Sunday, September 30, 2012

Mergers – Marriage of Organizations

After a hectic academic schedule, a wave of freshness was required and it was the first MILS lecture of the academic year that brought it. Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras was honoured to invite Mr. Ramakanth Desai, Co-CEO, IT Services Business, Happiest Minds on 14th September 2012 for a talk on “Managing new Ventures and Mergers & Acquisitions. Mr. Desai worked as Senior Vice President of Strategic Deals and Global Sales operations at Wipro.
Mr. Desai gave us insights about what actually Mergers and Acquisitions are, what are the driving factors, what are the challenges and how important is it for the stakeholders of both organizations.
He started with an example that was out of the box and clearly communicated what actually are Mergers and Acquisitions. He said that getting into a Merger is like marrying where not only people getting married are happy, but also it has to be ensured that parents of both the sides are happy. Similarly, in a Merger it has to be ensured that the stakeholders are fine with it.
Mr. Desai said that Acquisition Strategies are derived from Strategic Business Plans. Business Strategies is the root for all Mergers and Acquisitions. We learnt that we need to have our Strategic Plan in place first before we can develop an insight into Industry.
Mr. Sethu also pitched in with importance of analytics and how various Mergers and Acquisitions have occurred among many Analytics Organizations.
Mr. Desai gave us a very clear view about the roadblocks which occur during a Merger. Where Sales aspect should be taken special care of, the demographic and cultural aspects should not be forgotten. The HR policies, System Integration and Delivery Integration are also important and if not looked into may lead to failures of Mergers.
Who else could have guided us better on Entrepreneurial basics then the person who himself had experienced it. He said that to start up your own company one needs to have clear Vision and Mission, enough analysis and in-depth knowledge of Market. Mr. Ramakanth said that when you start a company you need to take one step at a time and start moving.
When asked about how do ideas strike he said ‘Walk on the streets of Chennai for six months and you will have 10 ideas to start a business. He wrapped up by saying “You need to have guts to reach the glory”.
All in all, it was an enthralling experience for all of us. The lecture was full of interesting insights and shed light on how to be an entrepreneur.

Siddharth Agarwal 
Class of 2014 

Photo Courtesy:
Vinod Ellamaraju
Class of 2014

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Shubh aarambh!!!

If you thought that seminars and lectures were the nerds & geeks hub, well then the Extra-Mural
Lecture this time was totally against the norms!! The hall was filled to its capacity, with a very engaging
lecture from a speaker whose charisma captivated the audience, and as a cherry on top of the cream,
every member of the audience was gifted with a Cadbury Silk!!! Wondering if all this actually happened
in IITM? Yes, a seminar of this sort is possible only if the talk was by Anand Kripalu, the President, South-
East Asia & IndoChina and MD of Cadbury Ltd. Now you get the mystery behind the generous supply of
Cadbury Silk.

A glorious alumnus of IITM and IIMC, Anand Kripalu’s professional credentials will leave any one in
awe. Mr. Kripalu has a rich experience of over 24 years ... in the FMCG industry, spread between HLL
and Kraft Foods (Cadbury India Ltd). The lecture was about “Life and Business lessons from a career in
FMCG”. He shared with us his 10 secrets to success, with meaningful anecdotes and learnings from his

Ambition: Every successful businessman needs an ambition, a deep desire to achieve one’s
goals. Mr. Kripalu cautioned us neither to underestimate nor overestimate while setting our
II. Hunger & Desire to make a difference: One should also have the fire in the belly to realize one’s
ideas. No matter what your position or designation in an organization is, we can always make a
III. Power of Focus: Instead of being a jack of all trades and a master of none, Anand Kripalu
emphasized the importance of prioritizing and focusing our efforts on resources that would
maximize our outputs, on every front.
IV. “We make things happen”: Always take charge of what happens to us and never get into
the “victim” mentality. We should not be a victim of our circumstances, instead we need to
control our circle of influence.
V. Careers are not sprints, they are marathons: We need to have long term career plans and
sustain our energy and efforts throughout. No matter how high up the ladder we reach, we
should never stop learning and always give importance to grass root level experiences.
VI. Get comfortable outside your comfort zone: Taking risks and getting into unchartered territories
would enrich your experiences and make you wiser. He also quoted that “Good people make
bad jobs better”. You biggest success would be when you conquer unfamiliar fields.
VII. Be future ready: Always be up-to-date with current trends in order to survive growth and
competition. Also, he added that strategies are not what you plan to do, but what you don’t
intend to do.
VIII.Always leave a legacy: “You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give” is
what he emphasized. One needs to create best work practices that can be followed in future.
IX. Communicate, Communicate and Communicate: Silence doesn’t always mean agreement.
Proper communication helps to understand and to be understood better. So always ensure 2
way communications in all your interactions.
X. Winning the right way: Success is important, but the route to success is even more important.
Ethics should never be compromised upon. He shared one his superior’s quotes in this
regard “Nothing can be greater than business, however small, if governed by ethics. And no
business can be more petty, however large, if governed by dishonesty.”

Some of the takeaways of the session were to enjoy life and work and strive to balance both. One
should never perceive work as burden. It is then you would achieve contentment at the end of the goal,
which should be our ultimate aim in life. The lecture also included videos depicting the evolution of
Cadbury as a brand over the years, which was inspiring and kept the audience engrossed. Overall, as the
Cadbury tagline goes, “Shubh kaam karne se pehle kuch meetha ho jaye”, the audience were able to
enjoy their “meetha” Cadbury silk before this motivating “shubh” lecture.
Roshni Anna John and Aparna Panditi 
Class of 2014

Let's the celebrations begin!!!!

Friday, August 24th, all of us entered DoMS and there was something different. The rush to enter the classroom was pleasantly disrupted with
the fragrance of flowers. Before entering DoMS 101 for the lecture, we couldn’t help but notice the girls wearing lovely sarees and boys wearing dhotis working meticulously on a rangoli of flowers or “Onapookalam”. That was the introduction to Onam for some of the students coming from outside South India, for the rest it was another opportunity to celebrate in this great place where various cultures come together. It was the first festival to be celebrated in our department for the current academic session.

 The actual celebrations started a little later in the afternoon when all of us gathered together. Ph.D. student Mr Giriraj (popularly known as Giri) started the proceedings he asked whether students from outside South India knew about the festival, a few hands got up, some of us had gathered some info about Onam, Giri began telling us about the festival. Later MPG sir filled in and told us more about Onam.

As the Story goes Onam is the Hindu festival to welcome the kind demon King Mahabali whose kingdom once extended from earth to shores of heaven and , but was sent to the netherworld by lord Vishnu.

After this, the traditional lamp was lit up by Prof. Thenmozhi, followed by a traditional onam song by one of the research scholars. The celebrations ended with Payasam distribution among students. For many of us, it was the first taste of Payasam, and the first experience of Onam. It was, in a way, a perfect way for all of us to come together and celebrate not just Onam but the spirit of DoMS, giving us an experience that would remain with us for a very long time.
Manu Sharma and Suyash Binjola
Class of 2014

Photo Courtesy:
Roshni Anna John
Class of 2014

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


Monotonous work lives and sagging energy turned into a thing of past the day we all entered this Mecca of education and one of the most happening places in city of Chennai. 
               Yes Sir, we are the batch of 2012-14, MBA DoMS IIT-MADRAS and we are proud to call this place our home for the next two years. We became part of this huge IIT System very first day. It all started with hostel allocations, Mess registrations and Gurunath Shopping (where we also discovered many of our batch mates who were there shopping for everything they may require right from the Colorful Mattresses to the not so colorful broomsticks).Trying to settle in the legendary hostel rooms wondering who was assigned this room before us (both for the right reasons and the wrong ones;), was in no way an easy task, esp. when you have to fight with monkeys to take possession of your own room and belongings. And though we have reached a friendly treaty, that struggle continues yet… We were all soaking in the IIT Madras’ serene yet dynamic atmosphere feeling ecstatic and curious about what was to come for the next week.
View from hostel
The fist week was a “BREEZE”. It was like a honeymoon period for all of us where faculty talked about anything and everything, right from hobbies, interests, food, good eating joints to beaches in the city and not about assets, liabilities and inferential statistics, where our HOD’s speech consisted of very interesting motivational short stories, where we all talked about how lucky we were to be in such place i.e. DoMS, IIT MADRAS. I still wonder whether we will be so chilled out ever in coming two years.
But alas, how can we ever forget that life can’t be so beautiful all the time, that, if there is an MBA batch of 2014, there must be a batch of 2013--
SENIORS: (Sportingly Ensuring that Nobody Is Out of REAL STRESS).
Our seniors very sportingly (and I’m not at all sarcastic here) ensured that the rosy picture didn’t last long for us. They started with fun filled activities to win over us, made us play games, discuss on hot topics (I mean very HOT ;)) and just when we were about to feel that our seniors are so kind and merciful they unleashed their real side onto us. Just when we thought, aaahhh... tomorrow is Sunday…. finally a day of rest, an announcement was made (in the middle of the night) that we had to come up with a basic marketing strategy for a product (which, of course, was allotted by seniors, and which, of course, nobody on planet Earth will buy) What was shocking was that these products were to be presented the very next morning and all we had were, some, 4 hrs to prepare for them. Can you imagine the plight of us poor kids, who had never even heard who Kotler was, going through the bible and understanding those concepts, all in a matter of a couple of hours!! So we hurriedly left for our rooms, not to sleep, but to struggle to sleep, all the while waiting for the mail to arrive and start working on the presentations which would start on 8:00 AM the next day ( next day was SUNDAY--yes this is how we learnt the truth that there are no weekends in a B-School). So our seniors ensured in a very “SPORTING” manner (and again I’m not at all sarcastic here) that we all were in some real stress. Somehow (Please note that somehow entails a lot of effort) we were able to manage it and as a byproduct our weekend too got managed itself .
a 'field visit' in a rainy evening
If that was not enough, Monday was full of more surprises with subjects like Financial Accounting, Data Analysis and Micro economics threatening us poor guys to realize that it was time that we got out of our comfortable chairs which IT work ex had given us and do some real hard work!
Days passed at Godspeed and in just one month of our stay it felt as if we have been here since ages, waking up early (definition of early is very subjective though), either skipping breakfast or a bath to reach class on time (depends on which takes priority in your life – hygiene or hunger), rushing to the department on our cycles as Tom Cruise would rush on his Triumph TT600 with Mission Impossible tunes playing in our head.
But just when it was getting too much for all of us somebody made sure that we were not over stressed. Yep you guessed it right... OUR LOVELY SENIORS!!! They hosted a fantastic fresher’s Nyt which had it all-- Games, Dance, and Good food. (I still dream about the food that nyt whenever I see Dal-chawal in the Himalaya mess).

All in all it’s been a wonderful experience till now. With best faculty, highly talented seniors and batch mates and of course, with the IITians tag we all feel that IIT-Madras belongs to us and we belong to IIT-Madras. How fast can life change? Waiting for the next surprise that DoMS IIT-MADRAS has in store for us???

 Compiled by:
Sameer Arora
DoMS Interface
Class of 2014

Photo Courtesy:
Vinod Ellamaraju
Class of 2014

Saturday, September 1, 2012

An Amazing Hill Station:

It was 22nd July and after lot of negotiation and bargain with autowallahs, I finally reached IIT M campus to begin a new voyage of 2 years at DoMS. The metallic IIT M logo embossed at the entrance gate with motto “Siddhirbhavati Karmaja” (Effort Yields Success) makes you realize the reason and purpose of being here. The beautiful lush green 620 acres campus, which is home to deer, blackbucks, birds and notorious monkeys, compels you to explore every corner of it. Monkeys may create lot of trouble if they somehow got into hostel room. One day I forgot to shut the back door of room and when I returned, a monkey was feasting on fruits kept on my table and had created a big mess over my notebooks. In fact, I was told that there have been cases of cell phones being taken away by monkeys in past.

But, here, people really love and care for animals and which is why students of IIT M are not allowed to use fuel powered vehicles. At many places in campus, I found this post “Our campus is beautiful and we want to you to enjoying it by driving slow”. Every day I see deer and blackbucks roaming inside Cauvery hostel and on the way to DoMS. Even the outsiders, who come with vehicles to visit the campus, drive slow and stop whenever any deer is running across the road.
Freshers' Party
Our induction program of 5 days was well planned and its best part was interaction with DoMS alumni who are working in banks, consultancy firms and some running their own company. Everything was going very smooth and steady until the seniors came for interaction. My life became hectic and sleep was a luxury. Imagine,  you are comfortably sitting in class room, enjoying and participating in the various activities during the interaction sessions with seniors. Now imagine your surprise to see the faculties sitting at the back. The sessions started at 9 pm and you just don’t realize how time flies by. 5 hours seemed like 5 minutes. At 2 am, when the session is over, seniors tell you to give a formal presentation as a group at 9 am on marketing a product. The topic and team members are mailed at 5 am and topics are like Pregnant Bride, Pant with a hole, Lip kiss glue and many more. How can you do marketing of Pregnant Bride? And that too when not even a single class of marketing has taken place. There was hardly any time for preparation and this was something which I never experienced even during my Job.
 Such sessions continued and kept us very busy but I liked it. Soon they were replaced by the selection process of various committees. Essay /GD/ Extempore topics were given in selection process were also of same category with words never heard before and I was totally clueless over what to write in my essay. The only thing I can recall about my essay is that I wrote “sleep “and “slumber” many times.
 I felt very happy on my decision to join DoMS after attending the PVR sir’s lecture on marketing. All his assignments are based on understanding and field experience. LSG sir’s class gives lot of motivational drive and energy. But subjects like Microeconomics and DAM are very demanding and there is a fear of surprise quiz in every DAM class. Sometimes it becomes very hard to keep track of various members team for different assignments and projects.
 There are some occasions when you just forget everything and enjoy. The ball was set rolling by our welcome dinner thrown by the seniors and the dept. Yes! It was our Fresher’s Night where I danced nonstop and enjoyed amazing performances given by my batch-mates and seniors. Everything was superb, the food, decoration and the dress code of devil horns for boys and flower crown for girls. And to add more stars to the night, Prof LSG (DSW) came and sang classic rock and Malayalam songs.
DoMS is a really beautiful hill station as LSG sir always says and I have spent almost one month here. Looking forward to my time here!!!


Pawan Koserwal
DoMS Interface
Batch of 2014

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