Sunday, November 21, 2010

India Venture Capital and Private Equity Report 2010

On 2nd November 2010, we at DoMS IIT Madras, witnessed the release of the India Venture Capital and Private Equity (VCPE) report of 2010 by Prof. A. Tillai Rajan in the presence of distinguished guests, such as Mr. Arun Jain, chairman and CEO of Polaris software labs, Dr. M. S. Ananth, Director of IIT Madras, Prof. C. Rajendran, Head of DoMS and Prof. L. S. Ganesh.
The author of the Indian VCPE report, Prof. A. Thillai Rajan gave us a brief summary on the key findings published in the report. The report captures data of the past six years i.e 2004 to 2009 and  highlights certain features which are both motivating and astonishing. The investments happening in Indian through VCPE investors stands to be third largest in the world. A study of  338 VCPE investors revealed that even though these investors have poured in large amount of money, only 0.17% of the companies have been able to utilize this capital. Bulk of the investment, about 69% by numbers and about 85% by amount, is of foreign origin and too much volatile. Even though the amount is impressive, the nature of the investment breeds fear since most investors have single investment and little commitment. Most investments, about 78% in all are focused at urban enterprises and mostly the deals take place in metropolitan cities. In other words, they are not inclusive. Furthermore, the investors are “consistently inconsistent” as Prof. Thillai Rajan put it. Only ten investors are consistent, of which 40% are Indian. This belies the proportion of total investments we saw above. Also, the steady decline in the number of new investors invites concern. The report has a healthy contribution from students and is accepted in various journals.
The studies carried out and compiled in the report make it obvious that we as a country cannot afford to be complacent just because the conditions are favourable now. It is necessary that we look into the matter and prevent the pretty picture from turning ugly.

DoMS Interface Team 
MBA Batch of 2012

Thursday, November 18, 2010

28th Endowment Lecture of IIT-M & EFSI

On the 11th of November, the Twenty Eighth Endowment Lecture of IIT, Madras & Employers’ Federation of Southern India was held at DoMS, IIT-M. President of EFSI Mr.A. Venkatramani provided the welcome address by briefing on the Origin of EFSI, its interaction with the government on matters of labour legislation. Professor K. Ramamurthy, Dean (Academic Courses) gave the presidential address and introduced to us the Chief Guest of the evening Mr. Raju Venkatraman, Founder & CEO, Medall Healthcare Services Pvt Ltd.

Mr. Raju enlightened us with a lecture on 'The Future of Services Industry in India'. He started it off on a humorous note that he was no astrologer to predict without facts! He set his agenda for the evening to throwing the paradigms in the future service industry& presenting us with collected benchmark data. His initial focus was on the contribution of the service Industry towards the GDP of the nation. He focused on GDP at Purchase Power Parity (where India stays 4th in the list)as he regarded that to be a more relevant number than just the GDP. He came up with stats stating that among BRIC nations, India is more agrarian than others and yet 52% of its GDP came through the services sector. He also mentioned about the productivity delta stating that only 24% of India’s workforce contribute to this 52% contribution to GDP.
He remarked that Export oriented services would soon give way to services for and within the country. As he talked about the service sector boom, he gave the Telecom sector flourish as an elucidation to the case in point. With respect to people’s perception of the industry he said that if a service is simple, accessible and can make people perceive its value, they will definitely embrace the service.

Much of his speech centred on the fact that India is poised for growth in the service sector and it needs a clear technological, demographic & regulatory framework to handle it efficiently. He provided the inspiring air by mentioning that the Service industry growth would be directly proportional to the ambitions of the younger generation. He stressed upon the fact that Technology breakthrough & Innovations are a must for service sector’s future growth.

Coming from an IT/IT-ES industry background, he vouched for the role that  IT/IT-ES could play as a model for other service sector industries. He also asked us to be cautious and not to use Services & IT-ITES interchangeably as IT contributes to only a meagre amount in the services sector! He presented to us some slides indicating the paradigm shifts that services sector industries have undergone over the past century. He ended the presentation with a thought-provoking & engaging video that showed how the definition of ‘WORK’ could see a sea change in the near future! The video suggested that the future of work would be transparent, flat & extremely competitive. In that sense, the session was definitely an eye-opener!

Posted by
DoMS Interface Team

Saturday, November 6, 2010

An Intriguing Case Study : Coca-Cola.

Corporate wisdom session of 12th October, 2010 was one of best sessions of the year so far.   Conducted by Mr. Davinder Singh, Business Head (Beverages), Cavin Kare Pvt. Ltd, the session was attended by both the MBA batches of the department. It featured a case study on consumer behaviour based on his real life experience while working with Coca-Cola.
The situation in case study was: Coca Cola was losing out substantial market share to B-brands in Kazakhstan. The bottler of the soft drink maker wanted the company to work out a suitable plan so as to thwart this situation, as they were in no condition to withstand any further losses. Now the question was what should Coca-Cola do? Case study was given to students few days in advance and all of them came well prepared for the session.
The session commenced with a brief introduction to the case and then the students proposing their worked out solutions.  After patiently listening to the views, Mr. Davinder Singh described the real situation to the students and told how Coca-Cola responded to it. The key insight was: Never assume anything about your customers and always make consistent efforts to know them better.
The students found the session highly interactive and insightful, and were impressed by the intellect and humility of Mr. Davinder Singh. We thank him for sparing his precious time for us and look forward to more of such interactions with him in future.

Corporate Wisdom Team,
MBA class of 2012

Monday, October 25, 2010

DoMS IIT Madras Emerges Victorious at Navonmesh, the Entrepreneurial Convention at SJMSOM-IIT Bombay

Manish Negi and Nipun Khanna, two second year MBA students from the Dept. Of Management Studies IIT Madras, did their school proud by winning ‘Navonmesh’ the flagship event at the fest ‘Avenues 2010’ organized by SJSOM, IIT Bombay.
This contest was intended to sensitize the business fraternity about innovative ideas that require their support and funding to bloom. It invited entries from the best minds across the country. Some of the other schools which participated were ISB Hyderabad, SP JAIN, NITIE, IIM-S, IMT-G and Welingkar.
The competition had an interesting format, with the B-plan and the Venture Capital challenge taking place in parallel. After three rounds of rigorous competition, four finalists were selected from the ‘VC Challenge’ route for the finals held at SJSOM, IIT Bombay on Sat, 23rd Oct 2010. It is indeed a matter of pride to note that two out of these four teams were from DoMS IIT Madras. It so happened that there was only one prize on offer: that to the winner. The second team consisting of Praveen K and Vishal Kamath also deserve appreciation for having been among the top four teams to reach the finals.
The event was judged by SIDBI Ventures and TePP (in association with whom the event had been conducted)
In a lighter vein, with the first prize carrying with it a prize of Rs. 25,000/- cash award, needless to say, the return of the victors was eagerly awaited by their friends back here at Chennai.
Hoping to see more such successes in the near future, which will truly reflect the department’s motto of ‘Quiet Excellence Demonstrated’.

Team DoMS Interface

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Shaastra is the identity of IIT-Madras and year after year it has been bringing together creative and intelligent minds to a conglomeration and this year was no different. In this year's event held from September 29 to October 3, student participants were from all IITs & other prominent engineering colleges across the country and the distinguished chief guests and event judges were from among the who's who of the research world.

It also gave the DoMSians a wonderful opportunity to collect the pearls of wisdom offered by professors such as Richard.B.Freeman, professor of Economics at Harvard University and Alex Taghi Tabarrock, a professor of Economics at Virginia’s George Mason University. If the thirst for technical enlightenment was quenched by astonishing events such as AirShow, HackFest, Da vinci Machine, AeROBOtics, Imagineer, the mathematics related Pentathlon, an array of workshops et al , ethereal entertainment was offered by a spellbinding Laser show which ended, aptly, in making us look forward to Saarang - The other big identity of IIT-M to be held in January 2011! The impact of Shaastra was so huge that it left people starting the 365 day countdown for Shaastra 2011 when the curtains went down.

DoMS Interface Team, 
MBA Class of 2012

ICON 2010

Inter Corporate Outbound Nationals (ICON) is the annual "Adventure Sports “event organized by the MBA students of IIT Madras. A student-corporate initiative of the department of management studies (DoMS), ICON has a history of 3 years and like wine gets better with age. It provides the corporate to break free of the cubicle shackle and breathe some fresh air. The huge forested area of IIT Madras provides the perfect setup for this event.

ICON’10 was exactly what the doctors ordered for the corporate and students alike, a rejuvenating getaway weekend. Spanning over three days from 10th September, 2010 to 12th September, 2010, the event saw people from the age of 21 to 45+ jumping in and letting the hair down (literally). Events like Cross country and rafting tested the endurance while the monkey crawl and the crocodile walk saw the corporate become more agile than the Olympic gymnasts. Teams included members from corporate like L&T, TATA, iNautix, Ajuba, Marg and BHEL.

Emerald, a photography contest was held as a curtain raiser to the main event. It was a grand success with around 120 participants and there were 330+ contesting photographs in the lot to choose the winning ones from. The creative imagination of the participants was on display as pictures ranged from stacked water containers to the camera-shy spotted deer-the cynosure of the IIT-M campus.
The top honor went to this picture of the IIT oxidation pond shot against the backdrop of a hostel building by Silambarasan.

Chief Guest for the event was Mr. Z.Mohammad Ajmad, former international football player from India. The fun ended on Sunday with the team from Ajuba emerging as the winner. The winning team and the runners up were awarded prizes sponsored by Talwalkar, Chennai.

All in all, the event was a huge success with the corporate getting rejuvenated and the students motivated. ICON’10 was a big hit and has set a high standard for next year.

DoMS Interface Team,

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Standard Chartered Bank reinforces association with DoMS, sponsors Trading Room Training

Participants alongwith Mr. Philip Eden
Reaffirming the 3 year old association with DoMS IIT Madras, Standard Chartered Bank sponsored a three day Trading Room Workshop for selected students of DoMS.

Offered as a part of course on Financial Institutions and Markets, the workshop was preceded by a two month long online self study course on wide spectrum on topics including Foreign Exchange & Money Markets, Fixed Income, and Interest Rate & Currency Swap Fundamentals. Based on the performance on simulated tests, 24 students who can really count themselves as lucky few for the kind of training that they were going to get were finally selected for the workshop. Intuition, the most renowned name in financial module training was roped in by Standard Chartered for pre training study modules and trading workshop.

The workshop was conducted by Philip Eden, Senior Learning Consultant, Intuition bringing with him decades of experience in Capital Markets, who came all the way from Singapore for the same. The workshop gave students real life insights into what really goes in around in a typical trading room setup and helped us appreciate how important it was to have firm grounding finance concepts for a trading career but at the same time how different it was from what we learn in classrooms. Over three days the participants were exposed to different trading formats like Trading Pits on the first day to Equity, Forex and Derivatives Trading over the two days through simulated games and case studies. 

 Post the three day workshop experience, students only had words of appreciation and gratitude for Standard Chartered Bank and Philip Eden for giving us such a cutting-edge knowledge session. 

DoMS Interface Team,
Class of 2011.

Monday, September 20, 2010


On 18th September 2010, a Saturday, the third Corporate Wisdom session in the academic year 2010-2011 was organized. The speaker was Mr. P. Jeevan Jose, Head of HR, Royal Sundaram Alliance Insurance. We students thought that the topic would be ‘expectations of the corporate world’. When the session started however, we saw that the topic title on Mr. Jose’s presentation was ‘Expectations...’

Mr. Jose began by asking us a simple question-‘What is shelf-life?’  A fair number of people were aware of shelf-life in the general context, but the shelf-life he referred to was the shelf-life of an MBA. He defined the shelf-life of an MBA as ‘the average time spent in the first job’ and that the shelf-life was a disappointing one year and six to eight months. This figure is not at all surprising to most of us. But companies, he said, though not astonished, are trying very hard to unravel the mystery behind the number. So, we figured, that the ‘expectations’ being discussed were not only the expectations of companies of MBAs, but also the expectations of the MBAs of companies and of their B-school. Some of the common expectations of freshman MBAs are getting a good job with a high salary, social recognition etc. Ideally though, the expectations of MBA students should be to learn to add value, to question, to seek answers and the alternatives, to learn to analyze and channelize the efforts of not only themselves but also their colleagues.

The audience was absorbed. What we had just heard was a little out of the ordinary. None of us anticipated that a discussion on expectations would be so thought provoking. Most of us were waiting to know what the world wanted out of us, in terms of what services we were expected to provide. But nothing more crossed our minds.

Going beyond the classroom, when we had finally touched upon what the corporate expected of MBAs, Mr. Jose gave us a beautiful example to illustrate, that the companies hire MBAs not for their fancy degrees but for their ability to see problems with great attention to detail while not losing sight of their long term objectives. He went on to add that the corporate world seeks a professional- one who can work unsupervised and who can certify his own work as complete, a person with integrity, speed of execution, courage and immense patience.

As a final piece of advice, he said that an MBA student must plan not for a job, but for a career and happiness, must practice professionalism, seek counsel, learn from diversity, learn to influence people without power and most importantly, he must have the heart to admit that he doesn’t know.

Our minds were processing question after question once the session had ended. So much had been conveyed with so little that was said. The session had opened our minds to a new dimension, one which not many people stumble upon while still in college and fewer still would recognise when not guided by great people such as Mr. Jose.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wealth Management: IndusInd style

We had Ms. Sushri Mishra, VP of Wealth Management in IndusInd Bank address us on Wealth Management on the evening of 3rd September, 2010.

Ms. Mishra started with the growth of Wealth Management through the years in India. UTI was the first to offer Mutual funds in India in 1964, after which PNB followed suit, but this happened only in 1991 – nearly 30 years later! And before 1993 (which was when the first private Mutual Fund came into existence in India), the size of the Wealth Management industry in India was roughly Rs. 64000 crores. Today the size is Rs.7 lakh crores. Even though it has grown, the growth has been extremely slow – it took a decade to cross the Rs.1 lakh crore mark!

The number of Mutual Fund houses today in India is about 36, but comparing the size of the Wealth Management with that of the banking industry’s, which boasts Rs.40 lakh crores, the percentage is pitiful compared to the size of the Wealth Management industry in the United States of America – over 80% the size of their banking industry! India therefore is relatively far behind America in this space, but how relevant is this ratio to us and what does it really mean? Our own classmates answered this question posed by Ms. Mishra. It is indicative of a stable system, where there is a lot of savings (which, coincidentally, was the reason why India was less affected by the recession than other country) but it also speaks about the potential for growth of this industry in the country.

She then spoke about the career growth in this industry and the scope of the industry itself. As with any entity, growth of the industry can be measured in terms of current standing, and future prospects. Already the banking industry has assets worth Rs. 40 lakh crores and it is set to grow in future because apart from the metros, the other parts of the country such as the rural, semi-urban and even the non-metros are seriously under-serviced.

She spoke about how FII’s seem very attractive because they bring in a lot of money inflow into the system but they also bring with them their own risks – volatility of the market! Whereas, the FDI’s which are pretty heavily regulated and controlled, could be freed and it is heartening to note that economists in the country, have recently been leaning in favour of this trend. Earlier, India’s GDP contribution in the world market was
about 2% but now it has nearly doubled and it growing at a rapid pace and the one of the industries that could reap the immediate benefits of a spurt in economic growth is (not surprisingly) the banking and wealth management industry!

At the end of the session, there were quite a few interesting questions thrown up by the students, which Ms. Mishra expertly fielded and she was pleasantly surprised and of course, pleased by the active participation of the class. It goes without saying that the students enjoyed the session and came out feeling at least a fraction more enlightened about Wealth Management as an industry and a career option for an MBA graduate.

Contributed by:
Lakshmi Kavya, MBA 1st Year

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

GIMME A BREAK: Freshers Party for the MBA Batch of 2010-12

The 1st orientation week was quite hectic with the faculty and seniors giving us some hard time with their ides of serious fun. Hardly slept!! Anyways the next week began and we found ourselves in the DAM class starring at the slide show and subsequently this became a way of life. That was quite monotonous and to add insult to injury were the attributes of quizzes, presentations, assignments and what not.

While passing by a group of seniors, we heard the five letter word “PARTY”. It gained weight when one of them prefixed it with the word “FRESHERS”. Just the mention of a party rejuvenated our souls and so it all began. Seniors enlightened us that there will be two parties. One was which the college hosted in form of a formal lunch. The best part of which was the “DYNAMITE SOUP” which made us doubt the credibility of rest of the food. Anyways, that part ended and we landed back to hostel safe and sound.

The second one was an informal party hosted by our seniors and this was something highly anticipated. Finally, the day dawned. In marketing terms “CONSUMER SATISFACTION IS WHEN DELIVERY MEETSEXPECTATIONS” and it was nothing less than that. I can vouch for it. The theme set up for the party was 'TWINS' - People had to come paired up like twins & there were cases of Siamese twins too wearing identical outfits and posing for shutterbugs!

When we reached VGP resort after a gala time in the buses, we were welcome with a drink after which the grand Bay of Bengal welcomed us. People who hadn't frequented beaches went berserk and had the time of their lives soaking in the waves at sunset time. This was followed by some beach football and volleyball where the experts mingled with novices making both playing and watching the games real fun.

High tea was served later and exhausted participants took their seats only to realize they couldn't rest for long as the DJ had already started preparing to arrange the music system - And thus it began! Rocking beats, rollicking songs and a rapturous crowd comprising both the batches set the beach ablaze as people rendezvoused and familiarized with others. Even a sumptuous dinner couldn’t stop people from getting back to the dais. What could only stop us stopped us - TIME. At around 10:30 PM, we reluctantly started back & the way back was pure fun too as chorus in Hindi songs rocked the East Coast Road – A rarity for ECR!

We reached back DoMS at around 11 PM and after striking a few group-poses in front of the department, we made our long walks back to our river banks. The memories of the party were saved intact in memory cards of digi-cams & more importantly, in our minds!

Shrey Sharma & Sivaram L,
Mba Batch of 2010-12

‘Open Collaborative Innovation’ by Dipankar Ghosh, Caterpillar Inc

Corporate Wisdom Team DoMS IIT Madras hosted the first session for the academic year by Mr. Dipankar Ghosh, Operations Director-Engineering Division, Caterpillar Inc. The session was on ‘Open Collaborative Innovation’.
The concepts of collaboration and innovation are age-old and well known. But the phrase ‘open collaborative innovation’ was the theme of the session.

Very initially, innovation was attributed to individuals. But that notion was corrected over time. Innovation was the result of a collaborative effort on various ideas by various individuals. However, the collaboration was often done by people belonging to the same organization. This, as Mr. Ghosh said, was the ‘closed collaborative innovation’ system. At first, this model was successful and this concept fuelled ‘Research and Development’ departments world over. But people change, trends change and so do the success streaks of those who are loathe to sharing knowledge. The wheel of fortune had turned and the new formula for success was the ‘open collaborative innovation’ system, where anybody and everybody could contribute to the innovation taking place anywhere on the face of the earth. Organizations that had adopted the ‘open collaborative innovation’ model had superseded their counterparts adopting the older and vastly more myopic ‘closed collaborative innovation’ model. Products and services such as Lego Mindstorm, Apple iPod and Bharti Airtel were indulging in the benefits of the open collaborative model. More and more organizations were changing with time and adopting the open model. But like all other things in the world, this model too had its flaws. Mr. Ghosh was wise to warn us at this point (for most MBAs have a tendency to gravitate towards ostensible win-win situations and we at DoMS, per se, are no exceptions).

Just as the presentation ended, a storm of questions was hurled at Mr. Ghosh. But Mr. Ghosh, like that master that he was, answered every query and the storm had died down eventually.
Mr Ghosh then went on to explain the importance of team work. A team of a few people is largely the same as a team consisting of the entire world. The difference lies in the amount of knowledge the two possess. Even though Mr. Ghosh had come to tell us of innovation methods adopted by organizations he ultimately taught us a great deal more.
If the first session of corporate wisdom can invoke such realizations I imagine that with a couple sessions we would have insights far beyond the scope of our experience.

Lakshmi Shrikanth,
MBA Batch of 2010-12

Monday, August 9, 2010

"Excuse Me Sir, I'm a student at DoMS"

While going to malls and public places I have always dreaded strangers who come to you for either surveys or sell some schemes. Just imagine, you hanging out with your friends and suddenly somebody comes by saying "Sir could you spare a moment please"; you are in a dilemma whether to turn him down or take off your attention from the conversation. The situation becomes worse when the person is a guy with imploring looks or girl with a beautiful smile. But today tables were turned when I had to conduct a small survey for my marketing management assignment. We assembled in front of Gurunath around 2 o' clock. For the next half an hour we kept on prying on people even when whole place was jam packed. Every one appeared too busy to be bothered, it felt very awkward to disturb them but something had to be done. After contemplating for a while I chose a bunch of students taking among themselves. With the lord’s name on my lips and couple of deep breaths, I mustered courage to walk to them and say "excuse me, I am student of DoMS and we are conducting a survey..... ". Thank God, the guys were good enough to answer our questions politely. Now that ice was broken; with the new found confidence we went around campus asking everyone we came across same set of questions till evening.
Overall, the survey part  of assignment was a good experience where a few interesting incidents happened. There was a couple sitting at Gurunath, I went straight to girl, and after finishing my questions when I asked her “are you a student here?” the guy gave me a dirty look and said "I study here and she is my friend";  some  students just shrug, their shoulders and said “we have already responded to a couple of surveys today”, few people made deep inquiry into nature of our survey, then one man gave detailed answers to our queries while we were looking for one word answers and then we also came across an elderly man gave us a "buzz off" look and said "ask all this to students here don't bother me ". But the best moment was when one of my classmate said “if this is what marketing is then I am up for the challenge”.

Contributed by 
Varun Joshi
MBA 1st Year

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New beginings ........reloaded

Of Experiences and First Impressions… 

The countdown to the 26th of July 2010 began long back. We had all been waiting for this day for such a long time and had planned and packed so much, that our parents began to wonder if we were actually going to DoMS to study. Despite all the fun promised to us, I imagined a tedious admission process and all the big-wigs taking turns to come forth and spew out their typewritten speeches. Well, it was slightly different when I actually got to DoMS.

Day 1:
I was taken to a classroom in the department, where my future classmates were already busy filling out forms. Some people, I had met during my GT/PI process. Some I recognized from their pictures on Facebook. There was a smattering of parents too in this crowd, making small talk. Then, the big-wigs made their appearance. They did speak, but it was all direct dil se. They welcomed us warmly to DoMS and assured our parents that we were in safe hands. We were then given time to set up house in our hostels. In our hostels, monkeys, cats and women co-exist peacefully. So long as you keep your rooms locked, your food is safe from them. These monkeys are essentially harmless but they are intelligent enough to unscrew a bottle to down its contents or check out their reflection in the mirrors on the bikes. Now comes the nasty part. We discovered that our rooms in the third floor could be reached by stairs only, no elevators were available. And no daddy’s allowed inside. So my mum and I lugged my numerous bags and boxes one by one and got the housekeeping staff to clean our rooms a bit. When I met my roomie, we made quick introductions. Post lunch, my parents said their good-byes, “good luck”s and “keep calling”s and went back home. I went back to the department where a team-building game was in store for us. We were given a pair scissors and a wad of newspapers and we were instructed to build a bridge and a flyover over a bench in the given time. It was chaos, but we eventually finished our construction, complete with coconut trees and a ribbon to be cut to inaugurate the flyover. Sadly, our engineering marvel didn’t win any prizes but we had fun doing it and made a few friends along the way. After this, we were shown a 2 hour long documentary on…. the rise and fall of world economies, I think. I could be wrong. Prof. Rahul put a stop to the documentary saying this was only the first part of three and hoped that we would see the others before the semester ended. I think the Professor must be a very optimistic person. In the evening, we were informed that we had an “interactive” session with the seniors starting at 8.30. Only someone really dumb would have asked what this meant. Well, I don’t wish to elaborate what transpired in that room - it would only spoil the surprise for those batches that are yet to come, but by the time we were through, it was well past midnight. The seniors wound up by informing us pleasantly that we all had a presentation to give the following night. We decided that we would worry about it the next day. But when reached hostel, we thought since it was so late, we might as well go buy ourselves some tea in “Olive Garden”, a fifteen minutes walk from our hostel. Well, it turned out that there was no tea or olives in that garden, but we all had some juice and returned back to the hostel, singing.                                                  

Day 2:
The next morning started at six for us – campus tour of IIT by a few seniors. When we returned, we had a session with Prof. Thenmozhi on “Learning through case-study method”. After being taught how to, we were given case studies and asked to solve within a given time frame. Considering that this was our first case study, I think we did pretty decent. But then, the Professor told us that on many occasions, students ended up feeling dissatisfied as they did not arrive at a firm solution, but she explained that this may not always be possible and the Professor would only just act as a mediator or a guide but not an arbiter. We left the class feeling relaxed as there was nothing else planned for the day but document verification and registration. This was done in a matter of a few minutes for each person and then we were free to go. Suddenly faced with an entire afternoon with nothing to do, I slept like the dead. It was then evening and with two and half hours to go before the presentation, we were all a little worried. We started working with gusto in the CafĂ© Coffee Day next to the Department and before long, it was time. I had at least had a borrowed half of a paneer bun, but most others presented their topics on an empty stomach. It didn’t matter. Everybody was sick with nervousness and performance anxiety. Some breezed through them and some faltered, but I thought most put up a good show.

Day 3:
On the third day, we had a session in the morning on Business Communication by Professor Shekhar, a visiting faculty at the Department. We then had Professor G. Sreenivasan sharing with us interesting stats and tidbits about IIT Madras. Which is when I learnt that there are actually over 7000 people living on campus! The whole place is so self-sustained that it’s almost like a civilization in itself. Col. Jayakumar from the central IIT Placement Cell was next on the list of speakers for the day. He had a commanding voice and presence but he had a sense of humor too. He answered all the queries we had regarding placements and told us a bit about his life in the military and how his acclimatization to civilian life took place. We had a thoroughly enjoyable session with him. The last person with whom we had a session that day was Mr. Kalyan Vaidyanathan, an IIT alumnus and graduate from Cornell University, who shared his experiences of being an entrepreneur. He told us the story of Nadhi, his brainchild and how it has transformed and grown from its nascent stages. Somehow, entrepreneurs generate a lot of curiosity and interest from their audience and this instance was no exception. Just when we thought we were done for the day, we notice a sign on the notice board, saying that we have case studies to prepare and present to the seniors in two hours. So we get to work frantically and when we are nearly done, the seniors graciously offer to treat us to dinner, since none of us had the time to have any. We dined at Tiffany’s and then went to present our harried study of the case at hand. We later learnt that they were actually pretty generous in according us with two hours to prepare as some teachers at times, gave students just about an hour to do the same thing!

Day 4:
The last day of formal induction started with a communication workshop by Professor Shekhar again. The next session was on “Climate Change Crisis” by Professor Chella from the Humanities and Sciences department. It was evident from his presentation that he had poured a lot of time and effort into doing his homework and although it was pure science that he was talking, each one of us listened with rapt attention. In a way, I think IIT Madras is doing its bit in this crisis, by imposing a ban on students’ usage of motorized vehicles on campus. I learnt the hard way that bicycling after several years can be a bit painful, but once we get time to explore the campus, I’m sure cycles would be a great way to do it. Professor Rahul then took over and explained the program structure and the concept of credits and audits to us. One of us asked him if we could do more than the 82 credits required to complete the course and he replied saying that given some time, such a crazy idea would never enter our minds! The rest of the evening was awarded to us, to practise for the cultural program that we had to put up for the graduating batch of 2010. In a way, I think the imperfection of our performance made it all the more hilarious and added to the fun quotient. It was a night to remember and a memorable end to our induction at DoMS. 

Kavya S,
MBA Batch 2010-12                                                                          

Re-innovation and Rural Development by Prof. R Chidambaram

The new session at DoMS IIT Madras began with an encouraging session by Padma Shri Prof. Rajagopala Chidambaram, the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India and former Director of India's primary nuclear research facility, BARC.

Mr. Chidambram emphasized about the need for interaction between the industry and the academia for India to truly evolve as a world leader. He primarily focused on re-innovation and how it could help in development in Rural India. Rural development is the key for India’s development and as he put it India will be a developed nation once the quality of life in rural India matches the quality of life in non urban areas of developed nations. To ensure that happens we need to focus on incremental innovation where we are not always inventing the wheel but rather modifying it to suite local conditions and needs; where the need for concept transfer is greater than the need for technology transfer. India as a country is attempting a paradigm shift where we are moving from product innovation to process innovation and further to process and design innovation. Having talked about innovation he also stressed the importance for interaction not only between government and industry but also between academia and industry. For this he pointed out various initiatives which have been undertaken by our government, namely, CAR (Core advanced group for Automotive Research), RuTAG (Rural Technology Appreciation Group), NKN (National Knowledge Transfer) etc. The question answer round which followed including various questions like ‘How can Management students contribute towards Rural development’ and ‘ Balance between Advancement in technology and Primary education’ eliciting enthusiastic responses from Mr. Chidambram .

Neha Khanna,
MBA Batch 2010-12

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Wake me up when the compri ends...

Here comes the rain again,
Falling from the stars.
Drenched in my pain again,

Becoming who we are. 
As my memory rests,
But never forgets what I lost,
Wake me up when Compri ends...

From the  pen of 
Arjun Nehra
MBA 2nd year

Friday, May 7, 2010

Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan alliance at IIT Madras

Frontiers of Green and Electric Vehicles with Sustainability and Innovation in Auto Industry 

Stalwart, trans-cultural leader, the icebreaker were words used to welcome Mr. Carlos Ghosn, Chairman and CEO of Renault-Nissan alliance to the most keenly anticipated EML session of the academic year organized in association with NDTV Profit. It was indeed a privilege to listen to someone who is rated no  less than among the world’s “25 Most  Influential Global Business Executives” by Time and CNN, “World’s Most Respected Leaders” by Financial Times and CNBC European “Business Leader of the Year 2006”.
This special lecture with its central theme based upon “Frontiers of Green and Electric Vehicles with Sustainability and Innovation in Auto Industry” was anchored by Siddharth Patankar from NDTV . The event was conducted in form of an interview followed by a Q&A session where eager students put forth inquisitive questions to Mr. Ghosn.
Managing the Human Capital
On being quizzed about India’s famed human resource advantage, Mr. Ghosn opined that apart from demographic advantage that our country has, it was necessary to also consider the quality of human capital and from an organizational perspective it was important to align this human capital to organizational strategy. Bringing a new dimension to the question he further explained that as the globalization required companies to move into practically all corners of the world it was essential for organizations like Renault-Nissan to have cross-cultural, multi-cultural workforces which can be aligned with each other.
Management decision making
“Management in the times of crisis is the most essential part of management. When the times are good things work on their own and it is only when there is a crisis the real decision making ability of the management comes to fore. The decisions involve not only deciding how to get out of the crisis but also about what needs to be done once we are out the crisis”  Mr. Ghosn held this view, also emphasising that one needs to take of long term consequences of short term decisions. One task of a manger is also to get people do things which they naturally wouldn’t like to do and crisis situations demand that we need to do many of such things.

On Mr.Ghosn’s own multicultural background.
He explained that to be successful in business one must be able to connect with people who are not from a similar background as yours. This involves establishing working connections with different people and communicating with them. People exposed to high level of diversity will definitely be in a good stead and this will also facilitate their management skills

How green and sustainable is the process of manufacturing a component that goes into making a car?
Mr Ghosn replied that they are not ignoring the other areas where a lot of consumption of fossil fuels takes place, but even still major consumption of fossil fuel is due to recurring usage of gasoline to drive cars and it is because of this reason that a significant amount of our efforts to go green is directed in this regard.  Hydrogen as an alternate source of fuel is also being looked at. Also by 2020 ten percent of cars manufactured worldwide will be powered using electricity, he said.
Mr. Ghosn also explained that as technology students numerous opportunities awaited them in the fields of energy management and that even today we don’t have the appropriate technology which can efficiently store energy. Hence, it is also a promising area for business as well as technology R&D. He also stressed that in such initiatives the government’s support to promote green fuels is vital and further explained his point by giving example of how 60 % cars in Europe run on diesel while it is practically zero in US, all this because of the kind of incentives and fiscal policy which the government comes up with to promote or dissuade people from using a particular fuel. 

Shipping production to developing countries from developed economies.
He was of the view that this shift is not encouraged just due to free trade agreements and WTO regulations but because it makes economic sense to manufacture products locally. The main friction comes when we manufacture cars in India, China etc and ship them back to Europe especially in a situation where carbon tax is levied on manufacturing in Europe but not on products manufactured outside and these products are then imported into Europe.
He also explained that Renault prefers having many joint ventures and alliances and each of their alliance is for a specific purpose. Mr. Ghosn also informed that they into collaborative research into green tech and in other areas with many universities including IIT Madras. 

DoMS Interface Team
Batch of 2011

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

DCL - DoMS Cricket League - The "Baap" of all Cricket leagues

DCL – The better version of IPL...

People play IPL for several reasons like, money , fame, a good hug from a hot star and so on. But DCL has only one purpose- FUN!!

So we play just for the fun, that makes the game better, what makes it best? . It wonderful set of teams and unique set of rules. For starters, DoMS Cricket Leaque ,(DCL) is the intradepartmental cricket championship of the Department of Management Studies, IITM, since 2006.
This year we had 12 teams which also included our very young alumni (who ironically called themselves old monks :P)

The USP of DCL,
  1. The team Composition -7+1 players with two gals (the gals part is compulsory)..
  2. The unique set of rules
Here is a sample set..
    • If a gal gets a catch, the opponent team loses five runs.
    • Guys have to bat with one hand when a gal bowls.
For the rest, u gotta mail us, for it is copyrighted and hence no disclosure in the public forums, especially not when Lalit  Modi is holding talks with our dept folks regarding this. ROFL.So how was DCL for the participants = cheer leaders = audience (Yup, we are really good at switching roles).

Those three days were definitely a true discovery of our physical and mental self . As always , all through it we had a lot of management lessons (and a hell lot of jargons too).

Whoever said, management lessons are to be learned from a playground had hit the bulls eye
  • Deciding between a good batsmen and a better bowler was workforce management
  • Planning fielding based on each player was strategizing.
We did have a lot more in the air like, equal opportunity provider, under promise and over deliver moral dilemmas (this was to decide who to sledge against :P)

Of course, the match was the biggest entertainer .Target runs ranged from 17 to 117 for a five over match and none of it was the breeze through match. With all those crazy rules, you never knew when the tables would be turned.

Looking back, the tournament's aim was just to have fun. But it gave us a great opportunity to know ourselves¸  our friends, to strategize, to find new nick-names, to play hard, party harder, to literally stretch out of our comfort zone, to get hurt, to sledge, to get sledged, and in the end work as a Team and win as DoMS.

Contributed by
Revathy Easwar, MBA 1st year

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