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Centered on the over-arching theme “Bharat ek Khoj”, Horizons will focus on three sub-themes -Rediscovering Rural India, Unleashing India Inc. and Unlocking the Human Potential. Horizons will feature eminent thinkers and policy makers to initia…

Started in the September of 2002, what was initially supposed to be a discussion forum for a group of friends preparing for CAT, the forums today have grown tremendously in the past 30 months with over a 15000 member registration base and a guest list that tops the 50,000 per month figure consistently.

Discussions at the forum revolve around CAT, XAT, JMET, FMS and the entrance examinations of all major B-schools in India. Members discuss study techniques and post their own approaches to solving complex problems. Once the exams are over, the discussions revolve around how to tackle the second stage of the admission process, which is the GD/PI stage.

Users post their individual experiences at various interviews thus giving a bird's eye view to future aspirants too. Mutual benefit and a faith in sharing knowledge, for common good, is what brings in people here and makes them active participants. A very important factor in the immense success of this board can be attributed to the fact that unlike most discussion boards in India that cater to management education, this site has the highest quality, both in terms of user maturity and in terms of intellectual content of posts.

The forum has been widely appreciated for the close-knit feel and warmth that it exudes. The forum members in various cities also get together on a regular basis in the offline world and build upon the friendships and camaraderie that exists on the forum. And through our recent forays into Community Service across the major cities of the country, we are, in our very own small way, trying to pay back to the community by working with the under-privileged. We believe with the steady and concerted steps being taken by some of our most active members towards Community Service, we would be able to bring in a manifold rise in active volunteers, in other smaller cities, towards many other pressing social causes.

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Community Service initiatives at have been a result of many a brainstorming session between the most active members of the forum. Once it became clear to us that we had atleast the bare minimum core group to kick off activities in a few cities, we started discussing it during the frequent offline meets that we have. What was really surprising was that a LOT of our junta have already been involved in similar activity on a personal level or were most willing to, but could not find suitable avenues. The detailed discussions on Community Service and how it could evolve can be viewed on the "Payback Time" thread at our Discussion Forums.

People across India responded how we could go ahead in terms of organizing and sustaining Community Service Initiatives, what could be the stumbling roadblocks, would getting registered as an NGO be ideal, would we need to tie up with other established NGOs, if so , should it be with a single NGO that has a pan-India presence or should it be with multiple NGOs across India so we could have a better focus.

Questions of these nature and more were thoroughly discussed. We also were trying to come up with what should be the prime focus of our Community Service Initiatives. After debating over various possible issues that could be tackled, we felt that Education was something that has brought us all together and it is education that we could best payback to the society.

Towards this purpose of getting education to the under-privileged, we started identifying various NGOs that can make the best use of this diverse and pan-India group. Initially, we were looking for organizations that could best leverage us across various cities so we have a single goal with measurable results. However, due to various factors, and most importantly due to lack of a genuine pan-India NGO in the field of education, we dropped the proposal. Thence, each city that has an active volunteer base for Community Service initiatives started to identify local NGOs.

Today, our Community Service initiatives are going ahead full steam in the cities of Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai and Hyderabad. The details for the same could be obtained from our Community Service forum at: .

Organizations we work with:

Mumbai - NASEOH

Delhi - Udayan Care

Bangalore - Samarthanam

Hyderabad - M.V.Foundation

Chennai - Royapuram Boys Orphanage

We believe, however small it may be, a start has been made. By getting involved actively in projects and successfully implementing them, we can motivate other members of the forum in general, and the larger public, in particular, of the need to contribute to Community Service. Thanks to the tireless efforts of our active members across the aforementioned cities, more people have slowly, but surely, started joining the movement. And it is only a matter of when, as opposed to if, this movement generates enough momentum so that it could become a self-sustaining movement of people across India.

In case you are interested, please come up with whatever ideas you have. Who knows, your ideas might be the exact prescription in alleviating the condition of some of our less-privileged fellow human beings. :)

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Err.....Beats ya, right !! CCCF is short (or rather, longish) form of what has traditionally been called "funda" across campuses. To get one's CCCF right is to get his/her funda about anything spot on. And needless to say, one has to get CCCF right about a lot of things that go on @ IIMA. Foremost among them would be making sense of what each person out there calls the next. Surprised?? People do have a name by which they are usually called, right?? Well, Welcome to the big, bad, wonderful world of Dorm Names @IIMA.

Let me explain to you folks the funda, err CCCF ;), of Dorm Names. And yea, thou shalt not get the complete juice on it coz for that thou shalt have to get into a dorm and for that get back to your books big-time.

Each Fuchcha or Fuchchi (as first year guys n gals are referred to) is allotted a room in a specific dorm. And it so happens that usually the room and dorm that one get's allotted do not change over the course of the two years @ IIMA. So, there is this unique bonding that develops between dorm fellas. So much so that they even have a whole set of competitive events between dorms. And, again, it so happens that a loooong time back, someone thought calling fellow students by their first names wasn't exactly exciting enough. So out came the funda of Dorm Names. And this naming isn't something that is done off-hand. It is indeed an elaborate procedure which a few people even described as "Next to baptism" !! And true to the dorm culture that is prevalent there, each dorm has its own unique tradition of "baptism" where-in the name is decided by the Tuchchas/Tuchchis (second year folks ;)) after the Fuchcha/Fuchchi has gone through the ritual. No, I am not giving away any of those details to ya!!

Many believe this again is a very effective way of reducing the high stress levels present there. Imagine, you are caught up deep in a case reading and somebody calls out for ya yelling "Tadka" !! Just to give you folks a glimpse on the kinda dorm names that do the rounds there, here are a few .....ensoy :D

Tadka (psmith), Pissu (the_dawg), Blade (Ronjan), Hanjo Singh(Anuj),Didos(pixie22). Beedi (poltergeist). A few other good ones I heard there were Kalia, Makdi, Mirinda !!! And the learning of the day, Vindi Banga of HLL fame, err, its actually M.S.Banga. Vindi was his dorm name :)

Tempo Ho Jaaye- On life@IIMA !

Hehe, now before you get all sortsa weird ideas in your fertile imaginative mind and let 'em run riot, lemme please clarify what it is all about. Tempo is the war-cries that are let out @ IIMA at various points in time and for various reasons. Some don't particularly need though, they could just be because a certain person is feeling high or a certain person is feeling low or, best, could be because a certain person is feeling bored !! A few from the huge collection that the junta there possess. And yea, obviously these are just teasers. To know the rest of the stuff, you obviously have to slog your a$$ off and get inside IIMA and get acquainted ;)

To start off, one that holds a lot of relevance to PGP-1 students, more so in term 1 ;)

----> Aish Karne Waale to Aish Hi Karenge

PGP-1 Saare Mug Mug Marenge

This follows from the amount of mugging up that the first year folks have to end up doing in term1.

Another one on similar lines,

----> Duniya Banane Waale Man Mein Kyaa Samaaye??

Kahe ko PGP-1 Banayee??

Another very popular one, being a take on how the Fuchchas are always into their books

----> Mago Fachcho Mago

And the last one , a pretty generic one, with both blanks being filled in as per situational requirements ;)

----> ________ ________ Ki Tempo High Hai

________ ________ Ki Le Li Zig Zag Zig Zag

If nothing else, these occasional shouts in the canteen, corridors, etc serve as definite stress busters in this high pressure cooker, which everyone needs. And yes, they do lighten up the atmosphere a real lot :)

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The Undisputed Queen of Quants on, the lady who could give many a sleepless night to competition with her "brutal" skills in numbers, the lady who has such impeccable academic credentials that can bowl anyone over (including the IIMA adcom), Here's Bharathi S. for you, Class of 2006, IIMA Bharathi a.k.a. Bhars18 a.k.a. Quant Queen on the forums!!!

Under-Graduation: Madras Institute of Technology (9.6 GPA !!!)

XIIth : 95%

Xth : 94%

CAT Percentile : 98.32 (does it matter after her stellar acads ;) )

Final Calls: A & I

Work-Ex: 25months (iNautix & Oracle Corp)

CAT Gyaan:

----> Analyse thoroughly each test, it doesn't matter how few or how many you end up taking, but it sure is important that you analyse each test completely

----> Don't lose hope during SIMs/Mocks

----> Stay Cool on D-Day, helps immensely

Strategy Followed:

----> Time allocation of 40/40/40

----> Maximize verbal

----> Stick to your time limits, no matter what

----> Accuracy Matters, irrespective of everything else

Tips for Cracking Quant:

----> Choosing the easy questions

----> Practice, Practice and more practice !!!

----> Don't give undue importance to stuff like Vedic Maths

----> Practice ALL types of problems

Bharathy Loves these @ A:

----> The vast and tranquil environs of IIMA

----> The Faculty ("God-Level Profs")

----> The Breakfast @ the canteen ;)

And She isn't particularly fond of :

----> The undue importance that is attached to grades

How has helped ya???

To begin with, Bharathi feels this question in itself is highly irreverent ;) She considers an integral part of her life which has revolved around the forums since she's joined it. Bharathy sez she's made many friends for life in the forums and in particular Allwin, Chandoo, Shubh and Subbu. Currently waiting for Matrimonial services so she could find her life partner and thus make the forum a complete part of her life ;)

Plans to ace papers in :

Most prolly Fin & Systems (not yet decided though, might as well decide to run for iSchol i.e. Industry Scholarship i.e. Topper )

Good News : Bharathi Sleeps.......for atleast 7 hrs a day, and feels number of hours spent sleeping is a direct function of how much one wants to be studying.

Take on Life @ IIMA:

----> If aim is to learn, you'll enjoy

----> If aim is to get top grades, you'll have to invariably suffer

----> Peer pressure is the major force that runs this place

Survival Kit @ IIMA:

----> Lose Ego. One just cant survive with any hints of ego here

----> Have an open-mind

----> A willingness to learn, from one and all

----> Time-Management


----> Do not come here if you are not sure. You'll suffer

----> CAT reflects what is required in course @ IIMA. It ain't any arbit (short for arbitrary) testing unrelated stuff.

----> CAT preparation is something that is useful for your entire life

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You've seen him post and have appreciated it. Now here is some real interesting stuff for you guys to munch on. Our own exclusive interview of our PG dude Suhas Anand aka snan , who is at IIMA and will graduate in 2006. Here we go ... !

Suhas Anand a.k.a Sooha$$ a.k.a snan on the forums!

Under-Graduation: REC-Calicut 2001-Mechanical

Work-Ex: 32months ( L& T )

Cat Percentile: 99.79 (phew;))

Confirmed final calls: BLACK + NITIE + SPJain

CAT Gyaan:

----> Preparation is the key to cracking CAT. Take tests, and more

importantly analyse each and every test.

----> Maximize Verbal Score ; Clearing Quant cut-offs (sounds quite easy, right)

----> Selecting the right question and leaving the wrong question.

More importantly, knowing when to leave the wrong question and not

letting ego come in way.

Loves these @ A :

----> Standard of Professors and Colleagues

----> Case methodology of teaching

Pet hates @ A:

----> Extreme academic rigour

Whatcha love about Confluence: "Get to listen to good speakers"

How did help ya ?

----> Being with like-minded people

----> Free resources and more importantly, more relationships with

people who think and live CAT

----> The questions, the analyses, etc

Plans to specialize in ----> General Management + some fin + some strategy papers (IIMA does not have a system of specialization,

everyone gets a general mgmt degree)

Does Suhas sleep?? (all important question!!!)----> Yes

How many minutes a day?? ----> >300 (not at all bad, i say :p)

"Sleep is entirely a function of the grades that one would be satisfied with"

Plays(i.e. when he gets time) : Cricket, Volleyball

Has this lovely opinion on the food in the canteen ----> Sucks :D (Note: Check bottom of article for latest update)

Take on Life @ IIMA :

----> It ain't as bad as it is made out to be and as bad as he

thought it would be

----> Wonders why term 1 is extremely rigorous

----> Feels the rigour leaves practically no time

----> The entire course is very academically oriented

----> Feels most junta are risk-averse

----> No encouragement for being creative

So, what does it take to survive @ A :

----> One has to be inherently competitive

----> Being intelligent helps ;)

----> Slogging (majorly in terms 1 and 3 of first year)

----> Helps to be a team player

----> An ability to work with people who ahve different levels of egoism

Okay, so what dya feel is the driving force for people doin an MBA @ IIMA ?

----> Placements----for close to 70% of batch, resta folks here for learning

Further queries : Please post on the forum :)

In conversation with uRmad and typed at 2.00AM while hearing the din of the party @ the ramp on day 2 of Confluence 2004 :D

And here is SooHa$$ trying to look hip and pose for the cam

Edit:01/06/2005: Suhas has changed his opinion on the food in the canteen since the time the interview took place. The IIM-A Canteen now has a new contractor and looks like Suhas's opinion as elicited in this interview, played a role in that. Suhas was contacted by the administrative authorities on his opinion now !! As of now, Suhas is enjoying his food just as much as his MBA there :)

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Here are a surprise few lines about an individual @ IIMA's Class of 2006. Surprise because of two reasons; one because of the nature of his profile and two because he already was quite a regular guest on our forums. The person in question being Mr.Surya Prasad, a Deputy Inspector General of Police of the TamilNadu Police, an IPS officer of the batch of 88 (and a topper at that), police commissioner of Madurai in one of his previous assignments and a regular during his GD/PI days. And if these were not sufficient enough credentials, Mr.Prasad has been cracking an IIMA admit consecutively for last three years now (in fact BLACKI). Due to professional reasons, he could not take up his place over the last two years and now he is a student of the class of 2006. Know More !!! And yes, he is also the father of two beautiful kids :)

CAT Percentile: 99.85

Final Calls: BLACKI

Work-Ex: 22yrs (yea, you read that right, its 22 YEARS !!)

Under-Graduation: B.Com - Osmania University

CAT Gyaan:

----> Time Management is the most crucial aspect

----> Learn to leave questions that cannot be solved in time. Identifying such questions helps a lot.

----> "It's what you don't know that's important; so be sure of what you don't know"

----> For RCs, Mr.Prasad looked at the length of passage and the number of questions that it has. If they were dis-proportionate, he left it.

----> Similarly he advises people to skip through any RC passage in case they are absolutely new to the topic.

----> Don't get bogged down by details; consequently, don't delve too deep into the details or read things where none exist.

----> Be cool during the exam. It makes a BIG difference

----> Spot the questions that you cannot solve and leave them right away.

----> Don't take wild guesses

----> Concentrate on few areas and become perfect in em. (easier said than done, right ;))

----> Practise by putting extreme time pressure to yourself. Try solving sections meant to be solved in 40 mins in something like 25-30 mins.

Mr. Prasad likes these @ A:

----> The Case methodology of learning

----> The quality of people here

----> Some of the amazing Profs here.

And he isn't particularly enamored of these @ A:

----> Less emphasis on soft skills

----> More emphasis on quant than is necessary

----> And he has a particularly emphatic question, "Is the stress needed???"

----> And he also feels the quality levels of support assistants such as RAs & TAs isn't really up to the mark.

----> He believes the emphasis on Relative Grading (RG) reduces learning; it also has the effect of people trying to pull down one another

----> And that not much time is given to internalize the learnings


Mr.Prasad, like mentioned, has been a regular @ for quite some time now and in his opinion these are the things he loves about the forums :

----> The spirit of helping

----> The Co-ordination

----> The Community Service Initiatives

He also had a few suggestions for; we are in the process of thrashing out a few details regarding the same and ye guys shall see them out in the open pretty soon.

Mr. Prasad plans to specialize in Strategy + Finance/Marketing. He's looking at the cross-functional expertise that he can take back with him. And towards this end, thankfully, Mr. Prasad sleeps for close to 5-5.5 hrs everyday. He believes all people at A sleep; just that their places of sleep differ (dorm or class) ;) And he's quite happy that he is able to compete with junta who are at least 20years younger to him (He's also in the top 10% of his class @ IIMA !!!)

He believes life @ IIMA is:

----> Sometimes childish (prolly coz of the generation gap)

----> Sometimes Interesting

----> Sometimes offering very good insights

----> Sometimes allowing one to see varied perspectives

The Backpacker to IIMA should carry:

----> Sincerity

----> Regularity

The most experienced person that he is in the class of 2006, we asked him what he believed was the driving force for most "kids" around ;) . He believes its placements and that it is a result of the kinda people coming in; mostly with 1-2 years work-ex. He believes one needs diversity in the batch which an exam like CAT cannot bring about.


----> Only a Busy man can understand the value of time

----> If you are willing to find time, you can

And so i land in Modi-Land. Fresh as a lily after close to 27hrs of stop-stop travelling (as opposed to non-stop). Entered the Hallowed portals of the IIM of A at break of dawn. And boy, was i impressed. The place is certainly HUGE. Huge beyond, what is probably required. Huge beyond what we usually visualize huge as. Huge to the extent that one can get nowhere even after roaming for a few dozen minutes. Huge to the extent that the vacant part of it can easily accomodate some other developmental activity such as a hospital or a dozen primary schools. Huge being defined here as close to a 100acres!!

The very next thing that will hit you hard once you step inside any dorm is the eerie silence that envelopes you, taking you completely in its arms and squeezing the life out of you. But then, I'm told, the silence is not necessarily only due to the vastness of the place. It is also a silent reminder to the fact that people hardly get a chance to chit-chat. At the same time, it talks volumes of the seriousness with which each student at the institute takes the academic rigour. Definitely it is not for the faint-hearted, says Anuj, a second year PGP student and a regular PGite on our forums . And in recent times a few people have actually taken other b-school seats leaving IIM-Ahmedabad, most probably for fear of not being able to stand up to the demands of the program. But somewhere inside, it is probably this rigorous program that has seen IIM-A scale new heights with every passing year. It is probably the result of this sense of intense discipline that we regularly hear of IIM-A grads making it real big in the corporate world. It is the inability of the people outside this campus to come to terms with the fact the people can actually go for days together without a wink of sleep, that people who have cleared what is, arguably, the world's toughest entrance procedure for a b-school now have to slog even more to retain that seat and graduate successfully. Indeed, the vacuum is as much as in the outside world as it is in these silent corridors.

As IIM-A prepares to formally inaugurate TATA Confluence 2004 in a few hours from now, it indeed gives me great pleasure that has been invited to be a part of this festival of management intellects. Considering that the next big step for schools like IIM-A to be taking is to attract quality international applicants, it is time that she starts reaching out to prospective students and like one of our members posted on a thread, what better place to start than with

Dateline: 21st October 2004,

Place:IIM-Ahmedabad, TATA Confluence 2004

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Day 1 kicked off pretty early around 9.00AM with a talk by Mr.Anil Mukim, MD of Gujarat Informatics Limited. The talk started off with a touching presentation on the devastation caused by the massive earthquake that hit Bhuj in northern Gujarat three years ago, and the consequent relief and reconstruction work going on there. His talkcentered on the theme of "Perception Vs Reality". The IAS officer that he was, and a top administrator we were told, he dealt at length on the various perceptions that people usually have of the Govt servants, and how they can be quite different from the actual reality. And winding up, he exhorted the management grads out here to seriously consider a career in the Civil Services so they could implement all their learnings on a much larger canvas.

One of the good questions which i can recall being asked by a student was " How can volunteerism help & how should it be encouraged?" Pretty relevant to our crowd here @ PG. Mebbe folks active in community service across delhi and hyderabad should take on this onus of sensitizing the rest of our junta :)

Along with these Panel Discussions, there were several games/events scheduled for the day. Obviously, one cant make it to all the places at the same time ;) Here's a brief list of the events that happened today.

1)The McKinsey & Company Stratosphere Game:

Close to 60 teams participated in the prelims and 20 qualified for the finals. In Team Confluence's words " The game will be played real-time and will test the ability of participants to keep all business dimensions in mind, be it in finance, marketing operations or management of information technology while taking decisions. "

2)The Grey Cell ITC Simulation Game:

The prelims saw a huge number of teams (100) battling it out for 20-25 final slots. In Team Confluence's words, " It will be a real time simulation of a marketing situation where the teams will compete with each other on certain parameters pertinent to the circumstances. It provides the students with an interactive environment that simulates the market and the forces that operate in it."

3)The ONGC Opulence Quiz:

This Operations quiz again saw over 100 teams of two each competing. Questions involved identifying punch lines, spotting ads, etc. And probably keeping in mind the international participants, quite a few questions were not India specific.

4)The GIL Technocrat Case Contest:

A case study contest revolving around a case that was already presented to the teams on the issues facing a Govt organization (GIL) aiming to increase IT investment in the state, while focussing on issues specific to Gujarat such as domestic law & order, infrastructure, etc.

5) Finomenon Paper Contest:

A paper presentation contest that revolved around the topic of " Impact of FDI in emerging markets"

6) ONGC Opulence Paper Contest:

A paper presentation contest that revolved around the topic of "Retails Operations".

Post Lunch saw a McKinsey & Company Corporate lecture on the topic "Made In India". The speaker was Mr.Ramesh Mangaleswaran, Principal, McKinsey India. He spoke at length on issues pertaining to manufacturing and export in India and how and why India can and should change fast. And as is typical of most such talks by consult majors, his presentation was majorly interspersed with loadsa of facts and figures on how India can achieve increased exports in manufacturing and how easy it really is, if the Govt really had the will to go ahead. Overall, a very interesting presentation as it sure put quite a few things in perspective. Something like saying that it never is India Vs China, rather it is and has to be India & China. Like i said, a very good presentation that i believe most people would have enjoyed sitting through.

Evening saw a keynote address by Prof. Yasheng Huang, MIT Sloan School of Management. Prof Huang is the author of a recent Best-seller "Selling China". He spoke very eloquently on Hard & Soft infrastructures in Chinese Economic Growth. His presentation was again one that was quite engrossing and insightful. And yes, it isn't daily that you get to hear to a Sloan Prof :p. Something must be added here. As is the standard operating procedure after every such presentation, there usually comes a time when the speaker as well as the junta at large have to endure silently. It can also be a time when there is more understanding of the issue than during the entire presentation.

Its called the Q & A session. Some questions were such that the speaker was found squirming in his seat ;), well, almost ;) particular question was atleast three times the length of time (and complexity) than the answer. Beat that ;)

The keynote address was followed by a panel discussion on "Comparative Advantages of India & China as FDI destinations". The panel included Mr.Ramesh Mangaleswaran (Principal, McKinsey), Sunil Parekh (Chief Corporate Advisor Zydus Cadila), C.V.Ranganathan(Former Indian Ambassador to China), Prof.Sebastian Morris(IIMA) and Prof.Yasheng Huang(MIT Sloan).

Other events for the day scheduled are the Greysell ITC Simulation game finals and the GIL Technocrat quiz .

And now, am waiting for what i believe a LOT of junta out here are now waiting for. No, its not sleep ;) Its Dandiya night here @ IIMA and people are making sure they are gonna be present throughout. Thankfully, the Dandiya is scheduled to start early, i.e. 11pm ;)

Signing off for the day.................... :)

Dateline:23rd October, 2004

Place: IIM-Ahmedabad,TATA Confluence 2004

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Day 2...aah...This was the day i bet most participants would have good memories of. There was quite to take away in terms of value-add due to the nature of the speakers during various addresses and discussions. But before i start off, lemme do some additions to my previous day's postings. The dandiya, did start off around 11PM and yours truly was there upto around 1.30AM, by which time I had assumed the fizz was out....Never was i so wrong (nah, today i was even more wrong... more details towards the end ;) ) The program went on upto 5AM !!! Dontcha under-estimate WIMWIans:D

Anyways, the day started with a talk on "I-Bank trends: Future of Treasury in Banking" By Mr.K.Vaidyanathan, President & CEO, Athena Finance. Since finance was something I could hardly spell, yours truly, err, kinda gave it the skip. But me hears it was quite a good talk. The next talk in line was the Sapient Corporate Lecture by Mr.Preston Bradford, Executive Vice-President, Sapient Technologies. He spoke on "Offshore Outsourcing: Making IT work". Being the Business consulting and Technology Services firm that it is, he had quite a few insights to give on the way Offshore outsourcing in IT has evolved and is likely to evolve. Something that he said that was news to quite some junta here (and me too :p) was that 70% of all IT projects fail!!! He then went on to elaborate the reasons for the same. He described what kinda offshoring models exist and what kinda strategies can a company follow in case it decides to outsource. And It sure was a talk that shed light on quite a few key aspects of this emerging industry.

The Next talk of the day was by Mr.Shripad Nadkarni, VP-Marketing, Coca Cola India. He spoke on " Cola Wars: Marketing Strategies of Coca-Cola in India". And this was one very good talk. More so since the speaker took ocassional and good-humoured potshots at both Pepsi and IIM-A ( the speaker being an alumnus of IIM-B) . A typical Marketing exec talk which talked of the strategies that they followed by basically identifying "Values" & "insights" and acting on them. He spoke on Demand creation using the examples of Kinley, Mirinda, Maaza and Coke. On a question as to why coke still hasn't reached the decline stage of the product lifecycle, he had this to say "Coke has two parts to it; the Never-changing part and the Ever-changing part "


The next talk was probably one of the most enjoyed talk of Confluence 2004. It was by Mr. R.Balakrishnan, Executive Creative Director, Lowe Lintas. He was supposed to speak on advertising in emerging markets and true to the typical adman's self started off flamboyantly saying this " Is Paris a developed or developing economy for Idlis??? " And through out his presentation, which was done through a series of advertisements, both Indian and global, he drove home the point that advertising, per se, is not something that can be a single solution.It is primarily to fix a communication issue and that needs to be done differently in different places. Some of the ads that he had included in his presentation indeed had their desired effect - Some bringing a smile to the face and some resulting in furious scratching of the head ;) . And the presentation was followed by a very interactive Q&A; session and Mr.Balki (as he is referred to in media circles) effectively had the audience chewing off his hand ;)

The last event of the day was something that pulled in quite a few people, and no wonder why!!! It was a Times Group Media Conclave on "Managing Media in an "Anycast" World" and the panel reads (phew!!) M.J. Akbar, Editor, Asian Age, Arnab Goswami , now VP-News and editor of to-be-launched Times' News channel, Mr.Bhaskar Das, Director-Times Group, Mr.Neville Taraporewalla, Country Manager, Yahoo! India, Mr.Abhishek Bhatia, Head-Marketing, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance, Mr.Shashi Sinha, Exec Director, FCB Ulka. Truth be spoken, this was probably the only talk that didn't quite go anywhere. It more or less morphed into a one-on-one between Mr.Akbar and Mr.Das on the Times of India's News and Sales policy (which mr.Akbar more or less believed are the same ;) ). Mr. Bhatia pointed out a few innovative techniques that he had tried in his company in trying to reach the new-age consumers. But then the tone of the discussion had already been set by Mr.Akbar when he primarily targeted the Times group and Mr.Das was bent on retorting to each statement. Nevertheless, was interesting to hear Mr.Bhatia and Mr.Shashi who had some good insights to offer.

The day ended (or rather, in IIMA's parlance, started) around 11.30PM with a party at the ramp. The ramp is, well, a ramp that forms one of the architectural sights that this campus is full of. And yours truly again committed the sacrilege of assuming the party was done with around 2.30AM when I logged off for the day. Again, Never was I so wrong. Moi was told, the "party" started around 3AM and went on upto 6AM.....Beat that!!! Work Hard, Party Harder....Heard that lotta times, Guess last few days have been the time when I actually saw that implemented to the hilt :)

Dateline:24th October, 2004

Place: IIM-Ahmedabad,TATA Confluence 2004

This was the final day of Confluence. The day was mostly scheduled to host the finals of various competitions that had taken place over the past two days and prior to that. As such there weren't too many talks scheduled. The first talk of the day was by Mr.Subir Raha, Chairman & CEO , ONGC Ltd. It was supposed to be on "Petroleum Industry & Trends". However Mr.Raha gave a presentation on ONGC that was used by them prior to their recently going public. Something that was intended to give prospective investors an idea of the company, if nothing else.In the afternoon, Confluence 2004 saw a keynote address by Prof.T.N.Srinivasan of Yale University, distinguished Professor of Economics. The address was via Video-conference. He spoke on "WTO: Doha and Beyond". The keynote address was followed by a panel discussion comprising Mr.Srinivasan, Prof. Rupa Chanda, IIM-B, Mr.Ashish Gupta, COO, E-Value Serve.The topic of the discussion was " Tradability of Services and outsourcing: what does it hold for you?"

The evening saw the grand finale of Confluence 2004 in the form of a business quiz titled BizQuizzitive, sponsored by Sapient. And the quiz-master was none other than Siddhartha Basu. And did he carry the program with elan. He had the audience craving for more and more as he made it a highly interactive event. One thing that has to be mentioned about this program is the location. It was held in the Louis Kahn plaza, inarguably the most beautiful and the grandest part of IIMA. The ambience itself lent a size perspective of gigantic proportions. In a closely fought quiz, the team from JBIMS won after the team from IIMC was caught napping during the final round. All in all, a great ending to a fab event, Confluence 2004.

And even as I key this in at 12:00AM of 25th october, one thing I can notice around me; Almost everyone has gotten back to their books. Seems it would take only another Confluence to get them back onto the stage :)

Signing off from the IIM-A campus......

Dateline:25th October, 2004

Place: IIM-Ahmedabad,TATA Confluence 2004

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Here's the guy who's been keeping ya folks in the loop on recent happenings @ IIMA, the guy who joined the forums pretty recently, but has plunged head on since then, the guy who's now busy chilling out waiting for the placement week to start, the guy who belongs to the class of 2005, IIMA. Anuj Arora a.k.a. Hanjo Singh (more on this in another article ;) ) a.k.a. Anuj on the forums.

Under-Graduation: Kurukshetra University (B.E. - E.C.E) Fresher

CAT Percentile : 98.78

Final Calls : A (can ya get any luckier than this !!)

CAT/GD-PI Gyaan:

----> Don't mention what stream you plan to specialize in your PI. Doing that would be a definite invitation to probe deep and further into your knowledge of that field. "The Panel Knows everything of nothing !!!"

----> Don't give generic, global stuff on your C.V. You could literally get Rap#% !!

----> Be well prepared on your interests that you mention. Don't put anything for the sake of putting.

----> Don't expect affirmations/denials from adcom while answering. Consequently, don't read too much into any gesture (past years indicate such gestures as giving chocolates, offering tea et al )

----> If something goes wrong in one part of your interview, don't let that hamper the rest of your interview.

----> Stay Cool

----> Try not to use any fancy jargon ;)

Anuj, in past year and half, fell in love with these @ A:

----> "A" is a goldmine of knowledge. What you take from here depends solely on you.

----> Life here teaches you humility

----> One gets umpteen number of opportunities at various things here

----> The scale of things that happens here is really huge

And these are some things he could do less with @ A:

----> Less person to person contact

----> Less freedom

----> People becoming individualistic to a certain extent

Anuj is specializing in : Marketing

And yes, thankfully Anuj sleeps a good 6hrs a day, much to the envy of a lotta fuchchas ;) (but feels he has to cut down)

Survival kit @ A must have:

----> Will power

----> Belief in oneself

----> Ability to find one's level (grades) and staying there

Since Anuj has been around for some time in A, we asked him what in his opinion was the driving force for most junta here : was it placements or was it learning. And he had this to say :

When people come in :

Placements: 70%

Learning: 30%

@ end of year 1:

Placements: 50%

Learning : 50%

He believes that since most aspirants have hardly any kind of info about life @ A or the kind of learning that is possible there, most people see only the salary figures since that is the only info available in the public domain.

Sound Bites :

----> First thing one realizes after coming into A, All you know is Nothing !!

----> Getting in is NOT a matter of life and death

----> To better appreciate the learning methodologies, it is best advised to have diversified work-ex before coming to A. Anuj believes the average minimum work-ex is only gonna increase in coming years.

---->Ranking is all Hoopla; Use your common sense and realize the business aspect of rankings

----> And finally, IIMA guys are not geeks ;)

Discuss this article in the Forum!

Here's the guy who's been keeping ya folks in the loop on recent happenings @ IIMA, the guy who joined the forums pretty recently, but has plunged head on since then, the guy who's now busy chilling out waiting for the placement week to start, the guy who belongs to the class of 2005, IIMA. Anuj Arora a.k.a. Hanjo Singh (more on this in another article ;) ) a.k.a. Anuj on the forums.

Under-Graduation: Kurukshetra University (B.E. - E.C.E) Fresher

CAT Percentile : 98.78

Final Calls : A (can ya get any luckier than this !!)

CAT/GD-PI Gyaan:

----> Don't mention what stream you plan to specialize in your PI. Doing that would be a definite invitation to probe deep and further into your knowledge of that field. "The Panel Knows everything of nothing !!!"

----> Don't give generic, global stuff on your C.V. You could literally get Rap#% !!

----> Be well prepared on your interests that you mention. Don't put anything for the sake of putting.

----> Don't expect affirmations/denials from adcom while answering. Consequently, don't read too much into any gesture (past years indicate such gestures as giving chocolates, offering tea et al )

----> If something goes wrong in one part of your interview, don't let that hamper the rest of your interview.

----> Stay Cool

----> Try not to use any fancy jargon ;)

Anuj, in past year and half, fell in love with these @ A:

----> "A" is a goldmine of knowledge. What you take from here depends solely on you.

----> Life here teaches you humility

----> One gets umpteen number of opportunities at various things here

----> The scale of things that happens here is really huge

And these are some things he could do less with @ A:

----> Less person to person contact

----> Less freedom

----> People becoming individualistic to a certain extent

Anuj is specializing in : Marketing

And yes, thankfully Anuj sleeps a good 6hrs a day, much to the envy of a lotta fuchchas ;) (but feels he has to cut down)

Survival kit @ A must have:

----> Will power

----> Belief in oneself

----> Ability to find one's level (grades) and staying there

Since Anuj has been around for some time in A, we asked him what in his opinion was the driving force for most junta here : was it placements or was it learning. And he had this to say :

When people come in :

Placements: 70%

Learning: 30%

@ end of year 1:

Placements: 50%

Learning : 50%

He believes that since most aspirants have hardly any kind of info about life @ A or the kind of learning that is possible there, most people see only the salary figures since that is the only info available in the public domain.

Sound Bites :

----> First thing one realizes after coming into A, All you know is Nothing !!

----> Getting in is NOT a matter of life and death

----> To better appreciate the learning methodologies, it is best advised to have diversified work-ex before coming to A. Anuj believes the average minimum work-ex is only gonna increase in coming years.

---->Ranking is all Hoopla; Use your common sense and realize the business aspect of rankings

----> And finally, IIMA guys are not geeks ;)

Discuss this article in the Forum!

Want to know more about the people who are going to run for a cause at the Mumbai Marathon ? Here is a snapshot of some of the runners who will be taking part in the marathon with a view to celebrate the human spirit and run for a cause. If you would like to support the cause, you will find more information on the Mumbai Marathon thread on our forum.

Without much ado, here are our runners!

1. Allwin - Yours truly 'Pagalguy'

AllwinAn inspiration to today's youngsters; Allwin is the administrator of, India's largest management forum. At the tender age of 24, he is also the founder Neutral Web, a one of its kind web-hosting company. He loves simulation games and yes, bhelpuri too. He says, "I am running in the Dream Run to show NASEOH to the world. Pledge for me because I am running for people who can't run for themselves". Business Matters at

2. Vishwanath - Simply 'Supervish'

VishwanathThis 20 year old, smart half-baked electrical engineer is in his Final year of Bachelor studies in Sardar Patel College of Engineering. Mr. Longlegs towering 6'6" not only makes tall claims but also is a die-hard football and Beethoven fan. He says, "There are people who can't stand on their legs. My running is a step towards making that at least metaphorically possible. Guaranteed to finish with minimum strides, VISH me the best and pledge for me". A closer look at Vish only at

3. Puneet - Rocking 'Puneet'

PuneetThis Market Analyst at Aventis Pharmaceuticals is also the lead guitarist of a heavy metal band. He has always loved to be a part of a community and he is happy that PaGaLGuY has given him an opportunity to serve the lesser privileged and also run for a good cause. In his words, "Hey you people who love rock and metal music, pledge for me. I shall not let ya down!"

4. Akshat - Better known as 'TheAkshat'

AkshatAkshat Shrivastava, a gonna be civil engineer from IIT Bombay. One of the moderators of the PG forum, nicknamed 'kid-mod', worships Pink Floyd, Seattle Sound and South Park. He enjoys strumming a guitar, trekking, dramatics and running. This young man represents his hostel in 7 km long cross-races. He considers Mumbai Marathon as an opportunity to pay back and feels that running is the least he can do for people at NASEOH who can't run. He says - "I am the only runner on the forum who says he will run and not walk/ crawl the 7km stretch on 16th Jan. So, pledge for me." Akshat can be reached at

5. Geetanjali - Giggling 'Geetu'

Geetanjali.This bubbly computer engineer from MGM College is full of life. A sardarni, she loves reading fiction, blogging and swoons over chocolate. Community work at NASEOH has inspired this young lady to run for her handicapped friends. She says, "How many people have seen a pretty woman run... So, pledge for me." A close snapshot of Geetu at

6. Bharat - Quizzer 'Brat'

BharatBharat Jayakumar, a future Electronics engineer is from Sardar Patel College of Engineering. A member of the UC winning team of SPCE, he enjoys quizzing, reading, football, cricket, F1 and mass 'sms'ing! He says - "This Run is prove to myself that I can make my dreams come true and help others to do the same along my path."

7. Ashish - Techie 'Ashish'

AshishAshish is from Ghaziabad and has graduated from NIT, Surat. Working with Patni, Mumbai for 2 yrs, he is currently leading a testing team. Apart from IT, Equity markets fascinate him a lot and he has been a regular at PaGaLGuY. He wants to be a part of Mumbai Marathon in order create awareness about NASEOH and raise funds for it. He says - " Also, I need to get more lean n thin so that I can work more efficiently for NASEOH"

8. Gordon - Just 'Gordon'

GordonAnother engineer, Gordon DSouza is from VJTI, Mumbai and is currently working with SIEMENS Ltd. He is running the marathon to enjoy and in that process to share his joy with NASEOH. He says - "It is important that we do not forget the less fortunate ones amongst us, those who may never have the pleasure of walking, let alone running. So as I run, I hope someone somewhere sees NASEOH and patronises the cause." Pledge for this young man who definitely means business - "As I run in this marathon, I will be acutely conscious of my limbs, and will be grateful to the Creator for them." Gordon only at

9. Elvis

Elvis is working as an Hr Executive for Infiniity Consultants, which recruits candidates for the hotel, IT and BPO industry. He is running this marathon for a noble cause and says - "How good it would be to run with like minded people, for one cause. I have never done something like this before but I know that this simple run could definitely help somebody". "Well if there is somebody more willing than me, than I feel that person is more deserving for this opportunity! As of now, I am more willing than anybody. So, I would really appreciate it if you could pledge for me"

10. Christy - Colorful 'Christy'

ChristyThis giggling young girl, also known as 'Bubbles', has completed her Bachelors in Management Studies from SIES College. A complete freak of sports brand Adidas, she loves the cartoon series 'Power Puff Girls'. She enjoys quizzing and adores it when others can't answer the questions. Emoticons mean the world to this chirpy girl and she says - "Hey all, Come on pledge for me, I shall definitely post something colorful for you... promise!" Now that sure is realistic.

11. Poornima - Non PGite

PoornimaThis lady though a non-PGite wants to be a part this Marathon for NASEOH. The thought is what matters, dear. Cheers to you. Poornima is an awesome cook and has completed her BCom studies. She loves reading, traveling, cooking yummy cakes and mouth-watering chicken. She is currently pursuing an IATA course. Being Christy's close friend, she has heard a lot about and is not yet a PGite! She and Christy are running on Jan 16th for NASEOH and say in unison - "Though we may not be able to help NASEOH people directly, it gives us immense pleasure to help our friends indirectly by running for them." Do pledge for these young women.

Some of the other volunteers running with us for NASEOH are Amit and Sumit. They are busy training for the marathon, hence were unable to pose for this article. So, Pledge for them too.

For More Information, Please contact Wayne. Copyright - Sowmya aka Simba

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We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another." ~Luciano de Crescenzo

PaGaLGuY forum has been touching lives in one-way or the other. First it was through CAT discussions, then through PG meets and now, through the community initiative taken by various members of the community in various cities across India.

The PaGalGuY volunteers have been working selflessly towards improving the lives of their counterparts in different cities like Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai. Recently, there has been a spur of activities at the capital, Delhi too. At Mumbai, we have formed the MLCS - Mumbai League Community Service (Wing)and have associated ourselves with NASEOH - National Society for Equal Opportunities for the Handicapped. This initiative has taken a good form and now, every Sunday, a group of 5-6 volunteers are working towards familiarizing the NASEOH members to the world of Computers & Internet. The small effort to touch upon the basics has gotten our dear NASEOH friends completely hooked onto the world of computing and surfing. Now, the NASEOH members are not only comfortable with computer usage but also the quite knowledgeable about e-mailing, chatting, search engines etc.

NASEOH India believes in creating opportunities for the

disabled. Established in 1968 as a voluntary organization, it

is committed to assist the disabled by providing education,

free vocational training in printing, computer application,

tailoring etc and also in finding suitable employment

opportunities in open sectors. NASEOH organizes medical camps

in rural areas to identify the disabled who are in need of aids

like calipers, braces, tri-wheelers, Jaipur foot and

educational aids such as hearing aids. These aids are provided

free of cost to the needy disabled to assist them in their

daily livelihood. PaGaLGuY volunteers were indeed happy to be a

part of one such medical camp conducted at Murbad, a small

village on the outskirts of Mumbai. Thus, being associated with

NASEOH has started opening new avenues for delivering

community/ voluntary services. This not only allows us to work

towards betterment of some lives but also leaves us more

fulfilled and complete.

"Screening Camp for Mobility Aids for the Disabled" was organized by NASEOH and was sponsored by Rotary India/ International Foundation. In this camp, the locals were screened for various deformities and some kind of relief in terms of medicine, exercise, utility vehicles, and mobility aids were suggested. With a doctor on board along with a physiotherapist, the camp sure had a lot of support from a handful of volunteers. There were 3 volunteers from Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). Volunteers from PaGaLGuY were Allwin (Pagalguy), Sajiv (Erudite), Tabrez (Mailtabrez), Wayne (Wayne) and yours truly (Simba)

Though a monsoon day, the camp was able to attract 200 odd patients from surrounding areas and nearby villages. The ailments ranged from minor physical deformities to major mental illnesses. All the patients being well below the poverty line, this free camp surely was a blessing. We happily assisted the organizers in registering the various patients and giving them sequential numbers to allow the doctor to diagnose every person in an orderly manner. Registration took into account all the demographic details. Though, language was a big impediment to some volunteers, support and help poured in from the all sides including the locals. Indeed, the language of love and care is universal. We were very helpful in assisting the actual screening procedure. They made sure that all the patients were seen and taken care of by the doctor. The doctor on his part was very philanthropic and treated each case depending on its uniqueness and severity. Some of them were given medicines on the spot, whereas some of them were given dates for the corrective surgeries. For people who could benefit neither from the medicine nor the surgery, aids to assist them in everyday lives were given. These aids in the form of calipers, tri-wheelers etc. will be built at NASEOH by its own members. The exact number of these aids was taken and will be built within a month. These will be fitted to the respective people free of cost during the next follow-up camp scheduled sometime next month. We do look forward to be a part of the follow-up camp too.

Being a part of the camp has been a wonderful learning experience for all of us. Working at such grass-root levels teaches us more about life and allows us to feel lucky to have abundance of comfort and opportunities in our personal lives. Indeed, We look forward to help more people but we also look forward to more volunteers who can make a small difference to the world we all are living in. As one of the organizers rightly said - "To achieve anything in life, you need to be 'pagal' (crazy/ mad)".

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Stephan Chambers is Head of MBA Programmes at the Said Business School and Executive MBA Course director. He joined SBS in 2000 after twenty years in academic publishing in the US and UK. He was acting Chief Executive of Blackwells US publishing company and Chairman of the NCC/Blackwell joint venture. He sat on the boards of two technology start-ups and was editorial director of Blackwell Publishing. He also works for the University of Oxfords technology transfer company, Isis Innovation.

1) Please give a brief overview of the Said Business School.

A) Said Business School (SBS) is the Business School of the University of Oxford. We are a young school (around 9 years old) at the heart of an ancient university. Our key activities are teaching of graduates and undergraduates, and research. The SBS community includes MBA students, Masters and Doctoral students, undergraduates, faculty and staff.

2) Please provide an overview of the class diversity at Said Business School.

A) SBS is the most international of major business schools with an astonishing diversity of student background. In the current year we have 180 students representing over 40 nationalities (around 30% from Asia, 30% from Europe and 30% from the Americas).

3) What do you think are the key factors that attract students worldwide to SBS?

A) The fact that its a one-year programme is clearly a huge draw, as is the Schools position at the heart of the one the worlds truly great research universities. Students like the diversity that Oxford offers, they enjoy its Collegiate structure and I think they appreciate the fact that we are a start-up business school, with the flexibility and responsiveness that that suggests, backed by a venerable institution.

4) Can you give us more details about the collegiate system at SBS?

A) At Oxford every student, whether undergraduate or a postgraduate, is a member of a College. That College becomes their physical home and their access point to the sports, drama, and cultural life as well as to the wider intellectual life of a 900-year-old university. In essence, the University of Oxford awards the MBA degree, the Said Business School teaches the MBA, and the Colleges look after students during their time at Oxford.

5) What is the current strength of Asians and Indians in the course?

A) Some of the most talented and well-prepared candidates in the world are admitted from India. Around 30% of the student intake at SBS is from Asia and a substantial number this year are from India and Pakistan.

6) What kind of students are a great fit at Oxford?

A) Clearly the minimum requirement is that students should be capable of passing the course and should be able to benefit both personally and professionally through the study at Oxford. Students should also be able actively to contribute to the class and bring a fresh perspective to discussions. In almost all cases that means they need to have worked for between 3 and 6 years after their undergraduate degree. Its the sheer variety of our students biographies that makes the SBS MBA such a challenging and transformative experience and that variety is, of course, enriched by students previous academic and work experience.

7) What opportunities do Indian students have after graduating from Oxford?

A) Indians graduating with an Oxford MBA can either return to India to work or they can remain in the UK under a newly introduced scheme open to graduates of the leading MBA programmes, that extends work permits for one year (renewable for up to 3 years) in the UK. Many will do both: that is remain in the UK and then return to India.

An How are social entrepreneurs encouraged at Oxford?

A) SBS has a significant commitment to and presence in Social Entrepreneurship in the form of the newly established Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, established at SBS by the co-founder of EBay, Jeff Skoll. The Centre researches the application of business principles to social and environmental as well as or instead of shareholder dividends. There are 5 fully-funded Skoll Scholarships for MBA students every year awarded to students who demonstrate an outstanding commitment to social enterprise.

9) What does Oxford plan to do to attract more students from India?

A) We work closely with our alumni to attract more of the best students from India. We regularly interview and host receptions here and intend to increase our activity over the next couple of years. The quality of students from the best Universities in India is extremely high and wed be delighted to get more applications.

10) How strong is the Oxford Alumni Network?

A) Oxfords alumni network is world-renowned and we work hard to integrate the business schools own graduate network into the wider University network to give our graduates genuinely global connections.

11) Provide us with an overview of the application process.

A) The various components that are the part of an application are the GMAT, the essays, the recommendations and the interview (held with a member of the SBS faculty either in person or by telephone). We do not admit students without an interview. We review applications in the round and have no GMAT or age thresholds. That said, our average GMAT is 690 and the average age of our students around 29.

12) How accessible is SBS to the Indian applicant?

A) SBS welcomes good students who will be active participants and lively members of the MBA class. Indian students have shown themselves to be outstanding participants in our previous classes and we welcome applications from those who think that they meet the admissions criteria and would benefit from the Oxford experience.

Now is the time, the unrestricted, halcyon time before joining a B-school that has many a student worried. Ironical but true, if the numerous queries posted on various threads in this forum are to be believed.

A question that often comes to mind is: How best do I utilize these days to equip myself better for the battles of the next two years? As an ardent advocate in the virtues of procrastination you just don't want to be caught up in the vicissitudes of ever increasing RGs and ever decreasing CGPIs. Your seniors have warned you about the mind numbing and fanatical efforts required to get your rank up there for the I-banks to be philanthropic enough to cast a sight on your CV. Also, you are aware of the fiercely motivated and rabidly competitive batch your peers are going to be. You can bet that they are working the extra hours dotting their i's and crossing their t's. If you are not willing to make the same commitment honing your skills before the rigmarole of the classes commence, as they say in the US - your ass is grass (read as 'anyone and everyone will trample over your posterior')

The truth, on the contrary, is that the admit letter lying in your document folder has just given you the space and time to focus on whatever you want to do, without palpitating about PPOs, mid-terms, submissions and quizzes. Now is the time to focus on your passions - reading the latest thriller from your favorite author to watching the latest Bollywood movies which are supposed to have some 'hot' scenes of your desired actress. For the less visually inclined, there is always sport and music. Try working on your probability theory by betting on the India-Pak series or practice harder on the guitar to get rid of your tag of being 'acoustically-challenged'. Whatever be it, let these 'last days' of freedom be as less immaculate as possible, and give into the indulgences that you might not be privileged in the next two years.

Having said that, there is also an innocuous distort to the above prescribed maneuver. Just as you have let go of the failures of the past and are still savoring the success of having made it through your dream (or less-than-envisaged-but-will-do) school, it is good to be circumspect of the possible pitfalls that you might encounter in your journey ahead. Here are three things, which could possibly do only more good than harm.

Firstly, get in touch with the current students and pull out all the stops in getting your doubts cleared. If it helps, a IInd class sleeper return ticket to your intended destination wouldn't harm either. Secondly, if you feel you suck at some of the mandatory first-term courses like statistics, accounts, math, you could do well to browse through some of the prescribed texts on these topics. A caveat here is, not to get too paranoid by trying to solve any of the mid-term papers. Thirdly, it would do good to take a step back and try figuring out how to improve some of your soft-skills, inclusive of (but not expansive):

# Networking - numero uno in most lists to help you land your dream job

# Public speaking - making a defense for your case in front of 100+ equally articulate classmates is not stress-free

# Making effective presentations - late night revelations like "Darn it was a ctrl+B which blanked out my PPT screen" are not unheard of in B-schools

# More importantly improving your ability to think out-of-the-box - It is hard to have a winning essay when the entire class uses the same phrases like 'business process re-engineering' to augment their case to reach the 1000-word limit.

It is your time and I wish everyone a wonderful time for the next two years at their B-schools!!

Arun 'Psychodementia' Jagannathan

(Arun Jagannathan is currently working for a US-based technology and business consulting firm. His interests apart from C++ is metacognition - "learn about learning". This stems partly from thetraumatic experiences of exams he faced as a student himself. This interest made him spent over 3 years teaching part-time in various coaching institutes for MBA prepration, mentoring over a 1000 students. Arun is well known in the forum for his no-nonsense answers replete with spelling mistakes.)

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At a young age, Tarannum has achieved what few Muslim women have: an MBA degree from an Indian Institute of Management. More interestingly, she carries behind her three years of experience as a primary school teacher in a small school at Calcutta. catches up with Tarannum Ara after the IIM-Indore Convocation Ceremony for the Batch of 2005.

A few facts.

CAT percentile: 99.21

Final Calls: I

Work-Experience: 32 months teaching elementary mathematics and science to primary school kids at Assembly of Angels School, Kolkata.

Under-graduation: BSc (Hons), Calcutta University

What is the difference between teaching in primary school and studying in B-school ?

No difference. Youre surrounded by curious, bright, eager and mischievous kids in both situations. Quite delightfully, you become like them pretty soon in both situations.

What made you jump professions from teaching to management?

Teaching was an enriching experience. But it always made me feel limited. After about two years, I became confident that I could do more for my family and myself. Need for financial independence was also an important contributing factor.

Being from a very traditional Muslim family, how did your parents react to your decision to join IIM, Indore?

Most of all, they were worried that I was going to live alone at a faraway city. It is not an accepted thing for women to do in my community. In fact, it took months of convincing to let my parents allow me to go to Indore. Now they dont mind my going to Mumbai for the ICICI Lombard job. Two years ago I was just another Muslim woman. Now I am a proud one at that.

How did you keep up with your religion during the two years at IIM, Indore?

Considering the tight schedule of classes, quizzes, assignments and presentations, I could not offer namaaz regularly. But I always kept a small copy of the Holy Quran with me as it gave me inner strength.

In fact, I would call upon more Muslim women as well as men from the middle-class to aspire for high-profile careers.

Your best moments at IIM, Indore?

Every moment of the learning process here. I found that the biggest asset of a B-school is its students. Learning to live, work and develop with the best brains from the country has put my personality several notches up. As for the rigour, it is painful in the beginning but you get used to it. There is no other choice.

The author is a Correspondent with The Pioneer, Bhopal and operates an NGO 'Soochna Mitr' for IT content development in rural areas. He abortively contemplates appearing for CAT again approximately 37 times per annum.

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Ye..Hata, Sawan ki Ghata, Ronjan Bhai Aaila hai ;) . Kaun, arre, Ronjan Bhai M.Tech and now Ronjan Bhai M.Tech MBA from IIMA :D Here's Ranjan Kant, aka BladE, for ya folks :)

Graduation: IIT Kharagpur- B.Tech & M.Tech (fresher)

CAT Percentile: 99.87

Final Calls: BLACKI

CAT Gyaan:

----> Practice with actual questions

----> Don't concentrate on peripheral stuff

----> Maximize one section

Ronjan Bhai loves these @ A :

----> The people – Highly qualified

----> Huge learning from others that is possible

----> Profs

And he isn't particularly fond of:

----> Lack of time to relax

Loves these @ PaGaLGuY forums:

----> GD/PI stuff – “Awesome”

----> Very structured Discussion Board

----> Gives an overall picture

His take on Life @ IIMA:

----> Bonding with everyone (err, any special bonds already?? ;) )

----> More so with section mates

----> Lots of avenues to showcase your talents, competitions et al

----> One always has the sword hanging overhead

Survivor's kit @ IIMA:

----> Lots of support from someone ( )

----> Sincerity

Parting Shot: People @ ROCK !!! (So true !)

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Here's yet another d00d who rejected an admit @ ISB to fight it out from a seat @ IIMA. Here's Nikhil Vaswani aka nickspeedster aka Hooka.

CAT Percentile: 99.8

Final Calls: LACKI + ISB(2003)

GMAT: 710

Work ex: Two years with Wipro

CAT Gyaan:

----> Use a lot of logic

----> read Economic Times daily- Helps a lot during GD/PI and when inside college too

----> Practice RC majorly

----> Understand your strengths and weaknesses

----> Maximize your verbal scores

Nikhil likes these @ A :

----> Profs

----> Some real studs with top profiles

----> Case methodology, very application oriented, stresses on decision making

And he isn't particularly fond of:

----> The fact that it is difficult to adjust initially to the grind. Takes a lot of you

----> Doesn't get to play around much

Loves these @ PaGaLGuY forums:

----> Makes you realize that similar people exist

----> Great place to learn new fundae (vividly recalls the stock markets thread)

----> He feels is likely to, and should, become a representative body of for students across B-schools as well as aspirants

His take on Life @ IIMA:

----> Life @ IIMA is about working hard; and if you get the time, partying hard !! (keyword being “if”, right nikihil ;) )

Survivor's kit @ IIMA:

----> Resilience

Tips on GMAT:

----> Concentrate on sentence correction

----> Read a lot of unusual stuff (

----> Don't rush through the actual exam

----> Stress on accuracy

----> Register before-hand and keep enough time to prepare.


“CAT is a big mental game- do not get psyched out”

“Every person falls, but one should get up”

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