Sunday, December 31, 2006

XLRI's Global Consultancy Thrust

Jamshedpur, Dec. 29 (The Telegraph) :
After a successful run in the home turf as consultants for corporates, the B-school is pitching in for assignments abroad.

XLRI, a premier institute, is making an attempt to make optimum use of their visiting faculty members in Singapore and Dubai.

“Though it is tough, we will target small and medium enterprises in Singapore and the Gulf region,” says Father Casimir Raj, director at XLRI.

The institute is being proactive to sell “brand XLRI” to international corporate houses that are not very familiar with it.

Recently the director of the institute made presentations to companies in Singapore showcasing their experience in consultancy.

Facing competition against global consultants is an uphill task admits Father, but the institute will definitely be in the race, he adds.

Currently, companies approach the B-school for consultancy in organisational re-structure, either overall or in specific areas like human resources, finance and supply chain.

A team of faculty members with expertise in the area work on the project. And the fee charged is divided in the ratio of 6:4 between the faculty team and institute. Currently, the B-school earns about Rs 3 crore annually by providing consultancy.

The plan to rope in foreign companies has an additional advantage, besides profit, say professors. “Once we handle such a project in a multinational company, we will have hands on experience of dealing in a multi-cultural environment, and can add these inputs to our students,” says professor A.K. Pani, chairperson of information systems area and centre for e-business at XLRI.

Posted by Madhukar to XLRI Jamshedpur - News and latest Updates at 12/30/2006 11:13:00 AM

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Focus on Needs of Society - XLRI Alumni for revamping Syllabus

Jamshedpur, Dec. 27 (The Telegraph): Corporate honchos today emphasised on the need to develop a “socially responsible course” in B-schools.

Over 70 senior executives expressed this opinion while attending a panel discussion in XLRI on “Industry, global business trends and implications for B-school” organised by the alumni cell.

“There is a need to develop a comprehensive course structure keeping in mind the needs of today’s society. B-schools need to move from producing managers to producing social entrepreneurs,” said Rekha Menon, the executive director with Accenture.

Other panelists included Bijou Kurien, CEO of Reliance retail wing; Anita Modak from the Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies; C Selvan, Global Head of Innovations, British Petroleum; and Anup Kuruvilla, director (global loan products) of Salomon Smith Barney.

The session with the alumni was organised as a part of XLRI's initiative to review the syllabus and structure of its programs.

“We are in the process of looking into the curriculum (at XLRI). In fact, we are looking for a course structure that is in tandem with societal needs,” said Sharad Sarin, professor of marketing and general management at XLRI and the moderator of the panel discussion.

Posted by Madhukar to XLRI Jamshedpur - News and latest Updates at 12/28/2006 10:21:00 AM

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Breed Apart - A Story of 2 XLers

Why Some Execs Are A Breed Apart
Kunal Guha
(Economic Times, Tuesday, December 26, 2006)

When one starts off in the corporate world, they’re well aware of the ‘why’ and so the ‘how to’ follows. But after a couple of years, and hours of labour many lose sight of the ’why’. It all seems pointless and does not commiserate to the effort exerted. Even at this point, most people choose to sit back and suffer, while satiating themselves with the minor perks that their corporate life offers.

They lament, grieve and hypothesise about the sorry state of the world. But it is only a select few who take up a cause that infuses a new dimension of meaning to their lives. They do this knowing that their endeavours might not always bear fruit. But when you find a cause which could light up your soul and fill you with a feeling of vitality every single day- it goes beyond all rewards. We profile two such brilliant personas who have dedicated their lives for a greater cause- to serve humanity and fulfil themselves in the process.

The wind beneath her wings

After passing out of XLRI in 1988, Gargi Banerji did what most would do: she chased corporate success at Tata Consultancy Services. A couple of years down, she went on to do something which could again be safely called as a logical next step by moving out on her own and setting up a consulting firm- Prometheus with another XL-er and TCS colleague Sunil Pillai. Life was routine up until her participation in a path-changing expedition that took her across the length of the Indian Himalayas in 1990.

Having spent her childhood in the Himalayas, the call of the Himalayas had always been there, and this adventure ride catalyzed her to undertake work to address the growing degradation of the region in a more active manner. She began by trying to draw the attention of several NGO’s towards this neglected land.

But since most did not venture into the remote villages and high altitude areas, she decided to take things on her own hands and co-founded Pragya with Pillai in 1995, and has since then dedicated her career to addressing the issues of the Indian Himalayas and improving the lives of its indigenous communities. Pragya has been very successful in developing innovative solutions to problems such as depletion of medicinal plants, reducing water resources, lack of livelihood options. A recent Pragya initiative is addressing the problem of electricity in high altitude villages.

Banerji explains, “Normally, electricity is generated at a central point and then distributed. But many of the remote Himalayan villages can’t be reached this manner, and even those that are electrified, suffer power breakdowns lasting even upto 2-3 months. We have developed a mode of decentralised energy generation using renewable sources for local usage and have installed a solar wind hybrid system- a windmill and a series of solar panels – to light up a remote village at an altitude of 14000 feet. Being a modular system, it can help in electrification of all remote, unserviced villages.”

Why are you doing this?

One of the basic reasons one works is to impact the world with one’s work. In the corporate environment, you can at the most impact a few thousand people in the particular organisation and among its customer base. But in working for a social cause, you are able to impact an entire community and that is what has kept us enthused.

What have you gained?

There is tremendous learning and opportunity to be creative in this kind of work. In the corporate sector, the context is structured and solutions are standardised. But generating electricity for remote Himalayan villages is a wide canvas with not a line - a delight for one’s creative self! Besides, the satisfaction of bringing electricity to a farmer’s hut or for that matter, introducing a new cash crop to an entire valley, has to be felt, to be understood.

Teaching values to Generation Y

Ashraf Patel, another XLite from the batch of 1990, has a similar story. She was working with Escorts Finance, when the 1993 Mumbai riots took place. She was deeply affected by the state of affairs post-riots. Patel explains, “After the 1993 Bombay riots, I was disturbed by the polarisation of society which was affecting us very deeply. Communalism was moving to violence based on hatred that we had for each other and I just wanted to do something about it. So, it all started of with a desire to make people question violence and the repercussions of it and see the connection between self and society.”

Patel quit her job to launch Pravah, a New Delhi-based organisation that facilitates high school and college students to confront conditioned values and stereotypes, expands their awareness of social issues and gives them the leadership skills needed to tackle pressing social problems.

Why are doing this?

We are doing this because we have a vision of a society that we want to live in and the kind of society we live in today needs serious changes. Everyone has a role to play in it being a part of the larger community. If everybody says that someone else will do it then it will never be done. Non-violence, social justice and equity of opportunity are three values that I would want my society to imbibe. I have also been inspired by my volunteering days in school and college where I was actively concerned about social issues.

What have you gained?

There is a lot of learning about social issues and you are able to make an impact. What counts for us most is ,when for instance, young people take up a campaign as a result of our exchange with them. The idea is to create a sense of purpose and direction and a sense of community, and belonging to the larger world. Your message to management grads:

While you are studying management, you should keep your minds and eyes open and be aware of social issues around you. Securing a job should not be the only objective, we should all engage in social action. For me the solution would be that everyone, in which ever field they would be in, should be involved in social issues.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Harsh Kumar (78BMD): MD of Mahindra Intertrade

Mahindra Intertade, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mahindra Group, announced the appointment of Mr. Harsh Kumar as Managing Director. He had joined as Joint MD last year...

Mr. Harsh Kumar has had a distinguished career of over 25 years in various functions spanning manufacturing, marketing and strategic / project planning in reputed organisations. He has an excellent academic record with a B.Tech (Mechanical) degree from I.I.T. Delhi and a PGDBM (Marketing / Finance) from XLRI, Jamshedpur.

He started his career with The Indian Tube Co. Ltd. as a Management Trainee and moved on to Tata Steel where he was involved in diverse functions such as Marketing, Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management. Prior to joining Mahindra Intertrade, he was the Executive Vice President, Tata Metaliks Ltd., responsible for Marketing Sales, Exports, Business Development and Mergers Acquisitions

Posted by Madhukar to XLRI Alumni: Making News at 12/21/2006 07:15:00 AM

Thursday, December 21, 2006

22 Dec : Christmas Party for Alumni & kids in Bangalore

XLRI Alumni Association
Christmas Evening
To support
Christel House India
December 22, 2006 (Friday)
Timings: 5:00pm – 10:00pm
Venue: Bowring Institute (Hall Next to the Poolside)

This is an evening where the XLRI Alumni celebrate the joy of Christmas and share the happiness with the children of Christel House (A social Service organization working for the development of economically challenged children)

Agenda for the XLRI X’Mas Get-together:

5:00 Assemble
5:15 Snacks and Tea
5:30 Games
6:15 Carol Singing
6:45 Santa Arrives
7:15 Dinner (For children)
7:40 Wind up (For Children)
8:00 Bar Opens
8:15 Games for Adults
8:45 American Auction – Fund Raising for Christel House India
9:15 Dinner (Saxophone if club permits)
10:00 Wind Up

Minimum Cover Charge:
Rs.500/- per family of 4
Rs.400/- per family of 3
Rs.300/- per couple
Rs.200/- for singles

Individual Cheques for the cover charge including your additional contribution if any can be written in favor of Christel House India and the total amount is exempted from Income Tax (80G).

Confirmation to reach Roshni,
Event Co-ordinator,
5E Serpraise.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A fun picnic at Lodi Gardens!

Thanks to all of you who made it and made an XL alumni happen (outside the summer one!)....missed some of you who in turn missed pots of yummy food, dog and the bone, dumb charades, sunny chats, cricket with the kids and lots and lots of was amazing to see everyone connecting with everyone and for a change not needing to scream at the top of their voices...lots of warm smiles...and just the feeling of being chilled out on a sunny afternoon:)

Max turnout was from the batch of ' a thums up to them! (and this is inspite of them being lost finding their way;)

A special thanks to the batch of '69..we had two from among them with one more almost came:) Hari has volunteered a rooftop get-together on 23rd Jan on popular request those of you who were engaged this time don't miss the next one!

Cheers to the Delhi alumni spirit !


Sunday, December 10, 2006

XLRI to Teach Overseas

The Telegraph, Jamshedpur, Dec. 9:
XLRI is once again ready to cross international borders.

From next year, the B-school would extend its renowned satellite-based management programme beyond Indian shores.

Targeted at company executives and corporates, the course currently available in 30 Indian cities, would cater to international students for the first time.

“We have decided to begin with the satellite-based interactive distance learning programme by next year. Work is on to chalk out the details of the course based on industry demands,” said P. Venugopal, dean of academics at XLRI.

The course which would initially be launched across the Middle East would later be extended to Singapore and other areas.

Right now XLRI is using the network and services set up by Hughes Escorts Communications Ltd (HECL) under the brand name Direcway. A similar set up is likely to come up for the international programme as well.

This interactive programme is run on the satellite-based interactive distance learning technological platform and enables students from different locations to have a direct interaction with a central instructor.

The course also entails live broadcast video and two way audio and data interactivity.

The programme would initially begin with XLRI’s two flagship courses — business management and personal management and industrial relations — and would be extended to other faculties in the future.

“We are working on it and if feasible, we will extend this programme for specialised courses like logistics and supply chain management also,” added Venugopal.

From the Telegraph

Friday, December 08, 2006

Alumni Picnic in Delhi - Dec 16


Note:Please confirm attendance asap and circulate within yr batch egroups....

Hi friends XLers delhiites!

Chalo time to take a break and join in for some truly hair-down masti!!

Lets all jump into a picnic lunch to celebrate the new season and get Delhi rocking!

16th December 12 noon, on the lush green lawns of Lodhi gardens get out your cowboy hats and your gypsy skirts and lets get down to lotsa groovy fun!

Couples get your kiddos as tons of games are on the cards.....

Ummmmm and did we forget the food...No way! Time to test our culinary skills too....potluck with 2 extras
so we can look forward to loads of variety (and you don't get to taste slurp!! your own kitchen!!!)

So lets all spread the word around and add some XL colour to the winter.

Here's to the XL spirit! ( and those who can't join in with such advance notice MUST get their time management re-tuned).

Pour in your confirmations to Aneesh or me.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Madshuks goes partying internationally

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Party Time in Chennai and Singapore

Thanks to the initiative by Mustafa (85PMIR), Shantaram (90PMIR) and 'Rocky' Vijay Kumar (80PMIR), there were these 18-20 of us who met in Gandhi Nagar Club, Chennai on 21st December… the bandwidth was wide, with R Vankataraman (71BMD), Suraksha Giri (72BMD) and Vernon D'Costa (73BMD) at one end of the spectrum, and Tathagat Kumar (06BMD) at the other…

Some photos:

The 'infection' flew across Bay of Bengal and reached Singapore, and so a repeat happened on Dec 2nd at Wine Company (the name of the place is just appropriate for the occasion – thanks to Ramesh Ramakishnan (85BMD), Rajesh "Ciggy" Soundarajan (99BMD) for organizing this… besides the passerby like me, it also helped many who had recently shifted to Singapore to get connected….
… Given the fact, the invite went under a subject line "Jobless – and in Singapore" it was heartening to find so many jobless people at one place ;0)

Some more pix: Have a decko:

For me, personally, one of the many highpoints of this trip was the visit to National Univ of Singapore (NUS), where I spent an afternoon with Jayanth (y2K PMIR) who has recently joined the place as a faculty after his PhD from London Business School, and with Kulshaan (01PMIR) who also dropped in. Jayanth asked me if I knew a prof called Dr Ramadhar Singh… of course, I knew him – he had taught me in IIT/Kanpur. I knew that he had shifted to NUS, but thought that he must have retired. Apparently, I was wrong and Jayanth and he are working on a joint research paper. And so we went to meet him, and spent some time with him.

So here is the pix of 3 generation of profs… me, my teacher and my student…

Sunday, December 03, 2006

XLRI Organizes National Banking Symposium in association with ICAI

XLRI School of Business and Human Resources in association with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India is set to stage the ‘National Banking Symposium’ (NBS) on “Risk Management Strategies for Banks” on 5th of December, 2006.

It will be the first time that XLRI hosts the National Banking Symposium. It is also the first time that XLRI and ICAI have come together for such an event. The event would serve as a forum for interaction between financial intermediaries and academicians and would also help to throw light on the critical issues faced by the Indian Banking regime in the present scenario. In addition, the symposium would also serve to understand the new dimensions of risk management in the Indian Banking sector space.

The event will see participation from various dignitaries from diverse financial domains spanning regulatory bodies, leading banks and consulting firms, who will enlighten the audience with their views on the Banking Industry. Some of the Speakers at the event are:

• Mr B.M. Mittal, CGM, Punjab National Bank
• Mr Kalyan Debnath, Executive VP, Peerless Investment Group
• Mr Mohan Bhatia, Sr. Principal Consultant, I Flex Solutions
• Mr B. Sekkizhar, FCA, Independent Consultant, Kenexa Technologies

The National Banking Symposium is being organized with the aim of propelling discussion on the themes of current relevance to the Banking Sector. In the light of the recent RBI regulations regarding BASEL II norms, the various risk characteristics of Indian banks become even more important. The specific areas which have been identified for discussion are Market Risk, Credit Risk, Operational Risk and Risk Management and BASEL II.

The event will see an audience comprising of Finance Professionals and Industry experts from across the country, faculty and students of XLRI and representatives from industries in Jamshedpur and Kolkatta.

16TH Annual JRD Tata Oration On Business Ethics

On the occasion of the 16th JRD Tata Oration on Ethics in Business, XLRI hosted Mr Subroto Bagchi, COO, Mindtree Consulting, along with Mr. Muthuraman, MD, Tata Steel. Mr. Bagchi spoke about integrity and defined it in extremely simple terms as ‘the opposite of dishonesty’. He felt that integrity is a very abstract concept and has an indirect correlation with the desire to succeed in life at all costs. Therefore, it is the intelligent urban mind which crosses the line of integrity rather than the primitive, rural and less affluent person who lives in a state of innocence.

In India, he believes, traditionally, it is the middle class which has been the protector of the genetic equivalent of the idea called integrity and it is they who have tried to pass this idea from one generation to another because they had to ‘uphold the values’. However, now it is the same middle class which lives in a scarcity mindset. From school seats to hospital beds to jobs in government offices, there is a scarcity which forces the person to devise ways to succeed at all costs.

Being intelligent, he convinces himself that what he is doing is right and thus, he soon becomes an expert at it. It slowly becomes a game for him, he gets addicted and it creates a high for him each time he gets the satisfaction of winning by ‘buying out’ someone.

Mr Bagchi’s speech was filled with interesting examples from his personal interactions with people. He failed to understand as to why well educated people, gave in to the disease of bribery and dishonesty and at the same time did not find anything wrong with it. He belonged to a family, wherein integrity was of foremost importance. The values and ideals imbibed in him by his father and the extreme honesty witnessed by him in his childhood have remained with him till date, as a result of which he has dismissed very capable and highly qualified employees from his company on the grounds of integrity.

According to the data collected by Transparency International, petty acts of bribery in India amounts to Rs. 21,068 crores which, if saved, consecutively for three years, can fund the Golden Quadrilateral Project which is of prime importance to India.
In Mindtree Consulting, they give a copy of the book ‘All about Integrity’ to new recruits in order to imbibe in them the culture of the organization and to ensure that integrity becomes a part of their functioning.

Mr Bagchi left us with some very insightful thoughts. He told us not to lose our morality, even if life mistreats us and we feel victimized. He also reminded us not to expect a rainbow at the end of the journey, just because we have led a life of values. There might be no cheering crowds, no festooned high ground and no decorations. However, in the end, all that matters is how we look at ourselves in our own eyes.

XLRI Hosts Panel Discussion as a part of IT Conference

“Business Innovation through IT: Myth or Reality?” This was the topic of the Panel Discussion held as a part of the ongoing National IT Conference at XLRI. Stalwarts from the industry – Mr. Shivakant Mokashi, CIO, TATA Steel; Mr. Debapriya Dasgupta, Director & Chief Architect, Cognizant; Mr. Kumbhkar, Business Consultant, TATA Technologies; Eminent Academicians – Mr. Sharad Sarin and Mr. Jeetu Singh debated the capability of IT as a source of sustained competitive advantage rather than just being a support tool.

Mr. Mokashi discussed about the history of IT and how large computations can be given simple solutions with its help. With the help of Sub-titles below the Chitrahaar songs, IT helped in increasing the literacy. Mr. Dasgupta stressed on Innovation Capacity which defines the percentage of money invested in IT which is used finally for innovation. One needs to serve the client in depth and make them understand how valuable is it to understand the customer and that requires one to be in the thought process of the client for innovation with IT. Mr. Kumbhakar discussed about IT as a conglomerate of ERP, word processing and web services. He also mentioned about the behavioural, economical and technical differentiation of IT business and also the use of IT as a tool. He also mentioned about the limitations of IT.

Prof. Sarin appreciated the use of IT in Marketing and its support in the fundamentals of Better Served-Better Choice-Better Informed customer. He gave example of WalMart, Asian Paints, HLL and American Airlines. But he criticised IT for not being user friendly. According to him, IT has not been fully used for Innovation. Prof. Jeetu Singh was the host for the discussion and made some interesting comments throughout. The panel was then open for questions from the audience who enthusiastically raised issues from different arenas of business world. Various arguments and counter-arguments were raised which resulted in a lively and fruitful event. Students from various B-Schools who are participating in the event felt enlightened after this discussion as NITS being one of the foremost IT conference across top Indian B-Schools.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

XLBang : Santa Needs a CEO

Hi Folks,

It's Christmas time again and we need someone to organise our annual Christmas programme, planned for Dec 15th.

What it takes: About an hour a day till the event and about 3-4 hours on the day before the event. We have all the processes, checklists & support systems in place but we need some enthu person to execute.

What you get: The joy and gratitude of lots of kids and their parents.

Let me know if you would like to run this year's show!

Ho ho ho! It's Christmas!



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