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VOLUME

04 JANUARY 2010

IN THIS ISSUE Message From The Dean Letter From the Spark Desk Ask the Expert Winning Articles– Competition Segment Learn, Unlearn and Relearn Modish Marketing Digital Economy Islamic Banking Subway syndrome Straight from the Heart Career Paths Perspective Life@SPJCM Achievements Book Reviews Movie Reviews Quizzes, Brain testers and more..

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MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN..

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ecently I attended Convocation of the December08 batch – the GMBAs who had started their year-long journey with S P Jain on the very same day as I did. So I feel a pause for reflection is in order, as we see out the old year and welcome the new. The year 2009 saw many achievements on the personal level for you - and on the institutional level for all of us. An early great success was the full accreditation by AMBA – the international Association of MBAs – which officially recognized all degrees awarded by S P Jain. This distinction was closely followed by the first ‘Maple Leafs’ class of 39 students to follow the S P Jain GMBA curriculum for ten weeks at the Schulich School of Business - Canada’s #1 ranked business school at York University, Toronto.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, we have been busily engaged in revising, up-dating, and continuously improving our course content and style of delivery. We are putting more emphasis on the case study method of teaching and learning; we are recognizing the time and hard work that needs to be put into soft skills development; innovation and creativity; critical thinking; dynamic presentation skills; teamwork; cross-cultural sensitivity and communications skills. These are all vital components of the ‘global mindset’ and the S P Jain “personality development” which is more and more sought after by our recruiters. Employers are looking for what I call the 7 P’s of S P Jain: a true Professional who is Polite, Precise, Practical, Persistent, Patient, and Prepared. Perhaps the crowning institutional achievement, and certainly an epoch-making event in SP Jain history, was the accreditation by the Ministry of Education in New South Wales Australia for S P Jain Center of Management to award three degrees: GMBA, EMBA, and a four-year BBA program. A third full-status SPJCM campus in Sydney, Australia will be up-and-running in the not too distant future. This is a hugely exciting and positive development for all the stakeholders around the world who are associated with S P Jain: students present and future, alumni, employers, faculty, and staff. There is great richness in complexity – as long as it is organized! We can look back at 2009 with a great deal of satisfaction. But not contentment. There are many more mountains to climb and rivers to cross. Farewell to the old year and Welcome 2010. I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Dr Michael J Barnes Executive Doctor of Management, Weatherhead School of Management - Case Western Reserve University MBA Stanford University BSc (Econ) London School of Economics & Political Science Dean – GMBA program S P Jain Center of Management, Dubai-Singapore Page 1

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As we witnessed history in the making with the unveiling of the Plaque of ‘the Burj’, little did we know that the tallest building in the world has been renamed as the Burj Khalifa. And even after innumerable references to the marvel in the hotly debated conversations that followed, I soon realized that it will be a while before we get used to its new name. Unlearning is not easy after all. Right from things ostensibly as trivial as a building’s name to the ever changing dynamics of business and economics (aided by technology), we are confronted with this continuum of learning, unlearning and relearning. Similar thoughts crossed our minds as we narrowed down on this theme for our 4th edition and were delighted to receive an enthusiastic response for the competition segment. As is the norm, we are bringing to you the top 3 articles adjudged by our distinguished faculty, Prof Veena Jadhav, Prof Vinika Rao and Mr.Mohamed Yousouf. In addition to the competition theme, we bring a wide spectrum of articles ranging from new age marketing to Islamic Banking to retail to career planning. This edition also has some quizzes, crosswords, movie and book reviews and our Life@SPJCM section covering all the latest happenings at our two campuses. Putting all this together was as much fun as a challenge as we agreed at times and disagreed at others, while learning and enjoying as we moved forward. SPark would like to thank all its contributors and supporters who have made this edition possible. We appreciate the support of Dr.Michael Barnes, honorable Dean GMBA and Dr. Balakrishna Grandhi, Dean-EMBA for their support. Our heartfelt thanks are also due to Mr. AVR Srinivas and Mr. Srinivas Phani for getting the teams organized. We express our sincere thanks to Prof Veena Jadhav for her continuous support and mentorship without which this edition would not have been possible. We sincerely hope this edition has something in it for each one of you and you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed working to make it possible!! Happy Reading!! Gang@SPark

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eff Soper, Ph.D., is a member of the faculty at the University of Tampa, where he serves as an Associate Professor of Management, Associate Director of the TECO Center for Leadership, and the Senior Research Fellow at the Human Resource Institute. He has facilitated numerous professional and management development programs in a wide range of topics ranging from leadership development, ethics, and change management to creativity, innovation and organization development. He co-authored the ASTD Models for Workplace Learning and Development. Dr.Soper earned a B.S. in Technology and Management from the University of Maryland, an M.B.A. from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Workforce Education and Development from Pennsylvania State University, specializing in Human Resource Development. 1. Sir, it has been fascinating to see your profile. You are a technology graduate who moved on to do a PhD in Human Resources. What drove you for such a shift? 2. It has been great to have you here to teach us on Competency and Assessment. What are your views on the assessment methodologies used by most B-schools to grade their students? 3. Don’t you think competency judgement is more subjective than objective? (as a part of the previous question) 4. A lot of people have a very pessimistic view about Human Resources as a specialisation. It is usually brushed aside as not being the core function of any organization. What do you have to say about that? 5. In this time of economic turbulence, what different should a B School do to prepare students? Shift to HR: Being an operations person I always looked into how organizations failed. And with time I realized that it always boiled down to people. Be it failure or success of any organization people are always the crux. He throws back a question: Show me an organization that can succeed without people? Perception of HR: HR has always been perceived as a weak function. Employees always think of how to get around HR. They think that HR keeps them from doing their work. Generally HR is considered a pain. In my opinion the fault does not lie with the field rather the fault lies in the execution. Change in HR function: In past decade or so there has been a shift in how HR functions. From a basic administrative function to becoming a business partner HR as a function is maturing. The need to understand the business has become vital today. HR professionals need to have business acumen and the new breed will make it happen. But I am afraid that a good majority would still continue to function as the Administrative experts. What inspired you to pursue doctorate in HR? One thing is interest. I was genuinely interested in understanding the people aspect of the business. And the second important thing is availability of an opportunity. I got an opportunity to study under the guidance of William Rothwell. And I grabbed the opportunity with both hands. Difference between Indian and Western students: Western students are more comfortable with the conceptual framework than the application. They are less knowledgeable about the work. Whereas Eastern, especially Indian students are more focused on how they can apply knowledge in real-life scenarios. They like to apply tools in specific situations and focus on one right answer approach. They also have greater knowledge about foreign cultures. Page 3

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Assessment: There is too much focus on quizzes and traditional forms of evaluation. In my view we should have more group works and projects. There is need to appreciate ambiguity. When there is only one right answer for a question it hampers creativity. In real life business scenarios often there is no right or wrong answer. Business is all about having different approaches. You cannot teach one thing and expect the students to apply something else. For me getting an A grade symbolises “compliance” with the system. But what if the system itself is flawed? Teamwork: I have observed the group dynamics both in the west and here. The Westerners are more individualistic and hence working in teams in very challenging and they do it because they have no choice. Indians on the other hand are generally more collectivistic as a culture. But now they are becoming more individualistic. This is evident in team work also. They take the easy way out of dividing the work into parts and finish their individual parts and collate it. They lose out on group dynamics and group learning. Learn, unlearn and relearn: Competencies, competence and context. There will be an overlap in what we learn but this increases the chances of reinforcement. Students should be encouraged to stretch their mind. They have to go back to the fundamentals and if the questions cannot be answered even then they have to ask “Why”. MBA today versus 20 years ago: The context makes all the difference. MBA ,20 years ago, was very theoretical and it lacked context. Most Bschools today have radically changed their approach. Here at S.P.Jain I see glimmers of attempts to achieve contextual learning. The ALP is one such good attempt. But the ALP needs to be tied back to academics. There is the need to tie it all together.

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The gnawing question at the back of my mind at bed-time is always“What have you learnt today?” I cannot remember when this query became a part of my everyday routine . All I know is that “being productive” and having a “takeaway” at the end of the day has become the allconsuming need of the age. Alvin Toffler’s quote , “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn” resonates with the spirit of our Time. Popular adages like “Learning is a continuous process” ,“Learning is life-long” , “if we fail to learn and adapt we perish” etc have been strewn in our mind since childhood. Would it be right then to say that such learning stems from insecurity? Are we learning, for survival or learning, for the sheer pleasure of attaining knowledge? The true quest for knowledge is never-ending. The real lessons are learnt on the road and the destination has no importance. The milestones keep changing with our varying needs for the world is in a state of constant flux. True seekers of knowledge know that a life-time of learning can be rendered obsolete in the blink of an eye. But this truth does not deter them from seeking answers and they look forward to a refreshingly new learning experience each morning. Learning is an in-built mechanism. We learn from infancy and we continue to do so all our life. It’s just the efficiency that keeps changing. As children we are very receptive to learning, unlearning and relearning. It comes to us naturally. We are willing to be corrected and criticized. Our bruised egos are tended to hastily; we shrug our shoulders and move on. Our strength lies in our flexibility. However, the irony lies in the fact that while maturity should bring greater flexibility we encase ourselves in shrouds of rigidity and bury our heads in sand. We are unwilling to step out of the comfort zone. We wish for stasis and once we find it we are unwilling to move. The key to success is to question all that we have learnt so far. There is a chance that a good percentage of it is now out-dated and we need to unlearn and relearn a lot of concepts and applications that was so accurate a few years ago. But our innate resistance to change and the urge for stability gets into a tug-of-war with our need to survive in this information age. Life is not a process of discovery; it is a process of creation. We have the power to become whoever we want to be. The key to achieving this is not in doing great things once in a lifetime, rather it is the little things that we do every day that will serve as the tipping point to greatness. We need to question every thought and action of ours and align them to our goals. This will involve unlearning certain axioms and facts and relearning according to the need of the hour. For this one needs great courage, perseverance and flexibility. How challenging is it to change our approach, our mind-set and our perceptions? Making a list of all that we want to learn is easier than the tasks that lie ahead. Perhaps after much soul-searching and reflection we are able to identify those things we want to unlearn. But the toughest cookie of them all would be to find those things that we want to relearn. Chances are this list will be the shortest. When it comes to retooling and reclassifying data that has already been programmed into us we are paralyzed with fear. The fear of feeling inadequate and out of depth overpowers the need to re-mould ourselves to suit the ever-changing needs of our Time. Practitioners of any profession from medicine to manufacturing have to keep the wheels of the learning turning continuously. The secret to learning new things is to unlearn all that we have learnt previously and be open to relearning the same thing differently. It is our openness to learn, unlearn and relearn that characterizes our success. Flexibility is the name of the game. We must keep our mind open to all possibilities, even the most absurd ones for who knows “absurd” today could be the norm tomorrow.

Farzeen Ashik GMBA Apr 09 Page 5

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et me start off with an incidence - In Singapore, I wanted to cross the road – I just looked across and observed that there were no vehicles coming in my way and I crossed it. Later, in one of the introductory classes of GMBA, I was told that there would be a fine if anyone crossed the road when the signal is red (STOP), irrespective of whether the vehicles were plying or not. The next day I went again to the road, my legs started to cross again, just when I realized that we are not supposed to pass until the signal is green (GO). I had learnt a particular way to cross the road in India, now I had to unlearn and relearn a new way of doing the same thing. This is a typical example of being able to learn, unlearn and relearn. Recently I was reading a book – “Why men can’t listen and women can’t read maps?” in which a small part debated on Nature v/s Nurture. It reflected the clash of the qualities that was developed by nature and those which were developed by nurture. It was indicating that the power of nature was stronger than that of nurture, based on some of the findings in genetics. It indirectly suggested that most of the information regarding the individual would be encrypted in set of proteins called DNA, and chances of altering this would be very rare. Does that mean if we have learnt anything by nature/by genes, we cannot unlearn and relearn it? No, because we need to know that unlearning doesn’t mean to lose out everything that you have accumulated through your experience, but it is the quality of being open to outside ideas that can be analyzed and pursued. As long as you pursue this virtue of openness and thinking out of the box, the unlearning should not be a tough task. This is one of those qualities that make capable and dynamic leaders. Every person who is aiming to scale the heights of Level 5 executives should inculcate this character. They need to nurture this quality, gifted by nature and develop them to make themselves better. This is important even in the context of a company. As globalization had changed itself to globalization, adaptability became the attribute of expansion of companies to other developing countries. As Jeffrey R. Immelt, CEO of GE puts it – “With globalization, companies develop great products at home and then distribute them worldwide, with some adaptations to local conditions.” [Ref-http://hbr.harvardbusiness.org/2009/10/how-ge-is-disruptingitself/ar/pr] But now, the companies need to advance from globalization to the next level – create products truly suiting the needs of the economy/demands of a particular country. This requires more than adaptation. They is a need to unlearn the way the things were done in the home country and relearn to do the same things in a different way, keeping the local customs and demands in mind. Hence this mantra holds water in this era of rapid expansion and information exchange. This transformation at a macro level is neither simple nor an easy process. It is always easy to learn a new stuff than unlearning something and later relearning the same thing, in a different manner. Sometimes it could be a painful one. However this is a continuous process for any company or individual to progress. When this process of unlearning does becomes very important? – When you know what you were doing previously was tested and gave very good results, but is not working to the current day requirements. It is at this stage that you need to unlearn the old ways and become open to new, rather innovative ways. We need to be open enough to accept this process as a continuous one and not a one-time change. We need to believe that we can unlearn the non-working stuff and relearn the new methodologies of doing things or getting things done. So let’s all make a list of the things which we feel is not working in the present day and make an effort to unlearn them for the benefit of all.

Shravan Kumar P GMBA Nov 09 Page 6

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he illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn--Alvin Toffler The state of perfection is when the system and the environment balance each other to confirm a stable form of art. Corporate houses strive to match this equation by enriching business process excellence and thereby maturing to higher latitudes to cope with the ever changing environment – small and big. What is great today may not be great tomorrow. As the problem changes, so does the solution. This defines the platform for new model of business – Learn – Unlearn - Relearn. Learning the existing, Unlearning the same when it calls for change and then Relearning the new to cater the current dynamics is the law of corporate ecosystem. Human resource forms the key element of the Learn – UnLearn – ReLearn (LUR) model. Although the three words may seem very simple but to inculcate such a process is a highly challenging task. The underlying essence of LUR is that organizations should inspire employees to stretch and instil within them an urge to excel and move the organization to the next level. After all it’s the people of the organization that makes the big difference. To achieve the goal, key attributes that an organization should possess are: •

Transparency of Process

Agility in Practice

Flexibility to accept mindshare of People

To build strong commitment for persuading the goal, an organization should establish its vision and mission aligned with the new way of business, to set a direction to its associates. While organization should be proactive to venture in fresh opportunities, a creative ambience to nurture out of the box thinking is a key to success of LUR model. Phase wise elaboration of the LUR model is as follows –

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The learning phase in the LUR model is the most basic wherein firms try to develop their core competency and leverage it as a competitive advantage. It may be highlighted that knowledge acquired should be stored appropriately and maintained for future use. The reusability of knowledge assets should be process driven instead of people.

Although the learning phase is the main building blocks for a firm, at times it becomes necessary for the firm to unlearn some of the learning. The necessity is due to the fact that techniques of doing work become obsolete as the world graduates to new levels of technology. It’s a daunting task for an organization to forbid its current process and leap forward towards new ways of doing jobs. But eventually firms do realize that they have no other way except to go for the change to remain competitive in the market. It’s like solving a puzzle. Sometimes at the end of the puzzle we realize that somewhere we have done a mistake and we need to redo some parts again. The feeling is very painful but we are left with no choice. It’s always better to rectify the path at any stage of the journey rather going forward with the wrong path that leads to a dead end. This is the underlying concept of unlearning. There are umpteen examples of organization going for a radical change in business process to survive in the ever changing market. What is most important is the mindset of the employees and the organization as a

whole. Organization needs to come out from their comfort zone and push forward for this unlearning in order to have a long term prospect.

Siddhartha Ranjan Bhattacharya GMBA Apr 09 Page 8

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ontent Marketing is a new sensation that will help enhance any brand particularly in these times of recession. It is defined as the art of understanding what your target wants to know and delivering the same in a relevant yet compelling manner to grow your business.

Any brand that helps the buyer to make a decision in its favour earns more credits than the one that stands aloof, waiting for a call that may actually never come. As it so appears, each new buzzword has always attracted the attention of both the qualified and the quacks. This necessitated the birth of Content Marketing as a way to educate potential consumers while attracting them to the services and/or products under a brand umbrella, thereby initiating the relationship building process even before the customer decides to make a buying decision. The content needs to be spread across the brand target segment which requires having a good understanding of what will be beneficial to the audience and the brand. Developing this understanding, may begin with research which when combined with active listening give an idea of the consumer requirements. These requirements when produced or sourced by the brand need to be propagated and then promoted in the right direction towards the targeted audience. Since, Content Marketing is dynamic and not a once in a life time activity, it requires continuous updating depending on the changing customer requirements. For Content Marketing to achieve a faster success rate, the brand needs to engage in a multi-media approach that opens the door for the brand to meet different consumers at their preferred locations. A brand could consider social media platforms such as Flickr, Twitter, graphics, blogs’, podcasts etc. to market its contents. Thus, in conclusion it can be said that while content is important, it needs to be marketed properly to build a strong brand. “Content may be the King, but you need an Ace to market it!”.

Ikshu Nandwani GMBA Apr’09

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obile Marketing refers to marketing on or through a mobile device, such as a mobile phone. Audiences keep changing dramatically, especially the Generation Y. They live with technology and a mobile is at the centre of this technological revolution. Therefore, it is critical to understand this new device to interact with Generation Y effectively, while also reaching out to them “on the go”. As testified by giant brands such as BMW and P&G, Mobile Marketing can deliver real business value if employed in a manner that allows for measurement and tracking. The Mobile Marketing initiative allows the brand to not only interact with the consumers for the entire length of the campaign, but also maintain a longterm relationship with them. The success of Mobile Marketing also stems from the personalized approach, where communication with the consumers is on a one-to-one basis, allowing for message customization and frequent updates. Cost also plays a critical role in the success here as it is more cost effective than mass communication and that too by a significant margin. Mediums used for Mobile Marketing generally are SMS, MMS & web amongst others. Research shows that 76% consumers considered SMS marketing as value addition while 62% consumers appreciated receiving profile based messages. At the same time, some consumers find it intrusive to receive spam and therefore, companies today must strive on maintaining a high level of ethical communication which ensures end-user privacy. Mobile Marketing today, is a core part of the organization’s marketing strategy. Businesses are increasingly adopting this new medium of communication and in conclusion, it can thus be said that Mobile Marketing is here to stay.

Ikshu Nandwani GMBA Apr’09 Page 10

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t’s fascinating to see how companies use new and innovative techniques to woo consumers. Companies today are not only coming up with new, innovative products but also new marketing strategies to position their products in a new way all together, which grabs the consumer’s attention. While most of the companies are offering the expected, a few companies are going in the other direction by offering the unknown, which can be termed as the ‘Mystery Products’. Marketers are trying to leverage on the fact that making choices is a cumbersome process for the consumers today as they are spoilt for choices. Thus by taking up the task of making the choice for consumers it is reducing their burden and offering a different shopping experience where they just chose the product and not the design or colour or any other specifications. The choice is made by the company. Hipstery is a German Company which sells t-shirts through its web store, where customers don’t choose the design for their t-shirts but just select the size, make the payment and answer certain questions. The Hipstery team selects a t-shirt based on the questions answered by the customers. The customer does not know the design, pattern or colour of the t-shirt until he receives it. The company also offers customers the option of exchanging the t-shirt if they don’t like it the first time and refund the money if it happens the second time. Thus they are providing the consumers a new shopping experience with an element of mystery and surprise and reducing their burden of making a choice. ShoeDazzel a Los Angeles based company sells shoes on a similar line but on a monthly subscription basis. Out of the box, a Singapore based beverage company, offers soft drinks which are labelled ‘Anything & Whatever’. The customer does not know what flavour it is until he opens the can and drinks it. There are innumerable other companies which offer products on similar lines. Thus the concept of ‘Mystery Products’ is nothing but selling old wine in a new bottle. It is the creation of the marketers to woo the consumers in an innovative way. Is it here to stay? Definitely yes, because it’s different and people want something that is different.

Deepesh Darla GMBA Apr’09

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o an extent, every marketer/ researcher is aware of the limitations and inadequacy of traditional approach of qualitative methods (such as focus group) and quantitative methods (such as surveys). The setup for this approach is at times so biased that it may not always get the truth out of the respondents.

Studies across the globe have shown the exponential growth in social media. A recent study from Nielsen shows that Facebook was the No. 1 social networking destination with 144.3 million unique visitors. Also Twitter was the fastest-growing Web brand, increasing 1448% year-on-year. There has not only been an increase in the number of visitors, but the average time spent per person has increased three folds. This potential has created ripples and marketers have increased social media spending where return on investment is not a concern for them. A study from Forrester proves that despite the recession, more than 50% of marketers have increased spending on social media. These statistics are really mindboggling. The evolution of Market Research 3.0 can be attributed to the above stated factors i.e. inadequacy of traditional approach and potential in social media. This field is still in its nascent stage and includes the following key benefits: • Cost effective and efficient • Real time capture

Accuracy in recording attitudes/opinions of groups and individuals this mining of the words, tones, demographics and other information of social media consumers is used to understand brand attitudes, market needs and social habits. This would be helpful for companies in working out strategies and also for concept/ product development. Some of the companies involved in this initiative are Nielsen, Google, Yahoo, Newssift and Jodange. With its initial development phase, it is also referred as Sentiment Analysis, Social Media Analysis & Monitoring, Listening, Opinion Mining and Brand Monitoring. This is just another tool for market research which would not change the entire landscape of research methods but would become a part of the research mix along with the other traditional approaches. There is a lot to watch out for from Market Research 3.0 as it journeys on its quest to perfect this art/science.

Vikas Chanani GMBA Apr’09 Page 12

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ccording to a recent survey done by consultants in my last organization, 44% of consumers would switch to a product or service with a lower carbon footprint, even if it were not their first preference. The present heightened environmental awareness of consumers represents a new challenge to manufacturing and retailing enterprises worldwide. Capitalism is a central feature of modern industrial societies; the larger retailers, and many of the not-so-large, are in continuous competition to find new ways of making profits. That said, over the past few years, one has seen that investing in sustainable and green supply chains can have enormous long term cost benefits while reducing the damage on the environment. Studies conducted, however indicate there is much work to be done by retailers and manufacturers to convince the public of their green credentials. Consumers remain skeptical of the green claims currently being made by retailers. While that might be the case, there are indeed lots of initiatives being taken by retailers to manage their impact on the environment. Research conducted by my last organization consultants (see figure) shows that there are three areas where retailers have made big improvements:

Building and Resources According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, about $40 billion is spent annually in the U.S. to air condition buildings—one-sixth of all electricity generated in a year. A lot of best-in-class retailers have successfully implemented strategies to reduce their energy consumption. Simple investments for e.g. in efficient HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) systems can help a lot. The use power obtained from renewable sources of energy can go a long way as well. Harvesting daylight by better building design, use of alternative sources of energy – Solar, wind and hydro and ensuring reduction in water consumption are some of the methods being employed. Some retailers in the US also utilize recycled materials for construction. Preservation of natural resources, avoidance of the use of landfill space, reduction in environmental damages caused by incorrect disposal and reuse of substances which would otherwise be classified as waste are some other measures being implemented. Transportation and logistics Moving goods and people from place to place accounts for one-third of U.S. global warming pollution. The rising cost of fuel is driving changes in transportation. Many innovative programs to cut fuel use and green house emissions such as Green Fleet (hybrid trucks) are being developed. These programs aim at reducing climate impacts by measuring emissions, improving efficiency and purchasing carbon offsets. Newly developed telematic systems are increasingly being used to cut costs and improve service. Telematics can combine diagnostic software, wireless communication and location trackers to enable real-time remote monitoring of vehicle location, fuel efficiency and emissions status. Managers can improve vehicle reliability and slash fuel consumption by eliminating idling and speeding.

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Many businesses are making it easier for employees to work at home, enabling office downsizing and a reduction in energy costs. At Sun Microsystems, 55% of employees have chosen to spend at least part of their time working at home, resulting in an estimated 29,000-ton reduction in carbon emissions. At the same time, more companies, like Framingham based Staples Inc., are using technology to reduce the need for business trips. Telepresence, the high-definition videoconferencing systems enable virtual face-to-face meetings with natural audio and no delays. Cisco estimates that the use of Cisco Telepresence internally has saved nearly $80 million in travel costs, with a corresponding increase in productivity, faster decision making and improved quality of life for employees. In another example, Wal-Mart ended up saving close to $75 million in fuel costs and eliminated an estimated 400,000 tons of CO2 pollution in one year alone by buying diesel-electric and refrigerated trucks with a power unit that could keep cargo cold without the engine running. Waste Reduction / Recycle / Reuse Recycling is the process of collecting used products, components, and/or materials from the field, disassembling them (when necessary), separating them into categories of like materials (e.g. specific plastic types, glass, etc.), and processing into recycled products, components, and/or materials. In this case, the identity and functionality of the original materials are lost (Thierry et al., 1995). Computers and other electronic devices for example become obsolete so quickly, e-trash is an enormous solid waste problem, clogging landfills and leaking toxic substances into the soil and water supplies. Staples Inc. again, is the first national retailer to offer a recycling program for consumers who want to do something about it. The office-supply store invites customers to recycle any equipment — except TVs and floormodel copiers — at any of its 1,400 locations, regardless of brand or where the item was purchased. Staples charges $10 for large pieces but takes smaller computer parts for free. In the first year, Staples expects to recycle 400,000 tons of tech products. Retailers, irrespective of the business they are in, can provide a similar facility to their customers to return etrash for recycling. End Note Going green by developing new energy sources may take years to perfect and even longer to deploy. With gas prices falling, the immediate need to switch to alternative sources of energy has somewhat diminished as well. The ill effects of careless consumption – and environmental disregard are however as pertinent as before. A low “carbon diet” is order of the day, now more than ever!

Summit Mital GMBA Nov’09 Page 14

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t’s no surprise that games, be it on social networking sites or in new age phones, are the hackneyed pastime even among the most highly stressed MBA grads who are hard pressed for time. This new fad of departure from traditional computer games on desktops/laptops or on a LAN can primarily be attributed to peer pressure rather than anything else. However, when one digs deeps into it, it is not just among the student community or kids for that matter, but among larger proportion of population cutting across geographical areas and age groups who are stung by these games. So much so, that a popular game called ‘Farmville’ by ‘Zynga’ in the now ubiquitous social networking site ‘Facebook’ has attracted more than 60 million people across the globe in a month. These numbers are simply mind boggling especially for a goofy game like Farmville where people can own a virtual farming land, grow virtual seeds, even trees, rear digital animals, and buy them if need be. And when you look at it from a business point of view, you guessed it right; there is an enormous opportunity to be explored and humungous potential to exploit.

Seeds of success: When one digs deep into this so called gaming revolution or phenomenon, there are several factors which have lead to its success. To a great extent, it is linked to the same reasons as that of social networking sites - their ubiquitous nature and use. Anyone from any nook and corner can develop the applications with virtually no barriers to entry. If it’s well accepted by people the profits are just incomprehensible as the numbers are too overwhelming. Case in point is the two year old company Zynga, which broke even within two years and compare it with Google which took more than 3 years to break even, even with a much advanced algorithm than anyone else. However, it’s difficult for a company to stay on top of this game for too long as there are thousands of developers, start ups and established companies working on new themes and games, day in and day out. Where’s the money, honey? The best part of it is that it can be monetized in various ways never thought of before. At a basic level, money can be made by simply charging for these applications in the first place either per use or per download. Money can flow in through the use of advertisements which will be much more cost effective as they can be targeted well. Games like ‘Farmville’ can inherently be monetized by virtue of their nature where people can buy digital goods like crops, animals, vehicles etc. Wanna take a Cue? The genesis for all this happened at Apple Inc. when they started the Apple iStore for iPod and later on for iPhone, largely attributed to Edward Cue, Vice President of the Internet Services – the architect and head of Apple’s store. There are now more than a mindboggling hundred thousand applications and counting. Apple provided the framework for these games to prop up and grow which was later duplicated by Google, Microsoft and other social networking sites. But the numbers of applications in others are far less than in those of Apple’s; with Google being the closest competitor with around ten thousand games. Apple’s dominance here can be clearly seen.

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Is it just about games? It’s not just about goofy games. More and more business applications are being integrated into the Smartphones of today. There is an ever growing demand for the use of business apps to be used while on the go. Applications like LinkedIn, Salesforce’s CRM, and Documents on the Go have already made the foray. Now, even while travelling, executives are connected to their businesses like never before. Applications like Salesforce’s CRM enable the executives to manage customer relationships through their iPhones or Smart phones. Others apps from Oracle let the executives get a snapshot of their business entities and its performance - all this from anyplace in the world which is remotely connected by the internet. Tapping the Untapped Looking from the marketing point of view, the apps play a major role in understanding user behavior, giving insights into people’s usage, likes and dislikes like never before, which companies can build on to serve targeted ads for millions of users using their apps and services. Another great value these apps provide is that the results of a change in the app or service can be seen almost instantly. This is a very powerful application where the marketers can change their strategies and tactics in real time, getting the competitive advantage and hence generating more value with minimum investment. Looking into the future Apple plans to take the Apple store to the next level by selling even traditional softwares for its Macbooks and tablets – something like a one stop shop for all your application and services needs. Google has recently come out with its much more robust version of Android platform called Android 2.0 which will be attracting a lot of new developers to build applications. Yahoo plans to come up with a unifying web portal wherein people can access all the apps including third party apps like eBay inside the web page and needn’t browse away from its page. It plans to earn big on advertisement. Microsoft with its ‘Windows Mobile 7’ –a completely open architecture, gives more freedom to app developers and Nokia, with its new Linux based OS ‘Maemo’ which is planned for 2010, will hopefully not be left out in the race. With a market for apps at $1 billion today and expected to grow to $4 billion by 2012, the potential is huge, attractive and game changing. The next big wars in technology will not be fought on the iPhones or Smartphones but will as well be on the apps which technology companies like Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and

social networking sites like

Facebook provide.

Satyadev GMBA Apr 09 Page 16

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slamic banks a r e gaining attention and demanding business not only in Muslim dominated countries but also in Muslim minority countries like Singapore, The United Kingdom etc. These are having double digit growth of around 15-20% and represent around $500 billion industry. Starting from Middle East, North Africa and South East Asia, there are more than 270 Islamic banks around the globe. HSBC and Citibank have also opened their Islamic banking subsidiaries like HSBC Amanah and Citi Islamic Investment Bank. Islamic banking refers to a system of banking or banking activity, which is consistent with Islamic law (Sharia, also known as Fiqh-al Muamalat) principles and guided by Islamic economics. Generally, Islamic law prohibits interest and trading in financial risk (which is seen as a form of gambling). In addition, Islamic law prohibits investing in businesses that are considered Haraam (such as businesses that sell alcohol or pork, or businesses that produce un-Islamic media). On the other side of the coin, Islamic banks have the provision for seller to resell a financial product with some profit provided that two transactions are noted in the books. The reason for the prohibition of interest follows the argument that profits must be earned on goods and services only. As money is not considered a good, there should be no provision for profit just for its control and custody. Economists, however, believe that interest is a natural phenomenon that represents the time value of money and the risks of lending. From an economic perspective, Islamic banking is a form of interest banking. It is interesting to note that any amount can be transferred from an Islamic bank to a conventional bank but only principal amount (no interest amount) can be transferred vice versa. Islamic law also prohibits trading in risk; these are limitations on legal financial transactions involving risk as well as limitations on insurance. The main issue in these cases is whether or not financial activities such as stock trading, derivatives trading, and the insurance industry are Haraam. This issue limits the financial services that Islamic banks can provide, how such banks can operate and also limits the available financial The widely used concepts in Islamic banking include: Hibah (Gift) – Voluntary token in return of given loan/deposit. Mudharabah (profit sharing) - Any profit made by a capitalist on given loan is shared between bank and capital. Loss is borne by the capitalist only. Wadiah (Safekeeping) – Bank acts as a custodian for deposited amount. Bank can either give discretionary Hibah (Gift) or charge a custodian fee. Musyarakah (Joint Venture) – Both profits and losses in a joint venture are shared between partners. Murabahah (Cost Plus) - The selling of goods at a price, which includes a profit margin agreed by both parties. Ijarah Thumma Bai (Hire Purchase) - Sequential combination of Ijarah (leasing/renting) and Bai' (purchase) contracts. Customer leases a car on rent by Ijarah and post lease period, car is bought through Bai' contract by the same customer. Hawala – It can function as a cheque, draft, bill of exchange, promissory note, etc. A debtor gives the payment responsibility to a third party who owes something to him. Hence the payment is now effectively the responsibility of the latter. Istisna – It is a contract for purchasing or making specified goods, whereby the price is paid in line with the progress of the job. An example could be the purchase of a house. With the pace of time, the competition from conventional banks has compelled Islamic banks to provide better customer offerings and enhance their performance. National regulators are having onus to play a critical role for tapping the potential of this pulsating sector. Coherent licensing policies and presence of national Sharia board can make the difference. They can help them to move from niche to mainstream which in turn will result in growth opportunities and better customer value.

Vishal Mittal GMBA Apr’09

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In some parts of Chennai, crossing the road is as difficult as climbing Mount Everest in winter without a winter jacket. All sorts of obstacles such as cycle, bike, Mercedes, Maruti, MTC bus, stray dogs, and buffalos travel in all directions around you. One has to scan 360 degrees to ensure that none of the demons is in the way while crossing. Road signals do not encourage pedestrians to cross the road, by setting a few seconds for this activity. Crossing the road in developed countries such as UK is a piece of cake. It is as easy as sleeping on a cosy couch in an air conditioned room. Crossing the road in Chennai is like sleeping in a room with four starved lions. One has to be very careful all the time. Otherwise the demon comes and bites you when least expected and that too from any direction. So, what is the remedy? The government came up with two solutions to tackle this problem: The Subways and The Foot Bridges. Both of them can be seen in many parts of the city. The basic difference between these two 'road-crossing' helpers is that foot bridges are above ground while the subways are underground. Almost all the subways give part time hawkers perfect place to sell their articles and full time spitters to spit thoroughly chewed pan dissolved in saliva all over the place. At times, it looks like a modern art on the wall they spit at. In the night time, it presents the perfect place for crimes. Even though vendors take 25% for the place to sell their goods and spitters take another 25% of the place to spit stinky red juice, the subways are run-away hits in almost all places. The foot bridges, which hardly host any vendors, are a huge failure.

Since less number of humans uses the foot bridges, the red-art along the wall is also less. A prime example for a fully activated subway is the one opposite to the central railway station. It is always full of activities. Traffic in Haddows road and Nungambakkam high road is as heavy as the road near central railway station. But, the foot bridges over Haddows road and Nungambakkam high road are ignored. One can find people risking their life by running along the road rather than using the foot bridge. Both foot bridges and subways are built for the same purpose. One is unhealthy, unsafe and congested but it is a huge hit. So, why is this subway a massive hit even though it has its drawbacks? In both the cases, people have to climb up a few steps and climb down a few steps. The energy spent in both the cases is roughly the same. But the major difference between the two is that in a subway, one has to go down first and then climb up. People, in general think only about the immediate activity. They fail to get the holistic picture in mind. In this case, it is simple that the person who climbs down the stairs has to climb up to reach the same level. But, the 'climbing up' part is never in his mind initially. This, I call it as 'Subway syndrome'. People like to do the easier things first while not worrying about its consequences. When this theory is applied to foot bridges, people think that climbing up the stairs is a tedious task. But the same person is ready to climb up after climbing down the stairs in a subway though!

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The subway syndrome is not just applied to the subways alone. It can be applied to many day to day activities. Some businesses have used this syndrome to increase their profits and sales. All the credit card companies / financial institutions have taken advantage. Using a credit card to pay for a bill is the easier bit and repaying the money is the tougher bit. The credit card company clearly knows that people don’t think about repaying at the time of purchase. These financial companies are very good in showing the people the way to climb down the subway steps and stand on their throat while climbing up. The modern way of doing business follows this flow. Carrots are initially thrown at the bunny. Attracted and lured by the carrots, the bunnies come running without thinking of any other consequence. Only when the bunny gets the carrot, it realises that it has fallen into a trap. But, only the bunnies affected by the 'Subway syndrome' fall for it.

Gopal Rathnam Iyer GMBA Apr’09

“W

e’ll kill you!!!!” my roommates burst out in unison after a few microseconds of silence. After an eventful day of convincing the Dean and my Marketing professor that I’m made for marketing and I’d like to sneak out from the finance side, I finally broke the news to my “family members” in Dubai. They didn’t have to speak a word after saying this!!! I could see their mouth agape in disbelief. “What happened??” “Why??” “..Suddenly!!!” “You’re joking??” My ecstatic smile was the best answer to all their silent incomplete questions.

My roommates never lost a chance to curse me, for leaving them in a fix to decide who to choose as the third roommate for the second half of the programme. Our big gang of friends made the most of the last one month in Dubai, not missing a single chance to party, chill or simply get together to chat and gossip!! Everyone was excited to go home, and come after a break to meet in a new colourful city – Singapore. I was the single soul who was seeing off everyone with moist eyes as if I’d never see them again. (I’ve made friends for life, so I presume I would see them later too) I kept aside a big carton dumped with food stuff and grocery donated by friends and left for my home country. The countdown had begun. Coming to a foreign land that’s not new anymore, meeting an entirely new set of people who know each other well but see me as a stranger and answering the questioning faces...the thought itself started resulting in butterflies in my stomach. But I had lost the right to complain, after all, I did not find it necessary to take the opinion of my family back home before taking the decision.

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I had a strange feeling as I entered the building that had been my residence since the past four and a half months. Seeing new faces in the corridors, some familiar ones of the seniors and the housekeepers too, silently questioning me “Weren’t you supposed to be in Singapore right now?” After collecting my keys, I entered the allotted room as a new occupant sharing the room with seniors. Most of my new batch-mates had the same set of initial questions for me, with the order reversed at times “Why did you change your stream from Finance to Marketing?” “How can you miss Singapore!!!” Well, the latter was more of an input saying “The G-factor of your MBA has gone for a toss”. I won’t blame them for thinking this way. The idea that was most popular amongst most of the students was that one gets to see at least two cities in different parts of the world in just one year. In fact a considerable number of students were literally on a world tour visiting Toronto, Ottawa, Chicago, New York, Malaysia, Detroit, Montreal.. (phew!!!) apart from the two cities that were anyways a mandatory part of the curriculum. But I have a different take on “The G-factor”. I believe going “Global” goes beyond visiting different geographies. It’s more about interacting with people of different backgrounds, understanding their cultures and learning from their experiences. The opportunity to interact with the entire batch of April‘09 is something not everyone gets. And I feel I’ve been really lucky to have got this chance. As they say – Learn from others because life is too short to learn things on your own. I might not have got the chance to visit different places in the world in this span of one year, but doing different things with new friends at the same place is what makes my MBA special. It’s not the places I’m getting to visit but the people I’m meeting that’s making my MBA a unique experience.

Aditi Chawla GMBA Apr’09

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STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART

I stepped out of my room holding a lantern in one hand and a book in another. Slowly I squeezed out myself through the gap between the doors. One extra movement and it would have roared like some giant.

Adjusting the wick to get just enough light, I then tiptoed out in the courtyard. It was a very clear night. And the countless number of stars I could see up in the sky overwhelmed me with myriad emotions. Quickly glancing through the courtyard, I found a straw mat lying towards one side. Quietly I went up to it. Putting the lantern on the mud floor sat down on the mat with my legs crossed. It was just 8 pm but the world on this part of the earth was already in deep slumber. Hardly anything had changed. The breeze playing with the loose strands of my hair was still laden with the smell of corn and wheat. As the silence suffused my heart I took out the bookmark and bent over the pages. I pulled the lantern closer; eyes squinted as I began reading. But my heart drifted me somewhere else. It’s been almost eleven years since I last pulled spinach from our fields early morning or tried to hit the solitary mango hanging from the mango tree. Sometimes I long for my school days to come back again. Walking towards school through farms and orchards with friends in the morning used to be so exhilarating. But the afternoons were what excited me the most. After the last bell would ring in our nearby village school I would rush to our farms. Flinging the school bag my mom had so diligently sewn for my birthday I would reach for the topmost branch of the tree. In no time one could find me perched safely there with a pencil and a note book doing what I liked to do the most. Writing about all that caught my imagination….

Aditi Kumar GMBA Apr’09 Page 21

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n case you are in a quandary as to what to do after an MBA, which path to choose, which sector to work in, which companies to join and how the growth will be and you happen to be in Product Marketing and Management (PMM), one of the cutting edge super specializations of SPJCM, then read on. In case you don’t happen to be in PMM and consulting is what you are after, read on too. After having extensive discussions with the highly respected and accomplished professors, knowledgeable friends and various people from industry, the various options available can be summed up in the following ways: FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods): This is the most logical and obvious choice for any student who opts for PMM. The companies can be classified into the biggies like Procter and Gamble (P&G), Unilever, Nestle, Colgate-Palmolive, and the smaller ones like Marico, Dabur etc. The rest constitute local companies in the respective countries. One starts off as a Management trainee in the big ones and then depending on the college and how it is rated/perceived by the Company, spends different periods of time in this position. The smaller ones supposedly give better profile than the biggies to start with. One can then go through the ‘Sales’ route and move towards Divisional manager , Area Sales Manager and above or move towards ‘Brand management’ side where one starts off managing a single brand to managing multiple brands and then to product categories , finally moving towards managing the entire portfolio of brands.

Advertising (Media): Although creativity is the first thing that strikes when one talks about advertising, there are other streams in advertising like ‘Client Servicing’, ‘Media Buying and Planning’, ‘PR’ et al, where one can join. ‘Client Servicing’ is the interface between the Ad company and its clients and in this case majorly FMCG clients, if you want to leverage on your MBA degree. ‘Media Planning and Buying’ deals with all the research about the various media used by people and negotiations with media companies among other things. There are two ways in which one can join. Either join directly as a trainee and move up the ladder or move in as a Client manager after gaining sufficient experience and expertise from an FMCG company and deal with company’s FMCG clients. However, one should have sufficient experience in ‘Brand management’ of the FMCG sector. One also needs to keep in mind that there is no exclusivity for an MBA in this segment as any non MBA can work with these profiles. Marketing Research: This is completely different from the above streams as it involves specialized knowledge about advanced statistical techniques, questionnaire designing and dealing with qualitative analysis. The biggies include Neilson group, Kantar group, TNS, GfK et al. Other famous companies are IDC, Forrester, BMI to name a few. There are many who do both marketing research as well as consulting like Frost and Sullivan, Gartner (specializes in IT) etc. Once one gain sufficient expertise, one can look for starting one’s own venture if the entrepreneurial spark is still alive.

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Niche Segments: This segment includes all the highly specialized skilled sectors like technology (IT, Networking etc), telecom, manufacturing (which again can be broken down further into many specific sectors). The roles and profiles are majorly dependent on the specific sector and segment chosen. IT is the popular choice here as majority of the student community are from that background and the recruitment too happens in large numbers. Again, as mentioned, there are many divisions within this sector and hence the responsibilities and growth majorly is driven by the specific sub-sector. Consulting: This is the most omnipresent, favorite and thus the most misunderstood sector of all. The lure of astounding salary figures and the brand image of the companies are few among the many reasons for its importance and inclination. At the crux of consulting lies the ‘Management Consulting’ which deals with solving of management issues. And then there are other specialized consulting streams like strategic consulting, IT consulting, Human Resource consulting et al. The biggies in consulting include the Mckinsey, BCG, Bain & Co, Booz & Co, Mercer et al. The biggies in IT consulting are Delloite, Accenture, and IBM. The good part of Management Consulting is that anyone from any of the field mentioned above can join at any stage in life since it doesn’t specialize in any particular field and doesn’t need any highly specialized skill. Many people also opine that it’s better to jump into this after wetting one’s hands in a particular industry so that one can become a specialist in a particular area. However, there are others who feel that being a generalist is better than a specialist. It’s up to the individual to choose among the two. Thus, one can either start a career directly in consulting and move up or get some experience in an industry and join as a lateral. A point to note is that the big management consulting companies like the Mckinsey and BCG seek out for the best of the talent worldwide from one of the world’s best B-schools, who have outperformed consistently at all levels in their education and during their previous work in addition to outstanding extracurricular achievements. It is also not easy to join these biggies as laterals since they like to groom the insiders for middle to top level positions as they would understand the company better and know the culture and their clients fully well. Having seen the above segments in depth, there are few things which cut across any sector, segment and any profile at any stage in career. Those are relevant work experience and performance which will determine to a great extent the progression of one’s career. In this ever changing fast paced world, it’s not those who those who do the most or in least amount of time but those who adapt well to the changing circumstances who will eventually be winners. Like an executive from a well known technology company said “The world is moving so fast that while you are still thinking about whether an idea will fructify or not, there is already someone somewhere out there actually executing it. “ God Speed and Good Luck to you all!

Satyadev GMBA Apr 09 Page 23

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STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART Heard that one before? How about “There are cooler ways to die”? Anti smoking campaigns showcase the pinnacle of failed marketing campaigns and represent billions of dollars wasted in advertising funds. Understanding the various vectors that contribute to its ineffectiveness would probably bring out some valuable marketing insights. Although it appears that an increasing number of people have actually retired from or never attempted smoking but in reality per capita cigarette consumption is now at a plateau. Further, teen smoking has now increased substantially since 1991. Part of the reason why such campaigns tend to fail is possibly because most campaigns currently target tobacco industries themselves and often “preach” at individuals towards kicking the habit. Following repeated exposures to these messages, one of two things happen: The first possibility is that the message is so weak it can’t really connect to your cognitive reasoning (eg: Tar “.xgm”, Nicotine “.x gm”, Benzene “x.gm” etc) and

you’d probably wonder, Ok, so what? Either ways it’s just tiny decimal numbers and obscure chemical compounds, I’m sure regular airborne pollution contains more toxins than that. The second possibility is that the consequences stated appear so unbelievable (like the super gross pictures on the pack) that it fails to connect to you emotionally as you fail to see how your picture perfect life could possibly end up like that. Ok, all that sounds plausible, but heck, what else do we do? As Prof. S. Ramkumar at the Sp Jain Institute would say it, introspecting on why campaigns don’t click and complains/faults pour in, often provide deeper insight into what must be done differently. In the same way here, rather than increase the visual appeal and impact of the core message, what needs to be done is change the message itself. Smokers are exposed to anti-smoking messages designed to discourage youth from starting to smoke, but they seldom encounter smoking cessation messages that offer realistic strategies on how to quit. Instead, too many messages offer overly simplistic solutions that generally fail to hold. Just about everyone who has smoked long enough has tried to quit at some point or the other. And they have been quite successful at quitting… like a ten thousand times over! Dad had wondered a long time back as to why normally free thinking intelligent men could in a second go from point smart to point stupid by puffing away when all around them there are blaring messages of the death it brings. What most smokers fail to acknowledge is that smoking is an addiction. It is extremely challenging for the body to just abandon the chemical high and quit. Withdrawal symptoms last long after that. Therefore the key is to switch from pure scare tactics and visuals to imparting workable techniques on kicking the habit. A paradigm shift in campaigns towards education on simple yet practical steps on quitting step by step, inch by inch is what would probably work.

Vyas Venugopalan GMBA Apr 09

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Can a man ever be himself?? Or rather I should ask, do we have a hard time being ourselves? Most of the times we tend to ignore the overt content in everything we see around us, craving to go full throttle for that obscure thing we might find in a dark corner or in the life of others. What can be more astonishing than the fact that once we find it, we dip our nose deep into it and get some vicarious pleasure out of the false ego so produced. If only we can focus on what we want, and work on it, life will be much simpler. I wish we could see ourselves from the outside, and sometimes we could step outside ourselves and see if we are really the person we want to be. And if we could, we would see a stark difference. We all want to be like Him. For some, Him is God, for others it is a conjured image of someone special/great/stupendous/revered/ iconic they wish they could be. But the truth is that He is so different from what we are now, only if we could all step outside and see that difference. And the sad part is that we don’t have time. At least we say so. All the time we have is for everyone else but ourselves. There’s this compulsive desire to whine about everything which is not provided, everything which our peers lack, everything that the professor did not teach and everything that the college did not provide. If only we could be positive about what we have, we would fare much better. Sometimes I wonder, why do we think the way we think? Or rather act the way we act? Is the zeitgeist so powerful or the gut so weak that we are always carried away? The present zeitgeist, or the spirit of the time as we may call it, is one characterized by competition and the unique nature of the Global MBA set in a time of turmoil in politics, society and economy. No wonder we are so filled with negative thoughts that we tend to overlook the brighter side of things or is it because someone switched off the light at the end of the tunnel to save power in these times of recession? As much as we might try to pretend that we are trying to strike a balance in personal, professional and social life, we are still in the rat race, always ready to compromise on personal and social aspects to achieve that extra bit so that we become “successful” in our ‘careers’. However, I daresay that career is a 20th century invention, an invention which has taken us away from ourselves. Striving for success in our careers has stimulated competition which in turn has created the need for differentiation and in order to be able to differentiate, we are compelled to measure. But at this echelon, we dare not measure or compare. We just need to be. Every one of us is unique and there is no way we can gauge our potential by getting better grades than our peers. Creativity, emotional intelligence, attitude, sporting ability et al are all measures of our intelligence and no system is so holistically designed to judge our true potential. But then the insatiable, compulsive desire to differentiate never ends; be it on the basis of intelligence, religion or even virtues. For measuring intelligence, we have exams. Exams, I believe can never be the best way to check intelligence as intelligence is not just the measure of one’s logical and memorizing ability. Ability in turn can’t be defined by a set of rules as rules are written by people and people are bound to be imperfect. Whatever biases or inhibitions cause these imperfections; they pervade everything and the more the human element, the more the imperfections. The same is true for virtues and beliefs, the very basis of our unique identity, but we propagate them as universally true principles and waste our energies trying to prove why others are wrong. In the world we live in, a majority of the people are followers while only a few are leaders. And we all are aspiring to be the future Global Leaders in the making. Before we lead anyone, we must lead ourselves to what we could be and not what others think we are. All the Gandhi’s and Churchill’s and Clintons and Einstein’s and Tendulkar’s of the world realized what they were worth, worked on it and left an indelible mark on mankind. We need to believe we can do it too. And the road to it lies inside us, not outside.

Pranav Sharma GMBA Apr 09 4th Edition


How it all started NUS and TiE SG had organised an Eminent Speaker series called “Getting China and India Right” in the last week of September. It was during this event that I met the Chairman of TiE Singapore Mr. Karan Singh Thakral (MD, Thakral Group of Companies) and made him aware of SPJCM and requested him to organise such events at our college. A follow up email reinforced our keen interest and we got a go ahead to host a small scale event, the first in the series of “TiE Singapore & SP Jain Eminent Speaker Series” at our college. Success story so far The speaker at the first event was Mr. David Siegel (http:// dsiegel.com), an expert, who has been lecturing and speaking about the 'Web' since 1995 who spoke on “The Semantic Web and Pull'. The interesting thing about his enlightening talk was the fact that he had not only worked at Pixar studios but had also worked with Steve Jobs on developing a new font. The success of the first event paved way for the bigger event where the speakers, Mr. Gunter Pauli (APEC Delegate, Advisor to Japanese Govt. and United Nations) and Mr. Krish Krishnan (MD, Jeiva) gave interesting insights on Innovation by thinking beyond our core competencies. The event included a networking lunch and the attendees included around 32 members of the industry including CEO’s, Directors and Executive Vice Presidents of various companies. Road Ahead The road ahead looks green with CEO of UmeVoice Inc, coming in to speak on “Entrepreneurship and Change” and his wife, an attorney will be speaking on “Technology Contracts: Key things which Business Managers should know” on 14th Dec. There are also plans of organising “Power Lunch” where in few successful entrepreneurs would come in during our lunch break and will be open to answer any questions on the spot. Also, I am also in touch with the CIO of Alexandra Hospital to come and speak at our college to get an insight into the CIO’s life and the decisions he makes. Team Behind the show This is the most important part of the story. With the continuous support of College Administration especially from AVR sir, the “Club IT” team took this initiative of organising the event along with TiE Singapore. The Club IT team members are: Kunal Handa Nishith Mathur Mahak Kewalramani Amit Chakraborty P.S. For my global friends, “Picture abhi baaki hain mere dost” means the story is not complete yet… it’s still going on…

Nishith Mathur GMBA Apr’09 Page 26

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etting up early on a Sunday morning after the fully-loaded week is just next to impossible, but when it comes to cricket, it’s simple.. We just don’t sleep at all! It all begins with a simple toss of the coin to determine who will bat and who will field but it does not end there, the excitement only begins at this stage when the two teams fight it out for the golden word, “Victory”. It is believed that cricket is in our blood and that truly showed during the 7 match SPL tournament held @ SPJ Singapore campus in the first week of December. SPL, definitely was one of the most awaited sports activities for the SPJCM batch. The nominations were invited from both the batches i.e. April 2009 as well as Nov 2009 batch and finally there were five teams as participants – two from junior batch and three from senior batch. The names of the teams were November Rain, Aussie XI, Black Panthers, Infinity XI and Paradise City. The winner of the tournament was “BLACK PANTHERS” lead by Nitin Nagpal (Daddu), with their outstanding performance by not winning every match they played in the tournament.

More than just playing on the field, cricket is always an event for everyone to come down and meet each other, cheer for their friends or batch or teams and so was the case with this tournament as well. It brought both the batches (i.e. more than 100 people) together on the ground which is a rare sight at the campus especially on a Sunday morning! Moreover, involvement of a “GIRL PLAYER” on each side brought in huge excitement and the compulsory “one over bowl and bat rule” for the girl player made it even more interesting. Girl players, namely Geetika, Shruti, Shivangi, Alka and Khushboo also exhibited some excellent cricketing talents by superb all round performance. On the whole, it was a very fun-filling, exciting and challenging tournament for all of us.

Mohit Chawla GMBA Apr 09 Page 27

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ectures, assignments, group-works, quizzes, exams, GPA, ARPs, ALPs, movies, sleeping... does all this leave any time for absolutely anything. But then, one has to make time for networking, for sharing each other’s experiences, for learning about the ARPs of others and for basically readying oneself to get back to the professional world. And this is what the primary purpose of the Finance Club is.

The Finance Club of the April ’09 batch was formed toward the end of semester 1. Right after the formation, the club got together to form an endless list of activities to be completed. Looking back, in the last four months, some of them have been completed, some have been forgotten and some new ones have been added. One of the first tasks to be taken up was to establish the point of contact with similar clubs from other institutes in Singapore. This was followed by extracting information about the various training programs and workshops conducted by Reuters and generating awareness about it in the batch. Since then, many of us have gained by attending these workshops at the Reuters Training Academy. The club has also taken initiatives to organize movie screenings to supplement the classroom learning. The movies screened include Wall Street and The Pirates of the Silicon Valley which documents the rivalry between Microsoft and Apple Computers. As part of the peer learning sessions being organised, a few of our batch-mates came forward to hold sessions on the learning from their ARPs on topics including “The Best Practices in Wealth Management in the Middle East” and “Technical Analysis”. Such movie screenings and peer learning sessions will continue as and when possible. Besides, the club also maintains a portal where the latest news and articles are shared with the batch. The finance club was instrumental in co-ordinating a few inter-college competitions including the CFA challenge and a stock picking competition organised by IIML. Going ahead, the club is planning to organize a stock-picking competition for students from Singapore, Dubai and Philippines. If all goes well, this competition will take place sometime in February. That apart, the club is also trying to arrange a trip to SGX, among others. Talking about the coming months, we the members of the club are eagerly looking forward to welcome the new members from the November ’09 batch. With their co-

operation and ideas, we hope to achieve a lot more together while Clubbing Financially.

Sahil Arora GMBA Apr’09

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S P Jain Singapore was hosting the study tour of 30 students and two faculty members from Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at Singapore from 10th to 12nd of December, 2009. During this program AGSM students were studying business practices in China, S.E. Asia and India through lectures, guest sessions with industry experts and visits to facilities in Singapore (10th to 12th December) and India (13th to 21st December, 2009). Our students from GMBA April 2009 program will be visiting their campus in February 2010. We wanted to make this visit unique and memorable for our Australian guests and a good learning experience for SP Jain students as well. Therefore, we thought AGSM – SPJCM Students Interaction Lunch Session between 30 visiting AGSM students with 25 SPJCM students was a great opportunity for students to share their experience from their workplace and knowledge on cultures, business climate and business practices and learn from each other at the same time. The session lasted for 2 hours in an extended lunch interaction. During the session the students exchanged ideas across different locales and cultures and shared their experience on business climate, business practices and various business topics. The session ended on a fun note with the AGSM students shaking a leg to some bhangra tunes!

Irina Pismennaya- Academic Manager—Marketing

Alumni Event @ Singapore Campus Dr. Dawn Dekle, Dean, Center of Leadership conducted the inaugural event of the ‘Alumni College’ on the theme of “The Failures of Leadership” at Singapore campus on 12th September 2009. The workshop covered themes of – a. Failures in Leadership – Why do some individuals, who seem to ‘have it all’ make mistakes in leadership? b. Success in Leadership – What are some examples of individuals and organizations who are thriving during these uncertain times? President Obama – What has President Obama accomplished as a leader in his first 100 days and what can we expect next? The workshop was attended by many of GMBA and EMBA Alumni based at Singapore.

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AU REVOIR

DECEMBER 2008 BATCH...

WELCOME

NOVEMBER 2009 BATCH!

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Achievements

The Judging panel from IMT Senior Management

SPJCM conquers IMT Vau De Ville! In a style unprecedented in B-School competitions, students of SP Jain Center of Management carved comprehensive victories in IMT’s Vau De Ville, conducted at IMT’s campus amidst much fanfare. VAUDEVILLE comprised of a series of academic events: ‘Convince ME!’ debate, ‘Eclectica’ presentations and ‘Wiz- Quiz’ held during the day and cultural events including ‘You n Me’ singing competition, ‘Ad for Mad show’, ‘Show Stopperz’ and ‘Let’s Tap’ dance mania in the evening. The fest was presided by Mr. Mahesh Shahdadpuri, Director of NIKAI and other eminent faces of the U.A.E corporate community. With teams from BITS Pilani, Skyline, Manipal University, Middlesex, Heriot Watt also in the competition, it was Team S.P. Jain which won the grand Nikai home theatre system for winning the ‘Eclectica’ presentation as well as 2nd and 3rd for Quiz and Debate respectively!! Team SPJCM consisted of Tariq Ahmad, Sumeet Kad, Ikshu Nandwani , Gaurav Vedanth Sharma, Nilotpal Kumar, Shreeram Kunte, Naveli Deshpande. Congratulations to the winners!!!

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ometimes, I think Chetan Bhagat is writing specially for the generation that I belong to. His debut novel “Five Point Someone” came at a time when I was in the last leg of my engineering and that too in Mechanical Engineering. So, the novel was and still is very close to my heart. Then came “One Night @ Call Center” and “Three Mistakes of My Life” that were again very precisely timed to match the movements in my life. And now, when I’m pursuing my MBA, Chetan has come up with this new novel “2 States” about an IIMA passout who finds his love for life during MBA. The storyline spins around the lives of a Punjabi boy Krish Malhotra and a Tamil girl Ananya Swaminathan. As was written in their Nakshatram, they met over the dining table in IIM-A and fell in love with each other, just because the Punjabi honcho couldn’t stay “just friends” any more. But again, as the legend has it, their parents had to disagree with this decision of their children. The refusal was partly due to North India – South India clash and partly due to the generational egos of parents when children select life partners for themselves. And then, it takes the Citibank Relationship Manager, Mr Malhotra and HLL Marketing Manager, Ms Swaminathan, quite a while to bring the two families together. Chetan has spun the novel nicely around this story and maintained the seriousness of the North India-South India issue along with the fun of reading his novel. The description of intimacies by Chetan Bhagat has been as unmatched as ever before. And some anecdotes like “we don’t use spoons to measure alcohol” made me laugh at the conversation between a Punjabi boyfriend and his prospective Tamilian father-in-law. The description of Punjabi lifestyle and their way of looking at the Tamilians and vice-versa has been interestingly funny. Just like his previous novels, this one is also full of youth and unrealistic idealism at certain points, but that fits in perfectly well. Some twists here and there make it an irresistible read. On a serious note, there’s one particular incident that left an impression on my mind from the novel. There is a conversation between Krish and a Guruji in Pondicherry’s Aurobindo Asharam where Guruji guides him that forgiving someone doesn’t make him/her right. All it does is to make the forgiver feel lighter and happier. All-in-all, thanks to Sagar for lending me one of the rare copies of 2 States available in our campus, to read. Now you know where to get the novel from, I’d say it’s worth spending 2 to 3 hours on this to get yourself relaxed.

Arun Sharma GMBA Apr 09

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Malcolm Gladwell has tried to bring in an interesting way of analyzing various success stories till date through Outliers. He seems to have unearthed a perfect formula of coming up with the root cause of a person’s success. This book urges the reader to look into various interesting developments or turning points of an individual’s life and understand how those changes shaped their respective careers. The compelling arguments brought forth through the selection process in team sports that uses age as a cutoff for selection, have been interesting and exciting revelations. Though the book is enticing to a certain extent, I believe the reasoning made by Malcolm cannot be generalized and is not applicable to all of us. The hard work put in by the likes of Bill Gates, Beatles, etc. has been downplayed to a certain extent and their greatness has been depicted more as circumstantial. On a lighter note, I hope the readers with external locus of control don’t accept this book as a BIBLE and relate the instances cited to their state. Overall, it’s definitely a good read and provides us with an interesting aspect to talk about on various platforms. By: Malcolm Gladwell

Rahul Singh GMBA Apr 09

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hree Cups of Tea is the real life story of a man who truly moved mountains. After a failed expedition to K2, American mountaineer Greg Mortenson finds himself in a tiny, remote village in Pakistan. While he recuperated there, he was grief stricken by the state of the village’s children – malnutritioned and studying outside in the harsh cold with no supervision and no books. Indebted towards the village people for their kindness and hospitality, Mortenson made a promise to come back to the village and build a school. Three Cups of Tea is the inspiring and exciting story of this commitment and his life over the next decade as he built 55 schools in the most inaccessible, dangerous and ‘anti-American’ regions of the world. Together with award-winning journalist David Oliver Relin, Mortenson weaves a fascinating tale involving a kidnapping, encounters with the Taliban and mujahideen, fatwas by enraged mullahs, a surreal meeting with Mother Teresa and a family nurtured across borders. Though the narrative does tend to get a little slow at times, it is hard to leave the book because it is just so impressive by how this man single-handedly, against all odds, transformed the lives of so many children who might have otherwise ended up with Kalashnikovs and AK-47s. This book is a must-read to know about one of the most incredible humanitarian missions of our time. By: Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Mahak Kewalramani GMBA Apr 09 Page 33

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t was almost 8:30 in the morning when I woke up. It promised to be another long boring day. I didn’t feel like getting out of my bed (despite it being hard with springs poking my back) and was seriously contemplating missing the first lecture. We had two classes of ‘IT Consulting’ and one of ‘Global Business Strategy’ popularly referred to as ‘GBS’. On top of that, we had a movie screening organized as part of our ‘IT Consulting’ course. What could a movie have to do with ‘IT Consulting’? Why are we wasting time like this? In addition to the ‘Applied Learning Program’ project which has ensured that we have work all the time, we also have two big assignments and once quiz coming up. I felt I would rather come back and sleep for a little while, instead of watchi`ng a boring movie that is supposedly related to consulting practices. Having resigned myself to this ordeal, I rushed through my morning chores and ran towards our classroom. It was a very gloomy rainy day. It was dark outside and the rain pounded on the windows. It was a perfect day to have some hot samosas, a cup of hot bubbling tea and then snuggle in bed under the covers for a nice deep sleep. While we could not go to sleep, we could at least rush to the canteen during breaks to have some hot

tea and snacks. The classes were not bad either. We did discuss lots of real time examples, case studies and such. Soon, it was 3:30 pm – Time for our ‘Consulting Movie’. In order to aid my move out of the class, in case I don’t like the movie, I went upstairs and dropped my bag in my room. The movie screened was ’12 Angry Men’ – a movie released in 1957. The story is set on the deliberations of 12 members of a jury who have gathered to decide the fate of an 18-year old boy accused of murdering his father. At the beginning, it looks like a direct open and shut case with 11 of the 12 jurors voting ‘Guilty’. One person votes ‘Not Guilty’ just to bring about a discussion before making a decision. Soon the scene turns tense with doubts being raised on each of the evidence submitted. Finally, the movie ends when all 12 jurors vote ‘Not Guilty’. The movie is a classic representation of the power of discussions and negotiations. It portrays each juror in a different light; each with a different quality – doubtful, arrogant, merciless, prejudiced, weak, indecisive and so on. This, I guess, is the main point that our Professor was also trying to emphasize by screening this movie. Consulting involves meeting people from different walks of life. We will be facing clients of various types and we have to be experts in dealing with everyone. The movie was quite enlightening. All through the movie, this dissenting juror didn’t lose his calm and systematically dissected the evidences, raising doubts in the minds of previously confident jurors. It was a very good experience for us.

Vijay Vaidhyanathan GMBA Apr 09

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fter a long time, we went to a movie – ‘Avatar’, the James Cameron blockbuster in 3D format.

The day was quite hectic. We had 4 classes and had quite a few classes. I was quite hesitant to go to the movie. But based on the very strong recommendations of those who had already watched it, I decided to go. It is a 3D movie. This is James Cameron first movie after he released Titanic ten years ago. He has invested enormous time and effort into making this movie. And I’m sure this will be a great landmark in his career. The storyline is quite simple and not very new. But the story is set in future and happens in another earth-like planet called Pandora. Humans have built a base in the planet and are mining some valuable mineral called ‘Unobtanium’. But the most valuable sites are occupied by a group of blue coloured 10 foot tall humanoid creatures called Na’vi. They live in harmony with nature, interact with the life in the forests and life in a huge tree in the forests. They also worship a huge tree with which they connect with their minds. The humans have built their own Na’vi creatures by combining human DNA with the DNA of the Na’vi. The main character of the movie ‘Jack’ has his mind mapped to one of these creations through which he goes into the forests and befriends the Na’vi. He joins as one of them with the initial purpose of making them vacate the place. Later he becomes one of them, fights for them and prevents the humans from destroying the place. It is a classic story of good triumphing over greed. The movie is a mix of all the themes – harmony with nature or the lack of it, lack of respect to other beings, inability to empathize and understand that beer and jeans are not only ways of life, inhuman (or should I say ‘typical human’) greed and savage brutality of this species… I particularly liked James Cameron’s words, “the Na'vi represent something that is our higher selves, or our aspirational selves, what we would like to think we are," and "the humans in the film, even though there are some good ones salted in, represent what we know to be the parts of ourselves that are trashing our world and maybe condemning ourselves to a grim future." (from Wikipedia). Similar thoughts were running through my mind while watching the film. But the technological part is amazing. The 3D effects are simply superb. It is as though you are watching the events through a glass window. The real characters (humans) and the animated ones (all other creatures) are mixed so well that you lose track of where reality and animation come together. Stunning visuals !!! The movie is a must watch just for the way it is made.

Vijay Vaidhyanathan GMBA Apr 09

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It’s break of dawn, world gets going All’s on the move, why are you slowing? Just open your eyes, feel the golden gaze Just feel my song and recall the phrase I'd agree life's not child's play I'd agree there are thorns on your way I'd agree you have aggrieved a lot I'd agree life's a battle you have fought Just open your eyes, feel the golden gaze Just feel my song and recall the phrase It’s break of dawn, world gets going All’s on the move, why are you slowing? Oh! my dear friend just believe though You take my hand, I'll help you grow You take my hand, I'll help you glow Just open your eyes, feel the golden gaze Just feel my song and recall the phrase It’s break of dawn, world gets going All’s on the move, why are you slowing? Wake up and see, life isn’t that bad, Wake up and see, you can be glad, Wake up to live all the dreams you had, Life is so kind you won't be sad Just open your eyes, feel the golden gaze Just feel my song and recall the phrase It’s break of dawn, world gets going All’s on the move, why are you slowing?

Harit Bhasin GAMBA Apr 09

A poem for friends and family… There are a few souls, Only a few, that you rely on They come in many forms, Donning the mask of myriad relations They meet you at some point of your journey Lending their head, When your mentations aren't going right Assisting you in a way, You don't even realize Those pious souls are few, But they are there in everyone’s life May be as kin or as a friend,

Utsav Bhatt GMBA Apr 09

They aren't remembered every now and then, But you bank on them when nothing goes well Then they hold your hand like an angel soul, And guide you through the road, full of thorns At the end of the road they stand, Rest assured, they will be back Souls so caring are gifts of God, Sent to us when we need them most You are surely one such soul, To keep me company in the journey called Life I wish to be always there for you, Just give me a hint and I will be behind you

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Ramasubramanian Sailapathi Alumnus, SPJCM — ITM, December 08

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The Clues Across 1) Management Guru kept recurred confusion (5, 7) 8) Adam Smith sets right messed up invalid nib he’s got to write about self regulating nature (9, 4) 10) Puzzled icon misses north end and leads to sports governing body (3) 11) I, confused with endless daily, belong to Homer (5) 12) Puzzling tale about six and five in Israel (3, 4) 13) Each keen to mess up and cause pain in the leg joint (4, 4) 15) Corrected men dead, reportedly (6) 16) Retire? No! Reshape into a person who puts in effort in spite of losing end (5) 18) Lean run confused one to let go of past knowledge (7) 20) Endless chest bone in incomplete set of directions to wash mildly (5) 21) Century? No! It’s the opposite forming a logic gate (3) 22) Reader lost article, got baffled and committed a mistake (5) 24) Dice Ed reshaped to arrive at a conclusion (6) 27) Latent, but a skill when shaken up (6) 29) Paul’s endless ace shook up his shoulder blade (7) 30) What strategy is to objective (5, 2, 3, 3)

Down 1) Ill hopper, kit rearranged to be marketed by the Guru (6, 6) 2) Vice too confused to be able to express opinion (2, 5) 3) Railed guiders messed up portion remaining after tooth extraction (8, 5) 4) Outgrowth on potato returns to oppose (5) 5) Chief Executive Officer, interrupted by head of resourcing department and then followed by heads of logistics and execution departments, learns this form of the French language (6) 6) Age from messed up auditory organ (3) 7) Businessman’s dance tends to reform itself to find a suitable successor (10) 9) Jump around festival, and, endless scale to obtain and hold power (6, 3, 4) 14) I interrupt person throwing party to lift (5) 15) Nice head of motel shook up to chop the meat (5) 17) Air, reportedly, but before (3) 19) Mass of eggs - looking like an Accounting statistic (3) 23) Can there be a lamer confusion in a kingdom? (5) 24) Die incompletely, for dance, in software group famous for Unix (5) 25) Leader of community uses whip to create a conflict (5) 26) Remove point from beard for poet (4) 28) No one, reportedly, but sister (3)

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CROSSWORD SOLUTION 1 P

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Rushit Shah GMBA Apr 09

Movie : Indiana Jones and the last crusade Automobile: Ssangyong Team: England Rugby Organization: LTTE Country: USSR Guess what: Pioneer plaque Event: London 2012 Olympic Brand: Roger Federer Character: Miss Wormwood (Calvin & Hobbes) Nilotpal Kumar GMBA Apr 09 Page 42

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THE

SPARK

Pranav Sharma Karishma Pandya Jane Savari Charu Dhingra

TEAM

Mahak Gary Tejakusuma Neha Baid Puneet Mathur

Chetan Modani Disclaimer: “The views and opinions expressed are personal to authors and it does not represent the views of SPJCM and The Editorial team of SPark.�

4th Edition

SPark Edition 4  

Quarterly magazine of SPJCM

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