Thursday, December 30, 2010

Why Should I Celebrate?

I was born in year 1984 and would be witnessing the usher of New Year for 26th time in my life. So is true with other people with their respective numbers. This is great to know and should be a cause of celebration.Well, people are doing it already see everywhere that there is a joyous vibe, exuberance in the chilly air. Somebody would be going out with friends to a lavish pub; someone would be hitting big hotels opening Sauvignon Blancs’ while some would prefer cozying up at their homes with a small dinner party.

I am not special hence I should celebrate too.....really? In the midst of unending sms beeps in my cellphone, spam emails in my inbox and flashy ads in newspapers and TV I cannot help but think for a minute what this holds for me. What should I celebrate? Is it because we have completed a full year and we are one step closer to our so called final goal? Is it because we have become more mature and have gained wisdom and we will make better decisions in next year? Is it because last year was bit tough and we had tough luck so cheers for bad times or simply because anything new is good so let’s find another irrational cause to celebrate?

unfortunately I don’t lie in any of this so I need to explore what this is for me.well,2010 was pretty good for me comparably because I got newer experiences, delivered big challenges, made some excellent lifelong friendships and to small extent got a better sense of life. That was neat right? Nothing too edgy, no big mishaps, no hard lucks, no big still my question looming large, why should I celebrate?

I am standing at this phase of my life where I see most of my friends working in good organizations, some luckier ones deciding whom to spend their rest of life with (no pets this time) while some have settled abroad and here I am fighting endlessly to get a respectable job, to make a position of my own in this society, to get a purpose of life and of course to know whether I should party on this new years eve or not...but, That’s Life..

honestly I don’t know and this philosophical debate in my psyche shall never find a justifiable conclusion in due time so I guess I shall also have to jump into a mad mad world, shoot down few drinks in an upscale pub on 31st night, mesmerize at the crowd's madness and their acceptance of the fact in their subconscious mind that they too don’t know what this celebration actually means to them. 

Sitting at a cozy sofa in a corner I will see this, I will smile at my ignorance, and I will gulp another drink down to call it my way of celebration.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Destiny & Drucker

I was never a believer in destiny...My notion was that if you are hard working guy, if you had put in sufficient amount of effort in your work then you will get what you have aspired to. It is because a person gets noticed only when he is having the traits required for that work...Little did I imagine back then that my notion was not only wrong, it was totally inconsequential.
Destiny is a very strong noun. A word whose true meaning and source is still largely unexplained, a word which is totally inverse of logic and reason. If everything in the world has a logic, a pattern then we may label it as a reason but if the outcome of that thing becomes unpredictable then we want to label it as destiny.Intersting thing is to know that sometimes this DESTINY becomes so important force and part of our lives that we want to think too hard on it.
I am facing a situation where I am totally dependent not on my abilities but on destiny. It is GETTING A JOB. No matter how competent you are, no matter how smart and talented you are, your destiny will become the defining force in deciding your career and your job...if your destiny is there then the potential recruiter will call you, if not he will not. If it is your destiny then your interview will go well even though you are terribly diffident.
Anyway I wanted to start my blog after the long come back with this philosophical note. I like reading books so let me share some of the things which I want to. I am currently reading Peter Drucker's ‘Management’. If you ask my recommendation then I would say without any reservations that this is THE book to read if you are an MBA, if you are starting your company or if you are at a managerial position. This is the complete theory of management with excellent cases to justify the theory. I read this book daily but at a very slow pace. The idea of this book is that you should read 1 chapter at once and try to think how you can bring some of the key ideas of the book into your life and experiment, work hard to bring it on.And then read another chapter. This is not a novel and is strongly warned not to read it at one go. It will be a highly injustice to Drucker.
I must say that I have become a fan of Drucker and I now feel that these precious books are my treasure. They should not be picked from library but be brought out straightaway...They are an investment which must be kept high on the bookshelves.
It’s time to get back doing some of the pending work and will come back to you soon.CHAO!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Life in a Metro

After a grand Christmas party last night Today afternoon I was coming back from my Bhabhi’s place in Gurgaon to my campus in Noida through the mass transit rail commonly called METRO .I reached the central hub of new Delhi called Rajiv chowk to change my train and found that my train was due in 3min50sec so I just stood there and was looking at the place. I was amazed to see swathes of people running around all over after departing from trains and heading for their destination and thousands waiting for their train. It was an absolute sight of ‘Organized Chaos’. Everywhere uber, modern and well dressed young boys and girls, polished office goers, rustic villagers and not to mention Punjabis running all around and here I was standing in the middle of this rush thinking Delhi has changed so much in few years. A mass transit system has metamorphosed culture, their life style and has become a part of their daily lives.

 Metro as well call it, was launched in Delhi in 2002 and before that the only means of local transportation was road transport which was inefficient, slow, inconvenient and very frustrating.A very good salaried middle class would find it very demeaning to travel by bus for work or with family and look at now in 2010, people of all classes are traveling together with dignity and peace in metro. This is really very interesting and so I did a quick math and tried to find the no of passengers who would be traveling in a day and used the logic of no of trains originating in 5mins on one line*no of lines*no of traveling hrs*no coaches*no of people in a coach and found that the figure comes out to be around 13lakhs which is 10%of Delhi’s population. It is incredible to know that 10%of Delhi’s population is traveling in Metro or so to speak each day the whole country of Mozambique or Dominican Republic country is being transported by Delhi metro such is the grandiosity of Metro.

Metro is fast, highly efficient, clean and well connected. What used to take 1.5hrs for an office goers to reach his office after his daily share of fight with heat and dust has now become pleasant air conditioned hassle free journey by Metro is 45mins.Due to this, people are traveling to lots of places, they are now well connected, they can change jobs easily and meet relatives frequently.

But their lies the challenge too. A recent report by McKinsey predicted that by 2030, India’s population will reach from today’s 50M to 550Million that means so many jobs will be created and so many people will need to travel. It is said that fossil fuels will be extinct by 2050 and already the international crude oil has jumped to more than 50%in few years. That means the government will have to ensure that it is able to provide cheap and efficient transportation to masses and having ability to handle demand surge.

With the baton in hands of E.Shreedharan we can say that we should be relaxed but the model needs to be scaled and replicated in other towns as well. If we want to realize our dreams of 11%GDP by 2011 than we must increase our transportation to boost trade and commerce.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Have we ever sit and wondered that why we become so obdurate,intransigent and stubborn in our thoughts,actions,beliefs and values as we age and grow?

And before we even want to find the answer of this question,lets ask a more bigger question,wondering that the premise of this discussion is not merely an hypothesis,a generally stated fact,which needs no empirically stated proof,is our character of becoming intransigent a right thing or not?
If we say that becoming stubborn unconsciously,naturally by a normal adult man with sane psyche is a positive development then we must check our presumptions against that.

The reason is that as the man grows,he gets lots of experiences and innumerable exposure constantly and he then goes on an eternal pursuit of finding meaning out of it and making this more standardized and order out of chaos.In other words,he wants to define some sets of beliefs and makes it a guiding principle.After defining his guiding principle,he again goes back to his experiential journey but this time armed with his values and philosophies.This new set of ideology provides his judgment and ability to take decision,and chances are high that his decisions from then onwards will produce a positive outcomes thus giving him more confidence and firming his belief all the more.

I am saying that this is natural and very much in line with the theory propounded by Charles Darwin's magnanimous epic "Origin of Species' conceptualizing 'Survival of Fittest'.But there lies a bigger meaning which gives us a reason to find a more deeper view into the levels of society which exists in the world.To explore this meaning we need to again go back to the concept 'Survival of Fittest'.The society which is at the upper level of hierarchy is more developed one and hence has the better ability to change itself dynamically by breaking its old ethos,traditions,beliefs and ideologies.

This observation gives us a glimpse into the similar analogy that if we want to take a leap and become more progressive then we must also introspect into our beliefs and ethos thus calling into the need to constantly question our beliefs,have the ability to challenge them and determination to modify our beliefs.This needs a mental conditioning model which will let us achieve this goal.Hence,as we grow,the beliefs which we form are true only under limited set of conditions and those conditions are not universal but highly local.So in order to achieve our dreams and improve our life style we must remember that the our ideologies are false under some new conditions and hence we must be ready to spot these new conditions and activate our conditioning model to form a new set of beliefs and ideologies.

This is my Chautauqua for this day!!

Rethinking MBA

I happened to read a very interesting article in today’s ET titled RETHINKING THE MBA.The authors argue that instead of having 2year MBA course, it’s more pragmatic to have 1 year MBA course.I’d like to sum up the reasons they have stated in support of their argument:
Students get slacked off after completion of 1st yr because they know that their job short listing is based on their 1st year CGPAs.
The creme De la creme of MBA is summer internships which get completed after end of 1st year so students get relaxed after 1 st year.

The students in top B schools are mostly engineers from top colleges so they are already conditioned to be fast learners so they don’t need 2 year model for learning management.
All the best b schools in the world like Ivey B School in Canada’s Ontario and INSEAD, Paris have adopted the 1 year model.

Keeping in these above points in mind, it’s better to have 1 year model because we know that to optimize your assets, assets must be leveraged, inventory must have high turnover hence these if we adopt 1 year model then the student intake can also be increased, faculty shortage can also be met and students can be industry ready faster and start earning faster.

I could not agree more with the argument stated by these eminent thinkers. I myself have faced the same issue in my MBA.i have observed that the 1st year of MBA was rigorous and we were really able to learn the concepts very fast and were more productive. We had to go through so many things like assignments, classes, extra curricular activities and in fact all the main subjects had been taught in 1st year itself and the 2nd year has been so relaxed that sometimes it comes to haunt me and makes me think as if I am simply wasting my time and the real valuable learning is effectively zero. I am not joking or temporarily emotional, I am serious. We hardly have classes, and the classes which we have are repetition and extension of courses taught in 1st year while some of them are just a waste of time and they are there only to fill time. Other than that we are doing almost nothing. And I sometimes think back that what value have I gained in my 2nd year which will arm me to be a better manager and then there is void in my fact I had learned more during my 2months of internship than in my MBA so this proves the fact that given time crunch and scope of learning being huge you learn things more faster and longer.

I don’t see any reason why we should have this 2year model, have the students get taught all the important courses, send them for internship and give them placement. The courses and subjects have no end and if we think that this or that subject is also important then this list will never end. Some things should be left to be learned on the job too.

I hope with this article, a better sense will prevail and hopefully the coming generation will get the fruits of this debate coming to fore.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenaince-Robert Pirsiq

I am currently reading this book called 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance' by Robert Pirsiq. It’s a nonfiction book which is heavily based on philosphy.I had heard a lot about this book from so many people including my dear friend and my Marketing Professor. I am halfway through this book and I like it very much. One big reason why this book is so interesting is because the book is not a bland didactic highbrow philosophy but it is in form of a very interesting real story which has happened with the author himself. Another reason is that the background of the author itself is very connected and very curious. It would make anybody wonder that this book which was first published 3decades back was rejected by 121publishers before it came into print. Robert Pirsiq had gone into depression and was considered lunatic and was put into mental asylum for some period of life. In short he was certified mad, dangerous and homicidal. He had a very bad married life because of several reasons. But another curious fact which must be known is that pirsiq was a born genius and it was proved by his astonishingly IQ score of 170 recorded during his childhood. Now you might be wondering what situations had led him to become a lunatic and suffer from acute depression and to answer that I’d also like to add the fact that his conditions grew so severe later on that he was seen talking to himself and he admitted to be having delusions and diagnosed as schizophrenic. I started reading his book, then left it in the middle, read this book's afterword and then checked some fact about him from internet and I was really surprised.
To give you some causes of Pirsiq’s problems, I think we need to understand something about his book first to gain better understanding about him.
This book is a story of a man and his son and their 2 couple friends who go for a cross country road trip in the Northwestern part of US and while driving author is talking a lot about some of the philosophical ideas which are running into his mind and has explored some key questions and topics which are extremely fundamental. The trip has basically showing the readers a perspective into author’s ideologies through something called CHAUTAUQUA. A Chautauqua is a word which he uses whenever he is on drive and wants to think very deeply on something. He has discussed a lot of issues at length including the philosophy behind motorcycle maintenance,difference between classical and romantic art, Metaphysics of Quality and no of other things. But the interesting thing is that author has coined an imaginary character called Phaedrus (which he has borrowed from the dialogues in Plato’s play namely REPUBLIC and SYMPOSIUM).Phaedrus is author’s anti ego which doesn’t exists actually but author wants to refer every incident using this 2nd person and not himself. But Phaedrus is very unique to author.He is very rational, very value driven, very honest, uncompromising, unrelenting and he acts and does what he things is right irrespective of what society wants him to be even if society is wrong. In short Phaedrus is a very ideal character which author things that the real part of him is Phaedrus himself but he actually disguises himself to be different and pretends in front of society.
Now the real reason which leads to Pirsiq's breakdown is that the imaginary character Phaedrus slowly and slowly starts to dominate his real life and he starts behaving unsocietial.He talks a lot to himself and sometimes he feels that there is actually a person called Phaedrus existing.He is rejected by his family and friends because of this nature and he is given electro thermal therapy in hospital. Slowly and slowly he realizes that if he has to come out of this asylum then he will have to compromise will his 'real' self i.e. Phaedrus which he has testified in his interview long back. But after coming out of hospital ,he is bothered with numerous issues which haunt him so he decided that he must go for a road trip and may be  in the pursuit of finding the answers ,he would be again become a satisfied man. After coming back from his trip he becomes so compelled that he decided to write book and what we see as a book becomes a masterpiece by Robert Pirsiq.
Robert pirsiq has also visited BHU, Varanasi to study oriental philosophy in search of his answers, he marries a journalist who comes to his boat for his interview during his long voyage, and he removes the grading system while holding a teaching job in a university.
Read out this book guys, it’s a worth piece to grab!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ideas @ Work !!

I am at times very experimental in nature and at times I am very conservative. It reflects from my moods into kinds of things which I do and the kinds of hobbies I pursue. currently I have 3 big ideas in my mind and I am trying to execute these ideas and reach the desired goal. A lot of times I get various ideas, sometimes they are so strong that I just become impulsive and jump and my guns but then after some times I lose the fizz. My challenge is that I don’t let my enthusiasm just die like that and I take it till the execution level.

One thing is very clear to me; you can implement any idea into its final goal only and only when you have a firm and rock solid belief in your idea and If you have this belief that no force can deter or demotivate you. I am now not going to just jump at my gun but I will first evaluate if I believe in them strongly or not. Once I take them ahead then there is not going to be any looking back.

Idea 1: organize a drama by the junior batch based on any classic English play like Shakespeare in next month. Take a professional help, manage people and their resistance, enthuse people and handle all sorts of issues but organize a great event, invite all the people from the college and show the drama in front of everyone. My success and sense of achievement will be determined when I will see this whole show happening in front of me and getting praises by eveybody.this will be an ultimate test of a manager and leader and I am hell belt in making this come true.

Idea 2: organize a workshop for SAP for the students of operations management in october.this was the idea which I was cultivating since long and after returning from my enriching experience from internship. I was very sure that if I want something, then it will not come to me just like that but I have to reach out and grab it. I am happy to see that it is coming quite true. Today I have had a meeting with our CEO and he was quite convinced with my idea. A lesson I have learned from this exercise that I can be a good marketeer as well. The only way you can sell your idea is if you are very sure about it and you have necessary data to back it up.

Idea 3:Though this one was the most earliest idea advancing in my I always wanted to write a research paper but I was not clear which should be a suitable topic. Now after tinkering with few topics I have found my topic and without keeping any unrealistic deadlines imposed on me, I want to work on this project daily as a discipline. I wish my paper sees the light of the day someday.

This will be on my agenda for very near future and I wish myself luck and hope that my motivation, my will power stays intact and my belief grows more and more with days passing by.

Leaving this blog with a quote which I made myself yesterday, "the sign of excellence in a person is not when he competes with others, but when he competes with himself, not for a week, not for a month but day in day out and makes it a way of his life."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

In Retrospect

My occasional revisit to my blog sometimes forces me to think if I find this as a blog actually or a compendium of recent events. My rare visits to the blog sometimes make me believe so.upon questioning, I see my blog as this way.

Blogging, to me is a way of self expression. A natural and very free form of expressing your thoughts, ideas and random musings which most of the times are so irrelevant for any person to be told about it. It is a channel through which I can look back to some of the important things in recent past as a retrospect and ponder over them. It makes me document the important things in my life which I can read after years and reflect on the way I was groomed.

Having set this motive as a tone; let me now share with you some of the things.

I gave my ECO exam last week and my mood is 'satisfyingly clueless'.i now this a strange emotion which it usually occurs to you, when you've worked too hard for that exam almost on the verge of getting 'burnout' from the repeated study, and after giving exam you are clueless to decide if your paper was good or not, but you are satisfied that the paper is over. I think some part of the reason is because when I study any subjects for an exam I have a habit to stick my neck deep into it until the phase is over.

after a long time I went to library and upon spending a really long time pondering ,I picked up one book on the leadership and promised myself yet again that I will finish this book soon noticed something peculiar in my search for book today.previusoly when I used to go to library to issue any book, it would take much time to pick up because I was too fascinated to read just about anything, but now I find it too tough to pick and I have become very might be possibly because either I am too voracious reader now or I have developed some 'stereotypical' tastes which makes me uncompromisingly slective.nevertheless,my choice of book this time was very starnge,i picked up this book because I had heard about the author and I found the cover very attractive. Wondering and coming to believe that book covers are really a very vital part in your gross sales.

A lot of things have happened in the campus off late, lotss of new things I am experiencing, some of them were unanticipated while some were anticipated but the experience is completely new. But there is one thing which those experiences have fundamentally reaffirmed by belief that no matter what are the externalities, you must never and never compromise from your values and must always be focused on the goal. As you progress in your career and stages of life, new things will come, they will try to attach with you but the idea is that you must be very sure what the things which are negotiable to you are and what are non negotiables.once you see these things clesarly, it will be very easy to live and achieve success.

Your goal is only what is true and close to your heart, rest all is a distraction and waste of thought.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Juniors & Ragging-Ideal Condundrum

A long period of silence, lull and inactivity has got broken after the arrival of junior batch in the campus. The Mall road is buzzing with people walking, the Activity Centre is justifying its purpose of activities, some vella seniors are busy ragging the innocuous juniors and CFC is coming to know again what it means by the sudden rush of demand in night.
Today we had a formal interaction session with juniors at High Tea according IBA's culture and facilitated by the college admin.We grilled the students on lots of things right from the length of their oddly knotted ties, weird hobbies, reason behind their choice of IBA (surprising answers) and asking them about their BFs/GFs.Few of them got furious, most took it in very healthy way while some made us laugh out loud. The objective was to break the ice between juniors and seniors and it served the purpose. I had a chance to interact with some juniors and I found them quite mature and confident.

Since the juniors have arrived in campus,I have seen new atmosphere in campus while some of it is predictable while some are some startling. A few juniors have personally approached me and complained that they found some seniors quite hostile and arrogant.I heard them patiently and what I found happening in the campus made me agree with them completely. This was a bold revelation. I find it quite astonishing to see the kind of behavior of seniors with the junors.

The problem which I see with us is that we don’t know how to handle our seniordom.We don’t have a set of thumb rules as to what is expected from the seniors, what should be our code of conduct, what should be right attitude and how to make this new environment more welcoming and comfortable for juniors.

The senior batch has been waiting for the arrival of juniors so anxiously that we just can’t hold our emotions and we started grilling them from day 1.It made the juniors frightened, nervous and poignant to find the level of hostility in the environment.I believe that we should 1st of all embrace our junior batch with open arms, help them relax and adjust with new culture and forgive them for their ignorance if something annoyed the senior batch. After all if we want respect from them then we must first respect them. Charity begins from home first.Some of our batchmates are ragging juniors so mindlessly without giving any thought ,being so harsh with them unreasonably that it's going to create a very bad impression upon them.

As for me, I have made this very clear to myself that i am  not going to interfere in anything happening in the campus unless otherwise I find it unacceptable from my point of view. I will not rag any juniors and stay away from any controversies and I will maintain a code of conduct for myself which will create a good impression upon everybody.
When you are a senior then the tag of senior hood which comes with it is not easy, it is harder to maintain and justify it than just use it for name sake. We must be more responsible and more balanced in our approach.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

APICS,2010-12 Batch,Ragging & More

I am preparing for my 4th module of APICS certification exam whose exam is due in next 3weeks.I am thankful to this semester's course designer for giving me so much time and space to do my preparation. This semester schedule is ideal for me and this was exactly what I wanted. Too much time to study peacefuly.The exam is crucial for me because this is supposed to be the toughest module and I have to crack this one by any means. If it demands me to study for late in midnight, I am prepared to do that at any cost.If there is any one thing which i think about,if there is any one thing i dream about...for next 20days my mind is totally occupied by APICS.I dont see anything else in front of me.

On a different front, our juniors are going to arrive in campus in next 2 days. It is very obvious with the students to be excited to see new faces, meet new people and witness the biggest fun element 'ragging’. The students always want to feel the importance of being senior; always forthcoming in giving free gyan and making them do petty work. Funnily some of the students from my batch who are most likely to take ragging from students have been made members of anti ragging squad. Only god knows what will happen with juniors in hostels when the thieves are themselves asked to protect the bank. The excitement amongst the students over the prospect of finding boys hostels a more interesting and lively place very soon is quite palpable. As for me, I have only one hope from my batch mates that they don’t follow the footsteps of our seniors and demand the juniors to call us Sir/Ma'am or wish us Good Morning/good afternoon. If this really happens then I would be dismayed and would have to just attribute to our batchmates myopic vision and inability to see its effects on the attitudes of juniors.

I believe that a senior demanding a junior to call him sir/ma'am or wish him is unfair. After all if you really think that you should be respected then let them respect you because of your deeds, your achievements and your actions. It should not be forced but should be voluntary and forcing them to do this would be a very narrow minded approach and would smack of hypocracy.Moreover, when you are in a professional world or in a corporate ,you are always referred by your first name so why allow them to develop this habit which is illogical and irrational at its outset.

My Years with General Motors-Alfred P.Sloan

After a long gap, today I picked up this book 'My Years with General Motors' by Alfred P.Sloan and to my amazement I am finding it more exciting than before. Last I knew I started reading this book a year back when I was just inducted in my MBA course but then I couldn’t find much interest in reading because of its dry style of explaining running the management of general motors’ in its most rudimentary way and excruciating details. I lost interest then and left it believing that I will never be able to finish it.

After a year into my MBA I have come to understand business and world of management more closely and my interest in knowing each and every nuances of handling business is growing exponentially.

On this lovely Saturday morning I woke up lazily and saw this book kept on my book shelf, I don’t know why I picked up this book and started reading it from where I left this. Now I am finding so much joy and interest in reading this book that I feel like finishing it as soon as possible. The book explains the nitty gritty of running day to day operation of GM, its business situation and plans during so different periods of economic cycle like pre WWII,post recession and how Alfred P.Sloan took the helms of the company and brought it from 1917 to 1963 with massive expansion. I appreciate his objective and very quantitative way of explanation. His quote is still fresh in my mind when at the end of chapter he shows the financial statement of GM from 1917 till next 45years he says by giving a wisdom that "United States is not only an opportunity, it is also very demanding on those whose ambition is to excel in it."

I am now able to fully comprehend the purpose of book and understand the reason why Bill Gates said that "If there is one business book you want to read in your lifetime, it’s got to be this one”.
                I cannot agree more than this truly!