IIMC PGPEX 09-10 Blog

Review problems

Here are some real life application (Managementization) of what we are learning in class.

  1. HBW – When you be your best at your job interview are you doing impression management or are you faking and becoming a non-authentic leader.
  2. HBW – If you claim that the job really interests you, can you negotiate your salary? (Intrinsic vs. extrinsic)
  3. HBW – If the JD says that the company needs a self motivated starter, which personality trait should you try to fake?
  4. Stats – Binomial – Placement committee says that you have only 10 interview attempts, knowing that your conversion ratio is 0.25 what is the probability that you get less than 4 jobs?
  5. Stats – negative binomial – Placement committee says that you can have only 3 final offers what is the expected number of interviews you need to sit for to ensure that you get 3 jobs (conversion ratio same as above)?
  6. Stats – geometric – Placement committee says you can get only 1 offer and then you have to opt out of subsequent interviews. What is the probability that your 5th interview is successful. Conversion ratio .25.
  7. FR & A – How many pages of standard writing pad can you write in 1.5 hours?
  8. Economics -The recession has shifted the job supply curve to the left, and the recession has prompted many $0.15+M salary guys (gals) to come back to schools thus shifting the demand curve of jobs to the right, What is the maximum number of offers PGPEX guys should be allowed to accept? (See point 4,5 and 6). Find the equilibirium quantity of offers.
  9. IT – Hmmmm… Maybe, lets say, hmmm, ok, Value chain, hmmm… perspective….. ecosystem of inverted pyramid induced transformation… aaaa…. based out of buyers’ value stream that runs across that ecosystem, to determine the quotient of.. mmm… E-Evaluation of the transitive optimal value. (Will you hire me as a CIO? See… I know)
  10. MC – Use elevator speech concept to answer the – “Tell me about yourself?” question in an interview.
  11. MC – Use the concepts of pursuation to convince McK that they should take you.




April 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Entrepreneurial resources at IIMC

1. Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI)

The Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI) at IIMC is an initiative to achieve greater understanding of this process as well as stimulate its development for societal benefit. CEI’s vision is to be acknowledged as a program of international renown, where students, faculty, alumni, industry and policy makers collaborate, learn and innovate. The team comprises of faculty from different functional areas and disciplines. The Centre is currently led by Prof. Anjan Raichaudhri and headed by a core team of student representatives.

2. Entrepreneurship Cell (E-Cell)

The Entrepreneurship Cell of India’s premier B-school, IIM Calcutta, continues to promote the vision of spreading entrepreneurship with enthusiastic passion. The club renowned for organizing international B-school events maintains the tradition by organizing its flagship event Ascent’08 a manifestation of the fact that Entrepreneurship as a career is spreading rapidly in Business Schools of India.

3. Yearly Entrepreneurship Summit

The Centre for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at IIM Calcutta, in association with National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN), organizes Annual Entrepreneurship Summit every year starting from 2007 in the IIM Calcutta campus. The main objective of the event is to create awareness among students about entrepreneurship, create synergy between academia and the practitioners, and align entrepreneurship with management education. The speakers for the event include eminent entrepreneurs and stalwarts from the industry. It is expected to be attended by several faculty and heads of institutes and hundreds of students from across the country.

4. Business Plan Competition – i2I

The Annual International Business School Meet of IIM Calcutta is widely recognized as the Largest Business School Meet in India.

Other resources for budding Entrepreneurs:

1. Indian Angel Network
2. NEN
3. Indavest
4. Your Story
5. The Indus Entrepreneurs (TIE)
6. IDG Ventures India
7. StartupCentral
8. VentureWoods

If anyone has a comprehensive list of Business Plan Competitions held in India, could you please share that with me. I will update this post with your list. It’ll be very useful to have that kind of info in one place.

–Posted by Tauqueer

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Information | 1 Comment

What to do during your MBA?

An interesting read about what to do as one goes thru an MBA program.

As You Begin….

Write down your goals: What are the top 3-5 things you want to accomplish during your B-School run? Review these goals regularly – hang them on your wall or keep it in your planner.

Get organized: If you do not already have one, get yourself a Palm Pilot, Treo, or paper-based system (Franklin Planner) to keep track of your (1) schedule, (2) rolodex, and (3) to do list. The rolodex is especially important – as you meet people (classmates, interviewers, professors, alumni), enter them in so you have record. Entering their names also will enhance your ability to remember them – repetition is the mother of skill.

Keep your resume up to date at all times! There is no official “resume season” – you could be asked for it at anytime, and failure to present one may preclude you from a great opportunity. Before you get knee-deep in classes, add your last experience to your resume if you haven’t already.

It’s all about Networking….

Get good at small talk: The best way to engage someone in small talk is to (1) remember their name when they tell you and (2) ask them questions. I always have four questions ready to go for anyone I meet:
– What is your name?
– Where are you from?
– Where do you/have you worked?
– Where are you living? (on campus/off campus)
Any of these four questions can lead you to “Level 2” questions: For example – “where are you from” leads to things like “I’ve never been there – what is it like?” or “did you like living there?” or “sounds like paradise on earth – do you want to return there?” etc.

Meet, Greet, and Meet Some More:
Meet as many people as you can. Even if you do not regularly socialize with them, you will be surprised how your former classmates will welcome an email from you 10 years down the road, even if they barely remember you.

Keep Your Guard Up:
One of the things I learned from my 1st year Negotiation class is that there are two broad sets of negotiators: Givers (“Pie Makers”) and Takers (“Zero Summers”). Givers are people with loads of integrity and are willing to work with you to create a bigger pie before negotiating on how to divvy it up. Zero Summers are in it for themselves; their sole purpose is to take as much as they can off the table. When a giver negotiates with another giver, there is huge potential for mutual benefit, but when a giver negotiates with a taker, the giver gets royally hosed every time. If you are, by nature, a giver, be very wary of the takers. (I typically assume someone is a taker until they prove they are giver.)

Don’t Become a Social Outcast: You are going to meet plenty of people who are just plain intimidating (Perhaps, you will recognize these people by the fact that they are going to pull up in Mercedes/BMW’s, talk about the CEOs they play golf with, and come from esteemed families/social circles). But there are plenty of people there who DO have things in common with you. Also, your social circles will develop over time, so don’t get freaked out if by the end of September, you have not found a group to hang out with.

Watch the Gossip: This probably won’t be an issue for you, but there will be plenty of opportunities (usually around beers) to make fun of people based on their classroom comments or other social gaffes. Try not to participate – it has a habit of coming back around, and you never know when you will have to work with that person on a team project.

Sometimes You Gotta Force Yourself: If you find yourself not feeling like going to a meeting, extracurricular, company brief, or social function, go anyway. I can’t tell you how many times I have dreaded going to one of these functions only to have learned something important or to have met someone that helped me down the road.

Today’s Professors are Tomorrow’s Colleagues: Meet your professors, get to know them. They value you – you keep them young and energized. Down the road, you will want to network with them. I did a horrible job of this.

The Classroom….

Go to Class: Not sure how classroom participation works at Berkeley, but at HBS it was a significant portion of the grade. Regardless, go to class – you will learn more that way. And don’t show up late – it is unprofessional and you will look bad – very bad. If it came down to being late or not going at all, I chose not going at all.

Recognize that you bring value to the table: Don’t be intimidated (as I was) by the I-bankers and Management Consultants. They will have really good, strategic work experience. But you have an equally relevant base of knowledge and experience. You have the advantage of having worked in an operational role, and knowing what works day to day amongst people who make the strategy happen. More importantly, not many have your experience in web marketing. Use these as your base.

Learn the jargon: You will find that the consultants and I-bankers will come in with a certain level of business savvy that you do not have (and I did not have going in to HBS). These people have operated at a more strategic level than you; learn from them. Listen how they talk and write down phrases you hear that sound good. Also write down phrases that sound equally ridiculous – you may be able to start a game of Business Bingo or even write a B-School comedy.

Have fun learning new stuff:
You are paying a lot of money for this – focus less on grades, and more on learning.

Leverage other people’s knowledge: Form a study group with people with diverse backgrounds. Aside from the learning aspects, it is a good way to socialize.

Get the Wall Street Journal: Read it everyday, even if only for 15 minutes over coffee – it is the best way to get educated on business, and gives you tidbits to contribute to conversations in and out of class.

The Future….

View yourself as your own business: You officially work for YOU Inc. You are your own business. Figure out what things interest you (e.g. web marketing), and become THE expert on it. Then find opportunities (not necessarily “jobs”) where you can leverage your expertise. There will be times in the upcoming years where these opportunities will take the form of a job. Other times, these opportunities may take the form of a consulting/freelance role. Ultimately, these opportunities lead to the development of new skills and expertise, which open up a whole new set of opportunities.

Don’t settle for a job: Figure out something that interests you and go from there. I was interested in technology, I researched a couple of industries, and decided to go into telecom; I did not waste my time learning about other “hot industries” like Financial Services. Perhaps I could have made more money, but it did not interest me and I would not have been successful because I did not have the interest.

Don’t wait ‘til “interview season” to look for an opportunity: Devote time each week to learning about industries/companies/opportunities you are interested in. Get yourself a small notebook to jot down statistics or quotes that you can use in interviews, cover letters, and conversations. This is all part of the building expertise theme – you need to come across as an expert and part of that is industry knowledge.

Watch Your Burn Rate (a.k.a. Beware of Clothing Companies): In keeping with the “view yourself as your own business” theme, the #1 reason why startups fail is they run out of cash. So don’t let YOU Inc run out of cash. Rest assured, Hickey Freeman will try to sell you a $1500 suit, claiming that “you need this suit to be successful in your interviews.” Unless you are headed to Wall Street, a tailored $300-$400 suit will do you fine. The more general idea behind this is don’t do anything that unnecessarily raises your burn rate. Doing so will raise the amount you have to borrow and puts you in a deeper hole.

Organize Your Finances: Consider getting Quicken – it is a good time to get your finances organized. Also, keep good paper records around your school loans. We bought a plastic, portable file box with 2-3 accordion files to go inside – one was for our School Loans and the others were for bills, etc. Just don’t do anything to screw up your credit rating. You will need it later.

Debt Fears: Don’t worry about your debt – you will find a way to pay it off. We emerged from B-School/L-School with over $100K of debt; we paid it off, and we don’t exactly have Wall Street power jobs. (In fairness, they kinda do have big important jobs)

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment


They are everywhere….all around us…you see them in case discussions, you see them when you file your taxes, when you read wall street journal…when you watch CNBC….you have been ignoring them all your life, but dear friends now the time has come to embrace them…

Below this line, you’ll see two links, You click the blue link and the story ends. This browser of yours will take you where you need to go and you can continue to believe whatever you want to believe.

You click the red link and you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

Remember : all I am offering is the truth. Nothing more.

Blue Link Red Link

If you are still around… reading this, you probably clicked the red link, well in that case, you already know what we are talking about. Now let me tell you what this knowledge could do to you. I am not claiming that it’d help you in winning arguments with your better half…nothing would…but I promise that next time Amits or Bardas throw something like this at you:

Sir..sir…..In my first venture, I created an ecosystem…hmmm…no actually I built an enabler that in turn facilitated the creation of an ecosystem. We recruited best-of-the-breed programmers and followed all the best practices. At the end-of-the-day, I took myself out of the supply-chain to bring myself to the table here.

You can give it back to them this way:

Huh…let me see…your value-proposition is nothing but a zero-sum game. You need to bring a paradigm-shift in your style and maybe apply some out-of-the-box thinking. Also, you don’t look like a very sustainable (business) model to me. What kind of ecosys…whatever it is that you are…going forward, please bring some actionable items to the table..not yourself.



April 30, 2009 Posted by | Information | Leave a comment

What is in a name…. a lot really!

I would say a lot is in a name… particularly in these days of breaking barriers (if not walls and contextual behaviours).

Many would have noticed my name is the longest one in the PGPEX 3 list. One trivia (or vital) is that its more driven by the fact the second name thing is (mostly) not there in Tamilnadu in the strict sense… We end up giving father’s name instead of “family” name or “surname”. More in details about that later…

Now about the length…That adds to confusion.. or should I call it masala which makes life interesting….particularly when we travel out of India…

My name (first name) contains 16 letters and second name contains another….i lost count…ya…16! The Indian departure form does not contain enough space and invariably I end up in a conversation with guy sitting at immigration for mismatch between passport. When I landed in Chicago I was I was thrilled to see I-94 (the immigration form used by US during arrival of foreigners)

Fortunately….or so I thought…I-94 incidentally contains 16+16 cells….I was really excited and told myself “see these guys anticipate things well and are culturally sensitive…that’s why they are so advanced”…in a typical colonial-genetic-disorder dominated tone…

I filled up the form neatly with max possible utilization of the cells (32 letters!) and went to the immigration officer…the guy gave me the typical poker faced stare and said “its not mandatory to fill all these cells just because they are available..its enough, of you just write your name”… you know my

While the above is my experience with drama in real life, it seems many have similar experiences:
An Indian guy named “Anantharaman Subbaraman” arrived at the New York airport. He ended up waiting for his visa for about 2 hrs for the authorities to call his name, he got fedup and went to them and asked why they haven’t called his name yet. They said that they have been calling him for last 2 hrs as ‘Anotherman Superman’

Fine… will let you go for now.

–Posted by Deiva

April 30, 2009 Posted by | Humor | Leave a comment

Supply and Demand

Indian economy is decoupled from the rest of the developed world. India, unlike China survive on a big domestic market and blah blah. So said the panelists and economists on news channels and so I believed until my father said he is finding it tough to find renters at the existing rent at Durgapur, a small town in India. Just to give a perspective about Durgapur – It is a small industrial city built around SAIL steel plant. It was also home to many other medium size factories, mostly PSUs but over the period of time they have closed shutters. Add this to being in red bastion the town further went into hibernation. In last 5-10 years there has been a surge of small steel plants around Durgapur. It didn’t help me or anyone with severe breathing problems but did push up the local prices. Last 5 years my dad too has seen (rather happily) the rent of our house go up considerably with the advent of these plants. The employees were typically paid well, home dropped and well taken care of ( not sure about their lungs though). Once, the commodity prices crashed these plants started laying off their employees or cutting back on production and salaries to reign in cost. And along with that the rents went south. So where is the decoupling?

I have observed and read to certain extent how the world is getting flatter and how India is part of the global supply chain but to think of that that the rents in a small town would get affected by global crisis was something amazing to me. I also think this is the first time this ’sleepy’ town also woke up to understand the nitty-gritty of the global scenario. They didnt have to the last time in 2001.

All these time when I was busy deliberating on this I guess my dad was praying. In few days he announced that he has found a group of guys, new recruits of a software firm, who are ready to pay more. Also the burgeoning ‘business’ of private institutes and hospitals around has actually pushed the rents further north than ever before. Now that again got me thinking (that’s the only thing I am good at!)It is surprising to notice that this small city presented a microcosm of the entire economy (assuming we see benefits of economic stimulus percolating in near future), how the big play in economies like India and China (China pumped 5 trillion RMB in the hope that local spending will the economy growing) is being played in a small town albeit in a smaller scale.

Its amazing that I could come this far without the ubiquitous supply-demand curves ( we just had an economics test) would evoke comments that I have not really internalized microeconomics. I leave that for another day.

–Posted by Manas

April 28, 2009 Posted by | Information | Leave a comment

Why cant we just print more money – Rajesh….oops.. Money Kumar

I think by now we are realizing how hard people like Rajesh are trying to elevate the level of discussions in class (and outside as well). With his soft pedaled but strong suggestion to pre-read, inspire us with videos like “everyday”, guide us out with ppts like “externalities”, increase the awareness that we have the key to HBR case studies (library link)etc etc…He is already becoming an asset (A) of our batch… and some of us are doing justice to A=L+OE. I leave it to our wild imaginations to decide which component are we in RHS!. I said some of us.

Here is a stuff of Rajesh kind… hope he doesn’t sue me for defamation for saying this!!

I had always thought why cant we just “print” more money. Somebody said no we can print money only equal to gold reserves… somebody said it will raise inflation.. and someone else said….bla bla bla.. Hopefully in the coming days our Profs light a candle if not throwing a light.

Meanwhile I got this education series by Reserve bank of India which was fairly explanatory of dynamics involved. Its “Money Kumar” instead of “Rajesh Kumar”.
There is a typo in this pdf. Instead of school kids its should ahve been business school kids!!
It seems RBI got the Albert Einstein quote right: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler”

–Posted by Deiva

April 26, 2009 Posted by | Humor | Leave a comment

A case for online voting

Bangalore once again had a poor voter turnout of around 45% in the elections. The voter turnout would have increased by 1 (2 including my wife) in absolute numbers if I was there in Bangalore. I guess it would have been the same for a lot of other people in the PGPEX batch. Hundreds of workers who are away from their city of dwelling on the day of election and thousands of software professionals on duty in foreign countries would share my feelings. At present postal voting is allowed in India only for officers on election duty and services personnel. But introduction of postal votes would introduce challenges of transportation and integration of the same with the EVM votes. Internet voting could provide an efficient and scalable solution to this problem. The opponents of internet voting argue that it may lead to fraud and bogus voting. The solution for the same lies in combining the benefits of internet voting and manual voting process.

The process could be as follows:

* A citizen should be provided an option of getting an internet username and voting pin (similar to an internet banking account) provided he has a valid voter ID card.
* The Indian embassies and select voting centres in major cities within India should have a dedicated terminal where an Indian citizen can cast his internet vote.
* On the day of the election, the citizen should go either to the Indian embassy or internet voting centres within India to cast his vote. The credentials of the citizen should be verified by the staff using the voter ID card of the citizen.
* The citizen should be able to login and cast his vote through the internet. The software should restrict the citizen to cast his vote only for a candidate in the constituency in which he is registered.
* The votes polled by a candidate through the internet voting should also be accounted on the day of counting.

The above process, I believe, would increase the voter turnout of our elections and would provide opportunities for all citizens to vote irrespective of the place of current location. If this initiative is successful, we could also scale the process in order to include our NRIs in the democratic process of our country.

Already our election process is well appreciated throughout the world. The incorporation of internet voting in our system would make it even more efficient and improve the vibrant democracy of our country.

What do you guys think about it? Will it work out or is it too much of a task to handle for the Election Commission?

–Posted by Sudarshan

April 25, 2009 Posted by | Information | 1 Comment

‘नौकरी छोड़ो, पढ़ाई करो’ : IIMC-PGPEX III on TV :

For the first time PGPEX III batch had their slice of the media. A comprehensive interview by Jayeeta Sharma and also a peek into the PGPEX classroom provided a testament that executive courses are in vogue these days and IIMC is the leader in this category. Here is the link


Some more news items:



April 25, 2009 Posted by | Information | Leave a comment

You may get it wrong even if you are right!

Micro Economics by Glenn Hubbard & Anthony Patrick O’Brien defines, “Fair distribution of economic benefits”.

Organisational Behaviour by Stephen Robbins & Timothy Judge defines, “A theory that says that individuals compare their job inputs and outcomes with those of others and then respond to eliminate any inequities”.

Essentials of Financial accounting by Ashish K Bhattacharya says, “Total of contributed equity capital & retained profit” All the above are definitions for “Equity”.

Should we call it contextual behaviour of words…. in OB parlance! Remember the course title when you sit for an exam/quiz. Or chances are you get it wrong even for a right answer!

–Posted by Deiva

April 24, 2009 Posted by | Life @ IIMC | 1 Comment