Thursday, November 10, 2011

DoMiNation November 2011

Domination November 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Quenchers 2011

                                    QUENCHERS-11 (Intra IIT Business Quiz)
Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee launched its very first Intra IIT Business Quiz on 27th September 2011. The initiative was taken by Aditya Aghi (MBA-2013 Batch). QUENCHERS-11 was a huge success with more than 250 students participating from all over the campus from different streams of UG/PG Programmes. The event was organized by the V-TEAM of Department of Management Studies. It started with a preliminary round where a team of 3 members each were allowed to participate. More than 80 teams participated in the prelims and among those teams Top 6 were selected for the Grand Finale based on their score out of 50 for 25 questions.
Grand Finale was held on the same day where top 6 teams were on stage for the fierce battle. The Grand Finale comprised 3 rounds which included video clippings, advertisements, picture identifications etc and the cumulative score at the end of 3rd round eventually decided the winners.
1) Haaris Mateen
    Btech (Chemical 4th Yr)
2) Abhinav Malhotra
    IDD (Chemical 4th Yr)
3) Murthy Mantha
    IDD (Electrical 4th Yr)
Runners up:-
1) Vikram Rathore
    Btech (CSE 2nd Yr)
2) Abhishek Nayak
    Btech (Electrical 1st Year)
3) Aalok Shan Bhag
    (GPT 2nd Yr)
The winning team was awarded with a cash prize of Rs.1500 and certificates, while Runners up team received cash prize of Rs.1000 and certificates from our Faculty Adviser, Dr. Zillur Rahman of Department of Management Studies.
Aditya Aghi, Prateek Tomar, Ravi Gandhi, Abhishek Anand, Himanshu Sirohi, Pankaj Malhotra, Devanshu Singhal, Ravikant Yadav, Dharmendra Kumar, Pankaj Singh, Pawan Kumar Sista.

 The packed MPH hall @ DoMS

 The Winning Team with Dr. Zillur Rahman and the V-Team.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

ISTD Dehradun Chapter - 29th of September,2011

ISTD Dehradun chapter organised a half day seminar on various HR practices followed in different companies & its impact on its employees on the 29th of September, 2011 at the Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee. The event was divided into two parts- round table discussion & interaction with 1st year MBA students. 
The event was organized by PhD. Scholars & 2nd yr MBA students and was hosted by DoMS, IIT Roorkee under the guidance of Dr. Santosh Rangnekar, Associate Professor, DoMS, IIT Roorkee, who is also the Honourable Secretary of ISTD Dehradun Chapter. The following Guests attended the seminar:

Sajid Anwar
Head-Manufacturing (Factory Manager)
Asahi India Glass Ltd.
A.C. Joshi
Sudhanshu Joshi
Incharge-IT, Asst. Professor
Doon University
Usha Lenka
Asst. Professor
IIT Roorkee
Col. Lokesh Bisht
Centre Head and lead faculty
Pegasus Institute for excellence
Aruna Bhat
Research Scholar
IIT Roorkee
Prashant Kumar
Manager, HR
Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd.
Sanjeev Kumar
Jubilant Life Sciences Ltd.
Ruchir Jhingran
ITC Saharanpur
Saptarshi Das
Asst. Manager-HR
ITC Saharanpur
D.K Naniyal
IIT Roorkee
Rajendra Singh

The interaction session was started by Aditi Joshi (1st yr MBA student), who welcomed the guests & informed them about the batch profile of MBA students studying in the DoMS, IIT Roorkee. After that, Dr. Santosh Rangnekar invited guests to have a word with students.
First guest who addressed the students was Mr. Rajendra Singh, who spoke briefly about his profile & his industry. He was followed by Mr. Prashant Kumar, who explained the work culture in Jubilant Life Science Ltd. Mr. Prashant invited 1st yr MBA students to get involved with Jubilant and work on live project as was done by 2nd yr MBA students of DoMS, IIT Roorkee. Similarly, A.C. Joshi from THDCIL, invited 1st yr MBA student to get involved with live projects.

Next to come, was Mr. Sajid Anwar, who spoke about his profile & about AIS. He explained how his company is leading supplier of auto glass to most passenger cars manufactured in India. He told about AIS relation with Maruti & Toyota. He even invited MBA students for a visit to AIS plant.
After Mr. Sajid, Mr. Ruchir Jhingran took the center stage. Mr. Ruchir explained about the ITC work culture & different issues related to it especially about the worker’s union. He also explained the campus recruitment policy of ITC. He said that ITC mostly recruit MBAs for sales/marketing and a few people for HR roles.
Col. Lokesh Bisht, who retired from Army in March 2006 & currently serving at Pegasus North Delivery Centre-Dehradun, then invited students to attend programs in Pegasus. According to him, these programs would be covering team building, leadership development & competency building.

The session ended with the note of thanks by Dr. Santosh Rangnekar. He appreciated the efforts put by guest speakers in sharing knowledge with MBA students. A gift & placement brochure of DoMS, IIT Roorkee was given to all the Guests as a token of appreciation. It was an enriching experience for all the students to have so many industry people from the area of HR share their knowledge with them.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Deaf Awareness Week September 26th-30th

Deaf Awareness Week September 26th-30th

Friday, September 30, 2011

Guest Lecture by Mr. Amitesh Jasrotia, Manager- Ad Sales, Zee Business (ZNL) on 24th of September

Guest Lecture: Media Industry - An Overview
Speaker:  Mr. Amitesh Jasrotia, Manager - Ad Sales,  Zee Business
24th Sep, 2011.
The enthusiasm and excitement of Mr. Amitesh Jasrotia was very evident in his presentation. And why not, it’s always great pleasure to visit your Alma matter. Mr. Amitesh Jasrotia, a 2004 batch pass out of DoMS IIT Roorkee conducted a highly informative and interactive session on Media Industry.  In very small time he beautifully described the entire picture of Media Industry starting from media history, TAM and media basics and the role of media agency to media planning. It was a complete knowledge session which made all the students conversant with almost all possible media jargons.
The discussion started with an overview of media industry starting with the history of media industry in 1991 and the changes occurred thereafter. The media industry today mainly constitutes of clients, media partners and media agencies. Previously the role of media agencies was to buy media, where the creative sector used to come up with the concept behind the advertisements. But in the 21st century a lot of changes have taken place and now, creation of ads, media buying, media planning and research, all are done by the media agencies only. Thus they form an important part of media industry.
Following are the roles of media agencies:

  1. Media Planning
  2. Consumer Research Specialists
  3.  Media Research
  4.  Media Buyers
  5.  Implementation Planners
  6.  Interactive cell
  7.  Out-of-Home(OOH)
  8.  Operations
  9.  Billing and Collection
  10. Events/Retail/On-Ground
Then the discussion turned to the TV media and various methodologies used to measure television ratings. The only method being used till date is TAM (Television Audience Measurement) developed by A.C. Nielsen. It replaced the old Diary System. It has a remote and a monitoring device to record the frequency of channel being watched over 8000 sample homes across the country. The jargons commonly used in TV media were also explained such as Reach, SEC, TRPs, CPRP, Frequency, TG, GRPs, etc.
A business problem in media industry is addressed by a market analysis followed by a marketing plan. A media strategy in handling this situation is never conceived without a communication plan. A media strategy facilitates a certain target group (TG) in a SEC (Socio-Economic classification of TG) considering the ratings of GRPs, Frequency and Reach. It mainly serves the media mix consisting TV, Print, Radio etc on the basis of scheduling strategy which can be continuous, flighted or pulsing patterns. The main element of a media plan is the media budget which caps the activity level, media mix, scheduling, creative units for TV, print and planning objectives and deliveries.
The pros and cons of each component of media mix such as Print, TV, Radio, Magazines, Cinema, Outdoor and Internet was elucidated by the speaker providing the students with a clear picture of every media type. The marketing plan in media industry also decides the media objectives concerning major issues such as brand launch, sales promotion, educating potential consumers and brand reinforcement.
While answering our queries he stated that there is immense potential in media industry for MBA under marketing sector. He extended his help and guidance should anyone of us is keen to join this challenging sector.
Wriiten by: Priya Adhikary & Sachin Kabra.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Exuberance 2011

Nobody is perfect, hence I may be imperfect but it is my team and it is the combination and synergy with us that makes my team Perfect.

Remembering the Titans

Management teaches us to compete, to excel and to emerge as winner. Exuberance - 2011, the annual sports meet of Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee ended last week in which second year emerged victorious. Least to say it was a tough competition between first year and second year students. Second year, also the winner of Exuberance – 2010 had the experience and the fresh faces of first year participated with infinite zeal and passion. Out of 200 points distributed among various sports, second year students were the first to cross 101 points.

Tournament started with an exciting match of football, which looked evenly poised most of the time, it was just four minutes before the closing time that second year scored two back-to-back goals. First year bounced back with a victory in Cricket match following day. Then was the time for the entry of female counterparts in tournament. First year girls outperformed second year girls in both Table Tennis singles and Badminton singles, however second year boys won these respective matches in boys leagues. First year students won TT men doubles. This was the time when second year got the much-required lead in Basketball and Volleyball.

After brawn in the field it was the turn of brain, first year defeated second year back to back in Chess, Carom and Pool. But as luck would have it at this moment of time second year students were standing up in the ladder with 105 points.

After 5 days of exciting competition, Exuberance was concluded with closing ceremony by Dr Z Rahman with Mr. Bharat Venishetti, an alumnus of DOMS, IIT Roorkee as the chief guest. The trophy went to second year students however the immense learning was the take away for all the participants. Vineet Chama from second year was awarded as best player of the tournament. Someone rightly said Moments do pass but Memories remain forever and these memories are imbibed in the mind of Domsonians.

Domination September 2011

Domination September 2011

Friday, September 16, 2011

Guest Lecture: Jauss Polymers’ Revival Strategy

Speaker: Mr. Pramod Pant, VP- Marketing, Jauss Polymers
12th Sep, 2011.

Introduction to Jauss Polymers:
Realizing the potential of a food grade and recyclable polymer as versatile as PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), Jauss Polymers Limited successfully ventured in the field of manufacturing of all types of PET bottles, containers, jars etc using advanced Injection Stretch Blow Molding(ISBM) technology. It is one of the oldest PET Bottle and Jar Manufacturers in India. Jauss Polymers was established in 1989 with its first plant in Kurali (Dist. Ropar) 25 Km from Chandigarh. .The Second Plant was commissioned at Surajpur, Greater Noida In 1992. Presently all operations are undertaken at its Plant in Malpur, Baddi, Himanchal Pradesh.

Summary of the guest lecture:
Mr. Pant began by giving us a brief overview of the polyester packaging industry. This industry began as a substitute product for the glass industry in 1965. Production in India started in 1984. Pearl Polymers were the first entrants in India. He also talked about the primary and secondary packaging industry. Primary packaging is the material that first holds the product and envelops it. Primary packaging includes items such as jars, PET bottles, strips etc. Secondary packaging is outside the primary packing meant for grouping the primary packages together. Examples include paper and boards, cartons etc. Carbonated soft drinks constitute 70% of the total PET market with packaged water behind it

He then gave an overview of the production and consumption capabilities at different point of times in India. In 1991-92, the total consumption was 2000 tons, raw material was imported and there were heavy margins. The focus during this period was on developing new end users for the industry. In 1993-94, Reliance setup a plant having a capacity of 2L tons, when the consumption was 5000 tons. Until 1995, the industry was in the development phase and FMCG companies used PET jars as a promotional tool. Today, the consumption is around 3L tons and it is an industry having very thin margins. The industry employs about 3L people in India.

Need for Revival:
Jauss Polymers initially concentrated on developing the market for PET bottles in India. It spent a lot of money on promotion and development rather than on sales. Market awareness improved but sales were still to the same buyers. As a result, around 1995, the debt on the company was three times the revenues of the company and its survival was at stake. The main aim was to repay the debt first and then go for expansion.

Revival of the company:
Jauss Polymers started concentrating on generating revenues. For doing this, they shifted their focus from all of their customers to the few profitable ones. By 2000, they had a settled revenue model; however there was still a huge debt left. Finally they adopted a one customer, one supplier model and became the exclusive suppliers for Wrigley’s. This meant they had only one customer which was a big business risk for the company. But, they managed to exploit the model to their advantage and the company became debt free in 2010. He, however, stressed that this was a dangerous strategy to follow. Jauss achieved success by being proactive and maintaining a successful buyer supplier relationship.

Opportunities and Threats:
Mr. Pant then discussed the threats and opportunities for the industry. He said that there were many manufacturers in the industry and margins are very low and industry has had to go downward price revisions many times. Also, it is not commercially feasible to supply PET bottles beyond 250 km as transportation costs are huge. It is like transporting air. Transporters charge by volume of shelf space used and this is the primary drawback. Also, technological innovations such as reducing the weight of the bottle have a major impact on profits. Recycling is another big issue for the industry. Coming to the opportunities, he emphasized on the fact that there are many industries where there is significant growth potential. These include industries such as liquor, pharmaceuticals etc who are yet to adopt PET packaging in a big way.

He concluded by saying that Jauss Polymers is looking to expand its business by extending its customer base and by entering into related businesses such as making caps for the jars.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Systems Thinking

Guest Lecture

Topic: Systems Thinking

Date: 18/08/2011

Profile of guest faculty: Prof. L S Ganesh, Ex-HOD and Professor at (DoMS-IIT Madras)

Description of Event:

Wikipedia says, Systems thinking is the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole. We got greater insight of the concept one fine day when prof. Ganesh explained it to us with real world examples. He opened the lecture with an event that happened in 1993 in Bangalore. Farmers were lathicharged during a protest and in that order government signed on a suicide note. It all started with a weed called Parthenium Hysterophorus which affects the growth of crops and its pollination creates asthmatic problems to the people who come in contact. When people complained, government acted upon the issue by forming a committee to look into the matter. In due course of time, they were able to come up with a natural solution, a beetle called Zygogramma bicolorata which fed on parthenium.But the story did not end here.Eventually, beetles ran out of Parthenium and started eating sunflowers in nearby farms. When farmers ran out of options to control them, they protested and government’s response came with a lathicharge.

Now, where can we put systems thinking in this matter! First we need to identify the flow of events. Exactly as prof. Ganesh said,” using the power of mind’s eye”.

Parthenium weedàCity people affectedàComplain to govtàExpert committee formedà solution found in beetleàBeetle ate Parthenium.

When entire mind focus is on solving symptoms of the problem ,we find a plausible solution but the root cause remains unaddressed which gives rise to unintended consequences. In scientific terms, we call it counter-intuitive type 1. Missing the connectivity in nature is a basic reason for CI-1.This happens in various dimensions including national level policy decision making where we have all kind of experts analysing all kind of situations. Some classic examples are: King toad problem in Australia, elk problem in yellow Stone Park. World of allopathic medicines are full of CI-1 situations.

In counter-intuitive type 2, when we reach to the solution for a problem, an anti-problem arises. The primary reason for this phenomenon is: working against the flow in nature. It can be related to a titration experiment where an extra drop leads to a sudden change. In phrasal term, last straw on camel’s back. Common example: consider a movie which gets a ban. It attracts the interest of people and that pulls them to watch it.Prof.Ganesh also reminded us of beetle bailey cartoon where ,to solve the problem of increasing number of rats an incentive of 1 $ was introduced which led to more breeding of rats for the benefit. In Thane and Jalandhar, this case happened for real and people responded in same fashion.

How to resolve these problems:

To address the root causes of the problems as explained earlier, what is needed is a larger window of perception. In this connection, Donella Meadows used a simulation model in 1972 of earth systems which predicted that earth will reach the limit of economic growth in 150 years. This is a cumulated effect of missing infinite connectivity and using “me today” as window of perception to solve systems problems. Great souls who walked this planet had eternity and universality as their window of perception. What we can do is to enlarge the window to learn the way systems work. For a manager, understanding the importance of integration of knowledge and people is a top priority in order to achieve the desired goals.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Guest Lecture on Sugar Industry - Day 2

Guest Lecture on Sugar Industry - Day 2

By Mr. G. S. C. Rao, President, The Sugar Technologist's Association of India
On the afternoon of 9th September 2011, we the students at DoMS were addressed by Mr. G. S. C. Rao, President of The Sugar Technologist's Association of India and Executive Director, Simbhaoli Sugars Ltd.

The address was mainly focused on the Sugar Industry and how there is a huge opportunity for techno managers in this area. Mr. Rao started off by giving facts and figures about where the Indian Sugar Industry stands in the world. India is the largest consumer of sugar with a production capacity of 24 million tons and a consumption of 22 million tons. There are around 10 million sugarcane farmers in our country. There are approximately 620 sugar factories spread around 8 states in India. But in the next ten years the demand would rise to about 34 million tons. Here lies the interest for the young budding managers of our country to seek an opportunity.

Sugarcane which was initially used just for the production of raw and refined sugar is now used for multiple purposes. Ethanol is generally available as a byproduct of sugar production. It can be used as a biofuel alternative to gasoline, and is widely used in cars in Brazil. It is an alternative to gasoline, and may become the primary product of sugarcane processing, rather than sugar. For example, in Brazil there are Flexi-Cars which run either on ethanol only or a hybrid which runs on petrol as well as ethanol. Moreover ethanol is cost effective and causes less pollution as well. Imagine a situation where all countries produce only ethanol and then the whole world can get rid of the dictating terms of the oil rich nations. Hereby lies the importance of the sugar industry.

Bagasse the fibrous matter that remains after sugarcane or sorghum stalks are crushed to extract their juice. It is currently used as a biofuel and as a renewable resource in the manufacture of pulp and paper products and building materials. Agave bagasse is a similar material that consists of the tissue of the blue agave after extraction of the sap. Moreover about 400 different chemicals can be made from sugarcane with some of them being highly importance from manufacturing perspective.

A part of the ethanol produced is then used to generate electricity which is distributed in the neighboring areas of a certain sugar plant or can be sold off to a government power grid. Sugarcane molasses are used in the drinking alcohol segment, for example- in producing rum. Now where does India fit in this whole scenario? According to Mr. Rao, India is a big player in the sugar industry because of two sole reasons. One being size and the other being technology. Nowhere in the world is sugarcane used to produce such a diverse range of products and utilities. The one area in which India has huge opportunity is to use ethanol as a renewable source of energy like Brazil along with other unconventional energy sources like solar energy and hydro energy. This can be a great boost for developing other industries as well which require large amount of fuel and power.

According to Mr. Rao ,the importance of sugar industry as a source of energy can be seen by the recent changes that are taking place amongst the oil companies. Huge oil companies like Shell and BP are now trying to acquire sugarcane fields because they see ethanol as the future ahead. India, which has a very amiable environment for the sugarcane plantation, must see this as a huge business opportunity.

Thus Mr. Rao concluded by inviting all the students to any queries they had. He asked us to see the sugar industry as an area that has huge potential and extended his help to each and everyone of us if should we would like to join this mammoth industry.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Guest Lecture on Sugar Industry

Guest Lecture on Sugar Industry

by Mr. Anil Shukla, Secretary General - The Sugar Technologist's Association of India (STAI)

Today, September 08, 2011 we had an eminent guest, Mr. Anil Shukla, deliver a lecture on the sugar Industry and associated functions in our economy.The Speaker gave very valuable insights into the sugar industry and associated industries with the sugar industry. The industries primarily associated with the sugar industries are :

1) Raw Material Procurement Supply Chain

2) Transportation


4)Equipment and Machinery

5)Diesel and Biofuel

6) Automobile

7)Waste disposal

8)Carbon Credits and Environment

Sugar industry is regulated by the government of India. On one hand, there is a MSP (Minimum Support Price) to be paid to the sugarcane cultivators. Because of fixed MSP, the cost of raw material is fixed and leaves very little scope for any reduction in cost of sugarcane procurement from cultivators. On the other hand, the major output of the sugar industries is to be sold to the government of India. The government buys around 80% of the sugar produced at a fixed price. The sugarcane industries are allowed to sell only 20% of the end product in open market at competitive rates. This regulation is currently being opposed on a large scale by the union of sugar industry owners.

Of the 20% sugar which is sold in the open market, there are various brands which are now selling packaged sugar. 80% of the sugar which is bought by the government is then distributed by the government. Due to fixed price of purchase of raw materials and fixed price of sale, the industry is made lucrative and profitable by excellent resource availability, efficient management and optimum supply chain design.

The eminent speaker offered our students a chance to work in different live projects with any of the associated functions with the sugar industry. He asked us to select a function of our choice and focus on data research and finding effective and better solutions to increase profit margins.

The lecture gave us very valuable insight and it was duly attended by our Placement Incharge Prof. Vinay Sharma and students of MBA first as well as second year.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Domination August 2011

Domination August 2011

Friday, August 12, 2011

CONFLUENCIA – 2011, Day-2

“Marketing is a mindset”

The Confluencia 2011 was concluded by a Guest lecture by Prof. Devashish Das Gupta, who is currently an Associate Professor at IIM, Lucknow and his area of specialization is Marketing. His topic of discussion was “Strategic Marketing in Contemporary era”. It was a highly interactive session and the hall was jam packed with students of both first and final year.

Prof. Devashish started his lecture by making it clear that the popular conviction of Marketing being selling is a myth but in real sense marketing is just about the mind set. He asked the class to tell various means of communication by which a company can communicate to the consumers. He got several answers like TV, radio, newspapers, social networking, words of mouth etc. but he explained the best way by which the a company can communicate to customers is the communication of values. The sole purpose of marketing is to communicate a company’s values to the consumers in a manner that he can decide what is best for him.

Next he discussed about the need gap analysis. He explained that first step of marketing is to do the need gap analysis on consumers because a consumer might not always be aware of the needs. He gave the example of Dabur Homemade, which for the first time launched the readymade spices. At that time, people were wondering why Dabur chose such a business as women had huge time to prepare spices but Dabur was visionary and since, the working women concept arrived in India, now there exist several brands offering similar products. In fact, the market of ready-to-eat products is increasing day by day which earlier used to be concentrated only in the cities like Mumbai.

Our speaker, further explaining the visionary model, told the audience that in the contemporary era, it is very important to be aware of new trends in the market. He explained how the youth concept of India is getting old and the next in the queue is Grey India, which is the consequence of DINKS (i.e. double income no kids). So, the companies need to be ready for these new trends in Indian markets. Further, he added that in this era, people are ready to pay more but the only thing they demand is quality. So, our next focus should be quality, and that should be provided to consumers at any cost. He also advised the audience to look for unique need sets in the market. He gave the example of new trend of kitchenless flats in Singapore and explained how change in trends affects the needs in contemporary era.

Next he talked about the ways of making profit. According to him, there are two ways of making profit either selling more or low pricing. And for selling more, one can either make existing consumers consume more or target new consumers. And new consumers can be attracted by innovative thinking. He gave the example of theme restaurants and theme marriages to explain the idea of innovative thinking. Our speaker also discussed about the emerging domains of business in contemporary era. He mentioned that the three most suitable business domains in coming times would be fitness, environment and security and one should be fully equipped for these upcoming trends.
Lastly, Prof. Devashish talked about the “Service Quality Model”. According to him, the service provided for a product gets integrated into the brand image. So, it is really important to provide good quality of service to the consumers. He also shared his insights for being a successful marketing manager, which are knowledge, skill set, physical health and mental health. With this note, he ended the lecture.

After the lecture, a query came from audience regarding the punchline and its use for marketing to which our speaker replied that punchlines are 100% effective when the product is new but as the product becomes older, punchlines become less effective and what matters the most is services and quality. So, if competitors are same, the main focus should be on quality of goods. At last, he concluded that in marketing, always go one by one, i.e. doing one thing at a time.

Prof. Devashish was appreciated by the audience with a huge round of applause for giving such an insightful and knowledgeable lecture.

CONFLUENCIA – 2011, Day-2

The day started with full enthusiasm and we all took our seats of the lecture room before time to have an inspiring guest Lecture. The eminent speaker of the day was Mr. Hardik Shah, presently working as an Associate Professor at Adani Institute of Infrastructure and Management. He is a passionate academician, researcher and trainer in HRM and OB area.

Dr. Shah started with his presentation on the topic “Strategic Resource Management”. The discussion started with a very basic question, “What is Strategy?”. To this Dr. Shah gave a very brief and apt definition; he explained that Strategy could be defined by three terms- Focus, Product and Service Differentiation and Cost Leadership. He then gave an important concept of Sustainable Competitive Advantage (SCA) explaining that Sustainable competitive advantage allows the maintenance and improvement of the enterprise's competitive position in the market. It is an advantage that enables business to survive against its competition over a long period of time.

Continuing with the discussion on Strategy, Mr. Shah explained that strategy can be grouped in three levels – Corporate level, Business level, and Unit level. He further detailed that corporate strategy is basically the board level strategy which is executed at the topmost level. Secondly the Business level is executed at the middle level and Unit/plant level focuses more on actual operations.

Dr. Shah further elaborated Strategic partners role of HR giving insights of HR role in an organisation. He explained the importance of HR department by stating that today most of the public sector units( PSU) have HR as their Directors. Further stating HR responsibilities he said that following are the possible roles assumed by HR – Vision, Strategy, Goals, Policies, Process, Procedure. He finally explained the HR structure focus area by a flowchart diagram having four segments namely, Acquire, Engage, Develop and Reward.

He, then, continued his discussion on HR Strategy by stating key factors playing an important role. He explained that these four factors can be divided into four categories – Vertical Growth, Business Diversity, Talent Strategy and leadership and Culture.Next, he elaborated different strategies in HR department. First being Talent planning, he explained that the most important role of HR is to ensure quality of people hired as employees are the biggest asset of any company. Second is Aligning and Managing expectation. Third is to develop organisation structure by constantly enhancing internal growth. Last being alignment of compensation to performance. Summing up the HR strategies, he lastly explained three important pillars of HR in an organisation which were process, opportunity and people.Towards the end, Dr. Shah concluded the discussion by giving us a practical example of NTPC – Business Excellence Model 2010.

Lastly, Dr. Shah gave two important concepts of Competency and Triple Bottom Line. He stated that competency is a conglomerate of knowledge, skills and Ability (KSA) and Triple Bottom line consists of society, turnover and profit.

The discussion concluded with an open ended questionnaire round wherein all students got the chance to have their doubts cleared and finally Mr. Shah left the podium with the huge round of applause for giving such a vivacious and informative talk on Strategic Resource Management.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Confluencia 2011- Day 1 " I think therefore I am "

The first luminary to give his address was Mr. Himanshu Rai and his topic of discussion was "Negotiation". Mr. Himanshu Rai is currently a HR and marketing professor at IIM Lucknow. It was a highly interactive session with participation from the whole class which was jam packed from the beginning.

Mr. Himanshu started his discussion by asking everyone the basic definition of negotiation and how is it different from coercion. He thus defined negotiation as “It is a process of communication whereby two or more parties come together to attempt to reach agreement on one or more issues”. Negotiation is inherent in human nature. It not only happens between two or more parties, but rather, an individual also makes negotiations with himself. For example, all MBA students who have work experience have made a negotiation with themselves about leaving their jobs and taking up MBA.

Negotiation being defined, Mr. Himanshu then asked another question, “What is the prerequisite for any negotiation to take place?”. For any negotiation to take place there has to be a conflict, i.e. there has to be differences in opinions. For an individual, it is like “To be or not to be”, or rather a conflict between desire and judgement . The difference between the former and the latter being, the former is a conflict with conscience while the latter is opinions about other things. Mr. Himanshu divided conflicts into four categories, namely intrapersonal, interpersonal, intragroup and intergroup. “Are conflicts good ?”- he asked next. Conflicts can be good or bad, or rather dysfunctional or functional. For example if we have conflict in our personalities it is dysfunctional or bad, and when we conflicts in processes it is functional because here a conflict may lead to a better solution.

Our speaker then asked a very tricky question, “What is the difference between perception and reality?”. To this he stated a quote by the great philosopher René Descartes- “ I think therefore I am.” He went on to say that everything in the world is full of perceptions. Its “WE” humans who believe in a given perception and that is what we think is reality, i.e. what we believe in may not be the same for another individual. This is thus a conflict .The lesson to be learnt here is that we cannot resolve conflicts if we don’t accept them. Analogous to this, we may think ourselves as being very good and hardworking, but at the end of the day if you can’t convey the same to the person in front of you, you can’t get your work done. Another example is that of conflicts arising out of generation gap. Thus conflict is a matter of perception and the only way to resolve it is to acknowledge it.

After giving an insight into what is negotiation, Mr. Himanshu then went on to give the skills required by a manager to become a great negotiator. These include artfulness, diplomacy, detachedness, fair-mindedness and sagacity. An individual should have political foresightedness, ability to manage relationships and knowing when to leave the bargaining table. For example, while dealing with a regular subordinate and another subordinate whose is a nephew of a big CEO, one has to treat each kind differently because of the different weights attached to them. One has to be careful while choosing his/her words. Similarly one should not ignore the accomplishments of the opposite party. One major thing to be careful about is detachedness. One cannot afford to be angry while negotiating because it shows a sign of attachment which is not recommended. One has to be devoid of any ego and should have the ability to distinguish between the subject and the object, i.e. the topic and the person.

The latter half of the lecture was on the key steps of carrying out a negotiation. Those include goals, strategy and planning. Mr. Himanshu creatively explained goals by taking a leaf out from the book “ Alice In wonderland .“ As in the book when Alice lands up in Wonderland and comes to a crossroad she meets the Cheshire Cat. At first Alice doesn’t know where to go and the Cat tells her that then she choose any way. But then Alice says that she wants to reach “somewhere”. To this the Cheshire Cat replied that she will if she walks long enough. The moral being that without goals you will reach somewhere but is that the place where you wanted to be. It’s like even if you win a rat race you will still be a rat. But for a negotiation its importance to keep goals otherwise the other party would see that you are not serious.

Next he discussed strategy by asking everyone to divide into pairs of two. He then asked each pair to draw scenery while holding the same pen together. After the exercise he divided the class into various categories. In the first type both were trying to draw thus showing competitive behaviour. The second kind being the pair in which one person drew and then the other, thus showing a collaborative attitude. The third kind was the one in which one person drew and the other just looked on, which shows an attitude of avoidance. And finally the fourth in which one person drew while the other held on to the pen, thus showing the attitude of accommodation. Mr. Himashu then explained the same with the help of game theory.

Substantive Outcome Important
Relational Outcome Important

The last part was implementing the strategy. He said there are three major issues in implementing, namely the essentials, the desires and the give aways. For example, one can bargain for the essentials with the giveaways. Thus there can be other combinations. The important thing is to choose wisely according to the situation. The next thing is defining interests. For example, an individual wanted to sell his car for Rs. 50000 and not less. Now the buyer can bargain in two ways. Either he can say that he can’t pay or that he will pay some part of the amount then and the rest later. Now the former case shows position while the latter shows interest. It’s the latter that a person should try and portrait while negotiating. Moreover there are always alternatives. The issue is to try and find it.

Next is the art of communication. What the sender is speaking and how it is received by the listener can be entirely different. Thus it is essential to consider the opposite party, his/her culture and communicate in a manner which is understandable. There are people who take the meaning of the word literally while there are others who study your body and interpret what is being received.

Mr. Himanshu ended the address by showing a clip from the movie “Gandhi”. With the help of this clip he explained the need of having the three most important elements to negotiate, namely Ethos, Pathos and Logos, i.e. credibility, passion and logic.

Mr. Himanshu was given a huge round of applause from the participants for giving such a vibrant and resourceful address on the art of negotiation.