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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kamlesh Sajnani

EDITOR Rohit Pithauria

EDITORIAL Correspondents: Reshma Majithia, Puja Shah

DESIGN Uma Shirke

The last train chuggged out on Dinesh Trivedi; Mamata Banerjee proved to be a difficult ally yet again and did her best to derail the Budget; Mayawati was made to sing “Killing me Mulayam-ly”; Rahul is no longer the poster boy; and BJP has to content with what little they have got. A lot can happen over politics in our nation; it’s a carnival where eventually people pay the price. The Union Budget danced to the same tune; a Moses was expected of Pranab Mukherjee but he led the people to drown in the sea of taxes and duties. He started his speech by “I need to be cruel to be kind,” but it seems he enjoyed being cruel to the hilt and decided to give kindness a skip. The marginal rebate in the income tax slabs has been blitzed with the increase in service taxes and various other duties.

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The Budget proved to be a testament of shaky coalition government and failed to chart more subtantial route for the economy and masses. The students opting for higher education see a light shine through in the form of exemption of interest paid on the education loan for higher studies from Income Tax. However, repayment of principal is still under the purview of Income Tax. In this issue, we amble through the economics of an MBA and decode the best ways to fi nance a management degree with the help of loans and scholarships. We establish why it makes sense to do an MBA degree in India and not follow the prejudice of moving to foreign shores looking for ‘better’opportunities. Also, we profi le top B-schools in India. We take a closer look at the Union Budget and Railway Budget, and discuss their implications. Further, the political angles arising from the mid-term elections are scrutinised and deducted. We close the issue with a knowledge-building section. I wish you the best and success in all your endeavours.

Atasi Das, Paromita, Been Hemanshu

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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., 1/45 Tardeo A.C. Market, Tardeo, Mumbai - 34. Printed at Uchitha Graphic Printers Pvt. Ltd., 65, Ideal Ind. Est., Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai - 13 and published at Mumbai.


Rohit Pithauria

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012 1


April 2012

03 | First Step

16 | Financial Dynamics

34 | Corporate World

COVER STORY The Economics of an MBA

BUSINESS ANALYSIS Decoding Labyrinth: Vedanta Resources

Deciphering ROI

18 | Career Watch

Specialisation in Biotechnology

STUDENT INTERVIEW 08 Sonika Bhandari, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS)

24 | MBA Buzz SPECIAL REPORT People Management


The Economic Survey 2011-12: State of India’s economic health


Budget 2012-13: Shaken & stirred


Economic Indicators

09 Siddharth Shah, York University Schulich School of Business, Canada

11 | Region Focus


An Overview, and Marketing as a Specialisation

INDIAN MBA: Knight on a conquest

30 | Success Street

The Knowledge Pool

50 | World View

Dance of Democracy: 2012 assembly elections


Obama no more Mr Popular

56 | Study Hour WORD DOSE Life comes full circle 59 Globescan 60 Sudoku 63

B-school Events

64 News

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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Cover Story FIRST STEP

The Economics of an MBA

MBA is widely recognised as a passport to a successful career. It is imperative to choose the right course and institute, and finances play a pivotal role in selecting the tailor-made management degree. Radhika Arunkumar


nce you have zeroed in on the course of your choice, you need to take a look at the most significant aspect: How are you going to pay for it?

All images courtesy:google

MBA Abroad

While India is well-known to have some of the most prestigious business schools in the world, it might be worth your while to consider some of the overseas universities and business schools for your MBA. The reason for this is that they can often offer a more rounded or global business school experience, and equip you to be a

more effective player on the global stage. One of the major drawbacks to studying your MBA abroad could well be the cost. While the cost of an MBA in India might seem high, it can be a lot higher if you are a foreign student in England or in the US. Higher tuition and living expenses can make pursuing an MBA abroad a financial nightmare. Here’s how to obtain the funds so you can sleep easy.

First Start

In most cases, the financial-aid process begins after you’ve been

accepted. But you should start your research (and when possible, fill out forms) as soon as you decide to apply. Some of the larger, wellestablished programmes have more funding available, or at least more programmes in place, to help students finance their MBAs. Begin with the Internet. International schools’ Web sites often have a wealth of information and applicants can frequent for valuable financial aid opportunities unique to their institutions. These sites usually have information about scholarships, fellowships, and grants available

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


FIRST STEP Cover Story to foreign students, as well as loan information for international students. Canadian B-schools, though cheap by comparison to those in the U.S. and Europe, have limited loan programmes and funds. Thus it’s necessary to look beyond the norm when securing funding at a school away from home.

Different Costs to Consider

While taking a stock of the costs involved, it is best to consider all costs involved from the start to the end and account for these. Broadly the costs can be classified as PreApplication Costs, Application Costs and Admission Costs. To estimate the “true cost” of completing an MBA, the tuition, living, travel and book costs need to be taken into account. In addition the opportunity cost of salary foregone must be included in the calculation. There are many funding options ranging from educational loans and career development loans to scholarships and corporate sponsorship. Surprisingly, few who take full-time MBAs are sponsored by companies because most people prefer to keep their options open. By far the most popular MBA financing method is an education or career loan and increasingly, the terms of these loans are dependent on the choice of business school. Almost 90% of the student budget comprises of tuition, room rent/ housing expenses and books and computer expenses. The good news is that you easily get external funding to cover such expense. Cost incurred on food, board, books, computer etc. can be brought down to a large extent by economising wisely. This leaves you with only 5%-10% of your funds to fret over and there are various sources to finance these. One expense that you should never compromise on is the Health Insurance. It is advisable to look for a good health insurance policy or go for the one that the School has listed on its website.

Financing the MBA Programme

Students can expect a major part of their student budget to be financed by education loans. Loans with or without co-signer are available from both Indian and International banks.


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

To estimate the real cost of a management education, the expenses on tuition, living, travel and books need to be taken into account.

Private financial institutions like Sallie Mae International also deal in student lending and finance. Indian students have access to a wide range of educational loans geared to fund MBA study. Key banks include State Bank of India, Allahabad Bank, State Bank of Mysore, Bank of Baroda and the Industrial Development Bank of India. Loans can be used to cover the cost of fees, travel to an overseas school, the cost of books, computers, etc and living expenses. In most cases, candidates will already need to have secured a place at a recognised institution and may need to supply a guarantor, such as a parent or close relative, with sufficient funds to cover the loan. Repayment ranges up to four years after graduation and interest rates are currently around 8.5 to 8.75%. The next best source of funding is your personal savings. Most international MBA students have a few years of work experience before they apply for their MBA programme. Thus; you have the potential to build a sizeable kitty before the start of your MBA. You can also combine your personal savings along with your parent’s funds to finance almost 20% to 30% of your student budget. It’s best to have more of the former so that you are less dependent on the latter. Savings includes bank savings, Provident Fund, Public Provident Fund, Fixed Deposits, Matured LIC policies, Mutual Funds, Postal Savings, Government Bonds, Recurring Deposits etc.

Scholarships, Fellowships, Tuition Waivers from private sources as well as the School, is another lucrative source of financing your MBA. There are numerous scholarships available from the Government; private trusts like the Jawaharllal Nehru Memorial Trust, Lotus Trust etc.; corporate like the Tatas and Birlas, religious institutions, education bodies like USIEF (United States-India Education Foundation) and British Council and Non-Profit Organisations. Students need to apply to these scholarships as per their deadlines keeping in mind their eligibility criteria. Financial Aid from the School is usually in the form of Dean’s scholarships, Fellowships, Merit Scholarships, Need Based Scholarships, Tuition Waivers and Loan Forgiveness Programmes. The next best source of funding especially for the second year of your MBA programme is your summer placement. The median salary for a summer internship in 2010 at some of top B-schools was $5000 per month. Such a salary over 4 months covers part of your living expense for the second year and in some cases also gives you an indication of any future placement prospects. Thus securing a good and fruitful summer placement is an important aspect. On and off campus jobs also help in financing your education expenses. Getting such jobs however depends on your school policy and the work permit rules applicable at the country you study in. Most top schools do not allow students to work as the class schedules are hectic and students are expected to do intense project work with their cohorts after class. Many schools in Canada, Australia and the UK are open to students working while studying. If you exhaust yourself of all the above sources of financing and still need some money to finance your education, then you may look at Personal Loans. However, personal loans turn out to be very expensive with an interest rate as high as 18% and should therefore be the very last option. Some MNC banks in India also give another type of loan known as Mortgage loans to students for education purpose. These loans are given to individuals against collateral


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


FIRST STEP Cover Story or on the basis of the collateral security provided by the student’s parents or close relatives. Such loans have a lesser interest rate than personal loans (about 10% to 12%). The loan has no holiday and the borrower needs to pay the Equated Monthly Installments (EMIs) even during his study period.

Bottom Line

In the end the choice is yours to make, but you should consider the overseas schools as an alternative option, as the benefits of an international MBA will last you long into the boardroom

Studying in India

An MBA is one of the most coveted postgraduate degrees today not just for business professionals, but for college graduates in general. Having a master’s degree in business administration is necessary for those who want to gain an advantage in this ultra-tough industry. It is one of several business degrees that provide a huge impact on a professional’s salary and career advancement options. Business school is a costly investment. Here are some tips on how to make it more manageable. Consider the cost of the schools to which you have been accepted. The top IIMs charge fees in the range of INR 10-15 Lakhs the newer IIMs will charge a lower fee as compared to the older IIMs. FMS and JBIMS are among the top few MBA colleges which charge really affordable fees for the two year of the MBA and MMS degrees respectively. One of the most preferred ways of financing higher education these days is taking an educational loan. Educational loans allow the students to pay for their educational, living and personal expenses while completing their MBA. They make it possible for students to take that break from work, pursue their dream of management education, and

S. No. Bank Name 1 2 3 4 5

increase their earning potential. Hence, the high cost of education in premier institutes need not stand between you and your career aspirations.

Know your Bank Loans

With a more robust and economically independent younger generation availing a bank loan is not perceived to be a hindrance anymore by Indian students. Several banks have come forward with uncomplicated loan solutions. Students can easily finance their chosen programme from the best institutes Some banks also offer institute specific schemes and interest rates especially in the case of premier schools. For instance, The Bank of Baroda offers loans above Rs 4 Lakh to ISB, Hyderabad students at an interest of 2.00% above base rate while the usual education loan above INR 4 Lakhs has an interest of 4.00% above the base rate. Indian banks based on the recently set norms of the RBI have switched from the older BPLR to the base rate computing method for better transparency in its method of calculating in lending rates.

Education Loan Table Rate of Interest

State Bank of India Bank of Baroda Allahabad Bank HDFC Bank IDBI Bank

*Rate of interest subject to change.


Applicants need to keep in mind that longer repayment tenure means one needs to pay more interest on the principal amount.

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

11 - 13% 12 - 14% 12 - 13% 12 - 13% 13 - 14%

Repayment time 5 - 7 years 5 - 7 years 10 -15 years 7 years 5 - 7 years

Certain public and private sector banks also provide with loans to working executives who wish to pursue education in the middle of their career. They are called “Career Development Schemes” by a few. They tend to cover higher educational programmes such as; vocational courses, trainings, pilot trainings, skill up gradation, diploma or degree courses offered in aviation, hospitality and travel management, executive development etc in India/ abroad. In case of premier schools like the IIMs, IITs, XLRI and ISB leading banks such as the State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda, HDFC, Bank of India etc have tie ups with schools. Students can then get the loan deals with the best interest rates and in lesser processing time. Students who secure admission to some of the best management institutes therefore stand to benefit. For instance, Allahabad bank has drawn up a list of over 80 educational institutes whose courses it will finance and it has special rates for IIMs/IITs/ ISB etc (0.75% lower). Allahabad bank also provides interest rates lower by 1% for girl candidates. In the case of IIT/IIM/ISB (Indian School of Business, Hyderabad), for a loan up to INR 10.00 Lakhs the bank does not ask for a security, only co-obligation of Parent / Guardian is expected. HDFC Bank also has list of 30 institutes for the management programme for which it sanctions educational loans. HDFC Bank offers special features to candidates who have secured admissions to some of the premier management institutes for its two year and one year programmes. To summarise female students from premier institutes really have an advantage in terms of the interest rates on educational loans and on a general note students who have secured admissions to some of the up coming institutes may have to try harder to convince the bank to give an educational loan.

Important questions to consider before applying for the loan l

What expenses and fees does the loan cover? l What is the maximum amount that you can avail l What is the rate of interest?

Cover Story FIRST STEP l

Is a guarantor required? Is any collateral required? If so, how much? l How long will it take for the loan application to be processed? l What are the pay-back procedures and terms? l


Usually the entire loan is to be repaid in 5-7 years; this is usually inclusive of the moratorium period also known as the repayment holiday which is usually one year after the completion of the course or six months after the student gets a job(whichever is earlier). Some banks expect the candidate to pay the interest during the moratorium period. During the study period you would be required to pay only the quarterly interest. Applicants also need to keep in mind that longer repayment tenure means that you need to pay more interest payments on your loan. So before you set out to complete the paperwork for a loan it is necessary to calculate Equated Monthly

installments (EMI). This would let you know if you have the capacity to pay the amount in time.

External and Scholarships


Scholarships are the next best means to finance an MBA, though many of the external scholarships do not cover the entire amount needed for the tuition fee and living expenses, it is however a minor help. Scholarships fall into three important categories; they are need based, Merit cum means or merit based. And these scholarships are either offered by the institute of study or by external agencies (either from the industry or from charitable foundations). Many institutes including the IIMs, IIFT, XLRI and ISB etc offer scholarships either as a tuition waiver which is need-based or merit cum means based. For instance IIMA offers a need based scholarship scheme from its own resources to help economically weak PGP and PGP-ABM students. Under this scheme, many students

are provided scholarships. The scholarship amount is decided on the basis of annual gross family income, parental asset ownership, number of Dependants, etc. In addition to need based scholarship, IIMA also offers an income linked fee waiver scheme. On similar lines IIMB/C/K also assist needy student with a subsidy programme. For the post graduate programme in management IIM B gives scholarships and tuition fee waivers to needy students on the recommendations of the financial aid committee. Many external agencies award merit scholarships to students who have displayed an excellent and consistent academic record. These industry and external scholarships are not easy to gain, since they require the student to undergo a series of tests and interviews. Many such scholarships are beneficial not in terms of financing your MBA but more in terms of enhancing your profile since these are mainly awarded based on the academic performance and curricular achievements.

Scholarships at a Glance

} Sir Ratan Tata Trust’s individual merit cum means based scholarship. The Amul-Tata scholarships which come under a similar criterion are scholarships offered to PRM students at Institute of Rural Management Anand (IRMA). } The government of India’s merit cum means scholarships to students admitted to a PGP course at any of the IIMs in the country; these are in the form of grants given for a year. } The Aditya Birla Scholarship, merit based. } O P Jindal Engineering & Management scholarships (OPJEMS). } Corporate scholarships from Citigroup to full time MBA students of the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad. Image courtesy:google


It’s important to weigh the pros and cons before making the decision, but be sure to put in the research and time necessary for choosing the right school and course.

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


FIRST STEP Student Interview

“MBA provides an insight into the industry, confidence to present thoughts, and teaches how to carry yourself well,’’ …says Sonika Bhandari, a final-year student at Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS). She is a commerce graduate with specialisation in accounts and taxation from Tolani College. In a conversation with Sangheetha Chakrapani, she talks of her decision to do an MBA. Tell us something about yourself, your pre-MBA qualifications and work experience. I completed my graduation in commerce from Tolani college. I did well in my final exams and topped in Accounts and Taxation. As an extra-curricular activity I am keenly interested in the Indian classical dance forms and hold a degree in Bharathnatyam. I am pursuing my masters in the same. I have worked in the human resource division at CSC and was involved with SAP and IT recruitments. I learnt about the induction process and the full cycle of recruitment during this period. I worked at CSC for a year.

When did you decide to pursue MBA and what was the driving force behind this decision? I zeroed in on an MBA after 11th standard. I was motivated by a friend who is a senior HR professional. I liked the idea of interacting with people and helping them find suitable position in an organisation. I felt an MBA is the right career launcher in this field. An MBA provides an insight into the industry, the confidence to present thoughts before a group of people and it also teaches how to carry yourself well. You are able to push your point across while on the other hand I have seen regular graduates struggling to hold their own at a workplace. As a part of curriculum I have worked on many projects and presentations. I got the opportunity for industrial visits and at a visit to Parle G factory I learnt about Company Laws, salary structure, computation of holidays, medical care provisions, etc. As a HR professional aspirant the visit proved to be an eye opener.


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

How many years of experience you had at the time of joining business school? Did it help you get into a B-school of your choice? I worked for a year before joining business school. Admission was based on my academic performance, entrance exam (NMAT), group discussion and personal interview. Out of the ten participants in the group discussion, four were selected for admission. Yes, my work experience certainly helped as I was more aware of my area of specialisation and, therefore, could communicate more confidently.

What are the best features of your business school? The faculty at NMIMS is excellent and the facilities provided to students are good. We have senior professionals from a range of corporate houses addressing us, which has been a remarkable learning experience.

Did the work experience prove to be helpful in decoding the curriculum in any way? Yes, it helped me enormously. When I studied HR audit and about manpower recruitment the fact that I had practical experience of these areas brought things to life for me.

How will an MBA degree help you in your career path? Getting a job becomes easy. It makes a difference as you are equipped with a post graduate degree/diploma in business management and not just plain vanilla graduation degree. Organisations want the extra knowledge base and grooming that an MBA provides.

Student Interview FIRST STEP

“In my opinion, the best education is the one where you learn about your own weaknesses” When and why did you decide to pursue management education (especially, since you had a steady job)?

After completing my Engineering in Mumbai, I took up a job as a software engineer with a premiere company. I enjoyed the first 4 months of the training program, but after that I soon realised that I couldn’t do coding for the rest of my life. I felt I was capable of taking on more responsibility and have a larger footprint in the organisation. Most people would think it’s too early to think about these things 6 months into your first job. But when I looked at the professional career and lifestyle of my managers, I thought that I wanted to be in their shoes sooner and not in 10 years time. I am ambitious by nature and it was clear to me that in order to achieve the professional satisfaction and the lifestyle I aspired, I needed a career transition and an MBA was the best way to do it. Of course, this meant losing the monthly paycheck but this was a long-term decision that would help me achieve my personal goals in life. I still continued working for 2 years because of my contract and also due to the fact that I needed some work experience.

Most Indian students shy away from studying in Canada and choose to study in UK, USA, Australia or Singapore. Why did you choose to pursue your education from Canada?

…says Siddharth Shah who is an Electronics Engineer from D.J.Sanghavi College. After completing his engineering he worked as a SAP Consultant with Larsen & Toubro for two years. He is currently doing his MBA at the York University Schulich School of Business, Canada. In an interview with Gauri Puranik, Siddharth shares the journey towards his management degree.

I’m glad you asked me this question. True, most students don’t consider Canada. I decided on Canada through a ‘Process of Elimination’

a) Singapore – was a good option but only has two world

class universities namely NUS and NTU. Also it was difficult to get admission in these schools with two years of experience.

b) Australia – again good option but at that time news about racism and little action by the Australian government put me off.

c) UK – Offers one year programs (which may be good

for some people) but it is difficult to find a job after graduation (this is what I heard from friends and even exchange students who have come to Canada from UK schools). Also in general it is difficult for international students to find jobs in UK (or Europe) because of language issues, stiff immigration laws etc. Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


FIRST STEP Student Interview d) US – Best option from the quality of education point

Canada by far was the best option. There is good quality education. International students get 1 year of OPT after graduation. Also unlike the US there is an open work permit which means one can take up any kind of job. Your spouse can also get a work permit which provides additional financial support. Canada is the land of immigrants, people here are from different parts of the world so you never get a feeling of being an outsider. In short, if you are looking for a world class education, simplified immigration process, and want to work abroad for a few years and then decide where you want to live and work, Canada is the best place to be. Not only does it feel like home away from home but it’s also easy to relocate and work in the US, if you choose to, once things improve there.

Image courtesy:google

of view, but US at that time had the worst economic crisis. New graduates were finding it difficult to land a job and also there were visa issues. I had heard stories from my friends about how stressful they were when companies refused to extend their H1B VISA and some of them had to return to India after 1 year.

According to you, is the job market in Canada recovering from recessionary hiccups? What is the perception of Canadian corporate sector towards Indian students?

Job market in Canada is quite different. Here employers give a lot of importance to “fit” v/s “skills”. You have to be right for the job profile. There are university placements but it is not like India where IT companies What kind of work were you doing and how did swamp 100 students in a day. There are various rounds you balance your job responsibilities and GMAT of interviews stretching over months before you finally and application preparation? Elaborate on the get a yes. To get to the point, it is difficult to get a job in Canada just like everywhere else but at least with the obstacles faced I was working as an SAP consultant in Mumbai. My work 3 year work permit you don’t have to face some of the other challenges that students face typically involved development, in other countries. In the end the maintenance, design and testing of Taking out time for persistence pays. Students get jobs software applications within the SAP although not always in the field of the application and ERP system. Taking out time for the their choice. Sometimes you have application and GMAT was tough. GMAT was tough. I to get experience somewhere else I was persistent and I set myself a before you finally get what you was persistent and I timeline; a reverse timeline; starting want. It is important to have an open with the application deadline and mind and take up something that set myself a timeline; a then working backwards. The obstacles I faced were extended reverse timeline, starting will lead you to where you want to be. Overall, the Canadian economy work hours dealing with the project is strong but the job market is still with the application deliverables; the go-live phase, lagging. hyper-care phase of the unit where deadline and then Most employers feel that Indian I had to be available at any time students in general are intelligent of the day to resolve issues on a working backwards. and hard working but there is a lot priority basis and traveling around to learn from the point of view of the city to implement systems at developing interpersonal skills, communication skills client site. However, I had the support of my manager, and social skills. who understood my priorities. He gave me time off when I needed the most, he appreciated the fact that I did not keep him in dark about my decision to leave after the contract got over. It can be a good decision to get people on your side as it is often difficult to do everything on your own. In fact it can help you when you approach your managers for getting recommendation letters.

What are your future career goals?

I am looking for career transition into Finance specifically Investment Management. I was always interested in this field because half the people in my family are stock brokers.


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

Finally, advice to those aspiring to study abroad? In my opinion, the best education is the one where one learns about own weaknesses. I don’t want to sound too spiritual, but I have learned much about myself, people, developing and managing relationships and of course business that I can now say that my decision to pursue an MBA abroad was a good one. Don’t get overwhelmed by challenges, take one thing at a time and just keep on moving forward. Lastly, the most important part is to make sure you enjoy!!



All images courtesy:google

Although economy has slowed down in backdrop of global economic disturbances, many top B-schools have secured salaries between Rs 30-50 lakhs.

Puja Shah


he Indian MBA is no longer second best,” is what a senior colleague had to say a couple of years ago when we were comparing top B-schools. I probably did not realise then the truth in the statement but today I see the wisdom behind it. Management education in India is booming. There are over 1,250 approved business schools, with 1,25,000 full-time and 1,00,000 distance MBA students. India has always been a land of systematic learning and education. Recently, business management studies have been at the forefront of scripting a success story of India. India is known for its quality management education, especially at the top MBA colleges such as Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), Indian School of Business (ISB), Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), XLRI etc. Graduates of Indian business schools are amongst the most successful corporate professionals in the world. The end-users, the recruiters, seem to be facing a constant supply crunch and are always on the lookout for the talent graduating from the top B-schools. Thus, an MBA is a

valuable qualification that ensures a quick return on investment. Some of the best MBA Institutes in India are IIMs (Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Indore, Lucknow, and Kozhikode), XLRI (Jamshedpur), S.P.Jain (Mumbai), Jamnalal Bajaj, (Mumbai), FMS (Delhi), MICA (Ahmedabad), Symbiosis (Pune), ISB (Hyderabad), Xavier Institute of Management (Bhubaneswar) etc. IIM success stories include those of Raghuram Rajan, ex-chief economist of the IMF and professor of finance at the Chicago Booth School of Business; Sunil Gupta, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School; Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, amongst many. Although the Indian economy has slowed down in the backdrop of global economic disturbances, many students from the top B-schools have managed to secure packages averaging between Rs 30-50 lakhs. These stories inspire thousands of students every year to dream of pursuing MBA at such schools. However, another statistic shows that India sends thousands abroad for MBA each year and this number is only increasing. With

increasingly large number of aspirants looking abroad for an MBA, what are the pros and cons of an MBA in India and MBA from abroad? We list the advantages of doing an MBA in India to help you make an educated decision.

Factors to consider Cost

Normally, an MBA from the top tier schools in the U.S. or Europe will cost around Rs.25 lakhs to Rs.35 lakhs or even more, but an Indian MBA will at the most cost around 15 lakhs. Tuhin Verma, an MBA student from MICA, explains, “You need to calculate the return on investment carefully since going abroad is an expensive prospect.”


If you compare the curriculum of Indian B-schools and the B-schools abroad it is almost similar. Recently, Professor Anindya Sen, professor of economics at IIM Calcutta, mentioned that unless students are gunning for the top 20 in the world, an MBA from an Indian institute [can often be] better. He further stated that when it comes to the core management Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


REGION FOCUS education content, there is really not much of a difference between what is imparted in India and what is taught at an international business school. The main difference emerges among the methods and tools used to impart management education. Most institutions in India such as IIM Ahmedabad follow case-based management education such as Harvard Business School, while others have chosen to follow distinctly different routes. The content is more India-centric and focuses on micro-issues concerning the nation. And multinational companies that operate from here generally prefer students who have studied in the subcontinent. But to be able to maximise your return on investment, you need to do a lot of planning in advance. “If you want to work in India then India is where you should do your MBA from. That’s because companies that function in the region prefer an MBA from here,” says Tuhin ,expressing that there is ample substance in the Indian management education.

Even in the more traditional areas of MBA, India remains a powerhouse for education and career opportunities. According to the Jobs and Salary Trends Report 2011/12, Indian employers reported more MBA job opportunities in 2011 than the United States, with one financial services company reporting over 7,000 MBA job opportunities (in 2011) and even more in 2012. Salaries for Indian executives obviously do not match those offered by companies in the West, but still are very much competitive. As with many developing countries, rapid national growth often leads to more opportunities than abroad. This means what is sacrificed in terms of income can be made up for by acquiring a wealth of experience and skills that would take much longer to obtain in the saturated economies. For students who prefer to be a part of the Indian growth story, an MBA from a reputed school in India is definitely a better option.

Job prospects

When it comes to sending students abroad to study India is one of the leading countries, even though it boasts of some of the best B-schools in the world. The major reason for

We are one of the fastest growing economies and there are opportunities galore in the Indian market, especially if you have a specialised MBA.

Global exposure

this is exposure to different cultures and styles of teaching and learning. This has been noticed by our government and measures are now being taken to resolve this deficiency by the introduction of the Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill. According to the provisions of this bill, proposed by Union Minister Kapil Sibal, foreign business schools will soon be allowed to set up shop in the country. Mr. Sibal, in an interview to a leading newspaper said that the Indian higher education sector is a market of opportunities. He stated that the global community has realised that if you invest in India you can deliver education at a much lower cost than in the West, because infrastructure, faculty training and other economic factors cost less. He also said the proposed legislation has enough provisions to check that no mediocre or fly-by-night institute can set up their campus in the country. Foreign universities have to go through separate registration process and also fulfill the requirement of 20 years of existence. Schools such as Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business (US), Georgia Institute of Technology (US) and York University’s Schulich School of Business (Canada) have already planned campuses in India. Jolted by this prospect, Indian B-schools have started identifying best practices to help reinvent to stay ahead of the race. Practices such as accreditations, evaluation and grading of programmes, as is the norm with business schools in the West, are a few of the things being considered.


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The only hope for Indian business schools to make their mark in an increasingly crowded marketplace is by closely following global standards. Until recently, most Indian B-schools did not have any accreditations but have slowly started realising their importance as they help pull in students. International accreditations make sure Indian students get globallyrecognised degrees, while on the other hand business schools can hope to secure more foreign partnerships and linkages.


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

REGION FOCUS Many of the IIMs, for instance, such as IIM Calcutta, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Lucknow, and the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad have secured global accreditations. Both IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Bangalore have received approval from European agency EQUIS. IIM Kozhikode has applied for accreditation from AMBA (Association of MBAs), a UK-based organisation. Even newer business schools such as the Chandigarh-based Aryans Business School have become members of US-based accreditation body Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Quality and Grading

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The demand for quality management education in India is on the rise. However, there has been a corresponding rise in private players cashing in on the situation and misleading students in the name of ‘global’ MBA programmes. There have been calls for the government to set up an effective regulatory mechanism that could control the operations of these institutes. Leading business schools could also work together to set up a code of conduct which newer schools need to adhere to or maybe mentoring newer institutions to help them come up with quality design and curricula. Credit rating agency CRISIL (Credit Rating and Information Services of India Ltd) has launched a grading exercise for business schools in the country to enhance transparency and help students and

The QS Global 200 Business Schools report states that India has emerged as a big player, with four in the top 10. other stakeholders make informed decisions. The agency has graded 24 management programmes so far.


The QS Global 200 Business Schools report states that India has emerged as one of the big players, with six schools on the list, including four in the top 10. The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad is ranked number 2 in the Asia-Pacific region (up from sixth in 2010). The three other Indian schools in the top 10 are the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Management Kolkata, and the Indian School of Business. The S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research is placed 16th, while the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade entered the list for the first time and ranked 21st. “Business schools in India continue to climb up the rankings… In an economy that is rapidly growing in global importance, the rise in employer opinion of MBA graduates is extremely promising,” the report said.

ISB and IIM-A also rank among the top 20 in the recently published Financial Times Global MBA Rankings.

Entrance exams

With the demand for management education growing and the mushrooming of Indian business schools, an MBA degree from a top institute carries a lot of weightage. Indian B- schools like the IIMs and ISB consistently rank at the top in most global B-school rankings, therefore, they get lakhs of applications every year. These institutes vary greatly in terms of their faculty, curriculum, infrastructure and so on. Owing to this, every business school has a different selection criterion which normally entails a national-level examination, followed by a group discussion and an interview.

The Common Admission Test (CAT)

Amongst the national management exams, the Common Admission (CAT) is often considered the toughest nut to crack. Common Admission Test (CAT) is an all-India test conducted by the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), considered to be the most prestigious B-schools of India. It is an entrance exam for students who want to pursue post graduate management degree from world-renowned IIM’s. Performance in Common Admission Test or CAT, followed by group discussions and personal interviews, serves as the basis for admission. Apart from the IIMs a candidate can take admission in many other business schools with a CAT score. A high-quality performance in CAT ensures excellent chances of entry into the IIMs and several other MBA institutes. The CAT is a two-and-a-half hour paper consisting of three sections: quantitative ability, verbal ability, and data interpretation and logical reasoning. It is conducted once a year in the end of November or in the beginning of December. The examination pattern of CAT exam keeps on changing every year. Preparation for the CAT requires a candidate to develop a proficiency in a) understanding the fundamentals of the relevant subjects; b) applying the concepts which have been learnt in those subjects; and c) regular test practice. Advanc’edge MBA April 2012



Many top business schools also accept GMAT scores as entry points. The advantage of a GMAT score is that it can be banked as it is valid for five years. GMAT is globally accepted. Most Indian business schools including the IIMs, ISB and MDI also accept GMAT scores as entry criteria. But the GMAT is still not very popular with Indian students seeking admission into Indian business schools mainly because of the limited entry points and the high cost of the test.

The Xavier Admission Test (XAT)

Xavier Admission Test (XAT), a national-level admission test, is conducted by the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur. There are 35 management institutes that select students on the basis of XAT for postgraduate degree programmes. Eligibility is a three-year Bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) in any discipline. The exam is conducted in about 31 cities across the country.

XAT is a two-hour long exam and is divided into three or four sections of multiple-choice questions that test quantitative ability (mathematics), verbal ability (English) and data interpretation/logical reasoning skills. In addition to this, there is an essay which needs to be written in 20 minutes after the main two-hour paper. The XAT is quite similar to the Common Admission Test (CAT) conducted by the IIMs, except that the CAT has no essay.

The Narsee Monjee Management Admission Test (NMAT)

The Narsee Monjee Management Admission Test (NMAT), a test for entry to one of the foremost management institutes in India, The Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS), sees thousands of applicants trying their luck every year. NMAT gives candidates a maximum of three attempts to clear the test which means that a student’s best performance can be assessed. There is

also no negative marking, encouraging candidates not to drop a question for fear of deduction in marks. The test’s content is designed on a multiplechoice question format that includes language skills, quantitative skills, data interpretation and data sufficiency, and logical reasoning.


The SNAP or the Symbiosis National Aptitude Test is another important test. This test is conducted by Symbiosis Deemed University. The SNAP test is generally conducted in the month of December. It is a two and a half hour exam and basically comprises four sections. The sections are designed in such a way so as to test your English usage, mathematical and quantitative reasoning, logical reasoning and data interpretation, and general awareness. After the test students are short listed on the basis of marks, and then have to face a round of group discussion and the personal interview.

Top Indian B-School Profiles

Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad Average GMAT Score: 770 Accreditations EQUIS Avg. Programme Duration: 22 months Avg. Total tuition fees (excluding food expenses): Rs. 13, 70,000 % Female Students: 15 % International Student Ratio: 1 Average Salary: 67000 Years of work experience preferred: 2 City: Ahmedabad


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Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore Average GMAT Score: 780 Accreditations EQUIS Avg. Programme Duration: 21 months Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding food expenses): Rs. 13, 50,000 % Female Students: 20 % International Student Ratio: 10 Average Salary: 30000 Years of work experience preferred: 2 City: Bangalore


Indian School of Business Average GMAT Score: 710 Avg. Programme Duration: 12 months Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding food expenses): USD 40,000 % Female Students: 29 % International Student Ratio: 5 Average Salary: 100000 Years of work experience preferred: 5 City: Hyderabad

Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta Average GMAT Score: 500 Avg. Programme Duration: 24 months Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding food expenses): Rs. 13, 56,000 % Female Students: 12 % International Student Ratio: 3 Average Salary: 28000 Years of work experience preferred: 2 City: Kolkata

S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research

Indian Institute of Foreign Trade Average GMAT Score: 650 Avg. Programme Duration: 24 months Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding food expenses): Rs. 5, 00,000 % Female Students: 20 % International Student Ratio: 3 Average Salary: 40000 Years of work experience preferred: 2 City: Delhi

Average GMAT Score: 680 Avg. Programme Duration: 24 months Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): Rs. 10,00,000 approx. % Female Students: 33 Average Salary: 28000 Years of work experience preferred: 2 City: Mumbai

* All salaries are measured in US $.

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012



Deciphering ROI Before entering the corporate world it is imperative to understand the concept of Return on Investment (ROI )and its effects on different businesses and domains. Paromita


s a young manager, you will often be questioned on Return on Investment (ROI) decisions. The investment can be of any nature, ranging from marketing investments, training investments, software investments to infrastructure investments and so on. So, before you enter the corporate world it is essential that you completely understand the concept of ROI and the nuances it holds for different businesses and domains. ROI is fundamentally a measure used to evaluate the efficiency of a particular investment or a measure to compare the efficiency of different investments. ROI is the most elementary and traditional profitability measure to determine the benefit of a certain investment, and it can also throw light on how to improve business efficiency and productivity. There are several methods to determine ROI; one of the simplest ways to calculate ROI is by dividing the benefit (return) of an investment by the cost of the investment and the result is expressed as a percentage or a ratio. The formula commonly used is --

certain investment. For instance, if an investment does not have a positive ROI or if there are other opportunities with a higher ROI, then the investment should be not be undertaken. ROI is not the same as profit and should not be confused with business

profitability. You can use ROI in several different ways to gauge the profitability of your business. For instance, you can measure the performance of your pricing policies, inventory investment, capital equipment investment and so forth. Some other ways to use ROI within


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

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In the above formula ‘gain from investment’ can have several undertones; most commonly it refers to the proceeds obtained from selling the investment of interest. Return on Investment is a versatile and popular metric which signifies whether it would be prudent to undertake a

FINANCIAL DYNAMICS your company are by: } Dividing net income, interest and taxes by total liabilities to measure rate of earnings of total capital employed. } Dividing net income and income taxes by proprietary equity and fixed liabilities to produce a rate of earnings on invested capital. } Dividing net income by total capital plus reserves to calculate the rate of earnings on proprietary equity and stock equity. In the financial world, ROI has a very specific meaning: How much should I invest in an asset to the company and what would be my Return on the Investment? The same concept can be extended to stock market returns as well. For instance, your stock portfolio can give a return of 20%. If you invested Rs.1000 on stocks of company XYZ on January 2011 and today its market price is Rs.1200, then your return on investment will be Rs. (1200 – 1000)/100 = 20% . The same concept can also be useful for marketing professionals and can be effectively used to get approval on advertising spends. ROI can be the benchmark for comparing various marketing programmes. The general idea is to create some objective parameters to decipher the value of marketing expenses or a yardstick to compare one marketing

Return on Investment is not same as profit and should not be confused with business profitability. programme to another. Here are a few important pointers to efficiently monitor the marketing ROI: l Establish an ROI threshold: Set an ROI goal for the entire budget and individual campaigns, and set a threshold figure as well. By doing so, you can manage your budgets more prudently. If your projections show that a campaign won’t hit the threshold, don’t run it. l Set your marketing budget: When you have set an ROI goal and annual revenue/profit goals for yourself, you can calculate the amount of money you should spend on marketing – simply by calculating the ROI. You’ll be more confident that you’re spending the right amount of money to meet your goals. l Calculate ROI on campaigns: Tracking ROI can get difficult

with complex marketing campaigns, but with a commitment and good reporting processes you can build robust systems of measurements, even if you have to use some estimates in the process. l Use ROI calculations to improve campaigns: Test new ways to raise your ROI and spend your money on the campaigns that can deliver good returns for your company. However, there can be constraints in accurately calculating the ROI. There are instances when it cannot be proven that specific revenue is an outcome of a particular marketing programme. For example, if you engage in a search engine optimisation (SEO) campaign, you may not be able to accurately determine how much increase in your revenues was a direct result of that campaign because you may have had other sources that resulted in increased traffic to your website or you may not keep accurate records of the actual sales attributed to your website, and some of your revenues may have come from offline source. Not only marketing professionals, even HR professionals use the concept of ROI to determine the effectiveness and impact of a certain training programme or to compare different programmes in terms of efficiency. According to a research data, approximately $5.6 billion to $16.8 billion is wasted annually on ineffective training programmes. Most organisations do not diligently measure the benefits of a training programme and relate them to the cost of training in a way that it reveals the ROI to the firm’s investment on training. Apparently, there is no other workplace issue on which so much money is spent with as little accountability as training. ROI, therefore, is increasingly becoming an important concept which helps HR managers to do an objective costbenefit analysis. Some of the benefits of calculating ROI in training are: l Measure of contribution l Set priorities l Focus on effective programmes l Altered management perception of training Advanc’edge MBA April 2012



Specialisation in Biotechnology As the next stage of human evolution is aided by biotechnology, be an early bird and cash in on dividends. in science, life sciences, pharmacy and of course biotechnology.

Beena Hemanshu

International Buzz in Biotech

As per the Ernst & Young’s 25th annual industry report “Beyond borders: Global Technology Report 2011”, companies that are a part of the established biotech centres net an aggregate profit of $4.7 billion. This is a 30 per cent increase from the previous year. Biotech companies in Canada, Europe and US raised $ 25 billion in 2010 and have returned to the pre-financial crisis level. Over $ 40 billion is invested annually in the U.S. for biomedical research and development. Even the world-wide pharmaceutical sales are exceeding $ 300 billion each year.


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he advent of specialised programmes works as a catalyst to the career growth, but often aspirants find themselves at a crossroad when it comes to choosing the one that caters to their needs. The trick lies in evaluating one’s interest and the dynamics of the industry. Gain the right set of information, talk to the right set of people and ask right questions that will allow you to make an informed choice. With advancements in the field of biotechnology there is a huge vaccum that has come in place at the managerial level and MBA Biotechnology as a specialised programme sure promises to plug that and take one’s career to new heights. MBA Biotechnology particularly appeals to those with prior education


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Bullish Indian and Pharma


The Biotech industry is supposed to be poised at an inflection point. It touched $3 billion in 2010 and is estimated to touch $10 billion in 2015. India is the fourth largest global producer of drugs in terms of volume along with being the major exporter of drugs. Many Indian biotech and pharma companies have entered foreign markets; various joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions have taken place in the recent times. The Indian biotechnology industry has even byoued the global giants to a large extent. One can confidently say that in the near future biotechnology is one sector that will definitely add to India’s prosperity while improving the quality of life for all Indians. It will create new career opportunities


Need of the hour

If we peek into the history of science and innovation, it tells us how merely a good innovation or technology does not guarantee a commercial success. For commercial success, every venture needs professionals with sharp business acumen and leadership qualities that can effectively lead the products. It is imperative to know what the biotech industry requires before you set on a course. Knowledge of the factors that influence the industry can provide you with a guideline to understand and select opportunities for a rewarding career. You will find that healthcare innovation is at the heart of biotechnology. Although complex, it is one of the vital industries that requires leaders who can effectively manage diverse issues. These may include issues of licensing, intellectual property (the research products are the intellectual property of the biotech firms) and managing business in the market space. The major barrier for biotechnology firms is a lack of entrepreneurial management skill. The industry currently requires individuals with techno-commercial skill sets (legal know-how will be an added advantage). Presently, there is a lack of middle and senior management employees who can guide and mentor an innovation. The sector is a large recruiter of technologically-oriented people but there is lack of commercial skill and expertise. These companies often spend considerable time, effort and money in training the technical experts in honing their commercial skills and refining their management and leadership style. Many biotechnology companies feel that the graduates aren’t equipped with skills that the industry

needs. However, the gradual increase in number of schools offering MBA Biotechnology is changing the perspective of the Industry.

The Highlights

Life science business has certain unique features that separate it from other technology businesses. Some of the prominent differences are l Long lead time in product development (the time span of a product from a discovery to the marketplace can be as short as a year or as long as a decade.) l Uncertainty associated with the clinical trial outcomes (it creates challenges in gauging future demand of the product) l Regulatory hurdles Increasing interest has been observed in the business applications of biotechnology. Hence, it is important that the students understand this postgraduate program before taking the plunge. The focus of the programme is to give the students strong grounding in the core business areas such as marketing, human resources, operations, and finance. Along with this the focus is also on preparing them for the leadership roles in the upcoming bioscience industries. Some institutes also have entrepreneurship development cells which provide the students with the much-needed entrepreneurial skills. However, it’s important to understand that just like any other

company biotechnology companies, besides research and development, perform more or less the same operations. The main purpose of the programme is to bridge the gap between the industry requirements and technical knowledge-based workforce. Secondly, the aim is to train the managers who can understand the market needs and who can communicate effectively with the scientists and technical personnel. Those with this specialisation are expected to effectively commercialise the researches.

Business Careers & paths

Those who opt for this programme will learn to develop and manage new technology ventures. Biotechnology companies require corporate executives to drive its business and these individuals are generally armed with an MBA degree. Management professionals are essentially involved in one of these roles: Marketing/Sales: Their function is to effectively commercialise the biotechnology research keeping in mind the ethical and regulatory issues. Marketing and sales professionals are needed to study and develop the market for the products. Finally, it is their responsibility to ensure effective marketing and sales of the biotech products. Finance/Venture Capital Management: The major challenge for any biotechnology start-up is to

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and fuel the existing job market. Thus, human resource armed with specialisation in biotechnology will be required for managing and leading the businesses in the biotechnology and pharma sector.

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012



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establish strong focus on commerce. Those with proven financial expertise can play an important role in funding and financial management. The industry has the requirement for various finance professionals as well as investment bankers. These professionals are expected to have a strong understanding of biotechnology sector. Human Resource Management: Research and development are longterm processes, including confidential processes that are only known to the core team members. In such cases it’s the responsibility of the human resource managers to hire the right people, ensure the loyalty of the staff and to retain the staff. An MBA professional with MBA in biotechnology can find job opportunities in various companies such as: l Biotechnology l Pharmaceutical l Life Sciences l Agriculture/Agro-based industry l Bioinformatics Industry l Chemical Industry l Aquaculture Industry l Food Processing Industry l Research Institutes l KPOs (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) l Market Research Organisation l Consulting Firms


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

Biotech Business Job profiles

Some of the job profiles that are being offered to an MBA Biotechnology professional are: Business Development – Most of the biotech and pharma companies would hire an MBA Biotech for this role. These professionals are responsible for locating customers who fit the bill. They coordinate with the clients to ensure a match in regards to the financial and regulatory aspects along with the scope of the service that can be delivered. The role involves varied activities essentially to develop the business of the company. Business Analyst - Business analyst’s job involves understanding the business issues and information challenges that the industry faces and how it in turn will affect the companies in the sector. They assess the health of a business and identify the areas that can be improved upon or streamlined. They identify and analyse the company’s requirements and use that knowledge to suggest procedures and workflows keeping in mind the business objectives, goals and budget. The analysis is done with the help of user tests to identify, monitor and report the technical issues. They work closely with the development team and ensure that the requirements are implemented in the technology systems that are designed.

On the whole a business analyst is responsible for analysing the business needs of the clients and to further help them in identifying the business problems and propose solutions. They often act as a connect between the healthcare/life science/biotech client and the technical team of their company. Product Management – The professionals in the area of product management work closely with other functions to provide marketing guidance. This guidance is essentially to provide input for product definition, development of life technologies/ biotechnology products and solutions so as to ensure effective launch of the products in the market space. They generally manage the portfolio of the products right from the inception stage to the last. This essentially includes price-setting/margin strategies, forecasting and supplychain management. They have to provide up-to-date information on the product content and have to provide communications for any interactions with the clients. They need to present the vision that the company has for the product and are responsible for managing the customer and business aspects of the product family. A product manager is responsible for the progress of the brand in terms of the profits, both short-term and longterm. This is done through effective planning, execution, quality control and training. Research Analyst – These professionals are involved in finding and solving challenging, strategic and tactical issues in market research. They are generally hired by market research organisations and KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) companies. Business Consultant – The main function of any consultant is to understand the client’s problems and provide a viable solution, and in some cases even help in implementing a solution. The role of a biotech consultant is to suggest new products or technologies to the biotech firms. The consultant may also assist the firms in identifying solutions to the problems. They act as experts in certain biotechnology-related areas for which they are consulted. They often handle both technical and business

In Focus CAREER WATCH S. Name of the No Institute

Duration Program


Bachelors or Masters Degree in Science ATMA + GD + PI or who has appeared for the final year examination (Biology, Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Botany, Chemistry, Life Sciences, Marine Biology, Microbiology, Zoology), Agriculture, Ayurveda, Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy, Technology, Veterinary Sciences from a statutory university. Graduation in Life Sciences (min 50%) B.Tech. in Biotechnology / Bioinformatics/ Medical Biotechnology/M. Sc. Biotech / Life Sciences (min. 60%) & 10+2 (min. 60%)


Department of Management Sciences, University of Pune

2 years full-time

MBA Biotechnology (MBA-BT)


Amity Institute of Biotechnology, Noida

2 years full-time

MBA Biotechnology (MBA-BT)


Institute of 2 years Entrepreneurship full-time & Management Development, Bharti Vidyapeeth University, Pune

MBA Biotechnology (MBA-BT)

A candidate who has passed Bachelors Degree or Masters Degree from any recognised University with minimum 50% marks in aggregate (45% in case of SC / ST candidate) 


SIES College of Management Studies (SIESCOMS)

2 years full-time

2 years fulltime PGDM Biotechnology Management


MITCON Institute of Management, (MIMA) Pune

2 years full-time

2 years fulltime PGDM Biotechnology Management

Graduation in pharmacy / Life Science / Microbiology / Biochemistry from a recognised university with minimum of 50 per cent mark throughout the academic career. The students who are appearing for final year examination/ awaiting final year results may also apply. Candidates with minimum 50% in graduation (45% for reserved categories) from a recognised university.


Institute of Public Enterprise, Hyderabad

2 years full-time

2 years fulltime PGDM Biotechnology


Padmashree Dr. D.Y. Patil University

2 years full-time

2 years fulltime MBA Biotechnology (MBA-BT)


University Business School, Punjab University

2 years full-time

2 years fulltime Master of Business Administration (Biotechnology)

Selection Process Fees Rs 65000 (first year fee for open category), Rs 32500 (first year fee for Backward class category)

Rs 1.59 Lakh (first year fee for the nonsponsored candidate), Rs 2.38 Lakh (first year fee for the sponsored candidate) NA

Bachelors Degree or Masters Degree from any recognised University with minimum 50% marks in aggregate (45% in case of SC / ST candidate)  Aptitude Test + Rs 3.65 Lakh Group tests + 2 rounds of personal interviews

CAT / MAT / XAT Rs 2.25 Lakh p.a. / ATMA / JMET / CMAT of AICTE / GPAT / IRMA or State level entrance examinations like MH-CET, PGECET etc. + GD & PI Candidates must hold a Bachelors Degree, CAT/MAT/ATMA/ Rs. 6,50,000 for with at least 50% marks or equivalent XAT/GMAT/ 2 years. CGPA (45% in case of SC/ST/PC CMAT + GD + PI candidates), of any of the universities or declared to be deemed as a university or possess an equivalent qualification recognised by the Ministry of HRD, Government of India. Bachelors Degree in any discipline The eligible NA with minimum 50% marks with special candidates have to preference to B.Sc/ B.Tech/ B.Pharm/ take an entrance M.B.B.S/ BAMS/ BHMS/ BDS & All exam called the India Entrance test. DYPDBM after which there is a GD and PI. A Bachelors Degree in Biological Sciences, CAT + GD +PI NA i.e., Biology, Botany, Microbiology, Zoology, Biochemistry, Biophysics, Genetics, Pharmacy, Biotechnology, Veterinary Sciences, BE/B.Tech (Biotechnology), B.Sc. (Bioinformatics), MBBS, BDS, and BE (Informatics) with not less than 50% marks in the aggregate. Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


CAREER WATCH In Focus issues, hence education and experience in both biotechnology and business is needed. A consultant comes into the picture when a company lacks the expertise of the personnel to handle a task or an issue. They may help in areas such as environmental, safety, health and technology. A consultant may offer services in deciding an equipment or tools to be purchased for manufacturing, introducing new product (medical devices, drugs, etc.) or technologies. They may either work for a consulting firm or may be self-employed. Some of the clients for whom they work are private companies, hospitals, laboratories, research organisations, universities, non-profit organisations and government agencies.

Choices Galore

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Before you make your choice, it is important to know the different career paths available in the biotech industry. For a graduate student: If you aim to understand how the commercial aspect of the product works and to lead the innovation to the market, then


For international programmes, one needs to do a proper research and make sure the school has a good ranking. a management program is the right choice. You may look at programmes like MBA Biotechnology in India or alternately look at programmes offered abroad such as MBA Biotech/ Healthcare or a dual degree programme such as MS-MBA Biotech. For biotech professional/technical professional: It is not uncommon to find M.Sc/MS professionals after getting some years of work experience in technical area opting for an MBA. These professionals do so as they find the business side of the

work more exciting. Many research professionals who want to move into the leadership roles opt for dual degree programmes such as PhD with an MBA Biotechology. As one moves up the ladder, the professional is expected to acquire business acumen, managerial and leadership skills. One may be an expert in understanding the biotechnology products but the business world needs return on an investment, therefore, understanding of business is valuable even for a scientist, as a scientist may have to make certain business decisions. Business acumen and training can help in filling these gaps. Biotechnology MBA is the programme for such individuals as it teaches them management and its application in biotech and related industries. Internationally, option of pursuing a PhD with an MBA is available. If you already have a doctorate and are working at a senior position then you may even opt for an executive MBA programme offered by top institutes abroad. For international programmes one needs to make sure that the school has a good ranking. Another aspect is whether to opt for a oneyear or two-year programme. A one-year programme are generally not able to dedicate enough time to the common MBA subjects and the area of specialisation as the term has a limited time period. Whereas, a two-year programme dedicates sufficient time for the general MBA in first year and then moves on to the specialisation course in the second year. MBA Biotech programme should be selected by those who want to work only in biotech/pharma or related industries. A positive facet to MBA Biotech is that since this programme is comparatively new the scores required for entry in a better school may be lower than the other management programmes. This adds one more reason to look only at the best institutes in the country or abroad. Beena Hemanshu is a qualified psychologist. She works as a career development professional who has spent more than 15 years guiding students and young professionals in making suitable career choices.

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


MBA BUZZ Special Report

People Management With awareness of importance of human capital, trained executives are being hired for effective management and development of workforce. Paromita


comply with state laws and labourlaws. HR personnel are alsoexpected to have a sound understanding of local cultural practices and expectations. Opting for a course in HR will give you a better understanding of the employment process and the various issues which an HR manager faces.

Understanding the potential of HR

Broadly, Human Resource Management can be categorised as specialists and generalists. While an HR specialist might focus on any particular domain like recruitment, training, pay roll and so on, a generalist will multitask without focusing on any one particular task. HR

generalists are more suitable for smaller organisations where the HR team size will be of around 3-5 members whereas for relatively bigger organisations the roles of HR personnel becomes more specific and there are specialists who handle specialised areas. A professional degree in HR will train you to become a specialist even though you might start as a generalist and then decide your domain of interest based on your aptitude. Unlike other functions, in HR the jobs are not very industry specific and it is comparatively easier to switch industry. With lot of new HR concepts and innovations emerging these days, you can look at lucrative growth

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he Human Resources Management (HRM) function typically encompasses a plethora of functions like recruitment, training and development of employees, thereby managing the human capital of the organisation. Here is an insight into Human Resource Management as a plausible career option. HRM is fundamentally an organisational function that deals with people related issues such as compensation, hiring, performance management, organisation development, employee wellness and safety, compensation benefits, employee motivation, communication, administration, and training. An experience in HR will help you understand about the best practices in hiring and training. HR will also handle personnel issues, employee termination, and employee relations and ensure that c o m p a n y p o l i c i e s


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

Special Report MBA BUZZ opportunities across industries. With multinational organisations increasingly expanding their global footprints, the role of Human Resources department within an organisation is gaining importance and plays a strategic role in managing today’s diverse workforce, both geographically and culturally. If managing people is where your interest lies, it would be worthwhile to pursue an MBA in HR from a reputed institute. Human resources enable an organisation to build its knowledge base and competencies through its employees. This is definitely not an easy task; in fact managing people is one of the most complicated tasks one can undertake. It is the responsibility of the human resources managers to ensure that the most important resource of any organisation – the human resource is taken care of. Most organisations realise the importance of its human capital and therefore the human resource personnel in any division plays a pivotal role. Optimal utilisation of workforce across departments to increase productivity is a key challenge these days, especially for companies with a huge and diverse workforce. Therefore it becomes imperative to have trained professionals who can understand how to manage people in these dynamic economic conditions, attract the best human resources, nurture their talent and most importantly retain valuable employees. HR is the key to building long-term capability of an organisation. The idea that HR is just another support function within an organisation has undergone a paradigm shift in the past few years. Increasingly, the senior and top management of organisations perceive HR as a critical function for the overall success of an organisation. With growing awareness about the importance of a company’s human capital, companies are hiring trained human resource executives for effective management and development of their workforce. This realisation has led to the growth of human resource management as a popular discipline and most prominent B-Schools offer HR

as a specialisation. This fast growing lucrative field is also attracting young talent and the projected numbers of HR jobs are bound to increase substantially.


To meet the rising demands of HR professionals, there is definitely a need for a structured and comprehensive course like an MBA in HRM which will offer the best training for a career in HR. According to one of the SIBM alumni, Ritika Malik, “A course in HR will equip students with appropriate skill sets and provide holistic knowledge base to carry out their jobs efficiently in the HR domain. These courses provide a strong foundation to meet your career goals and expedite your growth.” The objective of these courses is to develop HR managers with strong leadership skills, communication skills and ability to work in teams with an ethical and disciplined approach. Most of these programs have courses related to a general MBA in the first year and HR related courses in the second year of the program. Typically the courses in a two year MBA program are classified as core and elective courses. In the first year of the two-year management program, the core subjects included in the curriculum are compulsory for all students. While the courses on HR which are taught in the first year are more general in nature, the advanced courses are introduced in the second year for students opting for HR as their specialisation. As an HR student, the MBA program will train you on strategic issues that are related to people

management so that HR strategies can be integrated with the overall business strategy. A course in HR will include subjects such as:  Human Resource Management  Training and Development  Managing Organisational Change  Employment Law  Staffing Strategy  Benefits  Compensation  Human Resource Planning

Essentially an MBA in HR combines the basics of a generic MBA program with specialised human resource management training such as mediation, planning, recruitment and labour relations. An HR manager should have sound knowledge about HR related topics as well as business related subjects to effectively integrate HR strategies with company’s business plans. For instance the course offered by Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur focuses on subjects like Human Resource Planning, Human Resource Information Systems, Selection, Performance Management, Training and Development, Compensation Administration and provides valuable insights on nurturing harmonious employer - employee relationships in the framework of state regulations. This program has produced some of the top HR professionals in the industry today and after graduating from this esteemed institute you can look for working in areas like Human Resources Development, Personnel Management, Industrial Relations, Labour Welfare and other related areas. This being a specialised program doesn’t offer any further specialisation. Realising the growing potential of HR and the need for good HR related programs in the country, Xavier Labour Relations Institute(XLRI), Jamshedpur in conjunction with Accenture launched the Accenture and XLRI HR Academy, a training academy dedicated to the human capital management needs focused on the technology and Business Process Outsourcing industries. This alliance pioneered the industry-academia partnership Image courtesy:google and was possibly the first Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


MBA BUZZ Special Report Sr. Institute No. 1 XLRI




MBA with HR as specialisation

2 years full time



MA in Human Resource Management and Labour Relations

2 years full time



MBA with HR as specialisation

2 years full time



Post graduate Programme in Human Resource Management

18 months full time


IMT Ghaziabad


2 years full time

Personnel 2 years Management & full time Industrial Relations (PM & IR)

entity of its kind in India dedicated to providing recent graduates seeking careers in HR with specialised skills catering to these industries.This is a 24-month program for recent university graduates who have joined Accenture as trainees in the HR department. The program comprises 15 learning modules covering a variety of HR-related topics, including training and development, career and performance management, rewards and compensation, organisational behaviour, as well as the financial and legal aspects of HR. Successful trainees would receive the Accenture and XLRI joint certification in human capital management.

B-Schools in India

Let’s look at some of the HR related courses offered by the premium B Schools in the country: (Insert the table from the spread sheet HRinsti.xls)

Job Outlook

HR is a rewarding career option and especially if you have a sound understanding of psychology,


Duration Pedagogy

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

The PMIR course is the oldest and the most prestigious of the Institute's teaching programmes. Ranked as the best programme in India and the Asia-Pactific region, it aims to equip the students with the knowledge and skills required for managing HR in a way that contributes to the development of individuals and organisations. HR is offered as a specialisation in the second year. The curiculum focuses on participatory learning - combining lectures, case studies, projects, games and outdoor sessions for overall development of students. HR specialisation focuses on Human resource Planning and Contemporary Regulatory and Legal Environment. The programme aims to adopt theoretical as well as hands-on learning. It is one of the best courses in the country today and is designed to develop students into professionally competent and socially sensitive management graduates, fully equipped to take on the challenges of the corporate world. Focuses on Performance Management system, Balance score cards, Competency Mapping, Training and Development,Labour Laws & Industrial relations. The programme focuses on developing business managers rather than HR managers and is dedicated to developing capabilities in three domains: knowledge, skill and attitude. It is interactive and participative involving role modeling and fieldwork, case studies, business games, role-plays, simulation exercises, group discussions, and structured and unstructured group work. Teaching methodology encompasses a combination of case studies, seminars, simulations and group projects. These along with other training tools optimise learning and management skills.

sociology, leadership, body language, communication skills and teamwork. As a human resource manager you will play an integral and diverse role in the overall success of the organisation and therefore it is important to understand the legality of hiring, training and disciplining employees. You will be required to handle all people related issues in the organisation including complex issues which arise during mergers and acquisitions. Some of the responsibilities handled by the human resource team include: l Identifying skill sets and competencies for the vacant positions l Conducting interviews to assess candidates l Train new employees and onboarding l Pay roll processing l Compensation benefit analysis In large corporations the director of human resources supervises several departments each of which will be managed by an experienced HR specialist who has specialised in that specific activity such as employment,

placement , learning and development, labour laws etc. Recruiters while hiring HR personnel look for certain specific qualities such as: l Strategic acumen l Communication skills l Organisational skills l Negotiation l Mentorship Most organisations today prefer MBA in HR for their HR related functions and most candidates from reputed institutes are recruited on campus at varying levels depending on the nature of the job. The concept of people management and leadership is undergoing radical change with the emergence of new industries with their characteristic requirements. HR these days works in tandem with the business goals of the organisation and even the board of directors or key decision makers have a representation from HR. HR division has evolved over the years and is no longer a mere recruitment handling function and there is a lot of value addition which HR can do to the overall business.

Special Report MBA BUZZ

An Overview, and Marketing as a Specialisation

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Entry to an MBA college has become the key mantra to fuel the career growth and several specialisations in the field have completely revamped the game.

Sangheetha Chakrapani


n MBA is a powerful multidisciplinary tool that brings people across a wide range of disciplines under one umbrella. The Master of Business Administration or M.B.A. is a master’s degree in business administration that basically applies a scientific approach to management. Today, leading corporate houses in India and across the world have human resource recruitment drives to get the cream of M.B.A graduates into their system. The MBA first emerged in the USA as a response to massive industrialisation and the need to formulate a logical and scientific method of management. A few decades ago, engineering and production

were the flavour of the season with extreme importance given to the quality and quantity of the manufacturing process. Today, production has been tightly streamlined to the extent that on the job training is sufficient to take one through. Finance and taxation expertise that once was much sought after is not so anymore with sophisticated software packages and taxation laws that have been greatly simplified. Management Information Systems-M.I.S made its entry in the 80s with senior managers working to use and present information to the best advantage. MIS technology in the present scenario gets maximum results at a fraction of the time that was once taken. The field of human

resources has burgeoned in this last decade. Marketing and evolving along with your customer is a hot property area in the present environment.

Why M.B.A.?

It is therefore understood that in today’s world of multi-faceted and diversified companies, managers need to have a knowledge base that straddles several fields. That’s where an M.B.A. comes in because it helps you understand the structure and nature of a business. A management degree gives you competence over core business areas like marketing and understanding of the hugely important HR portfolio. The opportunity to create an impressive peer group and be able to network Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


MBA BUZZ Special Report

Image courtesy:google

with corporate influencers through one’s career is another advantage that the MBA gives you. With over 300 Fortune 500 companies in India and still more to come, the MBA gives you a professional edge that will stay with you always. Most companies consider MBA an entry-level qualification while ordinary graduaters face the risk of professional stagnation after reaching the middle level. Various important business areas are expounded under the MBA banner giving students a comprehensive yet divergent understanding of how companies are managed; accounting, finance, marketing, human resources, operations management, etc. In the second year of study, students have the choice of converging onto an area of specialisation. Areas of specialisation include accounting, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, international business, management science, marketing, operations management, organisational behavior, project management, real estate, and strategy. There are accredited universities in India and worldwide that offer the MBA programme. This is offered in multiple forms to make the course accessible to people from varying backgrounds. The different kinds of MBA offered include a two year full time course, accelerated MBA with minimal ‘down time’, part-time MBA that have evening or weekend classes, executive MBA for managers and executives and distance learning MBA programmes.


Apart from test results, work experience, academic records and performance in group discussion/ interview are taken into account. In India most institutions offer admission to their MBA programme based on the results of the CAT (Common Admission Test) and the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) test. Apart from CAT/GMAT results, other parameters taken into account are work experience, academic records and performance in the group discussion/personal interview. There are more than 1500 business schools in India that cater to both graduates and students with work experience. Some of the prominent business schools include the Indian Institutes of Management, SP Jain, SCHMRD, NMIMS, IIFT, ISB Hyderabad, MDI Gugaon, FMS Delhi, XLRI, Welingkar etc An MBA qualification is considered one of the best ways of getting an

edge in today’s competitive job market. On employment, management graduates stand a far better chance of being groomed for taking up higher responsibilities. During business school, students are trained in strategising, making presentations and also intern with respected organisations. An MBA background proves useful when one starts his/her own enterprise. The knowledge base helps in running one’s own business and gives credibility.

Let’s talk Colleges

While the IIMs are the most aspired for institutions, there are approximately 1500 business schools in India. How does one go about choosing the best alma mater? Find out if the B-school offers a wide range of opportunities to intern with an exposure to industry leaders. Check out the expertise of the faculty with old students. Learn about the environment and atmosphere of the college to know if it meets your individual student needs. Leading business schools offer students a diploma or a degree depending on the university affiliation. IIM offers a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management while institutes like JBIMS affiliated to Mumbai University offer MMS-masters in Management Studies. Where your institute is located is not of great importance as prospective employers land up at the doorstep of reputed business schools, wherever they may be located. However, for those studying in the second and third tier of business schools, it may be useful if a commercial hub is close by to enable easy contact with prospective employers. Students must be aware that specialisations in MBA have now gone beyond the typical lot of finance, systems etc. Certain business schools offer specialisations in singular fields such as health care management, rural management, advertising, fashion technology etc. Explore all your options to make sure that you make the best and most appropriate choice.

MBA with Marketing

The specialisation that MBA students take up in the second year of the course eventually helps in making important Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

career choices. One of the most sought after courses in specialisation is marketing. People in this field have been able to transition from sales/training to the managerial cadre faster in comparison to other fields of specialisation. A marketing specialisation with an MBA degree grooms students for leadership positions in the field of marketing and advertising. The degree teaches how to capture customers and understand their changing needs, manage the sales environment and handle distribution and international marketing. Branding, research and consumer behaviour are studied and analysed in business school. Students learn about modern marketing skills You will be able to expand your experience with branding, research, and consumer behavior. Internship with a variety of organisations equips students with the know how to handle their work responsibilities with confidence. The curriculum at MBA colleges include know how of sales tactics, research and analysis, the different types of sales, the significance of closure etc. Students also learn brand promotion techniques, the use of media in product launches and promotions and event management. The present day marketing curriculum at MBA colleges includes digital and online marketing. Marketing students are also trained in retail planning, studying marketing trends, management of the supply chain etc. Management graduates with marketing specialisation have myriad opportunities once they hit the job market. The positions offered range across marketing manager, brand manager, market research analyst etc. Those who are competent in financial skills can opt for careers in strategic or market related planning. Advertising agencies also offer substantial job opportunities to the management graduate with a marketing background.

Product and Brand Managers

Project managers assume responsibility for the commercial viability and market growth of a product line. They monitor and oversee a host of functions in a business to ensure that the product

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Special Report MBA BUZZ

reaches the market on schedule. The responsibilities of a product manager could be either domestic, international or even both. Product managers if competent can ascend the corporate ladder to head marketing for the entire business.

New Product Specialists


Many businesses hire professionals who will be dedicated to developing and launching new products. Managing the new product communication, launching and implementing a marketing plan, communication plan and eventually handing over the new product for further maintenance activities are a part of this portfolio.

MBA Marketing teaches techniques to capture customers’attention, understand their changing needs, and manage the sales environment.

Marketing Managers

As a marketing manager, you would be doing a lot of work similar to a product manager. However, your responsibilities would extend to maintaining and nourishing a long term relationship with your customers. Your work portfolio would include international marketing, customer satisfaction and retention, market strategy, and emerging technologies. A high pressure job, you can ascend to the top most rung of the corporate ladder if found deserving.

Account Specialists


An account manager works with advertising agencies and is responsible for developing the brand and communication strategy/execution. It is a highly energetic and challenging role. You could be the reason for a brand to make a complete turnaround and achieve overnight success. There’s a lot of scope for those who choose to be today’s marketers. For those who want a career that is literally on the edge, this is where they should be. The competition is tough, the pace is unbelievably fast and the rules are constantly changing. According to a modern day legend ‘You can’t just ask customers what they want and then try to give that to them. By the time you get it built, they’ll want something new’. Steve Jobs. Advanc’edge MBA April 2012



The Knowledge Pool Tracking business and financial market for latest updates would enable you to reap benefits of a better oversight for financial planning initiatives.

Atasi Das


Image courtesy:google

eing generally knowledgeable has its benefits in every sphere of life. In India, with a relatively small formal sector, the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) account for a large portion of the manufacturing sector output and there is an urgent need for innovation and knowledge dissemination regarding technology, finance and market linkages amongst the SMEs. In the initial days of the Green Revolution,


proper knowledge diffusion amongst the farming community had enabled India to become a self sufficient nation in food production from being a net importer of food grains. Being knowledgeable also serves a host of other interrelated purposes. You can effortlessly contribute to a decision at workplace, when you are a part of broad strategic planning, as you tend to have some idea about the issues facing society at large.

In addition to that, knowing and following the ongoing business and financial markets for latest updates would enable you to reap the benefits of a better oversight for financial planning initiatives. For new entrants at the workforce, it is especially important to have a precise knowledge of the promising sectors in the economy which will be generating jobs in the future. Being generally knowledgeable can help people to better convince others to motivate them to work in a new direction and is essential for honing one’s leadership and entrepreneurial skills; it helps one to develop a vision for the future and induces strategic planning in business ventures. Generally knowledgeable people make use of facts, information or skills on a regular basis. The culture of knowledge sharing amongst peer groups and organisations is vital for upping the general knowledgeability quotient of an individual. The key focus should be on comprehending, acquiring, relating and transferring knowledge. To build up a culture of knowledge sharing school curriculum must support children in their bid to pick up new skills.

What is General Knowledge?

General knowledge, the very term signifies that it is not specific knowledge, in other words it is not limited to any specific Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

SUCCESS STREET discipline; it covers the whole gamut of information about diverse disciplines like Economy, Geography, History, Polity, Science, Sports and Miscellaneous issues. Current Affairs, an important subset of General Knowledge comprises information about the general flow of events worldwide and is most easily gathered through the regular reading of newspapers, periodicals, related magazines and Television and radio news updates. General Knowledge and Current Affairs in India may involve information about the States, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Nuclear Research Centers, Famous Places, Survey Institutions, and Stock Exchanges, Heritage structures, Major Events and Eminent personalities in public life. General knowledge also includes information about the standard global abbreviations, and specific commemorative days like the Earth Day, Women’s Day etc.

The Perks

A good grasp of general knowledge comes handy in case of recruitments interviews or academic qualifying tests and can considerably augment your success quotient and employability skills. In the corporate world employability is a function of variables like academics, general abilities and corporate know-how. Employability refers to a person’s capability of gaining initial employment, maintaining employment, and obtaining new employment if required and depends on the knowledge, skills and attitude of the incumbents. Industry looks for a varied mix of skills, abilities, capabilities and competencies in potential hires, depending on the business it is in. Industry looks for multi skilled individuals and therein arises the issue of the skill gap. The nine factors which determine the employability skill set in India are Attitude, Business Ethics, Grooming/ Confidence, Communication Skills, General Awareness, Basic Managerial Skills (Leadership, Teamwork, Time Management etc.), Basic Sales and Customer Service, Domain Knowledge and relevant Work Experience. To unlock India’s much


A student can gain a major edge over other participants in MBA entrance exams, especially in group discussions, if he/she is armed with updated information. talked of demographic dividend we need to augment the employability skills set of the job aspirants in India. In MBA entrance exams being generally knowledge based can give you the right edge over other participants especially in group discussions. It is advisable to incorporate a special paper on General Knowledge and Current Affairs in the school curriculum towards promoting a holistic development of the students and making them job market friendly.

How to collect the knowledge?

Some of the most common and easy ways of gathering General Knowledge are listed below: l Newspapers l Magazines l Standard Subject Text books for Class X l GK books l Online examination specific general knowledge resources l Television and Radio news coverage General knowledge, especially current affairs being an ever changing field: what is advised for students is a regular follow-up. The logic being that stored knowledge, if selected and applied to solve current perceptual problems will decrease the time for active processing of kinetic intelligence. Some easy habits can speed up the pace of picking up some interesting general knowledge and life saving skills.

Learn on a daily basis. Every new skill you pick up adds to your general knowledge. Make a point to learn something new as often as possible and then apply what you learned as soon as possible. l Pick an area of study and then research the topic. If possible, take classes or attend seminars or find a mentor to teach the concerned subject. l Share your knowledge by teaching others, writing papers, hosting seminars or participating in events like Knowledge Bowls. l Look for different experiences outside your comfort zone. A new experience can help you take a new look at an old experience l Ask questions and ensure that you fully understand the subject that you are learning.


In today’s fast moving world, India is striving hard to emerge as the knowledge hub of Asia. World Bank defines a knowledge economy as one that “creates, disseminates, and uses knowledge to enhance its growth and development”. To foster the spread of knowledge across the population, analysts feel that it is high time for India to involve policy makers, domain experts, industry representatives, academicians, consultancy firms and global think tanks to chalk out a roadmap for attaining a higher trajectory through knowledge driven initiatives. Such initiative should reach the grassroots of the country. At the micro level, towards perpetuating the trend of being generally knowledgeable, we can say that training oneself to gather a regular update of the happenings in the world around us can arm us with a fair amount of general knowledge. As Swami Vivekananda had rightfully said, “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man” and we hope that proper education embracing within it the scope of general knowledge will help the Indian youth to reach their full potential and the country its demographic dividend. Atasi Das is a freelance Business Journalist.

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


SUCCESS STREET Management Education – getting highest ROI Soon many of you would be entering the hallowed portals of a management institute. Two years, a lot of money, and a career spanning 4 decades. Management education is not just a degree; it is a major investment of life; something that will define the course of your life forever. It is important to know at this stage how to get the maximum returns on the investment you are making. People prepare a lot for MBA entrance tests. However, once they do manage to get through a good institute, very few of them ever seek clarity on why they are doing an MBA, what are they supposed to do in the MBA, and how should make the choices that will stand the test of time. Most MBA’s I have met go through this education like sheep in a herd – eyes closed, following a trend, without any specific agenda or plan. And then, after 15 or 20 years in the career, they look back, and wonder why did it not really work out, where did they go wrong. I have seen this happen even to a number of my classmates at IIM-A. It is important to get sensitized to these very important choices you would make in near future. You are going to begin life with a new verve, a new energy. You are going to define the course of your organisations, and hence the future of this nation. I want you to be conscious of the choices your make, the things you do in these two critical years of your life. At MISB Bocconi, Career Development Service supports the students in making the right choices which fit in with the student’s own strengths, as well their long-term goals. I am sharing with you 3 things that I believe would make a difference to you throughout your life, your career. 1. Be the reference in at least one field 2. Work as if you have achieved nothing yet 3. Understand yourself first, then make your career choice I have discovered them as I built many organisations over the last 20 years, and have distilled my experiences into these 3 core ideas.


Be the REFERENCE in at least one field Now that you will do an MBA program, it will topple everything that you have stood for thus far. Engineers will struggle with subjects like accounts and HR. Commerce students would seem like demi-gods to them. Non-engineers would be in awe of the quantitative skills of their engineering counterparts. Basically everyone would get equated to the same base level. Most of you who have been toppers in your respective classes throughout your life, will find yourself in the middle, or perhaps even near the bottom tier of the class. This will be a big dent to your self-confidence. I urge you to be the REFERENCE in at least one field. Choose your strong suit. When anyone in yourinstitute wants to know about that subject, your name should come up. You will be the point of Reference for this subject. Then this could be accounting or marketing, or this could well be playing the drums or the guitar. I assure you even after 20 years your classmates would recognize you for that. When at times you are down and out, this single thing that you really excelled in would pull you up. It may actually help you make a mark in the industry, but more importantly this will be a very fulfilling pursuit for you.


WORK as if you have achieved nothing yet I would like you to absorb that your Work is not over as yet. For most people, MBA is the final frontier of studies. You begin dreaming of the fat salaries and quick money. So there is a tendency to get relaxed. This is a wrong notion. Your work has just begun. A good MBA programwould have 30 to 35 new subjects. The pace is hectic. If you slip once, itbecomes difficult to catch up. Plus there is casework, project work, networking and self-grooming, which are also critical. This is the not the final frontier, this is just the beginning of your journey towards a successful career.The character and ethics of work you build here would give a solid foundation when you begin working. These are the values that take you far in your career. Your career would last almost 3 times longer than your entire student life, and you would be building it step-bystep, day-by-day, and piece-by-piece. Ultimately all these pieces would come together only if you have developed in yourself the ability to work hard everyday, even in the face of adversity, boredom and challenge. Let me also tell you that while most organisations today say that they do not care about grades in an MBA school, secretly they absolutely do care about your performance. After all it is difficult to write off the toppers. At Bocconi,

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

SUCCESS STREET there is a war amongst students wanting to go for an exchange semester to other top business schools like Wharton, Columbia and Northwestern. And guess what is the criterion – your grades. Understand YOURSELF, and make your choice of specialization In a management program you have to specialize in some area – and this choice impacts your entre career.So what best helps you decide your area of specialization? The answer is quite elementary – Knowing Your Own Self, and then deciding the correct fit. Not through herd mentality or flavor of the season. Sample this. Consulting is often considered the top job in the world. Everyone wants to get a job in McKinsey or Accenture or BCG. But few know, even after attending the best schools, what a consulting job really entails. Few are aware that the burn-rate of consultants is as high as 65% within the first 10 years. Then many students want to specialize in Marketing. Fresh joinees often confuse Marketing only with Branding. Fact is that 90% of the so-called Marketing jobs are actually Sales and Distribution jobs. This causes dissonance, and they end up leaving the first job disheartened and confused within the first year of joining. Banking and Finance is oftenconsidered esoteric and desirable. It can be a high paying career. But one must again understand one’s penchant for a finance function. Make this choice very carefully after understanding what life in a bank or finance department is. Manufacturing and Operations specialization is often considered the poor man’s choice. Now let me give you some food for thought. A Manufacturing job provides you with the highest quality of life, sustained growth and greatest knowledge aggregation over your career. So as you can see, any career choice can be exciting – but it really depends upon what you are made for. What is it that you would really like to do? Where do you think you would excel, and perhaps one day open your own firm, become an entrepreneur. I urge you not to go for the flavor of the season. If your strengths match your choice, you will perform the best and you will perform in the long run. Remember, life is not a sprint, it is a marathon. About the Author: Ravi Saxena is an engineer and MBA from IIMA. Over the last 20 years he has built over 10 businesses as CEO/MD of major MNC organisations and is now the CEO of MISB Bocconi in Mumbai.


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


CORPORATE WORLD Business Analysis

Decoding Labyrinth: Vedanta Resources With Vedanta diversified across mining, metals, oil and gas, and power, it became extremely difficult for shareholders to control their investments. Dr Suresh Srinivasan

Current Structure of Vedanta’s Indian Operations

With the UK-based parent company Vedanta Resources plc. cross-holding shares in various companies with diversified business interests, the group structure has become significantly complicated. Vedanta Resources plc, independently holds shares in various group companies, across sectors. It directly holds equity interest in Konkola Copper Mines located in Zambia (around 80% shareholding), Cairn Energy (40%, oil and gas sector), Sesa Goa (55%, iron ore), Madras Aluminum (95%, Aluminum and power), Sterlite Industries (55%, Aluminum) and Vedanta Aluminum (70%, Aluminum). Sterlite again holds shares in various other companies like Bharat Aluminum, Hindustran Zinc, Australian Copper Mines and many others in the mining and power sectors. To complicate the


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

structure further, Sterlite crossholds shares in Vedanta Aluminum and Sesa Goa does the same in Cairn Energy. Sterlite is the largest company in size and Sesa Goa the second. Cairn, which was recently acquired, is also by no means small in terms of size. With the Vedanta group diversified across mining, metals, oil and gas, and power spread across geographies, it became extremely difficult for the shareholders at the Vedanta Resources plc. level to control their investments and ensure every rupee invested secures an acceptable return on investment. Especially, with the external environment being extremely dynamic and customer requirements changing rapidly, one of the key profit divers for companies is to evolve an appropriate organisational

structure and position managers in a way that issues flow from bottom to top and responsive decisions flow from top to bottom, in a timely manner. With corporations becoming larger in size, it often becomes difficult to keep in tune with the external environment. The group size of Vedanta has become complicated with group revenue getting close to Rs.80,000 crore and the overall group pre-tax profitability at more than Rs.10,000 crore. It was felt that a major restructuring was inevitable; the overall objective of the restructuring being the following: (i) The Group headed by Anil Agarwal primarily wanted to ensure that the shareholding and management structure be simplified and streamlined so that focused

All images courtesy:google


edanta Resources plc. is a United Kingdom (UK) headquartered company and is a major player in the field of metals and minerals. The Vedanta Group primarily operates out of India but has operations around the world, including Australia and Africa. Core products are iron ore and aluminum, but the group has over a period acquired a series of business interests that cover copper, zinc, silver and lead. The group recently forayed into oil and gas through acquisition of Cairn’s Indian operations. The group also has invested substantially in power projects.


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


All images courtesy:google

CORPORATE WORLD Business Analysis

Anil Agarwal, chairman Vedanta Resources plc. leadership responsibilities can be assigned to managers with specific responsibility to secure return on investments from each sector. (ii) Secondly, the structure needed modifications so that related or similar operations are grouped under selected companies, so that the consolidated operations are able to use the fixed costs better, reducing idle capacity and at the same time better utilising the capacity of assets and thereby securing a higher level of asset utilisation across the group. (iii) Further, when Vedanta Resources acquired Cairn’s Indian operations it had to resort to a large amount of borrowing which pushed Vedanta’s debt close to US$10 billion. Since some of the group activities under specific companies were generating higher cash-flow while certain other activities were in early stages of investments and thereby consuming more cash, Vedanta needed to push down the debt to the level of the subsidiary companies so that debt servicing (interest and principal repayments) becomes comfortable.

Proposed Structure

To simplify the overall structure, Anil Agarwal has merged two of the largest companies Sesa Goa and Sterlite into a consolidated company Sesa Sterlite


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and transferred all other companies as subsidiaries under Sesa Sterlite. In essence, the only shareholding of Vedanta Resources plc. in India would be 58% in Sesa Sterlite and all other operations of the Vedanta group including that of Cairn will become subsidiaries to Sesa Sterlite. The only additional holding of Vedanta Resources plc. would be the 79% shareholding in Konkola Copper Mines, deliberately kept out of the restructuring considering the area of operations. Post restructuring Sesa Sterlite is expected to emerge as a global natural resources giant, becoming the third largest natural resources company in India after Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) and Reliance. It will be one of the top fifteen companies in India in terms of market capitalisation. It would also become the seventh largest mining company in the world.

Benefits Of Revised Structure

(1) The merged entity, Sesa Sterlite, will primarily operate as four divisions iron ore, copper smelting, aluminum, and power. So, with four separate heads taking responsibility for each of these divisions, it gives a great level of comfort to the shareholders ensuring that focused leadership will work towards securing a return on investments. Focused leadership will also strive to grow their individual businesses over the future and

position their divisions as best in class. This would not have been possible if this restructuring was not put through. (2) Although the businesses have become focused, the group as a whole is a diversified conglomerate present in many sectors which have different pattern of cyclicality. This means by bringing all of them together the overall business becomes countercyclical, meaning when the growth in one business is down the growth in the other business is up, thereby balancing the overall revenue and profits at the Vedanta group level. This is a major step towards risk reduction. (3) Moving all entities including Cairn under Sesa Sterlite has also moved the large levels of debt from Vedanta Resources plc. level to the Sesa Sterlite level. Since all other businesses with good level of cash flow have also been moved here, the ability of Sesa Sterlite to service its debt commitments, as they fall due, becomes easier.The rating agency Moody’s has already downgraded Vendanta due to its high level of debt but the proposed restructure could give some marginal relief. (4) The combined scale will allow Vedanta to foray into coal business, which is currently lacking in its portfolio. Coal presents a significant opportunity as India is seriously short of the resource. (5) Bringing most of the activities under one company generates synergy to the extent of Rs.1,000 crore per annum. Further, some of the companies have been incurring loss, with accumulated losses close to Rs.5,000 crore, and consolidating them under Sesa Sterlite will help reduce overall taxes paid by the group significantly. However, the minority shareholders have not been very happy with this consolidation, more specifically with the share exchange ratio that has been offered to implement this consolidation. Such a large consolidation will definitely raise certain sore points from some quarters, but if the management is able to reap the synergies that are envisaged from this restructuring the shareholders would be more than happy.

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The Economic Survey 2011-12:

State of India’s economic health

The report paints a positive picture for the years ahead; it is assessed that momentum will pick up to 7.6% during 2012-13 and 8.6% in 2013-14. Dr Suresh Srinivasan


day before the Union Budget for 2012-13, the Economic Survey for the current fiscal year, i.e. 2011-12, depicting the economic health of the nation was released. It provides a complete status of the key economic parameters of the country and also assesses the potential risks, including that of the external environment. On the day before the Union Budget, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) also announced its plan spelling out the monetary policy that would appropriately handle the current economic situation. A review of the Economic Survey 2011-12 and RBI’s credit policy is a must, ahead of appreciating the Union Budget 2012-13.

comes from the services sector, and industry and agriculture make up for the balance. The economic survey promises that the agriculture and services sectors are expected to perform well. The industry sector will fall short and grow at around 5%, due to lower investments but will improve further as the economy recovers. The slowing down of the Indian economy has largely been due to the global factors, especially the crisis in Europe and the slower than expected growth in the American economy, clubbed with higher domestic inflation, all resulting in a high interest rate regime that has eventually

slowed down investments in industrial activities. However, the economic policy report paints a more positive picture for the years ahead; it is assessed that the momentum will pick up to 7.6% during 2012-13 and 8.6% during 2013-14. In order to address the situation of reduced investments the report calls for adequate steps to be taken for deepening the domestic financial markets, including attracting long-term inflows from outside the country and dedicated funds that would go to finance infrastructure in the country. Indian economy has significantly grown over the last decade; its share

Economic Growth

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The economic growth for the current fiscal year 2011-12, in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), is estimated at 6.9%. This more or less equals the low growth rate experienced during 2008-09, being one of the worst affected years in the recent past, and is a significant drop compared to the years 2009-10 and 2010-11 when it was 8.4% for both the years. All of this goes to show the extent of challenges the Indian economy faced during the current fiscal year, both in terms of domestic issues and global uncertainties. In spite of the issues, India continues to be one of the fastest growing economies of the world. More than 50% of India’s GDP Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


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in the global GDP has also sharply increased. More importantly, India is closely correlated with the other key global economies and needs to be cautious about international developments. Being the fastest growing economy in the world, India also needs to be sensitive about climate change issues and should target economic growth more responsibly.

Crude Oil Impact, Inflation & Interest rates

Inflation has remained high during the fiscal year, but has shown clear signs of slowdown towards the yearend. International crude prices have also remained low over the year due to lower demand from developed economies. On this premise, RBI was expected to lower interest rates, as inflationary pressures were clearly expected to ease in coming months. By reducing interest rates RBI is facilitating to attract more investments and thereby increase the growth rate during the next two years to around 8%. But inflation continues to be a threat for the near term future as international crude oil price is showing signs of a steep increase due to developing geo-political crisis involving Iran and the rest of the developed world. If this develops into a full-blown crisis, India would be faced with the challenge of ‘low growth-high inflation’ situation for


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a much longer period. The crude prices are increasing also because of the higher growth rate recently being demonstrated by the American economy, which signals more demand for crude oil, which eventually will drive up the price. All of these will definitely result in petrol and diesel prices sharply increasing in the Indian market. This would result in escalation in inflation, which has to be tackled by increasing interest rates by the RBI through its monetary policy mechanism. So, increasing interest rates would hurt the future investment flow and again will make the task of achieving close to 8% growth rate for the next two years a daunting task. Liquidity has shown signs of improvement and the exchange rate of the Indian rupee seems to be more or less under control, at least for the short term. India’s foreign currency reserves have expanded further, although only marginally. In its latest credit policy RBI has not reduced interest rates, contrary to industry expectations, as inflation is easing. This has disappointed the industry and the markets, mainly due to the fact that this is a missed opportunity to spur growth through enhanced investments

Indian Fiscal Deficit

India’s biggest challenge is to control expenditure, or rather increase receipts, so that its fiscal deficit comes under control. For the first 10

months of 2011-12, the fiscal deficit remained substantially higher than the targeted full-year estimate. The fiscal deficit has almost ballooned over the last four years: from 2.7% of GDP in 2007-08 it increased to 6% in 2008-09 and further to 6.4% in 200910, and since then has marginally reduced to around 4.7% in 2010-11, and is likely to remain the same for 2011-12. Overall, 2012-13 may be more encouraging and Indian economy could get stronger, although the Reserve Bank of India has paused interest rates temporarily. A few rate cuts over the next few months may be inevitable, laying the path for a sharper growth. The encouraging news is the revival of economic growth in the United States over the last few weeks. If this continues the global economic situation and more specifically the Indian scenario could turn more attractive. But the geopolitical developments in the region, especially with Iran coming under focus, will hold the key for a healthy 2012-13. The politics has been a great dampener for India’s economic growth. The coalition politics and the response of UPA’s political allies such as Trinamool Congress to the Railway Budget 201213, especially the protest against the increase in the rail fares that has been proposed after ten years, is a serious letdown. This also shows the resistance that is likely to be encountered by the government in taking bold measures to fiscally consolidate the economy. Bold measures are required of the Union Budget 2012-13 to enhance receipts and curtail expenditure so that the fiscal deficit comes under control; all of these policy measures need not, and cannot, happen at one go, but a policy regime needs to be initiated that will steadily move the government’s efforts in this direction over the next few years. Dr Suresh Srinivasan is a Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant, MBA (Bradford Business School, UK) and PhD (in Corporate Strategy from IIT Madras). He has held senior positions in leading multinational corporations both in India and abroad for over 20 years. As a management consultant, he currently works closely with a number of domestic and multinational corporations in the areas of Strategy and Finance.


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Budget 2012-13: Shaken & stirred Falling victim to a shaky coalition government, the budget has not delivered anything substantial and bold enough to revive the sagging Indian economy. Dr Suresh Srinivasan

Budget Objectives

The objective of the Union Budget is primarily two-fold: (i) To announce the actual position of receipts, expenditure, and surplus/deficit for the current fiscal year 2011-12. (ii) Quantifying the proposed avenues of budgeted receipts, expenditure and the eventual surplus/deficit proposed for the following fiscal year 2012-13. It would be useful to review certain key budget terminologies in order to appreciate a budget document:


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Revenue Receipts

Around 70% to 80% of India’s revenue receipts are from taxes and the balance 20% to 30% from nontax revenue, including revenue from economic services such as railways and other industries. Corporate tax accounts for around 30% of the total receipts, and indirect taxes such as customs, sales tax and services tax account for around 30% of the total receipts. Personal income tax accounts for close to 2% of the total receipts. For maximising these receipts the government needs to develop appropriate policies that would be conducive for investments, both domestic and foreign

Revenue Expenditure

The country’s revenue expenditure is generally on agriculture (around 10%), maintaining the transport infrastructure, including railways (12%), payment of pensions (5%), administrative expenses (3%), servicing the government debt (48%), and the rest are related to science and technology and economic services. The excess of Revenue Expenditure over Revenue Receipts is called Revenue Deficit; if this

deficit is more the government needs to control its expenditure.

Capital Expenditure

This relates to all payouts which result in creation of assets or reduction in liabilities.It includes creation of social infrastructure such as education, healthcare, and physical infrastructure for housing, irrigation, law and order services and other economic services in the country. Capital expenditure is extremely important for making the country’s economy strong and sustainable so that such infrastructure would generate more revenue receipts in the future years and thereby reduce the Revenue Deficit for the future years. The excess of Total Expenditure (Revenue Expenditure plus Capital Expenditure) over Revenue Receipts is called the Fiscal Deficit, which means the government has fallen short of cash and it needs to borrow to meet such shortfall. Capital Receipts predominantly relate to the loans taken by the government in order to bridge the Fiscal Deficit.

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deally, the expectations from a Finance Minister to present a growth-oriented Union Budget 2012-13 were enormous, as the challenges facing the country are immense. Primarily, bold measures were expected that would go to enhance receipts and curtail expenditure and subsidies to bring fiscal deficit under control. Further, the capital expenditure and schemes to create a roadmap for infrastructure creation in the near future is critical, so that India’s revenue goes up in a sustainable manner, bringing the fiscal deficit under control.

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Union Budget 2012-13

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The Union Budget 2012-13, though lacking bold and radical reforms, has attempted to control the growing fiscal deficit. With the fiscal deficit for the year 2011-12 being close to 6% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the Finance Minister has targeted to reduce the same to 5.1% of GDP in 2012-13. But, realistically, it seems that this could end up being more, due to under provision in certain key expenditure heads like oil subsidies, optimistic income targets in sale of shares in public sector companies and sale of spectrum. However, the Finance Minister has rightly rolled back indirect taxes like excise duty and services tax cuts which were earlier introduced as a part of the ‘stimulus’ package; this has provided some relief in narrowing down the fiscal deficit projections in the current budget. Pranab Mookherjee announced that the fiscal deficit has increased to 5.9% of the GDP for 2011-12 and Finance Minister will be expected to marginally drop Pranab Mukherjee to 5.1% of GDP during the budget likely to be below expectations due to year 2012-13. 5.1% is still a very high fiscal deficit figure and is perceived that increase in various heads of indirect the government needs to target a much taxes. Customs duty on gold has been lower figure. Further, even achieving the 5.1% fiscal deficit target has a number of doubled to restrict import of gold. challenges, especially, since the growth Measures have been taken to allow and the revenue receipt targets are more airlines to borrow from foreign lenders on the optimistic side. It is also unlikely to tide over working capital shortages. The budget has not touched upon that the inflation could be contained at the levels planned. If these projections any compelling reforms which are are optimistic and the actuals turn out pressing requirements for economic much lower, the fiscal deficit for 2012- growth. Implementation of Goods 13 could go well past 6%, raising and Services Tax (GST) and Direct serious concerns on the health of the Taxes Code (DTC) has again slipped. No commitment has been provided to Indian economy. Has the budget created an ease Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) environment for higher growth? The limits in a number of sectors. A little answer is not very encouraging; it does focus in these initiatives could have not seem that the monetary policy cycle been conducive for higher growth and will be conducive for any drastic interest lower fiscal deficit in the coming years. rate reduction through 2012-13, thereby Increase in personal tax exemption depriving investments that could have limits has been marginal and seems only resulted in higher growth. Economic cosmetic; basic limit has been raised growth is expected to increase from from Rs.1.5 lakh to Rs.2.0 lakh where 6.9% during 2011-12 to 7.6% during expectations were for an increase of up the budget year 2012-13, but this again to Rs.3 lakhs. seems a bit optimistic. With possibilities for reduction in interest rates being Industry Impact of Budget 2012-13 minimal, expected level of investments Companies operating in the telecom during 2012-13 does not seem to support sector will have a marginal negative a growth rate to the extent projected for impact as the budget assumes an inflow 2012-13. Further, consumption is also of around Rs.40,000 crore from

telecom license fees, including the fees for fresh licenses to be issued in lieu of the recent cancellations of 122 licenses under the directive of the Supreme Court. With Services Tax also increased from 10% to 12%, additional outflow from telecom companies could be passed on to subscribers through higher talk-time costs. The pharmaceutical industry is likely to be burdened with more costs. Increase in excise duty on active pharmaceutical ingredients and on formulations is likely to increase the costs of medicines. The pharma companies are likely to pass on these costs to the consumers and thereby the common man is the one who would be negatively impacted. However, tax benefit for Research and Development (R&D) expenditure has been extended for five years, which will have a positive impact on the profitability of pharmaceutical companies. Oil and Gas companies will be impacted by the increase in cess on crude oil production by around 80%; this is likely to impact crude oil producing companies such as Oil and Natural Gas (ONGC) and Cairn India. With acute coal shortage impacting power producing companies, the 5% import duty on coal has been abolished. This is likely to significantly impact the power producing companies improving their bottom line. Increasing customs duty on non-alloy imported steel is likely to make imported steel more expensive, thereby making products of local manufacturers like SAIL and Tata Steel more competitive. The infrastructure sector has got a boost in the budget 2012-13; announcing the proposal to build 8,800 kms of roads under the under National Highways Development Program, equating to around 25 Kms per day, which is an ambitious target. Allocations for infrastructure has been increased close to 15% and amounts to around Rs.25,000 crore. The Budget has allowed Qualified Foreign Investors to invest into the Indian Corporate Bond market. This would be a major source of financing for infrastructure companies and is a source of financing that the industry Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


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Railway performance in 2011-12 and Railway Budget 2012-13

The Indian railways is in a precarious state; the surplus of railway expenditure over railway revenue has been steadily dwindling over the last four years, leaving very little funds to be spent on modernising railway infrastructure and improving the safety of the passengers. The operating ratio, the ratio of expenditure to revenue, was 76% in 2007-08, 90.8% in 200809, 94.4% in 2009-10 and 94.7% in 2010-11. This has now finally ended as high as 95% in 2011-12, signifying that Railways now spends 95% of its revenue to earn every rupee, as compared to 76% five years before. This is a serious concern as this depicts the ailing financial health of the Indian railways. The current Railway Budget targets a 5.4% increase in passenger traffic and a 27.6% increase in traffic receipts after considering a marginal increase in the fare that was last increased a decade before. Government expects to spend Rs.20 lakh crore over the next five years on Railway infrastructure, including track and signal modernisation, rolling stock modernisation and station development. The Railway Budget was presented in the midst of two major concerns: safety and lack of modernisation

in railway infrastructure. Two independent committees had conducted a detailed study and had tabled their recommendations, well ahead of the Railway Budget. The Kakodkar committee produced a detailed report on railway safety, highlighting the need for spending close to Rs.1.5 lakh crore over the next ten years. The recommendations highlighted the need for overhauling many facets of the Indian Railways, including tracks, signaling, bridges and rolling stock. Although the report has brought out the key issues of concern and areas where Railways were falling short, the extent of funds required to bridge these safety gaps, as identified in this report, is considered enormous. A second committee headed by Sam Pitroda had assessed the requirement for modernising the railway assets to international levels and has estimated huge sums of investment over the next five years; the focus areas again being tracks and bridges, signaling, rolling stock, stations and terminals, dedicated freight corridors, introduction of high speed trains, container terminals and enhancing human resources. Although both the committees have identified the source of funds for implementing their recommendations, the task of releasing such funds from the Union Budget seems a bit unrealistic and optimistic.The government needs to support other sectors as well, and not merely railways.

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has been waiting for quite some time. Withholding taxes on interest payments made by companies in the infrastructure sector, like power, roads, housing and airlines, to foreign lenders is significantly reduced in the budget. This will facilitate the foreign lenders to lend more funds to Indian infrastructure companies. The excise duty rate on all FNCG products has been increased from 10% to 12%, leaving a significant impact on the margins of the FMCG companies. As these companies would not be able to pass on the increased costs to the consumers, as the companies are positioned in a hyper-competitive environment, the companies would have to absorb these costs. The impact is likely to be close to 3% at the operating profit levels. Cigarettes have become more expensive due to ad valorem duty. Excise duty on petrol and diesel driven cars have increased; the companies are likely to pass on the increased costs to consumers, which will in the short term impact the demand for passenger cars. Same is the case with two and three wheelers; excise duty has been increased from 10% to 12%. The expectations from the Finance Minister were low in the backdrop of recent loss in the assembly elections. The coalition has been marred by corruption charges and is blamed for increased food prices and for an overall shrinking economy. The budget has not delivered anything substantial and bold enough to revive the sagging Indian economy. The RBI has also not reduced interest rates, missing out on the opportunity to kickstart growth. With index of industrial production figures not very encouraging and the Indian economy growing at its slowest pace in the last three years, the economic situation seems not too robust. Achieving the projected 7.6% growth during 2012-13 comes with a lot of ‘ifs and buts’. Realistically, major external developments like the deteriorating geo-political situation in the Middle East and Iran, worsening European situation, short-lived improvement in the US economic data could all have a significant negative impact on the Indian interest rate regime. This can, in turn, impact the investments and GDP growth for the year 2012-13.

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Former Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi For the current fiscal year 2011-12, the operating performance of the Indian Railways has been poor with a surplus of mere 5%, with operating costs climbing to as high as 95% of the receipts. This leaves very little room for internal cash generation for funding various safety and modernisation programs, and increases the need to depend on central budgetary support to implement such important schemes. All of these go to establish that the operations of the Indian Railways is not ‘self sufficient’, but dependent on the government’s budgetary support. Railways being such an important mode of travel for the common man across the country, the passenger fares have not been increased for over a decade. This is also one of the reasons for the poor financial position of the Indian Railways. With this backdrop, the Railway Budget 2012-13 presented by the Railway Minister focused on specific issues covering safety, better capacity utilization, modernisation, improving passenger amenities and controlling the operating costs in order to make available funds for safety upgrade and modernisation.

Key Provisions

The budget has envisioned setting up of a Railway Safety Authority and implementable milestones with regards to modernisation, as recommended by the Pitroda Committee. For a smooth implementation of these programs, the Railway Board, the apex governing body of the Indian Railways, would be expanded with new members. The railway level crossings are

proposed to be eliminated, in phases; a separate authority has been set up for implementing this. Since large scale investments are required to modernise railway stations and terminals, it is proposed to execute the same with private sector support through setting up Public Private Partnerships (PPP) and specialised monitoring agencies like Indian Railway Station Development Corporation. Several new projects have been announced for establishing rail corridors for passenger and freight movements across various states, including Chattishargh, Haryana, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Rajasthan and Maharashtra.


In spite of the poor financial condition, the Railway Minister has brought in provisions for substantially improving passenger amenities; the proposal for installation of more than three hundred escalators at key stations, of which at least fifty are proposed to be commissioned during 2012-13. The proposal also includes setting up of modern and mechanised laundries to cater to passengers, elimination of paper tickets through issue of tickets in the form of SMS, and improving the quality of onboard meal and increasing its variety at affordable rates. Further, establishing air conditioned passenger lounges, focusing on ‘on-board’ hygiene and improving the house keeping in trains have been spelt out as focus areas. The Railway Budget 2012-13 also talks about establishing more automated ticket vending machines, providing on-board

passenger displays indicating arrival of stations and introduction of specially designed coaches for differently abled persons. In order to part-finance the above programs and to run the day to day operations, the Railway Minister had marginally increased the passenger fares. However, the passenger hike has turned out to be a hot political issue between UPA and its allies, eventually resulting in the resignation of the Railway Minister. The politics is eventually turning out to be a significant hindrance in the progress of railways, especially with increase in passenger fares being a logical inclusion, justifiable from all angles. The ideas and proposals look extremely good on paper; the key challenge however would be the ability of the government to implement such a vast gamut of proposals, in light of very little cash surplus. Further, the dearth of budgetary support, especially since many other sectors are also competing for central resources, is a concern. Overall, the Railway Budget 201213 seems highly optimistic and seems to be projecting a rosy picture, especially given the harsh ground reality. There does not seem to be a sound logic in identifying the source of funds to implement various programs. If a small increase in passenger fare is attracting such a politically-motivated resistance, how will the railways manage to implement various important programs? Railways should have its own stream of revenues to cover its expenditure and investment requirements. How long can the government cross subsidize railways through its other sources of funds? Further, there is also no clear road map as to how the operating costs of railways could be drastically cut down and what the areas of savings are. These are important pieces of information that lend transparency and credibility to any budget. Dr Suresh Srinivasan is a Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant, MBA (Bradford Business School, UK) and PhD (in Corporate Strategy from IIT Madras). He has held senior positions in leading multinational corporations both in India and abroad for over 20 years. As a management consultant, he currently works closely with a number of domestic and multinational corporations in the areas of Strategy and Finance.

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Economic Indicators


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Economic Indicators


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Economic Indicators

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Dance of Democracy: 2012 assembly elections M Parekh

The states assembly elections prove that there is nothing certain in Indian politics and the masses have the authority to script the destinies.


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n March 6, the young new face of Indian politics, (not Rahul Gandhi) Akhilesh Yadav announced Samajwadi Party’s victory. Addressing the media, he announced Samajwadi Party’s victory and promised the beginning of a new era in a state that has suffered for decades from abject lawlessness. As we admired this postgraduate in environmental studies from Australia, who inexplicably supports English football clubs Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspurs (it’s like supporting Australia, India and Pakistan in cricket or China, India and Pakistan in a war), he repeatedly assured us that he will “put an end to goonda raj”.


While he seduced his starstruck audience with his party’s ‘no-mercy for lawbreakers’ speech, not so far away a minor got killed during celebratory firing by his party workers. And even closer to Lucknow, where he was speaking to the media, dozens of his partymen, in Jhansi, had cornered a few mediapersons for four hours in a school, damaging a few cameras, bones, and a lot of public property. The next day, the husband of a village pradhan was stabbed to death near Agra. And a day after Akhilesh became UP’s youngest CM, dalits were thrashed by SP workers at Badalpur, the ancestral village of BSP leader Mayawati. Before things could go out of hand, the new CM issued a stern warning to SP workers and expelled some from the party to send out a message: indiscipline will not be tolerated.

Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

But almost everyone, except for a handful of socially conscious individuals, didn’t care about the ‘minor’ incidents. Even the Mayawati camp – coincidentally, it has been almost a month and not a word has featured in media about the former UP CM and her party BSP – kept quiet. Most political commentators said ‘such things happen’. The incidents had fallen through the cracks. Then came the time to announce the cabinet and take oath as the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. And the day of swearing-in ceremony gave us a clearer sense of things to come. Raghuraj Pratap Singh alias Raja Bhaiya, who faces eight criminal cases and was charged under the nowdefunct Pota (Prevention of Terrorism Act), was included in the cabinet. But to the new CM’s credit Raja Bhaiya has been made in-charge of Uttar Pradesh’s prison department. What better place than prison, which the notorious ‘bahubali’ is all too familiar with. It has been his residential address for a long time now. Also, Raja Bhaiya will hold charge of food and civil supplies, despite charges of a multi-crore scam under his watch. Chief minister Akhilesh Yadav kept as many as 50 departments to himself as he distributed portfolios among his 47 ministers on March 18. The 38-year-old CM has home, vigilance, power, aviation, finance and excise among other portfolios. With 50 portfolios under him, Akhilesh Yadav has outdone Mayawati who kept 43 portfolios when she took over in 2007. Akhilesh will hold the charge of tourism, higher, secondary, technical and medical education, sugarcane development, electronics and information technology. It is believed that Akhilesh will offload some of the departments post cabinet expansion. Senior minister Azam Khan, who took oath a second time on Sunday, got parliamentary affairs, urban development, Waqf, water supplies and Haj, while his uncle Shivpal Yadav got PWD and irrigation. Among the 24 state ministers, former IIM-Ahmedabad professor Abhishek Mishra, considered to be a part of Team Akhilesh, has been given the protocol department. This way he

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Uttar Pradesh Result Status Known For 403 out of 403 Constituencies Party Won Total Bahujan Samaj Party 80 80 Bharatiya Janata Party 47 47 Indian National 28 28 Congress Nationalist Congress 1 1 Party Rashtriya Lok Dal 9 9 Samajwadi Party 224 224 Others 14 14 will remain attached to the chief minister’s office as Akhilesh has kept the department with himself. Although not many of us remember the police recruitment scam during the SP’s last regime in UP, the rumours have it that it was Azam Khan who burnt official files and documents in the secretariat on the last day of the Mulayam Singh government when it had become clear that Mayawati was coming to power with a thumping majority. If Akhilesh at all meant his ‘end of goonda raaj’ promise, the new CM has had a poor beginning. But it may be too early to call. A wrong message has also gone out with the appointment of tainted officers in the CM’s secretariat when honest options were available. Again in his defence, these may have been the compulsions of present-day politics. Since criminals are also key financiers for any party, they have the opportunity to buy their presence in the cabinet. And to hope that a fresh face like Akhilesh will be able to bring about radical changes in the state, is like hoping that Gandhi family and

Narendra Modi will apologise for the 1984 Sikh massacre and 2002 Gujarat riots, respectively. In Indian politics, being apologetic can be seen as a sign of weakness and a political suicide. Much to our chagrin, the political parties know it very well. So the first thing a party that has been hit by a scandal does is - make counter allegations. A typical exchange of statements issued by Congress and BJP spokespersons goes like this: Congress: You are corrupt BJP: No, you are corrupt Congress: But CBI says you are corrupt BJP: That’s because the CBI is corrupt too Congress: And you are non-secular as well as corrupt. BJP: You killed our friends from Punjab, you are pseudo-secular as well as corrupt; And so on… Corruption is not a problem only with the Samajwadi Party, or, for that matter, even politics. In India, it is a way of life. It has also become the key to survival. The ordinary man, more popularly known as the common man, may not be as corrupt as the lawmakers, but is more than open to the idea of getting rich through unfair means. When dirty money forms the backbone of all political parties, how can we hope they will tackle corruption? The bigger issue though is the social corruption; how criminals are seen as protectors by ‘common man’ because they promise to protect them from those from other castes and religion. The combined opposition of all political parties to bring a strong Lokpal is a case in point. Money and muscle power dominate politics in UP and no political party is willing to change its ways, despite a strong public outcry against the practice. Akhilesh has generated some hope with his positive campaign. However, the sops offered to people in the form of computer tablets and laptops show the misplaced priorities of the new team. My guess is the real beneficiaries of this scheme will be the companies that will supply these devices. Also, the much-hyped unemployment allowance is also Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


WORLD VIEW flawed. Rural workers are guaranteed the same amount, Rs. 12,000 annually, under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, and have to break their backs for the amount that the educated unemployed youth will now get for not working at all. The SP’s plan to revive student unions in the state’s universities and colleges is likely to revive the goonda raaj on campuses and sully the academic atmosphere. So while the people of UP have been spared of Mayawati’s eccentricities, they, it seems, have to brace themselves for five years of goonda gardi.


While Uttar Pradesh gave a clear mandate to SP, in its former constituent Uttarakhand things were far more tensed. Fourteen rebel Congress MLAs, including Harak Singh Rawat, missed the swearing-in ceremony, defying a directive from state Congress Chief Yashpal Arya. Vijay Bahuguna, who became the Chief Minister on 13 March, is facing an uphill task to bring the warring factions together and mollify them in order to provide stability to his fledgling government with the pressure being mounted from all quarters. Rawat had rebelled against the

Uttarakhand Result Status Known For 70 out of 70 Constituencies Party Won Total Bahujan Samaj Party 3 3 Bharatiya Janata Party 31 31 Indian National 32 32 Congress Uttarakhand Kranti 1 1 Dal (P) Others 3 3

day after embattled Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna held talks with rebel Congress leader Harish Rawat, who remained defiant. All the 21 MLAs out of the total 32 were present in the Vidhan Sabha complex to propose the candidature of Mahendra Singh Mahra, a close confidante of Rawat, for the lone Rajya Sabha seat from the state. As the political stalemate continued, lines of worry could be seen on the faces of both chief minister Vijay Bahuguna and PCC chief Yashpal Arya. However, the two leaders said they were confident that all the MLAs would come together and help in the government functioning. “All those who did not come today will join later,” said Arya.

party high command for not being given the chief ministership. Last time we checked, three of the rebel Congress MLAs relented and took oath in the Uttarakhand Assembly even as the political impasse in the state continued with rebel Congress leader Harish Rawat refusing to budge. It was not yet clear whether all three jumped onto the wagon a Punjab Result Status Known For 117 out of 117 Constituencies Party Won Total Bharatiya Janata Party 12 12 Indian National 46 46 Congress Shiromani Akali Dal 56 56 Others 3 3

Image courtesy:google

No problems in Punjab Assembly, 115 take oath as MLAs


Uttarakhand CM Vijay Bahuguna Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

As many as 115 newly-elected members took oath as MLAs on the opening day of the first session of the newlyconstituted Punjab Assembly. Former Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal, sworn-in as pro-tem speaker recently, administered the oath to the 115 members, including Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and members of his Council of Ministers. BJP MLA Navjot Kaur, wife of

WORLD VIEW cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, did not attend the opening day of the session and, therefore, could not take oath. The new government will not be presenting a regular budget for 201213 and instead seek a vote on account for the first three months of the next fiscal. An octogenarian Parkash Singh Badal, architect of SAD-BJP combine’s thumping win in the state assembly election, was sworn in as Chief Minister for a record fifth time. Sunil Kumar Jhakar, an MLA from Abohar, has been appointed Punjab Congress Legislature Party leader. Jhakar had said the Congress was all set to corner the state government on several issues such as power generation and PDS.

Goa sets record

The March 3, 2012 polling recorded the highest turnout with 82.2 percent voters exercising their franchise. Proving the traditional belief that big voter turnout means vote for change, Goa’s latest mandate had dethroned the ruling Congress government and let the BJP to take over the business at office. The vote counting on March 6 paved way for a new leadership in the tourism state. In Goa, BJP emerged as the single largest party to take over the office from sitting Congress Chief Minister Digambar Kamat. Manohar

Goa Result Status Known For 40 out of 40 Constituencies Party Won Total Bharatiya Janata Party 21 21 Indian National 9 9 Congress Maharashtrawadi 3 3 Gomantak Others 7 7

Parrikar took over as the next Chief Minister of Goa. The newly-elected 40 MLAs were administered oath of office by Speaker pro-tem and BJP Shiroda MLA Mahadev Naik on March 19. Pernem BJP MLA Rajendra Arlekar is set to become the next Speaker of the assembly. This 2012 Assembly election results came off conversely to Congress’ prediction. If we look back at Congress record in last Goa assembly election, it had just won 16 seats, and NCP won 3 seats in the 40-member Assembly house. The Congress had failed to garner a simple majority of 21 seats, however, with the help of two seats from others, it formed the government in 2007. But this time, the five-years of ‘mis-governance’ from the Congress government urged the Goan people to look for a change. The BJP rode to victory in Goa polls by an anti-incumbency wave. The party which only secured 14 of 40 seats last time, in 2012 has bagged 20 seats. With its ally Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), the total number of seats sum up to 23, attaining a clear majority to form the government without any crunch. Where as Congress and allies had just won 9 seats. The BJP has just not crashed the Congress’ equations, but also of independent and not-so-prominent political parties in Goa. The last assembly election inflicted a range of uncertainty allowing the small players to decide on the formation of government. However, the BJP’s steady victory along with its alliance would have taken independent parties by storm. The Congress party, that has seen better days in recent years, has exhibited its inefficiency in reaching out to the masses and to influence people at the grass root level. Post mid-2010, the nation saw a number of ministers being booked and sent to jails for the corruption charges. Unfortunately, most of them were from UPA government. A series of scams that was exposed billing crores of losses to the national exchequer promoted an anti-graft spirit across the nation. Experts believed that very moderate electors consider corruption as an issue

Manipur Result Status Known For 60 out of 60 Constituencies Party Won Total Indian National 42 42 Congress Nationalist Congress 1 1 Party All India Trinamool 7 7 Congress Lok Jan Shakti Party 1 1 Naga Peoples Front 4 4 Others 5 5 before they cast their support on ballot paper. But this time, that was not the case, for instance, last year’s assembly elections in Tamil Nadu resulted in a big political debacle for the ruling DMK, following the controversies related to the 2G spectrum. In recent years, people have taken corruption as a serious matter and brought changes in ruling regime. The change in Goa has come on the same lines, as there was a perception that the national party has led the state to nowhere. Meanwhile, graft problems, from illegal mining to high-level corruption in the state has had its share to this debacle. However, the anti-incumbency sentiment has turned into votes for BJP that has helped them to form the government in Goa. But remember, in no time the same sentiments can envelope the BJP party as well, if the party fails to bring the change that people are anticipating. Will the BJP insulate itself from this anti-incumbency heat? It all depends on how they head the state. Advanc’edge MBA April 2012



Obama no more Mr Popular

US President’s approval rating has hit the lowest ever in CBS News polling. Ratings have fallen from 41 per cent positive to 47 per cent negative. M Parekh

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he US president slips nine points in CBS/Times poll, but is still a little ahead of Republican front-runners Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum. US President Barack Obama’s approval rating has hit the lowest level ever in CBS News polling, according to the latest CBS News/New York Times survey. The ratings have fallen from 41 per cent positive to 47 per cent negative — his lowest approval rating ever and a nine-point drop from last month. Just a month ago, a survey by the same agency gave Obama a 50 per cent approval rating – his highest mark in the CBS/NYT polls since the beginning of 2010 (not counting a one-time surge last May when Osama bin Laden was killed). The survey also showed that the gap between President Obama and the two leading Republican contenders has narrowed, and attributed it to Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

the US president’s inability to bring rising fuel prices under control. His poor handling of the Iran nuclear programme, which directly affects the fuel prices back home, has also led to the drop in popularity. Despite an improvement in public outlook with respect to the country’s economy and jobs, Obama seems to have also suffered as three in four Americans think the economy under Obama is somewhat bad, including 30 per cent who say it is very bad. Attacks from the Republicans running to replace Obama may be having an impact on his approval rating as well, the survey said. His disapproval rating has risen to 89 per cent among Republicans (from 82 per cent last month), and more independents now disapprove of his job performance than approve. Though his approval rating among Democrats remains high, it has dropped seven

points – from 85 per cent last month to 78 per cent on Tuesday. While Obama’s approval numbers based on his performance against people’s expectations are at an all time low, he is still doing marginally better in a hypothetical headto-head with leading Republican presidential candidate hopefuls – Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Ron Paul and Newt Gingrich. In a hypothetical matchup against his most likely Republican opponent, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Obama had a 47 per cent to 44 per cent advantage, a statistical dead heat given the poll’s margin of sampling error of 3 percentage points. Against former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, the president drew 48 per cent compared with 44 percent. In both cases, the difference between the candidates was slightly smaller than it was last month.

Image courtesy:google


Republican Mitt Romney

Romney trains gun on Obama after Illinois win

White House hopeful Mitt Romney set his sights squarely on President Barack Obama after racking up another victory in a plodding Republican nominating race that may not be decided until June. Romney’s decisive win in Illinois on Tuesday likely won’t help him win Obama’s home state in the November 6 election, but it has brought him closer to clinching the Republican nod. He used his victory speech to reprise his attacks on Obama’s economic policies and cast the general election as a choice between “economic freedom” and “job-killing regulation.” “Over the past three years this administration has been engaged in an all-out assault on our freedom,” Romney told supporters gathered in an affluent Chicago suburb. “It’s time to say these words. This word. Enough. We’ve had enough.” Underdog Rick Santorum was unbowed by Romney’s widening lead, rallying supporters in his home state of Pennsylvania to help him “close this gap and (move) on to victory!” His campaign vowed earlier Tuesday to take the fight all the way to the Republican convention in August, but it’s not clear if Santorum can stop Romney from winning the

1,144 delegates needed to clinch the deal before then. The former Massachusetts governor already had a commanding delegate lead and Tuesday’s resounding win in this midwestern state will provide Romney with momentum ahead of polls in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, DC on April 3. It will also provide Romney with a cushion ahead of an expected Santorum victory in Louisiana on Saturday. But with many states awarding delegates proportionally, it could take Romney until May or June to reach the majority needed to knock his rivals out of the race. “The question isn’t who’s the nominee,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics. “It’s whether Romney soars or limps into (the convention in) Tampa. That’s not determined yet.” While Romney may have a better chance of winning over the moderates and independents who often decide general elections, he has failed to rally the Republican party’s conservative base in the grueling state-by-state primaries. US media exit polls in Illinois showed Romney with a surprisingly solid lead among supporters of the ultraconservative Tea Party Movement,

The Illinois win will provide Romney with momentum ahead of polls in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, DC on April 3.

however Santorum was the favorite among evangelicals and the “very conservative.” A bloody, protracted battle would help Obama and could also cost Republicans congressional, gubernatorial and state-level seats, especially if Romney isn’t able to seal the deal by the time delegaterich California and four other states hold contests on June 5. “It may not be possible to win the presidency at that point, but they have to keep the race competitive enough so there isn’t a coattail disaster down the ticket,” Sabato told AFP. “If you have an incumbent president winning by a wide margin in this polarized era, the odds are he’s going to be bringing in a lot of Democrats with him.” Written off in the early days, Santorum, a former Pennsylvania senator, has steadily notched up wins -- 10 out of 33 contests -- largely with the help of evangelicals and the party’s most conservative members. He aimed to rally those supporters by attacking Romney as an untrustworthy moderate who will say anything to get elected and casting himself as a reliable man of principle on a mission to defend conservative values. Romney’s only mention of his rivals was a brief congratulations for “a hard-fought contest” as he sought to adopt a more presidential air and stuck close to his script with the help of much-maligned teleprompters. Prior to the Illinois vote Romney had pocketed 516 delegates, while Santorum had won 236 and former house speaker Newt Gingrich had 141, according to the website Real Clear Politics. Texas Congressman Ron Paul, a small-government champion, has about 66. Illinois’s 56 delegates will be awarded after final results are officially tallied. Santorum’s campaign has been urging Gingrich -- who has won just two contests -- to drop out in order to consolidate the conservative vote. Romney had 46.7 percent of the vote in Illinois with 99 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, while Santorum had 35 percent, Paul had 9.3 percent and Gingrich had 8 percent.

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012



WORD DOSE Reshma Majithia

Life comes full circle A pauper who always dreamt of living a swanky life once won a million dollar lottery and was euphoric. He had always wondered how the affluent lived. He used to cuss the rich and deride them for not giving him any money. He was an indolent man, abhorred work and thought begging was the easy way out.

His happiness knew no bounds after winning the lottery. From a tatterdemalion he suddenly became very dignified and lived an opulent lifestyle. He bought exorbitant things, an expensive car, and a commodious house in the plush environs of the city.

He wanted do everything he had always wished for and so he blew up all his money. He lived like a king for six months, drinking champagne and driving a Porsche, until the money finally ran out and he was back to being a pauper again.


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


WORD MEANINGS Full circle: (N)

Swanky: (Adj)

Euphoric: (Adj)

Affluent :(Adj)





come to the original

stylish, chic, smart,

intensely happy

having an abundance

place, source, or state


or confident

of wealth, property,

through a cycle of

or other material goods;


prosperous; rich

Cuss: (V) to swear at; curse

Deride: (V)

Indolent: (Adj)

Abhor: (V)




taunt, scoff or jeer at;

slow, inactive, lazy,

despise, hate


sluggish, torpid

Easy way out: (idiom)

Knew no bounds:

Tatterdemalion: (N)

requiring or exhibiting

(idiom) unlimited,



little effort or endeavor,


a person in tattered

characterized or

clothing; a shabby person.

marked by dignity of

comfortable and easy option

Dignified: (Adj)

aspect or manner; stately; decorous

Opulent: (Adj)

Exorbitant: (Adj)

Commodious: (Adj)

Plush: (Adj)




(plush) expensively

wealthy, rich,

exceeding the bounds

spacious and convenient;

or showily luxurious

or affluent

of custom, propriety, or


reason, especially in amount or extent; highly excessive


Blow up: (bloh-up)

Live like a king: (idiom)

Run out: (idioms)

(plural noun)

(slang) to spend (money)

to live in a very

to become void,

(en-vahy-ruhnz) the

freely and rashly

comfortable way with

especially through the

all the luxuries you want

passage of time or an

surrounding parts or


districts, as of a city;

omission, finished, over,

outskirts; suburbs.


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012


Reshma Majithia 1. She was an American recording artist, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time. Her awards include two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards in her lifetime. She is the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits (“Saving All My Love for You”, “How Will I Know”, “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “Didn’t We Almost Have It All”, “So Emotional” and “Where Do Broken Hearts Go”). Her first acting role was as the star of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992). The film’s original soundtrack won the 1994 Grammy Award for Album of the Year. She continued to star in movies and contribute to their soundtracks, including the films “Waiting to Exhale” (1995) and “The Preacher’s Wife” (1996). She passed away on February 11, 2012. Name her. a. Whitney Houston b. Laurie Beechman c. Lorraine Ellison d. Madeline Kahn 2. Who won the 2011 World Press Photo of the Year award for an image of a veiled woman holding a wounded relative in her arms after a demonstration in Yemen? a. Pedro Meyer b. Ouka Leele c. Javier Ideami d. Samuel Aranda 3. Which of the following Bollywood actors has become the brand ambassador of West Bengal a. Shahrukh Khan b. Salman Khan c. Akshay kumar d. Aamir Khan

4. An Indian economist, he was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his contributions to welfare economics and social choice theory, and for his interest in the problems of society’s poorest members. He is best known for his work on the causes of famine, which led to the development of practical solutions for preventing or limiting the effects of real or perceived shortages of food. He has also helped to create the United Nations Human Development Index. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages over a period of forty years. He is a trustee of Economists for Peace and Security. In 2006, Time magazine listed him under “60 years of Asian Heroes” and in 2010 included him in their “100 most influential persons in the world.” Recently he has been felicitated with the National Medals of Arts and Humanities Award by United States President Barack Obama for his insights into the causes of poverty, famine, and injustice. Name him a. Rajendra Pachauri b. Montek Singh Ahluwalia c. Shankar Acharya d. Amartya Sen 5. Wipro Consumer Care and Lighting has roped in bollywood actor ______as the brand ambassador to re-launch its flagship soap brand Santoor. The company plans to introduce new fragrance, shape and packaging for Santoor, the third largest soap brand in the country. a. Saif Ali Khan b. Salman Khan c. Shahrukh Khan d. Hrithik Roshan 6. Boeing Co signed its largest ever commercial airplane order with Indonesia’s airline in a deal worth $22.4 billion. Name the airline

a. Airmark Indonesia b. Lion Air c. Cardig Air d. Indonesia Air Asia


Which of the following Hollywood actors has received the National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony for his contribution to American culture? a. Brad Pitt b. Antonio Banderas c. Al Pacino d. Denzel Washington

8. Which of the following Indian low-fare airlines announced a billion-dollar engine deal with United Technologies Corp’s Pratt & Whitney a. GoAir b. IndiGo c. SpiceJet d. JetLite 9. FMCG majors ___________and Hindustan Unilever (HUL) are at loggerheads over the latest advertisement by HUL for its detergent Rin, against which the former has filed a complaint with Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI). Name the FMCG major a. Johnson & Johnson b. Marico Industries Ltd c. Henkel Spic India Ltd d. Procter & Gamble (P&G) 10. A top Indian-American fundraiser at President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign has been conferred with the “Most Powerful and Influential Women of California” award. Name her a. Shefali Razdan Duggal b. Deepa Gupta c. Nisha Desai Biswal d. Sonal Shah 11. Which of the following countries has signed a landmark agreement to co-operate on civil nuclear energy, paving the way for the Advanc’edge MBA April 2012



construction of a new generation of power plants in the UK? a. India b. France c. Brazil d. Denmark

12. Which of the following Bollywood actors has been appointed as the ‘Brand Ambassador’ for the World Series Hockey, a lucrative hockey tournament starting February 29? a. Shahrukh Khan b. Shahid Kapoor c. Salman Khan d. Suniel Shetty 13. Which of the following countries has signed three agreements with Rwanda, including a pact on renewable energy, to ramp up trade and investment? The pacts envisage an expanded renewable energy cooperation helping to develop solar electrification of 35 schools in rural Rwanda. Name the country. a. India b. Romania c. The Philippines d. Malaysia

one of the largest private equity transactions of the year. a. $5 billion b. $6 billion c. $3 billion d. $4 billion

16. Who has been awarded the Gunnerus Sustainability Award for the year 2012 for his pioneering work on population biology in rainforest areas? The Gunnerus Sustainability Award is a Norwegian research prize awarded bianually, starting in 2012, for outstanding scientific work that promotes sustainable development globally. a. Ola Dale b. Kaare Aagaard c. Berit Rian d. Dr. Kamal Bawa

17. Who has been appointed to serve as the chairman of Finance Committee of the Republican Party of Florida a. Akshay Desai b. Dinesh D’Souza c. Pradeep Khosla d. Timothy Geithner 18. Who has won the original screenplay prize at the Writers Guild awards for his romantic comedy Midnight in Paris? a. Tony Barbieri, b. Woody Allen c. Vince Gilligan d. Peter Gould 19. Who is the new president of the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham)?

14. Name the German President who resigned on February 17, 2012, bowing to enormous pressure in the wake of a string of disclosures over his personal financial dealings and acceptance of financial favors from political backers that prompted prosecutors to seek to strip him of presidential immunity and open a criminal investigation. a. Richard von Weizsäcker b. Roman Herzog c. Horst Köhler d. Christian Wulf 15. Private equity firm Advent International and a Goldman Sachs unit agreed to acquire TransUnion Corp, a credit reporting and data company, in a deal worth over ______ in


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

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.


a. Sunil Kanoria b. Rana Kapoor c. Rajkumar Dhoot d. D S Rawat

20. The world’s largest drugmaker and China’s Zhejiang Hisun Pharmaceutical have signed a $545 million joint venture to develop generic drugs in China. Name the drugmaker. a. Pfizer b. Roche c. Novartis d. Bristol-Myers Squibb

programme to identify pollutants in the river and keep it healthy by introducing the ‘Benthic Invertebrates’ concept. a. Madhya Pradesh b. Andhra Pradesh c. Goa d. Meghalaya

25. Name the Haitian Prime Minister who recently resigned after just four months in office, plunging the country into political paralysis in the midst of rebuilding efforts two years after a devastating earthquake. a. Yvon Neptune b. Michel Martelly c. Garry Conille d. Jacques-Édouard Alexis

21. Which of the following Basketball legends has filed a lawsuit in China against a Chinese sportswear company, Qiaodan Sports, accusing the firm of unauthorised use of his name? 26. Who has become the first a. Corey Fisher “honorary Irishwoman” to win an b. Michael Jordan Oscar Wilde award for her role in c. Kobe Bryant “My Week with Marilyn?” d. Larry Bird a. Susan Anton b. Gillian Anderson 22. Canadian utility company Fortis c. Sarah Clarke Inc is all set to acquire CH Energy d. Michelle William Group Inc, for about in cash, in order to gain entry into the US 27. Which of the following films was state-regulated electric and gas honoured with the Oscar award distribution business. for best documentary (short) at the a. $ 8 biilion 84th Academy Awards ceremony? b. $ 3 billion a. Hell and Back Again c. $ 2 billion b. Saving Face d. $1 billion c. The Loving Story d. Sing Your Song 23. Which of the following Indian conglomerates and Sibur, the 28. Which of the following films largest petrochemical company in crowned its spectacular awards Russia and Eastern Europe, will season success by winning five jointly set up a 100,000 tonnes Oscars including the coveted Best per annum butyl rubber venture in Picture prize at the 84th Academy Jamnagar, Gujarat Awards a. Tata Consultancy Services a. The Artist b. Reliance Industries Limited b. A Dangerous Method c. Infosys Technologies c. Carnage d. Hindalco Industries d. Melancholia 24. With an aim to keep Narmada 29. Who has been felicitated by the US pollution-free, the Narmada state of California with the “Award Valley Development Authority of Excellence” for upholding (NVDA) which of the following immigration rights, in particular states has decided to undertake those of women, and spreading the novel Bio-Health Monitoring social awareness?

Advanc’edge MBA April 2012



a. Elise Buik b. Rajni Aggarwal c. Neela Gangadharan d. Anu Peshawaria

30. Which of the following software exporters has bagged a contract from South Africa’s Nedgroup Insurance Company (NIC) for deploying its financial services platform? a. HCL Technologies b. Infosys c. Wipro d. Tata Consultancy Services 31. An Indian International Footballer, he has represented and captained India in different international competitions including Olympics and Asian Games. He also has a record of playing for Mohun Bagan, one of the best clubs in India, for a continuous period of 19 years. He has been the only Asian Footballer ever to be named among the 10 best Captains in the world by the English FA in 1953. He passed away on February 27, 2012. Name him a. Sailen Manna b. Neville D’Souza c. Peter Thangaraj d. Jarnail Singh 32. A state-owned engineering and manufacturing enterprise in India in the energy-related and infrastructure sector which includes Power, Railways, Transmission and Distribution, Oil and Gas sectors has secured a Rs774-crore contract for supply of onshore drilling rigs from Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC). Name it a. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited b. Larsen & Toubro c. BHEL d. Yash Birla Group 33. Who has been elected the president of Russia for the second time? a. Mikhail Kovalchuk b. Vladimir Putin c. Dmitry Medvedev d. Dmitry Kozak


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

34. An American conceptual designer and illustrator, he designed the original Star Wars trilogy, the original Battlestar Galactica TV series, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Cocoon, for which he won an Academy Award. He passed away on March 3, 2012. Name him. a. Ralph McQuarrie b. Edward Gorey c. Peter Campbell d. George Stavrinos 35. Who is the new managing director of Hyundai Motor India Ltd? a. N Munjee b. Arvind Saxena c. N N Wadia d. Bo Shin Seo 36. Which of the following companies has topped a list of India’s 50 most admired companies by business magazine Fortune and global management consultancy Hay Group? a. Tata Steel b. IBM c. Accenture d. Google 37. Which of the following Indian NGOs has been chosen for America’s first Innovation Award for the Empowerment of Women and Girls, for training and organizing wastepickers and eliminating child labour from recycling? a. Child Relief and You b. Akanksha Foundation c. Chintan d. Aadhar 38. Who is the new chief minister of Uttar Pradesh? a. Kalyan Singh b. Rajnath Singh c. Mulayam Singh Yadav d. Akhilesh Yadav 39. Which of the following Indian states received over Rs 600 crore for implementation of flagship rural employment guarantee programme during the current year under the Mahatma Gandhi National

Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA)? a. Nagaland b. Uttar Pradesh c. Madhya Pradesh d. Uttarakhand

40. Who won the Man Asian Literary Prize for the year 2012? a. Tahmima Anam b. Colm Tóibín c. Kyung-sook Shi d. Amitav Ghosh 41. Cisco Systems, the world’s largest maker of telecom networking equipment, struck a deal to buy software developer for multichannel television networks NDS Group in a deal valued at about _________. a. $ 1 billion b. $ 2 billion c. $ 3 billion d. $5 billion 42. Telecom czar __________ would co-chair the India-Africa Business Council (IABC), a platform to discuss ways to enhance economic ties. a. Sunil Bharti Mittal b. Lakshmi Mittal c. Ratan Tata d. Azim Premji

ANSWERS 1.a 7.c 13.a 19.c 25.c 31.a 37.c

2.d 3.a 4.d 5.a 6.b 8.a 9.d 10.a 11.b 12.d 14.d 15.c 16.d 17.a 18.b 20.a 21.b 22.d 23.b 24.a 26.d 27.b 28.a 29.d 30.d 32.c 33.b 34.a 35.d 36.a 38.d 39.a 40.c 41.d 42.a

Answer to the Sudoku

Solution, tips and computer programme at

Events Calendar STUDY HOUR



Incarnate Venue: Online management web-fest Date: 22-Mar-2012 to 07-Apr-2012 Incarnate is an online management web-fest that involves students solving real-life business problems faced by start-ups and small businesses. A panel of experts and the businesses involved judge the solutions presented by the students, with the chosen entries getting a reward. This is an opportunity for the students to showcase their knowledge, creativity and skills. The organizing team will ensure that the solutions suggested by the students are presented at appropriate forums, through which the students can explore opportunities and/or seek employment. Website: Marketing Your B School Venue: Online Date: 18-Mar-2012 to 22-Apr-2012 A great deal of attention is paid to the tricky business of how aspirant MBAs can identify and then get into the best courses at top business schools. B Schools advertise in newpapers, get their rankings done, conduct regular meetups in different cities, and feature in best of magazines. Is your B School fun? How about career opportunities? Packages? Faculty? Peers? You got awesome fests? Inteligent cafeteria conversations? Inviting entries from students and alumni from B Schools across India. The write up has no specific rules and open to your imagination. It can either be an article, a print ad, a video or combination of all; the objective is to spread awareness and attract the target. Assist aspirants to make a decision. Website: NCHRM 2012 Venue: MDRF New Delhi Date: April 8th, 2012 Management Development Research Foundation, New Delhi invites papers on contemporary issues in Human Resource Management for the 2nd National Conference on Human Resource Management, NCHRM 2012. All the papers selected for 1st National Conference on Human Resource Management 2012 will be published in an edited book bearing International Standard Book Number. The book will be released during the conference. Besides, a few outstanding papers will also be published in international peer-reviewed journals published by Spartacus India such as Review of Human Resource Management, Review of Organizational Psychology, and Review of Management which are listed in the database of EBSCO Publishing Inc. USA. Website:


International Conference on Resettlement and Rehabilitation Venue: Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar Date: April 10 - 12, 2012 Several countries are found to be embroiled in a tussle between the development plans of the State at the macro level and their undesirable consequences for the specific project affected people. There is need to explore the dynamics of the phenomenon of Development Induced Displacement and the theoretical, legal, and policy level issues which have impeded the fluent process of implementation of development projects. There are also administrative issues involved in managing land acquisition and displacement, which are critical in nature. The International Conference on Resettlement & Rehabilitation will include a large number of delegates to deliberate on the above issues through keynote address, plenary lectures, panel discussions and parallel sessions. The conference will be an opportunity for academicians, researchers, project proponents, managers of R&R projects, professionals from civil society organizations and policy makers to deliberate, debate and identify possible solutions on the critical areas pertaining to involuntary displacement, resettlement and rehabilitation on account of development projects. Website: Pracheen Tatva National Conference on Architechtural conservation heritage and management Venue: M S Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore Date: April 18th – 19th, 2012 India is a country with a rich and varied heritage. Architectural conservation is an attempt to reserve the glorious past which will provide information for the benefit of the future generations. This national conference will bring together academicians, research scholars, students, enthusiasts and practitioners in the field for facilitating interaction. The conference will have oral and poster presentations, along with keynote addresses by eminent personalities actively involved in the field of heritage conservation and management, followed by panel discussions. Website: Developing Razor Sharp execution skills Venue: India International Centre, New Delhi Date: April 13th – 14th, 2012 In today’s highly uncertain and competitive environment, when strategies have a short shelf life, ability to execute is the core differentiator. This breakthrough program introduces “Execution- Making it happen” as a formal and predictable management discipline. With this program, participants will learn practical and actionable methods to boost Fundamental execution horsepower and also address “here and now” business agenda across functions including sales and marketing, operations, finance, HR and IT. Website: Execution_Skills.html Advanc’edge MBA April 2012







UK’s Warwick Business School eyes Delhi campus As per the news in a leading national daily, the Warwick Business School, standing 130km from London, will have its second address in India. The headquarters in the UK may be in sparsely populated Coventry but the management institute is looking at bustling Delhi for its new campus. Ever since India spoke of opening its doors to foreign universities, several top institutions have considered coming to its shores, but few have actually taken a step. The Schulich School of Business of Canada’s York University is building its campus in Hyderabad. Most others have set up India offices that assist and attract prospective students, tap into the colleges’ alumni, build relations with large Indian conglomerates, run some short programmes for executives or act as research centres that collect raw material on an emerging economy and a maturing market called India. None of that is what Warwick wants to do in India. Like the Schulich School, it is looking at advancing what it has already built in the UK. It is working with the Batra Group, headed by a family that sent many of its children to Warwick for an education. WBS dean Mark Taylor has said that they have ordered a feasibility study for the project from a consultancy firm which is looking at several issues like the location to set up the school and other things that the project entails, including the areas that are important for the growth and development for this part of the world, for their Asia campus that will be located in India. More British scholarships According to the news in a leading newspaper, sixty new scholarships for Master’s programmes in the UK are to be awarded to Indian students this year. British Prime Minister David Cameron has recently


Advanc’edge MBA April 2012

announced 60 new ‘Jubilee Scholarships’ to be awarded to Indian students this year. The scholars will receive full funding for a one-year Master’s course in the UK, starting September 2012. Funded by the British Council and the UK Government, the scholarships have been launched as part of the celebrations for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The aim is to enable talent from across India to come and study Master’s courses in business, administration, manufacturing, science or technology. The awards will be open to applicants from all over India, and the scheme aims to include students from every Indian state among the awardees. Rob Lynes, the British Council’s director in India has explained that these scholarships are a fitting way to mark the occasion of the Diamond Jubilee, as it is the creation of new opportunity - not just for the student, but for the host institution to benefit from Indian perspectives and ideas, for new friendships to be made and new links to be created and fostered between our two countries. Italian B-School Universita Bocconi to start course in July As per the news in a leading financial daily, an Italian university, Universita Bocconi, will commence its postgraduate programme in business at its Mumbai campus in July 2012. The university has tied up with a group of Indian entrepreneurs to open its first international campus in Mumbai, called the Mumbai International School of Business Bocconi (MISB Bocconi). The business school under the Universita Bocconi umbrella, SDA Bocconi, is ranked 28th in the Financial Times global MBA rankings 2011, and 83% of its students in the MBA programme are international students. Bocconi has collaborations with many Indian MBA colleges, including an exchange programme with ISB Hyderabad and a dual degree with IIM Ahmedabad. The entrepreneurs, who have prior experience with multinationals, have come together under Ultimate Knowledge Systems. The two-year, full-time programme will cost Rs 16 lakh. It focuses on freshers and candidates with up to three years’ work experience. Students will need to take the Common Admission Test or the GMAT for admission. The programme’s main focus will be to provide international as well as local corporate exposure to students. Ravi Saxena, founder and CEO, MISB Bocconi says that Bocconi has realised that Indians go on to become top level managers abroad and grooming this talent is one of their top priorities. The faculty will have a combination of Indian and foreign teachers, not just from Milan but also from its tie-ups across the world.

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