Sunday, December 31, 2006

ISB Life at its very best - you simply have to check out this video !!!!

The Xpult Video ;-)

Friday, December 29, 2006


As more and more of our mba is coming to an end, the cooler and better our classes are becoming.

quality management has been a pleasure!

Applications have also been an awesome pedagogy and and testifying that fact is the recent Xpult experiment and demonstration we were subjected to in class.

very briefly ... Xpult is a catapult and as students we needed to conduct experiments and create a model which maps a set of parameters to a result, which is the distant the ball travels. its an awesome way to teach about Design of Experiments and Taguchi Methods.

we had to present our findings in class which was succeeded by an in-class demonstration of the reliability of our model.

take a look at the setup of the experiment at our apartment ->


In the news

I have been misquoted again ....

these damn press folks .... Grrrrr

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

MBA in 3 words !!!

Process, Process, Process .....


Monday, December 25, 2006

Solstice 2006 !!!! - The Alumni reunion @ the ISB


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Finally the real thing - Private Equity - Yeah !!!

It's almost as if these guys were saving the best for the last.

we have had some really awesome courses the last 6 terms, but the Investing in Private Equity takes the cake.

2 awesome professors, no examinations - what could be better

the first half of the course is taught by Prof Thomas Hellman who teaches at Stanford and University of British Columbia and the second half by Prof Vinay Nair who teaches at Wharton.

If thomas was good vinay almost blew us away.

This guy, came directly from a long haul flight, horribly jet lagged and delivered an exceptional class to 3 separate sections. he would be teaching 5 sessions to 3 sections within a week and covering material which he typically takes 3 months to cover in wharton in about 8 days at ISB. awesome guy

If ISB can continue to attract profs like this to come here, many indian students might not see the value add in going to the US.


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Discussion Boards - a Wonderful way of keeping garbage, popularly known as "Class Participation" out of the class

Discussion Boards - a Wonderful way of keeping garbage, popularly known as "Class Participation" out of the class

We have a course titled Managerial Decision Making taught by Prof. Joseph Russo from the Johnson School of Business at Cornell and in that he has opted for a very succesful form of grading Class Participation.

We has instituted half the grade for class participation to a Discussion board on blackboard (an online student information medium)

this has been very popular with the students, here at ISB with almost 80 entries notched by the first week alone. which is all the more surprising as that the class consists of only 65 students.

Even yours truly managed to slide a couple of comments in ....

On the topic of Framing - which is nothing but viewing a problem differently or out of the box thinking, I wrote a couple of comments ...

Comment 1

Study groups or taking decision in teams is a wonderful method of counteracting the disadvantages on thinking through a specific frame. Diversified groups consist of people from a variety of backgrounds, each of whom apply a different frame to a problem and view it differently. The result is that learning teams/study groups achieve far superior results when compared to a individual effort.

To cite from an exercise we did in a Quality Management class taught by Prof Ram Ganeshan recently...

The objective of the exercise was to illustrate the different ways in which individuals as well as teams solve a problem.

The task consisted of ranking a list of 12 items in order of importance for survival, when stranded at a plane crash site in -20 degrees Celsius. the items were things like loaded .34 calibre pistol, can of shortening, axe, blanket, 12 sets of shirts and pants, a large canvas, a bottle of whiskey, a lighter without fluid, a map, a compass and newspapers.

This ranking was done by a team of 8 people and in parallel by 12 students, who did it individually.

This was compared with a ranking performed by experts, which afforded best chances of survival.

The results were not too surprising. The team's selection was better than the average decision of the individuals. Framing a problem in different frames, allows individuals to look at all aspects of a problem and reach at a far superior decision.

Comment 2

I have recently started reading a wonderful book called

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by Michael Lewis

This book is a wonderful rendition of how Oakland A's General Manager Billy Beane used innovative practices and viewed baseball differently when compared to other teams such as the famous Yankees and consequently maximised his dollar to win games in an as cheap manner as possible.

The approach of most famous teams is to purchase the most successful hitter/pitcher at an insane price and win games by scoring home runs or pitching out the other team. This method is extremely expensive and yields a very low "No. of Wins/$ spent" ratio.

Billy Beane of Oakland A's decided to view the problem of maximising the "No. of Wins/$ spent" ratio through different frames and enjoyed phenomenal successes. Rather than focussing on stars, who were expensive, he focussed on aspects such as fielding and the importance of getting a guy on the first base. Viewing the act of winning a game by spending the least amount of money via a different frame than other managers, permitted Billy to implement very successful practices which have resulted in a wonderful performance by the Oakland A's

Maybe Chappel can apply the principles of framing a problem differently and other aspects of a Decision Process to improve the woeful performances of the Indian Cricket Team.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visits ISB

The Global Logistics Summit (GLS), hosted by the Centre for Global Logistics and Manufacturing Strategies at the Indian School of Business, was inaugurated by the Honourable Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh on December 5, 2006.

read the full article here

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Quality Management at ISB - Simulating Toyota's processess

Learning via applications is personal favourite of mine and often proves to be a more effective pedagogy. A number of our courses such as Management in organization, Managerial Decision making, Logistics and supply chain as well quality management are a chock a block with applications.

in quality for instance, in the first class wee took a VHS tape apart and calculated the cost and tried to redesign the product to obtain a lower cost. that was a wonderful exercise but the second class broke all records.

We simulated Toyota's lean manufacturing concept, replete with kanban cards and the like - it was Awesome.

Since pictures say it best, here are some pictures which show us as labourers trying to manufactures cars in a bid to make as much of profit as possible.

They are obviously in order ....