Test Testy

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Hyderabad, Mera pyaara Hyderabad

My association with Hyderabad has been a long one. I started my schooling here but had to go back to my native place due to a unfortunate event. But I came back again in 1983 to Hyderabad and joined United High School, which is non-existent today. I studied in that school till 8th class and then moved to Unique Public School now known as Unique High School.

Hyderabad was quite different in those days. It used to be dry and hot during summers but rains came pretty quickly. Whenever there used to be a cyclone in the Bay of Bengal it used to rain continuously for a week or so but it was more of a drizzle rather than heavy downpour. There used to be few kirana and general stores and one or two medical shops in the IDPL colony area. Ration Shop or the Fair Price Distribution Shop was an important part of life apart from the lending library that I used to visit almost everyday.

We used to play cricket everywhere as there was so much open space. My travel into the city was either to the railway station at secunderabad or to the bus station at gowliguda to travel to my native place and that usually happened in the summer. But then after I finished my schooling things took a dramatic turn. The student general bus pass was such a boon in those days. You pay about 32 bucks and you can travel on any bus at any time free of cost. It was during this time that I explored Hyderabad as much as possible. Me and my friends used to go to Afzalgunj or Chikkadpally to visit the Central Library. Books always were my good friends and always gave hope that there are great things somewhere and you will get to experience them someday.

Many times when we had no classes we used to stand in the bus stop and based on the route of the bus that comes first we used to choose between a movie or library. I managed to see all the bond movies during this time. Telugu movies were considered only they were big hits or were directed by Ramgopal Varma, Maniratnam etc or were of heroes like Chiru and Nag. Hindi movies were rare and of the few I remember Khalnayak and Baazigar were the best.

Life suddenly changed with job and the routine changed totally. I got into the book collection hobby in a big way during the first two years of my career. I even got myself photographed with the books standing on my side - hehehe. My first visit outside Andhra Pradesh was to Mumbai. My good friend Jeelani Basha was with me and we enjoyed that trip so much. We were attending a training program at Voltas, Thane and we stayed in a hotel near VT, which is now known as CST. I liked Mumbai so much for everything it is, it's such an interesting place but I liked Hyderabad much more. Hyderabad is a relaxed, warm, calm and laid back city but Mumbai is a place where everything and everyone is in some urgency. It's about 3 years since I went to Mumbai and I am sure nothing much have changed in the main city.

There are lot of things that are quite Hyderabadi, which you can find only in Hyderabad, in my profile - My school and college, Bakelite Hylam, Middle Earth, Ivy Comptech and Sierra and finally ISB. If ISB opens second campus at Mohali then it is a different story but as of now ISB still is exclusive to Hyderabad.

This move is the most significant one but I'm looking forward to it mainly because two of my good friends are in Delhi

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Predicting career progression using multiple regression

If my stats Professors - Bob Stine or Richard Waterman happens to read this blog, I'm sure they will be amused about how people like me misuse statistical methods. The title of the post is quite misleading as my intention behind post is not to come up with a regression equation that can predict one's salary after ISB based on some variables.

Swami Vivekananda talked a bit about comparison and the grief attached to it in the book "What Religion is." In that book he says that the most common reason for sadness among people is that they are not better than others in comparison and not that they are doing well. This is the same with almost everyone who is doing this comparison thing. I too have spent many hours in grief by comparing myself with others but slowly realized that comparison is useful only when the subjects are manmade but not men themselves; a little philosophical thought.

But then after finishing MBA and having been exposed to stats and other concepts along with the MBA jargon, I felt that I can do a little better. While there is no change in my opinion that "Comparing oneself with others" is powerful enough to take away all the happiness and confidence in you and in its place fill you either with frustration or overconfidence, which surely will lead to more problems.

Yesterday during the gyan session while people were asking about the roles and salaries, I suddenly realized that each person was trying to compare himself with someone similar and then predict their future based on that. At that point it occurred to me that if we plot the results each student got at ISB after few years, the dots will be all over the place. Not just in two dimensions that we can see but in huge number of dimensions. If we attempt to fit a line through these results we will come up with numbers that are like the average salary, highest domestic salary etc etc. Even to come up with something like that we need to use so many variables and I doubt if any of the factors that we can think of can significantly explain the differences.

Each of us is unique and it is not quite possible to compare us with others. Just look at the stars in the sky. Each one of them is unique; while you may compare them with some simple dimensions such as size, distance from earth, if one considers the fact that the light we are seeing is not the present but surely the past and it is at different time frames, you will understand how silly it is to compare the stars. I think comparing yourself with others or others with you is equally silly and stupid. There are so many variables and some about which we have no clue about and any attempt to fit a line would be in vain.

Only message I want to pass on through this post is, whoever you are, whatever you are and whatever your goals are - you are unique and you cannot measure your happiness and success in comparison with others, you should measure it in your own terms and one's conscience is the best scale that will say it all without even asking. So friends, next time when you say you're doing good/bad/ok etc, ask your conscience what would it say. Only thing you need to do is to know about yourself to gain some meaning from what your conscience says.

I'm not sure if my idea is clear enough and would definitely like to hear what you think


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Few more days of freedom

Another 4 days and I'm going to thrown back into the corporate world once again. Due to my past HR experience I know that as a campus recruit, I will be treated better and have some breathing space initially. I'm not expecting anything great in the first one month to happen. Campus recruitment team at ADAG seems to be quite efficient in terms of follow up and I hope it would be the same with other departments.

Few guys from Co 09 have requested me to give some gyan about general management and I will be on campus tomorrow at 9 pm. Giving gyan as an alum is different from conducting soft-skills training program. All these efforts are to reduce the information asymmetry and make people ready for tomorrow. I think this "trying to be ready/prepared for tomorrow" is a universal phenomenon with human beings. But many times I have observed that we overdo this preparation and end up spend up today completely waiting for tomorrow and tomorrow never comes because it becomes today as soon as it comes. We end up putting ourselves on the treadmill without even realizing it. I have done this mistake many times and one the most important learning I'm carrying with me from ISB is about living in the current.

Another thing I have realized during the last one year is about balance between short-term and long-term. In the past I have sacrificed short-term for long-term but now I have realized that if I am not happy and doing well in the short term there is no way I would do well in the long-term. We've got certain amount of time on this earth and we ought to do what we want to and what we can best and have fun. It's all about happiness and one must enjoy present as much as you invest for future happiness.

Before I close I must admit that initially I thought it will be difficult to survive without work for two months but surprisingly I seemed to have adapted to this nicely and now I am wondering how would work be after such a long break of 14 months. Adios

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Friends, friends and friends

Last two weeks I have spent meeting all my friends. Friends from school, from college, from my village, ex-colleagues, ex-bosses. This whole thing proved one important thing - world is small and circular and that "6 degrees of separation" is quite practical.

Read more about "Six degrees of separation" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
It also bought back all the memories and highlighted the changes that I had seen in last 18 years. I passed SSC (or Xth) in 1990 from a school named Unique Public School, which was established in 1988, located at Suryanagar, near Chintal in Hyderabad. That school was pretty small then but now it is doing very good. It was setup by a set of teachers and I heard that it is the best school in that area.

And yesterday I met my colleagues from Middle Earth Consultants. We had so much fun.

Every time I meet someone new I am able to find some connection almost always and it reinforces the world is small notion every time. And I expect the same in Delhi now and this makes Delhi more familiar that it is.

After a break of 50 odd days, I'm looking forward to some work and some money too :). I hope things would be smooth at Mumbai and then at Delhi. While there is so much to do, it is important that the basic things are taken care.

Having nothing to do, I started reading Chronicles of Narnia and I am quite enjoying the stories. The stories are definitely better than the movie. When you are reading such kind of stories, your imagination is much more powerful than what could be created on film. While the efforts of bringing such stories to movie screens is quite commendable, it never matches one's imagination. This is what I like about reading.

Friday, May 23, 2008

What happens if price of oil hits $200 a barrel?

This is an interesting question. While the $200 may sound an alarm, I feel that it will potentially change the automobile game. All the renewable energy based projects would become viable and would increase investments in that area and the stock prices of organizations working in that area. It may also reduce business travel and may lead to more people working from home.

Adaptation seems to be name of the game and I'm sure all of us will adapt to the increasing prices in different ways

ISB info sessions for 2009-10 admission

This year the admissions department of the ISB plans to conduct over 50 information sessions across India.

To register click on http://www.isb.edu/pgp/AdmissionEvents.Shtml?menuid=109

City Venue Date Timings
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 30-May-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Kolkata Taj Bengal 1-Jun-08 10:00 AM - 12 noon
Kolkata Taj Bengal 1-Jun-08 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Pune Taj Blue Diamond 1-Jun-08 10:00 AM - 12Noon
Pune Taj Blue Diamond 1-Jun-08 3:30 PM - 5:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 6-Jun-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Chandigarh Reliance Web World @ Sector 9 D 7-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Indore Reliance Web World @ MG Road 7-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Jamshedpur Reliance Web World @ Jamshedpur 7-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Ludhiana Reliance Web World @ Chaura Bazaar 7-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Raipur Reliance Web World @ Krishna Complex 7-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 13-Jun-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Chandigarh Reliance Web World @ Sector 9 D 14-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Amritsar Reliance Web World @ Mall 14-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Bhopal Reliance Web World @ Bhopal Bitten Market 14-Jun-08 5:30 PM-7:00PM
Nagpur Reliance Web World @ CA Road 14-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Lucknow Reliance Web World @ Faizadabad Road 14-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 20-Jun-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Coimbatore Reliance Web World @ Gandhipuram 21-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Madurai Reliance Web World @ Annanagar 21-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Pondicherry Reliance Web World @ Kamraj Salai 21-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Visakhapatnam Reliance Web World @ Dwaraka nagar 21-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 27-Jun-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Allahabad Reliance Web World @ Balson 28-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Gwalior Reliance Web World @ Gwalior 28-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Agra Reliance Web World @ Kamla Nagar 28-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Patna Reliance Web World @ Fraser Road 28-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Ranchi Reliance Web World @ Club Complex 28-Jun-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 4-Jul-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Kolhapur Reliance Web World @ Kolhapur 5-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Aurangabad Reliance Web World @ Aurangabad City 5-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Nasik Reliance Web World @ Nasik Road 5-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Belgaum Reliance Web World @ Belgaum 5-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Sholapur Reliance Web World @ Sholapur 5-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 11-Jul-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Ahmadabad Reliance Web World @ CG Road 12-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Vadodara(Baroda)Reliance Web World @ Fatehgunj Baroda 12-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Surat Reliance Web World @ Parle Point 12-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Rajkot Reliance Web World @ Neptune Towers 12-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Jaipur Reliance Web World @ City Center 12-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 18-Jul-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Cochin Reliance Web World @ Alwaye 19-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Trivandrum Reliance Web World @ Vazhutacaud 19-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Mangalore Reliance Web World @ Bunts Hostel Circle19-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Mysore Reliance Web World @ Devraj Urs Road 19-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Bhubaneswar Reliance Web World @ Fortune Towers 19-Jul-08 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 25-Jul-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 1-Aug-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 8-Aug-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 22-Aug-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 29-Aug-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 5-Sep-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 19-Sep-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 26-Sep-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 3-Oct-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 10-Oct-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 17-Oct-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 24-Oct-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 31-Oct-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 7-Nov-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 14-Nov-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 21-Nov-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM
Hyderabad ISB, Hyderabad 28-Nov-08 6:00 PM- 7:30 PM

Monday, May 19, 2008

For ISB aspirants who woke up just now

Yesterday I received a call from a guy based out of Warangal, my hometown. After speaking to him, I have decided to write this post so that all those with basic questions about ISB admission can benefit.

ISB has been in Media recently for FT ranking and then after that about the graduation ceremony and all the telugu channels decided to telecast the same with vengeance. This led to high levels of recognition and awareness among people in Andhra. Lot of people who approach me think that if they can get into ISB their life is made. I can't say whether it is correct or not as I believe that ISB is just a vehicle and one needs to know how to drive that vehicle to achieve career goals.

Anyways let me get back to the topic at hand. For all the aspirants, if you want to get basic information, don't call people instead do your research first, join isb-pgp yahoo group and then if you have specific queries about your profile and about opportunities after ISB and life at ISB etc, you can approach ISB alums. That way you will get a better picture. Let's look at the resources that you have:

1. First of all visit www.isb.edu and got the PGP program details link, which is isb.edu/pgp. You will get all the basic details that you would want about the program in the FAQs section.

2. The next big question is about GMAT. To know more about GMAT, you should start with the official site www.mba.com. Register yourself as you need not pay any fees at the beginning, in fact until you decide the date you need not pay any money. In the site you will find all the basic information about GMAT and you can download "Free GMATPrep Test-Preparation Software." This software gives you all the necessary details about GMAT sections and it even has couple of sample tests that are greatly helpful. Once you go through this software, then you can decided for yourself whether you need coaching or not. There are ample number of groups and resources both free and paid available on the internet to begin with. While GMAT score is not the most important factor, it acts as an entry barrier. As far as I know one should target 720+, while 720+ doesn't assure interview call, it increases your chances. Don't panic, there are students with scores in the range of 650 but they do have extraordinary achievements behind them.

3. ISB Application: ISB opens its online application sometime in July. Initial registration is free and you need to pay application fee only when you are ready to submit it. THe process is same for R1 and R2, so register at the earliest and access the form. You will have some work to do in the form of essays and getting evaluation letters apart from filling all the forms. It would be nice to have at least one month between GMAT and application deadline, so plan accordingly.

4. While you are doing all this, get on to the isb-pgp yahoo group and keep posing your questions. But remember, do your research and don't ask questions like "What is GMAT" or "When is R1 deadline" etc. Use the group for discussions about profile and to meet up with other applicants from your city who may be able to help you. You can pose questions specifically related to ISB and there will be alums who would answer them.

Once you submit the application, all you can do is wait for interview and after interview wait for the result. But before I close, I strongly recommend that "don't start with ISB as the only option," there are excellent schools around the world and some of them may be more suitable to you than ISB. ISB is better placed in terms of location, fees, FT ranking, infrastructure etc but by studying abroad you will learn outside the school too. ISB offers a one-year program and needs atleast 2-years work experience, while work experience is necessary to get maximum benefit from MBA, one year duration does put constraints on you and increases the work load tremendously. Make an informed decision and I'm sure your career will be transformed. Good luck

Thursday, May 15, 2008

PAEV opportunity

According to Prof. Ram at ISB, every new business idea has to solve a pain and the higher the pain, better the chances of success.

After getting placed and deciding to relocate from Hyd to Delhi, I went through one such pain and it gave me a very good business idea. It is quite early for the Co 09 to think about PaEV (or Planning an Entrepreneurial Venture), which happens only after core terms, I decided to share my idea to all those who read this blog.

I don't want any credits or equity or anything from whoever decides to follow up on this business idea, in fact I would be more than happy to provide support for such enthusiast. Let's get back to the pain and the business opportunity related to it.

From the second para you must have been able to guess that it must be something related to relocation. Yes, I am referring to the pains that I had to go through while relocating from Hyderabad to Delhi. There is a strong need for a service that can assist working population in the private sector in relocating. In fact companies today are paying more than required price for hiring employees from other locations and if a reliable service is available that has pan-India presence (international can come a little later), everyone would benefit from the same.

The service can solve issues that arise mainly due to:
1. Lack of information
2. Lack of reliable service providers
3. Lack of expertise

Working population today in India is quite mobile and people are changing jobs left and right. In IT and ITeS sectors, from what I have heard, average tenure is anywhere between 6 months to 2 years. Not that everyone is moving from city to city but may be they are moving from city to city because there is no "Relocation Assistance Service" available currently. This absence is today reducing the choices of working public in private sector (public sector seems to have some support in this area) and is creating inefficiencies in the system. Companies can definitely reduce their salary costs by at least 10% as they can hire talented people from smaller cities and towns and help them move easily into the metros. Even individuals can earn more (they may have to spend a little more) and definitely save more. A unfilled position is a negative NPV both for the firm and for the nation and the effect is magnified when it comes to metros.

While writing this blog post, the idea became far more clear now than it was earlier and I think I am inspired to pick some suitable guy in Delhi and get this started shortly. Next year if you are relocating to Delhi, I think you will find it easy - you may where to knock and whom to call.

Let's see

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can ISB transform you?

Since I got admission to ISB, several people have been requesting me to guide them about getting admission into ISB. Before going into the title subject, let me draw out the admission cycles of ISB. ISB has two application rounds - R1 and R2. R1 deadline for 2009-10 is 15th Sept and R2 deadline is 1st December. If one has not taken GMAT, I suggest that you finish it before August, so that you have enough time to write your essays and get the evaluation letters.

Now let's come back to the main topic. The common motive of all those who bug about getting into ISB is to get transformed, to be taken care for life. This perception of people about ISB resurfaced again yesterday when I met a old colleague of mine and she asked me "is your career transformed" and I had to say "Yes." I couldn't tell her that I still have to go work and face the same challenges any other person would face at work and I am yet to test my newly acquired knowledge and skills.

This whole thing brought back the question - Can ISB transform you? My answer would be may be Yes, may be No, it depends! Yeah, actually it depends on no one else but you. The difference is actually not made at ISB but it happens long before when you made that decision to get into a reputed B-School. The opportunity is open to everyone but only few take that decision to pursue it seriously and give their best. Every decision you take and the follow up effort you make, transforms you bit by bit. It's like hatching of the egg, during the 21 days of hatching, one doesn't see any change from outside but the transformation is happening inside and it shows up on one final day. Similarly transformation is happening every moment; whether you would follow it up till the time it shows up externally is a different matter and that's the big issue. We keep initiating so many things but don't follow up on them till we get the result that we want.

I would like to conclude that there is nothing in the world that can transform you, except "you." ISb does indeed open lots of new doors but it's up to you which one to take and what to do next. So next time when you ask me, "Did ISB transform you?," you know the answer.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Back with a bang

After taking a long break from active blogging, I have realized its time to get back.

I had been to Delhi twice during this time searched for a 2-bedroom flat in South Delhi successfully. I roamed around in the buses of Delhi on the Rapid Transit system and also in the expensive Delhi Autos apart from cabs.

Some things that I learned during this one month :
1. Why information has value
2. Ego is negative NPV
3. Brands are positive NPV and convey lot of hidden information. But there could be large gap between what your ad campaign says and what happens at ground zero.

I am attempting to see if individuals like you and me can yield the corporate processes for everyone's benefit.

All in all Delhi was a mixed experience and I hope to see the better part of it when I move there in June.

I have been regularly going to ISB whenever I am in Hyd. Everytime I enter the campus, I feel I am entering a different world and after the Delhi trip more so. Class of 2009 is totally different from our batch.

Lots to write but nothing solid, anyways I made a restart and I hope to be regular.