Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The QS World MBA Tour

Yesterday I have been to the world MBA tour @ Taj Krishna and happened to meet lot of representatives from premier B Schools. I have also met Francesca Revada of SDA Bocconi for a personalized orientation meeting about the college. It appeared a good school to me, but I believe I can make it to a better school than SDA :-; I missed meeting Nikkie of Ivey Richard in the afternoon but had a lot of time from her in the evening. The other premier school representatives I met were from Queens, Haas, Rotman, NUS, Emory, UC Irvine and Darden.

Surprise : The Surrprise to me was Wharton in the fair. I havent expected them. In fact I havent found them also for some time in the fair. I see a big group in the fair at one corner when I made my 3rd round and its none other than Wharton.

Best : The best one is from Ross school of Biz, U Mich. They have invited prospective students for a private reception in the Garden room and I happened to spend some time and clarify my doubts about the program with few of the alumni present at the meeting. The school impressed me. But way to go to decide now...

Marketing of QS MBA tour: I see a lot of freshers and final year grads came to the fair and requesting for info. I think its not marketted properly to reach the targetted audience.

One final thing : Now I am giving a thought of US B Schools..Not sure what way I am going myself...But I am pretty sure I will land up with what I like the most..

Monday, November 28, 2005

The saga of IIPM v/s Gaurav Sabnis

The forward worth a read....

I dont know if any of you have been following this story....looks like some one finally blew the lid of IIPM....whats worse is the shape the story is finally taking....Gaurav Sabnis is an alumnus of IIM Lucknow and it is indeed great to see that he had courageously waged a war against an insititute like IIPM - to the extent that he resigned from IBM (on his own volition) to stand by his blog and his freedom of speech.

The recent most update on this entire saga is now available at the latest edition of Business World. Business World conducted a detailed analysis of the entire issue and found out the following:When the chickens come home...The curious case of Arindam Chaudhuri, the Indian Institute of Planning & Management and Planman ConsultingCast of characters "Professor"

Arindam Chaudhuri: A man who is incessantly advertised and promoted in the most hyperbolic terms by the organisations he runs. The publicity materials tout him as "a management guru", "a best selling author of management books" - notably Count Your Chicken Before They Hatch, an "iconoclastic film maker", creator of the "Theory i Management", an "economist by passion", a trainer of leaders, CEOs.... He is the dean, Centre for Economic Research and Advanced Studies, at the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM), a management training institute started by his father. Apart from that, he founded Planman Consulting and Planman Motion Pictures.

Rashmi Bansal: Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad alumna, founder-editor of JAM - Just Another Magazine, a monthly publication targeted at the youth. She is also a contributing editor to Businessworld and writes a blog called youthcurry.

Gaurav Sabnis: Indian Institute of Management-Lucknow alumnus and inveterate blogger.Assorted bloggers: A few anonymous bloggers who purport to support IIPM and many others who jumped into the fray to defend Rashmi and Gaurav in the IIPM vs Rashmi Bansal and Gaurav Sabnis blog battle.

The case: IIPM brings out huge advertisements touting its facilities, its educational standards and its general excellence in the grandest possible terms. These ads exhort prospective business administration students to "Dare to Think Beyond the IIMs". According to an admission counsellor, IIPM charges its students Rs 5.26 lakh for its MBA course and Rs 8.85 lakh for its BBA +MBA integrated course, making it one of the most expensive management courses in the country. It claims: "What We Teach Today, Others Adopt Tomorrow." It advertises that its students are placed with some of the biggest names in India. However, the IIPM degree is not recognised by AICTE, UGC or any of the other Indian educational bodies.In June, JAM decided to take a close look at the IIPM advertised claims. It published its results in an article titled 'The Truth Behind IIPM's Tall Claims'. Its general conclusion was that the IIPM claims were, to put it charitably, vastly exaggerated. And that students seeking admission to its courses should carefully check out what they were actually likely to get out of it.The matter rested there for some time until Gaurav Sabnis linked the JAM article on IIPM to his blog, and added his opinion about the institute. IIPM reacted angrily by sending him a stern letter, phrased in legal terms, asking him to pull out all references to the institute, failing which it would sue him for libel for Rs 125 crore. Sabnis promptly put up this letter on his website. IIPM then sent a similar notice to Rashmi Bansal and complained to IBM, Sabnis's employers. Sabnis took the high ground, quit his job and wrote about it in his blog. Bansal too posted updates about IIPM's actions on her blog. This triggered off a full-scale war on the Web among bloggers who saw IIPM's actions as a threat to free speech and IIPM supporters who reviled Bansal and Sabnis in the crassest terms. Meanwhile, "Professor" Chaudhuri decided to pay a visit to the editors of various media houses to present his side of the case. He visited Businessworld and invited it to conduct its own examination of the IIPM facilities and his credentials. He promised to provide all documentary evidence to prove the veracity of his claims. However, he also pointed out that his advertisements were models of careful wording.

Businessworld's investigation: At the outset we must confess that despite his claims of providing us with all help, neither Chaudhuri nor his head of corporate communications, Amit Saxena, provided us with the details we had asked for. Among the things BW had asked for were specific details on companies that come for campus recruitments at IIPM, salary details of the people placed, details about its faculty and facilities, as well as details of its study tours and other advertising claims. What we got from them by way of reply was a one-page letter full of generalities about liars (Bansal and Sabnis presumably) and the "inferiority complex of the pampered students of the IIMs".BW, however, sent its reporters to various IIPM facilities to verify the claims of Chaudhuri, IIPM and Planman Consulting. Here are our findings:

The IIPM infrastructure: The institute takes in students at various branches/ centres - Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai and New Delhi. It charges the same fees from all these students. However, the swimming pool, 300-seater auditorium, seven huge amphitheatre classrooms, mini golf course, and other fancy facilities are restricted to just one campus - the one at Chhattarpur in New Delhi. The other places are fairly average affairs and can in no way claim to be world-class - unless of course one considers sub-Saharan Africa as the standard. Chaudhuri has a ready explanation for the ad claims in this regard: "We have only one campus. The rest are branches."

The IIPM faculty: Well, the bulk of the IIPM faculty is made up of former IIPM students. You pass out and promptly start teaching. Average age of permanent faculty: 27. Research conducted by faculty: no verifiable data that we could get our hands on. IIPM refused to cooperate. Chaudhuri has this to say: "Other institutes use people who have studied psychology and economics to take their classes. We are the only ones who have MBAs. And we extensively use Planman Consulting staff who have vast consulting experience." It is a nice example of vertical integration. You join IIPM. Pass out and join IIPM as faculty or Planman Consulting as a consultant. If you are a consultant, you also teach at IIPM. The loop is complete.

Being taught by world-class faculty: OK, this one is stretching the reality a bit too far. Faculty from the names that IIPM advertises so heavily - Harvard, Columbia, Wharton, Oxford, Cambridge, Stanford et al - do not actually 'teach' at IIPM. Instead of picking a subject and teaching it over some weeks, as is the practice at the Indian School of Business, they just collect students at an auditorium and give a one-time lecture.

The placements: The IIPM advertisement claims that 400 companies - including American Express, Coca-Cola, Max New York Life, Deloitte Consulting and Hindustan Lever - are involved in its placements. Here are the facts. One, IIPM didn't provide us with any proof that these firms actually visit its campus for placements. At least one of the companies - Max New York Life - confirmed that it had never recruited from IIPM campuses. Some other recruiters confirmed they did have IIPM alumni - but these people had applied directly and were chosen on their own merit, not through any IIPM placements. The big employers for IIPM students are IIPM itself and Planman Consulting. Many students go straight back to their family businesses. As for the claims about the high salaries offered to IIPM students, no documents were provided to BW. Chaudhuri said the ads never explicitly claim that the biggest names come for campus placements - all he says is that his students are placed in thoseorganisations. A fine distinction.

The IIPM degree: The IIPM degrees/certificates/testimonials are not recognised by either AICTE or UGC. Chaudhuri makes no bones about it. He says it is noted in the ad. But it is tucked away in small print at the bottom of that huge slogan: "What We Teach Today, Others Adopt Tomorrow." In case you missed the fine print, you were not alone.

IIPM and B-school rankings: IIPM proudly says it doesn't believe in B-school rankings because it feels that they have a mindset problem which results in institutes like the IIMs getting preference. However, it has no qualms about advertising its rank in any survey - no matter what the methodology - if it can claim a position within the top 10.Renowned economist/management guru status of Arindam Chaudhuri: Planman Consulting and IIPM consider Chaudhuri to be a management guru. Not surprising, given that he is closely associated with them. That apart, there is apparently an outfit named Om Venkatesa Society based in Chennai which awarded Chaudhuri the Management Guru of the Year award in 2000. Chaudhuri also is a bona fide gold medallist - from IIPM, the institute founded by his father.

Consulting services: According to Chaudhuri's profile, Planman Consulting provides solutions to firms like McKinsey & Company, Ernst & Young, Hewitt Associates, Samsung, Ranbaxy, etc. When contacted, people in these organisations failed to remember the consulting solutions he provided. Ranbaxy does remember Planman Consulting making a pitch to provide recruiting solutions to them. But it doesn't remember actually hiring it ever.

We could go on but that would be boring you, dear reader. If any of your friends are planning to join IIPM anytime soon, don't take merely our word for it. Tell them to Do their own research before they leap forward..

Friday, November 25, 2005

Oxford Interview Experience

Just done with my interview...

Interviewer : Dr Steve New

Experience: Pleasant and Good. Professor is cool and a pat for ur answers is good.

Initially, he had made me comfortable by letting me know what we are going to discuss and how much time we are gonna spend..

1. Current Job and Role
2. 10 Years down the line
3. Free Trade - For or Against it??
4. I told FOR and he asked why??
5. i told reasons and he asked me to talk against Free Trade
6. Finally what?? - I told FOR
7. He asked me if I am a member of Indian Govt, what exceptions will you see that you should take of AGAINST Free Trade
8. Interesting book
9. Interesting thing u read?? - Child Labour
10. How abt people talking abt regulating Child labour will be a problem - Given explaination of my view (hes satisfied with it)
11. My questions - Asked abt Social enterpreneurship @ Oxford, Placement scenario for Internationals
12. One final question from professor - what schools u applied - I told ISB and Cambridge. i told I am waiting for final call from ISB.

He told it will take 2-3 weeks, but promised me to get back as soon as possible.

Gut feel is that I have done it.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Harsha's Kaikooo

Just back from Harsha's Kaikoo program at Taj Residency. This is a quiz program on Hyderabad in the event of 10K run that is gonna happen this Sunday. Harsha as usual is superb in conducting the event. Though I am a participant, I am just there to find more information on Hyderabad rather than winning a quiz :-) Nice excuse huh!!! Ours is one of the 120 teams that participated. We were unable to make it to the final round where 6 teams were kikking themselves to win it over. 6 out of 120!!! I can never make into it with my little knowledge on Hyderabad. Kanbay team won the competition finally. Oops...not mentioned the major one, Harsha was the anchor..The other sports personalities there at the event were Pullela Gopichand and Mukesh Kumar. The event was organised by Intelligroup and some other cos.

Googlies: As always Harsha was good in his anchoring and here were few of the googlies throwed:
1. In visual round, two photos were shown and the participants were asked to link those : they were of GMC Balayogi and Lal bahadur Shastry. The answer was that 2 stadiums were named after these two in hyderabad. Some one got it right and Harsha told that the best part is they were not named after rajiv gandhi now(as most of them in hyderabad were after Congress came in)
2. For one of the question, some one answered as "Cover up". immediately Harsha had taken it up and told this is to be passed to few TV anchors now to cover them up(nice teaser on Mandira bedi huh!!!)
3. Again for one more question, the answer was given and some body screamed from back as "Harsha this is not Fair!!!"..Immediately he had taken it up and told "Where is fair thing boss?? Women are coming in as commentators for men's game??"

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Funny Oldie and Rubbish Assesment

Yesterday I was travelling back from office to home. There was a mad rush on the road and the traffic is rubbish. There was a long queue of vehicles moving slowly at Mehdipatnam. One oldie who was coming in a luna suddenly blowed a whistle ala a Police man. People started rushing and the traffic got cleared. One observation is that People are still afraid to Police. hmm there are lot of people who are making mistakes(else no way in hyderabad people will be afraid of police).

One another rubbish assesment at office. I was assessed for communication skills and I was asked to take a training in verbs, tenses etc., Its so rubbish and I dont know now where I should throw of my GMAT and TOEFL scores. I discussed the same with our HR yesterday and she just told nothing can be done. The crap thing she told is that even couple of senior managers are assessed at same level and asked to take training on verbs etc., She gave a statistic that only 2 out of 60 are having good comm skills and others are to be trained in these. Its one another case of the Assesment institute making mistake and every one in the organisation wasting time on that. God knows when the company realises who is making the mistake!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Long Wait!!!!!!

I heard from few that ISB will be giving the final results of the interview around Dec 31st. Thats a long wait for me. Now, am just focussed towards Oxford interview this week end. Need to see how it goes.

On the other side, i am liking Jai Chiranjeeva Songs much. Looking forward for its release. The fuss of the Jai Chiranjeeva Story created in our groups is dramatic. Yesterday there were lot of mails floated in the alumni group of our college. Finally the dust is settled now. The lesson learnt is "DO NOT FORWARD ANY MAIL THAT WILL HURT SOME ONE"

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

ISB Interview experience

Hi All:

I am done with my interview. Here is my experience:

Before sharing my exp, my profile:
Will be having 4 years exp by Feb 2006 (1.5 years as an entrepreneur and 2.5 years in IT)
GMAT 700
Acads 70% in BTech(Mechanical)
Extra Curriculars -
2 years Part time with NIIT
Rashtrapati, Rajya Puraskar awards as Scout
District and College Cricket player
Participated in various social activities
Won couple of other awards such as "Best Student" of the college and ward
Presented 3 technical papers
Instrumental in starting the "The Students Guild" in the college
Started "Debate Community" and "Soft Skills building"programs at organisations I work.....
Recos : Client and Mentor

Reached venue at 10:45 and my interview was scheduled at 11:00. I met one Rajeev from bangalore who came for interview. He is with Robert Bosch.

I was called in at around 11:10-11:15 AM.

Panel consists of Mr Menon, Mr Kannan and a Current student(unable to recollect his name)

They introduced themselves to start with and I have also done so.

Questions: 1. What I liked most in me?? The Engineer?? or The IT prof?? or The Entrepreneur??
2. Why a Ship will float where as a piece of Steel will not?? Screwed up here and finally was assisted by Mr Menon in understanding this.
3. Walk us thru ur career?
4. How u see that u adhere to SLAs in current role?5. What is ur greatest achievement so far?6. What kind of satisfaction u got from it?7. Why ISB?

Thats it. They asked me if I have any questions..

I asked about how ISB going to brand itself going ahead. Mr Menon told they will be accrediated by AICCB(?? not sure whether this is what he told me) and you can get into rankings and all once atleast 5 batches go out.

I have forgotten completely to discuss abt scholarship and all..They also havent asked me. I have done a mistake in Scholarship app that I selected "NO" for loans. Any current students throw some light on this?

Overall I am pretty confident to make it and it was a pretty cool interview. No leg pulling and all.

PS: For Today, they have called 7 people for the interview. This is pretty reliable info as I got this info from the right person, the Security!!!

All the best to Others

Regards, Nagendra

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Oxford and ISB Interview calls!!!

Got interview calls from Oxford and ISB in last 2 days. Hoping my head on what to decide once I get into both(Though seems more optimistic, I am confident to get into both). Yesterday been to ISB info session. Pretty impressed with it. Both ISB and Oxford have their own pros and cons. Bogging my head on what to do. Any way will give my best sho to ISB inter on 17th of this month. Oxford interview will be on 7th or 8th of December.

The much awaited "jai CHiranjeeva" audio is released today. I got an auido casette at morning 5:00 and still listening to songs. 3 Songs were excellent and rest are so-so. Waiting for JC audio function today. Will update you on how it goes!!!

Friday, November 11, 2005

My US Trip

Nothing much to tell today..So I am recollecting my US trip details..

It was a nice trip as it was my first overseas experience. Made good friends like Raj...Un fortunately we lost our project and I came back in the middle. Apart from this final one, everything went fine. Me, Sujeeth and Sandeep shared the room and we had all nice experiences. I met amala after a long time and had great time with Siva and her. Siva is a cool guy and good match to Amala. Dayton trip was awesome. The best of my trip is when I went to detroit to watch "Andarivaadu" movie. It was a horrified ride and thanks to Mohammed Khan for helping us. Bharat and Ravi are also awesome and I should owe them my special thanks for helping me in watching "Andarivaadu"

Thursday, November 10, 2005

ISB, Oxford done..Next Cambridge!!!!

Phew!!! Its so tiresome to write all the essays and complete the application. It had taken me lot of time to complete ISB and Oxford applications. Now, its time for Cambridge. I am hoping and getting optimistic to complete cambridge application by this week end. Planning to start Queens/SDA Bocconi apps next week. Not sure, how far I can go with them!!!!! Keeping fingers crossed for ISB and Oxford.

Prety happy that India banged srilanka yesterday. 5-1!! No body might have dreamt of this lead from india before the starting of the series. Good to see them knocking back.

Yes Movies!!! Jai Chiranjeeva Audio function is all a mess now and no body knows when the function is gonna happen. As far as I know it is suppose to happen on 12th of this month. Looking forward for the function!!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Back again after 7 Months...

Some how missed it..Unable to blog since some time..But I promise that from this time on, I will blog regularly. A lot of things happened in these days. Let me summarize them and share my experiences one by one:

1. My US trip during April - July
2. My GMAT
3. MBA Plans taking firm action

Let me come back and share my experiences on every thing. I am sure that I will be maintaining my blog regularly from now..