Saturday, July 31, 2004

As expected, my section lost the match. But we are the best in cheerleading!

One of my close friends here related the following true story: “Today evening there was a knock on my door. I was in boxers, and without thinking much opened the door. What I saw took my breath away. The deputy-dean was there, along with actress Tina Ambani, and a host of other dignitaries. God, why was I wearing boxers?”

Apparently she wanted to see where the students live. That also explains the BMWs and Mercs seen outside our student village today evening.


Friday, July 30, 2004

I qualified to represent my section in badminton. But am unlikely to play. It is better to cheer from the sidelines. There are points for best cheerleader too!

Today I attended two talks. First one was by big shots from Amazon.com . Being an IT guy, I found the talk very interesting. They told us that they are looking to hire the best talent from India, and thus would target the IITs for software engineers and ISB and IIMs for product managers. I might submit my resume, but since I have no experience in product management, I may not have any chance.

The second talk was by the founder of Cobra Beer. He seemed to be a smart guy, and also very successful. The beer would probably get launched in India in September.

Guys, check this website out: http://www.businessschooladmissions.com/diary/ . You’ll see me there!

And this website gives a listing of MBA blogs: http://mbaleague.blogspot.com/

I have also got ISB added to the interview database at http://www.accepted.com/mba/interviews/search.asp?bhcp=1

Also, on the right I have added a pic of the student village where I live, and removed a few older pics.


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Citigroup scholarship shortlist came out today, and there are almost no engineers in it. Interviews will be conducted later this week.

This time there are many case studies that we have to go through. The entrepreneurship ones are very interesting. They are mostly about women of Harvard Business School who try to set up their own small scale business. The most recent case was about Heather Evans, who was a model and an investment banker with Morgan Stanley in NY before joining HBS. Her video would be shown in class on Monday, which we are eagerly looking forward to. She better be good looking!

Tomorrow the CIO of amazon.com would be giving a talk at ISB. He will also tell us what career prospects MBAs have in his company.


Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Have been through classes of all four subjects, and found all of them to be quite interesting. The profs are pretty good as usual. They are from the likes of NYU Stern, LBS, Darden Virginia and Kellogg.

I booked my tickets for Chennai for next term break. This will be my first time on Air Deccan. They are trying to be the Ryan Air of India, but their fares are still pretty high. Their website advertises their rate as Rupees 500 plus change, but when I actually book it, it turns out to be about 2000. A mainstream airline like Indian Airlines charges 2500, so there is not much difference. At ryanair.com, I had found fares as low as one euro to fly from Brussels to London!

This weekend we will have inter-section matches for badminton. I might participate and help my team lose, just like in table tennis. My section is yet to win a sports event! At least we are consistent.

If you are a prospective student with questions, you might want to visit the following sites:



Sunday, July 25, 2004

All good things must come to an end, and so has our term-break. I had forgotten all about ISB and studying during past four-five days. But today I need to slog to complete all the required readings for Monday’s classes. Worst part is that I won’t be able to watch the India-Pakistan cricket match on TV because of all these readings.

This term our subjects are Corporate Finance, Entrepreneurship, Managerial Accounting and Operations Management.

Admissions department wanted volunteers for tasks like reading applications, interviewing, campus tours etc. I have volunteered for many of the tasks, so I will have some say in selecting next year’s batch!

Spidey 2 did not weave his web on me. I didn’t find anything out-of-the-box in the movie. The third part is now all-too-predictable.

I usually reply to comments in the same pop-up comments window. So if you have left a comment, please check there for a response.


Thursday, July 22, 2004

Wow, today was such a busy day. Started off with working out in the gym, followed by badminton, tennis, swimming, cricket, table tennis, and again gym. I brought a DVD from the library, The Day of the Jackal, which I am going to watch now. I also bought a DVD of Finding Nemo, which I will see next. Packed day indeed! 


Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Yesterday night we went to watch a Hindi movie called Lakshya. It got over at 1:30 AM, came back and went to sleep. Woke up late, missing breakfast. At lunch another classmate asked me to accompany him to the same movie. I had nothing better to do, so I went again. Incidentally I got the same seat as yesterday! Anyway, I slept through the movie, as Hindi movies are a pain to watch a second time.
We also booked tickets for Spider Man 2 for Friday. That should be interesting, especially on a huge IMAX screen.
Am watching so many movies because term-break is the only time when we can spare time for such activities. Once classes start, I won’t be able to watch anything at all.
I bought a Wilson badminton racquet, as I am tired of borrowing racquets all the time. Day after tomorrow I will purchase tennis and ping-pong racquets too.
Citigroup announced two $12,500 scholarships. Applications are due this Friday. No further details are available.
Some of my classmates went to the beach town of Vizag today. They pressured me a lot to join them, but I had too many things on my plate for the term break, so couldn’t go. Next term break I will probably be going to Chennai, so I will enjoy the beach there. I belong to Calcutta, so that is where I want to go most, but it’s not worth spending thousands of bucks on airfare for such a short visit. Airlines are too damn expensive in India. Moreover, I have got used to staying away from home for long periods of time. I used to come to Calcutta only once a year when I was overseas.
Breakfast closes at 10:45 AM, so I have to wake up by 10:30 to not miss it again tomorrow. Sayonara. Hasta la vista.


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Exams over! Almost 80% of the students have left for their homes - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and everywhere else.
I just finished playing tennis, and am now headed to a movie.


Monday, July 19, 2004

Two over, two more to go. Tomorrow we have Marketing and Decision Models.


Sunday, July 18, 2004

Tomorrow is the D-Day. We have Competitive Strategy and Global Economics exams tomorrow. 

Our dining hall visits have become shorter. For instance, yesterday some of us were eating dinner and our aim was to finish eating in ten minutes so that we could get back to studying. But just as we were finishing up, another friend joined us at our table. She was a close friend, so we waited for her to finish. Just as this person was finishing up, another asked if she could join us. “Sure” was the answer in chorus, although it was not from the heart. So finally it took over thirty minutes to wrap up eating. At the next meal, we sat at an obscure corner so that nobody could see us. It worked like a charm; we could finish without anyone joining at the last minute!
This term break I am planning to buy a computer speaker system. Some of my batchmates have purchased the Altec Lansing AVS300B, so I might go for the same too. 


Friday, July 16, 2004

It’s that time of the term again – exam time. End-term exams are on Monday and Tuesday, so people have retracted into their shells, devoting all their energies to studying.
Today I met with our Admissions manager, and she discussed some of the initiatives her department is taking this year. One good thing would be that ISB would be featured in the MBA Insider section of Businessweek’s B-schools’ site.
After having been here for a while, most of us have fallen in love with this place. The other day I was speaking with a prof who has come from the US, and he said that the campus was like a resort. I couldn’t agree more. It’s beautiful, self-contained, and comfortable. We don’t need to go out of the campus, as almost everything is inside. We even have room service for haircuts!
I have responded to some of the comments in the comments popup, so those of you who left a comment to my previous post may want to check there.

It’s the time to study, so talk to you later. Four days from now, it’ll be “it’s the time to disco”!


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Today is our last class of this term. What a relief! To mark this occasion, my section will don all-black attire to class. It’s theme dressing. As per my suggestion, best dressed male and female will get to cut a cake. Should be fun. Alas I don’t have black trousers!

My score in the economics mid-term exam turned out to be the same as the median score, and a notch above mean. I am happy that for a change I didn’t end up in the bottom.

Yesterday we had the MD & CEO of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer talk to us. He is also the president of the Confederation of Indian Industries. He had a meeting with the President of India later in the day!

Yesterday I was appointed the manager of online communications. So it will be my responsibility to reach out to prospective students through various discussion boards etc. I guess you guys will see a lot more of me going forward. If anyone has questions about admissions etc, feel free to mail me through the Email link on this page. I will shortly post information about a more formal channel of communication.

Day before yesterday we were informed of the placement policies for out batch. A new rule this year puts a cap of 2 offers per student. This means we need to be really careful as to which companies we apply to.

Past couple of days have been quite busy with a write-up on Competitive Strategy. We are a group of three doing an analysis of the business process outsourcing industry in India, with particular emphasis on two companies – WiproSpectramind and Daksh (IBM).

It’s 3:30 am, so I better hit my bed and get horizontal!


Monday, July 12, 2004

Tomorrow we have an economics quiz, and everyone is busy studying for it. There will be only five true/false questions, but we need to study four lengthy chapters to combat it.

Here in Hyderabad, when it rains, it pours. Yesterday night there was a downpour that confined us to our rooms for a long time. It became difficult to trek to the dining hall for dinner. Finally we did manage to go and eat, but got almost drenched. Interestingly, the dining hall has arranged for a rain dinner tomorrow night! It’s a theme dinner called Monsoon Dinner. The menu will feature stuff that one craves for during rainy seasons - samosa, tea, grilled chicken etc. Can’t wait to grab a bite!


Saturday, July 10, 2004

Today wasn’t as bad as I had expected. Yesterday I succumbed to my bed’s calling, and slept a full 8 hours. Today morning I got tense having wasted so much time sleeping. I started working frantically on my first assignment, for which I had budgeted 10 hours. Somehow I was able to finish it in three hours itself! I decided to enjoy the rest of the hours. I slept again for a couple of hours, played tennis and snooker for another couple of hours, and then went to a party organized by a prof at his home. Just returned to my room, and now have to start working on my second assignment, which is for Competitive Strategy.

This week will be much easier. We have very few classes. There’s a quiz on Macroeconomics on Tuesday, and also a case study on Wal-Mart. I have read Sam Walton’s book, Made in America, so the case will be a walk in the park for me.

Anyone interested in getting a head start in an MBA should consider reading the book, Marketing Management by Kotler. It was required reading for us in both the terms. Because we are so short of time, we could at best rush through the book. But if anyone out there is considering an MBA, it might help to read it at leisure now. It’s quite interesting actually. And no, I don’t have a royalty sharing arrangement with Kotler!

These days a lot of our discussions revolve around the majors we want to take. We will have our first Finance courses next term, and at that point we will be in a position to take the call on whether we non-Fin guys want to take Finance. As of now I intend to take Tech Mgmt and Marketing. That will help me become a business development manager in an IT company.

Catch you later.


Friday, July 09, 2004

Here are certain words taken from Businessweek that apply oh so well to my life:

MBA grads offer advice on school and work

You can get consumed by the work in business school if you let it. Do NOT let that happen. Some of the greatest learning for me, was the social time I spent with my classmates, learning about their experiences and using that information to better
understand what I want to do. Also, life does not "go on hold" while you're at business school, you have to take the time you need to make sure you have balance or you may lose something that you do not want to lose. Remember, business school is only
two years long, normal life resumes afterwards!
-Fuqua '96, Management Consultant

Be social. Be decent. It's more important to befriend your classmates than to beat them out for grades.
-Columbia '97; Entrepreneur

It is very difficult to balance the workload and maintain the semblance of a normal lifestyle. While I had to put some lifestyle elements on the back burner during B-school (school friends, family, favorite TV shows), the extra mileage I got out of getting involved with school activities and getting to know my classmates definitely paid off. Constructing a solid network of friends in B-school really carries over to your life in the "real world". The old friends and family events are fairly easy to catch up with.
-Fuqua '98; Brand Manager


Thursday, July 08, 2004

This week is also turning out to be crazy. I couldn’t find time to attend my tennis lessons, missed a few presentations, and am still barely able to keep up with the study load.

Yesterday we had a top prof from NYU Stern, who told us about Valuation and Corporate Finance. Afterwards I spent five hours working on the entry strategy of a beer company that wants to sell in India. In the process I learnt so much about the beer industry that next time I am in a bar, I can boast my knowledge to impress people.

Tomorrow we have to submit an assignment that I haven’t yet looked at, we need to prepare for a group work, we have to read a huge Dell case, and there are a whole lot of other things to read, which I will not be able to complete before classes start tomorrow morning.

Despite all this work load, overall I am very happy with the ISB program. The profs are simply excellent, and the facilities great. Yesterday I visited the executive housing building for the first time, and was highly impressed with its quality. It’s just like a star hotel. Perhaps I will return some day to attend an executive program at the ISB!

There was a request to give more info on Aikya. Best place to find out more is http://www.isb.edu/pgp/life/index_life.html?topic=feel_right.html .

Our student newsletter Harbinger cannot be put on the internet because it’s meant for internal circulation only. I believe we have had problems in the past with the media misinterpreting the gossip of Harbinger.

Regarding the leadership development program, it’s a way to expand our thinking abilities and to understand different ways to lead. It’s a combination of lectures and workshops. The workshops are a great way to practice skills like public speaking, interviewing etc.

This weekend will be extremely busy with two huge assignments. Signing off…


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

As expected, we came second in Markstrat, with over USD 400 million cumulative net contribution. A saga came to an end, but we will never be able to forget the markstrat days.

It suddenly dawned on us that we are almost at the end of the second term, with exams on 19th and 20th July. Time went by pretty fast this time because of markstrat.

Today we had a case discussion on Cisco. It was taken up by a prof from Wharton. It amazes me how this huge empire of Cisco was built in less than 10 years after starting from a living room. I hear their campus is one of the world’s largest office complexes. Far cry from that living room!

Today we had a team from Intel, video recording some of us students to showcase the wi-fi capabilities of our campus. It was fun to act in front of a movie camera.

Yesterday I attended the editorial board meeting for our student newsletter Harbinger. We plan to publish it next week. Should be lot of fun.

Finally, my family in the Aikya program is a media family, looking after the Times of India newspaper.

Headed to Tennis courts now, to be followed by attending a session presented by a global director of J P Morgan, followed by dinner, and then study-study-study.


Sunday, July 04, 2004

I have been unable to blog for quite sometime now. Blame it on the inhuman workload of this week. Thursday we had planned to finish the final decision of Markstrat, but postponed it to Friday. We had just finished mid-term exam on Thursday, so we were in a mood to chill out. I played all sorts of sports for a couple of hours, and then went to the local IMAX theatre to watch Harry Potter, which has become famous as Hari ka Puttar in local circles. Came back at 2 in the night, and crashed into bed. Friday we sat for Markstrat, and finished taking decisions. All day Saturday & Sunday we had Leadership Development Program. Made lots of presentations, and got over stage fright! Saturday night I played in inter-section table-tennis match, and lost in the second round. Slept only 3 hours last night. That sums up the events of the crazy last few days.

Today markstrat decisions came out, and surprisingly we made over 100 million. We should probably be in the top 10% in the campus, we’ll come to know our relative position tomorrow.

Another thing that happened today was something called Aikya, a family host network. Each study group was assigned to some prominent business family of the city. They would be like our local guardians, we can go to their home and eat local food etc.

I signed up for tennis coaching here at ISB. Hope I can impress some girls with my skills soon.

Next week should be relatively easier on us, but am keeping fingers tightly crossed.

Happy 4th of July to readers in the US. No Macy's NYC fireworks show for me this year.


Thursday, July 01, 2004

I'm almost at the other side of the toughest week. Just finished mid-term exam of macroeconomics. Tonight we'll have the last all-night meeting for markstrat, and we'll be done with the week.

We have been able to sustain our 2nd position in markstrat so far, and seems like there won't be much change after the last decisions that we take tonight.

This has been one hell of a week. I have tons of unread mails piled up. I don't remember what all happened during the last four days. All I know is that it was brutal. Nights were reserved for Markstrat, remaining time if any was to prepare for classes by reading up cases studies and chapters, doing assignments, two write ups for leadership classes and a whole lot of other things.

One interesting case we did yesterday was about contact lenses for chickens. One HBS alum thought of this brilliant business case, where he would manufacture and sell such contact lenses. He failed in breaking even, and we probably know why.

Meeting starts now for markstrat, so catch you guys later.


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