MBA hummmmm....

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Diwali

Its Diwali time !

Lifez been pretty good these days. Lots of activities on campus too. Its B school competition season & ISB is doing pretty well. 2 teams from ISB shortlisted in top 10 from 350+ teams, 1500 participants worldwide in the Thunderbird Innovation Challenge. It is first time in the history of competition that 2 teams from one B School have qualified. http://www.innovationchallenge.com/ChallengeResults.htm

All the best guys. Make us proud.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Google's juggernaut...

'Juggernaut' is a word one usually attaches to companies like Microsoft & IBM in the tech. industry. Not any more I guess.
Roy Gilbert - Director of Google India was at ISB yesterday to deliver a talk on Google.
He mainly extolled the 'coolness' virtue of Google's products. Emphasized that honesty is one of their company's main virtue. Talk was ok, nothing spectacularly insightful considering that Google is already so read about, written about & discussed about company. There isn't a mainstream media house which hasn't featured Google's impending domination of the web & then the tech world & then, perhaps the world. Those stories got a shot in the arm when Google's 3Q results came out y'day. In analysts' words, they crushed all expectations. EPS of 1.51 $ against a consensus of 1.36$. Earnings were up more than 7 times qoq. There are still more than 4 hours for US stock markets to close & Google's stock is up friggin 12.43% to an all time high. This is one company everyone's so damn tightly clued on.

In other news, viz not as exciting however, flurry of visitors continue here at ISB. This week VP of Oracle came to give some gyaan, MD of Levi's India came down to share some gyaan on Marketing. Couldn't attend both those talks. However, one which I did attend was the 'Demystifying the recruitment process' by BCG. Gyaan on CV building & Consulting Interview preps. 5 guys, 2 of them pretty senior flew down to share this gyaan. Was pretty useful. But for the fact that viewing some of the resumes of BCG consultants made a lot of us feel pretty bad about ourselves. Anyhow.

The elective season has started rolling. Am doing 3 in marketing & 1 in finance. Marketing Implementation prof seems to be a class apart. Will definitely write more about learning from his class.

edited to add: For those who are interested, Larry Page's & Sergey Brin's original thesis (called Backrub) on web search submitted at Stan is listed here. Interesting read.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Coming back to life .. at ISB.

Landed at ISB in the evening today. Coming from a refreshing trip back home although it was punctuated by a few working days in between for ELP Client's office visit. The 9 day long break from studies did seem like an actual break. Unfortunately, this was perhaps the longest possible here. Anyhow. Was relaxing to not see & think of ISB & related stuff for a few days. Now back to the grind.

Spent some of my time at Client's office. 3 & a half days to be precise. That part went fine. We made a presentation to the senior mgmt y'day. Work seems to be on course. Drove quite a bit in Delhi. Was much more pleasureable with weather having improved.

Met up with a couple of ISB alums. Got some gyaan from them. Some insights on the companies/industries they are working in. Beginning to realise that as passouts of ISB, a strong & widely spread ISB network is one thing we would definitely like to have but miss. Lot needs to be done on this front. Anyhow.

Reading a classic ' A Random walk down the Wall St. ' by Burton Malkiel these days. Pretty lucidly written & informative. Tears apart the tall claims of technical & fundamental stock analysts of Wall Street. Says that stocks selected by dart throws of a blindfolded champanzee at the Wall Street Journal newspaper page would provide atleast the same returns as stocks selected carefully by highly paid investments professioals at the Wall St. . Lots of witticisms. Takes a dig at the technicians & the fundamental analysts and the psychological aspects of investing in the world of finance. Very good read as a follow up to the investments course last term.

Term V - the first of the electives' starts tomm (technically today). Got to bid for a couple of subjects I missed out in the first round of bidding. Time to linger back to ISB lifestyle.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

What do MBAs do at a Software Product Firm like M$

Interesting piece of article by a M$ manager in his blog:

http://blogs.msdn.com/techtalk/archive/2005/09/28/475021.aspx

Friday, October 07, 2005

Welcome break...

Term break ahoy. Technically, we have 9 days of break. Though most will be busy still working on ELPs & other stuff. But a welcome break anyways. Time to credit all the sleep payables, Get the house in order, Rejunivate for the rest half of the year.

btw, the investments paper y'day, as expected, was a epic one. 3 hours, 10 questions, loads of calculations in some, application of multiple fundas in almost every question. Was like one of those JEE maths papers. Anyways, it was kinda good to feel really challenged in this respect after long time.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Last big 'un of the core terms.

Investments paper this morning. Will be a tough nut surely. It has kept most of the batch up through the night solving problems. The scope of this course has been too vast for non-finance background people to digest in 10 classes or under 5 weeks. A bit of fixed income, derivatives, CAPM, portfolio theory, equity valuation & even a bit of Efficient Market Hypothesis. So much so that this is the only course as yet in which 2 double sided A4 sized cheat sheets are allowed. Wish we had more time to do this course.

Term IV ends today & with it I would have done half my MBA. Tough to realise. The second half is sure to fly even faster than the first.

Lemme catch a coupla hrs of sleep to let things sink in.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

The riskmaster on the loose @ ISB

How does it sound when a billionare, father VC of companies like Skype/Hotmail/Baidu & many many others & yes btw, a HBS MBA + Stanford BS .. says that his idea of innovation in future is ..
~ Wireless Power transmission
~ You say 'Food' & food should appear in front of you.
~ 3D highways
~ Automatic thought transmission
~ Competitive governance
~ Complete video history
.
.
.

Tim Draper of DFJ was here a couple of hours ago. Gave a rivetting talk on what Draper Fisher Juvertson - a VC company does, its plans for India & its philosophy of investing. But it was mainly about his vision of how future could look like. In the beginning, it sounded like our childhood fantasies. One of those imaginations which get ignited on seeing the latest sci-fi movie.
Had it been coming from someone else, probably most of us wouldnt even have sat through the talk completely. But when it comes from one of the most high profile VCs in the valley, it makes me wonder whether have we become a little too cynical to appreciate that some of those ideas may actually be true in future. Atleast I have. Maybe this is the flipside of reading more & thinking less.

btw, he even sang & danced on his own composition 'the riskmaster'.
Evening before term exams, when I have not yet even touched subjects for tomm., it was a refreshing talk.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Almost Halfway through...

Had the last core term class today. Befitting that it was Tina Dacin's. 2 days without classes & then exams for Term IV on Thurs-Fri.

Had lots of phots shoots, SecB slogan shouting & kinda emotional brouhaha. In a huge batch of 350 students, section assumes greater importance because these are the people whom you identify with more. Section rivalry culture is taking strong roots here at ISB. This post by Bharani shows that every section wants its share of pie in ISB's sky. That Sec B is always the pioneer is another thing. :-) . Ramki has created a wonderful collage. Here is the link.

This term got over in a flash. I hardly have any memories of what I did during this term. Surely did spend considerable effort in my ELP project. Remember the wisecracks of Subra in his IA classes or defending my PaEV plan. 3 of the 4 subjects were pretty soft. Bidding for electives in Term V was another hotly debated activity last week. Not all have got the courses they wanted for different reasons. Let me reserve my judgement on the system until the results of post sampling drops are out. Measure of reliability of any such system has to be %age of people it is able to grant their desired electives. Processes are still evolving here. So hope that these chinks will be ironed out.

The focus is now slowly but definitely shifting towards placements. We had a talk by Novartis a few days back. Novartis is one company which gives the best roles & salaries at ISB. & they recruit in all areas - Finance, marketing, IT. Scheinider Electric was also at campus a few days back. Another celeb coming to ISB campus on Wednesday is Tim Draper of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. This is what his 'about' looks like:

Timothy C. DraperFounder, Managing Director
Timothy C. Draper is the Founder and a Managing Director of Draper Fisher Jurvetson. On behalf of Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Mr. Draper serves on the boards of
Skype, SocialText, Project Y, MailFrontier and Chroma Graphics. His original suggestion to use "viral marketing" in web-based e-mail to geometrically spread an Internet product to its market was instrumental to the successes of Hotmail and YahooMail, and has been adopted as a standard marketing technique to hundreds of businesses. He was an original venture capital investor in Parametric Technology (PMTC), Tumbleweed Communications (TMWD), Overture.com (OVER), Digidesign (AVID), Preview Travel (TVLY), Four11 (YHOO), Combinet (CSCO), and Redgate (AOL). Mr. Draper launched the Draper Affiliate Network, an international network of early-stage venture capital funds with offices in 26 cities around the globe. He founded or co-founded Wasatch Ventures (Salt Lake City), Zone Ventures (LA), Draper Atlantic (Reston), Draper Triangle (Pittsburg), Timberline Ventures (Portland), Polaris Fund (Anchorage), Draper Fisher Jurvetson Gotham (NYC) and DFJ Frontier (Sacramento and Santa Barbara). As an advocate for entrepreneurs and free markets, Mr. Draper is regularly featured as a keynote speaker in entrepreneurial conferences throughout the world, has been recognized as a leader in his field through numerous awards and honors, and has frequent TV radio, and headline appearances. Mr. Draper is also the course creator and Chairman of BizWorld, a 501c3 organization built around simulated teaching of entrepreneurship and business to children. He served on the California State Board of Education. In November of 2000, Mr. Draper launched a statewide cyber-initiative on school choice for the California General Election. He has a BS in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Btw, almost all clubs are having their placements focussed meetings. Placom has been constituted. Idea is to increase good quality placements from existing recruiters plus keep adding some more every year. There were discussions of there is a huge gap between the reality on job & what is projected at the time of placements by companies. It is a natural outcome of placements process but given the work ex heavy profile of ISB batch, this should be minimised. A lotttt of effort has to be put in this direction.