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editor from the Editor-in-Chief Kamlesh Sajnani

Editor Aditya Prakash Iengar Sr. Correspondent: Alolika Banerjee

Design Uma Shirke, Satish Yadav, Sylvester Moses

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We human beings are an astonishingly diverse crowd; everyone is unique in their own right. Every MBA aspirant has their own set of dreams and ambitions, priorities and desires, interests and complaints. And yet, the MBA entrance test season brings almost all these aspirants into one homogenous platform of grievance, where they scream in unison, “Why isn’t there more time?” As you see, you’re not alone. Everyone is fretting as you are, mourning the insufficiency of the 24 hours, as if had the clock ticked off more hours in a day, you would have been better off. You would have that extra bit of time to study a little more, improve that area of strength, plug that knowledge gap, et al. I’d like to break this bubble. When you’re on the path to success, as you are now, one thing you’ll realise is that you will never have enough time. If you study the lives and careers of Jobs and Gates, Zuckerbergs and Mas, Ambanis and Birlas, you’ll find that they never rested, they slogged all their lives, and were singularly vocal about there being “so much work, so little time.” That’s one of their mantras of success. And let me tell you, you’re no different. You’re treading that same path, aspiring to the same dreams as they did.

The difference lies in how these luminaries never gave up. At all times, under all circumstances, they were constantly looking for new opportunities, and when they didn’t find any, they created them. It didn’t matter if they were businessmen looking for new opportunities, budding entrepreneurs hunting for untrodden paths, or even students searching for unheard of fields of study. You too have that choice in front of you. If you do well in your first entrance exam — the acid test, if you will — then you’re already on the path to success. The next step is to continue with confidence, crack the next GD-PI-WAT rounds, and make it to your dream B-school. If, unfortunately, you couldn’t do as well you’d hoped, don’t sink into the depths of misery. There are many more entrance tests coming up, XAT 2017 being the most important of them, followed by the CMAT, the CET, MAT, etc. All of these are opportunities that you need to explore and create, so that ultimately, you know that you’ve put in your best, exploited your full potential and done justice to yourself. Life is all about creating opportunities. So never stop looking for newer options. A wise man once said that moss never grows on a rolling stone. Be that rolling stone.

All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole and in part without written permission is prohibited. Printed and published by Kamlesh Sajnani, on behalf of, IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd., (CIN:U80220MH1999PTC121823) E Block, 6th Floor, NCL Bandra Premises, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Bandra (E), Mumbai - 400 051. Printed at Uchitha Graphic Printers Pvt. Ltd., 65, Ideal Ind. Est., Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai - 13 and published at Mumbai.

Aditya Prakash Iengar Editor





Cracking GD-PI-WAT: It all begins with you


December 2016

CORPORATE WORLD Demonetisation 2016: The highs and pitfalls

vs Mistry: The plot grows 34 Tata murkier

B-school tests after CAT


XAT 2017: A perfect alternative to the CAT


DIRECTOR SPEAK Fr. E. Abraham S J. Director, XLRI


GLOBAL STUDIES Work after study: World’s most welcoming countries


SNIPPETS News in brief




Digitalisation: Starting the far-reaching impact today


40 Test Q&As

Dose: 43 Word Reminiscences of a long lost land

44 Globescan 46 SuDoKu

Prof Vishwanathan Iyer Chairperson Admission, TAPMI

Disclaimer : The views expressed in the articles by contributors and others are not necessarily those of the Publishers, unless specifically stated therein. While no effort is spared in ensuring the accuracy of the information published herein, readers are advised to reconfirm the current facts before acting upon any such information. The Publishers regret their inability to accept responsibility for any inadvertent errors of commission or omission in this issue. Readers are recommended to make appropriate inquiries before incurring expenses or entering into commitments in relation to any advertisement appearing in this publication. The publishers do not vouch for any claims made by the advertisers of any products or services. The Publisher, Printers or Editor shall not be held liable for any consequences in the event of such claims not being honoured by the advertisers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, in any form or means, or stored in a database or retrieval system without prior permission from the publisher.

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Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 5

cover story

Cracking GD-PI-WAT: It all begins with you Today, B-schools are adding to the traditional methods of group discussions and personal interviews. The process is often augmented by a written ability test. Of course, the most important is the PI. We give you a few tips for the best way to get through this round. The Advanc’edge Team


re you the hare or the tortoise? Before you start introspecting, you should know that I refer to the “new and improved” version of our naïve pal who, being very disappointed at losing the first race, did some introspection of his own and realised that he’d lost the race only because he had been arrogant, careless and laid back. He knew that if he hadn’t been so, there was no way the tortoise could have beaten him. So he

challenged the tortoise to another race and this time, without taking any chances, ran without stopping from start to finish. As expected, he won by several miles. The moral — slow and steady doesn’t cut it anymore! You need to be fast, accurate, thorough, confident, and prudent enough to learn from others’ mistakes (yes, learning from your own mistakes is passé — a wise man learns from others’ mistakes, a fool from his own, especially in this glorious age of

A very typical & probable scene from a group discussion.

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information sharing and social networking.) Those of you who have even a glimmer of hope of clearing any written test that you have taken need to start your preparation for the next selection round as soon as you put down this article (read all of it first, though). You can’t afford to wait for that “shortlisted” status update. You will be able to enjoy the fruits of your initial labour with or without a B-school call. GD-Case Study-Essay-Written ability test-Group task-Group Interview-Extempore-PI are the various selection tools that B-schools use these days. But do you know what the common denominator for all of these is? You! Your personality, which will get reflected in these tasks. And that is what you need to work on first. Not just because you might be facing a panel, but because it’s high time you figured yourself out. Why do you want to do an MBA? What are your career goals? What kind of person are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your hobbies? Do you possess leadership skills? What are your dreams and aspirations? What is your definition of success?

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Imagination Unbound

Potential Unleashed Great Lakes is where ‘the Art of Leadership blends with the science of management’ to offer a learning environment that brings out the very best in you. It is that place where imagination is not limited by boundaries, where every thought is taken to its logical conclusion, where you are free to roam the skies of possibilities and go beyond every definition. For only when the imagination is unbound, will the potential be unleashed.


Centres of Excellence


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Global Visiting Faculty from the likes of Stanford, Kellogg and Yale

Rank in Analytics in India by Analytics India Magazine

Post Graduate Diploma in Management (PGDM)




Full Time Faculty

Global Collaborations with leading Business Schools

Industry Leaders on Campus in 2015


Fully residential campuses in Chennai & Gurgaon


International Accreditations by AMBA, UK and SAQS (Chennai Campus)


Alumni Network spread over 28 countries

Rankings : 6 th by Outlook (2016) | 7 th by Business Today (2015) | 9 th by Business World (2015) LEED Platinum Rated Green Campus in Chennai


Post Graduate Program in Management (PGPM)

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 7

cover story What is common in all of these questions? You! It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the answers to all these questions, but you would be surprised at the sheer number of students who cannot answer these questions with conviction in their interview. Why? Maybe they trivialised the significance of these questions, maybe they aped their friends’ answers, or maybe they thought they could pull the wool over the panel’s eyes and make them believe something they themselves didn’t… the reasons are not important. What is important is that you know better than to lose out on the best opportunity of your academic life because you are “lazy”. Yes, there is rarely another explanation. You have information and expert help at your fingertips. The challenge lies in time and motivation management. If you bring these two to the table, you are as good as selected.

So pull up your socks and start expanding your

• Knowledge of self (your personality, skills, goals and hobbies), • Knowledge of what is happening around you and how you feel about it (current affairs), and • Knowledge of what you have done till now and what you have learnt from it (academics, work experience and extra-curricular activities) You may have taken much in your life for granted. If there was ever a time to question why your life has turned out the way it has and where it is headed, it is now! Question your motivation and your past decisions and be bold enough to admit mistakes and take tough decisions. Better now than years later when you have a tonne of responsibilities.

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Once you yourself are convinced of your life choices, it isn’t hard to convince another person. And this second selection round is exactly that — a game of conviction! Bottom line, either you convince the B-school that you are what they have been looking for, or they convince you that you aren’t as great as you think you are.

The B-schools are getting creative, and so should you. Nowadays, case driven discussions are becoming more common, probably because they are a better test of a candidate’s solution orientation, objectivity, rationality and ability to differentiate between idealism and pragmatism. Most of the IIMs, IIFT, and SCMHRD have included a written ability test in their selection process. IIM Indore, in fact, asked students to summarise a passage too. XIM-B surprised students by giving quite a few abstract topics or figures for the GD. SPJIMR conducted a psychometric test, which had 30 questions that the candidates had to answer in 10 minutes. Most students could not complete the test due to shortage of time. The institute then went on to conduct group interviews. A group discussion was included as a part of the first group interview. Post this, some candidates were rejected and the ones who were still in the running had to face another, more stressful and detailed, group interview. FMS, standing by tradition, continued to conduct an extempore followed by a PI. NMIMS had a case discussion and a PI, but the HRM applicants had to write a case analysis, group exercise to participate in a case discussion on a new case, and finally appear for an interview.

SIBM Pune conducts 3 WATs, group exercise followed by an extempore and finally a PI. TISS also required candidates to fill a Detailed Pre-Interview Form (PIT) before the interview. As far as MICA is concerned, there is no limit to the creativity of the tasks. Students were asked to prepare a skit to depict audience behaviour either before the movie, or after the movie, or during the movie, re-enact scenes from classics, after tailoring them to their current situation, design a social networking platform for 2025, create advertisements using props, design marketing strategies, etc. You need to be aware of the personality traits that are under scrutiny during all the above mentioned exercises, so that you can start developing them. Clarity of thought: You need to think rationally and articulate well. What you speak must be relevant, well thought out, concise and precise. Some common fallacies in reasoning that you must avoid are: Making hasty generalisations: Be very cautious about using terms such as “all”, “always”, “”never”, “everybody”, “nobody”, etc. Modify your language to make it more accurate. Giving false analogies: If, for example, the Vice Chancellor of Mumbai states that the university should be run like a multinational company, the statement can be rejected on the grounds that the similarities between the two are incidental and not essential. Confusing correlation with conclusion: Just because two events occur together doesn’t imply that one causes the other. I was wearing a new dress when I got a promotion does not mean that this is the reason for having got the promotion. This is not a valid statement. The assumption that the two events

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are related simply because they are related in time is invalid. Using non-sequitur (it does not follow) statements: In this type of statement the conclusion does not follow from the evidence presented. “A teacher who does not believe in corporal punishment is a good teacher” is not a valid statement, because the conclusion is drawn from evidence that has no bearing on the issue. Listening skills: A widespread misconception is that the person who speaks the most in a discussion is the one who qualifies for the next round. One cardinal rule to keep in mind is that the performance of the whole group is important and thus, you being receptive to others’ ideas is critical. Without listening, knowledge does not flow. Those who cannot listen cannot think, and those who cannot think cannot write and speak. So, listening comes first, everything else follows. Active listening is imperative. It means listening responsibly, not merely absorbing words passively, but actively trying to grasp the facts and feelings in what you are hearing. The importance of active listening gets underscored in a group activity as listening to a group is harder than listening to a speaker. One needs to follow not only what is said, but also how it relates to what else has been said so that one can keep track of the thread of ideas and conclusions. It may so happen that you are asked to summarise the entire discussion, and in order to do that effectively, you need to listen. The major barrier to listening is that we get sidetracked; we lose concentration on what is being said. There are techniques that we can use to avoid falling into this trap. You can try the following process: (Source: “Are you listening?” by Ralph Nicols and Leonard Stevens.) Think ahead of the talker: Try to

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anticipate what the oral discourse is leading to and what conclusions will be drawn from the words spoken at the moment. Weigh the evidence: Consider the justifications used by the speaker to support the points he is making. Ask the questions “Is this evidence valid?”, “Is it complete?” Review and summarise: Periodically review and summarize the points completed so far. Listen between the lines: Search for meaning that is not put into spoken words. Pay attention to the non-verbal communication (facial expressions, gestures, tone of voice) to see if it adds meaning to the spoken words. Critical analysis: Whenever allotted a topic to speak on, judge its chief concern and align your recommendations to it. Examine the facts and situations from the perspective of the overall impact on various stakeholders involved in the scenario. Assess the facts and information in this light and accordingly suggest solutions. This is even more essential during a case discussion. You will be presented with a case and given some time (about 2-5 minutes) to collect your thoughts before the discussion

begins. You should prioritise the different recommendations you develop in the given period after reading the case thoroughly. Communication skills: Fluent speech does not mean effective communication. Effective communication is the ability to put forward your ideas in a precise, convincing and concise manner. In a 15-20 minute GD, you will get very few opportunities to speak, so start practising putting across your ideas effectively whenever you get a chance to speak. Work on your aggressiveness. You can be assertive but not aggressive. It is definitely desirable to have a manager who knows what he is talking about and does not get swayed by what others think, especially when his own thought process and conclusions are logical and carefully worked out. In the actual discussion, even though you may make a good point, someone else might make a better point. You need to be swift in realising it and tone down your aggressiveness, if felt, with adaptability and receptiveness to the other’s ideas. Get rid of the habit of using slang/vernacular expressions in your colloquial speech. While practising

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Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 11

cover story a discussion, ensure that you don’t make personal remarks against any individual participant. Ability to interact within a group: Team building skill is another muchdesired trait in a manager. During the two years at a B-school and later on, throughout your career, you will be working in teams. There have been numerous cases of individuals with potential becoming failures because of their inability to work in a team. For you to become a successful leader tomorrow, you have to be a good team member today. A discussion is not just about getting a chance to speak. It is actually a group activity where all participants are required to be involved throughout the process. Even if you do not get too many chances to speak, it is important that you are involved in the discussion even when you are not the one doing the speaking. You can do this by actively listening to arguments being put forth by other participants. The act of listening and being mentally involved in the GD will also get reflected in your body language.

Whenever you speak, your contribution must be:

Sufficient: A contribution should be long enough to make its point. Most contributions that fail to get through are too short, rather than too long. Obviously, a contribution is of little value if too little is said to make the point clear and related. Relevant: The contribution you make should be relevant to the topic being discussed. Sometimes the relevance may not be apparent at the outset of your contribution, and you may be checked by your listeners on that count. But if you are convinced about the relevance of your line of thinking to the topic,

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then upon being checked, you can ask your listeners to be patient with you, and assure them that you will demonstrate the relevance of the topic if only they would hear you out. Related: Often a contribution is relevant, but is not related to the comments that have just preceded it or what is likely to follow. One good way to establish relatedness is to introduce your comment like this, “I’d like to go back to the point that X made and add some evidence.” Clear: You should never assume that just because you have spoken, you have communicated. In order to make certain that everyone in the group understands what you are saying, it may be useful to

Being mentally involved in the GD will also get reflected in your body language. define what you mean by certain significant terms. For example, if you are discussing “the secular nature of the Indian Constitution”, you may want to clarify that you understand secularism to be that “no one religion is to be given special preference in the country”, before talking about your opinions on secularism. Objective: Try as far as possible to be objective, rather than opinionated. Basing your opinions on facts instead of on beliefs or faith will lend an air of maturity and openmindedness to your contribution. Open to evaluation: An effective contribution shows a willingness to have the contribution evaluated.

For example, if a group is discussing the latest developments in the economy and one member offers this contribution “the price of gold stock is rising on the international stock market. This shows that the economy is headed for trouble”, he has presented his evidence and the conclusion he has drawn from the same. But he has not shown the reasoning process by which he reached that conclusion, making it impossible for other members of the group to comment on the evidence and bring forth other points of views. If he had rephrased his contribution by including his reasoning process, which is this – “the rising price of gold stock indicates a lack of confidence in other stocks and is therefore a predictor that investors will pull back on their investments in other businesses”, he would have left room for other participants to comment on this reasoning process and maybe point out other ways of looking at the issue. Evaluations of contributions are a must if the group is to reach worthwhile conclusions. Provocative: Contributions must provoke further thought. Contributions like “this is it” or “two plus two equals four and no more need be said” or “it’s just as simple as that!” or “We’ve tried it before and it didn’t work” cut off controversy and dampen the desire to think further. Start working on these skills and become aware of how many of the above criteria your spoken or written contribution fulfills. And remember that style can never compensate for substance. You need to start increasing yourself and general awareness and then work out what your opinions on various issues are. That, coupled with the valuable tips given here, will ensure that you impress your evaluators and bag that coveted seat. A

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Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 13

mba buzz

B-school tests after CAT After CAT gets over on December 4, there are a host of other important management exams lined up this season. Let’s take a look. Name of the test Test Date

Test Time

Institutes accepting the test

Symbiosis National 18 Aptitude December Test-SNAP 2016 2016

2pm - 4pm

Accepted by Symbiosis Institutes such as: • Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM - Pune) • Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resources Development (SCMHRD) • Symbiosis Institute of Computer Studies & Research (SICSR) • Symbiosis Institute of International Business (SIIB) • Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management (SITM) Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad.


Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad Test- MICAT I and MICAT II Management Admission Test-MAT December 2016

11th December 2016

MICAT I: 11th December 2016 MICAT II: 12th February 2017 Paper-based: Paper-based: 10.00 am 11th -12.30pm December Online: 2016 Different slots Online: th 17 December 2016 7th 2:00 pm to January 3:40 pm 2017

Tata Institute of Social SciencesNational Entrance test- TISS-NET 2017 Xavier's Aptitude 8th January Test-XAT 2017 2017

10am 1.30pm

CMAT 2017

28th January 2017

Test will begin at 9:30 AM


7th October 2016 to 20th December 2016

Test Slots can be selected according to the availability at the selected Test center.

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A few of the institutes accepting MAT are: • Great Lakes Chennai-PGDM • Praxis Kolkata- PGP Business Mgmt • XIME- Bangalore • Alliance Bangalore • ITM Navi Mumbai • Christ College Bangalore Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai

All institutes affiliated to Xavier’s accept XAT scores. Other important institutes accepting XAT scores include: • S P Jain Institute of Management & Research • Great Lakes Institute of Management • Goa Institute of Management • K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research A few of the institutes accepting CMAT are • K J Somaiya, Mumbai - PGDM • Praxis Kolkata • Welingkar, Mumbai - PGDM • NIBM, Pune • BIMTECH, Noida • XISS, Ranchi A few of the institutes accepting NMAT are • SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies • XIM Bhubaneswar • ICFAI Business School (IBS) • Alliance University • Woxsen School of Business Management

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mba buzz

XAT 2017: A perfect alternative to the CAT About 80 to 90,000 students take the XAT compared to the 2 lakh plus students registering for the CAT. This means that every student taking the CAT does not necessarily take the XAT. Let’s break the myth and unravel why every CAT-taker should also take the XAT. Vinayak Kudva Chief Mentor, IMS “Why should I take XAT – I was never interested in HR!” “XAT is more difficult than the CAT, so I rather take easier tests” “XAT has an essay section – I am not good at writing essays” These are some of the common reasons I hear from students on why they generally do not register for the XAT. Let me give you a few good reasons why you should definitely take the XAT:

Beyond HR For a whole lot of people XAT corresponds to XLRI and XLRI to HR specialisation – hence the usual refrain, “I am not interested in HR, so I am not taking the XAT!”. Both these analogies are incorrect, to say the least. The HR programme of XLRI is no doubt the best of its kind in the country, but that does not in any way belittle the quality of the BM programme at XLRI. The BM programme is also very popular and successful as and is considered to be amongst the best 5 MBA programs in the country for General management. So, if you are an HR aspirant then

16 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

you must take the XAT and if you aren’t an HR aspirant you still must take the XAT.

Beyond XLRI XAT is not a test to be taken only for XLRI – it is also the gateway to 150+ other institutes that include names like S.P. Jain, XIM Bhubaneshwar, MICA, TAPMI, GIM Panaji, LIBA, K.J. Somaiya, Welingkar, Great Lakes Chennai, IIFM Bhopal and IMT Ghaziabad. One may argue that most of these B-schools also accept the CAT – then why take one more test? The reason is very simple – XAT will serve as a Plan B for you. If you unfortunately under-perform in the CAT, you will have one more test to back on and still have a chance to make it to your dream B-Schools.

I know of enough students in the past who did not do too well in the CAT but achieved a 90+ percentile in the XAT and eventually made it to some of the top 30 Indian B-Schools (thus SAVING a year!!)

Difficulty level does not matter XAT being more difficult than CAT is only a perception – there is no scientific measure for level of difficulty. In any case, these entrance tests do not need you to score a 100 on 100 or even an 80% to qualify. It is only your relative performance that matters. In other words, you only need to perform better than a sufficient number of test-takers to do well and secure GD-PI calls from the institutes of your choice. It is interesting to note that last year a score of around 30% was sufficient for a call from XLRI and a 20 to 25% would get you calls from some of the top 30 B-Schools! So, it does not matter if the test is easy or difficult – you just need to go and give it your best shot. Maximise your attempts and accuracy, and who knows that may just be enough to clear the cutoffs this year.

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Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 17

mba buzz The importance writing



The essay section of XAT is another reason why a lot of people hesitate to take the test. Let me clear a few cobwebs around the reality of the essay section – firstly the essay section score is only considered by XLRI and none of the affiliate institutes for their selection process. And even the XLRI programmes consider the essay score only at the second stage of the selection process. So the only thing you lose because of a badly written essay is a probable admit to an XLRI programme. Note that I am in no way suggesting that you should therefore write a bad essay – I

strongly believe that you should work on your essay writing skills as the same is also assessed by most of the top 30 B-Schools including the IIMs at a later stage of the selection process (Written Assessment Test or WAT). A little bit of effort and practice now on how to construct an essay and how to analyse an issue or an argument will stand you in good stead not only for the XAT but also for the WAT process.

The XAT timing The XAT is conducted in the first week of January – this gives you one complete month after the CAT to fine-tune your preparation and enhance your level of preparedness. So, your XAT percentile may get

sufficiently better in comparison to your CAT percentile. Further, if you missed the CAT deadline and are therefore not taking the CAT this year – here is your opportunity to take a test that still gives you a chance to be in the top 30 B-Schools of the country.

Nothing to lose Even if none of the above reasons convince you – take the XAT in any case because you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If you do well in the test you would have added a few more GD-PI calls to your kitty, and if you don’t do well then you can at least say that you tried. Remember that you must run the race to have any chance of winning it!! A

Some of the major B-schools that accept both CAT and XAT MICA, Ahmedabad

Gitam School of International Business, Vizag

IRMA, Anand

Amity, Noida

KJ Somaiya, Mumbai

IIRM, Jaipur

FORE, Delhi

IMT, Nagpur

IFMR, Chennai

MET, Mumbai

Acharya IOM, Bangalore

XIM, Bhubaneshwar

Christ College, Bangalore

TAPMI, Manipal

Great Lakes IEMR, Gurgaon

Welingkar, Mumbai

XISS, Ranchi

Great Lakes, Chennai (2 programmes)

IMDR, Pune

Praxis, Kolkata

ITM, Navi Mumbai

XIME, Bangalore

SP Jain, Mumbai


GIM, Panaji


IMT, Ghaziabad

IMT, Hyderabad

IIFM, Bhopal

ISB&M, Pune

LIBA, Chennai

NDIM, Delhi

Alliance, Bangalore

Flame School of Business, Pune

18 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

mba buzz

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 19

director speak

Be relaxed while taking the XAT ... advises Fr. E. Abraham S J., Director, XLRI - Xavier School of Management in an interview to Advanc’edge MBA. He feels individuals willing to understand socio-techno-economic global challenges are the best fit for his esteemed institute. What are your views on the current state of business and management education in India? In more ways than one, management education in India is at a crossroads. Historically, management education in its present structured format was pioneered within developed economies in North America and Europe. However, in the last 10-15 years, developing countries, particularly the BRIC nations, have shown a fairly consistent and high GDP growth, resulting in a newly acquired sense of business confidence and maturity in governance within BRIC nations. Interestingly, with more than a decade of low or stagnated levels of GDP growth in developed economies, management education has increasingly started looking towards BRIC nations for case studies and best management practices. This is a healthy trend and is also a long overdue realisation that despite the infrastructural and resource challenges in developing BRIC nations, many innovative corporations have performed brilliantly and has grown in size and stature to acquire global footprints.

Do you think there is a mismatch between management graduates and industry requirement? A good management institute not only gives its alumni a distinct advantage in the global marketplace, but also teaches adaptability in this dynamic and volatile economy where constant change is the norm. A reputed institute hones a student’s thinking ability, teaches crossfunctional competence, specialised domain knowledge and team work. Practical training is an integral part of management education. Through summer internships, students get real-time work experience and industry training.

What kind of candidates are the right fit for XLRI? A prospective XLRI student should be curious and keen about the world of business. They should be curious and willing to understand the socio-techno-economic aspects of today’s global challenges, which are equally important for managers.

20 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

Aspiring students are judged on multiple parameters — their XAT score, past academic record, work experience, general knowledge, interview and GD marks for final selection. We are constantly striving to have students from diverse disciplines and backgrounds.

What do employers look for these days? How does XLRI ensure its students are fully capable? Today’s highly competitive business environment has necessitated constant technological innovations, intense marketing efforts, etc with a view to capture more share of volume and profits across industry sectors. And at every point, the competition is getting more intense. XLRI constantly endeavours to make its curriculum world class and deliver it in the most effective manner. It constantly scans the developments in business and in society and pro-acts to meet the challenges.

More institutes are accepting XAT now. Why? XAT, though one of the oldest competitive examinations in the country, has always kept pace with the cuttingedge testing methodology. XAT’s testing framework is designed to meaningfully assess the aptitude of candidates for future business success. The examination focuses on a multidimensional evaluation approach and fairness to assess the aptitude of future business leaders. We believe this is why more institutes are accepting XAT scores these days (over 150 this year).

XAT still continues to be a paper-pencil test. Why? XAT has traditionally followed the paper-pencil format. We believe that the digital divide is a reality in our country. The computer-based testing can be disadvantageous to those who are not familiar with computers. A paperpencil test eliminates such discrimination.

Your words of advice for XAT aspirants this year. Go through previous years’ XAT question papers and strive to improve your scoring ability in areas you perceive you’re weak in. More importantly, be in a relaxed state of mind while appearing for the exam. A

director speak

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 21

Work after study: World’s most welcoming countries global studies


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12 months for NON Stem Courses and 36 months for STEM courses Students under STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering Mathematics) courses are allowed to work under OPT for 3 years. NON STEM courses can be Management courses like MBA/MIM.


3-year or equivalent to course duration Any programme which is of 2 years duration or more, student is eligible for 3 years work permit. Programme with less than 2 years duration, student will get a work permit equivalent to the programme duration.


12 months International students with a Masters degree or above can stay for up to 12 months after graduation to look for a job.

Finland Up to 1 year

Non-EU students who have stayed in Finland on a student residence permit, can apply for an additional residence permit after their graduation to search for work. This can be granted as an extended residence permit for up to one year. If a student then finds employment, he can then of course apply for a new residence permit based on this employment.

24 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016



TIER 2 Visa (Work Visa in UK). This visa is the most known visa for international graduates who want to secure a full-time job in the UK after graduation.You must have an offer from a sponsored employer and the job must at least be to the level of a 'manager” (NQF6 in the legal jargon of the UK immigration border agency). You must be paid an appropriate salary for your job – at least £22K a year.

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Up to 4 months


2 years, 3 years, 4 years Students who graduate with a Bachelors Degree are eligible for a 2-year work visa. Students who graduate with a Masters by coursework degree are eligible for a 2-year work visa. Students who graduate with a Masters by Research degree are eligible for a 3-year work visa. Students who graduate with a Doctoral degree (or PhD) are eligible for a 4-year work visa.

Netherlands 1 year

A student is given a full year from the day he graduates to find a job in the field he studied. He must have studied a Bachelors or Masters degree at an NVAO accredited institution in the Netherlands to do this.




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global studies



Students who have successfully completed their studies at an Austrian university may apply for a confirmation to stay in Austria for maximum 6 month to find employment. This confirmation has to be applied for before the recent residence permit expires.

Students have to search for a job within this duration with a monthly salary of over SGD 3,300 to be eligible for Employment Pass.


6 months

Up to 6 months

6 months

On graduation, students can obtain a residency permit for six months in order to look for a job that is consistent with their qualification.

Germany 18 months

Students need to apply for a Residence Permit of 18 months to look for a job after completion of their Bachelors/Masters/Doctorate programme.

Belgium Up to 1 year

A Belgian work permit C is for certain foreign nationals who will be staying in Belgium only temporarily, such as students. It allows holders to take on paid employment in any field for the validity of their residence permit for up to one year, and the permit may be renewed.

2-3 months

Switzerland On graduation, students can obtain a residency permit for six months in order to look for a job in Switzerland that is consistent with their qualification.


6 months to 12 months Only Ph.D students and 2nd degree Masters students may apply for a temporary stay permit called (permesso di attesa occupazione) which lasts for a period of 6 to 12 months maximum and allows students to legally live in Italy after their graduation while searching for a job. Other students can stay only until their stay permit expires. In case a student does not find a new job before his stay permit expiration date, he must leave the country. Staying in Italy with expired stay permit is illegal.


12 months visa renewable for further 12 months

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For most students, a decision to study abroad is very often based on one criterion – their employability prospects following their education. Some commonly asked questions include: Will I get a job abroad? What about Visa rules? This infograph is aimed at decoding some of the fundamental issues and also, opportunities of employment and getting a work permit while studying abroad.

Two-year residence permit for students studying in the country preferably for Masters degree or higher.

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 25


24 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016


why ITM’s PGDM iConnect program is transforming students and their careers...

Get your basics right

The ITM PGDM iConnect program starts with a Foundation Course, which helps students from different graduate streams get caught up on the basic subjects required of all management students. From quantitative techniques to accounting and finance, the foundation course makes getting up-to-speed easy.

Become a Specialist Students choose their specializations in the first year itself. This enables ITM faculties to deliver more specialization subjects than a standard PGDM program. This is essential, as the required knowledge in each field is vast, and students can become specialists in their chosen field.

Get real industry experience 2-month summer projects are old-school. The ITM PGDM iConnect features a 5 month full-time, paid industry internship. Students get hands-on work experience in top companies, handling business operations, strategy and research projects. Aided by faculty mentors, teams of students work and learn directly from industry. Many students get a PPO (Pre-placement Offer) from their internship companies.

and soft skills- is designed to help students become articulate, knowledgeable and confident professionals.

Awaken your Consciousness Social responsibility is not just a feel-good thing at ITM, who take CSR and ISR very seriously. That’s why every student takes up a one month NGO project, working directly to support social causes and understanding how charitable organizations work and how their work changes the lives of millions.

Focus on What Matters ITM faculties take up the challenging task of constantly revising and enriching the courses delivered in the ITM PGDM program. Each year, they review the state of various industries and the global economy and change course content to focus on what matters to business professionals today.

Start your career with the best companies

Evolve into a professional

Over 650 companies visit ITM’s campuses each year for final placements. Some of India’s biggest companies, and even global giants are regular campus recruiters. With the best brands and challenging job profiles on offer, ITM students get a wide choice of career starts.

Over 200 hours of personal and professional development coursework are integrated into the PGDM program through the innovative TALEWIND training program. TALEWIND, which stands for Totally Awesome Learning Experience which Inspires New Directions, combines essential hard skills, general knowledge

With thousands of Alumni in virtually every top company, becoming an ITM PGDM graduate has value beyond the 2 years spent studying. ITM students get plugged into a vast network of ITMites, which will help them progress in their careers.

Build a network for a lifetime

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Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 25


News in brief

Here are some interesting titbits from over the last month

A Nielsen report says Indians most confident globally about job prospects Indians were the most confident globally when it came to job prospects, personal finances and immediate spending intentions in the third quarter of 2016, according to global performance management company Nielsen. “The Consumer Confidence Index score for India in Q3, 2016 has climbed five points to 133 from 128 in the previous quarter to reclaim the top spot on the global index. This is a bounce back to the same levels of optimism seen in Q1, 2016. Following India are Philippines and Indonesia with scores of 132 and 122, respectively,” Nielsen said in a statement.

Zee Group set to take control of Reliance Broadcast Network Media baron Subhash Chandra’s Zee Group is set to take the control of Anil Ambani-owned Reliance Broadcast Network (RBN). RBN operates private FM brand Big FM and entertainment channels – Big Magic and Big Ganga. Sources close to the development said the deal is expected to be announced later this week and is structured in a way that the radio business of RBN will fall under Zee Media Corporation (ZMCL), which houses the group’s 10 news channels including three national and seven regional channels. Big Magic and Big Ganga, however, will be under Zee Entertainment Enterprises (ZEE).

50 Jet Airways flights cancelled: Crew members report sick en masse Staffing issues continue to plague the aviation sector, as news came in of Jet Airways having to cancel close to 50 flights across the country and delay several others on the back of a crew shortage on November 2nd. Sources in the airlines revealed that many of the pilots reported sick and didn’t report to work, resulting in the massive cancellations. The pilots on their behalf have said this mass bunking was done because of their collective displeasure with a new rostering system the airline has put in place. Jet operates more than 600 domestic and international flights daily.

One journalist is killed every 4.5 days: UNESCO report A shocking report released by UNESCO states that one journalist is killed every fourand-a-half days. During the last decade, 827 journalists have been killed while on the job, the UNESCO director-general’s report said. The worst hit areas were Arab States including Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya. Latin America is the next worst affected region, the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity report said. Unsurprisingly, most deaths — 59% over the last two years of the 2006-2015 report — happen in conflict zones. During that period, 78 of the 213 journalists killed (36.5%) were in Arab States.

Nearly 9 out of 10 phones shipped globally in Q3 run Android A new report has shown that nearly 9 out of 10 phones shipped in the last quarter were running Google’s Android operating system. The report from Strategy Analytics Inc. showed that global smartphone shipments increased 6% in the third quarter, from 354.2 million in Q3 2015 to 375.4 million in Q3 2016, the highest growth rate for a year. Much of the growth came from emerging markets in Asia and Africa that previously had low smartphone penetration rates, with India and South Africa leading the growth numbers.

26 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016


Promoting Excellence in Management Education

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CIMP at a Glance The only AICTE-approved B-School in Bihar, accredited by NBA .

100% placement since inception Faculty members with FPM/PhD from IIMs/IITs/IRMA/NITIE etc. Well-stocked Library with Harvard collections and databases State-of-the-art residential campus Continuous mentoring by Industry Professionals Scholarship for outstanding women candidates


For further information, please contact: Admissions Office, Chandragupt Institute of Management Patna Near Mithapur Bus Stand Gate No-1,Patna-800001 Phone: 0612-2366021, +91 9693223405 Email: Website: (IIMs / XLRI have no role either in the selection process or in the conduct of the programme)

Application forms available: Online & Offline Last date: Dec. 15, 2016

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 27

snippets India’s solar power generation capacity at 8.7 GW: Piyush Goyal

Employability levels rise from 33% in 2014 to 40% in 2016

Addition of 1,964.76 MW in the first seven months of the current fiscal has taken the total solar power generation capacity in the country to 8,727.62 MW, New and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal has said in written reply to Lok Sabha. During last fiscal, 3,018.88 MW of solar power generation capacity was added. Goyal said the World Bank has recently approved $ 625 million consisting of World Bank loan of $ 500 million, Clean Technology Fund (CTF) loan of $ 120 million and a CTF grant of $ 5 million for gridconnected rooftop solar programme.

Employability of candidates has increased from 33 per cent in 2014 to 40 per cent this year and female candidates seem to be more employable than their male counterparts, says a report. The ‘India Skills Report 2017’, a joint initiative of HR solutions firm PeopleStrong and global talent assessment company Wheebox, in collaboration with CII, noted that hiring intent is positive for the third consecutive year and two in five candidates joining the workforce are employable. ‘Employability’ here does not include only domain excellence but also takes into consideration other aspects like communication skills, logical and analytical ability and several other aspects, it said.

Accenture is one of best companies for women to work: Report Accenture has been recognised as one of the best companies for women in India to work. According to a report published by US-based magazine Working Mother and women-centric career service AVTAR, Accenture features in the ‘Top 10 of the 100 Best Companies for Women in India’ list which celebrates organisations that champion sustainable careers for women. The company was recognised for providing an inclusive and supportive environment for its more than 45,000 women in India on several categories, including women’s recruitment, retention and advancement, safety and security, flexible work programmes and paid-time off. The company was also recognised for its leading maternity benefits and support for returning mothers.

India successfully test-fires twin trial of Prithvi-II missile

India, on November 21st, successfully test-fired its indigenously developed nuclear capable Prithvi-II missile twice in quick succession as part of a user trial by the army from a test range at Chandipur in Odisha. In salvo mode, the two surface-to-surface missiles, which have a strike range of 350 km and are capable of carrying 500 kg to 1,000 kg of warheads, were successfully test-fired in quick succession from mobile launcher from launch complex-3 of the Integrated Test Range (ITR) at around 9.35 am, defence sources said. A similar twin trial had been conducted on October 12, 2009 from the same base where both tests were successful.

Japan to train 30,000 Indian engineers via Toyota programme

India’s recruiting budget likely to increase in 2017: Survey

The Japanese government will train 30,000 Indian engineers in manufacturing skills under a programme of Toyota Kirloskar Motor as part of its efforts to boost partnership in HR development between the two countries. The government has selected the ‘manufacturing skill transfer promotion programme’ of Toyota Kirloskar Motor for the purpose. Under the programme, Japan will train over 30,000 Indian engineers in manufacturing practices and the first three such institutes will start next summer in Gujarat, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

LinkedIn released its annual India Recruiting Trends survey for 2017 which revealed that 63% talent leaders expect an increase in the hiring budgets, higher than the global average of 37%. The study added that belief in employer branding is becomes stronger. From 78% in 2015, belief in employer branding has increased to 84% this year, among talent leaders who believe that a strong employer brand has a significant impact on their ability to hire great talent. For 39% of talent leaders, their team is primarily responsible for building the employer brand.

28 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

snippets India to have over 500 million mobile internet users by 2017 According to a study, the number of mobile internet users in the country was 371 million in June 2016 and India is all set to have over 500 million mobile internet users by 2017. Pre-paid smartphone users spend nearly 72% of their time to access online content while merely 15% of their time is spent on making voice calls, a study of smartphone users by Internet and Mobile Association of India and Times Internet Limited has found. The study was conducted among 750,000 app users in India.

Post-demonetisation, ICICI Bank got `32,000 crore deposits: Chanda Kochhar Top private sector lender ICICI Bank has said it has received deposits of `32,000 crore after the November 8 demonetisation move. “If I give you rounded numbers, end of day the deposit figure is `32,000 crore,” ICICI Bank Managing Director and Chief Executive Chanda Kochhar told TV channels. Reacting to reports of hardship people are facing, Kochhar asserted there is a ‘lot of currency’ in the country but the logistics are taking time due to which bank branches and ATMs are struggling.

Nepal’s earthquake-hit Boudhanath Stupa reopens Nepal has finally reopened the Boudhanath Stupa, one of its most famous monuments, to the public after it was left with deep cracks during the 2015 earthquake. The white-domed structure in Kathmandu was covered in prayer flags and flowers as monks chanted prayers and burned incense to mark the event. More than 8,000 people were killed by the quake and ensuing aftershocks, causing widespread destruction. Restoration work on the stupa began in May 2015, has cost $2.1m (£1.70m) and included more than 30kg (66lb) of gold, according to the Boudhanath Area Development Committee.

L&T Group cuts 14,000 jobs in three months Larsen & Toubro, India’s biggest engineering firm, has shed 14,000 employees, or 11.2% of its total workforce, in one of the biggest corporate retrenchment exercises in recent times. The $16-billion diversified conglomerate has said that the step was an attempt to “right size” its strength in the face of business slowdown. “The company has taken a lot of initiatives to right size staffing in various businesses. The digitisation and productivity enhancement initiatives taken by us boiled down to redundancies of roles and we have been able to shed as a group 14,000 in the six months to September,” Chief Financial Officer R Shankar Raman said.

88% employees willing to stay longer if appreciated at work: Survey Nearly 90% of India Inc. employees say they will stick around longer if they feel appreciated for their work reveals a study by TimesJobs. The study, which surveyed more than 1,600 employees, further reveals that 82% employees are willing to work harder if their bosses appreciate them. “Companies should ensure this by appreciating, recognising and rewarding your employees. It is a highly effective and proven strategy for improving employee engagement and business output. Therefore, creating a formal structure for employee recognition is very important,” says Nilanjan Roy, head of strategy, Times Business Solutions. Apple, has dominated the profit charts from smartphone sales with 91% share of profits from all smartphones sold in the third quarter of 2016. According to a Strategy Analytics report, global smartphone profits reached $9 billion during the third quarter of 2016 (ended September). While Apple leads the chart with an operating profit of $8.5 billion, Huawei comes in second with just $0.2 billion followed by Vivo and Oppo with the same operating profit numbers. However, Samsung was not seen on the list released by Strategy Analytics and this could be attributed to the global recall of Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone, Note 7, which was scrapped.

Apple leads in smartphone profits with 91% share

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 29

director speak

Get noticed, inside class and outside …says TAPMI Chairperson Admission Prof Vishwanathan Iyer. In a conversation with Advanc’edge MBA, Prof Iyer shares his belief that a good business education prepares candidates to rise to the challenges and thrive in a corporate environment. Why do you think a management degree is necessary for candidates who venture towards the corporate life? As markets become increasingly global and as businesses operate in VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) environment, a new breed of graduates is the need of the hour, — people who are ready to take up challenges and know ways to innovate and strategise. A good business education prepares candidates to rise to the challenge and thrive in such an environment. A good MBA programme emphasises the art of analysis and decision-making under stress; these are the key ingredients to make you future ready!

According to you, what kind of candidates would be the right fit for TAPMI? TAPMI’s Admissions Committee looks for consistency in the academic track record, relevant work experience, attitude to work in a competitive and collaborative environment and finally leadership potential. All this leads to one fundamental question – how open and willing the candidate is to absorb new influence. In short, the candidate with the highest learnability quotient is the most sought after one!

How does a candidate change in his or her stint in a B-school? A candidate learns to make decisions and take responsibility for his own actions. It gives a chance to the candidates to play leadership roles and make strategic decisions. This makes a candidate mature and more business ready. These two years help candidates to accept and appreciate diversity, and most importantly, teach them the value of teamwork. Management education is a personality transforming experience and students need to be open-minded to accept whatever happens in the two years.

How would you advise MBA aspirants to develop themselves during their years at a B-school?

30 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

Management aspirants should focus on developing analytical abilities through courses and work on their interpersonal skills as they participate in projects and teamwork. They must make an active attempt to participate in discussions, debates, and classroom activities and through it all, be ready to accept ambiguity as well. There is intense competition inside a B-school classroom and being good in academics is not enough. One has to make an effort to be noticed in class and outside class through activities, committees, clubs and events. It is not important to be at the top of your class, but to be seen as capable of balancing academics and co-curricular activities at the same time.

In the current economic scenario, how do you think management graduates have been affected? Do you foresee a change in this in the near future? The Indian economy has been resilient and has witnessed a brisk growth rate. Improvement in the global competitiveness, leadership in climate change, focus on infrastructure development are some cornerstones in the India growth story. This economic setting seeks individuals with an open mind, willing to learn, who can innovate and are capable of multifaceted thinking.

Your words of advice for management aspirants this year. There is no single correct approach to an MBA. It comes down to what the student aspires for and aims to achieve with MBA education. Some aim for an MBA to to network and have access to resources. For most, the institute’s reputation is of maximum importance. At the same time, others want to further their careers and acquire new skill sets for life. Look for courses, curriculum and accreditations to make their decisions. Once CAT 2016 is done and dusted, the next challenge is to identify the right set of B-schools to apply. A

corporate world

Whether for good or bad, the entire country’s population has been affected by the government’s demonetisation drive, whose primary motive is to tackle the black money menace. But will it succeed, and at what cost?


he Government of India on November 8, 2016, announced a “demonetisation” drive, as a result of which `500 and `1,000 rupee notes would not be valid and cease to be legal tender, from the very next day onwards. The announcement came highly abruptly, not giving any time for the common man to react. While the positive side to this move is that the announcement gave very little time for hoarders to secure their loot, the middle class has unfortunately been facing enormous difficulties over the days that followed.

`1,000 notes banned, but the UPA government at the time did not take any action. More interestingly, The Economic Times reported that on January 24, 2014, a few months ahead of the BJP-led NDA coming to power, the BJP had slammed the then UPA government’s decision to withdraw by March 31 all currency notes issued prior to 2005. The BJP had claimed that instead of curbing black money, the UPA had formulated an “antipoor” move, one that would badly affect the illiterate and poor living in remote areas of the country.

Nothing new

Yea or Nay: The black money question

Demonetisation is not something new that the current government has enacted! In 1946, `10,000 and `1,000 notes were demonetised. `10,000 notes were again reintroduced in 1954, and was subsequently demonetised again in 1987. Recently, in 2012, yoga guru Baba Ramdev launched an agitation in a bid to get `500 and

Analysts consider this demonetisation drive as a starting point, and state that many more such initiative would need to follow in order to effectively contain the black money problem in the economy. More than 80% of the population is reported to have been supportive of this initiative.

However, a more general view is that the surprise move has put the common man in serious inconveniences! Some analysts point out that earlier demonetisation drives hadn’t resulted in curbing the circulation of black money. It is also being argued that the proportion of black money stashed abroad is far greater than the piled up in cash in within India. It has been estimated that more than 70% of the overall black money in the economy is actually residing in banks overseas. Hence, the current demonetisation drive will not adequately address the big fish, analysts have been quoted as saying. It is a fact that close to 80% of the total Indian currency in circulation is in the form of `500 and `1,000 notes. Virtually all the black money held within the country is in these denominations. Hence, the drive to demonetise targeting these specific bank notes sounds perfectly logical.

Dr Suresh Srinivasan

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 31

corporate world The cons However, a section of the population believes that the current demonetisation drive’s damage is far greater than the potential benefits. Across the country, the middle and lower sections of the society are squarely facing the brunt. Closure and long queues in banks, ATM machines running out of cash, low minimum withdrawal limits and notes being out of stock have all resulted in a very cumbersome experience. Even after ten days of the announcement, ATMs are virtually closed in most of the banks, except for a few hours each day. With every passing day, queues are getting longer and people are becoming more frustrated. The immediate question that is raised is, if the government can’t find the black money that is hoarded by the rich, why is the common man being subjected to such harassment?

Was everyone ready? More importantly, the sudden onslaught has caught the system totally unprepared, although the secrecy and surprise were vital for such an action. Ironically,

The current demonetisation drive’s damage is greater than potential benefits. the government and banking machinery seems to have been least prepared in anticipating and tacking the possible outcomes of such a national level exercise! Finance minister Arun Jaitley has indicated that it can take until December for the banking system to be normalised and ATM machines across the country to be recalibrated. The recalibration is necessary to accommodate the difference in size of the new notes. If this indeed happens to be the case, it is clear that the experts involved from the government in this project have not thought through the consequences, all of which reflects very poorly on their execution capabilities.

Other dire fallouts The cost of this demonetisation drive is still not fully clear, especially in terms of lost productive hours. Close to 50 deaths have also been reported due to the inconvenience caused. Moreover, the lower denomination notes have suddenly become extremely valuable. Even though a new `2,000 note has been issued, people have been unable to spend such a high note in smaller stores, as they are unable to secure change in the lower denomination notes.

Impact on banks The July to September 2016 quarter has seen a spike in the growth of deposits in major banks

INDIA INC: AT A GLANCE RIL, GE ink IoT pact Reliance Industries Limited and GE have announced a global partnership in the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) space. The firms will work together to build joint applications on GE’s Predix platform. This will provide IOT solutions in oil and gas, fertilizer, power and healthcare industries.

HCL to acquire firms for growth

In a bid to drive growth, HCL Technologies is taking the acquisition path to aggressively ramp up capabilities in engineering and R&D services as well as digital technologies. In the past few months, the company has announced the acquisition of companies like Geometric and Butler America Aerospace.

Bill Gates all praise for demonetisation Microsoft founder Bill Gates has hailed the Indian government’s move to demonetise high-value denomination notes. According to Gates, this move will help to move India out of the shadows into a more transparent economy.

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corporate world However, things have not moved beyond a point, when a leaked list of hundreds of Indian account holders in Swiss banks was widely circulated on social media. Of course, the caveat that Swiss banks are known for their banking secrecy practices cannot be ignored, and the difficulty in securing such sensitive information from them is quite well known!

July to September quarter saw a spike in growth of deposits. across the country. State Bank of India, for instance, has shown over 4% growth in deposits, as against 1 to 3% growth in the previous three quarters. Punjab National Bank has shown a 3.8% growth, while they’d recorded 0.4% to 1.6% growth in the previous three quarters. The trend is similar with banks like Bank of India, Union Bank and Bank of Baroda. These figures have led to speculation that a certain part of the economy was aware of the demonetisation drive early on, and moved the funds into the banking system. It is also being widely argued that after the demonetisation, a parallel economy in terms of black money will continue to thrive, and there is nothing this demonetisation drive can do to prevent such an eventuality.

Analysing the government’s strategy One thought lingers in our minds: Wouldn’t it have been the logical choice to first address the larger proportion of black money residing abroad, with comparatively fewer big fish to handle? This would have created minimum inconvenience to the common man. Going by the “80:20 rule”, which typically states that 80% of the problems are created by 20% of the population,

it may have made sense to tackle that 20% first! If this is so, why did the government choose to address the domestic black money first, which involves virtually the bottom of the pyramid, and that too with least preparedness? Had the consequences and aftermath been properly thought through, especially since a major drive like this would have been certain to impact nearly the entire population of the country? Contrarily, is it possible that the government believed it would be extremely difficult to address the monies stashed abroad due to a combination of internal and external complexity of issues? If so, the only option for the government to demonstrate that it is acting on their promise of eradicating black money in the economy and show “quick wins” would be to go along with the demonetisation drive.

The Swiss conundrum There has been widespread criticism that the PM has done little to fulfil his election promise of bringing back black money stashed abroad. In June 2016, during Modi’s visit to Switzerland, the Swiss President said India and Switzerland were making “considerable progress” in fighting tax fraud and evasion.

Everything said and done, a tip of the hat is certainly due to the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to have taken such a bold step in this direction. Modi seems to have taken a risk, even going against many views from his own party as well as from other fellow politicians. However, such a risky move could have completely backfired, extinguishing all the other genuine developmental activates carried out by the current government. On balance, given all the short term pain, this initiative definitely signals that in the future, hoarding cash will not be a smart option, and people are likely to declare and choose to pay taxes rather than hoard cash! A more sustainable option for the government would be to sharpen the intelligence and systems for tracking data, better tax administration, and to get quickly where the money is not being declared. With every passing day, it could become very hard to hide undeclared money so easily! The lack of adequate planning and execution deficiency impacting the common man, albeit in the short term, could have definitely been avoided. Whether such mismanagement will impact the BJP, or even Modi’s reputation, will depend on whether the problem eases out or escalates in the coming days — for sure, a lesson learnt the hard way! A

The PM’s risky move

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 33

corporate world

Tata vs Mistry: The plot grows murkier With allegations and counter allegations continuing to fly between Cyrus Mistry and the Tatas, the time might soon come for a high pitched courtroom battle between the two heavyweight business families. This article provides some insight into the situation as it stands today. Dr Suresh Srinivasan


ata Sons is the holding company of all the Tata Group companies, which includes Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels, etc. It is reported that there are close to a total of 100 operating companies in the Tata Group fold, having a combined revenue of close to $100 billion, which translates to around `6,50,000 crore. The group collectively employs more than six lakh employees. Tata Sons’s shareholding in various group companies ranges from 20% to 39%, with the exception of TCS, in which it holds more than 70%. Other shareholders include mutual funds, financial institutions and the public. Each of the Tata group companies is run by executive directors (Chief Executive Officer or Managing Director) reporting to the board of directors of the respective company. The Tata Sons representatives on the boards of the Tata Group of companies are generally the Chairmen of the Tata Group of companies.

34 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

Tata Sons is owned by various philanthropic trusts managed by the Tatas (around 66%), the Sahpoorji Pallonji Family (around 18% - 19%) and others related to Tata Trusts. It is a closely held company and is not publicly listed in the stock exchanges. The Chairman of Tata Sons, until recently, was Cyrus Mistry, of the Shapoorji Pallonji family. The Chairman of Tata Sons is generally designated as the Chairman of th e Tata Group. Before Mistry, Ratan Tata was at the helm representing the Tata Trusts, and he was the Tata Sons Chairman. Among the shareholders of Tata Sons, Tata Trusts can be considered as the majority shareholders and Shapoorji Pallonji family the minority shareholders. Being the promoters of the group companies, Tata Sons have management control of the boards of various Tata Group of companies. Tata Sons, through its directors on the board of each of the Tata Group of companies, orchestrate synergies between the

companies in the group. Tata Sons is the owner and custodian of the Tata name and the Tata trademarks, which are registered in India and several other countries. Tata Group companies pay a royalty to Tata Sons for the usage of its brand name. In a recently concluded board meeting of Tata Sons, Mistry was unceremoniously removed as the Chairman of Tata Sons, with Ratan Tata taking over as the interim Chairman. Mistry, however, continues to be a director on the board of Tata Sons. The battle between Mistry and the Tata Trust (fronted by Ratan Tata) is a conflict between the majority and minority shareholders in Tata Sons.

Tatas’ allegations Tata Sons’s main allegations against Mistry, as a Chairman of Tata Sons, are of poor performance, especially in terms of his inability to turnaround Tata Steel Europe. It has also been alleged that Mistry had brought about no noticeable improvement to the

corporate world financial performance. Moreover, certain group companies have recorded high levels of debt, lost competitiveness and have been subjected to dwindling market shares, and Tata Sons is holding Mistry responsible. It is to be noted that the revenue stream of Tata Sons is the dividend flows from each of the Tata Group of companies and the royalty payments from the group companies for the usage of the Tata brand name. Another major allegation has been Mistry’s mismanagement of the DoCoMo joint venture; the case is now resting with international arbitrators. This could potentially be awarded against the Tatas at around `7,000 crore. Furthermore, Tata Sons has accused Mistry of betraying trust and attempting to seek control of the main group companies in which he has been nominated by Tata Sons as Director.

Mistry’s allegations Mistry’s camp has alleged that removing him from the chairmanship at Tata Sons is an outright illegal move. Mistry has also highlighted that, since

his appointment as the Chairman of Tata Sons four years ago, he had not been given a free hand to run the company and manage its investments in group companies; he complains that he had virtually become a lame duck! Such constraints, Mistry claims, emerged from Ratan Tata amending the Articles of Association of Tata Sons, which drastically curtailed his authority and powers. He further cautioned that the lost competitiveness of many of its group companies today and the severe problems some of these companies are facing today are a result of deals made earlier by Ratan Tata, and that he merely inherited the same. He cites examples of Air Aisa and Singapore Airlines joint ventures (Vistara) as deals which were “fait accompli”, and in which he had no control whatsoever! Mistry has also alleged that many of the strategic moves engineered by Ratan Tata over the last decade or so were emotional in nature, including investments in the Nano, Ratan Tata’s pet project.

Bones of contention Mistry cites that the Nano has lost, and is continuing to lose large cash, but is kept alive merely to please Ratan Tata! In essence, these are financial disasters eroding shareholder value.

Air Asia fraud? More serious are allegations that charge the Ratan Tata regime with `22 crore worth of fraudulent transactions in Air Asia, a Tata Group joint venture company. Mistry has highlighted that the value of the assets warrant around an $18 billion write down across group companies, which will be a serious destruction to shareholder value in the group companies. Write downs occur when the value of the assets of the companies (that have been either built or acquired) are assessed to have deteriorated.

INDIA INC: AT A GLANCE Trump to stall visas, impact on Indian cos Us President-elect Donald Trump is widely expected to crack down on the use of skilled worker visas issued to Indian outsourcing firms. CEO Infosys Vishal Sikka has said that margins might be impacted in the near term. He added that Infosys has not yet performed any simulations on how large the impact may turn out to be.

E-commerce cos restart cash on delivery service

Demonetisation secures unprecedented growth for Paytm As a result of demonetisation, Paytm, the country’s largest mobile payments platform, has witnessed a 300% surge in offline retail store transactions over the past six days. The company has also launched an omni-channel initiative last year and covers entertainment (theatres), travel, small retail stores and shops.

Flipkart and Snapdeal have resumed cash on delivery (COD) service for goods sold on their platforms, even as currency shortage continues across India. However, the e-commerce companies are encouraging customers to adopt e-wallets, for digital payment.

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 35

corporate world These are far reaching charges that are fundamentally in contrast to the general perception of the Tata Group’s highest standards in terms of ethics and superior management philosophies. The brand image and the respect the group commands in the Indian scenario is certainly under threat. Considered to be the most ethical company in the Indian context and usually the first choice as an Indian joint venture partner for foreign investors, the image has certainly taken a serious hit.

The damage The overall valuations of major Tata group companies decreased by close to `28,000 crore in three days following the boardroom battle. Who is responsible for this dilution in value? The very purpose of Tata Sons’s shareholding and having management control in each of these companies is to ensure that they orchestrate value to themselves as majority shareholders in these holding companies. As shareholders in Tata Sons and with strategic decisions that had gone ‘pear shaped’ in some of these companies (Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Tele Services), it is only fair that Tata Trusts and the Shapoorji Pallonji family need to

bear the brunt of such damage. More to read: I had earlier highlighted the strategic flaws in various group companies in my article of June 2014 entitled “Can the Tata group make some tough calls?” I had also written a follow up article entitled “Tata portfolio rejig: In time or too late?” in Advanc’edge MBA on Mistry’s performance at a strategic level, ahead of the current crisis at Tata Sons.

The situation as it stands Mistry holds chairman positions in six of the major Tata Group of companies, including TCS, Tata Motors, Tata Steel, Tata Chemicals, Indian Hotels and Tata Beverages. On the advice from Tata Sons (Ratan Tata in the capacity of interim Chairman), each of the Tata Group of companies is holding board meetings to remove Mistry as a Chairman of the board of these companies. The boards of individual companies have acted differently; independent directors in Indian Hotels and Tata Chemicals have reaffirmed their solidarity with Mistry as their chairman. Independent directors in TCS and Tata Global Beverages boards have removed Mistry as Chairman. The Tata Motors board has remained

neutral and has not taken sides in the Tata Trusts vs Shapoorji Pallonji family battle. Subsequent to the crisis in Tata Sons and Mistry being removed as Tata Sons Chairman, as a majority shareholder in these group companies, Tata Sons is now calling for an Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the shareholders to eject him as a director in each of these companies. Although Cyrus Mistry has got some relief in some of the group companies and continues to be the Chairman, the EGM of the shareholders, which is likely to happen very soon, might well see Tata Sons removing Mistry as a director in these companies. Since Tata Sons’s shareholding is in the range of 30% to 39% in each of these companies, some support from the financial institutions and other shareholders may be required. The probability that Tata Sons may be able to remove Mistry as a director in the Tata Group of companies is quite high. It has been reported that both the Tata and Mistry camp have enlisted the professional services of some of the senior-most advocates in the country, in anticipation of a long drawn out legal battle over the legalities in the sudden ouster of Cyrus Mistry. A

INDIA INC: AT A GLANCE Spurt in M&A deals for Indian firms

Merger and acquisition (M&A) deals involving Indian companies have increased 82% in the first half of 2016 and currently stand at $27 billion, the highest in the first six months in any year since 2011. Indian acquisitions abroad, at $4.5 billion, have also increased by close to five times. According to a joint report by global risk mitigation firm Kroll and deal tracking firm Mergermarket, India is among the top Merger and Acquisition (M&A) markets in emerging Asia, largely driven by favourable economic and demographic conditions and an encouraging regulatory regime.

CSR spend of over 7000 cos nearly `9000cr The Indian government today made public the CSR spending of more than 7,300 companies in 2014-15, all of which totalled `8,803 crore. However, the amount spent by over 60% of the entities was shown as zero. Among the 7,334 companies, Reliance Industries has reportedly spent the highest amount of Rs 760.6 crore.

36 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

corporate world

Digitalisation: Starting the far-reaching impact today With more and more devices getting interconnected, digitalisation and IoT offer a way to capture real time information, perform analyses, and provide a meaningful outcome. This is the unavoidable future, and companies are already embracing the shift. Dr Suresh Srinivasan

core is the integration of cyber and physical systems that results in the Internet of Things capturing big data, which is then analysed using cloud computing. Device connectivity is becoming ubiquitous, especially with cheaper internet access, increased mobility and falling prices of components like sensors. Research and advisory firm Gartner estimates that the number of connected things will touch 21 billion by 2020.

and delivers cutting edge analytics is useful only when it impacts the customers in a meaningful manner. The very idea of IoT and digitalisation is to address several pain points of customers that are currently being ignored. The concept of offering a service, together with a product, that will make lives easier and enhance the user experience is gaining importance. That is where digitalisation and IoT are scoring. Going forward, digitalisation will become an area where companies Digitalisation and its impact can build capabilities and secure a The technology that connects competitive advantage over their devices, captures data in real time, competitors. Large corporations around the world that are ignoring such writings on the wall are likely to become extinct. Successful companies are the ones that are gearing themselves up for such a digital transformation. Companies like IBM and GE have completely reinvented themselves over the last five years in order to be successful in today’s digital times. These companies look totally different today, compared to what they used to be a decade ago! Across the world and in every industry, managers are striving to gain a digital advantage, although this field is still evolving and remains The heart of digitalisation lies in automation & data exchange. untested waters.


igital data is developing at an exponential rate, with the majority of all data today created in the last two years. The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) and cloud computing is bringing together more and more devices into interconnectivity. With high speed telephone 4G networks now available to the masses, a huge amount of data is stored and is readily available for analysis. The heart of digitalisation lies in automation and data exchange that is a natural result of such connectivity among devices. At its

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 37

corporate world

Digitalisation in manufacturing: GE The applicability of digitalisation in the manufacturing industry is gaining enormous relevance. Companies like General Electric (GE) are betting billions of dollars on building “industrial-digital” The applicability of digitalisation in the manufacturing capabilities. GE’s business is now industry is gaining enormous relevance. primarily focused on industrial sectors — manufacturing of airline which had purchased the In the coming decade, healthcare turbines, aircraft engines, cutting aircraft engine from GE. Such is the is expected to look completely edge medical equipment is power of digitalisation, IoT and the different from what it is today. currently its mainstay. In addition integration of industrial and digital With exponentially growing to selling these products to capabilities. mobility, mHealth (mobile industrial clients, GE is providing How the data is analysed health) is likely to become the additional real time knowledge in real time and meaningful dominant mode in chronic disease that will enhance customer recommendations made to the management. Access to doctors experience in using these products. customer? and healthcare professionals today And to achieve this, GE is using GE recently acquired a start-up is vital, as they have the technical digitalisation, IoT, cloud computing called Bit Stew, which segregates knowledge to diagnose the and analytics. exabytes of data into meaningful problem based on patient history. clusters within minutes, an The near term future will be So how does this exactly work? exercise that generally takes days different, though, in which the Turbines, aircraft engines and and months to analyse. This is focus will shift to the enormous medical equipment are fitted achieved through machine learning amount of patient data and history with sensors and are constantly through hypotheses generations that is being collected through sending real time information and testing to come up with wearable devices, stored digitally which is captured by GE’s Predix, meaningful recommendations. and analysed in the cloud. This the company’s digital-IoT platform. GE has made several provides accurate analysis of Predix collects enormous amounts acquisitions in the recent past the patient’s problem and helps of data from sensors, runs to hone its industrial-digital people monitor their health thousands of possible algorithms capabilities. Its recent acquisition at substantially lower costs, to assess the most relevant of ServiceMax and Meridium a with minimal intervention from information for the client and few months ago has been towards doctors. In effect, digitalisation makes recommendations on a real enhancing its industrial IoT in healthcare will reduce face to time basis. expertise. GE also recently bought face time with the doctors, and The data flowing into Predix, a start-up specialising in patient knowledge is completely includes information on the machine-learning algorithms. democratised. temperature of the turbines and aircraft engines, pressure Digitalisation in healthcare Digitalisation in banking readings, speed, and so on. The Digitalisation is already being Leading banks are already blending data is analysed in a timely manner extensively used in the healthcare digital innovation and technology using analytics. Finally, an output industry. Emerging digital with the human touch. The primary in the form of “predictive” and technologies, automation, focus for banks when it comes to “prescriptive” recommendations analytics and machine learning will digitalisation stems from improving is provided to the user. For revolutionise global healthcare. customer experience with digital instance, GE can predict an aircraft engine, currently being mHealth (mobile health) is a general term for the use of mobile phones used in a flight, needs preventive and other wireless technology in medical care. The most common maintenance ahead of its planned application of mHealth is the use of mobile phones and communication schedule. This naturally becomes devices to educate consumers about preventive health care services. an amazing value addition to the

38 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

corporate world technologies, digitalising end-toend processes to boost efficiency, offering a human touch in the digitalised world, and finally, expanding digital capability while controlling complexity. Large banks are already focusing their resources in digitalising their key processes. End-to-end digitalisation allows banks to gain operational efficiency. To achieve this, the entire process needs to be reengineered. A quantum shift is required to bring about changes to the way bank employees think, and this is already happening. Traditionally banks have always believed they are the important entity, and that they would decide how the customer banks with them. Now, however, the situation has changed. The customer has numerous choices and he will decide how he wants to bank — over the phone, through ATMs, on the Internet, or by walking into a physical branch. He has options to interact across channels, and the banks’ responsibility is to ensure the technologies are interlaced seamlessly across all

channels and a unified customer experience is provided. A complete mindset change is required to understand the customer’s changing preferences, and what will be required to gain a competitive advantage vis-à-vis the competitors.

End-to-end digitalisation allows banks to gain operational efficiency. In summary, legacy IT systems are becoming a thing of the past. Digitalisation, automation, machine learning and cloud based services are gaining importance for big data capturing, and smart business intelligence and analytics capability. Indian companies are now coming to grips with the importance of digitalisation. A recent survey of CEOs of Indian

companies shows that this is considered to be a key capability for the future. As the technology is still evolving, companies first need to take baby steps in digitalisation, fail if they need to, learn from the mistake, and rapidly scale up the digitalisation initiatives. There is no other way, and companies cannot wait for the technologies to become ubiquitous so that they can adapt it at a later stage, since it would be too late to catch up with the competition then. A strategy to identify digital technology providers and understand the issues in transforming legacy systems and traditional analogue data to digital will be of paramount importance, and companies need to start working on this now! A Dr Suresh Srinivasan is a Chartered Accountant, has an MBA (Bradford UK) and a Doctorate in Strategy. He is a Professor of Strategy in Great Lakes Institute of Management and a management consultant.

INDIA INC: AT A GLANCE ONGC acquires 11% stake in Vankor ONGC Videsh (OVL), the overseas investing arm of ONGC, has raised financing of $930 million to acquire 11% stake in Vankor, the company that operates the Vankor oil field from Rosneft. Over the last decade, OVL has been aggressively building energy security outside the country.

Big firms pitch for greenfield airport project Infrastructure majors GMR, GVK, Adani Ports, Essel Infra, Tata and Airports Authority of India are among a few bidders who have shown interest in developing the international greenfield airport at Bhogapuram in Vizianagaram district of Andhra Pradesh.

Dalmia, OCL merge to become 4th largest cement producer

‘Railways merger with Budget good for nation’ In the wake of criticism of the merging of the Railway Budget with the General Budget, Indian Railways has maintained that the merger will have no adverse effect on its functioning. According a Railways spokesperson, there will be a positive outcome, as the exchequer support to the national transporter will increase henceforth.

The boards of Dalmia Bharat Limited and OCL India have decided to merge the two entities, a move that will create the fourth largest cement maker in the country. The new entity will have an installed capacity of 25 million tonnes per annum and an annual revenue of about `10,000 crore.

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 39

study hour

Are you a Brainiac? In this section, we shall explore several different types of questions from the various areas of entrance exams like the CAT, CET, GMAT, etc, and how to best solve them.

Quant Q1. Three trains leave a station at intervals of hour. The third train after travelling for 1 hour, meets the second train but this was hour after it meets the first train. Calculate the speed of the second train relative to the first if the distance between the meeting points is 30 km. 1] 15 kmph 2] 20 kmph 3] 25 kmph 4] 40 kmph

Distance travelled by the third train in 1 hour = Distance travelled by the second train in 1

Distance travelled by the first train in 1

= Distance travelled by the third train in

The third train covers 30 km in

\ Speed of the third train = 60 kmph.

Using (i), the second train covers 60 km in 1 hour.

\ Speed of the second train =

Using (ii), the first train covers 30 km in 1 hour.

\ Speed of the first train =

Relative speed of the second train = 40 – 20

= 20 kmph. Hence, [2].

hour --- (i)

hours hour --- (ii)


= 40 kmph.

= 20 kmph.

Q2. f(x) = 10x3 + ax2 + bx – 63. If f(–1) = –8 and one of the factors of the given equation is 2x + 3, then find the values of ‘a’ and ‘b’. 1] 73, –8 2] –3, 68 3] –1, –66 4] Cannot be determined

f(x) = 10x3 + ax2 + bx – 63

f(–1) = 10(–1)3 + a(–1)2 + b(–1) – 63 = –8

\ –10 + a – b – 63 = –8

\ a – b = 65

Now, (2x + 3) is one of the factors

i.e., At x =


--- (1) ;

f(x) = 0


+b – 63 = 0

40 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

– 63 = 0

study hour

9a – 6b = 387

Solving equations (1) and (2) simultaneously, we have a = –1 and b = –66. Hence, [3]. Alternatively, Using f(–1) = –8, we have a – b = 65. Consider options, only [3] satisfies this.

--- (2)

Q3. DABC is drawn such that AB is tangent to a circle with radius 3 cm at A and BC passes through the centre of the circle. Point C lies on the circle. If ℓ(BC) = 8 cm, then find the area of DABC. 1] 15.36 cm2 2] 8.4 cm2 3] 12.8 cm2 4] 9.6 cm2

Let O be the centre of the circle and CD ^ AB. \ℓ (BC) = 8 cm, ℓ(BE) = 8 – 6 = 2 cm

ℓ (AB) =

= 4 cm


\ ℓ(DC) = 4.8 cm \ A(DABC) = × ℓ(AB) × ℓ(DC)

= × 4 × 4.8 = 9.6 cm2. Hence, [4].


Height of DABO on base OB is the same as the height of DABC on base BC, say h.

A(DABO) = × h × OB i.e., = × h × 5 A(ABC) = ×


× 8 = 9.6 cm2.

Verbal DIRECTIONS for questions 1 and 2: Each of the following questions includes a highlighted sentence, and a paragraph from which that sentence has been removed. The paragraph has four numbered blanks in it, only one of which indicates where the highlighted sentence could be reinserted. Keeping the context in mind, choose the number of the blank in which the sentence fits in best.

Q1. What’s left, therefore, is but a shadow of what once was: ‘relicts’ is indeed the word.

Among the conifers are the world’s tallest trees (California’s coastal redwoods), the oldest (California’s bristlecone pines), and some of the most drought resistant (a cypress in the midst of the Sahara). Their various species fill some of the vastest forests in the world’s most extreme and dramatic landscapes. Yet the conifers that are left



Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 41

study hour to us are, as botanists are wont to say, ‘relicts’. ____[1]____ Conifers first appeared on earth nearly 300 million years ago, in the Permian period, long before the dinosaurs, and their heyday lasted until at least 50 million years ago, well into the Tertiary period, which zoologists call ‘the age of mammals’. ____[2]____ Over all that time the conifers have given rise to scores of families, containing goodness knows how many genera and species. Now only eight families are left to us, with seventy genera – three-quarters of which have only five species apiece, or even fewer (some are down to one). ____[3]____ In all, only about 630 species of conifers are known. Doubtless there are many more still to be found, but they are still vastly outnumbered by the 300,000 or so species of flowering plants. ____[4]____ But what’s left, nonetheless, is magnificent and endlessly intriguing. The highlighted sentence cannot fit into blank [2] at all, as it does not link to either the sentence preceding that blank or the one succeeding it. The word ‘therefore’ in the missing sentence gives it a conclusive air. So it does not really fit in blank [1] (despite the link with the word ‘relicts’), as the argument for the conifers being just a ‘shadow of what once was’ hasn’t yet been made. Part of this argument is made just before blank [3] – but more still remains. The whole argument is made before blank [4], so the missing sentence best fits there, especially as it also links to the last sentence of the paragraph, whose positive tone has been contrasted to the negative one of the highlighted sentence, with the use of the word ‘nonetheless’. Hence, [4]. Q2. Since then, however, the nationalist ideologues have become louder.

Ever since Macedonia became independent in 1991, Greece has fought a bitter diplomatic war with this northern neighbour. ____[1]____ Greece argued that the new state, created from a former Yugoslav republic, was a thinly veiled territorial claim on its own northern region of Macedonia. Even worse, according to the Greeks, the Slav Macedonians were trying to steal their Hellenic history and culture. ____[2]____ Until Greece blocked Macedonia’s accession to NATO in 2008, the government in Macedonia never really took the history bait from Greece. ____[3]____ Far from the

42 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

Macedonians being an invented nation, as the Greeks argue, Vangel Bozinovski – one of the architects working on a modern revamp of the Macedonian capital Skopje – says that it is in fact the Greek nation that was invented in the 19th century, and hence it is they who are stealing Macedonian history, including that of Alexander the Great. Just to make the point, a statue of Alexander’s father (Philip of Macedon) has been erected in Skopje and several of his mother (Olympia). ____[4]____ The word ‘however’ in the highlighted sentence indicates that it contradicts the idea found in the preceding sentence. The sentence preceding blank [1] (i.e. the first sentence of the paragraph) already mentions an instance of loud nationalistic ideology, so the highlighted sentence does not fit there. The same goes for blank [4]. The highlighted sentence contradicts the sentence following blank [2] rather than the one preceding it, so it does not make sense in that blank. But it does fit well in blank [3], since the sentence following [2] is also the one preceding [3]. Said sentence states that until 2008, Macedonia did not react to Greece’s animosity, and the sentence following the blank shows that they did react to it, so the highlighted sentence provides a bridge between the two responses. Hence, [3]. DIRECTIONS for question 3: The following question has a sentence with one italicized word that does not make sense. Choose the most appropriate replacement for that word from the options given below the sentence. Q3. The internal concerns of any particular community may appear chumbolic to the outside eye; but to be a member of a community of shared interests, is to care, deeply and in detail, about things the general public doesn’t spend much time thinking about.

1] profligate 3] diminutive

2] picayune 4] exiguous

‘Diminutive’, which means small, does not correctly describe ‘concerns’; neither does ‘exiguous’, which means scanty. Given the context, it’s unlikely that the concerns of the community in question seem ‘profligate’, i.e. immoral. They are more likely to seem ‘picayune’, i.e. insignificant, to outsiders. Hence, [2].


study hour

Reminiscences of a long lost land Indeed, so far as its physical aspect is concerned, with its flat, unvaried surface, covered chiefly with wooden houses, few or none of which pretend to architectural beauty—its irregularity, which is neither picturesque nor quaint, but only tame— its long and lazy street, lounging wearisomely through the whole extent of the peninsula, with Gallows Hill and New Guinea at one end, and a view of the alms-house at the other—such being the features of my native town, it would be quite as reasonable to form a sentimental attachment to a disarranged checker-board. And yet, though invariably happiest elsewhere, there is within me a feeling for Old Salem, which, in lack of a better phrase, I must be content to call affection. The sentiment is probably assignable to the deep and aged roots which my family has stuck into the soil. It is now nearly two centuries and a quarter since the original Briton, the earliest emigrant of my name, made his appearance in the wild and forest—bordered settlement which has since become a city. Excerpt from Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter

MAT CH T HE W OR D S W IT H T H E IR M EA NING S 2. Picturesque – (pik-chuh-resk) (adj) 3. Quaint – (kweynt) (adj) 4. Tame – (teym) (adj) 5. Lounging – (loun-jing) (participle) 6. Wearisomely – (weer-ee-suh m ly) (adverb) 7. Peninsula – (puh-nin-suh-luh) (noun) 8. Alms-house – (ahmz-hous) (noun) 9. Sentimental – (sen-tuh-men-tl) 10. Attachment – (uh-tach-muh nt) (noun) 11. Disarranged – (dis-uh-reynj d) (verb) 12. Checker-board – (chek-er-bohrd) (noun) 13. Invariably – (in-vair-ee-uh-buh l e) (adverb) 14. Assignable – (uh-sahy-nuh-buh l) (adjective) 15. Emigrant – (em-i-gruh nt) (noun) 16. Settlement – (set-l-muh nt) (noun)

a. (Of a place or building) visually attractive, especially in a quaint or charming way. b. A place, typically one which has previously been uninhabited, which people occupy and establish a community in. c. (Of land) exciting.



d. Lie, sit, or stand in a relaxed or lazy way. e. Causing to feel tired or bored. f. Not involving change. g. A house founded by charity, offering accommodation for poor people. h. Having or arousing feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia, typically in an exaggerated and self-indulgent way. i. A piece of land almost surrounded by water or

projecting out into a body of water. j. A board marked off into 64 squares of two alternating colors, arranged in eight vertical and eight horizontal rows, on which checkers or chess is played/ draught board. k. In every case or on every occasion; always. l. Untidy or disordered. m. Affection, fondness, sympathy for someone something.

or or

n. A person who leaves own country in order to settle permanently in another. o. Due to or caused by or owing to. p. Attractively unusual or oldfashioned.

1. Unvaried – (un vair-eed) (adj)

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 43

study hour

A quiz to boost your General Knowledge 1. Who won the 2016 Man Booker Prize? With this victory, this writer became the first American to win the prize. a. Amanda Foreman b. Paul Beatty c. Marlon James d. Sam Lipsyte 2. The Bangle Seller is the story of India in transition, inbetween ancient tradition and development in a globalised world. In simple words, it is a story of richly-woven tapestry of travel, romance, tradition and culture of India. Who is the author of the book? a. Brijesh Gulati b. MK Mani c. Maya Kalyanpur d. Anil Kumar

3. This technology giant has launched its first full-scale Cybersecurity Engagement Center (CSEC) in Delhi, which is a first-of-its-kind in India. The Center will build a trusted and secure computing environment, a critical enabler for India’s digital transformation. Which technology giant are we talking about? a. Microsoft b. Wipro c. Infosys d. TCS 4. Legendary footballer Carlos Alberto died recently. Which country did he belong from? a. France b. Germany c. Brazil d. Italy

44 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

5. What is India’s rank in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index for 2017? a. 130 b. 131 c. 132 d. 133 6. The World Day for Audio Visual Heritage is observed every year on October 27 to raise general awareness of the need for urgent measures to be taken and to acknowledge the importance of audiovisual documents as an integral part of national identity. What was the theme of the day this year? a. Teach and Protect Your Story b. It’s your story – don’t lose it c. Making World Audio Visual Heritage d. Archives at Risk: Protecting the World’s Identities 7. Which sea in Antartica has been declared as world’s largest marine protected area? a. Caspian Sea b. Dead Sea c. Black Sea d. Ross Sea 8. Kristalina Georgieva, has been appointed chief executive of the World Bank (WB). What’s her nationality? a. Bulgarian b. French c. German d. Croatian 9. What is India’s position at the 2016 Global Youth Development Index (YDI)?

a. 130 b. 131 c. 132 d. 133

10. Who has been elected as the new Prime Minister of Spain recently? a. Maria Dolores b. Alfredo Perez c. Mariano Rajoy d. Javier Arenas 11. Which state has been declared India’s second ‘Open Defecation Free (ODF)’ state? a. Himachal Pradesh b. Kerala c. West Bengal d. Assam 12. Name the person who has been elected the director-general of the International Labour Organization (ILO). a. Juan Somavía b. Michel Hansenne c. Guy Ryder d. Adriana Cruz 13. Name the author who has been honoured with Tata Literature Live! Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016 for his outstanding contribution to the world of literature. a. MT Vasudevan Nair b. Amitav Ghosh c. Sir VS Naipaul d. Jhumpa Lahiri 14. The Pradhan Mantri YUVA Yojana has been launched by Minister of State, Rajiv Pratap Rudy. This was launched to promote a particular

study hour

15. This famous Indian cricketer has been selected as the brand ambassador 2017 T20 Blind Cricket World Cup, which will be hosted by India. The tournament will be played from January 28 to February 12, 2017, with 10 countries participating in the event. Name this famous cricketer. a. Sachin Tendulkar b. Saurav Ganguly c. Virendra Sehwag d. Rahul Dravid 16. Legendary singer Leonard Cohen recently passed away at the age of 82. Cohen often explored religion, politics, isolation, sexuality and personal relationships through his songs. To which country did he belong? a. Untied States of America b. Canada c. Germany d. United Kingdom 17. The 6th edition of ‘Kathakar: International Storytellers Festival’ had been held on November 11, 2016. The 3-day long festival showcased both contemporary stories and tales from the histories and oral traditions of different countries. The festival featured both national and international storytellers. In which city of India was it organised? a. New Delhi b. Kolkata c. Mumbai d. Chennai 18. Who has been recently appointed as the Chairman of

Tata Consultancy Services? a. N Chandrasekaran b. Ron Sommer c. Ishaat Hussain d. Aman Mehta

19. Who has written the book Beyond the Last Blue Mountain: A Life Of J. R. D. Tata? a. Gita Subramaniam b. R M Lala c. Elena Ferrante d. C. S. Lakshmi 20. India’s first banking robot “Lakshmi” has been launched and it will become the first on-site bank helper in India. The artificial intelligence powered robot “Lakshmi” can speak English, gesture and engage in a life-like manner in conversations. The robot can interact with customers on more than 125 subjects including account balance and interest rates on loans. Name the bank that has launched it. a. Punjab National Bank b. City Bank c. City Union Bank d. Axis Bank 21. Which state of India has started the first Indian National Open Accuracy Paragliding Championship? a. Himachal Pradesh b. Nagaland c. Arunachal Pradesh d. Uttarakhand 22. Name the actor who has been bestowed with the 2016 honorary Academy Award or as it is popularly known, the Oscar. a. Michelle Yeoh b. Chris Tucker c. Tom Hanks d. Jackie Chan 23. The world’s highest skywalk is soon coming up in India and will

be built at a height of 10,300 feet with world class infrastructure. Name the state in India where it is coming up. a. Sikkim b. Arunachal Pradesh c. Manipur d. Mizoram 24. The World Diabetes Day (WDD) is observed every year on November 14 as an annual campaign to raise awareness about diabetes by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF). What is the theme of the day this year? a. Diabetes education and prevention b. Eyes on Diabetes c. Understand diabetes and live happily d. Healthy living and diabetes 25. When we think of Padmini Rout, we think of which sports? a. Hockey b. Kabaddi c. Chess d. Swimming 26. Who is the head of a task force formed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to re-calibrate all ATMs and cash dispensing machines with the new design of (` 500 and ` 2000) notes? a. S S Mundra b. Shaktikanta Das c. H R Khan d. N S Vishwanathan 27. The Government of India (GoI) has recently signed a $500 million loan agreement with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to build a 9.8 km long road bridge across the Ganges River to improve transport connectivity between North and South Bihar and for better link between Patna and the surrounding areas. This will be

government initiative. What is that? a. Women’s Education b. Sports c. Entrepreneurship d. SC/ ST Education

Advanc’edge MBA December 2016 45

study hour

India’s longest river bridge. What is the loan amount sanctioned for the bridge? a. $400 million b. $500 million c. $600 million d. $700 million

a. Satyandre Adhin b. Shinzo Abe

c. Antonio Costa d. Li Keqiang

28. Name the country that recently organised the World Internet Conference to discuss the future of digital economy. a. China b. India c. Germany d. South Korea 29. India’s first Cherry Blossom Festival showcased the unique beauty of pink and white cherry blossoms and traditional arts, culture and cuisine to the naturalists and tourists. In which state of India was this 4-day festival organised? a. Arunachal Pradesh b. Andhra Pradesh c. Himachal Pradesh d. Meghalaya

30. Who has been honoured with the 2016 Raja Ram Mohan Roy Award for his outstanding contribution to journalism? a. Renjith John b. T P Dhanesh c. S Nihal Singh d. Arvind Kumar Singh

How to Play Fill in the grid so that every horizontal row, every vertical column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1-9, without repeating the numbers in the same row, column or box. You can’t change the digits already given in the grid. Every puzzle has one solution. Hint: Don’t fill in numbers at random. While filling a particular square, write numbers 1-9 on a pad and start eliminating those numbers that already appear in the same row, column or 3x3 box.



1. b

2. c

3. a

4. c

5. a

6. b

7. d

8. a

9. d

10. c

31. Name the city in India that will be hosting the first International Children’s festival. a. Mumbai b. Delhi c. Kolkata d. Bengaluru

11. a

12. c

13. b

14. c

15. d

16. b

17. a

18. c

19. b

20. c

21. a

22. d

23. a

24. b

25. c

26. a

27. b

28. a

29. d 30. c

31. a

32. c

32. Who will be the chief guest at the 14th Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) Convention?


46 Advanc’edge MBA December 2016

1. f 6. e 11. l 16. b

For more similar puzzles, visit:

2. a 7. i 12. j

3. p 8. g 13. k

4. c 9. h 14. o

5. d 10. m 15. n

A mba dec2016  
A mba dec2016