ISB students shine !!!

Mails have been pouring in for about 2-3 weeks now, of ISB students having secured first position in one B-School competition or the other. The latest news is that two ISB teams have been shortlisted for the final of the Innovation Challenge being organized by Thunderbird (The Garvin School of International Management). Of the 10 teams that made it to the final from a host of B-Schools worldwide, ISB is the only Indian B-School. Click here to see the results.

This was sent by a batchmate of mine:
” Quote from the audioblog:
While announcing the final 10 teams, this is what they said:
Anil: And here is something unique. For the first time in innovation challenge, there are 2 teams from a single school in the final round, and they are from the Indian School of Business. What do you have to say about that Bob?

Bob(one of the judges) : I think it’s a sign of times !”

Proud to be a part of the ISB community !!!

Blogs by ISBians

Added many more blogs by ISBians to the list of blogs in the sidebar on the right. Check them out, especially the one by “Wife of an ISBian”.

Profs this term

I had listed the subjects I have taken this term and the profs teaching them in an earlier post of mine. (Click here to access the same).

Prof. Vikas Mittal is “the coolest one“. He is very accomodative, easily approachable (not that the other ones aren’t) and probably the most friendly one. He brings back memories of Prof. Anjani Jain who took the Decision Models & Optimization course for us in the core terms. But usually the profs who have seemed to be really friendly and cool have been the ones who have tormented us the most in the exams. Hope Prof. Mittal breaks the tradition.

Prof. Seshan Ramaswami is “the fastest one“. He would easily beat anyone if there was a competition of speaking the maximum number of words in a given time. In his first lecture, he would have finished saying 5-6 sentences by the time we were able to comprehend the first sentence he spoke. We have somehow got adjusted to his speed now. The most interesting part of his class is where he shows us a series of ads and asks us some simple survey like questions based on those to illustrate some of the concepts. Some of the ads are really good ones.

Prof. Nirmal Gupta is “the best one“. Kya funde hain unke baap. Ekdam solid. I would rate him as the best professor we have had till now at ISB (the only prof who would match him or come a close second in my ratings is Prof. Krishna Kumar who took our Global Economics course in the core terms). My interest in marketing has reached new heights after I started attending his classes. Almost every marketing prof we have had here has been good in his own right. But in my humble opinion, no one can beat this guy. I sometimes just feel like falling at his feet and imploring him to take me as his student for life. It would be really great if the acad office people here can somehow convince him to take all the marketing courses we had in the core terms. This would build a very strong foundation for people who want to take up marketing as a career post-ISB. Another interesting part of his classes is that he takes up a lot of cases related to Indian companies and marketing in India which is a welcome change from the international ones we usually have.

Latest news is that I am trying to shatter my reputation of being the silent guy of the class by starting to do some CP (class participation). I have spoken twice in the consumer behavior class and once in the marketing implementation class this term. I think I had spoken in class only twice in all the four core terms put together earning me names like”the silent one” and “silent Ram”. The justification from my side is that I don’t feel like speaking unless I have something really useful & interesting or some really novel idea/thought to contribute and nothing like that usually comes to my mind these days. I especially hate to speak in classes that have marks for class participation. There was a mini “satta bazaar” here on the last day of the core terms with some people in my section placing bets on whether I would open my mouth in class or not. Needless to say, I kept my silence that day too. RC, who undoubtedly would be among the toppers of the batch, had changed my name to PDS (pin drop silence). Interestingly I am just the opposite of this outside the class …. keep talking, taking, talking for most of the time I am awake. AN, a batchmate, had the following in the note he gave me in the last LDP class we had a couple of terms back: “amazing duality – silent in class, brat outside”.

Life in Term 5

“Kya se kya .. ho gaya ….”

It suddenly seems like Term 1 days are back. New study groups have formed with the added complexity that the constituents differ for different subjects as different people have chosen different electives. Between the 5 subjects and the project that I am doing, I have some 26 different people apart from me constituting the study groups I am a part of. Its becoming tough to remember who all are in which of my study groups for which subject.

The number of assignments have also increased. I am cursing the day I decided to bid for 5 subjects. Two finance courses and a logistics & supply chain course have eaten away whatever was left of people’s sleeping hours.

In the core terms, each section had a classroom allocated to it. So we had fixed seating layouts and our name cards used to be placed in the classrooms at our respective seats. With different subjects to be attended in different classrooms this term onwards, people have to carry their name cards along with them. Since we are not used to doing this, we invariably forget to take our name cards along from one class to the other. The other day, I went to the logistics class and there was a name card staring at me from my seat with “DON’T FORGET TO TAKE” written in bold letters at the back of it. Apparently, the person in question had forgotten to see what he had written at the back of the card and left it where it was in the class before ours.

Deutche Bank is coming in Nov for placements. Fin enthusiasts are all busy preparing and can no longer be seen hanging out.

News from the world of music (this one is slightly old): The Music Academy, Chennai will apparently host this year’s season concerts from December 17, 2005. The prestigious ‘Sangitha Kalandhi’ title will be awarded to senior violinist M. Chandrasekharan. This person lost his eye sight even before he was two, following an attack of jaundice. Despite this severe handicap, he learnt to sing and play the violin. One of the senior most violinists alive today, he has given many solo concerts and accompanied almost all the top-notch artistes of the carnatic world. Its really inspiring to hear him play. May god give him a long life ahead and may he and his violin continue to enthrall his fans forever.

Business & Arts programme

Sanjay Bhattacharya, successful painter and Shekhar Kapur, famous director (of Elizabeth fame) were here on campus as a part of the Business & Arts programme.

Sanjay Bhattacharya was the “Artist in Residence” this year and stayed at ISB for 3-4 days and made some lovely paintings. Heard he was very approachable and a very down-to-earth person. Shekhar Kapur came this Sunday and gave a talk to the ISB community. I couldn’t attend the talk but heard that most parts of what he spoke were total bouncers to the audience. Heard he talked about quantum physics, vedanta etc and drifted from topic to topic. We had heard earlier that he is a very good speaker and that had set very high expectations in many people’s minds about his talk. What he chose to speak might not have been appropriate for this forum, resulting in very low levels of satisfaction among many who attended his talk.

More details on the Business & Art programme in ISB website’s News & Events section. Click here to access it.

Dandiya Nite

Dandiya nite today @ ISB was just awesome. All credit goes to the Spouses & Family Association (SFA) for organizing it and to students, their spouses & their kids, faculty and staff for such an enthusiastic participation. Sarovar people prepared a special Gujarati dinner …. certainly one of the best dinners I have had in the past few weeks …. wish there was a festival every night to keep them motivated :-)

For more information on dandiya in general, please click here.

Here are some snaps from the event (click on the snaps to enlarge) …….

….. and finally … this is Bharani – the grandpa of all ISB bloggers of this batch (including cute boy)

The Music Season

The Music Season” refers to the festival of music and dance held annually by many sabhas (organizations that arrange concerts) in the city of Chennai (Madras) in the months of December & January every year. Very popular among fans of Indian Classical Music, especially among fans of Carnatic Music, the season involves performances by almost all top-class artistes of the country (and from abroad). Fans from all over the world flock to Chennai during this time. The good part about the season is that there are so many concerts happening everyday at so many places that you have a wide variety of artistes to choose from and hear. Sometimes it gets really confusing as to which concert to go to when you have all your favorites performing on the same day. Was fortunate enough to be there in Chennai for 2-3 days during the last 2 seasons. Sanjay Subrahmanyam and T.M.Krishna are my favorite singers and I attended as many concerts of theirs as I could. Don’t think I will get a chance to go there this year, courtesy acads @ ISB.

To get more details on this year’s season, please click here. The concert schedules have not been posted yet; must be coming soon.

BCG Session

Just came back from a 2.5 hr BCG session on resume building & insights into BCG’s recruitment process. Almost the entire student community was out there and it was very difficult to even find a place to stand.

My study group for the logistics elective has spent most of today’s time on the logistics & supply chain assignment. Its been a long time since we had an assignment that consumed so much of our time. Future assignments are predicted to be even tougher.

Have attended one lecture each of four of the five courses I have taken this term. The most impressive of the lot was the “Marketing Implementation” lecture by Prof. Nirmal Gupta. Every new term seems to throw up a better marketing prof than we have had before (almost all the profs have been good). Prof Nirmal Gupta, in my opinion, is the best of the lot. There was a lot of expectation from the lecture after having heard a lot about him & after having seen people bid like crazy for his course. I came out from the class more than satisfied and with my interest level in marketing going up even higher. Looking forward to a lot of learning from the remaining 9 lectures of this course.

My quaddies

Quaddies is how we refer to people who share a “shared” apartment (also called a quad) here. 4 quaddies share a quad .. now wasn’t that kind of obvious? My quaddies are KP, V & A.

KP flies off to Delhi as soon as the last exam of a term gets over. There is a lot of doubt in our minds as to whether he actually goes home or elsewhere. He comes back usually on the morning of the day the new term starts. Packs off some 20 kg stuff in his big suitcase when he leaves. God knows what he carries everytime … dowry is what we suspect. He is also the guy who studies the most.

V has gone cuckoo after buying new set of speakers for his age old laptop. Keeps listening to all kinds of crap throughout the day. If you ever come to ISB and happen to see a guy in a sleeveless shirt flexing his muscles, it is V. There is another guy who also roams around wearing sleeveless shirts but the absence of muscles is apparent.

Then there is A ….. the brainy chap. The following are activities that he spends most of his time on (percentages are indicative and might vary from day to day):
1) Playing computer games – 60%
2) Watching TV – 15%
3) Stock trading – 5%
4) Acad related work – 5%
5) Sleeping et al – 15%

Computer games is what he can be found playing most of the time; has even played games throughout the night many times. He has a very powerful memory ….. just has a glance at all the study material of a “faffy” subject a few hours before the exam and everything gets photocopied in his short term memory. He is also very strong in subjects that have a lot of quant involvement.

Finally, there is me. Most part of my day is spent sleeping. When I am not doing that, I can be found either talking to someone who falls prey to having a conversation with me or checking my mails or attending(?) a lecture, dead like a log.

Term 5 begins tomorrow

Term 5 classes begin tomorrow. Life has returned to campus as many students are back from vacation.

I have taken the following electives this term:
1) Marketing Research – Prof. Sachin Gupta/Prof. Vikas Mittal
2) Marketing Implementation – Prof. Nirmal Gupta
3) Consumer Behavior – Prof. Seshan Ramaswami
4) Logistics and Supply Chain Management – Prof. Milind Sohoni
5) Managing IT – Prof. Mani Subramani

Have classes of 1) and 4) above, today. Please click on the faculty names above to access their short profiles. Details of the courses can also be found in the ISB website.

Prof. Nirmal Gupta’s rating as a faculty is very very high. He is supposed to be one of the best professors of the elective terms. This is probably the reason why bids for his courses always end up pretty high. Looking forward to attending his class day after tomorrow.

Came across an article on voice management for singers a few weeks back (its actually an interview with a voice therapist). Might be useful to both young budding classical singers as well as professionals. Click here to view the same.

Back from Mumbai

Came back from Mumbai yesterday. Spent 3 full days there mostly working on my ELP (project) which essentially meant that I couldn’t go site-seeing nor go home to Delhi this time too. Looks like I will be able to visit people @ home only after this course gets over.

Mumbai was a bit overcrowded everywhere I went and the weather too was very hot. It was a kind of pleasant transition arriving at Hyderabad where the sky was overcast with clouds. Its been raining intermittently since yesterday.

Term 5 starts from Monday onwards. Just 2 more days left of this term break :-(

One hell of a break

This is the longest term break that we ever got and that we will ever get. The campus has never been so empty. I couldn’t find a soul yesterday night in my student village. Felt so bored that I went searching for civilization and finally found 2-3 guys in another student village. We then watched the movie “The Silence of the Lambs” together. I had wanted to watch this movie for a long time but didn’t get a chance until yesterday. Also saw the movie “Forrest Gump” yesterday. Spent rest of the time working with my ELP (project) team, preparing presentations to be given to our client. Will be leaving for Mumbai tomorrow in connection with the ELP and hence will not be able to blog regularly for the rest of the week.

People who are left in the campus are busy in competitions of all kinds organized by other B-schools. As more people leave today and tomorrow for their project related work, still fewer will remain.

Started evaluating the applications for admission to the next batch today. Will continue doing it when I come back next week.

see ya …..

Half-way through

I am half-way through this management programme !!! 4th term officially ended today when the GSB exam got over. PBC (yes … you guessed right … Prof. Bhagwan Chowdhary) would say our MBA is over and its time to apply what we learnt in the core terms to the elective terms.

Need to mention a word or two about the exams we had today. The day started with the Investment Analysis paper … the one Prof. Subra (PS) taught us. Most people had a blank look on their faces not knowing what had struck them. Many people were contemplating whether to go ahead with their decision of taking finance electives or not. The GSB paper in the afternoon was worser than that … the first ten questions just asking statistics about things like infant mortality rate, this rate, that rate in ABC country etc.. Don’t know what people were expected to learn from all this stuff. There were a few sensible questions after that but most of the paper was greek and latin to me. It would have been much easier to keep the question paper full of multiple choice questions aside and start marking answers without looking at the questions. Anyway, got done with the 1 hour paper in 10 minutes flat without a clue as to whether most of the answers marked were right or wrong.

Fifth term starts in a week’s time. I am doing 5 subjects this time instead of the usual 4 every term. That combined with the ELP (project) should keep me busy throughout.

Before I sign off for the day, here is what a batchmate of mine had to say yesterday about the exams …. this is in Hindi:

“Samundar bhar syllabus hai.
Nadi bhar yaad hota hai.
Balti bhar likhte hain.
Chullu bhar marks aate hain.
Aur usee mein doob marte hain.”

Exams of a different kind

Term 4 has probably been the worst in terms of value addition. The last exam of this term (tomorrow) – the GSB paper sums it all up. We have to memorize data and vomit it all out. Anything that the prof has told in the class can be asked. Ex. population of ABC country, how many people are under the poverty line etc. Its strange that such sensible and knowledgeable profs end up setting exams like this and expect us to answer such questions. Gave the MO and SAIT exams today. IA and GSB to be given tomorrow. There is a lot to study.

People who do not have ELPs (projects) can go home for a full week. People like me who have ELPs have to stay back and do the ELP related work.

GSB beckons me ……

Last day in Section D

Prof. A.K.Shiva Kumar taking last lecture of GSB (last class as Section D)


We had our last class as a part of Section D (GSB lecture) yesterday. Sections will be disbanded once elective terms start as people will be pursuing different electives. Thoroughly enjoyed my time in D. Since I usually do not speak in class or ask questions even in subjects that carry marks for class participation, people had placed bets that I would at least open my mouth in the last class. Remaining true to my reputation, I maintained my silence.

We have the term end exams tomorrow and day after. Preparation for the exams this time is the worst among all four core terms. 3 out of 4 subjects require extensive faffing, which I am really bad at. One good subject this term is Investment Analysis. Feel very sad that I have not been able to devote time to it and am trying to do whatever little is possible just before the exams.