A Dedication to the Tunnel, IBS Amidst Commotion

The eyes in me never saw you in solitude. I never walked the moments when you were in isolation. You were incessantly filled with different hearts piercing into their deepest instincts. The trembling and the firm feet were walking in aloof and never knew that you stuck by those deepest instincts. You carried them towards oblivion, you ushered them into the world of ambiguous management and you distracted them for life. Of course these years of fakeness accumulate around you, can be seen in your overstepped tiles in red and not red. Useless words, the enormous voices and the ambivalence of pathetic and yet pumping hearts are the first things you look for under your sunless roof in every sunshine morning imbibing the Jurassic park. Fortunately you don’t know that you will experience the betrayal when these foolish people make merry the time they bid adieu this untold conversation with you. They might never know you were a stranger in disguise. They even might not remember those footsteps. And they will never recollect your untouched presence and aching touch.

Time goes by; it passes. For you this merciless time will make no amends and leave you for different footsteps of slander and ungratefulness. My dear friend you will never find the form that is an expression of your innermost desires and aspirations. Remember, every morning you will be consulted for denigration and for all the nights you will be quit as an abject failure for an abyss of nothingness. You will be ripped in their stink. The trees around you will grow old, the air engulfing you will get thicker and for your own stoned heart you will become an insufferable bore. There aint even a blink of a moment of love, truth and understanding tipped for you and yet you big hearted scoundrel spreads like the unconditioned mother.

Your silence has been destroyed. Hopeless books, wasted papers, meaningless placards, disgusting music that lost its essence in heartless I-pods, never so worthy mobile phones, objective less laptops, and the world of non sense pierce through you, in your constant awareness, bidirectional. Don’t question them you eternally blessed fool. They are too quick to revere your pain. They will walk away and leave your paper blank. They won’t even spill the ink. Their hands won’t ache. I have spied with the armor of my eyes and have seen a dull beginning and a flamed end. The window in my room, the balcony outside it has witnessed your grief. But the feet will churn you and I neither am any good of a friend. You blathering nincompoop, every heart will wake against you.

My eyes will again open to a new day and I will walk through you in another morning light, the dark leaves still by your side. You probably would have gulped the yesterday’s tormented blood and made those chatter like an old man tiles firm again for another tourney of atrocity. You fool of the first water, how in this world could you?

You think to yourself: get the hell out of here, get out quick and don’t look back.   

Contributed by Mohd Haris Bhat ( Class of 2012, IBS Hyderabad)

Do you think government should fund students instead of funding universities?

Business Standard poses a question and solicits responses from students across India for their weekly column “ Student’s Corner”

The topic for last week was Do you think government should fund students instead of funding universities?

Here are all the responses sent by IBS students

Funding is a government contribution to help universities impart better education without making the education costlier for the students. These funds are the reason that universities are building themselves better in terms of infrastructure, faculties, technology and so on.  If the government begins to funds the students instead, the result will be rise in student fees and less development of the universities on the whole. Thus a better idea for government would be to insure other form of monetary help to students like increasing scholarships, and reduce interest rates on education loans.

— Neha Singh, IBS Gurgaon.

When we talk about funding student, we are focusing on one individual which in itself is a good step towards the betterment. On the other hand it is about funding whole institutions like universities which could give way to the term ‘corruption’. There is a possibility that the fund which comes to university won’t reach students wholly. And if we actually want to fund the university then we have to keep an eye on the whole system. Rather, personal accounts should be created for individuals so that they or their guardians can use the fund in the correct manner.

— Achint Mathur, IBS Gurgaon.

The government is paying attention to prestigious institutions such as IITs while 90 per cent of the country’s students are studying in less endowed institutions. These disparities must be bridged if higher education is to have the desired effect on the national economy. Therefore the government should fund universities and encourage private sector investment. The government should provide soft loans, scholarships, tuition fee waiver, fellowship, and assistantships to invite growing talents to show their abilities.

— Devang P Gandhi, IBS, Mumbai.

In India there is a huge pool of students who want to study but cannot because of financial incapability. Instead of funding big Universities which concentrates on a small group of population, government should focus on proving funds to students directly, which can also help to reduce the illiterate population. Funding to universities can be self financed also, but there should be proper mechanism and student should get scholarships when needed. But in India we all know how much government distributes and how much the beneficiary receives.

— Anoop Periwal, IBS Mumbai.

Government funding the universities is no guarantee that the benefit will be passed on to the students. Thus it would be better if the government funds the students instead, so that the ones who are bright and deserving get a chance to succeed in future and can pursue their own interests to carve out a career path for themselves. Thus they would not be dependent for the funding of their studies on the university, which might use the government funds for its own purposes rather than utilising them for the betterment of the students.

— Devika Singhal, IBS Gurgaon.

Each year government provides hard earned money of citizens (tax) to various universities to the tune of hundreds of crores. Now if we check the ROI on the invested fund, it would be a negligible. So before funding the student for better education, let we make our education better. Many Indian went to other universities for getting better education. That is why government should firstly focus on improving the education and bringing it to the international benchmark.

— Manish Kumar Gupta, IBS Mumbai.

Neither do we have universities nor do we have the students that are funded by the government. Its actually a ‘double edged sword’. So instead concentrating on a single factor we should concentrate on both the things. There should be more Corporate participation in funding the universities . After all some of the best Corporate honcho’s are from these Universities. Being an MBA myself I completely understand how expensive education has become, funding of students should be done on merit basis so that the right student gets the support. .

— Kshitij Khandelwal, IBS Gurgaon.

Today, there are not enough number of quality universities in the country promoting tremendous competition among the students to grab a seat in one of the good universities. A big part of the population being poor, and not all of them could get to one of these top universities, struggle.Education loans are available, but not to those who don’t have a backup for their loan and have not got to one of these top universities. Still, their career has to excel. They too need a good college to study and educational loan available to them as well.

— Kushal Bhadani, IBS Mumbai.

Aspirations of India to create a ‘knowledge society will remain a distant dream as long as quality higher education is not provided to students who are really willing to study but are financially not so privileged. Need of the hour is to bring bold structural change in the Indian Education System. Education being the only area where we still haven’t focused on economies of scope, thus we need to take some proactive decision like entrance of corporate sector in establishment of private universities with world class research based education methodology.

— Shailja Kapoor, IBS Mumbai.

The government should make it a point to disburse maximum amount of fund to deserving students instead of funding universities. The amount of proportion of disbursement of funds should done in proper proportion. At the same time, The Indian Management institute’s should also see to it that whatever funds they receive from the government it should be properly utilised as a financial aid for the education of the deserving right student. and not to every student.

— Stephan Rodrigues, IBS Mumbai.

The discussion of funding universities or students solely has been a thorny topic since long. The issue is contentious and with corruption being the bread winner in major areas the decision needs high accuracy. Keeping the political issues intact what we have in government universities is complete misery in terms of seats and needy getting the favour. So the needy, which used to starve waiting for colleges, are now starving for seats and opportunities. What we have right now is panoply of inefficiency, RTIs and political favoritism. Theoretically and morally it’s time we let people handle people’s money.

— Manu Arora, IBS Gurgaon.

If the government stops funding the universities, education will be about demand and supply. While the Universities would not stop functioning but rather will only push or encourage courses which have demand in the market; this will turn the society towards those courses and eventually force students to compromise on the field they have to choose than what they really like. In order to avoid the economics in education there needs to be a balance, for this the government should understand, what the skills of the students are than to force the skills needed in a corporation.

— MS Srivamsee, IBS Mumbai.

I think government should fund universities instead of funding students. Government is providing its assistance to students by providing them education loans,and some other schemes. If government funds universities it would be helping both in a way that it would help universities to get more facilities for its students, and providing them with modern facilities which would indirectly help students only. If universities would be having enough funds then they can provide their students with economic help like concessions in their fee,or providing scholarships to more number of students.

— Shweta Singh, IBS Mumbai.

Government should fund students instead of universities. Nearly 38% of India’s population is poor and there are so many talented students but because of poverty they can’t afford to get admission in universities to fulfill dreams. Government should fund students and let students decide in which universities they would like to go based on their choice. Another fact is that, if universities require fund for development, can easily take loans compare to students as because of their poverty they can’t provide anything as security to banks so it become difficult to access loans.

— Babita Burdak, IBS Mumbai.

The government should fund the students directly. It already has a structure at the primary school level which can be expanded for the higher education. The government has the ‘Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan’ for the children between 6-14 years. The students interested for higher studies can be funded after checking the socio-economic background. The government can pay directly to the university or the college the fees and provide books as well. The tracking team should look after the progress of the student and if anyone fails to perform the service should be withdrawn immediately.

— Varun Goel, IBS Mumbai.

Currently, the government shouldn’t stop funding universities but the extra money should be used or allotted for distributing vouchers and cash coupons for those in need. This voucher/coupon system will be directly accountable to the parents who are going to pay for their child’s education through these coupons. This will not only increase literacy ratio but inculcates quality education in a student.

— Abhishek Fanse, IBS Hyderabad.

Better to do an MBA from a foreign university than to do it from India in this much amount, is always a second thought in a student’s mind. Government need to stop this brain drain so that the students can be motivated to study here only and we can actually see that the money is being invested at the right place. Also, funding the university is also a positive point as good infrastructure and better facilities makes a healthy environment to live and study in. It is always said that ‘Padhega India to Badhega India’.

— Vivek Gujral, IBS Mumbai.

The support provided to institutions creates a race for admissions where even many talented students tend to lose. Also government entices more students to study in their funded premier school which artificially boosts the supply of graduates. In turn, this lowers the salaries of these same graduates. The weaker section of society needs to be developed to cure this scenario. Instead of funding premium schools, if government tries to fund primary students, it would not only increase the literacy rate but also develop individuals, which would generate quality graduates, thus improving the job market.

— Vivek Kamalia, IBS Mumbai.

The government has already taken initiative on that facade by escalating the allocation to Right to Education (RTE)-Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA) to Rs 25, 555 crore, showing an increase of 21.7% from 2011-12. More such initiatives will not only lead to better education but would also pilot to job creation reducing unemployment. Corruption is not a new word for Indians so if the government would fund Universities there will always be funds that will be sapped out of the system. However, Government must also fund Universities so that there can be research work conducted and study may not just become an activity.

— Vritika Sharma, IBS Mumbai.

Government should act more like a regulator and the catalyst at the same time .The Government should finance the institutes in the initial stages as the gestation period in the education sector is the longest and some kind of financial support is required and also would help in creating benchmark in the education sector .At the end would say the regulation control is highly pivotal in success of the institutes .

— Karishma Virmani, IBS Gurgaon.

Student funding by the government can happen by means of vouchers and educational tax credits. Today government provides funds to government and private-aided universities which then provide education to students. Education for the poor and needy can be greatly improved by funding students who are in need. This will make schools directly accountable to parents since they pay for the education through vouchers. Parents decide and parents choose, not bureaucracies. The poor are getting left behind due to lack of access to quality education. This will ensure quality education for poor and will give them right to education of choice.

— Ankur Sharan, IBS Mumbai.

Imagine if instead of funding universities, the government adopts a policy of rendering financial aids to the students across 26,500 colleges of India. Certainly there would be less financial burden on students but in long run it will harm young students who would be disdained of new technologies and infrastructure. Government spends 1.14 per cent of its GDP on higher education, and adopting the policy of financing students instead would have ill effects too. Instead GOI could adopt policies to help certain needy students financially out of their education funds.

— Sandeep Guleria, IBS Gurgaon.

Rupee weakening: A blessing in Disguise???

The newspapers & News channels ain’t just Greek and Latin… The Greece story was inevitable, so instead of cribbing over the crisis. Let’s look at how this crisis is not all that bad, at least for India.

Let us understand why this mess. Greece exits the euro, the euro currency weakens leads to dollar getting stronger, and as the dollar gets stronger the rupee weakens even further. So for us the electronic gadgets cost more. But let’s look at it through our country’s perspective.

  1. The Crude Oil is traded in dollars, the OPEC nations earn more dollars for the oil that they export. More dollars for the OPEC nations eventually brings down the crude oil production cost (Extracting cost). This might help in crude oil prices coming down* a bit (As OPEC’s aim is to regulate oil prices and keep a watch so that people do not shift to cleaner energy sources due to the rise in oil prices).  India imports crude oil so this would ease the inflation a bit.
  2. Unlike most of us who feel that India just imports crude oil to consume it completely, we are in for a shock (India ranks 22 in exporting of refined petroleum products). So this means weaker rupee gets
  3.  us more dollars.
  4. Eventually weak rupee is good for the exports of the country; IT companies will earn more dollars (if they haven’t hedged their risk against the volatility).
  5. Usually when the rupee weakens the foreign funds flow in as foreign investors buy more stocks.
  6. The NRI’s will want to send back their savings as Indian banks give close to 9% return on their Investments, whereas in other countries it’s too less. And a
    lso since the rupee is weakening RBI’s plans to cut the rates further in the next month’s review is out of question.
  7. Now when the rupee is weak, your products in the international market are cheaper so people will prefer Indian products over the others. This means more exports.

All of this leads to more of foreign funds flowing into the country. Currently with a growth rate of 6.9%,

India might just take advantage of the mess outside.

Contributed by M.S. Vamsi ( Class of 2013, IBS Mumbai)

Social responsibility is a trending topic!!

There seems to be a wave that is rising close to the shores. The new show Satyamev Jayate by Aamir Khan has managed to enthrall and capture the whole country’s imagination.

The show was launched two weeks back, with heavy promotion starting almost a month before the show’s launch. The media team for the show has left no stone unturned to promote and actively engage every viewer in the country. The show is aired every Sunday morning at 11:00 AM ensuring full viewership in each household. Though big shows have generally opted for the prime-time slot (8:00 PM- 10:00 PM) Aamir Khan’s production has broken this rule to reach out to every family on a relaxed Sunday morning, thus utilizing the Sabbath effectively. The show is also available on Youtube and there are pages dedicated to the show in major social media networks. Aamir Khan, who is known to be a selective artist in terms of the number of movie projects he undertakes, added a lot of value to the promotions of the show as the mass considers him to be a niche actor.

The buzz that was created during the promotions culminated into a nation-wide phenomenon when the first episode of the show was aired. The premise of which being a talk show where the host ( Aamir Khan) interviews victims and showcases their story for the whole country to watch. The topics covered by the show are sensitive to say the least. Starting from female foeticide in the first episode and child sexual abuse in the second, it is evident that the show-makers are going to ruffle many a feathers. The show mainly talks about how such important topics are rarely discussed in our country and how these issues need to be resolved. Aamir reiterates throughout the duration of the show, that he doesn’t mean to point fingers or blame anyone but only to bring these subjects to light. The guests in the show range from victims of such atrocities and their families, to doctors and experts in certain fields. Filmed before a live audience the show seems to be a befitting reply to the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Ellen Degeneres.

The interesting part of the show however, is Aamir Khan donning the cap of a social activist, who has had enough of his countrymen turning a blind eye towards such major issues. The two episodes that have been aired till now have ended with an appeal to viewers to send in their support to such causes, which would be carried forth by Aamir himself in order to bring justice to the victims.

Bollywood and television in India has always been about entertainment through masala and very few have dared to break this mould and succeeded. Our most popular movies and TV Shows are either, family-oriented dramas meant for the seniors or sensational masala-filled adventures for the youth. A show like Satyamev Jayate which is intent on being a social documentary is a refreshing change. It’s not a completely new idea mind you, ask Menaka Gandhi or the creators of the “Jaago India” and similar campaigns and you will find that such themes have been tried before. It was however never tried with a star like Aamir Khan who could capture the pulse of the nation in a way never imagined before.

The popularity of the show will dictate how our generation will view things henceforth, and this is the most interesting aspect about this show becoming a sensation. A famous actor who could’ve charged the same amount and signed another movie contract has chosen instead, to educate the public about society and how we are both responsible and accountable to the people around us. This is a milestone in the Indian entertainment scenario as this puts pressure on other networks, stars as well as the general public to act on such atrocities and stop them. Aamir Khan might be just another actor, who after collecting so many laurels decided to give something back to the country, but this show has changed the landscape for everyone in a way that we could’ve never foreseen.

Social responsibility is being made a trending topic by Aamir Khan!

Not another fashion fad, not a lifestyle of partying, not Rakhi Sawant or Poonam Pandey and their incessant whims, but a subject that is both serious and utterly important for a country which houses almost 18% of the world’s population. The aftermath of such a subject trending would involve other stars, media houses as well as MNC’s taking up such initiatives to please the public, or so one would hope.

A future where every manufacturer as well as consumer strives to take care of the environment and society as a whole, seems utopian to say the least but Satyamev Jayate seems to have already paved a way for this to materialize.


Do you think Indian B-Schools should lay emphasis on having more women students on campus?

Business Standard poses a question and solicits responses from students across India for their weekly column “ Student’s Corner”

The topic for last week was Do you think Indian B-Schools should lay emphasis on having more women students on campus?

Here are all the responses sent by IBS students:

Roughly around 30 percent of the crowd in MBA batches are women. This shows a terrible imbalance in the field of management and leaves a vacuum in the field of women supervisors. The vacuum needs to be filled in, as balanced gender mix is a healthy prospect both in terms of business and the community alike. Also, women give an altogether different perspective of a business, which gives in a new trajectory of thought which is not possible in the male dominated MBA stream. B schools should come up with scholarships for women to encourage them to take to this path of post graduation. Besides, empowering women will not only help the business, but help in the development of the country as a whole. More women role models are essential, and this can be only achieved if they are given a chance to prove themselves. Also, it is observed that women usually struggle to cope between their social and professional life, and hence might view the B school experience less favourably. An added encouragement from the B schools will help them overcome this apprehension. Hence, women empowerment is an essential duty of Indian B-schools.

— Udayan Sikdar, IBS Mumbai.

 I don’t think so there is any need for special emphasis on women students. B-schools select students on their intellectual level which they show in their entrance exams. Then GD/PI, and I think only best should be selected. If we need to emphasise, then we should focus on economically weak students. There are roughly 8 per cent women top executives in the world. Why a deserving candidate should be not selected because he is a man. If the scenario was different in India, then we could say to emphasize on women students.  Other thing to emphasis is the curriculum.

— Abhinav Juneja, IBS Gurgaon.

As in India the approach of education is more theoretical and we all are aware about the fact that women are more practical in life so this will certainly boost the practical study and change the outlook of the B-Schools. And in addition women also provides the motivation especially to men to do well or at least reach to their expectations and this we can achieve with the help of this format. Though this is next to impossible as the sex ratio of women is less than that of man but the seats should be reserved in the same manner.

— Achint Mathur, IBS, Gurgaon

I don’t think Indian business schools need to lay emphasis on having more women student on their campus. Going to a B school is a personal choice of a student irrespective of gender. We are no more living in the times when women are restricted to 4 walls and expected to marry and rear kids. Most of them take their own pick and those who can’t, for them even such emphasis wouldn’t help. In a country where we are still recuperating from the ill effects of gender discrimination and reservation, we should not encourage such an act. Equality is what we all preach and aim to achieve, and so should we work towards making this real.

— Priyanka Bajaj, IBS Bangalore.

According to me, women have developed themselves and had reached a point where they are at par with men. Its good for the motivation of women education but then women are capable of achieving what they want. Education should be just and fair and whosoever deserves it should get the opportunity and not on the basis of gender. Being a women I would not like someone to see my gender over my talent and capabilities. It would be unfair to those male candidates who would have made it but could not because of more emphasis given to women on campus.

— Hetal Porwal, IBS Ahmedabad

Whether you are a man or a woman, business school can help you achieve your career goals. An MBA can open doors that you never knew existed. We need initiatives like these precisely because the level of female presentation in boards has fallen short. Also I feel ratio of men & women must be in equal proportion so that at the end it turns out to be the perfect match and we get better managers.

Typically, women operate and manage businesses in some significantly different ways than men do. Recent studies point out that while both male and female styles of leadership can be effective; ‘female’ frequently has the edge. In order to get more of Chanda Kochhar, Indra Krishnamurthy Nooyi, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw and established women like them, the stepping stone would be imparting education and knowledge to more number of women at B schools.

— Ankita Arora, IBS Mumbai

Women the more you try to understand them the more you think! Why did I even tried?. I did my MBA in 09-11 from ICFAI Gurgaon. During my two years I learned quite many things be it working in a team , late nights assignments and many other. I noticed one important thing the confidence girls had these days. I am sorry to say but we should take a leaf out of there book. I think women are more emotionally intelligent and are better in managing people . They have different sets of ideologies and their understanding is different which makes it interesting working with them .Last but not the least being a guy myself “Who doesn’t want to have more girls in college and I think every guy would vouch for me .

— Kshitij Khandelwal, IBS Gurgaon

An MBA is extremely versatile and will be valuable in no matter what industry you decide to enter. Also, the proportion of women with paid jobs can give a massive boost to the economy and have changed women’s lifestyle and thinking. Companies are now hiring women is about quality and pluralism – to show that not one way only is the right way to do business. However, as many women are leaving jobs in their 30s when their career is about to take off to start a family and not return to their job.

— Vivek Gujral, IBS Mumbai.

The topic of discussion is disheartening to a certain extent. Why are women still considered as the weaker gender despite world over examples of women entrepreneurs giving an exquisite contribution in their work field? B-school curriculum is not designed in a way that any emphasis needs to be laid on any division of society be it social or gender. If any emphasis is required it’s in the area of reduction in the cost of the course. Bringing the gender issue would give space to unnecessary discomfort and hatred among the men against women and hence negating the possibility of effective team work which forms the backbone of any institution. Moreover, as a women I would never like to dilute my share of success with a guilt and obligation of being ’emphasised on’.

— Rhiva Singh, IBS Gurgaon.

The prime motive of b-schools is to make business leaders of tomorrow. Keeping that in mind we need to broaden our horizons and enhance management education. It is still believed that women are not interested in entering this profession. Even the best of b-schools in the country have average class strength of only 12-15 percent women. Imparting managerial skills is very important and cannot be ignored. Not having a good male-female ratio will result in restriction of exchange of ideas and also result in limiting their thinking perception. So the Indian b-schools should lay emphasis on having more women students on campus.

— Sonnelpreet Singh Chawla, IBS Mumbai

Diversity is a factor of great value and women in Indian B-schools can be seen as the same effort towards having a diversity of intellectualism. It will not only improve the percentage of women students in higher education but will also help B-schools in developing students which can be different from each other and yet be very influential. But it should be kept in mind that nobody can be forced to study and thus getting seats reserved for women will not be of great help. The aptitude tests should be such which allow measurement of skills along with knowledge.

— Neha Singh, IBS Gurgaon.

Business world demands skills which are indifferent to the sex of the involved brain. In current scenario Women also play a significant role in decision making and many other important areas. Hence, B-schools must open-up their arms and welcome each and every part of the society which is possessing such qualities, irrespective of their sex. Equal opportunities must be provided which could help to select the best person.

— Sandeep Guleria, IBS Gurgaon

Indian B-schools should lay emphasis on having more women students on campus for– rapid economic growth of Indian economy; increase female labour force participation rates and having similar set of talent and attributes as men. Women possess over fifty percent of India’s population and even close to half of Indian Corporate managers. Women hold a prominent position in Indian corporate world and society. However, since the prehistoric times women were denied opportunities and have to suffer for gender ideology. But now, times have changed women are at par with men in all kind of tasks like reaching the moon, conquering Mount. Everest and participating in all fields.

— Husain Rupawala, IBS Mumbai.

India is a developing at fast pace in this global economy. A high demand for talent and a need to look beyond has prompted Indian companies to encourage women at managerial positions. Thus with intention of creating more global & Indian women business leaders & move away from stereotype business schools need to give emphasis more on women. As from over the years admission of girls in IIM’s have increased across its now time for other B-schools to follow the suit and give equal opportunity to girls. Its time to see more Indra Nooyi & Chanda Kochhar in coming years.

— Vikas Barbhaya, IBS Mumbai

In India where profit is the only business of business, very few women are applying for b-schools. Women are required at managerial level because they have more pragmatic approach towards life, they’ve more stronger ethics and they are more expressive. Leadership study says that women are better managers. B-schools should encourage balanced gender representation else it will restrict exchanges of different ideas during classroom sessions which will ultimately going to affect workplace and production. The aim of b-school is not to act like placement agency but to inculcate managerial ethics to produce better managers for tomorrow. The number of women entrepreneurs is growing from meager of 2% in 1971 to 11% till now where women like Chanda Kochhar, Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Dr. Swati Parimal and many others have paved their way to success. Moreover it shouldn’t be only viewed as urban perspective but b-schools should start taking initiatives to reach out to rural working women to make them realize their qualities and enhance their skills. Finally for driving more and more female students to b-schools, there should be force of motivation, change in family attitude and winds of change within can only transform them into better managers.

— Abhishek Devendra Fanse, IBS, Hyderabad.

“In a country where against 100 men enrolled only 14 women were pursuing higher education during 1950-51, the number had risen considerably to 66 by 2001-2002, emphasis should be laid on stressing the importance of management studies to women and the society at large. A greater number of women choose courses which ensure secure government jobs (as also desired by their families). Laying an emphasis on having more women in B-school campuses mustn’t mean having separate quota for women, but having women who are aware that they possess the essential qualities that a B-school and a management course demands. As Burns rightly pointed out : once leadership comes properly to be seen as a process of leaders engaging and mobilizing the human needs of followers, women will be more readily recognized as leaders.”

— Sonali Sarkar, IBS Bangalore.

B-schools’ class rooms and companies’ board rooms have traditionally been male-dominated. The average women ratio in a batch stands between 12-15% in Indian b-schools. Gender wise unbalanced workforce is the story of most of the organisations in our country, as there are not enough women in B-schools to select from. In order to create more balanced class rooms and workplaces, B-schools should emphasise on increasing the ratio of women enrolments by providing merit scholarships to women so that the deserving ones who don’t apply for B-schools for not being able to afford the big bucks as fees, so that they can also enroll for management studies. More flexible time table can be introduced so they can manage their family and studies. The admission policies and criteria should be more conducive to their overall skills.

— Madhur Madaan, IBS Mumbai.

According to me women are most prominent features that leads any organization to grow business. They play in an open out role in b schools each lady predicts different ideas as Kochhar, CEO and MD of ICICI Bank.

— Nikhil Chandravanshi, IBS Bangalore.

SME Exchanges: New Kid on the Block

This article was originally published in Postnoon on May 11th, 2012


“The students of B-Schools now a days are so much more up to date with the latest news that we have to be on our toes. It is so different from the days when there was no Internet and majority of the students were content with what the professors and the books taught”, thought Prof. Nicky while walking to her class on Investments.

Dheeraj was the first to raise his hand, as usual.“Go ahead Dheeraj. Ask your question”, she said.

Dheeraj: Prof. Nicky, I recently read that the BSE and the NSE have launched new platforms for the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to raise equity through IPOs. Why do they need a separate exchange? Why can’t they get listed on the main exchange?

Prof. Nicky: Because you must compare artists with artists and geeks with geeks. What I mean to say is that the SMEs have different characteristics in terms of growth, number of employees, size, and risks. They tend to get lost in the pool of large, multi billion organisations on the main exchange. The larger companies get all the visibility, pushing the smaller ones to the periphery, making them illiquid.

Dheeraj: But if the companies are good, won’t they anyways get noticed?

Prof. Nicky: Ideally yes! There are many companies which are good and have the growth potential, but they are perceived as having very high risk due to their size. This keeps the investors away.

Also, being listed on the main exchange is an expensive affair. There are many costs like the fees of the merchant banker and marketing costs pre IPO. Followed by expenses to meet the regulatory and legal requirements of disclosures, reporting etc.

Rajat intervened to ask, “So aren’t these expenses going to be there even in the case of SME exchanges?”

Prof. Nicky: The SEBI has tried to minimise these expenses as much as possible. Instead of Quarterly reports, the SMEs need to publish only half-yearly reports. That too only on their website. They can send an abridged version of the report to the shareholders instead of the full version. SEBI has also tried to keep the marketing and stationery costs of IPOs minimum.

Abhijeet: Professor, what is the benefit to the investors like you and me? Why should we bother about the SME exchanges?

Prof. Nicky: When a SME gets listed on an SME exchange, it adds credibility to the company and its business. There is a compulsory credit rating requirement before getting listed. SEBI has mandated appointment of market makers for these companies who would provide liquidity to the market. So as investors, we can now invest in these companies, which by nature are riskier, but have a higher growth potential and hence have the potential to provide higher returns.

Though the ticket size for investing in these companies is fairly large, a minimum of Rs1 lakh. The idea is to shield the retail, smaller investors from any kind of risk. But high net worth individuals and financial institutions like banks, mutual funds, venture capital and private equity funds etc. can invest in them.

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Trending trends: 2012

Year and year down the line things in the field of marketing are changing. What used to be a sure shot way to success now seems to be a good old day practice. It’s not like things have completely turned upside down, but it’s highly justifiable if we say trends are trending. Honesty and worthiness in customer relationship are a must, but the big question is what will be the market driving force in the astronomically said human races last year 2012.

Customers and market trends are changing like a game of IPL. The biggest question in the market is “what’s emerging”. The company that can answer this question can surely bank upon its survival. Yahoo top stories, news, twitter blogs the social media in itself is changing at a speed like never before showcases the changing trends in the Indian society. Aakash, ubislate, android, touch pads, tablets, windows you name it we have it. We are moving towards never ending highly competitive digital markets. Social media is causing a complete shift in the consumer’s mentality; blogs, articles, news-letters, case studies have become predominant in affecting buying patterns. Websites like dare2compete have been successful in unplugging the best of solutions from the buyer’s point of view with mere use of case studies.

Digitization however is a double edge sword; one should never forget any form of marketing will never end up a success story until and unless it has got a human touch attached to it. Emotional marketing has been the greatest asset for a marketer play with. Use of new technologies provides a wide reach; however conveying a message in the right format is what wins the heart. With increasing digitization and emerging Indian markets, the digital world is bombarded with advertisements and banners. The situation has become such that opening a webpage makes it a compulsion to visit an advertisement. At this juncture finding the right content, quantity and location is what takes the ultimate position. If mere Facebooking or tweeting was digital marketing, saturation levels would have been way surpassed.

Relationship based markets is what we are moving into. Consumers want to relate to the brand and its image, and companies who can gel along the relation are marking the success stories.

Digitization is at centre stage, trends are changing and creativity is the only way out.

If your company’s hormonal balance does not carry the spice for creativity the longevity of your survival is highly endangered.


Manage Mutual Funds Wisely

This article was originally published in Postnoon on May 4th, 2012


I was waiting for Srikanth to come back to me. I knew that he was convinced about investing in stocks. He had the risk appetite and the ability to take the risk of investing in stocks. But, he did not know how to pick or select stocks. And that is what brings him to my room today.

Srikanth: Prof. Nicky, I have been reading the financial newspapers, listening to experts on TV, talking to my friends and family and going through stock price charts. I am not able to understand which stock I should put my money in. Moreover, you had once told me about not putting all my money in one basket. How do I select which sectors and which stocks to put my money in? Can’t you do it for me?

Prof. Nicky: No. I will not do it for you. I am an academician. Not a financial advisor. But there are people who can do it for you.

Srikanth: Really? Who? Are they expensive?

Prof. Nicky: Yes, I am not joking. You can invest your money in a Mutual Fund. Mutual Funds are managed by fund managers who have expertise in stock picking and analysing the companies based on their performance. In fact, in India, close to Rs6,00,000 crores is being managed by the mutual fund industry.

Srikanth: That is a mind boggling figure! How do they function? Are they expensive?

Prof. Nicky: The Mutual Funds take money from many investors and the fund manager invests the pooled amount in the stock markets (or the other markets like debt, money market, commodities). The cumulative returns from these investment, are passed on to the investors, after deducting the expenses of running the fund. Hence the expenses of running the fund and the salary of the fund manager is shared by many investors.


Source: www.amfiindia.com

Srikanth: Seems like a lot of power is given to the fund manager. What if he is not good at his job?

Prof. Nicky: Hmmm…the fund managers are governed by strict guidelines on fund objectives, sector weights, risk and other stock selection criteria like liquidity, size and so on. Also, most of the funds hire qualified, experienced professionals as their portfolio managers. A little bit of personal bias is bound to be there and you should be prepared to take that risk. The information about the performance of a fund is easily available. There are fund managers who are more consistent in giving better returns. You can chose the fund on the basis of who manages it, apart from looking at the risks and returns.

Srikanth: How is the return on a Mutual Fund calculated? Since the fund invests in many stocks, how do we know the return on the fund?

Prof. Nicky: Good Question. I am glad you are thinking. In the case of mutual funds, instead of Prices, we have the Net Asset Values (NAVs). The NAV is the net asset of the fund (total assets minus liabilities) divided by the total number of outstanding units. Just like shares of a company, you have units of a mutual fund. The value of a unit is referred to as the NAV. You can calculate the return by taking the difference in NAVs on the date of investment and the date of selling the units divided by the NAV on the date of investment.

Srikanth: So it works just like shares?

Prof. Nicky: Exactly like it. And you get the benefits of an expert investing your money for you, you save time, you have a better diversified portfolio, and you may even invest in a tax saving scheme if you want.


Sparkles of Textese in Marketing

Now what is this “Textese”?!!

It is also known as txt-speak, txtese, chatspeak, txt, txtspk, txtk, txto, texting language, txt lingo, SMSish, txtslang,or txt talk.

‘Textese’ is also commonly known as the Gen Y language. We are the inventors and the sellers. To write a huge paragraph in a small line is something worth appreciating. ‘Textese’ has become an integral part of our communicating. It not only makes a gruesome conversation more fun but revealing too! That is what the marketing motto is. “Revealing, sellable, attractive and catchable”. To sell a product or to establish a business the first step to the customer or establishment in the market is through the human senses and to do so if the same mode of communication is amplified then that becomes more convenient.

Therefore the “AD” world is using it to make it more catchy, cost and space saving. For example, an advertisement of a book uses the SMS language: EAT RIGHT 4 YOUR TYPE.

Companies believe that to speak the language of your customer is the easiest way to capture the market. Unilever’s advertisement for their novel range of deodorant for teenage girls uses the phrase “OMG!  Moments. “David Lang, president of the team who created the advertisement commented that they desired to bring across the impression that they identify with youth culture and discourse.

Many other companies like McDonald’s have also attempted to pursue the teenage market by using SMS language abbreviations in their commercials. McDonald’s in Korea has an online video commercial which concludes with: “r u ready?”

Remember: “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you cannot get them across, your ideas will not get you anywhere”-Lee Iacocca

Contributed by Trishagni Sen ( Class of 2014, IBS Hyderabad)

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Internship’s: failures are unproven theorems

I am writing this article to share my experiences and heart breaks in my fight to find a good summer internship. All this just to give my resume the right content before, I go out to fight the battle royal of entrepreneurs in my final placements.  Summer internship’s undoubtedly the most important part of an MBA student’s career, just like others I too had high hopes of developing a marketing strategy of a big FMCG giant or if that not worked out TATA’s have always been the Indian hot favorites. I had a clear vision, if I am going to do marketing I will start from this very moment by marketing me to these firms.  As they say when you are young, you believe the opportunities are endless, going on the same lines I made a firm decision of not seeking any help from college placement cell or for that matter of fact from my parents. Calendars showed 1st February and it was time to put the pedal to the metal for me. I started bugging into my seniors to get the company profiles, project details and last but by no means least the STIPEND. I used to read articles on the internet where people were earning from 30-50 thousand per month in internship, students going overseas, people doing social service still earning. This was more than enough for a student to arouse the passion and pass adrenalin with a gush to find an internship that would do my pockets and Resume wonders.  By the end of February when nothing specific turned out, what I was left with was the genie of modern era: internet.  Time was the most essential commodity and it had suddenly started passing like a Japanese bullet train. I decided not to waste time and started approaching companies via e-mail with a heavenly loaded resume that could easily catch eyes of the reader. A week gone and I was approaching the end of February the inbox was still empty. By grace of god the replies started pouring in at the end of February, they were not from the big giants of the Indian market however ego was to be set aside as work was also a priority. I sat in for few interviews; most of them wanted a telephone operator, or a street roamer or a counselor what could come seven days a week and convince people to join something that was not even worth for them in education.

Then came the month of March nothing found in February, I had to do it this time or I was out for a toss and a heavy loss in my Grades. It was time for me to act; the general notion with e-mails is you should have an excellent cover letter to attract attention. Even an iota of mistake at this time could have proved harmful for me; I decided to take expert help in drafting my cover letter. My entire business communication faculty I knew, my English lecturers in Graduation College and internet were the sources I used to draft a cover letter, and one I must say if not the best was amongst the good ones.  It was time to get back to work, e-mails were sent again and I must say the number of companies approached were at least 30. Spamming and repetition was the last thing I could have wanted to do to my employers, as 6 months later it was time for final placements. The internet which used to look like connecting the whole world looked limited to a Google, face book and a YouTube home page. The validity of people on internet was a big doubt for me, now LinkedIn started looking FAKE and Google had become more complicated than ever. The pat on back from friends had turned evil in nature as many of them had found one from college or from their family links. The night is darkest before the dawn; it started seeming a situation of endless eclipse in my life. It was time I decided to compromise not only with the stipend but also the brand name. The search was on but the faith and glory was lost in the dark. It’s an old great saying “perseverance is a great element of success, if you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody”. Fortunes changed not by wonders, but at least they showed the silver lining. The 2 month long search ended on 4th April with Autocar India. Stipend was lost in heavens, project was good. The end was not a Hollywood movie story but I got 1 thing to say at my final interviews which no one could beat “the most difficult part of my internship was finding one”