IIMC PGPEX 09-10 Blog

Private Equity in India…

PGPEX 3rd batch student,XXX, participated in Asia’s biggest PE&VC event in Mumbai few weeks back. His thoughts are etched here..

Private Equity (PE) is an asset class consisting of equity securities in operating companies that are not publicly traded on a stock exchange. Investments in PE most often involve either an investment of capital into an operating company or the acquisition of an operating company.  In 2008, PE firms raised a total of $450 Billlion USD whereas managed total funds worth $2.5 trillion USD.

PE in India is quite recent only couple of years old. However global PE firms are interesting challenges in Indian industry. PE funds are customizing their India strategy keeping in mind the local realities the relatively small size of companies seeking capital, promoters’ reluctance to cede control, and local takeover regulations, among others. Their focus is moving from big-ticket transactions, quite common abroad and frequently running into a few hundred million dollars, to smaller deals and minority stakes.

Such Indianization of global funds in India can be an interesting study and would throw light on the challenges PE firms are facing and the transformation they are going through.


October 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

…Came back from TIE-ISB Venture Capital event

Few of the wannabe entrepreneurs of PGPEX 3rd batch participated in the biggest PE( Private Equity) and VC(Venture Capital) gathering in Hyderabad few days back. It was an awesome experience and gave us requisite and “to-the-point” information to start our own ventures. Here is a snapshot….

TiE-ISB Connect, http://www.tie-isbconnect.com the annual networking event for entreprenuers and VC’s got off to a great start today in Hyderabad. Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri K. Rosaiah, inaugurated the 2 day (October 22-23, 2009) at Hotel Marriott, Hyderabad. The theme for this years event is ‘The Crisis will pass…will you?.

TiE-ISB Connect organisers expressed confidence that participants at the end of this year’s 2 day event entrepreneurs will be able to discover the information, advice, support and ideas to take their entrepreneurship to the next level during difficult times. Over 40 Venture Capitalist Firms, 500 entreprenuers converged at the Hotel Marriott to engage in a series of interactive information dialogue at TiE-ISB Connect. This year’s TiE-ISB Connect features Keynote by Asit Pal, Executive Director of Corporation Bank, Kishore Biyani, Managing Director of Pantaloon Retail (India) Limited and the Group Chief Executive Officer of Future Group and Dr. Varaprasad Reddy, Managing Director of Shantha Biotechnics.

The President of TiE, Hyderabad Chapter, Dr. Ramesh Babu in his comments said If there is a way out of the economic downturn, it is the ‘Entreprenuers’ creativity, flexibility and capacity to find solutions. New generation entreprenuers are the true drivers of growth and job creation. Our role is to create the best possible eco-system to foster entrepreneurship and provide our participants an opportunity to expand skills, make valuable contacts, and gather practical ideas for aspiring entreprenuers.

Economic downturns are never desirable, but they are inevitable. Using the right mix of business strategy during tough times is the best way for your venture to survive. The event began today morning with ‘Jumpstart Your Venture’ Workshop where a panel of experts discussed the potential pitfalls and key requisites to enhance success rate of first-time entreprenuers. The workshop was packed and attracted 150 attendees. Thereafter participants visited the ‘Company Showcase’ inaugurated by the Chief Minister.

According to TiE Global, Member Trustees of Board, JA Chowdary, and the Mentor of TiE-ISB Connect said TiE-ISB Over the last 4 years our event has been able to create a favorable Eco system to inspire entrepreneurship. Particularly for start ups as there were no networking opportunity 4 to 5 years back. He said the event has directly or indirectly helped many entreprenuers to either strike partnerships or attract investment in their venture. TiE-ISB Connect also hopes to create a network of angle investors in Hyderabad going forward.

Later in the evening the track on ‘Funding & Operational Challenges during Seed Stage’ was held. The Panel here probed into ‘valuation’, ‘investible business’, ‘differentiation’, ‘defensibility’, ‘non-linearity’, and ‘scalability’ and other details for closing the seed funding. The Panel also dwelled upon potential alternatives to seed fund.

The Event is noted for its ‘Taking India Forward’ panel discussion featuring face-to-face interaction with a diverse set emerging leaders, eminent industrialists and investors. This year the panel discussed the reality of ‘India Poised/ Incredible India’ as opposed to ‘India Paused/ Incredible Problems of India’ and explores the opportunities to leverage the ‘demographic dividend’ for inclusive economic growth.

On day 2 “Catalyzing Inclusive Growth while Solving Real Problems” will be in spotlight at the Next 800 million opportunity track chaired by S. Sivakumar of ITC Agro. The next track during the day will talk about Funding & Operational Challenges during Series A/B (Follow-On) Stage chaired by Ananth Rao of Angel Investor. Critical elements like entry valuations for the investor and potential exit valuations, timelines, products, markets, etc. will be explored extensively by the panel at this session.

The venture community attending the TiE-ISB Connect expressed their interest in broadening the dialogue with entreprenuers. They said investments at all levels of entrepreneurship from seeding early stage companies, to later-stage funding continues to pose significant challenge for Venture Firms and the investing community. Brand new ideas and stories with growth potential will be at the top of their table. TiE-ISB connect has garnered considerable attention from leaders in the venture capital investment world to connect with the entrepreneurs, startups and emerging growth companies that are actively searching for partners and funding. This year the resonance at the event was to send out the message ‘Get Tough and don’t give up During These Challenging Times’.

In the afternoon Rajesh Raju of Peepul Capital chairs ‘Funding & Operational Challenges during Growth Stage’ track. The focus at this track is to explore Exit options and economic landscape. The panel will have a mix of Panel of Private Equity, Investment Bankers and Entrepreneurs will explore growth companies, growth capital, valuations, and operational challenges with accelerating growth.

Later in the evening the ‘VC Connect’ track brings together 6 experienced investors will exchange knowledge on what investors across the board are thinking about their respective investing approaches, what they believe needs to be done to enhance value-creation and what they’re looking for. This session is designed for maximum audience participation. Get your doubts clarified and questions answered about the investing landscape in India today from this incredibly diverse set of top quality investors. The session will be moderated by Sanjay Anandaram, Managing Director JumpStartUp Fund Advisors.

The title sponsor for the event is Corporation Bank. Other sponsors for the event include BSCPL Infrastructure and NSL. Hotel Marriott is the host partner for the event.

October 25, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Happy Diwali to all of you


October 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Dhoom Dhadaka at PGPEX

Happy Diwali to all of you. After the boisterous Diwali party someone aptly summarized the evening.

“The Diwali party entertained us all …

Gautam you were simply amazing … you have an alternative career for sure …

Vijay Arya … dunno how many instruments this guy knows … last time he was playing the mouth – organ … this time the spanish guitar .. and in between he filled up for lack of the  tabla using ….. guess …  yes the spanish !!!

Srividya earned the unanimous title of “Jhansi ki Rani” for her dare-devilry with the fireworks .. She was ably supported by  Jain … Gaurav Jain !

Major Niren did his bit throughout … once he could be seen uprooting one of the tables which had sunk half-way into mother earth ….

We missed Susanta da’s mouth – organ but that’s reserved for some other day …

Abhishek sang from his heart … and could have won the “Meri Awaz Suno” title …

Praveen alias “Gaaru” laughed more than he could manage to sing !

Manas “the Mint” Mallik and Binand “The Chota Don” sighed away from singing but could be heard humming and suggesting the numbers continuously …

The popular award …  goes  to Tauqueer alias “Bada Don” who stole one of the 1st prizes and kept the night alive by demanding popular numbers like … well .. Some other time !

The better halves didn’t disappoint … Shanka was spotted blushing / hiding?…

Gautam and Arya crooned to Bappi Da’s “Pyar bina chain kahan re” in characteristic nasal style

Somesh ji was spotted humming something into the mike more than once ….

And thanks Gaurav for arranging the show ….

There would be notable others I might have missed out …  but this Diwali would be one we shall remember for long …..


October 18, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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

Fighting poverty with mobile..

Motivational Speeches continued…

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

Is MBA shifting towards the one year programme?

June 22, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Snapshots from Hell

A good friend and fellow student here forwarded the following snippets from a book she is reading – Snapshots from Hell. I empathize with Mr Robinson. Today is one of those days when I ask myself what made me leave a life of peace and ease and bring my family over here. Thanks you J for sharing this – I do get a sadistic pleasure in knowing that I am not the only one who has paid for the pain.


‘Business school, as we shall see is not a sure ticket to riches. Yet, during recessions as in boom times, MBAs remain in many ways a special class of people, who lead exceptional lives.
At any business school, the first half of the course is the tenure of drama. It is the year of new faces and new surroundings. It is also the year of loneliness, self-doubt and constant, unyielding pressure. For a great many students, there come moments during the first year when often for the first time in their lives, they wonder, quite seriously, whether they will fail.
Sometimes these days I see Stanford through such a golden haze of affection, that i wish for a moment i could go back. Then I ask myself, ‘what would you do if someone actually told you that you had to repeat the first six months?’
The answer is always the same, Drop to my knees and beg for mercy.

June 16, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

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