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Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Its 31st Jan that completes the first year of "keystoimaginations" . Many many happy returns of the dear are indeed an important part of my life in ISB.

Tata finally won over the Corus bid and thats is just one of the indications that Indian firms will have a leading role to play in the global business. And thats good news for our bschools also.
Job postings are maintaining a healthy positive slope. Some of the visible trends, from the early ppts and postings are

1. Each Company (on an average) is offering a wide range of roles. That sugests that number of candidates each company is likely to choose can turn out to be a decent number.

2. The gap between the salary structures of consultancy firms and non-consultancy firms (industry) has narrowed down, and at times the difference is negative, with industry offering very lucrative roles.

3. Indian companies are offering extremely demanding and lucrative roles.

4. Salary paypacks are normally sufficiently higher that last years average (with occassional outliers).

5. Indian companies are offering global roles.

6. Media, real estate and pharma sectors appear pretty hot with quite a number of companies and high paypacks.

Saturday, January 27, 2007


Changing jobs frequently has been the present day trend amongst the young professionals. But is it just a fashion activity or is there any real career aspiration to regularly switching jobs…or is it done just to satisfy personal egos…..I really donot know. But I have always carried a negative image of this “regular job switching” activity.

I believe that every organization can be visualized as two concentric spheres. There are two kind of persons who work for any organization….one group lies within the internal sphere (internal region) and the other group lies between the interior sphere and the external sphere (external region). People who have stayed with an organization for some time find themselves within the internal region. This region is fairly stable and doesn’t see many changes. However, the exterior region changes frequently. People enter and move out of this region frequently. For an average organization, the external region is larger than the internal region.

Now, it is nothing but natural that most of the important activities happening within the organization will be decided by the people inside the internal region. The reason being the people in this region have spent sufficient time understanding the organization better. People in the external region can gain entry into this internal region only after gaining the trust and the loyalty of those who are present in the internal region.

In contrast, people who are in the exterior region of one organization can move into another organization. But they can only move into the external region of another company, from where it follows the similar route to enter the internal region.

However, it doesn’t mean that one should not look for changes. Positive changes always add a lot of value to the ones career and if the change can take directly to the internal sphere….then its worth all the efforts.

Friday, January 26, 2007


"Wish a very happy Republic Day to the readers of this blog".

Not many people are lucky to live in a republic and let me congratulate all Indians for being a part of this great Republic.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


It is such a great feeling to sit down and keep chatting about some of the funniest incidents that happened over the period of last one year or so. This is exactly what we (me and my quadmates) have been doing over the last few hours. It is such a rare occassion to have all the four people together at the same time in the quad...
We talked about so many things. It began with the excitement of joining the professional life once again. But soon, the complete discussion shifted to complete lighter veins where each one of us were trying to recollect some of the funniest incidents that have occured over the last one year.
SC recollected how he entered a girls quad at 3:00 clock in the morning (ofcourse to do assignments), with the subsequent happenings (which has to maintained within wraps)....NA informed us a top class secret when he revealed a secret which he had not disclosed to anyone yet. It so happens that NA is amongst the most studious persons in the campus and utilizes most of the time in the LRC. One night he studied so hard that he forgot his quad and entered the ladies quad which is exactly opposite to our around 2 in the night . Only when he opened the fridge, he realised that we never keep juices, ice cream...and all such sweet things in our fridge. Suddenly he noticed the change in orientation of the quad and only then it struck to him that he was in the wrong quad.... I am sure NA didnot sleep the whole night.
NA also reminded how pissed off I was with him, when he so gracefully allowed the wrong person to enter our quad at the wrong time (let me not disclose anything about the wrong person and the wrong time)
NM has still not learned how to hold the cigarette.....after all, who is the teacher?
We laughed and laughed and laughed....didnot feel like going back to sleep.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


One distinctive advantage of being at a bschool is to understand the different routes that define different aspirations of the people. For instance let me put down the myriad ranges of choices that people who are about to complete a b-school might be considering.

Choice 1 : Join a part of the organisation....stay within the the trust.... internal as well as external reputation.... and grow within the company to senior roles.

Choice 2 : Join consultancy...learn about various industries....after a few years either shift to the industry in fairly senior roles after discovering the best fit or move into senior consultancy roles.

Choice 3 : Join a start up or start something new....give your best and make sure the venture meets the desired success....after a few years either sell off your company and move for another venture or to industry in big roles or stay within your start-up which is no more a start-up

Choice 4 : Join investment banking....kill yourself during the first decade of your career....make enough money to enjoy a vacation the rest of your life.... quit investment banking to join the industry

Choice 5 : Join a sick company....make a turn around....attract attention....either be a turn around specialist or make sure the company never return to its sick ways by leading the company.

Choice 6 : Move ahead in academics....get your Phd. done....join as a professor in a leading US hard and get your reputation built....get industry touch in the research and become a consultant to various companies, apart from enjoying the luxuries of a prof.

Friday, January 19, 2007


On an average, 4 PPTs a day and 20 spam mails per hour....this has been the trademark of the 7th term. And the spam mails are "requests" for ppt swaps. Considering the fact that, there are multiple ppts at the same time, certain students are assigned to attend the ppts, apart from those who are interested in a particular ppt and hence the reason for the swaps

2007 looks simply awesome....economy is booming in literally every aspect of the industry and hence placements in all B-Schools all over the country is likely to break all records and ISB looks no exception. Another one month....and things will look so different within the campus.

Indian companies are growing at an amazing pace and by all expectations this is likely to be reflected during the placements. New sectors like retail holds a lot of promise....and traditional sectors like healthcare, IT, consultancy and diversified industries are performing better than ever before.

The success of management institutes in a country is so closely tied with the success of the local industries and this is so much evident in the Indian context as well.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


The age old phenomenon repeated once again when the consultant shortlists were declared. Mostly the people short listed in the consultancy are the deans-listers and the non deans-listers who are selected have some terrific spikes.

There have been often debates on why these consultancies normally prefer people with great academic background. According to me, the people with good academic backgrounds fit naturally into the kind of the work expected to be done in the consultancies. The process of building a good CGPA demands patience and diligent efforts, and the nature of consultant job is very similar to this process. Moreover, consultancy is the only place where all the theories learned at a b-school will find ready use. So there is every reason why the consultancies will prefer a person who has worked hard, given enough time to learn the theoretical stuff of the b-school curriculum.

However having said this, I must stress that consultancy is not everyone’s cup of tea. One of the first decisions that one has to make in a b-school is to discover the difference between industry and consultancy. Industry and consultancy are two completely different directions and this is more evident for people who are in the early phases of management career.

Friday, January 12, 2007


At times I feel that I am staying in two completely different worlds - the world inside ISB and the world outside ISB. The world inside ISB is marked by a mirage of ambitions, aspirations, success and at times dejection. The world outside is the many things are happening in the outside world.....certain things adding to the beauty of the world and others exposing the darkest fears that human mind can ever think of. And the world inside is so different from the world outside. While "reality" is something that guides the outside obsession towards "pay package" guides the inside world.

Initially, I expected the average maturity level within ISB to be more than that of the outside world...but I really wonder if it is, in reality. I have seen people getting dejected on something as trivial as not getting a shortlist in a company. They feel as if they have lost something seriously important in their lives. This myopic philosophy towards life can really hamper the process towards the objective that management education is likely to provide. People identify their prime aspiration with recovering back the 15 lakhs and if they are not able to secure a package of more than 15 lakhs, then their objective of spending a year doing MBA is not fulfilled. An average person in ISB is no doubt exceptionally talented and brilliant as far as academics is considered...and it would have been great if the maturity level were on par with the academic brilliance. IQ is important....but even more important is EQ. Pay package is important...and that is one reason all of us are here...but it is not the only reason...And if the obsession of an individual towards the pay package is at the cost of more important takeaways...I can only pity the individual....

(The usage of the word "average" is important)

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


One of the striking aspects of this years placement is the entry of numerous private equity firms for the first time. Normally private equity firms donot employ from Indian business schools, but this jinx is likely to be broken this year, with private equity firms getting aware of the Indian talent. Most of these firms are relatively young and by their very nature, are small, as far as head count is considered. But again, by their very nature, these firms are amongst the most dynamic ones....Quite a good oppurtunity for people from finance background to move into this elusive sector.

Sunday, January 07, 2007


The number of companies has been rising with every passing day....shortlists are being announced quite frequently...Every shortlist leaves some people happy and some others confused.

Till now it is not clear which criteria companies choose in their shortlist procedures. But from what I feel companies value the past work experience and the fitment issue the most. At the same time it has been noted that companies at times choose people from a strikingly different background. For instance a real estate company choosing some one from shipping, or an IT company choosing some one from the iron and steel background... Reason is not clear for this. Looks like.... companies value diversity a lot during their selection process.

There are situations when people with great CGPA donot get shortlisted and sometimes it has been disturbing for these people. But I am sure that the consultancy biggies will not disappoint the high CG people.

The fact that ISB is modelled for people with atleast 2 ( may be 3) years of work-ex is getting more and more evident as quite a number of hot-shot recruiters are looking for people with a minimum number of work experience which normally varies between 2 to 5 years. But, there are some companies who offer only entry level roles as a matter of policy and this is a consolation for people with less that two years of work ex.

The interesting thing is that nothing can be predicted now. The seemingly most admired person in the campus may not even get a shortlist for sometime... while a seemingly very ordinary person can crack a fortune....

Saturday, January 06, 2007


Here is an excerpt from a beautiful parting mail that MS (exchange student from IESE, Spain) wrote as he returns back to IESE)
"It is time for me to go back and continue building my nest but not without couple of "straws" taken from ISB that will be a part of my entire life. It has indeed been a wonderful time at ISB and I did not know that time would pass so fast. Had I known, perhaps, I would have utilised it with couple of more coffee sessions (or is that a luxury here, with all those assignments)

What is the take away from ISB: I learnt that I can work harder than I thought I could.
What will I miss in barcelona: ISB friends plus...the FOOD and the TV; YES suprising, I had time to watch TV too

Thursday, January 04, 2007


It’s the term break now….that separates the Term 6 from the Term 7. With numerous take home exams and projects, the official Term 6 is likely to extend deep into Term 7.

Let me take this day off from the MBA schedule and just relax. I cannot think of any particular topic, on which I can write today….so let my fingers decide the content of this post. Let me scribble down whatever I feel like.

ISB sounds very silent today…with the occasional bursts of laughter of the little kids who are playing in the lawns. Some of the babies who could hardly do anything except lying on their mothers’ arms are now having a great time…screaming and running all around.

Since the last couple of days, there have been a number of adieu mails from those ISB students who are leaving for their exchange studies. So, their tenure in ISB comes to an end….may be some of them will be back in the placement seasons. Good luck to all these people who are already on the other side of the globe.

It is also the time for the decision of the ISB torch bearers’ awards. These awards are given to those people who have invested effective efforts into enhancing the ISB brand. Some people have done simply great. New clubs (especially the media and the real estate clubs)…the net impact club….and all other professional club leaders ...the famous ISB Radio team….all those winners who had the time and energy to win inter b school competitions….the potential list is really long.

The ISB radio is a great success story in ISB. All the roles within the team are played by the students of the ISB…..including the RJs…..a real entertainer….and a relaxation pill.

What else…cannot recollect anything more now….will be back with more substantial posts soon.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS "Six- Point new year resolution list" is ready-
1) Enhance German and French language skills to reach the "working level".
2) Spend more time in the expense of orkutting.
3) Search all the core term study materials and try to revise them.
4) Try to be regular with blogging.
5) Expand industry related shipping...iron and related industries.
6) Read atleast one book per month apart from regular study materials.

Monday, January 01, 2007


"As we are all set to board “Year Number 2007”, I wish all the readers of this blog a beautiful, safe and successful voyage of 365 sweet days".
People have different styles of celebrating the new year.
For instance, one of my quadmates has been passing long kisses to his special someone on the phone for the last 15 minutes. God knows when he will stop.
Yet another quadie has slept long back only to be waken up for a minute to realise that it is already new years eve.
The third quadie is still missing....most likely in the library...the poor chap has an exam tomorrow...
Some people outside are shouting at the top of their voices and others are interested to let know the world what great singers they are....