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Friday, July 21, 2006


Academic reflections for Term-2 can be summed up as follows-
(1) “Competitive strategy” is a collection of ten very famous case studies backed with pages of literature for each of the cases. Each case was different from the other and stressed on a particular strategy.
Cola Wars: Pepsi Cola Rivalry – What are the strategies players follow when there is a duopoly, with the market leader and the follower way ahead of the rest of the players?
Nucor – What strategies are to be followed to survive and come out with flying colors in a dull industry?
Intel – What to do to be the leader in a highly competitive industry and how to successfully redeploy core competency?
Jollibee – How and when to enter foreign markets and what could be its impact on home business?
Eli Lilly – Why and how to maintain a successful Joint Venture successfully?
Cisco –What made Cisco so successful in making acquisitions and alliances a part of organization and converting this culture to a core competency?
Dell – What it requires to make completely new and innovative strategies work wonders?
Walmart – What made the retail giant achieve the “numero uno” position in Fortune-500 list?
Mckinsey – How effective “knowledge management” can turn out to be?
Johnson and Johnson – How successful diversification can work wonders when backed with a deeply engraved company culture?

The greatest advantage of having been through these cases is that I can appreciate most of the common jargons that comes up repeatedly in the business world and can even frame sentences like this-
To maintain a sustained competitive advantage over competitors, Toyota followed a strategy which we call causal ambiguity.”

(2)"Global economics" was the most enlightening of all the subjects. It was macro economics at its best. Now, I can understand the history of economic failures and successes. Answers to the following and many more similar questions no longer remain a mystery.
What were the reasons for the economic collapse in Southeast Asian countries during the last decade on the last millennium?
Why hyperinflation ruled in Latin American countries?
What makes China to undervalue the Yuan with respect to US dollar?
How are inflation, interest rates, GDP, currency rates and all such economic variables keep affecting each other?
Why cannot India print money and distribute amongst the poor and remove poverty?

(3) "Marketing Decision Making" proved to be highly conceptual and strategic. I hope I get one more chance to play the Markstrat game. It turned out to be such a big disaster for our team. And as we went through the course we realized how unforgiveable our mistakes were. Anyway, I do hope the learning from our mistakes is strong enough. I understand that next time we get a chance to play such games will be in real world and if we are not able to reflect from these mistakes, then the best thing we should do is to carry our baggage and look for another job.

(4) "Decision Models and Optimization" is a practical course for people like me – who come from the shipping industry or belong to airlines industry where the stress is on getting the maximum out of the available resources in a technical manner. Linear programming, integer programming, non-linear programming and a host of such concepts were introduced along with the software like crystal ball and solver.

In general, learning wise Term-2 was great, but somehow I realize I couldn’t do sufficient justice to all the topics due to severe time constraints. But someday, once I get out of ISB, I do wish to take out these lecture notes and try to understand them better.

1 comment:

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