Thursday, August 16, 2007


We celebrated Independence Day in great style in college, and why not? As our director put it, we have come a long way in the last 60 years! From a poverty stricken third world nation, today we are one of the fastest growing economies, commanding respect from all corners of the globe. And 25 years from now, we are going to lead the world: it’s some achievement, not withstanding the trials and tribulations of a democracy of one billion people!

True, we are no longer slaves of a foreign master , but are we really free? Free from our own inhibitions, our narrow limitations and our traditional thought process? We still have a long way to go in terms of independent ventures, entrepreneurship or just taking the road less traveled.

Being a part of the MBA fraternity, I consider myself privileged, and yet, I can’t help wondering if the MBA degree in our country has been reduced to a passport to the air-conditioned corporate offices! Today, most B-schools run the risk of being reduced to glorified placement agencies, with very little value addition to the students, but nobody is complaining because we barely look beyond the return on investment, purely in terms of capital…
Few of us have the courage to look beyond Campus Placements and follow our dreams! I have immense respect for one of our alumni, Prakash Mundra, who started his own business, but people like him are few and far between!
You do have the likes of Rashmi Bansal, the JAM lady, who followed her heart, Sarath Babu who set up his own catering services and the 4 young students who started their lingerie line, instead of giving in to the lucrative offers in the temptation island called IIMA. I know it’s not easy, but once you actually take the plunge, the rollercoaster ride is so much more fulfilling than selling soaps for a multinational! I have seen one of my friends, an IIT-IIM guy, give up a cushy international job to start his own venture; I have been lucky enough to share his frustrations and euphoria, but do I have the courage to follow my own dreams? Can I be free in the true sense of the term?

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

GL: Guest Lecture or Good Lord!!

In the last few weeks we have been bombarded with a series of guest lectures (GLs)- three in this week itself, all bigshot corporate honchos or academicians from top institutes. I have never seen so many “allegedly” talented people, let alone seeing them all at once! It was quite an overwhelming experience, but thanks to the limited intelligence endowed to me, I wasn’t completely able to appreciate the quality of the talent paraded in front of me. As an unfortunate consequence, I ended up doing the following things:
a) Catching up on the much-needed sleep through a majority of the lectures (thanks to the darkness of the auditorium)
b) Cultivating my much-neglected hobbies: reading, listening to music and checking out the guys (all handsomely attired in the formal college uniform)
c) Fiddling around with my saree, clutching on to it for dear life
d) Slipping out of the audi through the back door!

Sometimes not being an engineer makes me wonder if I really missed out on the 8th wonder of the world: illegible equations, dynamic models and a whole lot fancy jargon!

However, the GL by the HUL Corporate Communications Head was quite inspiring, so much so that I actually stayed awake through most of the session. He was an articulate speaker and somehow managed to touch a chord especially when he spoke about HUL’s Shakti campaign. Shaktammas are definitely marketable but Shahrukh Khan in the Lux ad definitely isn’t. Gimme a break- I may be stupid, but I am not blind (I wear lenses)..
As a part of the Corporate Communications Cell of SCMHRD I got to interview the guy up close and personal! Well, being a member of CC is not ALL bad I guess.

But the GL that really made a deep impact was by Mohd Asif, a young guy from PwC who passed out from our college last year. It was more about sharing his life, his experiences, obstacles and overcoming those challenges.

Well, there are good GLs and there are bad GLs, but all I am asking for is “Save me from the really UGLY ones”!

Sunday, August 5, 2007


The Fresher’s Party concept may be an age old cliché, where the norm is usually loud music (of not-so-great quality), overcrowded dance floors and all-black, lesser-the-better dress-code... but this is one of the clichés that we never get tired of! Even at the ripe old age of 92 (at last I have caught up with Prantosh Banerjee, our super-awesome marketing prof), I still took the pain to dress myself up and look as hot as possible (believe me it was hard work!), danced till my legs were about to give in and tried to loosen up in order to keep up with the drunkards who completely let themselves go! The theme was “Pirates of the Caribbean”, and with a black eye patch and the to-hell-with-the-world attitude, we weren’t too bad!!

The juniors were supposed to ask out the seniors for the big night and the build-up to the Fresher’s was uncannily similar to our WAC cases-
a) Objective: Find HOT date for Fresher’s Party
b) Problem Statement:
1. Don’t know too many seniors
2. The good ones are already booked
c) Alternatives:
1. Network with seniors in the hostel begging them to introduce us to their most eligible friends
2. Scan the seniors’ profiles on orkut and eliminate the ones we do not fancy.
3. Hang around the cafeteria or Sweety Stores, eyes wondering desperately trying to spot somebody pleasant and not-so-weird (by now “HOT” is no longer the qualifying criteria: just “decent” will do)
4. Frenzied phone calls to strangers only to find out that they have already been booked)
5. Go back to elimination list (alternative 2) in sheer desperation and randomly choose people the night before D-day, only to get a smug reply, “I am sorry, but I am going with So-and-So”.
d) Implementation Plan: Go stag with your best friends and have the time of your life!

Even after all that jazz, the romance goes on…