Wednesday, December 9, 2009

DoMS IIT Madras launches MSME incubation initiative

The Department of Management Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras and the Cell for Technology Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Support (C-TIDES) have launched the IIT Madras- MSME incubation initiative. This initiative has been set up with the assistance of the Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Government of India. Dr.Thillai Rajan, Assistant Professor, Department of Management Studies, is the Coordinator of the Incubation initiative.

The incubation initiative was recently launched by Prof. M. S. Ananth, Director, IIT Madras. Speaking on the occasion, Prof. M.S. Ananth, Director, IIT Madras, said that, “In India, the small and medium scale industries account for the maximum number of employment opportunities. Studies indicate that the small scale industries provide ten times the employment opportunities per unit of investment as compared to large scale industries. Thus, a new initiative like this would not only mean economic growth of the nation but also increase in employment opportunity rates as innovations happen predominantly in several small companies. Innovation cannot be a result of a science or a social push as in many cases it is a non-linear development. With huge investments, effective managerial skills, decentralization, and good implementation skills the innovators should be able to carve a favorable niche for themselves”

Speaking on the occasion, Prof. Job Kurian, Dean of IC&SR at IIT Madras said, “Since 1983, after the initial start of the masters degree program in Entrepreneurship, about 30% of the students have emerged as successful entrepreneurs, their ventures ranging from micro processors, process control to polymers. With IITM’s excellent IPR, any entrepreneur should be able to make it big in the society.”

Prof. L.S.Ganesh, Professor-in-Charge, C-TIDES, said, “IIT Madras has been a good breeding ground for entrepreneurship. We have a Masters’ program in entrepreneurship. Of the total 47 students who have graduated from this program, 26 have now emerged as successful entrepreneurs. Three of the successful entrepreneurs have won Govt. of India awards from President of India. ”

Describing the salient features of the incubation initiative, Assistant Professor Thillai Rajan said that, “The proposed incubation centre would be sector agnostic, broad based and inclusive. It will support ventures in any sector such as biotechnology, information technology, engineering, business management, etc.  The funding support for each incubatee would be up to Rs. 0.8 million. This can be used for variety of requirements such as purchase of equipment, technology, and support infrastructure. In addition, the incubation would leverage the extensive contacts and alumni network of IIT Madras to offer mentoring services to the incubatees and assist in the next round of funding. The incubation centre would also provide a platform to the ventures that provides visibility to a much larger audience.” 

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2011

Friday, December 4, 2009

NCDEX AVP Mr. VV Ganesan teaches a lesson on Commodity Futures and Derivatives

Mid November saw a flurry of educational lectures. The address by NCDEX's Mr. Ganesan was one that perfectly complemented the course material. He began introducing NCDEX as an electronic exchange dealing with over 900 commodities and having warehouses at all strategic locations. He established the fundamental definition of a market and the demand/supply forces that operate within it. He briefly touched upon the history and the FCREA act that enabled establishment of exchanges like NCDEX, NCX, NMC and the new ICE.
The students seemed to be charged up at the mention of "futures" or the "vayda bazaar". It was surprising for many to know that India had futures trade till the 1960s when it was banned after world war when hoarding was rampant. It made us proud to know that India was the first country to have e-trade for commodities.

He brought out the differences between the commodities market and the stock market with the main difference being the seasonality of goods and the quality/grade assurance one gets. NCDEX is useful in hedging as the payment of the future tranaction amount and quality is guaranteed by the exchange. Unlike the equity market, options are banned in commodity trade in India. He explained how commodity derivates are linked to these future transactions and how they are traded worldwide.

The current initiatives of NCDEX include price discovery for 'mandis' and price risk management for farmers so that they get proper prices for their produce. Mr. Ganesan continues to be passionate about spreading the word in a market where only 1% of transactions are routed through the exchange. He is an associate of the Indian Institute of Bankers and holds a Law degree from the Madras Law College.

The students were definitely left asking for more in the end of the session. The address ended with a enthusiastic question and answers session and Mr. Ganesan providing his personal contact in case of any more doubts.

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2011

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

CEO CONNECT presents Mr. Sanjeev Sinha, MD of Siemens Information Systems Limited

Department of Management Studies (DoMS), IIT-Madras hosted Mr. Sanjeev Sinha, MD of Siemens Information Systems Limited for the CEO CONNECT session “The Role of Corporate Strategies “on 26th October 2009. In CEO CONNECT, eminent business leaders are invited to the campus by the department to share their experiences and lessons of excellence. The essence of the event is to provide the students an opportunity to get the perspective of the captains of the industry.

Mr. Sinha comes with a rich and an extensive experience of 28 years from the manufacturing industry to his current position, amassed over his entire professional career with steel producers, consulting firms, and plant engineering companies.  After having completed his education in Electrical Engineering from UVCE, Bangalore University, he began his career in 1980 at Tata Steel in India. He started his career with Siemens as a project manager for steel and aluminium plants and has worked in most European countries, U.S.A., South Africa, Southeast Asian countries and in Brazil.  Mr. Sinha has held various positions within Siemens playing significant roles in sales and marketing, project management, engineering, strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions and other corporate functions. Mr. Sinha largely worked in an international environment on varied and complex portfolios. Before returning to India after having stayed in Germany for 25 years, he was on the Executive Board of Metals Technologies (MT) at Siemens AG and also on the Boards of Siemens VAI GmbH & Co, in Linz (Austria), France, Spain and UK.

 Mr. Sinha started the presentation with an introduction about Siemens and its long journey o f 162 years. He pointed out the role of the “value system” of Siemens as an organisation in its sustainability against many odds. He emphasized that the value system is the guiding spirit of the Vision of any organisation which in turn decides the strategies to be followed in the long run. He elaborated on how Siemens aligned their strategies by focussing on the emerging “Megatrends” and their significance.

Siemens is well perceived as a benchmark of “Innovation” and Mr.Sinha provided some valuable insights into what Siemens does differently. He stressed the importance of a long term strategy rather than using tactics for short term benefits. He also defined this often “misunderstood” term innovation as small steps at a time towards excellence. He concluded with these very valuable words of wisdom – “Compare yourself with the best and benchmark yourself against their strengths”.

The audience engaged Mr.Sinha with their questions regarding Siemens as an organisation, Innovations, factors affecting Innovation and the intricacies of Strategic Management. The hour long interaction with Mr.Sinha was a rare opportunity for the students of DoMS, IIT-Madras to closely read a MD’s mind. The session ended with a hope of yet another association in the future.

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2011

Monday, October 26, 2009


Sampark-the first Business Conclave organized by the Department of Management Studies (DoMS), IIT-Madras lived up to the buzz it had created over the last week. The theme for the event was “Innovation” and it was sponsored by Business Line Club and Karur Vysya Bank. The highlight of the event was the eminent speakers who came from diverse backgrounds but bonded by the common thread-“Innovation”.

The event began with the Head of the Department, Dr. C.Rajendran delivering the opening address.Dr.M.S.Ananth, the Director of IIT-Madras, lauded the selection of the theme for the first conclave and stressed on the fact that the passion towards success supersedes any failure in the process.

The session began with the keynote address by Mr.Naveen Kulkarni, Director (Business Development) - Philips Research Asia. He shared his experiences as an Entrepreneur before joining Philips and had the audience glued as he articulated how “entrepreneurship” was a gene and not just a trait. He described how the anatomy of “entrepreneurship” works with knowledge in the brain, passion in the heart and fire in the belly. He then moved on to share what they do differently in Philips. He underlined the importance of creating a fine balance between exploration and exploitation for meaningful innovation. He also gave a deep insight on the broad approach towards innovation followed in Philips. He ended his address with his philosophy for future entrepreneurs-“Think big, Start small, and Scale fast”.

The second speaker for the day was Mr. Rajaram Venkataraman, Principal Innovation Architect - Infosys Technologies Ltd.He set the tempo for the day with his opening words- “Innovate or Die”. He started off with some startling statistics regarding the decline of some major companies which substantiated his earlier words. He then moved on to discuss more about “Process Innovation and the role of IT”. He drew similarities between 2 very successful companies, Toyota and Infosys, which conscientiously lived with the philosophy of “The best never rest”.

The post lunch saw the most interactive session with the highly energetic CEO of Consim Info (BharatMatrimony Group), Mr. Murugavel Janakiraman. He also happened to be the youngest speaker and struck an instant rapport with the audience. The audience listened to him as he shared the journey of “Bharatmatrimony” from an idea and how it has become the second name for “online matrimonial services”. He was quick to point out that he too found his soul mate through the site. He emphasized on the importance of “incremental innovation” for sustainable success in this competitive and demanding business scenario. He ended his speech with the words which reverberated in the hall along with the applause he received from the overwhelmed audience-“Do not wait for any breakthrough idea for innovation. Your passion can create and drive innovation”.

The stage was set for Dr.Ravinder David Koilpillai who is a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Madras to take the session forward. He spoke about “Technology Evolution and Innovation-A Telecom Perspective”. He engaged the audience with some insights into the history and development in the field of Wireless Technology. He elaborated on the basic flowchart of Innovation process and also spoke about the importance of patents. He ended the address on a positive note expressing his optimism and excitement about the immense potential in the field of Telecom.

As the session moved towards the last lap with everyone engrossed in reflecting on the various speeches on innovation, Mr. N.K Subramaniyam, Executive Director Saksoft limited took the stage. He introduced the topic “Business Intelligence and Innovation” and elaborated on the reasons for choosing the topic. He started with the concepts of Data warehouse and Data Mart and their commercial viability in current business scenario. These techniques have found immense applicability in the banking, manufacturing and marketing sector for Data mining, for making business decisions and for helping in coming up with newer business strategies. Mr.Subramaniyam ended his lecture stressing on the fact that business intelligence would be the top priority requirement in the near future.

The day long intellectually stimulating interaction with all the speakers lived up to its promise of delivering the 3 Es-engage, exchange and empower through this event-SAMPARK. The speakers spent time answering queries of the students even after their respective sessions. The event concluded with a hope that the coming years would take this initiative to a new level altogether. 

Team DoMS Interface,
Batch of 2011

Friday, October 16, 2009

DoMS IITM organizes Sampark '09: A business summit

Sampark is a business summit conceptualized by the Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras. The summit would deal with a wide range of issues that matter to the success of businesses and would act as a unique forum to meet thought leaders, present path-breaking ideas, establish new networks, and showcase managerial talent.

The core objectives of Sampark are:

  • To invite top managers from companies operating in diverse domains to engage with the students .
  • To provide a common platform for exchange of ideas on contemporary management issues.
  • To empower students to become productive citizens
Date and Venue:

24th October 2009 at DoMS, IIT Madras 0930 onwards.

Sampark Blog:

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2011

Thursday, October 15, 2009

DoMS student releases report on PE-VC market. TVS Capital MD, Mr. Gopal Srinivasan accepts first copy

This September witnessed an event that rewrote the history of DoMS in bold golden letters. Ashish Deshmukh, a second year MBA student, in his summer project, analyzed the scenario of Venture Capital and Private Equity in India in the year 2009, under the able guidance of faculty member Dr. Thillai Rajan A.. The studies and learning’s were compiled in the form of a report and released in the presence of Mr. Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman and Managing Director, TVS Capital Funds, who also received the first copy. The report was the fist of its kind for the PE-VC market in the country from a neutral point of view.

In a gist, the report spoke about the time from 2004-2008 that had been a glorious period for Venture Capital and Private Equity (VC & PE) investment activity in India. It was during this time that India emerged among the global leaders in the VC & PE industry. Going beyond the investment trends, the report tried to address some of the interesting questions such as: Is it true that money is chasing deals in India? Does the state of capital markets influence venture investment activity? What kind of new companies are attracting VC & PE investments? Are investors itching for exits? The report brought out the intention of the FII's who targeted stable companies during their growth stage. In 5 years, there have been 252 exit incidents, 1503 companies that were targeted, 1912 transactions and Rs. 4.19 trillion of investment.

Mr. Srinivasan appreciated the report in extremely strong words and encouraged the department to come up with a yearly report like this. He complemented Dr. Thillairajan, the project coordinator. The report he said, would benefit the industry tremendously. He sighted examples saying that great companies like Apple and Cisco were supported by VC & PE in their initial stages. Mr. Srivivasan is a member of the CII and is working with SEBI and the RBI to check regulatory measures to attract VC & PE. The target is to have their investments achieve a 2% share of the GDP.

He spoke about the 4 E's of capital: Ecosystem, Environment, Entrepreneur and Excellence. He supported the report's finding that PE is local business and with a long range business, e needs sharpshooters on the ground! He promised the help of the CII's PE unit for more networking with fund companies. He concluding by saying that "capital goes where it’s welcome and stays where it’s comfortable".

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2011

Friday, October 9, 2009

Nomura Holdings MD Mr. Koichi Ikegami visits IIT Madras, wins hearts with his energy packed speech

On 29th of September IIT Madras had the privilege of being addressed by Mr. Koichi Ikegami , Managing director, Senior CommunicationOfficer , NOMURA HOLDINGS. Nomura Group, a Japanese firm, which was founded in 1925, now employs over 26000 people over 30 countries and 5 business lines. The core vision which drives the company is based on the three pillars: Change, World Class, and Speed.  Nomura acquired Lehman Bros in 2008 to emerge out as the core firm to manage the financial markets of Asia.

Mr. Ikegami joined Nomura in April 1979; he had been working with various departments over the 25 years. In June 2006 he was appointedas the Managing Director along with which he also shared his financial knowledge with students in various Universities in Japan and China.

Mr. Ikegami told that when 30 years back he joined Nomura he had a core belief that one day the Asian era would come. The economic development of UK markets was far ahead of any other markets in the world in 1900s. Then from 1930s the US era began, after 1970 markets of Japan and Germany went bullish and after 1989 the major market that is expanding is that of Asia with fairly good improvements shown by Australia, Africa, Russia and Brazil. Now after the recent recession the Asia is all set to dominate the world economy. In the Asian economy China and India would be the two major players which would drive the market with some support of Japan.

Mr. Ikegami made everyone realise, the time has indeed come for the Asian giants to rise. He told that India had a great advantage which it should cash on. First strength for India is its English speaking population which is lacking in China. Secondly the business would go where there would be brains. The Indian brains are respected in the international market for the acumen which would prove to be a great asset. Thirdly, its strategic location, as it’s positioned between South Asia and European markets. Asia is slowly becoming the financial centre of the world and India is in the Centre of Asia. So it would be benefited being in the centre of the centre.

He stressed on the fact that, the financial business is the key for the success of any society.  Therefore education and investments are two cores areas where the governments should concentrate for developing a country. Then he shared about his views on the social responsibility every company has towards the society. Nomura designs  and supports the finance courses for the university student. It provides special support for the Nikkei Stock  League. They also develop practical education material for schools.

Mr. Ikegami called everyone to come together to create a better world and in the end he left the audience with the words: “Go for it young generation...Go for it!!!” which left people spell bound reflecting on their capabilities which they never realised before.

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2011 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Building a dream career; maintaining a work-life balance : Dr. N Chandrashekar, VP, Take Solutions, explains in a thought provoking manner

Dr. N Chandrashekar, VP corporate affairs, Take Solutions addressed the MBA students as a part of the activities organized by the 'Corporate Wisdom' team. Dr. Chandrashekar spoke at length about the concept of a 'dream career' and then later moved on to explain the nuances of work-life balance.

He started the session with a myth-shattering note that there is no such thing as a 'dream career'. But as the talk evolved, the audience identified and appreciated the relevance of his statement. He centered his talk around the mid career crisis felt by the brightest of the minds in India despite alluring first job offers. On an average, people tend to quit their first jobs within the first 17 months, the reason being inadequate research on their part about what the job has in offer apart from an attractive compensation. As the organizations are getting flatter and the jobs becoming extremely performance driven, pressure is building up. This coupled with unrealistic ambitions; make people stressed with their work. The fear of being evaluated and comparisons with the peers make one continue in the rat race, without being able to think of ways to make things better off for oneself.

Although competitive intelligence is taught in schools, when it comes to applying it in one's own life and career, people tend to fumble, making the mid career crisis unavoidable. Before deciding to work for a company, one should be able to identify the opportunities for growth. Also management graduates should be able to analyze a financial statement thoroughly to identify if the public account of the company is dependable, especially in these difficult times. The best of competitive information about a company can come from the suppliers, placement consultants and people who quit the company for better. He urged the students to take charge of their own career and warned against the tendency to compare one's stature with that of peers and choosing jobs that supposedly positions one in the social scale favourably with respect to peers. One should be truthful to oneself and be able to acknowledge and accept one’s weaknesses. He mentioned that it has been observed that the maximum number of corporate crimes are engineered and committed by people in the age group 30-40 in a desperate move to gain more wealth and power.

He mentioned that the rush in pubs during weekends has become commonplace and said indulging in excesses to vent out stress and frustration and not striking a right balance can catch up with one eventually. He emphasized on the need for spending meaningful time with family and orienting oneself towards highly satisfactory family life with holidays and celebrations occasionally. He also urged the students to get involved in socially relevant and meaningful activities. Each one should invest in creating social asset, so that the society can be better off. He said one should never worry about the results .

He ended the talk by urging the students to believe in whatever they do and to do it with passion and conviction. The students were spellbound by the appeal and cognizance with reality. The session ended with Mr. Chandrashekar letting the students introspect for themselves and absorb all the 'gyan'.

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2009-11

Thursday, September 17, 2009

New Cartoon Strip from DoMS IITM students

Breaking the rigmarole of a mundane life, the students of DoMS decided that it was time for some 'serious fun'. Thus was born "Hoodda":the epitome of michief, fun, nonsense and what not. The character is inspired from an old friend of the creater.

The strip is a tribute to life of a typical MBA cum engineer at IIT. Miserable, plodding at times and fun, impulsive otherwise. The launch coincided with "Shaastra" 2009 - the annual tech fest of IIT Madras. The creators Dadri and Chetan came up with quite a few episodes that became instant hits. Within one month of the launch the official blog ( has recieved more than 1800 hits, not a big number but still a significant one and not to mention tremendous raves. The cartoon is also featured on the Shaastra website (

This is the first such initiative from students from any IIT or IIM. Hope that the strip survives the test of time and emerges stronger by the year.

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2011 

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Raju Venkataraman gives insights into what it takes to be an entrepreneur

The September began this year on an inspirational note with Mr. Raju Venkataraman visiting the IIT Madras campus for addressing MBA students. Mr Raju Venataraman has recently started a new venture called MED-all which focuses on the medical brokerage markets in India. He was awarded India's best entrepreneur of the year in 2000. He had worked with Cadbury’s, then EDS and later transformed himself from an employee to an employer. He had set up the first BPO worth $400 million in India. His motive was to bring 30 thousand jobs to the country. Mr. Raju stressed on the fact that “Your strength lies in your roots not your canopy”. He emphasized the importance of thinking out of the box and moving on to a new pasture as soon as one starts getting "comfortable" with their surroundings and work. He said that it was dangerous to be in one's comfort zone for a longer time as one tends to stagnate.

There were several questions asked by young aspiring students like,” What could be done at this stage to prepare ourselves for future?”, to which he subtly said that one much not only focus on studies but also keep a broad mind and look out for things that one would not generally do, like pick up a new hobby or become a part of some club that challenges one's limits, as Mr. Raju quotes ”bite off a little more than you can chew in the hope that you will quickly learn to chew”.

He then described the qualities of an entrepreneur. They never accept the word "no" for an answer and gave the famous example of the invention of Ford's radial engine design which was born as a result of the insistence of Henry Ford to not accept 'no' for a 5 cylinder engine. He further said, that the Entrepreneurs have a 'reality distortion syndrome' wherein they do not see reality as others perceive it that because they can see the future as people can’t even imagine. An entrepreneur should produce what a customer would need, after studying the customer's profile. An entrepreneur does things rather than worrying about what others would think of him. He/she is risk taking, resilient, a doer, efficient, innovator, uncompromising, quick learner, change leader and a visionary. He emphasized on the 4 L's namely Live, Love, Legacy and Learn which guided his life at every step.

He reiterated that Competition is not as important as collaboration as one must learn to work with people. Unless one gives value to the customer, one cannot go far. He brought out the idea that if you are making money for someone else in turn you will make money for yourself. He stressed the importance of meticulous planning and taking complete ownership of things happening around you. One must have remarkable survival instincts and he gave an analogy that being an entrepreneur is like being a cockroach crossing a 9 lane highway. He reiterated the importance of attitude being the most important trait. The session was finally concluded with a quote by Lombart that summarized it all: "Winning is not everything, it is the only thing".

Team DoMS Interface
Batch of 2011

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati of Columbia University addresses MBA students

The President of India, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan was the Chief Guest at the first annual convocation and many distinguished personalities have graced the occasion ever since. In true IIT Madras style, Prof. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, an outstanding economist was the Chief Guest of the 46th annual convocation. Prof. Bhagwati addressed MBA students in a special session organized at the Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras.

Prof. Bhagwati served as an external advisor to the Director General of the World Trade Organization in 2001. He worked as an economics policy advisor to the Director-General of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade from 1991 to 1993. He has also served as a member of the advisory board to the Planning Commission of India. Paul Krugman,
one of his students recently won the Nobel prize in economics. He is currently University Professor at Columbia University and is a known proponent of free trade.

It was a privilege to have him address MBA students and research scholars at DoMS. Prof. Bhagwati spoke on "The Critique of Capitalism after the Crisis". He spoke about the advantages of a free market economy and its relevance especially after the recent market recession in an environment where countries are turning protective of their economies. Prof. Bhagwati compared the current scenario with the situation after fall of Berlin Wall. He compared the pre-recession times and the prevailing conditions in East Germany before the fall and subsequent unification. The pictures in the two cases were vastly different- Dilapidated state of East Germany vs Upbeat Global Financial Market.

Prof. Bhagwati spoke about drawbacks of a controlled economy by citing examples of Shortages in Russia and the state of India’s economy during “License Permit Raj” in the pre-liberalization days. He contrasted this with positive aspects of capitalism and how capitalist structures can be made effective in post- recession era. He gave examples of the entrepreneurial spirit of South American farmers and the change in India under a liberal regime. He touched upon the multiple causes for the recession and reemphasized that we should not just be content about the recent signs of recovery but we should also ensure that these are adequately nurtured by more economic stimuli.

The session ended with a Q&A session where Prof. Bhagwati addressed some questions and left students asking for more.

Team DoMS Interface,
Batch of 2011

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