Saturday, August 25, 2012

63rd Week@XIMB

63rd Week@XIMB - 19th August to 25th August, 2012

20th August - Since 1997 Dr Debal Deb has been conserving 700 varieties of native rice that seed companies are trying to drive out. He works for biodiversity conservation, knowledge transfer and non-commercial seed exchange within and beyond India's indigenous communities.

Folk Rice Dr Debal Deb

21st August - Today is my birthday. I will only quote Benjamin Franklin on life :"Content to live, content to die unknown, Lord of myself, accountable to none."

21st August I participated in Kurukshetra and Spardha Launch. There was a good Harvard Business review article uploaded by SDM faculty : Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing by Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham, Suj Krishnaswamy (Complete Reading)

22nd August - There was presentation on OSCARD by our group in CM. We cam ro know about: Narasimham Committee on Banking Sector Reforms (1998). There was discussion on MFI Andhra Crisis in MFM class.What's wrong with microfinance? edited by Thomas Dichter and Malcolm Harper is a good book that must be studied in detail for academic knowledge. Ticket size of loan given by ACCION International is between 200-300 $ at Latin America in comparison to average loan size of Rs 5000 -1000 in Indian Micro-finance Industry. Hence, the cost of regulation is much higher in Indian context. So we require more patient not passive capital for revival of Indian Micro-finance Industry.

23rd August - Triple Bottom Line was discussed in detail. The phrase “the triple bottom line” was first coined in 1994 by John Elkington, the founder of a British consultancy called SustainAbility. Now companies are looking for businesses to bring value to their societies. There were not much classes this week. Hence, quite and relax week was coming to the end.

24th August - XIMB organized a ‘Business Conclave Week’. Top executives across the industry would be visiting our campus from 24th to 26th August, 2012. Everyone put up a good show.

I missed preparation as well as functioning of ENVISION 2012 program that was part of this business conclave. That is not what me to be as a professional. Clive Lloyd’s team returned WestIndies with 5-1 pounding at the end of the 1975-76 series in Australia. Clive Llyod said: ‘never again’. They searched some fierce fast bowlers and nurtured young batsman, and turned the table against Australian. I also declare today that this laziness will never happen again.

25th August - Last class of HRM was a guest lecture.

Guest Talk: Mr Saroj Mohapatra, HR JSPL Orissa Unit.

Saroj Mohapatra stressed on the quality is more important than the package of the job. Management education has been born out of school of economics and industrial sociology. In colleges, subjects are taught in compartment wise while its chaos and mixture in the reality.

He told us a story of vision. Revenue source of Dubai was coming only from oil resource. Prince of Dubai planned for non -oil revenue in future. So he set up the most unusual target : making Dubai a tourist destination. That was achieved through engineering and good management. This is what we lacking in India. The task of government is governance and regulation not running business. When there was no investment, there was worried about utilization of mineral resources. Now, with investment coming, government has been worrying about people. There is a structural problem at policy level.

There is a rent seeking mindset embedded in Indian people. When government displaces for road or irrigation project, there is not much talk about compensation package. But, when private parties do this for like steel plant, there is always talk of rehabilitation and justified compensation package. JSPL is paying 5 times package yet there is demand for the job guarantee for grandsons. There must be peaceful co existence of under-developed, developing and developed. Unless there is provision of social mobility, this can't be achieved.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

62nd Week@XIMB

62nd Week@XIMB - 12th August to 19th August, 2012

12th August - There is a policy paralysis in India. There are concerns over contraction in industrial output and drought need to be addressed soon. India's economic growth could fall below 5 per cent in the the first quarter of current fiscal.

13th August - Mr. K. Ramkumar, Executive Director on the Board of ICICI Bank is responsible for Human Resources, Customer Service & Operations. Are top business schools losing sight of what hirers want? is a probing article by him with a countering answer from N. Ravichandran, Director IIM Indore - Institutions need time to mature made by day.

RBI had released long ago Malegam Committee Report on micro-finance. Report of the RBI Sub-Committee of its Central Board of Directors to study Issues and concerns in the micro finance institutions (MFI) Sector.

14th August - I had taken an interesting question for the research while doing later assignment of QRM. How students of PDGM-RM in XIMB identify effective (and ineffective) areas of the curriculum offered to them ? The parameters were field work, demand in market, relevance in development field or attributes like value addition of knowledge etc.

15th August - On the occasion of the 65th Anniversary of India's Independence Day, I have to say nothing. Facebook pages are colored with the heart of patriots.

16th August - ‎"Start Your Venture" not floating this year 'due to some last minute procedural problems' ... a step back for RM program.


As part of the Livelihood sharing series a special talk by Ajit Kanitkar (Program Officer, Ford Foundation and former Professor, IRMA) and Dinesh Awasthi (Director EDII) was organized on 16th August, 2012.
Livelihoods MANTHAN is a collaborative effort to envision the participation of management and higher educational institutions as an important part of the livelihoods ecosystem int the county. The distinguished speakers spoke on the theme “Grassroots Entrepreneurship and livelihoods” and interacted with the XIMB, Rural Management students at length. The talk was coordinated by Prof. C. Shambu Prasad and a few representatives from NGOs and professionals working in the livelihood sector also attended the session.

Ajit Kanitkar reminded the audience that agriculture itself is an enterprise, albeit a very risky one. Uncertainty about the monsoon, price fluctuations, spurious seeds, storage and transportation, pest attacks and so on makes agriculture the riskiest enterprise. Under these circumstances the speaker argued that there has to be a multipronged strategy to generate enough livelihood options for the people and it should specifically address three major areas of concern. First, there can be no substitute for agriculture in a country like India where 60-70 crores of people are still dependent on it. We have to find ways and means to make agriculture a profitable enterprise. Secondly people have to start respecting vocational education. Time and resources has to be allocated for training a large number of young people for skill development. Thirdly, Mr. Kanitkar mentioned about the need to promote social enterprises.

“Economy of scale and scope is the most important factor for successful running of any social enterprise” - Dinesh N. Awasthi.

Dinesh N. Awasthi firmly believes that until unless all the people are economically empowered it will be impossible for them to get social and political empowerment. According to him Social Entrepreneurship is all about making products and services available to people which are accessible as well as affordable. He explained the three different views about social entrepreneurship.

a) Ashoka Foundation view:- It believes that whosoever is doing social innovation and trying to fix social issues, irrespective of the facts like whether it is getting grants and funds or not, its earning profits or not and whether it is self-sustainable or not it should continue doing the work.

b) Muhammad Yunus view:- His view is opposite to Ashoka foundation’s view. According to him a social entrepreneur must be self-sufficient; its activities should be self-sustainable and must make profits. People, organizations who are investing in a social enterprise should re-invest the profits in these activities only. They should not take away any part of the profits that are being generated.

c) Any enterprise should address the need of bottom of the pyramid following the principles Availability, Accessibility, Affordability.

17th August - There was a group presentation on Individual lending in MFI. That passed quite well. I learnt the difference between asset based and collateral based lending.

There was career counselling Session with Prof. Govindrajan. I expressed my interest in either consulting or development sector. Market research will be my third option. I am looking forward for off campus amid weak economy that may affect placement.

Vijay Mahajan: Rebuilding a Stronger Microfinance Sector in India - Vijay Mahajan, the president of the Microfinance Institutions Network of India and also the founder and chairman of the Basix social enterprise group talked to India Knowledge@Wharton about the implications of the new bill and the way ahead for the sector.

Why research that establishes causality is better than just correlation? by Krishnamurthy V Subramanian, Assistant Professor (Finance), ISB. Correlation is the basis for superstition while causation forms the basis for science.

18th August - I visited office of The Odisha State Cooperative Agricultural & Rural Development (OSCARD) Bank. That was followed by brief discussion between our team and one of the staff member of OSCARD bank. They were not so reluctant to share financial data but it looked more like white elephant of the government.

Mechai Viravaidya: How Mr. Condom made Thailand a better place

Saturday, August 11, 2012

61st Week@XIMB

61st Week@XIMB - 5th August to 11th August, 2012

5th August - Professor Dilip Soman from the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto, speaks at a conference about behavioral economics and mental accounting.

Fear of Finance: Financial Literacy and Planning for Postsecondary Education

6th August - One of our faculty is an IRMA alumnus. She shared a valuable insight about rural management course. IRMA has no case studies as reading material in its early years. Faculty, students and visiting fellow of the institute thrived hard to develop their own case research material. Today, we all are benefiting from their ground work. As long as basic principles of reliability, rigour, precision and validity are followed, the research quality will always be good. There is a great and valuable resource of Working Papers (228) on IRMA website useful for rural managers. These working Papers provide an opportunity for IRMA faculty, visiting fellows and students to sound out their ideas and research work before publication and get feedback and comments from their peer group.

Rural management student must check this page of International Journal of Rural Management for latest developments. The International Journal of Rural Management (IJRM) is the first international journal that focuses exclusively on rural management as opposed to rural or community or sustainable development.

7th August - ESM: Agriculture should be looked from the livelihood point of view rather than contribution to GDP. Industrialized farming is not sustainable and there is hidden cost of subsidy with health issues. There are success stories built on sustainable agriculture. With dedicated investment of time and energy for three years, Rajeev Baruah has proved this fact. There is no need of crazy maverick backed with foreign aided NGO to do this job.

Slow Food is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986 and expanded globally to over 100,000 members in 150 countries.

8th August - We have already news of weak monsoon rains that can slow down sowing of key crops. There is also a story of public private partnership in Maharashtra. Maharashtra govt join hands with PepsiCo, Unilever and others to develop value chains for vegetable crops. FMCG companies are shifting focus from premium products because consumers will be trading down due to inflation and low income due to uneven rains. As per India Meteorological Department(IMD) Rainfall deficiency is large in Punjab, Haryana, west Rajasthan and Saurashtra and Kutch.

9th August - ESM: There was full on discussion on Watershed Management as a strategy for managing natural resources. There was presentation of documentary of Waterworks India: Four Engineers and A Manager. The camera travels from the remote cold desert of Leh to far south in Kerala and Tamil Nadu, then visiting two outstanding rural engineers in Rajasthan.

No talk of Water Management is complete without mention of Rajendra Singh
known as "waterman of India". He won the Ramon Magsaysay Award for community leadership in 2001 for his pioneering work in community-based efforts in water harvesting and water management.

Water Mangament Workshop by Rajendra Singh-Part 1

2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th Part of the talk can be viewed in the given youtube weblink.

India Water Portal is an open, inclusive, web-based platform for sharing water management knowledge amongst practitioners and the general public.

10th August - There was talk given by three eminent fellows:
1- Debashish Sen; Head, Natural Resources Management at PSI attached
2-Talk by Nagesh Kolagri on participatory GIS in empowering rural communities.
3- Talk on SRI by Dr. Baharul I Mazumdar (Sr. Agronomist, Tripura)

There was a batch meet called by placement committee on the scenario. It was an eye opener for those sleeping with cushion of brand name XIMB. It's time to buck up and start revising their knowledge Stock and flow !

11th August - Only two closing lectures of immersion course ensured a peaceful weekend.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

60th Week@XIMB

60th Week@XIMB - 29th July to 4th August, 2012

29th July - Sunday is celebrated through a video on rural marketing sharing experiences of Airtel, M&M and Hero Honda in rural India

Eyeing on the monsoon reality, farmers in northern India always use proverbs of Ghagh aur Bhaddari for weather forecasting. There has been research paper - Farming proverbs: analysis of their dynamics and farmers' knowledge by Ranjay K Singh and A Dorjey

The linkage of good monsoons and Indian market is too much close still we keep ignoring reality of the rural market. With an inadequate monsoons the rural consumption falls and so does their overall sales of agri-input companies. There are many more whose sales are indirectly dependent with the agricultural cycle but with the poor monsoon that will also go down. Use of local, non-hybrid seed varieties and cheaper micro-irrigation are the ways in which farmers try to maximise their returns in times of drought.

30th July - A two day workshop on “Markets That Empower Farmers (& Consumers)” has started today at XIMB. This learning and brainstorming workshop is jointly organized by XIMB and ASHA (Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture) is coordinated by Prof. Shambu Prasad. There was detailed coverage on the blog of Kisan Sawaraj.

My Learning :-

1- People had lost many years doing wrong things. But you have to do sometime wrong for long enough to realize this. Its worthwhile to do something not for the sake of money and pleasing society.

2- Too much consumer centric approach has diverted our attention from the problems of primary producers and rural livelihood. Policy, Market and Technology are currently used for agri-business rather than agriculture. Farmers are in crisis, not farming.

3- Diversity is the key concept for sustainable agriculture. Sustainability should be key word for next green revolution. More collectivization of farmers is required for increasing bargaining power. Bina sanskar nahin sahkar, bina sahkar nahin udhar (without morals no cooperation, without cooperation no uplift).

Fact: 5000 liters of water is required for rice in comparison to negligible irrigation required for millet. Per capita yield must be matched with per capita nutritious value of the crop.

31st July - There were guest speakers in ESM class : Joseph Thomas, Centre for Social Innovation & Entrepreneurship, IITM and Sridhar Radhakrishnan who runs a Zero Waste Center in Kovalam, recycling local waste and converting them to useful products, thereby generating livelihood for locals. Both of them were critical of the engineers. One of them was about design of sewage system design and other was of on the use of incinerator for the disposal of solid waste.

One quote mentioned in slide quite touched mine emotional chord : “If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.

Concept of waste management is good and useful for assessment of product life cycle assessment. While the whole class was very vocal in their support of organic farming, I found that response quite shallow. As the core message of organic farming forms a antithesis for the students looking their bright future in fertilizer giants like Monsanto, DSCL, Tata Rallies, etc. I will support assumption by quoting Upton Sinclaire : "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

1st August - M-CRIL is Micro Credit Rating International Ltd. M-CRIL is a global leader in the financial rating of micro-finance institutions and in sectoral advisory services.

2nd August - Prof Nonita Yap, Professor in Rural Planning and Development at the University of Guelph delivered a talk on "Greening the economy - opportunities through cleaner production and industrial ecology" at XIMB. She touched the topic of Decarbonisation of the whole energy sector, Industrial Symbiosis at Kalundborg and Quasi Cyclic economy. There was criticism of cluster approach of industries in her talk as these cluster concentrate pollutants. In India, industries rarely see waste as a resource.

3rd August - Immersion course Agribusiness Value Chain Finance (AVCF)and Carbon Management and Carbon Trading (CMCT) started today.

4th August - I was sick with fever still managed to attend few classes of immersion courses. With weekend looming, enjoy this video !

Making the Market Work for the Poor : This session was moderated by Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President, The Aspen Institute USA and the panelists included Adarsh Kumar, Executive Director, All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association; Lakshmi Venkatesan, Founding Trustee and Executive Vice-President, Bharatiya Yuva Shakti Trust (BYST); Deepender Hooda, Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha (Indian National Congress); and Amitava Chattopadhyay, The L'Oreal Chaired Professor of Marketing-Innovation and Creativity, INSEAD, Singapore.

The majority of Indians are still not reaping the benefits of liberalization. While there seems to be growing consensus that the trickle-down theory is not working for India, is there a way that markets can be made more responsive to the rural poor in particular? Beyond NGO activism, how can the poor buy-into the market economy?


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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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