Aug 23, 2017

Tips from Top – “Projection Modeling and Sensitivity Analysis”. Mr. Anoop Bhatia, V.P., I.C.R.A.


The Department of Industrial Management and Engineering organized a seminar by Mr. Anoop Bhatia, VP, ICRA Limited; who provided immense insights into how the corporate ratings assignment is performed and how sensitivity analysis helps assign these.

The seminar began on a light note, with Mr. Anoop offering Lao Tzu’s take on forecasting and quoting Evan Esar’s witty remarks on economists. He explained how an analyst actually is involved in presenting a result oriented outlook along with the forecast of industry demand, involved in financial planning, establishes goals and analyses the market to provide well-informed guidance on the possibilities. The projections are normally done with 5-7 years of data, which helps create a holistic outlook including up-cycle and down-cycle data, including those of the competitors in the industry. For vitality of project specific projections, the data utilized can even stretch up to 20 years. However, he professed from experience that the maintenance of a certain degree of accuracy of projections is difficult beyond 2-3 years.

He then walked us through the key steps in Projections, which included analyzing various factors such as the turnover or revenue of the company, the capacity utilization factors, operating profits, dividend trends, cash accruals, the fixed assets, the growth of capital expenditure of the company, if it hovers around the right amount of working capital, the state of its debts and inventory and so on. Something often overlooked in this process is the amount of loans a company often provides to its sister concerns.

Mr. Anoop also mentioned how the equity and the method in which the creditors are repaid influences the projection. He spoke of the example of project companies which start their loan payments after a certain period of time (moratorium period)., Some other companies utilize balloon loans serviced through bullet repayments. The number of creditors also has a large impact on the bargaining power of the company.

He reflected on the various assumptions, such as the revenue space includes considerations for the constraints of capacity addition and utilization, capacity for the service space referring to sales per unit space, the non-operating income of the company, brand value, segment wise revenue projections and the regulatory risks. A conservative approach would be ideal for considering one-offs. The profit margins are looked at differently for the manufacturing and service sectors. Much of the manufacturing sector is dependent on the cost structure, scale benefits, anticipated industry trends and the approach used to write off debtors. The assets and liabilities of the company also play a major role in projections.

He then continued on to how sensitivity analysis is performed by the ratings’ industry, considering the elements of a 7-year performance period where the revenues, profits, balance sheets, the impact of foreign exchange and mergers/de-mergers play a major role in determining the various tendencies of the organization. A conservative approach is often considered where sharp revenue rises are investigated and long-term stability often becomes the key decisive factor in this analysis.  The requirement to ensure consistency is often a representation of the management’s plans and capabilities and the business risk management approach adopted by the company. Sensitivity variation may also depend on the tangible and intangible net worth of the company.


Mr. Anoop then walked us through a couple of examples of the credit rating process and simulated the assignment of ratings varying in between D and AAA where AAA to BBB represented the companies that fall under the investment grade and the ones below signify non-investment grade companies. He explained that the challenges in this process lie in the absolute prediction of the performance of companies that have unpredictable up-cycles and down-cycles and lapses in the financial audit processes of the company. He concluded by answering questions on the modern evolving role of the credit rating organizations and the future they represent.





Aug 18, 2017

Tips from Top – “Emerging Applications and Opportunities in Geo-spatial Data Analytics”. Mr. Rajib Roy, C.E.O., Quantum Spatial Ltd.


The Department of Industrial and Management Engineering at IIT Kanpur played host to a seminar by Mr. Rajib Roy, CEO of Quantum Spatial Ltd., who put forth an overview of how analysis of geospatial data can bring about a paradigm shift in the world of information and how its subsequent analysis can result in benefits to various organizations.

Mr. Roy was quite forthright in bringing out some merry factoids about his career and his perception of the various walks of the world that he had been involved with. He eased us into the new and emerging world of geospatial data analytics, and the current playing fields surrounding this mystery. With the detection of trees having potential to cause forest fires in dry California terrain, to scouting and negating their possible interaction with live transmission lines with actual analysis on the z-axis, geospatial data analytics encompasses a very broad horizon of areas of application.

He then provided certain insight from the history of Quantum Spatial, a company with its grassroots dating back to the First World War, when reconnaissance missions from overhead flights were first used widely, and later on saw uses in crop dusting; to a current blue chip customer base and a 500 strong workforce.  

The primary difference between geospatial data and normal data is the conspicuous absence of structure as Mr. Roy strikingly brought forward. Performing predictive analysis with unstructured data represents a whole new level of analytics previously uncharted. This problem is normally approached in 3 different phases; the first phase being the collection of data, represents a cost intensive solution where fleets of airplanes, helicopters, drones and vehicles from land collect data using technologies like LIDAR, hyper spectral cameras and various sensors. Mr. Roy reflected on the advancement in data collection technology and the humongous investments it represents behind the short life cycles of the devices till obsolescence. The second phase represents a conversion of this data into structured form after cleaning it. While the first part of the process can be sourced from third parties, this is generally done in-house where terabytes of data are processed on a daily basis. The third phase represents analysis and interpretation of this data, and its representation in a constructive manner that various businesses can utilize.

Mr. Roy moved to discussing the exciting new opportunities in the geo-spatial data segment, commenting on how new problem solvers can truly bring cost effective solutions onto the table, with this being an area of concern that the new upcoming startups can very well target. With the movement of technology from passive to active acquisition, new avenues have opened up, where Mr. Roy explained the classic example of imagery versus LIDAR, and the problems with collection of data via satellites. Advances in the geo-spatial segment are also supposed to follow the classic cycle of defense usage moving on to civil, consumer and finally business centric uses. Geo-spatial analytics has finally breached the civil usage barrier and has tremendous new opportunities in the business consumer segment. Challenges surrounding the same would be in the areas of interpretation of unstructured data and involving cost effective solutions for the entire process. Mr. Roy concluded with the possibility of India adopting geospatial data analytics in the future and making the best use of her fundamentally immense resource pool.

Aug 13, 2017

Tips from Top – “Internet of Things: transforming the way we live”. Mr. Arun Karna, MD, AT&T Global Network Services India Pvt. Ltd.



The Department of Industrial and Management Engineering, IIT Kanpur, witnessed a wonderful seminar on the Internet of Things by Mr. Arun Karna, MD, AT&T Global Network Services India Pvt. Ltd. He brought us closer to how limitless and pervasive the concept of IoT is and talked about the potential multi-trillion industry which has caught the eye of business enterprises that look forward to transform businesses without human-to-human or human-to-computer interactions. 

Mr. Karna explained as to how the flow of information occurs from the sensors and control systems to the backend systems that are the hubs of data and API (Application Programming Interface). This back and forth of data can be analyzed to deduce astonishing solutions. He called IoT as the convergence of technologies that can work beyond the human imagination. He gave a business perspective to this scientific phenomenon wherein the stakeholders aspire to increase their revenue, streamline operations, reduce cost, save time, and increase visibility in the market. The strategy is subdivided to horizontal and vertical solutions - the horizontal solution takes care of devices, their connectivity, cloud, mobility and big data, while the vertical solutions move ahead with the idea of smart cities, fleet management and connected cars.

One important need satisfied by the Internet of Things is asset management. The underlying requirement is being able to know the whereabouts of your assets. The assets are tracked, monitored and managed from anywhere in the world. The global SIMs that offer connectivity throughout the continents have come to the rescue to solve the connectivity issues across changing service providers. The customized business approach provided by IoT, connects, manages and innovates.

Mr Karna also brought to the fore Global Equipment and Machinery solutions. He gave a classical example of how the aircraft engine manufacturing industries like GE, Rolls Royce and Pratt Whitney have switched to predictive analysis of aircraft engines. They now provide engines to Aircraft manufacturing industries like Boeing on ‘pay as you use basis’ rather than selling it off to them, thereby preventing huge losses by switching from capital expense to operational expense. Thus, the internet of things has practically changed the scenario of aircraft manufacturers and even prevented casualties by giving early warnings on possible breakdowns of engines and their operational status.

Mr. Karna also explained how virtualization of functions has brought a significant advancement in connected cars. The convergence of telematics and vehicle diagnostics along with infotainment has actually made ‘Connected Cars’ a reality. The usage based insurance that scores you as a driver, emergency alarms, avoiding unnecessary traffic by finding alternate pathways are the new ‘features’ that connected cars offer.

The speaker also ventured into the Healthcare Industry where the Internet of things has brought Remote Patient Monitoring to the rescue of thousands of critically ill patients. The adherence to the routine medicines to avoid secondary complications, the case management that customizes the ‘care plans’ and improvisation in the staff efficiency using IoT has made one to many patient management a cake walk for the hospitals.

Mr Arun Karna referred to IoT as an ecosystem of innovation. Besides, he also addressed queries from the audience regarding the breach of security and privacy. He mentioned that the lack of standardization in this new space has actually raised serious concerns. The students also asked the challenges faced by the IoT in marketing itself. Mr Karna said that a varied spectrum of businessmen prevail that are often tackled by providing the Proof of Concept preferably free of cost to showcase the wonders IoT can do. The rogue sensors are another impediment that IoT phenomenon faces.


All in all, the distinguished speaker enlightened and provided a vivid perspective to the management students by sharing his extensive experience that certainly opened their eyes to the world of IoT.


Aug 7, 2017

Tips from Top – “Organisation Culture”. Mr. Tojo Jose, C.H.R.O., Muthoot Fincorp

Organisation Culture: Acta Non Verba

The Department of Industrial and Management Engineering at IIT Kanpur hosted a seminar by Mr Tojo Jose, CHRO at Muthoot Fincorp Ltd. on the topic of organization culture. Organizational culture is a guiding factor that acts as the genetic code of any organization.



Mr Jose talked about how important it is for an individual to ensure that his/her values resonate with the values of the organization. The culture incompatibility can prove to be a menace for anyone working in an organization, even if the person has a good skill set. He talked about the articulated values like integrity and dignity that are implicit in nature and always keep our moral compass duly pointing north. The three C’s - Confront, Complaint and Conform - form the basis of how an employee identifies himself/herself with the organization. The confronting and complaining individuals often find it difficult to gel with the existing culture, and compromise forms the fourth C that often finds its place when individuals do not necessarily conform with the organization, but in the process of trying to fit in, compromise on various fronts.

Mr Jose further talked about the leadership development program of Muthoot Fincorp that inculcates desired values among the employees. The leaders from the organization interact with the employees to give them perspective. The right values are rewarded, which implies that the defaulters are punished and meanwhile, the organization looks for opportunities to reiterate the significance of the right attitude. The speaker also quoted various examples from his experience at BlueStar, the organization he worked before Muthoot FinCorp. Humility at senior management level is always a desired attribute and “Hire for Skill and Fire for attitude’’ is the caveat that Mr Jose brought to the fore.


Culture is something that people practice when nobody is watching. This statement struck a chord with the audience when he talked about the champions and the mediocre leaders. The business values that every employee possesses are integral to any organization and make a difference no matter where they are on the hierarchical ladder of the company. The speaker frequently called organization culture the gorilla in the room - unseen, but very much there. The interactive session held thereafter made the management students realize the importance of fitting in the jigsaw puzzle that any company offers and climbing up the corporate ladder with much ease. The session proved to be full of insights regarding the less evident aspects of the corporate world which would no doubt prove useful to every single attendee in their careers.