IIMC PGPEX 09-10 Blog

I have a dream…

IIM Calcutta –

Where hundreds come with towering dreams.
To set the path for the world to follow.
Where hundreds come with burning ideas.
To shape the destiny and life of tomorrow.

Where vision takes shape of a proud nation.
Of growth, opportunities and aspirations.
Where leaders are groomed with unmatched skill.
To command respect and execute will.

Where the best enter and excel for sure.
On a tenacious, resolute and focused note.
Where creativity thrives and innovation wins.
Experience proves its potential zing.

With nature working for long through silence.
And humans showing the road to summit.
We know how precious our days have been,
At IIMC, the temple of zenith.


September 21, 2009 Posted by | Information | 1 Comment

A day in the life of a PGPEXian…

7:45AM: Alarm goes off and I hit the snooze button to negotiate with my conscience, 15 minutes of extra sleep.

8:15 AM: With bleary red eyes I take a long walk to the class, thinking about the ways to withstand the 7 and half hours of grueling lecture.

8:30 AM – 1:30 PM: The day starts with Corporate Finance, moves on to “International Economics” and ends with “Managing World Class Operations”. I got cold-called today during the Finance class and had to appear for a surprise quiz in economics. The threat of cold calls and the unanticipated barrage of quizzes motivate me to work hard and prepare for the unknown. However, the resident dismay and pain on my classmates’ faces proves that I am not the only one who botched up.

1:30 PM – 2:15 PM: A long walk to the mess and back to the class on time before the afternoon session begins.

2:15 PM – 5:30 PM: Two back to back case discussions on Marketing.  In these case discussions, holding on to a viewpoint is a challenge as the professors try to trap us from all directions, thereby prodding us to gain a more holistic understanding. Prof Mishra typically starts cold-calling to ignite the discussion. However intimidating a cold-call is, it ensures full participation and stirs an intellectually stimulating discourse. Three hours of discussion and debate have left me fatigued and mentally exhausted.

5:45 PM – 6:30 PM: An invigorating game of tennis with my classmate prepares me for the long night ahead. Either it is a badminton game with a Professor or a game of basketball with the PGP folks, this time is well spent networking with the residents of the other side of the lakes.

7:00 PM – 8:30 PM: Spent time reading newspapers and met with the “Event Management” team to discuss about the arrangement of the impending “Term end party”.

8:30 PM– 9:00 PM: Half an hour of relaxing dinner, with dinner table gossips.

9:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Every Saturday we have “Consulting Club” meeting. Today we discussed some traditional market entry cases and brain-teasers. Mr. Gupta, one of our batch-mates, gave an exhilarating talk on “BSNL’s launch of 3G plan in India”.

10:00 PM– 1:00 AM: Study with my cohort members to prepare for Monday’s strategy case and presentation. Cohort members from diverse background provide unique perspective to the cases which aids in complete understanding. Imagine a case being unraveled from the perspective of a Nuclear Scientist, defense personnel, shipping captain and an IT professional. It truly adds variety.

1:00 – 1:30 AM: Shots of coffee to keep me awake for another 3 hours.

1:30 – 2:45 AM: Prepare for Monday’s lecture as the spectre of an unanticipated quiz always looms large. I get ready for bed and take some much needed rest to endure another grueling week as a PGPEX student at IIM Calcutta.

If you are wondering whether I survived a year at IIMC, rest assured as I am currently basking in the corporate world. As I look back I realize that the combination of academic excellence and rigour proved the ideal training ground for me to take on the world. Thank you IIMC!

September 21, 2009 Posted by | Information | 3 Comments

War of Words – Keynesian vs Neoclassical Economists

Starting with Paul Krugman


Response by David Levine


Response by John Cochrane


Retort by Paul Krugman


September 20, 2009 Posted by | Information | Leave a comment

Suggested readings for an MBA…

Finance Books

1. Blue Blood and Mutiny: The Fight for the soul of Morgan Stanley
2. Handbook of Corporate Finance: A Business Companion to Financial Markets, Decisions and Techniques
3. Banker to the Poor – book about the Grameen Bank and microfinance in the third world, and delves into how capitalism and the free market can be harnessed to return value to vulnerable communities x3
4. Liar’s poker – a bit dated but its gives you a sweet intro to the S&T world x2
5. Ugly Americans (HFs)
6. When Markets Collide
7. Damn it feels good to be a banker – And Other Baller Things You Only Get to Say If You Work On Wall Street x2 – by Leveraged Sellout (it looks brilliant if it’s the same quality as the blog)

Economics Books

1. Travels of a T-shirt – is pretty fun, written by a prof at georgetown – she explores the global economy (and the institutions that govern it) by following the creation, life, and death of your average t-shirt.
2. The World is Flat – Do not Buy
3. Passionate Economist
4. The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
5. The End of Poverty – Harvard Alum and Professor at Columbia’s Global Earth Institute, Sachs presents interesting, simple (perhaps even common sense) solutions to tackling the following obsctackes we will face in the upcoming century namely: the environment, poverty (extreme – less than $1-2/day) and population growth (in the poorest countries).
6. Common Wealth – regarding Jeffrey Sachs – as someone who works in international development, I’d like to point out that for all his popularity among the general public, most people working in the field think a lot of his “big ideas” are sheer lunacy. Particularly the idea of a “big push” to massively increase the amount of official development aid to developing-world governments. He’s a very smart guy, and End of Poverty (as well as Common Wealth) are both interesting books with a lot of good information – but the policy prescriptions they contain are totally off the mark.
7. The White Man’s Burden – t provides an outstanding analysis of not only successes and failures of trying to develop the third world, but at lot of it also applies to life in general (politics, economics, society, etc).
8. The Forgotten Man
9. The Chicago School – For those thinking about going to Chicago and going to economics
10. Vienna and Chicago, Friends or Foes? – For those thinking about going to Chicago and going to economics

Leadership Books

1. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
2. We need Managers, Not MBAs – It’s a scathing look at MBAs. If anyone reads this again, please keep an eye out for the part where he reveals the statistics that something like 70% of MBAs quit their jobs within two years of graduating (suggesting that the vast majority pick “wrong”). I cant find the exact stats anymore, so please, if you see it, take note of the page

Behavioral Books

1. Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking – There’s a little pop psychology to it, but it has some interesting insights.
2. Fooled by Randomness
3. Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell: I had thought about many of the theories he exposes way before this came out, but it’s still an interesting/easy/quick read.
4. Predictably Irrational – is by a fuqua prof that is a total boy genius. it’s behavioral econ.
5. Why We Buy – if you have any interest in running a business that is consumer-facing (CPG, banking, retail, restaurants, the post office) this is a must-read. or if you just wanna know why the bananas are where they are in the grocery store. Behavioral Econ.

Investment Banking Books

1. More than Money by Mark Albion – No, its not a rant against banking – he says thats the right path for some – but it is a very real depiction of MANY MBA attitudes and it will make you consider your goals. Frankly, in retrospect, this short book is probably the single most important thing I could have read before getting my MBA. It so accurately captures exactly what so many of us have thought or felt at some point – about jobs, about money, about careers – I virtually promise that it will resonate with you at some level. Its also worth noting its a short and easy read.
2. Tearing Down the Walls: How Sandy Weill Fought His Way to the Top of the Financial World. . .and Then Nearly Lost It All – to all future investment bankers
3. Monkey Business – which was a very quick read that provides an interesting look into the IB landscape in recent times. x2
4. Barbarians at the Gate – really is a must read. I thought it was great and included all of the major Wall Street legends, Kravis, Wasserstein, Fortsman, Lipton, etc. x2
5. Risk Takers
6.Pioneering Portfolio Management
7. The accidental investment banker – Jonathan Knee – pretty funny; give you a very good idea over the Ibank world. Not great though.
8. Den of Thieves – well-researched book that brings up a number of scandals involving Michael Milken, Ivan Boesky, Martin Siegel, and others
9. 21. When Genius Failed

Accounting Books

1. The Portable MBA in Finance and Accounting

Marketing Books

Why We Shop: The Science of Shopping” by Paco Underhill. I found it very interesting especially for those with an interest in CPG, brand management, marketing, retail and even consulting. Its a quick read and very entertaining. I definitely find myself thinking differently every time I walk into a store now.

Management Books

1. How Would You Move Mount Fuji?: Microsoft’s Cult of the Puzzle — How the World’s Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers – to all future Management Consultants…
2. The Halo Effect:… and the Eight Other Business Delusions That Deceive Managers – Wow! Good book. It pretty much blows apart a lot of the analysis people do to find out what makes a company “successful”.

International Relations and Policy Books

1. confessions of an economic hit man
2. Rise and Fall of Empires
3. Shock Doctrine – Naomi Klein: Must read. it opened my mind to sooo many things. please go read it, it gets long but towards the end it’s amazing.
4. Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism – Sixty percent of the world’s population live on 6% of the world’s income. The author argues that capitalism, if it accepts a social conscience out of self-preservation, can eventually develop a world where poverty is on the decline.
5. The Post American World – By far one of the most accessible poly-sci books around. Zakaria presents brutally honest opinions on the state of the U.S. in contrast to the rest of the World. He brings forth the challenges that face the U.S. and the world in the 21st century. Good read, not heavy at all.
6. No Logo is a bit dated but a lovely attack on globalization. if i weren’t already too old, i’d grow up to be naomi klein.

Career and Networking Books

1. Ahead of the Curve x2 – best book I’ve read on business school – more specifically HBS – looking at a top bschool from the pov of a non-business candidate gave me an amazing idea of the whole thing.
2. Never Eat Alone – Its a great book about the power of networking and how to build a strong network

Green Books

1. Hot, Flat, and Crowded – which is about why we need a green revolution. While i’m just 1/3 of the way through, it’s excellent so far… He’s got some hard facts scientifically, politically, and economically about why we need to care about our planet and makes it easier for me to explain to another layperson why we need a green revolution.
2. Green to Gold by Daniel Esty x2

IT and Operations

1. Black Swan – not recommended (I read part of the book when it came out but just got sick of it and never finished. If true “black swan” events by definition cannot be predicted or foreseen in any way, what’s the point of it?)
2. The Goal – is something you’ll probably read in your ops class. the best textbook ever, the worst novel ever. i’m a closet ops geek, so i dug it.

Poker and Gambling Books(Binand has his own suggestions)

1. Harrington on Hold ’em Expert Strategy for No Limit Tournaments – Dan Harrington
2. Read ’em and reap ’em
3. Bringing down the house

Fiction and Other

1. The prince – Niccolo Machiavelli: I don’t know why but I recently picked it up and it’s full of pretty interesting stuff. It is not about business but it gives you an idea of how Power was seen in the 1500.
2. Guns, Germs, and Steel – overview of Human Civilization, focusing on the question why Eurasians took over other continents rather than inhabitants of other continents – a bit repetitive but a good read – a lot of interesting information
3. Nathan McCall’s Them – t’s an interesting read, and a great book to invoke discussion amongst peers who view the world differently.
4. 9. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier – (not for the faint-hearted; story of a young boy in Africa). A diary/journal of sorts of a young boy who escaped the “recruitment” of rebels in Sierra Leone. Witness of death and consumed by drugs at a young age, he manages to escape through a very graphic yet inspiring story. Now in the U.S.
5. The snowball – Biography about Warren Buffet – I got this one as a present and thought it would be amazing, however I still haven’t really started loving it (ive read around 25% of it- its looong) but I guess if you like biographies then you’ll like it. x2
6. The Last Tycoons – “Cohan’s thoroughness—he interviewed over 100 current and former bankers and assorted bigwigs—unearths a trove of colourful titbits, many quite racy . . . Illuminating are Mr. Cohan’s descriptions of the scheming, politicking, and general dysfunction that was Lazard.”
7. Atlas Shrugged – the last and best of Ayn Rand’s books – beware 1,000 pages and not really a travel size.

September 13, 2009 Posted by | Information | Leave a comment

Motivating Speeches…

Randolph Frederick “Randy” Pausch (October 23, 1960 – July 25, 2008) was an American professor of computer science and human-computer interaction and design at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pausch learned that he had a terminal case of pancreatic cancer in September 2006. He gave an upbeat lecture entitled “The Last Lecture: Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” on September 18, 2007 at Carnegie Mellon, which became a popular video and led to other media appearances. He then co-authored a book called The Last Lecture on the same theme, which became a New York Times best-seller. Pausch died of complications from pancreatic cancer on July 25, 2008.

September 13, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Scuffle between Veterans and Avante-Gardes

These days the biggies are roughing it out in the batttlefield to grab acres and acres of lands around Columbia River in Oregon/Washington. Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google has prophesized that those companies would rule the Internet who would master the growth and realization of Data Centers. The world is slowly moving from Desktop based application and packaged software to the cloudspace concept. With innovations juggernauting regularly from companies such as Google, Apple industry behemoths such as Microsoft is really cornered. So to take the next battle forward all these contenders including search engine companies such as Ask.com are purchasing lands near to a place where electricity costs are low. Google has just bought 30 acres of land in Dalles, WA for their data center and plan to install 450,000( no I am not kidding) parallel processing units. Off course they need these astronomical number of servers to cater to 100 Million queries per day. Microsoft has already started acquiring land near Columbia River gorge because hydroelectricity is cheap and the land is strategically located near Bonneville dam. The war of storage capacity has already begun and I sincerely hope we the consumers(SMBs’, SMEs’) would be immensely benefited by the ongoing technology scuffle.

September 13, 2009 Posted by | Information | Leave a comment

Fighting poverty with mobile..

Motivational Speeches continued…

September 10, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Interview Tips


As requested here are some tips. We would not be able to divulge specific questions. However, we can provide some broad details in terms of the topics covered.

1. Why MBA?

2. Why 1 year MBA and why now?

3. If you belong to a specific country, country related questions. Example, Individuals who attended interviews in New York had to face questions on Financial Crisis.

4. Some questions on Maths.(differentiation,integration etc etc)

5. Some questions about India, GDP, Services Sector, Manufacturing sector, basic economics, agrarian improvements.

6. Thorough knowledge on Current affairs, some last year faced questions on Nuclear Deal, WTO etc etc.

7. U should be very conversant in your own field. Specially IT guys should be well versed on why do they want to do any MBA?

8. Individuals from finance and entrepreneurship field should be adept at answering questions on microfinance, mico venture capital and the general scene of those in India.

9. Individuals belonging to PE and VC field should have sufficient knowledge about the VC undertakings in India.

10. Last but not the least : Dont bluff. Profs are more knowledable than you. They can call your bluff anytime.

September 10, 2009 Posted by | Information | 6 Comments

Bak..We r..

We are back after a hiatus. The last two terms have been killing, sapping all our energy. Though thats not an excuse to stop blogging. Congrats to all those who got selected for PGPEX IV. Please use this site to ask us about your doubts. We all are there for your help.

September 8, 2009 Posted by | Information | 4 Comments