Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Bane of being a Tamil Iyer lad ??

Well, I don't exactly like taking caste names or religion names coz I'd like to think/believe that we are approaching an age where intelligence and values are the only things that matter, but this post of Haripi is really funny and deserves to be read.

I myself don't belong to this category, but I've spent most of my life with friends from this group and hence could relate/endorse to it real well. I just couldn't stop laughing. Cheers Haripi.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

The road frequently taken...

A lot of things happened in the past 10 days, and I just couldn’t didn’t make a sincere effort to make it to the blog. The title refers to my choice of electives for the second year. After a lot of introspection, retrospection and reflection, I’ve decided to work in an area that I could easily associate with: IT. As far as the number of electives go, we could either major in Marketing alone, Finance alone, or any of these along with IT. I’ve chose Marketing plus IT electives. Finance has been a bit interesting till now, but number crunching is something I don’t want to do for ages. Pure marketing certainly amounts to shedding all the knowledge gained in IT. Add to that the growth prospects of the IT industry and the open culture in IT industry that I probably can associate to very easily, the choice has been simple.

One end term exam and three projects down, and we have 2 more projects and six more end term exams to go before the summer project begins. I’m going to the corporate office of Career Launcher in Delhi for a project in IT – improving the efficiency of the ERP system in materials management. The top management in Career Launcher apparently has a lot of IIMites, and that pretty much seals the chances of chilling out in the project. I’ve never stayed in Delhi for long, and am kind of excited at the prospect. But then, there’s always the summer sun. The funny thing is that everything related to the summer project has happened in exactly the way I didn’t want to. We haven’t fixed up a place for staying in Delhi, and, as I hear, finding accommodation in Delhi isn’t exactly easy.

After a week with breakneck speed, we are having some coolers - two holidays during Holi. Needless to say, Holi celebration was carried out in truly colorful ways. The campus has literally been painted with colors. The coloring and smearing went on for hours together, and people ended up tearing up T-shirts, jumping into the small water tank etc. I was a bit fortunate in getting away with the clothes from being torn, but I still ended up spending an hour cleaning myself. I’ll probably post a couple of pictures if I could get my hands on it. Will catch up on the blog later...

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Comic sans!

Here are a couple of funny cartoons about blogging.

Well, happens all the time. I've personally seen people directing others to read blogs, short-circuiting direct talk. It mostly happens when we go to a trip or a picnic and then people ask how the experience was. Well, don't we call this the technology oriented world?

This happens too! Friends saying a crooked joke, or taking a naughty picture, or doing an odd thing and requesting bloggers not to record it. This is when you feel the power of being connected, of being online. All in the game.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Theory of relativity?

Instead of keeping myself awake till 3 a.m. in the night, I slept at 9 p.m in the past two days and woke up at 3 a.m. I suddenly found all the time I need in the world from 3 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. when the classes start. The 5/6 hours between 3 and 9 a.m. is definitely much more than the 5/6 hours between 7 p.m. and 1 a.m.

Is it that Einstein' theory rules? Or have I undergone a change in perception? Or am I managing time better?

Friday, March 11, 2005

What corporates can't build: a sentence

A lot of my friends have asked me why I write a blog. I can’t possibly give a clear cut management-style cost-analysis benefit and pin-point the exact plus points of writing one because blogging, according to me, is made of a lot of intangibles. The more I think about the blogspace and the way people connect themselves through it, the more it is surprising. Blogs reached a special place amongst us when we had a *case discussion* about them in our MHR class. Even after cruising in the blogspace for arguably so long, I was jolted to find it in our case discussion in the class room. I didn’t know the exact implications of what I saw as a way to express ones’ views, and, I didn’t expect our course outline to be so well updated! Jokes apart, here’s one article that pinpoints a very good reason for developing a writing habit. What better way to learn something than to have it as part of our hobby?

The title of the original article was: What corporate America can’t build: a sentence. I suspect it applies equally well, or perhaps even more, to Indians. While I consider myself a fledgling when it comes to writing, I'm quite surprised to have a huge company in form of IIMites, let alone others.

The NYT article has expired, but I managed to get the excerpts from it. If you haven’t started a blog yet, this one's for you. If you already have one, this is for keeping your spirits up.

Hundreds of inquiries from managers and executives seeking to improve their own or their workers' writing pop into Hogan's computer in-basket each month, he says, describing a number that has surged as e-mail has replaced the phone for much workplace communication. Millions of employees must write more frequently on the job than previously. And many are making a hash of it.

"E-mail is a party to which English teachers have not been invited," Hogan said. "It has companies tearing their hair out."

A recent survey of 120 American corporations reached a similar conclusion. The study, by the National Commission on Writing, a panel established by the College Board, concluded that a third of employees in the nation's blue-chip companies wrote poorly and that businesses were spending as much as $3.1 billion annually on remedial training.

"It's not that companies want to hire Tolstoy," said Susan Traiman, a director at the Business Roundtable, an association of leading chief executives whose corporations were surveyed in the study. "But they need people who can write clearly, and many employees and applicants fall short of that standard."

Millions of inscrutable e-mail messages are clogging corporate computers by setting off requests for clarification, and many of the requests, in turn, are also chaotically written, resulting in whole cycles of confusion.

This musn't be news to anyone who has some work experience...

"The more electronic and global we get, the less important the spoken word has become, and in e-mail clarity is critical," said Sean Phillips, recruitment director at another Silicon Valley corporation, Applera, a supplier of equipment for life science research, where most employees have advanced degrees. "Considering how highly educated our people are, many can't write clearly in their day-to-day work."

An entire educational industry has developed to offer remedial writing instruction to adults, with hundreds of public and private universities, for-profit schools and freelance teachers offering evening classes as well as workshops, video and online courses in business and technical writing. Kathy Keenan, a onetime legal proofreader who teaches business writing at the University of California Extension, Santa Cruz, said she sought to dissuade students from sending business messages in the crude shorthand they learned to tap out on their pagers as teenagers.
"hI KATHY i am sending u the assignmnet again," one student wrote to her recently. "i had sent you the assignment earlier but i didnt get a respond. If u get this assgnment could u please respond . thanking u for ur cooperation."

Hogan, who founded his online Business Writing Center a decade ago after years of teaching composition at Illinois State University here, says that the use of multiple exclamation points and other nonstandard punctuation like the :-) symbol, are fine for personal e-mail but that companies have erred by allowing experimental writing devices to flood into business writing.
"E-mail has just erupted like a weed, and instead of considering what to say when they write, people now just let thoughts drool out onto the screen," Hogan said. "It has companies at their wits' end."
I guess I can now give more than an answer for writing a blog.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The divine taste of holidays…

After nearly a month of non stop activity, we are in a midst of holidays. It’s kind of astounding how 2 holidays can run as fast as it does. I had a lot of “2 dos” in mind for the two days, but I haven’t done a single thing. After having a blissful 9 hour sleep (so long!) yesterday, we went for a trek to a tabletop hill in the afternoon. We started at 3.00 pm and took our bikes some half an hour from our institute in a God forsaken dusty, rocky road. It sure was a test of our driving abilities and our bikes. We parked our bikes in a quarry near a hill, and took to the trek. After a 3 km walk from the quarry through bushes, fields with fiery looking bulls, helpful men and women, ups and downs, we reached the bottom of the table top hill.

The table top must have been anywhere between 500 feet to 1000 feet high. There were signs of pathways leading to the top, and despite the imposing looking altitude and elevation, we took the challenge because the other moderately-steep route would’ve made us walk 1 more Km. After about 30 minutes of climb, we reached the top. The view was breathtaking. Miles and miles of clear landscape were visible, and the look was amazing – the rectangular different-shaded green patches of land as we see in the high altitude videos in TV. There was a small temple made mostly of stones, a small fort-like ancient building and a small pond right on top of the hill. It was surely a trek that was worth all the pain. The only bad thing was that our camera ran out of power after 6/7 snaps and all we managed was some photos as we were driving.

The table-top hill as seen from our institute

As we start from the campus…

The dusty road leading to the table-top hill (in the background)

I felt really tired on return, only to be told that a Section A vs. Section B Counter-Strike was on the line. This match was long pending and no one was interested in postponing it any further since this was the first consecutive holidays we ever had in our PGP lives. Section B, the other section, had won the previous match and we simply had to win to straighten out things. The teams were equally poised with some of the finest players interspersed. But in the end, we won with a considerable margin. It’s really surprising to see the flaring tempers and the level of passion involved in this game. Groups of people took their Wireless-enabled laptops to common rooms to make the most out of technology to strategize and guide each other. It was 5.00 am in the night when we hit the sack.

Here's the winning Section A Counter-Strikers.

From Left to Right Name[CS nick]-
Top: Maderna [Sabka baap], Venkat [S.A.W], Yours truly [Spetnaz]
Middle: Ranjith [The Don], Duseja [Sikander], Kapur [Juggernaut], Rishav [Killer], Arya [O.B. Laden]
Bottom: Kindra [Defribilator], Maiti [Aragorn] and Anubhav Nayyar [The Eye]

Today was more of doing nothing worthwhile types. Lot of work beckons, but I just can’t come to terms with the time that moves this fast!

Friday, March 04, 2005

Class of 2005: Final placements

Following is our official placement report...

Corporate India swooped down on the portals of one of India’s premier business schools and walked off with the crème de la crème of the country’s future business leaders. So much so, that with an average of 1.8 offers per student at the end of Day 0, placements never got to see Day 1.

Placements 2005 was distinguished by the participation of companies from a wide range of industry sectors, a 66% increase in the number of recruiters, veritable downpour of lateral offers and a 20% increase in the average salary. The average accepted CTC salary was 8.16 lakhs. The corresponding figure for the lateral offers stood at 8.60 lakhs.

The Lateral factor

The batch of 2005 at IIM Indore was rich on experience with almost 80% of them vying for lucrative lateral placement offers. Most of the candidates possessed relevant experience in sectors of their choice, culminating in 93 lateral offers of which 67 were finally accepted. Most of these offers went hand in hand with commensurate increases in pay packages.

Around 10% of the batch had prized Pre-Placement Offers from top-notch organizations like HLL, Standard Chartered Bank, GE, Wipro Technologies, Patni Computer Systems and Asian Paints. 5% of the batch also had prior international exposure, which provided a definite fillip to their final placement efforts.

Recruiters galore

The list of recruiters at IIM Indore resembled a virtual who’s who of India Inc. Apart from the regular recruiters like Standard Chartered Bank, PepsiCo, ICICI Bank, Asian Paints, IBM, Wipro and Infosys Technologies, this season also saw relationships developing with ITC, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Covansys, GSK, Accenture, Satyam, CitiFinancial, Mahindra British Telecom, EXL Services, Kotak Group and Sony Entertainment Television. All recruiters expressed extreme satisfaction with the smooth conduct of the placement process and left the campus with firm commitments to be back next year.

Sector-wise breakup of accepted offers

Marketing: The FMCG giants like HLL, ITC, Glaxo SmithKline, PepsiCo and Asian Paints picked up the bulk of marketing talent. The average accepted salary in this sector was 7.98 lakhs. Pharma and Media sectors too were well represented by companies like Glenmark Pharma, Wockhardt and Sony Entertainment TV among others.

IT: The continued growth of the Indian IT sector was clearly evident with all the big names like Infosys Technologies, Wipro, Patni Computer Systems, CSC India, Mahindra British Telecom, Tata Consultancy Services and Satyam Computers coming together to offer the highest number of jobs across sectors. The average accepted salary in this sector was 8.05 lakhs.

ITES: The Indian BPO industry sent strong signals of an exciting future as the average accepted salary in this sector stood at 9.19 lakhs with leaders like Progeon, Gecis, EXL Services and Evalueserve offering lucrative job profiles.

Banking and Financial Services: Banking stalwarts like Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, ICICI Bank, SBI and UTI Bank led the banking sector while the financial services sector was represented by the likes of Citigroup, Kotak Group, SBI Caps, Adventity, ICICI Lombard and Larsen & Toubro among others. The average accepted salary in this sector was 8.40 lakhs.

Consulting: With 21% of students opting for consulting jobs, companies like TSMG, Accenture, CapGemini, IBM Consulting and Mahindra Consulting continue to be hot draws at IIM Indore. The average accepted salary in this sector was 8.02 lakhs.

General Mgmt., Operations and HR: Opportunities in these sectors were offered by leading companies like Bharti Televentures, Madura Coats, Gecis, Maruti, GMR Group and Anand Corporate Services.

Financial Services and IT/ITES sectors witnessed the maximum number of visiting companies, together constituting almost 60% of the overall recruiters and making around 125 offers between themselves. The meteoric strides being made by the ITES industry were epitomized by hefty salary packages and exciting job profiles. One of the visiting VPs hit the nail right on the head when he remarked: “The BPO sector is not about creating growth. Growth per se is guaranteed. The challenge now is to manage growth. It is a whole new paradigm.” Going by the way these new economy jobs were lapped up, the outgoing batch of IIM Indore couldn’t agree more.

A problem of plenty

A staggering total of 202 offers were made in all to the batch of 112 students. This left many students in a quandary as they found themselves in the enviable situation of having to choose from multiple offers, each one more exciting and challenging than the other. Recruiters too faced a tough time with some who appeared to be certain recruits opting out in favor of more exciting career prospects in other organizations.

Sector-wise breakup of total offers made and accepted

Needless to say, a 100% placement record at IIM Indore is not just a mere statistic but a foregone conclusion.

Money matters

Or so it would seem. But therein hangs a tale, one that is subject to many interpretations and statistical juggling at B-School campuses. Not so at IIM Indore. The figures calculated on a Cost-to Company basis and taking only the 112 accepted offers into account speak for themselves. The sector-wise average and highest CTC salary is given below.

Sector-wise breakup of Average and Highest salary accepted

Some of the highest paymasters were Gecis, Progeon, EXL Services, GSK, ITC, Kotak Group, Sony Entertainment Television and JP Morgan. The effects of a booming economy were fully evident in the final salary scores as majority of the students walked out with substantially higher pay packages compared to previous years.

The Bottom line

“The placement process and co-ordination at IIM Indore is one of the best we have experienced among all the institutes we have interacted with.” – ITC Ltd.

“The batch profile is outstanding. We are yet to see anything like it in other campuses.” –Gecis

The last few years have seen IIM Indore mature into a happy hunting ground of management talent for India Inc. Within just 6 years of its existence, IIM Indore has succeeded in attracting the best of corporate participation in its placement processes. With an international student exchange program all set to take off this year and the superb feedback that we have received from recruiters, IIM Indore looks all set to retain its status as a B-School of choice for both students as well as the corporate world.