Sunday, March 26, 2006

Visting places - Let the FORCE be with me.

I leave for Tirupati on Monday morning.
Tirupati is is one of the holiest places in Hinduism and my family believes that before I head to a distant foregin land, I need to take the blessings from God.Besides that,my little nephew,plans to have his mundan there.Mundan is the first tonsure of a child and is an important rite in Hinduism.The li'l boy's hair has grown so long that he looks like a pretty girl now.:).My younger sis made a quick plan and plans to fly down from Kolkata just to see the li'l kid in his "new look" :).We also plan to visit the Kalahasti temple,a famous Siva temple near Tirupati.
From Tirupati,I travel to Hyderabad.I plan to catch up with a few friends,complete some pending work and most importantly visit the Visa Temple.Yeah, you heard it right.Itz the visa temple. For all those who don't know -It is widely prevalent among devotees that 'Chilkuru Balaji' is 'Visa Venkanna' for He is the giver of visa, a passport to go abroad.That is the reason why you will find many youngsters and youth making rounds and rounds the temple all along, all through the week.

The procedure is like this:
Whoever wants to go abroad for higher studies, employment, etc. has to first go to Chilkur and pay obeissance to the Lord and take a vow to pay His dakshina. Then take eleven (11) pradakshinas(rounds the temple) and put forth the desire to go abroad. The Lord is prayed during pradakshinas to grant the devotee with a Visa.The devotees, during eleven pradakshinas, vow to take 108 pradakshinas once the Visa is granted.When the Visa paving way to fly abroad is received, the devotee pays his obeissance with the vowed 108 pradakshinas .

Now, that I have got the visa, it is my turn to pay obeissance to the lord and complete the 108 rounds.

I'll be out for a week. So,there will not be any updates on my blog for a week.
Catch you all after some time.Till then,Have a great week ahead.

BTW,Here is some interesting trivia on the temples taht I am visiting:

Sri Venkateswara Temple at Tirupati
a.The official website is here, the site is maintained by Tata Consultancy Services, India's No 1 Software services company.

b.The temple is dedicated to Vishnu the second deity of the Hindu Holy Trinity who assumes the role of preserver of the cosmos.

c.Tirupati is the second richest religious institution after the Vatican City and is one of the most revered Hindu temples in India.

d.Tirupati is also the most visited temple in the world. It is estimated that more that 50,000 people visit the temple everyday; this makes it almost 19 million people in a year, almost double the estimated number of people visiting Vatican City

e.In the holy shrine of Tirumala, lot of devotees offer their hair as sacrifice against their fulfilled wish. They also drop their offerings in the form of money, gold, silver or anything they wish in the holy hundi(a box to collect the offerings). According to Hindu mythology, all the offerings to Lord Venkateswara count to repay the loan taken by him from Kubera for his marriage expenses which will be repaid completely by the end of Kaliyuga.

f.The deity has also over 1000 kg of gold and diamond jewellery, making it one of the richest temple treasures.

Chilkur Balaji/Visa Temple
a.One important feature of this Temple is that there is no Hundi.

b.It is widely prevalent among devotees that 'Chilkuru Balaji' is 'Visa Venkanna' for He is the giver of visa, a passport to go abroad

Kalahasti Temple
a.This temple is famous for the Rahu Ketu Sarpa Dosha Nivarana pooja. Astrology regards Rahu and Ketu as the only two planets which has varying degrees of malefic ( some benefic effect is also present) effects on ALL human beings.

b.It is rumored that the then India Captian Saurav Ganguly visited the temple in the company of a film actress Nagma(original name-Namrata Sadhana) days before the series against Australia.!

Friday, March 24, 2006

I was under the impression that once I quit my job I'll have loads of time in hand.Unfortunately, that has not been the case.

For the last few days, I have been working on the resume building exercise assigned to us by the Business Career center.It is tough putting everything onto one sheet of paper.The feedback has been extremely good.Some hard criticism has come but thatz good for me.Lots of room to improve.

I also ordered a suit for self.Had to decide b/n a black and navy blue color.Finally,decided for a Navy Blue one.Also transfered the first half of the fees to Queen's.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We are the champions

MBAst 2006 students Erica Chean, Madhavi Karanam and Fabiana Peixoto de Mello emerged as the MBA level winners of the 2006 The L'Oréal e-Strat Challenge National Finals held in Montreal yesterday. Some 338 teams from Canada had registered to compete.

The simulation is carefully designed to illustrate diverse yet realistic business marketing situations that L’Oréal managers face every day. Teams of three students are asked every week to make strategic decisions such as corporate social responsibility, brand strategy and marketing. In turn, they are measured based on their Share Price Index (SPI) which includes brand market shares, the firm’s revenues, the quality of research and development, as well as consumer satisfaction.

After eight weeks competing in the virtual realm, the top six teams nationwide were invited to L'Oréal's head office in Montreal to bring their business plan to life before a panel of L'Oréal executives at the company's headquarters in Montreal. These top teams had already successfully proven their ability to navigate the business realities of managing a cosmetics company in the virtual realm. But yesterday was a test of their ability to effectively communicate their strategic vision that made the difference. Luc Nadeau, president of the jury and President of Luxury Products stated, "Queen's University distinguished themselves by providing real insight and relevance. Their presentation was logical and their delivery excellent!"

Queen's MBA Wins Telus Cup

On Sunday March 19th in Toronto at York University - A Queen's MBA hockey team made up of current students and past alumni (and siblings!) was successful in claiming the first annual Telus Cup!

Our never worn before jerseys hit the ice with a 4-0 victory over Ivey followed with victories over Rotman, 6-2 and Schulich 2-0. An undefeated round robin, lead us to a final game match-up with 2nd seeded Schulich.

After a close first period, Queen's pulled ahead to a 3-0 lead only to allow the third goal of the tournament with seconds left in the game but the victory was ours at 3-1 and Queen's claimed the 1st Annual Telus Cup.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Queen's MBA- Your Questions answered

Q: What can Queen's MBA for Science & Technology do for me?
A:This program is a general management MBA program that uses the high quantitative abilities of our incoming class to provide them with a solid grasp of management fundamentals across all business disciplines, but also the strategic tools to approach issues from an integrated and multi-disciplinary perspective. Because of the high abilities of our students we can move much more quickly away from the basics (such as linear regression and basic numeracy) into
more advanced topics, at a pace impossible with a generic class composition.

By the program's end you'll have many of the tools you need to tackle strategic management problems; you will understand how each functional area contributes to organizational performance, what kinds of problems managers face, and how different analytical skills
and emerging technologies can be used to resolve problems; you will be able to identify the issues that are fundamental to a business, outline and evaluate strategic alternatives, and develop comprehensive implementation plans; you will have the opportunity to customize your MBA experience by choosing up to four electives from our course roster, which include Risk Management, Advanced Strategy, Customer Relationship Management, and Innovation & Strategic Change.

While many MBA programs tout the importance of teamwork, Queen's MBA is one of a select few in the world that formally assigns students to teams for the duration of the program (and gives them their own team room!!). Each team consists of five or six students and is carefully assembled on the premise of maximizing diversity. Throughout the year, teams will collaborate on assignments, papers, and presentations in which each team member will have ample
opportunity to hone their presentation skills, interpersonal skills, and Q&A skills. Our team-based learning model is an unparalleled example of cross-cultural learning--a skill critical in today's
increasingly global business environment.

Q) What are my financing options?
A: Most of our domestic students finance their Queen's MBA through a credit line provided by RBC Financial. Queen's pays the interest on your loan while you are in the program. This loan is only available for Canadian citizens and/or permanent residents of Canada. Details
of this loan and the application are available at

Our international students need to secure funding from their home countries, or through third-party agencies like those found on our site at

Q: Does Queen's MBA award scholarships?
A: Yes. All qualified candidates who submitted their application by the Jan 15 deadline were considered for an entrance scholarship by the Scholarship Committee. All scholarships have been awarded, and all individuals chosen for a scholarship have been notified.

Typically, we award scholarships to no more than 15% of the incoming class. bviously, with the high-powered quality of our students, there was considerable competition for these scholarships. Given the increased competition from other MBA programs to attract and retain
the best students, we increased our minimum amount awarded to $10,000, and for the first time awarded scholarships of $20,000 and $30,000 to select incoming students.

I would also like to clarify that Queen's MBA does not offer financial aid, grants, bursaries, or research/ teaching assistantships. All entrance scholarships were awarded on the basis
of merit alone.

Q: How do I find a place to live in Kingston?
A: The Queen's Accommodation Listing Service is the premier site for finding an apartment, home, or shared accommodations owned by private landlords: Queen's also rents out apartments and houses. Please see their listings at Queen's owns and
operates "The Graduate Residence" and "Harkness International Hall".
Please go to

Q) Is it just all lectures at Queen's?
A: Not at all! Since each student has their own learning style and abilities, Queen's School of Business doesn't believe in a one-style- fits-all approach when it comes to management education. We use an integrated and blended teaching methodology. Queen's MBA curriculum
is a highly-integrated series of courses and projects, including numerous, exciting, and relevant case discussions led by professors and industry participants. Queen's MBA will provide you will more than enough cases throughout Stages 3 & 4, where they are most applicable, and used properly to stimulate strategic thinking. Our students can well attest to this point! Furthermore, we are careful not to use stale-dated material, and source our readings and cases from a wide array of sources. We also expect our students to participate in case competitions, conferences, and deliver many presentations throughout their course work.

Queen's has developed this MBA program around 6 learning themes:
*Management Fundamentals
* Strategic Thinking
* Entrepreneurship
* Innovation & Change
* Corporate Social Responsibility
* Leadership.

Without question, with some 690 class-contact hours in 12 months, to succeed in Queen's MBA you must be a high achiever who thrives in a fast-paced and challenging environment (Of course, we happen to think you are most capable to handle it).

Q) How will Queen's MBA help me advance my career?
A: What are your objectives? Where do you want to go with your MBA?
Only you determine your future...For our part, Queen's MBA will provide you with personalized career management, through our Career Advantage Program. Our role is to augment your career search by ensuring you are equipped with the skills and industry-specific information necessary to help you achieve your goals. We will also provide you with the opportunity to network with Queen's MBA graduates and your fellow students in our Accelerated MBA and Executive MBA programs.

From image consulting, networking and dining etiquette, to communications skills training, mock interviews, salary negotiation workshops to high-performance coaching, our career management team will provide you with one-on-one coaching to help you explore your career options and chart your career path. Of course, with our outstanding reputation, Queen's attracts top MBA recruiters to campus. And they hire our students across all sectors! For example, 35% of our 2005 graduates were hired in the finance sector, while 26% were hired in the management consulting sector, and 13% each in the manufacturing and hi-tech sectors.

To see what companies actively recruit at Queen's go to here

Q) How's life in Kingston?
A: Ideal! Settled in 1673, Kingston is a community of 141,000 residents nestled on the shores of Lake Ontario, with three post-secondary institutions whose combined student population is roughly 25,000. We are midway between Canada's two largest cities, and just south of Canada's capital city, Ottawa. This triangle is home to some 10-million people and is the economic and political hub of Canada.

Home to renowned authors, actors, musicians, academics, scientists, business people and politicians, Kingston's many faces are best sought out on foot. You can walk almost everywhere you need to go, safely. The city is meant for long meandering walks around its famous 19th Century limestone core and along its picturesque waterfront. You can explore Kingston at

Nike and Google team up

Nike and Google have quietly launched the first invitation-only Web site for soccer-mad fans around the went live late last week and will soon be running in 140 countries and 14 languages.

Joga is an online community. Its name is derived from Joga Bonito, which is Portuguese for play beautiful.
Joga, like Orkut, is an organically grown network of friends that focus solely on the love of soccer. Joga is a member’s only portal community that you can only get invited to from someone who is already a member

Read the article here

The 'Milkman of India' resigns from 34-yr long post

After 34 years at the helm of one of the most successful cooperatives, Verghese Kurien has stepped down as Chairman of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation (GCMMF)

Dr. Verghese Kurien (born November 26, 1921) is called the father of the White Revolution in India. He is also known as the Milkman of India.

He was the chairman of the Gujarat Co-operative Milk Marketing Federation Ltd.(GCMMF). GCMMF is an apex cooperative organization that manages the Amul food brand. He is recognised as the man behind the success of the Amul brand.

He is credited with architecting Operation Flood -- the largest dairy development program in the world. Dr. Kurien, set up the Anand model of cooperative dairy development, engineered the White Revolution in India, and made India the largest milk producer in the world.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

India- A Hot Spot for Medical Tourism

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I read an article/Slide show in Sify that states that Medical Tourism is likely to be the next major foreign exchange earner for India as an increasing number of patients, unwilling to accept long queues in Europe or high costs in the US, are travelling to the country to undergo surgery.Medical tourism is now a Rs 1330-crore industry with the number of overseas patients touching the 1-lakh mark in 2005..

Some stats and facts from the Sify Site:

-A study by McKinsey and Confederation of Indian Industry says that at its current pace of growth, healthcare tourism alone can rake over Rs 8,000 crore additional revenue by 2012

-The primary reason for the medical tourism gaining ground is the high quality of healthcare services being offered at competitive prices. India offers a wide range of specialised services at less than one-fifth of the cost in developed countries .
For eg:Instead of paying $2,00,000 for a mitral valve surgery in the US, a patient could travel to India and receive the same treatment for $6,700.Similarly, rather than paying 15,000 pounds Sterling for hip resurfacing in the UK, a patient can get the same procedure for 5,000 pounds in India, including surgery, airfare and hotel stay, the magazine says.

-States such as Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Rajasthan, New Delhi etc are already trying to cash in on the concept with most hospitals in these states tying up with a few counterparts in the UK, US and Gulf regions.

-Understanding the enormous profits that the sector can bring in for its Ayurveda medicine system, Kerala has already declared the year 2006-07 as `Year of Medical Tourism`.

-Most Indian corporate hospitals are on par, if not better than the best hospitals in Thailand and Singapore and there is scope for improvement which can see the country becoming a preferred medical destination soon, it says.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Harder than Harvard

Fortune magazine writes an article on Infosys. And describes how a fast-growing Indian outsourcing company admits only 1 percent of applicants and goes on to train 15,000 recruits a year.

Read the article here:

L'Oreal buys Body Shop chain

French cosmetics giant L'Oreal is making a debut in retailing by buying the Body Shop chain for $1.1bn. This marks an exit from the group by founder Dame Anita Roddick, although she will be retained as a consultant after the sale

Body Shop International plc , known as The Body Shop, is a chain of cosmetics stores founded by Anita Roddick, noted for selling its own line of products not tested on animals, and produced in an ecologically sustainable manner.

Body Shop was founded 30 years ago in Brighton, England, by Anita and Gordon Roddick, and there are now more than 2,000 stores around the world.
The Roddicks stepped down from managing the company in 2002, but have remained as non-executive directors and stand to bank around 117 million pounds ($204 million) from their 18 percent stake.

Anita Roddick, who will retain her current role as a consultant, said the company's values would not change.

Life Beyond Code

Friday,Mar 17th was my last day with the Organization.I liked the company I was working for.It was a good place and I experienced some mixed emotions on the last day.I wanted to move out to pursue my professional and personal goal.

After 5 long years,I will be back to studies .An MBA will equip me with the skills required to chase a dream.The exit from my current job also means that it is the end of coding.This May, I start a new phase -which can truly be called as 'Life Beyond Code'.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Awesome offers

It’s a seller’s market and companies are willing to pay any price to attract the right talent.

The newschannels and papers have been talking all day about the IIM placments.!
INR 34 Lakhs -Highest domestic salary.
INR 86 Lakhs -Highest International Placement.

Provided below is some info about the guyz who bagged these offers.
You'll notice that these folks have considerable work ex.

I won't be surprised if we see a new trend in India.-B Schools hiring more folks with work ex.

ISB started the trend and it seen some good success. The introduction of IIMA-PGPX proves that there is a market for folks with work ex.

I honestly feel that the selection process in India for B school needs to be improved ..It shouldn't be just based on CAT! There needs to some modifications ..GMAT/CAT score, essays,reco letters,PI etc) ....What say.?

Highest Domestic Salary:

Offered by :RPG Group
To: Surya Prasad of IIMA
Package: Rs. 34 Lakh
Position: Country head, project management at RPG.
His bio:
Chennai-based Deputy Inspector General of police a,1988 batch officer of Tamil Nadu cadre earlier drawing Rs 25,000 per month
He was an Osmania University graduate of the 1982 batch, he cracked the Common Admission Test thrice, in 2001, 2002 and 2003 and made it to all IIMs.
Source : Economic Times(IIM tag helps this DIG move up in life)
More info at Paagal Guy

Highest International Salary:

Offered by: Barclays
To: Gaurav Agarwal of IIM-B
His bio: It SEEMS he is from IIT, then did his MS in US ,worked for 5 years and then came to IIMB as NRI student and now going to london.
Source: Unconfirmed..Heard it from somebody.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Wish you a very Happy Holi

Student Clubs at Queen's

Focus and energy are two factors that would be crucial in the next 1 year.
Focus - because I will have to prioritize things, understand itz importance and put in the required effort .Energy - because this is what converts our plans into reality.

The Queen's MBAst student club pages have been put up on the portal. We need to choose the club we intend to join.The club pages allow for a completely separate interaction among club members, including discussion boards, uploads, etc. Once the students gather at Queen's the interested folks will start interacting and have meetings .We'd have to set the club agendas/missions, pick club executives, and work towards the target.

I would be interested in the Marketing and Consulting club for sure. New Ventures club sounds very exciting. Information Tech Club would be fun. The Finance club would have a lot of interaction.. I'll take some time before I decide which clubs to join and participate whole heartedly.

Meanwhile here is the list of various clubs:

MBAst Athletics Club
MBAst BioTech Club
MBAst Consulting Club
MBAst Club for Corporate Social Responsibility
MBAst Student Executive
MBAst Finance Club
MBAst International Development Club
MBAst Information Technology Club
MBAst Marketing Club
MBAst New Ventures Club
Queen's Women in Management

Besides this, there are other clubs too at Queen's.
The Queen's university is famous for its rich extra-curricular learning experience, largely centred on the hundreds of student clubs active on campus.

Queen's is home to the oldest student government in Canada (founded in 1858), Canada's oldest campus radio station (founded 1922), and is the only Canadian university allowed to hold its Model Parliament in the actual House of Commons in Ottawa!

Here are the offerings outside of the School of Business - A menu of choices:

The Indian Students Association link is here

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Proteas have Kangaroo curry for dinner
Wonder at Wanderers pitch.? Perhaps !

It was difficult to digest that a one day score can be more than 400 runs...It is even more difficult to believe that somebody can actually chase the score and win the game.Yeah, the Proteas did it !

This was perhaps one of the best chase I have ever seen.
South Africans, known to be chokers surprised everyone when they hit a world record 438 for nine in the highest-scoring one-day international in history to beat Australia by one wicket and win the series 3-2.

If you didn't see the last few overs of the chase, you've missed something in life today!

How the Proteas chased!

Note:Ponting and Gibbs were jointly awarded man of the match but Ponting declined it, saying Gibbs deserved the honour alone.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Show me the Money

Canadian playboy Calvin Ayre went down to Costa Rica a decade ago and began taking illegal bets over the Internet. Now he’s worth $1 billion. His company, Bodog Entertainment Group, took in $7.3 billion US in bets last year.The Forbes article says Ayre got his start in gambling as a hockey-playing youngster, playing blackjack for pennies on the team bus. He now lives in Costa Rica.The Forbes article also quotes a U.S. Justice Department official who says online gambling is illegal.

'Why is the list growing? The answer is an obvious one -- the global economy is growing,' said Forbes editor-in-chief Steve Forbes.

The 2006 roster counted billionaires from 49 countries, with the Czech Republic making its first appearance, and New Zealand and Lebanon both returning after an absence of several years

The World's Top 10 Billionaires
#1 William Gates - $50 Billion
#2 Warren Buffett - $42 Billion
#3 Carlos Slim Helu - $30 Billion
#4 Ingvar Kamprad - $28 Billion
#5 Lakshmi Mittal - $23.5 Billion
#6 Paul Allen - $22 Billion
#7 Bernard Arnault - $21.5 Billion
#8 Prince Alwaleed - $20 Billion
#9 Kenneth Thomson - $19.6 billion
#10 Li Ka-shing - $18.8 billion

How about in India?
The new Indian Billionaires list can be found here

While US names accounted for nearly half the fortunes on the roster, this year's ranking was notable for the influx of newcomers from Brazil, India, Russia and other emerging economies.

-Hind Hariri, the 22-year-old daughter of slain Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Hariri, beat out Germany's Prince Albert von Thurn und Taxis by eight months for the title of the world's youngest billionaire.

-Notable disappearances included US lifestyle guru Martha Stewart, who debuted on the list last year despite serving a five-month prison term, and then found that freedom doesn't pay as her net worth declined to 500 mln usd after her release.

-Europe's rising star was Russia, with 33 names including seven new faces.

-In the Asia-Pacific region -- home to 115 billionaires -- the standout was India which added 10 new faces to total 23 on the list with a combined worth of 99 bln usd, 60 pct more than last year.

-The number of women increased by 10 from the previous year to 78 and included US talk show queen Oprah Winfrey who pulled in an extra 100 mln over the year to rank 562nd overall with 1.4 bln

Know Canada better

I was going through Wikipedia,a few newspapers to understand Canada better.Below is some short,quick information about the country. Towards the end, I have listed some links to some major public and private companies in Canada.

Canada is a country occupying the northern portion of North America, and is the world's second largest country in total area.

The name Canada is believed to come from the Huron-Iroquois word kanata, which means "village" or "settlement".

Inhabited exclusively for several millennia by aboriginal peoples, Canada was founded as a union of British colonies, some of which had earlier been French colonies.

A federal dominion of ten provinces with three territories, Canada peacefully obtained sovereignty from its last colonial possessor, the United Kingdom, in a process beginning in 1867 with its formation and ending in 1982 when Canada gained the authority to amend its own constitution.

Canada is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy with a federal system of parliamentary government, and strong democratic traditions. The political system under which Canada operates is a Westminster system derived from the United Kingdom.

Canada has four main political parties today. The traditionally centrist / left-of-centre Liberal Party of Canada formed the government in Canada for most of the 20th century.

Canada is composed of ten provinces and three territories. The provinces have a large degree of autonomy from the federal government, the territories somewhat less. Each has its own provincial or territorial symbols.

Canada's constitution governs the legal framework of the country and consists of written text and unwritten traditions and conventions. The federal government and the governments of nine provinces agreed to the patriation of the constitution, with procedures for amending it, at a meeting of First Ministers in November 1981. The Quebec government did not agree to the changes, and Quebec nationalists refer to that date as the Night of the Long Knives.

The position of Prime Minister, Canada's head of government, in practice, belongs to the leader of the political party who can command a majority in the House of Commons. The Prime Minister and his or her cabinet are formally appointed by the Governor General. However, the Prime Minister chooses the cabinet and the Governor General always, by convention, respects the Prime Minister's desired choices. The Cabinet is traditionally drawn from members of the prime minister's party in both legislative houses, though mostly from the Commons. Executive power is exercised by the prime minister and cabinet, all of whom are sworn into the Privy Council of Canada and become ministers of the Crown. The Prime Minister exercises a great deal of individual political power, especially in the appointment of other officials within the government and civil service. Stephen Harper, a Conservative, has served as Prime Minister since February 6, 2006.

Canada defines itself as a bilingual and multicultural nation. Both English and French are official languages.

A technologically advanced and industrialized nation, Canada is a net exporter of energy because of its large fossil fuel deposits, nuclear energy generation, and hydroelectric power capacity. Its diversified economy relies heavily on an abundance of natural resources and trade, particularly with the United States, with which Canada has had a long and complex relationship, one which can be described as the strongest trade partnership in history.

Canada is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. Canada's head of state is its monarch, who is represented in Canada by the Governor General. The head of government is the Prime Minister.

Canada is composed of ten provinces and three territories. The provinces have a large degree of autonomy from the federal government, the territories somewhat less.

The provinces and territories are:
British Columbia
New Brunswick
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
Newfoundland and Labrador

Northwest Territories

As of January 2006, the population is estimated by Statistics Canada to be 32.4 million people, an increase of some 2.4 million people accomplished largely by immigration and (to a lesser extent) natural growth

The population density of 3.5 people per square kilometre is among the lowest in the world.

Statutory and major holidays in Canada include New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Victoria Day, Canada Day, Labour Day, Thanksgiving, Remembrance Day, Christmas, and Boxing Day.

About three-quarters of Canada's population live within 150 kilometres (95 mi) of the U.S. border.

Canada's two official languages are English and French.French is mostly spoken in Quebec with pockets in New Brunswick, eastern and northern Ontario, Saskatchewan, the south shore of Nova Scotia and southern Manitoba. Of those who speak French as a first language, 85% live in Quebec.

Canada's official national sports are ice hockey (winter) and lacrosse (summer), however, hockey is considerably more a part of Canadian culture, and is by far the most popular spectator sport in the country.Curling is another extremely popular winter sport in Canada, with the strongest support in the prairie provinces

The use of the maple leaf as a Canadian symbol dates back to the early 18th century, and is depicted on its current and previous flags, the penny, and on the coat of arms.

Listings of major public and private companies in Canada, organized by business sector.

Top Technology Companies are Bombardier Inc ,Nortel Networks Corp., Celestica Inc, IBM Canada, Rogers Wireless, ATI Technologies, Pratt & Whitney Canada, Siemes Canada, Linamar Corp, Research In Motion
Here is the link.

1,000 largest publicly traded Canadian corporations, measured by assets.
Here is the link

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Batch of 1990s with teachers.

Herez a picture of the batch of 1990s of my high school.
Trying to locate me?
The tallest guy in the picture..or the one in Green! :)

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Power Woman Quiz

March 08th is International Women's day.The Indian woman, with her resilience and intellect, balances her family and career judiciously.As a tribute to Indian women ,presenting below a short informative quiz about the women who have become role models and inspired many souls.Answers are provided below

1.She is known for her philanthropic work and has initiated a move to provide all government schools in Karnataka with
computer and library facilities. She also teaches computer science and writes fiction. She completed her M.Tech. in Computer
Science in 1974 from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, stood first in her class and received a gold medal from the
Indian Institute of Engineers. She was also the first woman engineer to be selected in Telco (now Tata Motors), Pune. In
2006, the Padma Shri, a civilian award from the Government of India was conferred on her.Who?

2.It was not easy for her. She founded a company with a capital of Rs. 10,000/- in her garage in 1978.The initial operation
was to extract an enzyme from papaya. Her application for loans was turned down by banks on three counts – biotechnology was
a new word yet; the company lacked assets and most importantly, women entrepreneurs were still a rarity. But this did not let
her down. She worked hard and over the years, the company grew under her stewardship and is today the biggest
biopharmaceutical firm in India. Termed as “India’s mother of invention " by the New York Times, she is also India's first
woman Brew master and has authored 'Ale and Arty,' a Coffee table book about brewing beer . Who are we talking about ?

3.The lady is one of India's prominent woman entrepreneurs and has over 40,000 franchise clinics across the world covering
over 138 countries. She captured the markets around the world and now wants to conquer space. In an innovative move, she
has started work on formulations that astronauts could carry with them in their extraterrestrial sojourns to protect their
skin from the ravages of space travel and slow down the ageing process .The free samples have already been sent to NASA.
Known all over the world as the queen of herbal care products, she once remarked "I do not sell products. I sell an entire
civilization in a jar." Who ?

4.One word to describe the lady -Excellence. The daughter of one of the country's best-known Urdu-language poet, she took up
acting almost three decades ago and has delivered award winning performances. But it's not her movie roles that have made her
a hero for modern India. She has consistently—and loudly—railed against real-world injustice. Her passion is
incontrovertible. Always in the news, once asked why, she said “The trouble is that I can never keep quiet." Who ?

5.In her early days, she borrowed money from her father in Delhi to come to Mumbai and take part in the Miss India contest in
1998.She told herself that she wouldn’t return home until she paid him back. She worked at McDonald’s as a waitress for Rs
1,500 and also auditioned for roles while working. The role of an ideal daughter-in-law made her a towering figure on the
Indian television circuit .Life has never been the same since then for this lady. She balances a political career, a family
with three children, produces and acts in plays and also manages a jet-setting acting schedule. Who ?

6.She has a bachelor's in English literature from St. Stephen's College, Delhi; a master's in mass communications from Jamia
Milia Islamia's Mass Communications Research Center, Delhi; and a master's in journalism from Columbia University, New York.
She was a 1997 winner of the Inlaks Scholarship, which sends six Indians abroad annually for graduate work . She was the
journalistic face of the Kargil war . Who ?

7.Growing up in Karnal, Haryana she always knew she was going to do something with her life. She was a tomboy who chopped off
her own hair and learnt Karate. She loved the idea of flying and had JRD Tata as her role model. She dared to dream and
worked very hard to make that dream a reality by qualifying over 2692 applicants at NASA to earn herself a place in space
shuttle Columbia. She died aboard STS-107 (Space Shuttle Columbia) when it disintegrated during reentry into the Earth's
atmosphere. A few days after her death, the Indian Prime Minister announced that the meteorological series of satellites,
"METSAT" be named after her. She was a star and continues to be a role model for millions of people all across the globe.
Amar Chitra Katha released a comic book biography on her life.Who.?

8.She can be described as India's unofficial ambassador of the world of fashion. She graduated from the National Institute of
Fashion Technology, New Delhi. She became the first Asian designer to head a French Fashion brand, Scherrer. Her esteemed
client list includes Bill Clinton,Nicole Kidman and M.F Hussain.She recently released a book written by her titled 'Firefly'
that is on sale for a whooping Rs 1 lakh. When asked what inspires her, she says ""My Inspiration comes from what makes my
generation tick".Who?

9.She is often referred to as the 'Model Maker' thanks to her extraordinary ability to pick up winners in the modelling world. Think John Abraham, Lara Dutta, Diana Hayden and you'll know whom we are talking about. She heads the Gladrags Magazine and is one of the forces behind the Miss India beauty pageant. Her success as a wife and mother are partly the reason why she launched India’s first Indian beauty pageant for married women -Mrs. India contest. A constant advice that she gives to aspiring models- "Beauty fades. So have have something to fall back on. A real career".Who?

10.It all began with a dream. A dream to help people regain their self-confidence by creating awareness about their appearance, awakening a desire among people to feel good about themselves.This passion set the pace for her professional training in cosmetology in Germany. She also undertook tours in Europe to learn the latest technologies used in slimming. Assimilating this knowledge, she utilised the latest techniques and set up her first slimming and beauty centre in 1989. Subsequently, she set up more centres all over India and since then there has been no looking back.
Stay Beautiful is what she believes in.Who?

1.Sudha Murthy
2.Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
3.Shahnaz Hussain
4.Shabana Azmi
5.Smriti Irani
6.Barkha Dutt
7.Kalpana Chawla
8.Ritu Beri
9.Maureen Wadia
10.Vandana Luthra

Monday, March 06, 2006

AT&T to acquire BellSouth

Read the news here

AT&T said it will acquire fellow phone company BellSouth in a stock deal worth $67 billion, creating a telecommunications giant that dwarfs its nearest competitor, Verizon Communications.

AT&T became the largest phone company in the United States after local phone company SBC Communications acquired long-distance carrier AT&T last year for $16 billion. The company, which changed its name after the acquisition was completed, serves 13 states, mostly throughout the western and southwestern parts of the country.

Combined with BellSouth, the third largest local phone company in the country, AT&T will pick up another nine states in the southeast to provide service in a total of 22 states. The combined company would generate about $130 billion in sales and serve nearly 70 million local phone customers.

In addition, AT&T will take full control of Cingular Wireless, a joint venture owned by AT&T and BellSouth. AT&T already owns 60 percent of Cingular, which is considered the largest cellular phone company in the U.S., providing service to more than 54 million subscribers in the United States.

"The Cingular partnership and the company itself are performing extremely well, particularly after the AT&T Wireless acquisition," AT&T Chairman and CEO Edward E. Whitacre said in a statement. "But no partnership between two independent companies, no matter how well run, can match the speed, effectiveness, responsiveness and efficiency of a solely owned company."

The deal is likely to rattle consumer groups, which opposed the $16 billion merger between SBC and AT&T last year. The fear among these groups is that the telecommunications market is consolidating too much, leaving fewer choices for consumers. But regulators thus far have not bought into this argument.

The main reason for this is that the local phone companies do not compete directly with each other. They operate in different regions of the country. Supporters of the megamergers also argue the phone companies are facing stiff competition from cable companies, which are now offering phone service along with television service and high-speed Internet access.
For example, it could force Verizon to make a play for Qwest Communications, the fourth surviving Baby Bell operating company.

Verizon announced its bid for long distance carrier MCI last year after SBC had announced its acquisition of AT&T. Verizon entered a bidding war with Qwest Communications , which offers local phone service and high-speed Internet access to customers in 14 western states. Eventually, Verizon paid $8.44 billion for the formerly bankrupt MCI .

AT&T's move to acquire BellSouth could also spur Verizon into action on the wireless front. Currently, it jointly owns Verizon Wireless with European carrier Vodafone. Verizon's CEO has mentioned on several occasions that he is interested in buying Vodafone's 45 percent stake in the wireless company.

Under the terms of the proposed merger, BellSouth shareholders will receive 1.325 shares of AT&T common stock for each BellSouth common share. Based on AT&T's closing stock price on Friday, the deal will be worth about $37.09 for each BellSouth common share. That represents a 17.9 percent premium over BellSouth's closing stock price on Friday, and it puts the current value of the deal at approximately $67 billion.

The merger, which is subject to approval by shareholders of both companies, as well as regulatory authorities, is expected to close within the next 12 months, the company said.

And the Oscar goes to

Best Picture: Crash.

Actor: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Capote.

Actress: Reese Witherspoon, Walk the Line.

Supporting Actor: George Clooney, Syriana.

Supporting Actress: Rachel Weisz, The Constant Gardener.

Director: Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain.

Foreign Film: Tsotsi, South Africa.

Adapted Screenplay: Larry McMurtry and Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain.

Original Screenplay: Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco, Crash.

Animated Feature Film: Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.

Art Direction: Memoirs of a Geisha.

Cinematography: Dion Beebe for Memoirs of a Geisha.

Sound Mixing: King Kong.

Sound Editing: King Kong.

Original Score: Brokeback Mountain, Gustavo Santaolalla.

Original Song: It's Hard out Here for a Pimp from Hustle & Flow, Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman and Paul Beauregard.

Costume: Memoirs of a Geisha.

Documentary Feature: March of the Penguins.

Documentary (short subject): A Note of Triumph: The Golden Age of Norman Corwin.

Film Editing: Crash.

Makeup: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

Animated Short Film: The Moon and the Son: An Imagined Conversation.

Live Action Short Film: Six Shooter.

Visual Effects: King Kong.

Oscar winners previously announced this year:

Honorary Academy Award (Oscar statuette): Robert Altman.

The Gordon E Sawyer award for technical achievement (Oscar statuette): Gary Demos

Sunday, March 05, 2006

New Ventures -Inspirations?

Some updates that I read at Sambharmafia's blog

1.Get inspired from Craig List
An online classified system in India has been introduced - has been inspired from CraigList and has been set up by founders of

2.Flick the idea from Netflix
On the lines of popular US online movie rental services like Netflix and Blockbuster, SeventyMM plans to launch an online movie rental service in India.
The site is called SeventyMM. Check it out here.

3.One India Messenger
A service called VoiFi has been launched by Sabeer Bhatia.VoiFi Beta, is an instant messaging (IM) service and a peer-to-peer telephony software that also offers calls for Re 1 from any part of the world to India.I guess the idea was inspired from Skype/ Gtalk / Yahoo Messenger kind of service

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Itz finally over

The BlackBerry wireless e-mail service avoided a shutdown in the United States when device maker Research In Motion Ltd on Friday agreed to pay NTP Inc. $612.5 million to settle a patent dispute, sending RIM shares up 19 percent in after-hours trade.

The agreement between RIM and NTP ends a more than four-year U.S. court battle over NTP claims that RIM had infringed on its patents with the BlackBerry, which has become the communications device of choice among many executives, politicians and Hollywood celebrities

Read the complete article here

Friday, March 03, 2006

Ten Easy Ways to Improve Your Resume

An excellent article by Katharine Hansen.The article is also printed below.

In my line of work, I see hundreds of resumes, and I often see the same patterns over and over again. I frequently observe resume tendencies that are not necessarily mistakes, yet the jobseekers behind these resumes could have much nicer, cleaner, more readable resumes if they just tweaked a few things. And none of these tweaks are hard to accomplish. Even if your resume has other problems, you'll see significant improvements if you make these 10 easy fixes.

1.Use a bulleted style to make your resume more reader-friendly. Given that employers screen resumes for between 2.5 and 20 seconds, they will find your resume a lot more readable if you use bullet points instead of paragraph style. It's just easier to read.

2.Follow "The Resume Ingredients Rule."
Set forth by Donald Asher, author of numerous resume books (see our Q&A with him), the rule says that information on a resume should be listed in order of importance to the reader. Therefore, in listing your jobs, what's generally most important is your title/position. So list in this preferred order: Title/position, name of employer, city/state of employer, dates of employment. I can't tell you how many resumes I've seen that list dates first. Dates can be important to some employers, but they're generally not as important as what your position was and whom you worked for. Education follows the same principle; thus, the preferred order for listing your education is: Name of degree (spelled out: Bachelor of _____) in name of major, name of university, city/state of university, graduation year, followed by peripheral information, such as minor and GPA. If you haven't graduated yet, list your information the same way. Simply by virtue of the fact that the graduation date you've listed is in the future, the employer will know you don't have the degree yet.
By the way, the Resume Ingredients Rule is also the reason that experience and education are listed in reverse chronological order on your resume; it's assumed that your most recent education and experience are most important and relevant to the reader.

3.Eliminate "responsibilities" words from your resume vocabulary. Never use expressions like "Duties included," "Responsibilities included," or “Responsible for” on your resume. Why? Because your resume should be accomplishments-driven, not responsibilities-driven. Anyone (well, maybe not anyone…) can perform the duties listed in a job description. Job-description language is not what sells in a resume. Accomplishments-oriented language tells employers how you've gone above and beyond in your jobs, what makes you special, how you've taken initiative and made your jobs your own.

4.Eliminate clutter from your resume.
Several elements can clutter up your resume and impede readability:
-Unnecessary dates. Don't list dates that don't add anything to your resume; for example, dates you spent involved in college extracurricular activities. If you were involved in these activities during college, the reader can pretty much guess your dates of involvement, and listing the dates will just clutter up your document. Same with dates of involvement in professional or civic organizations; ask yourself if those dates will be meaningful to the employer reading your resume.

-Parentheses Jobseekers have a particular tendency to set off dates of employment with parentheses. It's easier on the reader if you just use commas.

-The line "References: Available upon request." This statement is highly optional because it is a given that you will provide references upon request. If you couldn't, you would have no business looking for a job. The line can serve the purpose of signaling: "This is the end of my resume," but if you are trying to conserve space, leave it off.

-Articles. Those little words "a," "an," and "the." Generally speaking, resumes aren't written in sentence form, but in concise phrases that have become an accepted shorthand that employers understand. Articles tend to clutter up that shorthand; your resume will read in a more streamlined manner without them. Consider these "before" and "after" examples:

-5.Use strong, concrete verbs to describe your jobs, and don't mix noun and verb phrases.
Let's look at this example:
-Managed and controlled all aspects of company's West Coast presence. [verb]
-Complete ownership of inventory and financial standards. [noun]
-Full P&L responsibilities. [noun]
-Analyzed market and forecast sales, prepared corporate budgets and monitored results to achieve ROI objectives. [verb]

Instead, be consistent with verbs:
-Supervised inventory and financial standards.
-Completely oversaw profit and loss aspects of operation.
Also avoid the weak verbs, “to be,” “to do,” and "to work." Everyone works. Be more specific. "Collaborate(d)" is often a good substitute. Instead of: “Worked with Marketing Department to launch promotional campaign,” say “Collaborated with Marketing Department to launch promotional campaign.”

6.Focus on describing past job activities that highlight the skills you most like to use and want to use in your next job. Don't spend a lot of time, for example, describing all that clerical stuff you did in a past job if you have no intention of doing clerical work again. Even if you've mastered skills that are in great demand, don't emphasize them if they're not the skills you want to use in the future.

7.Don't fret about the one-page resume rule.
Sure, it's nice to keep your resume to one page if you can, but don't go to extraordinary lengths, such as by using tiny type. If you have significant experience, you'll probably need more than one page. What you should avoid is having one full page with just a little bit of text on your second page. If you fill a third or less of the second page, consider condensing to one page. Ways to condense:
-Narrow your margins. The margins in Microsoft Word are set very wide by default. You can have margins as narrow as .75” all around and still have a nice-looking document.
-Use a smaller point size, but not too small. A font size of 11-point is good; don't go too much smaller than 10.5-point.
-Many jobseekers use a two-column format with headings in the left-hand column. To conserve space, narrow or even eliminate the left-hand column and simply stack your headings on top of each section.

8.Make sure your resume has a sharp focus.
Again, given the microscopic amount of time that employers spend screening resumes, you need a way to show the employer at a glance what you want to do and what you're good at. One way to sharpen your focus is through an objective statement. Another way is to add a section called something like "Summary of Qualifications," or "Profile." To see an example of such a section, go to sample resume.

9.Don't list too much experience on your resume.
The rule of thumb for someone at the senior level is to list about 15 years worth of jobs. Age discrimination, unfortunately, is a reality, and even more likely, employers may think you're too expensive if you list too much experience on your resume. Similarly, don't give the date of your college graduation if it was more than about 10 years ago.

10.Be sure the reader will understand all the acronyms and jargon you use in your resume.
Resumes in the high-tech field are notorious for these mysterious terms. We recently received a resume containing the following acronyms and jargon: MCSE, MCP+I, TCP/IP, CCA, CCNA, token ring and PCMCIA network interface cards for LAN connectivity, NT Service Packs, Ethernet cards, Server 4.0, SQL 6.5, 7.0, Red Hat Linux 6.1, Turbo Linux 4.0 and Caldera 2.3, Cisco 2500 routers and switches. Now, chances are that employers in this jobseeker's field understand all these terms. Just be sure that's the case. Spell out any acronyms you think could be questionable, and explain any terms you think some readers of your resume might not understand.
College students, too, need to be aware of "inside" jargon. At Stetson University, my alma mater, for example, we have an annual charity fundraiser called "Greenfeather;" freshman-orientation leaders called "FOCUS" advisers; and a volunteer organization called "Into the Streets." The school's graduates routinely use those terms on their resumes without any explanation, as though everyone knows what Greenfeather, FOCUS, and Into the Streets mean. Look at your resume from an outsider's perspective -- and explain (or eliminate) any unfamiliar terms or acronyms.

Bonus tip: Be sure to list locations (city and state) for all your past employers. It's resume protocol to do so, and employers expect to see that information. I'm constantly amazed at all the resumes I see that list names of past employers, but don't tell where those employers are located.

(Katharine Hansen is a former speechwriter and college instructor who provides content for Quintessential Careers, edits QuintZine, an electronic newsletter for jobseekers, and prepares job-search correspondence as chief writer for Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters. She is author of Dynamic Cover Letter for New Graduates; A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market; and, with Randall S. Hansen, Ph.D., Dynamic Cover Letters and Write Your Way to a Higher GPA, all published by Ten Speed Press.)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Google: Ten Golden Rules

( An article in Newsweek)
By Eric Schmidt and Hal Varian

(Schmidt is CEO of Google. Varian is a Berkeley professor and consultant with Google.)

Getting the most out of knowledge workers will be the key to business success for the next quarter century. Here's how we do it at Google.

Dec. 2, 2005
Issues 2006 - At google, we think business guru Peter Drucker well understood how to manage the new breed of "knowledge workers." After all, Drucker invented the term in 1959. He says knowledge workers believe they are paid to be effective, not to work 9 to 5, and that smart businesses will "strip away everything that gets in their knowledge workers' way." Those that succeed will attract the best performers, securing "the single biggest factor for competitive advantage in the next 25 years.

At Google, we seek that advantage. The ongoing debate about whether big corporations are mismanaging knowledge workers is one we take very seriously, because those who don't get it right will be gone. We've drawn on good ideas we've seen elsewhere and come up with a few of our own. What follows are seven key principles we use to make knowledge workers most effective. As in most technology companies, many of our employees are engineers, so we will focus on that particular group, but many of the policies apply to all sorts of knowledge workers.

Hire by committee. Virtually every person who interviews at Google talks to at least half-a-dozen interviewers, drawn from both management and potential colleagues. Everyone's opinion counts, making the hiring process more fair and pushing standards higher. Yes, it takes longer, but we think it's worth it. If you hire great people and involve them intensively in the hiring process, you'll get more great people. We started building this positive feedback loop when the company was founded, and it has had a huge payoff.

Cater to their every need.
As Drucker says, the goal is to "strip away everything that gets in their way." We provide a standard package of fringe benefits, but on top of that are first-class dining facilities, gyms, laundry rooms, massage rooms, haircuts, carwashes, dry cleaning, commuting buses—just about anything a hardworking engineer might want. Let's face it: programmers want to program, they don't want to do their laundry. So we make it easy for them to do both.

Pack them in.
Almost every project at Google is a team project, and teams have to communicate. The best way to make communication easy is to put team members within a few feet of each other. The result is that virtually everyone at Google shares an office. This way, when a programmer needs to confer with a colleague, there is immediate access: no telephone tag, no e-mail delay, no waiting for a reply. Of course, there are many conference rooms that people can use for detailed discussion so that they don't disturb their office mates. Even the CEO shared an office at Google for several months after he arrived. Sitting next to a knowledgeable employee was an incredibly effective educational experience.

Make coordination easy.
Because all members of a team are within a few feet of one another, it is relatively easy to coordinate projects. In addition to physical proximity, each Googler e-mails a snippet once a week to his work group describing what he has done in the last week. This gives everyone an easy way to track what everyone else is up to, making it much easier to monitor progress and synchronize work flow.

Eat your own dog food.
Google workers use the company's tools intensively. The most obvious tool is the Web, with an internal Web page for virtually every project and every task. They are all indexed and available to project participants on an as-needed basis. We also make extensive use of other information-management tools, some of which are eventually rolled out as products. For example, one of the reasons for Gmail's success is that it was beta tested within the company for many months. The use of e-mail is critical within the organization, so Gmail had to be tuned to satisfy the needs of some of our most demanding customers—our knowledge workers.

Encourage creativity.
Google engineers can spend up to 20 percent of their time on a project of their choice. There is, of course, an approval process and some oversight, but basically we want to allow creative people to be creative. One of our not-so-secret weapons is our ideas mailing list: a companywide suggestion box where people can post ideas ranging from parking procedures to the next killer app. The software allows for everyone to comment on and rate ideas, permitting the best ideas to percolate to the top.

Strive to reach consensus.
Modern corporate mythology has the unique decision maker as hero. We adhere to the view that the "many are smarter than the few," and solicit a broad base of views before reaching any decision. At Google, the role of the manager is that of an aggregator of viewpoints, not the dictator of decisions. Building a consensus sometimes takes longer, but always produces a more committed team and better decisions

Don't be evil.
Much has been written about Google's slogan, but we really try to live by it, particularly in the ranks of management. As in every organization, people are passionate about their views. But nobody throws chairs at Google, unlike management practices used at some other well-known technology companies. We foster to create an atmosphere of tolerance and respect, not a company full of yes men.

Data drive decisions.
At Google, almost every decision is based on quantitative analysis. We've built systems to manage information, not only on the Internet at large, but also internally. We have dozens of analysts who plow through the data, analyze performance metrics and plot trends to keep us as up to date as possible. We have a raft of online "dashboards" for every business we work in that provide up-to-the-minute snapshots of where we are.

Communicate effectively. Every Friday we have an all-hands assembly with announcements, introductions and questions and answers. (Oh, yes, and some food and drink.) This allows management to stay in touch with what our knowledge workers are thinking and vice versa. Google has remarkably broad dissemination of information within the organization and remarkably few serious leaks. Contrary to what some might think, we believe it is the first fact that causes the second: a trusted work force is a loyal work force.

Of course, we're not the only company that follows these practices. Many of them are
common around Silicon Valley. And we recognize that our management techniques have to evolve as the company grows. There are several problems that we (and other companies like us) face.

One is "techno arrogance." Engineers are competitive by nature and they have low tolerance for those who aren't as driven or as knowledgeable as they are. But almost all engineering projects are team projects; having a smart but inflexible person on a team can be deadly. If we see a recommendation that says "smartest person I've ever known" combined with "I wouldn't ever want to work with them again," we decline to make them an offer. One reason for extensive peer interviews is to make sure that teams are enthused about the new team member. Many of our best people are terrific role models in terms of team building, and we want to keep it that way.

A related problem is the not-invented-here syndrome. A good engineer is always convinced that he can build a better system than the existing ones, leading to the refrain "Don't buy it, build it." Well, they may be right, but we have to focus on those projects with the biggest payoff. Sometimes this means going outside the company for products and services.

Another issue that we will face in the coming years is the maturation of the company, the industry and our work force. We, along with other firms in this industry, are in a rapid growth stage now, but that won't go on forever. Some of our new workers are fresh out of college; others have families and extensive job experience. Their interests and needs are different. We need to provide benefits and a work environment that will be attractive to all ages.

A final issue is making sure that as Google grows, communication procedures keep pace with our increasing scale. The Friday meetings are great for the Mountain View team, but Google is now a global organization.

We have focused on managing creativity and innovation, but that's not the only thing that matters at Google. We also have to manage day-to-day operations, and it's not an easy task. We are building technology infrastructure that is dramatically larger, more complex and more demanding than anything that has been built in history. Those who plan, implement and maintain these systems, which are growing to meet a constantly rising set of demands, have to have strong incentives, too. At Google, operations are not just an afterthought: they are critical to the company's success, and we want to have just as much effort and creativity in this domain as in new product development.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Program review by Arvind Ronta (MBAST 2005)

Arvind Ronta from the MBAst class of 2005 has written a program review that has appeared recently in the Punjab Engineering College alumni society newsletter, "PALS". Arvind's article starts on page 15 .Click here to see the article.The article is also mentioned below:

(Arvind graduated from PEC in 2002 with Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering. After working as an engineering consultant for Fluor Daniel in India for more than 2 years, he graduated from Queen’s with an MBA in 2005. Currently he works as VP of Business Solutions at Aura Advanced Technologies, Calgary in Canada.)

Stellar reputation,
renowned faculty,
brilliant peers,
beautiful campus,
and proud legacy:
that describes the Queen's University of Canada.

Even though Queen's which was established in year 1841 needs no introduction within the Canadian borders, it is widely recognized as "The Harvard of Canada". Located in Kingston,facing the beautiful Lake Ontario,Queen's is one of Canada's leading and prestigious universities, with an international reputation for scholarship,research, social purpose, spirit and diversity.I believe it was sheer stroke of luck that I found myself applying to a Canadian B-school for my MBA. To be honest, this was the only Canadian B-School that Iapplied to. Even though I was interested in an MBA from US, I knew I was looking at high tuition costs (without scholarships). My decision to apply to MBA program at Queen’s was initially motivated by the program’s top BusinessWeek rankings; the program ranked No.1 worldwide (outside US).

Things, however, changed when I received admit from Queen’s MBA program. I was happy and nervous at the same breath; happy because I had an opportunity to pursue MBA from one of the best places and nervous because I was still apprehensive about the overall MBA job market in Canada. Compared to its US counterparts, Queen’s one year
and a full time MBA program seemed both reputed and affordable.After completing a spate of paper work for visa, funding etc, I was relaxing now on board Air Canada airplane. I started imaging new opportunities and was looking forward to an exciting year doing stuff that I always wanted to do – business.

Queen’s MBAst (as it is often called, stands for MBA for Science and Technology) is only for students with a science and engineering background. This program is grueling and demands strong analytical aptitude in students. Now if you are imagining a room full of engineers and scientists— extremely competitive, crunching numbers, working long hours and living on caffeine, then you are right! But Queen’s MBA is a lot more than that. In the following paragraphs, I have tried to capture my experience at Queen’s. It is a tough job to encapsulate a year in few lines; nevertheless, I will try my best.

The year started in May with a CAP (acronym for Career Advantage Program)
week involving team based exercises, movies and lectures; we were divided into groups of five to six team members.Based on the results of a behavioral personality test, students with different personality types were grouped together in one team. Of course, it is always challenging to work/study with people who do not share same personality traits. As if it was enough to deal with, there was another surprise: we were told that we could not change our teams for the whole year. It seemed absurd, at first, but nobody cared much and assumed that they will get along with their team members. After all, during the first week in the program, everyone had fun working with each other. Unfortunately, most were proven wrong. As soon as we were bombarded with assignments, case studies and projects, everyone was stressed out and soon the corridors and lobbies were full of disgruntled students complaining about their team members and their stubborn attitudes! I guess it is for this reason that the school assigns Mentors to each team who work closely with team members to resolve all outstanding issues. But if anyone ever thought that they would change their teams by persuading mentors, then they were wrong. It was mandated that no team member will leave a particular team unless he/she decides to leave the MBA program.
Sounds harsh?? Well! It makes sense if you think about this “rule” in a broad perspective. The school argues that “You do not choose your team members
when you are in a corporate environment. You work with people and the team assigned to work with you. You manage people and situations like this.” The aim of this exercise is to enable students to work and excel in difficult team environments. I couldn’t have realized it much more than I realize it now, everyday on my job. It is
not the intelligence of a manager alone;it is a mix of personal intelligence and
relationship skills with peers that constitutes a recipe for success in aknowledge economy where the “human factor” plays a dominant role.

Coming back to classes, the day started at 8:30 and one could see swollen eyes
staring at the white board, trying hard to keep awake. It happens when you sleep at 4:00 in the morning completing your assignments and readings. Classes were important and nobody wanted to miss lectures taught by the reputed faculty members whom we could offer hear on Canadian and US media. School has an amazing faculty: from professors who are named in Canadian Who’s Who to those who have earned their place in AMA’s Marketing Hall of Legends, they have made remarkable contributions to the society. Queen’s MBA Faculty members have been consulting industry and government leaders in Canada. Most courses were analytical (and, I think, MBA is a lot about learning new analytical tools) but there were good number of courses that touched our creative brain cells too. Courses in Leadership, Change Management and Organizational Behavior added a new perspective about most of the things in life.

The best part of the week, however, was the Point4. It is a cherished “legacy” from the students of our previous batches, who found a great way to bust stress by organizing Point4s small parties held every Thursday evening. They say that it was once calculated that attending these parties reduces one’s final grade by only 0.4 percent! After several rounds of beer, few people would either go back to school to study (I am serious, that’s called drinkin’ hard work!) or hop to a different pub/pool/bowling place. Next morning (Fridays) everyone felt hangovers and professors could make out from our responses!!

There is everything for everyone at Queen’s. Whether you’re contemplating a career in consulting, general management or investment banking, there are amazing faculty and industry resources to help you with that. Several MBA clubs are formed to assist students with their future career goals. Few of us who were interested in new ventures and the school supported us more than what we had asked for. After our business plan was selected, I along with my team went to Vancouver, B.C. to pitch our business idea to a group of Venture Capitalists (VCs). From the administration to faculty and even my class mates were involved in helping us prepare for the big‐event. I remember the long hours that we spent working
with our marketing professor for developing a strong marketing pitch. It was a good feeling to see everyone supporting us. How many times will you see (or even expect) this level of camaraderie in a competitive environment of Business Schools;
Queen’s MBA program made an exception.

MBA Games were the best part of a frigid January. We spent four days competing, playing sports and drinking with MBA students from across Canada who had come together at Quebec City (a typical French town in Quebec, Canada). The diverse mix of our batch added punch to that “Njoy” flavor! We had international students in our class representing Israel, Italy, Peru, US, Hong Kong, Japan, India and China.The class profile was quite interesting: from senior executives, consultants and directors to entrepreneurs, aircraft engineers, lawyers, doctors and even army men, we had a rich representation of 55% of international students.As our last semester approached, even though everyone was busy with major projects, we spent more time with each other. School organized bowling, paintball and boating events for us. We
received an amazing farewell with lots of surprises for everyone. Admin staff had captured special moments in camera; photographs showing few of us sleeping in classrooms, studying late hours in Goodes Hall or getting nuts after drinking n mugs of beer!

MBA is all about learning new things.Whether it is golfing with your peers or
pitching a business idea to a group of VCs; MBA is about realizing your fullpotential.For me, MBA experience has brought a positive change in my perspective. I sense opportunities in situations and I feel empowered both by my knowledge and attitude to capitalize on those opportunities and make it happen. For everyone, Queen’s MBA experience meant something special: full of stress and fun at the same time; a year of realized dreams, cherished friendships, and experiential learning. The Queen’s MBA experience, to me, is special in many ways. I feel good that I spent one year of my life with extremely talented individuals (and I have no doubts that more than half, if not all, of my class will be the CEOs of some future organizations), I learnt the best skills from the best masters (or Professors, as you would call them) and I developed a new vision for my life and realized how much more I can do in this lifetime!

As a proud Queen’s Alumni, I now share a special place in the hearts of the Queen’s community who are out there, helping each other move ahead in life. Indubitably, Queen’s MBA experience has been extremely rewarding.