Friday, November 18, 2011

Strategic Reflection

The word strategy is probably the most used term in my MBA career. However, starting from the more generic marketing/operation strategy to specific Strategic Management class the word imbibes one central idea: a roadmap to win among all kinds of favourable opportunities to unfavourable threats while leveraging the individual/organizational core competence.

The idea of formulating a strategy though seemed quite generic routine for any organization, the thing which has dreaded me is the “strategy execution and implementation “. How can the idea or the roadmap envisioned by some ten persons sitting in board meeting will be “bought in” by the lowest level of worker in the organization? As formulating a strategy can mean walking a tight rope and making some tough decisions for the overall organization, how to ensure that the intended message is delivered?  How to make a balance of both delivering QoQ profit and long-term stakeholder benefit?

The course has been designed in a fair enough way to provide us a theoretical overview about the whole gamut of Strategic management .But now as the course is coming to an end, I feel, I have been left with more questions than the answers about the “strategy” .If everyone knows the same Porter’s forces and everyone uses the same BCG matrix, then how come some corporations in Fortune 500 of one decade ceases to exist in another decade. What makes it a GE and an IBM to speak a successful corporate history of decades while another multiple corporations ceases to exist?

Perhaps the most paradoxical statement for me is the “Change is constant” .I can try to change, but how to make sure others will change and me being the leader how to identify the bottlenecks?
Though my reflections till now might portray a confused side of my state of affairs, but the silver lining is the my realisation that a successful strategy  formulation and implementation is an affair like riding a bicycle or may be swimming in a pool . Unless and until I fall, rise, learn and then again unlearn the art can never be mastered.  So perhaps the best medicine for me will be to wait till I get a chance in the near future to burn my hand in the “game of strategy “. 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Indian Railways

During my train journey I keep on engaging with fellow passengers with various issues . This time I had a chance to interact with the coach attendant of my B-1 3-tier ac coach . He was a man from my home town , so it took little time to start a conversation . I asked him about the way things are happening , about their salaries , the penalties for loosing the blankets and bed-sheets while in a journey . And his answers were quite eye-opener for me .

He showed me his white shirt , which he was wearing at that time and asked what do you think about the shirt ? I shook my hand saying it looks nice . He said that shirt's cloth is the stolen bed-sheet from train . I was quite surprised as the penalty for a pair of bed-sheets are Rs 200/- . He said that the cost of buying a cloth for his shirts were higher , so he was happy to pay that amount of fine .

Then he said the penalty for loosing the blanket is Rs 900/- and there is also a business model to benefit from this . I asked how and he said steal a blanket from a train and give it to another train attendant who has lost it for Rs 500/- . Obviously this stealing is done by pantry managers . And the benefit that the pantry manager gets is Rs 500/-and the train attendant is benefited by 900-500 = Rs 400 .

So long I was listening . Then I asked how did he get this job ? He said one of the local politician is the chief of a group who is responsible for their sourcing . He takes Rs 10000 - 15000 from these poor souls and gives them a job of monthly remuneration Rs 3000/- . And if the guy keeps on indulging these above mentioned activities then he can very well collect the principal money in 6 months time .

So as my train was approaching next big station and I was getting ready to sleep , I once again thanked the jugaad .

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Jugaad leads to corruption

Lots of management gurus have been saying that jugaad is the face of Indian innovation . They say we Indians can manage with very little resource , and with jugaad mindset we innovate in our every walk of life . Fair enough , I also believe the same way .But I would like to put another side of this coin .

It is the mindset of jugaad which wakes up to do fulfill objectives at the last moment . The deadline is there , but who cares ? Only when the deadline becomes a sword on our head , we feel it is the time to go . On our endeavor to access the goal in the last minute , we try to overcome any single rule in the society through any means . Be it bribing the traffic police , be it braking queue or be it putting ourselves in danger . What I believe that  with the virtue of jugaad we have also the vice of challega (it's ok mindset ) .No need to improve upon the process , no need to benchmark ourselves and no need to take the onus on ourselves . Take the example of CWG game , the shoddy work is the result of the mindset jugaad . We were just able to showcase the world the  grand show of CWG game . But  underneath the vice of "challega" has made us corrupted .

Take the 1991 economic reform . It was forced by the time to partially open our economy . But after that we have never felt the force against us and so we have never proceeded . And the mix of licencse raj (control of 51%) tells us to do a "jugaad " with politicians and leads to 2G scam .

What we need to believe is that jugaad cann't be the solution to everything . Jugaad can come and help us in disruptive invention . But we need to belive that invention as a process needs much more discipline than we show . IST or Indain Standard time of 30 min late to everything is the by product of jugaad mentality and we need to overcome this .
I may be wrong at this but I sincerely believe it ...

Nothing to say

My previous post on the news being black seems so irrelevant today .. after the serial bomb blasts in Mumbai .. we are really helpless to do anything , except to blame our neighbors and Diggy Raja again saying hands of saffron terror . I think the way these attacks are being done , after 20-25 years our yearly calendar would have been filled with 365 memorial days of bomb blasts .. and nothing more  can be said  as anything being said will seem hypocrisy of highest order .. Hope is the only thing still remains .. Lets see ..

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Why our newspapers have become dark ?

It has been a long 2-3 months or I'll say more than a year from the day of 2G scam . I have been growing with a feeling that not a single good thing is happening in our country . Now today  I saw a video in youtube , which is a clip of a video from Russia channel , which showcases India's budding entrepreneurs and the growing aspiration of Indians . Believe me , I felt I have heard a good news after a long time . When a foreign news channel showcases our positive attitude , we have been cribbing about everything .   

Charles Dickens said "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times "  and I feel at any moment we are living , the above idioms stays true .. No time can be the worst time than present and no time can be the best time than present .But unfortunately our newspapers have decided to not focus on the latter part . Is it our need to be fed on the black , sad news that they are trying to fulfill ? If the answer to above statement is true , then god help us . 

This is the time to believe in India and play a constructive role for the society . There are two ways to deal , simply dismiss Indian democracy as a sham but negativism and cynicism are not the way we have lived for last 3000 years 
If we are waiting for that day , when all our problems and sufferings will vanish automatically and then we will  start making good news our headline news , then we are destined to wait for ever . 

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Second year begins @ IMT ,Ghaziabad

So it has turned a full circle . One year of MBA is over . Campus is filled with anxious looking parents and to-be student managers . The vendor for selling pillows , beds and coolers are ready to suck the blood out of them with their highly overpriced items and as always eager seniors ready to 'interact ' with juniors .So nothing has changed , though the hot and dry Ghaziabad of last year has become humid and sweating Ghaziabad this time .

For me , the second year has begun and with it the count-down to jump into the action of life which will start after March 15 , 2012 . So what do I wish for next 3 term ? Nothing really .. a good ending to this wonderful MBA ... a decent enough job to start with and the continued bliss with these wonderful 420 IMTians of batch 2010 - 2012 . So let the game begin ...

Saturday, April 30, 2011


So let me be frank . I was not seriously thinking about my summer internship and felt that any organisation will do .So when I got through AdoRoi , it was first a kind of relief that I don't have to appear for the process of sitting for interview in another company .. and then when I thought about working for a startup I found this can really be good for me as it can provide me a all total different experience of working .. I have worked in large organisations with 1.5 lakh employees and this was the opportunity to work in a company with less than 30 employee .. So all set . and I arrived at the office and till today 3 week have passed . So learnings no .1 you dont need money , you dont need infra , you dont need polished corporate office for a company .. what you need is a big idea and the belief in yourself to achieve the Idea .
Also the need is to make your employees believe your idea and to distribute the responsibility of implementing the idea even as no single person can run this alone . One needs to have the ability to pick up right person for the job ..
As it happens every new  idea faces its utmost challenge as the implementation starts and this is where the differentiation starts .. what is needed is two contrasting factors .. one the belief in your idea .. and two listen to the all stakeholders associated and then mould your idea according to their need . and this startup is in such a position where it needs the integration of both these two factors ..  After 5 weeks down the line , my academic requirement of working in a company will be fulfilled and I will leave but the learnings of  will definitely be there .

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mumbai Again...

So ..It's Mumbai again after 3 years .. and till now very few  experiences has been repeated . Last time I was staying at posh location Powai , travelling through Western line and was a full time employee .Last time when I arrived , I felt people around me were moving at 10x speed while I was moving at x . This time I am staying at Ghansoli , which according to Mumbai standard will confirm to a village .. travelling in the harbour and central line and basically I am now a student manager and for internship .
Last time I was at one of the flat in Powai where AC , TV and washing machine was there . this time I am at a Paying guest where I have to share my room with 9 guys and going through all the absence of TV , AC etc .
No.. I am not saying that the condition is somewhat difficult  .. but just stressing the fact that life always has something interesting to throw at you and ask you the question "buddy , what about this " ..
My last experience of Mumbai came in handy this time in helping me travel in the local trains , in finding out routes and also in visiting places .. Yeah traveled to Gateway of India this time also and also went in the boat to see Elephanta caves ..
So this time travelling with monthly pass in the first class compartment and carrying all my stuffs in the back-pack . Quite comforting for the rushes of the local train ... and yeah  Rampadhi is here ... true to his name Badbhai helped me in finding the pg .. and on Sundays feeding me to the fullest .. Thanks a lot Rampadhi and bhauja ...
and the experience of working in the Start-up ... well will write in the next ..

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Half way of MBA over ..

So the curtain will fall on the third term on Thursday and half way of becoming a MBA is going to be over . And myself and Navin were discussing what is our take away from these 3 months .... we couldn't decide at that time and then I have been thinking about that for last half an hour .. So is it the ability to speak global or is it the ability to deliver ppt at an instant or is it the diamond model , the P's of marketing or something else .. so many case studies and so many tools of analysis .. 
One thing which has changed... I have started to appreciate the cycle ... that which comes down has to come up and so the fear of losing the status quo and by that process missing out on the thrills of swing will not be there .. and yes one thing I have learned ... it is not about suffering is about sharing the burden ...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cultural aspect of doing business

So one of the lessons that you learn while doing MBA , specially international business is that "While in Rome , do as Romans do" i.e. you have to admire the culture and do your job according to that . Though it can seem not new but when I think now , I can recall that I had an such culture shock in my carrier earlier . I left my job at Bangalore and I moved to Kolkata  .
In one of first assignment I had to send one mail for getting the approval for setting the application server . I did as I did in Bangalore . I send one mail and expected that in the end the job will be done .I had forgotten that I am at a culture where doing your job requires a personal touch .
My team-lead came and told me the same . He was also a guy from Bangalore and he told me in Kolkata , to do a job you have to give it a personal touch . so go and talk .
I did that and my job was done instantly .
At that point , I just felt bit annoyed about the whole process , but in the end I adopted the process .

 But now when I recall , I just admire the way things get done differently even in a single country .

Just curious to see how different it will be from country to country !!!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A victim of own success

What happens when something  becomes a victim of its own success ?? I believe the whole of business world is full of example how a company once in fortune 500 list files for bankruptcy and then suddenly vanishes or becomes the victim of own success .
       I used to  think  how a company which is doing tremendously good by doing in a certain kind of way can fail ? .. You take everything granted because of your success story  .. You suddenly believe the success your birth right and you suddenly try to unlearn all the good virtues that you have learned ... A level of arrogance , a care for no one attitude overwhelms the once successful entity ...And to make things worse the result of the all the wrong doings because of such arrogance seems excellent in the beginning .. and that initial success creates a layer of deception which becomes an impediment to see all the wrong doings .. in the end it creates a vicious cycle of going down and down .. 
      But this happens till one fine morning .. as on that morning you rise from bed and think it would have been better not to rise at all .. so what can be the solution ? The solution is to keep challenging the status quo ....and how to do that ? I don't have the answer right now ..

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Best Feedback

We had a panel discussion today and two persons from the industries came to interact us . In the panel discussion as per maam's instruction  our CR and me were also part of the panel to ask questions to the guests .Believe me I had not prepared a single sentence to ask to them ,but somehow I managed to ask couple of questions . After the session was over one of my friend came to me and said "Kya Mohanty , wohi rata hua questions ?(U r asking questions after memorizing them )".
                            First I thought to clarify him that I have not prepared a single word and all are impromptu .But that time a thought stroke me and I said to myself , "If the way I spoke could look others as I have practiced , rehearsed before coming  then Hold on .. I have done the perfect justice to job . What can be better than your impromptu speech looking well-rehearsed ...." Thank you god for giving me such an wonderful feedback and keeping my mind cleared enough to decipher this wonderful gift from the box ... Sometimes wonderful surprises come from the places where you least expect them and I have got one ....I will keep on improving ..

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The story from Tibbet

I was on my way back to IMT Ghaziabad and my train was destined to be late by 12 hours . But the best thing to happen for me in the journey was my meeting with this person from R.Udaygiri . In the year 1959 , at the age of 20 , this man with is mother ran away from his motherland Tibet . He came and settled himself in Orissa .
      One fine day he got the message that his father and brother have been killed by the Chinese . He got over the trauma and joined Indian Army . He fought the war against Pakistan in the year 1972 and led his team towards Chittagong .And his eventful story doesn't stop here .
In the year 1995 he was travelling in the Delhi bound Purussottam Express which rammed into stationery Kalindi Express and was severely injured . That day he was travelling to Benaras to have a get together with his family members who have come from all over the world and then stay for someday at Sarnath .My salute to this man for showing such indomitable spirit all through his life .