Saturday, April 28, 2007

Off to Mahabaleshwar...

It happens rarely with me, hence thought of acknowledging and penning down the feeling asap.

I am feeling excited and happy about the Mahabaleshwar trip that I am leaving for tonight. The happiness has a freshness which is a rarity for me to experience. Almost a childlike free will which is playing in my head :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Goal Setting...

During the span of last 3 months, I happened to read about Dr. Ram Charan - first from a blog buddy's post and later read a wondeful book by the same author - Know-How : The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don't .

And just last week happened to find a entire collection of his published articles -> Ram Charan - What Every Company Should Know

It been truely a pleasure to go through the articles and see how masterfully he has broken down the biggest strategic challenges faced by organisations across the world into simple modules and tackled each of them by suggesting real and actionable steps in which they can be dealt.

My favourite one has been, Goal Setting. Here is what he recommends -

Goals should always reflect the opportunities in the outside world,
tempered by what's realistically doable. Here are some guidelines:

Think about the "how"
Saying "We're going to grow revenues" is not enough.
Saying "We'll grow revenues faster than our competitors" is better, but is still
vague.You need more specificity: "We'll grow twice as fast as the GDP over the
next five years. One-third of that growth will be fueled by new products, which
will be the result of a 25 percent increase in R and D money. We'll fund the R
and D with money saved by cutting marginal product lines."
State your goals clearly, but also understand how they'll be accomplished. What actions will they trigger, and what are the implications for your business?

Involve others
You want the people who have to work toward the goals to have a chance to challenge them and the assumptions behind them. Then you'll know you haven't overlooked anything and you'll have a feel for whether the goals are realistic.
Some people resist goals because they don't like being held accountable, but others resist because they know that meeting them will do real harm to the business. Besides, people are more likely to buy into the goals if they have a chance to help shape them.

Consider how goals interact
A single goal -- whether it's profit or revenue growth, or market share, or even a hybrid like shareholder value -- distorts the business as people try to maximize that one measure. Instead, choose multiple goals, and as you do, consider how they interact with one another. No company can maximize everything at the same time. Be sure the set of goals you choose can be accomplished simultaneously. Reducing working capital by 10 percent, for instance, might be impossible if another of your goals is to grow revenue 15 percent.
Several years ago, leaders of one of the world's largest automakers stated their intention to increase overall market share, but pursuing that goal proved to have a negative effect on earnings as the company struggled to support a very wide range of products.

Consider the context
Set your goals in light of the opportunities that exist internal and external to your business, unit, or department. Maybe there's an opportunity to redesign your supply chain and tap huge cost savings in the process, or a whole new customer segment that could cause a big jump in revenues.Think broadly, and look forward, not backward. And be prepared to adjust the goals in light of what the rest of the
business is doing -- for instance, in response to the CFO's need to increase
cash in the coming year.

The beauty of these guidelines is there simplicity. In the sphere of management consulting where throwing jargons and sounding complicated is considered to be highly desirable, here is someone who can speak plain english and yet make an impact.

The underlying philosphy in all that he speks about is building synergies; hence he talks about goals been based on the opportunities in the external world but the way to achieve is through introspecting, identifying ones strenghts & shortcoming and arriving an optimal. Just as what Sigmund Freud said - "A man should not strive to eliminate his complexes but to get into accord with them: they are legitimately what directs his conduct in the world".

Friday, April 20, 2007

Marketing Mix of Life ...

Passion and Profession are two of the most overlooked 2 P's of life. My management friends will surely understand it right away, and for the rest here is a quick Marketing 101.

We are so often caught in the trap of living upto 'n' number of expectations, both real and percieved, that we tend ignore things core to ourselves. Passion is something thats pure indulgence from the heart. And Profession is where we devote more than half of our waking and walking time. Yet there are so few of us actually think and move in the direction of clubbing these two.

In the ever cluttered space of Indian Online Job Portals there is little differentiation in terms of product offering. And as the dog fight starts for claiming the #1 slot, we can only expect things to get worse. I happened to come across a wonderful business model in the area of Online Recruitment used by Careerspice.

Here is what the section marked - "the careerspice difference" on the website says :

By studying the lives of extraordinary achievers through history, a unique discovery was made for the professional. The single source of all extraordinary achievements is Passion. There is an innate Passion within everyone. When tapped and aligned with properly, ones full potential is realized and great accomplishment is made. Careerspice is founded on this discovery. It is the only online employment service that utilizes deep profiling with passion™ at its core.

The next generation: Careerspice is seizing the opportunity to shift the industry paradigm to a more personalized plane. The Match PSS™ system focuses on deep employment compatibility rather than the current "cookie-cutter fit" practices. Based on key employment dimensions (passion™, strengths, and skills), Match PSS™ captures detailed attributes from both sides of the equation. This system narrows the field from thousands of random results to a highly select cases that are compatible. A win-win for job seeker and employer.

Careerspice services come at competitive rates to employers and are free for job seekers.

Its high time now for the Indian Job Portals to evolve there business models and think about something on similar lines. Or else the moment we update our resumes on any of the job portals, the first impact is a bunch of calls from Placement Consultants forcing upon you an entire range of job offers, ranging from wierd to amusing to downright absurd. And most importantly, having very little corelation with the description that you have had to fill in all those forms while you were signing up as a job seeker with these portals.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

mobile blogging

Just installed Google Mobile on my mobile, this is a downloadable Java Application offering a great Gmail experience. Will surely recommend it to all who have a internet enabled mobile aceess.

And the first thing I did was using the Mail-to-Blogger service and send a post to my blog.

Getting a taste of mobile blogging and posting from my gmail account using my Motorola L6 :)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Just Words...

And just when my thought process started to shape up and a lot of things started to verbalise, I am back into the grip of writer's block.

Any help/ suggestions ???

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Google China

Driving market share northwards is surely the key objective of any business enterprise and undoubtabley it should be so. Its not very uncommon to find organizations going to any extent to grab the maximum share of the pie. There are a lot of ethical issues involved in defining the scope of what is right/ what is wrong. There is no count of the companies which have fallen into this trap.

Another complimentry issue which closely runs in the background is the issue of brand equity. Brand Equity has been defined as "An intangible asset that depends on associations made by the consumer".

So in terms of value, what market share is to a company, brand equity is to a consumer. And the proportionality function is -

Market Share:Organization :: Brand Equity:Consumer

So when we think about a company with the credo - "Do no evil" , there is a logical implication that both the above stated ratios stand to gain, in a postive way.

Google is one company which has lived up to all these expectations. They showed great candor about a year back when they admitted there shortcomings and the challenges they were facing in China -> Google in China

But what a disappointment it has been to see Google apologize to rival search engine.

Now we will have to wait and see how will they go ahead with there stated objective -

"We're in this for the long haul. In the years to come, we'll be making significant and growing investments in China. Our launch of, though filtered, is a necessary first step toward achieving a productive presence in a rapidly changing country that will be one of the world's most important and dynamic for decades to come. To some people, a hard compromise may not feel as satisfying as a withdrawal on principle, but we believe it's the best way to work toward the results we all desire."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Entreprenurial Divide...

An excellent writeup and reflective by Ajit Balakrishnan (Founder, CEO - Rediff) -

Here he raises a very critical issue of the role that low-tech entrepreneur play in a vast majority of Indian businesses, and yet how vulnerable they are to market variations over which they have no control. And also the ironic divide between the elite graduates who come from the top Engginerring and Management schools as against the "commoners".

Monday, April 09, 2007


Spend a particulary thoughtless/ thoughtfree sunday, which now as an after thought seems to be worth it. The highlights of the grand sunday were -

  • Waking up at 10 a.m.
  • Going back to sleep
  • Watching the entire Malaysian Grand Prix from start to finish
  • Enjoying every moment of it, goofing up by Massa, Hamilton overpowering the Ferrari's, neck to neck run between Raikkonen and Hamilton, McLaren topple Ferrari.
  • Simultaneously, watched a Mohanlal starrer Malayalam blockbuster (forced on me by my roomie) and the 1992 multi-starrer (Dharmendra, Naseeruddin Shah, Aditya Pancholi, Shammi Kapoor, Amrish Puri, Javed Jaffrey, Ekta Sohini, Mukesh Khanna, Sonu Walia, Pallavi Joshi) action, suspense, comedy, thriller Tehelka (which i forced on him, as a return favour) ;o)
  • Brainwave in Hindi
  • Listened to
  • Maggi for dinner

NB: BTW Just in case you are as clueless as myself as to what is all this suppose to mean, then let me tll you, on a monday morning, when you have absolutely no bearing of whats happening in the lecture (except for the topic being discussed) and are half asleep in the last row, what else can you think of ?
And yes just in case if you are able to figure what is all this about plz feel free to enlighten me as well :)

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Management Internship...

Finally, after a bit of delay, the writeup on our first phase of internship is up on our college website

A good feedback from project mentor is certainly a booster :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

कुछ भाव ...

आज भी मन की सतह पे उसी तरह संघर्ष जारी है ..................

नीरंतर ही मन भ्रमण करता है
छोर की अन्तीम वीरः तक

पथ के साथ चल कर भी
अनभिग्य रहा मंज़िल से

शब्दो में उलजा हुआ
ढूढ़ रह हू भावो को.....

समय ने मुझे बहुत तराशा है, बहुत से अनुभव एवं अनुभूतीया दी है । जीवन से बहुतायत रोश या आत्मग्लानी तो नही, मगर फिर भी आज भी मन की सतह पे उसी तरह संघर्ष जारी है ........

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