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Archive for the ‘MBA Info-Sources’ Category

ISB confirms its presence in the BIG League!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on January 28, 2008

I was delighted to find a mail from our Dean Dr Rammohan Rao telling us alumni that the latest list of the 100 top Global MBAs in the world released by The Financial Times today ranks ISB at Twenty (20), making it perhaps the youngest institution ever to be ranked among the top business schools in the world. The fact that ISB has been ranked 20th in the first time it participated in rankings is truly commendable. Check out this link – http://rankings.ft.com/global-mba-rankings

 

This is a great news for our country that we have a prestigious institution that is considered among the truly elite class of B-schools of this world. It is important to nurture ISB’s reputation and make sure that going forward the government and politicians don’t do anything silly and ruin all the hard work put into achieving this laurel. We should also track the fast track development of ISB as a world class institution and try to emulate the success in the case of other educational institutes.

Posted in ISB, MBA Info-Sources, Work Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Reservation Delta bound to be harmful

Posted by Girish Krishnan on January 10, 2008

The TamilNadu government today justified its policy of providing 69 per cent reservation to the OBCs, ST/SCs and socially and educationally backward classes in the state for admission to educational institutions. (http://www.rediff.com/news/2008/jan/10quota.htm)

Not delving into the issue whether reservation itself is good/bad, the point i want to emphasize is that of change and a society’s ability to adopt it without disruption.

Change will always find resistance. Reservations met with a lot of resistance when they were implemented, now any process of removing them also will meet with a lot of opposition.
This essentially indicates that the smaller the change, the easier it is to implement it – especially when we are not able to predict the exact impact of the change on the society.

Small shocks can be taken by a society but its tough to negotiate the bigger ones as they continue to affect the community adversely for a very long time.
Think about the current situation in Iraq – its still reeling under the aftermaths of Saddam’s attack on Kuwait and probably is one of the reasons for the unrest in the middle-east and emergence of the Al-Qaeda. Did Saddam anticipate all these happenings? The Answer is pretty much evident and is a big NO!

Another point to note is that substantial reservation for a long time will probably bias the society itself. I have observed that a major chunk of the students who go to US for undergrad studies are from TN. The PG population has a better representation from Andhra and rest of India. This means that the number of FC students studying in TN is less and probably has a strong correlation with the number of FC students seeking job in India.When Human Resource Development Minister Arjun Singh’s Mandal II was seeing passionate protests in many parts of the country, Tamil Nadu was once again silent.Why? Because about 80 per cent of the state’s population is already under the reservation umbrella.In 1980, much before the V P Singh government’s Mandal move, the Tamil Nadu government had implemented 69 per cent reservation for backward classes in educational institutions and jobs.Thus the society has already become a lot polarised and may be dominated with a section of people whose views are pro-reservation.(To Read more – http://www.rediff.com/news/2006/may/30spec.htm )

I couldn’t find any studies which predicted how the society would look like 20 years from the time reservations were imposed on it. Even now, it would be good to have a study which will project the upliftment contributed by the reservations. Shouldn’t we calculate the ROI of the same?

As with all things in life, “You cannot manage what you cannot measure” is probably true in this case also. Unless we do a detailed study on what Reservation is doing to India and its people, by some eminent economist and probably have debates about it within the intellectual community – the path ahead seems bleak. In all probability, continuing reservation for a longer period of time is going to have adverse effects because the delta that has impacted the system is huge. I am just waiting for a strong indicator to confirm the hypothesis.

Posted in MBA Info-Sources, Work Life | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Wiki Video at Tera Mera Idea

Posted by Girish Krishnan on December 26, 2007

Check out this site – http://terameraidea.com/

Its an effort by some of us to create a collaborative video leveraging technology to enable distributed development of creative work. A perfect example of the amazing turns that life takes, our video creation spurred another set of creative individuals to come out with a rock band called “Musafir” (http://musafirband.wordpress.com/). They recorded a beautiful song called “Nishani” for our video and now are in the road to achieve far greater successes!

Posted in Art and Entertainment, ISB, MBA Info-Sources, Web 2.0 | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Collaboration as a long tail phenomena

Posted by Girish Krishnan on August 7, 2007

The concept of long tail applies to teams also – In the internet world, many business models can be set up with the internet allowing them to work together. The key to such business models is interest. Take any open source project – key individuals are into it because of their own interest. Its difficult to keep good people tied to a business unless they are themselves interested in it.

From the above premise comes a business model, especially valid for creative pursuits. The more successful ones would have people working on them because of their own interest and the confidence that they can contribute to making it work. Visibility and co-ownership are the two most important characteristics of such an organization. This can be seen in big organizations too – if we observe closely there will be the seeds of these virtual teams that are waiting to be sown and grown. People who like to be together, with complementing personalities, and who share a common vision are the best incubators of new businesses.

How do you get a team like that? With internet and the long tail phenomenon, the cost of production and the cost of consumption came down, and more importantly there are tools which connect the demand and the supply groups. These tools could be Google search, blogs, emails, alumni networks and all kinds of stuff. Am sure in the coming future there will be the long tail teams that redefine creativity and the mode of doing businesses!

Tech Tags: Long tail, Entrepreneurship, New Business Models,alumni, Web 2.0, Creativity, Collaboration

Posted in Entreprenuership, MBA Info-Sources, Web 2.0, Work Life | Leave a Comment »

Marty Cagan and SVPG

Posted by Girish Krishnan on July 18, 2007

I recently attended a two day workshop on Product Management conducted by Marty Cagan. For Product Managers across the world i believe that it would really help to read his views on Product Management. It may be a good idea to subscribe to his blog – you can get his news letter too. Check out http://www.svpg.com/

Check out his resources page for useful reads on Product Management – http://www.svpg.com/resources/resources.html

About Marty Cagan – Is a Stanford Grad, who worked at HP Research Labs from 81 to 90. He has also held executive positions in Netscape, AOL and EBay before starting SVPG. During his career, Marty has personally performed and managed most of the roles of a modern software product organization, including product management, software development, product marketing, user interface design, usability engineering, technical writing, software testing, engineering management, and general management. Personally, i felt the workshop did a world of good to me – felt like that oracle which asks you to stop, reflect, correct and proceed at a greater pace and efficiency!

Posted in MBA Info-Sources, Product Management, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

FireFox vs Microsoft vs Google

Posted by Girish Krishnan on April 25, 2007

During my B-school days one of the most talked about cases in our strategy classes was the Microsoft – Netscape saga wherein MS bundled the IE browser with Windows OS and killed Netscape. Having heard the story and its corollary so many times, i get reminded of the many famous epics where battles were won due to excellent strategies (Greeks entering Troy in a wooden horse) and some of those emotional moments when the responsibility to carry on the fight were passed to the progeny (Oru Vadakkan Veeragadha (The Malayalam Movie Classic) – where the son of the slain Aromal Chekavar – a famous sword fighter – goes back to avenge his father’s death!). The corollary (in case you are not aware of) is that the Mozilla Foundation which started the open source community based development of FireFox, was funded by none other than old Netscape employees! Its a new age epic for sure and though i am not sure how the end is going to be, these are times when we would see some really complex strategies!

The control over the browser market has a lot to do with the fight to own the desktop.Currently IE has around 78 % market share and FireFox has 15%. The major threat to MS comes from google, because it is sitting on a pile of cash ($12 billion) and market understands its potential (the company valuation is $141 billion!).
Yesterday we heard the news that in a latest brand value survey, Google upstaged MS as the world’s most powerful brand. If i were Microsoft i would be thinking of how i could choke Google’s tremendous cash flow, which comes from its superb search based ads-platform product. Google is aware of the risk associated with having just one supernova product and is frantically trying to diversify, but until now has not been successful in having a good product 2 which also contributes substantially to its revenue. There are broadly three kinds of threats that i envisage to Google
1) Once is through a Disruptive technology which takes the ad serving business to a different level
2) A demand choke -eg: Remember that ads are served through the browser – What if browsers refuse to show ads?
3) A supply boost by the competitors -eg: Other players in the industry tied up and fight Google’s business model with a better ad serving and monetising product

The Internet is the means to deliver tremendous value to people all over the world, and the medium through which this happens is the Browser. As Mozilla FireFox catches up, it continues to eat up IE market share.In the last year, IE Market share has gone down by 5% and FireFox has come up by the same amount.
It is a great challenge to Microsoft and this time around, it comes from an open source community, not from a profit interested company. If you keep point 2 above in mind, it is a bigger threat to Google as well – in fact to all those companies which make money through ads! – MS’s business is at present much more diversified to get affected by the browser war, but it would be a big blow to its controlling power. If you are decently tech savy, and can do a pedestrian search across the internet for plugins, you will find out what i am talking about!

The only way out for companies that make money by showing ads is to innovate something which can replace the conventional browser – something which changes the game altogether – it should be easy to use and people should be willing to use it instead of a browser. Or else it should be a value add on the existing browser for which people are willing to pay for or tolerate ads. Its time to find a new business model. Quoting Achilles from Illiad, someone can get ready to say.. “You gave me peace in a lifetime of war”…lets see who it would be, i mean – first!.

Posted in MBA Info-Sources, Strategy, Web 2.0 | Leave a Comment »

Creativity, Distance, Pareeksha

Posted by Girish Krishnan on April 5, 2007

Some of us have been experimenting with our own determination – by trying to collaborate and make something work even if there is good amount of distance between us – the team members! Work Offshoring is a time tested model in our own software industry but the paradigm in which we are trying out our collaboration is different. In our model the incentives are only about the kick that one derives out of the collective bonding and camaraderie that plays out during our interactions – and of course the push to achieve a common goal .. its a test for each of our free will in an environment where nothing is forced, where each one of the members are welcome to leave at any point in time!

The tasks we are trying to accomplish arent tactical or strategic – they are creative!!! I think this is a great way to test our drive, because creativity doesnt fall in line with the work that can be done with a blinding mask on one’s face. It needs total dedication and resolve – and unless we actually enjoy working with each other and are powered by an accepted collective goal, it isnt going to fructify.

The learnings from this exercise have been great – both in terms of discovering one’s own deficiencies and also in terms of understanding what kind of personalities gel well under trying circumstances; its been a lesson for all of us in both human and organizational behaviour.

I hope to share my learnings in detail through a later post – and also hope that we crosss the last mile with a lot of success. An awesome product is shaping up – I’m just so eager to release it …..

Tech Tags:

Posted in Art and Entertainment, Cryptic or philosophical!, Entreprenuership, General, MBA Info-Sources, Work Life | 2 Comments »

Leadership – Creating a symbiotic and synergistic relationship!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on March 20, 2007

Found this interesting article in rediff – Its probably “another” one of those high level leadership hand waving, but i like the simplicity with which the 7 idioms have been put forth.

I quickly made it into a picture…a simple ready reckoner to incorporate leadership into oneself 🙂

Leadership Insights

Posted in Entreprenuership, General, MBA Info-Sources | 3 Comments »

Glowing bulb

Posted by Girish Krishnan on March 19, 2007

Entrepreneurs are people who dont understand risk – its inherently wrong to portray them as people who know to handle risk the right way..

Its tough to build innovation as part of an organization and if you are an organization that thrives on creativity, you need three things to be doing well

  • extremely good talent
  • a proper orientation giving clarity of what to focus on
  • the right incentive structure.

Procrastination is evil – and this has to eliminated by creating an environment where there’s free flow of thoughts and where there’s willingness to absorb in mistakes.

Posted in Entreprenuership, MBA Info-Sources | Leave a Comment »

Tackling Information Overload – Part 1

Posted by Girish Krishnan on January 9, 2007

In this era of information overload it is essential to read only (or at least) what is important and ignore the rest of the content which may be beyond our daily assimilation capability. The question is “How do you do that?”. A decade ago, all of us resorted to reading a good daily to keep in touch with the happenings of the world – Probably at that time we could digest most of the content but seriously speaking more than 80% of the information wasnt useful – especially when you analyse it from the perspective of using that knowledge in our day to day life.

Things have improved now, and the information packages have been spliced into the most miniature feeds and these are made available across all diverse fields – The challenge has shifted from Information availability to Making a choice!.

Refining the question that was posed earlier, the present day’s challenge is – “How do you choose from the loads of information available in the internet?”

There are three important steps that help decide this –

1) Zero in on the fields/subjects you are interested in
2) Assign importance to figure out what you should read under each subject
3) Be efficient in sorting/sifting through the content for Daily/Weekly/Monthly Reads

There is definitely not one solution/source that can give you all this. All of us are interested in multiple fields/domains and it is imperative that the best sources catering to these diverse fields are themselves diverse in existence. But here are some generic tips that could be used to achieve our goal…

Look at the buzz factor that the content has among the lively/happening section of your contemporaries. For example reading Bloomberg or the Economist is considered pretty neat among MBAs from elite schools and these could feature in some of your day to day discussions – So the first tip is to pick up stuff that have a Buzz factor!

If you have ever felt like you had to dig around the Internet for good content, you might want to look at something called Digg (digg.com). Digg is a site that will help you avoid the process of digging and instead, get exactly what others have dug up so you can see some of the great sites/stories/things out there on the Internet. Digg epitomizes the value of collective intelligence and community on the Internet in a way that not only brings value to its users, but also to businesses that are savvy enough to take advantage.

Make sure that you dont subscribe to too many feeds in your feedreader. The greedy pig that i am, i oversubscribe and pay a price by repeatedly having that guilty feeling of not being able to read all the stuff i want to catch up with!
I use a newsgator account to maintain my list of feeds so that i can use the same list from multiple machines (even if i am using a thick client – “Feeddemon” which downloads relevant articles and saves in my local drives). This also keeps track of articles i have read and the ones that are unread – and kind of synchronizes multiple machines from which i access the news items.

The reader you opt to use is a personal preference – and there are lot of good web readers available – you could try newsgator, netvibes,pageflakes, google reader etc

I know i havent answered the problem of how to select the best articles that one needs to read, but thats because i cant think of a generic solution at this point in time. Will keep you people posted as and when i get good ideas…any kind of idea reciprocation also would be great!

Posted in MBA Info-Sources, Web 2.0, Work Life | 1 Comment »