Sunday, 31 December 2006


Wish you all a very happy new year!!

Very Funny Ads

Check this site out:

gmail search tip

Gobbledygook version
gmail indexes whole words separated by whitespaces, not partial subsets of text.

In plain english
When searching for different word forms, such as publish and publication in gmail, it's necessary to search for both words separately. Searching for publi is not going to fetch any results :-(

Tuesday, 26 December 2006

What MGTO missed out

Watch Kramer vs Kramer or Jerry Maguire? The scenes where the two chaps get fired are pretty neat, eh? Here's a thought. Would an MBA grad be able to fire the two characters any differently?

Is there a fundamental disconnect from being an MBA grad and being a manager? Sure, an MBA (maybe) teaches us the quant skills and the hard facts to look out for when we are running a show. But then, doesn't it take a bit more to be a manager? Let's go back to the firing aspect - how would I, as an MBA grad, be able to tell a subordinate that he is going to lose his job, because of no fault of his? Should I take solace in the fact that it is a decision based on profitability?

A lot of companies go through crunch situations, and lay people off at one time or the other. Strangely, some people are willing to go back and work for the very same companies when times improve. I think that probably happens out of goodwill, more than anything else, of the managers. And I doubt one can learn how to create that goodwill at a b-school. Yeah, you could have courses which focus on how to improve one's personality, and how one should train oneself to react to situations; you could also have other influences during an MBA program, such as ideas of social responsibility. That, however, is one end of the spectrum. On the other end, an MBA might teach you how ensuring goodwill with fired employees reduces recruitment cost later. Somewhere between these two extremes is where MBA programs are creating the manager of today.

MGTO = Management of Organisations, a course we had in the fourth term, one of the few people-related courses we've had.

Another ad mismatch

Paresh Rawal danced to a "ta-ra-ra-ra-ra-ri, pizza aaye free" for Domino's. That tune doesn't seem to go very well in the Arshad Warsi ad, does it?

Monday, 25 December 2006

PM on the steel industry

Excerpt from the PM's speech at the IISCO steel plant, Burnpur, West Bengal. Here's a link to the story on NDTV.

Why does Lakshmi Mittal or Ratan Tata have to buy foreign companies to establish a global presence and expand steel capacities when our per capita consumption of steel is so low and when there is so much opportunity here?

Let me see if I understand the PM's statement correctly. Is he suggesting that:
1. Mittal & Tata should not be establishing a global presence? OR
2. Mittal & Tata buy only Indian companies to establish a global presence? OR
3. Mittal & Tata should match their companies' production capacity only to match domestic demand, which currently happens to be low, but could rise in the future?

Maybe we should just stop attempting to make sense of ambigous statements made by politicians and assume they're playing to the crowd.

Saturday, 23 December 2006

The network comes home

They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. And they come with different ideas of life. Each one of them is brimming with gyaan about the college, about resumes, about life, about careers, about everything. And boy, are they getting an audience. Here's what's happening. Our annual alumni reunion - Solistice - is on this weekend, and the alumni have descended from all over to our campus. I guess it's a good way to end a week that was jam-packed with assignments for almost everyone.

I ran into alienwan shortly after he landed up on campus. Almost expected him to be reviewing someone's resume, and he didn't disappoint. Also met ford prefect. There are loads of other alumni I met, some for the first time. Interesting to hear what they had to say about post-ISB-life.

They've started to test the speakers on the lawns outside our block.. looks like it'll be a very loud party tonight. I'd better finish that SOMG work in the next 120 minutes :-(

Saturday, 16 December 2006

Advertisements, rebranding & bias

  • KitKat's latest advertisement shows people wearing pants twice the size they usually wear. So, is KitKat now a health food?
  • Sony Ericson advertises a music player.. it takes a while for the viewer to realise it's a mobile phone. Got to admit, I love this ad; should try to locate it on youtube sometime.
  • ThumsUp rebrands itself as a men's drink, something that women won't understand.
Seriously, what's up with these brands?


When on of our professors fired a "name three ads that you've seen today", we were stumped for a few minutes. He went on to say, "See, that's advertising for you. There's hardly any recall." I agreed with him then. But now I don't. If you ask people to name three political news headlines they've seen today, chances are good that they'll be stumped on that question too. That, dear readers, is selection bias.


BTW, as the first three lines show, I seem to fare better on ad recall than the news recall :-( I hope advertising turns out to be a good elective next term.

Tuesday, 12 December 2006

Using tab-stops in MS Word

This post ought to interest people who are busy updating their resumes.

Please open up your resume in MS Word, and hit the button that looks like this symbol - ¶. That button is available on the standard toolbar – you might have to add buttons to view it.

Now, let’s take a look at two snapshots of a resume.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Make note of the poor alignment on the right side in Figure 1. The two lines don’t end at exactly the same length. What’s more, there’s an arbitrary number of tabs and space bars one has had to use to get the alignment as close as possible to ideal. But hey, what happens when you change the margins of the document? You’d have to go tabbing and spacing all over again to fix the alignment. Figure 2, on the other hand, seems a lot crisper. There’s only one tab that has been used, and that has taken care of everything. If figure 1 is what your resume looks like, and figure 2 is how you would like it to look, please read on.

The following steps will help you use a feature called “tab-stops” which is present in most word-processing software (including MS Word), but can be quite a pain to understand and use.

So, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Create a new style
    1. Menus --> Format --> Styles & Formatting
    2. Click on New Style. Specify the name, font, font-size, etc. Ensure that the Style Type is set to Paragraph.
    3. Click on “Format”
    4. Click on “Tabs”. A new options box should pop-up. The tab stop position should be set by default to 1’’
    5. Click on “Clear All”
    6. In the tab stop position, write in the length of your horizontal ruler. This would typically be the width of your page minus the margins that you’ve specified. For a page setup using “Letter”, and margin 1.25”, this would be 8.25” – 1.25” -1.25” = 6”
    7. Set the alignment as "Right".
    8. Click on “Set”, then “Ok”
    9. Save the style with a meaningful name
  2. Write out your line saying “Indian School of Business Hyderabad India”. Ensure that you provide only one tab between the words “Business” and “Hyderabad
  3. Apply your newly created style to the line.

Hopefully, your alignment problem would be solved. Now, if you need to change the margins of your page, you’d need to reset the tab stop position to something that suits the new margins.