Friday, December 17, 2004

Prash: An XLer as a Musician

Five years after graduating with a specialisation in Marketing, Prashant Vadhyar (99BMD) - or "Prash" as he is known - decided to go full-time into what he enjoys most - Music.

[You can download 16 of his compositions from The Electromancer or site]

This interview with Prash about "Prash" - name of his band - on (and don't forget to click to read reviews):

Why this name?
Its what everyone calls me... its a short version of my first name.

Do you play live?
I play live occassionaly with a jazz/blues band. I play the lead guitar for the band and also do some vocal bits. But, by and large my obsession is writing, composing and arranging.

How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
The ease of distribution rocks!!! The exchange of ideas between musicians across different cultures, the friends one makes... its a boon to all musicians worldwide!

Would you still sign a record contract with a major label?

Band History:
I got back to music making after 6 years. I used to play a lot of guitar in my college... then, I got an MBA in marketing and worked for 5 years during which time, music was discarded. One day, I couldnt take it anymore and quit everything and now, pursue music as a full time profession.

Your influences?
My influences are too diverse to list and get a fair representation... my earliest memories of music are hindi film songs, then moving onto mainstream western pop, heavy metal, jazz and blues and then electronica. These days, I am heavily into classical, film background type of music.

Favorite spot?
Goa, India... psycotrop paradise

Equipment used:
Korg Triton LE Keyboard Synth
Behringer UB 1002 Mixer
Fender Telecaster Guitar
Digitech RP6 Guitar FX Processor
Behringer B1 Condenser Mic
Computer-1.7 Ghz Pentium, 512MB RAM, 2x 40GB HDD, M-Audio Audiophile 2496 Soundcard
Wharfedale Pro Active Studio Monitors
Behringer Headphones

Friday, December 03, 2004

Download X-Factor Newsletter

The X-factor - a monthly e-newsletter for both alumni and current students of XLRI - was launched yesterday on December 2nd, 2004.

The X-factor aims to address a long felt need for sharing and disseminating news/views across the XLRI community - alumni, students and faculty.

You can Download Your Copy Here (right click, save - it is a 377kb, pdf document)

We would love to have your feedback, suggestions and contributions for the forthcoming issues.

Please write back to us at:

editor.xfactor [at]

Happy Reading!

and Kudos to - Mohit, Surya, Allen, Deepti, Kushgara, and Sheshank - the X-factor Team!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2004

What They Don't Teach at B-Schools

After Gautam Sinha (94PMIR), and E Abraham (78PMIR), this one is from Ronald Sequeira - VP & Head of Human Resources, Tata Power - of 84PMIR batch from Business Standard (Nov 23, 2004):

If you ever want to see several happy people in one place, visit any leading B-school campus just after the placement season is over. What a sybaritic feeling. A business school stamp behind your name and a dream job ahead of you. The B-school grad has learnt all that is there to learn. Could it get any better?

Going back to my own first day on campus, we were told by the legendary Father McGrath, “XLRI is not a place but an experience and an opportunity.” Now we had been through the experience and were on the threshold of seeking opportunities to apply all the teachings that a business degree offers.

As we waited with our packed bags in the foyer of the institute to say our last goodbyes, Father Maggie (as we referred to McGrath) in a soft tone said to me “Ronnie, I hope and pray that all of you get a very good first boss.” At that time one did not fully comprehend the meaning of that message.

Look back at your own experience over the years. Identify the number of times a young career was made or shattered by the early mentor(s) who had strong influence over a new arrival to the workforce.

Research and surveys have established that the single biggest reason for loss of talent is “the boss”: not the organisation, not the compensation nor any other seemingly obvious reason. Strangely, no course on campus teaches you this, nor did any course say that in time one would need to be the good first boss/mentor.

Having left campus and arriving into the corporate world, you quickly adapt to excelling within a structure in order to earn your rewards. Despite B-school teachings, “strategy” and “out-of-the-box thinking” take a backseat and the “activity trap” takes control of your life. After all, you have joined the rat race and you learn, like Pavlov’s dogs, that rewards follow a pattern. Suddenly, 15 or more years go by and there is a paradigm shift and no more patterns.

You are now assessed on your ability to deal with ambiguity. Your free and frank views — once appreciated as “fresh thinking” from a young B-school grad — are now marked down as “lack of political astuteness”. Could your B-school education have predicted this?...

Read on...

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

HOMECOMING 2004: Director's Invitation

The International Alumni Association of XLRI, under the able presidentship of Mr Bushen Raina, Managing Director, The Tinplate Company of India Ltd, is planning to hold the first ever Annual Get Together of the XLRI alumni.

This year we shall hold it at XLRI on Saturday and Sunday, November 20 and 21, 2004.


Saturday, Nov 20th:
11:00am-12:30pm: A session among the alumni
04:00pm-05:00pm: An interface with the students (theme: "What they don?t teach at XLRI")
05:00pm-05:30pm: Tea with the students
05:30pm-07:00pm: A panel discussion (Theme: "Ethics in Business is Oxymoron")
-Mr Azim Premji - confirmed
-Mr Suhel Seth - confirmed
-Ms Anu Aga - to be confirmed
-Mr Dipankar Dasgupta - to be confirmed
[Mr Azim Premji will also inaugurate the Centre for E-business]
7:30 pm onward: Dinner at Beldih Club
[Students' band in attendance]

Sunday, Nov 21st
Golf game
Prize Distribution
Lunch at XLRI

This is the advance notice I am sending you. You are welcome to send your suggestions. But I want you to join us and celebrate the Homecoming 2004. Send your suggestions and confirmations to
Mr S Akhtar
General Secretary
XLRI Alumni Association.
Dial - 0657 2225506 x 214(O)/619(R)
Fax - 0657 2227814

Fr N Casimir Raj, sj
Director, XLRI

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Making the Computer Speak!!

For many Xlers, this will become the neatest way to get marks for CP/ACP/DCP :0)

...but Vaachak - the first commercial multilingual text-to-speech solution from Vinamra Agarwal's (01BMD) company, Prologix is also a commercial and social breakthrough.

Earlier this year in March 2004 issue of Business World, it was featured as a boon for the visually handicapped in India...

and now, this week, Vinamra's interview on Creating Unique Products is featured on NASSCOM's site...

...way to go, Vinamra;)

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

B-Schools Should Not Be Islands of Intelligence

Here are some excerpts from an Interview published in BS Strategist with Fr E Abraham (78PMIR), and one of the previous Directors of XLRI:

Fr E Abraham, director, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneshwar (XIMB), is convinced that B-schools should be shaped to meet the objectives of both industry and the development objectives of society at large.

“I strongly feel that every management institute should do something for the state in which it is based. We should not be islands of intelligence,” he says.

.... It seems the institute’s efforts are being noticed. Abraham is happy that the latest Cosmode-BusinessWorld survey of the best Indian B-schools ranked the institute at number 10, up five notches from last year.

Then there’s the soon-to-be-signed MoU with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for the creation of a CII-XIMB Centre of Excellence, which will give the institute some much-needed visibility.

Apart from research and consultancy in areas such as energy and power, insurance and foreign direct investment, the centre will also work on training executives from small, medium and large enterprises, as well as mentoring of entrepreneurs.

...“But it’s not just the ranking,” Abraham clarifies. “I want XIMB to be among the most reputed B-schools when it comes to intellectual capital and internal capabilities, too.”

Abraham’s efforts in this direction started early. Last year, the annual convention of the Association of Indian Management Schools and the National HRD Network Conference were held at the XIMB campus and the activities put the institute on the international map not only with academicians but also with industry stalwarts.

Celebrations apart, Abraham believes there’s more to be done. Global exposure for the institute, for instance.

...“Poor communication with the rest of the country was one of the main hurdles the institute faced initially. But in today’s world of email, web-cast and teleconferencing, the location of a management school is not an issue anymore,” Abraham clarifies.

If last year’s placement results are anything to go by, he’s probably right. The institute broke all its previous records; 51 companies visited the campus and the entire batch of 120 students for the post-graduate programme was recruited in just 30 hours. The average salary offered was Rs 4.65 lakh a year.

“We also have a prominent personality from industry visit us every week and interact with the students,” says Abraham. Add to that, in 2003 XIMB tied up with Marico Industries in 2003 whereby faculty interact with the company, researching various processes and systems.

....“We believe in an academic model and distinguish an educational institution from a consultancy firm,” Abraham says.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Combining Intellect with Global Opportunities

The article in Business World reads:

HOW'S this for combining intellectual capital with global opportunities? Amlan Ghose (79BMD batch), a 49-year-old IIT-Delhi graduate, runs an IT boutique called Prologic First. Its ERP software Wish is used by hotels. Amlan is in Delhi, but his business comes from markets as diverse as Brazil, Australia, Dubai and, recently, China. Amlan works mostly with mid-sized hotels, "equivalent to the Jaypees and the ITDCs". His big-name clients include Inter-Continental and Hilton. Says Amlan: "We provide current technology products that are functionally at least as powerful as the best international competition. Our edge is our domain expertise."

Saturday, September 25, 2004

An Xler as an Activist

Biju Mathew (86PMIR) is more than just a Jesse H Harper Professor of CIS at Rider University. As this article highlights, his work with immigrant New York cab drivers brought about a change in their lives:

"Immigrant labour interests me, " Mathew says. "Not much has been done in the field... the key pin for social transformation is through mass organisation. The anti-war movement is powered greatly by the radical immigrant. There has been a significant decline in mass movements over the world in the last twenty years."

In 1998, Biju started the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, consisting of 24,000 cab drivers representing 80 ethnicities, and led a strike against the then NY City Mayor Giuliani’s “quality of life” and “zero tolerance” programs.

Biju has also written a book Taxi! Cab and Capitalism in New York City based on his conversations with the taxi drivers...

Read on...

Friday, September 24, 2004

Sujit Baksi joins vCustomer Board

The press release reads: "vCustomer the leading third party Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) provider with India based service delivery, announced the elevation of its India President Sujit Baksi to the Board of Directors..."

Sujit Baksi is an XLer of 72PMIR batch, and before he joined vCustomer last year as its India President & Head of Global Operations, he was the CEO, HCL BPO and HCL Technologies (Northern Ireland).

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

on Page 7 of Global Knowledge Review

The contributors to the 1st issue of Global Knowledge Review (download pdf copy) are from countries all over the globe - spanning across USA, Brazil, UK, Singapore, South Africa, Brazil... and India.

The article from India is titled A Wake Up Call for HR, and is written by Gautam Ghosh a.k.a. GG (99PMIR)

The author description reads:
Gautam is a HR professional based out of India with interests in the areas of Organization Development, Knowledge Management, Organizational Learning and Corporate Strategy. Gautam has had an overriding interest in Knowledge Management for the last 5 years and has been profoundly impacted by the "knowledge creation" model of Nonaka and by John Seely Brown's concept of "Communities of Practice".

...For many in the XL alumni networks, this other facet of GG (Graxer Gautam?:0) may come as a surprise...
[GG maintains two blogs, which are listed in the column on the right side]

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

The Eisenhower Fellow

In a couple of days, Raman Madhok, Joint Managing Director and CEO, Jindal Iron and Steel Company Limited - and an XL alumnus from 81PMIR batch, will be leaving for USA for a few month as The Eisenhower Fellow

The Eisenhower Fellowships site profiles him:

Mr. Madhok is responsible for the growth and profitability of the largest iron and steel manufacturing and exporting company in India, with a turnover of approximately US$480 million in the past year. Coming from a background in human resources, Mr. Madhok carefully applies an employee-centric ethos to his corporation, engaging employees in a collaborative manner on a variety of workplace issues. This has led Jindal Iron and Steel to be rated as one of India's "25 Great Places to Work" and earned praise for the quality of Mr. Madhok's leadership. Mr. Madhok sees many parallels between India and the United States, and during his Eisenhower Fellowship he plans to examine the characteristics of American growth and leadership over the past few decades, both within the corporate world and in society as a whole. Among others, he plans to meet with representatives from leading U.S. steel corporations, as well as management schools and institutes.

In 2000-01, Raman was also the Chevening Scholar at Manchester Business School.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

Globalisation of Tata Steel

The acquisition of $ 290mn Singapore-based NatSteel by Tata Steel, is India's 2nd largest oversees acquisition. The man driving this global foray, B Muthuraman, Managing Director, Tata Steel [BM Evening, 75batch], explained: ""Every bit of the value chain has a cost attached to it. We have to put the right part of the value chain in its right place in the world and link it up properly. That, for me, is globalisation."

...and more are on his radar: "Brazil, Australia, Bangladesh are countries where steel can be made cheaply because of the availability of iron ore and coal. We have been to Iran, Ukraine, Bangladesh - all during the last year. And we are looking at China for finishing capabilities."

Read the complete story from Business World...

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Movements at Franklin Templeton

A small item on executive movements in Business India (Aug 16-29, 2004) - unfortunately not available online - notes that Ravi Mehrotra, President, Franklin Templeton Investments, India, will take over the India responsibilites of the MD (Asia) of the fund.

Ravi Mehrotra is from the 85BMD batch [click for an article], and used to be the Sr VP & CIO of Kothari Pioneer when it was acquired by Franklin Templeton.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Moochhi's Class Act

[note: I had saved this news as draft, and posted it today, just to find that it has gone into archives... so am potsing it again]

I had been trying, but I could not locate the URL of this news item, which was published in Bangalore Time, July 10th, 2004. So I did the next best thing; I am posting the scanned item itself:

[Mustafa Moochhala, as many know, is from the 85PMIR batch, is a Prinicipal Consultant with Ma Foi Management Consultants... Currently, however, he is on a sabbatical]

Founders of Bangalore Wine Club

If something named XYZ Wine Club is founded, there has to be an XLer around!! :0)

The Bangalore Wine Club site reads:

The Bangalore Wine Club was formed in September by a Group of wine aficionados – and as such is really a collection of friends (and friends of friends). Founding members were Alok Chandra (President), Nina Kanjirath (Treasurer), Kalyan Ganguly, Chippy Gangjee, Sunil Chainani, and Rekha & Vijayan Menon.

Actually there are 3 XLers here!!!

Kalyan Ganguly (73BMD) is President, UB Group Beer Division
Rekha Menon (81PMIR) is Head, Geographical Services, Accenture (India)
Vijayan Menon (80BMD) is Director, FCB-Ulka Advertising, Bangalore

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Murali Moves

24/7 gets a New Chief People Officer
Hindu Buisnessline, August 18, 2004

Our Bureau

[Murali Swaminathan is from 86PMIR, and used to be the Chief People Officer with SPIC]

BANGALORE: Provider of BPO services to Global 500 companies, 24/, announced on Tuesday the appointment of Mr V.C. Murali Swaminathan as Chief People Officer.

He will be responsible for the entire HR operations of 24/7 Customer — including recruitment and employee relations

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

What They Don't Teach at XLRI...

...but still having been at XL, it helped in becoming an entrepreneur...

Read this article by Gautam Sinha (1994 PMIR) on No B-school teaches you to become an entrepreneur

Some quotes:

Less than 15 or 20 per cent of what I learned from my MBA is still relevant.... What those two years did give me, though, was a chance to interact with some really sharp people from across the country.

...most work is done in groups. This was a occasion to understand group dynamics, when to lead, when to disrupt... Such a learning can be crucial because little about organisations is about the individual.

Also, unlike B-schools that are located in metros... XLRI, where I completed my MBA, is in Jamshedpur, a sleepy little town with few avenues for entertainment.

The positive fall-out of that, though, was that students spent most of their time with each other. Consequently, the XLRI alumni network is exceptionally strong. And, as has been proved again and again, the old boys’ network is necessary for success in corporate life.

But no B-school teaches you to become an entrepreneur. At no time is the emphasis on starting something on your own. Almost everybody who graduates from B-school joins a company.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Look Out, Google!!!

This is a few month old article, but still worth reporting.

An article in Business Week (May 6, 2004), entitled Look Out Google, Web Search For Tomorrow notes:

"....The average search query contains 2.5 words, leaving plenty of room for interpretation. As a result, searches typically turn up hundreds of links, many of them irrelevant. A handful of startups, from Vivisimo to iXmatch Inc., are using so-called clustering technology that organizes several hundred search results into subject-specific folders.... As they hit the market, the new technologies will likely make search even more indispensable to our lives"

ixMatch Inc..!!!... well, this is a Minnesota-based company founded and managed by Prakash "P.V.R" Puram of 78BMD

Earlier this year, PVR's company also entered into a tie-up with the US Department of Defense for data-mining...

...way to go!!! :0)

Monday, August 02, 2004

Tracking the Employment 2010 Trends

The current issue of Business India (July 19 - Aug 1, 2004) carries a 2-page coverage of an interesting future survey of the Employment Trends in India.

The survey, based on Future-Search Conference methodology, was conducted by Chennai-based, Totus Consulting, and identifies 3 influencing factors and seven trends which will change the nature of employment in the country.

Ganesh Chella (84PMIR batch), the Founder & CEO of Chennai-based Totus Consulting, says, "We wanted to take a hard look at future macro-trends, not at current best practices. The whole exercise was to seek, not critique..."

Unfortunately, the article is not available online - but you can read the earlier coverage by clicking here and in The Hindu Businessline

ps: incidentally, in the same issue of Business India, on page 50, you can also have a look at the photograph of Rajiv Kaul (Managing Director of Microsoft India) of the 92BMD batch

Friday, July 30, 2004

Creating Culture at a BPO

A news item on Debasish Das (94PMIR), Vice-President (HR and Training) at Keane Worldzen....

"...When our interior designer wanted to know the colour combination our office would like, all I wanted was that it should be such that once people get inside, they do not feel like going out!"

Read on...

Monday, July 26, 2004

XLer in HR Spotlight

An interview with Vivek Mani Tripathi (94PMIR), and currently the Head (HR) for Adobe Systems India.

Read on...

Sunday, July 25, 2004

The "Digital Divide" Chevening Scholar

The British Council website, congratulating the winners of the 2004 Chevening Scholarships, reads:

Valentine De Souza, Editor, Express Computer (Indian Express), will pursue a research project on the role of the media in bridging the digital divide under the Wolfson College Press Fellowship in Cambridge.

[Valentine De Souza - aka Val Souza - is from the 87BMD batch of XLRI]

Two years back, Val had also received the IT Journalist Award for 2002

XLer on an Acquisition Prowl

Mudra in talks to acquire 3 ad agencies

Lalitha Srinivasan

Madhukar Kamath is from 76BMD Batch, and was the CEO of Bates India till 2003, which he turned around, before returning to Mudra as the MD & CEO.

With capitalised billings of Rs 850 crore, Mudra Communications is on an acquisition mode. As part of its growth strategy, the agency is planning to acquire three advertising agencies across the country. In addition, the agency is also looking for partners and strategic tie-ups for its new ventures, informed industry sources.

When contacted by FE, Madhukar Kamath, Managing Director, Mudra Communications, confirmed the new development. "We are in talks with three national advertising agencies. The rationale behind this move is to build a strong second brand within the group."

Under its ‘Total Branding’ umbrella, the agency is now working on five new initiatives and the avenues being explored are from start-ups to collaborations and acquisitions. "The areas of interest are pharma, relationship marketing, rural, sales promotion/ events, and design & branding. With these new ventures, we want our billings to touch Rs 1,000 crore," he added.... etc.

Friday, July 16, 2004

XL Alumni@ XL Campus - 1

[ed: Introducing a new "column" on this site]

This week, two alumni visited the campus:

  • Prof Arup Varma (84PMIR), Director & Prof at Loyola University Chicago was here to conduct and co-coordinate (with Prof E Srinivas) the XLRI MDP on HR as a Strategic Business Partner

    Anurag Behar (92BMD), Managing Director (Wipro Fluid Power) and Corp VP (Quality, Brand and Corporate Communications), Wipro Ltd., was on a business visit to Jampot, but dropped in to have a look at the alma-mater, and an interaction with the current crop of students. Anurag is also a member of the Wipro CEC (Corporate Executive Committee)... incidentally, this 5-member committee has two XLers - the other is Prateek Kumar (88PMIR), one of the BT-25 Hottest Young Executives on Indian Biz scene, covered in an earlier posting....

  • Tuesday, July 13, 2004

    Meet the "scriptwriter, actor, HRD Prof and, MD and CEO..

    Remember the customs officer in the film "Saransh", whom Anupam Kher meets to get the ashes of his son?... or who won the Filmfare award for Best Screenplay for Baazigar and Aashiqui?...

    Meet Dr. Akash Khurana of 77BMD XL batch, a PhD from TISS, and currently the CEO and MD of Nimbus Communications Ltd.

    As this interview states:

    "A year after taking charge at the helm, Khurana has eased in well into each of the roles he continues to play with finesse. The promised facilities at Nimbus have almost all come up, Nirvana Television, the subsidiary spun off to service satellite channels is raring to go, and Nimbus' movie division is ready with its first Hindi feature film..."

    read on....

    Moochhi's Class Act

    I had been trying, but I could not locate the URL of this news item, which was published in Bangalore Time, July 10th, 2004. So I did the next best thing; I am posting the scanned item itself:

    [Mustafa Moochhala, as many know, is from the 85PMIR batch, is a Prinicipal Consultant with Ma Foi Management Consultants... Currently, however, he is on a sabbatical]

    Monday, July 12, 2004

    MBA: Mastering of Biryani Art

    This news predates the formation of this site, but is still worth reporting:

    (Vishwanath Shenoy is an XLer of 92BM batch)

    Betting on biryani
    [Financial Express, Bangalore]

    "What would you call a man who left his job to pursue his greatest passion - biryani? Well, Vishwanath “Vishy” Shenoy is his name and he refers to himself as the Connoisseur-in-Residence at Biryani Merchant, Bangalore. Mr Shenoy is a corporate executive-turned-biryani-chronicler-and-entrepreneur. An XLRI graduate, he left his international marketing job as head of sales and marketing at the Colombo-based Maharaja Organisation to make his passion his profession. Recently, he started Biryani Merchant, a theme restaurant that serves only traditional biryani with accompaniments.... Over the next three years, 12 more Biryani Merchants are planned, starting with Pune in September 2004, followed by Mumbai, Delhi and the US in 2005 and the Gulf and Europe later."

    Sunday, July 11, 2004 MD as a Music Aficionado

    Earlier this year, Percy Siganporia (an XL alumnus of 74 vintage) took over as the Managing Director of Rs 750cr Tata Tea.

    This profile would warm many a music-lover's heart. On the one hand, he is a typical corporate leader: "One of the secrets of enjoying corporate activity is to realise the distance you need for direct, detailed involvement. You need to keep away from it so that operations can run smoothly."

    On the other, here is also a music-lover with prolific tastes: "...rock and roll and heavy metal with Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden as easily as he explores a quiet moment listening to the Japanese group Yamashita’s plucking on the classical guitar. Others who clamour for his attention are Mercyful Fate, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Metallica, Deep Purple, Puddle of Mudd, Creed, Armoured Saint, Tool and In Ruins."

    As he says: "Some of the best ideas emerge when I try to think with music playing loudly nearby. As a single note reaches its crescendo, the music itself recedes into the background, and thoughts emerge crystal clear. It’s a wonderful feeling."

    read on....

    Friday, July 09, 2004

    The "Titan"-ic Turnaround

    So when Titan, the watch-maker tumbled, someone turned it around...
    That was Bijou Kurian of 81BMD batch, the current COO of Titan.

    Read this interview with the "the man behind the the dramatic change – Bijou Kurien, chief operating officer, Watches Division, Titan Industries. Kurien who has been with the organisation since 1987, is currently handling the responsibility of running the Rs 500 crore watch division in India and in international markets.", and helped the company grow (during fiscal 2003-04) by 97%!!!

    Full Prof at Ivey Business School

    Got this mail from Jay yesterday:

    "...Join me congratulate Niraj (Rocky) Dawar (BM87):
    Effective 1st July he's made Professor (yep, full Professor) at a Canadian business school. He's "Nabisco Professor of Marketing, Ivey Business School, University of Western Ontario.""

    Now Another Brandman

    from Business India (June 7-20, 2004), Page 126:

    [Anand Varadarajan is from 80BMD batch]

    Anand Varadarajan, associate director (global business development) of Colgate-Palmolive, has joined SRSIcon Brand Navigation India Pvt Ltd as director of research services. Anand was a key member of the group handling the forays of Colgate-Palmolive into dental care during his three years in New York. He has acquired considerable exposure to-brand and product research in a global setting. Prior to working in New York he was associate director (consumer insights) at Colgate-Palmolive India. Anand comes with his rich experience in research and advertising. He has worked for some other leading organisations like Voltas, Pathfinders, Mudra, and ACNielson.

    Tuesday, July 06, 2004

    the new CEO of Kotak Mahindra MF...

    Read the interview with Ajay Bagga of 90BMD batch, who took over as the CEO of the Kotak Mahindra MF (assets: Rs 5,500 cr) in March 2004... moving from SBI GE Cards.

    Prior to that he had played a key role in Citibank's Suvidha initiative, and had worked with Kothari Pioneer Mutual Fund...

    XLer in HR Spotlight

    Sugato Palit - an XL Alumni of 95PMIR batch - and the Head (Organisation Capability), Seagram India, features in an interview about his professional work and achievements

    BT Survey of the "Hottest Young Executives"

    Business Today (June 20, 2004)
    Special Issue on Hottest Young Executives

    [Prateek Kumar is an XLRI Alumnus of 88PMIR batch]

    39/Corporate Vice President, HR, Wipro
    Strength In Numbers

    As unflattering as this may be to the subject of this piece, it was only when Wipro became the first company in the world to be assessed at Level 5 of the People Capability Maturity Model (it is a model developed by Carnegie Mellon University's Software Engineering Institute and it really is a big deal, a very big deal) that people sat up and noticed Wipro's hr, and the man behind it, Pratik Kumar. If things had worked out differently, Kumar, who hails from a family of doctors and engineers, would have been just another successful example of the great Bihari dream, making it to the Indian Administrative Service. While majoring in economics from Delhi University he saw "people mindlessly cramming to become another nameless, faceless bureaucrat". He hated it. Gradually, he drifted to hr and ended up at XLRI, Jamshedpur for a two-year diploma. When he graduated, he had the option of choosing between working for a multinational he doesn't wish to name and HMT. He chose the latter. He spent a year there and insists he learnt all about managing scale (HMT then employed around 40,000). He spent the next two years at TVS Electronics. The job was great, but it was based in Tumkur, a three-hour commute from Bangalore. So, in 1992, when Wipro approached him, commuting-weary Kumar had no hesitation in signing on. From 200 employees (Wipro Systems) then, Kumar now oversees a workforce of 35,000 spanning 22 nationalities. ''Cross-cultural issues are something we work on continuously," says Kumar. ''Excellence is a moving target and we want to be the best.'' The man considers it ''a honour'' a run the hr function in an organisation that employs 35,000, but wants to find out whether he has it in him to do other things as well. "I would love to have cross-functional expertise," he says. of the Academic "Gurus"

    Subrato Bagchi's article, Made in India: a paradigm shift in Business World (July 12, 2004), ends with how the success of Indian academics has also helped in changing the global perception of India:

    "...The teaching-consulting variety of Indians has played a huge role in the last two decades as connectors. They have occupied a position of being credible and unbiased because it comes with a 'guru' tag. People like the late Sumantra Ghoshal,C.K. Prahalad, Vijay Govindarajan, Jagdish Sheth, Marti Subramanyam and Raghu Garud have had a huge influence on the thinking world..."

    Raghu B Garud is an XLer of 80BMD batch, and currently teachces at Stern Business School.