Friday, December 29, 2006

India in 2006


For folks in and outside India, if you want to know how the year 2006 was, check out this picture slide from Rediff.
It is very nice.

A new addition to the family

This MBA program has kept us busy. But some of my classmates have still found time for their loved ones. We had a classmate who got married in August this year.

And now ! One of my team mates was blessed with a baby girl last week. Am really happy for him. Heartiest Congratulations ! The little baby is very cute. She is an angel. - The best gift my friend could get for Christmas.

Check out the picture. The proud dad showing us his little angel. !

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Orissa : Toast of corporate India during 2006

India, an emerging market...India,an encouraging market...Clearly, if India is the market where you want to put your money, the state has got to be Orissa.!

THE HINDU carried an article recently,Orissa is clearly the toast of corporate India during 2006. Check out the article here
  • From POSCO to Australian mining giant BHP Billiton to Reliance, Tatas, Jindals, L&T, Aditya Birla Group ..Every body seems to be noticing Orissa as
    a hot spot for investments in steel, aluminium, power, port, and health
  • Vedanta Resources PLC is setting up a world class university near Puri
  • TCS, Wipro, Mind Tree and Hexaware setting up shops in BBSR
  • 13 SEZ proposals sanctioned in the State
  • Mittal inks pact for Orissa plant

You can watch a video on the CM's interview here:

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

2006 Year in Review

  • 10 developments that kept local tech companies in the news

An excellent article in the Seattle Times that talks about:

1) Amazon sells technology
2) Clearwire launches
3) Social networks grow up
4) RealNetworks buys WiderThan
5) Nintendo's Wii launches new era in video gaming
6) F5 Networks and stock-options scandal
7) Loudeye sold to Nokia
8) Real estate goes online
9) Icos sale changes local biotech picture
10) Online video surges
  • Hits and Misses of 2006

Source: Eweek

Bill Gates and Scott McNealy stepped down

Oracle has bought 13 companies

Research in Motion's Pearl was a BIG success !

HP gained the first position by overtaking Dell in the PC division worldwide

Dell faced a lot of problems

Microsoft released Vista -2007

  • 2006 Web Technology Trends

Source: Read Write Web

-Year of the social network.MySpace, YouTube, Facebook,Orkut,Bebo

-Google buying YouTube for $1.65 B

-RSS continues to inch towards the mainstream - Yahoo integrated it into Y! Mail Beta, Microsoft is utilizing it more

-2006 was also the year that Web 2.0 got overhyped

-Google dominated the news and buzz this year

-Microsoft pushed ahead with its Windows Live strategy (its Web-based suite of products and services)

-Yahoo had a steady product year (but ending with organizational issues).

-2006 also saw the return of the VC money (see web 2.0 hype

- Corporate blogging got popular in 2006 and blogs are usually part of the mix now in marketing plans.

- VoIP space showed signs of hotting up. Skype now has a bunch
of new competitors, all aiming to disrupt the existing telecoms industry.

- Browser Wars 2.0. Firefox enjoyed strong growth this year and released its 2.0
browser in October. 2006 was also (not coincidentally) the year that Microsoft
finally upgraded its Internet Explorer browser, to 7.0.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Blood Diamond

My classmate from Sierra Leone today invited us to join him to watch the movie - Blood Diamond. The movie is set in the late 90s during the civil war in Sierra Leone. And I must say that I absolutely loved the film. The film is so powerful that it creates a lasting impact. Even as I type here in my blog, I recollect the events in the movie.

As per Wikipedia,
"A blood diamond (also called a conflict diamond or a war diamond) is a diamond mined in a war zone and sold, usually clandestinely, in order to finance an insurgent or invading army's war efforts."

People all over the world appreciate diamonds and admire it for its beauty and clarity. But we just don't know the fight, struggle and war that goes on for this precious stone.

After the movie, my class mater further shared his experiences about how the Civil War had destroyed the country. It was quite painful. My class mate nurses an ambition to go back to his country some day and set things right there i.e create jobs and help the economy. I wish him good luck.

I certainly enjoyed watching the movie and won’t mind it watching again. If I had to say, if there was a movie that I really liked in the year 2006, it had to be this one.

The movie is excellent. Leonardo DiCaprio has earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for best performance for this movie and I won't be surprised if he gets an Oscar for this movie. He is simply too good !

If you want to watch a movie this holiday season, this is the one for you.
Here is a recent article on people at Sierra Leone are relearning diamond mining

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Just can't get e-nough

For its Christmas edition, British weekly New Scientist talks about the words,quirks, modern addictions and maladies that the internet has given birth to.

Here are a few from the source:

Blog streaking: Revealing secrets or personal information online, which for everybody's sake would be best kept private

Crackberry :The curse of the modern executive, not being able to stop checking your
BlackBerry even at you grandmother's funeral

Cyberchondria: A headache and a particular rash at the same time? Extensive online research tells you it must be cancer

Egosurfing :When "just checking" gets out of control

Infornography :You're beyond being a healthy "infovore": acquiring and sharing information has become an addiction for you

You Tube narcissism: Not even your closest family want to see hours of your holiday videosGoogle-stalking Snooping online on old friends, colleagues or first dates

MySpace impersonation: Many of us pretend to be someone we're not when we are online, but some will pretend to be a well-known figure

Powerpointlessness: One too many flashy slides

Photolurking :Flicking through a photo album of someone you've never met

Wikipediholism: Excessive devotion to a certain online collaborative encyclopedia. You can test whether you're an addict here

Christmas Celebrations

This Friday (15th December) was the last working day of 2006.
We also had our last negotiation and conflict management class. The teams were expected to come up with presentations on various cross cultural negotiation topics. It was a great session. We had presentations on negotiation styles in various countries (China, Nigeria, Japan, Brazil, India, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Russia etc).One thing that really caught my attention was the importance given to punctuality .For a few countries, meetings start right on time, and for the other countries , meetings start when every body is present.!

After the class, we had Christmas celebrations .We had the Secret Santa gift exchange, which was a lot of fun. The folks ( read the gals) in our class came up with a slideshow video on how the year was for us. The slide show video shows how classmates from different parts of the world met for the first time, behaved well and then showcased their true self. ! A Year in review of the MBA program at the Queen's School of Business.

Watch it here!

Some pics from the session:

Monday, December 18, 2006

A few Indian students have been emailing me since today morning. They have been offered an admission. Heartiest Congratulations to them.!!

I am aware that for an Indian student who has not been to Queen's and has not seen how it is here, there are bound to be a lot of questions. Some of the admitted students have offers from other B-schools and are in a dilemma where to join.

At this moment, I would like to reiterate some things that I have been telling these students.Think about your long term objective while deciding on the school. You are investing a year of your life and a big amount and would want the maximum returns for that. Check if the schools that you have got admitted to are offering what you want.

I will not be able to compare schools in India, UK, and USA with the Canadian Schools for you and help you with your decision.

Some of the things that I like about Queen's:
  • Small Class size
  • Focus on different teaching methods (Case method, class room, field study)
  • Intense work pressure (brings the best in you)
  • Team Based Learning model (Wait till u come here ..You will redefine what team work means!)
  • Great Faculty who are always accessible ( Prof Paul Roman, Ken Wong, Peter Sephton)
  • Diversity in the class(More than15 different countries..From Sierra Leone to Japan)
  • Competitive yet healthy class environment
  • Superior customer service (I love the MBAst office for this)

Some one asked me if I am happy with the decision that I took by joining Queen's University. The answer is a BIG yes.I got back to school after 6 years. The last few months have been hectic. I have been subjected to severe work load, intense pressure and a lot of uncertainties. But I am glad that I came to Queen’s. I am really enjoying my experience here!

Good Luck with your decision! I hope you do well in life no matter which school you join. And if you are coming to Queen's, welcome aboard.!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

You are the person of the Year

"Time magazine unveiled its 'Person of the Year' for 2006 on December 16, 2006, as -- You, the creators and consumers of user-generated Internet content like video-file sharing site YouTube and social network MySpace"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Private Equity

The Christmas Break has started but I am working on an interesting assignment.
It is on Private Equity. It feels good reseraching the web, library and reading articles but writing an assignment paper meant to be written with the audience in mind is not definitely fun !
This gets over on 22nd and then I should have fun !

Friday, December 15, 2006


( My team during the Q&A session)

We all know that the BRIC report predicts that India and China would emerge as the major economies of the world by 2050.With a GDP increase of more than 8%, both the countries have been making policies, setting up infrastructure and creating the right business environment for investors.

'India on the move' and 'China-The best place to invest' were the two powerful presentations delivered by two teams before we all leave for the holiday break this stage.

We had a contest (debate) on which country was better for investment. We had to talk about the strengths of each country and how it was addressing the concerns .

I was the team lead for showcasing China and over the past several days have done so much research on China that I felt very well prepared. The team from India too came out with an exciting presentation.

After the presentations and Q&A session, the class was asked to vote for the country where they would like to invest their money. Although, every one was confident that China was the best place to invest in the short term, they felt that the growth was unsustainable. Majority of the votes went to India.

One of the voters in his secret ballot had written that he/she would put the money in Chindia.It was one of the best presentation that I ever gave at the MBA program. It was a tough project that involved a lot of research, presentation practice and answering tough questions..But I enjoyed every bit of it.

International Business is one of my favorite subjects and I for sure enjoyed working on this assignment. There were 4 prospective students including 3 chinese attending the class that day and they too enjoyed the presentations.

Both the teams got a A+ in the presentations ( content + delivery)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Every year end, I look forward to the articles in newspapers and magazines that give a round up on how things had shaped up in that year.Business Week is out with the edition of "Best and Worst of 2006".

A very interesting read, the news that thrilled me most was the 1.65 billion deal of You Tube..

Check out the interesting article here

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ice- Hockey

Canada is known for 2 things. One is the intense winter and the other is the ice-hockey craze. I have been experiencing the Canadian winter for the past few days (it is below 0 degree Celsius) and today I got a chance to see a hockey game too.

The MBAst office got tickets for us .... for a hockey match. I had never seen an ice-hockey game in my life and this was the first time I experienced such a game. As there are a lot of assignments due next week, the turn out was low. I really wanted to watch the game live and decided to take some time out of my schedule for the game. ( Besides that ,a close friend of mine too got a job we had to celeberate !)

The home team defeated the visitors by 6-2. Thanks to a few of my Canadian class mates, I could understand the rules of the games quickly.

Ice- Hockey is a very fast game and is fun to watch. When a few of the Indian folks in my class shared this opinion, a Canadian pal of mine remarked that it was for sure “faster than a 5 day cricket game”. ! Yeah, he is right.

Ice-hockey matches in Canada involve a lot of passion and excitement. One of the folks in the class was waiting for some “action” to occur between the players ...and with just about 5 minutes before the close of the third period, a few of the players got physical and had some heated arguments.!

Friday, December 08, 2006

An interesting assignment

The next week is very rigorous. We have tons of presentations and assignments due, but after that we all have a Christmas break from Dec 16 to Jan 08. There are a few assignments to be done during the break and some "catching up" to be done for some subjects but I can certainly take some time out to visit my friends in the US.

One of the assignments for the Business Strategy subject during the break is to read a book, reflect on it and pen our thoughts. The school has been generous enough to get the books for us for free (Talk about superior customer service!)

Here is the list from which we can choose the one that we want to read:

-Freakonomics (Levitt)
-Tipping Point (Gladwell)
-Moneyball (Lewis)
-Corossion of Character (Sennett)

I have read Tipping Point and have enjoyed the book. I have read some pieces from Freakonomics for the Microeconomics subject and really liked what I read. So, I’ll read the book during the break.

Here is the Freakonomics site.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

The New MBA website

The new MBA web site at as well as the new website for the school at has been launched.

Do check it out.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Itz about 01.30 am now. I just got back to my room from the library.
It is snowing outside. A white sheet of snow flakes cover the road.
There are a few people on the road. There are a few smokers outside the library chatting , taking a smoke and watching the snow fall.

I feel good as I watch the snow. Nah, this is not the first snow at Kingston this year.
But definitely, the first snow of this season.
I was in Colorado for more than a year and have seen a lot of snow fall. But the Canadian winter is supposed to be different.

The Canadian Snow season has just begun ! Letz hope I survive it. :)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Negotiate to Win-Win

There are two things that are really important to stay on track in this program. One is staying healthy and the other is making sure that your laptop is up and running always. Folks in the class have experienced one of these situations and faced some problems. Some have had a leg injury while playing soccer and some were unfortunate to have their computers refusing t cooperate. I fell into one of these categories this weekend. My laptop developed a mother board problem as a result of which I was forced to buy a new one. When one is a student and there is no inflow of money , buying a new laptop is not a pleasant thing . :)

Had I been earning, I would have bought a really cool laptop but since I am a student, I had to be a “compliance buyer” and got one of those machines that met the required standards and was within budget. This laptop is a good one (AMD Processor) and I hope like my earlier machine is faithful and serves me for a long time.

It is getting colder in Canada and some of us are getting a dose of how bad (read cold) things could get in the future. It is below zero degrees Celsius, and with strong winds it feels great to stay indoors.

Last week was an exciting week. We underwent the Negotiations exercise.
The negotiation exercise was an event where students were split into different teams. One team comprised of the Labor Union who wanted certain grievance issues to be settled. The Union had a big list of demands. One of them was a “substantial” wage increase. On the other hand, we, the management had to get the best deal and of prime importance was the right to outsource that the union strongly opposed.

The teams had prepared well. We, the management team, had spent 6 hrs just discussing how to deal with the union. Our strategy of negotiations with the Union primarily involved three main stages –an Opening stage, a Tactical Commitment stage, and the Final Approach stage. On the other hand, the union was well prepared too. They threatened to go on strike if things didn’t go their way. Both the teams had 5 hours of negotiation, discussion and arguments and we finally reached a win-win settlement.

There were several take aways from this exercise

-Negotiations with the Union can be very challenging. Balancing the dual goals of maintaining a good relationship with the Union and our duty as managers to secure a good deal is a delicate task.

-The more preparation one does for a negotiation, the better are the chances are to bag a good deal.The details we ignore in a negotiation may come up and bite us when we are most vulnerable

-We realized that in such negotiations, where the labour-management relationship is critical, a win-lose outcome will not be the optimal option. The decision needs to be acceptable to both parties, should cater to the parties’ interests, and foster a positive relationship. The overall objective is to negotiate the best deal on behalf of the Company.

It was a great experience. Am sure everyone in both the teams enjoyed it. Here are some pics we took.

( The "Management Team" before the negotiation)

(The Labor Union with one of the Management members)

( The deal is done. It is a win-win situation. Let us celebrate)