Sep 14, 2009

On supply chain issues - Mr. Harsh Manglik, MD, Accenture

A guest lecture was conducted by the Department of Industrial and Management Engineering on Supply chain issues in specific and Accenture in general. The dignitaries present to deliver the talk were
• Mr. Harsh Manglik, MD
• Mr. Sanjay Dawar, Managing partner-Supply chain
• Mr. Prithvi Shergill, Senior Executive-HR
The discussion highlighted the business processes at Accenture in general and how its end to end solution implementation helps it live up to its tag line- “High Performance. Delivered.” While Mr. Harsh Manglik stressed on the client relationship management and how Accenture ensures that the solutions are implemented successfully at the client’s end, Mr. Prithvi Shergill talked about the career opportunities and measures that Accenture has taken to reduce employee attrition and increase employee motivation in the current slowdown. Mr. Sanjay Dawar talked about the supply chain issues prevalent in India and how they are different from the issues in the rest of the world. He specifically highlighted the complexity of the Indian Retail supply chain given the vast expanse of the distribution network unlike in western countries where a large chunk of the distribution network is taken care of by large retailers like Wal mart. This in itself presented huge challenges in managing Indian supply chains. Upon being questioned about the different supply chain performance metrics that are applicable in different industries, he mentioned about the broad framework which is common to all supply chains across all industries apart from the metrics that vary in each industry per se. He also stressed on the fact that in the current scenario of attempts towards a never ending optimisation of the supply chain, it is imperative to try and implement cross industry effective supply chain measures in other industries. This was substantiated by the fact that an increasing number of mining & exploration companies are using 3PL for accessing capital goods and equipment which is a long standing successful inherent feature of the supply chain of the automobile industry. On the whole, it was an excellent interface for the students with the current supply chain industry practices.

A talk on “Right to Information Act: Path to Swaraj”


Swaraj, or self-rule, a concept propagated by Mahatma Gandhi, is integral to our idea of a democracy. The freedom struggle was, in effect, meant to realize the same. But did Independence actually bring about a sense of self-governance?
What kind of democracy are we living in? Does the concept of individual sovereignty still hold any value for us?
In the talk on the “Right To Information Act: Path to Swaraj”, a lot of such burning questions were raised, and some of them were answered.
IIT Kanpur organized the talk by the Information Commissioner - CIC, Mr Shailesh Gandhi on the 7th of September 2009.
Mr Gandhi presented an eye-opening view of the current state of democracy in India: talking about the differences in a participatory and an elective democracy, and created awareness about the RTI act amongst the audience.
The RTI act empowers the Indian citizen to monitor the Government individually in large numbers. Some of the salient features of the act are:
1) It makes a public servant accountable. All the citizens have to do is pay Rs 10/- to get information on the Government’s actions and decisions.
2) The RTI act can be used to obtain information from all government bodies, bodies controlled by the government or having substantial investment by the government, or any institution established by an act of Parliament.
3) The law mandates that the information has to be given in 30 days.

This simple act wields enormous powers. If each one of us files even one RTI application every month, the sheer volume of these questions will be enough to ensure that all government servants do justice to their roles and responsibilities. After all, lack of accountability breeds complacence and corruption.
Mr Gandhi explained the procedures of using the Act to force the concerned organization to act, using a lot of real life examples in which the RTI act has been used to bring people/agencies to book. In the end, the problems faced by several members of the audience while exercising the Act were discussed and an attempt was made to answer all the questions posed.
The lecture was informative and inspiring, and it left the audience enabled and empowered to use the Act to bring about much needed change in the governance of the country!
About the speaker –
Mr Shailesh Gandhi is a B.Tech from IIT Bombay, following which he setup a plastics packaging small-scale unit in 1972. Mr. Gandhi established Clear Plastics Limited in 1980 employing 500 people and using only indigenous machinery. Known as an innovative entrepreneur, he designed and supplied plastic bottles and caps to some of the best Companies in India. In 2003, Mr Gandhi sold his business to work for Right to Information. He has been the Chairman of the IIT Bombay Alumni Association for 3 years. With a number of accolades and awards under his belt (described below), he is an inspiration for one and all, working for the betterment of life and reducing corruption everywhere.
Awards –
i) Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award by IIT Bombay
ii) The Nani Palkhiwala Civil Liberties Award in 2008.
Furthermore, Mr Gandhi was in the forefront in the Satyendra Dubey case and is a prolific user of the RTI act to uncover a lot of social corruption issues, such as:
i) Inform citizens about the details of the Maharastra CM's Relief fund
ii) Stop giveaway of Public money of over 1000 crores in redevelopment of Crawford market
iii) Curb political interference in Police transfers.

Aug 13, 2009

Ideaz - The Business Idea Challenge

Ideaz - 09 is a pan IIT Business idea challenge in serach of the most
innovative IITian. Students at IIT are expected to start their
entrepreneural journey from the college itself and in pursuit of this
excellence they are trained for this.

Yesterday, E-cell of IIT Kanpur organized a workshop for mentoring of the
students who want to transform their dreams into reality. The objective of
the workshop was to guide students towards idea generation and improve it
with proper guidance and mentorship. Workshop was taken by Ankur Agarwal,
a consultant at Boston Consulting Group.

Ankur, an IIT Delhi alumnus, is intersted in Business startegy, Technology
and social entrepreneurship. His area of expertise involves broad
spectrums of management consulting.

Ankur discussed the process of generating a feasible and economically
viable idea. Ideas may not sound realistic at first go but, if groomed
properly these can turn out to be successful business ventures. Looking out
for a problem is the first step towards it. Once the problem is found,
then, try to find out the possible solutions through brainstorming.
Brainstorming is an activity, that respects all the ideas irrespective of
its feasibility. Collect all the ideas and then try to come to a solution
of the problem. Discuss the various aspects of it so that the practicality
of the idea comes alive. One is inspired to find the answers of below
questions:

- What is the idea, motive and business venture? Can it be explained in
simple terms?

- Who are the customers? Are they going to prefer this product or service
over existing ones?

- How is the idea going to be implemented? Is it economically profitable?
Will you be able to sell it?

- Why is your idea better than other existing solutions to the problem?

Ankur presented this process in a very concise manner. It was his efforts
that an abstract topic like this became interesting. The session ended
with a group activity. The activity focused on imparting necessary
practical skills to the students so that they can start thinking on their
own.

Ideaz - 09 is going to see huge participation from IIT community. Some
more IndiaBulls, Lakshyas etc are probably in the minds of students at IIT Kanpur.

Ultimately, what an Idea SirJee !!

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Gyan

Class of 2011
MBA,IIT Kanpur

Aug 10, 2009

Experience at IIT Kanpur

The past few months have been eventful – oh yes they have and how! The techie in me was finally willing to die owing to my growing interests in the ever-challenging arena of business management. Change was round the corner – I had decided to pursue an MBA.

Destiny, for a change, did its bit, and I found myself with an offer letter from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur. The IITs have always fascinated me – the brand spells quality and success. I had my thinking to do though. After four years of quality experience in a challenging industry, was I settling for something below par? After all, weren’t the IITs schools for technology? [The first thing that comes to your mind when one says IIT Kanpur is aeronautics].

It isn’t surprising how misleading perceptions can be.

As I debated with myself, I laid down the facts before me. The IIT Kanpur boasts of an unimaginable infrastructure, quality faculty, a well designed MBA course, established (over-established really) industry interface and recognition, a buoyant student and alumni community and an amazing culture. These really are the very factors that form the framework for a great MBA program.

I convinced the skeptic in me to take the plunge.

For those who believe in the adage “Perception is reality” – I have just two words of advice – ‘Wake up!’ For over the course of my stay at this Institution, I am, simply put, blown away!

The infrastructure is one-of-a-kind. The institution’s academic establishment is exemplary. Great accommodation and 24*7 availability of basic amenities are a given. What makes for luxury are the add-ons: basketball, badminton and tennis courts, cricket and football fields, swimming pool and its shopping centre. To me it reflects the administration’s serious efforts towards ensuring a student’s comfortable stay as well as an all-round development – the latter specifically being a rarity in the Indian education system. The faculty is way above impressive – with its roots in some of the best management institutions within and outside the country. With tremendous industrial experience and network the academia is definitely at par with the best in the country.

The MBA course is a well-defined mix of practical and class-room learning. The pedagogy is essentially the same as that which is practiced in institutions world over – experiential learning, case studies, research, summers … you name it. But what really sets the program above the competition is its practical approach to academics which can be summed up in our faculty’s beliefs – “our program does not put up a pretense of a high-pressure curriculum”. It really is a struggle to not find time for yourself in the day. This is in keeping with the institute’s belief of ensuring a student’s all-round development. And yet there is no compromise in academic deliverables of the program.

IIT Kanpur being an academic hub has another unfair advantage over the rest – it is has a buoyant industry interface. Illustrious speakers and academicians, presentations, seminars – these are commonplace here. These are certain essentials that are always beneficial for the growth of a student outside of the normal academic curriculum. It also helps build an essential network across industries. This of course is the add-on advantage that program boasts of, over and above the regular run-of-the-mill ‘placement’ banter.

The student community is the real ace up IIT Kanpur’s sleeve. If you think this is an exaggeration, picture this: insofar as I have seen, an MBA program boasts of a few hundred students managing various communities and initiatives in close cohesion with academic faculty or administrative members. Here is where IIT Kanpur makes an aberration – a small batch of around fifty students manages the entire show with no intervention from faculty or administration– placements, public relations. This to me implies greater responsibility per head and greater risks. And yet the deliverables are astounding. To me this is a reflective of the potential my peers and seniors possess. The average work experience of the batch is above thirty months in industries of various engineering disciplines thereby bringing in a diverse thought process and perspective. The fact that the institution has various academic programs from BTech to MSC to PHD and MBA isn’t the disadvantage that many traditionalists make it out to be. In fact, it has given me the opportunity to interact with some of the finest brains in the country. Networking is considered to be one of the most important aspects of an MBA – well, here too this institute goes one-up on my ratings.

This fifty year old institution is a constantly evolving phenomenon. Its legacy, stature and prominence in the industrial, managerial and academic spheres is what makes this institution and its programs at par with the best the country has to offer.

All in all the experience has been extremely gratifying, to say the least.

The skeptic in me rests in peace.


Tejas Patel

Class of 2011

MBA, IIT Kanpur

Aug 5, 2009

2nd Capacity Building Programme for Officers of Electricity Regulatory Commissions 3–8 August, 2009






The Industrial and management engineering department organized
2nd Capacity Building Programme for Officers of Electricity Regulatory Commissions on the 3–8 August, 2009. This event would feature a number of talks by eminent personalities on a variety of topics dealing with electricity regulations.

For further details on the conference visit :
http://www.iitk.ac.in/ime/anoops/for09/

Apr 9, 2009

Finatics '09




























 































































The annual finance conclave of IIT Kanpur – ‘Finatics’ was organized on the 4th and 5th of this month. The event sponsored by IDFC, drew huge participation from various b schools across the country.  The conclave comprised of a gamut of events ranging from case studies to debates etc. A number of online events such as quizzes and crosswords were also organized and garnered in a lot of enthusiasm and participation from students.


An NCDEX workshop was held for the benefit of students interested in commodity trading. The workshop was more relevant in the current financial turmoil as it aimed to apprise the students of the industry trends and practices in such a scenario.


Industry veterans such as Mr  Ashish Sethia, who heads New Carbon Finance’s Research & Business development in IndiaMr Prashant Reddy, business development manager at NCDEXwere the guest speakers who gave enlightening talks pertaining to their field of expertise. 

Mar 1, 2009

Satyendra K Dubey Memorial Award 2008-2009

The Board of Governors of Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur (IITK) taking a note of the tragic death of Shri Satyendra K Dubey, an alumnus of IITK who died fighting against corruption, had instituted the Satyendra K Dubey Memorial (SKDM) Award for honoring outstanding alumni of the IIT system i.e. all existing Indian Institutes of Technology, who have shown professional integrity and have been upholding human values
The presentation ceremony of the Distinguished Alumnus Award and the Satyendra K. Dubey Memorial Award was held on the occasion of the Alumni Day (Annual Alumni Convention) of the Alumni Association of IITK i.e on the forenoon of Saturday, February 28, 2009. 


The dignitaries present at the occasion were :


1. Dr. D. Subbarao, Governor, Reserve Bank of IndiaDr. 
2. Udai P Sing, Vice President, CH2M HILL, CA USA and President-Elect, Environmental and Water Resources Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers
3. Mr. Manoj Pratap Singh, Global Managing Partner, Operations Deloitte Touché Tohmatsu 
4. Prof. Arun P Shukla Simon Ostrach ! Professor and Chairman, Department of Mechanical Engineering & Applied Mechanics, University of Rhode Island
5. Mr. Shantanu Srivastava Managing Director & CEO, Ishan International Pvt. Ltd., Managing Director, Norvis Holdings (Singapore) Pvt. Ltd.
6. Dr. Shreesh Jadhav Swami, Rama Krishna Mission
7. Dr. Devendra Shukla, Founder President and CEO, Innovative Technical Solutions

The presence of such luminaries in our midst was an inspiring experience. All of them had stories to tell related to the campus and their journey since then. More than anything else, it gave a glimpse to the students present of where they should be heading and what they could possibly achieve.

Feb 19, 2009

Global Financial Management

Dept of HSS, IIT Kanpur conducted a short term course on Global Financial Management from 4th to 13th February 2009. The course was taken by Prof. Dr. Michaela M. Kiermeier, Professor Financial Management, Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, Germany. Dr. Michaela, an expert in portfolio management, have visited many universities around the world and conducted short term courses in Finance.

First and second year MBA students who wanted to specialize in finance were also invited to attend the course. The main objective of the course was to make the students understand and adapt to changing and challenging global environment. The course also enabled the students to acquire and apply knowledge and tools in various financial areas to solve business problems in global context. The course helped students to get introduced to global financial management. It also assisted the future managers to get acquainted with concepts, activities and management techniques related to the planning and coordination of international aspects of finance, portfolio management, and risk management.


Lectures, discussions and case analyses formed the course pedagogy. Students took presentations as part of the performance evaluation and participated in the discussions. At the end of the course Dr. Michaela was happy to see a group of young and dynamic professionals who were keen to know each and every nuance in the field of finance.

Feb 6, 2009

The Glitz , The Glamour and The Zing

Pave way for IML - IIT MBA League! An initiative to encourage the sporting culture among the students.

To- be - managers sweating it out on the field?? doesn't sound exactly B-schoolish? IML is not just sports.... infact sports is just an iota of what IML actually is. Its about money, strategy, betting, music and the hoopla. From team owners to bidders to speculators to star players - all are in the race for the big prize.. its cut throat competition and only the fittest shall survive !

Kick starting the very first season of IML... watch out this space for more!

Jan 11, 2009

Satyam or ASatyam

E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year (2007), Asia Business Leader Award (2002), Dataquest IT Man of the Year Award (2000) are a few of the awards this man received.

His journey began from a small town called Bhimavaram in Andhra Pradesh. Byrraju Ramalinga Raju born in an agricultural family and a management graduate from Ohio University, tried out a lot of ventures like construction and textile. He finally found Satyam in 1987, which grew leaps and bounds; it bagged its first fortune 500 customer John Deere & Co. in as early as 1991. By year 1999 it had presence in 30 countries across the globe and next year the employee head count crossed 10,000. It crossed the revenue mark of US$ 1 billion in 2006. By the end of 2008 it had about 53,000 employees, 690 clients of which 185 fortune 500 clients, spanning in 20 industries and 65 countries, development centers in 12 countries and revenue in excess of US$ 2 billion. Or is it?

On 7th of January 2009 came a confession from him that shook the nation. He confessed to Rs 7,136 crore fraud, Raju said Satyam's books had been cooked for years to inflate profit and revenue figures. In September 2008, they showed a non-existent cash and bank balance of Rs 5,040 crore and hundreds of crores of fictitious accrued interest and debtors' position. Liabilities worth Rs 1,230 crore were kept hidden. These huge figures made it the biggest accounting fraud in the Indian history. The first warnings signals came in as early as Sept’08, in the form of a report from DMRC chief Sreedharan hinting a big scandal in Maytas, controlled by Raju’s son, but these allegations were disposed of by Planning Commission on the basis of not backing with evidence on his suspicion. Also in mid December when Satyam announced its intensions on buying Maytas Infrastructure and Maytas Properties, serious questions and protests were raised against Satyam’s top management.

The fraud that is also termed as Indian version of Enron had enormous impact on the Indian markets; with Satyam Computers own stocks getting a beating at the sensex with value of its stock falling by as much as 78%. It also triggered the fall in both Nifty and Sensex, as people became cautious of stocks in family run businesses ranging from RIL, ADAG, DLF to Bharti Airtel. Stocks of the sectors that were not known for best of corporate governance practices also went southwards, thus totally negating the positive market sentiment that was build after the second stimulus package.

The more important question is about the future of those 53,000 employees that the company has. With this news of fraud coming in there is a low probability of Satyam getting new clients and even the existing clients will start parting away from it. FIFA already said that it is monitoring the situation related to Satyam. More of its clients are expected to follow and there is a bigger risk of clients even moving out of their existing deals. If this happens, then the staff working on those projects will be out of service. So they are facing a risk of getting laid in future along with the employees who are already on bench. There is one more issue that might be crossing the minds of Satyam’s employees that with minimum out-go of salary being estimated to Rs 500 crore but according to Raju’s confession mail, company had cash of only about Rs 320 crore in cash and its bank accounts, that too in the month of September. They somehow managed to pay salaries till now but possibility of paying full salaries to its employees in months to come looks impossible to say the least.

Within minutes of Raju’s confession, news of strong actions that are initiated against Satyam has made a lot of noise. With law suits filed against the company in US, SEBI ordering probe into Satyam operations. Major brokerage firms degrading its credit rating and slashing its target price. NYSE halted the trade of its stock. BSE and NSE removed Satyam from their benchmark indexes, Nifty and Sensex respectively. Government also started a probe into corporate lapses and financial misdemeanor in Satyam.

Even with all this happening and an own it all confession of Raju there are a lot of questions that are left unanswered. Or to say this whole issue gave birth to a lot of questions like the role of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), as per Mr. Raju’s confession this financial gap was accumulated over the years, then what was this auditing firm doing during those years? It is interesting to note that PwC had been the associated to accounting irregularities in the now-defunct Global Trust Bank in 2007 and in DSQ software also. Another interesting fact is that Raju stated that the operating margins of Satyam were unusually low at Rs. 61 crore or 3% which looks weird as traditionally software industry boosts of high operating margins with industry leader Infosys having about 33% and other IT companies have this figure in the range of 20-30%.

Sources for this article
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/articlelist/40657581.cms
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B.Ramalinga_Raju
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyam_Computer_Services_Ltd.
http://satyam.com


Shashank Saini
MBA Class of 2010