The Lord Of Myself

Twinkle, twinkle little star...!! Shoot for the stars, even if you miss those you'll reach the moon.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

GAME fame or shame..!!

If you win the game you shoot to fame, if you lose you shoot to shame.. and that's how the world is destined to run!! I am referring not only to the ubiquitous sports arena but also to the subtle competition strategies/ploys played in the corporate jungle..!! Game theory in micro-economics course beautifully explained the importance of thinking with competitors' mind for success in either monopoly or oligopoly markets. This is one topic that made me think constantly and consistently differently - the following questions can be answered by conceptualizing micro-economics..

- Why is coke more costly at PVR than at Madhapur bakery?
- Why do profits sometime decrease even though the revenues increase?

- Is it always advantageous to move first into the market?
- What's the optimum strategy for procurement?
- Why firms charge low prices despite the potential fof higher profits at higher prices?

- Why some big firms are big and why some better firms find it difficult to grow beyond a certain stage?
(For Eg: TCS & Kanbay...........(ubiqutous dilemma of Incumbent and New Entrant..))

And many, many more interesting questions can be answered by a simple concept of Game theory - I never came across any such course so far which is so widely practical !!


P.S: Nash equilibrium (Yeah..Nash (Russell Crowe) of Beautiful Mind) is a critical concept in Game theory!! At Nash equilibrium no firm will have an incentive to either increase or decrease its price..!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006

..the art of perfection by transformation...

It takes aeons to be eternally perfect, but this shouldn't act as a detterent to strive for perfection now!! It is common-sense to realize that one has to change if he doesn't like few things the way they are, and there is a truth in saying that change has to begin within first to effect one's external circumstances. Also, there is a myth that change is always good - nevertheless, it is good only if it is in the right direction - a direction that is self-chosen as per one's goals.

Having said that, one shouldn't beat himself up for not changing and for indulging in few frivolous activities!! It is ok to transform at your own pace, because in the end the views from the mountain top are the same for everyone, irrespective of how quick or slow one reaches there. Moreover, the changes that I am talking about need not be dramatic to be noticed - becoming better and better each and every day is much better than being the best tomorrow :)

In case you are wondering, what the hell has happened to me - I watched Fanah -the first day first show - this friday morning amidst an hectic schedule of 4 BIG assignments. (Don't ask me how the movie was..!!) End term exams are starting next week, and I am serious about the change I was talking about, provided the environment is conducive :)


Wednesday, May 24, 2006


..the first two terms of the title are self-explanatory, however, the third element requires little explanation, and it has to do with why I haven't considered US B-schools in general and Carnegie Mellon in particular (I've been wait-listed at Tepper). Apart from typical reasons such as Time to be spent (2 yrs vs 1 yr), expenses in dollars, inclination to work in a growing market (India), relatively more experienced, close to home etc, there is one special reason why I want to do a 1-year MBA program vis-a-vis a 2 year program - Marriage!!

Now that all my friends have got married or almost getting married (ofcourse, including 'opposite-gender' friends), I've no incentive to defer mine by another year :) Hence, I permit my parents to search/fix for me a suitable bride in a year's time frame!! Jokes apart, it is an important phase in my life - this 1-year at ISB will serve as a rocketing launching pad and i won't mind missing the last term of the series in the title ever and the first two in this year..:)

P.S: I've not done as badly in economics mid-paper as I had feared..!!

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Y do weekends END :(

..after two strenuous mid-term exams on friday, we had two long days to relax. Well, not exactly - but I chose to do so despite three heavy weekend assignments due tomorrow!! Stats exam was cool, but I've no clue what I wrote in the economics paper - well, I am assuming most of my batchmates had a similar experience, judging from their post-exam reactions!! Relative grading is sometimes boon in such situations!!

My weekend was cool - watched couple of DVDs, met few old friends in the city, picked up a fight with my recently married girl-friend and placated another unmarried friend of mine :), ate pizza, attended General Mgmt Club & Entrepreneurship club meetings, thought about career again, and slept like a...!! And, alas! tomorrow is monday.

I somewhere read about TGIF - Why do people thank God only on fridays -it's not God's idea to come up with a stupid idea of a Job starting on Monday and temporariy ending on friday...God makes every day and you should rejoice in it....Thank God for every day...TGIM, TGIT, TGIW,TGIT,TGIF,TGIS,TGIS...!!

Well, easier said than done..!!


Saturday, May 20, 2006

Few Take Aways...So Far!!

Well, it's important to interpret what you are learning in the class room to the real world, and here is my attempt to do so for the term1 Subjects:

Managerial Economics: If you are billing $30 per person on average on a software project, and if you increase the number of billable associates will it always increase your profits or even the revenue? If I had not taken this course, I would probably say it is 'plain common sense' to expect so!! But, the answer is a resounding NO. Marginal analysis, any economist's favorite parlance, comes into play along with the ubiquitous demand-supply principle!! One shouldn't just think in terms of average, they've to consider marginal revenue and account for the fact that prices varies with demand.

Business Statistics: I always used to wonder in my engineering classes, where in the world will I be using those damn Statistics and probablilty theorems. I guess I found an answer here, and since then statistics has become one of my favorite subjects. The application of statistics are wide-spread and can provide insights to such questions as:
Should I launch this new product of 'Early Pregnancy Detection? :)
How are stock prices doing, and should I invest in a particular stock?
What's the best portfolio i can put my money on?
Is my process of manufacturing supersonic engines in supersonic jets capable and in control?

If I had known this subject earlier in such depth, I probably would have invested more in stocks..!! Better late than never!

If there is only one thing that is making these courses so interesting and insightful, it got to be the quality of the faculty teaching these courses. That's the difference when experts in their fields teach basics..!!

Take aways on the other two courses (Marketing & Financial Accounting) in my next writing...


P.S: I've removed my previous posting on ISB rankings, because it is just a bench mark on certain criteria, while comparing with other top B-schools. The school hasn't participated in any rankings as such as yet.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mids..'s hard to realize that we reached mid of the term-1 till we are reminded of our mid-term exams :) We gotta give Economics and Statistic papers on this friday..Alums revealed a secret during orientation week, saying that at any point of time in ISB you are atmost two weeks away from a critical exam and you'll start worrying less about end-term exams as the time progresses!! But, right now- come friday, we'll be giving our first exam at ISB and naturally everyone wants to do well...!!

Also, we had an interesting Career workshop with CAS today and placement opportunities seem to be incredible...However, the onus is on the student to convert those opportunities into realities..I heard an interesting statement that most of the students' goals changes after every term...that was difficult to fathom!! Even I am wavering between general Mgmt path and Finance career track - well, I could classify these as my Plan A & B..(and I still have 24 alphabets left...:)

As I've been saying our batch has an amazing set of students with rich profiles and diverse's official now..2007 intake updates are published in major is the link i found at news section


Monday, May 15, 2006


...Electioning campaign is currently underway not in Tamilnadu or in Kerala, but right here at ISB for a far more important job ..:) President of the Graduate Student Board!! I am not contesting because I've not come here for that - however, there are few brilliant chaps in the fray contesting for the coveted post.

I always wonder how some people influence others effortlessly, while some others infuriate people using their influencing skills. I have tried to understand this aspect, and realized the best way to do so is grab a good book from the library. I found one - a lucky one on Influencing skills, written by a famous psychologist. I am sharing those principles with few of my insights and experiences: (this might make us even beware of the traps!!)

- Contrasting Principle: It's common sense but many people don't realize that everything is relative. For example, if you are interviewed for a job interview after a relatively smarter person than you, the chances of you impressing the interviewer are meagre..and ofcourse, vice-versa..Imagine how you would feel watching a good song after a bad song and bad song after a good song - the feeings are different and not absolute even though the songs are the same!!

- Reciprocation Principle: When you take a favor from other person, there is an irresistible human urge to reciprocate. So naturally, people who help others are most influential in courting favors back!!

- Commitment & Consistency: People are more consistent after they get committed. Remember, friction is higher at the beginning than in the middle or at the end. So, the important thing to do first is to get committed to doing something worthwhile, and then watch magic happen!!

- Authority: It is natural to respect authority and people in power. People do so subconsciously. Hence, authority or power isn't bad afterall :)

- Social Power: Birds of the same feather flock together - that's more true while influencing people. People subconsciouly are influenced by majority, there is nothing wrong with it..but just be aware of it

- Liking: To be blunt, people do things for you if they like you..('Liking' can be along different aspects - Physical attraction, Similarilty in some way...)

- Scarcity: Anything that is scarce and rare is supposedly precious and sought after..(which need not be). Avoid the temptation of useless scarcity..!!


P.S: Why I read the book in the first case was because my LDP feedback pointed that my assertive and influencing skills need to be improved...:) The rest of the feedback was amazing, and ofcourse, I felt good about it..!! A big fat Thank you to all those who gave me the honest and genuine feedback.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

my typical day..yesterday..!! response to quite a few queries of how i've been at ISB, and why my ressonse rate to the emails has gone low..i am delineating my yesterday's schedule...(this is no way an excuse to be un-responsive ..i guess i can be more self-disciplined:)

07:00 AM: I don't know why i keep the alarm at 07:00 clock when my class is at 08:15 AM, and I always bang it at least twice before I drag myself outta bed at 08:00 AM...

08:00 AM: Got ready in 1759 nanoseconds, and rushed to Goel Dining hall for a sumptuous is usually a 7 - 8 min walk, and by the team i reach the corridor I realize i am left with only few minutes before the class starts two levels above...:(

08:15 AM: Gulp a glass of milk, grab a banana to eat in the elevator before i reach the class on time.

10:15 AM: After two hours heavy and exciting lecture in accounting, we get a break of half-hour before another battle begins. It is amazing to keep your eyelids separate in the class for more than few is good to sleep on the bed than in the class- but, who said I am good?

10:30 AM: Get the tea from the vending machine, and prepare to be awake in the Marketing class - because, sometimes there could be cold calls...(you are randomly called to respond to a question - this didn't happen so far, but it might) Anyway, marketing class is always exciting with few funny videos shown in between..

12:40 PM: After the morning two classes, I realized I have lot to do before I catch up with what the professors are teaching..and owe to study smart after lunch...

12:45 PM: Rush for lunch to satiate the hunger of the mice in my well, and chat with friends about how tough assignments, case studies, quizes are .. over the lunch table for few seconds..and ofcourse, about the actress in Krish and how fortunate Emran is for half-hour..!!

01:30 PM: Slowly walk to the Quad in the hot sun, appreciating the air-conditioner in my Quad; Look at my tomorrow's schedule and cajole myself that I am smart and efficient enough to handle anything in the world, and that now I can hit the bed...

04:00 PM: After two hours deep sleep...washed my face with the newly purchased face wash and remind myself that my bangalore friendie is getting married tomorrow in Hyderabad..alas :(

04:30 PM: After few minutes of emotional reflection, I pre-read few text books with full concentration for about two hours with few intermittent phone calls...

06:30 PM: Go to Gym or Swimming pool wherever you find interesting people and spend next hour toning my already thin body..:)

07:30 PM: Relax in the shower and depart for dinner

08:30 PM: After light dinner, stuffed with chocolate ice-cream, Gujju food & russian salad, follow the crowd to LRC (library) and find a quiet place. (ofcourse, for reading)

11:00 PM: Get back to the quad after two hours uninterrupted study and go online, browsing the world for an hour.

12:00 AM: Grab my favorite book (any general non-fiction) and day dream about the characters in the novel at mid-night !!

01:00 AM: Do the best thing in the world - SLEEP - till the alarm rings again in the morning.

I think i've to do better than what I am currently doing to keep up with the tough schedule, and ofcourse, I am confident in doing's just a matter of time and self-discipline....

I better start before the mid-term begins next week..ofcourse, now, Life is beautiful :)


Sunday, May 07, 2006

Stretching the limits...

..Weekends seem to be more hectic than weekdays at ISB!! I indulged in plethora of activities in last two days more than I could ever imagine - successfully completed Financial accounting quiz, attended couple of club meets, finished managerial economics assignment, solved an interesting marketing case, Read Kreps, Kotler, Attended two parties (one at ISB, one by my prior team @ Kbay :)), Gymming, Swimming, talked to several friends, watched an uncensored movie, 'The Silence of Lambs', and "A million Dollar Baby" (DVDs at ISB) - all these in just two days apart from enjoying 16 hours sleep..:)

Makes me think hard..that 24 hrs is not small amount of time. It reminds me of an old saying as well - "Time is resource, not a constraint..!!"


Saturday, May 06, 2006

what a profile..!!

... 1977 graduate of Yale College (magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa) and a 1981 graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration and the Harvard Law School (cum laude)...Robert Morse is the managing director and CEO of Citigroup Asia Pacific Corporate and Investment Bank. He visited ISB and chatted with the students about the trends in Asian emerging capital markets. This session was arranged by CAF - Centre for Analytical Finance...

It was a pretty insightful session where he talked about the current Sensex trends, Japanese market ...& ofcourse the current Job market scenario. His response to one of the queries was really striking - There is world of difference between doing a good job and a great job - ofcourse, that difference is still wider in the corresponding pay packets.. :)

tata.. Satish

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Is man an economist or a rationalist??

The basic assumption in all economic teachings is that ' Humans are rational.' No wonder it seems that economists are preaching utopian theories at times. Man is more social and emotional than rational...hey..I am not hinting that 'emotional rationality' is an oxymoron, but Heart and Mind aren't universally congruous all the time. These days, irrationality is prevalent to such an extent that its ignorance by economists might not go well with pragmatists...!!

Having said that, I can't think of any other option than assuming 'Man is rational and always makes decisions based on his self-interest', in explaining those beautiful economic theories..!!

In case you are wondering what the hell has happened to me - I am into the core terms and Managerial Economics is the first course!! We got a wonderful set of professors teaching us equally delightful courses in the first professor from Kellogg (Financial Accounting), one from Wharton (Statistics Modelling for Decision Making), one from Columbia (Marketing Mgmt), and one from ISB (Managerial Economics)..

One significant difference between ISB academics and prior Engineering academics is the mode and timing of your preparation. During graduation we mostly study only during exams and even crack those...however, at ISB, you will have to do certain amount of pre-reading before you step into the class; because, professors delve into crucial insights underlying complex practical scenarios, assuming that you read basics before attending the class. Unless, you pre-read you'll have no clue of whatz going on in the class..!! I experienced it...& of course, trauma transforms!!


P.S; I like to write..& I hope to write regularly. However, given the schedule, I am tempering my goal - now, it is to write at least once in a week....!!