MBA hummmmm....

Friday, December 30, 2005

What do you want to do?

Saw this movie - 'Good Will Hunting' an hr back on TV. The protagonist - Will Hunting is a prodigal dude having troubled past. I picked up from the scene where he was solving some complex mathematical problem while doing his janitorial duties. Goes on to assist the celebrated Mathematics prof at the same univ (think that was MIT) & stuns everyone there with his sheer brilliance. He solves problems, which others take years, in hours. The celebrated prof likens him to Einstein. He is equally sharp at history or business or politics or any damn thing. But he doesnt think thats these qualities are important. He has had a troubled past & he doesnt want to trust anybody, love anybody.. because he fears the rejection or betrayal that might come later. He is too defensive in all his relations. Even turns his back to the woman he loves truly.

I thought the movie ran at 2 planes -
First was Will's psychological problems. His inability to enter into a relationship because of his past. & the process by which he overcomes this problem. The shrink (played by Robin Williams) plays an important part in that. One scene where Will breaks down on Robin's shoulder is very powerful. Very very well shot. Made me believe that psychologists can really screw your mind. (Well if they could do it to Will, they could do it to anybody :-) )

The other dimension according to me was about choices Will made (or rather didnt make) in his life thus far. He is gifted & will succeed at anything he tries. But he is not sure of where his heart lies. Another great scene is where shrink Robin Williams praises him for his abilities & then asks him - What do you want to do? The most talented man has no answer.

Finally, in the climax, Robin does help him find his true calling. He leaves for California where his loved one live. Kind of mushy ending but I think message was that he cared a 2 hoots about what other people or society felt he should do with his life or his abilities. He tried & found where his true calling lie. & He gave it all up for that.
Pretty much in line with this amazing excerpt from Po Brosnon's book - What should I do with my life?

A must see movie & a must read article. Perhaps book too.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

iPod Shuffle.

Turned 27 y'day. iPod Shuffle 1 GB was my b'day present. Thanks D. >:D< Amazing design. Even opening the packaging leaves a great experience for the customer. Minimalistic, sleek & looks cool. As thin as about 3rd of an inch. Great to have category gadget. Above's how it looks ...
btw, iPod range has revived fortunes for Apple. Got interested in knowing how design was done for this range of products, here is a good link

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Pricing Viagra

Pfizer introduced Viagra y'day in Indian markets at Rs 594 (for a 100 mg) & Rs 463 (for a 50 mg). How would one price Viagra in India? Lets try to force-apply some concepts learnt recently.

Always Safest bet: Value based pricing or the EVC animal- 'Economic Value to the Customer'

Not sure if the value here is economic in nature. Premise here could be that since Viagra is positioned as bringing charm back in relationships, customers should be willing to pay a premium for such emotional benefits. But isnt EVC more relevant in case of products which are used repeatedly not a one shot use like a pill?

My bet: Psychological pricing

No doubt that psychology plays a major part in this whole ED stuff. So, why not exploit the same in pricing a cure for it. Price as an indicator of quality here. Maybe what company is assuming is that only people will get this drug prescribed would be the ones who are able & willing to pay the premium. Maybe company is trying to exploit the already near 100% brand awareness & not willing to educate/develop the market in India initially.

Price skimming
Get the 'early adopters' (i.e. those who are in dire need in this case) to pay a premium & later on reduce the price. btw, generics are already available in the market @ Rs20,etc. but Pfizer still plans to garner 10-15% of the Rs 100 cr ED drug market in India in next 1 year. Would be interesting to see how a drug priced at 25x a substitute can garner 10-15% market share in an year. Call this marketing.

Cost Plus?
Read that product for Indian market would be imported from France & would be available in some special packaging. Wonder that could have a bearing on costs. But a marketing savvy company like Pfizer cant be using the worst strategy of em all.

Anyways, whatever maybe the strategy, it appears that it is definitely not the 'penetration pricing' strategy. No pun intended.

Now, lemme think of some alternative pricing schemes for such a product ...

Segmentation pricing
Can one segment the market for such a product on the basis of 'criticality of need' & then price accordingly?

Bundling possible?
With complimentary products from Durex, etc to reduce the price of the overall bundle?

Have exhausted my jargon.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

False sense of self-confidence .. eh

Investing in Private Equity course prof - Vinay Nair - a young dude, in his last session today had a few words of advise for the class. He said that we need to wear a little more of confidence, even if its false. Need to be a little more arrogant about our newly acquired hot skills. He said that was the main difference he saw between the students of Ivy league in the US & here at ISB. He is an assistant prof of finance at Wharton. He might have been kidding but I better take that advise to heart. :-)
So, from now on, lots of sophisticated MBA bullshittin. What better place to start than your own blog.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Alum gyaan, my first A grade & placements preps fever...

Now, unlike in the past, the title of this post looks like a proper one.
So, this weekend was Solistice - The annual Alumni reunion festival at ISB. Kicked off with an Arabian theme party in the SV I rock garden on Saturday evening. The ambience is pretty cool. Wide open lawn with big rocks in the background. Temperature was also just about apt for the flavoured hukkahs & booze to factor in. All in all a good evening. Quite a few alums from batches of 03,04 & esp 05 had turned in.

Gyaan sessions by alums to the current batch happened today morning. I attended the IT one. Alums from Cognizant, MS, IBM, Lehman, Evalueserve spoke about their jobs, placements do's & don'ts and lots of general gyaan as one would expect. Alum contacts in the industry, although small in number now, is one thing, which apparently we dont use that well. I guess we need to talk to alums personally in our target companies before placements start.

Another perceptible shift in the mood at campus is in focus from acads, extra cirriculars, etc to placements related activities. Case interviews are the fad of the day & not having a resume which has undergone atleast 10-15 iterations by now is looked down upon. Unfortunately, yours truly falls in the latter category. Need to get my lazy ass moving on that front. But the change in mood is welcome. Consulting club deserves some credit for instilling this urgency in our batch. There is no third way to crack placements except being prepared well on the target company or being a born aggresive, sharp stud.
btw, I too grouped up with a couple of brilliant guys who, anyhow, write less than brilliant blogs.
With culmination of festivities in Poseidon coming weekend, junta is expected to become more involved in placements thereon.

btw, in other significant news, 8 grueling months, 5 terms, 17 courses at ISB hence ... I got my first ever Goddamn A grade!
In the course I absolutely loved - Marketing Implementation. From the prof who was an absolulte treat to listen to. Am surely gonna take away fond memories of this one course. :-)

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Statistical surveys...

Time for some value appropriation. Need to put the following stuff up on my blog to be able to upgrade my trial license with question pro to a student research one. Here goes...

QuestionPro Online Survey Software employs an easy to use Wizard interface to author and deploy Web Based and Email Surveys. No knowledge of HTML or programming is required. A comprehensive suite of analysis tools, ranging from Simple Frequency to TURF to Conjoint, are also provided for data analysis. In addition, QuestionPro Web Survey Software provides seamless integration with SPSS and Microsoft Office products.

QuestionPro Online Surveys also licenses its software free to Students and Researchers in the academic community. The projects have to be strictly academic in nature and should not be part of any other funded research or consulting.

Additional Links:

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Some pics of campus..

Was sifting through some of the old pics. Thought would be a good idea to put some of em on the blog. FP & KG wont find that very imaginative but hopefully thats more creative than my prose. here go....

Atrium ...

Beautiful ...


SV3 in the night...

Uphill ...

Manas & Dada ...