Monday, January 29, 2007

Leave Tendulkar Alone

Pic Source: Rediff

Exams going on..but then I am a Tendulkar fan and couldn't resist myself from reading this article. The guy is GOD.Hope he brings the world cup for us this time.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Want to go Public (IPO)

Here are the steps for an IPO launch
-Initial Step
-Aftermarket activities

From the text book:
( Principles of Corporate Finance-Brealey and Myers Allen)
1. Company appoints managing underwriter (book runner) and co-manager.
Underwriter syndicate formed
2. Arrangement with underwriters include agreement on spread (typically 7% for medium sized IPOs) and on greenshoe option (typically allowing the underwriters to increase the number of shares bought by 15%)
3. Issue registered with SEC and preliminary prospectus (red herring) issued.
4. Roadshow arranged to market the issue to potential investors. Managing underwriter builds book of potential demand
5. SEC approves registration. Company and underwriters agree on issue price.
6. Underwriters allot stock (typically with over allotment)
7. Trading Starts. Underwriters cover short position by buying stock in the market or by exercising greenshoe option.
8. Managing underwriter makes liquid market in stock and provides research coverage.

Some terminologies from this site:

The "road show"
An essential part of the issuing company's marketing campaign, the "road show" is a multi-city tour during which the company pitches its business plan to potential investors, usually institutional investors such as mutual funds, endowments, or pension funds. At these meetings, the underwriter attempts to gauge the level of interest in the IPO, which helps lead to a decision on how to price the stock offering. Typical stops on the tour include New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Boston. If the underwriter senses enough international interest, a road show also may visit Europe and Asia. Following the road show, the company prints its final prospectus, distributes it to potential investors, and files it with the SEC.

Pricing and allocating the IPO
During and after the road show, in a process known as "book-building," the lead underwriter surveys potential investors and notes the interest in the stock so it can price the IPO accordingly. The issuing company and the lead underwriter meet to set the "offering price" and the number of shares to be issued at the offering, based on the expected demand for the stock.

The "pop" versus "money left on the table"
The "pop," also referred to as the first-day price spike, is the price differential between the offering price of an IPO stock and its closing price on the first day of trading. During the dotcom bull market of the late 1990s, with first-day gains reaching triple-digit percentages, the pop unofficially became an important marketing or "branding" event for the issuing company.

The pop multiplied by the number of shares sold is known as the "money left on the table" -- that is, money in the hands of investors rather than in the issuing company's coffers. In order to balance the needs of the investor and the issuing company the investment bank traditionally tries to price a deal so that the first-day pop is about 15 percent. Thus, the issuing company can raise substantial capital while investors are rewarded for gambling on a riskier investment.

"Flipping" the stock
The practice of an investor buying stock in an IPO at the offering price and quickly selling it for a profit when it starts trading is known as "flipping." Though it became common during the dotcom IPO frenzy of the late 1990s, this practice is generally discouraged by underwriters, who are looking for investors willing to make a long-term commitment to the company. Such anti-flipping policies, however, do not apply to large institutional clients of investment banks.

The "quiet period"
The quiet period begins when a company files a preliminary prospectus with the SEC and ends usually 25 days after the stock starts trading. During this period the company is prohibited by the SEC from distributing any information about the company not included in the prospectus.

The "lockup period"
The lockup period is the period during which company insiders -- primarily management and venture-capital investors -- are prohibited from selling their shares. U.S. law mandates that the lockup period last for 90 days after the stock is first publicly traded, although this period is often extended to 180 days to satisfy potential investors.

Herez a intersting website that captures the dot com bust in the late 90s.
More info here too

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Useful Books and Sites for New Ventures

Kelley Porter, our new ventures professor, gave us a list of books that one could read in leisure.Wonderful list, I thought I'll post them on my blog as it would be useful for anyone looking for some info.Here they go:

How to Change the World by David Bornstein – Great for those who are interested in learning more about social entrepreneurship.

The Price of a Dream by David Bornstein – Provides an in-depth look at the growth and success of the Grameen Bank.

Pour Your Heart Into It by Howard Schultz – The story of the founding and growth of Starbucks.

The Monk and the Riddle by Randy Komisar – Part autobiography, part fable, part insight into the thinking of venture capitalists.

Our Crowd: The Great Jewish Families of New York by Stephen Birmingham – A great overview of the families behind some of the most recognized names on Wall Street. The book was originally published in 1967 but republished in 1996 and again in 2005.

Harvesting the Dream: The Rags-to-Riches Tale of the Sutter Home Winery by Kate Heyhoe – A good story about the transformation from small business to entrepreneurial venture.

The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, overview of the corporation and its methodology.

The Venture Imperative: A New Model for Corporate Innovation by Heidi Mason – A great book for those who are working in a corporation that has or is thinking about setting up a corporate venturing unit within their own company.

Beermat Entrepreneur by Mike Southon and Chris West – So named, because the authors sketch the idea for their company on the back of a beer coaster (as opposed to the usual envelope). This is a “what we learned turned into tips for want-to-be-entrepreneurs” kind of book.

Brand New: How Entrepreneurs Earned Consumers' Trust from Wedgwood to Dell by Nancy Koehn

Websites/blogs/podcasts :

Start-up Nation podcast


Audi Channel

Friday, January 26, 2007

Q&A with Infosys' CEO

I was reading this interview of Nandan Nilekani where he talks about the future plans for Infosys. I found his response to this question very interesting.

What is Infosys today? Is it a software services company, an HR outfit, a construction company, a travel company, or a hotel company? Is Infosys spreading itself too thin?

It so happens that we have the largest university. It also happens that we have the largest hotel, and we do have our own buses and vehicles to move people around. Fundamentally, we are an IT services company solving customers' problems.

Happy Republic Day

A Very Happy Republic Day to all the Indians out there.
Here is the weekly column (Read it here) in Financial Times titled Engaging India that covers the "issues, trends and forces behind the business and politics shaping India and its impact on the world"

The Times Group has launched the 'India Poised' campaign this year. Perhaps, a marketing ploy,TOI calls the year 2007 as the "Year of India", when India will make waves in the world.
The legendary Bollywood star Amitabh Bachan stars in a video...Very impactful.

Watch the video here.

BTW, GS gave its latest update on the famous BRICs report and said that India would continue with its "potential or sustainable growth rate" at about 8 per cent until 2020.

Here are some highlights from the report: ( Source: Money Control)

* India has 10 of the 30 fastest-growing urban areas in the world. Based on current trends, a massive 700 million people (roughly equivalent to the current population of Europe) will move to cities by 2050. This will have significant implications for demand for urban infrastructure, real estate, and services.

* Policies to enhance financial sector growth, openness to trade, rural-urban migration, capital formation, education, and environment — together labelled the `FORCE' factors — will be critical to sustaining growth.

* Assuming that policies to open up the financial sector remain on track, including the entry of foreign banks starting from 2009, there will be more "financial deepening". This will contribute to increases in productivity in the medium term.

* Today, India is the fastest growing market for mobile phones, with average growth rates of over 80 per cent every year since 2000.

* The success of India's elite students from IITs and IIMs masks the generally abysmal state of higher education in India. Higher education remains heavily regulated, with little to encourage private-sector participation or innovation

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Positive People Flows

Economic Times ( a major financial daily in India) carried an interesting article titled 'Positive People Flows'. Two Queen's MBAst students were quoted in that article.
You could read it here

"While our classrooms are diverse and multicultural so is Canada as a
country. Besides the country also attracts top global employers and there is a
huge need for talented and skilled workforce ," says Ashok Raghupathy,
MBA student at Canada's Queen's School of Business
. For him the main
advantage of studying overseas is the access to huge resources.

His class mate Biswajit Das, who worked for five and a
half years in India with TCS and Infosys before joining the MBA programme feels
that: "I would be able to combine the best of both worlds and would become a
successful global manager. Most of the companies in North America understand the
importance of India as an emerging market and are scouting for talent with
Indian experience," he says.

Students Live in Queen's Library for 10 Days to Raise Money for World Literacy

D.R.E.A.M (Discover theReality of Educating All Minds), a
Queen's University club, has parked a car inside the lobby of Queen's Stauffer library and will be living in it for tenconsecutive days: from Friday, January 19 until Monday, January 29.

Leslie Chan and John MacDonald will be sleeping in a Suzuki SX4 provided byD.R.E.A.M. partner Suzuki Canada Inc, as part of Mission: Ultimate StaufferLockdown (M.U.S.L.).

D.R.E.A.M. aims to raise more than $10,000 for theconstruction of three
school libraries in rural Nepal by D.R.E.A.M.'s parentorganization, Room to Read Canada. "The rules are quite simple," states Chan,
D.R.E.A.M.'s Vice-president ofPublic Relations, "no classes, no household comforts, and only 5 minutes offreedom away from the library each hour. It's definitely going to be anexperience!"

Visit the website here and the complete article here and here

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Organized Chaos - IDEO

We discussed a HBR case on Ideo today and that was followed by a ABC News video titled "The Deep Dive," where the team from IDEO redesigned the shopping cart in 5 straight days.The guyz were very innovative (and crazy too!). If you get a chance, do watch that video.

An excellent process on how ideas are generatd and then the best product is built.
You can read the article here and watch a ppt here
Below are pics of the Grocery Cart that was designed. It is nice..isn't it?

Pic Source: Flickr

Monday, January 22, 2007

The Canadian Winter

It snowed twice last week, and is very cold. Temperatures have reached as low as -15 degree celcius. Some of the folks in the class decided to have some fun and made a snow man!

Below is the picture.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

LG takes on I-Phone

Features of the Prada phone by LG include:
Tri-band ,GSM plus EDGE, 2 megapixel camera
Music and video player
Just 12mm thick
microSD card slot

Read here and here

Friday, January 19, 2007

"Is this industry attractive"?

The Business Strategy Class came to an end today.For the past nine months, we have been analyzing cases, discussing solution and studying concepts and tools.As the course concluded, Prof Brad Kilaly said that he had the following takeaways for us from this course:

1.Evaluate the external world (through the Industry analysis tools that we learnt)
2.Understand what your company is going to do.
3.If you know what you are good at, that defines where you are going to go.
4.Be better thinkers.

He had 3 goals for us:

1.Learn the tools

2.Apply the tools

3.Be eager to learn more !

I have enjoyed this course and look forward to applying the concepts learnt here in the future.
This classes had the maximum cold calling and if one had not read the case, prepared well, he or she was a dead meat !
His favorite dialogue at the start of every class was "Is this indsutry attractive"? :)

Monday, January 15, 2007

26th John Molson MBA International Case Competition

Concordia University in Canada every year conducts "the world's oldest, largest and most prestigious business case competition of its kind" called the John Molson MBA International Case Competition.

36 teams from all over the world were there ( IIMB represented India!). It is a 5 day event and the teams undergoe a battery of case contests before the final three teams are selected. A team from Queen's had worked very hard but could not make it into the winners list.Yet, they enjoyed the experience and had loads of fun. The above picture clearly displays the team spirit that we develop at Queen's.

As for the case competition, the first prize was secured byUniversité Laval. Second position went to HEC Montreal and the third position to Universitdt Paderborn.

Interestingly, the finals involved the teams presenting a strategic growth solution to a business case for Research in Motion ( BlackBerry) for its entry into the Chinese market.Knowing that China is a competetive and booming market, it would be interesting to know if RIM goes on to folllow the winning strategy!

You can read the press report here

What B-Schoolers Lust For Now
No, the most wanted jobs now are not the I-Banks or Consulting ! They are the Private Equity jobs.

Check out this article in BusinessWeek

At Dartmouth's Tuck School of Business, six students were so desperate to
snag private equity work that they passed on surfing vacations over winter break
to fly to Mumbai, India, where they performed free labor for private equity
firms looking for research. While there, the students knocked on doors and
chatted up receptionists in the hope of getting in front of some private equity
and hedge fund partners. "You have to find innovative ways to differentiate
yourself," says one of the students, Shelly Rastogi

Build a Business Challenge
Ensuring firms respect privacyEnsuring firms respect privacy

Source: Toronto Star

An article in Toronto Star that mentions about a Queen's MBAst graduate.

"Axon was assigned to assess Nymity's case. An aerospace engineer who
worked at Spar Aerospace in the late 1990s, Axon jumped to the Canadian Space
Agency in Montreal, where he focused on mission planning for the space station's
robotic arm. Then he shifted to Queen's University for a special MBA in science
and technology; he thought about starting his own company but landed at Ventures
West in 2001.

"I'm an investment officer," Axon says. "My job is to find potential
investments and pick the ones that are best for us. We will guide them through
to success."

Sunday, January 14, 2007

From a Caterpillar to a Butterfly

The New Ventures course is one that I am enjoying a lot. It not only gives me an insight about the entrepreneurial mindset but also lets me explore the business opportunities that exist in the market. The folks in my class either plan to start a new venture in the next few years or would want to work for a start up in the near future.

Here are some excerpts from the text book and the classes:

What can be an entrepreneur you ask? Anyone who wants to experience the deep, dark canyons and ambiguity; and who wants to walk the breathtaking highlands of success. But caution, do not plan to walk the latter until you have experienced the former. - An Entrepreneur

An idea can change your life. But for starting a new venture, it is important that you identify the right opportunity. From the text book assigned to us on New Ventures (Jeffry A Timmons and Stephen Spinelli), here are a few anchors for business opportunities that one identifies:

1. They create or add significant value to a customer or end user.
2. They do so by solving a significant problem, removing a serious pain point, or meeting a significant want or need - for which someone is willing to pay a premium.
3. They have robust market, margin and money making characteristics that will allow the entrepreneur to estimate and communicate sustainable value to potential stakeholder: large enough ( $50 million +), high growth ( 20+ percent),high gross margin ( 40%+) etc
4. They are good fit with the founder(s) and management team at the time and market place- along with an attractive risk-reward balance.

Where are opportunities born?
  • Technology Sea Change
  • Market Sea Change
  • Societal Sea Change
  • Brontosaur Factors
  • Irrational Exuberance

Michael Gordon's 10 Brainstorming rules
1. Define your purpose
2. Choose participants
3. Choose facilitator
4. Brainstorm Spontaneously
5. No criticism, no negatives
6. Record ideas in full view
7 Invent to the "void"
8. Resist becoming committed to one idea
9. Identify the most promising ideas
10. Refine and prioritize

The business plan is obsolete the instant it emerges from the printer. Business Plan should be thought of as a work in progress.!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Queen’s research showcased during Ontario government mission to India

Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Source: Queen's University

The expertise of Queen’s researchers will be profiled internationally as part of an Ontario government-led mission to India. Lorna Jean Edmonds, director of Research Services, is taking part in the mission, which begins Sunday in New Delhi. She and other participants will also travel to Bangalore and Mumbai. Most other Ontario universities and several colleges, including St. Lawrence in Kingston, are sending representatives.

“This is an excellent opportunity to profile the work of Queen’s internationally recognized researchers,” said Dr. Edmonds. “We already have collaborations with a number of institutions in India, and this is a chance to build on existing partnerships, and forge new ones.”

During the mission, Dr. Edmonds will target seven areas where Queen’s and Indian institutions and industries can work together. They include: bringing innovative ideas to market; improving quality of life through communications technology; finding solutions for independent healthy living for everyone; preserving the environment/alternative energy; solving the mysteries of natural science; best business practices; and educating top graduate students.

Dr. Edmonds will also meet with Dr. F.C Kohli and other representatives of the Tata Group during the trip. Dr. Kohli, a Queen’s engineering graduate, was a featured speaker on “humanitarian engineering” at the 2006 Homecoming education forum. He will receive an honorary degree at this year’s spring convocation.

Dr. Edmonds will also travel to Chennai for further meetings with SRM University. Queen’s and SRM are currently collaborating on projects in population and public health, alternative energy and nanotechnology, and the two institutions signed a Memorandum of Agreement last June.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Guru in Toronto

Aby Baby and Ms Rai are in Toronto for the world premiere of Guru - Everyone knows about it. We had our team meeting in the morning today and that too started with a discussion on how "big" these stars are. Apparently, the premiere tickets shot up to 1000 CAD last night. The local radio stations are creating the buzz...The newspaper talk about the red carpet welcome given to the stars, and the television channels are covering the excitment shown by 10,000 fans that lined outside the theater.

Here is what one of the papers had to say:

Official statistics are scant, but it has been reported the Bollywood film
industry is the biggest in the world in terms of viewers, with an audience of
more than 3 billion, compared with Hollywood's 2.6 billion in global ticket
sales.India's film industry, valued at about $1.75 billion in 2006, is forecast
to nearly double to $3.4 billion by 2010, according to estimates by

In Canada, Bollywood's profile has been boosted by the work of
Indo-Canadian filmmakers like Deepa Mehta, whose latest movie ,"Water," has been
selected as the official foreign-language entry from Canada at this year's
Academy Awards.

The movie is the rags to riches story of an Indian who dreamt and made it big in the corporate world. Reviews here and here

An MBA pays dividends
Degree is valuable in business world
Montreal Gazette
Sunday, January 7, 2007
Page: A15 Section: Editorial / Op-Ed Byline:
Source: Freelance

Every once in a while, a business professor will grab headlines by attacking the value of a Masters of Business Administration - or the innovations that have reinvigorated the MBA market in the years since the launch of the Queen's University executive MBA in 1994. As chair of the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans and the dean of one of Canada's top-ranked business schools, let me ask - and answer - three simple questions.

First, what does corporate Canada think of today's MBAs? A recent Environics survey revealed that 78 per cent of Canadian executives would choose a candidate with an MBA over one without an MBA if other factors were equal. Why? The executives' answers were revealing: They cited a superior skill set, greater familiarity with a variety of business disciplines and more exposure to a variety of business issues.

Second, what do students think of today's MBA innovations? Enrolment numbers tell us they are choosing programs that are customized to their needs.

For example: Specialized programs. The University of Alberta offers an MBA specializing in Natural Resources and Energy. Innovative delivery systems.

Through state-of-the-art videoconferencing, Queen's School of Business delivers its executive MBA to boardrooms across Canada - to successful managers who otherwise might never have pursued top-tier business education.

Customized programs. The University of Western Ontario's Ivey School recently launched a customized executive MBA for employees of JD Irving.

International programs. Queen's executive MBA students love the school's international partnership with Cornell University, and York University's Schulich students feel just as strongly about their relationship with Northwestern University. These and other innovations have brought students unprecedented choice. They demonstrate that just as business evolves in the global economy, so does business education. Of course, as I've said many times, there's no virtue in choice if it comes at the expense of quality. Can customization and quality co-exist?

That leads to my third and final question: What does the world think of Canada's MBA programs? Last fall, BusinessWeek released its latest ranking of the top international MBA programs, and for the first time Canadian schools occupy the top three spots -- Queen's (No. 1); Ivey/UWO (No. 2); and Rotman/U of T (No. 3). This is even more impressive when you consider that they outranked the most venerable European schools - IMD (No. 4); London School of Business (No. 5); and INSEAD (No. 6). This unprecedented rise in Canadian schools' reputation shows we're doing many things well. We have recognized the global business trend toward life-long learning; we are making business education accessible to students of more backgrounds, in more places, and at more stages in their careers. And we understand that there's always room for improvement - and for innovation.

The answers are clear: Canadian business schools have never offered greater quality, choice and customization than they do today. That's something to celebrate, not to tear down.

David M. Saunders is chair of the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans and the dean of Queen's School of Business.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Gates Foundation Guest Speaker: Dr. Lutz Goedde

Dr Lutz Goedde, a senior Program Officer in the Agricultural Development Program at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation addressed our class today. I also got the opportunity to have lunch with him.

His talk primarily revolved around three main areas - What prompted him to leave a high flying career (turning down an offer of becoming a partner at McKinsey) and joining the Gates Foundation, what the Gates foundation does and plans to do, and closing thoughts for the "freshly minted" MBAs.

What caught my attention was how this organization works- it is like a venture capitalist looking at potential proposals and then funding them. The class was very interactive and several questions were asked - how they manage to ensure that the money provided is well spent, what challenges exist, do they want to believe in the concept of micro-financing etc.

The Gates Foundation has very clear and basic values: All lives—no matter where they are being led—have equal value and to whom much has been given, much is expected and has some of the finest brains working for them!

During the lunch session, Dr Goedde shared his thoughts with us
- Be passionate and follow the path that u truly believe in. You will find happiness there.
- As a new MBA, one would think that they "know it all". The world will let you know your weakness. Accept them and work towards improving them
- Understand and appreciate diversity. If you get a chance, travel across the world.

I really liked today’s speech and felt that here was a man who had reached the stage of self actualization in his life.!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Hello iPhone

If you thought that RIM's Pearl was cool, wait till you get your hands on Apple's Iphone.
Steve Jobs who has always made sure that he brings the coolest and the sexiest product to the market unveiled the "revolutionary" Apple iPhone today.

The market response has been positive. As expected, the phones cost a bomb.The price: 4-GB model for $500 and an 8 GB for $600 .The phones would hit the market in June. ( Asian entry in 2008).

It would be interesting to see how the smart phone market reacts.

Specifications for the Apple iPhone
Band: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Data : EDGE
Size: 115mm x 61mm x 11.6mm(4.5" x 2.4" x 0.46")
Weight: 135g (4.8oz)
Unknown standby time
Battery Life: 5 hours talk time
Main Display : 3.5" TFT LCD touchscreen, 320x480 pixel resolution
Sub-Display : N/A
Camera : Yes, 2.0 megapixel resolution
Video: Video capture/playback
Messaging : MMS/SMS
Bluetooth: Yes, v2.0
Infrared : No
Java: Unknown
Polyphonics : Yes
Memory: 4GB/8GB on board memory
Availability : June 2007
Other: Multi-Touch technology, WiFi, Mac OS X operating system, 16 hours music playback

NY Times reports:

Apple chose the name iPhone even though Cisco
, the network and consumer wireless company, has recently introduced
a Wi-Fi-based phone with the same name. Mr. Jobs had been negotiating with Cisco executives over the trademark in recent days.

Reuters reports :

Jobs predicted that in 2008 Apple could sell 10 million iPhones, representing roughly 1 percent of the current annual mobile phone market of 1 billion units a year. Last year, the consumer electronics market globally was worth $145 billion.

Another interesting article here. Let us wait to see how the market reacts !

Monday, January 08, 2007

Social Entrepreneur-The New Heroes

The Entrepreneurship classes started today. One of the short videos shown to us was on “ Social Entrepreneur” called Albina Ruiz who has started a Healthy City concept in Peru.

The video was very inspiring. The video was in Spanish with English subtitles and something that caught my attention was the passion that she had - to make a difference in the lives of people.

The New Heroes Video by PBS features some individuals all across the world who have realized an opportunity, gathered resources and formed a team to start a venture to make a difference in people's lives.

One such lady from India is Inderjit Khurana who believes that every child has the right to an education. After observing the challenges faced by the slum children in the city of
Bhubaneswar, India, she formed an organization and introduced the “train platform school"
that provides elementary education to children.

You can read more about her here and watch the PBS Video here.

I really like the thought the lady believes in - "If the child cannot come to school, then the
school must come to the child". I belong to the state of Orissa and I hope that some day I
will be able to sponsor as well as spend some volunteering time at this place. It would be
great if I can leverage my MBA skills and knowledge in making a difference to the people
in my state.

Queen's MBA at the MBA Games

Queen's MBAst 2007 bagged the third place in the 2007 MBA Games held in the
University of Alberta, Edmonton (Jan. 4th-6th).Queen's team comprised of a 23-member
team and bagged the 3rd position in Athletics, Spirit, and Business Jeopardy, making it
the only school to place in the Top 3 in all of the Games' competitive areas
(Athletics, Spirit, and Academic).

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Six mega-trends that define India's future.

TN Ninan has written an excellent article in Business Standard about the Six mega-trends that define India's future.

Read it here

MEGA-TREND #1 is the acquiring of scale
telecom market was 5 million connections 15 years ago; now it is over 180
million, and the fastest growing in the world. The fourth-largest phone company
in India is now being valued at $20 billion.

On a visit to India some years ago, the chairman of General Electric
(Jeff Immelt) said that whenever his company had bet on the Indian market, it
had failed them; but whenever they had bet on the Indian people (Indian skills,
that is), the bet had paid off. But by his last visit to Delhi, Immelt had
changed his view: now the market is working too.

MEGA-TREND #2 is the spread of connectivity and

MEGA-TREND #3 is the growth of the middle class --
talked about and anticipated for 20 years, but finally acquiring true scale. In
2001-02, there were 61 million Indians belonging to families that earned more
than Rs 2 lakh (Rs 200,000) a year; by last year (2005-06), that number had
crossed 100 million.

MEGA-TREND #4 has to do with the growing problems of
There is the environment: the increasing pollution of air
(all those additional cars), the dropping of the groundwater table, and the
failure to renew resources (like forests).

MEGA-TREND #5 has to do with India's increasing openness to
the world.

The number of US visas issued in India doubled in 2006, to over 800,000 --
more than in any other country, barring Mexico. More Indian students are
studying in other countries than those of any other nationality, barring perhaps
China. Neither of these was remotely true 15 years ago.

MEGA-TREND #6 the continuing dominance of

Something like half of India is under 25, and it will remain that way for
some time. This is usually spun around into the economic fact that a higher
percentage of people will be in the working age till the mid-twenty-first
century, but that is only one facet.

MBA Games 2007

About 25 folks from our class are representing Queen's University in the MBA Games this year at Edmonton. Last year, the school did not do well but this year the folks have worked hard and we expect to do well.

The MBA Games is one of the most anticipated events by Canadian MBA students. You can find the details here.

Here is an article that was featured in the Edmonton Journal Recently:

MBA schools pit their best in test of academic and physical prowess:

More than 300 MBA students are taking part in the quest for overall
The deep-thinking business post-grads are engaged in such
brinkmanship as case study competition in strategy and marketing, "Business
Jeopardy," spirit competitions, and volleyball, soccer, basketball, water polo
and inner tube water polo, along with some night clubbing

The games began at Queen's University 20 years ago.This year's theme is innovation ...

The MTV generation gets plugged in

An article in Canadian Business Online that mentions the technology facilities available in our school. (Used by our Exec MBA grads)

"Queen's School of Business in Kingston, Ont., uses real-time video conferencing — broadcast on two large screens — to unite boardroom learning teams across the country. Team rooms are equipped with document cameras and computer links, which allow teams to lead discussions and make presentations. Students can also signal their Kingston-based professor at any time to ask a question or make a comment. "We call it electronically raising your hand," says Amber Wallace, the school's manager of external relations"

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Greatest Canadian Invention

The greatest canadian inventions were announced recently. Check out this website for details.

The top 10 greatest Canadian Inventions are:
  • Insulin
  • Telephone
  • Light bulb
  • Five Pin Bowling
  • Wonderbra
  • Pacemaker
  • Robertson Screw
  • Zipper Electric
  • Wheelchair
  • Poutine
The Blackberry was ranked 18th.

Best Practices in Negotiation

I am working on the Negotiations assignment and one of the chapters in the book talks about the Best Practices in Negotiation. I have listed them below. Makes an interesting read.

These points are from the negotiation text book , co-autored by the Dean of the Queen's School of Business David M Saunders. Read on

1. Be Prepared
2. Diagnose the Fundamental Structure of the negotiation
3. Identify and work the BATNA.
4. Be willing to walk away.
5. Master the paradoxes of negotiation
(The pace and flow of negotiations can move from an intense haggle over financial issues to an intense debate over deeply held principles about what is right or fair or just. Negotiator face the dilemma of honesty: how open and honest should I be with the other party. )
6. Remember the intangibles
7. Actively Manage coalitions
8. Savor and protect your reputation:
(Reputations are like eggs: fragile, important to build, easy to break, and very hard to rebuild once broken. Starting negotiation with a positive reputation is essential. )
9.Remember that rationality and fairness are relative – First, they can question their own perceptions of fairness and ground them in clear principles. Second, they can find external benchmarks and examples that suggest fair outcomes. Finally, negotiators can illuminate definition of fairness held by other party and engage in dialogue to reach consensus on which standards of fairness apply in a given situation.
10. Continue to learn from your experience.

Happy New Year

I have not posted much for the past few weeks and that is primarily because I had gone to New York for the New Year. It was a much needed break and hanging out with friends and catching up with what is happening in everybody's lives felt great. The best part of the stay was a Bollywood Night party at a club in Times Square called Tonic. This was held a day prior to the New Year’s Eve and the DJ played some popular Hindi numbers .It was fun dancing and listening to the Bollywood tunes.

I am back to the world of assignments, deadlines, exams and stress! The year 2006 was spend learning the skills and concepts in the MBA program. I hope that 2007 will be a year when I get an opportunity to use them in the real world.

I have made a list of things that I would like to accomplish this year. I hope to achieve them. Herez wishing everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Web 2.0 is different

An article in Economist

As we head into 2007, there are by some counts more than 400 social-networking
sites, all trying to become the next MySpace; more than 200 web-video sites, all
trying to become another YouTube; more than 300 “social-bookmarking” sites, and
hundreds of “meta-sites” that “aggregate” the other sites by spitting out
computer-generated lists of hyperlinks. Rhetorically, the entrepreneurs behind
these sites usually claim that they will make money from “advertising”. In
reality, most hope to sell themselves to Google, Yahoo!, News Corporation or one
of the other “new” or “old” media giants long before they have to prove any
revenue model

I read an interesting piece on Time about Web 2.0 and how it is different from the earlier dot com craze. Check out the article here. Some pointers.

1. The earlier dotcom craze was a "public bubble, funded by Wall Street, and this is a private one, financed by venture capital”.” The most common business model now is "build to flip"—start a small company and quickly sell it to the highest bidder."

2.The Web 2.0 companies need to show that they can make profits and are sustainable. The model should indicate how they can earn revenues or at least prove that they have a huge user base. A huge user base makes it an attractive offer for the buyer.
Google in spite of having its own Google Video bought You Tube simply because it had a huge set of users.

3. Google is the key buyer in this case. It has huge reserves of money and wants is buying everything that might have a future. So, we had google docs, spreadsheets, picasa ,blogger etc. Start ups are being conceptualized with the idea that Google might acquire them in the future.

4. Spending is controlled. Even if the start ups get money from VCs, they make sure that they spend it carefully.Perks and benefits offered during the earlier dot com craze are reduced.No more stylish offices, everything is operated from home.

5. The earlier web craze was changing the brick and mortar business to online. From newspaper to books selling to toys to insurance, everything was sold on the internet. The Web 2.0 is more based on user feedback and is driven by the masses.
The growing popularity of Wikipedia, Blogger, You Tube proves that it is the user that is deciding the success of a dot com.
That is the reason why Time made "You" as the person of the year.

Some cool websites:

Time's 50 Coolest Websites:
Time's 25 Sites We Can't Live Without:
Reader's Choice of best websites:

And here is a photo album of the new boyz all set to create a dhoom in the world of internet.