One Year stand with ISB

This Blog aims to capture my affair with ISB and beyond.

Location: Hyderabad, India

I promise not to make this a chronicle of events unfolding in ISB or the world in general. These posts will generally qualify those events with my thoughts. At the same time I promise it will be enjoyable :-)

Thursday, September 28, 2006


Theres lotsa buzz around the canpus and its alive with energy and enthusiasm. The Tie ISB Connect held last week was a great success. For details you can check the media. There were campus visits from many of the top tier consulting firms like Mckinsey, BCG, AT Kearney etc. Many IBanks are expected in the next 2 months. People have already started preparing for campus interviews and case preps. The long term break after the fourth term is sure going to keep many occupied with their ELPs and preps.

I think I need to take this seriously and start putting in more efforts. Already we are half baked MBAs now (in another week) and when I look back on the past half year, I realise that there has been a quantum jump in my understanding. Hope the next half year is gonna be the same.

Yesterday was our last assignment as a group. Next term onwards all the groups and sections will be dismantled. Your section will depend on the electives you choose and the timings of the classes. There are such a wide array of electives that it is becoming difficult to choose. Call this participatory education. you get to choose what to study? though at a very high level? Anyway, some freedom is better than nothing at all. So the criteria we use to narrow down on the courses are the concentrations you like, quant focussed or faff, past faculty ratings, faculty faces :-), past experience with faculty or faculty affiliations in the absence of past experience etc. Again the decisions are qualified with inputs from alums leading to multiple iterations. And then at the end of the day, there is a probability (small enough but nevertheless present) that you will not get what you want, simply because your peers want it more desperately than you.


I know I have been very bad. I know I have neglected you for long and you have all the reasons in the world to be angry. I know I have followed other pursuits and given them more priority than you. Thatswhy you are sulking. I could see that from the effort that I had to put to convince you to talk to me. I had forgotten your password!! I was trying to recall and it was all cobwebs. Gawrsh how can I do this to you dear Blogie. Please forgive me.

At the same time please do understand my position. I was busy with the very cause of your existence. It had held me so occupied and so mesmerised that I didnt pay much attention to you. You know this one year stand always gets the top priority. There were parties (Kandy's birthday as well), birthdays, dunkings, outings and then there were also the usual suspects: assignments, exams, workshops. But you and I both know that is not an excuse. I have done something wrong, period. I need to correct it, period. And I will start this moment, period.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Leadership Game

We played a wonderful organisational kinda game in our last LDP (Leadership Development program) session. This is a great differentiator at ISB. It was ingeniously set up and we had quite a few insightful takeaways by the time the game was over. Ofcourse it also meant sacrificing a whole sunday for the workshop but at the end of the day it was a sunday well spent.

I wouldnt go into the details of how the game was actually played as it would hamper the real essence of the learnings. But I would like to delve into the structured insights that were gained progressively. The game started with a distribution of wealth which was very random to replicate the very real life scenario of some being born with silver spoons in their mouths and some born to incompetent and lousy parents and some the so so ones. The next activity was to trade this wealth which we were born with, with others so that we can maximise our wealth. There were certain conditions which made this practically possible, for a person with virtually no wealth to become rich depending upon his/her abilities to trade and the opportunity available. At the end of the trading phase, we were distributed into 3 differentiating groups based on where each of us stood depending on the wealth we accumulated. The top 3 rich people were the Toppers or Top Management in a Company, the next 6 were the midders or the middle management and the remaining were designated as the poor workers class.

A virtual organisation was then set up and then we played another game, in which each of the 3 groups tried to maximise their gains again. Because of the real world similarities, the game was structured in such a way that maximum opportunities and high valued transactions were given to the top 2 groups and the 3rd group had to make do with the opposite. At the same time whatever were the profits in each group had to be divided by the total number in the group, so the rich ended up being richer and the poor ended up poorer.

I ended up in the midders group in the first game as I was also born with average amount of wealth, so I could say that I fairly made well. In the second game we ended up cutting each other (ie the three groups) ie nobody considered the interests of the other and everybody ended up making very less money comparatively. But since the Toppers were operating at a very high level, and there were only 3 members, they ended up earning more individual profits which made them more richer. The worst sufferers were the poor class who inspite of performing better than the others ended up the poorest.

We then had a second round in which each of us was given a chance to be born with new randomly chosen wealth. After the trading this time, I ended up in the top position alongwith my other 2 colleagues who were in middle management. So now we became the policy makers. Building up on our learnings from the past round we decided not to cut each other this time and operate in synergy to maximise everybody's profits in the next game. We also realised that being at the top of the pyramid, the actions from those at the bottom or at the middle can hurt us very badly, but at the same time, if we yield a little and accomodate the demands of these two classes within limits, and ask them not to interfere in our territory in return, then everybody gained. Also yielding a little didnt make much difference to us at the top. It was much like removing a few drops from the ocean. This policy went a long way in building the trust between the three groups (we were allowed to communicate only thru chits and not thru discussions) and everybody ended up maximising their profits. We the Top Management gained the most, but this was not at the cost of cutting from the other groups, but as a result of building and gaining trust and synergising.

This game at the end really thought us how important an element of trust is to function effectively in an organisation which has a hierarchical structure and needs cooperation from different groups. It is always better to accomodate the demands (rational of course) from those at the bottom of the pyramid and gain their trust which will benefit everybody.

Sunday, September 03, 2006


So the term holidays are over and we are back for the 4th term which incidentally is the smallest - in terms of number of weeks and not in terms of the amount of work which you have to put in. This way of life now seems to have gotten in the blood and the anxieties and aspirations have reduced. I and Kandie got to catch up with some of the crappy films which are doing the rounds in the cinema halls. We strategically avoided KANK which I think was a great decision as I couldnt imagine how I would have lived with those memories after the fact.

Friday night was spent in Ahala of Taj Krishna and the place was happening. We got a lot of photos clicked by photographers who presumably were from the press, but I didnt see any of our photos in the local press or the local TV channel the next day. May be I just didnt know where to look or it didnt appear at all and/or the so called media people were just fooling around with unloaded cameras. Whatever it was we had a whale of a time. All thanx to G and P.

Passing fact: Your brain is divided in two parts: Left and Right.
The left part has nothing right in it
and the right part has nothing left in it...