Sunday, December 14, 2014

Some myths debunked during placement process

We all study to finally get a job. However the interview process for a job is a stringent process. Each of us prepare for it with the help of seniors, teachers, extra career counselling etc.

Here i have listed some of the common myths which were broken during my placement process. Read it and Hope it helps you in your placement process

http://blogs.ft.com/mba-blog/2014/12/09/some-myths-debunked-during-placement-process/

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Skill Development for Make In India

“Make in India” is an international marketing campaigning slogan coined by the Prime Minister of India.  With the aim to facilitate investment, foster innovation, enhance skill development and protect intellectual property, the campaign aims to build a best in class infrastructure to make india a global manufacturing hub.


Post release,  this campaign has been hitting social media circles popularity charts with different discussions centered around “make in india” campaign. A quick search in social media websites for “make in india” will reveal the popularity of this campaign. When I did a quick search in twitter I got around 12627 records after scanning around 10,000 tweets using  NodeXL tool. Below figures are Network graphs of twitter search for string "Make in India" and two tweets are highlighted.

But the biggest challenges that manufacturing industry faces today in India is skill development. The days of cheap Chinese goods are just beginning. Most Chinese products are legally or illegally entering Indian market and giving tough completion to the Indian producers. Though some have issues with quality, the Chinese entrepreneurs are improving. Xiaomi is a best example of a Chinese product that has founds it foothold in Indian market without any brick and motor store. Go to any corner of Indian market in rural or urban area, you will find retailers talking about Chinese goods. 
Image Credit : http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/narendra-modi-make-in-india-fdi-ceos-india-inc/1/392780.html
In the backdrop of such heavy competition, it is important that Indian manufacturing sector works on improving the skills of manpower to meet the competitive forces of free economic market. As per a government estimate, Manufacturing has the potential to add 9 crore jobs in the next ten years. However this can only be attained if India focuses on skill improvement and ease of doing business.
Initiatives must be taken for skill development to warrant that skilled manpower is available for manufacturing. The manufacturing sector cannot develop on its own without skilled labor force. The creation of suitable skill would absolutely set rural immigrants and the urban poor on a track towards comprehensive development. This would be a vibrant step for improving manufacturing.

Skill growth and charting of skills to trades is an significant striving that must be followed. Some associations such as Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has taken many initiatives in this area and trained many workers with specific skills across sectors by embracing Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) and developing skill repositories. Besides, the New Ministry for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship has initiated the process of revising the National Policy on Skill Development. Some of the achievable Targets for the manufacturing sector highlighted by the government through national manufacturing policy are as follows:
1.       An surge in manufacturing sector progress to 12-14% per annum over the medium term.

2.       An surge in the stake of manufacturing in the country’s Gross Domestic Product from 16% to 25% by 2022.

3.       To create 100 million supplementary jobs by 2022 in manufacturing sector.

4.       Establishment of appropriate skill sets among rural migrants and the urban poor for comprehensive growth.

5.       An upsurge in internal value accumulation and technical depth in manufacturing.

6.       Enhancing the worldwide attractiveness of the Indian manufacturing sector.

7.       Ensuring sustainability of development, predominantly with regard to nationwide manufacturing.

Despite having a promising demographic contour, labor and skill scarcity continues to be one of the key worries for the Indian industry. Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) assessments state that only about 2% of India's labor force has undertaken some kind of job-related training, signifying a enormous demand-supply gap of skilled workforce. Besides  20% of Indian youth are presently jobless, signifying the disheartened state of the labor market.

Till now the government was worried about the rich and poor gap. But If skill building is not addressed then the gap between skilled and non-skilled will increase leading to more social problems. Skill development initiatives that are need of the hour (also stated in the National Skill Development Policy, released in 2009) can be given as follows:
1.       Growing ability and proficiency of present Education/Training system to ensure rightful admission to all.

2.       Encouraging life-long education, upholding superiority and significance, according to changing obligations mainly of developing knowledge economy.

3.       Producing operational union between school education, different skill improvement efforts of government and between government and Private Sector initiative.

4.       Capacity constructing of institutions for design, quality assurance and participation of stakeholders.

5.       Creating institutional machinery for research growth, quality declaration, examinations & certification, memberships and certification.

6.       Increasing contribution of stakeholders, rallying adequate investment for financing skill development, attaining sustainability by firming physical and intellectual resources.

As new initiatives are being launched and new terms such as First develop india (FDI) are being developed, the government has its task clear that without the support of citizens nothing can be successful. Once Empowered and skilled citizen gets a job, it will increase consumption demand thereby indirectly help other industries.  Hence there is a huge opportunity in making in India for corporates. But continuously upgrade of skills is important to keep the momentum of the growth and at the same time provide a stable and efficient platform for “Make in india”. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Techology Consulting - Some tips to help future aspirants

Technology consulting is one of the sought after careers by many professionals due to its high pay. I had a chance to listen from the head of mastek about this consulting career. Read more here.

http://blogs.ft.com/mba-blog/2014/06/23/leadership-talk-series-technology-consulting/

Note: You need to register on FT(it is free of cost) to read any article.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

subjects which lay the foundation of business knowledge

Any business schools carefully chooses the subjects it wants to deliver to its students as part of core courses. Hence this time i chose to write on the first term subjects at IIM Lucknow for IPMX students. This subjects lay the foundation of business knowledge. My second article is live on Financial Times mba blog http://blogs.ft.com/mba-blog/2014/05/06/laying-the-foundations-of-business-knowledge/
 [ register for free on ft to read any articles ]

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Have you wondered what is the definition of PROBLEM?

Whenever a issue comes or something crops up that we cannot solve, then we say that there is a problem. But have you tried to define problem?

My defintion : A problem is something that causes obstruction in our normal routine or line of thinking

But according to Professor Mahesh Sharma ( founder and President of the Center for Teaching/Learning of Mathematics, Inc., of Wellesley and Framingham, Massachusetts, and Berkshire Mathematics in England ) who addressed us on "creative thinking and problem solving" the definition is : " Problem is a gap between vision and current reality'.




This is a simple definition that is no doubt precisely correct. We either adjust our vision or current reality to solve the problem.  Continuing his insights he then next explained us about 5 different styles of thinking

  • Analyst - Compare correctness, meticulousness, and consideration to detail with fullness.  They are likely to collect data, measure it, classify it, and reasonably and logically calculate the right answer to any problem.
  • Realist - Go by history and tradition
  • Pragmatist - looking for end all time. Guided by vision
  • Idealist - Guided by principles. Determined by history and tradition. Views from the system he belongs to
  • Synthesist -  talk to several people and make decisions.
It is very important that as managers we have right balance of above thinkers. It is also important to retrospect ourself and see where we are. This was another great insightful talk for all of us.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

First MBA Additional book Reads - The Goal

From the first day in the class, one of the things that the college faculties has been trying to tell us is that knowledge is important. It is not only about the mugging up the books or  getting good placements or getting high grades. Rather it is important to approach the one year MBA at IIM Lucknow with the aim to get knowledge. The challenges in real life as a manager are plenty. It is in this one year that we have to master those challenges of managerial world by gaining knowledge.  Hence at different times the professors in our class are suggesting interesting readings.  In this series i will be sharing some of these books which i have reads. This books are additional readings apart from the main text book and reference book given in the course syllabus.


The book 'The goal' was suggested to us by the professor who takes the Operation Management (OM) class. He claims to have read it multiple times and he still gets new insights when reads again. So i decided to take this book as the first one, since OM has lot of information related to production industry and i come from services industry.

On completing this book, i realized that all problems in this world have a simplified solution. We just need to simplify the problem in simple terms as much as possible so that we can understand it and then try to attack the problems/constraints/bottlenecks one by one to achieve the ultimate goal of any organization. Wondering what is the goal? Well it is making money. This book gives insights on how management thinking around the world can be changed and no doubt is one of the best selling book of business world.

Since the book is written in novel style, i was enriched and at the same time not much overloaded as i was becoming when i read the text book.this book has nicely depicted on how a plant manager saves his plant from getting closed by using the spark of thoughts provided school professor. he solves his professional and personal problems by
  1.   identify the constraints standing in the way of attaining goal
  2.   how this constraints are overcome one by one by analyzing the cause and effects of the action
  3.   how he made this team think logically and consistently about the problems

In the end things are happily resolved for the plant manager. i am happy to open my additional reading account and the same time get acquainted with new stuff. Next book that i plan to read is 'Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman'

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Though it is below surface , most learning happens here : Unconscious mind

Today i was fortunate to get enlightened on the concept of 'foundation of marketing strategy by understanding consumers". The lecture was delivered by Jerry Olson Professor Emeritus, who is the
is a founding partner of Olson Zaltman Associates and Professor Emeritus of Marketing at Penn State University.


One of the unique things that i learned from the professor is that human unconscious mind hold so much information, that this information can help firms make and decide on competitive strategy. In marketing deep insights are needed. This insights are captured from the sampled people by giving them set of images and then they are asked some generic questions.

Based on the response a pattern is tried to be built using the patented ZMET tools and other methods. Interesting as it sounds, future managers of my class were enthusiastics in throwing diverse question to the professor whose model is one of the most successful. Though the competitors are trying to replicate the model, they are not yet been successful in replicating the exact model. 

The word that probably i will research more in coming days is metaphorsis analysis and how if it can be used to modify my questinaire in some of the upcoming projects. Overall the session left us inqistive and we hoped we had got more time to spend with the professor. 

The case studies on how one company rebranded its marketing strategy just before the product launch based on the results of prof olson and his team OR how the architects of hospital redesigned the ambience to make their comfortable place are perfect examples of some of the successful outcome of this models. Having worked with most of the biggest brands using the expertise of associates/partners from across the globe, the professor and his team are doing a great job in extracting deep marketing insigts for the industry.

Once the results are out from the research, they look simple. However it is due to this patented framework that most research have been able to meet its desired outcome and prove its usage across different verticals of industry. Wikipedia has a nice read on ZMET methodlogy at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zaltman_metaphor_elicitation_technique.

You can also see the work done by the professors company at http://www.olsonzaltman.com/

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Beyond the MBA Hype - An insightful book

Book Review On Beyond the MBA Hype


MBA was the dream of mine. Like the other applicants I too had‘what-if’ queries into my mind. Whether pursuing MBA would really work or it would be just waste my money and also waste my productive life time. So I started searching for the things to know how the things revolve around the person when he is an MBA, when he is at MBA and when he is after MBA. There were very positive and negative answers all around. I also started to discuss at MBA forums. Everything was clear but still there was one question at heart, can I make up the MBA? During my discussion process I had figured out a book named as “Beyond the MBA hype” by Sameer Kamat.

Before I start to review this book, Let me introduced the author Mr. Sameer Kamat. He was working as an engagement manager at IBM. Despite his high designation and high salary, he had a lacking in his mind that was MBA.

There was much confusion in his mind regarding MBA. After research he decided to do MBA and he chose the University of Cambridge. Now he says that his took the right decision. So this book is dedicated to those people who are in the similar dilemma as Sameer was. I have passed the first phase and pursuing my MBA now from IIM lucknow.

This book helps the people to solve up their queries regarding the MBA and achieve their goal. The writer deals with the challenges and confusion that the applicants should able to handle when opting MBA programme. I can say this book is same as a little hand book that we used to have in our primary and secondary school.

Since we already know Mr. Kamat has done his MBA , he talks about challenges. He says that there were many active challenges related  to pursuing an MBA. But some challenges are such that nothing needs to done about it.

This book stats with the introduction and statistics of colleges, student. Then another thing highlighted is comparison between international and Indian MBA. The next chapter talks about a simple question “Why Go for an MBA?” with lovely story of two friends’ sachin and mitu.  How a friend motivates his other friend to pursue a MBA programme. And thus story continues on every new content.

Next content is the application process. This encourages the student to apply for an MBA, deals with how one can build up his MBA profile. The techniques of lectures, case studies, individual projects, group assignments, guest lectures and industry tours are also talked about.

Further comes the skill gap which causes obstruction and the ways to overcome it. Networking is one effective tool in corporate world especially during critical job hunting phase. Internship might help you to get best of best opportunities that might be of your interest from long term career perspective. Lastly book tells about career hunt and career change. In the whole process, the author gives close look of the academic life and also the tremendous issues faced by applicants on pursuing a seat in B-schools.

Really this book has laid out various issues and tells the students what to do and what not to do. I myself was in big dilemma when I had started my hunt for MBA. To conclude, I can say that this book is worth a read and going forward I have decided to share this book with my colleagues/friends who are MBA aspirants so that they can have a better future of their life. So friends grab one copy for yourself, read it and leave your comments below.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nervousness before the start

As i am about to start my one year MBA program,  i am nervous about its start but mentally prepared to take up the challenge. My first article is live on #financial #times #ft #mba blog.


http://blogs.ft.com/mba-blog/2014/04/11/nervousness-before-the-start-of-my-programme/

Note:
If you have yet to register on FT.com you will be asked to do so before you begin to read FT blogs. However, the posts remain free to read.
 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

My STATEMENT OF PURPOSE (SOP)


STATEMENT OF PURPOSE (SOP) that describes career goals and  reasons for wishing to undertake MBA is an important part of many applications. Here i would like to share with my blog readers my SOP.
Hopefully it can help and inspire you for your applications

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Attaining a quality education from a renowned college tends to be everyone’s desire. Only a few persons get the opportunity to pursue it. Though I did not graduate from a top institute, I have put maximum effort to develop my skills effectively. It has given me enough confidence to tackle any complex environment around me. At present, I have reached a crucial moment in my professional career, and I strongly believe that I have selected the most appropriate college to enhance my skills and talents. 
I am a person who aspires to have more exposures and experiences. Being a student in a notable institution enables me to have both. I firmly believe that the magnitude of my knowledge can be widened by studying at XXXX. To add, the environment would allow me to have a vivid idea about the multifaceted features of business. 
There are many reasons why I want to study in this institution.
  1. It is a well-known campus, which gives utmost importance to keep up the educational standards.
  2. The industry has advanced phenomenally in the recent decades and it requires out and out expertise for a person to cope up in life. Only a quality education from a reputed institution can make this possible.
  3. The facilities the management provides can make any student a promising one. Getting a chance to learn from such an institution is always enriching.
Positive thinking is the single major aspect, which determines the success of a person. I have ever been keen to approach everything positively. It gives one energy and enthusiasm to go further in life. It rightly enabled me to resolve many issues in personal and educational life. Besides, I have acquired leadership qualities as well as people management skills. Right from my school days, I have taken a lead role in many extracurricular activities. Similarly, I have ever been showing outstanding performance in academics. I have passed all examinations with high grades. Hence, I can undergo the program in a successful way. 
I was quite fortunate enough to gain experience of more than X years in executing and managing multiple Program Projects, which include vital integration projects during XXX Merger. Apart from this, my management experience will help me a lot in all my future endeavors. The varied experience in NGO work is an added advantage to me. I could do a small deal in ttttttttt as well. My writing hobby made me explore the opportunities in xxxxx . It turned out to be a successful cccccc. Experiences like these made me more capable enough to undertake any task of any magnitude. This mentality will make me undergo the program successfully. 
I am quite satisfied that I have chosen a lucrative area to further develop my professional life. It is a stream, which has much relevance in today’s business-centered, globalized state of affairs. By involving in ZZZZ, I can see the whole world in a very different perspective. The exposure it will provide me will be immense. I can learn the most recent developments in the area with vivid practical sessions. 
Attitude is what determines one’s altitude. If approach in the right way, one can be victorious everywhere. I strongly believe that I approach things in the right line of attack. I have a mind that is fully prepared to undertake any complicated topic in my area of study. The more is the difficulty level, the more is my curiosity to uncover it. It is my passion to explore the unexplored regions of business that stops at XXXX.
Nothing can be achieved without hard work and determination. Since I have selected the most appropriate college, I am confident that by doing things sincerely and perfectly, I can reach great heights in life. I look forward to showing my commitment to the society and my eagerness to be independent if I get the right break.



----

Sunday, January 26, 2014

XLRI GMP Class of 2014 - Interview experience

Dear Readers, i thought of sharing this experience. though i could not make it, hope this experience helps the folks who are preparing for XLRI GMP interview this year.

After the interview i felt that my GK(general knowledge) sucks
There were three professors and all the questions were different..

I was asked to give a intro about myself and the role that i play from the time i started my career(career progression in 2 lines). then the general question Why GMP and what post GMP. then my bad time started

i explained. They i was asked to name the crisis. i could not recollect , took some time to think and it immediately flashed. I answered it and then i was asked why was it given that name. I could not answer it and they professions asked me that i mentioned(claimed) to read newspaper
  • I was given a case study and asked how it will be conflict of interest and how i will handle it. I explained well

  • i am from goa. So i was asked about its history. I recollected and answered it. But i never knew that it had a ancient name. i could not answer it

  • They tested my knowledge about Indian finances.   
 I was asked me to explain whatever i knew about Indian finances. I explained them, starting from 1990. There was some cross questioning. But the professors had  no visible response on their faces.

  • I am in US, so i was asked about the US history.
 I Explained it well and gave some background on the US constitution formation. But i could not answer the governor of the state that i stay. Also i could not explain them the terms that they were looking for difference between US and Indian government

  • i was asked to explain on how Google search works. I explained them with an example. Lot of cross questioning. Then i was asked to name the google algorithm. I could not tell them the name. They seemed to be upset and asked me if i knew any other search algorithm. I told them that i knew about binary, linear etc algorithms but the ones used by the research companies are much advanced version

  • I was asked to explain the meaning of secularism. i explained the whole story. The professor summarized it in hindi words. And i acknowledge he was correct.

Overall the interview lasted for 20 - 25 minutes. I apologized wherever i could not answer. Also i used the word basically while answering. One professor pulled my leg and the reason for it. I apologized for it.
At the end. hats to the prof and institute. My dream looks difficult to fulfill.
Only some karishma (magic) can save me

Student loan (also known as Education loans) for MBA



Student loan (also known as Education loans) is one of the popular methods of backing higher education in India with increasing price of educational degrees. Presence of many self-financing institutions ( which has less to no financial support from the government) for advanced learning in fields of engineering, medical and management which has higher fees than their government aided counterparts have encouraged the trend in India. Most large public sector and private sector banks offer educational loans.


But when it comes to interest, the countries largest private bank 'state bank of india(SBI)' is the best  player. If you are selected for any of the top Select 114 Premier Institutions in India, then SBI SCHOLAR LOAN SCHEME  is the best loan since it gives a very low interest rate. IPMX course offered by IIML is also part of this 114 premier institurions.


But the biggest challenge faced in getting this loan approved, is that employee of  SBI are not aware of this loan.  When you go to the bank to enquire about the loan, they will always tell you about the EDUCATION LOANS(SBI STUDENT LOAN SCHEME), which is costlier compared to scholar loan. Only  branches which process, loans for 114 premier institutions are aware of this scheme. Hence it is advisable to either contact any of this branch or take a prinout of material given on the SBI website to explain you local branch about this  scheme.


Most students can get their loan processed from the admitted colleges SBI city branch , but the application form will always come back to the base branch(which is the permanent resident of candidate)

What i will be avoiding by choosing the SBI Scholar loan scheme

  • No Security, only Parent/ Guardian as co-borrower upto 20 lacs
  • As of today, the effective rate of interest after all 3 concessions presently comes to 10.5 % p.a.
  • IT exemption under Section 80(E) in respect of interest paid in all Education Loans once i get a good job post my degree
  • Repayment - Course Period duration plus six months moratorium
  • Repayment period upto 12 years.
  • Processing Fee -  Nil and Margin  - Nil

What i hated while choosing the SBI Scholar loan scheme
  • Tedious paper processing of the bank with less or no online support. But you can visit https://www.sbi.co.in/user.htm to get more details about the bank and its loan schemes.
  • Missing knowledge of the scheme and time it took to convince my local branch that such a scheme exisits
I am still yet to get my loan processed and  hoping the ride is smooth. But the local branch loan officer has been very kind and supportive till now in giving information, though it needed her to go and get this info from her peers at different branches.

There are other institutes such as HDFC - CREDILA , Vijaya bank education loan and BOI education loan. and many national/local banks in India that provide loan. Most of my batch-mates are processing their loan from SBI with some exception who are funding on their own.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. I will be happy to  help.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Pre MBA Warmup Courses

Joining MBA after a study gap is a challenge since most students are out of academic touch. I have heard from seniors that first term is toughest for most of them. While others have said that they had tough time handling accounting. Each one had different opinion, but one thing for sure was that they had faced challenges.

It is too early to say if we should be scared or not, but it is always better to be prepared. So some of my friends have been searching on the net for materials. The pdf are a good way to build knowledge. But it is a boring exercise to read through something without the interaction with professor of fellow students. this is where MOOC can help.



A Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) is an online course aimed at unlimited participation and open access via the web. In addition to traditional course materials such as videos, readings, and problem sets, MOOCs provide interactive user forum that help build a community for students, professors, and teaching assistants (TAs). MOOCs are a recent development in distance education.
Although early MOOCs often emphasized open access features, such as connectivism and open licensing of content, structure, and learning goals, to promote the reuse and remixing of resources, some notable newer MOOCs use closed licenses for their course materials, while maintaining free access for students.

I have started using Coursera extensively for my online learning needs after getting a confirmation for my MBA. They have wide variety of courses from reputed institutes professors. Check them out and hope it can help.

About Coursera®


Coursera is an education company that partners with the top universities and organizations in the world to offer courses online for anyone to take, for free. Our technology enables our partners to teach millions of students rather than hundreds.
We envision a future where everyone has access to a world-class education that has so far been available to a select few. We aim to empower people with education that will improve their lives, the lives of their families, and the communities they live in.

Classes offered on Coursera are designed to help you master the material. When you take one of our classes, you will watch lectures taught by world-class professors, learn at your own pace, test your knowledge, and reinforce concepts through interactive exercises. When you join one of our classes, you'll also join a global community of thousands of students learning alongside you. We know that your life is busy, and that you have many commitments on your time. Thus, our courses are designed based on sound pedagogical foundations, to help you master new concepts quickly and effectively. Key ideas include mastery learning, to make sure that you have multiple attempts to demonstrate your new knowledge; using interactivity, to ensure student engagement and to assist long-term retention; and providing frequent feedback, so that you can monitor your own progress, and know when you've really mastered the material.
We offer courses in a wide range of topics, spanning the Humanities, Medicine, Biology, Social Sciences, Mathematics, Business, Computer Science, and many others. Whether you're looking to improve your resume, advance your career, or just learn more and expand your knowledge, we hope there will be multiple courses that you find interesting.