Monday, May 29, 2006

It's really been sometime since I wrote here...was too busy with the assignments. No, they are not done with as yet, it's just that I understood that there will never be a period of "no-assignmets". So, let's carry on with life.
Economics. I really like the subject, and I truly dread the Final exams. It has tremendous potential to attract a first-learners and the ability to confuse you. We learnt Game-theory. I had studied it during BE, but not to this depth.
To imagine it all came from the mind of a schizophrenic.
The whole idea of game involves players(at least two), their strategies and the end-objectives. So far, it's been mostly sellers/firms trying to get customers. The study of this theory helps one better understand the various promotions that sellers do to woo buyers.
Why don't firms sell coupons to customers of the competitor?
The answer depends on the strength of their customer base...and the revenue that it generates by giving a discount to the others. If my base is strong, I will not try to attract others, coz' then my competitor will give away coupons to my customers, which then, will force me to reduce the price for my strong base as well. Overall, its a downward spiral.
It sounds convoluted, but makes a lot of sense if one thinks over it.

The other subjects are going on fine. We had elections, a new president and directors of the GSB.
I've watched some movies.."Romeo and Juliet", "Shawshank Redemption"... The second one is really nice. Patience, planning and wonderful execution helped the protagonist achieve his aim. Would not like to tell the story. Shawshank is a prison...

Take care

Friday, May 19, 2006

Done with the Mid-Terms. That's what kept me away from blogging.
Stats was better, Eco was a disaster. I really liked Economics, whatever was taught so far. Obviously, my best-fit regression line, linking the liking of the subject to doing well in it, was wrong. The relationship does not seem linear to me, and definitely, it's not a positive slope either.
Eco: The objective of this course was to help the student think differently. I wondered at that time, that it was really a tall order. However, two and a half weeks from the start, I think there has been some difference to my way of thinking about things. Supply and demand, profit maximization are some of the more important terms learnt during this course.
Let's say, why do you think airlines food is bad?
Before Eco course happened, I would think, that all these guys were denying us our value for money. Downright disgusting!
Post Eco, I feel that there are certain other considerations to be borne in mind. Considering an ideal situation, Airlines Industry approximates a perfectly competitive market, which means there are "n" other airlines providing the same service - transportation. In such a situation, the price is decided by the market, and both consumers and producers respond to this God. If prices are similar across the board, there is no incentive for the producer to increase price - consumers will go elsewhere, neither to reduce, as they can get as many customers as they want at the current price. No extra person is going to come by price reduction. In such a scenario, the only way to win, is to reduce the underlying fixed and variable costs associated with flights. So, economise whatever you possibly can.
The difference in my thinking is that, I now understand, why airlines serve what they do.

Our stats prof left last week after completing his portion. We've got a new guy for the second half. The first prof was really awesome. Teaching like he was holding a stage and urging us to think like managers. Statistics is all numbers, estimates and so on. But this is not what you do. You decide what statistics to estimate and you interpret the results. While technical taught me the details, Management is all about moving away from them. And, it is interesting.

The students here are photographed four days a week, throughout the year. No, no we are not celebrities, this is the way the institute keeps track of attendance. It's a huge archive...all students, everyday, entire year. Maybe, if one studied those, one could see the changes of maturity over the year. Faces change, and I am sure, the archive could provide proof of that.

I've written quite a lot, by far my longest post.
Take care,

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I went to my first ISB party. I was planning to go for all the previous ones, but unfortunately, sleep won over the enthusiasm to go out and party.
Well, I turned up at 12:30 am when most of my batch mates were mid-way through their merriment. It was held at the mirror pool, and they had filled it with water. It being the warm summer night, people were really enjoying splashing around. The dress code was shorts and skirts. Since, I had worn none, I didn't venture towards the pool.
Midway through my conversation on Mendelism and Genetic Heredity with a fellow batch-mate, I was dragged by some too-enthusiastic-section-mates to the pool and while they lashed water at me.
Now, when I said it was a summer night, I exaggerated. Completely drenched, I realized that it was not that hot. Thankfully, my dear friend who had gotten nutty while talking about some of the Genetic structure and dominance theories, volunteered to drop me to my SV.
Moral of the story:
Never over-estimate the temperature, and
a confused chap is more likely to take pity on you...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I was sitting in class today when I suddenly remembered that I was no longer working. No longer was I a part of the organisation where I had gone to every morning at 9, for the past two and a half years.
The place, the people, my work station, my documents and pictures, would now be completely unaccessible to me. I was no longer there. The routine which had been my life had all changed, by choice. It's not that I didn't think of what was coming, but you never fully comprehend without living through it. Now, while sitting in my allocated place in the class, I remembered my cubicle so far away.
The memories just refused to leave...
That is perhaps, the case with most things in life, you never know when they become a part of you, as you go through your daily routine. For some, change can be a very difficult concept to accept, and some move on as if there was no pull from the past. People react in so different ways when confronted with change...the very concept can be disturbing to many. Without qualifying whether a change is for the better or the worse, our acceptance of the truth can often influence the outcome of the change.
Would you like an employee who sulked when he was asked to do something which was new to him, or prefer the chap who went with a smile to try new things out? And, would not this positivism reflect in his performance?
I guess I could talk at length on this, but I'll stop here... a new day is about to begin.

Friday, May 05, 2006

I've caught up seeing quite a few movies of the benefits of having a laptop and a good collection of DVDs at the school's library.
"A Walk in th Clouds"...this one I believe was the inspiration for all movies which had the heroine take a guy home as his supposed-husband. Dhai Akshar Prem ke, and what not. The original is simple and Keanu Reeves does a truly good job.
"The Incredibles"...good concept and great execution. The transformation of the animation industry is quite stupendous...from 2D to 3D cartoons, the quality of special effects, fluid movements of characters and obviously great storyline, makes this Pixar Presentation a joy to watch.
"Pirates of the Caribbean - Curse of the Black Pearl". I've actually seen it before, but the behind-the-scenes narrative was quite informative. The fact that computer graphics and animation has been used to depict the pirate-skeletons was informative, more so as the distinction cannot be made out. Technology truly has enhanced the viewing experience and made a lot more things possible.
Thinking about movies, 4D theater, one of its kind has been opened at Noida Spice Mall. The sensory experience of water splashing on you while you watch a waterfall sounds quite intriguing. It's apparently running "full house" for all its shows.
Now its time I got back to those dreaded assignments.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We left it at Statisics.
I have learnt statistics in my college, BITS, and it was done in a very different way than what I experienced in class yesterday. The word is awesome.
He captured our attention from the very beginning, sheerly by virtue of being an experienced speaker.
Imagine, that your company makes GPS devices, the ones that tell you where you are located, hi-fi maps. Say, a hiker has taken your device and gone on a trekking expedition and did not take any maps with him. He goes on and on and on...suddenly, the device drops from his hands. He picks it up, and oooops, the screen is blank!
The next day, the news reports a frozen hiker in the middle of nowhere with icicles formed on his body, with Your blanked out GPS device on his hand. Bad publicity.
So what do you do??
You test, and test again to find the chance that the chip will malfunction. And, when you run tests, you need to set limits to acceptable performance, and those limits will be given by the wonderful subject called Statistics.
It was the most wonderful introduction to a subject I had previously thought as routine.

Hopefully it will continue to be as interesting as when it began.

The weekends come, and with it the promise of assignments. Frankly, management is all about managing your scarcities...the primary one being time.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Classes have started.
Accounting - Marketing - Economics and Statistics.
What is the relevance of these subjects to a manager?

I am not interested to be an Accountant, so why know the balance sheet? The answer, as my prof said it well, is because the senior you become in your organisation, the stronger the relationship there is between the balance sheet and You. Defenses by Enron Chief such as "I never knew" does not work anymore. So, Accounting. The other misconception that he cleared was, it's a boring subject. His take on it, "only if done correctly" ;D

Marketing...this is easier to explain to people, as the concept of business stems from the idea that you have a product/sevice/idea/experience to sell and you have to know how to segment the customer, "catch me if you can (target them), and position them. As I go along the way, these broad ideas will be broken down to decide how to go about doing it for a particular case. is not "all about money, honey" if I can change the saying. It is about deciding on an alternative given a scarcity. Scarcity of anything, but primarily of Time and money. What goes behind/back of your maind when you decide on an option? Think and analyse why you chose what you did, what was the alternatives available, what was the scarcity etc. It will get more clearer as the weeks progress.

Statistics..sorry, I haven't had a class yet. But obviously, if after what you've read so far, you haven't figured the need for this subject, you are statistically disadvantaged to become a good manager... ;D

The profs are doing a good job, while we have to keep up with all the pre, present and post reads for the subjects...
Till then,