Friday, June 30, 2006

XL Singapore get together July 1st

The Singapore Chapter of the XLRI Alumni Meet is happening on July 1st, 2006.
Our Director, Fr. Casmir Raj will be there to grace the occasion
along with other members of the faculty. Wine and food will be served.
Here are the details:

Venue: XLRI Center
Address: 167, Jln. Bukit Merah, #07-11,
Connection ONE [old Tower 5],
Opp. Bukit Merah Interchange, Singapore 150167

Time & Date: 1st July 2006, 7pm onwards

- The closest MRT station is Tiong Bahru
- As you exit the MRT station, take a right turn at the 7/11 store.
- At the main exit take a right again, which will take you to the bus
- There is a shuttle service available mornings and evenings.
- The bus routes which bring you to the location are 851 and 16.

If lost, get in touch with Dr. Rajashree on +65 98223438.

Be There !!

Udit Saraff
Batch of 2005
+65 81285640

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Madhukar in the latest Business World

From the Businessworld issue on Indian innovation (you need to register to read articles - but registration is free)

Squeeze The Dry Towel
Innovation has to happen in a much more organised manner if India is to be counted among the world’s greatest nations.

In all this debate over whether India is innovating enough, there is yet another subtext. Is the kind of innovation that is already happening here the right variety?

There is a pattern to the innovation emerging out of India. Most of it revolves around price — essentially making a product or a service more affordable (therefore, accessible) to a larger mass of people. While there is nothing wrong with an emphasis on what management thinker C.K. Prahalad calls the ‘bottom-of-the-pyramid’ approach, the question is — is price innovation enough for us?

Innovation practitioners say, yes. They argue that innovation has to be in the context of a nation’s socio-economic framework and its economic imperatives. In the US, for example, innovations are typically in technology and products, since labour is expensive there.

Madhukar Shukla, professor at XLRI, says not much is being done to address this segment of the market: “There is a vast market at the bottom of the pyramid. It also makes business sense.”

One derivative of the bottom-of-the-pyramid mindset is the emphasis most Indian companies have begun paying to thrift. And that, in turn, have made many of them globally competitive, especially in manufacturing.

Take automobile components. Says Baba Kalyani, CMD, Bharat Forge, one of India’s most innovative auto-component companies: “We started by placing emphasis on improving cost efficiencies, enhancing product quality and rationalising internal processes. We then leveraged the domestic market to build an export orientation by creating international-scale capacities.”

But the real issue is whether too much emphasis on price-led innovation will prevent Indians from making an iPod, or even a Walkman. Says Ravi Kant, managing director, Tata Motors: “Price is one peg. But you must identify the need the product will cater to. With Ace, we identified both.”

XLRI’s Shukla, however, argues that even if India were to create an iPod, lack of marketing muscle would not allow it to exploit the global market. “The XP launch cost Microsoft close to $800 million. Can any Indian company match that?” he says.

He may have a point, but there are ways of getting around this issue. One is through collaboration, as Indian pharma companies doing high-end R&D have shown. (A company develops the molecule and then farms out the trials, marketing, etc., to partners.)

Another solution that Indian companies, especially in the manufacturing sector, seem to have hit upon is to look at expanding in other structurally similar markets, mainly in Africa and some parts of central and South-east Asia. Given that a bottom-of-the-pyramid approach works equally well there, Indian companies are extending innovations developed for India to these markets.

The Tata Group, for example, almost has a complete South Africa strategy, where the company is selling everything from cars to telecom to hotels. Again, Tata Motors has recently sold 228 buses, originally developed for India, to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Given their cost structures, it would be fair to assume that the Tata buses would have an advantage over buses from the US or Europe.

The journey that BW took over the past few weeks — talking to academics, consultants, and meeting with companies and non-profit organisations actually practising innovation — to see first-hand innovation at work demonstrated one reality unequivocally: Indians believe the country needs to do things differently if it wants to count itself amongst the world’s great nations. Some innovators are stuck for cash, some for guidance, some for people, but the spark exists. It is now for us as a nation to fan that spark into a flame.

Read the Whole Story

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rajan Krishnan (85BM) to head Principal Mutual Fund


Slightly dated news:
Rajan Krishnan (85BMD) took over as the new Business Head of Principal Mutual Fund, the Asset Management group of PNB, in May 2006

Rajan used to be the Vice-President, Sales & Marketing at Principal PNB Asset Management Company Pvt. He started his career in the mutual fund with Kothari Pioneer, the first private sector mutual fund in the country. After spending about five years in Kothari Pioneer, he moved to take on Sales & Maketing responsibility at Zurich India Mutual Fund. He has been with Principal Mutual Fund since June of 2003. Prior to joining the mutual funds industry, Mr. Krishnan garnered rich and solid experience in the field of advertising and market research and has worked with renowned names from the industry, like, Lintas, Ogilvy & Mather and Bozell.

Ashish Rajpal (92BMD) among the "50 Leaders Reshaping the India Education"

The June issue of Education World features Ashish Rajpal (92BMD) among the "50 Leaders Reshaping the India Education"

[Ashish Rajpal, top row, between Narayana Murthy and Arjun Singh

Ashish is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of iDiscoveri India Pvt Ltd.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

2008 batch lands at Jampot Campus

The batch of 2008 has landed on campus.

Things have changed a lot from when we joined.

Nowadays, the juniors arrive a week or 2 in advance. They get their QT fundae polished up. There r sessions to get to know the campus, the city & the profs.

Remember that in our time (which wasn't so long ago) this used to be a half day affair, followed by high tea. With quite a few anxious parents who had come to drop their wards also being invited. (Good PR to give these parents a feel that their precious kids would be well fed for their 2 year stint on campus {grin} I was well fed for sure, but more courtesy of Mad Sam, karnail parathas, Akshay's & Siddharth's moms, the chinese place in bistupur, the chin thai place behind campus, pizzeria & the others)

Check out the first impressions of some of the new batch. Relive the good old days through their eyes.

Some observations from Ravi Shankar 08 : Days of My Life
# There are beautiful girls in India, Jamshedpur is filled with them

# There is only one cinema hall, and people seem to be fine with it. "Koi cinema nahi dekhthey bhayya" was the reaction of an auto driver.

# After four years of bad food at IIIT mess, XL's comes as a welcome relief.

Chardonnay - Abhishek Mall's Personal Diary
# We have an amazing collection of teachers here at XL, some of them are pretty sweet and nice.

# We got our first book in XL, some Labour Laws.

# They showed us pretty slides and a movie about XLRI and said all those good things that you are amoung the best people chosen from India, well it sound very much comforting.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Ok Tata Bye Bye

Hi Everyone,

I'm so excited.

I've been shortlisted for a travel contest. Which involves travelling
& Blogging. Hardly ever been selected for anything earlier :)

Check out the contest and my profile on

(Yes they have spelt my name wrong in the link, trying to get them to correct it)

The final selection is next week. I'm not sure how they will do it.
But have a vague feeling that they may do so based on popularity of
the contestant & ability to draw viewers.

Requesting you to please view my profile & drop me a comment, even if
its just to say "All the best, Kim" or "Don't think u should go" But
please comment.

Hope there's a lot of you looking for something to do on a slow Friday

Please, please, pretty please. :)

Kim - the XL Blog

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shebu Raphael (92PMIR) in News

Home > Executive Track > Shebu Raphael as Global HR chief of Marlabs

Shebu Raphael (92PMIR - XLRI) as Global HR chief of Marlabs
He will be responsible for HR services to the projects and professional services in India, the US
Wednesday, June 21, 2006

BANGALORE: Marlabs India, wholly owned subsidiary of Marlabs Inc. today announced Shebu Raphael as its worldwide head of human capital.

Shebu RaphaelIn his new role Raphael is responsible for HR services to the projects and professional services in India, the US besides other markets where Marlabs operates in.

Earlier Raphael was the director - HR services, North America for Birlasoft.

Welcoming him on board, Siby Antony, co-founder and CEO, Marlabs Inc., said, " Shebu with his over 15 years of hands-on experience both in India and the North America is apt for that role and we look to him to drive the crucial talent management and human capital development functions."

On his new role, Raphael said, "I hope to put my decades of experience across the world to work for Marlabs which is preparing itself to the next level of growth as a major IT services provider."

An alumnus of XLRI, Raphael is a certified Global Professional in Human Resources (GPHR) from the prestigious Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) in the US.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

XLRI Alumni Meet at Kuala Lumpur 15th June 2006

The KL Chapter of the Alumni Meet was held at the residence of Sanjoy Bose (Batch of 84). It was attended by about 15 XLers ranging from batch of 80s to the Batch of 2007. A few summer interns who were here in KL, helped in organizing the event. A big thanks to all who contributed towards making this event a success...

After starters and we went to have Chinese at this place called "Cheap Charlie" in Bangsar.

I have uploaded a few snaps of the occasion:

KL Meet Pictures

If the above link does not work, try this one:

Coming Soon: Singapore Alumni Meet Chapter this space
for more


Udit Saraff
Batch of 2005

Friday, June 16, 2006

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Lalu special

about lalu - from the former central vigilance commissioner and j j irani!

Why have I posted it here ?

Sharky sent me this in a mail. Lalu was CM of the State when we studied there. JJ Irani was on the board of Sirectors of XLRI & his daughter is an alumnus too. SO just thought, why not ? Specially since I'm not even one of his smallest fans.

Lalu the Unknown

Discovering hidden aspects of the colourful politician's style of working and personality

The dramatic success of Indian Railways, which posted a record profit of more than Rs10,000 crore this year, has drawn attention to a surprising aspect of Mr Lalu Prasad, a colourful politician and a darling of the media. Even in this era of 24 hours news channels and ever present media, the image we get of our political leaders is not complete. There are aspects of well known leaders which are not so well known.

This question came to mind a few weeks ago while I was participating in a in-house workshop for ethical counselors of the house of Tatas. Mr Irani, who followed my talk to the counselors, substantiated the points I made about the challenges to the reputation of an enterprise and ethical issues in business. He then narrated an inside story about the unknown facets of the one and only Lalu Prasad of Bihar.

Mr Lalu, by accident or design, has been projected as a sort of a country bumpkin but a populist leader who has had a stranglehold over power in Bihar for 15 years, while the average tenure of chief ministers before him has been nine months. When Mr Lalu became CM in 1990, he observed that he was the king of Bihar and that houses like the Tatas in Jamshedpur, which considered themselves independent would be brought under state control and put in their place. This certainly created anxiety among Tata management.

Mr Irani, hence, took the earliest opportunity to seek an appointment with Mr Lalu and found him surrounded by cronies and hangers on. When Mr Irani requested a few minutes alone with him, the CM, promptly, asked his chelas to leave. Irani then told told the CM, "Sir, it is our company policy not to pay money to political leaders. Nevertheless, if you want anything of public interest to be done, like putting up a school, hospital or other such facilities, we will be glad to do so."

It so happened that on the same day, Mr Irani accompanied Mr Lalu to the Civil Hospital in Patna. He found that the hospital was in a miserable condition, particularly the children's ward. Promptly, without even consulting top management, Mr Irani announced that the Tatas would build a separate children's ward, subject to the condition that it would be maintained by them, even though it would have government doctors and be a part of the civil hospital. The CM agreed and so did the Tata board. At a cost of Rs 1.2 crore a children's ward was set up in Patna, within a year.

After narrating this incident Mr Irani, went on to say that before Mr Lalu became CM, he received telephone calls from the CM's office practically every week, if not every other day, asking for some favour or recommendation. However, in the 15 years that Mr Lalu has been CM, there has not been a single call from him requesting a favour.

This was not all. Apparently, Mr Irani once accompanied Mr Lalu on a trip to Singapore. It was one of Mr Lalu's earliest trips. The CM while in Singapore tried to address those whom he met in English and apparently had some difficulty doing so. Mr Irani took Mr Lalu aside and told him, "Sir, when the Chinese Prime Minister comes here, he speaks in Chinese and it is translated. The same thing with the German Chancellor. So you may talk in Hindi and I will arrange to get it translated." The rest of the visit went very well. In fact, it went so well that when Mr Ratan Tata later visited Singapore, the CM of Singapore told him, "Of all the Indian political leaders who have come to Singapore, the most impressive was Mr Lalu Prasad. All the ministers who met him are uniformly in praise of him."

And there is yet another angle to Mr Lalu. Even though he personally did not ask for any out of the way concessions, some local officials would apparently approach the Tatas for favours. When Mr Irani brought this to the CM's notice during one of his visits to Jamshedpur, Mr Lalu apparently told all officials, "Look at this. This is an Udupi Restaurant. You cannot order chicken curry here." That probably settled the issue.

Human beings have really complex personalities. The media is supposed to reflect the varied aspects of a person, but it is not always possible to do so. Even those politicians who hog the headlines have unrevealed aspects of their personalities.

• In the last decade, N Vittal, the former CVC emerged as the voice of our collective conscience. This is his weekly take on public life in India

Monday, June 12, 2006

XLers on the Times Online site

XLers Mehjabeen and Arnab Das get featured on the Times Online photo feature on India !!,,11-1301,00.html

Thanks GG for this info.

XLRI Alumni Meet, Malaysia June 15th

I am pleased to inform you that we are organizing the XLRI Alumni meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next week. The meet is scheduled on Thursday 15th June 2006 at one of the residences of the alumni here.

Could you please forward this email to the Alumni yahoo groups (particularly Singapore Alumni grp and Grax) so that anybody who is in / around KL during that time can join us for the same? We would love to have them with us in the meet.

For more information, they can contact Sanjoy Sir/me.

Our contact information are as follows:

Sanjoy Bose
Batch of 84, BM

Abhishek Sancheti
Class of 2007, BM

Friday, June 02, 2006

Sad Demise : Vishal Gyee : 5th batch PGCBM - Hyderabad

Dear All

I just received this extremely sad and dreadful news. Vishal Gyee of PGCBM , Begumpet Hyderabad met with a road accident on the 16th of May 2006 and is no longer with us.

Vishal was a friend, and a fine human being. May his soul rest in peace.

We are conducting a condolence meeting at Country Club, Begumpet, Hyderabad on 4th June, 2006 evening hours. Kindly pass on this information to all our colleagues of XLRI so that they can also participate in the condolence meeting.

E.Venkat Ramnayya
PGCBM 5th Batch (XLRI)

5th Annual XL Canada Picnic - Saturday July 15, 2006

Update :
Revised Date as Sat July 15th - 5th Annual XL Picnic

Based on the responses received thus far ... lets fix the date for Sat July
15th for our annual XL Picnic -


5th Annual XL Picnic

At the suggestion and recommendation (and initiative) of Fred Devas - and in consultation with Subbu (unable to get thru to Sanjay)

Planning to have the 5th Annual XL Picnic on Saturday July 8, 2006

Traditionally, we have had each family bringing in some food item, and we have shared this with each other, which has been quite a economic and hassle free way of enjoying ourselves.

The rest of the details would remain as per the earlier Annual Pcnics held i.e.

Location : "Sunnybrook Park".
Time : From Noon onwards
Location : Sunnybrook Park is at Leslie and Eglington Avenue.

Directions :
Take 401 and exist Leslie South
You will see the sign for Sunnybrook Park on your right just before Eglington.
Turn into Sunnybrook Park, and then turn left at the fork (Sign for Earnest Thompson Seton Park)
After you turn left, park on the right at the 2nd picnic area.

Format: Xlers and families.
Please bring few soft drinks for all to share (and a little extra styrofoam plates/cups/napkins/spoons/forks). Please bring lawn chairs, Duree/sheets. If you have a Stove, pls bring that along too. If someone has a digital camera, please bring that along so that we can e-mail the pictures to XLRI at Jamshedpur for their hosting on their web.

Do check the weather forecast and dress accordingly.

Those whose parents/in-laws are in Toronto, please bring them too and am sure they will have a good time. They are all invited as part of our families.

We could also have games for the kids and play some cricket - and Fred has a cricket set so we can play some tennis ball cricket. Those who have Frisbees/Balls, or any other sport items, please bring them along too.

Fred will be bringing a small stove and will make 'Chai' for all of us.

See you ALL!

PS: If you are aware of any new XLers that have moved to Toronto, please circulate the Invite to them and also let me have their contact details so I can update the Contact List.

Best Rgds


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