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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