Thursday, July 30, 2009

XLRI logs in for farm crash course - Six-month online certificate programme being launched in association with Hyderabad-based Ikisan

From The Telegraph

Jamshedpur, July 28: After business management courses, XLRI is ready to enter the field of online agriculture.

The premier B-school is collaborating with Hyderabad-based Ikisan, a web agriculture portal promoted by Nagarjuna Group, to run a six-month online certificate programme in agri-business management.

The objective of the course, which will be launched in Hyderabad tomorrow, is to prepare graduates and postgraduates for marketing and sales roles in the agriculture sector.

“Not core agriculture studies but agriculture management is what we are offering to students. XLRI has successfully formulated the programme, which will be yet another way of online learning for those interested in the marketing, management and agriculture. This venture was in the XLRI’s agenda for quite sometime,” said P. Venugopal, dean (academics) of XLRI, who is in Hyderabad to launch the course.

The agri-business management will be on an online self-learning course. Registered students can download study material from the Ikisan website. However, students will be free to interact with the XLRI faculty through e-mails or other means. Students will have to avail online tests on the Ikisan website.

XLRI will also organise industrial visits for more exposure.

Students who are pursuing their final-year bachelors or masters degree in agriculture or are in allied sectors will be eligible for the programme. Freshers would need to have at least two years experience in agri-business for being eligible to apply.

Registrations will be open twice during an academic year — in August and January. The course fee will be Rs 45,000 per student.

“We are trying to run the programme for about 100 students. The special feature of the programme is stress on self-learning but students can also call up the faculty for clarifications,” said Venugopal.

Among other institutes that offer such programmes are the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and Institute of Rural Management, Anand. IIMA conducts a postgraduate agro-business management programme that prepares students for a career in enterprises related to agriculture and allied sectors. IRMA also offers a two-year postgraduate programme in rural management, divided into classroom studies, fieldwork, organisational and management traineeship.

At XLRI - We Also Teach Management

Mad Shuks posted this today on his facebook page and I'm reposting it here to a broader audience (just in case you haven't signed up to facebook yet)

[NOTE: I had written this about 3-4 years back, and discovered it today while doing some housekeeping on my laptop... have made some changes {in Italics}to "contemporise" it - but the gist remain the same... Considering that of the 767 in my FB contacts/friends, there would be at least about 700 XLers from different batches, I thought this may be worth sharing:)
... besides, of course, the FB interface allows one to link people one is talking about:0) ]

We Also Teach Management

1998-99 was the year, when I got – I realized in retrospect – “alumnized”… a term I coined to describe an experiential state of being which is perhaps as impossible to define, as giving a “definition” of “what is sweet” (or, perhaps more appropriately, a definition of “what is heady” :0)

It started as an innocuous co-administrative assignment to be the Alumni Coordinator. And unknowingly, I walked into the unchartered territories of a unique denizen, that will get me involved with a kaleidoscope of people and personalities… Over the years, both through official and unofficial interactions (realizing in the meanwhile, that there is nothing “official” about this species), I came to know many of this breed, and gathered a number of “anthropological” insights about XLRI as an institution, and about the community of alumni it nurtures.

The first learning was that, like most MBAs, this is a nomadic crowd. In the first few months, I hit upon an unsettling insight: with 5000+ alumn (at that time)i, if on an average, one XLer relocates once every three years, it worked out to about 4-5 xlers shifting every day!!!

This revelation sort of threw the spanner in the works, as far as the pursuit of the holy grail of a centralized alumni database was concerned. Over time, it led to creation of an online network of XLers worldwide… but, OK, that is a different story… some other time….

The second thing I observed was that, in living reality, there was nothing like year-wise batches of alumni. Rather, one was dealing with a pretty close-knit community, in which relationships cut across batches, hierarchies, geographies – and decades. It seemed mysterious, but perhaps the XLers can smell each other out. It must be due to some very strong “genetic code” – whether attitude, jargon, affiliations, body odor, mannerisms, some code-word or whatever – but they connected well – would reach out to each other - even if they had never met earlier. More so, if there was a “cause” to connect around. The cause could be anything: finding a PG accommodation for the daughter of an XLer one had never met, arranging for Fr McGrath’s residence permit, or pitching in to organize relief work for Tsunami victims.

But perhaps most important insight for me was about the diversity of fauna which XL produces. Like any B-school of stature and standing, XL has its own share of CEOs and senior level professionals in the corporate India and abroad who excel as managers & CEOs. There are also a reasonable number of XLers who are successful entrepreneurs, are in the civil services as secretaries, toppers, and political advisors, or hold senior level assignments in UN, World Bank, NYSE, etc.

But where else, except from XL, would one find this mixed assortment of B-School graduates, such as:

  • a mega TV/film star of tamil screen, who from the beginning, “positioned” himself in the “niche” role of the “father”, since that has a “longest product life”.

  • a management consultant, who mobilized the local communities to conserve the medicinal plants in Himalayas, and was awarded the prestigious Whitley Conservation Award by the Royal Geographical Society for her work.

  • An auto-journalist, who makes his living by test-riding two-wheelers, rode through Sahara on a scooter, and finally authored “The Penguin Guide to Two-Wheelers”...

  • the founder of the Glass and Ceramic Society of India, who is invited to conduct workshops on glass artwork in Europe and USA, restored the stain glass windows of St Michael’s Cathedral in Simla, and was invited by French government to restore the stained glass windows on the 12th century church in Troyes.

  • the activist who organized the 24,000 strong New York Taxi Workers’ Alliance (and the ’98 taxi strike in NYC), who besides teaching in a US university, fights for the rights of the immigrant community representing 80 ethnicities.

  • the finance graduate, who, after 12 years of corporate life, decided to move into composing jingles for ads, and then to composing and directing film music – and won the National Award for best music for his first film, Nammavar… sad that he had to leave so early…

  • the founder-CEO of an HR consulting company, who also got the Eisenhower Award for his continuing work with children of Sivakasi

  • the group of four, who chucked their jobs in blue-chip companies after a year, to do what they loved doing – out-door trekking… and created a profession around it… they diversified and followed their own paths... but did culminated in one XLer among 50 Leaders Re-Shaping Indian Education

  • the custom officer in the film “Saransh” who also wrote Filmfare Award winning screenplays, besides heading a Rs300cr television content company

  • an Ashoka Fellow, who left her lucrative job in financial services to create the “Pravah” of 200 like-minded volunteers, who sensitize youngsters to the societal issues through citizenship education

    … the list and tradition goes on… a current senior batch student explores her options to join an NGO, and a junior batch guy opts to do his summer internship with a not-for-profit organization…
    (more recently - since I wrote this, I find that even in the recent batches, there are XLers leaving their blue-chip jobs to venture into their dreams - education, healthcare and music!!.)

    Surely, I have (happily) realised - XL does not merely produce corporate clones… I am not sure, but my hunch is that in the founding document of the institute, there must have been a statement:

    We Also Teach Management.

  • Monday, July 27, 2009

    Asitava Sen (93 batch) to lead Neilsen's Biz Consulting practice

    From Economic Times

    MUMBAI: Global information and media company, Nielsen, on Wednesday announced the launch of a specialist Business Consulting Services group in


    The Nielsen Business Consulting Services will combine qualitative, high-value business consulting with fact-based analytic-driven recommendations to help clients identify and optimise existing and new growth opportunities that drive revenue and profit, a press release issued here said.

    This dedicated group will integrate Nielsen's current services and develop new solutions to address strategic business issues in sales, marketing and innovation.

    "Business Consulting Service experts will leverage Nielsen's existing capabilities to deliver thought leadership to our clients, and partner with them on critical strategic issues," the Nielsen Company South Asia's Managing Director, Partha Rakshit, said.

    In India, the group will be led by Asitava Sen, who has over 18 years of experience in management consulting in consumer and retail industries, the release said.

    31 Jul - Bangalore - The Economic Meltdown - Is the Worst Over for India?


    For those of you who missed the excellent Happy Hours with Prof P C Narayan of IIMB (BM-75) on Oct '08, we have another one with him this Friday.

    PC Narayan gives us a talk on "The Economic Meltdown - Is the Worst Over for India?"
    - 7:00 PM, Friday, July 31, 2009
    - KGA, Old Airport Road
    - Car parking: Adequate parking available at the club
    - Cover charges: Rs 150 per head
    - This includes dinner & soft drinks. Drinks are Rs 50 each.
    - Adult guests are allowed

    About P C Narayan:
    P C Narayan is a faculty member in the Finance & Control Area, Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB).

    Narayan holds a Bachelor's degree in Engineering from the Regional Engineering College, Tiruchirapalli and an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur. He has also completed the Advanced Management Program at IFAP Rome, Italy.

    Prior to joining IIMB, he was with (a) a private sector bank in India with management responsibility for retail banking, operations and information technology, (b) a multinational bank for several years based overseas and (c) a global banking technology company also based overseas.

    Apart from teaching courses in corporate finance, international banking and financial markets at IIMB, Narayan has been conducting seminars/workshops and undertaken consulting engagements with several organisations in India and abroad. His list of present and past clients include Union Bank of India, UCO Bank, Syndicate Bank, Vijaya Bank, Clearing Corporation of India (CCIL), BBK (Bahrain), DBS Bank (Singapore), as well as leading information technology companies in the banking and finance domain.

    Having travelled to over 40 countries, and worked or implemented projects in 20 different countries, he brings a unique cross-cultural perspective and a breadth of global experience.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    Preeti Reddy new Head at LMRB


    Change at the Top for Sri Lanka’s LMRB
    July 20 2009

    Preeti Reddy will replace Tissa de Alwis at the head of the Kantar-owned Lanka Market Research Bureau (LMRB) at the end of July.

    Reddy, a native of Bangalore, worked in India as a VP at management consultants Technopak for the last three years, and prior to this was a Senior Vice President at TNS from April 1995 to April 2005. She holds an MBA from XLRI in Jamshedpur and a BA Honours in Economics from Lady Shri Ram College.

    De Alwis steps down from his Managing Director role after 25 years at the company and 20 in a leadership role, according to . He joined as a Project Director after a short spell at JWT Sri Lanka, and in October 1989 became the first Sri Lankan to be appointed as the head of LMRB, which was then part of UK-based MRB Group, later acquired by WPP.

    A graduate of the UK’s CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing), de Alwis holds an MBA from PIM, University of Sri Jayawardenapura, and was elected as the President of the Sri Lanka Institute of Marketing (SLIM) for 95/96.

    Established in 1981, LMRB is online at .

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Soldiers turn grads at XLRI

    From The Telegraph

    Jamshedpur, July 18: Warriors donned the gown and cap instead of their military uniform for the fifth graduation ceremony of the executive management programme for defence officers at XLRI’s Father Prabhu Hall today.

    This year, 49 officers from armed forces graduated from here — 43 from the army, four from the Indian Air Force and two from the Indian Navy. XLRI launched the certificate programme in business management for defence personnel in 2007 at the request of the Union ministry of human resource development who perceived the need to resettle servicemen. The programme was designed in association with the directorate-general of resettlement, ministry of defence, for officers seeking a career in the corporate world. The event was designed keeping in mind the needs of the business world with the aspirations of the service officers.

    Saroj Vinayak, the director-general of ordnance factories and chairman of Ordnance Factory Board, Calcutta, was the chief guest at the function. She presented certificates to those who successfully completed the course.

    Vinayak encouraged the students to take on the challenges of the corporate world. “The present corporate atmosphere offers a number of complex challenges for students. Dedication, hard work, sincere efforts and courage are essential sills for overcoming the challenges,” she added.

    Vinayak urged students to pay heed to their inner voice while taking important decisions in life. “The inner voice of a person helps him take crucial decisions,” said Vinayak.

    Institute officials pointed out that they got officers from distinctive educational backgrounds — engineering, medicine, management, commerce, architecture, basic sciences and arts — with experience ranging from six to 34 years.

    The six-month programme equips participants with basic concepts and skills of all functional areas of management along with an area of specialisation, thus enabling them to find a career in the corporate world. During the course, for which enrolment began on February 2, students took part in quiz contests and undertook various assignments.

    “The corporate sector has expressed keen interest in batches comprising a good blend of officers who are set to face challenges. Our course allows a smooth transition and re-orientation for officers towards a life and career as business managers and entrepreneurs,” said E. Abraham, the director of XLRI.

    Friday, July 17, 2009

    Invite from Vikas Sharma (09BMD) - Parichay's 1st product exhibition

    Dear friends,
    I am very happy to communicate this invitation from our very own social entreprenur, Vikas Sharma (XL Alumnus of 09BMD), Co-Founder & Partner, Parichay, for their 1st product exhibition on July 19th (Sunday) @ United Club, Jamshedpur.
    Parichay, as you may be aware, is a social venture, which got its angel funding from the XLRI Social Entrepreneurship Trust.
    This is the first public display of their work, and your presence/visit will not only be an encouragement to Vikas, but to his entire team of artisans and designers. It would be really great if you can find time to find time and visit the exhibition on Sunday.

    Respected Guest

    I cordially invite you to the1st product exhibition of Parichay, “Roopantar – The Change”.

    Event Details:

    · Exhibition: “Roopantar – The Change”

    · Venue: United Club, Diwan–e–Khaas hall

    · Date: 19th July 2009, Sunday

    · Inauguration at 11.00 am

    · Chief guest: Mrs. Nerurkar

    · Exhibition timing: 11.30 am to 2.00 pm & 3.30 pm to 10 pm

    · Launch of Parichay’s New Logo: 5:30pm

    We will be displaying three categories of our product range:

    · Home d├ęcor

    · Corporate

    · Table top accessories

    These are products completed made by our local rural/tribal artisans. This is our first attempt to showcase the change we can and we will bring in the eco-system of artisans and craftsmanship in India.

    Our designers Richa Nigam and Micheal Lakra from NIFT, Delhi have designed some innovative products in just one month of their project with us. They have worked with natural raw material like bamboo, stone, sawai grass, colors and leather.

    We have achieved this significant milestone in about 9 months since we started in Oct 2008. We have grand plans for the future and we wish to seek your critical inputs to make sure we proceed in the right direction with the right objectives.

    We look forward to your kind presence to grace the occasion and support our artisans in the change we wish to create.

    Your support and presence will encourage us to take our initiative further.

    Warm Regards

    Vikas Sharma

    Co-founder & Partner


    Friday, July 10, 2009

    XLRI Launches Consulting Club – C3


    It has launched C3 - Crescent Consulting Club with an aim to develop and increase the understanding of consulting profession. The inauguration of the club will be held on July 9 with a session by Mr. Joe Simon, CIO Viacom International (New York) on "Life as a Consultant". XLRI alumnus Simon will share his experiences as a consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton.

    As part of this initiative, the club will be holding weekly meetings on important issues related to consulting industry and will also organize quizzes, case competitions, 2 x 2 matrix championships, and other events for its members. Major activities will include the Speaker Series and Company Breakouts which will mainly focus on increased collaboration with consulting firms and experience sharing by consultants from various firms. The club will also maintain a central repository of the latest research in Strategy area and will carry out regular case interview practice sessions to help students prepare for their placements. Every fortnightly, industry breakouts will be held to track the latest developments across different industries and build industry competence among the members. The club is also planning to launch its own Journal comprising of latest research articles written by academia and industry and provide opportunities to the students to work on live consulting assignments.

    Mr. Joe Simon, a 1983 batch alumnus of XLRI, is the Chief Information Officer for Viacom International. Prior to joining Viacom, he spent nine years as a Principal at Booz, Allen and Hamilton, focusing on the media sector. He also worked at Reader’s Digest, a savings bank in New Zealand, and for various business conglomerates in India.

    In the past, CRESCENT, under the guidance of Prof. Munish Thakur, has been involved in conducting various B-plan competitions and Strategy games, organizing Live Consulting projects and guest lecture series, and publishing a monthly magazine CREST containing the latest happenings in Consulting, Research, Strategy and Entrepreneurship. In association with Social Initiative Group for Managerial Assistance (SIGMA), CRESCENT also launched the Initiative for Social and Entrepreneurial Leadership (ISEL) last year. ISEL aims at promoting and nurturing student interest in entrepreneurship and the social sector.

    Jesuit B-schools preach social entrepreneurship

    From DNA

    Mumbai: "We want to build managers who are able to start ventures that can alleviate poverty and deal with environment issues," said Father Abraham, director, Xavier's Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur. He was speaking at the 15th World Forum of the International Association of Jesuit Business Schools (IAJBS). XLRI Jamshedpur hosted the forum which saw deans, directors and senior professors from B-schools in USA, Europe, Asia Pacific stressing on developing a network to support social entrepreneurship.

    Post the forum the IAJBS has become a signatory of the UN principles for Responsible Management and will ask all member institutes to adhere to them. A sustainability development committee will be formed to ensure that Jesuit B-schools globally adhere to the principles.

    "The committee will ensure that schools include sustainable development in the curriculum, and offer it as an academic programme," said Abraham. In keeping with UN's principles, schools will review programme syllabi and course structure. The focus on enhancing and managing financial wealth will be balanced with equal number of courses on enhancing social and environmental capital. "There are very few academic social science inputs in the course-work which is why students fail to understand that socio-environmental issues impact businesses," said Abraham.

    In India, around 17 top ranking Jesuit B-schools will alter their admissions process along with curriculums. "Socio-environmental concerns and ethical fibre of a student, beyond just landing a lucrative job from an MBA will form a non-negotiable part of admissions," informed Abraham. Even the way these B-schools function will undergo a change. The use of solar power, rainwater harvesting, recycling paper will teach sustainability.

    Schools will also look atintroducing compulsory internships with social/development sector organisations. By October, a task force formed for sustainability development will take into account all members' comments and present a final draft before the IAJBS board which will include the best sustainability projects from across the globe. "We have also proposed that every member school should set up a Chair Professorship in Sustainable Development, so that this movement can be carried forward by every B school," said Abraham.

    In fact, XLRI has been the first Indian B-school committed to these principles since the last two years. "We have already started offering electives and core courses in the MBA programme for students in environmental strategy, social laws, business ethics," informed Abraham. The institute recently held the first National Social Entrepreneurship Conference which covered critical issues in education, energy, credit, healthcare, livelihood opportunities, and natural resources which could be resolved by enterprising management graduates.

    Encouraged by these, students at the institute started social ventures. In the last year, three ventures took off. The first Parichay links tribal artisans and rural craftsmen with the mainstream market and increases their profit margins. The second is Swalamban which provides electricity to villages through ox-driven generators. While, the third is called, which donates money to registered charitable organisations; for every market research survey filled by visitors.

    Friday, July 03, 2009

    Surya Nair (IR 06) is now a columnist for Mobile Industry Review

    Surya Nair (IR 06) is now a regular columnist for Mobile Industry Review.

    She is introduced to the 300,000+ readership of the site as:
    the first of the new MIR 3.0 columnists, Surya Nair.

    Surya is in her mid-twenties and always has a particularly interesting take on the mobile industry.

    If you’re not following her on Twitter, I recommend you do (username: @suryasnair).

    Surya was born in South India’s Kerala region and got her first handset (a Nokia 6110) when she completed her degree in Engineering. Yup, no ‘politics’ or ‘media studies’ here. *Engineering*.

    Surya is a veritable java, mainframe, SQL and mobile handset genius. In her time she’s enjoyed the Nokia 9300i (me too), the E90 (nice), the N82 (lovely camera) and currently, she’s sporting the Nokia N97. So whilst you might paint her as a mobile geek-head, hold there a moment.

    For some reason, she stopped everything and took an MBA in Human Resources — before joining a large European mobile player. That means she not only avoids the ‘marriage question’ (foremost on the minds of most mothers, even worse, I gather, with Indian mothers) but she is also assured of a ready supply of new gizmos to play with.

    In terms of applications she’s a regular user of the N97 integrated Facebook app, the Sports Tracker app, SP Brain Evaluation, and, “Of course, Gravity for Twitter”.

    This all makes for a rather interesting columnist. Time then for part 1 of Surya’s contributions here at Mobile Industry Review.

    Her first article is “No mom, you can’t have a free phone.” The perils of working for a mobile manufacturer.

    Thursday, July 02, 2009

    Suman Bose (BMD95) to head Siemens PLM's India ops

    From Business Standard

    Siemens PLM Software, provider of product lifecycle management (PLM) software and services, today said it has appointed Suman Bose as vice-president and managing director for its Indian operations.

    As VP and MD, Bose will be responsible for increasing the company's market share and extending its leading position in India's PLM field, a company statement said.

    "India is a strategically important market for Siemens PLM Software in terms of our extensive market presence and growth opportunities," Siemens PLM Software Senior Vice-President (Asia Pacific) Hans Kurt Lubberstedt said.

    Bose has earlier served as the Country Director (India) at Dassault Systems and has been associated with MatrixOne (acquired by Dassault Systemes in 2006) and HP.

    Rabo India Finance Ltd announces appointment of Mr. Surojit Shome (BMD86) as MD & CEO

    From India PR Wire

    Effective today,
    Surojit Shome joins Rabo India Finance Limited, the wholly owned Indian subsidiary of Rabobank International, as Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer.

    A seasoned banker, Surojit comes with over two decades of experience in Banking encompassing Corporate Banking, Capital Markets and Investment Banking. Surojit has worked with Citibank, Lehman Brothers and Nomura prior to joining Rabo India.

    In his 19 year stint with Citigroup, he held various business management, origination and risk management roles with assignments in India and overseas. Before he moved to Lehman Brothers, in late 2006, he was Managing Director and Head of Corporate Banking for the Indian sub-continent, overseeing corporate and financial institution coverage teams for India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal.

    In his role as Managing Director & Head of the Investment Banking Division at Lehman Brothers in India, he was responsible for building the investment banking platform for Lehman Brothers with capabilities across capital markets, M&A advisory and private equity origination. Post the acquisition of Lehman Brothers’ Asian & European businesses by Nomura Holdings in October 2008, he spent the last few months helping in the integration of the legacy Lehman Brothers’ Investment Banking business into the existing Nomura India businesses.

    Surojit will report to Rob van Zadelhoff, Head of Asia for Rabobank International. “I am very pleased to have Surojit join our team in India. I am confident that he will be successful in building and growing Rabobank’s business in India given his leadership and management skills,” said Rob van Zadelhoff.


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