Thursday, December 14, 2006

PGSEM Open House This Sunday

Check the PGSEM web site at for more details. You can use to register. It's this Sunday (17th December, 2006) in Bangalore , and next month (7th January, 2007) in Chennai.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sumantra Ghoshal on smell

Rediff has this very interesting article by the late Sumantra Ghoshal (see links on the great management thinker on Wikipedia, London Business School, The Guardian) on the importance of smell at workplaces.

These are some excerpts from the article that highlight the point that smell itself can have a huge effect on productivity at a workplace (or even elsewhere for that matter):
... downtown Kolkata in July. The temperature is over 100°F with humidity of 98%. The reality was that I felt very tired during most of the vacation. Most of it I spent indoors and a lot of it simply in bed.
I used to live in Fontainebleau... There is something about the smell of the air, about the trees, that will make you want to run, jog, jump up, catch a branch, to throw a stone, to do something. You will find that even though you entered the forest to have a leisurely walk, you are doing something else -- and that is the essence of the issue of revitalising people.
Most large companies in India and abroad end up creating 'Downtown Kolkata in Summer' inside themselves.
And then goes on to explain it in the context of a workplace:
All the systems that top management create -- human resource systems, manufacturing systems, planning systems, budgeting systems -- each by itself is totally justified.However, collectively, what does it feel for me.... they exist for one reason and one reason alone -- to control me.... That is the environment - constraint, compliance, control, contract - that is the smell of the place....
when everybody knows .... the company is simply not doing as well as it could. But, as opposed to confronting reality, top management creates rationalisation and brings down the level of aspirations to that of satisfactory underperformance.
First, I believe, it is possible, certainly in medium and small-sized organisations, and even in very large organisations, to create that smell; and to protect it over a long period of time.
My second assertion is that is possible to do so in a reasonably short period of time.
So the next time you want to tell your company or its management, "You stink!", you may actually mean it in a more literal sense than just as a pejoration...

Also cross posted here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Some blog template changes

Added a section for interesting MBA books. Combines both course text as well as related books of interest to the practicing manager.

Also expanded the blogroll section to include blogs that may interest the MBA student.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

LiveSensation wins Milestones @ Vista

Kudos to Kapil Gupta, Hari Hara Sudhan and Hima Bindu Pothur (students, PGSEM 2005). Their team, aptly named LiveSensation, bagged the second prize at Milestones - the Microsoft case contest at Vista 2006.

The Challenge:
"Which rampant phenomenon costed the world $34 billion and India $566 million in 2005 alone? What, if decreased by a mere 10% would add more than 2.4 million new jobs, almost $70 billion in tax revenues to local governments worldwide and $400 billion in GDP to local economies, all in just 4 years?"

The Response (quoting Kapil):
"The case was about stemming piracy of Microsoft products. The data says that in consumer segment MS piracy rate is 95%, while in small business segment it is 92%. The case provided details about the reason for this high piracy rate. We had to come up with a marketing, sales and execution plan for three years to stem piracy. The constraints were product and pricing cannot be changed."

Pictured above is the team - Hima Bindu is first from left, Hari is second from left and Kapil is first from right. Below is another photo of Kapil making the final presentation. (Photos courtesy Microsoft)

For more information about the event, check the following link:

Congratulations Kapil, Hari and Hima Bindu!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Salary Summary

Rahul, from the 2003 batch, had done a survey of the 2003 batch to get some information on the salaries, industries, and tried to arrive at a formula that would help predict the expected salary for someone in a company based on the number of years of experience he had and the size of the company.

Therefore, if someone has 10 years of experience, and works at Oracle (which has 55,000 employees), (s)he should be earning =1.47*10+(3.3-LOG(55000))
= 13.26 lakhs per annum. Don't know if this is a 'CTC' or 'AGP' figure...
If there were more data points and some more attributes then some more variables could be added to this equation to account for things like the employee's role, his managerial or individual contributor level, etc... to account for these variations. After all, someone with 10 years experience may be a vice-president or a an engineer or something in-between. The current equation does not handle these variations...

Then there are people and recruiters who love parading a magic formula like "years x 2.5" if you have less than "n" years, and "years x 2" if you have more than "n" years, and "years x 1.5" beyond a certain number of years.

As Amitabh Bachchan tells Om Prakash in Sharabi, "munshiji, ye duniya paise ki itni diwani kyon hai?"

Sunday, September 03, 2006

For PGSEM Alumni: FPM (Ph.D) Program at IIM Bangalore

Reproducing the following mail, forwarded by the PGSEM Chairperson Prof. Raj Bandi.

-----Original Message-----
From: Deepak K Sinha
Subject: Invitation to apply for FPM at IIMB

Dear PGSEM alumni,

You may have heard the good news already. But as the new FPM Chairperson I would like to communicate it to you once again personally.

I would like to invite PGSEM alumni to apply to our Fellow Programme in Management (FPM). If you have a CGPA of 2.75 or better, you do not need to take the CAT, and, if offered admission, will get a waiver for first year coursework.

For more information on admission to FPM please go to our website:

and be sure that you download the application form before September 30, 2006. I would also urge you to give this opportunity wide publicity among fellow alumni who might miss this e-mail.

For your benefit I am reproducing below some relevant information from our website. Wishing you the best,

Deepak K Sinha
FPM Chairperson
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore 560076

FPM Application forms are issued free of cost on request from 1st August 2006 to 30th September 2006. Please write to FPM Office, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore - 560076, with a self addressed envelope size (9" x 12") affixed with stamps for Rs.70/- and a self addressed slip. The application forms ( FormA & FormB ) can also be downloaded from our website from 1st August 2006 to 30th September 2006.

Fill in and submit the forms as instructed, prior to the closing date. Forms downloaded from the IIMB website must be filled in hard (printed) copy and sent to the IIMB FPM office so as to reach the above address on or before 10th, November 2006 along with enclosures as given in the instructions.

Last dates

(1) Receipt of request for the application forms: 30th September 2006.
(2) Receipt of completed application forms : 10th November 2006.

For further information or assistance, contact

FPM Office
Indian Institute of Management Bangalore
Bannerghatta Road
Bangalore - 560076, INDIA
Tel (91) 80 26993056
Fax (91) 80 26584050
E-mail :

Monday, August 21, 2006

PGSEM in the news

"B-school for the `techie'"
by Anjali Prayag
Business Line [21/Aug/2006]

IIM-B's Post-graduate Programme in Software Enterprise Management aims to transform professionals with strong technical knowledge into business leaders with equally strong management knowledge and a global perspective.

What is interesting and perhaps unique is that this practice of continuing education came very early and has caught on in the IT industry.

Read the full story at:

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Kotler in Chennai

Dr.Philip Kotler, the economist turned marketing guru was in Chennai last month (17/July/2006) on an invitation from Great Lakes Institute of Management. All of us would have welcomed an opportunity to get some gyan from the father of marketing.

But did you know that Dr.Kotler got some gyan on RFID from Ashok Balasubramanian (Student, PGSEM 2005 Chennai). RFID is set to revolutionize retailing and Ashok (also known as TCS Ashok or DML Ashok) is a pro in designing solutions for retail.

Here's Ashok, second from right, demonstrating the RFID enabled store at the TCS campus in Chennai. Dr.Kotler is second from left.

Way to go Ashok ...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Advanced Masters Program for GDW

Prof S Krishna, the first Chairperson of the PGSEM program, Professor in the Information System & Quantitative Methods area, as well as Co-chair of the GDW Foundation has sent this out to all PGSEM alumni about an advanced master's program that will be conducted across the world.

The program is delivered with the participation of top class institutions in four regions of the World-India, USA, Europe and China as follows:
1. Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, India
2. UCLA, Anderson School of Business, Centre for Management in the Information Economy, Los Angeles, USA
3. Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University, Netherlands
4. Faculty of Business, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong/Suzhou, China

For further details and application material, a request may please be sent to

Monday, June 12, 2006

FPM Waiver for PGSEM Students

The PGSEM Students Affair Council (SAC) has just sent this very good piece of news for students that just cannot get enough of studies:
The IIMB faculty has just approved the following for the PGSEM alumni:
Any PGSEM alumni who is interested in pursing the FPM program will get the same exemptions and waivers that are currently applicable only to the PGP alumni. That is henceforth, PGSEM and PGP alumni who graduated on or after 1997 (for FPM 2007 admissions), with a minimum CGPA of 2.75 are exempted from taking CAT and also the first year of course work.
Happy learning! Now if IIMB would only allow students to enroll in the FPM on a part time basis... I am sure there are at least a few people out there who would like to pursue doctoral level studies and research but cannot do so because of the full-time requirements of the program; cannot afford to be not earning for the entire 3-4 year duration of the FPM. There are scholarships available, but not enough of them. Infosys for example provides a scholarship to some FPM candidates who pursue a doctoral thesis in an IT related subject. The amount of the scholarship is more than Rs 10,000 per month or so I think... Something to think about, eh?

Friday, June 02, 2006

Wierdness of India Stock Markets

There has been silence on PGSEM blog front so I decided to toss one of the things that is bothoring me for quite some time now to fellow PGSEM students and alumni. Let's see if there is a rational and reasonable answer that comes out from them. I just don't get the point of Indian Stock Markets. I am not making a general rant but I am looking at specific instances. Take the following example.

As of today evening, following is some of the data with respect to certain stocks in Banking sector.

  • ICICI Bank, P/E = 18.82, EPS(2006) = 32.15, EPS(2007)expected = 35.55, EPS(2008)expected = 46.25. Now from this data I can understand that market expects 10% growth in profits in 2007 with respect to 2006 and 43% growth in 2008 with respect to 2006
  • State Bank, P/E = 9.78, EPS(2006) = 81.79, EPS(2007)expected = 86.61, EPS(2008)expected = 96.25. Now from this data I can understand that market expects 5% growth in profits in 2007 with respect to 2006 and 17% growth in 2008 with respect to 2006
  • Corporation Bank, P/E = 9.69, EPS(2006) = 30.99, EPS(2007)expected = 36.77, EPS(2008)expected = 40.98. Now from this data I can understand that market expects 18.65% growth in profits in 2007 with respect to 2006 and 32% growth in 2008 with respect to 2006
After looking at these numbers, I am really confused. Can somebody (who is not really numerically challenged) explain to me why state bank and corporation and stuck at P/E of less than 10 while ICICI bank can command a P/E of 18.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

More photos from the 31st convocation rehearsal - I pressed enter too soon... Ok, here is where the graduates-to-be make their way to the amphitheater. FPM first, followed by PGP, PGPPM, and PGSEM.

This is Amit sucking in his gut, while Anandhi looks admiringly. Anupam, behind Anandhi, is singularly disinterested in the proceedings, while Balbir is in a contemplative mood.

Amit Singh and me.

Getting people to form a queue is a task underestimated by many.

Manoj looks on while Prof J Ram sips tea (or maybe coffee).

Who says academics don't have a sense of humour? Seeing me, or me taking photos was enough to send Prof J Ram into splits.

Just inside the entrance, where the banner had been put up, is Amit. He returned the favour by taking my photo under the banner a few seconds later.

A wide photo of the amphitheater.
Photos (c) 2006, Abhinav Agarwal, unless otherwise specified.

Photos from the 31st convocation rehearsal. At 9:35AM, when I tool this photo, people had started gathering.

Manoj, Pankaj, and Srilatha.

And that's me with Pankaj. Prashanth and Ramaswamy can be seen in the background, just behind Pankaj.
Photos (c) 2006, Abhinav Agarwal, unless otherwise specified.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Photos from the IIMB Convocation, 2006

I should be posting photos from the rehearsal first, but since I have not yet named and sifted through those photos, here are photos from the convocation evening. This is me, after I had been robed and sashed (is that the correct usage?). Anyway...

And here are four shining stars from the class of 2006! Left to right: Prashanth, Shivam, Suresh, and me.

Harish Arora with his fancy camcorder, and Vinay Avasthi in appreciative mirth.

I am incorrible with a camera. These are Prof Jishnu Hazra, chairperson of the PGP program, and Prof Raj Bandi, chairperson of the PGSEM program.

Sign of the times... And IIMB too has a nice widescreen display on display as you enter the institute.

This is the procession as it starts to make its way to the amphitheater.

The high tea. Some snacks, juices, and sweets. Amit Singh was busy with his camera. Shooting me shoot him.

Once the procession started to make its way to the amphitheater, you could see that the chief guest, chairman, and director were there on the dias. While the four chairpersons were standing at the entrance. From left to right, they are the chairpersons of the FPM, PGPPM, PGP, and PGSEM programs.

The dias.
Photos (c) 2006, Abhinav Agarwal, unless otherwise specified.

31st Annual Convocation - Press Coverage

Here is press coverage of the 31st annual convocation. Diplomas for the FPM, PGP, PGPPM, and PGSEM programs were handed out.
The chief guest was Sunil Bharti Mittal (Anil Ambani was the chief guest in 2004, while Anand Mahindra was the chief guest in 2005). Mukesh Ambani was supposed to be present, in his capacity as the Chairman of the Board of Governors of IIMB, but was in the US at the time to attend some energy meet.

The Times of India, Bangalore edition. Students in the yellow sashes are the FPM graduates, while those in the green sashes are the PGP graduates.

Vijay Times. That's me (Abhinav) receiving the gold medal from Sunil Mittal. The second photo above is where you can see the PGSEM graduates seated on the right, in blue sashes, while the PGPPM graduates are seated on the left, in red sashes.

The Hindu. That's Gaurav Agarwal, of the US $193,000 salary offer fame, receiving the gold medal from Sunil Mittal (link to BT article).

Deccan Herald. Abhik Sengupta is the one seated on the extreme right. And that's me (Abhinav) with my tongue sticking out, taking a photo.

From The Hindu (link)
The Times of India (link)
Indian Express (link)
Deccan Herald (link)

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