Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Event - CW - A Talk on Role of Banks in Agri, Commodity & Rural Economy by Executive Vice President, HDFC Bank, Mr. P.V. Ananthakrishnan

“Change is the only constant” – This constant state has brought a lot of positive growth for rural India. The Indian rural economy is booming! The role of managers in this scenario has gained a never before importance. The new dimension to dynamically changing management was added to the future managers of DoMS, IIT Madras by none other than Mr. P.V. Ananthakrishnan (Executive Vice President, HDFC Bank). The topic in spotlight was “Role of Banks in Agri, Commodity & Rural Economy”.
(Mr. P.V. Ananthakrishnan, Executive Vice President, HDFC Bank, delivering a lecture on Role of Banks in Agri, Commodity & Rural Economy)

Mr. Ananthakrishnan is a seasoned banker with more than twenty five years of work experience in public & private banks. He is a well known name in commercial banking area. His association with HDFC bank goes way back from 1995. He won laurels in the banking sector by setting up capital market business for HDFC bank.

The agenda of the discussion included commodity markets, future & spot market. Changing role of bankers and rural banking was also discussed.

Sixty five percent of India is related to agriculture. This massive figure calls for a thrust to cut across and rise above the constraints, bias and gaps hindering the growth of backbone of our economy. This change can only be possible through “Innovation”.

The Indian mindset has always been inclined towards manipulations, predictions and some calculated risk – the name of the game (in business context) - trading. Futures trading with respect to price discovery, price risk management, hedging, price dissemination & balancing supply – demand has gained importance. The new face of future trading is adapting itself to changes in weather & other dynamic variables. There also exists a causal relationship between future trading and politics. The advent of elections has always created a huge impact on the fluctuation of prices either logically or beyond rationality!

Mr. Ananthakrishnan also spoke about the importance of forecasting for the seed sowing preferences to Indian farmer. Commodity markets in India is witnessing a never before phenomenal growth. The figure now touches the skies with a 4000000 crores business annually. The long value chain of commodity market is now trimmed down by czars of modern trade, establishing a new role for bankers to play. The role is famously called – “the Catalyst”. Thus banks help in clearing, depository services, information dissemination, aggregating, trading & advisory services.

Speaking on the challenges to the future markets, Mr. Ananthakrishnan created awareness about the broad basing of volumes, political sensitivity, speculative volume, regulated developments & contract farming.

During the discussion a new form of finance emerged out. It’s famously called “structured finance”. Mr. Ananthakrishnan defined it as – “the art of transferring the risks from parties less able to bear the risk to those more equipped to bear it”. Thus rural banking is the area to be concentrated by young managers. It poses huge challenges like the enforcement of lender’s rights, high dependency & lack of commercial approach. The challenges can only be handled effectively by well equipped future managers. Mr. Ananthakrishnan was quite successful in generating the first spark about rural banking in the young managerial minds.

Prashant Saxena
(MBA Batch of 2008)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Farewell Party 2007

Beedi, the classic number from ‘Omkara’ was the song that bought the first few rowdies on to the dance floor….then slowly followed others……and finally the girls joined in even though they would have liked some decent foot tapping number to begin with. The mood seemed to be all set for a party that would drag on well past midnight and with the copious flow of branded beverages, everyone simply swayed into the mood. Soon some fast track Tamil songs of the likes of Apudi Pode, Saraku Vicharake and Randaaka took the breath away from the frenzied guys and gals. This isn’t a scene out of a freaking pub in Bangalore, instead the venue was VGP Resorts in Chennai, where we had hosted the farewell party for our seniors (MBA Batch of 2007).

The place has to be seen to be believed- coconut and palm trees swaying in the gentle breeze of the nearby sea, the high tides owing to a beautiful full moon and a handsomely lighted vast lawn just besides the beach. Such was the paradise where we chose to bid adieu to our seniors. The evening had been fun with junta playing football and beach volley, while a few others preferring to stay cool by swimming either in the sea or in the nearby swimming pool. As the bodies started sweating profusely due to non-stop dancing, it was time for some rest and a sumptuous dinner, which had yummy dishes prepared by the specially chosen caterer. Desserts such as ice creams and gulab jamun soon followed and helped the freaks to gain most of the energy lost.

It was time again to hit the dance floor, though many preferred to sit and chit-chat, the seniors sharing memories of their two years ‘managing’ themselves in the Management course at DoMS, IIT Madras while the juniors getting more and more inquisitive and apprehensive about the year that was to follow. Lots of gyan, gossips and friendly swearing got exchanged only to be followed by as many cuddles and hugs. It was as if that was the only night to rejoice with the closest of friends…….and we as organizers simply loved the sight.

Then there were song dedications to vent deep feelings, be it secret ones or quite open ones, nevertheless they found an opportunity to get expressed. At around 1 o’ clock, we finally decided to call it quits, some out of fatigue and the rest out of fear of getting into the class on time, the following morning…….and there were still others for whom the night had just begun…..they were trying to form circles out of cigarette smoke sitting on the lonely beach!!!

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna – our only message for our beloved seniors!!!

Pritam Nanda
MBA Batch of 2008
(with inputs from batch mates)

Friday, April 6, 2007

Summer Placement Over - Party Time!!!

With all students of the MBA Batch of 2008 getting placed for summers, it was time for a party!!

Probably, the most sought after thing in any party here!!! ^

They made it possible... ^

One of the placement team member cutting the cake ^

The centre of attraction - Cake ^

And all this crowd for - again - the cake!!! ^

Eat, Drink and be Merry... ^

Say Cheeze... ^

Smile Please... ^

(MBA Batch of 2008)

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Come on,Stop Dreaming!

Come on, stop dreaming!
These feelings are for the weak being.

The sun is up and shining,
Waiting for u to start trying,
Let her know something so pure and true,
When U say “I Love U”.
There is no fear, there is no shame,
Sometimes, rejection is the name of the game,
Be happy, your feelings are through,
And hope it works for you.

Come on, stop dreaming!
These feelings are for the weak being.

Celebrate your time, if it’s a YES,
Hold her hands and kiss her lips,
If it’s a NO, then don’t frown,
Be a MAN and stand your ground,
The first spring flower is always so beautiful,
But take a look around,
There are others which are more colourful.

Come on, stop dreaming!
These feelings are for the weak being.

There are things that did not work,
Yet she counts her roses and just smirks,
She’s been charming someone else,
Though your Love for her is immense,
Some fool said Love was blind,
But Love is something that binds,
And no matter what you say, she always defends,
Then make a new beginning and check out her FREINDS!

Robin Cherian
(Batch of 2008)

Samanvay 2007-Celebrating Synergy

What do I do, if I have so much fire within?
Or to know how it feels to create somethin?
I have waited so long to compete and play,
To outperform the world this very day,

The realization of all values that I have learned,
An embodiment of team spirit adorned,
It is better to have failed than to have not tried,
Patience is the key; it’s a matter of pride,

Come along and enjoy the ride,
MBAs, PGs, PhDs alike,
It’s time for us to lead the way,
We‘re celebrating synergy at SAMANVAY…..

Robin Cherian
(Batch of 2008)

Monday, April 2, 2007

Narayan Karthikeyan delivers an extramural lecture

The Dean(Students), IIT Madras, Prof. VG Idichandy presenting a memento to Narayan Karthikeyan (Left)

Event : Extramural Lecture
Date : 2nd April, 2007
Venue : IC&SR Auditorium

The Indian F1 maestro was in IIT Madras for a short and crisp interactive session with the students of IIT Madras. Just by looking at him you could make out how down to earth, dedicated, focused this man was. His achievements are no easy feats especially for a country where you can find no F1 history.

He started the session at 7 PM sharp with his soft voice, telling about this experiences in racing and particularly in F1. He started by sharing how his dream came true, when he shared the same pit lane with his idol Michael Schumacher and remarked that he had at least 5 years of racing left in him. After a brief 10 minute 'speech', he left the floor open for junta to throw their questions at him. The questions covered almost all the aspects of his career and experiences. Questions which were asked ranged from how games like NFS could be related to real racing (he told that simulation was actually used for practicing), what was the scope for technical jobs in that arena to what was his scariest moment in racing was. He obliged all and in a very humble manner by answering the questions.

Overall, it was one of the experiences which neither me or my classmates can forget. Just to feel the vibes, you should meet the man.
Rajat Saxena
(MBA Batch of 2008)

The Flavour of an MBA Course

Recollecting fond memories would never go without the recall of days at DoMS: those very formative years, spent or misspent, in the lush green campus, amidst spotted deer, old banyan trees and bicycle rides. Long after we would have clean forgotten the stuff we learnt in classes, we who lived here would undoubtedly retain memories of our concluding student lives.

It was not my first day at college or hostel…. I had already spent 4 years of engineering tasting it. So would it be any different now, I pondered when I passed the DoMS building and stood in front of Sharavati hostel with my luggage on july 27th, 2005. After a short intro and smile exchanged with my roommates and neighbors, there was a knock on the door…"Hey, the seniors are awaiting you guys… run downstairs and put Intro".
“O bother, not again a stupid ragging session…don’t they know we are grown-ups now?!” I said to myself.

Ofcourse, it wasn’t like the BTech ragging wherein mostly, the rules of freshiedom taught are: the senior being always right, the junior always wrong, etc. I learnt some other great deals that day: the arcane mysteries of introduction protocols in an IIT, the nicks of our profs, the IIT slangs and most importantly, the north Indians learnt how to pronounce south Indian long mysterious surnames! There were some late night quizzical sessions and games too. Insights were given on how notorious could BSchool profs be and what kind of safety measures to be taken in each course. And at the end of all this, we were friends with them.

Four days into orientation and that wild freshie enthusiasm abated, as postgraduate life began in earnest. The cycle of getting up at 6 am to find the queue for washroom, being in the mess at 7.30 am to make it the daily 8 O’clock classes…Yeah, here, I was…in a mess again for the next two years of my life! And any disappointing encounter with the hostel's showers or the mess meals kept reminding me of my sacrificed job offer in my hometown.

Fifth continued year of hostel life and there were certain parts of me which refused to grow up. My mom still came in front of my eyes and so did tears. I missed home. With the class and assignment pressures, I felt like giving up. Sometimes, it felt lonely, dark and gloomy too. Soon, I found some of my batchmates stupid and certain others really stupid. And if it wasn’t for this league of extraordinary muggu junta, there wouldn’t have been competition in every damn course and i wouldn’t have had been in search of atleast one grade lower than me in all of the subjects!

So, it does reflect that most of DoMSians pursued grades. However, let me not ditch this opportunity to honor certain others who seemed to be more interested in social networking (read loafing) and hence pursued other “useful” activities like regular boozing, exploring relationships in and out of the MBA programme, orkutting, - and combinations thereof. The next July found us rich in corporate experience and ready to be in an advice giving mode to welcome the new batch. One year of juniorship and the immediate next year being the sole seniors also makes one realize as to how fast life can move here.

Pursuing an MBA did prove to be an altogether different experience…Unlike in an undergraduate degree, one relates with people all the time in an MBA course with not much of a choice ofcourse! With the varied group activities going on in each course, I experienced likeliness, hatred, friendship, jealousy, betrayal, politics, victory, failures, sorrows and of course lots of laughter and joy too. Some things were new and some got related to my old experiences. With meetings and presentations cutting across midnight, I also learnt how to drown my body in coffee cups!

Any MBA course emphasizes on group work. And you start realizing the significance on the very start of every group assignment…. When you just try to get your group members to meet at the same time and it turns out nothing less than a gut-wrenching ordeal! The day scholar wants to take out his pet to the veterinarian in the evening or the hostel guys find the lab at the distance of the diameter of the solar system for a post dinner meet! It’s eureka if everybody comes for the meet and as soon as the meeting gets over, there are times when one feels like treated with high doses of heavy-duty pharmaceuticals. The implicit corollary is that one learns to stretch his limits in tolerating others and their idiosyncrasies. And it is not very late when you realize that others were doing the same for you!

The course is all about slogging. Everybody gets acquainted with 70-hour workweeks and can produce a whole array of slick-looking reports, charts and graphs. Presentations happen to be a frequent phenomenon not just in the profs’ agenda of classroom lectures but also in the agenda of relative grading. And this is where some students learn to just keep babbling on as if they are a chronic case of diarrhea of the mouth.The slogging ride also includes a lot of partying…either on the department terrace for midnight birthday celebrations or late night movies in the projector classrooms or with dance floors and buffet dinners at five star hotels J

Friendship however, also gets defined with a few new curves when you enroll in a course encompassing a variety of age groups of people. Ofcourse group fun continues to be a part of daily life like the undergraduate days; the only difference being that there are work ex graduates 5 yrs older to you and who happen to be more goofier than any fresher of the batch! However, staying with them, one also tends to learn the value of results and relationships. Equally.

One learns to think and express himself better. If it wouldn’t had been for the nocturnal habits of my fellow hostelers, I wouldn’t have learnt new skills of analyzing situations- not just those posed in case studies but also those encountering life and I wouldn’t have been born….Born again-on the rooftop of my hostel with the half crescent moon smiling, floating away in the vast dark blue ocean above or in a cozy hostel room with a bunch of eyes glued on to the latest movie downloaded from the mighty LAN. In just one night, strangers become best friends and with the vivid group life the course enforces, there are many more occasions when relationships develop at a fiery pace. Then there are other times when tempers are quick to flare, especially when conversations turn toward the hot topics of the day: Worldcup, FIFA, music, movies, strategies of top companies or who’s turn is it for the washing machine!

Placements- one time when we all unite… unite under tension. It’s ubiquitous. It all begins with the start of 6th quarter (October). There is a focus shift from academics into placements...the department lab, classrooms, hostel rooms are all ablaze with discussions on companies and interview preps. Nerve racking preparations are witnessed everywhere and its funny to listen and understand all the jargon that people play around with, especially at times when content is as hard to find as an oasis in sub-Sahara. Stress levels are soaring and it hits an all time high as soon as the end quarter exams get over and companies start lining up.

Einstein defined his most popular theory: "When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute and it's longer than any hour. That's relativity." During placements also there is this weird kind of relativity - during the days of interviews u feel like u are sitting on the stove, but once u r done and look back, its like time spent with a beautiful girl… It’s actually only a few days of confusion and quagmire but definitely worth it to see every crystal of the batch shining and smiling in the end.

Post placements, there are many of us who start feeling that it’s enough now and that we are sick of the programme and now look forward to kickstart our jobs. But I bet these feelings will be regretted soon! When we begin work, we’ll have to wake up at 5:00am, cook, bathe and deodorize, and stare at a computer screen until our faces turns a pasty yellow color. DoMS life is awesome. Sure, classes suck. But one always enjoys being a student especially for two tightly packed rollercoaster riding years of life! As a matter of fact, I think b-school should be something we go back to every five years or so. I think I’m going to try to convince my employer that I’ll need a refresher MBA in 2012.

Anyways, here I am… ready, at the edge of my MBA program... To face the world. Saying thankyou to DoMS would be an understatement. All I could say more, is that I’m gonna miss you…
Rachana C
(MBA Batch of 2007)

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