Showing posts from August, 2017

Managing a B School-Teaching, Learning

Bareilly ki Barfi- Film Review

I finally tasted the barfi. And it tasted great!

Made by the same director (Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari) who directed Nil Battey Sannata, this is probably better on the entertainment quotient. The story of a loveable daughter of a crazy-yet-normal family from Bareilly is lovely, and lively. It flows with dialogue, wit and grace through its running time, and is paced well both before and after the interval. There is comedy woven into the script, as with the changing roles of Rajkumar Rao from a gagged, servile friend to a swag-showing dragon.

The one who steals the show is Kriti Sanon and to some extent, her family-Dad in particular. She is perfectly cast for her role as a free-spirited small town girl, who is not afraid to smoke (and her Dad is not bothered, even borrows cigaretes from her!) and who likes English movies though she only understands some parts. There are parts where the Hrishikesh Mukherjee-Golmaal kind of feeling overtakes you, but the story has more similarities with that of…

Running a Business School-Faculty

Digital Marketing Program @IIM Indore

This pic has some of the participants (and faculty) in the program we just completed at our campus. A first in this format (3-day management development program), it was a nice experience. Young and old participants were equally enthusiastic and participative, and the conversations in class sometimes exceeded the faculty's talk-time alone. In my view, that is a great success in itself.

Lots of things were discussed, and Subho (bearded bloke in a dark shirt at the back) brought in perspectives from thedigitalfellow, his consulting outfit. We also had another industry speaker from the hospitality sector, who brought in the corporate viewpoint. Industries represented from the participants' side were Apparel, Shoes, Telecom, Banking, Law, and Railtel and Payments Corp. among others. There was sharing of experiences too.

Fun elements were outings for dinner (in pic) and trips to Sarafa (Indore night market) with smoking pan and other attractions. The whole gang is in class in thi…

New Ministries

The nomenclature of ministries hasn't changed in years. New Gen needs new are some possibilities.

The Ministry of Tall Promises- this will be led by the tallest person that will make sure that every citizen grows into the tallest he/she can. Will supply growth proteins free to all short people.

The Ministry for Eliminating Cars- will exchange any car that you bring in with a helicopter, at no charge. This will also be in charge of reducing population, additional charge..

Bollywood and Cricket Ministry..these two are too important to be left to BCCI and Karan Johar (assuming he still runs Bollywood).

Ministry for Explaining Things. With life becoming complex, this is the NEED OF THE HOUR.

Ministry for Dengue/Chikungunya/Swine (Flu, I mean)...and any other virus that dares to enter our air-space.

In Favour of Potholes

Potholes..ubiquitous as they are (more so in the rainy season), I think they serve a larger purpose (larger than what, you might ask-than themselves, let's just say).

They remind you that we are mortals, and not Gods cruising on effortlessly on a Heavenly Highway.

They force you to drive carefully. Anyone who has driven on potholed roads has better MOTOR skills (intended!).

Rollercoasters cost a lot to build, and maintain. Potholed roads, a lot less..

You can have competitions between neighbourhoods, and bragging rights for the guy who lives in those with big ones-My Pothole Biggest!

Kids can count them as a game, and it'll keep them away from their mobiles/gadegets for a limited period.

Not to forget, employment forever, recessions be damned..

Not Letting Go and Other Viruses

Most of these are Hindi viruses.

Shaadi Jamaao virus- Aunties are more prone to getting infected, but sometimes Uncles too..Parents are permanently sick with this from the time their kids turn marriageable.

Not Letting Go Virus-strikes founders or promoters of companies, anyone close to retirement, parents of young adults,...with more regularity than Chikungunya.

Apna Kaam Chhod ke..virus. At the workplace, this aflliction is semi-permanent. Those in govt. jobs have a more lethal strain attacking is combined with Permanent Tea-break virus.

Chalta Hai virus. We are a jugaadu nation and want to fix everything so it does not work for long. Helps generate employment to do the same things over and over..

Tumko Maloom Hai Main Kaun Hoon? virus. Though widely prevalent on Delhi roads, has been known to have lesser impact elsewhere, when caught by traffic police in particular.

Kalai Vani and Team- Winners of GOMC 2017 Asia-Pacific

This is the team that I was lucky to mentor for the Google Online Marketing Challenge, 2017. And won in the Asia Pacific Adwords Certification category, beating hundreds, maybe thousands, of competing teams from the region. Proud moment for IIM Indore!

The team worked with a limited budget given to all teams, and came up with a spectacular increase in relevant metrics for their chosen brand- Bhalaje Photography, Chennai. The Click Through Rate or CTR is one such metric. The client increased his business, in addition to intermediate metrics like awareness for his brand. It involved thinking on their feet to experiment, and change strategy when required.

And all this was while simultaneously handling their Summer Internship. Hard work pays!

Another shot of the winners! Cheers!

Names People Call Me

I am a man with multiple identities. I am used to being called names. From the home name (not homonym) of Raja (meaning king in India), to Raj in the U.S., hardly anyone calls me by the given name of Rajendra. In North India it changed to Rajender or Rajinder.

Being a Professor carries its own burdens, and you end up being called "Sir" (sometimes because students don't remember your name, but not always!). Variations of this are Dr. Nargundkar if they can get the last name right. In the U.S., they pronounced 'kar' as 'Car' due to cultural limitations, or habit.

It was Gunds in the MBA class at Bangalore. Sometimes Marcus Gundolius (Roman) or Gundarkar (Ghati) too. One of my friends in Bangalore later was more inventive, and just called me Nar.

I hope I have conclusively proved to you that I have multiple identities. If I haven't, go ahead and call me names.

Kaccha Limbu- Marathi Film Review

This is a film (literally, it means an unripe lemon, a metaphor for an underdeveloped child) about the struggle that the parents of a special child go through. They put their dreams on hold, and deal with their everyday life to the best of their abilities. Helping them cope is a friend each-the mother's boss, and the father's colleague.

The story has dramatic twists with unexpected events, and I don't want to be a spoiler in case anybody wants to see it. See it you should, if your interest is serious films. It's subtitled, so you can understand it mostly without knowing Marathi. And at under two hours, just right, without added masala. It's also shot in grey tone, lending it a dramatic quality.

Sonali Kulkarni was for me a great find, and pours out her heart. Sachin Khedekar and the other two male actors (the husband and the special kid) also have played their parts very well. Anant Mahadevan is seen after a long time in a nice role too.

I am continuing to be impr…

Romancing the Books- Launch at Pagdandi

THIS WAY IS EASIER, DAD. The book is about conversations between Anjali, and her Dad. Both read out parts from the book.
 Smiling at 88. My mom with my niece Miskil.
Milind, Medha, Marla, Nikhil, and Anjali, Miskil, Anu and me.

Books have a way of enticing you-and book launches too. This was one where the subjects of the book were Hari and Anjali, two of my family. And many more in the audience, as the pics above show-Marla and Nikhil were imports from the U.S. and the rest of us from Mumbai, Indore and Hyderabad. The cute book store is in Pune. It was also special coz it was on August 10th, my mother's 88th birthday.

88 Not Out

That's not a cricketer's score. That's how old my Mom will be on 10th August. She retired as a company doctor in an administrative role from Singareni Collieries in Andhra Pradesh, in 1989.

Needless to say, I grew up in small coal-mining towns. We had great fun in the cosmopolitan crowd that we had around us, and our friends are still many of those we grew up with (Kiran, Nisha, Avinash, Aashu, Ritu, Sharat, Shobhna, Shalina, Shonika, Mahesh, Manoj, Subodh, Chitrangi, Shubhangi, Milind, Anant, Shashank, Neetika, Shailaja, to name a few). Small towns have that kind of warmth, and we can still meet anyone from those days, and instantly get along. Same with my Mom and her ex-colleagues-they still meet when visiting each others' towns.

It was an incredible thing for her to become a woman doctor when not many entered the profession-or any profession. She lived in Dhanbad/Katraas, Vellore among other places. Also completed her M.D. after her marriage. Grew up to administer …