The KSeeker

In Search of Knowledge…

Deep thought from a Hugh Grant Movie!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on June 20, 2008

“A melody is like seeing someone for the first time. The physical attraction. Sex. But then, as you get to know the person, that’s the lyrics. Their story. Who they are underneath. It’s the combination of the 2 that makes it magical”
– Music & Lyrics: Sophie Fisher (Drew Barrymore) rough quote

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Bengaluru Intl Airport

Posted by Girish Krishnan on June 17, 2008

Had a chance to visit and use the new Bangalore Airport. Since i had an early morning flight, traffic really wasnt an issue. It took just under an hour to reach the new airport (given that i stay close to the old HAL airport).

I was a bit disappointed with the new airport because there is no way it is going to scale for the requirements even for the next 5 years.  There are not enough Aerobridges (just 6 or 7 of them are operational now), and we still take the ground transportation to board the aircraft. By the looks of it, there does not seem to be any plans to improve on this infrastructure. Again, there not sufficient number of gates (altogether 11 for domestic) for the flights, and the airport authority were not in a position to tell which gate the flight would be boarding at prior to even an hour before departure. Its tough on passengers to keep roaming on the floor keeping on checking where the flight is arriving!

I also had the privilege of sleeping on the waiting chairs provided in the airport – courtesy the travel agents who sent their car an hour early to pick me up. Surprisingly, the chairs for the passengers were also in short supply. In contrast, the Shanghai airport had vast stretches of empty seats and passenger wait areas which were themselves wasting a lot of power through more than adequate lighting and air-conditioning.

An optimistic way of looking at these issues is to acknowledge that India is a developing country which cannot afford to spend lavishly on public infrastructure. My international flight from Mumbai had around 3 wheelchairs kept at its entrance, and once i reached the US, i found almost 15 of them stacked up at the aero bridge – talk about the height of wastage of resources!

I dont advocate the US or the chinese way of wasting resources, but i believe we need to consider future scale as well when we design public places like airports. For more information checkout their website – http://www.bengaluruairport.com/

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Moving from Disturbia to Ekaagratha!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on June 16, 2008

This was inspired by this Sunday Times post by Andrew Sullivan.

There are some inherent issues with people with seemingly a lot of energy. A lot of people suffer from lack of “Ekaagratha” ( meaning concentration in Malayalam – etymological root in Sanskrit). Plainly put it is nothing but digression of attention, and i am feeling the pinch of it thanks to all the technological advancements we are making in the internet space.

You are doing something and in between a mail pops up; you read it because of your curious nature. By the time you finish with replying to it, your bloglines reader shows up a new post, and you go after it. By this time the stock quotes widget shows up a serious drop in one of your watch-list stocks and you prioritize to tackle it. This is a like another illness for an already ailing person. A famous usage in Malayalam is “Kooninmel kuru” (like getting a blister on top of the hunch for the hunchback) – what could be worse!

Concentration is king and being disciplined aids in this “information on fingertip” rich world. Its okay to lose out on a lot of superficial information as depth of knowledge is what will lead us to insights and differentiation. We understand that there is a clutter of information that is hitting each one of us every moment we survive and in the process priming or biasing our thoughts. We cannot stop this from happening, but we can choose to drill into some of the information selected from this set and leave the rest out.

The victors of this information dominated world would be those who can pick the right sources and prioritize the information leads properly. Others, even with the same or better intellectual capabilities, need to develop more ekaagratha (concentration power)..

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Back!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on June 16, 2008

Finally i believe the writers bloc has moved away, kick starting my hopes to blog at least 15 posts a month.

I could be like an injured player, who has to put in more efforts to excel when he comes back after a gap. Great players come back better than they were before the break, and more aware of their limitations.

I hope to improve this time as well; to excel in writing has been a cherished dream, but dreams don’t get realized without the effort.  Ideas and thoughts are blunt when they are born; and growing them up feels great when you have a lot of support!

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Track your diet with Yahoo!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on January 29, 2008

It is that time of the year to really start working out. Like many folks, loosing weight was that part of my new year resolution which hasn’t been given much importance and that is showing. A wedlock and few lunch invites later, my weight has shot up by 5 kgs!!  The time of the hour is sarcasm and a daily reminder of the excess flab i carry!

Looks like there is a rescuer after all – Check out the posting at this Yahoo! blog.

http://myyblog.com/blog/2008/01/16/diet-tracker-returns/

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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 »

Insulting the Monkey!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on January 8, 2008

The following usages are amongst the ones which would be soon banned in our cricketing fraternity – “Hawk Eye”, “Out for a duck”,”Sitting Duck”, “Pigeon Mcgrath”, “Bengal Tiger Ganguly”, “Tiger of Pataudi”. The phrases below would soon be questioned – “As fast as a cheetah”, “as alert as a dog”, “lamb willing to get slaughtered”, “hopping like a kangaroo”! I heard that the Indian team is considering to take back their MVP Agarkar (MVP for India or its opposition! – can’t deny that he always makes a difference to the game!) in the team to get the Aussies in trouble. Remember, they made the racist remark of him being “The Bombay Duck” when he scored (or didn’t!) 6 consecutive ducks in the last series against them.

More restrictions to follow – you are not supposed to call anyone a “Kangaroo” or a “Donkey” or “Pig”!! What will happen to people who want to do only mild abuses? I guess they would have to go to unbanned territory of f**ks and s***w you’s to live a decent life from now on! “Dude, look there – that chick looks hot!” (siren rings) . Am in Detroit – “Hey dog, how u doin?” (more siren!) .

After long and thoughtful discussions, myself and Ata (short for Ajay Thomas Abraham who is a good friend of mine) came to the conclusion that people have got it all wrong. According to the Oxford dictionary (which has gone out of use nowadays), Monkey is the name given to a particular kind of chest thumping, alpha active animal which takes pride in scratching itself publicly. Unfortunately for Symonds and the Aussies, “Monkeys” cannot be called a race! Have you ever seen a particular race of human being in a zoo? But hey, you do see monkeys there. I overheard that according to the Aussie Law, the monkeys over there are entitled to social security pension and insurance now! The latest news is that the Aussie Monkey Association is moving to court because apparently in the zoos they are being subjected to racism (kids are calling them Symonds!! ooooh – that’s serious offense!)

Mr Symonds – I think you should be suing DD-National channel for all your problems. Long time ago, they telecasted a mythological serial called “Ramayan” which had Dhara Singh playing the great “Hanuman” – our monkey god, with brilliant superpowers and who is an embodiment of all the good in the world. Unfortunately for you (actually its unfortunate for Hanuman), Dhara singh bears an uncanny resemblance to you esp when you appear with that white cream on your face and i feel that is the root cause of all problems!

You were on the verge of being revered in India, but now are on the “hate” list of everyone for being such a cry baby. Anyways, i think its time for the media to correct the alleged racist remarks against Bhajji – at least the accusation should be that he is a speciest and not a racist!

Posted in Art and Entertainment, Humour | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »

Innovating under a tough environment!

Posted by Girish Krishnan on November 26, 2007

Here’s an interesting topic that gets universal attention – How to innovate under a tough environment?  I believe that more than innovating oneself, spurring innovation in an organization is a greater challenge. Can we create a process for innovation and write a ” Structured approach to Innovation for Dummies”? hmm, that one’s tough, probably doesn’t make sense trying too.

I recently read an article in the McKinsey Quarterly which speaks Gary Hamel’s views on Innovative Management, basically analyzing how to spur innovation in companies and the managements role in pulling this off. Helping people to become innovators seem to be the line of thought for Hamel. If a company has people trained with the tools to innovate, and oriented towards doing this on a continuing basis, then Hamel and Lowell (in this interview) say that there is a good chance that the firm would do well.

My point is more basic – i think innovation has a lot to do with constraints (Read the innovation sandbox by CK Prahlad) and some behavioral psychology. Imagine a person in a prison and wanting to get out, how does he do it? I don’t have too much experience in heists and breakouts, but i guess the first step is to understand the problem itself. For once you keep seeing and sensing the dinginess of the small room you are in and keep looking out at the endless sea through the only source of light in your room. Soon each neuron in your body gets acclimatised to the surroundings. Now you understand your problem or your constraints really well that for you it becomes almost involuntary to answer questions regarding them. Once you are mentally ready to take the risk,your mind doesn’t get cluttered with a million possibilities (- constraints should be viewed as helpful!) and you have a plan to execute!

Its tough to kill a man who doesn’t fear death, and similarly its tough to fail a man who doesn’t fear failure! Companies should try creating the ideal environment to innovate by imposing the constraints, nurturing fearlessness in its employees and feeding them with small successes. Getting back to the question we started with, innovating under tough environment is not rare, it is pretty much always the case.

Posted in Strategy, Web 2.0, Work Life | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »