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.