Whom do you want to be today?

" I am walking on Dalal street on 6 months and the next 6 month in New york. I ski in the alps on weekends after working 20 hours a day 5 days a week, catch the flight back to new york to resume this excercise. I crack 2 big mergers and acquisitions in a year. I will bring Virgin Airways to sign an M&A with Captain Gopinath and become a multi millionare. Investment Banking is in man....."

"I will change the way marketing happens when it comes to selling soaps and fairness creams. I will tap rural India with innovative advertising, and target the local stores with a cost cutting approach to get contecxtual advertising and make sure that stockists and retailers are given better incentivised targets to create larger sales. FMCG is the way to go!"

"The construction Industry is the best industry to get in, with the real estate boom. One should take a cool package in the excess of a million and work hard in learning new areas working on the learning curve and create newer ways of impactful marketing/advertising in the Construction/Real estate Industry"

"The Radio industry is so cool, I should look at a sales/marketing profile to understand the emerging radio market in India. Probably I should look at a lesser salary and a better profile, as the job is interesting and work should be fun"

" The social media industry looks like its too nascent, is it worth betting on it and takiing an offer or is the IT industry better for minting money and flying abroad? But flying abroad and living abroad, has never been my fancy! Hmmm..... wait on"

These are the various moods I find myself today, where I start dreaming whenever a company comes for Pre Placement Talks and starts off on its mission. In between the presentation, I visualise myself working in the company, and a flying career, and a promotion and a fat salary....in the respective field and profile,until the next company shows its wares. The problems are there are too many such dreams and I better start sticking to a shortlisted few so that I make a decision that will help my career in the long run! The Placement season has well and truly rubbed off on me at Great Lakes


Dream Job Blues!

I thought I was done and dusted with Cinic All Clear Dream job 07, after that fateful day when Mandira Bedi voted me out, and I walked out thinking I must have been terrible. I happened to watch my episode on TV last month, and thought I wasnt that bad. After seeing that epsisode, and a number of mails from friends who saw that episode, I start feeling really bad, for not making to the final 4 of Dream Job.There are no prizes for finishing 7th and thinking back this really could have been an ideal job, to give wings to my life, but I guess, Cricket and dream Job would have to wait for another year hopefully if Dream Job VER 3.0 comes out.

I have the video on my laptop, and daily play the video, to rewind back to the feelings that day when I stammered, and a stupid edit from the tech team, which hastened Mandira Bedi to say that I was under prepared. If possible, I will attach the videos, that have been stored in my friend's mobile. The final 4 at Dream job had an awesome time in Australia, and I wish them the best of luck, as the voting phase concludes on Jan 2nd. One positive that Dream job has done to me is to introduce me to the 17 best cricket/sports telecasters in the country and also make me believe that each positive step in life is just a "confidence-feel-good-minute" away.

Till then, I would have to drown myself in Placement season at Great Lakes, which seems to be the flavour of the month come the new year!

You can see some of the videos at my youtube profile or this aggregated link


Midnight Beach Trek to Mahab and Pondi

It was just another day at B school, when I noticed that Dec 24th was coming to an end in about 5 hours, and dec 25th was thankfully a holiday. My life was going through a steady patch of college studies,classes, snoozing in classes, cases, hurried lunches ...et al, that a normal B schooler would go through. Basically life had turned mundane, there ws no challenge left in conquering a case, and also putting salt into my wounds was the fact that I didnt win the cricket quiz at the IIM-K Blog quiz, and my advertisement didnt make it past round 2 at IIMC-Inatglio. Life was dull untill Arun, my former engineering friend, messaged me on Google Talk. We knew both our lives were bordering on the mundane, so avoided the traditional "how are you" question. I wanted the night to be lively,so just casually asked him for an outing along ECR. We had done a smilar outing in April, which was an all night beach trek on Mahabalipuram, and involved sleeping in one of the boats till 3 am, after which we boarded a high way bus and came back to Chennai. With the hope of recreating that rough but exciting trip, we set out this time around from thiruvanmiyur with another guy called Ankur(My batchmate at Great Lakes).....

We reached at 10 30, had dinner in a cozy shack, and set out on the beach for a walk, after which we felt that we should also look at some accomadation incase we felt sleepy at night. None of the hotels had any rooms. We trudged back to the beach, and suddenly we had 4 people in khaki uniforms stopping us, The police told us that this is ann unsafe area and asked us to get back to Chennai via some of the buses on ECR. I hate this moral policing, but given that this area supposedly has some shady elements, I guess thats why regular patrolling was going on.

We were suffering from the dew at night as it started getting cold, and with no place to sleep, we decided to catch a bus in any direction, as long as we could sleep for a couple of hours. A bus going to Velankani came at 1 30 am, and we decided to catch the bus and slept till about 3 30 am, when I got up fearing that we may be too far from Chennai, and decided toget down near an arbit tea shop. This was a few mtrs from the road to auroville. We had a some hot tea, in the morning, and decided to explore the beach through a rather arduous roue that was a mini forest infested with thorny bushes, the darkness was prety scary, but hey! we wanted adventure, and we got it... We used our mobiles and waded through the spider webs and the bushes and finally reached eternity... the Beach which was basking in the full moon.

As soon as we reached, we looked for a place to rest for a while, and after that, we walked on and on, and came back to the same spot to rest again at 5 am. It was a beautiful walk in the eerie hours of the night, and our conversations centred around our lives. We were feeling a little sleepy ande decided to close our eyes for a while, till the sun god showed his prescence. When we got up it was around 6, and we decided to end our trip, by playing in the water.After an hour of playing, we went back to the place where we got down, and settled for a breakfast at one of the makeshit road side hotels for some hot vada and idly, with a dash of watery sambhar.

As all good things come to an end, we got a bus at 8 15 and reached Chennai at 10 30, and I was abck to college at 11 am. Some crazy adventure, but still loved it...

Tips: If you want to do this:

1) Mahabs and Pondi, I hear are places with a lot of illegal sexual activities, so carry around your identity card/tag and speak properly to the police, and you will not be uneccesarily questioned

2) Chennai is a place with 2 much policing and most of the restaurants close at 11, hardly a pale shadow of goa, where 3 am on Baga Beach is like 7 pm, the whole beach is alive and kicking.

3) The wave at Pondi- Auro beach is a little strong, dont venture out into the sea... as the soil slips under your feet.

4) If you dont mind the rough nature of the trip and improper acco for the night, this night trip is still pretty enjoyable. I seem to like this mode of "quick and dirty" trips as such unplanned trips brings in a lot of interest which is so much interestig from a planned journey.

Some Pics from the trek

Ankur twiddling his thumbs, whether to drink tea or not at 3 am

Me and Arun, enjoying the hot tea at 3 30 am. See me with the college ID? Thats my kavacha Kunadalam...safety card in case I get into trouble.

This is where we got off at 3 15 am

When we slept. Ankur felt chill, so took of his under vests and used it as an extra line of covering against the chillness at 5 am. Also seen is Arun, who is cringing and trying to catch some sleep.

Arun in a state of sleeping beauty!

Titanic in the waves!

"It's starting to feel warm here, we should leave now!"

"You want to leave now? It's just getting better, from the chillness of 5 am"



I feel guilty for not posting too often. Its not that I dont have time, but when I have time, I usually prefer a nap, or some magazine to peruse. Tommorow is a holiday at College, may be I would have time for posting some pending travellogues and posts, which have been penned on paper, but not typed.


Finally ESPN Responds!

I used to regularly Google " Clinic All Clear Dream Job" and find the same old link on ESPN. Now they seemed to have changed and updated it. Time for showing off.... :-)

Go click this link and read about my journey at CLINIC ESPN DREAM JOB 2007, as ESPN says it


January 2008-The Month of Fests and Racing Pulse

The month of January seems a packed fun filled month

, and I want to make the most of it. There's Saarang, Intaglio(IIM C), Backwaters(IIM K) and Kurukshetra(Anna University,CEG) happening, and I should be going to all of them, unless something drastic happens at college. I havent spared the time for managemen fests for the first 6 months of my 1 y ear MBA, which makes the last 6 months, all the more worth enlivining. Also making the month very critical is placement season at Great Lakes, which happens towards end of January. Basically summed up, its the month of adrenalin.


What a fortnight!

The last 2 weeks have seen me sleeping very less, averaging between 3-4 hours every day due to heavy workload and actually not-so-good efficiency of working. A tiring mind, always takes that much longer to charge up and work full throttle. All the hardwork for Latitude, in making the videos, finally paid some dividends, no goof ups. What was really impressive was to find the unbridled enthusiasm that batchmates had in conducting L'ATTITUDE. I enjoyed evry inch of the sessions except for the times when the auditorium was empty as the other events were conducted in the conference halls. Its been a hectic weekend, at the venue...running helter skelter to put up a good show, and the madness continues. Pending assignments, cases, and readings have piled up. I promised myself that I would be a better student this term and try and learn things better(placement season is round the corner), and right now, I foresee a lot of effort that may be needed to sell myself to employers.

Read more about press releases about L'ATTITUDE right here

Would write in detail about L'ATTITUDE, in a day or 2, along with a travellogue long pending(My Goa sojourn in November, My Dream Job experience at ESPN).

Till then, its back to B school life


Birth and Death

Long Live..Go Gear, which I got it from my dad. So that will be my music companion till such time I have more cash in the bank to splurge.
Tip: Philips Go Gear sounds better with Sony Ear Pieces, than with Philips....

RIP Sony erricsson w550i
which died an untimely death due to the turbulence of waves on Anjuna Beach.


Great Lakes Management Fest

The Online quiz for Latitude 13 05 is up. Do check it here.

Guilt vs Indulgence

I seem to feel like I have been left over in a race, as I ponder over feelings of guilt. Guilt, You may ask why? Guilt because I gave indulgence priority over some basic must-do. Once there is a respite in a B school from classes and case studies for a day or 2, I seem to madly look for peace(by closing my eyes and sleeping) and indulgence.

Here's my crime record for my indulgence last week

Immideately after my Subject FMCG marketing was over... went over to a quiet classroom and laid myself flat with my music player on. Then booked a ticket at INOX for the night show of Dus Kahaniyan. Spent the evening-night at CITICENTRE hogging a double cheese pizza and Bhelpuri, while my comrades in crime belched away at the prospects of eating Non-Veg. Spent some outh watering moments at Inox before ordering butter pop corn.

The Next day, I borrowed some movies from my assamese friend, and watched Caligula, Mouna Ragam and Agni Nakshatram on my Home Theatre system. Admired the Chennai of the early 80's in those 2 tamil movies. The next day, I made some time for a morning trip to Raja Muthiah hall and went for an AVMAX expo on Home Theatre systems. I thought of buying another set of home theatre system with a digital projection tv in a few months. Thats the effect of getting a little over a million Pre Placement Offer :-)

The tiring journey in the Chennai hot sun, made me retire for a few moments into Landmark in Spencers, and my eyes fell on a few "dirt cheap" movies for 69. I ended up buying "Lakshya", "Yuva" and" Passion of the Christ", and burnt a big hole in my purse. It was so tiring that I spent the rest of the day sleeping without any worry about the impending manic monday that was to strike at 3 am on Monday when I got up frustrated after a few repeated mosquito attacks. The prospect of having underestimated my priorities, for the few endless moments of indulgence made me feel guilty, and to add insult to injury, I get chided by parents on how "careless" I am, and a spectator during the India Pak match puts a banner which says " CRICKET FIRST, MBA LATER" and my mother stares at me, as I look at the screen, knowing fully well that there are no directions to hide the face.

But after all the indulgence somewhere down I was still feeling happy that I had watched Dus Kahaniyan. Its a great movie where 10 small movies have been made into 1 movie, with a little over 10 minutes for each small movie. Excellent direction, kept me hooked on.

With about 50 days left for placement and 4 months for the course to end, I am realising the seriousness of arming yourself with enough knowledge to use jargons for a living. Only thing that I am sure of, is not to get into any IT company(the service companies). So as I dwell in guilt, its time to get back to normal life, 3 hour snoozing sessions, classes, presentations, B plans and et all, and when all of that gets freezed for a few moments the glorious cycle of indulgence and guilt will repeat......but a similar blogpost will not :-) .

Life is Digital

I either sleep or do case studies.



The last 2 weeks have been great with the kind of insights I have recieved from my faculty K.S.Ramesh, who teaches us FMCG Marketing. His real life experiences at FMCG companies and his simple ways of teaching have made me understand the intricasies of FMCG marketing very well. His suprise tests and quizzes, have ofcourse, jolted me, but the case study assignments and the nights spent in decoding the case and having Microsoft Excel/word and Powerpoint for company, has made the last 2 weeks an amazing journey. I am now delving for the final case study tonight for a presentation on Wednesday. K.S.Ramesh is a visiting faculty at Great Lakes and IIM-Indore and runs his own strategic marketing consultig firm.


Survey Season at Great Lakes

I have been swamped with friend’s requests to fill up a survey. It’s that time of our course, where we arrive at the 3rd stage of our empirical research and the research calls for some primary data on people’s perception, and thats why the surveys. Every one is hooked on to freeonlinesurveys and surveymonkey sending surveys through Orkut. If that wasnt enough, they also vehemently put the survey link on their Gtalk status and inundate 164 email inboxes. I dont remember who sent which topic in their surveys, but glance at each one of them and say, your survey will be done BY EOD( A phrase I learnt in the corporate world which meant “ok now leave me alone” ). I guess every one is in that phase where they want others to fill in surveys and also NOT fill others survey as some surveys are time consuming.

These surveys have made people more innovative as they realise that they need to have what it takes to get the work done. Some go to people personally and sit with them, with a laptop, requesting 2 minutes of their time( 2 minutes… thats the clincher to attention). Logendra was the more innovative of the lot, as he decided to distribute printed copies of his survey when the whole class was waiting for an address from our placement head. It was taking some time, and people were not doing anything special apart from frivolous banter, and it was the right time to give the survey paper, as people could not feign that they were busy. Apart from we B schoolers, the major part of the survey was filled in from industry contacts and our network was basically used to fill in the numbers that remained.

Enthusiasm is never down, with messages like ” Please fill my easy survey” coming in a few minutes back. Some smart alecks have other pick up lines that attract people to click on the link. However crazy as this may sound, this survey episode reminds of me the existential challenges in Online Marketing, where one does all that one can to elicit user attention to use the emotions experienced at the time of reading that one smart aleck line in the email subject.

May the tribe of the Kotlers rise…………..

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