The 2 Terms at Great Lakes so far

Updates from Term-3 at B- School

One of the things B school education prepares you is for handling Murphy’s law at any point of time. I’ve experienced it twice at B school and sometimes going for a certain class seems like Timbuktoo playing Australia and playing to survive and extend the game. There are so many activities apart from class room education like assignments, pre reading sessions, class participation, committee work, personal development and ....a plethora of things. Now the trick and challenge is to spare your energy for the best, but how can other activities be regarded inferior? There is also the possibility of laying it too thin and seeming mediocre across the activities. Its like wearing the war paint and ready to strike on all occaissons, which seems easy on a blog to type, but so far has seemed difficult to follow. Amidst all this work , some favourite hobbies tend to be sacrificed and all off a sudden there is no back up to cushion on that stress that seems to gaining day by day. B school life is never about pick and choose your best. Its about a defining experience in knowing how well you fare across all the things and then picking and honing your best, even as you digest the fact that you are not cut out for certain things or certain types of behaviour.

One slack activity in a session and people start to judge you and evaluate you, and a certain recognition sticks on after a term or 2 for the better or worse. To help you further Murphy’s law conspires against you to project you in a light that you just didn’t want to see yourself in. Now when you are all at sea with the activities, you obviously seek respite, and I mean immediate respite to start feeling good. What do you to feel good, when the group around you is making hay while you bask in the search of feeling good? The group is feverishly working on the next assignment, while you still are seeking for that one activity that would help you get into an inflated state of enjoyment. You seem to have done something , that you haven’t done in years like, call a friend or read a funny novel or see back to back movies, only to come back and realise that you spent too much time over relaxing while the world at B school has progressed by pages and concepts. You stare at your face in the mirror, wondering what’s hit you....and why do you have so much of a backlog...and as you wonder you realise that you have been wondering for 6 hours as its now 5 30 am, and the first thing you notice is that the guys who were studying at a feverish pace last night, have just finished studying and retiring to bed , even as you hazily watch them.

Since competition is fierce in various spheres, no love is lost between folks and this only seems to bring out a certain cut throatedness in handling situations or shows insouciance in its various forms. B school education will bring out a burning fire in your inner gut, when you see that if you put 100% commitment and the other guy puts 20% commitment, sometimes your work tends to get overshadowed by the other and in some situations, because of the other insouciant partner, you tend to get penalised.

B school life is about a 100 threads connecting various persons with different levels of dependency and when each one pulls the rope without a synergetic team focus, chaos reigns and each person would want that much of the rope that would save his day. Competition becomes intense and it translates to a battle in the mind to win the required component. This is where one sees secretive alliances and survival strategies in its own small way that builds the faculty of the B schooler preparing him for the onerous challenges in the corporate environment.
B school life is all about 2 things, namely accepting the fact that failures will come, and secondly to think on your feet, to be mentally agile and active in all periods. It doesn’t matter if you have been knocked down, but you need to realise that even worse knocks are in store and proceed to get up and run to knock the next person. Losing, if you are used to it, can be the most refreshing experience at B school life, as one needs to see the flip side of life to accommodate it in one’s value system. Another thing that comes to mind along these lines is the need to try out various things at B school, so that you know for sure what are your strengths and weaknesses.

I have so far made many mistakes and been knocked out several times, but when I reflect back, I realise that the knocks were taken because I was adamant about not protecting myself against an impending onslaught. After the knocks, I was too scared to get up and was slowly pushing myself against the ground aimlessly, but given that the traffic is high, one risks the ignominy of getting run over and the whole objective of coming here was to run the race and complete it rather than vying for the 1st or 2nd position. Each race runner has a special skill and will find his band of admirers from the corporate world. Its all about being positive and starting to run with a smile all over again, and invest in hope, as this is the only thing that can give Murphy’s law and bad luck a run for its money.

I have started running.... More updates as I keep running over the course of 8 terms.


A Day in the Life of a "Great Laker"

It was amazing fun designing the concept of this video and of course technical inputs from an enthusiastic group at college. This video is about my MBA life, the moods of people across a time line

Here goes the Video- Would Love to hear your feedback.


"Meet the Dean Sessions" at Great Lakes

Dr. Bala V. Balachandran, Our Honorary Dean will meet the prospective students as per the schedule mentioned below.

Chennai 27-July-2007 7 to 8:30 pm

Great Lakes Institute of Management,
24 South Mada Street Srinagar Colony, Saidapet Chennai - 600 015



29-July-2007 7 to 8:30 pm

Ramana Shree BruntonBrunton Road, Off M.G. RoadBangalore - 560 001



31-July-2007 7 to 8:30 pm

Golden Swan ClubPlot No. 110, Service Road,Off Hanuman Road, Vile Parle (East)Mumbai - 400 057


04-August-20077 to 8:30 pm

INDIA INTERNATIONAL CENTRE 40 Max Muller Marg Near Lodhi RoadNew Delhi - 110 003


25-August-20077 to 8:30 pm

The Walden ClubC/o Whisper Valley Near Padma Nair StudioRaidurg (Darga), Jubilee HillsHyderabad - 500 008


Take a moment to submit the form below with your correct email address, phone number and your City preference at http://www.glakes.org/meetthedean.htm

At the IAMAI Summit in Chennai-Online Retail in India


Familiar Faces : Thats Param Parameshwaran and K.Vaitheeshwaran, whom I have grown to seeing them at meetings within Sulekha. Param was the first investor in Sulekha, who now heads a VC firm called the Indigo Monsoon Group. He holds an MBA from Wharton. To his right in the suit is K.Vaitheeswaran, the COO of IndiaPlaza which is a sister company of Sulkeha. It was a great day to network with old acquaintances. Also happened to meet Satya Prabhakar, the CEO of Sulekha and a few ex-Sulekha employees

The chandeliers above represent a lovely yellowish brown haze as the sessions are on. The first session on Online retail, whether it has a future. People from Subhiksha,Bharat Matrimony and Sify have so far spoken on the offline- online model and the possible synergies.

This is happening at Park Sheraton, in Chennai. This goes on till 6 in the evening. The first session was decent, but not the sessions that would let a 1000 thoughts spark. I guess conforming to the time allocated sometimes robs the discussion of the variety of experience.The IAMAI summit in Mumbai last month was an excellent summit. This photo has 3 of my batch mates from Great Lakes(Dr Nesamani,Rajesh and Your's Truly)

Deals Fixed over a cup of tea and a Glass of Water?
Listening in rapt attention to the session on Technology. Thats Pawan and Shruti, from my B School.
Click to Bore : Some were busy checking on official mails while others were answering calls from work. There were a few mobiles that rang during the summit. I am suprised that even after so much prompting to keep the phones on silent mode, some of the particpants still swore to showcase their ludicrous ringtones. It does feel sad, when people lack the basic discipline to respect the sanctity
This part of the updates : Thanks to my data card
I came, I saw ,I plugged
I have taken a corner seat, primarily decided by the proximity of a power plug closeby. I think when IAMAI can take note of this as a feedback, as power plugs and wi-fi service whenever they book a venue for the conferences they schedule.


Orkut: The Lost Crush Locator

This morning, as I was thumbing through my Mangerial assignment, parallely an orkut ticker buzzed on my laptop that a certain girl had scrapped me. The name rang a bell immideately. She was my classmate in class 4, and my first crush in those wonder years at St Johns School, Mandaveli. She apparently tried googling her name and landed on a post that I had written about my 21 birthdays. She managed to "orkut" my name and landed on my Orkut profile with a " Do I know you" standard question. By the time I responded to the scrap, my mind managed to rummage through the wonder year of 1991/92, when I met her.

I remember those days, where after day 1 in school, my eyes fell on this cute little girl in a pink frock and just stay stuck. The only oppurtunity I used to get to know her was during our hindi language classes where we went to a different class other than our designated classroom. There used to thrust my bag on a seat where she would sit, making sure no competition would come in between. I had no expectations, but just liked to bask in the glory that I was sitting near her. In fact I was sandwiched between 2 girls and used to follow the universal rule of behaving slightly dumb to get the girls attention. I was too young to remember further incidents, but after shifting to Bala Vidya Mandir, St John's memories just faded away.

Looking back it looked so funny to have done those antics as an 8 year old, just exposed to the successes of Bollywood romances in flicks :-). I said, I would mail her what happened to my life in the 16 years after leaving school and she said she would return the favour, though she doesnt seem to remember me as well as her other friends(girls of course !!).

Something different in a week which has been full of sleepless nights mulling over Z scores, Liquidity ratios, Macro Economics and Managerial Accounting. The next 3 days too promise the same level of hectic activity, and the respite would be the odd interesting message that pops up like this.

Keep tuned in....lots of articles have been penned, will be soon put up this week.


"Hallelujah Its Raining Beer"

With deregulation on the cards and a number of foreign players waiting to tap into the Indian beer market, the froth is coming forth as India prepares to guzzle into the sunlight. The Beer sales has clocked 27% growth in 2006-07 making India in exalted company, second to China’s impressive 33% growth. In similar markets in Eurupe home to the best wines, the prescence of active substitutes for beer, like wine and spirit, has slightly dampened the sales of Beer. India has traditionally been a duopoly market for beer with only United Breweries and Sab Miller to contend with. Now with the big froth of companies( Carlsberg,Budweiser,Beck’s) knocking on India’s doors, there is an expectation that with the increase in beer demand, there will be a price stabilisation unlike the current duopolistic scenario. This is in stark contrast with the earlier governmental policies which did not encourage imported ingredients and inclusion of foreign players.

One of the big economic drivers of beer consumption in India is deregulation which seems to increase the beer consumption by as high as 70%, witnessed in the case of the state of Punjab in 2006.While deregulating beer is good for the trade and brings down prices, it does not yet allow consumers to buy their beer from the local grocery market, unlike China where Beer is treated in the same distribution network as bottled drinks like Coca Cola and Pepsi. As a result of which apart from the existing duopoly in India the prices of beer get dictated by the states, instead of a model where manufacturers decide the price based on the market forces. So for that to happen, Beer has t be de linked from spirit, interstate levies need to be removed and outlets would need to be on fixed fee longer term basis than the existing auction system.

SAB Miller (A Recruiter at Great Lakes)has 13 brands in India compared to Kingfsher’s 15 , and is adopting a multi brand strategy along with a lot of variety in wider offerings, experimenting across various price bands to increase sales. Kingfisher seems to adopt a different approach in terms of a high volume guzzling option with pricing based on kegs and cans that are economical for the larger volume.

The new market entrants like Budweiser and Anheuser Busch seem to bet heavily on new products and variants, where the speculation is rife on the premise that spend on product development by way of improved processes is marginal. The fact that these foreign players are stil interested shows that there is more data than what has so far met the eye, and that’s the fact that India’s per capita beer consumption is .8 litres compared to 22 litres with the global market leader China, which spells a big opportunity. So to conclude, I would want to re christen the Gerri Halliwell number to some thing like this “Halleluhaj! Its Raining Beer”, as India gears upto guzzling beer by the keg.


The Google MBA

Sometimes when I sit back and see an excellent presentation, I realise that the only difference between my group and the other group at college, is the fact that the other group has googled effectively. Nothing bad about Googling, I am just suprised at the amount of learning google provides in various links and readymade presentations. I have learnt quite a lot in the past week, which involved case analysis and presentations. But the fact remains, that in this mad fast paced MBA, one hardly has any time to do a complete and detailed review.The onus is on quick fast skimming of information, and immideate division of chunks of information to be converted to intelligible form to be put on the presentation in a few hours from now. Time seems the most critical element of the 1 year MBA, where if properly and efficiently used, in terms of working out from the texts and additional reading, it makes your knowledge base very strong. But hey..all theory and no practice makes jack a less than dull boy and this is where one needs to deploy all that theory from macro economics,operations and statistics in terms of preparing business plans and attending various conferences /management events. Right now, I am trying to balance both with a skew towards the latter.

This week's Sports show

If the above player doesnt work, click here to see the direct video


The US Current Account Deficit

Wow!! Peer learning about the money markets after the Great Depression ....seems to be a great topic to discuss, but errr.... its already morning...4 am. The Case study report is 0% complete, but a lot of knowledge gained by discussing this harvard case study. So time to read more on google and try to arrive at more knowledge points that needs to be consolidated and ready by 9 am. Life is alive and kicking at 4 am, Welcome to the financial world.

Coming up this week

Have been busy lately, so havent been able to update on the blog

Here are some things pending in my notepad

1) Why Snoozing in an MBA program helps you dream better and higher?
2) Life at Great Lakes- An Update from Term 2
3) Marriage of my cousin- A Photograhic review.
4) My thoughts on what makes an MBA and why they are required in the Industry

and of course my sports show this week....so keep tuned in..for updates late tonight.


No Sex Please, We are Indians!

When will some of my fellow country men come out of the mask that they have woven? UP says "Yes" to sex education and the teachers out there start a protest threatening to burn the books.

I read a news report and this is what it said

" 'The books on sex education supplied by the government should be promptly withdrawn,' Om Prakash Sharma, chief of the secondary schools teachers' association, told reporters Monday.


'If they fail to do so by July 21, we will be compelled to make a bonfire of these books in public.'
The working committee of the secondary schools teachers' association had met here Sunday evening. Members are unanimous that the books published for adolescent education are not in tune with Indian culture and traditions.

'The manner in which the courses have been laid out are bound to not only poison young minds but also become a source of embarrassment for teachers,' Sharma said.

Under the state curriculum, the books were to be used in this academic session starting Monday. To be taught for a total of 16 hours in a year, the course was to be included in social studies and physical education classes.

'We have gone through the entire teaching material in detail and we are strongly of the view that it would be difficult for teachers to curb embarrassing queries from students once the material is put on display in accordance with the wishes of the government,' Sharma said.


Om Prakash, needs to be shown the DPS Sex video and all the other school porn mms's that have been out since the las 4 years, to understand that the diagrams in the book would not be an embarrasment for the students of this era. Young minds's will not be poisoned by the visuals in the book.There is so much of sex that one can see, feel and hear in one's day to day life from all forms of media, that it looks archaich that the UP teachers actually are choosing to skip answering questions on sex education.

What to they want their kids to do? Do they want them to explore about sex by getting half baked information from the hairdressers STARDUST or the mohalla raunchy book, after stealing the money from their parents to buy that literature? Such stopping back would only result in more problems.

Damn!! Mira Nair..... pls remind our country men that we were the creators of the Kama Sutra there's no need to hide and be ashamed of the great literature that came from us. Will a Soundtrack of Lata Mangeshkar with Mira Nair do the trick in the " Aye mere watan ke logon" style? Its worth trying to cultivate an olden and a younger youth Icon starting a campaign to showcase a bolder and confident India.

Churchgate Station Over The Years

Taken from the National Rail Musuem


SWIM at Great Lakes

Dr. Ambika Kameshwar was here at Great Lakes on the 27th of June for a talk to the students. The talk was organized as part of the SWIM initiative of Great Lakes Institute of Management. Dr. Ambika is a well known dancer and is an expert in Bharatanatyam and Kuchipudi. She is also the founder of RASA (Ramana Sunritya Alaya), an organization which helps adults and children with special needs. RASA focuses on using theatre and dance with these special people and has achieved tremendous results this way. Dr. Ambika calls this method Creative Movement Education.

Ms Ambika Kameshwar speaking at the event

Dr. Ambika came off as an extremely joyful and energetic individual. We were all buoyed seeing the energy she had. Dr. Ambika spoke about RASA and the challenges faced while starting and running RASA. She also spoke about the role women had to play in the current workplace scenario. “Times are changing and we will be witness to many women taking bold strides” said Dr. Ambika and added “Behind every successful man is a woman and behind every successful woman is an intelligent man who notices her capabilities and lets her achieve them”. Working with these people and helping them was so rewarding and that’s what helped Dr. Ambika face all her challenges. Have faith in your self, be strong and bold were some of the inspirations we could derive from her talk.

We were also witness to a video in which these special children performed an elaborate dance drama called Ramanavatara. It was stunning and the audience was extremely surprised at the performance of these special people. The coordination was exemplary and the emotions were portrayed extremely well.

A round of Q&A followed where the audience had so many questions that the organizers had to call a stop.

A truly enriching experience.

About SWIM:

SWIM (Successful Women In Management) is a community created by Great Lakes Institute of Management to empower women with traits to assume leadership roles in the corporate world. The forum comprises of a conglomerate of women holding various positions in the corporate ladder. It strives for amelioration of each member at the micro level and ultimately works towards the improvement of the women society at the macro level. The forum is ordained to bring to recognize the achievements of women in today’s world.

Pictures from the event

Nandini Rangan explains the Gravity Magazine to Ms Ambika Kameshwar

The Ladies giving all their ears to Ms Ambika Kameshwar

Lavanya Rangarajan gives the vote of thanks to conclude the event


On the Backfoot

The last 4-5 days have been bad, with ill health in terms of heavy,dry and intense coughing. Some times a cough gets converted into vommit and lasts for over a minute that leaves me breathless. So struggling to even ask a doubt in class. I dont do any late stints at college.Just come back home to doze, and given the high dosage of medicenes, sleep tends to come rather deeply during classes.

My body looks tired due to physical inactivity and large hours of sleeping. If I start a jog, coughing starts again. So its a bad period thats going on now. Just hoping another day of rest, would make me feel better.

PS: My health seems to have got 5% better, on hearing that India beat South Africa last night :-)

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