Friday, September 26, 2008

XL & Xlers featured in the Outlook magazine

2 Xlers (Leena Menon 92PMIR & Sadashiv Nayak 93BMD) are featured the recent issue of Outlook - on India's Best Business Schools - which also ranks XLRI as No 2 ( after IIMA... since IIM B & C did not participate, that will remain a mystery ;-)... and No 1 among the private B-schools
Sadashiv Nayak 38
CEO, Food Bazaar
XLRI-Jamshedpur, 1993

"An MBA had to be aggressive and an extrovert, and I was neither."

When his family shifted from Goa to Mumbai, a 260 sq ft flat in Mumbai’s small-time suburb Bhayander wasn’t exactly the big city experience the school-going Sadashiv had in mind. From those humble beginnings to a posh apartment in Khar, Sadashiv has indeed come a long way. Initially, money was always an issue: Sadashiv went to engineering college thanks to his aunt’s monetary support. And that’s where he first heard about an MBA.

"Without it, I’d never have been able to shed the baggage of my middle-class upbringing and get used to unabashed consumption through retail," he says, adding that B-school gives an individual a natural passport of confidence. Nayak first joined Asian Paints, where he got a sense of the booming economy. Then, he had a six-year stint at HUL, where he got a taste of the competitive spirit of the regional players. Despite his apprehensions about getting into retail, he felt the need for change.As long as the customer remains unpredictable, he says, retail will be interesting.

By Arti Sharma

Leena Nair 39
Executive Director, Hindustan Unilever Ltd
XLRI, Jamshedpur, 1992

"We were always taught never to take things for granted."

Somewhere in Etah, UP, there’s a 500-metre stretch of tarmac named after HUL’s youngest executive director. That’s because, as a management trainee, Leena Nair managed to rally villagers in a ‘Shramdaan’ to connect the village to the nearest main road. Nair grew up in Kolhapur listening to stories of how her family faced hardship. "Although I hadn’t experienced it first-hand, we were always taught never to take things for granted." So while her family could afford to send her to college in a Mercedes, she was made to cycle 12 km each way because her father felt she hadn’t earned the right to that kind of luxury.

Knowing she was good at leading and dealing with people, Nair applied to XLRI despite opposition from the family. She remembers optimism about reforms in B-school, although "the reality of the change was much slower than anticipated". At HUL, they were often "thrown in at the deep end" to figure out if they could sink or swim. One of the key challenges she has faced is reversing HUL’s perception at campus placements. After five years, hul is back to being voted a Day Zero company.

By Arti Sharma

Chapeau to Prof Shukla(of course)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

XLRI to help market tribal and rural crafts

From Te Business Standard

Students at the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur plan to link tribal artisans and rural craftsmen with the mainstream market, to increase margins.

Six XLRI students have set up a ‘design and learning centre’ for development of contemporary products using ancient art and craft. The centre will act as a learning centre for the rural and tribal craftsmen. The craftsmen will be encouraged to produce superior quality products. Two professionals designers have been hired for the purpose.

The incubation fund of Rs 3 lakh has been provided by the the XLRI Alumni Association, Jamshedpur chapter. The centre has now been converted into a legal partnership firm.

XLRI Jamshedpur supported a group of six first-year students to start, a portal to link tribal artisans with the mainstream market and provide them a platform to reach out to connoisseurs of art across the world. “We at XLRI thought of supporting them with the initial funds required to put the project in place,” reasoned Madhukar Shukla, XLRI faculty.

“We are planning to take Parichay beyond Jamshedpur. The plan is to set up such design and learning centres in multiple locations to tap the potential everywhere. The approximate requirement for the expansion is about Rs 90 lakh,” another team member said.

The Parichay team is designing design prototypes for the product line. The team is also planning exhibitions of the product range at various platforms like Ishanya mall, a specialised mall in Pune for home and office d├ęcor, and at Dastkar, a society for crafts and craftsmen that aims to improve the economic status of craftspeople.

If you would like to take a look at their website, head over to

XLRI dean pens biz guide

From The Telegraph

XLRI dean pens biz guide

Jamshedpur, Sept. 22: To have a better understanding of the Indian market, B-school students need more books written by Indian authors. Keeping this in mind, Pingali Venugopal, the dean (academics) of XLRI, finished his fourth book Sales and Distribution: An Indian Perspective.

The book will be released by Sage Publication on September 24.

In the book, Venugopal dealt with marketing strategies like customer centric approach in the Indian market. India has become a lucrative market for many multinational companies but there are some unique characteristics of the market, which throws up variety of challenges. The book offers guidance how to cope with these challenges.

Sales and Distribution: An Indian Perspective highlights behavioural transactions which helps in completing a sale and also deals with the service orientation required for selling products.

“Although there are many books for management students available in the market, a greater percentage of them are by foreign authors. The marketing scenario varies from country to country. Unlike European and other foreign countries, the market in India is different and thus needs a separate study. The rising need of Indian authors motivated me to start writing on my subject,” said Venugopal.

Venugopal is a postgraduate from IIM, Ahmedabad, and is a professor of marketing at XLRI since 1994. He is the visiting lecturer at IIM Ahmedabad, Calcutta and Lucknow and in American University of Armenia.

The other three books by Venugopal are Marketing Channel Management: A Customer Centric Approach, Managing Your Sales Force: A Motivational Approach and State of the Indian Farmer: A Millenium Study.

“It often happens that students read marketing strategies by foreign authors but face problems while executing those plans here. Not only in marketing but books should be written by Indian authors because with so much interest of the other countries in India now, I think there will be a growing demand for it also,” he said.

The book costs Rs 495.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mahesh Nair (86batch)'s Photo Exhibition @ Mumbai (Sept 16-24)

Mahesh Nair (86batch) is putting up an exhibition of his photographs "Let There Be Light"
Piramal Gallery, NCPA, Nariman Point
Sept 16-24, 2008

Having gone through his book (by the same name), they are really worth the visit


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Meet Prof Sharad Sarin

We've had quite a good response for this evening's cocktails and dinner program with Prof Sharad Sarin. John Idicula even pointed out that he's been at XL since 1975 so he's touched quite a few of us as probably the longest serving professor at the insti.

If you'd like to carpool to the KGA, we're allowing postings on the group so people can find others coming to the KGA from nearby localities. Please email with your name, specific location details, and your mobile number.

I'll be picking up Prof Sarin from The Atria at 6:15 PM and then heading directly to the KGA through MG Rd, Command Hospital, Airport Rd, and there's space for 2 more people. We'll be returning the same way after dinner. Please call me on 98451-41464 if you would like to join us.

See you on the evening. This will be in our usual Happy Hours format except that we will be serving dinner early and having the Q&A session post dinner.

Agenda: 7:30 PM - Bar opens
8:00 PM - Dinner starts
9:00 PM - Dinner closes
9:00 PM Onwards - Q&A Session with Prof Sarin
Venue: KGA (First Floor Hall), HAL (Old Airport) Road
Cover charges: Rs 150 (incl dinner), please pay as you enter the hall
Club Host: George Ollapally



Friday, September 12, 2008

A value-oriented approach to business sets this school apart


Posted: Thu, Sep 11 2008. 9:28 PM IST

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Bangalore : Cocktails and Dinner with Prof Sharad Sarin - Sept 18th


We are fortunate to have Prof Sharad Sarin visiting Bangalore next week. We will be having an evening of cocktails and dinner with him. There will be no formal presentation but Prof Sarin will take a Q&A session for 20-30 mins. This will be in our usual Happy Hours format.

Date & Time: 7:30 PM, Thurs, Sept 18th
Venue: KGA (First Floor Hall), HAL (Old Airport) Road
Cover charges: Rs 150 (incl dinner), please pay as you enter the hall
Club Host: George Ollapally


WNS Appoints Karthik Sarma (98PMIR) as Chief People Officer

WNS Appoints Karthik Sarma as Chief People Officer

MUMBAI, India & NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--WNS (Holdings) Limited (NYSE: WNS), a leading provider of global business process outsourcing (BPO) services, today announced the appointment of Karthik N. Sarma as Chief People Officer of WNS Global Services.

We are delighted to have Karthik join us to help WNS further the growth and development of our global business, said Anup Gupta, Group Chief Operating Officer, WNS Global Services. Karthiks extensive experience will enhance WNS commitment to attracting, retaining and developing high quality talent by offering a rewarding career proposition to our employees.

Karthik joins WNS from Infosys Technologies Ltd, where he managed Human Resources for its international operations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Previously, Karthik was the global head of recruitment, managing both campus and lateral hiring programs. Prior to Infosys, he worked with Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), Greaves Ltd and Tata Motors.

He holds a Masters Degree in Human Resources from XLRI, Jamshedpur in India and a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Engineering from Bangalore University.

Chapeau to Madhukar Sir (as usual)

Monday, September 08, 2008

International Experts on XLRI Board

From The Telegraph

Jamshedpur, Sept. 7: In keeping with its global ambitions, XLRI has decided to include experts from international institutions in its board of governors.

In the initial phase of the move, a first among B-schools in India, XLRI has received two confirmations: Francis Estrada, president, Asian Institute of Management, Manila, and Abol Jalilvand, dean and professor of Finance, School of Business Administration, Loyola University, Chicago, have agreed to be a part of the 21-member board of governors.

“The mantra for success of any institution is to think beyond India. All the universities I have got in touch with have responded positively. There could have been no better time than this because this is the time when the foreign market wants to tap the potential in India because of the economic boom,” said XLRI director Father E. Abraham about the move.

Estrada and Jalilvand would be inducted into the board after a meeting on November 15.

XLRI will be the first B-school in India to include foreign experts into its board.

Although the IIMs — Ahmedabad, Calcutta, Indore, Lucknow — and the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, have visiting faculties from foreign universities, none has foreign members contributing in the decision-making process of the institutes.

XLRI, too, has been collaborating with around 15 international institutes and universities for faculty and students exchange programmes.

Talks are on with a few more universities in the US and Europe, but the B-school doesn’t want to divulge details just yet.

“The talks are at a primary stage. But, we will try our best to tie up with more foreign universities in order to lend our faculty and students better international exposure,” said Abraham.

As of now, he is naturally excited about XLRI’s board going international. This, coupled with the existing tie-ups, the director believed, would encourage more foreign students to come and study at XLRI.

“I hope once XLRI is fully established as a global business school, foreign students will get attracted to our campus. As it is education is cheaper in India. Therefore, we can get a better response from students of other countries,” hoped Abraham.

With two international experts having confirmed their participation, XLRI is now looking for more experts like deans, principals and directors from European countries, including France and Spain.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Ruchi Varshneya (98 BMD) running a marathon, needs sponsors

Ruchi recently sent me this mail.

Hi Kim,
I wanted to ask for some help from you. I wanted to share my recently found passion with you and also ask for your support.

I am training to run a marathon!! Completing a marathon means a victory of mind over body for me as I have no running experience and a regular busy life raising children and working full time not to mention the after effects of having twins on my body :-).
This intersects a passion of mine - helping at least some of the destitute children in India.

A link to my fundraising website is :

As a fellow XLer, I would love to get your support towards primary education of not-so-fortunate children back home.

I have registered for the following events:
Half Marathon (13.1 miles) at Sandy Hook Beach, NJ on Oct 5, 08
Full Marathon (26.2 miles) in Philly on November 23, 08 - My Goal

I am progressing well. I ran 12 miles each last two Sundays, I am running 4 days a week averaging around 25-30 miles per week.

I never believed I could run, but the coaching program of Asha for Education revealed other wise...

Best Regards,

Friday, September 05, 2008

XLRI on "Sahara Samay" (Sept 6th, 10am & 4:30pm)

TV Channel "Sahara Samay"
will be telecasting a coverage
XLRI's Students' Rural Visit prog
Saturday, Sept 6th (10:00am and 4:30pm)
in a program called
or so the reporter told me just now ;0)


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