Saturday, September 29, 2012

68th Week@XIMB

68th Week@XIMB - 23rd September to 29th September, 2012

23rd September - There was an alumnus visiting the campus who was working with Dow Agro Sciences (Dow Chemicals). I decided first not to attend his lecture because he may be endorsing and promoting Dow Chemicals. Its not the fault of individual but one has to take ethical stand on the corporate misdeeds. The viewpoint of my college differ from me but that is a sort of independence and freedom of speech one is looking for in the college. Then, I reconsidered my decision and attended the lecture to understand his point of view. It is difficult to resist the winds of change and lucrative job offers; nevertheless conviction is all that one needs to withstand the same.

Talk by Mr. Amiya Kumar Bartia, National Market Development Leader, Dow Agro Sciences (Dow Chemicals)

Career Planning : There is strong need for 4-5 years of investment in field to understand the ground level working of industry. There are five stages of a student in the market : commodity, product, brand, super-brand and cult. New recruit is a commodity and M S Banga is a cult like Harley Davidson. Learning agility will set one part from fellow colleague and competitor.

1- A dichotomous question offers just two answer choices, typically in a yes/no format. A double-barreled question raises several separate issues but provides only one
set of responses.

2- There is a shift in fertilizer policy where there is now more focus on giving incentive's at farmer level. Hence, there is shift from commodity to trading system i.e. a competitive environment. In risk gain matrix, fertilzers come in low-low segment while seeds come in high-high segment. Defect is an area of improvement. Dow Agri Science focus on cotton and is new entrant in paddy. 450 rs is a labour charge in peak season for plucking of cotton.

3- Sales of Financial service and agro chemicals require a techno commercial skill while consumer goods require only commercial skills. Market development is done by field staff in agri input companies. They must have sound knowledge of product and also be more knowledgeable than farmers. A valuable lesson in rural marketing is economical does not always mean cheaper. The cash flows of consumer must be studies for designing of the product.

24th September - SCM class. US logistics costs were over 12 percent of GDP in the early 80's steadily decreasing until 2003 to 9 percent of GDP. That was achieved by focusing on reducing the their costs as well as of their supply chain partners. Currently, that can also be done in India and only 1% reduction with save $18.5 Billion US dollars at current prices - 2011.

I was selected in BASF live project. BASF is a leading Chemical Company in the world.

Objective of the Project:
• To explore the local residents’ purchase and consumption and identify the need gaps and assess perceived needs of products/services amongst the community.
• Proposal for new products/ delivery mechanisms to address the needs of the BoP customer base.
• To study the current practices and trends for rural households in following three segments : Rural Housing, Performance products for Water Treatment & Products for increasing efficiency in Storage (Increase in shelf life of stored produce,energy efficiency of warehouses).
• Identify the potential for BASF products/services in the three segments.

25th September - In the third STM lecture, we learned through various example Porter five forces.

26th September - SCM : Information sharing is required for integration of the whole supply chain. Customer relationship management (CRM),Integrated Supply Chain Management (ISCM) and Supplier relationship management (SRM) together focuses on increasing the size of pie rather than fighting over share of pie.

27th September - In 4th STM lecture, there was discussion on competitive positioning. Our faculty gave example of delayed service of Air India and Indian Airlines that affected schedule of eminent personality like Louis Kahn and I G Patel

In CBRM class, we learned about Perceptual mapping, social conformity and attitudes.

The behavior of buckling under group pressure due to the risk of social rejection is lot more common in society on the controversial issues. There can be wisdom in crowds but not always. People do this to avoid the discomfort that accompanies disagreement with the social conformity. Let us see this in given video.
Asch's Conformity


There was a prep talk by Mr. Deepak Sachude from Natueco farming science. The whole talk revolved around spiritual values and farming. After talk, I had an interaction with Shanu and Prabin in XCafe. Got an insight of marketing side of Tafe and operation side of Fino. I need to learn about online auction and tender process.

28th September - There was discussion n tacit and explicit knowledge with a discussion on case study : “If Only HP Knew What HP Knows . . .”. Knowledge is created, captured and stored through bottom up approach while it is used, updated and reused in top down approach in any organization.

29th September -  I participated in CEAT Campus Compass project. This was about radial tyre industry. A good reading material was enough for us.

Talk of Mr. Debaraj Behra from BRLPS.

Mr. Behra took an interactive session on the Livelihood projects undertaken by BRLPS. Bihar Rural Livelihoods Promotion Society (BRLPS) is an independent society set up by the Government of Bihar and supported by the World Bank. Key Learning Points -:

1- Creation of choice in credit is one of the major development tasks required for poor.
2- BRLPS work without any subsidy hence chances of corruption is far less.
3- Affinity based SHG is formed by them. There is a Para professional chosen from the community who keeps books for the community.
4-134 signs were required for a loan of 12,000 by 3 women. This shows the bureaucratic hurdles in the financial inclusion.
5- A person can assess the credit needs, value chain, supply and demand gap by working at the ground level only.
6- Never compromise on health, integrity and dreams.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

67th Week@XIMB

67th Week@XIMB - 16th September to 22nd September, 2012

16th September - A nice and warm Sunday.

Key Learning - आचार्यात् पादमादते पादं शिष्यः स्वमेधया । पादं सब्रह्मचारिभ्यः पादं कालक्रमेण च ॥ (A student learns a quarter from teacher, a quarter from own intelligence, a quarter from fellow students, and the rest in course of time.)

17th September - SCM : Demolishing of fiscal barriers with WTO protocol helped in integrating and increasing efficiency of supply chain in the globalized world. We were suggested to read 'Quality Is Free' by Philip Crosby. My argument about core competence was demolished by Professor. Prof argued back that core competency can be acquired but it depends of economies of scale.

18th September - Get introduced to the name of Akio Morita in the first lecture of STM. We discussed in the details for the reason of ITC to venture in hotel industry from tobacco business.

CBRM- In the first CBRM Lecture, the whole introduction was based on key words like : Mind of market, Network, Preference Groups, Demographic variables, Rationality and Identity, Optimization.  There was a valid reason for choosing this elective as an insight gained from consumer behaviour will lead to the development of an effective marketing strategy that secures the loyalty of today’s discerning customer. We were suggested to watch TED talks of Rory Sutherland who stands at the center of an advertising revolution in brand identities, designing cutting-edge, interactive campaigns that blur the line between ad and entertainment. There are websites like ideas42 and thefuntheory examining human behaviour in detail.

Talk by Vinay Jaju, Founder, ONergy.

“We didn’t want to be another ‘marketer’ of solar products, but a solutions firm that meets household energy requirements" — Piyush Jaju & Vinay Jaju, Founders, ONergy

ONergy sells customised solar power solutions to rural homes in East India. Jaju brothers have been featured in recent edition of Outlook as social entrepreneurs. They have been told earlier by a leading social entrepreneur :"You will only sell if the product is sexy in the eyes of end consumer."

As per Vinay, affordable product does not mean cheap. Onergy is currently in business of decentralized distributed energy solution. Currently, an average use of family on kerosene in 7 liters a month costing 210 Rs. Hence, poor is ready to spent money on energy solution.

Key Learning : Giving consumer choice is a mark of respect. Good service lead to the endorsement of product by the customer itself. Concept of subsidy is good, the problem lies in structural design and management.

19th September - Holiday on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi. Read a great quote today : “Once people said: Give me liberty or give me death. Now they say: Make me a slave, just pay me enough.” ― Todd Garlington

20th September - In the 2nd STM lecture, I learned that Japanese market had more belief in product and American market in the marketing. Suzuki guys discarded market research report prepared by Indians because of their belief in their products. We were also told anecdote of La Quinta hotels and traveling salesman. Got introduced to the concept of working capital cycle.

In CBRM, there was discussion about sensory perception and synesthesia. There is one BBC documentary : Is Seeing Believing? and two TED profiles to watch for in coming days. First is of Julian Treasure studies sound and advises businesses on how best to use it. And second is of neurologist V.S. Ramachandran looks deep into the brain’s most basic mechanisms. By working with those who have very specific mental disabilities caused by brain injury or stroke, he can map functions of the mind to physical structures of the brain.

Rob Legato: The art of creating awe


The SPICMACAY Chapter of XIMB is organizing a Rajasthani folk music (Langa) performance by Gazi Khan Mangeniar and Group.

21st September - In the first lecture of KMSDS, there was a professor who was teaching us case analysis in a solid way.

  • Objective Given, Summary of Case and Perspective View of Yours.
  • Industry ( Macro and Micro Economic View); Porter's Five Forces.
  • Organization (VMG) and (Core Competence and Organization Life Cycle).
  • Issues (Man, Machine, Money and Time Available) ( Problems and Challenges).
  • Best Fit Solutions.
  • Conclusion - Quantitative (ROI and NPV) and Qualitative (Employee, Society at Large and Policy Environment).
  • Find out Stakeholders and their objectives. (Ensure Win Win situation for everybody)We were suggested to read industry reports undertaken by consulting firms.

22nd September - XIMB claims that it does not churn out only managers; instead it aids in the holistic development of the students into responsible and aware citizens who will take up the baton of social responsibility. I looked through Vision, Mission and Values of XIMB for the first time. Even, it has always leveraged everywhere on connecting business and society. I don't see this much different from another B School. There is always a difference between words and action due to economic constraints.

Our Vision - Inspired by the Jesuits spirit of 'Magis', XIMB strives to be a premier institute globally recognized for management education, training, research, and consulting that help build a just and humane society.

Our Mission - We shall continue to be an institute with a difference by developing competent, committed and compassionate leaders through management education, knowledge generation and dissemination, capacity building, technology enabled learning and organizational development.

Our Values - 1. Integrity and Honesty 2. Respect for Individuals 3. Transparency and Accountability 4. Commitment and Dedication 5. Concern for Quality 6. Passion for Innovation and Performance 7. Social, Ecological and Ethical Sensitivity

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sparsh: Development in a Trimester of rural management - 4...

Sparsh: Development in a Trimester of rural management - 4...: An IRMA Prof. Arunathan always ask a very profound question on poor and rural managers : “Why we are here and why they are there? ” There ...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

66th Week@XIMB

66th Week@XIMB - 09th September to 15th September, 2012

09th September - Nothing of importance happened today in my life. Yet, I was sad. There was demise of a great figure among the community of rural managers. Father of White Revolution, Verghese Kurien was no more with us.

10th September - There is great article paying tribute to Dr Verghese Kurien - Inspiration to a Rural Manager. Dr. Kurien is being limited by media as a man who has created Amul, the Brand of India. His contribution is much more than forming brand Amul. He created a legacy in successfully running cooperative and never succumbing to political pressure. This becomes more outshining in the context of failure of cooperative movement in India.

I was reading QRM in detail for exam. There were great revelation because I had not taken interest in the elective course from start. I got few facts right from a research paper of Fekede Tuli -

1- The quantitative purists articulate assumptions that are consistent with what is commonly called positivist paradigm and believe that social observations should be treated as entities in much the same way that physical scientists treat physical phenomena. To the contrary, the qualitative purist also called interprativist or constructivist by rejecting the positivist assumption contended that reality is subjective, multiple and socially constructed by its participants (Krauss,2005; Bryman, 1984;  Lincoln & Guba 2000; Guba and Lincoln, 1994; Amare, 2004).

2- Positivism is based on the assumption that there are universal laws that govern social events, and uncovering these laws enables researchers to describe, predict, and control social phenomena. Interpretive research, in contrast, seeks to understand values, beliefs, and meanings of social phenomena, thereby obtaining a deep and sympathetic understanding of human cultural activities and experiences.

11th September - ESM and QRM paper were over today. I came to know about Sanjay Ghouse whose mission in his own words “To change the world and make a difference in the lives of the ordinary people”. He is a real inspiration for all of us rural managers.

12th September - CM exam was the last paper. I read about producer companies in detail : Resource Handbook For establishing a Producer Company.

13th September - This is the last day of 4th Trimester.

Let us start with a great line by Peter F Drucker in the "The Practice of Management" first published in 1955.

"No greater damage could be done to our economy or to our society than to attempt to professionalize management by licensing managers, for instance, or by limiting access to management to people with a special academic degree."

Following are his arguments in support of the view:

1. A degree in management does not by itself make an individual a professional manager any more than does a degree in philosophy make an individual philosopher. The essence of professional management is achievement, not knowledge; results not logic. By insisting on holding a degree, we are overemphasising knoledge and completely overlooking skill. This will eliminated those who individuals who, though highly skilled, do not have reqired degree.

2. People once certified as professionals on the basis of their academic degrees would always remain professionals, despite their knowledge becoming obsolete in later years.

14th September - New trimester and new promises. Yet day gone in completing backlog of assignments and submitting fees. There was no coordination between administration and finance. 13th Sept was the last date of fees submission and that coincided with the exam schedule.

15th September - AMDA, QRM and ESM assignments were completed today. There deadlines were within 3 hours.

The Story of Agriculture and the Green Economy

The future of our world depends on addressing global challenges now. We need to create sustainable livelihoods, feed a growing population and safeguard the environment. We need to make the global economy green.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

65th Week@XIMB

65th Week@XIMB - 2nd September to 8th September, 2012

2nd September - I submitted a team project report on Asian Paints in SDM. The whole process of data mining, compilation, editing and printing with the team was good learning.

There was scheduled SREI Sahaj CEO Talk on Sunday afternoon. Topic of Talk was challenges in the service delivery channel and route to market strategies in rural India. It began late on time but went quite fantastic overall. The Key learning - 'Positive dissatisfaction' is a good start for a young professional like us. There are more standard operating procedures and compliance in a big company, hence it is not a good option for fresher to start their work there.

Guest : Mr. Sanjay Panigrahi , CEO of SREI Sahaj

No rural people will pay for information on weather and government schemes. So business for information directly to the end consumer is not a viable option currently. Delivery and Management should be the key focus for a good business model in rural India. Most companies in India has strong urban model while only Agri-input companies can claim to have dent in rural market. Few companies like Unilever, Dabur and CavinKare has partial success in this rural arena. People who had worked in rural branches of SBI and RRB's have also knowledge of rural mindset. Amul is like any-other MNC in front end while rural in the back end.

How to identify and define rural area ? This is a bigger question in front of companies. (I agree with this questioning as one sure way to get the wrong answer is by not framing the right questions). LG has defined an are below population of 1 lakh as rural. That is an absurd definition. The worst criteria is population as consumer behavior differs due to cultural aspect in different part of India. Assam and Bengal are more outgoing for education than Bihar and Orissa. One of the good method employed by companies to classify rural pockets was distance from highways.

Largest expenditure incurred by companies on advertisement is taken by DD due to its outreach. Local broadcasting channels like Mahua TV and Sarang TV are a good way to reach rural audience of particular region. Government has credibility in rural area that is lacked by private players. There are nearly 77,000 branches of banks and 1,36,000 of Post office (data not exact) in India. Yet, that number is quite low. Along with high operational cost, due to to this trust factor, local MFI's and banking correspondent were used by leading banks for lending in rural India. This shows the importance of trust in making transaction with rural customer segment.

There is more need of micro management in India. Everything is okay not great at policy level but implementation is bad at panchayat/block level. Private player has also to manage and engage daily with governance complexities and lack of infrastructure. There were three critical steps that changed India in last decade : First, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and The Golden Quadrilateral. This made rural area more accessible for product/service delivery. Second, increase in funding through various social welfare schemes. And third, rural labours were paid remittance through a safety net like NREGA.

There is huge generation of data that require intelligent MIS and data analyst. There is more need of knowledge before investing time and money in rural India. There is need to understand domestic market more than ever in recessing market example tolerance level is more in rural customer. In this quest for understanding rural consumer, answers can be dramatically different and contrary to the popular belief.

3rd September - A very hectic day amid regular classes. I gossiped a lot in the night for mental relaxation. Last class of SDM. It ended with overall on an high note with a surprising good TED talk video.

Daniel Pink on the surprising science of motivation


4th September - There was group presentation in ESM on Organic Farming in Cuba. I wanted to raise several statement of protest in the front of Professor. I rather restrained myself in the end.

5th September - There was last class of QRM that lasted for 45 minutes. I had talk with our Professor. She told us few things about rural management education and pedagogy in India. There is dearth of teaching cases in the area of rural management. This shows lack of research and funding in this field.

Key Learning : Writing up field notes immediately is one of the sacred obligations of field work. Sometimes maintaining this diary becomes both boring and painful. I repeat same behaviour every day and expected to churn out a new insight. There are confront unpleasant facts, including lack of acceptance, ambiguity about a question and gaping holes in the analysis. Believe Everything and Trust Nothing is mantra of the observation to see clearly throgh ideological maze.

While Managers are prepared for risk aversion and to achieve profits, an entrepreneur is a risk taker. In rural setting, business development and community mobilization becomes a key task for anyone. Trust is something on which business works in rural areas.

6th September - A great news for XIMB RM 2011-2013 batch. Our batchmate Sreevidya Gowda (India) was chosen among the TOP 50 INDIAFRICA BUSINESS VENTURE Winners. Nirmal purifier has been designed with the intention to provide access to iron free safe drinking water at low cost. The design was a semifinalist at the Dell Social innovation challenge and a finalist at the Acara Challenge conducted by University of Minnesota.

Listening to the New Amul Manthan Song


The Manthan music video has an unique emotional appeal. The lines like 'khush rahe tera beta beti' in the new music video shows how it is because of the efforts of a rural milk producer that nutritional requirements of a child to a urban mother is taken care off.

7th September - HRM paper over. Do you know who is Amanda Ammann ? I was also not knowing about her details till now. I meet her few times but she never revealed her real identity and just enacted as a normal exchange student.

8th September - MFM paper is over. The tragic story of making mistakes in balance sheet went on this time also.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

64th Week@XIMB

64th Week@XIMB - 26th August to 1st September, 2012

26th August Past performance are not an accurate predictor of future outcomes. Yet they can give a reference line about the academic career of the person. So much can be said in reference to the academics grades. Are we the student more than the CV and grades?

There was also a lot of thinking gone over the news item - Placement reportage: How the DMS, IIT Delhi 2012 placement report is designed to mislead you?. This shoddy practices of fudging placement report without having a real-world experience of running a values-driven company possess a serious ethical challenge. It is actually a less known but well performed malpractice in most of the B-School!

While army officers go beyond the call of duty sacrificing life for the country, investment bankers do exactly opposite. I can understand root cause of such problems in our education system only that never punishes plagiarism and other such activities. This makes me deeply critical, but am trying hard not to become cynical. As thy folklore wisdom persist that MBA is hyped but post MBA life is over hyped.

27th August There was talk given by Mr.Roy Prosterman, Founder of Rural Development Institute (RDI). He has twice been nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.

There was exhaustive discussion on Spectrum Brands, Inc.--The Sales Force Dilemma in SDM class.

28th August There was virtually not much substantial gain in attending MFM, CM and HRM lecture today.

29th August - A huge discussion on the future of RM program in QRM class. RM program has currently ambi dextrous nature. With its position, it is difficult to find any College to do bench-marking for academic curicula. To understand crux of the debate, one need to use right nomenclature either development or management. Any college should have these aspects for growth: Creation of knowledge through research, Application of knowledge within the industry through commercialization and dissemination of knowledge through classroom lectures. There is a huge gap in research area that needed major thrust .

Any college is built around three pillars: administration , faculty and alumni. At the moment, all of them are not clear about their own vision of XIMB and the third we don't listen any about. There is a practical joke in XIMB that those few who raise the slogan of RM in the loudest voices have nothing to do with the vision of this program. Testosterone and allegiance-driven student community has no place to stop and think over vision of the programme.

Not a single memorial exists today for Fr. Bogaert. What a shameful state of XIMB RM that can't even honor its own pioneering professor and patron. Father Bogaert was the first co-ordinator who facilitated in setting up of CENDERET in 1989. He was the driving force for this Rural Development(RD) program that later evolved in to Rural Management(RM).

30th August - The last class of ESM was on corporation and sustainability. The transition to sustainable capitalism will be one of the most complex our species has ever had to negotiate. Traditional accounting methodas never takes in account natural assets.Current financial tool like NPV or IRR can't easily account for intangible benefits. Sustainability is a parameter of long term impacts and we have to look in the economics with more timeless way, for next generation rather only as discounted cash flows. There was an article on sustainable practices of ABB ltd. on same day worth looking.

One of our Alumnus Mr. Nikhar Gyanesh (2005-07 Batch) currently working with CEAT Tyres as Senior Product Manager visited campus. His talk revolved around Tyre industry and importance of academics in the industry for 'gyaan'. Tractor companies were major clients of Tyre Industry. M&M has a share of 41.4 per cent in the tractor market, followed by TAFE at 23.4 per cent and Escorts at 11.4 per cent. John Deere accounts for a market share of only 7.5 per cent.

31st August - I visited to the C&FA office of Dulux paint today. This visit was done for understanding sales and distribution network of Dulux paint. The discussion was very small due to last day of the month. AkzoNobel is the parent company of this brand. We were given additional 'gyaan' that AkzoNobel has been ranked as the most sustainable chemical company in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DSJI).

1st September - I have heard and seen a lot of XIMB-RM social group’s view of reality. A lot of talks with fellow rural managers became an important data source on ecosystem of the college, private thoughts, and feelings about after-school jobs and future possibilities.

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Statutory Warning

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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