Sunday, October 30, 2011

20th Week @ XIMB

20th Week- 23rd October to 29th October

23rd October: Learned about TSCR (Trend, Seasonality, Cyclicity and Random)

24th October: An Introduction to Livelihood Promotion : Traditionally the solution to the problems of poverty was conceived as an increase in income levels through the generation of employment. However this vision has changed in the last two decades. This publication shows how it is possible to promote livelihoods as a means for poverty reduction.

One cannot feed the hungry on statistics - David Lloyd George

MEARS- 85 % of savings accounts and 60 % of current accounts act as fixed deposit.

RPLS- Muhammad Yunus : Poverty was not created by the poor. There is nothing wrong with these people. They are just as capable and inventive and have as much potential as others. The system simply never gave them a chance to grow. If you really want to solve poverty you should enable people to take matters into their own hands.

25th October: Didn't recall events of today. I read an interesting statement by Gopal Vittal, Executive director for home and personal care at Hindustan Unilever on Indian market - Don’t Bet Your Money on India, Bet on its States. Only states that excel in the quality of human capital and infrastructure, rate of private investment and have a smaller government will attract more business.

26th October: Diwali Holiday ! Celebrated with harmony, joy and lot of fun. Students were looking more like human than machines after a long time.

27th October: I was told about Toolkit Break-Even Analysis tool in Marketing class. HBS (Harvard Business School) Toolkit Break-Even Analysis :Marketers studying the launch of a new product or service use break-even analysis to help determine at what point the product or service can be expected to be profitable. This downloadable interactive workbook, one of several workbooks/ tutorials from the HBS Toolkit used by Harvard Business School students, is designed to help calculate a break-even point or target-profit level based on the fixed costs, variable costs, and unit price of the product or service being analyzed.

28th October: MEARS mid term exam.

29th October: FSA mid term exam.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

19th Week @ XIMB

19th Week- 16th October to 22nd October

16th October : One fine day is Sunday. Still post Gramotsava, there was 2 hour session on EQ & Leadership. I learned that there is always lack in abundance.

17th October : The whole day just passed away. I did't think any productive work was done today. Still I was able to read one good article :- Ph.D. Thesis Research: Where do I Start? Notes by Don Davis, Columbia University.

18th October : FSA quiz was a disaster. Missed Kuru meeting and slept quite early at night. Since, I was roaming out in the morning, soft skill training session was also missed.

Rediscovered Facebook Page of India - Rural Livelihoods.  For implementing the inclusive growth agenda, it is crucial to prop up agriculture, the soft underbelly of our economy. The National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) should take charge of dry-land farming now by Ramesh S Arunachalam.

19th October : Alumni Talk was given by Mr.Patnaik. He is a rural management program pass-out of first batch. He has expertise in banking, insurance and micro-finance sector.

1- XIMB started one year Post Graduate Diploma Program in Rural Management for the graduates and NGO members in 1995 which was upgraded to the two year PGDM (Rural Management) programme from 1999.

2- Before entering in the corporate sector, one must ask -: How am I going to build my career ? Package of the placement offer is not necessary but selection of right sector. Work in the organization for atleast 2 years is necessary to build a robust professional network inside the company. This time duration helps in getting an overall picture of the company and sector. Hence, One should do cost benefit analysis before switching over to another company.

Catch : Its easy to switch from corporate sector to development sector rather than reverse phenomenon.

3- And there was once a lot of RM-XIMB versus IRMA debate but it has now cooled down.

Last but not least, customer retention is more important than customer service in banking sector. Huge investment is needed in human resource for any company to sustain and grow in the long term.

Case study Analysis:

Harvard Business School: "Inside the Case Method" -1

Harvard Business School: "Inside the Case Method" -2

20th October : There was case discussion on TI cycles whose diagnosis were done by four different professors in this paper at Vikalpa, The Journal for Decision Makers that is a quarterly publication of the IIMA. It ends with the profound quote by Thomans Edison : I am more of a sponge than an inventor. I absorb ideas from every source. My principal business is giving commercial value to the brilliant but misdirected ideas of others.

When India marketeres in trouble, they pray to rural markets - Prof. Mithileshwar Jha, Marketing IIMB . I learned about dumping and tariff  in ITM class and quoted brilliantly in PROJM class to Gaurish - Things are interesting when you take interest in it.

At a lot of times, economics and formal education is not everything. I found one more evidence in support of this. In Rajasthan, India, an extraordinary school teaches rural women and men -- many of them illiterate -- to become solar engineers, artisans, dentists and doctors in their own villages. It's called the Barefoot College, and its founder, Bunker Roy, explains how it works. Sustenance with existing resources is the crux of his talk.

Bunker Roy: Learning from a barefoot movement

There was soft skill training conducted by Placecom today. I attained mock interview session & it was quite effective. Lesson learnt but not sure about it :- One has to build/fake success stories while presenting in MBA interview.

21st October : Day was passed in academic activities. One good case study was done in Prof Peepin's first class about MEADOW and Titan Industry. This case study can be found in (Page 75-86) of Livelihood Manual Book [Download in PDF Format] . An alternate reading material :- Corporate Non Profit partnerships - Case Study of MEADOW is good source for details. In 1995, Titan began working with local NGO Myrada. Al Fernandez, the promotor of MYRADA, one of the leading NGOs in the country used to say this :'We (those associated with MF work) need poor for our survival. But the poor have survived generations after generations even without any of these institutions.' Following early successes the initiative was converted into a privately held company run and owned by the women themselves, supported by further technical training and expertise from Titan. The company was called MEADOW (Management of Enterprise and Development of Women). “In a free enterprise, the community is not just another stakeholder in business but is in fact the very purpose of its existence” Mr. Jamsetji N Tata, (Founder, Tata Group)

 22nd October : Complete Day was passed in finalizing PROJM and FSA assignments. Evening time was occupied by Finomics'11. XFin hosted Finomics'11, a national level panel discussion. The theme for Finomics'11 is 'Emerging trends in Risk management'. The eminent speakers for the panel discussion were: Mr. C. S. Mohapatra, Director, Capital markets, Finance Ministry, GoI Prof. Girish V S, Group Editorat BFSI NexT & CFO NexT Dr. K. C. Mishra, Vice Chancellor, Sri Sri University, Orissa Mr. K. C. Samal, Executive Director (Finance), NALCO

Notes Undertaken -: 1) Every risk has return period. The vulnerability to risk (like effect of hurricane on GDP at Bangladesh vs USA) varies. It also determines the opportunities and threat. Each visionary converts possible risk into the development. 2) "It will not happen to me " is the basic assumption of the people to avoid any investment in the risk management. 3) Even Basel II is not implemented fully in Indian banks. 4) There are three type of people everywhere - EITHER "My Way", "Know it All" and "Let it Go" OR "Taker", "Owner" and "Manager" of risk. 5) What I avoid is 'Let it Go' attitude and record all mine memorable experiences for the benefit of others in the long run. 6) Lot of complicated mathematical models require lot of knowledge that is possessed by only few. All CEO are dependent on the complex mathematical models but unable to understand them. 7) Public Secto company like NALCO gives more emphasis on risk caused by production and environment issues rather than financial matters. 8) Regulator is not the risk operator but only facilitator in mitigating the risk. This was said in the reference for banking sector. But,I found it true for each path of the life and business. 9) Operational risk comes in the term of fraud. Lot of study has been done on this in the field of behavioral economics. 10) Indian bureaucracy has tendency to save its skin by talking/consulting with everybody. Sub Prime crisis at wall street has opened eyes for many to stay alert and engaged in lot of confidence building efforts. [News Link] The Central Government on Thursday constituted the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) under the chairmanship of former Justice B. N. Srikrishna to rewrite and harmonise financial sector legislations, rules and regulations. --- In many industry, Demand forecasting is done through TSCR model (Trend, Seasonality, Cyclicality and Random).

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

18th Week @ XIMB

18th Week- 9th October to 15th October

9th October : I returned to hostel yesterday. This week is mostly dedicated to Gramotsava 2011. Today, I checked a newspaper article on Gramotsava 2011 today. XIMB reaches out to masses through fair - Rural management students create a marketing base in nearly 50 villages

Gramotsava-2011, a rural marketing fair, organised every year by the Rural Managers' Association of XIMB (RMax. Thus, rural management students who engage in on-field marketing and data collection to supplement theoretical lessons with practical experience. The uniqueness of the event in the rural management course offered in any college

Gramotsava 2011 fair UPDATE
Venue I : Mandarbasta, Khurda, Friday,14th Oct.
Venue II : Chasakhanda,Cuttack, Saturday,15th Oct

10th October : On behalf of shruti thomas, I liked "Sustainable Housing". Suddenly, a moral dilemma arose inside me. Do I like/support the product/service/community because it was made by Jhaberite ? If there is an idea branded by an affiliated college and its arch rival, what will be my choice? Will my decision be based on the merit or loyalty ?

In MEARS lecture, SP Das commented : "Every TDH (Its not Tall Dark Handsome !) wants to do MBA without knowing what it offers. Bhuabneswar Development Authority has 9 B schools 5-6 years back and now there are 38 B schools under BDA ! This is called expansion phase of economy". I find a harsh truth in his words. I am now finding a method in his madness.

In FSA lecture, P K Mohanty lamented on the poor quality of our performance in FR end term. He insisted that wherever possible marks are given for few candidates. I assume each of us are close minded when it comes to the knowledge receiving. ANd lack of application and reading is the prime cause behind it.

In RPLS, it was last lecture of Niraj Kumar. 10 lectures of this course helps me to understand the approach towards development. What I observed that you can't expect a first grader to begin learning arithmetic by tackling differential calculus. Similarly,our batch need many hours of lectures and field visit to really embrace spirit of rural managers.

11th October :

There was only one class in whole day. A day gone in reading a thriller novel.
I also read : The Base of Pyramid distribution challenge: Evaluating alternate distribution models of energy products for rural Base of Pyramid in India; This paper from Centre for Development Finance (CDF) – IFMR analyzes the product distribution choices available in rural BoP markets to help enterprises evaluate the key drivers of distribution for successful go-to-market strategies.

12th October : There was live discussion and participation in the class. It was good to see so many people speaking and cross questioning with teacher. A secret pact between me, Gaurish and Om Prakash is showing result.

13th October : A day busy in the preparation of Gramotsava. I was busy in a 'live project'. Have taken initiative for becoming POC of 1st yearites for 'live project'.

Gramotsava launch was too good. Dance and photo session were adding beauty of the show. There was temporary DJ session after the launch.

14th October and 15th October : Under the banner of Rural Managers’ Association of XIMB (RMax), about 150 students from the first and second year batches visited two villages — Mandarbasta in Khurda district and Chasakhanda in Cuttack district. The fair was to promote the latest products and concepts of business and social organisations among the village folk. As a flagship event of rural management, Gramotasava is quite unique as through it we examine mindset of rural consumers.

Hindustan Unilever is the title sponsor for the Gramotsava 2011 with Mahindra & Mahindra as the associate sponsor and Tata Motors the cosponsor. The Telegraph was the media partner for this year’s Gramotsava, which was formally launched last Thursday. Bonnie Bhaina, an olive ridley turtle, was the mascot for the fair.

Travelling in the bus with complete RM batch was a pleasurable experience. This Gramotasava would be a part of sweet memories of my XIMB days.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

17th Week @ XIMB

17th Week- 2nd October to 8th October

It was a week that I spent completely at home. I was on the offline mode regarding XIMB. Hence, I will put down some videos for learning purpose for rural managers.

Rural Development - The Challenge of Livelihood and Poverty

Although there appears to be an enduring concern with India's poor within the policy circle and in public discourse, is this debate leading to new and innovative ideas on how to pull millions of Indians out of grinding poverty? What is the way forward? Should the emphasis be on skills development, agricultural development, microfinance, market access etc? What other models of rural development do we need to examine?

How to avoid the pitfalls of rural marketing?







Saturday, October 1, 2011

16th Week @ XIMB

16th Week --- 25th September to 1st October

25th September : Attended the class of P T Joseph. I shared answers of personal questions in the public. I disagreed with him about the revealing of private data in public. I am gaining guts each day to face down the powerful and say what needs to be said. And I hope that it should inspire introverts and progressives.

Since, I am selected for first round of summer internship for TERI, I started studying for the interview.

Q&A: Clean Energy for India’s ‘Base of the Pyramid’: WRI’s new report, in collaboration with CDF-IFMR, looks at the market potential for clean and renewable energy in rural India.

POWER TO THE PEOPLE : Detail Report in PDF format.

TERI has undertaken an initiative of Lighting a Billion Lives (LaBL) through the use of solar lighting devices. The Campaign aims to bring light into the lives of one billion rural people by replacing the kerosene and paraffin lanterns with solar lighting devices. In terms of physical targets, it translates into 200 000 000 solar lanterns in use, assuming that each solar lantern benefits five members of a family.

"Movements have always begun with the people and not with the government." ---Arnold Schwarzenegger

Learning : The key issue with rural is 'last mile penetration' for companies and government agencies in general opinion. Poor often pay higher prices than wealthier consumers do for lower-quality goods and services because of uncompetitive markets.

Kurushetra work is going with quite good pace. I am understanding the complete game as a part of marketing team.

On personal note, a lot of blessings to Saumaya and Sonam also for their caring nature :)

26th September : RM is champion in overall sports meet. Rupika Singh is a damn good performer in so many games. Gaurav Anand played really good in cricket winning streak! Truly, Rupika, Partha, Krishanu and Mithelesh are all-rounders in RM 2011-2013 batch whom I look up to and get inspiration from.

I learned a distinct fact about Indian society and media today in the classroom: Urban population takes media more credible than their rural counterparts. Mass Media does not initiate the change, it can maximum accelerate the process of change. Villagers always identify themselves within their reference groups while urban have self perception of iconoclast.

TERI Interview got postponed today. I have done more study on Solar Energy - Bright Idea: Bringing Eco-friendly Lighting to India's Hinterland

The SPIC MACAY Chapter of XIMB organized Western Classical Music Programme : Cello & Classical Guitar performance by Anders Øien & Gustavo Tavares, two of the best classical musicians from Norway.

27th September : Parthsarthy CR got selected for Summer Internship in Sanguine Management Services. TERI interview got postponed even on Tuesday. It was frustrating !

One of the major factors that I like in the development studies : It talks critical about paternalism and dependence. A factor highly overlooked by our mainstream studies ! I observe both pro and cons of RM programme of XIMB. I like XIMB for its nice blend of management and development in comparison to the 'Other' colleges of rural management. Corporate exposure in RM programme can be well marketed as USP for coming years. I don't like XIMB because it highly undermines the potential of the RM programme in comparison to BM programme. Sometimes administration make me feel our batch as the children of a lesser god.

Good News: Association of Indian Universities (AIU) has granted equivalence of MBA for the Rural Management program of XIMB.

28th September : Whenever I write this blog, I get inspired from Milan Kundera, Anne Frank, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Julian Assange.

RPLS : Learning brain does not have apartment for the different subjects. It is the mixture of interconnected information that makes sense.

Indian movies are substandard in the nature. It is just like Indian markets that is fond of substandard products. That is true for the people also who falls like products on the criteria of merit. Even people don't like and feel threatened by the exceptional talent or an outlier in their group/society/class. Kudos to Manu Bansal for raising bars in academics and rest of people will definitely suffer in the long run with this fatalistic approach!

AP got selected for Summer Internship in ABRL(Aditya Birla Retail Limited).  A coincidence of meeting Sachi madam at CCD :)

A look at the students of Pantnagar university in XIMB confirmed a loyalty and bonding factor amongst themselves. It does not promote outliers but work on the concept of gradual change in coming batches. The tradition of respect and the code of conduct at micro level of observation.

There are lakhs of flood Victims in Orissa and were mass participation in Anna Hazare's movement last month. And we were excluded from each of these movement. It appears quite paradox somewhere in the mind. When the world is changing, do educational institute need to force student becoming apolitical and unconcern in nature. But I have put head down to work alone and not to be influenced by group thinking and mass movements. Today, I am opting out enter into this chaos and struggle. Tomorrow I must must and must return, to do what I can for others.

Few of us in the batch are feeling agitated by some issues over transparency and administrative hurdles. A sher by Faiz Ahmed Faiz to commemorate and summarize what is going inside any institute, country and human society.

ऐ ज़ुल्म के मातों लब खोलो, चुप रहने वालों चुप कब तक,
कुछ हश्र तो इनसे उट्ठेगा, कुछ दूर तो नाले जायेंगे |

29th September : There are two quizzes scheduled today. An average performance in both of them. Rafa was admitted to hospital. His medical report is not a sign of good health.

Only few days have deep impact on the course of a life. September 29th is a remarkable day when lasting memories are made. While riding my bike, the wind flowing through my hair has given me a feeling of ecstasy on the September night.

30th September :Discussion in RPLS class : Questions and Answers: Deep Joshi

Sum of capability of our batch in cynical form : Underemployment of sub standard products in the market. Reading capacity of the RM batch is quite low. Best academic institutes create persons with reading capability that gave them a upper hand over their competitors.

There are staunch leftist in the faculty who does not consider market good. Hence, have a quite negative view of the new world. They are not a problem now. The problem of our generation : Persons (in our batch also) who thinks 'Capitalism' as the only way of development. They have no deep analysis and idea of the social welfare, justice, merit and opportunities. They consider 'Merit' as a uni-dimensional tool for the progressive society. Anti protest and positive discrimination policies like reservations appear futile to them. There worldview doesn't consider social factors like social taboos, caste discrimination (now caste assertion) much in the counting. Only through the framework of economic background, they hastily judge everything. Lack of knowledge of social science in students and lack of knowledge of economics in faculty while over-viewing society is apparent as epidemic everywhere. May be my analysis wrong here ! Yet capitalist or communist, most of us are 'western' not 'modern' in the social behaviour.

1st October : It is a start of Dussehra holiday. I am out of XIMB. Hurray !
A good video to enjoy weekend : The 6 killer apps of prosperity: Niall Ferguson on


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This Blog is meant purely as a personal diary of a rural manager in making. It exists to record information, experiences and opinions about various issues encountered in the line of duty. Any person, institution and organization mentioned here doesn't assume any liability for its contents. This is not a deliberate attempt to defame anyone. And if you have actually read all that is written in the blog and aren't mad at me, then thanks for your time and patience !


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