Archive for February, 2009

Professor Daniel Drache is the Associate Director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and also a Professor of Political Sciences at York University in Toronto, Canada. We were lucky to have him on campus to deliver a guest talk on “Barack Obama’s Stunning Victory”.
As B-school students (oops… I meant participants), we have one discussion quite a few times, “What’s the difference between Managers & Leaders?” Does one imply the other? What are great leaders all about? Do managerial skills help leadership? I guess when we think about great leaders, a lot of images come to mind, including Gandhi, Mandela, Kennedy, etc. and in the years to come we may be hearing “Obama” in that list too. 

Excerpts from the Seminar:
Professor Drache spoke to us as well as the faculty about Defiant Publics and Winning/ Losing in an internet age. Yup, Internet; and to be specific, he spoke a lot on Obama’s campaign strategy using Web 2.0 and Facebook. It was amusing but not shocking to see that none of the professors sitting in the audience were on Facebook. Professor Drache even rewarded them a C- (of course jokingly) when he found out that they didn’t Text (SMS) either. Anyways, how exactly did Obama use Facebook?? During his campaign, there were around 780 regional offices across the US, with paid staff, to arrange and coordinate virtual discussion groups, chat rooms and organizations to mobilize the ideas and suggestions of the American population. These virtual communities made the people feel a part of the campaign. They created networks, and slowly Obama was able to reach the hearts of cynical and critical voters below the age of 30. These activities led to an increase in voter turnout (mostly in favor of Obama) and also a clear mandate for the people.

To Americans, McCain meant “War and Patriotism – Loyalty to the nation, right/wrong; Tax cuts to richer people” but the voters finally voted against that. The crisis caused by the Bush administration and the fact that people felt worse off as compared to 5 years ago did not help the Republican’s cause too much either. Professor Drache said that across the globe today, people hope to have a leader like Obama for “Change”. He called the people of modern times, “Defiant” as they boldly resisted and questioned authority which forcefully wishes you to believe their ideologies. Recently the world has seen a steady decline of Deference. Also, over the past decade, there has been a clear shift in public opinion from Bush-Blair ideologies to ones which actually help the nation progress. During his lecture, Professor Daniel presented a very interesting online poll, which is given below:

The above statistics clearly show, that Obama is “America’s favorite President” at the moment. The fact that a Black candidate won the elections rejects the belief that US citizens allow racism to cloud their thinking. Politics of inclusion and diversity led to Obama’s victory.

Q&A session:
There were some interesting questions from the participants of IIM Indore and Sugandh had even become Mr. Drache’s helpful aid by filling in the blanks on many a occasion. I must commend that fellow for a great GK. Or is it that “He doesn’t study”, as the professor said… 🙂 Anyways, back to Q&A….
In response to Raina, who asked the professor whether expectations may have just gone too high for Obama to fulfill them, Professor Drache said that no expectation can be too “HIGH” for a person like Obama however at times they may be unrealistic in terms of “time-frame”.
Commenting on the new American President, he said that he was a truly diverse cosmopolitan. He had won with his policies and as a gracious and respectful person. However, Dr. Daniel did say that we’ll have to wait for maybe around 2 years to actually see if he’s able to bring change.

Professor Drache’s recently released book: “Defiant Publics: The Unprecedented Growth of the Global Citizen

Another book he mentioned:
The Genius of American Politics” by Daniel J. Boorstin


Though I keep promising myself that I’ll write more often on this blog, the posts end up becoming more and more spaced out in time. This time, it’s been 6 weeks, and it’s felt like ages. 

Since the last time I wrote, which was on December 24th, the major happenings at IIM Indore and in my life for that matter, have been End Term exams, Holidays back at home in Udaipur (which included a brief internship with an NGO, Seva Mandir), the National Youth Conference in January, the recent SP Jain Sports Meet (of which I was not a part), I-club elections, Celebrations and Movie Nights organized by CulCom in addition to the usual day to day activities…

End terms did save my face to some extent, but the damage had been done and I’m sure my CGP will fall in Term 2. But I guess there’s no point crying over spilt milk. (Sometimes I hate cliches like that). I’m looking towards Term 3 now, hoping it’ll be a bit more generous towards my grade sheet. My interest in Finance has been waning day by day, and now I truly know, I was meant to be a Marketing lad. 🙂

Holidays after a rigorous term are always a delight, and when you add “HOME” to that equation, it becomes Heaven. This term break of 11 days were truly a treat. Spent some quality time with my family and friends (though many of them weren’t in town). Udaipur was awesome as always! The extended term break (yes, normally it’s just 6-7 days), was because of an internship which we had to undergo as a part of our curriculum in SBM(Society, Business and Management). I visited some of the most far-fetched villages in Udaipur district, while I was interning with an NGO known as Seva Mandir.
Due to the recent Satyam Fiasco, our institute plans to add more courses which will sensitize the participants at IIM Indore to social and ethical aspects of business. I guess our juniors will benefit from such courses in the coming years. 🙂 I remember the words of Prof. Pradip Khandwala (Ex-Director, IIM Ahmedabad) from yesterday’s seminar. He had ended his talk with this line – “In Modern World Business, Goodness Pays!”. He emphasized on the fact that CSR would help companies increase returns and reduce risk, thus increasing share value. I totally agree; companies will have to be socially responsible in the future, whether they like it or not!

To commemorate the 146th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, IIM Indore organized a National Youth Conference from January 12-14 2009. Our new Director, Prof. Ravichandran is of the view that IIM Indore should be different in terms of the things we do and the way we do them. This Conference was his brain-child. The goal was to sensitise the young men and women of India to issues of national concern and to identify the role that the youth must play to take India forward in its march towards being counted among the best. Designed as a series of guest lectures and panel discussions, the Conference addressed areas such as Economic Reforms, Micro Finance, Spirituality, Science & Technology, Rural Health and Agriculture. The conference was attended by around 15 eminent guest speakers and over 300 participants from 40 colleges across India.
Among the guest speakers were Mr. Shekhar Gupta, Editor in Chief of Indian Express, Mr. D R Karthikeyan, former Director of the CBI, Dr. A D Dharma, the Deputy Director at ISRO Bangalore and many others.

Though life is pretty hectic on this hillock, the Cultural Committee (another student body under SAC) ensures that we pay our regards to the ultimate manager above us, I mean “GOD”. The committee brings together the entire IIM Indore family during occasions such as Lodhi, Sarasvati Pooja, etc. We even had our own Santa Clause’s distributing gifts during Christmas. During special occasions, Movies are screened for the entire batch in the auditorium, and sometimes under the stars, in front of a bonfire. We come to enjoy even classics like “Gunda” (there’s no sarcasm in that statement). Great work Guys….

Though we might not have the best sports facilities yet (there are plans for a Sports Complex in the pipe-line, and may take some time to be fully functional), we have some pretty good athletes at Planet I. SportsCom is one damn active committee out here. They’ve been conducting regular events over the past month and there have been great competitions to watch. In addition to that, our team secured fourth place (there were 12 colleges in all) at the recent sports meet at SP Jain, Mumbai. Congrats to all the guys and girls who took part in the meet…. 🙂

It was election time again on campus during the first week of February. This time round, they were for members of I-clubs (Interest clubs). However, there wasn’t much campaign-fever this time. One of my friends, Abhi was elected as Secy for Currenc-I, which is the Economics & IB club of IIM Indore, and a few of us got to take a party from him. That was one good thing, in addition to of course many other friends (Surya aka Mummy, OD, Shashi, Arijit Das,, Dogra, Goli, Avadhoot, and a few others) who were also elected. Good luck guys….

Its 1.53 AM, and I just had to take a bath, because of one idiot “Raina”, who showered everyone with cold drink a while back… Let me rewind a bit… It was actually Karl’s birthday, and we all cut a cake and plastered a bit on his face. That was when the sprinklers started, first on Karl, and then Raina sprayed everyone else. Of course, we got back at him, tore his shirt and had a slipper fight. It didn’t end there…. Gunjan went mad with the liquid soap after we tried taking a picture of him in the Men’s room. Oh, we MBAs know how to enjoy and get wild sometimes. I wish I had Raina’s pics. I’d post them here….

Anyways, I’ll end this huge post now. I’m tired and have some work to get back to. See you again soon.. Adios…. 🙂