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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