities for next batch are being planned. Yes, while we are preparing to leave, we are also preparing to welcome the next batch and to make the transition seamless.
– Video gaming and network gaming activities are on all-time high!

We have very good professors taking the courses for us in Term 8. Unfortunately, the students are in fun mode, with very few days remaining in ISB. The professors understand that and excuse us for not reading the articles :) But, I should mention about Mr. Phanish Puranam, who took the first 5 sessions of “Managing Strategic relationships”. He was phenomenal. Clarity of thought, Amazing fluency, probing the students on insights provided…Too good!

ISB Aerial shot!

March 16, 06 by Bharani

A picture taken by Exchange student Angus Moon. Amazing view! This one is much better and recent than Google Map’s.



In the centre is the Academic centre [Library, classrooms, dining hall, cafe, auditorium, academic office]. Surrounding the academic centre from top right (clockwise): Student Village 3, Recreation centre [with swimming pool], Student village 2, Executive housing & faculty housing, Student Village 1 [recently constructed]…You can also see the Microsoft Campus towards the north-west of Academic centre..

Enya – Only Time.

March 15, 06 by Bharani

Every now and then, some music will catch my attention. Some attention are short-lived. But few songs move into my permanent ‘favourite list’. One song which moved into that list recently is Enya’s “Only Time”. I listened to this song when I watched the movie “Sweet November”. Was mesmerized by the song and picturization. Immediately searched and downloaded the song. I have been humming the song all along since then.

There is a soothing feeling. This is a healer music. As you listen to the music, you will get a feeling that time will calm down every problem and a sense of serenity will prevail in your face and mind. Quite a few of my friends knew this song before…Ignorant me…At least knew about this now. :)

Download this song here

Learning…

March 15, 06 by Bharani

I bumped into one good friend in ISB yesterday after a long time. Don’t remember how long…Should be more than 45 days…

He wasn’t looking normal. I could see a dejection in his face. I didn’t remember him seeing during placement season too…So I asked him…”Long time no see…How are you sir?”. He replied, “Doing good..how abt you?”. “I haven’t seen you for long time…things are fine at your end?”. He replied, “Yeah sort of..”. I asked, “You are alright?”…He replied..”Hmm…Actually my dad passed away..”. I was stunned and speechless for a moment. I just replied, “I am sorry…”

Honestly, he seemed to have just recovered. I did not want to press on that matter again. So left after moments after exchanging few words.

On one hand, many people are enjoying and having fun during the last term. This young man is bearing an unbearable sadness and deprivation. I sincerely pray for his father. May his soul rest in peace. On the similar lines, there are 25-30 people (as against 10 quoted earlier which apparently seemed to be a rumour) still jobless and searching gallantly for their fit. I am sincerely wishing good luck to them. These people will do exceedingly well after weathering such a storm. I regularly talk with 5-6 of these people and they have confessed about how difficult it is to see celebrations all around and cannot be part of the fun whole-heartedly. Still they carry themselves beautifully…I am proud to be associated with these guys…They teach me invaluable lessons…I am observing and learning from you guys…

Information Asymmetry…

March 15, 06 by Bharani

This question has been troubling me for quite some time. “Is not voluntarily revealing the truth or not practicing absolute transparency same as telling a lie?. Does it have the same impact on the recipient of the messages as a lie has”.

Let’s take an example of organization. Every organization has so many drawbacks and lot of internal politics and turmoil. The employees of the organization have the first-hand information about such things. The outside world does not have any idea about such things. The organization creates an official ‘PR’ group or ‘corporate communications’ group to communicate the messages about organization to the outside world. Needless to say, the messages are carefully and selectively let out. Of course, the near and dears of the employees will have a much deeper insight about the happenings within the organization. This sort of ’selective communication of good things’ creates the so called ‘Information asymmetry’.

The governments are subject to the utmost scrutiny by the Media and Analysts. The more the scrutiny, the less the information asymmetry. The same level of scrutiny applies to some of the most famous organizations and institutions across the world.

Let me turn my attention towards the Universities and Institutions. There is really no ‘absolute transparency’ in any Universities/Institutions/B-schools. Every institution has the so-called ‘interface’, which is responsible for official communications. Take for example, the recent placement scenario in the B-schools. The news floating around like “86 lakhs International salary”, “34 lakhs international salary” is portraying only the bright side of the situation. No news comes out about the infamous ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’. This information asymmetry inflates the hopes on millions of aspirants to pursue Business education. After all, only a handful can command such salaries.

But then, if you look from the B-school’s perspective, they are playing the game according the rules. The maturity level of the audience also comes into the picture. The readers if they read some negative news should be mature enough to gauge the unpleasantness and appreciate the reality. There is (mis)expectations from both sides. The day when everyone is mature enough to accept the news and every institute is nice enough to be truly transparent…this ‘information asymmetry’ will die down. Until then…it’s the ‘due diligence’ of the individual which will reduce the information asymmetry for him/her.

I am hoping that the growing popularity of blogs and anonymity provided by the blogs will help in reducing the ‘information asymmetry’. In the absence of anonymity, the individual will face pressure from the institution or the organization in writing about all the things…Sometimes even from his own peers. Because the ‘brand’ of the institute is under the hanging knife.

If there happens to be an individual who is completely dissatisfied with the institution, then no one can stop him/her from writing about this ‘disappointment’ anonymously. But then, some people might dismiss that by saying ‘biased opinion’!

On all probabilities, there will be 50+ blogs for the class of 2007. This is good for increasing the transparency…After all, not all 50 students will have the same opinion! So, gauge the transparency level of an institution by the number of blogs from the institution :)

PS: The information asymmetry can be witnessed anywhere and everywhere. Be it the case of buyer-seller, recruiter-interviewee (remember the resumes and PPTs!), Classifieds (matrimonials, rentals, for sales), media (some television channels and news papers are biased too!)…

http://govar.blogspot.com/2005/02/when-spade-is-never-spade.html. This post is more relevant to the topic…

Value Creation for cricket…

March 13, 06 by Bharani

Looking back at the evolution (or revolution) of cricket, I am wondering if the following things are changing the nature of the game.

Positive mindset…
Ambitious players…Strong players…Strong hitting…
Changing rules like Powerplay…
smaller grounds and Shorter boundaries…
Better pitches…
Better bats…
Advent of 20/20 matches…

Need to think about these points as well:
Psychological impact on bowlers?
Cricket is commercialized? Lose of purity?

The records are broken everyday…Be it the lowest score or the highest score…In the end, spectrum is widening…That’s good for cricket…But care should be taken that it does not become an overdose…

After a long time, I had that overhang after watching a cricket match…you know the memories still fresh on mind the next morning, the next evening…and for few more days to follow…:)

This sort of game can life the spirit of entire nation…enhance the intensity of the fan-following for cricket in the winning nation… Just like the world cup victory for India, the world cup victory for Sri Lanka, the world cup victory for Pakistan, this win is right up there for South Africans….

Read somewhere that the request for a DVD of this game is flowing in from all parts of the world to the South African cricket board. They are promptly preparing one… Expect one in week’s time… :) The demand is originating from India and Australia…Biggest Ambassadors for Cricket!

On its part, ESPN will be repeat telecasting the match on 3 occasions over the next week! Make hay while sun shines :) Now the expectations for the South Africa-Australia Test matches have gone up many notches! Advertising revenue will go up by multiple millions :)

Hats off to both South Africa and Australia…

HOLI!

March 12, 06 by Bharani

Since Holi falls on a working day, we decided to celebrate Holi in advance. It was absolute fun…Some pictures for you…

Spouses had great time too…

After some time, people became violent and started tearing T-shirts :)

Snacks for Free!

And me…
Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us

Best year in life?

March 09, 06 by Bharani

When I joined ISB, alums were saying…”Prepare for the roller coaster ride ahead..Prepare for the best year in your life”. I could not comprehend the true intensity of those words. I just thought the words formed an overstatement. But now I realize it…

The kinds of emotion that one goes through in ISB is complete. May be this can be said about every year of one’s life. But what makes this year special is the ‘total experience’. The isolated location of ISB atop hilly regions, kind of infrastructure, freedom from work, intellectually stimulated environment that also fostered some strong relationships, vagaries of emotions, living with some like-minded-people who have strong ambitions and convictions in life everything contributes to the wholesome experience…

Towards the end of the year, I just wish I learnt more about some people here. I thoroughly enjoyed my circle of companionship here…Truly awesome…If I just take away the mask of academic workload and look at ISB, the freedom that I enjoyed here stands out…Will miss that very much…

I have changed in some aspects definitely. I have a strong desire to enjoy life to the fullest extent…My first and foremost wish that is floating in front of my eyes is to lead a balanced life. No doubts I need to succeed at the professional front…But I also have to take care of personal front, pursue hobbies, explore the world, learn different cultures, languages, live true to myself and to help others…I have identified this as a goal…so, now definitely there should be a way to make it to happen…as mind cannot conceive what it cannot accomplish!

Well, I will stop my rantings there.

I have borrowed 10 books from the library and exhausted my limit for the first time. One of the things that I want to take forward from ISB is the habit to read, read and read wide variety of topics. This may be the right time to get it started…so started :)