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Sunday, April 30, 2006


I wanted to write something about "Real Estate" earlier, but somehow didnot find the opportune time. However, as I just return from the informal meeting that was put up by some real "real estate" enthusiasts, I must say that I am quite impressed by these people, their past career till date and their ability to discover new oppurtunities. For instance, there was this guy named P. P did his schooling from Doon his undergraduation degree from Delhi University in Economics.... moved to London to get his masters in Economics from London School of Economics.... returned back to India to start his own venture.......selected to lead the Indian office of a leading real estate firm before joining ISB. Then there was U, who worked for quite some time with a leading consultancy firm in tourism, hotel business, and similar domains, mostly outside India, before relocating to ISB. S (There will be so many Ss in the class of 2007), who has worked for a top real estate firm took the challenge to enlighten lesser mortals like me with an wonderful presentation that covered the complete industry scenario.

Now, coming back to the formal acads.... Term 1 starts tomorrow. And yes... life in ISB is really hectic.... I have got to cover around 90 pages of reading materials in statistics(tonight) before I face the statistics class tomorrow.

Saturday, April 29, 2006


Guys, This is SV1 entrance.... The student village where I stay in ISB...

Four years ago, I said goodbye to Mandakini. The very name "Mandakini" takes me to the golden period of my life... the place where I met those people whom I can never forget.... where I made those friendship which I can only dream to create again....where I learnt how to dream.... where I learnt what it means to win in life... But alas.... I am no more in our sweet "Mandak",my undergrad hostel......

And I heard that they are going to demolish Mandak..... It has been in the agenda for quite sometime. Come rainy season and Mandak is in the mercy of rain God..... And since the last two years, Mandak has been suffering terribly in the rainy season....perhaps thats why they plan to demolish the current structure and shift it to a new location.... I know it is all for the good... But kya karen... yeh dil hai ke manta nahin. Is it possible for me to visit my undergrad college and not say hi to Room No. 211,215,207,226 and 364. No choice buddy... thats life.


Hey.. hey.. today is not my birthday

Guess the number of people in the pool

Can you find the bday gal

Not long ago, the ISB campus belonged to the Class of 2006. They added on to the various traditions of ISB, and the Class of 2007 successfully inherited all the great stuff that the earlier batch did. One of such events is the birthday celebration in ISB. I will not write much about how we celebrate the birthday….. have a look at the snaps and you get to know all the fun. Section F celebrated the first birthday dunking of the year…. And the birthday girl is none other than my quad neighbor D. Cheers D…. Wish you all the best and hope this year turns out to be amongst the most memorable years of your life….

Alums.. if you are reading this, do thank me for bringing back the nostalgic memories of ISB.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


Center for Global Logistics and Manufacturing Strategies (GLAMS) is one of the centers of excellence started in ISB (in fact the newest), the other two being Center of Analytical finance (CAF) and Wadhwani Center of Entrepreneurship Development (WCED). Plans of new centers of excellence are in the agenda.

In a brief presentation hosted today, the director of Global Logistics and Manufacturing Strategies Prof. Viswanadham presented quite an ambitious picture of industry concepts like supply chain management and manufacturing. He also covered the retail industry and food processing industry, indicating the kind of potential that lies hidden in such sectors, especially in a country like India.

One thing interesting about these centers of excellence is that they are brand new centers and this offers them the freedom and opportunity to tap the most happening things around. And from what I understand, students play a quite a decent role in the brand enhancement of these centers. For instance, when asked about the maritime supply chain management industry, Prof. Viswanadham informed that the center plans to work with various port authorities and maritime sector soon.

So far things are going great for these infant “research powerhouses” of ISB. And as a part of the ISB fraternity, it will be great pleasure to see these centers scaling new peaks with time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


There is one thing about this year’s batch of ISB that I like very much. It started even before the students met each other in ISB, when P send a primer on “investment banking” months ago, and that was just the beginning. Yes, I am talking about “Knowledge Sharing” which is so typical of ISB students.
Articles on “level 5 leadership”… studies of Mckinsey…… VAT analysis and its impact on general economy….manufacturing and India…. and a whole lot of such articles, which keep floating around, genuinely reflects the diversity of the batch.

Lots of interesting things happening in the campus….. N is likely to come back in couple of days with the most special person of his life (He was the first one in the batch to get married as an ISB student)……SS celebrated her first birthday and S is the happiest mother in the campus…...executive housing is hosting a party today…..pre-terms have reached mid-way…….and the list never seems to end. I can really feel the charm and sweetness of this kind of life.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006


Slowly and steadily, the ISB pace is catching up. People are busy following the pre term courses and bracing themselves for the term beginning early next week. Evenings are often reserved for planning the agenda for the professional clubs. Looks like, the class of 2007 has got serious from day one itself.
Well, as far as brilliance is considered, I feel the students of ISB will not stay behind those of the best in global business. However, one department, which I feel, we are slightly lacking is the application of soft skills. People should be more patient especially while planning various club activities. Sometimes people override each other to prove their individual points and at times it becomes slightly difficult, or rather time-consuming to reach a consensus. (In spite of that, I must admit that the progress in various club activities is in fairly good shape).
However, as I look back to the orientation week, I can recollect the maturity and the soft skills that the alums possessed. And I am sure the one year experience in ISB will infuse such maturity into the class of 2007 as well. After all, management education is all about it.
As for myself, I am trying to learn the basics of accounting…. It has been quite sometime since I last read a curriculum related book. Somehow, I managed to complete a chapter with intermittent doses of sweet afternoon naps. I can really understand, how difficult it can be, to transit back into classroom life, after four years of professional career.

PS: When I say "people", it reflects the average ISB junta. There are quite a number of people whose maturity levels are way above the average, especially those from the Indian Civil Services and from the Indian Defence Forces.

Monday, April 24, 2006


It began like just another intro......
For brevity let me refer myself as M and the other gentleman as G

M: Hi, Did we meet before?
G (with a smile on his face and with extra ordinary modesty): Did we?
M: Anyway… This is Sabyasachi Mohanty…You can call me Sabya.
G: That’s nice. Sabya is short and easy.
M: I am sorry. Can I get your name?
G(with even more modesty): I am X
M: It’s a pleasure meeting with you X
G: Same here too. What is your professional background like?
M (impatiently): Blah blah……And what yours?
G: I belong to the faculty.
M (with a sudden reaction): Faculty. Faculty at ISB?
G (with enough friendliness): Yes.
M (What more can I say…): Great meeting you, Sir…..
G: Same here too.

It is sometimes difficult to differentiate between professors and students at ISB. And to add to the trauma, the professors are so modest that you don’t know how to react after you realize that the person with whom you were so casually talking is a professor.


Why is it sometimes not possible to look into somebody’s eyes and let that person know your feelings?
Why is it sometimes not possible to keep walking, walking and walking without looking back?
Why do memories have life…Why don’t they die with the moment…Why do they sometimes recreate the whole episode again?
Why is that life never gives a second chance?
Why is that it’s always the mind which rules… and not the heart?
Why am I thinking all this in the middle of the night?

Sunday, April 23, 2006


All the alums have left… and before leaving, they passed on the legacy of all their experience to the new batch. The new batch is determined to work on the experience of the last batch, cross all barriers and break all the records created this year. The consultancy club, energy/manufacturing club, marketing club, technology club, EVC (Entrepreneurship and Venture Capitalist) club, finance club and all the existing clubs have discovered a plethora of new members in the Class of 2007. The enthusiasm doesn’t seem to end there. Efforts are being diverted to the formation of new clubs too.
So many smart people around…. so many clubs… many ideas to put into effect…..but where do I stand in this race?
As I relax and analyze all the knowledge sessions (imparted by the alums) and as I take a look at my past work experience and associations, I realize that it makes sense to involve myself in two clubs…….The first one being the energy/manufacturing club…… I strongly feel that I can be a very active member of this group and can contribute substantially.
Now let me visit the consultancy club, which is most likely to host the largest chunk of the current ISB population. At the moment, I really have no great idea on what consultancy is. Although, I cannot contribute substantially to this club (at least, in the beginning), I do feel that I can learn a lot about what consultancy is, by joining this club.

As far as I know, I am not exactly interested in venture capitalist/ investment banking/or IT at the moment. So let me remain away from these clubs and if situation demands later, I can always change my decisions then….however this is very unlikely.

One interesting trend that is visible in this batch is a nascent interest in “real estate”. Although I am not exactly into what real estate is, but with whatever little knowledge and information I have on this topic I feel that it is worth spending some time to explore the opportunities in real estate. Individual efforts have joined hands in this area of concentration and if things go well, the next club will be the Real Estate Club.

That is all about the professional clubs for the moment. Pre terms start from tomorrow…Since I have not registered for any of the pre-term courses, I am free for the next week, as far as classes are considered. At the same time I have to make sure that things don’t go out of my hand when Term1 starts.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


As I was walking in the atrium of ISB, I saw people coming out of the book store with whole bunch of books….
I have always hated big, fat text books, yet I decided to buy those books. When did I last buy a text book before this? Definitely not during my under-graduate career. I remember how I photocopied a book on “Ship Design and Construction” which is considered a bible in ship construction. I preserved this book…. and really respected it as bible until I was involved in real practical projects, where I realized that the concepts of design and manufacturing as prescribed by this book are already outdated and no more used in the industry. Yet for four long years, I valued this book only to realize the futility at the end. I decided to use that big, fat book as an additional pillow and it served a good purpose.

I hope things are different in management education. I hope that management books as prescribed by ISB will have relevant real life experience in the industry. I hope the books which I bought today will be used to solve practical problems and will not alter their roles into pillows or something else.

Marketing management( Kotler and Keller)….Statistics for management(Levin and Rubin)…Financial accounting(Narayanaswamy)… This is only the beginning. I am sure more books will be in my book rack as the first term begins.


“Managing one’s ignorance”……This is a completely new term which I came across during the “Leadership Development Programme” in ISB. Sounds slightly unusual but has tremendous depth hidden within. This phrase introduced me to the concept of those leaders who lead “from middle” or “from back”. Now how is this possible and what has ignorance got to do with leadership?

One can lead from middle or from back if he really knows what his weaknesses are, and what he is ignorant of. Once he knows this, he knows exactly when he can act as a follower and hand over the charge to the person, who is good at the particular activity. And in this process, he also learns the skills which are required for the successful completion of that particular activity.

Thus, a person who can “manage his ignorance” develops the ability to learn from others, knows exactly when it is the time to pave way for others, and turns out to be an excellent team member with no ego problems.

I hope my team members in ISB are good at managing their ignorance.

Friday, April 21, 2006


Five gentlemen….. all industry heavyweights and extremely renowned faces of Indian industry found some time out of their busy schedules to visit ISB and advise the class of 2007. The list includes a famous brand management consultant, an entrepreneur, one of most famous dropouts of IIM A and two other top industry people….. all of them in the category of CXOs.
Each of these people carried the whole batch through an insightful journey of career in particular and life in general. Let me put down some of the pearls of wisdom that these top people shared….

Not necessarily a person who takes risk will succeed in life….. A normal person with a steady career path can be more successful than a person who believes in a more adventurous career path. The whole concept is something like a road with lots of traffic posts. One guy travels full speed and then waits in the traffic, where a guy with a steady pace catches up.

Its extremely important to balance personal life with professional life….Not all people who have done great in their professional career are happy in life.

It is important to develop an insightful approach to all aspects of life including career.

While focus is important…. one should be ready to change as the situation demands.

LUCK…is very important…."To be in the right place at the right time” requires much more than individual caliber. There is somebody sitting on the top and controlling us.

A person who sticks to one company and tries to prosper within one company is normally more successful than a frequent job hopper.

Modesty is very important. Normally we remember instances when people were rude to us. The same holds good for others also if we are rude to them.

If one is interested in entrepreneurship, then it is wise to start as early as possible.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Apart from the scheduled stuff, the highlights of the first week of my stay in ISB….

(1) “Did I meet you before”… this is the statement which I have been using very lavishly since the last week…"This is the 5th time we are introducing ourselves…ha-ha”-comes the reply. Getting to know 400+ people in a span of a week is a tough job but I do feel I have done a fairly good job at the end of the week.

(2) Liked my section T-shirt so much that I decided to wash it only after R informed me that she is yet to see me in a different attire. May be I will collect a couple of T-shirts before the stock is over.

(3) Took a fairly decent number of snaps which I am sure will be in great demand once ISB life draws towards an end.

(4) Realized that the senors and senoritas of this batch are smarter than what I expected them to be… especially the senoritas.

(5) Met almost all the active bloggers of the class of 2007.

(6) Decided to prioritize my activities in ISB before it gets late.

(7) Enjoyed the orientation week so much that I want to relive that experience again and again….thanks to the alums.

(8) Have to verify with P (the student from Italy) if I have an Italian accent….(based on the observation of D, who stays in the opposite quad.)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Section F, F-6, SV-1, and L Block and L-18 are some of the tags with which I will be associated with in ISB. The superstitious person that lies within me tempts me to believe that all these tags will bring all the luck and force along with them.

One thing that I have noted here is that ISB offers an unlimited scope of activities. I feel one of the first things which I should learn to do in ISB is to prioritize my activities. Academic success is extremely important and it is an extremely dangerous idea to mess with it. Extracurricular activities are always important and the individual should have a clear idea how to balance studies with extracurricular activities such that a healthy mix can be obtained. The difficult part in ISB is that it is a one year course and this factor never allows rectifying one’s mistakes.

I am lucky considering the fact that my quad-mates and core-group team mates are fabulous people with whom it will be always a pleasure to work with. Core group members include an IITB graduate who has been involved with oil rigs for some time, a girl with economics background who was working with National Geographic channel/History channel and a couple of IT guys. A fairly good mix ….. I should say.
Quad-mates include a couple of CAs. One of them has worked for American Express and other for a host of consultancies including KPMG. So they will help me to cross the barriers in accountancy… least so they say.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Well….. quite sometime since I posted my last mail. However last one week or so has been amongst the busiest schedules of my life so far. With all the registration and introduction related stuff drawing towards a close, I can almost feel the ISB heat.

Alums (Class of 2006) have really done a great job to help out the present batch in its transition into ISB life. Lots and lots of stuff have been happening since the last couple of days and many more are scheduled for the next couple of days. And after that it will be time for us to say good bye to our alums and transit to the real ISB flavor.

One mention about ISB campus…Its simply awesome and the only factor that slightly diluted my perception of this amazing campus is the experience of my stay in IIT Madras. If IIT Madras belongs to those innocent deer and mystical forests, ISB belongs to the peacocks, gigantic rocks and ultramodern ways of life. But I can well imagine the similarity that is common to both IIT and ISB. Exceptional people, high ambitions, tremendous work pressure, high standard of moral and ethics are amongst the things which are common to both these institutes.

Will be back soon....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


This is the last mail I am writing before I reach Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. As I write this post, I experience a variety of emotions at the same time. Not just related to ISB, but to life in general. The excitement, emotion, frustration…..all at the same time.

Excited to join the ISB Class of 2007…… In another couple of days I will be in Hyderabad.

Emotional to leave home……. yet I feel so happy because for the first time in eight years, I am staying so close to home.

Frustrated with the ways of a few Indian politicians……….. whose dirty games will always be an impediment to Indian industry and educational institutes. Yet optimistic….as the prime minister and president are amazing individuals who I trust are away from the cheap vote bank politics. More ever, Indian industry and the top educational institutes are headed by amazing people who can find out an amicable solution to the “quota-raj” problem.

Inspired by the way Greg and Dravid are trying to shape the Indian cricket team…….Reminds me of the “Lion and Fox” theory of leadership where both the lion and fox co-operate for the betterment of one common goal. Next year, this time we can realize how effective this combination will turn out to be.

Nostalgic about my past job……. This job has helped me learn so much in life and presented me some of my best friends…. And I miss all the fun-filled actions.

Got to do a lot of stuff now. Will be back to capture the moments from ISB.

Monday, April 10, 2006


The music has stopped and the TV channels are back to normalcy again. As all the hype is over let me sit down and analyze the complete scenario.

The so-called “1-crore” salary proved to be the biggest B-school news ever in the Indian B-school history. People suddenly started talking about ISB with a new aura. The number of aspirants must have increased manifold. And parents and relatives of the would-be “ISBians” have already started expecting a lot. Even a fresher, just fresh out of college wants to give a try for ISB.

Well, not bad to be ambitious but it is far important to be realistic. Did anyone sit down for a while and give a thought on what made an organization pay such a salary (let me write down the salary as 234,000 USD) to one individual. What goes to the making of such an individual? What traits such individuals possess to command such a premium?

Well, things like leadership and management are extremely subjective affairs. No single theory can precisely define such concepts. The definition of leadership and management varies from people to people and from one organization to another. Different companies have different requirements and these requirements can be filled by certain individuals with certain traits apart from the job-related skills. I will try to articulate my understanding of these traits (till date) with the following examples. ISB will help me realize how correct I am.

(1) For ages, people from defense sector are known for their leadership qualities while Indian civil servants are well known for their diplomacy. Now, ISB is a place where both these varieties of people who harbor corporate dreams can be easily traced by various companies for leadership roles.
(2) Coming to the financial sector, let’s say a person has worked in pharmaceutical and healthcare industry before joining the MBA program and aspires to enter the hard core finance and i-banking sectors in lateral roles. Now how practical is this? In ISB, there is a long line of quality CAs who have already hold lateral roles in top i-banking and consulting firms before MBA and their mission in ISB is to tune their ambitions further. Apart from CAs, there are top class economics grads who have honed their economics skills in universities of the stature of London School of Economics before spending a year in ISB. In such case, it might be slightly disappointing for the pharma guy to land up in lateral finance related job without any serious efforts.
(3) Similarly people with tons of international experience are valued for certain roles which can involve international operations while people from media have skills which match some other roles. Not to forget that profiles such as flight stewardess and air hostess are highly valued in a wide range of marketing roles, thanks to their abilities to get with people so well.
(4) The innovative nature of merchant navy people is always appreciated by the corporate world. These people, by the very nature of their profession are innovative as they normally face difficult situations in the mid sea where there are completely left to themselves.
(5) Academically brilliant people are the favorites of the consultant biggies (although other traits are also required).

This list can be really long and certain traits are appreciated more by one particular organization than another. The salary which these organizations offer depends a lot on their trust in the abilities of the person they are hiring. Sometimes the person’s past experience is a perfect fit, while in most cases organizations believe that they can groom the person in their required direction.

ISB is a place where talent is abundant. And this talent is of such diversity that almost all ranges of companies can find somebody or other who they trust can make a difference to their organizations. “How big a difference can one person bring” is perhaps the best question whose answer should be a response to “how much one should be paid”.

So, before thinking about all the big pay packs, I believe that it is time to concentrate within, to realize how big a difference one can make in an organization. Or rather, what it takes to build the set of skills which can make a person bring about positive change within an organization. And while doing this, one needs to be practical and realistic.

Thursday, April 06, 2006


Well, I have not updated my blog for sometime. The reason being I am involved in some traveling at the moment. I will get back with my experience, once I find myself in ISB.
Life is busy now, but busier times are scheduled ahead.
Most of the formalities related to my workplace are done. Just a week left for the roller coaster ride.