Saturday, March 31, 2007

Event - CW Session - Analysis of the Union Budget 2007-08

Event - Corporate Wisdom
Speaker - Mr.R.Anand, Partner, Ernst and Young
Venue - MS 253

Always debated, always discussed and yet inconclusive in most minds, that’s how we always treat the annual budget. A document which broadly defines the way of every Indian’s living. A document which is the most hyped piece of work of the government in the media. But did any of us ever bother to think that this piece of document might become an irrelevant document in the future. Well that was one of the many views presented to us by Mr.R.Anand, partner, Ernst and Young. A controversial statement made, but fully justified it came. Most of the key financial decisions taken by the government have tended to be sporadic in nature, and you cant blame them for it. The social and economic scenarios have made this condition inevitable.

Coming down to the budget specifics, we would have to look into the past and the budget’s target elements one by one.

Railways: It’s the face of India. Going by sheer statistics, it carries an Australia as passengers in one particular day. It has generated 20,000 crores as profit in the previous year. That makes it the highest profit making company in the country. Why we do not realize the magnitude is just because its a government of India’s initiative. But it has received nothing short of widespread admiration and respect in the way it is administered and handled, from the entire world over.

State budgets: a chief minister today is an MD of a company, the company being the state. They look to generate profits, incomes, opportunities, all in the same way as any corporate does. The important trend which India exhibits today is a revolutionary change in mindsets of people, which transgresses borders of politics. What is the need of the day though is the nation wide integration of economic details, both state and the center.

Financial Budget
It is a consolidation budget, which requires the finance minister not to do much, but just let the wind flow. No path breaking announcements were made in the budget. Small incremental changes were shown and indicated.

Year 2006 saw the maximum influx of FDI
The landmarks have to be the 2 outbound acquisitions , the two Indian companies made, the Tata’s and the Birla group. First time a company went ahead and spent 12 bn $ in the acquisition of a foreign major. This shows clearly the mind sets of people within and outside the country changing.

The growth rate has been pegged at 9% for this year. The question that stands amongst us today is, is the 9% growth sustainable and desirable in the face of a 7% inflation which we currently face.

According to Mr. Anand, any budget which is analyzed should be done so in the capacity of satisfying 3 S’s, being simplicity, stability and sustainability. The first two tests this current budget clearly passes. The trend towards stable economic policies is constant irrespective of which government comes in. The direction and motion is set for these.

When we come to the question of sustainability, there leaves a lot to be desired. With the lack of infrastructure, agricultural gains and education not growing as much as it should, the sustainability aspect leaves a lot to be desired.

Agriculture/ Education:
The land available to farmers for agriculture has drastically gone down. The reason would be conversion of the farming land to real estate properties. This sector has seen a growth of only 2.3% which is miniscule and leaves a lot of open ended questions. As far as education is concerned, having different level of cess is not the need of the day. The need for education goes much beyond the money value of the same considered. This requires initiatives at much deeper grass root levels, and not the budget declarations.

Comparison with different developed and model economies of the world
There are a lot of lesson we can learn from the more developed economies of the world. The states, has a contribution of 43% in the GDP by the government’s initiatives. This is in stark contrast with the Indian government’s contribution of 17% in its GDP. The second thing which is important is to know that the structure is becoming irrelevant and the businesses are growing to be the main drivers in the economy.

A very important aspect which Mr. Anand talked about was the model of how people in New Zealand participate in their own budget. Their contributions and suggestions were carefully recorded. Then the people themselves form the people’s budget.

Moderation of taxes: The effective rate of taxes being very high is a fact which turns most people away from investing in India. Even though the tax rate is touted to be 30% odd, the effective rate after surcharges, cess etc makes the figure shoot up to 40-45%, a very high number compared to the other viable markets in the world. This figure needs to be controlled if we have a vision of making India as more attractive destination and hub for industries.

Service tax
In drastic comparison to the income tax, which a paltry 44 million people out of a population of 1200 million pay in India, this is the all pervasive tax, paid by all Indians, whether he happens to be a Kishore Biyani, or an auto driver outside the gates of IIT.

About 162 services and goods are covered under the services sector today, giving a revenue vision of 52,000 crores , and we have clearly moved from having three sectors : postal services, insurance and stock broking, generating a revenue of 400 crores back in 94-95. Today it contributes 55% to our GDP, which is at par with the other developed countries.

All said, the positive trends which are evident in the economy of India is, that even after the disposable income levels shooting up by the minute, we are very different as a nation from other countries. Our savings have climbed from 26 -32%. Now that might pose a problem for marketers, but saving for a rainy day always helps. We need to just strike that perfect balance between spending and saving.

We need to look in the future at tabbing inflation in a big way. Also, with the number of deals, equity inflow, investments etc, we need to be double careful in order to avoid any major financial scam. We have been luck in that regard, since around 92-93.proper checks in the system and a system for punishing the tax offenders are the call of the day. Mr .R. Anand’s infusion of humor with the serious issues helped make the session an enriching one for all those who attended the session. Students from the other departments were particularly enthusiastic about the Q and A session that we had and everyone took home a lot of knowledge and perspectives. A session put forward in the lightest way possible and standing the test of his first S, simplicity, made the session a thoroughly enjoyable one.

Lavanya Ajesh
(MBA Batch of 2008)

Friday, March 30, 2007

DoMS IITM – A Salute!

When we met Professor LSG for the first time as a class, he said," Mark my words. These 2 years will be over in a wink. Make the best out of them." He was right. These two years have flown, but not without their share of memories etched in our minds forever. The batch of 2007 at DoMS, IIT Madras has been hailed as the 'Breakthrough Batch' of the Department. We are a batch who have an eclectic mix, and represent almost the nation itself, from Kashmir to Kerala. Yet there is unity in this diversity. We have some accomplishments to be proud of, yet we pray our juniors exceed those by miles. We were able to bring back our annual business-fest, Samanvay 2007 with a bang. We were able to record excellent placements and announce to the corporate world that DoMSians mean serious business. We were able to receive accolades from the corporate world and other management institutes nationwide. But the learnings from these two unforgettable years have been beyond these adulations.
DoMS IITM has taught us not just management in the corporate world, but personal management and how to be a better human being. Our professors have gone beyond teaching; they have and will be our mentors and inspiration for success. Without them we would still be the raw clay as we entered two years ago. Our beloved professors have moulded us into managers with dedication, affection and utmost care. When the course curriculum was revamped and made more strenuous, we knew it was for our good. If not for the battering we had in our vivas, we would not faced the corporate world with panache and confidence. If not for the support by our professors, we would never have been able to make Samanvay 2007 happen, let alone other events. They have been our pillars and have shown us the way to success.
From now on, it is upto us, to take the torch forward, and follow QED to the spirit, make good global citizens and proudly wave the DoMS IITM flag to the world! There cannot be a better department in IIT Madras than DoMS. Wherever we go, whatever we achieve, we shall bow our heads to the DoMS spirit.
Siddharth R
(MBA Batch of 2007)

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Field Trip to Intimate Fashions India (P) Ltd.

Students of MBA Class of 2008, with employees of Intimate Fashions at their factory in Guduvancheri (Photograph taken by Shalini Vijayagopalan, student, MBA(1st year))
Date : 27th March 2008
Venue : Intimate Fashions Factory

Today was our first field trip as part of our TQM course. We were headed for Intimate Fashions. Intimate Fashions India (P) Limited is a three way Joint Venture between MAS Holdings Srilanka, MAST USA &Triumph Germany. As the name suggests they are into lingerie and are the leading manufacturer for Victoria's Secret .They have a presence in about 12 countries.

Our session began with an intro to 5 S by the Head of their 5 S Publicity Team, Ms Latha Mahesh. This was followed by a conducted tour of their plant's units where we saw 5 S in practice.

The 5Ss

SEIRI (Sort)
SEIRI just means remove any unnecessary items from the workplace. This is practiced by means of a visual technique called Red Tagging which helps identify and remove these unwanted items. This red tag area is maintained by each department where they retain each of the demarcated items for a specific period. Then they are moved on to a central area from where the unwanted items are discarded. Here we are looking at minimizing the holding costs of the inventory and saving storage space.
A very important lesson in life too where we can save on a lot of time spent searching on account of having to search for them in a huge ocean of things which will never be required.

SEITON (Set in Order)
Keep the right thing in the right place and replace them in their respective place after usage. This helps in being systematic in the daily chores too. This was practiced by using visual indicators like a color code for each department, for the nature of frequency of use of the file and so on.
This reduces search time and provides for easy retrieval.

SEISO (Shine)
Keep the work place clean. At Intimate fashions they believe in cleaning with meaning. For e.g. If a spot if found to be dirty often they try to find the root cause of why the place is getting dirty often and the cause is attacked rather than just cleaning up the place regularly. Thus here the problem is being tackled rather than just dealing with the symptoms.

SEIKETSU (Standardize)
Once the 3 Ss are established they look into the standardizing of these across the organization. Proper checklists are maintained to ensure responsibility. They follow a top down as well as a bottom up approach here. They involve their operators in activities such as designing the logo. And the CEO himself sets apart a sizeable chunk of his time in auditing and setting an e.g. for the rest of the organization.
The employees’ participation is the success of their mission.

SHITSUKE (Sustain)
Here they look at implementing the benchmarks required to ensure the first 4 Ss.
Intimate Fashions sustains themselves by continuous guidance and training. They conduct regular 5S audits and display the results.

The Vision of 5S for Intimate Fashions is – To have the right things in the right place

Once implemented the 5S process increases the morale, creates positive impressions on customers, and increases efficiency in the organization. Not only does 5 S make the employees feel better about their organization, but there will also be a continuous improvement which can lead to less waste, better quality and faster lead times. The employee satisfaction can have quantitative measures too as was shown here by the result of query to the open ended question in the employee satisfaction questionnaire- What do you like the most in the organization? Despite the excellent transportation, food and other facilities provided to the employees the answer oft repeated was - 5 S, which was given by 97% of the employees. Thus we realized that 5 S creates an excellent work environment which makes the organization more profitable and competitive in the market place. And one of the most important takeaways was that rather than just being a tool/technique, 5 S was more of a working style or part of the company culture.
Shalini Vijayagopalan
(MBA Batch of 2008)

Guest Lecture - Managing Retention: How to Harness ‘People Power’

Event : Guest Lecture by Mr. S. Suresh GM, HR Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited
Venue : MS 101
DoMS, IIT Madras hosted a lecture by Mr. S. Suresh - GM (HR) of Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Limited. He has Masters Degree in Social Work from Madras School of Social Work. He has had an experience in the field of HR covering various industries like watches, Automobile and now is in this Pharmaceuticals Company.

The topic of the discussion was “Managing Retention: How to Harness ‘People Power’. He began the talk quoting the horrifying two digit number that is quoted by most IT companies today as their attrition rate which is near to 40%. The presentation talked about the topic on the whole starting from what is retention, how is it calculated in the industry, levels of attrition and the push, pull and glue factors that affect attrition. He also enlightened us with some words common to this field like ‘survivor syndrome’, which we might not learn from books. The topic was very aptly covered with lot of practical examples that he unfolded from this own experience.

The managerial learning that was evident from talk was that retention technique is highly subjective. An employee might leave for good pay elsewhere or might as well leave even on lower pay but to go his home-town. There are no set rules by which HR manager can handle attrition. He also gave us insight on ‘Targeted attrition’ which means to keep a check on the direction and speed of attrition. He also gave examples as to how a HR manager has to negotiate with the employee; how he has to keep relations with them so that even if they leave, they leave in good faith. He even made us aware of some changes that have taken place in the trend of how people jump from one job to another often. Not only this he also tried showing us the factors that have led to this change like more opportunities, foreign companies coming in etc.

The best of the lecture was that the session was very interactive. He made us ask as many questions as we can and answered all of them patiently and with apt content.

The main lesson behind the whole talk was retaining the employees is very important as they are important assets. Getting-in right quality of people every now and then incurs huge expense and inconsistency in bottom-line. HR has a major role in this and it as a function has to coordinate with Finance, Production, Quality control, Quality assurance etc. It has to be highly vigilant for the changes in the industry because this might affect the intake of the competitors and in turn lead to attrition in ones own company.

All in all, it has always been our privilege at DoMS, IIT Madras to have such eminent corporate personalities to have spoken to us on various topics. This too was one of those enlightening sessions by a successful corporate and we learnt a lot from it.

Hetali Buch
(MBA Batch of 2008)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Thoughts unshackled, imagination let fly
Fears unheard, bothers left high and dry
Mistakes committed and lessons learnt
Searching for joy here ended the hunt.

All I need is a few more days
To lie down, to let my mind graze
A fantasy it was to tell my kin
Open the doors, there is a world to win.

A life was lived, a life was made
A light was lit, one that will never fade
Let me rejoice in the times that flew
To say goodbye, to bid Adieu.

Sujeet Joshi
(MBA batch of 2007)

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

‘Operations Club’ begins its operations… ‘IT & Consulting Club’ begins with… OOPs….

The past few days have seen a deluge of activities. With the Finance Club (Finomena) and the Marketing Club already in action, the operations club and IT & Consulting Club also began in interesting ways.

The operations club had its meeting on Saturday, March 24th, 2007 with a second year student Naresh Gunda taking the session. The session covered the use of Excel Solver to solve Linear Programming Problems. He also suggested the students to take a panoramic view of operations and not just think of operations as related to manufacturing. Operations could find applications in banking and IT as well. He also told us about the electives that would probably be offered to us in 2nd year and what subjects would give us an advantage over students from other management institutes.

(A snapshot of one of the slides prepared by Raghuram showing the evolution of OOP)

Then we had the IT and Consulting club which had its first session on Monday, the 26th of March, 2007, with a wonderful presentation from a first year student, Raghuram. The topic for the presentation was Object Oriented Programming. The presentation was targeted at people who were not from computer background in under graduation and were interested in specializing in the systems domain. He started the presentation by giving a lucid picture as to where we, as managers, would get an entry in an IT firm. The presentation went on with a beautiful explanation on the concepts such as classes, objects, inheritance, polymorphism, dynamic binding etc. The kinds of examples he used to substantiate the concepts were really commendable. And people who had genuine doubts or answered questions asked by Raghuram got to ‘munch’ chocolates (courtesy: Raghuram).

The planes are speeding on the runway with engines in full throttle and it would be soon when they would take off! All the best to both the clubs.

Rahul Maheshwari
(MBA Batch of 2008)

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Article - New Basel Capital Accord (Basel II)

In a bid to avoid collapses, the Basel (pronounced Basle [bɑːl] and more recently Basel ['ba:zəl]), Switzerland's third most populous city) Committee on Banking Supervision was established by the Central bank Governors of G-10 countries (which comprises 11 countries) in 1974 mainly to formulate broad supervisory standards and recommend statements of best practice for national banking supervisors. Members of the Basel Committee come from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US. The Committee is made up of senior officials responsible for banking supervision or financial stability issues in central banks and other authorities in charge of the prudential supervision of banking businesses. The Basel Committee is not a formal regulatory authority in itself.

In 1988, recognizing the emergence of larger more global financial services companies, the Committee introduced the Basel Capital Accord (Basel I). This sought to strengthen the soundness and stability of the international banking system by requiring higher capital ratios.

Since 1988, the framework contained in Basel I has been progressively introduced not only in member countries but also in virtually all other countries with active international banks. In June 1999, the Committee issued a proposal for a new Capital Adequacy Framework to replace Basel I. Following extensive communication with banks and industry groups, the revised framework was issued in 2004 and is known as Basel II.

Capital requirements rules state that credit institutions, like banks and building societies, must at all times maintain a minimum amount of financial capital, in order to cover the risks to which they are exposed. Events such as the collapse of Barings Bank and Daiwa Bank, the Y2K Bug scare, the WTC tragedy and, more recently, the Enron bankruptcy and rogue trading losses at AllFirst Bank have heightened the perception of ‘other’ risks.

In a bid to avoid collapses, the Basel Committee was established by the Central bank Governors of G-10 countries mainly to formulate broad supervisory standards and recommend statements of best practice for national banking supervisors.

The Committee can achieve common approaches and common standards across many member countries, without attempting detailed harmonization of each member country's supervisory techniques.

The aim is to
· Ensure the financial soundness of such (financial) institutions
· Maintain customer confidence in the solvency of those institutions
· Ensure the stability of the financial system at large and
· Protect depositors against losses


Encouraging the use of modern risk management techniques and
Encouraging banks to ensure that their risk management capabilities are commensurate with the risks of their business.

Basel II aims at
· Separating operational risk from credit risk, and quantifying both and
· Ensuring that capital allocation is more risk sensitive

The Basel II framework consists of three 'pillars':

PILLAR 1 sets out the minimum capital requirements firms will be required to meet to cover the following three types of risks-

(i) Credit Risk – This component of risk can be calculated in three different ways of varying degree of sophistication, namely Standardized Approach, Foundation IRB and Advanced IRB. IRB stands for “Internal Ratings Based” approach.

(ii) Market Risk – For market risk, the preferred approach is VaR (Value at Risk)

(iii) Operational Risk - Operational risk is defined as the risk of loss resulting from inadequate or failed internal processes, people and systems or from external events. This definition includes legal risk, such as exposure to fines, penalties and private settlements. For Operational Risk, there are three different approaches - Basic Indicator Approach (BIA), Standardized Approach, and Advanced Measurement Approach (AMA).

A brief explanation of these approaches is given as an appendix.

The rules under PILLAR 2 create a new supervisory review process. This requires financial institutions to have their own internal processes to assess their capital needs and appoint supervisors to evaluate an institutions’ overall risk profile, to ensure that they hold adequate capital. It also provides a framework for dealing with all the other risks a bank may face, such as liquidity risk and legal risk, which the accord combines under the title of residual risk.

The aim of PILLAR 3 is to improve market discipline by requiring firms to publish certain details of their risks, capital and risk management. The third pillar greatly increases the disclosures that the bank must make. This is designed to allow the market to have a better picture of the overall risk position of the bank and to allow the counterparties of the bank to price and deal appropriately. The purpose of pillar three is to complement the minimum capital requirements of pillar one and the supervisory review process addressed in pillar two.

After having a look at the Basel II framework, let’s look at how it is different from Basel I. One of the key changes in Basel II is the addition of an operational risk measurement to the calculation of minimum capital requirements. Previously, regulators' main focus was on credit risk and market risk. Other risks are presumed to be covered implicitly through the treatments of these two major risks. In Basel II, operational risk events which were identified (with co-operation from the industry) as having the potential to result in substantial losses are:
· Internal fraud – for example, intentional misreporting of positions, employee theft, and insider trading on an employee’s own account.
· External fraud – for example, robbery, forgery, cheque kiting, and damage from computer hacking.
· Employment practices and workplace safety – for example, workers compensation claims, violation of employee health and safety rules, organized labour activities and discrimination claims.
· Clients, products and business practices – for example, misuse of confidential customer information, improper trading activities on the bank’s account, money laundering, and sale of unauthorized products.
· Damage to physical assets – for example, terrorism, vandalism, earthquakes, fires and floods.
· Business disruption and system failures – for example, hardware and software failures, telecommunication problems, and power failures.
· Execution, delivery and process management – for example, data entry errors, incomplete legal documentation and unapproved access given to client accounts.

These risks were not considered exclusively earlier. Naturally, operational risk was one area which was expected to increase capital requirement for the banks.

The Reserve Bank had announced in July 2004 that banks in India will initially adopt the Standardized Approach (SA) for credit risk and the Basic Indicator Approach (BIA) for operational risk. The prime considerations while deciding on the likely approach included the cost of implementation and the cost of compliance. The methodology for computing the capital requirement under the Basic Indicator Approach was explained to banks.

(i) The main challenge is to avoid an underestimation of the complexities involved.

(ii) Another challenge is data management. According to the survey, private sector banks may have an edge over public sector entities in data management as most public sector banks are still in the process of rolling out core banking solutions across their branches, and the standardization of data residing in myriad systems across various branches was proving to be challenging.

(iii) Other challenges are process standardization, cost control, standardizing and storing data, and acquiring the necessary skill sets.

The RBI extended the deadline from March 31, 2007 to March 31, 2008, ‘taking into account the state of preparedness of the banking system’ to provide banks more time to put in place appropriate systems.

Banks should use this additional time to align their Basel programme with other risk management initiatives, gather better quality loss data, train their staff, and manage the change process. These factors are critical to the success of this complex project.

Among the reasons for existence of Basel II are to bring competitive advantage to those financial institutions that can reshape their operations, optimize the capital structure and allocations and align the internal processes with the external compliance standards. The effect of implementing Basel II would not only improve the shareholder perception and values but also enhance the reputation and image of the banks.

Opportunities for IT companies exist mainly in the areas of operational risks in terms of technology support for internal ratings based credit and operational risk approach, database technology and integration with front-office decision tools, areas of data collection, tracking and monitoring, analysis and reporting, risk management system, asset and liability management system, cash liquidity management and business intelligence engine.

According to one consultant, implementing Basel II requirements would require fresh investments in IT by banks and banking product companies, as it involves developing new solutions and enhancing existing solutions. It will also require a higher level of integration between different systems, for example, applications such as credit decision, application processing, risk rating, transaction systems, collateral management — all need to integrate to be able to meet the Basel II requirements.

From the IT perspective, opportunities exists in the first two pillars, that is minimum capital requirements and supervisory review.

Work is apparently already underway on Basel III, at least in a preliminary sense. The goals of this project are to refine the definition of bank capital, quantify further classes of risk and to further improve the sensitivity of the risk measures.



For those who are interested in methods of calculating various types of risks, here they are:
Credit Risk
The Standardized Approach is similar to the Basel I accord in that banks are required to slot their credit exposures into supervisory categories based on observable characteristics of the exposures (e.g. whether the exposure is a corporate loan or a residential mortgage loan). The standardized approach establishes fixed risk weights corresponding to each supervisory category and makes use of external credit assessments to enhance risk sensitivity compared to the current Accord. The risk weights for sovereign, inter-bank, and corporate exposures are differentiated based on external credit assessments.

The IRB approach to credit risk, which includes two variants: a foundation version and an advanced version. The IRB approach differs substantially from the standardized approach in that banks’ internal assessments of key risk drivers serve as primary inputs to the capital calculation. Because the approach is based on banks’ internal assessments, the potential for more risk sensitive capital requirements is substantial. However, the IRB approach does not allow banks themselves to determine all of the elements needed to calculate their own capital requirements. Instead, the risk weights and thus capital charges are determined through the combination of quantitative inputs provided by banks and formulas specified by the Committee.

Market Risk
Value at risk (VaR) is a measure of how the market value of an asset or of a portfolio of assets is likely to decrease over a certain time period under usual conditions. VaR has three parameters:
(i) The time horizon (period) to be analyzed (i.e. the length of time over which one plans to hold the assets in the portfolio - the "holding period").
(ii) The confidence level at which the estimate is made. Popular confidence levels usually are 99% and 95%.
(iii) The unit of the currency which will be used to denominate the value at risk(VaR).

Operational Risk
The Basic Indicator Approach is the simplest approach, and will be the default option for most firms. It applies a relatively straightforward calculation based on the firms' income to determine its capital requirements. This approach requires the bank's average annual gross income over the previous three years to be multiplied by a factor (15 per cent for India) to determine the capital requirement for operational risk.

The Standardized Approach again relies on calculations based on income, but with different percentages applying across (eight) different business lines. To be able to take advantage of the Standardized Approach firms will have to meet certain qualifying criteria.

The Advanced Measurement Approach(AMA) is the most complicated of the three options. Under this approach, each firm calculates it own capital requirements, by developing and applying its own internal risk measurement system. As with the Standardized Approach, the firm must meet certain qualifying criteria, and the risk measurement system must be validated by the FSA before it will be allowed to take advantage of the AMA. Some of the important criteria are:
· Well-developed and well-documented risk management systems fully integrated into the day-to-day risk management process of the bank;
· A system of regular reporting of operational risk exposures and loss experience to business unit management and the board of directors;
· Maintaining rigorous procedures for operational risk model development and independent model validation;
· Capability to track loss data, to each business line, and access external data bases of loss incidents where appropriate internal data are not available.

For nitty-gritties of Basel Capital Accord visit:

For Basel II Accord Key Terms visit:
Rahul Maheshwari
(MBA Batch of 2008)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

DoMS Rocks…again! Taking DoMS to newer heights!

Priya and Prashant giving a presentation on 'Employer Branding' at 'The Athenaeum' at BIM, Trichy

DoMS has always been ‘Quietly’ making waves all over and ‘Demonstrating’ its ‘Excellence’! And this time, it was on a higher level; both geographically (being an International event) and academically (check out the participation profiles).
Courtesy: None other than the creative duo of our class, Prashant and Priya!

Prashant and Priya won the first prize at ‘The Athenaeum’, an International Conference on HR and IT Management. The conference was conducted by BIM, Trichy in a large auditorium in BHEL campus. The conference was on a very large scale. It was attended by domain experts and practitioners from both education and corporate world. So, most of their competitors were almost double their age!

Just to give some examples on the profile of their competitors:

1. Research Scholars from Institutes like IIT Kharagpur, Madras University, etc.
2. Professors from institutes like IMT Ghaziabad, ICFAI, IIT Kharagpur, FMS, NIT
3. Directors of some colleges.
4. International participants (including Corporates and PhDs) from Mexico, Canada, Pakistan, Dubai, etc.
5. Corporates and Consultants from Satyam Computers.
6. And ofcourse, Students from various top colleges across India.

The participants were given freedom to present a research paper on any topic they were passionate about. For the HR category, 21 papers were short-listed to be presented at the conference. This included 16 National papers and 5 International papers. Prashant and Priya presented on “Employer Branding”, which with increasing competition, has become vital in the long run survival of any company. They were highly appreciated for their creativity and views on the topic by the chief guest as well as all other participants. It was thus an apt example of “QED” by DoMS.

All research papers presented were compiled into a book, “Perspectives on HR and IT Management” edited by P David Jawahar and Ramesh Venkatraman. The book, priced at 499 INR, was also presented to all participants. The event was actively covered by media. DoMS was the center-point of attraction at the conference.

This victory has taken DoMS to greater heights and we shall not relent at this. This is just a beginning and an inspiration for all of us to continue our efforts in attaining even more accolades.
Prerna Modi
(MBA Batch of 2008)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Event - CII-CW Session - Talk on "The Human Resource Function- Integrator"

(Mr. Arun Leslie George addressing the students @ DoMS, IIT Madras)
CII - Corporate Wisdom Session
Date: 15th March, 2007
Venue: DoMS 101

Yet another event conducted by the Corporate Wisdom team, saw the coming together of two eminent personalities from the Human Resource Management fraternity representing CII (Confederation of Indian Industry). The two speakers were Mr. Arun Leslie George and Mr. P. Padmakumar.

Mr. Arun Leslie George who was part of the Murugappa Group since 1990 currently heads the HR function of the Farm Inputs Business i.e. Coromandel Fertilizers Ltd. and GFCL of the Murugappa Group. Mr. P. Padmakumar who also earlier worked with the Murugappa Group, is currently responsible for HR in the Flat Glass Business of Saint Gobain India Ltd.

They started off the session stressing on the importance of the Human Resource, touted as the most important asset of the company, which could make or break a company. HR has been going through different phases as the differentiating resources have changed over time starting with land long ago to people in the current day scenario.

Mr. Arun’s spirited speech interspersed with the right amount of humor, addressed how an Indian management could make a difference in foreign organizations. He started it by giving a concrete example aptly named ‘the Foskor Experience’, a strategic investment in a South African company. While elucidating responses from the audience, he spoke about how crucial showcasing capabilities and institutionalizing the knowledge process was. He also spoke about the various approaches to preparing the organization for such an event, managing the various stages of adaptation the executives undergo and also constantly monitoring the employees in order to minimize cultural shocks and maximize performance of employees. Mr. Padmakumar spoke on the HR aspect of creating a ‘World Glass Complex’ and how it was important to project India as a force to reckon with and showcase its blend of heritage and modernity. He elaborated on the role of HR across the organization in areas such as structuring, developing skills and culture etc through various frameworks. He concluded his presentation with an animation that chalked out the ‘Journey of Saint Gobain’ in India.

(Prof. Anantharaman (left) presenting mementos to Mr. Arun Leslie George (right) and Mr. P. Padmakumar (centre). )

This was followed by a Q&A session which brought out the merits of HR as a career option and also the importance of having a sound knowledge of the conceptual aspects and the correct application of this knowledge. All in all, this engaging session portrayed HR as a lucrative career option and one that would make students look at HR from a new perspective challenging their earlier beliefs.

(MBA Batch of 2008)

Saturday, March 17, 2007

GT/PI FOR BATCH OF 2009..over!

SO finally!
the efforts payed off...
since its will take the names of all the people who have made this whole process so wonderfully done..
1. Pulkit 2. Dinesh 3. Vivek 4. Keerthy 5.Sriram 6. Amit 7.Rahul Biyala 8.Shilpa 9.Meghna 10.Vinayah 11. Prerna 12. Bala {city tour! } 13. Megha 14. Sathya
special thanks to Rajat..he made all the effort on pagalguy.. trust me frends..that made so much of a difference..every candidate was asking for rmbt rmbt and rmbt! kudos!

we did some thing different this time guys. we assigned a volunteer to a bunch of 6 people{divided panel wise} this time. that volunteer was responsible and was with the candidate for all his purposes. the volunteers numbers, details etc were put up, to enable easy reach. this went down very well with the candidates and they were very impressed by the concern and thought which the vols showed towards them. everyone got the info they needed {academic and otherwise}. in fact if you guys chek out the feed back board in the lobby you'll see people writing names of their vols and mentioning special thanks to them. they worked really really hard! all and every single one of them!
all candidates who needed accommodation were provided the same {an initiative by rajat..}
that was helpful to them
some body was at the help desk from 6 in the morning to 6 in the evening {sathya and me}, which was also reported to be a thoughtful measure!

of course, the candidates were impressed thoroughly by the HoD's speech and the faculty's demeanour during the process. they liked the faculty's approach and GD topics provided to them. the best part they felt {chek on the feedback board} was that the whole process went on very very fast, and they were not made to wait for too long. on and average the process finished in a max of three hours.

the PPT was again another thing which was very much appreciated, with shilpa and arpan's voice guiding them thru the process. they said it was one of the best they had seen in a B-SCHOOL, very professional! { and Sathya will kindy take credit for that :) } and of course, Chaitu's video was awesome. it captured the whole past year beautifully.

The office staff, Meenakshi ma'am, Srini sir, Muthu sir, Vasudevan sir, couple of unnamed people here and some research scholars were really helpful. made the process really easy. thanks to them too!

Sangha ma'am deserves a very special mention here guys! she was the rock behind the wall we all showed the world. every bit of detail was handled by her.

you guys should read the feedbacks on the board {another innovative idea}. people were generous with their comments. you'll come to know whr DoMS stands today! people are giving us higher preference than our counterparts, and I mean the worthy ones! was heartwarming and was a big big morale booster.

the interactions team supported the panel teams fully! for once, the profs would be glad the way the operations took place this time {including scheduling} without an MRP!

thanks once more to all the people mentioned and not mentioned here!
hope we get gr8 juniors this time.. {sorry guys! the number of girls was a dismal value}
they r the ones who will push the cart while we have to pull it!

chek out pagalguy too! read the feedbacks!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Marketing Club - Talk on Retail by Surya and Quiz by Rajeev Jain

Marketing Club Session
Date: March 14, 2007
Venue: DoMS 101

The marketing club meet was primarily divided into 2 parts: a lecture and a Quiz. The session on "Facts about Retailing in India" was taken by Surya and covered the broad aspects of retailing in India vis-à-vis the world. It highlighted that the growth in organized retailing, though many a times based on gut feeling is based and backed by numerical data and that numbers wouldn't even spare marketing. He talked about the potential in organized retail, the evolution - how it all started, various strategies adopted by various players in the industry like expanding into smaller cities, focusing on Supply Chain Management and multiple formats.

He also pointed out the factors that were leading to the exponential growth in organized retailing such as increase in the number of working women from 22% in 1991 to 26% in 2001, higher propensity for spending, people preferring one stop shopping, increase in nuclear families (average household size has decreased from 5.57 in 1991 to 5.36 in 2001 and per capita consumption increases with nuclear families), Baby Boomer Effect, increase in urban population, increased use of credit cards, reduced set up cost as people can now rent space in malls rather than buying it etc. Expansion plans of various business groups, segment wise growth in organized retail and challenges for organized retail were also covered in detail.

Surya’s presentation was followed by the Marketing Quiz which lasted for about an hour and was prepared and conducted by Rajeev Jain. Fabulous quotes by marketing gurus, trivia involving Smintair, Amazon and even Marilyn Monroe occupied some place in the quiz. Think about the only long term relationship Marilyn ever enjoyed (Lee Jeans…!!!). And what to speak of the final round? Teams engrossed and fighting to figure out the final answers with the intermediate ones to gain the bonus points. Four teams were formed with 3-4 members in each team. The quiz had 3 rounds. The first two rounds had 10 questions each which were put to teams in turn. The third and the most interesting round was the buzzer round. Winning teams of each of the round as well as the final winner were worthy of chocolates and the final winners bagged the Java Green coupons.

1st Prize: Sathya, Surya, Supreet, Keerthy
2nd Prize: Astha, Prono, Bala, Rahul Maheshwari
Rajeev Jain
Rahul Maheshwari
(MBA Batch of 2008)

Event - CW - A session on Six Sigma

Corporate Wisdom Session
Date : 14th March, 2007
Venue : IC&SR Lecture Theatre

It has been a hectic week for DoMS, IIT Madras and still some more action is pending for the weekend when the aspirants for DoMS, IIT Madras would be having their GT and interviews (Chennai Round) as a part of the selection process.

It was a matter of great pleasure and pride to have Mr. R Jagdish, Vice President- Mission: Quality, WIPRO TECHNOLOGIES LIMITED with us today to deliver a talk on Six Sigma concept and its applications to the field of IT services. An alumnus of NIT Nagpur and ISI Calcutta, Mr. R Jagdish has worked with over five reputed companies before joining Wipro Technologies four years back. Trained as a Six Sigma professional at Motorola, he is armed with the foremost knowledge on quality standards in the industry.

Starting with the basic concepts of quality, its measurement techniques and usage of statistical tools in quality control, he comfortably led us through the rigours of Six Sigma concepts. His art at the use of real life examples and anecdotes to illustrate the concepts of Six Sigma helped us drive away the awe surrounding the concepts. He dwelt at length on the various benefits of Six Sigma, the challenges in applying it and the conditions under which it should be applied.

Certain key concepts that underlie Six Sigma, like data collection, attributing causes and identifying sources of variation, normal distribution, specification limits and maximum permissible deviations were made clear by him in a lucid manner. The students also got a feel of the various Project Methodologies like DMAIC, DSSP, DSSS, and DMADIV which are being used by the industry to implement Six Sigma in their projects.

The talk was highly useful to the students as they could relate a lot of it to the concepts of Total Quality Management (TQM) which finds a place in the course curriculum for the running quarter.
Pritam Nanda
(MBA Batch of 2008)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Event - MIST - Talk by Mr Gagandeep Singh

MIST Session By
Mr. Gagandeep Singh Bedi
Director Rural Development & Panchayati Raj
12th March, 2007

The MIST (Management Insights for Social Transformation) chapter of the Department of Management Studies held a talk by Mr. Gagandeep Singh Bedi Director Rural Development & Panchayati Raj. He shared his views on “Natural Disasters and Human Response for Socio-economic Development”. Mr. Bedi had strategized and implemented the entire relief program in Cuddalore as its District Collector.

On 26th December 2004, Tsunami waves, hit India for the first time wrecking havoc across the southern coastline. The Cuddalore shelf was the worst affected by the tsunami surge. Mr. Bedi coordinated the disaster relief and rehabilitation works to tsunami recovery and was awarded the best collector award by the Indian Red Cross Society in 2006 for his commendable work in the rescue and relief operations.

In 2006 he also achieved his vision of making Cuddalore, “The Model district of the State” with his 13 years of experience in DISASTER MANAGEMENT by various innovative and explorative initiatives.

The Cuddalore Model has been appreciated internationally. Mr. Clinton on visiting Tsunami affected regions in 2006 had remarked that “Florida can learn from Cuddalore”.

The talk focused on the entire gamut of relief operations carried out at Cuddalore. He expertly brought out the similarities between administrators and managers. Mr. Bedi focused on the various skills necessary for a manager by expertly quoting examples from his own field of action. He built on the various statistical figures by showing numerous pictures & practical insights.

Mr. Bedi stressed on the fact that getting help was never the problem. The challenge lay in distributing the resources. He cited examples from the Orissa Cyclone or the Kashmir Earthquake where the goods do not reach the victims. To make the process more efficient at Cuddalore a software system was used for material management.

He laid emphasis on the importance of building a rapport with people & accepting the culture. This may be the reason he was able to convince the people to bury the dead in a predominantly Hindu region. This enabled the administration to focus on other issues on hand.

Mr. Bedi brought up the fact that when one is in authority, one can use the power to get help from numerous sources. For e.g. Mr. Bedi had asked for Rs 1 crore relief fund help but was able to obtain a help of Rs 2 crores from the government. He also stressed that as long as one is apolitical in one’s views one need not worry about political pressure. He cited his own example saying that he had been the collector for 5 years which by itself is a record of sorts.

As Mr. Bedi is a telecommunications engineer, post tsunami various innovative measures like the Wireless Linked Public Address System have been implemented at Cuddalore. Through this system one can notify neighboring villagers regarding any cyclone warning.

He went on to describe the various stages of relief operations carried out at Cuddalore. The relief operations were divided in three stages

Immediate Relief
Temporary Relief & Rehab. Measures
Long term Relief.

The immediate relief operations focused on providing medical care, food & water to the survivors. The temporary measures included electricity supply (which was restored in 72 hours), temporary houses, temporary mobile network coverage (temporary towers were set up in a day) shallow hand pumps etc. The Long term relief measures covered building pucca houses, greening farmlands (The farmlands had been rendered useless by salt deposits), Buying of boats etc.

Various measures like introduction of counseling for women & children, building of children parks gave the whole project a human touch. Mr. Bedi readily admitted that certain schemes like the Help Line served a mere cosmetic purpose and were useful for attracting funds.

The talk was inspiring to the core. Mr. Bedi spoke with humility and ease. This person and his team had won international acclaim yet they remained down to earth and open to questions. The whole session lends credence to the fact that one person can make a lot of difference. One just needs to show dedication & perseverance.

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Beginning of New Life @ DoMS IITM

The taxi entered the gates of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. The driver headed towards the Gajendra circle, and I was seated in the backseat, staring out of the window. Just looking around, a strange current flowing through my body……Yes I had arrived!! As a youngster, getting here had always been my dream and today here I was…..There are some moments in life, very few of them which can’t be expressed in words. It can only be felt. The feeling of being at IIT was certainly one of them.

Getting to my hostel, setting up my room, meeting new people and before I new it, my first day at IIT was over. Over the next three days we had our formal orientation programme. Brief introductions by our faculty members coupled with a couple of sessions conducted by the people of the industry made it quite interesting. The highlight was the address by the Director of IIT who happens to be one of the most erudite persons I have ever heard speak. He was simply over whelming in his clarity of thought and speech. Citing numerous examples, quotes and excerpts from books, his speech was greatly inspiring, to say the least. He managed to drive home the importance of hard work and excellence and also urged us to spend a lot of our time in the library. Following his speech we had a welcome note by the HoD, DoMS and then got down to the most interesting part of all- getting to know our classmates. There was great sense of excitement as each one of us went on to the dais and introduced ourselves to the whole class, and as we did so, a mini-India had already started to evolve in front of our eyes. We started chatting with one another, had tea in the department with the Profs. The warmth which had been generated was enough to keep us chugging for the rest of the day.

The itinerary read: 04:30 PM- Movie “The Corporation”. Nobody among us had even the slightest doubt that the name of the movie was misprinted. “It ought to be ‘Corporate’ macha!!” the word spread and excitement was brewing among the guys- I mean what could be more exciting than watching the sultry Bipasha Basu right on the first day of the curriculum. But alas! That was not to be. There was no mistake in the print. To brand ‘The Corporation’ as a movie would be at best a euphemism for a dreary documentary running for an entire 3 hours. Meant to open our eyes towards the activities and responsibilities of corporations, the documentary was no doubt an informative one.

After that got over we were about to jump from our seats and get back to hostels in anticipation of a good nights’ sleep when the ‘breaking news’ came in – a strict deadline by the seniors to present a power point presentation by 10:00 PM which was a pre-requirement for the seniors-juniors interaction. To be frank our hurriedly prepared presentations were pathetic- didn’t deserve a consideration, but then who was there to consider them – our seniors were simply preparing us for the difficult days ahead. The interaction was a cool one, had lots of fun asking weird questions, receiving equally weird answers, eyes red from sleeplessness, dozing off towards the end it seemed to me as if the session would never end. It ended with another announcement “We are not happy with the way it was done. Tomorrow make one more presentation and also sell a product!!! “.So the next night was even better. Things went on till about 4 am. There I was walking back to my hostel room and cursing as to why we should be subjected to such treatment so soon…..

When I went to class the next morning I realized that I knew the names of most of the people in my class. That’s when it struck me and I said to myself 'Geez..The events of the last two nights organized by the seniors was indeed a very good ice breaking session'. The entire exercise was to help us know our classmates and our seniors better.

We had a brilliant and interactive talk session by Mr. V. Balaraman, President, Madras Chamber of Commerce who gave us real insights as to what the industry expects from an MBA graduate. His experiences during his long stint at HLL, which he shared with us generously, helped a lot of us to get over with some misconceptions and instilled many new ideas about the workings of the corporate sector. And this was just the beginning of a series of more inspiring and informative lectures by industry leaders, not to forget a good session on ‘leadership’ by Daniel Jebasingh, Director – HR, Ajuba Systems. And yes… orientation at IIT can end without the mention of the concept so popularized by Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone, the CGPA. We had a faculty member explaining the intricacies of the CGPA and asking us to put in our best effort.

Fresher’s party is something one associates with engineering college. I had no clue or rather not expected it at a B School in such a pompous fashion. Maybe I wasn’t aware. Still if you ask most of the students, the general opinion would be that we would have a party. But what we got was just amazing. Two of them, back to back on a Saturday and Sunday night, both in complete contrast to one another, thus by no means making it repetitive. The first was a very formal one with the faulty members also joining in. After the declaration of Mr & Ms. Freshers and a small ‘nick-name’ game, our group was supposed to come up with a dance, song & play but we got lost somewhere in between and managed a medley only. However the medley was so well received that we had almost the entire student community on the dance floor. Later the movie ‘Italian job’ was screened and we finally got back to the hostel at around two in the morning.

The second party was a much more ‘energetic’ one if I may use that word. Dance, dance and more dance was the order of the night. By the time it ended there was great deal of camaraderie among students of both batches. The kind of effort put in by the organizers during the entire week was just amazing. They have set a benchmark for us and it’s up to us to raise the bar higher.

I was also privileged enough to witness the Convocation ceremony held at the SAC Centre. Listening to the Director and also Mr Ratan Tata was really inspiring. This was followed by an Annual Reunion for DOMS students, a great idea conceived by our HOD. It allowed us to interact with a lot of our seniors who are in the corporate world and get a real feel of the things.

In just 2 weeks we have already had two business quizzes organized by students of DOMS. We also had a crossword contest organized for all the students of IIT. I’m sure it’s a sign of great things to come. The other day I was sitting in my room, doing some self introspection about how it felt to be back at school after having worked for quite sometime. And the answer I got was what my heart truly felt. It feels great to be at IIT.

I would like to end by saying something that I strongly feel about. Perception is something on which the world operates. There is a strong feeling that IIT is a technology oriented institution. It’s very difficult to change people’s minds. I don’t think we need to also. We need to use this aura of excellence and quality as one of our strengths, build on it and make DoMS IIT Madras one of the best management schools in the country. This would take a lot of effort from all of us. I’m sure we will be up to it.

Being at IIT is a dream come true and the pressure works on each one here. However harder we study…. The harder WE PARTY!!(Compiled by MBA Students, Batch 2008.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007


CEO Connect
lessons from a leader
In CEO connect, eminent business leaders are invited to the campus by the department to share their experiences and lessons of excellence. They have a broad interaction with the faculty, research scholars and students on diverse topics and give their take on the corporate world. The essence of the event is to provide the students an opportunity to get the perspective of the captains of the industry. DoMS has had the honour of playing host to such esteemed guests as Mr. Sankaran Raghunathan (COO, Blueshift), Mr. Pandiarajan (MD, Ma Foi), Mr. George Zacharias (MD, Yahoo! India), Mr. B. Santhanam (MD, Saint-Gobain Glass India), Mr. Lakshmi Narayanan (CEO & President, Cognizant Technology Solutions), Mr. A. Satishkumar (CEO, Henkel-SPIC India Limited)Mr. V.S.Pradeep Kumar (CEO, SARA Lee Household & Body Care India Pvt. Ltd), Mr. Phaneesh Murthy (CEO & MD, iGate Global Solutions) and Mr. C.K. Ranganathan (CMD, CavinKare Limited).
Corporate Wisdom (CW)
learning redefined
DoMS ensures that learning in the classroom is never far stretched from the reality in the corporate world. Towards this end, DoMS conducts regular interactive sessions with guests from the corporate world. A representative list of the guests, who have shared their corporate wisdom in DoMS: Mr. Subir Majumdar (Vice President, Sourcing, CavinKare), Ms. Mythili Chandrasekhar (Vice President, Client Servicing, JWT), Ms. Anjali Sharma (Global HR Head, iGATE Global Solutions), Mr. Ravichandran (President (Operations), Lucas TVS), Dr. Sheshadri (Director, Take Solutions), Mr. Ravindran (GM Training, at TVS Delphi) and Mr. S Varadrajan (Executive Director, BPCL ).
Management Insights for Social Transformation (MIST)
beyond business
MIST a forum in the Department which has been created to operationalize the linkage between management graduates and social organizations. Through MIST, DoMS IITM, aims at inviting eminent philanthropists, who have reached to the society in their own unique ways, to share their experiences and enrich the students in their outlook and attitude towards the society. Mr. Gagandeep Singh Bedi (IAS, the former District Collector of Cuddalore(which was seriously affected by Tsunami)), Mr. R. Nataraj, (Commissioner of Police, Greater Chennai) and Mr. Sarath Babu (CEO, Food King Catering Services Private Limited) and have been some of the speakers at the forum.

The Background

The Department of Management Studies [DoMS] at IIT Madras formally came into existence in April 2004, though a full-fledged two-year MBA programme was being offered since 2001 under the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. The industry's growing demand for high quality management research as well as managers trained in the finer nuances of business and technology provided the drive to set up a separate DoMS, offering an MBA programme comparable to the best B-Schools in the country.

DoMS strives to achieve excellence in management education and produce world class research. The department stands by its motto - 'Quiet Excellence Demonstrated'. Though still in its nascent stages, the programme has already achieved substantial appreciation and visibility among corporates, as evidenced by the excellent placement record for the last three years, and stellar performances by the alumni in the organizations they are working for. Currently, the department offers degrees in MBA, MS and Ph.D.s in various functional areas and specialized domains of the industry.

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