Dec 12, 2010

IME Day 2010 - IIT Kanpur

IME day celebration marked the completion of 35 years of establishment of the IME department in IIT Kanpur.

This day was made special by the presence of our prestigious faculty members like Prof. Sadagopan, Prof. Kripa Shanker, the alumni of IME department, the long term staff members and students accompanied by a lot of other folks. This event coincided with the informal inauguration of IME Building, a dedicated building with the state of art facilities for the IME department.

The mood became nostalgic as Prof. A.K. Mittal, who has been associated with IME department since its inception, shared his journey with the department since 1975 with 3-4 students to the current size of approximately 120 students pursuing diverse courses like M.B.A., M.Tech and Ph.D.

Prof. Mittal shared how the department was branched off from the Mechanical engineering department and prospered under the visionary leadership of Prof. Batra and Prof. Mittal himself. Initially, the department offered only M. Tech and Ph. D. courses, till the MBA program was introduced in 2001. As the department grew, new faculties were hired starting with Prof Kripa Shanker, who is currently the Vice Chancellor of UPTU along with being a faculty in IME department. A little later, Prof. Sadagopan joined the department. Further down the line, faculty members from IIMs and other diverse backgrounds were recruited with the inception of Prof. RRK Sharma (who’s ranked among the top intellectuals of the 21st century) and Prof. Rahul Varman. Soon after industry experience was inducted with Prof. Jayanta Chatterjee, former CEO of Allen Bradley joining the ranks. Prof. Sadagoppan and Prof. Kripa Shanker also shared their association with the department through anecdotes of their life in the IME Department.


This was followed by the alumni sharing their cherished memories with the department. Mr. Madhav Negi, one such alumnus of the 1998 batch, shared his moments of closeness with the members of faculty. He recalled how the IME department promoted the feeling of belongingness within him. Also, he shared his happiness as most of the initiatives which he took, way back in those days, have materialized in to pride of IIT, like the magazine started by him and the student mail initiative. Other alumni also shared the role of the pedagogy imparted by the department and its role in the success they have achieved in the corporate sector.

Audience was enthused by the interaction with faculty and alumni. Post lunch, the action shifted to the new IME building where the Poster competition was held. Insightful posters prepared by various students of the department showcased many methodologies adopted to deal with industrial and management challenges in the current scenario.

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The poster competition was followed by a panel discussion on "Role of IITs in Management Education". The panelists included Dr. Jayanta Chatterjee, Prof. Sadagopan, Prof. AP Sinha, Prof. AK Mittal and Mr. Mohan.

Dr. Chatterjee moderated the discussion.The discussion began by understanding the basis on which management education was introduced in IITs.
Differentiation of IIT wrt Mgmt schools - Research oriented thrust vs curriculum based thrust

Prof. Sadagopan pointed out that management is more technology driven,more technically challenging and hence needs to have a technical thrust which is ably provided by IITs.


Prof. AP Sinha added that IITs are univ which are liberal to pursue management with a mix of technology, management and liberal arts.Management in IITs is more action driven vis a vis the engineering depts.

The focus then shifted to the approach of teaching and learning that should be followed. The question was whether to look at the structure/pedagogy of the management discipline in IIT as lecture oriented and course oriented and will the present structure be valid over the next 10-15 yrs or should we relook at the structure to more action oriented.

Mr. Madan brought in the industry perspective by saying that Companies now promote both vertical and horizontal differentiation. Learning is more by experience but built on foundation of technology and learning. Specialization needs to be cultivated on job but can be promoted through the internship programs and with an action oriented course structure.

Adding to above Prof. AK Mittal said, Management is more related to enterprises and organizations. Education has broader perspective as compared to experience due to its ability to analyze, observe and apply the acquired principles. Education can be used to hone and train in a niche discipline. Management requires environmental knowledge, contextual application of the knowledge and ability to deal with multi-contingency situations. IITs should concentrate on those areas where technology is a major resource. However, education cannot be truly classified and distinguished into diverse fields like technology,arts,science.

The audience on their turn asked the elite panelists that whether it is right to restrict entry into the MBA program of IITs to only engineers. They felt that a batch with diverse background is better than an all engineers batch for an MBA class.

Prof. AK Mittal in his response conceded that diverse thoughts and diverse disciplines would contribute better to the thought process of management students in IIT. However, the restriction is due to the courses which are more engineering intensive and thus a heterogenous batch may become more of a liability. In principle, it had been agreed that the batch should be diversified in the future. But as of now, homogeneity has been promoted by the senate ensure quality.

Prof. Sadagopan pointed out that the number of engineering graduates in the country is very high. In his prompt response he said, "Whatever we do, engineers will be in large percentage anyway. To a larger extent, the quality of the students also is greater in engineers." He said, the other disciplines are largely populated with those students whose first choice was to become engineers but couldn't become one. Even IIMs find it very tough to develope heterogeneity.

Prof. AP Sinha in his response to the diversity question noted that the Academic Senate was not the only reason for this lack of heterogeneity. Liberal arts and open action oriented management need less structured approach and bit more creative and unstructured approach. The faculty and the course structure were perhaps unable to deal with students of liberal arts. Hence, IITs select students who have developed a more structured learning approach.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Madan said, "Learning is not only restricted to our batch. We can learn from the other departments here as well. We can easily get a diverse perspective in the campus itself."

Dr. Chatterjee concluded the discusion by appealing to the comparatively younger audience to ask compelling questions and to approach every situation, every contingency with a positive frame of mind.

Report Prepared By:
Nabarun Sengupta(nabarun@iitk.ac.in)

Published By:
PR & Media Cell, MBA-IIT Kanpur (prmba@iitk.ac.in)

Prabandhan 2010 -Pragyaan Lecture Series, Day 2

Topic : Energy Conservation


Background of Speaker : Mr. Srinu Babu Matta, Divisional Manager (Engg. Services), Tata Motors.


The topic of Energy conservation is very crucial to the current and future aspirations of our nation. The speaker, who holds a key position in Tata Motors and has experience in multiple roles, introduced the audience to the various facets of energy conservation through a comprehensive presentation.


The speaker highlighted the current dire circumstances faced by the Indian consumers. Roughly 12% shortage of energy is always seen in the nation leading to frequent power cuts as well as constraining the ability to electrify the villages present in the interior parts of the country. As of date, there are more than 1 Lakh villages which are un-electrified. Quoting several official sources, the speaker elaborated that the chasm is only expected to widen due to growing population, expanding industry, large scale consumption. The need of the hour is to pursue energy conservation and energy efficiency. Alongside, the speaker pointed out that non-renewable sources of energy are very limited in nature and may last only for 40-45 years at the current rate of growth worldwide. Hence, renewable energy sources are highly essential towards bridging the gap and helping in overall energy conservation.

The Renewable energy sources in India are led by Wind power at 69% and then followed by other renewable forms of energy. India stands at 5th position in the use of renewable sources. However, these statistics point to the highly limited penetration of these sources of energy worldwide. The speaker elaborated on numerous government interventions necessary to encourage this nascent form of energy generation.


Solar based power has huge potential in a country like India which is located so close to the equator and has a lot of direct sunlight availability. The speaker showed his depth of knowledge through explanations provided on the basic concepts of energy generation through wind and solar sources. Tata companies also follow green initiatives where each of their offices have construction which favours direct sunlight lighting, air condition efficiency, support for solar power etc. Alternative sources such as hydro power or tidal power, biomass power were also covered by the speaker as he showed his depth of understanding on the subject of alternate sources of renewable energy.


The speaker then elaborated on the essential considerations for energy conservation. Small efforts taken for energy conservation at the domestic and at the industrial level can prove to be highly effective in reducing consumption and hence reducing the needs for power cuts and load shedding. The speaker urged all to follow the simple guidelines of daily life to improve energy efficiency through a very engaging discussion spanning the technical aspects as well as the social considerations involved in day to day energy related decision making.


The speaker shed some light on the innovations done by Tata Motors Ltd in the energy conservation field by sharing some highlights of the journey towards excellence in energy conservation by Tata Motors in many small progressive steps. Using many instances, the speaker gave excellent insights into supply chain excellence which focussed on efficiency through energy conservation and implementation of scientific solutions to manufacturing and production processes. The tangible savings at minimal cost highlighted the benefits of conservative thinking and set the audience thinking on the application of such knowledge in their daily lives as well as in work place.


The lecture was wound up with the speaker driving home the point of implementing these learnings and synergising with other bodies of knowledge to create knowledge pool which can be reusable by all to enrich lives and improve the worsening energy scenario of the world.

Report Prepared By:
Nabarun Sengupta(nabarun@iitk.ac.in)

Published By:
PR & Media Cell, MBA-IIT Kanpur (prmba@iitk.ac.in)

Prabandhan 2010 - Day 2 Highlights

Day 2 of Prabandhan had the same infectious dose of enthusiasm in all the students and participants of the events to be held on the final day of the Annual Management Conclave. The students and participants were all set to get their creative juices flowing as the final round of Saudagar : The Marketing Extravaganza got underway. The final 5 contestants were presented with a challenging marketing assignment which required them to make a marketing presentation for a varied product range. The product range sprung quite a few surprises on the contestants and left them gasping for breath as the clock ticked by.
The teams had to present their marketing strategy to the elite panel of judges comprising IIT Kanpur faculty. The audience were regaled with some entertaining and innovative marketing by the participants who then had to face some grilling by the judges. The competition was tough but the deserving winners were Dextrous Dou from SIMSR and runners-up were IITK’s very own PSR team.

Before the dust could settle at the end of Saudagar, the audience and participants were treated to a brain numbing Word Jumble on a variety of subjects such as marketing, finance, economics. Finding the right word in a jumble proved to be as tough as finding the right answer to a question in the exam. The winner for this event was Aayush Jain closely followed by Paridhi Mutreja at second place.
The afternoon session had a very informative and indepth lecture on Energy Conservation by Mr. Srinu Babu Matta, Divisional Manager (Engg. Services), Tata Motors. More details on that will be soon provided in the subsequent post.

The interactive and extremely informative session was concluded with a few interactive questions and Dr. S.C Misra gave the vote of thanks to signal the conclusion of the event. His concluding words summed up the endeavour of Prabandhan of raising questions about inclusive growth and sustainability issues and attempting to answer these tough questions through open debate with industry stalwarts. The vote of thanks signalled the end of Prabandhan though the actual finale was the online Treasure Hunt : Talaash which kept many avid enthusiasts from all over the country up till late at night searching for clues and exercising their grey matter.


Until the next year, Prabandhan is signing off with many memories, many long nights of toil mixed with many wonderful moments and many poignant questions to leave an indelible mark on all those who were involved in this Annual Management Conclave of IIT Kanpur.

Report Prepared By:
Nabarun Sengupta(nabarun@iitk.ac.in)

Published By:
PR & Media Cell, MBA-IIT Kanpur (prmba@iitk.ac.in)

Prabandhan 2010 -Pragyaan Lecture Series, Day 1

Pragyaan : The Lecture Series

Day 1 of Prabandhan 2010, Annual Management Conclave of IIT Kanpur

Topic of Lecture : PPP in Waste Management : Opportunities, Barriers and Way ahead


Speaker : Mr. S N Mukhpadhyay, COO IL & FS.


The Day 1 of Pragyaan, the Lecture Series in Prabandhan 2010 kicked off with a discourse on the globally emerging field of Waste Management.


Mr. Mukherjee began the discourse by pointing out the two aspects by which we look at management. We have one view which focuses on revenue, income generation and consumption led growth. However, the second view of management is the focus on the impact of this consumption driven growth process on the environment. The world as we see it is driven by the former view leading to sustainability issues faced in the present as well as in the future.

Mr. Mukherjee focussed the attention of the budding managers in the audience to the emerging field of Municipal Solid Waste Management (MSWM). He explained that this field is an important area due to the current proliferation of indiscriminate dumping and no conformance to scientific waste management. These methods followed in many countries globally lead to the generation of green house gases (GHG) along with many other harmful toxics which harm the environment. In this backdrop, the Municipal Solid Waste Management Rules (2000) was setup to govern municipal solid waste management and direct the responsibility of waste management to the municipalities in a well defined framework where the state government plays an enforcing role.

IL & FS played a pioneering role in this area in India. Within a few years, the rampup of waste collection has reached over 3000 tonnes of MSW. The 3 areas of operation of IL & FS in India which were covered by the speaker were the Okhla Compost Plant, Construction and Demolition Project and Gorai Dumping Ground closure. Each of these diverse projects were explained in depth with focus on the initial challenges, the operating issues, the revenue realization, the long term benefits to all parties involved.


The speaker gave an insight into the fertilizer market which was dominated by the chemical fertilizer companies until government intervention created a market for the sale of organic compost to these markets. IL & FS followed a path of tie-ups with major firms to ensure that the synergy will reduce the distribution costs and stabilize the output channels for the compost generated in the MSW site. Mr. Mukherjee enlightened the audience on the improvements in quality standards, management capabilities in waste disposal and revenue realizing opportunities done by IL & FS on entry into this field. The bottomline for this field lies in the revenues from compost sales but relies heavily on the revenues from Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) i.e. carbon credit sales, governed by the Kyoto Protocol. The major players include Asian Development Bank and World Bank which have created carbon funds acting as intermediaries or traders of carbon credits between the polluting parties and the efficient parties. Utilizing this structure, futures trading of carbon credits help in realizing a revenue stream for 10-15 years. This acts as a major incentive to the municipalities which generate revenue by adopting clean technologies as well as to companies like IL & FS which get a share in the carbon credit revenue generated.

The second type of activity covered by the speaker was Construction and Demolition projects.The rampant dumping of construction material currently destroys the ecology as well as results in health hazards. This kind of indiscriminate is especially seen in metropolises and fast growing cities resulting in a blot in their ecology. Mr. Mukherjee shared with the audience the activities done by IL & FS in this area by the collection and processing of these wastes to produce paver blocks, side kerbs etc which are used by government during road constructions. The latest development in this area was the finalizing of IL & FS by the Delhi government to clean up the entire Delhi area of construction waste as well as MSW prior to the commencement of the Commonwealth Games.


The third area which the speaker provided insight into was the scientific closure of the Gorai dumping site near Mumbai. This dump site was in use since 1972 and was an ecological disaster causing pollution, bio degradation and health hazards. IL & FS came in and undertook the scientific closure as well as the operation-maintenance of this site for 15 years post closure. The revenue realized for this project was through the sale of the futures of carbon credits on top of the government funding for this project. The government also realized futures funds from the Asian Development Bank for this project along with many indirect benefits such as appreciation in the land rates in the surrounding areas.


Mr. Mukherjee elaborated the business case for this venture was first undertaken by IL & FS and only after the success of this model, other companies have adopted similar MSW projects. The benefits are seen for all parties involved as governments get futures funding, debt funding from entities focussed on sustainability funding, land appreciations and fulfilling international sustainability obligations. The companies undertaking such activities also get access to funds from various investment vehicles which focus on sustainability projects and realize revenues through the carbon trading linked to the project. The timelines are longer and the investment in such projects require patience since returns can only be seen after 4-5 years with break-even achieved late. However, such endeavours are perfect examples of the growing importance of sustainability projects which are essential for the balanced progress of mankind as well as the preservation of ecology. Such efforts not only reward from the philanthropic and humanitarian perspective, but also provide revenue generation opportunities through the fast growing carbon credit market.


The speaker wound up by taking many interesting questions from the enthusiastic audience who were treated to a freewheeling discussion on a range of topics which brought out the many facets involved in business feasibility planning, revenue realization, interconnectedness of social issues and government interventionist policies with overall growth of the economy as a whole.

Report Prepared By:
Nabarun Sengupta(nabarun@iitk.ac.in)

Published By:
PR & Media Cell, MBA-IIT Kanpur (prmba@iitk.ac.in)

Prabandhan 2010 - Day 1 Highlights

Prabandhan, the Annual Management Conclave of Deparment of Industrial and Management Engineering, IIT Kanpur got off to an enthusiastic start on 11th September, 2010.

Students from various departments of IIT Kanpur were joined by participants coming from numerous prestigious B- schools. The event was flagged off by dignitaries including present and former luminaries of IME department along with the chief guest of the occasion, Mr.Jayant Krishna, principal consultant, TCS. The event was off to an auspicious start with the lighting of the diya to the strains of Saraswati Vandana by the dignitaries.

In his opening address to the gathering, Dr. S.C Mishra spoke about the history of the IME Department of IIT Kanpur and outlined the guiding principles which were carried forward by each new batch of MBA students. He expressed the institute’s belief that Prabandhan’10, much like its predecessor last year, would be a resounding success and would focus on some of the core issues which the society is facing.

Mr. Krishna, who was the chief guest of the occasion, enlightened the students present about the prospects of social entrepreneurship and the need for sustainable inclusive growth. While he expressed his happiness over India’s blossoming GDP and growing importance on the world stage, he also expressed concern over the growing chasm between the haves and have-nots and highlighted areas where much more needs to be done. Literacy rate, public distribution system, infrastructure development are just few of the areas with ample scope. His vibrant and enthusiastic discourse was very well received by the attending students and dignitaries alike. He also answered queries and clarified various issues the students raised after his address.

Prof. Kripa Shanker, Vice chancellor, Gautam Buddha University and professor at IIT Kanpur, thanked Mr. Krishna for his gracious presence and expressed hope that the MBA department grows from strength to strength and continues to organize such meetings with more vigor, enthusiasm and energy. He shared with the audience the starting days of the IME Department and urged the students to always set a high bar and constantly try to push the boundaries of potential further with greater drive and enthusiasm.

The opening ceremony and address by speakers was followed by a brain-teasing business crossword which proved to be a appetizer to the challenging Neeti – The Operations Event.

The Lecture Series - Pragyaan also was very informative. Further feeds on that in the next few posts.

Report Prepared By:
Nabarun Sengupta(nabarun@iitk.ac.in)

Published By:
PR & Media Cell, MBA-IIT Kanpur (prmba@iitk.ac.in)

Seminar on "From Free zones to Clusters : The Policy Initiative in the Dubai Model"

Speaker : Dr. Sumit Mitra

Background on Speaker :
Dr. Sumit Mitra holds a PhD in Business Policy from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. He has a number of years of teaching experience in premier management institutes in India handling MBA level teaching and administrative responsibility.Currently, he is a part of the University of Wollongong, Dubai.

Background on Topic :
A business cluster is a geographic concentration of interconnected businesses, suppliers, and associated institutions in a particular field. Clusters are considered to increase the productivity with which companies can compete, nationally and globally. In urban study, the term agglomeration is used.
"Free zones" are designated areas which are provided by countries for economic activity. The companies present in a free zone is generally given tax sops or complete tax waiver to encourage participation, build economic activities and many other reasons.

The seminar held was based on the Research paper "Industry Clusters in Freezones" and the work of Micheal Porter called "The competitive advantage of nations".

As Dr. Mitra proceeded to explain, the geographical concentration of interconnected companies provides many benefits such as knowledge spillover, creation of a regional brand, promotion of innovation, pooling of labour markets & minimization of fixed costs for the companies. The benefits to participating companies are in the economic as well as social realm. However, there are also a few counter-balancing threats to companies such as loss of competence when faced with companies having larger scale of operations and knowledge drain.

As Dr. Mitra pointed out, the move from being just a free zone to being a cluster requires the presence of network brokers. These network brokers are external entities whose primary activity is to promote trust, coordination and cooperation among companies involved. Here he emphasized that Porter's definition of the Diamond Model put government as a minor player in this entire activity. In most cases, the companies synergize among themselves and develop the infrastructure and logistics of clusters to together form a stronger entity. However, Dr. Mitra added that SMEs would require some form of hand-holding with the government in the form of policy definitions as well as certain initiatives.

He further elaborated that clusters are governed mainly through Markets or Policy. Markets can have certain disadvantages since the big players can create a monopoly thus preventing SMEs and smaller players from gaining any advantage of associating with a cluster. Consequently, Policy seems to be a better approach towards a unified and mutually beneficial partnership.

Dr. Mitra next moved on to highlight a few facts regarding Dubai which helped us understand the economic, political and social environment in which these free zones are developing. Due to the limited nature of its resources, Dubai has had to chart its own course towards becoming a knowledge hub of the future. In line with its 2015 plan of venturing towards R&D and other such core knowledge driven industries, it has established multiple free zones which are aligned towards specific activities. The free zones studied by Dr. Mitra are Dubai Media City and Dubai Logistics City.

Dubai Media City (DMC) is a tax-free zone within Dubai, United Arab Emirates. It has been built by the Dubai government to boost UAE's media foothold, and has become a regional hub for media organizations ranging from: news agencies, publishing, online media, advertising, production, and broadcast facilities. The ground work for infrastructure (Such as fiber optic cables) was already laid for firms to setup easily and its visa and operational procedures were relaxed for firms operating within DMC.

Being a part of DMC provides many tangible and intangible benefits such as publicity through presence of frequent events, conferences, well planned infrastructure as well as many value added services. Dr. Mitra shared with the attendees some information on the unique consulting support provided by TECOM (an arm of the Dubai Economic Council) with the help of Deloitte to the SMEs who cannot afford such consulting.

Some of the problems faced by the free zones operating in Dubai were brough out by Dr. Mitra. He elucidated that the main bottleneck faced is the sharing of the airport and seaport among all the free zones. However, since all the free zones come under the Royal Family of UAE, the differences are ironed out fast without much bureaucratic delays.

Through his own observations, he conveyed the positive attitude of the Dubai government in giving excellent infrastructure backed by friendly policies and fostering a growth in free zone participation which may one day become a cluster in its own right.

The seminar was wrapped up with a free-wheeling discussion between Dr. Mitra and the esteemed faculty of IME Dept., IIT Kanpur where many aspects of Dubai's involvement in free zones were analyzed. The impact of government participation and policies, the effect on the population of Dubai, analysis on few other clusters which had indifferent growth to determine the true reason for impetus to cluster formation were a few of the open ended questions which churned out some interesting perspectives and left the attendees with many issues to mull over.

Report Prepared By:
Nabarun Sengupta(nabarun@iitk.ac.in)

Published By:
PR & Media Cell, MBA-IIT Kanpur (prmba@iitk.ac.in)