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from the editor EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kamlesh Sajnani

EDITORIAL Editor: Aditya Prakash Iengar Correspondent: Puja Shah

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Author Napolean Hill once said, “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” Golden words, my friend, and you’d do well to heed them. By now, you’ll soon be facing the final selection round – the all-important, daunting personal interview. Are you prepared? Do you know what kind of questions to expect? Have you prepared a strategy to answer them? Are your answers convincing and honest enough to impress the panel? If there’s one thing you have to keep in mind, it’s the last point I made above. Your answers should be honest enough that you believe them yourself, and only then will you be able to convince your interviewers. And you cannot be completely honest if you don’t know what you want – from your career, from your life, your ambitions, hopes, dreams, et al. So before doing anything else, sit down, look deep within yourself, and ask why you chose the path of the MBA. Be absolutely, unambiguously, unmistakably clear about yourself. And you’ll sail through the interview with flying colours. You will find similar advice in this issue on how to tackle the PI – and lots and lots more. Meanwhile, have you considered which sector you’d like to work in? It’s all well and good to earn a place in a top B-school, but it counts for nothing if you have no idea which industry you’re interested in. Today, newer and more exciting sectors are constantly emerging, and promise not only a stable and lucrative career, but also the opportunity to avoid much-trodden paths. Are you a sports buff? But assuming that your only contact with sports will be through the TV? Consider Sports Management. Are you fascinated by the intricacies of taking risks, evaluating and analysing them? You might be made for Risk Management! Ever thought of going into the medical profession, never really did, but still find it interesting? Check out Healthcare Management. Worried about the environment and how we’re using up the world’s natural resources? Energy Management could be the field for you! There are enough and more sectors like this that are different, hugely upcoming and promise high levels of innovation and excitement. So take a pause and evaluate your options before taking the plunge. But all of this aside, I wish you the very best of luck for the PI. I’ll leave you with some very practical advice Bruce Lee once gave, “Always be yourself, express yourself, have faith in yourself, do not go out and look for a successful personality and duplicate it.” Aditya Prakash Iengar Editor Advanc’edge MBA October 2012 3

o t n s C n e t

February 2013


18 24

Prepare to prevail: Cracking the PI

Cover Story

Standing at the crossroads


E-waste: Don’t just dump it

Corporate Interview


V. D. Wadhwa, MD & CEO, Timex Group India Ltd

48 Director Speak


Fr E. Abraham SJ, Director, XLRI Jamshedpur

50 Travel & Learning


MBA in France

Success Street


Meghna Ghai-Puri President, Whistling Woods International

5 Steps to stay focused


Subhash Ghai Chairman, Whistling Woods International Innovations in start-ups

Young Entrepreneur


Shripal Gandhi, Founder and CEO,

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

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Cover Story

Standing at the crossroads Made up your mind yet on what to study? Which sector to work in? What the industries offer? Here, we present a few career options that you might like to explore, and which will prove highly lucrative in years to come. The Advanc’edge Team


inally, you’re at that critical point where you will make a decision that will probably be the most important one in your life. Months and years of preparing for the various management entrance examinations have finally paid off, and it is time for you to choose – what is it exactly that you would like to do for the rest of your life? Which industry or field excites you, attracts you and makes you feel that it could be where your dreams and ambitions come to fruition? This is the choice you will have to make soon, as you go into the final stages of your MBA selection process at different institutes. In this article, we have compiled details of a few sectors that are showing great promise and growth potential; you never know, one of these might be your true calling!


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Infrastructure Management

“A new Chicago has to be built every year in India,” states a report by Oxford Economics. If that is so, then we are woefully short of professionals to manage this rise in the urban and infrastructure sector. India being one of the fastest growing economies of the world, its cities are at a critical level of urban transition, where the urban population is demanding more space, infrastructure and amenities, and the construction sector is eager to supply. The government has planned to build metro railways, subways, airports, highways and residential spaces. Therefore, one can safely say that India is on the brink of witnessing an immense growth in urban infrastructure. This growth, in turn, requires careful planning and

managing, which is why there is a need for professional urban managers in the country. The construction sector is the second largest industry in India, after agriculture. About 250 ancillary industries such as cement, steel, brick, timber and building material are dependent on the construction industry. Consequently, a rise or fall in this sector can have a domino effect on many other industries. This is one of the main reasons that urban managers, who are specifically trained in the nittygritties of this industry, are the need of the hour. A course specifically designed for urban management prepares the students in business nuances within the urban infrastructure sector. These skills will also give students an edge while searching for a job.

 Career Scope Currently, the urban construction sector contributes to around 11 per cent of India’s GDP and is set to grow at a rapid rate. Hence, the potential for careers in this industry is high. Commercial Real Estate Development - Commercial real estate developers affect the way a society grows and functions, since they create or build the environment. They plan and develop structures keeping in mind the need of the people, surrounding geographical conditions and existing laws. Financial analytical abilities, ability to manage several projects at the same time and strong communication and negotiating skills are required, since they have to regularly liaison with financers, contractors and political bigwigs. Commercial Lending and Real Estate Finance - There are many commercial banks and

insurance companies Some Indian B-Schools offering MBA that specialise in in Infrastructure Management real estate lending  TERI University and mortgage. Good  AMITY School of Urban Management financial, analytical  National Institute of Construction and networking Management and Research (NICMAR) skills are required to  Symbiosis Centre for Management generate new business and Human Research Development with developers and (SCMHRD) brokers.  Centre for Environmental Planning Real Estate and Technology University (CEPT Securities Analysis University) and Investment  School of Planning and Architecture, Real estate security is Delhi a very niche area and requires a different estate advisory firm or work expertise compared to traditional stocks and bonds. directly for a property owner. The performance of real estate Asset managers make the critical securities is interconnected with decisions necessary to execute the dynamics of the construction a successful investment strategy sector and is subject to specific tax while taking into account the and legalities. Graduates of urban constantly changing dynamics and real estate management can of realty markets and capital work with investment banking markets. They acquire assets as firms, a security analysing or a part of an investments strategy, rating agency or as a fund reposition assets through capital improvements, and refinance manager. Consulting and assets or dispose of assets. Advisory Services Asset managers need a thorough The urban understanding of realty and capital development sector markets. In addition to the above career is complex and requires experts opportunities in the private sector, able to bring unique a degree in urban management knowledge and skills opens up opportunities in the to help in solving real public sector as well. estate challenges. Urban Planning and Regulation Consultants and - Urban or city planners work advisors assist clients with governments to manage through challenges the growth and development of such as investment, communities for the benefit of the appraisal and people and environment. Urban valuation, corporate planners work with developers, real estate services, investors, residents and politicians tax advisory services to minimise pollution, traffic and or other specialised congestion while maximising realty value, quality of life and consulting. Asset Management - sustainability. Planners may work As an asset manager directly for a municipality or for a you can be a part consulting firm. An urban/real estate manager of an investment firm, full service real can get a starting salary of Rs.

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Cover Story 6.5 lakh or more, depending on the company, job profile and experience of the candidate.

Insurance Management



A few years ago, Mumbai was in the clutches of terror; terrorists attacked and killed 166 people and injured hundreds of others; a huge loss of property was reported as well. The fear of loss of faith and brand loomed large. What measures were taken to help businesses get back on their feet? To what extent did insurance cover the damages? What steps were taken to tackle such risks in the future? Insurance and risk management professionals need to have answers to such questions to contain the impact of risks. Insurance is an important tool for mitigating risk. The insurance industry has a strong interest in effective risk management. It works towards encouraging policies and actions that can manage various natural hazard risks; not many organisations have the resources to handle the risks themselves or pay for the losses. Insurance and risk management plays an important role in reducing the amount of losses that a business faces. Both insurance companies and the risk manager’s roles are to analyse and anticipate the potential for the loss. They tend to calculate an appropriate premium in exchange for assuming the risk, and the premium is calculated


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

MBA in Insurance and Risk Management By choosing a major in Insurance and Risk Management, an MBA student can fuse general management education along with the specialised knowledge and expertise. This programme gives a thorough understanding of risk management and insurance both in terms of theory and practice. They can find career opportunities within insurance as well as noninsurance sector. Mostly, students with a degree in mathematics, statistics and engineering are more inclined towards the course, as it involves a lot of number crunching.

based on extensive research and review. The job is all the more challenging as no two risks are the same. The risk management Career options profile and the insurance needs The demand is huge and to necessarily become more is evident from the influx complex once the companies of companies at campus expand and diversify their placements. General Insurance services and products. However, Co. Ltd., SBI General Insurance it is important to know that risk Company Ltd., ICICI Lombard management also addresses General Insurance Co. Ltd., SBI many risks that are not insurable, Life Insurance Company Ltd., such as brand integrity, potential CholaMandalam MS General loss of tax-exempt status for Insurance Ltd., IFFCO-Tokio, volunteer groups, public goodwill Tata AIG General Insurance Co. and continuing donor support. Ltd., Accenture, Kotak Securities If we take a look at the Ltd., Franklin Templeton Indian market, the potential of Investments and Birla Sunlife the insurance industry is huge. are just some of the companies The industry is driven in a big that show keen interest in way by changes such as higher insurance and risk management disposable income, efforts by professionals. government, changing demographics, new Some Indian B-Schools offering MBA products and entry of in Risk and Insurance Management new players. The life  Institute of Insurance and Risk insurance industry Management, Hyderabad (pegged at US$ 58.7  SAMS Varanasi billion) has emerged as  EIILM University, School of Insurance a leader of the entire & Risk Management, Sikkim insurance space. It  Amity School of Insurance and covers over 35 crore life Actuarial Sciences insurance policies and  Institute of Management Studies, the industry has shown Kolkata remarkable growth post privatisation in 2000.

Cover Story Media Management

Jim Morrison of The Doors once said, “Whoever controls the media controls the mind.” This statement rings true when we realise how much our lives revolve around one or another kind of media. We depend upon the media for news, entertainment and communication, and no matter how much we protest to the contrary, most of our opinions are influenced by the media. Only a decade ago, the media industry was a part of the unorganised sector in India. But today, it is an industry which is expected to grow at 12.5 per cent per annum over the next few years. A report released by KPMG and FICCI states that the media industry in India is projected to touch US$ 20.09 billion by 2013. Thus, the industry has become a very popular choice for aspiring mangers to consider. An MBA in Media Management provides you a platform to understand the evergrowing media industry. It also teaches you the business of media. A student learns about

media economics, Some Indian B-Schools offering generating revenue, MBA in Media Management getting financers,  SIMC marketing products, branding, strategising  Mudra Institute of Communication and budgeting. It offers  AMITY School of Communication a unique opportunity of  Whistling Woods International being creative as well  Welingkar Institute of Management as business-minded. In Development and Research addition, the programme aims at producing skilled business managers managerial and business level capable of working with not only in this industry in DTH, gaming, online technologies but also animation and cellular data conventional media to promote sectors are a good option. Social products and services. media managers are also in high Media essentially involves demand nowadays. journalism, audio-visuals, Radio – You can consider jobs advertising and public relations. in organisational management, The media can be print, operations, finance and broadcast, online and radio. marketing at radio stations such Managing any of these requires as Big FM, Radio Mirchi, Red specific knowledge about its FM, All India Radio, etc. operations. Advertising and Public Career options Relations – Advertising and PR After MBA in Media Management, trends showed a healthy growth numerous options are available in in the last decade as marketers various industries. Some of these sought to woo customers for options are: a wide range of products. Television – You can join You can work as an account television channels or production director, media planner, brand houses as a channel head, manager, head of corporate programming head, sales communications, etc. and marketing analyst, media Initial pay scale for media planner or you can also join managers ranges from Rs. them in a financial or a creative 40,000 to Rs. 50,000 per month, capacity. while professionals with prior Film – There are many work experience can expect a opportunities for jobs in higher salary. this industry as managers, production heads, marketing and Healthcare Management sales head, finance analysts, PR An uncertain economy depicts a managers, etc. You can even bleak scenario for fresh graduates consider jobs in multiplexes or in looking for employment in their celebrity and event management chosen profession. But consider companies. this — a field that has excellent Print – In this industry, graduates potential, even in a recession; can consider jobs as business what about a career that gives development managers, you respect and status almost publishing heads, sales and akin to god, which requires you to marketing heads, circulation or work hard but is equally lucrative subscription heads, etc. and rewarding? Healthcare Online/Digital – Jobs at Management is all this and more.

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Cover Story Some of the areas in which health managers can shape their career are:  Health information managers, medical record officers or administrators.  Health insurance managers  Medical editors



 Educators  Quality analysts in research centres  Government hospitals



 Diagnostic centres  Community health services  Accreditation agencies  Research institutes The healthcare industry is rapidly evolving and the demand for healthcare managers is on a rise. Physicians, surgeons and nurses are traditional healthcare professionals that one typically envisions when contemplating chief roles in the medical field, but a healthcare facility cannot survive only on its medical staff. The healthcare manager is that skilled professional who is responsible for the planning and management of a healthcare facility. He works closely with medical staff, procuring the best infrastructure and coordinating treatment protocols to deliver quality healthcare with maximised efficiency. He is responsible for varied duties that affect the execution of healthcare, including financial planning, marketing and public awareness, inventory management, human resources and staff relations and patient care services. The decisions he makes help improve the lives of hundreds, even thousands of people every day, making


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

healthcare managers some of the most satisfied employees. As the healthcare sector grows with emerging new treatments and technological advances, healthcare managers are needed in a variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, public health departments, research universities, health insurance companies and private clinics. The Indian healthcare industry is expected to grow rapidly, at a rate of around 21 per cent by 2020 and hence, is in need of skilled and efficient personnel who are excellent in medical science and also technologically sound. The important characteristic of healthcare today is the fact that job opportunities in this industry are not limited to just doctors and nurses any more. There has been a horizontal growth in the sector with other niche healthcare areas opening up as well. All of this has affected the healthcare job scenario

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

positively, making the sector one of the most preferred in terms of growth potential. Career opportunities / Scope After completing an MBA in healthcare management, you can work in hospitals, clinics, old age homes, medical colleges and state health departments in the public and private sector. Similarly, there are huge and varied opportunities abroad in hospital management. One can also take up challenging job opportunities in medical research institutes and NGOs operating in the healthcare sector. Healthcare management is a huge, complex and everchanging field. You may initially start as assistant hospital

Top 10 institutes in healthcare management Name of Institute City Placements Infra (200) (100) IHMR Jaipur 165 85 TISS Mumbai 170 90 AIIMS Delhi 172 88 IMS, Devi Ahilya Indore 171 81 University Apollo Inst. of Hospital Hyderabad 163 87 Administration DMS, Madurai Kamraj Madurai 178 83 University Christian Medical Vellore 160 90 College IPHMR Calcutta 153 72 ASCI Hinduja Institute of Hyderabad 170 72 Healthcare KEM Healthcare Pune 125 73 Management Institute Source: Outlook-Synovate Survey

Cover Story

administrator or as a manager of non-health departments like finance and gradually move into more responsible and highly paid positions such as associate administrator, etc.

Hospitality/Hotel Management

The hospitality industry holds the distinction of being one of the oldest industries in the world, dating back to biblical times. Nobody can identify a time in history when hospitality wasn’t present in one form or another. And now, as the world shrinks with people becoming increasingly mobile, it is obvious that the industry will flourish beyond imagination. It is an industry that permeates most other industries; go on, take a moment and think about it. Isn’t it an intrinsic part of industries such as Medical, education, business, government, travel, recreation, events, etc? The list is endless. Hospitality/Hotel Management is part of the service industry — an industry that brings in more money and creates more jobs than any other. The industry comprises 5-star, budget and

heritage hotels, resorts and clubs and restaurants. It is divided into sectors according to the skill-sets required for the work involved. The various sectors include accommodation, food and beverage, meeting and events, gaming, entertainment and recreation, tourism services, and visitor information. The World Travel and Tourism Council has predicted that India has the potential to become the number one tourist destination in the world, growing at 10.1 per cent per annum. Global fund companies and business houses are also investing in the Indian hospitality sector and existing Indian hotel groups are adding hotel properties each year. This in turn has led to a growing demand for hotel managers. Why do an MBA/Masters in Hotel/Hospitality Management Most students take up Hotel Management directly after Class 12, get a bachelor’s degree in the subject and take up a job, since the hotel industry as such does not require you to have a Master’s degree and you can train on field itself. Having said that, a Master’s degree will definitely set you apart from the crowd and you can expect to enter the industry at a more senior level than the usual entry-level positions. By even

Some Indian B-Schools offering MBA in Hospitality Management  Amity School of Hospitality  Indian Institute of Hospitality and Manangement  Oberoi Centre For Learning and Development  Hotel and Catering Management Institute

completing this level of study, you have shown that you can commit to learning your profession and are now equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to begin your career. Hospitality jobs are always in demand, so you shouldn’t ever find yourself out of a job, especially if you have great qualifications supporting you. And no matter where you got the degree from, you can work anywhere in the world. Another reason is that Hotel Management has specific training requirements that need to be met. People who want to take up even front desk jobs need to do a specialised course in Hotel/Hospitality Management. Career Scope An MBA in Hospitality Management offers tremendous scope for the future, as the food and beverage industry, in any country, is pretty much the last to face economic upheavals. This gives the industry a certain security, which makes it an enviable career choice. It is also lucrative, more fast-paced, less mundane and offers fast career growth with many perks. The scope in this industry is growing daily with restaurants, hotels, spas and holiday resorts mushrooming everywhere. The starting monthly salary may be around Rs. 40,000 and this would increase if the graduate has previous work experience. Career Options Hospitality Industry l Five-Star Hotels / Resorts l Clubs l Restaurants l Fast Food Chains l Flight, Railway, Luxury Cruise Catering l Travel Agencies

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013



Hospitals:  Hospital Catering  Hospital Housekeeping General Industry:  Industrial Catering  Industrial Housekeeping  Banquet Sales  Event Management Self Employment:  Owning, running a Hotel, Restaurant or Fast Food Outlet

Sports Management

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. But, what if Jack can combine work with play? Most of us, at some point in our lives, are guilty of overdoing the work or play, but what if there exists a career that mixes a bit of both? That career would be Sports Management. Sports Management is, specifically, the application of management skills to the sports field. You either manage a player or team or you plan and supervise a sporting event. If you are a sports buff, this is most definitely the career for you. The sports industry has grown dramatically in the past decade and promises to continue expanding. With sports revenues reaching new heights,


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

there is an ever-increasing demand for professionals trained in the managerial, administrative and business aspects of sports. In India, sports is growing beyond cricket. The Olympics and Formula One are proof of this rage. Getting a billion people to believe in a game and instilling their faith in a team and its players is nothing short of a miracle, and it does not happen just by having pretty cheerleaders and mascots. It takes vision and perseverance to strategically market, manage and promote the game and its players, to make it a religion of sorts, beyond any differences to celebrate the true spirit of sportsmanship. The advent of a variety of sporting ventures in India and better mass media reach are producing remarkable talents from many seemingly backward regions. The popularisation of sports has created an escalating demand for leaders who can manage various international competitions and organisations, professional sports teams and major international sponsors involved in these events. In such Some Indian offering MBA Management

B-Schools in Sports

 Team.i , The Entertainment and Media Institute  University of Technology and Management  International Institute of Sports Management  Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management

a scenario, sports management as a career option shows great promise. Specialisation in Sports Management While for many, getting into sports may sound more like fun rather than a serious career, the truth is that the game involves a serious amount of money. Any event like the Olympic Games, FIFA World Cup or the English Premier League will generate huge revenues from sponsorship, broadcasting rights, tickets, etc, making a career in sports management a popular and a lucrative choice. More and more students from the general MBA field are opting to get into sports, which is why the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, has decided to offer a sports elective in their PGPM from 2012-13. To get into the sports industry, it is beneficial to have a degree in sports management since it trains an individual to deal with sport management theory, sport marketing, fundraising, promotions, public relations, ethics in sport management, legal aspects of sport, facility planning and management, computer applications to sport, research methods, sport management problems, and issues and risk management. Courses are specially designed to intertwine the fields of physical education, sport, business, computers, and communications. They include detailed study of communications, interpersonal relations, business, accounting, finance, economics, statistics, and also includes the historical, sociological, psychological and philosophical perspectives of sport. Contd. on Pg 14

Cover Story

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Cover Story Careers Graduates in sports management can try for varied jobs. Some popular career choices are: l Sports Agent l Team Manager l Sports Public Relations l Sports Journalism l Sports Marketing l Sports Event Management l Sports Finance A graduate in sports management can also get into sports retail, anchoring, law and broadcasting.

Intellectual Management


55.7 million jobs, or around 27.7 per cent of the US workforce, is supported by companies that depend heavily on intellectual property rights to protect their creative works; these companies include the US movie studios, drug manufacturers, among others, according to a recent Reuters report. Just that one statement is enough for a person to realise the importance of protecting one’s intellectual property in today’s “new today, old tomorrow” era. Intellectual property is a general term for intangible assets owned and legally protected by a person or a company from outside use or implementation without consent. In simple terms, intellectual

property is any idea, innovation or an invention that needs legal ownership to ensure that it isn’t copied or used without prior permission from the owner. It gives the creator sole ownership of the concept, in a similar way to owning physical property. Intellectual property rights (IPR) can be used to protect a technology, brand name, design and creativity behind the concept. Today, especially with technological developments becoming almost a dime a dozen, the intellectual property age is firmly upon us. Just as a property lying idle is rented out or leased to earn money, unused intellectual property is also leased out. The recent concept of valuation of intangible assets related to intellectual property like Patents, Copyrights, Design, Trademarks, Brands etc is also gaining importance, as these are now often sold and purchased in the market like any other tangible asset. All large companies possess enough intellectual property to bring some of it to the market and thereby generate large incomes from licensing and franchising. And this is where an intellectual property manager steps in. He will be involved in valuating, leasing and franchising of the unused intellectual property. Therefore, the demand for such a manager has grown. Career scope Intellectual property laws are the same across the world, and so, with a degree in intellectual property management, you could get a job just about anywhere in the world. Furthermore, IP is not restricted to just one sector or industry; it is required in almost


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Some Indian B-Schools offering MBA in IP Management  NMIMS – Institute of Intellectual Property Studies  Indian Institute of Patent and Trademark Attorney  Global Institute of Intellectual Property

all companies, irrespective of the industry they belong to. Therefore, IP studies will always be relevant, especially once all organisations start taking it more seriously. Private sector - Companies are constantly on the lookout for suitable and competent professionals to handle their intellectual property issues. Also industries such as pharmaceuticals, information technology, bio-technology, media, music, etc are always on the lookout for experts to handle their IP. Consultancies - You can also be an intellectual property consultant, wherein you will be employed by consultancies or law firms that deal with intellectual property of many business houses. Government sector - The government sector also needs intellectual property managers, especially in fields of research, defense and agriculture. The starting salary for IPR experts is in the range of Rs. 5 to 6 lakh per annum. At a more senior level, you can earn up to Rs. 34 lakh per annum. Other than these courses, the Academy of Intellectual Property Studies also runs a post-graduate diploma in patent management which is a parttime course.

Cover Story Energy Management

Until about two decades ago, we thought our natural reserves of energy were inexhaustible, but recent developments have proved us wrong. The availability of different resources and the proper use serve as the key factors towards the economic growth. Hence, the conservation of energy and the utilisation of renewable energy comes with remarkable prospects for employment generation and social entrepreneurship. With vast amount of coal reserves, immense potential for generation of power from renewable energy resources and an investor-friendly policy for greenfield power projects, the Indian power sector is a minefield of opportunities. India is also making progress in generation of power from renewable energy resources such as wind, hydroelectric, biomass and solar energy. In the world, India is ranked number two in biogas, number four in wind energy development globally and now Gujarat is set to be the solar capital of the world. India is also the fifth largest energy consumer and sixth in refining capacity. Out of the eight Indian companies that have made it to the Fortune Global 500 list, three belong to the petroleum sector. While these are some clear indicators of the growth potential for this sector, the latest PwCPetrofed report projects a huge shortage of skilled manpower and professionals in the Indian oil and gas industry. Why Energy Management? Traditionally, energy has been thought of as oil and gas only. But now, the world has realised the potential of diferent sources of energy, mainly solar, wind and geothermal. The sudden interest

in these different energy sectors has created a demand for qualified individuals who understand this industry. A course in energy management customises its curriculum to fit global standards, which gives students the tools needed to be effective in the energy market worldwide. It provides a programme that encapsulates a thorough study of energy, its trading, conservation and sustainability. It provides candidates with an intense comprehension of the business techniques used in specific areas of energy management. You can specialise in different forms of energy or various parts of its business, such as energy economics, energy regulation, renewable energy and trading. Career opportunities Major corporations across the world have realised the importance of conserving energy and are employing energy managers to address their energy systems in order to mitigate waste. In India, we have the Energy Conservation Act, 2001, which states that energyintensive industries, including sugar, iron and steel, textiles,

chemicals, railways, transport, petrochemicals, electricity transmission and distribution companies, and even commercial buildings have to designate or appoint an energy manager. With potential in terms of employment opportunities and entrepreneurial ventures, there is no looking back for the energy management personnel. As a result of the immense potential in this field, private equity funds and venture capitalists are investing huge amounts of money even in the new ventures. Students with an MBA in Energy Management can expect to be recruited at the mid-management level in various firms – both in the energy as well as non-energy sector, which includes companies such as Infosys, Tata Power, Reliance Energy, Suzlon Energy, ONGC, BHEL, L&T, Asian Paints, etc. You can gain employment as an environmental manager, power/ energy trader, renewable energy manager, business development manager, energy project manager, energy analyst/auditor, etc. As an energy manager, you can expect a salary of around Rs. 9 to 10 lakh per annum. In case you have substantial work experience, you can get a higher amount. A Some Indian offering MBA Management

B-Schools in Energy

 University of Petroleum and Energy Studies  National Institute



 Great Lakes Institute of Management  Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Petroleum Technology  MDI Gurgaon  Great Lakes IEMR  TERI University

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Cover Story

Double competency at UPES

Dr. Parag Diwan, Vice Chancellor of the University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun. He is an acknowledged institution builder, acclaimed author and professor in new emerging technology University of Petroleum & Energy Studies was an innovative experiment in the field of higher education. Has it been a successful experiment? Yes, indeed UPES is an innovative experiment in the field of higher education as for the first time a domain specific university was developed specifically in the domain of the energy sector. Now looking back seven years, we feel that we were at the right place at the right time and created a model sectoral-specific institution of higher learning. The courses have been well received by the industry and we have got good response from student community as well. We have a deep sense of fulfillment for having created this unique yet successful experiment. How well has the industry received your programmes? The industry received our programme very well. They found the graduates from these programmes to be industry ready in terms of their domain specific understanding and knowledge about the industry. Recruiters found that this cuts down their initial training investments. Graduates from UPES can be deployed faster then any other graduates. This helps companies get better productivity out of the new recruits. How well are your programmes received by the student community? As far as the student community is concerned, our programmes have been received well, and this is reflected in terms of the kind of attraction rate that we have in our programme. In fact, today we get 10 times more applications than the seats that are on offer.


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

In light of the special thrust given by the government to infrastructure development, do you see an increasing relevance for the UPES programmes? In recent times, to drive our economy back to the growth rates of 9 per cent, core sector infrastructure need to be improved many folds. The core section consists of energy, oil and gas, port and shipping and infrastructure for roads, bridges and other real estate related developments. In fact, UPES offers both engineering and management and even law programmes specialising in these sectors. Therefore, the contribution of UPES in developing new talent for growth engines of economy is extremely relevant. We have introduced many new programmes from this year. We have even started a B.Tech programme with LLB, which is an innovative course covering engineering and law programmes in one degree. How does the curriculum and pedagogy for your programs differ from that of general undergraduate and postgraduate programmes? Our curriculum has three distinct sets of courses. The first The University of Petroleum & Energy Studies (UPES) was established in 2003 through an Act of Uttarakhand State Legislature and is recognised by UGC & accredited by NAAC. UPES, located in the sylvan surroundings of the Pondha valley at the foothills of the Himalayas in Dehradun, Uttarakhand in upper Northern India, has emerged as a world-class institution; dedicated to developing superspecialised, ready to deploy managers and engineers across Energy (Oil & Gas, Power and Energy Trading), Transportation (Aviation, Automotive and Port & Shipping), Logistics & Supply Chain, Electronics, Infrastructure, and IT sectors. Born out of a unique vision, UPES is created with the aim of providing domain specific and industry ready management, engineering and legal professionals, at the graduate, postgraduate and doctoral levels. The campus is home to more than 5,000 students, over 350 permanent faculty members and 50 diverse programmes. Added to this there are lots many special modules to groom students into tomorrow’s comprehensive professionals.

Cover Story set consist of core subjects which any good engineering and management programme should have. The second set, which we call domain tailored courses where the courses are customized for domain specific sector. The third sets are domain specific courses which pertain to specific streams. As far as the pedagogy is concerned, we have strong bend of practical exposure, industry projects and hands-on experience with the industry through internships and industrial tours. Are the eligibility criteria for your MBA programmes different from those followed by B-schools offering a general MBA degree? If so, could you please elaborate the reasons for the difference in eligibility criteria? Eligibility criteria for our MBA programmes are similar to any other MBA programme, which implies CAT / MAT scores, conducting of GD and PI and have weightage in all these components. However, we have a concept of double competency, for example we try to take candidates with mechanical/electrical engineering background in MBA Power Management programme. In this way we develop double competency. Do you have any international collaboration? Yes, UPES has an understanding with many international renowned universities for holding joint seminars, faculty exchange programmes, professional development & continuing education, joint research, review of PhD theses and mutual exchange of scientific publications. Some such universities are McGill University, Canada, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, Stanford University, California, China University of Petroleum, Beijing, Centennial College, Canada, Queen Mary University of London, University of Waterloo, Canada, Petroleum University of Technology, Iran and Petroleum Gas University of Ploiesti, Romania.

Is the University involved in research? UPES is proactively involved in research and development activities. The research mission of UPES is to become a research-intensive university recognised for its positions at the forefront of setting and delivering research agenda, nationally and internationally across UNIQUE COURSES OFFERED BY UPES, Dehradun COLLEGE OF MANAGEMENT & ECONOMICS STUDIES Undergraduate • BBA - ( Oil & Gas Marketing) • BBA - (Aviation Operations) • BBA - (Logistics Management) • BBA - (Auto Marketing) Postgraduate • MBA - ( Oil & Gas Management) • MBA - (Power Management) • MBA - (Energy Trading) • MBA - (Aviation Management) • MBA - (Port & Shipping Management) • MBA - (Logistics & Supply Chain Management) • MBA - (Information Systems Management) • MBA - (Infrastructure Management) • MBA - (International Business) all disciplines in domains of choice. The research centres of UPES is engaged in maintaining advanced research programmes in the areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology, environment and energy, alternate energy, automotive, excellence in energy economics, logistics and supply chain, infrastructure and project financing, energy law, research quality and productivity and developing research in the competitive world. Does a student restrict his career options by opting for domain focused programmes offered by the university? At any point in time, a person has to choose a domain and area of active interest for career development. What UPES offers to candidate is a choice at the beginning of their higher education. By focusing on domains candidates develop skill sets and exposure to work in the specific industry. Students can move to the functional area expertise later in their career in any industry. But yes, initially the career does get developed in chosen domain.

Dehradun UPES Campus, P.O. Bidholi Via-Prem Nagar, Dehradun-248007 l Tel: 0135-2102549, 08410060090, 08410080040

Contact us:

New Delhi University Of Petroleum & Energy Studies 1st Floor, 55, Community Centre, East of Kailash New Delhi 110065 l Tel: 011- 41730151/52/53 Advt.

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Prepare to prevail!

Now that you are probably done with the GD round, the final step is upon you — the interview. Here are a few tips on how to answer some commonly asked questions. Reema Sehgal, Academic Head-Verbal, IMS


s the second selection round (GD-Essay-PI) of most B-schools is being held this month, most shortlisted candidates are suffering through sleepless nights or frightening dreams; such is the terror instilled by the personality assessment stage. The interview is unquestionably the scarier component. A GD at least offers the comfort of looking empathetically into the eyes of another, who shares in your misfortune of not having anything worthwhile to put forward. Misery loves company, and the realisation that you are not the only one who has disappointed is, in a way, consoling. An interview, however, makes you feel like a matador waving a red cape at not just one but two or more charging bulls, without there being a large crowd of spectators cheering you on. Take a cue from the following


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observation made by Thomas Jefferson: “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” To help you emerge victorious in this decisive battle, here are a few guidelines on how to prepare answers to some commonly asked interview questions. l The

purpose behind this article is not to prescribe ideal answers, which would make every answer similar, but to get your brain working so that you are able to figure out what is the best answer for you, considering the unique combination of your skills, personality, background, ambition, and resources.

l Keep

in mind that the ultimate purpose behind asking most of these questions is to determine whether you could become a successful manager or not. You should put yourself in the shoes of a person who has been entrusted with the responsibility of determining who the best prospective managers are from a large group of candidates. What would your concerns be then? What pointers would you be on the lookout for? Of course, you need to familiarise yourself w i t h

MBA BUZZ what are considered to be the qualities of a good/ successful manager. Different questions are designed to assess different qualities and personality traits. l Use your answers as a basis

to build a personal story. The more clearly you are able to build an identity through your answers, the more your chances of having a good interview and securing admission.

l Try and get feedback about

your answers from as many people as possible. Ask your friends and family to keep these questions in mind while they evaluate your answers: } What about the answer is memorable? } What is the worst part of the answer? } What parts of the answer need elaboration or are unclear? } What parts of the answer do not support your main argument? } Is every single sentence crucial to the answer? This must be the case. } What does the answer reveal about your personality?

l While

penning your answers, anticipate what further questions could stem from them in the interview and decide how you would answer them. These will be the opportunities for you to lead the interview in the desired direction. Don’t waste them.

l Try

to be as precise possible in your usage words and spend time conveying your thought

as of on in

Don’t try and think of ideal answers. Intead, get your brain working so that you are able to figure out what is the best answer for you. the minimum number of words. Avoid clichés like “cutting-edge”, “paradigm shift”, etc. None of your answers should contradict one another and all of them must exhibit a rational thought process. l Do not lie or stretch the

truth. The panel will be able to read your body language or sense your discomfort when they ask you these questions face to face. You are bound to slip up if they ask you for further details. If they establish that you have lied, you will not be selected.

l While listing achievements,

activities, etc, you must mention the most significant and recent ones in the beginning.

Some commonly asked questions and tips for preparing their answers What are your career objectives for the next 5/ 10/ 15 years? Let’s first analyse the managerial qualities assessed by this question. Vision - Having a vision translates into setting goals. If you have a vision, it indicates that you have imagination, ambition and confidence. It means that you have evolved

enough to contemplate how the future may be different from the present. The clearer your vision is, the greater your chances of realising it. Having vision is an important managerial quality, and heralds growth and adaptation for survival. If you can’t visualise where you will be after a few years, you won’t set goals, which means that your actions won’t have a direction and could be wasteful. Fulfilment of goals creates a sense of achievement and satisfaction (without which an individual is likely to be dull and depressed) and stimulates further goal setting, which inspires more positive and productive action, thus establishing a virtuous cycle. Goal-orientation - You are goal-oriented if you strive to realise your goals and vision. Being goal-oriented could indicate being passionate, self-motivated, disciplined, and focused. Goal-orientation bridges the gap between idealism and pragmatism, and is an important managerial quality. If you aren’t goal oriented, you cannot inspire others to work towards achieving the goals. Organisations desire results and goal achievement. Self-concern and awareness – If you are not concerned enough about your own future or well-being, anyone will find it difficult to believe that you will be able to contribute towards the well-being of others (B-school, peers, future employers or society). A lack of awareness (of both one’s self and one’s surroundings) indicates a lack of interest, motivation and curiosity – all of which are important for becoming successful managers. High concern and

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MBA BUZZ awareness translate into more focus and seriousness.

you know enough about the above points, your answer will turn out to be quite specific, rather than vague or general.

Some tips for preparing this answer l Objectives

should be SMART, i.e., specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-targeted. l Goal setting theory studies have shown that specific and difficult goals lead to a higher level of performance than general or easy goals.

l Your answer could be as

l If you don’t know enough

about the course you are applying for, the specialisations it offers, the career options available after completing the course, the structure of the industry you will be working in, and the industry leaders and their organisational structure, it will be assumed that you are not interested, serious, motivated or disciplined enough – none of which will reflect well on you. If

specific as: } Majoring and building a career in a particular area of interest that you develop within the various streams of business management (marketing, finance, operations). } Majoring in multiple areas, thus becoming a generalist, and then joining the world’s leading business consultancies. } Starting an enterprise of your own or rejoining your family-owned business. } Creating wealth and employment that will contribute to India’s economic growth. } Going back to the industry that you currently work in with a degree in management and building

your future in the industry. a CEO by a certain age.

} Becoming

l If you have not made such

specific plans, and want to decide your career based on what you learn during your MBA, you can certainly say so, it won’t hurt your chances one bit. You just have to present your case saying that you have not made any long-term plans as yet, and you would want to take that call sometime during your MBA education after you have been exposed to the specifics of the various courses and avenues that a degree in management opens up for you.

l The second/ third answer

i.e. your objectives for 10/15 years, should be a logical progression of the preceding one. The progression should be in responsibility and experience and not salaries. You need to have an idea about the various designations in your target organisation or industry and how much time it takes to reach there.

l Your answer should be a

balance between ambition and pragmatism. That means, talk confidently about achieving high goals but do not get carried away.

l As far as possible, mention

not just the designation or firm or industry but also the kind of work you look forward to doing. That would indicate that you have done a thorough assessment and are excited at the prospect of being able to do that some day.

l Your

answer will reflect whether you are intrinsically

Contd. on Pg 22


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MBA BUZZ or extrinsically motivated (intrinsically motivated people are more likely to engage in tasks willingly as well as work to improve their skills, which will increase their capabilities) or whether you are motivated by your need of achievement, affiliation or power. Different motivators indicate different personality characteristics. Some introspection in this area is desirable before you answer this question.

l You could mention that you

feel your potential will be most fully realised in or you are most suited for the chosen career path.

Describe two instances where you have been able to demonstrate leadership and team-building skills. Some tips for preparing this answer instances can be drawn from family or student or your work life. The situations should be genuine and involve you demonstrating leadership or team-building skills when you look back in hindsight, even though you might not have realised it then.

l These

l Both

the instances could be very different but should share a similar degree of importance.

l Ensure that you are aware

of what “leadership” and “team-building” mean and what skills are related to them.

Leadership is commonly defined as a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of


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a common task. The main leadership traits are: } Determination and drive (include initiative, energy, assertiveness, perseverance, and sometimes dominance.) } Cognitive capacity (includes intelligence, analytical and verbal ability, behavioural flexibility, and good judgment.) } Self-confidence (includes high self-esteem, assertiveness, emotional stability, and selfassurance.) } Integrity (demonstrated by being truthful, trustworthy, principled, consistent, dependent, loyal, and not deceptive.) } Sociability (describes individuals who are friendly, extroverted, tactful, flexible, and interpersonally competent.) Team-building is the process of developing cooperation and team-work within a work unit. It is a philosophy of job design in which employees are viewed as members of interdependent teams instead of as individual workers. Team-building exercises could consist of

Your answer should clearly establish how you used your leadership style to enlist people’s aid in accomplishing a common task

a wide range of activities designed to enhance team performance. Through them, individuals can practice brainstorming, collaborating, creativity, trusting and giving and receiving feedback. Most of these activities focus on areas such as problem solving, organisational development and conflict resolution. l Your answer will reveal your

leadership style, which could be engaging, authoritarian, participative, laissez-faire, narcissistic, toxic, taskoriented or relationshiporiented. Read up on these.

l Your answer should clearly

establish how you used your leadership style to enlist people’s aid in accomplishing a common task, which leadership traits you displayed while doing so, and how you built a highperforming team.

Specify one thing about yourself that you are proud of. Some tips for preparing this answer l The

question doesn’t specify whether a strength or achievement should be mentioned. So, you could mention a combination of the two, i.e., an advantageous trait or ability you possess and how you have employed it to your benefit. For example, if you have good communication skills, mention how they help you to define or articulate situations or problems to others and thus ensure that there is no ambiguity about the problem at hand and the way it has to be solved.

MBA BUZZ l You shouldn’t come across

as too egotistical or arrogant. But this is not the time to be humble either. Strike a balance.

l If you are choosing among

multiple traits, pick the one that is considered most important for becoming a successful manager. So choose traits like communication skills, interpersonal skills or leadership abilities over academic qualities like logical ability, analytical skills, reasoning, mathematical aptitude, etc.

l Try to elaborate on the trait.

Instead of saying (that you are proud of your) “honesty”, you could say “ability to uphold my values even in trying times”. Instead of saying (that you are proud of your) “intelligence”, you could elaborate on what intelligence means to you, for example, ‘ability to learn quickly” or “ability to apply learnt concepts to enhance performance” or “ability to develop a holistic view of situations or issues”, etc.

What are you most often criticised for? Some tips for preparing this answer l Again, the question hasn’t

specifically asked for a weakness, but it would be prudent to interpret it as this. Very commonly, people are criticised for annoying habits rather than personality shortcomings. But the former is not relevant here.

l Try

to present your shortcoming in a positive context. For example, if you are mentioning that

you are criticised for your lack of attention to detail, you could say, “The line between enthusiasm and lacking in attention to detail is thin, and at times, I end up being on the wrong side. This is a shortcoming that I recognise and I’m working on it.”

What do you like to do in your leisure time? Some tips for preparing this answer

l If you have, any deficiencies

l If you have any clearly defined

such as a poor academic record at some stage, you can use this opportunity to explain how it was just a blip and not a reflection of aptitude by referring to your later academic performance and also your preparation and performance for the written test that got you short-listed.

If you do not have any major hobbies but are a diehard fan of an actor, or just enjoy spending time with friends or family, do not hesitate to mention it l Choose your words carefully

so that it doesn’t sound like you’re heavily criticised for something.

l Sneak in a phrase mentioning

the reparative action you took or are taking to prevent receiving the same feedback again.

l If

choosing, obviously you should pick the shortcoming that is least related to management or the one that least damages your chances of becoming a successful manager.

l This

question is designed to get a more rounded picture of you and give you the opportunity to direct the interview. regular hobby like reading, watching movies, listening to music, playing or watching cricket or any other sport, mention it very specifically.

l Do

not just mention the hobbies, include details like } Favourite authors, books, genres } Favourite movies or stars or directors whose movies you make it a point to watch } Favourite cricketers/players or teams } Favourite bands, musician or type of music, etc.

l This

is a question where being honest could add colour to your application and give discussion points for your interview. So if you do not have any major hobbies or interests but are a diehard fan of any actor and watch his or her movies on the first day or just enjoy spending as much time with friends or family above all else, do not hesitate to mention it.

l Don’t

mention activities that you rarely indulge in. If you read a book once in six months, don’t mention it. Apart from these, try to find out about other questions that are commonly asked and prepare your answers in advance. Don’t shy away from seeking your mentors’ advice at this crucial time. Preparation is the only surefire way of ensuring success! A

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Don’t just dump it

With the blindingly fast progress of technology and its associated products, there is an urgent need for e-waste recycling in today’s tech world, and for companies, big, small or start-ups, to tackle e-waste Rajat Verma Co-founder, Attero Recycling


id you know that your mobile phone contains gold and that waste recyclers recover this gold when the phone reaches the end of its life? Did you, however, know that more than half the gold in the phones is not recovered because most such phones that are at the end of their tether reach the unorganised scrap market? Given the huge number of phones that we have been selling in India, we are talking about as much as around 5,000 kilos of gold lost every year! India is perhaps one of the fastest growing markets for electronic goods in nearly all segments. Industries require technology to grow, to cut down expenses and to enhance productivity. Individuals require technology to entertain, to communicate and to make their lives easier. One cannot take away the great role that


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technology has played in the modern world. However, the same world wants to breathe and live peacefully within this environment. As we notice the growth trends, we also notice a steep decline in our ability to breathe healthy air, drink cleaner water, and sustain farm productivity. A growing contributor to this polluted environment is electronic-waste. There is a serious threat of toxic

More than half the gold in phones, around 5,000 kg every year, is lost, as phones are dumped in the unorganised scrap market

substances such as lead and mercury from televisions, PVC from wire coating and brominated flame retardants from plastics leaching into the environment and poisoning people. This is not a rare phenomenon and when looked at diligently, it is rampant in China, Africa and many parts of India such as Moradabad in western Uttar Pradesh. In 2008, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) – the body that oversees the assessment and control of pollution in India – published guidelines for the control and management of electronic waste in the country. Electronic waste is primarily produced at the end of two cycles. The first is during the production process of an electronic item, for instance, during the time of the manufacturing of a refrigerator. The second is when the product Contd. on Pg 26


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MBA BUZZ has reached the end of its life cycle and the consumer is ready to dispose of it. Both these sources cumulatively produce about a million tonnes of electronic waste in the country. The 2008 law, brought in for manufacturers of electronic items, stated that they had to compulsorily turn in or give away or return their electronic waste to authorised recycling entities. The state pollution control boards – that work under the overall supervision of the CPCB – were made responsible for proper licensing, overseeing, documentation and statistical analysis to ensure that electronic waste is properly handled so that environmental damage is minimized. But like most other well intended laws in the country, this was not effective because no thought was given on how to practically execute it. Several pockets in India continue to exist where electronic and other hazardous waste is processed without due course, often severely corrupting the local environment and degrading the local soil quality to a level that disallows agricultural plantation. The government did notice, finally! It came out with another set of rules – the 2012 Electronic Waste Management and Handling Rules. It made the producer (the original equipment manufacturer as well the importer of products) responsible for environmentally sound disposal of products produced by them when the products reach the end of their life, and not just at the time of manufacturing. It made the consumer and the bulk consumers (small, medium and large businesses) responsible


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for ensuring that they dispose of e-waste to authorised recyclers or authorised collection centres. While the new law is certainly a step in the right direction, it does have its own limitations in terms of how effectively it can be implemented. However, for businesses out there, besides the law, there are several reasons why proper disposal of e-waste is critical to their own business success! I had already talked about gold at the beginning of this article. Illegal disposal of electronic waste denies the country a huge opportunity to extract both precious and other metals. The import of metals into the country places a huge pressure on our currency and thus imposes direct costs on businesses, a fact that is well known. If this reason is not compelling enough for you, let me o u t l i n e i s s u e s which affect you more directly. F o r electronics and retail organisations in particular, recycling and takeback programmes are a strong way of building customer loyalty. Attero, India’s only organisation which has the ability and the licence to extract metals from electronic waste, has carried out take-back programmes of its own and also engaged

several retailers and OEMs in carrying out such programmes. The urban customer, increasingly pressed for time and space, and yet increasingly wanting access to new latest electronic inventions, finds such take-back programmes a convenient way to not just dispose of old devices, but also to get a discount on the next purchase. This helps the organisation to have a greater control on the end of life assets produced by it. At the same time, a voucher based programme is often an easy way for the business to reduce its own customer acquisition or customer retention costs. Organisations typically don’t have the expertise to run such programmes Contd. on Pg 28

Indian B-School Profiles

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MBA BUZZ on their own, as the programme requires expertise in pricing, collection centres, logistics, customer service and access to recycling and refurbishing facilities. This is where organised asset management organisations such as Attero have come in to make it a winwin situation for everyone in the eco-system. Such organisations have not only set up collection centres across various cities in the country, but also offer a convenient, pick-up-fromhome programme. In the latter, a consumer just needs to get on to the website, for instance, and offer their old electronic products to the company for recycling. All the hard work after that is largely done by the organisation with the help of its service partners. For organisations that are more service oriented or that are not engaged in selling of

electronic products directly, there’s an equal, if not more compelling reason, to manage their e-waste well. The typical e-waste of such organisations consists of data devices such as laptops, PCs, servers and mobile phones. With device productivity following Moore’s law, it’s not surprising to see organisations changing their data infrastructure on a regular basis. Old PCs get replaced with new ones. Old mobile phones make way for even smarter phones by the year. But with every progress, there comes a liability. A quick jaunt to Nehru Place, a notorious hub in New Delhi for unorganised refurbished laptop sales, is all it takes to realise how exposed our data is. Whether it is the confidential contracts that your company got into with other organisations stored in easily recoverable Microsoft Word files or the SMSes you h a d

sent to close acquaintances – they are all not really that discreet, or even secret. Needless to say, organisations should align with e-waste management companies, which have proven credentials on how to destroy data. At these companies, data destruction is done either by physically destroying the disk, by punching, drilling, degaussing, or by data sanitisation as per internationally accepted military grade data destruction standards such as DOD sanitise or US DoD NISPOM. Universally acclaimed data erasure software is used where physical destruction of the disk is not needed contractually. Of course, companies should realise that no good programmes can be implemented till they have resources aligned to such programmes. Strong incentives and disincentives have to exist within the organisation to ensure the larger reasons for proper e-waste management - legal compliances, customer retention and data-security. Obviously, if the companies factor in the benefits of the aforementioned, they can more than make up for the costs that are inevitably associated with the correct disposal of e-waste and of putting such a programme in place. Let us, again, not just leave such a critical issue in the hands of the government but also join in together as businesses to get it right this time. A Rajat Verma started his career with a startup in the enterprise software space which was eventually acquired by HP. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MS from Stanford University and a B. Tech from IIT Kanpur. He currently serves on the Board of Axis University, Axis Institutes and Attero Recycling.


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Corporate Interview

‘Hard work is the only option’ V. D. WADHWA, MD & CEO, Timex Group India Ltd, has over 25 years of management experience in various industries. He has been associated with the Timex Group, USA, since its inception and played a major role in the profitable turnaround of Timex India. Prior to this, he was involved with business restructuring in Russia, Brazil, Portugal and Spain. In an interview with Puja Shah he talks about his learning from Harvard, the luxury goods market and effective leadership. Tell us about your journey from Harvard Business School to being the MD and CEO of Timex Group, India. I have been with Timex for some time now. I joined as a company secretary and within a few years I realised I was more inclined toward the business aspect of the company. I had been looking after the business during our joint venture with Titan, when I decided to get an MBA, and after I passed out of Harvard I was elected for the position that I hold now. Today, I look after Timex’s India business with all our neighbouring countries. In the last three years, India has become the number two market in the world after the US. We used to be in the third place a few years ago.

What would you say Harvard Business School has taught you? Harvard gave me a global perspective. It is, as you know, the top B-school in the world. It conditions your mind from day one that one must not look at only short-term goals. It taught me to plan for the future.

The other thing Harvard taught me is that running a business is all about managing people. There will be different kinds of people in your organisation at a time and we must learn to deal with their expectations, motivate them and keep them charged up. Leaders are successful only when their team is.

You’ve been in luxury retail for a while now. What are the changes you see in the Indian luxury retail market vis-à-vis the global scene? In Indian retail, initially the consumption was always high. Customers bought luxury goods either through operators who smuggled goods into the country or while travelling abroad. In the last 10 years, organised retailers of luxury goods have come up, such as DLF Emporio City in Delhi and Palladium in Mumbai. I would say this is just the beginning of luxury goods penetration into the Indian market. It is still restricted to just the top three cities of India, whereas, consumers for luxury goods are available in its top 40 cities. The Indian consumer is also quite savvy; when

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Corporate Interview he sees a product in India, he will compare the prices in nearby countries such as Singapore, Dubai, Hong Kong, etc and then make a purchasing decision. Some foreign brands earlier made the mistake of thinking they could use India as a dumping ground for old collections. These brands did not do well, since Indian buyers are aware of new launches and they expect the same to be available here. Brands that learnt this lesson quickly have done well in India. Now, brands no longer take India for granted and launch their latest collections here. This has been the major change.

What is your take on FDI in Indian retail?

This is quite an encouraging development. What people don’t realise is that it will have a positive impact on the employment, growth and money generation. The debate which cropped up is just a baseless PR propaganda driven by political reasons.

You played a major role in the profitable turnaround of Timex India operations. How did you go about achieving that?

There are several factors that went into this turnaround. First, we examined the product in detai — whether it was maintaining a proper margin or not, the overall cost of the company and the distribution channel. We basically scanned our entire system and studied the market, looked at questions like selling in Delhi or another city, whether selling in departmental stores made better sense than selling from our own store, what product should we sell in which city, etc. After this study, we reduced the cost structure of the organisation by closing the channels that did not earn us much profit. We removed products that did not allow us much margin, and started manufacturing some products that were previously imported to increase profit. We looked into every corner of our company to improve our profitability, and it worked. A decade ago, we were losing 40 rupees on a sale of 100 rupees, but today, for the same, we are making a 35-rupee profit. This is a huge turnabout for us.

Did your MBA degree help you during this re-evaluating?

To be honest, Harvard Business School is more about networking than learning. The kind of experience you gain by talking to the faculty, students and alumni is simply phenomenal. It has helped me gain a better business perspective too. The degree though, for me, is just a tool to get a job or a promotion. It is ultimately your leadership, strategy, people-management skills and vision for the future that helps you.

What plans do you have for Timex Group, India in the immediate future?

Right now, the focus is just to grow. Two years ago, we launched Helix for the youth segment, since this is the fastest growing segment in India. Currently, our

Contd. on Pg 32


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Corporate Interview

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Corporate Interview entire focus is on that and to improve our Versace and Ferragamo luxury brands.

What, according to you, are the most challenging aspects of your job? Challenges are unending and every day has a new one awaiting you. Currently though, the economy is slowing down and we have our own growth projections to achieve. So meeting our target is a big challenge. Another challenge is to keep up the morale of my team when I know that achieving the target is going to be tough. You must always motivate your team and keep them thinking about innovation. On a personal note, my biggest hurdle is keeping a check on the amount of time I devote to work.

would be that these companies will pay the farmers better, will generate more employment, and there will be competition for producing good quality products, all of which will accelerate the country’s growth.

What are the lessons you have learnt from your journey that you would like to share with young MBA aspirants?

Firstly, regardless of where you have studied and what degree you hold, there is no substitute for hard work. There are no easy gains. Most students today think that if you go to a good school and pass out with good grades, you will earn in lakhs and thereafter life will be comfortable. But there is no easy life. Hard work is not required just at the start of your career, but is a continuous process even when close to retirement. And what are the most rewarding aspects? Another thing is to not restrain yourself to just According to me, the reward for good work is always understanding your specialisation. Today, to be a more work. So for me, achieving tough targets that I jack of all trades and a master of none is a better set for myself is my best reward. When as a business scenario than to just be a master in arena. In general you do well, the reward follows; you management, you must have just have to put in that much hard work Harvard is more a fair knowledge of not just — there are no substitutes. finance but also manufacturing, about networking operations, HR, marketing and To what extent would you ascribe than learning. The strategy. your professional rise and Thirdly, you must be a good success to a formal management experience you gain communicator, since you have to education? deal with your team, your boss, I would say a large extent. Education by talking to faculty, clients, etc. So, if you are able to always broadens your horizons, students and alumni connect well with people, half of teaches you to set goals and how your work will be accomplished. to achieve them. When you are a is just phenomenal. And this should not be restricted professional without a business family to just your level, you need to to train you, management education provides you communicate across all levels — from your peon to with the necessary skills to help you gain a foothold your chairman. This is the best way to earn respect in the corporate world. During your time in a business and get noticed. school, you learn a lot just by conversing with your faculty, peers and visiting lecturers. This learning Do you think the current generation passing cannot be gained elsewhere. out from the IIMs have these abilities that you

In your opinion, what are the most critical attributes for effective leadership in the business world? Firstly, you need to be a good team member. No one is god and no one is indispensable. Newcomers must understand this basic rule. The best leaders are the ones who respect their team and understand that their team is what makes them good leaders. Secondly, you need to think strategically. You need to have a long term view for your company. Consider, for instance, FDI in retail — the short term view is that big companies will come into our market and eat up some share of local kiranas, but a long term view


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

speak about?

Today’s generation does have the ability to work hard, but they also look for easy success. They have very high expectations and are impatient. They think since they have a degree from a top institute, they will earn 50 lakhs a month, but they forget that they have much to learn before reaching that stage. After passing out, you need to put your energy in learning and should pick up as much as possible from your peers and seniors. If you are delivering, you will get paid accordingly. Today’s youngsters, though, connect well socially and are definitely more open in their approach. They are definitely much smarter and goal-oriented than we were at their age. This is a big positive. A

Corporate Interview

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Director Speak

‘Companies should adhere to labour laws’ Director of XLRI Jamshedpur, Father E. Abraham S.J., speaks about the incidents of industrial unrest in some parts of the country, why the flagship programme was renamed, and what plans he has for the institute in the future.


Why was the course renamed from Personnel Management & Industrial Relations to Human Resources Management? HRM is a holistic approach to managing the human resources (HR) of an organisation by both personnel management and industrial relations functions. Besides, HRM is also a forward-looking terminology, wherein employees are viewed as important and valuable resources, and not merely as cogs in a wheel.


Do you think that industrial relationships are on the decline? Case in point, the situation at the Manesar plant. Industrial unrest has increased across the


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

country in the last few years. With a view to enhance market shares in a growing economy and consequently higher profits, quite a few organisations are recruiting contract workers in large numbers. While it is alright to recruit contract workers, it is equally important for organisations to adhere to the prevailing labour laws vis-à-vis contract workers and not circumvent the same to generate greater profits. It is but natural that industrial unrest might flare up at times when contract workers realise that their respective organisations are flouting labour laws. However, there are other factors as well. For instance, at times, politicisation of unions also results in labour problems.



Several institutes are beginning to offer specialised courses, like analytics, sports management, intellectual property, etc. Do you have any such plans in the pipeline? XLRI has been exploring offering specialised programmes like sports management. Besides, we also offer a Masters Program in Positive Organization Development & Change in association with Case Western University. We are also exploring offering similar specialised programmes.


Being in Jamshedpur, there is always the possibility of not having adequate industry exposure as opposed to a hub like Mumbai or Bangalore where almost all kinds of industries are present. How do you work around that? It is a mandatory aspect in all the flagship programmes for students to undertake a two-month summer project. Besides, practising managers from various industry sectors come over to XLRI to give guest lectures. In addition to this, annual seminars are conducted in metros by student committees of various functional streams like Finance, Marketing, HR, Strategy, etc. Moreover, the institute also

XLRI Jamshedpur

conducts annual conferences in Jamshedpur, wherein senior executives from private, public, and non-profit sectors are invited to come and give presentations.


Do you have any expansion strategy for your institute? What are your future plans for XLRI? XLRI is currently in the midst of expanding the existing parent campus in Jamshedpur in a major way. The extension campus will be ready by the third-quarter of 2013. Besides, a new campus is also coming up in NCR, Gurgaon. A

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013




Advanc’edge MBA January 2013

Indian B-School Profiles

Advanc’edge MBA January 2013


Travel & Learning

The Eiffel Tower


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Travel & Learning

he author James Thurber once said, “The whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music… it is worth anyone’s while to dally here for years. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in everything.” But if you think about it, the quote might very well apply to not just Paris but the whole of France. France, for many, is the perfect tourist destination, offering the best of everything. Don’t believe me? Let’s see – What do tourists want most while travelling? Sightseeing, history, shopping and good food, right? So, France has a wealth of historical sites for visitors, arguably the best museum in the world (the Louvre); “haute couture”, a term used for high fashion, originated in Paris, making the country one of the fashion capitals of the world. The word “gourmet”, used for high quality food and drink, is also a French word. France gave us champagne and the Bordeaux, the Eiffel tower, Picasso, Debussy – the list is endless. And if this is not proof enough, a study by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation in 2012 has declared France as the most visited country in the world, receiving over 79.5 million foreign tourists annually. So there I was, one of that 79.5 million, waiting for the magic of France to enchant me. Upon my arrival, I was rather sceptic about this happening, but I soon realised my mistake – it was almost as if the magic of France sneaked up on me. The old world charm that it still preserves in its architectural splendours, along with the chic modernity, lends it an astonishing charisma and character. It is a country that is a beautiful amalgamation of cultural heritage and economic progress. While I didn’t get to visit much Studying in France offers you the opportunity of the country, whatever I saw led me to understand why the French seem to to live in a country replete with the best look down their noses at everyone else. in history, culture, food, fashion You can’t blame them, they even have and finance. Give it a thought. over 350 kinds of cheese! Amidst its beautiful landscape, the country has spectacular cities, and is Puja Shah the largest west European country, with a population of 62.4 million. Aside from Paris, the famed city of romance, other Any European MBA is always a global major cities are Marseille, Nice, Lyon, experience, and France is no different. It is the Toulouse and Bordeaux. world’s fifth largest economy and a key driver of the European Union. As such, it has long been Education in France one of the world’s top investment destinations. France’s higher education system is looked after It is also universally recognised for innovation by 87 public universities, with the Sorbonne in in engineering, design, advertising and financial Paris being the oldest, founded in 1179. Created in resources. The French business models have the early 19th century in parallel to the university gained an international reputation, from Renault system, the network of Grandes Écoles private to Airbus, BNP Paribas to Capgemini and Ubisoft. freestanding institutions of higher education are Luxury retail groups such as LV, Chanel, Hermès, extremely selective and offer education of very etc continue to define industry standards across high standards. Engineering, art and business are the world. So it is perhaps not surprising that the specialties of France’s Grandes Écoles. France is home to many of Europe’s top business Research is also an integral function of France’s schools like INSEAD, HEC, EM LYON, ESSEC, universities — there are more than 300 doctoral etc. In fact, INSEAD was the first European programmes in collaboration with 1,200 research school to offer an MBA. According to the Financial centres and laboratories.

Absolutely fabulous


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Travel & Learning Times rankings, seven of the top ten Masters in Management (MIM) programmes come from French business schools. Dr. Ashok Som, Academic Director, Global MBA program at ESSEC added, “France is a country with an excellent academic tradition, boasting some of the best schools and universities in Europe and the world. France’s business schools in particular are consistently ranked highly, and offer an excellent balance of rigorous academics and a wellrounded approach to exposing students to a developed and thriving economy, a rich culture and heritage, and easy access to other major European economic centres.”

Job scenario

France is doing quite well in terms of post MBA jobs and good salaries. A study by QS in 2010-11 on job trends and salaries clearly states that French MBA recruiters and employers predicted an 11 per cent increase in MBA hiring in the coming year. In particular, the energy, IT and fast moving consumer goods industries have shown particular improvement. So, France-based MBA graduates can look to enter these sectors. French MBA salaries are also some of the highest in Europe. QS’ jobs and salaries report identified French MBAs as earning the third highest salaries by a country in Europe, at an average of US$88,214 per annum. Only the UK and Switzerland reported larger average MBA salaries in Europe. Most top business schools graduates from France have managed to secure jobs within a few months of their graduation. Also their well-rounded education ensures that they get placed internationally. Philippe Oster,


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Director, Communication, Development and Admissions of the HEC MBA Program, says, “Our programme does not focus on one specific country or sector, finance or consulting for instance, meaning the placement of our students is very diversified, and does not suffer from changes in the French or global job market. In 2012, 49 per cent of our graduates secured careers in Western Europe (including France), 21 per cent in Asia and 12 per cent in the USA.” Mr Oster also said that 90 per cent of their graduates secure jobs within three months of graduating, a statistic that has remained stable over the past three years. Similarly, Dr. Som of ESSEC said “The hiring statistics for MBA grads are promising, despite recent economic issues in the West.” He added that their global MBA program is designed to address the needs of managers working in volatile times and environments which make them highly desirable recruits for companies trying to stay on the cutting edge.


Paris was my first stop in France. Charles Dickens once famously remarked, “What an immense impression Paris made upon me. It is the most extraordinary place in the world!” He was right. Paris probably has more familiar landmarks than any other city in the world owing to noted celebrities who have always waxed lyrical about the city. The Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower have probably been described countless times, as have the Seine and its Michelin starred restaurants. Paris for me is at once both traditional and modern. On the one hand it has exquisite ancient architecture like the Place des Vosges and Saint-Germain-des-Pres Church, and yet, on the other, it houses the famous glass pyramid outside the Louvre, which is a great example of modern architecture. One of the most enjoyable things in Paris for me was visiting its many art museums. The Louvre is one of the world’s largest and most famous

The Louvre

Travel & Learning museums, housing many works of art, including the Mona Lisa (La Joconde) and the Venus de Milo statue. In fact, the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world, according to Travel and Leisure. The other museums include Musée Picasso, Musée Rodin, Musée du Montparnasse and the Musée National d’Art Moderne. I took a walk on probably the most famous street in France, the ChampsÉlysées, lined on either side by cinemas, quaint cafés, luxury specialty shops and clipped horse-chestnut trees. There are several French monuments on the street as well, including the Arc de Triomphe and the Place de la Concorde. Paris is one of the world’s leading business and cultural centres and its influences in world politics, education, entertainment, media, science, and the arts cannot be ignored. With its GDP at US$2,773.03 billion in 2010, Paris produces more than a quarter of the GDP of France. The city is known to be environment sympathetic and highly liveable, and houses four UNESCO world heritage sites as well as many international organisations. Paris is a financial centre of Europe and as such houses many highly ranked business schools such as INSEAD, HEC, EMLYON and ESSEC. Students in the city therefore benefit from this close association with big companies. “Being able to go from class to a networking event in Paris to visiting a company in La Défense means that students are really in the heart of things, and having that close interaction with a dynamic, diverse, and thriving business world is invaluable for their business education,” states Dr. Som.

INSEAD Student Profile: Female students No. of international students Average work experience Average students’ age Average GMAT score

33% 90% 6 years 29 702

Programme Profile: Accreditations Start dates Programme duration Average tuition fees (excluding living expenses) Teaching methodology

AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS January, September 10 months €59,500 50% case method, 50% lecture based

Post-MBA employment (data captured for 2010): Average base salary €79,800 Average bonus €15,000 Students employed within three 92% months of graduation Scholarship Financial Aid: School-sponsored scholarships


INSEAD is one of the leading business schools in the world, with three campuses in Paris, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. The original campus at Fontainebleau in Paris is adjacent to the second largest forest in metropolitan France. INSEAD is currently ranked as the #1 business school in Europe in the QS Global 200 Business Schools Report 2012, and #2 by Bloomberg Businessweek International B-schools Ranking 2012. The Financial Times 2012 placed

Nationality based, gender based, work experience, financial needs based it at #6 in the world. Moreover, it has been the highest ranked one-year MBA programme on the list of the Financial Times for several years in a row. Informally, INSEAD is known as one of the “WISH”-list schools, alongside Wharton, Stanford and Harvard. INSEAD MBA students have the chance to study in three continents (through an alliance with the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a student exchange programme with the Kellogg School of Management). It also has a reciprocal agreement with Harvard Business School, Stanford Graduate School of Business and Kellogg School of Management to share career services. Alumni of the four schools have exclusive access to job opportunities databases of each other. Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Travel & Learning

HEC Paris

HEC Paris or Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris is one of the best business schools, both in France and in Europe. It was established in 1881 and has gone on to become one of the most well-known graduate schools in Europe. It has been consistently ranked as one of the top business schools in Europe by the Financial Times since the ranking’s inception. In 2011, The New York Times ranked HEC Paris among the 10 best universities in the world, according to a survey of chief HEC Paris Student Profile: Female students No. of international students Average work experience Average students’ age Average GMAT score Programme Profile: Accreditations Established date Start dates Programme duration Total tuition fees (excluding living expenses + books) Teaching methodology

executives and chairmen of leading companies, and the first outside the Anglo-Saxon world. The Masters programme in Finance at HEC Paris is ranked #1 and the MBA programme #18 in the world by the Financial Times rating. HEC is among the few Grandes Écoles and is known to educate Europe’s top executives and political elite. In 2011, 12 of the 40 largest French publicly traded companies had an alumnus of HEC Paris as CEO (or equivalent). HEC Paris is placed fourth higher education institution in the world, and the topmost in Europe with regard to the number of CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies. “What places our graduates apart from those of other schools is our broad and knowledgeable network of academic and corporate partners, our emphasis on

33% 85 6 years 30 690 AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS 1969 January, September 16 months € 48, 000 50% case method, 50% lecture based

Post-MBA employment (data captured for 2010): Average bonus $ 22,717 Students employed within three 74% months of graduation Scholarship Financial Aid: School-sponsored scholarships


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Gender-based, financial needs based

transformation, and the fact that all this takes place in just 16 months. HEC Paris provides privileged access to the greatest concentration of multinational corporations in Europe, as Paris holds the largest number of multinational headquarters in Europe, ahead of London and large cities in Germany,” says Mr Oster.


ESSEC or École Supérieure des Sciences Économiques et Commerciales is one of the foremost Grandes Écoles in France and one of Europe’s top business schools. It was started by Jesuits in 1907 and is housed at Cergy-Pontoise, 30 km west of Paris. The school is known for its international orientation, and has partnerships with some of the best universities around the world, such as Cornell University, Dartmouth College, Northwestern University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Chicago, Hong Kong University of Science & Technology, Seoul National University and University of Peking. Dr. Som says, “Our program focuses on rigorous academic as well as experiential learning, taking students out of the classroom and immersing them in places such as Singapore, Russia, South Africa... students

Travel & Learning ESSEC Business School Student Profile: Female students No. of international students Average work experience Average students’ age Average GMAT score Programme Profile: Accreditations Start dates Programme duration Total tuition fees (excluding living expenses + books) Teaching methodology

Lyon 25% 70 6 years 30 670 AACSB, EQUIS September 12 months €45,000 50% case method, 50% lecture based

Post-MBA employment (data captured for 2010): Average bonus €16,070 Students employed within three 95% months of graduation Scholarship Financial Aid: School-sponsored scholarships

School-sponsored scholarships (other) spend an average of three months out of their 12 month program outside of France, mostly in emerging markets. This produces graduates that are sensitive, attuned and have accumulated a wealth of knowledge regarding best practices, business techniques, and general know-how from the world over.” The Financial Times MIM rankings of 2012 has ranked ESSEC Business School’s MIM programme at #5 in its overall global ranking. In France, ESSEC Business School was ranked #1 for recognition by companies and #2 for academic excellence by L’Etudiant in 2012 and 2011.

Undergraduate academic merit, nationality based, gender based, work experience, GMAT score, demonstrated leadership, financial needs based International profile with 2 years of managerial experience

With the romantic cityscape of Paris and the sun always shining on the southern coast of France, Lyon, France’s second best city, is mostly regarded as just a stopover city. But it definitely has its charms. For one, it is the culinary capital of France, with an impressive record of 22 Michelin starred restaurants. Geographically, Lyon is situated at the point where two rivers, the Rhône and the Saône, join. A majority of Lyon’s hot spots and sites are close to either of these rivers. The point where the two rivers meet creates a peninsula where the city centre of Lyon lies. A little way up from the southern tip of this peninsula is the heart of the “new city”, which is a great contrast from historical Viuex Lyon across the Soane. It is also close to some popular ski resorts. Lyon is surrounded by some of the best wine growing areas in the world, and there are several different wine country tours leaving from local hotels. But if you want to do what the

A view of Lyon city

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Travel & Learning locals do, skip the group tours and go on your own. For an easy introduction, visit the “wine park”, created by leading wine merchant George Deboueuf.

EM LYON Business School

The city is home to one of France’s top B-schools – EM LYON Business School. The school was founded in 1872 and EM LYON Business School Student Profile: Female students No. of international students Average work experience Average students’ age Average GMAT score

is affiliated to the Lyon Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The Financial Times has ranked it at #2 for entrepreneurship and at #3 for EMBA in the world in career development in 2012. Since Lyon is also the industrial capital of France, EM LYON enjoys close ties with industries situated there. Apart from the regular MBA and management courses, France also offers a very interesting course - Wine Management. Since wine making is traditional in France and is fast catching up in other non-traditional countries like India and Australia as well, this course is quite popular. Schools such as Burgundy Business School, BEM Management School and the Bordeaux School of Management have special Masters and MBA programmes in Wine Management and Wine Business.

28% 72 6 years 30 600

Programme Profile: Accreditations AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS Established date 1972 Start dates September Programme duration 12 months Total tuition fees (excluding living € 35,900 expenses + books) Teaching methodology 50% case method, 50% lecture based Post-MBA employment (data captured for 2010): Avg. base salary € 75,000 Students employed within three 80% months of graduation Scholarship Financial Aid: School-sponsored scholarships


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Gender based, demonstrated leadership, financial needs based, entrepreneurial profile

Other notable business schools in France 

ESCP-EAP School of Management Grenoble Graduate School of Business

EDHEC Business School

ESG Management School

Interesting facts about France one must know •

French was the official language of England for over 300 years. There are around 40,000 châteaux (castles, manors, palaces) in France. There are 28 French sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list. French cuisine is considered one of the best cuisines in the world and there is an average of two cooking books being published every day. The Statue of Liberty was made in France and then gifted to the US in 1886, in the celebration of its centennial. In 2004, the French produced 56.6. million hectolitres of wine. Beaujolais Nouveau is a special blend of French wine that doesn’t increase in flavour with age, so it is best to drink the wine as close to the day of production as possible. In France, beer is considered a luxury drink and is saved for special occasions, while wine is free with most meals. Grasse, in southern France, is known as the Perfume Capital of the world. Though traditionally there are around 400 types of French cheese, there are in fact over 1,000 different types available in the French market.

Travel & Learning

‘Quality of the MBA programme is vital’ What is your opinion about management education in France? Overall, the teaching quality of management in France is excellent. This is largely due to our unique Grande Ecole system, fostering the elite within the French education system. The preparation needed to gain a place in one of the prestigious Grande Ecoles is intense; both French and International students dedicate a long time to their preparation, and admissions are highly selective. Taking HEC Paris as an example, considered the best business school in France, only 9 per cent of applicants secure a place in the MIM programme. To highlight the exceptional level of management education in France, we can look to the annual world rankings of the MIM programmes, published by the Financial Times. This year has eight French business schools in the top 20, compared to three British, two Spanish and one Indian institutes. Why, according to you, should postgraduate students opt to study for their MBA in France? Whichever country is being considered, the decision to complete an MBA is an important one. It entails a large personal investment in addition to the financial one, which should result in a significant career enhancement. The choice of where to complete an MBA should not be taken lightly; primarily, the quality of the programme is a vital point for consideration. Assessing this with the tools available today, including international accreditations (AACSB, AMBA, and EQUIS) and international rankings such as The Economist and Financial Times forms the first step towards choosing the right school. Within the top league of MBA schools, candidates are met with a range of choices, allowing them to select the school and course which best meets their personal and professional needs. Europe and France has created world competitive MBA’s; from the Financial Times top 20 in the world, seven are European. This

Philippe Oster, Communications, Development and Admissions Director, HEC Paris MBA Program top league is primarily characterised by three principles that everyone considering an MBA should take note of: Diverse international elite: Rigorous admissions processes ensure highly diverse and academic classes, with a broad array of personal and professional backgrounds. In Europe, the best business schools excel at attracting culturally diversified pools of candidates, which positively impacts students learning experiences. Outstanding content and delivery: Top notch faculty and an intellectually challenging programme ensure the highest level of teaching is experienced by students. Taught in state of the art facilities, highly challenging curricula provide academic rigor and professional training. Professional career support: Career management centres provide personalised guidance to all students. In addition to this, strong and structured international alumni networks ensure that students have excellent access to a wide variety of career opportunities. A high-class MBA is a transformative experience for students, highlighting the importance in selecting the right school and course with regard to the candidate’s personality, ambitions and career objectives. This is why we highly recommend candidates to interact with schools, their current students, faculty and alumni as much as possible in order to make a well informed decision. A

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013



Success Street

Steps to stay FOCUSED

Whether you are working or involved in advancing your education or wanting to achieve your ambition, the one thing you need to be successful in your venture is to stay focused in what you are doing. This is perhaps one of the most difficult tasks that you will face as our lives are full of distractions So now the question is: how can you stay focused in whatever you are doing? Advanc’edge Team


istractions come in many form. It could be a sudden unexpected crisis that sidetracks you off your intended path of action; or a new development that throws you in a frenzy of disarray; or the usual irritations and frustrations of everyday life. Whatever the distractions may be, it is up to you to take charge of what’s happening around you and continuously re-focus on to your original goals and aspirations. In this context you are a bit like a guided missile system. The guided missile was an advanced military technological innovation, whereby the missile once fired from its silo has the ability to correct itself as it hurtles along to find its intended target. On board the missile is complex computer equipment that measures wind velocity, atmospheric conditions and geographic barriers so that the missile can make the right adjustments in its course


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

to strike at the heart of its target. It is indeed a marvellous piece of equipment and one whose principles you could use in your life. Here are five effective steps that you should always keep in mind. Get tuned in Just like a radio where you have to tune in to the station that you want, you should get tuned into what you are doing. Many a time people forget to realise what they are supposed to do. In the office, when you have to deal with the many distractions that comes your way, there is a tendency that you might go after the urgent and important things. Although it is sometimes inevitable that you need to do this, when it becomes too frequent you will realise that you have hardly the time to do the other things you are supposed to do. You can get tuned in by


prioritising your activities effectively and handling those that are not urgent but important. If you do have to handle urgent and important things, do these quickly so that you can come back to what you were supposed to do. Further see whether it would be possible to integrate your urgent and important activities into your not-so-urgent and less important activities, so that you could try to kill two birds with one stone. Respond – not react If you are unwell and visit a doctor and he prescribes you a medication, it is possible that you body does not agree to this medication. You feel worst after taking it. So you go back to the doctor and tell him how the medication is making you feel terrible. The doctor answers you by saying that your body is “reacting” to the medication. However, if you take the medication and start feeling better, the doctor might now say


Success Street their sense of integrity and eventually fall into disgrace. You can maintain your ethical dimensions by embedding what you are doing with strong principles based on fair play and social responsibility. In staying focused in achieving your goals, be wary of how your actions might influence others. Learn to be empathetic towards others and at the same time be assertive in what you do to get what you want.

that you are “responding” well to it. In your life too you need to respond to the challenges that you face instead of reacting to them. When you learn to respond to the situations that confront you, you take charge of the challenge and you will know what to do and thus gravitate towards finding a practical solution to the issue that is bothering you. You can learn to respond, rather than react, by being clear of the challenge that you are facing by nipping it in the bud to escalate into something worse. The best way to do this is to avoid procrastinating when you are faced with such dilemmas, to address them objectively and to resolve them effectively where possible. Break it down Whatever your goals and aspirations are, the surefire way of achieving them is to break them down into little portions. When you break down your goals, you will find it easier to achieve them. It’s a bit like climbing a ladder – one step at a time. It is important too that as you attain the little targets that you set for yourself, to celebrate the minor success of achieving


them, so that you feel motivated and inspired to continue in your quest. Sometimes failure will be inevitable in that quest. However, remember that you must never feel disheartened. Instead, look objectively at your failure and see what feedback you can get from it to do better next time. Maintaining your ethical dimension There have been many cases lately of leaders and large corporations compromising on their ethics in achieving their goals. In their quest for success, many individuals too have failed to realise their ethical dimension. This dimension makes you what you are and who you become. Keep in mind the real reason for you wanting to achieve your goals and aspirations. You should be driven by a passion to achieve your goal, rather than glory. When you start trading in your passion for glory, you start losing your sense of direction and you just might end up someplace else. You may have heard of world class athletes who pump themselves with steroids because they want to win at all costs and they lose


Carpe Diem (or Harvest the Day) Carpe Diem is a phrase from a Latin poem by Roman poet Horace. Although it means “harvest the day”, it can also be interpreted as ‘seize the day”. There is a saying, “Stop worrying because today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday”. Life is never a bed of roses and you are bound to have bad days, when you feel that you have reached your deepest pit and there is no more spark in you to proceed further. This is when you should examine your values and principles and who you really are and what you want to be. When the going gets tough, you should start thinking of the real reason why you embarked on what you are doing. In the Navy there is a saying, “You cannot change the course of the wind, but you can adjust the sail of your ship to go where you want.” Thus when the winds of uncertainty blow upon you, remain clear about where you are going. Realign your life to counter the uncertainty that troubles you and stay your course. You should become tenacious when times are tough and stay focused no matter what. Carpe Diem! A


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013



Corporate whiz in a glitzy world Studied in UK. Started work in London. Came back to India to handle filmmaker-father Subhash Ghai’s Mukta Arts. Named a rising star by the LA Film Festival. President of Whistling Woods International film institute. MEGHNA GHAI-PURI talks to Aditya Prakash Iengar on the delicate balance that goes into wearing these different hats. Tell us about your UK education. I consider myself very fortunate, given that I have parents who have always been very encouraging, and always very supportive of me when it came down to my career. I studied in the UK only so that I could come back and join my father at Mukta Arts. So they decided to send me abroad to study, gain some exposure and confidence, get my degree and then come back to India. But when I finished my degree in the UK, I didn’t want to come back immediately. I felt it was important and necessary for me to work outside of India, instead of joining my father in his work. Initially it was just quite a daunting prospect, but the more I thought about it, I realised that a more important reason for me to gain some outside exposure was that I was too new and inexperienced. In India, the people working with my father had a lot of experience — 20 to 25 years — in the industry, so compared to them, I knew that I didn’t have much to bring to the table. Where did you work? When I graduated from my institution in the UK, it was the time of the dot com boom, so everywhere you looked, someone or the other was starting a new internet venture. I too started working in a startup in the UK, called, where my role was that of an information manager. The company was an online retailer of Indian music, we sold CDs, as back then, things were still more physical as opposed to the digital world of today! At that point in time, there weren’t any systems in place, so we had


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

to do all the work, right from collating data to putting it all together. What was it like? It was a great experience for me, because this was a start-up; even though I was a manager, I was doing almost everything from postal packaging to meeting high network clients! That was excellent, and a valuable experience, because it taught me how to be an employee and not just an employer. This is vital to any good employer — they should be able to look at things not only from their own point of view, but also from their employees’ perspective. So if anyone asks me, I always advise them to make sure that they spend some time working outside the country before they join their family business, because I believe it helps a lot in many different ways. How did Whistling Woods International come about for you? I was still working in the UK when my father thought of starting an institute. Although at the time the whole thing was still in research mode, my father wanted me to be the first person to join the institute’s team. After my father shared his thoughts about the institute and my involvement in it with me, I understood that it wasn’t an opportunity to be missed. I was very lucky to be asked to be involved with such a big project, and that was when I moved back to India. I also spent some time on working with Mukta Arts in their marketing and distribution channels. I was basically exploring all aspects of

 the business really well before I dived fully into the fray. Meanwhile, apart from this work, I was also doing a lot of research for Whistling Woods; we were travelling around the world, visiting and researching various campuses of similar institutes. After five years of extensive research — on the curriculum, campus, building structure, et al — it finally made sense for me to head the administration of the institute. Having no previous experience in education, how did you figure out and structure the curriculum? It was difficult, but we realised that like all other new ventures, the most important thing we had to focus on was doing our homework properly. This is, of course, something that must be done and holds true of any industry, and not just unique to the film and education sectors. We extensively studied the curricula of other institutes, both in India and abroad, and we made sure that we spoke to a lot of experts. Our chairman being a filmmaker himself, and this being his vision and his dream, he knew exactly what he wanted as the outcome for the school and its students. So all along, we were very sure that we wanted to our graduates to be extremely industry oriented and highly employable. We didn’t want to them to have a superior air of belonging to a film institute. And since we knew exactly what we wanted, it was just a question of working backwards. In our talks with the experts and professionals in the industry, we made sure that we understood exactly what they wanted, what the industry needed. It took almost two to three years of meeting people and putting things together, and naturally, since the

industry is so dynamic, the research that we did two years ago would become old, so we had to ensure that everything we knew was constantly being updated. It was a lot of hard work, but that’s what you have to do if you want your vision to succeed. Finally, after we felt we were ready with our material, we went to Australia to get it vetted from the Australian Film Institute. This was again a vital step, because since they were the experts in the field, they could guide us about the curriculum, tell us where things were becoming too technical and helping us to balance things out. So ultimately, our consultation with experts from both the industry and academia paid off, and we started the institute. How have your target group, i.e., the students, reacted to Whistling Woods International? Well, to be honest, the students are quite surprised when they come here. They have typically grown up under an Indian educational system, and it is a known fact that schools and colleges here are mostly lecture and memory based. I believe that education should be more of a hands-on nature, and since our faculty and guest faculty are from the industry, they use a lot of live examples in their lectures, so students get direct exposure to the industry they will work in. We tell them when they join, that this is the start of their career, and that there is a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, and we treat them like the adults they are. And the knowledge we give them makes them quite ready for their jobs. For example, we are the only filmschool in the world that offers 3D

Whistling Woods International

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Success Street filmmaking as part of our curriculum, thanks to our partnership with Sony. So instead of the employers having to train them once they join, our students tend to be absolutely prepared from the beginning, which is something the recruiters also appreciate. Also, there are people who think the course here is too expensive, but the students who graduate do start earning that much very soon. That was always our goal — we never wanted our students to feel we were short-changing them, but giving them more than they were paying for. So overall, I believe they are a satisfied bunch of people that graduate from our institute! You’ve said that you believe respect comes from one’s working style, and that you prefer your colleagues to forget where you’ve come from and just know you as Meghna. Is this a conscious effort on your part? Well, I should like to think that it comes naturally to me. But then, I’ve always seen my father being completely at ease and friendly with people around him — of course, that may be because of his outlook as a self-made person — and I think that is a very important mark of a good leader. He doesn’t make any distinction among his employees or indeed between himself and them. So I believe I have consciously worked at

imbibing that quality within me. And this makes me more comfortable and happier as a person, and naturally, the same happens to the people around me. I think India as a country is also heading that way, a lot of large corporates are becoming friendlier with their employees, and becoming flatter with fewer strictures of hierarchy, and I believe that is a good thing. The film industry is a very glamorous world. How much a part of it are you, and how do you balance your corporate side and its responsibilities with that? Well, growing up, I was quite sheltered. Of course, I was present at all the parties and dinners, but I really wasn’t a part of the film industry completely. So I was always a little distance away from the glamorous side, and being away from the industry and in London and working in a corporate setup, I came back with a far more corporate and professional outlook on things. Having said that, I’m quite confident and comfortable with the personalities in the film industry, and of course, I do deal with them regularly for the institute, and they are all extremely supportive of me and my work, which I really appreciate. So yes, it is a delicate balance, but it’s not a difficult one; it’s just one that every professional needs to strike. It’s worked out well for me so far, and I hope that continues! A

‘Huge talent pool goes untapped’ Filmmaker SUBHASH GHAI talks about his vision behind starting Whistling Woods International, how the film institute has contributed to the industry, and the fact that there is a lot of talent out there waiting to be discovered and nurtured.


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Success Street What was the vision you had in mind when Their high degree of adaptability and willingness setting up WWI? to learn helps them bring a fresh innovative In 1992, I had a dream to set up an institution perspective to the table in terms of ideas. I am that would train students in filmmaking. Initially, proud of my students who are now professionals I decided to build a film library for the industry, of this Industry. as I had seen aspirants roam the streets in search of information and a connection to the How, in your opinion, has WWI helped and is Indian film industry. But as I saw the industry helping the film industry? growing, I realised that it did not have a Today the film industry is flying high. However, talent pool to support and nurture it. So that’s there is a shortage of homegrown professional when I decided to build a film school instead, talent to fuel this rise, meaning that employers the kind of school that would create the next must rely on professionals from the rest of the generation of filmmakers and media professionals world. Whistling Woods seeks to fulfill this need in India. by creating the next generation of filmmakers The whole idea was to train students on and media professionals in India. cinema and create a platform for them. There The purpose of this institution was to were many studios earlier, contribute to the growth of but there were no schools or In film schools, you the media and entertainment institutes that could provide sector in this country and to be professional training or make can’t fit too many the alma mater for the talent a platform for strugglers. When who wants to join this Industry. students into each we set up Whistling Woods There is so much talent in this International (WWI), after batch... India needs at country, but it doesn’t know extensive research and drawing how to find its way into the from experiences of some of least a hundred cinema industry! The goal of WWI is to the finest film schools of the guide this untapped talent and schools so that we can world, we worked on evolving make place for it in this dynamic a new educational model that nurture creative talent media and entertainment ensured our students had a firm industry. footing and good traction with and remove mediocrity. Within a short period of five the media and entertainment years of operation WWI has industry. With WWI, by the time the students been recognized as among the Top Ten Film graduate, they are trained professionals and Schools of the World by The Hollywood Reporter. have already formed strong bonds within the WWI as an institute is evolving from a industry. filmmaking to a media and communications institute and we are here to garner future Being set up in 2006, the institute has already responsible industry professionals. I feel proud seen a few batches graduating from it. As of what we have achieved but we still have a someone in the industry, have you seen a long way to go as an institute and are constantly difference in the outlook and functioning of innovating and offering a wide range of education your students vis-à-vis other professionals in to the youth today. the industry? Since our inception, over 500 students have Do you see similar institutes coming graduated from the institute and are placed in up elsewhere? Are more such institutes the industry. 95 per cent of them have been well required? placed in top media and production houses in the Film education still is a niche sector in India. industry today. There are very few institutes in this space With fresh ideas, innovative thoughts, raw currently but this is an area that is poised to grow energy and solid, long term training, Whistling over the next few years. Woods students live up to every expectation In film schools, you can’t fit too many students and have even surpassed them many times with into each batch. I think India needs at least a ideas and suggestions so exciting that even hundred cinema schools so that we can nurture experienced professionals have been surprised. creative talent and remove mediocrity. A

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Success Street

Innovations in start-ups

In today’s world, innovation has become the by-word of all companies, big and small. But the start-ups are the ones that necessarily need to be creative, and the numerous success stories are testament to that very fact. Prof. Kaustubh Dhargalkar Associate Dean-Innovation, WeSchool


he last 20 years of post liberalised India has been a witness to the entrepreneurial spirit of Indians, which for long was fettered by the licence-permit raj. The success stories of first generation startups (FGCs) such as Infosys, Sukam, Adanis and Future Group bear ample testimony to this observation. In fact, the number of first generation start-ups listed on the prestigious Group A of the Bombay Stock Exchange more than trebled from 1991 to 2011. Group A companies are the blue chips that are the most sought after for investments. These FGCs have obviously displaced many of the old established companies (OECs) from their high perch. Globally too, in the period from 1957 to 1997, 424 of the S&P 500 companies did not remain in the top 500


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

list. Their places were taken over by the newer companies. And you never know, maybe many of the top 500 companies that might feature in the top 500 companies in 2030 may not

Prof. Kaustubh Dhargalkar

even have been born today! Why has this happened? Technology has substantially reduced the costs associated with niche marketing; stock markets have become more efficient and transparent and made it easier for entrepreneurs to access money, the costs of starting up an enterprise have fallen because of access to angel investors and venture capitalists, and Indians have opened up to entrepreneurship. This has happened and will continue to happen due to the inherent spirit of innovation and the “never-say-die” attitude of the founders of these FGCs. We have unique business models like, which enables students to get free photocopies by collecting coupons on www.phokatcopy. com and monetising

Success Street the spend by collaborating with establishments such as Nirulas’s, Cafe Coffee Day, Vodafone, Airtel, TGIF, etc, where the students can encash these coupons. We have a shoe laundry doing good business, we have a state-of-the-art shoe polishwala named Shine Edge doing well. We have Goli Vadapav bringing the earthy batata vada to us from the same assembly line where the McDonald’s burgers come from via an extremely well-managed and specially created cold chain maintaining the temperature at -32 degrees Celsius, giving the vada a shelflife of close to six months — unbelievable but true. Globally, there have been the well-known stories of Instagram being acquired by Facebook, Skype being acquired by Microsoft, and Form Labs — a start-up by four MIT students creating the world’s cheapest 3D printers that are set to unleash a tsunami in the inventors’ world by making

prototyping so much cheaper that we might have patents being registered out of garages rather than hi-tech laboratories. Speaking of innovation As opposed to established companies, a start-up has to fight a resource crunch, which is why the founder of the startup has to be very creative. Not only does he have to optimise, but he also has to make sure to minimise spending and any wasteful activity. So these individuals are naturally more creative, and therefore innovative, than people in large corporations. Moreover, the founder of a start-up has a 360 degree view of things, and has to take care of all facets of his company — administration, technology, finances, marketing, everything. All this makes the individual a lot more realistic than, say, a general manager or a VP-Marketing of a larger company; these are people who comparatively have a

more siloed outlook. Since the founder has to keep track of everything, all the input he gets from the environment are much more real and live, without any filters, unlike a VP-Marketing, who gets his report through various levels of personnel and filters. A start-up is really at the grassroots level, and is in constant touch with its end user, which is why the triggers for innovation are much higher. The starting point Typically, start-ups begin by picking up a specific or niche market segment. Once they’re successful, they expand, either gradually or quickly, state-wide or nationwide. But it’s their ability to capture that niche in the beginning that makes them different. In reality, roughly speaking, only a few of the many start-up ventures make it to that expansion stage and past what is called the three year incubation phase. It’s finally about identifying nice markets or those that

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Success Street haven’t been looked at, or even a similar offering repackaged and marketed in a different way. In the last few years, there has been a lot of migration from the rural areas to cities, and therefore, a lot of niche markets have also been created. A person with an ear to the ground will be able to take advantage of this better than the larger corporations. Start-ups vis-à-vis large corporations – Who’s got the edge? A start-up doesn’t really have a mental model, so to speak, unlike a larger company. Large companies generally have strategies in place that have worked for them in the past, and most are married to them and find it difficult to let go. On the other hand, the founder of a start-up is willing to try anything new and different. So since he comes from the opposite end of the spectrum with a totally different approach, he doesn’t mind experimenting. Also, in a large company, one idea by one person has a lot of inputs from many others, which is why by the time that idea sees daylight, it is highly diluted. In case of start-ups, where there is either a single decision maker or a team of equally driven individuals, this doesn’t hold true. Earlier, as far as technology driven innovation is concerned, the larger companies used to have a distinct advantage, one that has, however, been tempered and lessened considerably, as nowadays information is easily available. One would expect that large companies, for example, Philips or 3M or Whirlpool, would constantly keep coming up with new stuff, and they do. Earlier, not having an R&D setup


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

would probably have been a disadvantage for a start-up, but today there are many networks, like Start-up Saturday Club, Technology Saturday Club, Beer Friday Club, etc, where information keeps flowing very freely and informally, which the start-ups can take advantage of. So with resources and the inherent innovative streak in them, people today are coming up with all kinds of ideas. Some are familiar products but packaged and marketed completely differently, such as puja kits (common now, but a new concept in an innovative and convenient packaging

A start-up is really at the grassroots level, and is in constant touch with its end user, which is why the triggers for innovation are much higher. when it was introduced a few years ago), a mobile pedaloperated sugarcane crushing machine (which used a unique business model in the venture) and, an online library. Then there are complete new ideas that have developed into potentially sustainable start-ups, such as vertical windmills, with the axis of the blades parallel to the ground and an urban farming kit (which can be used inside flats even in congested cities). We need innovation, and it’s happening As of the last five years, mindsets are changing, and

people today are willing to experiment. Around 20 years ago, things were different, and in general, people didn’t have as much money, resources or access to the same as they do today. Hence, risk taking was not a common phenomenon. Over time, things have improved, and the previous generation has fared better and have money set aside, which means that they don’t need to depend on their children earning and providing for them, unlike their parents before them. Furthermore, the economy has opened up, and there are a lot of job opportunities. This is why the current generation does have the wherewithal and mindset to take a risk and start a venture, testing the waters, so to speak, for a couple of years, knowing that even if his bid doesn’t meet with success, there is always a fallback option of or go back to a job or family support. Moreover, in countries like the US and the UK, where there is a concept of social security, people know that even if they take a risk and it doesn’t pay off, their sustenance will be taken care of for some time. Hence, people tend to experiment more in those countries. But things in India are also changing, and people who are contemplating start-ups today are willing to take risks, which automatically makes them experiment and think differently and creatively. And in creating this mindset, the role of educational institutions is highly critical. The education system today tends to stifle the spark of creativity and curiosity in a student, and that has to change, and is changing. A

Young Entrepreneur

Nano-scientist turns entrepreneur Starting out as a research scientist in nanotechnology in the US’ Silicon Valley, SHRIPAL GANDHI quickly garnered attention, with eleven patents to his name, and is the founder and CEO of Swipe Telecom. He has worked with clients like Samsung, Motorola and Apple, developing next generation touchscreen technologies. A National Award recipient, he was responsible for growing the revenue of BYOND TECH from just Rs. 20 lakh to Rs. 200 crore in a mere three years. He speaks to Aditya Prakash Iengar about his journey, and how he transitioned from a brilliant scientist to a successful entrepreneur. Tell us about your education. I come from a textile background from the Kolapur district of Maharashtra. I did my bachelors in chemical engineering at UDCT Bombay. Then I had two options – either to stay on in Mumbai or study further, and get a little more experience and knowledge and then go on from there. But I got a fellowship to study my Masters in nanotechnology in the University of California, which is one of the top three institutes in the world for a subject like nanotechnology. I have a belief that God must be a chemical engineer, because if you look around us, everything we use, from medicines to plastics to food, what have you, everything is made up of chemicals! So, for me, the whole idea was to use chemical engineering as a platform and to work on emerging technologies that are enablers for products and services in the consumer electronics arena. Then I worked in a company called Nanōmix, which is the world’s #2 company in nanotechnology. We weren’t a production or manufacturing company, but primarily a technology development one. I was involved in developing consumer electronics applications using functional nano materials. This was when I actually started my career as a scientist.

What were you working on at Nanōmix? I was developing technology and processes for printable technology. What I was working might not come into the mainstream market for another 10 years, but I have a lot of hope that eventually it will materialise. Think of the ink that is used for printing in newspapers. We were developing an ink which would be easy to print on plastic surfaces, and which would replace the physical circuits that are used in a circuit board. The result is far more cost effective than before, and the whole printing process can be done on literally anything! It opens a whole gamut of opportunities. So it was while working with Nanōmix that I filed six patents of my own. What came after Nanōmix? Well, one fine day, the CTO of the company, a Belgian gentleman called George Gruner, came to me and said he was starting a new venture, and he wanted me on board. So I joined up with him, and in 2005-06 we managed to get funding from top investors in Silicon Valley for the company called Unidym. Now, technology had always been my core interest, but it was working here that I began to focus on the business aspects. So I moved into

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Young Entrepreneur a role that was more that of product development and management, and we were working with big companies like Samsung and Motorola, developing a new generation touch screen. We opened up other branches, started expanding, acquired other companies and grew from a two person organisation to one that employed 180 people in less than two years, and through it all, I was slowly understanding the business point of view of the setup. It was around 2006-07 when we began working with Apple on their display units to develop printable electronics applications for the next generation iPhones and touchscreens. Another idea was to come up with a touchscreen that was a lot more transparent, so that the display quality would be highly enhanced, and more durable, so that even with 10 million touches, it would not be damaged and its sensitivity wouldn’t be hampered. As I worked on that, I got a few more patents. What made you come back to India? I always intended to come back to India at some point and do something in India itself. And later, when I was working, I would come to India for vacations, and during each of these trips, I would look for opportunities to start something. Then, sometime around 2005, I stumbled upon something quite interesting. I saw that most of the businesses in India set a lot of store by the pricing of their products. But in my view, if that is so important, there is very little scope left for significant value addition. At the same time, I talked to a lot of people who were willing to offer extra premium for real value. So from there, the whole idea to bring an affordable Apple-level product to the Indian consumer was born. Is that how Swipe started? Yes, that was the genesis of the Swipe. Actually, if you want a one line statement for Swipe’s philosophy, it is to bring to the Indian consumer world class technology at an affordable price. And we knew that this idea had a lot of potential, because if you look at the technology industry in India, the growth rate has been incredible. We were looking at nearly a 70 to 80 per cent compounded annual growth rate!


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Technology is inescapable, you see. Whether it is an 18 year old teenager or a 65 year old grandfather, everybody has found some utility in emerging technology, like touchscreens. Initially, we were only going be an online business, and not consider distribution at all. But in a matter of a couple of weeks, we got massive response from across the country, and also from abroad, especially about our product called the 3D tablet. All this made us stop and rethink. The 3D tablet is one of the best examples of Swipe’s philosophy – not a single company in the world offers a 3D tablet at the price that we do. This clicked in a huge way with our customers, and any scepticism that we faced, like all start-ups do, was washed away very quickly because of the success of the product. So, although we had done a handsome amount of business with distributors like Flipkart and e-Bay, ultimately we had to completely overhaul our business model to figure out the distribution channels ourselves. The fact that we managed to partner with several other big players also helped. But far more than growth and opportunity, I always keep asking myself one question – can we make a difference here? This has always been foremost on our minds, along with the goal of reaching out to all the people across India. Where is Swipe placed now, in your opinion? Currently, we have launched in eight states in India, and because of what we offer to the consumer, we are among the top two brands in every state where we have launched, be it Rajasthan or Punjab or Chandigarh, in terms of volume. We have also maintained our product leadership position – we were the first to launch 3D tablet, India’s first calling tablet, dual core and dual SIM tablets, etc. We are also working with a lot of NGOs, and have already delivered products to Bihar and Jharkhand, and we have offered them a fully customised solution. Basically, from what I’ve seen, the Indian consumer wants value for money, as much value as possible! But there is something that I am very clear about. Even though the idea behind Swipe is

Young Entrepreneur to offer world class products at an affordable price, in the better interest of the consumer, we shall not compromise on the quality of the product just to give a lower price range. Who do you see as your competition? Well, there are enough and many tech bloggers and reviewers out there who have written highly of our products. Our Velocity Tab product has been compared frequently with Apple’s iPad Mini, and although some may consider this an overstatement, but in terms of CPU and GPU performance, our product certainly beats the iPad Mini. And frankly, we don’t have any competitor at all if you look at our calling tablets – nobody else has come up with a dual SIM dual core tablet!

difficult to overcome than in the US. But at the end of the day, all of it has been worth it. Something that I’ve found is that today, in India, if you have a lot of enthusiasm and passion, you can do ten times here than what you can in the US. That said, I think it is quite important that one goes abroad, if only to gain knowledge and experience and network, before coming back to India and starting something here. So I would tell anyone to get that edge and utilise it wisely when you come back.

You had a stellar run at BYOND TECH, where you grew the company’s revenue from Rs. just 20 lakh to over Rs. 200 crore in just three years. How did you achieve that? I’m a firm believer in the statement that the belief one holds before the beginning of a journey defines You were a research scientist. How did you make your journey. The outflow of an organisation the transition from there to the founder and CEO should be considered based on the organisational of a transition? potential, but the market and customer acquisition When I went to the US, I had should be based on market no idea this was where I would potential. It shouldn’t be driven by I’m a firm believer in land up. Now as I look back, I organisational standing. So with think the spirit and the intent to this in mind, we started looking following my heart something more enterprising at all kinds of markets; I travelled was always there in me. Every to all the parts of the country. The and doing what I’m transition and activity adds to our idea was to the increase the width personality and character in many passionate about. If you and breadth of the distribution. ways, some small, others critical. We kept doing both, and made it can do this, everything Ultimately, there is a lot of internal all possible. The other important churning within oneself. And thing is the people. All the credit else will follow. sometimes, that thought process should go to the people of the within oneself is so much that organisation, they are the ones finally, it leads to an epiphany. And standing at that who actually make everything possible, as well as all point, where I was one of the best employees of the the other people you partner with and work with. company, I realised that I needed to do something more. You can think of it has having done brilliantly, Any advice for potential entrepreneurs like you? which I could have, with 11 patents to my name and I would only tell them to follow their passion. I’m a a lot of experience, but on the other, you also need firm believer in EQ, and I think it’s far more important a sense of fulfilment. This is why I’m a firm believer than IQ. So it’s all about the passion and the talent in following my heart and doing what I’m passionate that you have. Another very important thing to focus about. If you can do this, everything else will follow. on is your presentation. It’s all well and good to be brilliant and highly accomplished in your particular Having worked in the US and set up a company set of skills, but all of that counts for nothing if you almost from scratch, and then starting your own don’t know how to communicate and present your company in India, how different do you feel the product or service, be it an actual tangible product two countries are? or your own self and skills. Finally, I believe if you I have found a huge difference between the two. want to be a successful businessman, you have to One of the factors is, of course, the standard of be an outstanding salesman. So unless you can’t living, which is a lot higher in the US than here in understand and conceptualise the package which our country. Then there are other challenges as will appeal to the people, you won’t be able to make well, like the systems in place, the running around much headway. If you keep these in mind, I’m sure one has to do here in India, which are far more success will be guaranteed. A

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Corporate World

2012-13 Q3:

Corporate results

Corporate results are keenly watched by shareholders, analysts, competitors, bankers, suppliers and the media. These provide insights into the industry performance and its outlook, the company’s performance vis-à-vis its competitors, and helps in deciding whether the shares of the company should be retained or sold. Dr Suresh Srinivasan


rom an economic perspective, corporate activity and its performance have a direct bearing on the country’s economic health. Higher investments by governments create more corporate activity, which, in turn, brings more taxes; more than 80 per cent of India’s revenue is from corporate tax, personal tax, and indirect taxes like customs, excise and services tax. That being the case, even the governments, through policies and budgets, ensure they do everything that they can in order to enhance corporate well-being by creating an appropriate policy environment. The ‘third quarter’ (September 2012 to December 2012) results for the financial year 2012-13 is just trickling out; many of them have been announced while a few still remain. We analyse a few sector results to assess the impact of the economic environment on individual businesses!

Information Technology (IT)

IT is an extremely important sector; it is around $100 billion in size and contributes close to 8.5 per cent of the country’s GDP. It provides direct and indirect


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

employment close to a large part of the economy and has been growing on an average at more than 15% per annum. Company results: Infosys has announced strong performance both in terms of revenue and profits, much higher than market estimates, after several quarters of poor revenue growth and profits. With a quarterly revenue of more than Rs.10,000 crore and net profits close to Rs.2,400 crore, Infosys expects to close the financial year with total revenues of more than Rs.40,000 crore, way ahead of analysts’ expectations. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) also announced results in line with the market estimates; their net profits increased by close to 25 per cent. Wipro also posted an 18 per cent increase in net profits. HCL earlier posted more than a 40 per cent increase in profits and has indicated that around $40 billion of global contracts are coming up for renewal during 2013. IT sector outlook: With Infosys being awarded close to 10 large outsourcing contracts in recent times, the industry is looking up, with technology spend

in the developed economies increasing positively. This is good news for the Indian IT sector, which was primarily affected by the slowdown in the West, where companies had seriously curtailed technology spend and outsourcing contracts over the last couple of years. The biggest challenge for the IT sector has been the slowing western economies, which include the Americas, Europe and Japan, all of whom account for more than 85 per cent of the clientele for most of the major Indian IT companies. In order to reposition their strategies in light of this slowdown, most of the IT majors are focusing inward to develop clientele within the country, and this is expected to grow in double digits over the next few decades.

Corporate World Automobile

The automobile industry is a barometer of consumer health in any economy. A strong growth in this sector signifies consumer confidence and a positive outlook for the economy as a whole. India, one of the largest auto industries in the world produces close to 45 lakh vehicles per annum. It not only absorbs a large workforce, but is also a significant foreign currency earner through exports to various parts of the world. Company results: India’s second largest two-wheeler maker Bajaj Auto reported a 3 per cent increase in net profits of Rs.820 crore, in line with market expectations. It recorded a 9 per cent increase in revenue and achieved a motorcycle market share of 32 per cent. Tata Motors reported a 40 per cent increase in net profit of Rs.3,400 crore, mainly due to the superior performance of its Jaguar Land Rover division of the UK that sells luxury cars; these are selling like hot cakes in the Chinese markets. Auto sector outlook: India’s auto sector used to be the fastest growing in the world, but is now showing negative growth due to the sagging demand resulting from a high interest rate regime. The future over the next two to three years, however, looks positive, as and when the overall economic growth picks up.


The Indian airline industry is currently going through a turmoil due to high fuel costs, high taxes, lack of infrastructure and in some cases poor management. Company results: SpiceJet, the low cost carrier, posted a net profit of Rs.100 crore as against a loss of Rs.39 crore that it had reported for the corresponding quarter during the previous year. This has been possible in spite of the increased fuel cost and taxes, mainly due to the superior aircraft “fleet utilisation” and an altered “route mix” on the regional as well as international flights. The share price of Jet Airways, which is yet to announce its quarterly results, also reacted positively based on the strong results of SpiceJet, in anticipation of robust profits. Airline sector outlook: With the foreign direct investment being opened up for foreign airlines to invest into Indian carriers, a number of foreign airlines like Ethihad Airways of the UAE, Qatar Airways and many carriers from the far east are actively in discussions with Indian domestic airlines. The future for this industry is strong in terms of foreign investment inflows in the next two to three months, which will go a long way in reducing India’s current account deficit.

Oil and Gas

The oil and gas industry primarily consists of players in various parts of the “value chain” — exploration and production, refining, retailing and gas and petrol station operations, petrochemicals and oil and gas transportation. Key government players are ONGC, Oil India, Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and GAIL,

with a combined turnover of around Rs.6.5 lakh crore. Private players include Reliance Industries, Essar Oil, Adani Gas and Cairn Energy, having a combined turnover of around Rs.3.2 lakh crore. Company results: Reliance announced a net profit of around Rs.5,500 crore, which was an increase of close to 25 per cent over the same period last year. Additional profits mainly came from efficient refining operations. Similarly, Cairn India posted net profits close to Rs.3,300 crore, which is a 50 per cent increase.

Essar Oil’s revenue increased by close to 90 per cent, and profits before interest and depreciation was announced at Rs.1,250 crore, being 740 per cent more than the corresponding period last year. Oil and Gas sector outlook: With the government progressively decontrolling and freeing up the prices of fuel, the industry is attractive. India provides ample scope for oil and gas exploration. Refining is also extremely attractive; refineries in the West are closing down and new capacities are available in Asia. With efficient refinery operations, Indian companies can export refined products across the world. As seen above, the third quarter results for 2012-13 have been better than anticipated, and this provides a positive outlook emerging for the fourth quarter that is following. Especially if there is an interest rate cut by RBI now, as is expected, this will further improve the results for the fourth quarter. A

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Corporate World

The US fiscal cliff: Standing on the edge

The recession of 2008 affected many economies across the world, including here in India. And right now, the US is again, although not completely, on the brink of an economic crisis, in the form of the Fiscal Cliff. But what exactly is it, and what does it entail for everybody else? Dr Suresh Srinivasan


he term ‘Fiscal Cliff’ has of late become a buzz word of sorts in global economic and financial parlance. It signifies the precarious condition the economy of the United States is in; more specifically, it is the high “fiscal deficit” that has been pushing the country towards bankruptcy. Fiscal deficit is the excess of a country’s expenditure over its revenue, resulting in high levels of borrowings to finance the shortfall. Over periods of continued fiscal deficit, the borrowings increase to unprecedented highs, so much so that the economy is then forced to take drastic actions to decrease its expenditure and increase revenue. The US reached such a situation by the end of 2012 — this means that the country, and its people, have been, and still are, living far beyond their means.

How severe is the problem?

To put this issue in perspective,


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

there are a few countries like Switzerland, Norway and Korea who have fiscal surplus (government revenues greater than expenditure). Countries like these, Switzerland for instance, balance their expenditure with revenue, thereby demonstrating a zero deficit budget, while a number of countries have a fiscal deficit. The US is high on the fiscal deficit list, with deficit levels reaching close to 9.5 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). Other countries like Ireland (10

The US reached such a huge fiscal deficit by the end of 2012 that the country, and its people, are living far beyond their means

per cent), the United Kingdom, Japan and Greece (all at 9 per cent of their GDP), run large levels of fiscal deficit. India’s fiscal deficit has again steadily climbed over the years, reaching a figure of around 5.4 per cent of its GDP. Let us come back to the US situation. The US is roughly an economy of around US$ 15 trillion with a fiscal deficit of around $1.4 trillion. If no action were to be taken by the US senate to bridge this gap of $1.4 trillion by December 31 2012, the provisions of the earlier enacted Budget Control Act of 2011 was programmed to have automatically come into force, freezing many government expenditure programmes (thereby reducing government expenditure) and automatically kicking in enhanced taxes (thereby increasing government revenue) resulting in reduced fiscal deficit. It is commendable that the US economy has such in-built

Corporate World control mechanisms, so to speak, to check the country’s fiscal deficit. However, such a forced, across the board reduction in expenditure and increase in revenue by enhancing the taxes, thereby negatively impacting the common man, at a juncture where the country is still limping out of the 2008 financial crisis, was considered precarious not only to the US economy but also to the entire global economy, potentially capable of spiraling the country into a deeper recessionary mode. Hence, the Democrats and Republicans, through the US Senate, jointly agreed to temporarily avoid the fiscal cliff by enacting a law, named the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which would override the earlier Budget Control Act of 2011; this was actually accomplished in the early hours of January 1, 2013! US President Barack Obama exhibited jubilance after successfully striking the deal jointly with Democrats and Republicans in averting the fiscal cliff. But truly, is there really a reason to celebrate? What has this deal achieved? Is the American economy now free from all evils? What are its implications?

thousand programmes, including some of the most vital public expenditure schemes like defense spending and healthcare expenditure. Also, additional revenues, predominantly in the nature of incremental tax burden and additional taxes for covering the new healthcare law, all of which increasing the individual level outflow close to US$2,000 per annum, would have come into force. Both the reduction in government expenditure and the increase in revenue would have come into effect straightaway, reducing the country’s fiscal deficit by almost half, to around US$0.7 trillion (4.5 per cent of the GDP). The automatic activation of the Budget Control Act of 2 0 11 is

Understanding the “Fiscal Cliff” If the Senate hadn’t struck this deal, the Budget Control Act of 2011 would have automatically become effective. Government expenditure would have been instantaneously reduced, putting to an end more than a

Barack Obama

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Corporate World indeed in the best interest of the American economy, especially in the long run, as not only would the fiscal deficit have been reduced by 4.5 per cent of the GDP in 2013, but the government borrowings would also have reduced to 60 per cent of the GDP by the year 2022 (which is now forecasted to reach 90 per cent of the GDP, since the deal averted the activation of the Budget Control Act of 2011). Therefore, the question is that if the automatic activation of the Budget Control Act of 2011 would have appeared to improve the health of the American economy by bringing its fiscal deficit under control, why then was a deal struck to avoid its coming into force by enacting a new legislation, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012? Although the activation of the Budget Control Act of 2011 is in the best interest of the US in the long run, it could have spelled disaster in the short term. More specifically, the GDP growth for year 2013 would have turned negative at -0.5 per cent (which means that the US would have


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

entered a recessionary phase). Now, however, by averting the fiscal cliff, the GDP is expected to grow at around 1.7 per cent for 2013. Also, the aversion will help keep the unemployment rate maintained at the current figure of 8 per cent, while activation of the enactment was expected to increase the unemployment rate to more than 9 per cent. So, what does it all mean? Has the US Congress sacrificed the long term interest of the American economy in favour of the short term well being, and acted with the sole interest of averting a catastrophe? Yes, that pretty much sums up the position, more or less accurately! By enacting the new American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Congressmen have taken a middle path to marginally increase revenue to the tune of $24 billion — these are made up of income and capital gains tax rates increased only for “high income individuals” with annual income over $400,000 for individuals and $450,000 for couples, without touching people whose income is below these

levels. A number of other minor, but largely insignificant, tinkering has been done in terms of the tax structure. The big ticket issue of “reduction in expenditure” has been left untouched; it has been agreed to discuss and finalise expenditure reduction over the next three months. Hence, the current deal appears to be, at the most, a mere postponement of hard decisions to cut expenditure and increase taxes. Within the next few months, the US government needs to put expenditure cuts in place, and while they may prove to be extremely unpopular, they are ultimately inevitable! Over the next 10 years, deficit reduction to the tune of $2.4 trillion needs to be achieved, which means US$ 240 billion of expenditure cuts and tax enhancements have to be implemented, which would be extremely challenging! The deal between the Democrats and the Republicans to avert the fiscal cliff has temporarily helped boost the global economic sentiments as well; to put it differently, if this deal had not been struck in a timely manner, the impact would have been felt across both American and global economies. When this deal was announced, all types of assets, including oil, gold, shares and commodities, reacted positively across the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In summary, however, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to celebrate, not just yet. A mere postponement to bite the bullet could make the coming days far more difficult for the American economy, and it is an unfortunate fact that the global economy, including that of India, is now closely intertwined with the US! A

Corporate World

Economic indicators

Global Economic Updates: With the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ temporarily avoided, the global economies are positively reacting; within the next three months, the US Senate has to freeze expenditure cuts and new taxes that will go to bridge the deficit gap of around $1.5 trillion, which will be a mammoth task. If not proactively done on a timely manner, there could be significant impact to the American and the global markets, around April of 2013. The European sovereign debt crisis issue is still a major problem confronting the global economy. For example, the Italian economy, which is one of the biggest EU economies, is virtually going to be flat during the current year with no growth on the horizon. It has accumulated large amount of debt over a period which now equates to around 120% of the country’s GDP. It is also losing competitiveness such that it cannot increase revenue or manage fiscal deficit. Expenditures are also high. This is a similar problem faced by many EU nations which is extremely concerning for the global economy. India Economic Updates: Interest rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of India is the current ‘hot topic’ in the economics and business circles. The question is whether RBI will now slash interest rates or not. RBI’s perception on rate cuts to stimulate growth vastly seems to differ from the finance ministry’s prescription that rates need to be reduced to spur growth. Since RBI is an independent body with views different from the finance ministry (and it feels rates should not be cut now), the challenge would be a very slow drop in rates, which means lower growth rates during 2013. It is unfortunate that India ranks lowest among the BRICS nations in terms of credit rating by global rating agencies. These agencies have been periodically warning India to reform or face credit downgrade. Fitch, for example, continues to maintain its “negative” outlook on India, primarily due to slow economic growth triggered by a high interest rate regime emanating out of high inflation. Fitch is more concerned with the inability of the country to enact reforms in a timely manner and control subsidies which have sharply increased fiscal deficits, much higher than targeted levels. Fitch has also cited high levels of current account deficit, at 5.4% of the GDP, as one of the key reasons for the negative outlook. Other rating agencies like Moody’s and Standard and Poor also cut India’s rating score. Recently, Citigroup also downgraded India’s rating to ‘underweight’ on the reasoning of poor economic performance, but more importantly a weak outlook due to the forthcoming parliamentary elections scheduled for 2014, which would divert the government’s focus more towards populist measures rather than drive bold reforms. International funds have been steadily moving into the Indian stock markets over the last three to five months. This has given a boost to the Indian stock markets which have now moved close to 20,000 points. This has been of immense benefit, at least in the short run, because the sizeable inflows of foreign exchange on account of portfolio investment helped partially finance the current account deficit. The depreciation of the rupee would have been far greater if foreign investors had kept away from Indian stocks. The last budget proposed the introduction of anti-avoidance provisions in the form of General Anti Avoidance Rules (“GAAR”), which gave the government powers to tax and change rules relating to past deals, received negative response from the global investing community. A committee was subsequently set up to review this law and now a draft report has been submitted which delays its implementation by more than two years. This is a relief for foreign investors. The last few months have seen a bout of reforms being revived; the government has raised prices of petroleum products, primarily diesel, and introduced the cap on the number of cooking gas cylinders that households can buy at the subsidised prices. The indication that it will slowly move to ‘cash transfers’ to replace subsidies distributed through the public distribution system is a major change in the offing. Diesel price increase in a phased manner over the next 10 months is also a far reaching reform.

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Corporate World

Key knowledge for


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Corporate World

aspiring managers

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013


Corporate World

What we can expect from the Budget 2013-14 Given the upcoming parliamentary elections in 2014, political issues could override economic prudence, driving the government to deliver a populist budget. This means that more social welfare schemes would be announced, increasing the government expenditure, thereby ballooning subsidies; this is a trap which the government could fall into, and in the process, lose an opportunity to produce a tight and sensible budget, with focus on long term sustainability and fiscal prudence. Dr Suresh Srinivasan


hat said, it would be totally unreasonable to expect a budget without any populist measure at all, especially in an election year! Investors will be happy as long as there is a prudent mix of both! The expectations from the 2013-2014 budget can thus be summarised as follows: l Programmes and allocations relating to priority sectors like agriculture, infrastructure and education are inevitable, and hence, these are likely to see higher spending in the budget. It will be interesting to see how the allocations for social welfare schemes like the rural employment scheme and national rural health mission schemes pan out. l The finance minister is confronted with a challenge to not only enhance government revenues but also to cut the subsidies and expenditures, and more importantly, do so intelligently, in such a manner that it both fosters growth, as well as brings the fiscal deficit in line with the target.


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

l To achieve this, it is

very likely that the government will bring in more services into tax purview and also increase the excise duty from the current levels. There also seems to be a move to increase allowable depreciation rates; although this will reduce direct tax, it is expected to spur investment and indirectly yield higher economic growth. The possibility of further enhancement of income tax exemption on the personal income tax is a good possibility, especially as it will have a significant impact on the salaried class who constitute the voting class. l The pace of disinvestment and privatisation will play a major role. In all probability, the government is expected to focus large proceeds from the disinvestment/spectrum sale that will be announced in the

P. Chidambaram

budget. This seems to be an inevitable measure to control the fiscal deficit. As long as the budget contains doses of positive measures that will go on to spur India’s economic recovery and make investors enthusiastic, it will be a demonstration of the government’s commitment to fiscal consolidation, and the job would be well done! A


The chaos of the English language

Dearest creature in creation, Studying English pronunciation, I will teach you in my verse, Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worseIt will keep you, Susy, busy; Make your head with heat grow dizzy; Tear in eye your dress you’ll tearSo shall I. Oh hear my prayer. Pray console your loving poet, Make my coat look new, dear, sew it. Just compare heart, beard and heard, Dies and diet, lord and word, Sword and sward, retain and Britain. (Mind the latter, how it’s written). Made has not the sound of bade, Say - said, pay - paid, laid, but plaid. Now I surely will not plague you with such words as vague and ague, But be careful how you speak, Say break, steak, but bleak and streak.

Scholar, vicar and cigar; Solar, mica, war and far; From desire-desirable; admirable from admire; Lumber, plumber; bier but brier; Chatham, brougham; renown but known; Knowledge, done but gone and tone; One, anemone, Balmoral; Kitchen, lichen; laundry, laurel; Gertrude, German; wind and mind; Scene, Melpomene; mankind; Tortoise, turquoise, chamois - leather; Reading, reading, heathen, heather. This phonetic labyrinth Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth and plinth.

Don’t you think so, reader, rather Saying lather, bather, father? Finally: which rhymes with “enough” Though, through, plough, cough, hough, or tough? Hiccough has the sound of “cup”. My advice is - give it up!!! Part of a 1920s poem called The Chaos by Dr. Gerald Nolst Trenite

MAT CH T HE WO R DS W IT H T H E IR M EA NING S 1. Verse (vurs) (n)

9. Brougham (broo-uhm) (n)

2. Corps (kawr) (n)

10. Lichen (lahy-kuhn) (n)

3. Console (kuhn-sohl) (v)

11. Laurel (lawr-uhl) (n)

4. Sward (swawrd) (n)

12. Heathen (hee-thuhn) (adj)

5. Ague (ey-gyoo) (n)

13. Phonetic (foh-net-ik) (adj)

6. Bleak (bleek) (adj) 7. Bier (beer) (n) 8. Brier (brahy-er) (n)

14. Plinth (plinth) (n)

15. Hough

(hok) (n)

a. malaria or another illness involving fever and shivering (archaic) b. a horse-drawn carriage (or car) with a roof, four wheels, and an open driver’s seat in front c. a movable frame on which a coffin or a corpse is placed before burial or cremation or on which they are carried to the grave d. a main subdivision of an army in the field, consisting of two or more divisions e. honour or praise for an achievement; an aromatic evergreen shrub related to the bay tree f. a knuckle of meat, especially of pork or ham g. any of a number of prickly scrambling shrubs, especially a wild rose

h. comfort (someone) at a time of grief or disappointment i. relating to speech sounds j. a person who does not belong to a widely held religion as regarded by those who do; a person regarded as lacking culture or moral principles k. a group of lines that form a unit in a poem or song; a stanza l. charmless and inhospitable; dreary m. a simple slow-growing plant which typically forms a low crust-like, leaf-like, or branching growth on rocks, walls, and trees n. an expanse of short grass o. a heavy base supporting a statue or vase

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013



A quiz to boost your General Knowledge 1.

World Trade Organization (WTO) has ranked India as the _____ largest player in the global service trade. a) Fifth b) Fourth c) Seventh d) Sixth


Which Indian Bollywood actress was appointed as International Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nation programme on HIV/ AIDS (UNAIDS)? a) Aishwarya Rai b) Katrina Kaif c) Kareena Kapoor d) Vidya Balan


Which two countries signed an agreement for the modernisation of the Indian Railways? a) India and Belgium b) Indian and China c) USA and India d) Russia and India


Name the Indian telecom service company which had acquired the US firm WPCS International? a) Shyam Telecom b) MTNL c) Tata Teleservices d) Kavvery Telecom



Which company was directed by the Supreme Court to refund Rs. 17,400 crore to their investors? a) Sahara Group of Company b) Reliance Industries c) Air India d) Vodafone

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013





SEBI, on August 16, 2012 made it mandatory that all listed companies must have minimum ________ public shareholdings by June 2013. a) 10% b) 20% c) 30% d) 25% Which among the following countries has given a grant of US$ 1 billion for the reconstruction of the Nalanda University? a) Japan b) UK c) USA d) China Recently, ADC was in the news amid the controversy between GMR and Maldives. ADC stands for: a) Airport Development Charge b) Airport Development Cargo c) Airport Development Commission d) Airport Development Container Who has been selected as the new CBI chief in India? a) Ranjit Sinha b) A.P Singh c) Vineet K. Gupta d) Rupak Kumar Dutta

10. Who has been selected as the new Prime Minister of China? a) Jiang Zemin b) Tao Jingzhou c) Li Keqiang d) Hu Keqiang

11. Which former chief minister was recently arrested for a recruitment scam? a) Amarinder Singh b) Om Prakash Chautala c) Bhajan Lal d) Rajnath Singh 12. Microsoft in January 2013 announced plans to shut down which service? a) MS Office 2007 b) Skype c) Windows Live Messenger d) Bing 13. Which Australian pace legend was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame during the third test between Australia and Sri Lanka starting from 4 January, 2013 in Sydney? a) Glenn McGrath b) Shane Warne c) Brett Lee d) Allan Border 14. Name the 3rd seeded Scottish tennis player who retained his Brisbane International Tennis Title after defeating the Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov on 6 January, 2013. a) Jamie Murray b) Andy Murray c) Roger Federer d) Ian Collins 15. Which meeting was held by India and Pakistan in Poonch, Rajasthan on 14th January, 2013? a) Flag meet b) Nuclear meet c) Arms meet d) Nuclear arms meet

 16. Why is Malay origin Halimah Yacob in the news recently? a) First woman Speaker of the Singapore Parliament b) First woman Prime Minister of the Singapore Parliament c) First woman Chief Justice of Singapore Parliament d) None of these

b) Appu Kutty c) Girish Kulkarni d) Hrithik Roshan 22. Which car was awarded the Car of the Year Award 2013

by the automotive magazine Autocar India? a) Audi A6 b) Chevrolet Captiva c) Renault Scala d) Renault Duster

17. The Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world’s first and largest operational space launch facility is in ______? a) France b) Kazakhstan c) Uzbekistan d) Germany 18. Which country appointed 30 women to the previously all male Shura Council? a) UAE b) Saudi Arabia c) Egypt d) Bahrain 19. The gravity mapping satellites of NASA ended the successful mission to moon by crashing on the rim of crater. Name the gravity mapping satellites of NASA? a) Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 b) Ebb and Flow c) Orion and Kepler d) Dawn and Orion 20. Which part of India was included in World Heritage List by UNESCO on July 1, 2012? a) Eastern Ghats b) Western Ghats c) Kaziranga National Park d) Konkan Railway 21. In the year 2012, which actor bagged the Best Actor award at the 59th National Film Awards? a) Ranbir Kapoor

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



1. c 6. d 11. b 16. a 21. c

2. a 7. d 12. c 17. b 22.d

3. a 8. a 13. a 18. b

4. d 9. a 14. b 19. b

5. a 10. c 15. a 20. b Solution, tips and computer programme at


1. k 6. l 11. e

2. d 7. c 12. j

3. h 8. g 13. i

4. n 9. b 14.o

5. a 10. m 15. f

Advanc’edge MBA February 2013





To spread this spirit of free enquiry and kindle the spirit of entrepreneurship, WeSchool has launched ‘wedvaan- The Thought Leaders’ Conclave’ to be held between 22-24 Feb 2013. Wedvaan is a management festival with a difference; it is a festival of ideas that comprises unique workshops to promote objectives of free-spirited enquiry and entrepreneurship. The thought leaders’ conclave offers: Jugaad Live: encouraging students to standardise Jugaads into scalable business models. Mashup: a unique entrepreneurship challenge where REAL start-ups with innovative concepts come together with students and create scalable business plans over an intensive two-day immersive experience where they live, eat and breathe the concept. Other events ... Samarth: where the management skills of individuals are tested by working through different teams and creating a growth strategy for a REAL NGO. My Rules My Game: where students create their own board games. The Senate: An open- ended DEBATE, designed in the form of Indian Parliament looking at insights and solutions to discuss the trends of Indian economy in future. Game-On: A unique and a novel idea designing a contest around the concept of Game theory-which is very widely used today in areas s.a. market economics, computing, evolutionary biology, artificial intelligence, accounting, politics and military theory etc. Mar-Eat: You choose your menu and your service. We provide the capital. Maximize the profit and give your restaurant the coveted AAA rating. Successfully outstanding six hours and six strategies in Mark – eat would make a winning team. Grassroots: The pulse of the country beats in its heartlands - There is so much untapped potential in the rural market. Identify an opportunity space from the rural areas and culminate it into a feasible business plan for the urban population.


Advanc’edge MBA February 2013

Cognizance 2013 - National level techno management fest Date – March 22-24, 2013-01-24 Institute – IIT Roorkee Theme events:  Equistrata: Equality is the most quintessential truth that one should never disagree with. Aiming at the inclusion of a number of socially deprived issues, a roster of events would be geared towards responding to that cause.  Nostra Energetico: Hope for a sustainable future can be gauged by the way a nation handles its resources. The stage is set to invite solutions which are feasible in nature and both practical and reliable which should result in a safe future for all the citizens.  Celer Judicium: This event aims to bring out methods to improvise on the existing systems of law and order and society to ensure that progress of India is at a comparable pace with the rest of the world.  Economix: Handling money the right way is an art. Cognizance aims to pick out the financial whiz kids who can face the challenges of India’s finance with élan. FestOComm 2013 - National level management, Cultural and Sports fest Date – February 15-17, 2013 Institute – SIMC, Pune Event Details  24 Hour Film Making  Case Study  Dance  Fashion Show  Creative Writing  Crisis Management  Critique writing  Debate  Drama  Fragathon (Gaming)  Graffiti  JAM  Photography Comp/Exhibition  Poster Making  Reputation Management  Trailer Making  Quiz  Paper Presentation

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