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This issue is not about what opportunities women have to make it big, it is about them guiding our students.

Dear students, A year ago, in our Advanc’edge March 2011 issue, we settled the debate on if it is worthwhile for women to do an MBA. In the next 12 months, women around the world proved how it is worth giving them an opportunity to lead. Today, we have more women CEOs than ever – Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), Susan Ivey (Reynolds American) and Tamara Lundgren (Shnitzer Steel Industries) are among the highest paid in the world. We have more women running a country than ever before – Angela Merkel (German chancellor), Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberian prime minister, who was the joint-recipient of Nobel Peace Prize this year), Presidents of Argentina, Brazil… the list goes on (in fact, there are 19 women at the helm of their respective nations, and I have not counted the queens). In fact, the future of the world economy heavily relies on two women – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and IMF chief Christina Lagarde, who are currently bang in the middle of the Euro crisis, which is threatening to send the entire world spiraling into unprecedented financial chaos. Then there are those unheralded heroines who spearheaded the Arab Spring, including the 20-year-old Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdi, who posted photos on her blog showing her standing wearing only stockings, to protest against suppression of women in her country. This issue is not about what opportunities women have to make it big, it is about them guiding our students. We have interviews of women at top positions of MNCs sharing their experiences with you. Then we will take a look at prospects of business education in the UK, and how Singapore is an emerging MBA destination. Finally, Study Hour by Reshma Majithia to sum up the issue. Wish you all a splendid future. Thanks and regards

Malav Parekh Consulting Editor




Kamlesh Sajnani

Ramesh More

Dr Suresh Srinivasan,



Malav Parekh

Anil Bhagtani




Advanc’edge MBA, IMS Publications, A Division of IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd., 1/45 Tardeo A.C. Market, Tardeo, Mumbai - 400 034.

Puja Shah

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All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole and in part without written permission is prohibited. Printed and published by Kamlesh Sajnani, on behalf of, IMS Learning Resources Pvt. Ltd., 1/45 Tardeo A.C. Market, Tardeo, Mumbai - 34. Printed at Uchitha Graphic Printers Pvt. Ltd., 65, Ideal Ind. Est., Mathuradas Mill Compound, Lower Parel, Mumbai - 13 and published at Mumbai. Advanc’edge MBA March 2011 1

Reshma Majithia,

Sangheetha Chakrapani,


March 2012

04 | First Step

45 | Success Street

58 | World View




US Elections I: Republican Mitt Romney versus the Grand Old Party



UP elections 2012 and future of Rahul Gandhi


63 | Study Hour



12 | Region Focus 12 The United Kingdom MBA 20 SINGAPORE – the most popular MBA Destination in Asia

26 | Ask the Experts 26

Sharon Bamford, Chief Executive, Association of MBAs


Marina Gandhi, Head, Education UK, East India, British Council


JoAnne Yates, Deputy Dean, MIT Sloan

29 | Financial Dynamics 29

Corroborate Your Financials for Student VISA

STUDENT INTERVIEW 33 Raja Debnath, University of Oxford - Said Business School 36

Richa Agarwal, NITIE


Supply Chain Management: The Next Big Thing?

DEAN SPEAK 43 Dr. Debashish Sanyal, Dean, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai.

Business Etiquette The Next Big Thing?

48 | Corporate World Supreme Court Judgment on Vodafone Case

50 Impact of 2G license cancellations

WORD DOSE 63 Friends- A godsend 65 Globescan


The Indian Aviation Sector



Economic Indicators

68 B-school Events

Su do ku

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Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


FIRST STEP Cover Story


Indra Nooyi, Christina Lagarde, Angela Merkel... women are

ruling the world economy

All images courtesy:google


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

Cover Story FIRST STEP Sangheetha Chakrapani

A woman is a born manager. While many of you may call it a sweeping generalisation, it is a fact that all of us sub-consciously endorse. They are our first-choice for running our homes (even of those who run the world), a natural choice for managing our children (who are the world’s future), and they have run companies and governments, and they have ruled countries for centuries, as effectively as any of their male counterparts. So when we say women are also born leaders, it is not just a sweeping generalisation. The setting in the painting of Queen Victoria’s first address of her court is strikingly similar to what we are seeing today in the corporate world. And for those not born into greatness, an MBA has become an important tool to achieve it.


he MBA is one of today’s most powerful pathways to a successful and enriching career. Take a look at these examples of success stories: Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, Pepsi. Naina Lal Kidwai, Deputy CEO, HSBC, Lalita D.Gupte, JMD, ICICI Bank; women who have carved out a trail-blazing career for themselves, motivating generations of young women to follow in their footsteps. International business consultant McKinsey predicts that a considerably high number of leaders will be sorely needed to lead businesses in the next decade. Today, business schools in India and all over the world are trying to bring in gender diversity by reaching out to women students. The MBA is a sound professional qualification that offers a competitive edge, especially in a country like India that values management education. Chithra Arun, General Manager, Human Resources with an international software company says that recruitment is largely concentrated on management graduates. “An MBA serves as a great entry point for young people, the knowledge base it gives helps you to see beyond the obvious and teaches you to grasp and communicate effectively”.

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


FIRST STEP Cover Story

Indra Nooyi, CEO PepsiCo Salary: $ 9.3 million

Susan Ivey, CEO Reynolds American Salary: $ 1.31 million (base salary) She retired in 2011

Christina Lagarde, IMF Chief Fate of the tottering world economy, especially the Euro crisis, rests on her


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

GMAC (Graduate Management Admission Council) conducted an MBA registration survey and found that while career opportunities are immense, there is a shortage of women applicants for the MBA course. A highly encouraging factor that works for women is the plethora of business schools in India. There are more than 950 business schools approved by the A.I.C.T.E. In 2005, India contributed the highest number of students across the world who answered the GMAT exam. Indian business schools are also attracting a lot of talent with more students showing an inclination to study closer home than go abroad. Today, the Indian government is trying to widen its policies to make higher education more appealing and convenient for women. Many colleges and institutions receive government funding to ensure that on campus housing is offered to women students. Several leading corporate houses, especially multinationals offer flexible timings to their women employees. An Indian colossus like Wipro has a gender and diversity inclusion team that pushes for a more balanced gender representation in the company’s workforce. Women after returning from maternity leave are mentored till they regain their foothold alongside their male counterparts. Women achievers are encouraged to apply for the top slots in the employee hierarchy. However, it is apparent that the resource pool of women management graduates is low, with less than 20% of Indian women attending business school. On the other hand, we have stellar examples like Naina Lal Kidwai who graduated from Harvard Business School thirty years ago to more recent achievers like Nisha Godrej (Wharton Business School) who was listed with the Forbes list of billionaire heiresses. What is stopping us from reaching for the stars? Despite the lucrative career opportunities, many women back away from attempting the MBA. One

of the primary reasons is the amount of time required. Business schools abroad require approximately three years of work experience, which can play havoc with a young lady’s plans for marriage etc. However, India has no dearth of highly respected business schools that do not require work experience. Lakshmi Vijay, Vice President Risk Assessment with an international bank says that compared to medicine (five years) and engineering (four years), MBA is faster with three years of graduation followed by two years of MBA. (See box for interview). An MBA is also erroneously projected as a career choice that compulsorily requires socialising and networking. Lakshmi Vijay brushes aside these concerns as she says that most organisations respect a woman’s professional competence and attending parties is not a regular affair except perhaps for those who have chosen a career in media and entertainment. As far as networking goes, Lakshmi Vijay’s words are encouraging, “I have a strong network of friends from my business school days, most of whom are well employed with leading concerns all over the world. Today, if I need an insight into another industry, I have people to tap into.” Why MBA? 1. In today’s fiercely competitive world, it offers you a respected and valued qualification. Many corporate houses these days rarely recruit graduates as management trainees to be groomed for higher responsibilities and an MBA will give you a definite edge. 2. The knowledge and training gear you for corporate life so that you are not raw when you get started with your first employer. Strategising, presentations and internships teach you to think out of the box and communicate successfully: qualities that will serve you well throughout your career. 3. Even if you choose to take a sabbatical, the MBA background helps you to get a foothold


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


FIRST STEP Cover Story

Business School Fees Tier 1 B school fees range from Rs.11-14 lakhs for two years. Tier 2 B school fees range from Rs.5-10 lakhs for two years Tier 3 B school fees range from Rs.2-6 lakhs for two years. back into the workplace as the knowledge base you have will always be valued. 4. An MBA background will be immensely helpful if you choose to start your own enterprise. Professionally, it will equip you to plan and run your business as well as ensure greater credibility among your peers. Planning your MBA 1. Work out your career choice early on and discuss it with your family. This will help you plan the cost of tutorials and the MBA fee component.


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

2. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get into a top institute. A second tier or a third tier business school is not a bad deal either. While an IIM does give you a stupendous entry point into the industry, your personality, competence and aptitude can ensure that after some time, as Chithra Arun puts it, “life is equal.” The Great Indian Test-CAT 1. The Common Admission Test normally held in November every year is conducted by the IIMs. It largely determines your chances of B-school admission as CAT scores are also accepted by many other leading B-schools across India. XLRI Jamshedpur, BIM Trichy, LIBA Chennai, Goa Institute of Management, Goa base their selection procedure on the XAT (Xavier Admission Test) scores. Many

Top 15 Indian Business Schools (Source: Business Today, 2011) 1. IIM-Bangalore 2. IIM-Kolkota 3. IIM-Ahmedabad 4. IIM-Indore 5. IIM-Lucknow 6. IIM-Kozhikode 7. IIFT-Delhi 8. ISB-Hyderabad 9. IIM-Shillong 10. XLRI-Jamshedpur 11. FMS-Delhi 12. SCMHRD-Pune 13. SIBM-Pune 14.



SP Jain-Mumbai

Cover Story FIRST STEP other management technology schools such as IIT administer their own tests. The preparation required for the written test is intense and many students take a combination of tutorials to be better prepared. “The CAT was difficult. I attended Brilliant tutorials as well as did a course with IMS. The Maths component and data interpretation were very tough and that’s where engineers

tend to score over the others. I found IMS material very helpful” says Lakshmi Vijay. 2. Application essays and reference letters play an important role in getting selected for the group discussion/personal interview. It is always advisable to meet with people who have cleared the admission process to get a detailed picture of what to expect. 3. ‘The group discussion is very

competitive and you have to be prepared to speak intelligently on a range of topics’ says Lakshmi Vijay, ‘Brilliant and IMS coached us for this as well’. This is followed by the personal interview. 4. A combination of the scores at each stage is often used to select candidates. The admission process is conducted between mid March and the end of April every year.

In Conversati on with Laks hmi Vijay, Vic Risk Assess e-President, ment with a leading mult in a tional firm. (MBA, IIM Ba ngalore) Tell us abou t your journe y from a stud aspiring fo ent a part r a rewardi of their recrui ng career, business sc tment criteria your really hool days an . An MBA he lps in netw d the challeng that you have orking, multies and, m faced tasking or e im po I schooled in rtantly, it te aches you work smart. Chennai, whe to You learn to re reservatio issues make present things n such a w it tough to ge ay that your in t into medicin engineering. peers and su e or unders Since I had periors tand and ac topped in Sci I chose the cept your po ence, You Commerce int of view. ar e given plen stream so th could go in ty of exposu at I corpor for MBA, C re to the ate world in A, ICWA etc. cousins who your student My do lots had done an lif e. I got to of re search and m MBA were do really well in ing and ha any presenta their careers d tions a ta st an e of corporat d that served as a high m e life that he otivating fact me when I st lped or for me. I arted working determined to was . take up an M BA only at IIM and therefor e pursued C What are th A as well in e challenges things did no case faces that a wom t work out. I in this kind an took coaching Brilliant Tuto of a high fro m career? rials and IMS pressure How did you which was re helpful in clea cope with it? ally These ring the CAT days, organi as well as the I got admissi zations are GD. flexible on into IIM B open to timings and angalore and student expe many give my option riences were you the to w te or rr k ifi c. I saw a lot of personal gr from home. owth and de There is no heavy party velopment du ing/socializin this period. ring widely g culture as My professo perceived un rs were supe is found B-sch less you are rb. I areas ool a refresh in specific like the med ing change the system ia . A after needs ny married w of rote learni oman support from ng in my ea student days parents, in-la rlier helper . Here, learni ws and s. We are lucky ng is gauged understandin that the met by a good g concepts an ros have quality of pr d applying th I made a lot ofessional he em. form of of friends an lp in the cr èc d he m s, maids, co y network with them is going oks and nann strong to this Organisations ies. da y. ha advantage of The biggest ve been su managemen women even pportive of t schools is taking a brea premier com that mothe k to accomm panies come rhood and odate to your doorst recruit you. H don’t necess ep to their aving specia arily put ca re er lis on ed the back bu and finance, in marketing rner. Howev I had plenty that’s not tru er, of choice. e of every si tuation and emoluments your and privilege What is the s do get affe advantage of during/after cted a sabbatical a MBA degr today? . Most impo ee an MBA rta nt de ly, gr ee keeps yo Today, lead u profession ing corporat relevant even al e houses, fo ly af banks etc lo ter a gap in reign It is ok for manag your career. definitely a ement degree go od investment to s as in your self. make

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


FIRST STEP Cover Story

l Manager Arun, Genera ra h it h C h it ncy. on w are consulta w In Conversati ft o s l a n o ti a ) with an intern rsity of Indore (MBA, Unive to willingness aptitude and t e, bu nc te IIM pe m an you co t get into t days, how is n if you don’ en it ve , ud E ol st n. ho ur ar sc le yo ss t ve sine Tell us abou how you ha 2 or 3 tier bu sed study from a an MBA and some time, ba r te af e, us chose to do ca be it th or it. w still ual. use of grown beca ance, life is eq ter Grade 10 your perform ce stream af on en ci S ry e ve th t no I took ters, was e corporate day’s youngs urney on th The desire . jo and unlike to do ur to yo d s te rspective? How ha hat I wan a woman‘s pe focused on w my parents’ om d fr an en be an of ng er hi somet young wom ors ladd to achieve tions for the ever big fact w es ho gg e su er w ny ent into A encouragem I tried to get e and it’s d me forward. a today? le el do op to pr so much mor e at os do th ch to d ve an t ha no carry through but could s Women termination to engineering t from Madra de en al on em rs ag at one pe an ur m bour your you. I feel th course in labo brush with la the day for st s in things fir w y w m at ne d th ha ility to try uld not University. I have the ab port r TISS but co to fo up s S ed ed ifi s. ne al tie qu in uncerta to Mumbai. ily laws here. I l da ve e tra ag big to an a ty makes y inabili , and m join due to m hya Pradesh and helpers ad s M d nt in en re d sp pa ke to or m er w hich fro be willing Since my fath University w You should lp re e. he do nc of In re t ity ffe ou al di qu t ab e. I he found ou getting a good A programm adequately on ry good MB of h tc ba a offers a ve girls in for ur home. ong only 5 in to run yo years to care was one am ecialisation eak of four br sp er a al re ok du ca to a y I m d I di ny it affected 40 students. with a compa and though ith ed w ily rn m te up in fa ht I y . m ug R H ve ca ects finance and at stage, I ha several proj growth at th volved with ur time. bo of la d in rio se pe and was in ings ers over a ys. My cour pe da t y m en ud e r flexible tim st fe y tim during m companies of land a part O e u to P m yo /K IT ed ed lp t he out /banks ne managemen te students ab retail houses any s/ ua O M ad P s. gr B r t ur he bu ho ot at fixed ce la with a lady job teaching kp ed or w ty rn te e er in be at th I also ed mat ni labour laws. programmes offer extend l ra a ns ou tio vi en sa ev ha ni ted be pay and of orga who conduc had plenty ical with half at I s bb ed us sa ne Th e e, . th av tions to cater to uated le for organisa e time I grad the premises th in by he re èc su cr po corporate ex ployees. ent for of women em school. cing argum from business m most convin e Th gree comes fro g an anagement de m n es of doin w a ag do ng nt e iri va ok qu ad br ac e rd’s car What are th er rd. When Fo ne Fo gi ry en en an H , re e garage MBA? prefer to hi took it to th for a few uses today ol and he ho sc with the car d re ss Corporate ho ke ne tin si t, bu ou d a rd was pe Fo with ght step g to life. youngsters ps your thou d got it roarin lo an ve r this s de fo nd A B rs co M lla se An icate d 10 do background. being charge u to commun The yo at n. s st io he ha at ac ag an te pl ded an ex more clued an process and is m de te d for ua an ad is e r n MBA gr y, servic ir, 1 dolla effectively. A ly replied “S elf, what to sa lm rs for ca he is er y rr ne rs ca gi w to ople en hile 9 dolla in, knows ho the error w ’s what HR pe at g th in d ify ct an re y sa ing for it!” what not to ent drive. Hav where to look on a recruitm al knowing du vi di in ur look for while s on yo t also depend said that, a lo


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012



The United Kingdom


A high degree of sophistication, matchless charm and, above all, educational quality that is backed by centuries of tradition make the United Kingdom just the right place to give your career a global edge. In addition to the hallowed Oxford All images courtesy:google

and Cambridge, the UK has a large number of other universities which rank among the best in the world - like London Business School.

Puja Shah


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012



K’s reputation in business education has been built over time for high standards of education and comparably better job opportunities. Most of the top global companies respect a higher education degree from the UK – including an MBA. Students get international business exposure and an opportunity to network with people from different parts of the world. The UK is a known destination for MBA and if you are considering an MBA outside India, it is a good choice in today’s competitive times. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (which is usually shortened to just the UK or United Kingdom) is a political union made of up of four countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. England, Scotland and Wales share the island of Great Britain, which lies just off the northwest coast of continental Europe. The fourth country, Northern Ireland, is a portion of another island, which is split between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, an independent country, in the south. Due to this there are more than 70 business schools in the UK out of which only one university is privately owned. Approximately 12,500 students get an MBA from the UK every year. The country excels at combining old worldly charm with the new and modern, and this is what makes studying here so different from other countries. It houses the world’s oldest English speaking university and some of the newer ones also. All these universities can be classified in three basic categories: Ancient, Traditional and Modern. Ancient Universities Ancient universities in the United Kingdom and Ireland were founded during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period. The term “ancient university” generally refers to institutions of higher education that were established before the 19th century. The

University of Oxford is the world’s oldest English speaking university founded in 1167. The others are: University of Cambridge, University of St. Andrews, University of Edinburgh, University of Glasgow and University of Aberdeen. Due to their sheer age and continuous academic and scientific output, all of the ancient universities are very reputable. Traditional Universities The universities founded from 1837 till the 1960’s are called Traditional Universities. Most of these are also very highly ranked due to their quality education and their top rate research. Some top ranked Traditional universities are: University of Manchester, University of Durham, University of Bath etc. Modern Universities These are all universities founded after 1992. The term refers to former polytechnics that were given university status by the government in 1992 like Kingston University, University of Westminster, Leeds Metropolitan University etc. MBA courses in the UK In recent years, the UK has consistently been named the most popular MBA study destination in Europe, and placed second globally in the QS Survey, with the US first and Canada third. This reflects UK business schools’ international reputation not only for a rigorous academic approach but for high salaries after graduating. After all London is one of the world’s leading finance and banking centres and other regions of the UK have excellent opportunities in the services industry. Regardless of the recession and weakening of the Pound against Dollar, salaries are still very high for MBA graduates, and there are still a number of job openings for graduates from UK schools. With a long-established reputation for hosting top MBA programmes, the UK has many of the top 100 business schools in the world

including London Business School, Cranfield School of Management, Cambridge Judge, Manchester Business School, Oxford Saïd and Warwick Business School, all of which perform highly in most international rankings. The UK education system is respected and valued all over the world. Master of Business Administration (MBA) courses in the UK are a particularly intensive, challenging and rewarding form of taught postgraduate course. You’ll be expected to work through a large amount of material, complete projects and assignments and give regular presentations. Teaching methods characteristic of MBAs include case studies, simulations and business games. Although each UK institution is responsible for the standards and quality of its programmes, the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) regularly carries out independent audits; and the quality of research at British institutions is assessed yearly by the Research Assessment Exercise, a practice that has kept British research competitive and progressive. They ensure that institutions in the UK are providing higher education, awards and qualifications of an acceptable quality and at an appropriate academic standard. Many departments within UK institutions are also accredited by professional bodies that guide the curriculum and carry out review visits. Reasons for studying MBA in the UK Each year, more and more international students from over 180 different countries are choosing to pursue their higher education in a UK university or college. Below we outline some of the reasons they decide to study here. International Destination International students have always been an important presence in the UK, and the numbers have been growing steadily. The UK is the second most popular destination

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


REGION FOCUS This means that the cost of living can be managed by working part time though the amount needs to be shown during the visa procedure.

for international students wanting to study the MBA, just behind the US. It has worked hard to capitalise on the growing demand for Englishlanguage instruction. Excellent international reputation UK education is internationally recognised by employers, universities and governments, making it a popular choice for many international students. The UK is also renowned for the excellence of its research and teaching. The quality of a university’s or college’s teaching and its general facilities are assessed by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). Research standards are examined by the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE), which publishes its findings every five years. The results of all these assessments are freely available on the internet. Information on quality assurance and assessments is also available from the Higher Education Funding Councils. The first element that a good MBA programme must possess is a challenging and relevant curriculum. In part this comes with experience and the UK has a number of highly ranked management or business schools that have been developing their programmes for more than forty years. Moreover, because these MBA programmes have been established


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

within Britain’s University system they have been able to draw on the experience and knowledge of one of the oldest and most respected educational systems in the world. A challenging and relevant MBA curriculum depends on three criteria: good research; content that is closely aligned with the practices and needs of contemporary business; and first class teachers who make the classroom experience exciting and enjoyable. In regard to research, British universities have an unrivalled tradition, particularly in areas such as economics, psychology, strategy, marketing and management. Research informs the subject matter of MBA programmes but as important, arguably more important, is the need for MBA studies to be rooted in the practicalities of business life. Value for money Studying in the UK has the major advantage that the duration tends to be one year, in comparison with two years in the USA, Canada and Australia. This has major implications on the money needed to fund studies and the time it will take to get back into the job market. Therefore you spend half the amount of money that you would if you were studying in the US and you also go to work 1 year earlier. The UK allows MBA students to work part time for 20 hours a week.

Easy Visa procedure The UK student visa procedure is relatively easy and less complex compared to other countries. All you need is your visa forms, your original degrees, IELTS mark sheet and your financial statements on the bank letterhead. Unlike other countries you don’t have to submit your tax and property papers. The money to be shown is the total amount calculated (tuition fees + living expenses for 9 months). No need to show extra funds. As per the UKBA rules a student visa takes 14 working days maximum to be generated. This is a much faster process than the US visa. Good MBA options without GMAT The UK is also one of the few countries where you can study for an MBA in a good university without a GMAT score. Some top ranked Universities like Birmingham, Glasgow and Edinburgh do not require a GMAT score but good and relevant work experience is very important for them. Fresher’s MBA option A Fresher’s MBA is one where work experience in not required. The UK has many Universities that offer a Fresher’s MBA. This is one of the major reasons why Indian students opt for the UK. Universities such as Coventry, Aberdeen, Leeds Metropolitan offer Fresher’s MBA. 1 Year MBA Just like the Master’s degree programmes, the MBA programme at UK universities is also of one year as compared to the two years in other countries including India, USA, and Australia. However, this doesn’t imply that the quality of MBA programmes in UK is any lower or easier as compared to other countries, if anything, they are just more intensive in their approach as in they aim to up the students’ management skills and business expertise, enabling them to widen their horizon

REGION FOCUS in prevailing global business world. The MBA programmes in UK usually have a set number of taught courses plus a dissertation that needs to be submitted at the end of the academic term. Also, these programmes are often described as “post experience” programmes, as most of the universities have put in minimum 2-3 years of work experience in the eligibility criteria. This is because the students, while studying for MBA are expected to draw from the work experience, fostering better learning. And not to mention that when completed, these programmes will put the students in a higher pay range that executives and upper level managers enjoy. Degree Recognition The Master of Business Administration Degree of UK, although of 1 year as compared to 2 in many countries, is recognised all around the globe for its intensive approach. The programme is managed by the Association of MBAs (AMBA), which looks into the quality of MBA programmes in UK and around the world. The degree puts the students right on top of the employers’ list and in a higher pay range. Global exposure The UK has the added allure of offering its visitors four distinctly different cultures which lie within arm’s reach of each other – those of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Though a part of the same political unit, these regions’ people, landscapes, social culture, and even language are all truly unique yet close enough to enable you to experience each with relative ease. Furthermore, some business schools also offer students the opportunity to travel to different countries for a truly global experience. Clearly, studying for an MBA at a UK university can not only be economical and efficient, but it can also give students the background and connections they need to advance a successful career in the business world. On top of all that, students who study in UK also

have the chance to experience all the culture and vibrancy that this country has to offer. All of this can help students not only become better business professionals but well rounded people in the workplace and at home. Admission Requirements for an MBA in the UK l The students who want to enroll themselves into Masters of Business Administration Programme in UK need to fulfill the basic eligibility criterion first that asks them to hold a bachelor’s degree (from UK or Overseas) of three years with first class scores. l The students need to appear in the Graduation Management Admission Test (GMAT) and score well in it. Without a good GMAT score (700 or more for top universities), admission in management based courses in UK won’t be allowed. l Also, it is only after the IELTS English proficiency exam, conducted by the British Council, has been taken by the students, can they begin with the procedure





of filling up the admission forms for various universities and colleges. The score needs to be 6.5 and above. All universities require complete transcripts/mark sheets/related documents of the previous academic records to be submitted at the time of the submission of the application forms along with the letter of recommendation and a statement of purpose. It should be clearly mentioned on the statement of purpose as to why the student has chosen the particular stream and how he/she will manage financially during the stay in UK. Letter of recommendation should preferably be from the person who has taught the students, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses and why they would excel in the field. Since most of the universities in UK only take up students with 2-3 years of prior work experience, a work experience certificate or letter is a must along with a detailed CV mentioning the career goal, position(s) held over the years.

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


REGION FOCUS Accreditation The best place to start when choosing an MBA is the Association of MBAs (AMBA). AMBA accredits over 150 UK and global MBA programmes and sets high standards related to student mix (i.e. a good balance of UK, European and International students), good staff student ratios, high entry requirements (students need to have a good first degree but significant experience too), flexibility and access to top academic staff. Other global Business School accreditation bodies are AACSB (based in the USA) and EQUIS (based in Europe). Visa If you have obtained admission to study in a full time programme at an educational

institution in the UK, you need to obtain a student visa. Under the points based system (PBS) followed for immigration procedures in the UK for people interested in entering the country for study or work, such an individual would have to accept guidelines under Tier 4 (INF 29). Tier 4 (General) Student is for people coming to the United Kingdom for their post-16 years of undergraduate level education. All Tier 4 students need to have a sponsor. The sponsor would be an education provider offering the applicant a place on a course of study in the United Kingdom. This education provider needs to have registered with the UK Border Agency as a licensed sponsor. The UK Border Agency is the body which issues the visa. The initial submission of the application is done

through the VFS Application centers in India. The UK Border agency cautions applicants with the following note: “The organisation that provides your education in the UK must be approved by us. When we approve an education provider, we give them a sponsor license to teach international students in the UK, and we add them to the Tier 4 register of sponsors. When you have chosen an education provider to study with, you should check to see whether it is on the Tier 4 register of sponsors. If it is not on the register, you cannot get a student visa.” (Source: http://www.ukba. quickguideforstudent/adultstudents/ applyingforanadultstudentvisa/).

For obtaining the visa, you must be able to demonstrate that you have the tuition fees and funds to support yourself and any dependents that you may have. For courses of up to 9 months’ duration, a student must be able to show that he has the full tuition fee plus ₤800 as the appropriate monthly amount for each month to be spent in the UK. For a course extending more than 9 months, you will be required to show that you have the first year of tuition fees, plus either £7200 or £5400 depending on where you intend to study. These amounts must be held in your personal bank account for a minimum period of 28 days. The end of that 28 day period must not be more than one month before the date of your Basic Steps – UK Visa application, for which you must show bank statements/ other evidence. All applicants need to produce a Visa Letter. It is important that this Ensure that you have an unconditional contains all of the mandatory information described in paragraph 87 of offer letter from the School the Tier 4 guidance. The other important requirement here that needs to be met if one is looking forward to studying in the UK under a full time programme is that at least 15 hours a week must be spent in study. Download VAF1D form The student must be able to meet the cost of the course, maintenance and accommodation without working. Student visas are granted for an initial period of one year, also usually determined by the length of the Fill the form carefully programme. To apply for a UK visa, you will require: l The

Assemble all other financial documents, academic papers and photographs Remove Demand Drafts for visa fees Schedule an appointment by emailing the VFS application center Before the appointment ensure that your fingers are free from any burns, cuts or abrasions for the biometrics Visit the VFS application center and submit the documents Remove Demand Drafts for visa fees


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Student Visitor Application Form VAF1D (http://www.ukvisas. l Your passport, along with a recent passport sized (45mm * 35mm), colour photograph taken against a light-coloured background. Previous passports, if any will also be required. l Evidence that you have been unconditionally accepted or enrolled on a course of study in the UK i.e. a letter from the school or university l Evidence of any previous study or qualifications gained in the UK l Evidence of any English language ability or qualifications e.g. IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic l Evidence of the cost of your course fees. Evidence of all other costs relating to your studies in the UK, e.g. flights, accommodation, food, exam fees, books etc l Financial/ maintenance documents such as bank statements, pay slips, investments, property papers or other evidence to show that your maintenance amount can be paid (study, accommodation etc) l In case of receipt of scholarship from an institute in the UK, proof and details of the same furnished in a letter from the sponsor. l Evidence of any money paid out towards the cost of your studies, e.g. deposit towards your course fees, flights, accommodation. l Evidence of any funds set aside by your financial sponsors specifically to pay for your studies. l Evidence of your financial sponsor’s occupation, income and any savings or assets they have l Relevant diplomas or educational certificates



It is not enough these days to ‘have’ an MBA – it is the quality of the degree and the respect it holds in the marketplace that are vitally important. A degree

from a UK institution could offer you a qualification backed by centuries of tradition and may be just right for providing a global edge. Below are

the profiles of the top 5, 5 affordable B-schools and a list of universities that offer Fresher’s MBA in the UK.

Top 5 B-Schools in the UK

(as per the Financial times Global MBA rankings) London Business School  Average GMAT Score: 694  Accreditations: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS  Programme duration: 21 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP 49,900  % Female Students: 28  % International Student Ratio: 89  Average Salary: 113000  Average Years Work: 5  City: London

Oxford University, Said Business School  Average GMAT Score: 700  Accreditations: AMBA  Programme duration:12 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP 36,300  % Female Students: 24  % International Student Ratio: 95  Average Salary: 101000  Average Years Work: 6  City: Oxford

Judge Business School, University of Cambridge  Average GMAT Score: 690  Accreditations: AMBA, EQUIS  Programme duration:12 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP 36,000  % Female Students: 26  % International Student Ratio: 94  Average Salary: 94000  Average Years Work: 7  City: Cambridge

Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester  Average GMAT Score: 623  Accreditations AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS  Programme duration:18 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP 35,600  % Female Students: 23  % International Student Ratio: 93  Average Salary: 91000  Average Years Work: 6  City: Manchester

Cranfield School of Management  Average GMAT Score: 680  Accreditations: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS  Programme duration:13 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP 33,000  % Female Students: 22  % International Student Ratio: 90  Average Salary: 91000  Average Years Work: 9  City: Bedfordshire

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Good affordable options Warwick Business School, University of Warwick  Average GMAT Score: 610  Accreditations: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS  Programme duration:12 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP 26,000  % Female Students: 31  % International Student Ratio: 79  Average Salary: 72000  Average Years Work: 7  City: Coventry

Lancaster University Management School  Average GMAT Score: 646  Accreditations: AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS  Programme duration:12 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP 26,000  % Female Students: 30  % International Student Ratio: 94  Average Salary: 79000  Average Years Work: 6  City: Lancaster

University of Edinburgh Business School  Average GMAT Score: 600  Accreditations AMBA, EQUIS  Programme duration:12 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP 23,200  % Female Students: 30  % International Student Ratio: 85  Average Salary: 98000  Average Years Work: 7  City: Edinburgh, Scotland

University of Birmingham Business School  Average GMAT Score: 500  Accreditations AMBA, EQUIS  Programme duration:12 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP18,000  % Female Students: 35  % International Student Ratio: 90  Average Salary: 90000  Average Years Work: 7  City: Birmingham

Aston Business School, Aston University  Average GMAT Score: 620  Accreditations AACSB, AMBA, CIM, CIPD, EQUIS  Programme duration:12 months  Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): GBP 22,000  % Female Students: 26  % International Student Ratio: 87  Average Salary: 87000  Average Years Work: 7  City: Birmingham * All salaries are measured in US $. Universities offering Fresher’s MBA  University of Aberdeen  Coventry University  Cardiff Metropolitan University  University of Bedfordshire  Leeds Metropolitan University  Liverpool John Moores University  University of Roehampton  Glyndwr University


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Universities for students with less than 60%  Middlesex University  University of East Anglia  Anglia Ruskin University  University of Huddersfield  University of Hertfordshire  University of Wolverhampton  University of Glamorgan  University of Central Lancashire



the most popular MBA Destination in Asia

Despite being a small island country, Singapore is a thriving financial and trading centre of the world. Such has become its economic status that it’s, today, considered one of the top locations to invest money. And education has All images courtesy:google

played an important part in making that happen.

Puja Shah


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s far as global recognition of the education offered here is concerned, Singapore is rapidly growing in reputation at the international stage, and is highly regarded for its excellent education, teaching infrastructure and job opportunities. Singapore serves as the strategic base for many multinational organisations who want to stay connected to their business headquarters across Asia. And when you combine Singapore’s high quality of education with its popularity as a major business centre - you have a thriving environment for pursuing the popular MBA degree programme. It only seems fair that more and more students from across the world have started to favour Singapore for its affordable education and one of the best standards of living in Asia and the world. Singapore Higher Education Singapore has three government funded universities: National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Singapore Management University (SMU). All the three are highly ranked business schools. Their MBA degrees are well respected in the global market. They also have two other private universities SIM University (UniSIM), an offshoot of the Singapore Institute of Management. It is the country’s first and only private university focusing on the upgrading and learning needs of working professionals and adult learners. The other new university is the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) This university will partner America’s MIT and China’s Zhejiang University in research, curriculum development and faculty exchange. Other than these universities Singapore also has some Private Education Institutes (PEIs). These offer affiliated

degrees from Universities or run business courses from other well-renowned universities. In order to maintain high quality of education in these institutes they are constantly monitored by the EduTrust scheme. PEIs that take in international students need to have EduTrust certification. There are 3 levels of EduTrust certification – EduTrust Star (valid for 4 years), EduTrust (valid for 4 years) and EduTrust Provisional (valid for 1 year). In addition, PEIs must seek approval from the Council for Private Education to offer any external degrees offered in partnership with bona fide universities and they are only allowed to offer qualifications of up to Advanced Diploma level in their own name. A Fee Protection Scheme has also been established to protect the tuition fees of students studying at a PEI. It is a mandate that PEIs have to either deposit the fees in an escrow account or purchase insurance protection administered by CPE-approved companies. Why do an MBA from Singapore Good Quality Education There are many great things about studying in Singapore. One of them is their excellence in education that is always at par with the standards around the world. Singapore is home to some of the best educational institutions in the Asia-Pacific region, and studying there can help students get a rich educational experience. The innovative teaching methodologies and a curriculum updated according the changing global scenario makes the experience truly international. And since these degrees are highly acknowledged by employers across the world, the experience extends beyond boundaries, offering you opportunities aplenty. A Global Destination Studying for an MBA in Singapore will let you have a great intercultural experience. Some of the

students that study in Singapore could also come from other countries, so your batchmates can have better global networking opportunities. Whenever you set out for a job, you will have many different colleagues from other countries. Financial Centre Studying in Singapore also presents you with many great job opportunities. Singapore is the regional headquarters of the global organisations in the Asia-Pacific region. With it being a thriving financial hub, you would have no problem finding a good job. There are tons of job opportunities in the country for people who have the right qualifications. The country is also one of the best business environments in the world and entrepreneurs could really have a great chance of success if they start their business here. Welcomes Migrants According to a QS Research, international mobility is one of the key reasons for aspiring students to take an MBA. Most of our educated population actively seek jobs in other places in the world to gain global experience. And while other first world nations struggle with planning highly-skilled immigration (the US, Australia and many EU nations make it hard for non-nationals to live and work within their borders), Singapore has bucked the trend and is positively encouraging foreigners to join in the Southeast Asian boom time. Safety Students who study here can feel really safe. Singapore does not tolerate drug abuse and ragging on campuses, so students could really feel free to go around the city. It is also one of the most developed cities in the world. It also boasts of one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Also it being an Asian country there are no racism complaints, which can be a problem if you are going to Australia or the UK.

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REGION FOCUS Affordability Aside from these things, many people prefer to get their MBA in Singapore because of its affordable education. Even though Singapore has a high standard of living, it is comparatively cheaper than the UK, US or Australia. The government universities also offer scholarships for Asians which reduces the tuition fees. Also, you have the added choice of studying in PEIs which are cheap, give you recognised degrees and provide quality education.

So it is really ideal for students who are seeking better education while on a budget. International Experience Students who want to study their MBA in Singapore could also get to study in some of the best international MBA institutions and universities. Being an Asian financial hub, Singapore has many international universities opening their alternate campuses there. Some of the top international institutions here

in Singapore include INSEAD and University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. These schools have been accredited by agencies across the globe, so the degrees earned here are recognised all over the world. Flexibility Probably the best part about an MBA in Singapore is the fact that they are flexible with the completion time. You have a choice of finishing the degree in a year, 16 months or two years.

Top MBA programmes in Singapore

(as per the Financial times Global MBA rankings)

INSEAD - Singapore l Average GMAT Score: 702 l % Female Students: 33 l % International Student Ratio: 90 l Average Years Work: 6 Perhaps the best MBA programme being offered here in Singapore is the INSEAD – Asia campus based in Singapore. In 1957, INSEAD became the first European business school to offer an MBA programme. With its long and trusted pedigree, INSEAD is one of the leading business schools in the world today and many of its students are highly sought after for jobs worldwide. Some of them eventually land managerial positions with financial giants like Barclays Group, Deutsche Bank and Lehman Brothers. Currently, INSEAD – Asia offers a one year full time MBA programme where individuals will be exposed to several methodologies of studies that will provide them the extra edge when compared against other MBA graduates in other programmes. With a campus in Singapore since 2000, INSEAD definitely offers a top notch and quality MBA programme.


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National University of Singapore Business School l Average GMAT Score: 664 l Accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS l Programme duration: 17 months l Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): SD 41,200 l % Female Students: 22 l % International Student Ratio: 92 l Average Salary: 75000 l Average Years Work: 5 Having won plenty of accolades and keeping its momentum strong with yearly improvements, the NUS MBA programme is definitely a viable alternative. Having won awards and being rated the Number One Singapore School in Asia by an International Recruiter Survey, being awarded one of the top ten Business Schools in Asia by Times of India and jumping to 35th spot in Financial Times’ Global MBA Rankings Survey (3rd in Asia after INSEAD and Melbourne Business), NUS MBA definitely offers potential students the quality and standard of a postgraduate MBA programme. NUS MBA offers a one year full time or a part time MBA with the full time promising a completion period within a 12 month accelerated programme or a 17 month extended programme with internships and overseas exchange.

REGION FOCUS Nanyang Business School, Nanyang Technological University l Average GMAT Score: 670 l Accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS l Programme duration: 16 months l Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): SD 40000 l % Female Students: 28 l % International Student Ratio: 87 l Average Salary: 70000 l Average Years Work: 6 The Nanyang MBA held by the Nanyang Business School at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) offers an equally attractive programme with a long string of alumni who have taken the business world by storm. With its own impressive accolades to boot such as being ranked the Top 25 MBA Programs in the world by Financial Times in 2009 and The World Top 100 MBA Programs by the Economist Intelligence Unit, the Nanyang MBA can indeed hold its high ground and compete for the top students against the likes of INSEAD and NUS MBA. Offering a global perspective with as Asian focus, Nanyang MBA promises to mould individuals and turn them into leaders that can take on leadership positions anywhere in the world. Nanyang MBA offers both full-time and part-time MBA programmes that promise to focus on deeper issues and supply its student with an impressive breadth of knowledge.

Singapore Management University, Lee Kong Chian School of Business l Average GMAT Score: 663 l Accreditations: AACSB l Programme duration: 12 months l Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): SD 36,750 l % Female Students: 46 l % International Student Ratio: 72 l Average Years Work: 6 The Singapore Management University (SMU) is a new university with a fresh perspective. It specialises in business and management programmes and aims to produce graduates who can thrive in a dynamic, global environment.

* All salaries are measured in US $.

List of other MBA programmes in Singapore 1. SP Jain Center of Management, Singapore 2. ESSEC Business School, Singapore 3. Chicago Booth School of Business 4. Temple University Singapore - Fox School of Business 5. James Cook University Of Australia, Singapore 6. European Business School

List of Private Educational Institutes (Affordable and do not require work experience) 1. Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) 2. East Asia Institute of Management (EASB) 3. ERC Institute

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


REGION FOCUS Admission Requirements The students are required to hold a bachelor’s degree from either a Singapore university or an equivalent qualification from an overseas country. It would be in the benefit of the students if they have completed the course from a reputable institution and have scored well throughout. The certified copies of the original transcripts/mark sheets/certificates are to be submitted to the university. The documents should be certified by a person or agency recognised by the law or government of student’s home country. The originals of the documents submitted are also to be presented once the students are offered a seat in the university. Also, if the documents are in any language other than English, students should get the documents translated into English from a recognised translator or authority of the student’s home country. The marks/grades that students scored throughout are to be converted in accordance with the grading system that is followed in Singapore university system. The students can consult their respective university/institution authorities for the same. Scores of common placement examinations like GMAT to test the students’ understanding of the relevant field are to be sent to the university. Most universities/ institutions require good analytical writing assessment, verbal, and quantitative aptitude. Overall scores of the GMAT exam also need to be sent. Students whose undergraduate or graduate courses were not taught in English are expected to appear for IELTS or TOEFL exams and submit the scores to the respective university or institution. Since all universities and institutions require students to hold minimum 2-3 years work experience, a detailed CV with details like position(s) held, key responsibility areas, achievements, international experience if any, should be mailed to the university. Documents in support of how the students are planning to finance the course and the living expenses for the duration of the course are to be sent to the university/institution. Two letters of recommendations


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from the professors with their contact information mentioned on them and a statement of purpose mentioning the reasons as to why the student wants to pursue the particular field of study in doctoral degree is desired. Apart from the above requirements, the students are also required to submit certified copies of their birth certificates or identity proofs and medical reports if they have or had any illnesses or disabilities. Singapore Visa The application for a student visa to Singapore is relatively simpler. In this case, the institution where the candidate has been admitted for further studies in Singapore acts as the sponsor and files the applications which are filled by the applicant. As of 1 June 2007, it is mandatory for students applying from India to make an online application for their Singapore Student Visa. It should be remembered that only those institutes which are listed among the Institutes of Higher Learning (IHL) in Singapore can follow this application procedure for their students. New applications for a

Student’s Pass (visa) must be submitted at least one month and not more than 2 months before the commencement of the course. Applications are submitted through the Student’s Pass On-Line Application and Registration (SOLAR) system. First the IHL institute will register the admitted student on the SOLAR system. The student is then required to submit an eForm 16. Applicants must have obtained the following before logging into SOLAR to fill the eForm 16: } A registration acknowledgment notice with the login information

provided by the IHL; } Travel document/passport details (including travel document/passport number, date of expiry, etc); NRIC/ FIN of parents, if the student’s parents are Singaporeans or foreigners who are working or residing in Singapore; } Address and contact details in Singapore (if not applicable or available, please provide the school’s registered address) Applicant’s email address. } One recent passport-sized colour photograph (to be pasted on the top right corner of eForm 16) taken within the last 3 months; the photograph should be taken against a white background. Time Taken for processing Visa The total processing time taken would be about 4 weeks. During the July/ August peak period, applications may take a longer time to process. Therefore, students are strongly advised to submit applications early. Finally, successful applicants will be issued an in-principle approval (IPA) letter by ICA through the IHL and a visa will be incorporated into the IPA letter. For more information, log on to . Asia coming up as the next popular MBA destination Traditionally speaking, US has always been the most popular MBA destination after which come Europe and Canada even though Asia has always been a cheaper place to study than the US and Europe. But question any prospective MBA student today about where they would like to go for their MBA and you might be surprised with their answer. Asia is where the jobs are after graduation and, now perhaps more than ever, they may argue that it is Asia that is closer to the vibrant job market than the rest of the world. Several years of crises have seen the reputations of the US and EU somewhat shattered. Western economies certainly do remain perilous and confidence in a recovery is still low. Therefore, an MBA from an Asian University makes most sense in terms of value for money and job opportunities. We have provided the profiles of some top MBA schools in Asia.


Top MBA programmes in Asia

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) l Average GMAT Score: 691 l Accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS l Programme duration: 18 months l Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): CNY 49,800 l % Female Students: 37 l % International Student Ratio: 40 l Average Salary: 51000 l Average Years Work: 5 l Country: China

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

The University of Hong Kong, Faculty of Business and Economics l Average GMAT Score: 657 l Accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS l Programme duration: 14 months l Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): HKD 46,500 l % Female Students: 48 l % International Student Ratio: 90 l Average Salary: 70000 l Average Years Work: 6 l Country: Hong Kong

Guanghua School of Management, Peking University l Average GMAT Score: 650 l Accreditations: AACSB, EQUIS l Programme duration: 24 months l Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): CNY 27,800 l % Female Students: 44 l % International Student Ratio: 28 l Average Salary: 24000 l Average Years Work: 7 l Country: China

International University of Japan, Graduate School of International Management l Average GMAT Score: 610 l Programme duration: 21 months l Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): ¥ 45,150 l % Female Students: 33 l % International Student Ratio: 82 l Average Salary: 54000 l Average Years Work: 5 l Country: Japan

Asian Institute of Management l Average GMAT Score: 660 l Accreditations: AACSB l Programme duration: 16 months l Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): PHP 24,000 l % Female Students: 31 l % International Student Ratio: 71 l Average Salary: 30000 l Average Years Work: 4 l Country: Philippines


Average GMAT Score: 630


Accreditations: AACSB


Programme duration: 16 months


Avg. Total Tuition Fees (excluding living expenses + books): HKD 47,900


% Female Students: 45


% International Student Ratio: 80


Average Years Work: 5


Country: Hong Kong

* All salaries are measured in US $.

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‘In 5 years, AMBA will contribute in improving MBA programmes globally’ Sharon Bamford is the Chief Executive of the Association of MBAs. Before joining the Association of MBAs Sharon was the founder Chief Executive of the India British Council, the lead Government sponsored body responsible for bilateral trade between the UK and India. As well as starting and growing five businesses of her own, Sharon has also lectured on entrepreneurship at Aberdeen Business School, was Director of the Edinburg Technopole, the University of Edinburgh’s incubator and was Chief Executive of the Scottish Institute for Enterprise. Formerly on the board of the National Council for Graduate Entrepreneurship and the Science Enterprise centers, her academic board interests now include the internationally acclaimed Glasgow School of Art. Sharon is an MBA from Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. What makes the AMBA accreditation unique compared to some of the other accreditations (offered by other accreditation bodies)? The Association’s accreditation is unique in that it assesses the quality of individual postgraduate management programmes rather than the business school as a whole. This is important as it means we can consider each programme in significant depth during each two-day assessment visit. The Association is also unique in that it was formed, and is governed by MBA graduates, which means that our accreditation service exists primarily to protect the interests of potential MBA students rather than to protect the interests of business schools (although we have a well-developed range of services to support our accredited schools). On what parameters do you accredit a B-school programme? We look at the full range of inputs and outputs that comprise a programme, with a focus on outcomes. The accreditation criteria are organised under the following areas: the


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institution, faculty, students, purpose & outcomes, curriculum, and mode & duration. Explain in detail the accreditation process followed by AMBA? The accreditation process is designed to ensure that if schools reach the assessment visit stage, they have a strong chance of being successful. There are a number of internal and external checks undertaken as part of this process. The first stage is the submission of basic data on the programme (faculty / students / curriculum) which also serves as an official application. This is passed or rejected by a member of the accreditation team. If successful at this stage, schools must complete a more detailed ‘Fact sheet’ which covers further aspects of the programme. This form is sent to the independent International Accreditation Advisory Board (IAAB), formed of Deans and senior academics from accredited institutions worldwide, for approval or rejection. A pre-assessment visit by a member of the accreditation team also takes place at this stage. If positive, the School

ASK REGION THE EXPERT FOCUS must then produce a self-audit document, which provides evidence as to how the School and its programmes meet each and every point of the accreditation criteria. Once completed, a full two day peer-reviewed assessment of the School’s submitted programmes is carried out onsite. Based on this visit, the assessment team (three peers plus one member of the accreditation team) reach a verdict on accreditation, which is encapsulated in a full consultative report. The final decision must be endorsed by the IAAB. How long is the accreditation process? After a programme has been accredited, does the Association of MBAs monitor the quality standards of the programme from time to time? There are no strict timelines in place for the process, and this is really dependent on the resources at the School’s disposal to complete the required documentation (the rate-determining step is usually the production of the Self Audit Document) as well as the School’s current readiness for meeting accreditation standards. The process can normally be expected to take 9 – 18 months. All programmes must be fully re-assessed at least every five years, which is the current maximum period of each accreditation cycle. Why are there so few US B-school programmes accredited by AMBA? According to you, are accreditation bodies localized or region specific? There are a number of reasons that few US business schools have pursued the Association’s accreditation scheme. A key issue is that the Association firmly believes that the MBA is a fully post-experience as well as postgraduate programme, and as such we expect that all students must have a minimum of three years relevant work experience before embarking on an MBA. This is not the case on many full time US MBA programmes. Another issue is that the majority of US schools do not actively recruit in the international market, so there is little market advantage in applying for an international accreditation scheme. The US accreditation organisation, AACSB, is dominant in that market and is therefore the primary accreditation relevant for domestic students. There is a vast array of accreditation bodies; national, regional, and international. Potential students need to be clear about the value and status of each accreditation organisation before using this as a key indicator of quality for the programmes they choose to study. You have recently joined as Chief Executive for the Association of MBAs? What is your vision for AMBA for the next five years? My vision for the Association of MBAs is that in five years’ time we will be a truly global organisation that has made a valuable contribution to the standards and quality of MBA programmes and provide knowledge and networks to assist the continuous professional development of MBA graduates. (Sharon Bamford, Chief Executive since November 2010).

‘UK education is very student focused.’ Marina Gandhi, Head, Education UK, East India, British Council UK is one of the top study destinations of Indian students. What are the reasons for this trend? Which courses are popular with Indian students? UK education is very student focused. No matter what level, students will have the flexibility to shape their study to suit their needs. This freedom combined with a centuries-old tradition of excellence and an innovative approach to teaching makes UK education recognised and respected all over the world. Many UK institutions are regularly regarded as some of the best in the world in various fields of research. A wide variety of courses are available across institutions in the UK. Management, engineering, sciences, information technology, law, journalism, fashion design and media are some of the subjects that are very popular with students from all over the world as well as from India. There is increasing competition in the higher education market. Asian schools are coming up in a big way. Schools in India are also conforming to international standards. Moreover the Foreign Educational Institutions Bill will open up a whole lot of opportunities w.r.t. higher education in India. How will this affect the international student enrollments in UK institutions? The UK has always been one of the most preferred destinations for Indian students. Approximately over 50000 Indian students are currently studying in the UK. The number of students going to the UK from India has actually increased over the last few years. What are the typical application cycles and application requirements for Masters level studies in the UK? Most institutions will accept applications from students a year in advance from the commencement date of the course. Before applying students should also check the application deadline on the university websites and make sure they submit their application by that date. An applicant usually needs to send degree transcripts, two reference letters, a statement of purpose, any other relevant information that will strengthen the application and a portfolio if applicable. How do most international students finance their studies in the UK? There are a number of scholarships available to students from institutions as well as other external organisations and trusts. The British Council’s website gives information on many of these scholarships – Most banks offer education loans to students with offers of admission from recognised UK institutions. According to you, what are the implications of the new UK visa policy for the international student community? The new visa rules have been designed to make the application process more streamlined. Detailed advice on how to apply for student visas can be obtained from www.ukba. Advanc’edge MBA March 2012



To develop principled, innovative leaders is MIT Sloan’s mission JoAnne Yates has been at MIT Sloan since 1980. Before joining the Deans’ Office she developed and taught in the Communication for Managers core course. She is currently the deputy dean at MIT Sloan. In the interview, Joanne speaks about the learning process at MIT which is consistent with its motto. What differentiates MIT Sloan from other business schools? At MIT Sloan, hands-on action learning is central to the MBA experience and embodies MIT’s motto of mens et manus, or mind and hand. Courses such as Global Entrepreneurship Lab (G-Lab) enable teams of management, engineering and science students across the Institute to work closely with top management of international startups in solving realworld problems. In the process, the students gain handson experience in creating and running a new enterprise outside the United States, often in emerging markets with challenging economic infrastructures. More than half of our MBAs take G-Lab alone. Many additional students enroll in other project-based courses such as Sustainability Lab (S-Lab), in which they work on sustainability projects within larger firms domestically or abroad; Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab), where they work with local start-up firms; and Innovation Teams (i-Teams), where students work in teams to develop commercialization strategies for innovative research projects generated in MIT laboratories. Action learning is one embodiment of our mission to be “In the World, For the World.” MIT Sloan’s MBA is high touch and customizable. Our one-semester core, built around teamwork and cooperation, provides the tools on which each student can build a customized program during the remaining three semesters. Students can choose to follow a track in Entrepreneurship and Innovation or in Finance, two areas of traditional strength at the School. Our new Certificate in Sustainability leverages MIT’s well known strength in science and technology, as well as MIT Sloan’s innovative research on sustainable business. Dual degree options (e.g., with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government) provide another avenue of specialization. The MIT Leaders for Global Operations program joins our MBA with a master’s degree in one of MIT’s engineering departments. We offer alternatives to the MBA such as our Master of Finance degree for those with more focused goals. We offer options, not a single, one-size-fits-all MBA program. Has there been any change in the focus of the MBA program at MIT Sloan in the aftermath of the economic crisis/recession? The economic crisis has provided a very interesting learning moment for the MBA class. We have offered a series of


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events to help them understand what has been going on, starting with panels and a half term class during fall of 2008, as the crisis unfolded. Faculty such as Andrew Lo, the Harris & Harris Group Professor of Finance, and Simon Johnson, the Ronald A. Kurtz (1954) Professor of Entrepreneurship and former chief economist of the IMF, have spoken out about the crisis through various media, have run special classes on the crisis, and have brought in guest speakers and panels. In doing so they have touched upon many aspects of the crisis and surrounding events, including ethical aspects. In addition to these responses to immediate, unfolding events, the MBA Program has increasingly emphasized the School’s mission “to develop principled, innovative leaders who improve the world and to generate ideas that advance management practice.” In line with this mission, we have developed a new Ethics Module required of all first year students, to be offered for the first time this fall. We are launching a broader review of the MBA Core this year, from which further innovation may emerge, in part in response to changes in the world since the crisis. Tell us more about the E62 building at the MIT campus? Sloan’s new building, E62, is approximately 215,000 gross square feet in size and six stories tall. It will house all Sloan faculty, bringing them together in one building for the first time in decades. The first two floors of the building are public space, with six MBA classrooms (four tiered and two flat) to add to Sloan’s inventory, 35 study rooms, an executive education suite with two more classrooms and eight study rooms, a business center to support student work, and dining areas with seating for over 200. Outside the building, the E62 project has added nearly 30,000 square feet of new green space to MIT’s campus with landscaped areas that will be enjoyed by all in the community. The philosophical goals for the building were to create a “heart” for MIT Sloan, a center for the community; to clearly establish an identity for Sloan within MIT; to bring the faculty together and encourage integration and cross-disciplinary work; and to build a sustainable facility. E62 is the most energy efficient building at MIT, reducing energy usage through such means as a highly efficient building envelope, chilled beams and radiant panels in offices, daylighting, and an integrated system of light and shade controls. Students and faculty will find this both a comfortable and a beautiful building in which to work.


Corroborate Your Financials for Student VISA Now that you have an offer letter from your dream institute, are you all set to go and waiting for the visa? Here’s the last important milestone you need to cross before you commence your education abroad. Financial documents play an important role in whether you are granted or denied a student visa. Each country has its own set of rules and regulations to validate your financial capability and thereafter grant you a student visa. Therefore, it is imperative that you pay adequate attention to financial documents required for acquiring your visa. Paromita


very country wants to necessarily ensure that the student is able to pay his/her tuition fees and living expenses till the course ends. This is a fundamental check that each consulate would carry out before approving your visa. As or evidence, you would therefore need to submit or provide a host of supporting documents. The documentation process varies depending on the country you are applying for. Here’s a list of supporting documents that you will require for providing evidence of your capability to fund your education in the following countries:

the remaining year(s) of your course. For instance, if you are an aspiring student for a Master’s programme for two years in the US, and the total expenses mentioned in your I-20 include $5000 for tuition fees and another $5,000 for covering your living expenses and $500

for miscellaneous expenses like books etc; then you need to provide evidence of $10,500 being readily available for paying the current year’s fees. Additionally, you need to show that another 10,500 USD will be available by the next year to cover your education.

All images courtesy:google

United States (US) In order to be granted the student visa for the US, you would need to convince the visa authorities as well as provide enough documents as a proof of liquid assets sufficient to fund your first year’s tuition fees and living expenses. You would also need to provide evidence of readily available funds to cover Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


FINANCIAL DYNAMICS In case you are entitled to a Points How to UK campuses are from Supporting scholarship and it is mentioned the international student accumulate Documents in your I-20 form, it will be community. Any foreign points? noted favourably by the visa 30 student planning to study in the Doing a course A visa letter, which officer. This is applicable to all (at an accept- you get for studying a UK will require a Student Visa student visa applicants. You able level) with course at an acceptable (Tier 4 for general category, might also opt for paying the an approved ed- level with an approved post 16 education). So, if you tuition fees in advance, but it is are over 16 and planning to go ucation provider. education provider. not mandatory. 10 Having enough Bank statement or letter for a course of six months plus The documents that you funds for your confirming that you have duration in the UK, you would should typically provide at the course fees and enough money avail- need a valid student visa. For consulate as an evidence of living costs. able to cover your tuition general students’ visa, UK your financial resources are: fees and living costs as follows a transparent pointl Original tax returns for the specified, at the time you based system and you are past 3 years ( Form 16) required to score a minimum of submit your application l Original bank records for 40 points in it. l If your sponsor is an organisation, the past 3 years and or Here’s how you can earn there is no need for a bank letter these points! fixed deposit statements of your or financial statement, but an parents or sponsor. Even though As an evidence of having original letter from your sponsor sufficient funds to finance your technically any person can take which states that the organization course in the UK, you would need to responsibility of funding your will pay for your tuition fees and provide the following documents: education, if it is your parents living expenses for the duration of l A bank statement which reflects or any close relative, it will your studies. be relatively easier for you to the requisite amount in your The US consulate discourages convince the visa officer. account for a minimum 28 days. students from providing property l Pay slips The end of that 28-day period l Chartered accountant statements deeds or certified copies of financial must not be more than one month l If you are supported by a sponsor documents. Only carry documents before the date of your application, in the US, you will need to provide which will support your or your for which you must show bank Notarised Form (I-34) as an sponsor’s claims that your course in statements or other evidence. affidavit of support along with that the US will be fully funded. However, A Bank statement on the bank’s individual’s bank statement and there is a small disclaimer: all the letterhead is an acceptable above mentioned documents are tax returns. document. You will also need l If you have taken a loan to support suggested documents and providing to send a supporting letter from your education in the US, you are all the documents is not a guarantee your bank on its company letter required to provide an official or an assurance of the visa. head, confirming the credibility document which substantiates the loan approval and not just a copy of the application form.


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

United Kingdom (UK) A large segment of students in

of the statements provided. An electronic bank statement bearing the official stamp of the

FINANCIAL DYNAMICS Number of persons Single student

All Canadian provinces

Supporting Documents

Tuition plus $10,000 for a 12-month period (or $833 per month) + one family $4,000 for a 12-month pemember riod (or $333 per month)

+ each additional family member

Tuition plus $11,000 for a 12-month period (or $917 per month) $5,100 more for a person 18 years of age or older for a 12-month period (or $425 per month)

$3,800 more for a person under 18 years of age for a 12-month period (or $317 per month) $3,000 for a 12-month pe- $5,125 more for a person 18 years of riod per dependent child age or older for a 12-month period (or of any age (or $255 per $427 per month) month) $1,903 more for a person under 18 years of age for a 12-month period (or $159 per month)

bank will be accepted. This stamp should appear on every page of the statement. l A letter from the educational institute confirming your acceptance to study in that institute. It should include the course cost and should not be issued more than six months before you apply.


In case of fixed deposits, banks shall issue a letter confirming the availability of the same and encashment can be done within a 28 days’ time frame. Bank letter should be dated less than one month from the date of application. l In case of an education loan, a sanction letter dated less than one

month should be produced with a copy of terms and conditions or loan agreement if issued by bank and should be signed by all the parties of the agreement. In case the bank’s sanction is subject to the issue of visa, the authorities assume that the student is likely to get the funds by the time he/ she travels to the UK Canada You need to simply provide adequate financial evidence of how you would be sustaining yourself during your stay in Canada. Typically the documents that you need to provide for your visa would include: 1. Your bank statements for the past four months; 2. A bank draft in convertible currency; 3. Proof of a Canadian bank account in your name if money has been transferred to Canada; 4. Proof of payment of tuition and accommodation fees; 5. For students with scholarship or in a Canadian funded education

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


FINANCIAL DYNAMICS program, a proof of the funding; 6. Proof of student/education loan from financial institutions; 7. For sponsored candidates, a letter from the sponsor; 8. If foreign exchange control measures exist in your country, you must provide proof that you will be permitted by the exchange control authorities of your country to export funds for all your expenses. Quebec is governed by a slightly different set of norms and your educational institution will provide necessary information, if applicable. Refer to the following table to understand the minimum fund requirements for obtaining a Canadian student visa. Australia With dwindling international student enrollments and in its effort to attract more foreign students, the Australian government is streamlining the visa application process for students and making it less stringent and strenuous. As these cumbersome visa rules act as an obstacle, Australia is easing out the financial requirements for student visas. If you are a fully funded student, you need to provide evidence of the sponsoring agency or government or organization that will fund: l Your travel, tuition and living expenses and any dependent


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family member accompanying you to Australia. l Your dependent family members staying back in your home country, taking into consideration the local standards of living. If any dependent family member decides to join you later, you will need to show evidence of extra funds from an acceptable source to cover their travel and living expenses in Australia. If you are not funded by any scholarship, you need to provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition, travel and living expenses for yourself and any dependent family member for the entire duration of your course. The documents which you need to provide to the Visa Officer are: l Proof of funds to support your expenses during the first 18 months of your stay. l A declaration on the application form stating that you would be in a position to fund your stay for the remaining period. The funds need to be from acceptable sources and some of the acceptable sources of funds are: l deposit with a financial institution held by you, or a person supporting you, for at least three consecutive months immediately before the date of your visa application l loan from a financial institution


loan from government from the Australian Government or an Australian State or Territory government l the government of a foreign country l any organization gazetted by the Minister l any acceptable non-profit organization l a multilateral agency. l

Students who are funding their education through loans from a financial institution must provide the following evidence: l A bank statement showing the amount of available credit l A statement from the holder of the loan that its purpose is to support your studies. Singapore After you receive an offer letter from the educational institute of your choice, you would need to prepare for the student visa to enter Singapore. Typically, the institute which issues the offer letter will also apply for the student pass on your behalf from the Singapore Immigration & Check points Authority (ICA). This application needs to be submitted at least 2 months and not more than 6 months before the commencement date of the course. The fee for applying is different for different institutes. Moreover, you will also need to provide documents as evidence for funds which will cover your tuition fees and living expenses for the first year of the course. Listed below are the documents which are acceptable as proof of funds: l Loan Approval Letter l Fixed Deposits l Bank Balance certificate (Savings A/C) Ideally parents or siblings are the only acceptable sponsors. However, certain private institutes are flexible regarding this. So, here’s the final lap before you fly to your dream institute. Don’t lose focus; concentrate on acquiring the necessary documents which will corroborate your financial capability to the visa officer.


‘It’s important to be honest regarding the reasons one wants the second MBA’ …..says Raja Debnath, BE in Mechanical Engineering from Maharashtra Institute of Technology. He has worked with various MNC and Indian banks managing various functions like sales, credit, marketing, collections and operations in progressively larger roles. He has done his MBA from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies. In conversation with Reshma Majithia, he talks of his decision to do a second MBA from University of Oxford - Said Business School.

What led you to do an MBA for the second time in your career as you already had a management qualification from one of the top 10 schools in India? My first MBA was in Marketing from JBIMS in 1998. Till 2009, I had spent most of my time working in banks in India, primarily in general management roles. But after reaching the national level roles, I started feeling the need for better knowledge in finance, primarily around corporate finance, macroeconomics, PE (Private Equity) and the like. That got me thinking of taking a one-year Finance MBA program. Additionally, with the 2008 crisis, the market was very slow and I did not expect the market to move too much till 2010. So I thought that was the best time to take a break, gain the knowledge I wanted and get myself another marquee name on my résumé.

colleges is a very interesting experience. I wished to work in India and the Oxford brand is very huge in India and truly opens doors in Europe and India. And lastly, the MBA program has world-renowned faculty in Finance.

How did you justify your need for a second MBA in your Oxford MBA application? I was truthful and explained the reason as above, other than my reading of the market. I explained that my lack of corporate finance knowledge would hamper my career in future. The reason for my second MBA was not to change my career line, but to gain international exposure and finance knowledge

What advice would you like to give students who plan to do a second MBA from a university abroad? The most important thing is to be honest to self, regarding the reasons one wants the second MBA. Be truthful as the college admissions staff is interested in selecting the best candidates whose aspirations they will be able to fulfill. There is no use in stating a wrong reason and then getting an admission to finally understand at the end of the MBA that your true reason for doing an MBA cannot be fulfilled. Eg – If working abroad is your primary reason, state that. If the admissions committee thinks that they will not be able to place you at the end of your MBA they will reject you. It is better you get rejected than do an MBA and then not get that job abroad. I have seen this fate befall a few, and hence I state this as the most important advice.

Why did you choose to study at Oxford Business School? The Said Business School is an integral part of the Oxford University. The opportunity that MBA students have of being in the fairytale town of Oxford and build networks with non-MBA students while staying at one of the 40 odd

What are your long-term aspirations and how do you see the MBA degree helping you achieve the same? I came back from Oxford and joined Ernst and Young in the business advisory financial services practice. This is a great place to apply my learning from Oxford and my past work experience. In the long run, I see myself leading financial service companies. The Oxford MBA was the one that opened the EY door for me. And again, what I have learnt there, will stand me in good stead even while leading companies.

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Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012



‘It’s great that every person here has a different perspective’ ……says Richa Agarwal, a second year student at NITIE. She has a specialisation in Marketing. In conversation with Reshma Majithia, she talks about her decision to do an MBA

Please tell us about your chief interests (academic as well as extra-curricular), your school life, college life and what interests you most at present. I have been a firm believer in holistic development all through my life. Since school I have actively pursued my interests which include debating, dancing and sketching. In school, as the Director of Interact Club I had my first tryst with Event Management and Social Service. I always found Mathematics and Computers to be intellectually stimulating so I decided to take up a career in Computer Science Engineering. While studying Engineering, I participated in a lot of technical events and paper presentations. Along with excelling at academics, I won several State Level Debate and Extempore, and participated in cultural activities. I was an active member of most committees of my college and tried to bring about constructive change in the system. At NITIE, I got exposure to a whole new gamut of activities that a B-School offers. As my interests evolved, I took up weekend projects with companies like ITC, Cummins and won laurels in Corporate Case Study Competitions. I also worked on an International Project and published a research paper on Brand Management. I am an avid reader now and passionately peruse books on Management and Marketing. I believe we should try to maximize every opportunity that our alma mater gives us and use these to develop a better personality. What is your family background like and has it influenced your academic decisions in any way? Give us details of your schooling and college life, along with laurels earned in your academic career. I was born and brought up in Kolkata. My father is the


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Vice President of a leading regional channel, my mother is a home-maker and my brother is currently studying in Standard X. My family has always been very open and supportive when it comes to career decisions and has always respected my interests and career choices. I did my schooling from Mahadevi Birla Girls’ Higher Secondary School, Kolkata where I was consistently amongst the top three students. I was also awarded the title of Best All Rounder for the batch of 2005 during my XII standard. I then moved to Chennai to pursue a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Anna University, where I held the 1st Rank for 5 consecutive semesters and consequently bagged the Gold Medal for being the overall topper across departments., I was also presented with the Best Outgoing Student Award for the Batch of 2009 for excelling in both academics and extra-curricular activities, apart from heading a few Associations and Clubs, where I played an instrumental role in providing new direction to each of them. What led you to do an MBA and why did you choose NITIE? During my engineering I held several Positions of Responsibility like Secretary of Computer Science Department, Senior Executive of CSI, Vice President of Rotaract Club, where I got a chance for ideation and execution of several events. I enjoyed the experience thoroughly; my analytical bent of mind coupled with good people skills and a penchant for innovation and improvement made me excel in each of these roles and add value to the organizations. This made me realize that leadership came to me naturally and thus I found my calling in management.

FINANCIAL DYNAMICS NITIE being one of the top 10 B-Schools in India was amongst my top preferences. It is directly under the HRD ministry and also amongst the ministry’s 15 Centers of Excellence along with IIMs, IITs and IISc. But I didn’t want to base my decision on rankings alone, so I got in touch with seniors as well as the alumni of NITIE and enquired about the teaching methodology and placements. I was convinced when I came to know about the casebased teaching methodology and the presence of wellknown academicians in the faculty list of NITIE. Also, an opportunity to work for companies such as HUL, PandG, ITC, Kraft-Cadbury, Amazon, OLAM, ICICI, Citibank, HDFC, EandY, Deloitte, PWC, CBC, etc. which visit the campus for placements sounded inviting.

by being a part of the Committees/ Forums, which are completely student driven. For those with an entrepreneurial streak there are forums like the CIE, which help you with your entrepreneurial development and then there is a rich alumni base of more than 6000 corporates who are there to mentor you in your endeavours. Pedagogy at NITIE balances practical learning with theory by encouraging students to undertake various live projects either from the industry or by working with the Professors. As NITIE is well known in the industry and is located in the economic capital of India, we complement our education with numerous industry interactions with corporate honchos in the form of extramural lectures, workshops and executive development programs.

How is your life at your B-school? Is it radically different from your life earlier? Did you have work experience when you joined this B school? Though I was selected for the position of a scientist at ISRO, I decided to pursue a career in management and thus joined NITIE as a fresher. B-School life is an experience in itself, it cannot be stated in words but I will try to do some justice to it. My typical day begins at 8:30 AM and ends at around 4 AM the next day. It starts with a hectic schedule of classes followed by group assignments and presentations. After a grueling day I generally head for a cup of coffee at my favourite hangout place, Café Gloria Jean’s, with my friends where again we indulge in some mind-boggling discussions on the latest advert that we saw on You Tube or the recent merger that featured in the Economist. The best part is that every person has a different perspective and it gives you some real food for thought. These are followed by case studies that either the faculty advised us to read or were launched by industrial biggies like HUL, PandG or Mahindra seeking solutions to their business problems. Just about the time when we feel that we have rattled our brains enough, and settle down for a break, a mail pops up reminding us of a student Committee meeting around midnight. Such meetings are again full of idea generation and planning for the events that are lined up; finally we call it a day by taking a walk around our NITIE pond and try to catch a few hours of sleep to get ready for another eventful day!

Was there any special, unforgettable experience that shaped your life? I joined NITIE as a fresher and was open to any vertical of Management, I was keen to explore and choose a career which I found most challenging and interesting. I cracked the Marketing profile at Hindustan Unilever for my summer internships. Those 2 months at HUL were amazing. I worked on a live Project for the brand LUX and I was based out of the Head Office at Mumbai. My internship made me aware of the Marketing streak in me and I also realized my potential for excelling in this field of Marketing and Strategy. It was an important milestone as it helped me give a direction to my career.

What kind of life and career do you foresee for yourself after your MBA? After completing my MBA from NITIE I am looking forward to a challenging life where I see myself working as a Marketing Manager for one of the top organizations. My role will require me to take strategic decisions which will directly impact the bottom line of the firm. I do wish to have a healthy work life balance, where along with excelling at my job I am able to spend time with my family and friends and pursue my hobbies and interests. What are the other assets that an MBA at this B-school has to offer for the aspirant? MBA at NITIE not only offers you the academic knowledge but also hones you as a complete manager. At NITIE, we engage in team-building and develop a team player attitude

Do you have any inspirational message for MBA aspirants, especially with respect to competitive exams like CAT and GDs and PIs? At NITIE, and as a part of the Branding and Promotion Committee, we conduct an event called Fountainhead- I would like to reiterate its motto to the aspirants – Choose a career path which stimulates and excites you; a career which will motivate you to wake up early from your bed even after 10 years from now, because as you age you will realise that work serves as your respite from your other worldly problems. So before you jump into this challenging race ask yourself: do I really want to do it? Don’t do it because of the bandwagon effect and certainly not for money. B-Schools are not placement agencies; they serve a bigger purpose of nurturing the best brains of the country, who help contribute to the national economy in due course. For exams like CAT my motto was very simple- don’t be judgmental; take the test with an open mind, after all it is just a test of your aptitude. A common mistake that most aspirants make is that they take umpteen mocks but do not analyze them, which renders this entire activity useless. For GDs, you need to have a good knowledge base, good communication skills and a clear thought process. Regular reading of newspapers and editorials really helps in developing the content. My suggestion will also be to watch some debates on news channels to develop perspectives and opinions. For PIs, the advice is simple: be yourself and show a positive attitude. It is more about your personality than your words. So watch your hands and face they do a lot of speaking too! Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


MBA BUZZ Special Report

Supply Chain Management:

The Next Big Thing? Gone are the days when as an aspiring B school graduate you would want to limit your specialisation options to either marketing or finance. Today students are increasingly moving towards courses which are specialised and cater to a specific domain or function. With the advent of new opportunities and businesses, B schools have started offering courses in these new areas of specialisation. A program in Supply Chain Management and Logistics is one such option which can offer tremendous growth potential in the current business scenario. Here’s an insight into this new sought-after specialisation – Supply Chain Management and Logistics, so that you make the right choice.



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competently collaborating with these supply chain partners or business partners and, in the process, integrating business operations from initial material purchase to delivery of products and services to the end customer. Because of this pooling of resources between huge networks of partners, the need for SCM expertise has grown dramatically in recent years. Efficient supply chain management practices augment the performance of an organisation and assist in gaining competitive market advantage. Sound SCM principles, which are integral to a firm’s ability to successfully compete in the global marketplace, focus on enhancing quality, speed and service while reducing overall costs. Broadly speaking, supply chain management entails a wide range of activities ranging from customer service, warehousing, transportation and resource planning to purchasing,

material handling, strategic planning and project planning and management. It typically addresses problem areas like: } Distribution Strategy }

Inventory Management


Cash flow Management

} Reverse logistics Logistics is a subset within the broader frame work of supply chain management and typically involves physical movement of goods or inventory. It adds value in the entire supply chain by positioning the goods or services, efficient inventory management, order management, transportation, warehousing, material handling and packaging. Information technology and automation are two of the major enablers of integrated supply chain management. Other factors which are driving organisations to concentrate on supply chain management are:

All images courtesy:google


nderstanding Supply Chain Management (SCM) and its market potential … Supply Chain Management basically involves efficient integration of suppliers, warehouses and stores so that the products reach the customers at the correct time and the overhead cost of deliveries and warehousing are optimised. SCM is all about collaborating with the supply and demand management functions within and across companies. As companies are increasingly concentrating on their core competencies, they are strategically outsourcing activities like sourcing and procurement of raw material and distribution to business partners who can efficiently perform these activities, thereby forming a network of supply chain partners who can improve productivity and eliminate duplication and non-productive work. Supply chain management is a cross-functional role which involves

Special Report MBA BUZZ } Globalisation } Cross-border sourcing } Increased number of companies with global operations } Achieving cost efficiencies } Competition With changing business dynamics in the 21st century, efficient functioning of these complex supply chain networks is extremely important. With globalisation, these supply chain networks have expanded over national boundaries across continents and organisations are progressively focusing on increasing their competitive advantage and reducing overhead costs through global sourcing. To survive in this immensely competitive world market, there is a growing need for management professionals adept in improving efficiency in productivity and monitoring quality control processes. SCM doesn’t necessarily mean conventional roles in the manufacturing sector only, but embraces a multitude of industries ranging from FMCG, IT & System, and Consultancy to Banking & Financial Institution and Telecom. With the surge of E-commerce and increased business connectivity, there is definitely a huge demand for professionally trained managers with expertise in supply chain and logistics. In new economy businesses, the operational efficiency is driven by SCM, a management theory which continues to evolve and expand its horizon to answer complexities of these global businesses. This changing perspective clearly indicates the demand for a capable workforce who can assume leadership positions in this domain and contribute towards building operational efficiencies. What does the course offer? A specialised programme in Supply Chain Management will train young graduates and facilitate them to resolve complex operational challenges. There are a handful of new B schools which offer specialised courses in SCM or logistics. However, most reputed Indian B schools offer courses related to this field under the umbrella of Operations Management. Alternatively, students can choose SCM or Logistics as their specialisation in their second year of MBA. Courses in a two-year MBA program are classified as core and elective courses. In the first year the

core subjects included in the curriculum are compulsory for all students. Operations Management taught in the first year is typically divided into two parts and taught in separate semesters. Operations Management typically includes most of the topics related to supply chain, logistics, production and quality management. More advanced courses on Supply Chain Management are offered as electives in the second year and students can choose the courses based on their aptitude and areas of interest. For instance, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B) offers elective courses in the area of logistics, reverse logistics, e-commerce, SCM, production planning and control and project management. At IIM C, you can choose subjects related to SCM and logistics as elective courses in the second year of your study. NITIE, which offers PG diploma in Industrial Engineering doesn’t have Operations Management as a separate specialisation. However the programme covers various subjects in the area of Operations Management, Supply Chain Management, Logistics, IT and Systems to train students overcome organisational challenges like: } Supply Network uncertainties } Complexities in scheduling and logistics management } Enterprise-wide resource and integration management Contrary to other prominent B-schools, in NITIE a significant percentage of each batch opts for elective courses

in Operations and Supply Chain Management. Operations and functions like supply chain are preferred mostly by students with engineering background. However, the trend is gradually changing and today more and more students, irrespective of their educational background are opting for functions like logistics, considering the huge opportunity in this field coupled with the potential to grow at a phenomenal rate. An MBA programme with SCM and logistics as specialisation aims to provide comprehensive and practical knowledge of logistics and supply chain management within a highly intellectually stimulating, challenging and exciting learning environment. Students are given insight into: } Logistics and supply chain management concepts and their relevance to modern day business and operational processes } Relevant analytical and managerial skills } Technical concepts and models pertaining to key components of logistics and supply chain management Most of the courses offered are a precise blend of on-the-job training with classroom lectures accompanied by rigorous assessment techniques like quizzes, presentations and case studies. B-Schools India Let’s take a sneak peek into some of the B-schools in India which either offer courses in SCM and logistics. Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


MBA BUZZ Special Report


Institute Name



Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore

PGP (Post Graduate Program)

2 years full There is no specialised program. Student can opt for the time electives offered in the area of Operations and Production are Supply Chain Management. It includes subjects like Logistics Management, Project management, ERP, Operations Strategy, Services Management and Managing E-business.

Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta

PGP (Post Graduate Program)

2 years full The core subjects offered in the first year are Statistics for time Management, Risk Management, Operations Research, Production and Operations Management etc. . While in the second year where students can choose from options like supply chain management, project management, operations strategy and quality management.

NITIE, Mumbai

PGDIE (Post Graduate Diploma In Industrial Engineering)

2 years full The pedagogic approach includes regular industry interactime tion and method based teaching with present and future scenarios in view. It includes subjects like Supply Chain Management, Quality Management, Logistics Management, Material Management, Operations planning and control.

Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow

PGPM (Post Graduate Program in Management)

2 years full In the second year it offers electives under the Operations time Management umbrella and offers subjects like Operations Strategy, Supply Chain Management, Manufacturing Planning and Control, and Project Management.

Indian Institute of Management, Kozikhode

PGP (Post Graduate Program)

2 years full No specialised program. Students can opt for courses like time Supply Chain Management, Project Management, Six Sigma, Operations Management and Operations Strategy. The paedagogy includes lectures, case studies,role plays, simulation, video shows and etal.

Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras


2 years full In the second year students are offered specialised courstime es like Supply Chain Management, Lean and Six Sigma, Logistics and Distribution Management,Manufacturing Systems Management, Operations Research, Quality Assurance, Strategic Sourcing and Simulation Modeling and Analytics.

K.J. Somaiya Institute of Management Studies and Research

PGDM (Postgraduate Diploma in Management )

2 years full Offers specialisation in Operations and Supply Chain Mantime agement in the second year. The course is industry focussed with continually updated curriculum and excellent placement records.

Symbiosis Institute of International Business

Master's program in International Business with specialisation in Logistics

2 years full Offers specialisation in the area of supply chain managetime ment in the second year of the course. This program is a unique blend of theories and practices that prepares the students for domestic markets as well as business on a global platform.

The Indian Institute of Materials Management

PGDLM (PostGraduate Diploma in Logistics Management)

1 year correspondence

Institute of Logistic and Aviation Management (ILAM)

MBA in Logistics Supply and Chain Management.

2 years full A speicailised MBA program in Supply Chain and Logistics time which enables students to develop competencies in this field. The course includes various aspects of logistics and SCM ranging from purchasing, operations and warehousing to transportation and cold chain management.

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


The course includes subjects like logistics management, distribution management, Operations researh and Quantitative techniques in Logistics and legal aspects of export/import.

Special Report MBA BUZZ B-Schools Abroad Supply Chain Management, though not one of the classic B-School majors, for both undergraduates as well as B school graduates, is now becoming more and more popular with students in campuses in the US and other countries. Why this sudden surge in interest? The easy availability of jobs is one of the most obvious reasons for this rise in enrollments across campuses. Most good B-schools have almost 100 percent placements and even the average starting salaries are rising. According to a survey conducted by The Institute of Supply Chain Management, the average entrylevel salary in this domain is about $49,500, but the average salary of those with five or fewer years of experience is $83,689, up from $72,908 in 2010, an increase of nearly 15 percent. Let’s take a look at some of the top B-Schools in the US and what they have to offer: (Insert the table of B Schools Abroad. Refer to xcel sheet Insti list_scm) Opportunities Galore With advanced communication technology across continents and the world being reduced to a global village, the domain of Logistics and Supply Chain Management courses are coming into prominence. As

logistics is an important and an integral function within an organisation, there is a huge demand of graduates in this field. With an MBA in logistics, you will be able to better comprehend and analyze the complexities involved in modern day business operations, as well as innovate processes to efficiently transfer goods and services from their place of origin to the final destination. As a young MBA graduate, you will be trained to manage all logistical functions within the purview of the organisation you work for. Alternatively, certain organisations outsource this function to specialised SCM consultants like Bain & Company, Rockford Consulting Group, Accenture etc. The jobs in SCM can also cover allied roles like Purchasing, Inventory, Materials Management, Production Controls, Supplier and Vendor Management, Quality Management etc. If you are aspiring to work in the field of logistics you can look at roles related to acquisition logistics, reverse logistics, cargo logistics, integrated logistics support and many other related areas. Logistics is an important function not only in retail business but also in segments like export/import, manufacturing, transport, courier etc. With efficient communication systems and

globalisation, all manufacturing and export units require managers trained in logistics and supply chain to efficiently manage deliveries to customers, on time shipping of products and the entire operations part. With companies expanding territories, there is an urgent need to recruit trained professionals who can contain costs and utilise the organisation’s resources effectively to ensure timely deliveries of their goods or services within the stipulated deadline. Firms are increasingly seeking students with master of business administration degrees and major in logistics and supply chain management because of their sound understanding of 3`SCM concepts and models, analytical decision making skills, and advanced SCM knowledge to address supply chain concerns that arise as operations become more sophisticated within a firm and across multiple firms in the supply chain. So as a fresher, where do you fit in? Fresher withan MBA degree can start as a management trainee, analyst or a front line supervisor and with experience move up the corporate ladder. From a recruiter’s perspective, organisation looks for graduates with good interpersonal skills who can effectively interact with suppliers, distributors, vendors and even customers at times. Apart from communication and analytical skills, other attributes which recruiters look for in prospective candidates are conflict resolving skills and team-building skills. With multinational firms like eBay, Amazon, Yahoo etc. expanding their territories, newer avenues and functions within the domain of supply chain is bound to unfold and grow manifold. Hiring in this domain is rising and so is the salary. With more job openings, comfortable salaries and prospect of growth, it is gradually becoming one of the preferred specialisation options for many MBA graduates. So, with opportunities galore, what are you waiting for? Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


MBA BUZZ Special Report


Institute Name


Course Type


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Sloan), Cambridge

$50,353 per year

Full time

The academic courses are inherently global in nature, and there are dozens of opportunities for students to travel and study abroad. The school also has Action Labs for students to tackle real problems in existing companies in the United States, China, and India.

Michigan State University Board, Mi

$ 37, 290 per year

Full time

The curriculum is specifically designed to prepare students for advancement in supply chain related careers in supply management, manufacturing and service operation management, logistics consulting, procurement, service–supplier business development and operations, and SCM software support.

Rutger Business School, Centre for Supply Chain Management


Full time

With world class research, innovative teaching techniques and interdiscipline interaction, this graduate school offers courses in supply chain management to the business community. It also offers offers offsite learning and meaningful internship opportunities for students, and stimulates corporate research opportunities for faculty members. The subjects taught cover topics on procurement and global sourcing, logistics optimisation, marketing models and marketing research, distribution and pricing strategies, product and supply chain innovation, labor regulations and contract management, supply chain legal environments, project management, business process design and improvement, quality management, risk analysis and supply chain security, and supply chain technologies.

University of $ 48,550 Pennsylvania per year (Wharton) , Philadelphia (Tepper School of Business)

Full time

Operations Management: Quality and Productivity, Supply Chain Management

Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh

$52,500 per year

Full time

In the first year students are offered basic general management courses and in the second year students opting for SCM major can choose from a host of subjects related to this field.

Stanford University, Stanford

$53118 per year

Full time

It offers courses on Operations, Information, and Technology Modeling for Quantitative Analysis, Modeling for Quantitative Analysis-Accelerated, Technology Management, Technology Concepts for Managers, Operations, Business Process Design, Global Operations, Data and Decisions, Entrepreneurial Design for Extreme Affordability, Environmental Science for Managers and Policy Makers, Revenue Optimisation, Value Chain Strategies, Supply Chain Management and Technology.

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

Dean Speak MBA BUZZ

‘Inclusivity is an important factor at NMIMS’ ….says




Dean, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Mumbai.



In an e-interview with

Reshma Majithia, he speaks about the institute, its future plans and general management trends.

Sir, what would you say are some of the benefits of studying at NMIMS? NMIMS is one of the top five business schools of the country. It has a world class curriculum and the students get benefit from distinguished faculty members. Students also get the advantage of learning from the corporate leaders who visit the school regularly. The school believes in ‘inclusivity’ and has a very well developed “We Care” programme to address the need of the society. In this programme students studying in NMIMS get the experience of spending three weeks with NGO’s involved in social activities. NMIMS has in place a very active placement cell and a student regularly obtains quality summer and final placements. Do you see a change in the focus in the way management education is imparted at the institute. What are your future plans for the institute? The management education will be more skill based. “Inclusivity” will be an important factor in the curriculum. The soft skills knowledge will be another key requirement. Student involvement will be the key. The institute has in

place a world-class curriculum, which is updated every year with the help of industry experts and academicians. On 18th February, there will be industry rendezvous were about 15 industry captains from different sectors will present their views on the challenges being faced by the corporate world and on what management school should do to meet the demands of the business world. How important is the location of the institute when it comes to doing an MBA? Does it affect the opportunities in employment or projects that student take up? The students studying in NMIMS have a great advantage as the institute is situated in Mumbai. Corporate leaders visit every week and interact with the students. School of Business Management enjoys close relationship with the corporate world. This is possible as most of the corporate main offices are situated in Mumbai. Further every programme of the business school has a Board of Studies comprised of senior members from corporate who provide valuable guidance in developing our curriculum. Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


MBA BUZZ Dean Speak How important is institute industry interface for an MBA student and how is it encouraged here at the institute? Students also get the advantage of working in various live projects as the school is under constant touch with many firms in and around Mumbai. Close interaction with industry has a favorable impact on summer and final placements. Interaction with industry and corporate world is given top priority at NMIMS, School of Business Management. There is a separate cell i.e. Institute of Intellectual Property Studies which takes care of these important activities. It is very important for the student to be in constant touch with various people from the industry. The students organise a number of programmes throughout the year and senior executives from the industry participate in such events to give their views on contemporary topics. In many programmes students are required to study indepth certain industry and present their findings to the industry experts. Who, according to you, is an ideal candidate for an MBA? What do you look for in an applicant at NMIMS during the selection process? The school of business management not only looks for intelligent students having good qualitative aptitude and reasoning skills but also the ability to work in a team. During the selection process the school looks into the soundness of theoretical knowledge possessed by the candidates along with knowledge on contemporary issues. The school checks the leadership skills and analytical aptitude and communication issues among others.


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

Could you tell us a little about the current placement trends at the institute? Placement 2011 was a great challenge as the market had slowed down a lot. The finance market was the worst hit. With the support of the industry NMIMS School of Business Management, placement were good like previous years. Which are the future opportunity areas for MBA graduates? Infrastructure, health-care, education, transport, energy, Retail, IT, Construction, Insurance are areas offering huge opportunities. In particular food Storage, transportation, distribution and digital marketing are some of the areas where there is a great need of management graduates. Rural areas will provide opportunities not only for marketing students but also for those who are majoring in operations and information technology management. Career with NGO’s will also be in demand. Is there anything that students should keep in mind when it comes to recruitments? Students should be positive and have confidence in themselves while they come for admission to NMIMS. They should have faith in what they have learnt over the years. Dr. Debashish Sanyal, Dean NMIMS has done his Ph.D in the area of Finance. He is a merit holder of the Institute of Cost and Works Accountants of India. He possesses graduate level teaching and academic administration experience of over 25 years and has contributed significantly towards developing international linkages and launching new programs. He has been responsible for obtaining accreditation for both the Indian business schools, which have been accredited so far by AMBA. He has to his credit publications in International and National Journals.


Business Etiquette In a world increasingly engaged in embracing cross cultural and cross country business ventures, exhibiting proper Business Etiquette has become an imperative, while conducting business dealings. Even within an organisation, disrespectful and discourteous treatment is detrimental as it will percolate down from the top of the hierarchy to the bottom and may lead to labour problems and poor customer servicing. The silver lining is that often most behavior that is perceived to be disrespectful, discourteous or abrasive is unintentional and could have been avoided by practicing good manners or etiquette. Keeping an open mind and practicing honest, well mannered communication can often save the day for you in a business interaction. Atasi Das


n the practical side it would be nice to note that though sticking to some basics is essential, business etiquettes do vary from organisation to organisation and country to country depending upon the prevalent sociological norms. It is important to acquaint oneself with different socio-cultural nitty-gritty’s while engaging in cross cultural, cross country trade.

if possible with family details; Send cards/letters/flowers for birthdays/ promotions or other events, send flowers for

engagements, weddings or in condolence for the death for family members. Maintaining good relationships with peers

All images courtesy:google

The Basics: a Primer } Be courteous and thoughtful to the people around you, regardless of the situation. } Stick to your convictions as diplomatically as possible. } Address conflict as situationrelated, rather than personrelated. } Apologise when you step on other people’s toes. } Maintain good rapport with all employees across ranks in the organisation. } Use social gatherings organised by the office as ice-breakers. } Maintain a people’s database Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


SUCCESS STREET and subordinates is necessary for good team work; impressing the boss only will not suffice. Company mergers and acquisitions may often lead to “class mixing,” and may well turn a former competitor to a coworker overnight! Maintaining consistency in behaviour and demeanor improves one’s credibility in an organisation. Superiors should always be kept in the loop about any latest work related developments.

While initiating a call it is mandatory to identify yourself and to let the receivers know about the context of the call.

International Business In a world which is increasingly looking East, for forwarding its business prospects it becomes imperative to acquaint oneself with the different cultures and practices of the people residing in these regions. After all, effective economic cooperation between countries can only ride on the back of cultural diplomacy and people to people exchange. It is advisable to accustom oneself in the local languages, time zones, working schedules, holidays and food customs. While in doubt, it is always advisable to be formal.

the expected duration and the items of discussion should ideally be communicated beforehand to the participants. Remember to explicitly thank the members for their time and participation, officially record the Minutes of the Meeting to document the contribution of different members and incorporate a concise but complete representation of the decisions undertaken to help meet the objectives of the meeting. Assigning work to absentee participants is best avoided.

Workplace manners Meetings Meetings should be called when absolutely necessary, with due consideration for the participants’ time. The objective of the meeting,

Phone & E-mail One should always make it a point to return phone calls. In case one is unable to provide a plausible answer to a caller’s query, it is advisable to direct them to the appropriate

person/place. In case one needs to go out of office during office hours, someone must be delegated to pick up the business calls, or an answering machine should be put in place to inform the callers about the earliest time by when they can expect a call back. While initiating a call it is mandatory to identify yourself and to let the receivers know about the context of the call, as it will facilitate in identifying the proper person/ department to which the call needs to be connected. While receiving a phone call it is imperative to answer the caller with a cordial warm voice, even if you are in midst of some pressing work. Address technical glitches like rundown computers or other communicating machines with urgency, as modern day business interactions demand seamless real time transactions. Electronic media like phone and e-mail are powerful mediums of communication though they do not involve face-to-face interactions, and it is advisable to be courteous while interacting. For business e-mails it is always necessary to clearly specify the subject line instead of a casual “Hi”. While forwarding messages make it a point to delete extraneous information. While replying to a query, copy only the question into your e-mail and then pen down the answer. It is imperative to address and sign one’s e- mails. Standard writing guidelines ought to be adhered to while communicating via e-mails. It is considered improper to type in all caps. Interruptions in individual or group work sessions, meetings, phone calls, or even discussions should be apologised. One must try to avoid interrupting someone’s concentration at work and in case of some urgent work pops up, interactions should be brief and to the point about the concerned matter. New Employees/Guests Provide new employees/guests/ consultants working/ visiting at the organisation with all the resources and information that he or she needs to do the job. Not only will


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

SUCCESS STREET this save time for the consultant / employee but it will also raise the productivity and efficiency of the business. Visiting consultants ought to be provided the same benefit as normal employees with regards to workspace, computers etc. Credit and compliments should be passed on to all the employees who have made a contribution to a project. It is advisable to always speak well of co-workers and bring out their accomplishments to any interested party. Dress/Appearance It is advisable to be decent, clean and presentable in matters of dress while in an organisation. Conservative formal wear is always acceptable in all business dealings. In days of casual dressing, turn up in well pressed and clean dress. For women it is advisable to maintain the conservative line and not to go overboard with loud makeup, flashy dressing or strong perfumes. Social gatherings Since business related social gatherings also often turn out to be networking platforms it is advisable to carry business cards. One should turn up at a party at the stated time or within half an hour of the stated time. However exchanging business cards during dining is strict no no. Table manners Table manners are country and region specific. In the US and Europe, while dining, the fork is

For business e-mails it is always necessary to clearly specify the subject line instead of a casual “Hi”. taken on the left hand and the spoon and knife on the right. Food items are kept on the left. Drinks, including coffee cups, should be placed on the right. When sitting at the banquet table, you may begin eating when two people to your left and right have already been served. If you haven’t been served, but most of your table has, encourage others to start. Reach only for items which are kept in front of you, ask for other items to be passed by a neighbour. It is customary to offer to the left and pass to the right; although once things get started it is perfectly okay to go with the flow. Asia Matters China, a leading face of the global economic recovery is a hot business destination now. Some unique tips on this Oriental culture will help to conduct business negotiations here.

China l Conservative suits in subtle colours for men are in vogue; women should best avoid high heels and short sleeved blouses. l Do not point when speaking, avoid large hand movements. l Gift giving is a very delicate issue in China; the most acceptable gift is a banquet. Quality writing pens are considered as favoured gifts in China. Clocks, Straw sandals, a stork or crane, handkerchiefs and anything which is white, blue or black in colour are things associated with death and should be avoided as gifts. l Arrive on time if you are the guest. Avoid discussing business matters at meals, and avoid eating or drinking prior to the host. l Never place your chopsticks straight up in your bowl and avoid dropping the chopsticks. l Women do not usually drink at meals and tipping is considered insulting. l Bowing or nodding is the common greeting in China; however, for a handshake wait for the Chinese to offer their hand first. l Business introductions are formal using formal titles. Business cards should be received or presented with both hands. l Appointments are a must for doing business in China and being on time is vital. l The decision making process is slow in China. You should not expect to conclude your business swiftly. Many Chinese will want to consult with their favoured star configurations or wait for a lucky day to make a business decision. l The Chinese value rank and status and will welcome high powered delegations with decision making authority. Conclusion To conclude, in the real world, an interaction which come from heart and is genuine leaves an indelible imprint. Even if you miss a step of customary etiquette, it will suffice to cover the faux pas, if you strive to make the people around you feel comfortable and valued. Atasi Das is a freelancing Business Journalist.

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


CORPORATE WORLD Business Analysis

Supreme Court Judgment on Vodafone Case Hutchison Whampoa, a Hong Kong based company originally held 67% equity shares and the Essar Group had 33% equity shares in ‘Hutch Essar’, the mobile telecom operator active in the Indian telecom industry. During the year 2007, Vodafone acquired the 67% shares from Hutchison Whampoa for US$11 billion, or a rupee equivalent of around Rs.50,000 crore, to become a 67% shareholder in Hutch Essar, subsequent to which the name of the company was changed to Vodafone Essar and the services were rebranded as Vodafone.. Vodafone is now the third largest mobile phone operator in India after Bharati and Reliance.


Dr Suresh Srinivasan



he way the shares were held and operations were controlled by Hutchison Whampoa in Hutch Essar was unique and the subsequent purchase of shares by Vodafone from Hutchison Whampoa gave rise to a number of tax issues. To elaborate this further, in 2007, Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited, in Cayman Islands (“HTIL”) a company fully owned by Hutchison Whampoa, Hong Kong, sold 100% of its holding in CGP Investments, another company in Cayman Islands (“CGP”) to Vodafone International Holdings BV, Netherlands (“Vodafone”) for a price of around Rs.50,000 crore. It is to be noted that Vodafone did not directly buy 67% shares in Hutch Essar from Hutchison Whampoa, but acquired shares in the Cayman Island company (CGP) and thereby became a 67% shareholder in Hutch Essar. The Cayman Islands is located in the Caribbean Sea and is considered to be a major world offshore financial Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

centre where many companies set up shell companies that invest in other countries; similar to the way Hutchison Whampoa and Vodafone have structured their investment. The reason why companies choose ‘Tax Havens’ like the Cayman Island is due to the fact that there are no income tax, capital gains tax, or corporation tax and, hence, a significant reduction in overall tax paid is achieved by routing investments through such offshore centers. Other tax havens include the British Virgin Islands, Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Coming to the Vodafone case, a few years after its transaction was completed with Hutchison Whampoa, the Indian tax authorities have questioned Vodafone as to why they have not deducted tax on this transaction, i.e., from the Rs.50,000 crore payments made by Vodafone to Hutchison Whampoa and deposited the same with the Indian Tax authorities, based on the contention

that although the transaction happened in Cayman Islands, the shareholding transferred was a ‘controlling stake’ in an ‘Indian operating company’. Given such a position, the transaction was claimed to come under the jurisdiction of the Indian tax authorities; therefore the proceeds received by Hutchison Whampoa was subject to a tax of around Rs.12,000 crore. The tax department hence contended that Vodafone should have deducted the tax from its payments to Hutchison Whampoa and paid the same to the Indian tax authorities. Since Vodafone had failed to deduct the same from Hutchison Whampoa, the Indian tax authorities claimed that Vodafone should pay the same. This claim for around Rs.12,000 crore was contested by Vodafone in the Bombay High Court; Vodafone argued that the Cayman Island transaction did not fall under the jurisdiction of India, although the transaction dealt with an underlying operating asset (Hutch Essar) that was situated within India

Business Analysis CORPORATE WORLD the Supreme Court, the validity of such efficient structuring of foreign investments could have come under a cloud and this would have set a wrong precedent. This could have drastically impacted future foreign investments into India and also had a negative impact on India’s growth story. Hence, it was very timely and appropriate for the Supreme Court to pass the judgment in favour of Vodafone contradicting with the Bombay High Court ruling. It also possibly gives Vodafone All images courtesy:google

and, hence, the transaction was not subject to tax within India.. Such a ruling by the Bombay High court created a number of uncertainties especially with the ‘narrow’ approach taken by the tax authorities. Subsequently, Vodafone took the case to the Supreme Court, which recently pronounced its judgment in favour of Vodafone. After examining various aspects surrounding the transaction, the Supreme Court held that the Indian tax authority had no jurisdiction to tax the offshore transaction involving

transfer of shares between Vodafone and Hutchison Whampoa as the transaction took place outside India. The Supreme Court agreed that companies are free to structure their transactions that will minimize tax as long as the transactions do not result in evasion of tax, are illegal or outside the framework of law. The Supreme Court has emphasized that it has tried to strike a balance and assess if Vodafone intended to legitimately minimize tax within the framework of law or it practised an illegal and abusive tax avoidance strategy. Given this objective, the Supreme Court contended that it is a common practice internationally for investors around the world to invest through tax havens using special purpose vehicles and shell companies. These are construed to be legal under Indian laws. The Supreme Court also reiterated that it is important to see whether such structures are created with a sole purpose of evading taxes or existing for a significant duration of time. The Hutchinson structure

has existed since early nineties and it cannot be argued that it was created with a sole objective of avoiding tax. The Supreme Court clarified that for the purpose of a transaction to fall within the Indian tax jurisdiction and to be taxable in India, the transfer should take place within India. However, in Vodafone’s case it was an ‘indirect transfer’ of an operating asset that was situated in India and, hence, it has ruled that the transaction does not come under the jurisdiction of the Indian tax authorities. The judgment is far-reaching for the reason that foreign investors enter India with a sole objective of exiting after a certain period of time, thereby making a return on their investment. More specifically, all such investments would be structured in the most tax-efficient way through ‘tax havens’ and thereby taking complete advantage of all provisions within the laws of countries through which such transactions are routed. That said, if the original Bombay High Court judgment would have been upheld by

a sense of satisfaction and relief not only due to the fact that justice has prevailed, but also due to the fact that it had fought the case vigorously over the last couple of years, employing a battery of top-notch lawyers. This decision of the Supreme Court could be a major guiding factor for many international transactions in the future as this seems to be the first case to be debated on indirect transfer of capital asset, at the highest judicial court of a country. Even for many foreign investors who have routed their investments into India through Mauritius, this judgment will give relief and precedence for the future. Out of the total US$160 billion foreign direct investment (FDI) into India, more than 40% are routed through Mauritius. Especially in the light of many corruption scandals, the credibility of the Indian judiciary has now taken a major leap after this judgment, thereby instilling confidence in the international investors. However, this could be a bit disappointing for India’s income tax department! Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


CORPORATE WORLD Business Analysis

Impact of 2G license cancellations Over the last fifteen months, the ruling UPA Government has been in the midst of a political storm caused by the 2G scam. The Telecom minister who awarded the last set of 122 telecom licenses in 2008 to nine companies has been taken into police custody. After exhaustive investigations by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), Central Vigilance Commission (CVC), Joint Parliamentary Committee, Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) and public interest litigations and petitions filed by social activists like Subramaniam Swamy and Prashant Bhushan, many powerful politicians, corporate honchos and seasoned bureaucrats were taken into police custody.

Dr Suresh Srinivasan


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

Impact on Telecom Industry and mobile users Understanding the structure of the Indian telecom industry is critical at this juncture. The industry has a set of large players like BSNL, Bharti, Vodafone,

All images courtesy:google

Courtesy : Google


inally, the Supreme Court ordered the entire set of 122 licenses awarded to 9 companies to be cancelled. Cancelled licenses include those of Swan Telecom, Loop Telecom, Videocon, Uninor, Etisalat, Idea Cellular, Sistema-Shyam the Russian company and Tata Tele Services. The Supreme Court strongly criticized the government’s action of sale of licenses on a ‘first-come-first-serve basis’ without resorting to a credible and transparent auction process, which has made the entire process of allocating the 122 licenses to nine companies arbitrary and unconstitutional thereby resulting in corruption. The court ordered the nine companies to close down operations in four months time. This judgment also suggests that the whole episode has resulted in the government exchequer losing revenue and thereby having a direct impact on the state of the country’s economy. This is a far-reaching development as the country’s apex court has nullified the action taken by a government department in the normal course of its business; more importantly the foreign investors have been closely watching the ‘attractive’ Indian telecom sector and this development is, for sure, a set-back. What are the implications of such cancellations to the Indian telecom sector? What effect will this have on other players in the telecom industry? How will the nine companies to whom the licenses were issued and subsequently cancelled, be affected? Is this a loss of credibility to India as an investment destination?

Business Analysis CORPORATE WORLD Tata, Reliance, Aircell and Idea who were early movers with significant market share, many of them to whom the 2008 fresh 122 licences were not issued. As a result of the 2008 bout of new license issue, many new international players like Etisalat from the United Arab Emirates, Uninor from Sweden had entered the market together with existing or new Indian players in setting up mobile telephone operations in the country. As a result of the aggressive pricing strategies of such new players the overall rates in the mobile telephone market crashed, causing a serious dent in the industry profitability; existing players like Bharti and Vodafone saw a significant decline in their profitability due to the new breed of mobile operators who had entered the industry through these 122 licenses aggressively pricing their services. The nine companies whose licenses have been cancelled had a subscriber base of close to 70 million; given India’s total subscriber base of around 900 million, this means around 8% of the overall subscriber base would be impacted. The exit of these players will temporarily benefit the existing players, who may, to a certain extent, increase their price in view of the marginally reduced competition. On the delivery of the court order, the share price of the existing companies increased, recognizing this fact. It is assessed that the Banks have

a significant exposure to these nine companies in the form of loans. Out of the total loans of around Rs.1,00,000 crore to the telecom sector, it is assessed that around 25% would be the exposure of banks to the nine companies. With their licenses now being cancelled, it is a question as to how the banks will recoup such outstanding amounts. It is now expected that the firms which have lost the licenses will seek compensation from the government; they have paid fees of close to Rs.9,000 crore for such licenses. More importantly, they have made several investments in the form of capital equipment, advertisements, salaries, etc., once the licenses were awarded, all of which would be lost due to the license cancellations. Although the Union Minister of Corporate Affairs has said that the Supreme Court judgment on cancellation of licenses would not have any negative impact on inflows of foreign investments into the country, this is bound to send a negative signal to the international community, especially since legally awarded licenses by a legitimate government have been cancelled, causing huge losses to the affected companies. Future Course To a large extent, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has been responsible for the lack of policy to date and the way the 122 licenses have been issued. However, they now would be responsible for ensuring that the cancelled licenses are auctioned out in a transparent and equitable

manner; the country will now await the procedure that would be recommended by TRAI for this proposed auction. In this context, various facts

are still not clear: how would the fresh auction take place? Can the existing players bid, or will it be open only to new players? Existing players, players whose licenses have been cancelled and altogether new players like South African MTN, Teliasonera, AT&T and Deutsche Telekom are all aggressively putting together their strategies to bid for the reissue of the licenses. Given the recent experience in the auction of the 3G spectrum, the reissue of the 122 numbers of 2G licenses through an auction process will definitely bring in more cash to the exchequer. It is assessed that the proposed auction of the 2G licenses for reissue could be considered to be much more valuable than the 3G licenses as the 2G spectrum could be immediately put into service while companies are still waiting to fully roll out their 3G services. That said, the downside is that the companies that would be paying such huge sums for their 2G licenses in the proposed auction, may substantially increase their price of services, thus negatively impacting the telecom users in the country. However, the proposed auction will definitely help the government in narrowing down the fiscal deficit for the current year. This episode is a classic case of irregularity in the government process that has resulted in losses to the corporate sector! Now, who is responsible for such losses? Will the government take the blame and pay compensation to the corporate? Or, will the corporate take the blame for unduly influencing the government machinery and thereby absorb the losses on account of these licenses? Either way, the resulting loss, in some form or the other, would be passed on to the consumer through increased rates for mobile usage. Further, it definitely puts the country’s credibility with foreign investors under a cloud. The only solution for avoiding such issues in the future, would be to strengthen the government machinery, penalizing corporate and bureaucracy for corruption and bringing about transparency in the overall process of allocating and distributing the country’s natural resources, be it spectrum or mining or oil and gas, to players in the economy. Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


CORPORATE WORLD Business Analysis

The Indian Aviation Sector Indian aviation sector has now reached a significant scale and size, and hence needs to be supported with sustainable policy regime for the Indian economy to remain healthy. Contrarily, the policy reforms in the sector are not as desired and, as a result, the Indian aviation sector is in deep trouble! With Air India struggling to remain afloat and awaiting government approval on its financial restructuring plan, Kingfisher is on the verge of collapse struggling for funds to operate the airline on a day-to-day basis. Many of the banks that have lent monies to Kingfisher are considering such debt as ‘nonrecoverable,’ given the dire state of its financial condition. Failing to reach agreement with its Indian bankers for sanctioning additional loans, Kingfisher is in talks with many foreign financial investors but none of them are coming forward to plough in money. Other airlines which used to be profitable, like Jet Airways and Spice Jet, have also reported losses for the latest quarter. Dr Suresh Srinivasan


onetheless, the future of the Indian aviation market is extremely attractive. Currently, less than 3% of the Indian population is travelling by air. This is far lower than air travel in other parts of the world, developed and developing. Given the large scope for expansion in air travel and the higher investments that ought to fl ow in, the government must continue the reforms in the aviation sector.

the airline is close to bankruptcy if the government withdraws support. The more time it takes to sort this critical issue out, the more pressure will be exerted on the country’s exchequer, as Air India is bleeding cash. The only solution is to hand over the operations to a private operator who would take up the responsibility of turning it around. The issue of a ‘high tax’ regime is exerting immense pressure on carriers. The expenditure on jet fuel accounts for close to 50% of an airline’s operational

cost. Service Tax on activities like aircraft maintenance operations is making services very expensive. Import of spare parts also attracts very high taxes as compared to other parts of the world, thereby making airline operational costs steep, leaving scope for very little margins. However, the major issue is the expensive Aircraft Turbine Fuel (ATF), given the uncertainties in the international crude price and sales tax levied. With the Indian rupee steeply weakening, all

Basic issues to be addressed for a healthy aviation sector Various issues are daunting the aviation sector. The problem with Air India needs to be fi rst sorted out. The government is currently assessing the fi nancial restructuring plan for Air India with an objective to inject additional equity into the ailing airline. The loans close to Rs.70,000 crore also need to be restructured and a viable operating plan needs to be agreed upon so that the overall operations turn viable; today


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

foreign currency denominated costs have become significantly expensive, which include costs of spare engines, spare parts, insurance and pilot salary. A serious shortcoming is absence of a regulator for the airline sector, on similar lines to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) for the telecom industry. This is important; a body to nurture the interests of all the players in this industry is critical. The regulator needs to create a platform where the players compete on an equal footing. Air safety, airspace regulation and consumer protection should all be addressed by this neutral body, in addition to preserving a regime of healthy competition, without undercutting each other or operating on a ‘cartel’ basis. Government’s response to the aviation crisis In response to the crisis faced by the industry, the government is gradually easing the situation. Recently, airlines have been allowed to import ATF directly, which will significantly reduce sales tax costs and consequently around 10% of the operating costs, which is a relief. Currently oil marketing companies like Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum have monopoly in supplying to airlines. They have also created significant infrastructure at airports for this purpose. It is still not very clear as to how airlines can directly import and demonstrate savings in sales tax, without appropriate infrastructure. Earlier, investments by foreign airlines in Indian carriers were not allowed, although Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) of upto 49% was allowed by any foreign investor who is not an airline. Given the poor state of health of the Indian carriers, a Committee of Secretaries has proposed permitting foreign airlines to hold up to 49% in Indian carriers. This move has been welcomed by the market and the share price of the Indian carriers increased on the announcement of this news; Kingfisher’s stock went up by more than 5%, Spicejet by 20% and Jet Airways

All images courtesy:google

Business Analysis CORPORATE WORLD

close to 30%. Will merely allowing foreign airline investors to invest in Indian carriers go to reduce the burden from any of the above issues and make the Indian carriers more profitable? Not really. It would only allow players with deep financial pockets to come in and share the financial burden and losses for a certain period of time; however no financial investor or foreign airline will be ready to infinitely forego profits and keep investing without securing a return on his investments. Hence, the issue is that the government needs to first sort out the fundamental issues faced by the industry, as discussed above. But 49% FDI by foreign airlines could make sense in sorting out Air India’s issues. The government could well take this opportunity to possibly privatize Air India. Again, with foreign airlines being allowed to hold 49% shares, there could be takers for Air India. If such policy change does not come through, a non-airline investor would be wary about investing into Air India as even if he has operational control he would be unable to effect the best operational restructuring, which the carrier needs in order to turn profitable. However, if an airline shareholder takes control of Air India, he would both have the operational and domain expertise to turn around a carrier of Air India’s size. This would also make his investments sustainable.

Realistically speaking, how many foreign airlines would in fact be ready to move into the Indian market? Analysts say, not many, mainly for two reasons. First of all, the global and regional airlines are in a bad financial condition and may not be able to immediately allocate resources in moving into India. In December, the international air transport association (IATA) warned airlines that 2012 could be a tough year, with industry profits dwindling by more than 50%. Barring a few players like Emirates, Qatar Airways and Singapore Airlines, many are struggling to survive and are extremely dependent on their national governments to fund them. Secondly, given that the policy frame-work is so weak in India, airlines will think twice before entering the Indian market in spite of India’s potential in terms of offering an attractive aviation market. On balance, opening up FDI is a good move but may not provide immediate relief to the ailing airlines. Dr Suresh Srinivasan is a Chartered Accountant, Cost Accountant, MBA (Bradford Business School, UK) and PhD (in Corporate Strategy from IIT Madras). He has held senior positions in leading multinational corporations both in India and abroad for over 20 years. As a management consultant, he currently works closely with a number of domestic and multinational corporations in the areas of Strategy and Finance. Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


CORPORATE WORLD Business Analysis

Economic Indicators


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

Business Analysis CORPORATE WORLD

Economic Indicators

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


CORPORATE WORLD Business Analysis

Economic Indicators


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012



US Elections I:

Republican Mitt Romney versus the Grand Old Party The US presidential elections will be held on November 6 this year, but unlike in India where parties wake up to general elections six months before the D-day, there it has been more like a war zone for a year already; but the pitched battle is being fought not among two different parties but those on the same side – the Grand Old Party (GOP), more popularly known as the Republicans. The ammunition used is not battle-tanks and fighter planes like the ones used in Iraq and Afghanistan, although their reference is rooted in almost every confrontation. M Parekh

Malav Parekh

CBS NEWS/NEW YORK TIMES poll, with its January findings in parentheses. The poll was conducted after Santorum swept contests in Colorado, Minnesota and Missouri last week and during Romney’s weekend victory in Maine’s caucuses. — Santorum: 30 percent (16 percent) — Romney: 27 percent (28 percent) — Ron Paul: 12 percent (15 percent) — Newt Gingrich: 10 percent (21 percent)


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

Rick Santorum PEW RESEARCH CENTER survey, with its January findings in parentheses. The survey also was conducted after Santorum’s three-state sweep and during Romney’s weekend win in Maine’s caucuses. — Santorum: 30 percent (14 percent) — Romney: 28 percent (31 percent) — Gingrich: 17 percent (16 percent) — Paul: 12 percent (15 percent)

All images courtesy:google

Mitt Romney



uch is the nature of the US politics comprising two parties: the Democrats and Republicans. Before a party takes on the other for presidential elections, its more ambitious and prominent members have to fight it out themselves to win the party nomination as the presidential candidate. So they fight against fellow teammates for that precious nomination. Besides the bloodbath, it has all the ingredients to be called a war. There is high-decibel rhetoric, battle cries, strategising on the enemy’s moves, checking on their defences, and followed by a merciless onslaught. The weapons used here have a pinkish hue to them– from sex scandals to gay rights to pink slips. The candidates bring out each other’s dirty laundary in public and after it’s all done, they go back to being best of friends and

take on the presidential candidate of the opposing party. For the 2012 elections, incumbent US President Barack Obama will be the presidential candidate for the Democrats, while the Rebuplicans are yet to battle it out to find the last man/woman standing. Although by the looks of it, it is most likely to be a man. Sarah Palin, a front-runner before the GOP contest for nomination began, was the first to bow out of the race last year. The Alaska governor cited personal reasons for her exit. Then came Michelle Bachmann, a powerful Republican Senator from Minnesota’s sixth district, senior member of the Tea Party Movement -- which has caught the nation’s fancy -- and the founder of Tea Party caucus first held on July 16, 2010. The Tea Party movement (TPM) is an American populist political movement that is generally

recognised as a Republican initiative, and has sponsored protests and supported political candidates since 2009. It endorses “reduced government spending, opposition to taxation in varying degrees, reduction of the national debt and federal budget deficit, and adherence to an originalist interpretation of the United States Constitution”. The movement, initiated by another presidential hopeful and senior Republican Senator Ron Paul, has become the GOP’s most potent weapon against the Obama government. The name “Tea Party” is a reference to the Boston Tea party, a protest by colonists who objected to a British tax on tea in 1773 and demonstrated by dumping British tea taken from docked ships into the harbour. Some commentators have referred to the TEA in ‘Tea Party’

While Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann have withdrawn from the race, Newt Gingrich is still hanging on, barely

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012



Mitt Romney as the backronym ‘Taxed Enough Already’. Briefly in 2010, she was the favourite to win the presidential candidature from her party, but she bowed out of the race in 2012 after a humiliating show in Iowa caucuses. Her downfall essentially came after reports broke out that her husband held a PhD and treated gays for their ‘homosexual sickness’ as a mental health doctorate level professional. It later turned out that his PhD was not accredited. Her decline coincided with the rise of Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. Both decided to cash in the anti-capitalist movement in the US – popularly known as Occupy Wall Street. They vehemently criticised the 99% poor for asking for their rights from the 1% rich and firmly rooted their credentials as the trueblue Conservative Republicans with no tolerance for left leaning ideologies. Herman Cain soon got muddled into a series of tax evasion cases thrown into public limelight following his public speeches on how hard he had worked to become rich and calling the Occupy Wall Street a communist movement.


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

Newt Gingrich was a tougher nut to crack. He lead the race most of the later half of 2011. His credentials: an author and political consultant, who served as the 58th Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. He represented Georgia’s 6th congressional district as a Republican for 20 years -- from 1979 until his resignation in 1999. Newt was done in by his former wife, who decided that Gingrich’s time at the centrestage was perfect for her to get back at him for ditching her for a richer and more influential woman so that his campaign gets better leverage. While Cain forgot that his rightwing vote bank was suffering from one of the worst financial crunches in American history and wasn’t the best time to get caught with his hand in the cookie jar. For Newt, though, it was a tad more embarrassing and while he has not yet withdrawn from the campaign and is at third, he is the only one in the list of final four GOP hopefuls who is certain to not get the presidential nomination from his party. Homophobic billionaire Senator Mitt Romney, who has shown more consistency in staying at the top than

any of his competitors, is currently leading the GOP race. He will have to fight Rick Santorum, who has staged a sudden rise in the last few weeks, and his own tendencies to flirt with scandals. The father of Tea Party Ron Paul has been scandal-free so far and also consistently sitting at the fourth. His chances of being the presidential candidate are directly proportional to Romney and Santorum’s chances of getting involved in a scandal. Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are now statistically tied for the lead in Republican registered voters’ preferences for the 2012 GOP nomination -- 32% to 30%, respectively. Newt Gingrich, who led the field as recently as late January, is now third, favored by 16%, while Ron Paul’s support has dwindled to 8%, the lowest level yet seen for him in 2012. Currently, all candidates are spending most of their time courting donors from coast to coast. The money chase is more urgent for Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich, each of whom is trying to emerge as the top conservative alternative to Romney. Shoestring budgets have brought both men this far. But


US President Barak Obama with the nomination fight entering a phase where multiple states will be voting on any given day, Gingrich and Santorum need money — and lots of it — to pay for get-out-thevote efforts, TV ads and other expenses.

Romney’s challanges

Santorum is the latest Republican to surge in presidential preference polls, with two new surveys showing him in a virtual dead heat with Romney. Now, Santorum’s trying to turn his newfound strength and popularity from a trio of recent wins into something lasting. Curious Republicans are packing his weekday rallies by the hundreds. Supporters have filled his formerly empty campaign account with nearly $4 million in the last seven days. His staff is plotting an aggressive strategy to challenge Romney in his native Michigan, and beyond. But there is weakness just beneath the surface. Santorum is underfunded, disorganized and out-manned. It’s also unclear if has the capacity to protect his newfound status, or see his fortunes fall like other candidates who came before him. His opponents, on the right and left,

meanwhile, are putting in place their own strategies to tear him down.

Obama’s slogan trouble

Winning The Future. Greater Together. We Don’t Quit. They may not be official but those are all phrases that could in one form or another be candidates to become President Barack Obama’s reelection slogan. Advisers say a fresh slogan to replace the winning “Change we can believe in” mantra of 2008, is unlikely to appear before Obama knows who his Republican opponent will be and starts big campaign travel swings, likely in the spring or summer. His campaign posters now say simply, “Obama 2012.” But Obama’s surrogates have roadtested some slogans in recent months, including “Winning The Future,” which the White House used to promote its budget, and “Greater Together,” which the campaign has used to brand its youth outreach effort. A new tagline will have to reflect a new reality. Obama is no longer a Washington outsider, unemployment is falling but still high, and economic

insecurity for many voters is a huge concern that a simple slogan cannot overcome. Obama is aware of that difficulty. He still refers to his old slogan at campaign fundraisers, emphasizing the “change” he has achieved, while dropping lines that could be test runs for a pitch to convince voters to give him another term. Republican candidates are trying to go with simple branding ideas too, and most of them have adopted themes that suggest the United States under Obama is on the wrong track. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney uses “Believe in America,” former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich has “Rebuilding the American Dream” plastered on his bus, and U.S. Representative Ron Paul proposes to “Restore America Now.” But Obama’s advisers say his philosophies are still the same, even if the words associated with them from 2008 are not part of this year’s campaign tagline. It may not be catchy, but “changes that we have to continue” may at least be a start.

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012



UP elections 2012 and future of Rahul Gandhi All eyes are set on the ongoing Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh as it is the acid test of Rahul Gandhi’s five years of ‘bonding with the people’. It will also make clear if the people of UP will ignore Mayawati’s ways to elect her again, and make her a power to reckon with at New Delhi. There are other states -- Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur – who also have elections, but no one has been speaking of them because, as you read this, the course of Indian history would have been sealed by the ongoing UP elections. M Parekh


he polls, which include sevenphase voting in UP, began on January 28 and will end on March 3, with results coming a day later. Election Commission SY Quraishi had at the end of 2011 announced single-phase poll in Manipur (January 28), Punjab, Uttarakhand (January 30) and Goa (March 3), while UP would see polling on February 4, 8, 11, 15, 19, 23 and 28. Two states each are ruled by NDA and Congress, while Mayawati’s BSP commands UP. A lot is at stake for Rahul Gandhi on the outcome of the UP elections. Already a poster-boy for Congress and a first-choice prime ministerial candidate for Congress, a success


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

in UP would mean that he will be a clear PM choice for the entire United Progressive Alliance (UPA). Also, the Congress’ success would neutralise Team Anna Hazare’s attempt to politicize anticorruption movement. However, the Congress is not keeping its hopes too high in UP. It will be more than satisfied if it overtakes BJP’s tally, thus besting the saffron challenger once again after the 2009 Lok Sabha polls. That will buoy the morale of the party’s cadre for the 2014 general elections. The bar for the party is set low in UP; it is looking for a significant jump from its 2007 score of 22 seats, which will make it indispensable

for Samajwadi Party to form government. Such an outcome would earn Congress the support of 23-MP Samajwadi camp at the Centre, giving the tottering UPA-2 a defence against its outspoken ally Mamata Banerjee, while also setting it on course for revival in UP. A failure, it goes without saying, would be disastrous for Congress, speeding up its downhill slide and Manmohan Singh government will be left at the mercy of Mamata Banerjee, Mayawati and Jayalalithaa. While the UPA government will be flirting with all the three women for a possible poll alliance, it is aware that none of them will settle for anything less than the moon. Things are going to be equally tough for Congress in other states. In Punjab, Akali Dal has repeatedly shown that it can’t be taken lightly, first in 2003 assembly polls and, then in 2009 Lok Sabha elections. The smaller states of Uttarakhand and Goa are difficult to predict though Congress has a clear edge here. However, the biggest significance of Goa assembly elections, according to many political pundits, is that they will be the last of the 2012 assembly polls, and will take place a day before the UP election results, the day that will determine the fate of the likes of Rahul Gandhi, Mayawati, and Mulayam Singh Yadav, a day – March 4 – that will determine the course of Indian politics in this era.


WORD DOSE Reshma Majithia

Happy Women’s Day She plays the all-enveloping role of a mother, daughter, wife and sister. She is magnanimous but not dissolute, versatile yet self-effacing, poised but not indolent, empathetic without being sententious. She stands at par and walks shoulder to shoulder with men in every profession, every facet of life without losing her distinct feminine finesse and EQ, which makes her achievements even more laudable. Beleaguered and subjugated for eons, women have traversed their way through exploitation and badgering and have reached the pinnacle of success in the world today. Here’s wishing you all Happy Women’s Day.

Advanc’edge MBA March 2012



WORD MEANINGS All-enveloping: (Idiom)


Dissolute :

Versatile: (Adj)





something that

generous in forgiving an

indifferent to moral

having or capable of

surrounds entirely

insult or injury, generous

restraints; given to

handling a variety of

immoral or improper

situations, problems


or jobs


Empathetic: (Adj)


Self-effacing: (N)

Poised: Adj





the act or fact of

composed, dignified, and

slow, inactive, sluggish


keeping oneself in

self-assured, calm and

the background, as



in humility.

Sententious: (Adj)

At par: (idiom)

Walks shoulder to

Facet :(N)

(sen-ten-shuh s)


shoulder: (idiom)


preachy, didactic,




side by side, close together

Finesse :(N)


Laudable: (Adj)

Beleaguer: (V)


(emotional quotient)

(law-duh-buh l)


skill in handling a difficult

Understanding yourself,

deserving praise;

harass, pester, badger,

or highly sensitive

your goals and under-


bother, vex, annoy,

situation; adroit and artful

standing others and their





Subjugated : (V)

Traversed : (V)

Badgering: (V)

Pinnacle: (N)





to bring under complete

to pass or move on,

to harass or urge

the highest or culminating

control, enslave

along, or through


point, as of success, power, fame


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012


Reshma Majithia 1. Who has been re-elected the governor of Louisiana for a second time a. Bobby Jindal b. Kathleen Blanco c. Buddy Roemer d. Edwin Edwards 2. Spanish tenor _______and Simon Rattle have won Israel’s prestigious Wolf Prize for their contributions to music. a. Francisco Kraus Trujillo b. José Carreras c. Freddy Novillo d. Placido Domingo 3. Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and ________have agreed to promote cooperation in tourism to help boost travel between the subcontinent and the Southeast Asian region. a. Germany b. India c. Indonesia d. Malaysia 4. Which of the following films won three prizes from the Golden Globe awards in Los Angeles? a. Crazy, Stupid, Love b. The Guard c. The Artist d. Midnight in Paris 5. Which of the following IT majors has bagged a five-year, multimillion dollar engagement with Future Group to provide end-toend IT infrastructure services for all group companies? a. IBM b. Infomedia c. Wipro d. Cognizant 6. Which of the following companies has secured a multi-million pound order from German engineering giant Siemens to supply steel plates for building 150 onshore wind turbine towers at the

Scunthorpe steel plant in the UK. a. Jindal Steel and Power b. Essar Steel c. Steel Authority of India d. Tata Steel

7. India-born US citizen whose pioneering work in molecular biology won him the 2009 Nobel Prize in chemistry has been honoured with a knighthood by the royal establishment here in a rare recognition of achievements by foreigners based in Britain. Name him. a. G Madhavan Nair b. Venkatraman Ramakrishnan c. Ashok Gadgil d. Anil Kakodkar 8. An English painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer. An important contributor to the Pop art movement of the 1960s, he is considered one of the most influential British artists of the twentieth century. He has been appointed a member of the prestigious Order of Merit by the Queen. Name him. a. David Hockney b. Damien Hirst c. Roy Petley d. Guy Denning 9. Which of the following actresses has been awarded one of France’s top honours by President Nicolas Sarkozy? a. Ana Alicia b. Jessica Alba c. Salma Hayek d. Alexis Bledel 10.

Who is the new CEO of Yahoo? a. Roy Bostock b. Carol Bartz c. Tim Morse d. Scott Thompson

11. Which of the following actors won the ETC Bollywood Business Award for the year 2011?

a. Shahrukh Khan b. Ajay Devgn c. Salman Khan d. Karan Johar

12. Who is the recipient of this year’s `lifetime achievement award’ instituted by Ernst & Young, for “exceptional contribution in developing India’s financial services sector”? a. Rahul Bhatia b. Kapil Wadhawan c. Dhiraj Rajaram d. Deepak Parekh 13. Who has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the country’s third highest civilian award in the field of Cinema? a. Naseeruddin Shah b. Shabana Azmi c. Shashi Kapoor d. Waheeda Rehma 14. Trinity, the wealthiest college at the UK’s Cambridge University, has acquired a _________ stake in a portfolio of Tesco Plc stores, for £450 million ($700 million), 10 days after billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathway increased its stake in the world’s fourth-largest retailer. a.45 percent b.30 percent c.55 percent d.50 percent 15. Fortis Healthcare (India) has acquired a majority stake in Singapore-based diagnostic firm RadLink-Asia Pte Ltd for _______ Singapore dollar. a. 62.9 million b. 50 million c. 65 million d. 45 million 16. Which of the following Bollywood actors has topped TV ad show in 2011 a. Salman Khan Advanc’edge MBA March 2012



b. Shahrukh Khan c. Amitabh Bachchan d. Hrithik Roshan

17. Bharti Airtel launched its mobile money platform, christened, ‘Airtel Money’ in which of the following countries to provide Airtel customers easy access to innovative financial services through mobile phones. a. Bahrain b. Bhutan c. Uganda d. Indonesia 18. Who is the Chairman and Managing Director (CMD) of Coal India? a. Nirmal Chandra b. Zohra Chatterji c. Anol Nath Chatterji d. Sushil Khanna

as part of its efforts to expand in one of the world’s fastest growing film and television markets. Name the company a. Euro RSCG Advertising Pvt Ltd b. Pritish Nandy Communications c. UTV Software Communications Ltd d. Madison Advertising Pvt Ltd

22. Country’s biggest software services firm has signed a multiyear, multi-million euro contract with European car rental company Europcar for deployment of IT services in France. Name it a. Tata Consultancy Services b. IBM c. Infosys d. Wipro 23. A Mumbai-based historian and

researcher, she had authored several books on the history and culture of Mumbai (formerly Bombay). She was also on the panel on the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee. Among her most famous works was Bombay, the Cities Within (1995). She passed away on February 6, 2012. Name her a. Mahadevi Varma b. Janaki Ramachandran c. Kamala Surayya d. Sharada Dwivedi

24. Which of the following Pharmaceutical firms is all set to hive off its animal health division to a wholly-owned subsidiary for a consideration of Rs 440 crore as part of a global internal reorganisation?

19. Which of the following actors was voted best British film star in a public vote at the annual Richard Attenborough Regional Film Awards a. Gary Oldman b. John Atterbury c. Reginald Bach d. Christopher Bowen 20. India’s largest commercial vehicles manufacturer has signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Ballard Power Systems to demonstrate the zero-emission fuel cell technology on its Starbus in various cities in India. Name the manufacturer a. Bajaj Auto b. Maruti Suzuki c. Mahindra & Mahindra d. Tata Motors 21. The Walt Disney Company has finally made an official announcement that it is acquiring a controlling stake in an Indian media and entertainment company through a delisting offer


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

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


a. Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd b. Pfizer India c. Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc d. Novartis India Ltd Which of the following Indian conglomerates is all set to sign a five-year contract to renew its sponsorship deal for the national sport hockey? a. Essar Group b. Reliance Industries Limited c. Tata Group d. Sahara India

26. Which of the following Indian pharmaceutical companies is all set to buy an additional 5.5-per cent stake in Vodafone India Ltd for about Rs3,007 crore ($620 million) in cash. a. Piramal Healthcare Ltd b. GlaxoSmithKline c. Ranbaxy d. Cipla 27. Germany agreed to invest _________in technological and other investments in Kazakhstan in exchange for German companies getting the right to explore and mine rare earths, used for everything from halogen lights to precision-guided

ANSWERS 1.a 2.d 3.b 4.c 5.d 6.d 7.b 8.a 9.c 10.d 11.a 12.d 13.b 14.d 15.a 16.b 17.c 18.b 19.a 20.d 21.c 22.a 23.d 24.b 25.d 26.a 27.d 28.b 29.b 30.a 31.c

Answer to the Sudoku

28. Which of the following India’s biggest online retailer of books and electronics gadgets, has acquired smaller rival Letsbuy, seeking to consolidate its position ahead of Inc’s planned entry into the Indian market? a. Crossword b. Flipkart c. Landmark d. InfiBeam 29. An Indian filmmaker and writer, he began his career in 1948. He directed nine films until 1959, after which he started writing dialogue, scripts, and stories for films. In 2001, he won the Award of the International Indian Film Academy and the Filmfare Award for his work. In 2006, he won a Lifetime Achievement Award. He passed away on February 9, 2012. Name him. a. Hrishikesh Mukherjee b. O P Dutta c. Mani Kaul d. Raj Kanwar 30. Coca-Cola is all set to revive a clear-lime drink which will be priced about 20% cheaper than existing lime-lemon drinks such as its own brands Sprite and Limca. Name the drink. a. Citra b. Mountain Dew c. 7 Up d. Limca 31.

Solution, tips and computer programme at

missiles, on which China currently has a stranglehold. a. €2.5 billion b. €5 billion c. €4 billion d. €3 billion

Security software provider McAfee has appointed _____as the Managing Director for India and SAARC operations. a. S Mahalingam b. N Chandrasekaran c. Jagdish Mahapatra d. Aman Mehta Advanc’edge MBA February 2012


STUDY HOUR Events Calendar



Optima 2012 National level techno management fest Venue: IIT Kharagpur Date: March 23rd – 25th, 2012 OPTIMA is the annual technical symposium of Industrial Engineering and Management Department, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. Optima has been leading the light of instilling a culture of science, technology and innovation among the youth. Optima offers plethora of events, workshops and guest lectures. OPTIMA’12 promises to give you the most competitive atmosphere to compete among the wittiest. It gives you a platform for them to showcase their technical and engineering skills and nourishes their scientifi c talent.

INVICTUS 2012 An International Business & Management Summit Venue: VIT Vellore Date: March 16th - 18th, 2012 Ranging from International Conference with speakers coming down from different spheres of Management Studies to Cricket 30/40, INVICTUS encompasses a hotchpotch. More precisely, INVICTUS’12 has Premium Events which hold the reputation of being the supreme contests, The Flagship Events which are apparently the breakthrough challenge proffers and the Informal Events which embrace fun and defiance hand in hand. The premium events include Corporate Panache, a Corporate fashion Show; Cricket 30/40, the cricket tournament with a tiny twist; The Ad Honchos, the Ad making contest and The HR Hunt, the event which lets you live the HR Managers day and tests your problem solving skills. The Flagship Events include Brandathon, a brand-name guessing rapid-fire event; Business Plan Competition, the entrepreneurship event; Launch Pad, a product launch contest which tests your innovation and creativity skills in marketing the products; Young Business Leader, hunt for the Best Manager. Website:

Website: GSVC Asia- Africa 2012

Practitioner’s workshop for enterprise, creation and growth

Venue: ISB Hyderabad

Venue: ISB, Hyderabad

Date: March 8th -10th 2012

Date: March 10th, 2012

The GSVC is the world’s largest and oldest studentled business plan competition whose mission is to promote entrepreneurial businesses that:

Entrepreneurs are faced with many hurdles during the ideation, conceptualising and growth stages and don’t always have the resources needed to help them make the right decisions. The objective of the Practitioner’s Workshop is to cover important practical concepts of entrepreneurship development, on starting and growing a business “the right way”. The workshop will focus on Marketing and also cover Entrepreneurship, Management, Finance, Team, Intellectual Property Rights, Going Digital and Legalities of Enterprise Creation. This will help entrepreneurs develop an effective “go to market” strategy that is optimized for their individual company and market.

1) Have clear measurable social objectives and impact. 2) Are fi nancially sustainable, i.e. profi table or selfsupporting through revenue generation 2 Finalist from the Asia-Africa region will be sent to Haas, Berkley. Prizes worth USD 50,000 at the global fi nals.For India focused plans, an opportunity to win one of three fellowships with NABARD, each of INR 30 Lakhs Website: Vishishth E Summit 2012 Venue: IIT Delhi Date: March 3rd - 4th 2012 Vishishth, is eDc’s fl agship B-Plan competition which boasts of an impressive two stage competition which will take the audience through all the various stages of making a dream a reality. Starting from the initial idea formulation stage right to business plan making and looking for investment Vishishth shall address them all. Vishishth will bring to the audience all the practical knowledge they need to make their business idea a reality. Website:


Advanc’edge MBA March 2012

Workshop will be conducted by ISB Faculty and Industry Leaders Website: CARISMA - IIM Calcutta Workshop 2012 Venue: IIM Calcutta Date: March 14th – 17th, 2012 This workshop series is specially designed to provide insight into the discipline of optimisation for a wide range of individuals such as OR professionals & financial quantitative analysts, risk analysts, consultants, DSS application developers, and academics. Everyone can benefit from a clear presentation of optimisation and how it is applied to solve business problems. Website:

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