Companies that make products can be imagined to lie on a continuum that has two ends – one end where all products manufactured are the same (standardized) and the other where each product manufactured is customized to the specific needs of the customer for whom it is manufactured. I think any resume made on campus can also be visualized to lie somewhere on such a continuum. There are people who have been able to make many variations of their resumes by customizing their work experience to what each company they are applying to might be looking for. There are others who have almost the same resume for almost all the companies they are applying to, may be with just a few minor changes here and there. I know a person of the former kind. It is amazing to see how he rewords what he has done in different ways to make it look completely different each time. The only problem I presume could be that he goes to an interview and it takes him some time to realize which version of what he has done has to be talked about 🙂

Meanwhile, more PPTs have happened since my last post on the topic. The latest ones to be on campus for the PPTs are J.P. Morgan, HLL, Godrej, Accenture Consulting, Nokia, TVS Motors, Tata Motors, Castrol, Frigoglass, eBay, Sierra Atlantic, ITpreneur, Atos Origin, ECS Ltd & Rabo Finance. There are 7 more PPTs lined up for today.

Return of a married man

Kamalesh got married in Chennai on Saturday and returned to ISB today. KR & Co had decorated Kamalesh’s apartment here and we all planned to get inside his apartment and surprise him when he arrived with his wife. As soon as news came that Kamalesh had arrived on campus, we switched off all the lights in the apartment and the wait started. After a long wait, the couple finally showed up at the apartment and the gang managed to surprise them. Here are a few photos from Kamalesh’s marriage and the party we had today. These snaps come courtesy the other Raam at ISB.

At the wedding

Exchange students who had gone to attend the wedding

Ramki hiding behing the sofa ready to surprise the couple

A part of the gang hiding in a corner of the apartment

Kamalesh getting ready to cut the cake

Mani singing a movie song

(L to R) Chandu, Ramki, Mani, Girish, Clickie, Bharani. The one sitting in the sofa is Rajani

AT Kearney Session

Came back just now from AT Kearney’s PPT and the informal chat with ATK employees after that. On the whole, it was a very useful session. The PPT was done very professionally and we had a fruitful interaction with two of their employees, one of whom was an ISB alum and the other one, an IIMB grad. Both of them provided important pointers w.r.t case interviews and on what ATK tries to look for in a candidate through his resume and from his interviews.

News from the placement front is that bulk of the placements this year are supposed to happen in the week between the 7th term and the 8th term in Feb. A bidding system is being used to allot slots to the companies during the placement week according to the bids made by students for the companies. A lot of PPTs have happened and many more are scheduled in the next few days. Companies that have come till now for PPTs include McKinsey, BCG, AT Kearney, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, E&Y, Agilent, Motorola, Intel, Mittal Steel, Microsoft, Amazon, Diamond Cluster, British Telecom, MBT, Subex Systems, NIIT, Virtusa, Trilogy, IBM, Infosys, TCS, Wipro, Satyam, Cognizant, Inductis, Computer Associates, Patni, Fractal Analysis, ITC Infotech, Infotech Enterprises, Tavant, RPG, J&J, ITC, BP, Hero Honda, Essar Group, TCG, Gati, HT Media, Apollo Hospitals, Convergys, ExlService & Genpact.

More Thyagaraja Aradhanas

Recordings of the Thyagaraja Aradhana organized by Jaya TV recently in Chennai were broadcast today morning. Many top artistes of the carnatic world were there. Some noted young vocalists were not present though. Three top mridangists – Umayalapuram K Sivaraman, Mannargudi Easwaran and Srimushnam Raja Rao led the percussionists. The good part about the program was that the songs were not cut for showing ads. The way Jaya TV has been giving increased importance to music programs in the past few years is commendable. The music festival they conduct during the December Music Season in Chennai and broadcast later on their channel is now very famous.

Moving on to other news from the music world, Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha, a prominent organizer of carnatic music concerts in Delhi will hold its annual Thyagaraja Music & Dance Festival this year from 24th Feb to 5th March. This festival is probably the only one of its kind in Delhi where many renowned carnatic artistes are invited to perform. It is sad that I will not be able to attend the concerts this year.

Read an article on which mentions about plans to demolish Saint Thyagaraja’s house and build a modern memorial there. Please click here to access the article. I somehow do not like this plan at all and agree with the author’s view on this.

A blog on learnings from ISB

Alok has started a new blog on learnings from ISB. URL is . The storehouse of knowledge that he is, I am sure this blog of his will be a good read and of help to many. Hope he keeps updating it regularly.

McKinsey shortlist arrived yesterday. 35 people have been selected for the next round of interviews.

Interviews for round 2 (R2) of admissions for the next batch have started. Wishing all the very best to R2 applicants !!!!

First few days @ ISB

I was having dinner yesterday night with my quaddie Alok when we suddenly started recounting how we met each other and what transpired on the day we entered the campus. In my case, I remember landing on campus along with some 20-25 other people in a Swaraj Mazda van that ISB had sent to pick us up. The train from Delhi had arrived late and I think it was around 10:30PM when we reached the campus. The security guys at the gate were supposed to let us know what student village we were allotted. When my turn came, I was told that I had already checked in. Don’t remember whether I was surprised or shocked to hear that then. After talking to two more colleagues of theirs, the security staff finally told me that I was supposed to go to student village 2 (SV2).

Upon reaching SV2, I found that the guy at the reception there had already put a tick mark against my name which again meant that I had already checked in. I was wondering what was wrong with these guys. However within a minute or two, the housekeeping staff gave me my room keys and helped me carry my luggage to my apartment. After dumping my stuff, I started checking if someone else had checked in to the apartment. I found one of the rooms open and a guy in pyjama sprawled upside down on the bed in deep sleep. Came to know later that it was KP. No one else had come yet.

After freshening up and changing clothes, Bhatia (my friend from Delhi) and I went on a hunt for food. I was awestruck with the beauty of this place when I came out of the student village. We had food at the cafe (yes, it was open past midnight then), checked our registration schedules, roamed around the campus for sometime, got lost, managed to find our way back (since almost everything is located in around a circle here) and finally hit the bed.

After getting up in the morning, I again went to KP’s room and saw KP still in the same condition, sleeping as though someone had told him that he will never get to sleep once the classes start. I was wondering what to do next when suddenly the apartment door opened and a guy walked in followed by a housekeeping guy who was carrying most of his luggage. He went straight into his room and after sometime came into the living room, searched for the TV remote, settled down on the sofa and switched on the TV. All the guys I had met or seen till now (except of course KP) looked so serious with a determined look on their faces and there was this funny looking chap who comes in and of all the things starts watching TV? He introduced himself as Alok and we started talking about how we managed to land up here.

The last guy to join the quad was Vikram. Only Alok was present in the quad when he came in and he distinctly remembers Vikram coming and knocking like a mad man on each of the doors to find out if anyone was already there.

When I went for registration, the first person behind the counter had the same puzzled look on his face which the security and the housekeeping guys had when I entered the campus. When I asked him what happened, he told me that there was another guy with the same name who had registered a few minutes back. To make matters worse for me, my namesake was placed in the same section as I was when Term 1 started. Since then there has been a battle raging between us as to which one of us is going to change his name. Hope we both don’t get placed in the same company as well 😉

The latest addiction

Foosball is the latest addiction for many here on campus. Ever since the foosball table was set up in our student village (courtesy Condi, our sports club president), people of all ages have been flocking this place. I have even seen people playing at 3AM early morning (or late night for them??). For my quaddie Alok who is obsessed with video games of all kinds, this has been a new stuff to try his hands at. Please click here to check out some foosball snaps at Clickie’s blog .

PPTs are taking place as usual. We even have 3-4 PPTs a day sometimes. A company that came for PPT on Saturday offered what might probably turn out to be the highest salary of the campus this year if some student manages to convert it. They require very specific profiles with a considerable pre-ISB work experience.

Thayagaraja Aradhana

Saint Thyagaraja was one of the greatest composers ever to have graced this planet. He lived in the 18th century and composed songs that are sung the most in carnatic classical concerts even today. Details on the saint and his life are available at this link and in many other sites on the net.

The Thyagaraja Aradhana is celebrated every year on the “Bagula Panchami” day when the saint attained “samadhi” and left this world. Musicians from all around the world congregate and sing his songs in the festival that is organized for 4-5 days, one of these days being the “Bagula Panchami” day, in a place called Tiruvaiyaru in Tamil Nadu. The highlight of the festival is the group rendering of Sri Thyagaraja’s “Pancharatna Kritis” – five magnificent compositions of the saint, on the Bagula Panchami day. The event used to be telecast/broadcast live by DD and All India Radio every year. Have been able to see the telecast every year for the past 4 years. Don’t know whether the telecast happened this year (it most probably would have). Couldn’t see it yesterday as I was tied with many other things.

Thyagaraja Aradhana is also done at many places around the world by musicians living in those areas. I was very fortunate to have played in at least two aradhanas every year in Delhi for the past 6-7 years. I don’t know if it is just the case with me but singing or playing for the “Pancharatna Kritis” brings a completely different feeling. The traditional way of singing the compositions preserves their beauty and brings out the meaning of every phrase very well. However the group singing of these kritis at Tiruvaiyaru, may be because it involves so many popular musicians, has been close to a flop show at least for the years that I have heard it. There is a total lack of synchronization between the musicians and this has been discussed/debated in many sites/forums on the net.

Missing the aradhanas a lot this year. Hope to start participating in the aradhanas at one place or the other from next year onwards. Feel really blessed to have been learning Indian Classical Music. Want to continue learning and performing throughout the rest of my life too.


Life these days is all about attending pre-placement talks (PPTs). One thing I have discovered after attending the talks that have happened till now is that sometimes there is no relation between the image one forms about a company by attending a presentation made by someone from the company and the actual state of affairs existing there or the kind of exciting opportunities the company can offer. For instance, we had a PPT by a firm who most of us here know does good work and treats MBAs well. But the way the PPT was done was not reflective of all of this. The people who represented it said things like “our unique business model is about targeting customers to generate revenues”, “our value proposition is that we either do it or don’t do it”, “our key competitors are everybody and nobody” etc. By and large the other PPTs have gone very well and given a good idea of the roles that companies are looking for.

One of the things that goes with doing an MBA in a school where students come from diverse backgrounds and with prior work experience is that companies do not come for recruitment with fixed roles in mind. One more thing is that the compensation is decided based on so many factors like your past work experience, your negotiation skills etc. At least this is what has come out from the PPTs we have had so far.

Just came back after attending the Wipro PPT and I must say I was really impressed by the way the Wipro team handled it. The team was comprised of all high profile guys (President–Finance Solutions, VP-Supply Chain, VP Operations – WBPO, GM-HR and GM-Enterprise Solutions). They are again looking for roles across Wipro (Wirpo Tech, Wipro Infotech, Wipro BPO and their FMCG business).

Kite Flying Competition

We had a kite flying competition this Sunday. Teams of students and spouses with 2-5 members each participated. I was part of a team of four. Had a lot of fun. Here are a few snaps ……


The kites are here !!!!

Condi: The man behind the show

A participant (son of a batchmate) gets ready with his kite

Pre-ISB days: Used to fly fighter planes; in ISB: flying kites 🙂

The competition in full swing

Here comes my team ………………………


Murali & Anand

Thats me !!!

Birthday celebration of a different kind

It is my batchmate Aditya’s birthday today. The ISB tradition of dunking him in the swimming pool yesterday at midnight could not fulfilled as there was no water in the pool. Did he get spared? Not at all. The celebrations started with my quaddie Vikram preparing two bucket full of liquids to be used to drench him. The ingredients used were anti-dandruff shampoo, detergent powder etc.

A proud Vikram (seen with the mixture he prepared)

Aditya “dunked” in the 1 inch (?) deep mirror pool using Vikram’s preparations

The gang trying to pour whatever is left on KP

This was just the beginning. The next item to be used for the occasion were eggs. Tomato ketchup followed suit. Everytime Aditya cleaned himself up, a new item would be applied on him. This would probably be the first birthday on campus where so many items were used on the birthday boy ……….. and finally, here is a snap of the cake

….. and here is a snap of the birthday boy with cake smeared on his face

Happy Pongal/Lohri/Bihu !!

Wishing you a Happy Pongal/Lohri/Bihu !!!

Just came back after attending a Lohri Celebration organized by the Spouses & Family Association (SFA). The bonfire there brought back memories of Lohri celebrrations back home in Delhi. On my way to attend the BCG PPT. Will post more on the Ahobilam trip tomorrow.

The Trip to Ahobilam – Part 2

(Click here to access Part 1 of this thread)

We reached “upper Ahobilam” after about driving for 8kms from “lower Ahobilam”. Once you reach this place, you cannot drive any further as the road reaches a dead end and there are only hills to be seen. The guide we had hired for the trip at lower Ahobilam refused to take us upto “ugra sthambam” which is located at the peak of one of the hills. He said he had some problem in his legs and would not be able to make the really tough last stretch to reach that place. Since Murali wanted to go to the top and then come back, another guide was arranged for us.

Here are some snaps taken at the start of the climb upwards:

Temple with the Ugra Narasimhar Sannidhi
Ramki, Rajni & Karthik
I think this is called the Paavanaasini spring. A dip here is supposed to absolve one of all sins committed.
View from the top of the spring

The first shrine we visited while climbing to the top was that of “Varaha Narasimhar”. To reach this, we would have walked about 1 km from the upper ahobilam temple.

After trekking for about a km or so more, we arrived at the “Malola Narasimhar” temple.

From here, after a somewhat difficult climb, we arrived at “Prahalada Padi”. It is said that this is the place where Prahalada had his schooling.
Thats Murali doing the trekking barefoot. Requires lots of guts to do that in a jungle (with all kinds of stones, thorns etc on the way)
View of the place in upper ahobilam from where we started from a place near Prahalada Padi

Prahalada Padi

More in the next post ………..

(Click here to access Part 3 of this thread)