Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The last lap of academic life...

Finally, after a roller coaster ride I have made it to IIM B, one of the premier management schools of the country. So I guess Banerrghatta Road, Bangalore will be my place of residence for the next two years. Being an old man as I am, this will probably be the last time I will stay in a campus. As a result, I plan to derive the maximum during my stay there. Soak in the atmosphere, enjoy the MBA life to the fullest, make some very good friends, tremendous network.......and I dare say learn a lot, or simply survive.

Any specific plans over the next 2 years?
Not exactly. Just enjoy the last two years of my student life. I do have a few plans like getting associated with some coaching organisations for CAT, and also passing on whatever knowledge I have to future aspirants. Giving fundae, is something which I love, and hence i will try to leverage it. Interacting with different people, starting from fellow batchmates to profs is another thing on my agenda.

Will I be missing Mumbai?
Not really, but I shall be definitely missing some of the good friends i have made over here.
I was hoping to get into IIM C so that I can spend some quality time at home too. However, my mathematical abilities let me down during CAT and hence I am going to B and not C.
From now on, I will try to post on this site my real life experiences at IIM B.
Koi nahi to khud hi sahi ........"Three Cheers for becoming the best educational brand ambassador of the country, an IIT-IIM ite!"

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

The KPO scene in the country.

What do we exact;y mean by KPO?

We are all aware of BPO (Business Process Outsourcing). A layman associates BPO with call centers. However, it is much more than that. Operations or processes which doesnt involve high end skills can be outsourced to low cost countries. The basic motive of these jobs is to cut costs and result in insignificant impact on the parent companies bottomline. The people hired in these BPO jobs are young people just out of college or in some cases even studying in some colleges. Frankly speaking, they are presently unemployable in any field. For them, a BPO job gives them much needed cash and a job gives them somewhat amount of respectibility in the society. Its a win win situation for both the companies and the young, just out of college guy. The companies reduce their costs whereas the guy gets some money. Infusion of some foreign currency in this way helps the Indian economy. Consumption goes up and so does inflation. The mood of the country which is mainly governed by the mood of the youngsters in a relatively young country like ours remains joyous and optimistic. A general feeling of well being encompasses us all.

Now, lets focus on the KPO sector. They employ a bit better skilled people than the BPO firms. In India the KPOs mainly consist of financial firms doing analytical work, equity research etc. Many of the big banks have set up their captive units out here. They typically employ statisticians, economists, lawyers, financial analysts and engineers too. Please note that they pay good to very good remuneration.
Similarly skilled people are a scarcity in the developed world and they also cost a lot more compared to here. They also hire from the elite institutions like IITs and IIMs. The people who get employed with them get a headstart in their career in terms of the salary they command. Moreover, working for a captive unit of a big bank gives them the oppurtunity to add the value of a big brand on their CV.
Everything looks hunky dowry in the above scenario, isnt it?

There is one significant point which was not addressed above. The quality of the work. Please understand that the basic premise of the business model is cost reduction. The best brains havent been hired because they can do a better work compared to their "onshore analyst counterparts", they have been hired because they come at a far lesser cost. In a typical such model you have a onshore analyst to which a team or an offshore analyst gets attached to. The onshore guy is responsible for delegating work to the people out here, who after completing it send it back to them. It is these onshore analysts who interact with the business, understand their needs and then finally try to provide a solution. Look at the thing from the perspective of an onshore analyst. He will want to get rid of the necessary but tedious work. The more tedious and lowgrade it is, the higher is it's probability of getting outsourced. The idea is to standardise and automate the process as far as possible so that chances of manual intervention are minimised. Then this "process" of running the job/ creating the report/ running the process can be sent over to India.

It is sent over to India in the garb of exciting work in so and so domain. Often it is in the garb of "I Banks".
When good quality students get such a job, they are initially lured by good money and brand name. However, once the initial attraction of money goes, people tend to see through this model. They try to find a way to get out of this system. However, what options do they have? Switching jobs will take them from one KPO to another, one process to another. Switching fields means they need to start from scratch in the new field. Here, they would fail to take advantage of the brand name they presently have on their cv. Front end jobs are also beyond their reach as banks dont want people who have been running mere processes irrespective of what they have done before that. This is a strange type of situation which many of the grads from elite institutions are nowadays facing.

In such a situation, the companies dont have too much attrition. Moreover, as the process is almost standardised they can afford to let go of these employees. Often during the initial interview stage the onshore analysts understand that a certain guy may be over qualified for the job and hence will get frustrated in quick time. However, they still hire him as "by the time, the guy realises, that the job was not meant for him, he would have been somemonths into it, set up the entire thing to run smoothly and hence served their purpose." The challenge is the highest whenever a new thing is set up from scratch. It is is during this stage that quality people come in handy. However, once the process matures, you can do away with the expensive elite grad and hire less expensive people from lower wrung schools.

This is entirely from first hand experience with no element of fiction whatsoever in this. All graduates, joining KPOs please be sure of your work profile. The profile of the job is the most important thing and unless you find it interesting there is no point in taking it up.

Monday, January 07, 2008


This marks my return to blogging after a hiatus of about a year.
Not much has changed since the last 1 year, but i would like to believe i have become much more matured now.
On the advice of my friend I have decided to change my blogging style. Instead of writing about my life in general, I will henceforth write about my feelings, dreams and thoughts on things which i feel strongly about.

Thursday, February 15, 2007


<>I have finally decided to end my slumber of 10 months and revive my almost lost passion for blogging. Though I wasn’t myself blogging, during this interim period, I have been following my favourite blogs none the less. Why did I take such an extended vacation from blogging? Did I have nothing to write about or was I way too busy?
Neither, it was simple plain unhindered laziness from my end. It is so much easier to speak out your feelings rather than take all the pain and pen down your thoughts.The very thought of sitting for an hour and composing something meaningful out of the gibberish ideas that come to my mind was the sole reason for me staying away for so long. Seeing the multitude of people who are so adept at multitasking and time management, I am really ashamed that I cant even manage the time once a month to blog. <>
Some brief update from my side: <>
Though I had got a software job based out of Bangalore from the campus, I managed to get another offcampus job. However, it was in a different field that of analytics. I took up this job and I am currently working as a Business Analyst in a reputed analtical firm in Kolkata. <>

Life is going on fine, but I sincerely miss my old life in the institute, my old friends and the carefree attitude which I always cherished. It is so much different outside!Earlier I was forever in loan and always bankrupt, this has changed somewhat since I got my first salary (mind you, it is only just). However, something seems to have gone out of life now. The only time I think I am usual old self is when I meet my old batchmates and this is becoming increasingly infrequent. I spoke to several of my friends and all of us had the same feelings. Academic life is so much better than job life! I guess the “grass is always greener on the other side.” <>

Does that mean I will go back to higher studies and pursue my Phd? I don’t think so, Phd studies are always very boring unless you are of an inquisitive type which I am not. Undergraduate days are the best days of your life though I never believed it when I was in the midst of it. <>
So how is life currently going on: <>
Life has definitely become a lot more hectic, specially with a 10.30 to 7.30 job. I am lucky I have this good timing, I am made to believe by my friends that they are worse off.

I hardly get time to browse through the newspaper in the morning and by the time, I reach my house in the evening, I am totally drained of energy to do anything worthwhile. Weekends are reserved for occasional randezvous with old friends, and sleeping.

I can attribute another reason why my blogging habbits took a beating. I had decided to concentrate my efforts on the networking site named Orkut. It seems to be a very bad habbit and wastes away a lot of your time. However, it is too addictive to leave it aside.

So what lies in store for me next: <>
I have absolutely no idea, maybe I would like to learn some foreign language or play some musical instrument. I miss my old friends a lot, so a trip to Bangalore is foremost in my mind, sometime in june. As for future plans, I haven’t made up my mind at all, so no point in discussing it. <>
I guess this should be more than enough to signal my comeback from sabbatical. I will try to find some other more interesting topic for my next post.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

An experience of a lifetime Part 1

I never expected my blog to become so very famous that people start demanding posts. Anyways, here it goes….
This is a series of articles based on my IIT experienced starting from the first year onwards. I shall put down all my memorable experiences of the last 5 years.
However before I begin, I would like to congratulate one of my closest pals Rahul Gupta. He got a terrific job yesterday in i2 technologies. This was the last company in the campus and he cracked it. In all probability he will be sent abroad. I wish him all the best and I am sure he is going to go places.
5 years ago, when I landed up in the campus, I was a starry eyed, simple innocent teenager. Coming from a background which had never boasted of an engg leave alone an iitian, I was simply overwhelmed by the fact that I got into the best engg college of India. In school and everywhere else I was a big fish in a very small pond. But here suddenly I was thrown into the ocean teeming with various varieties of fish, sharks and other species. Until I got into IIT ,I always considered iitians to be from a different planet, they were something extraordinary, God’s gift to mankind. They could do what many will not even dream of doing. Today, I have no hesitation in saying that I was afraid to come to IIT. I was afraid of the competition, afraid of the people I would meet, afraid of the profs, afraid of everything here.
My IIT sojourn started on a bad note. I was expecting to get into the Btech course In Energy Engg, however by sheer bad luck I missed it by just 11 AIR ranks and instead landed up in a dual degree course. I had never lived away from my parents barring a few odd cases. It was really tough mentally, to adjust to the fact that I might not see them for months. The day I left for Kgp, I was excited for I was going to a new place, but I had no idea that though my parents were keeping a happy countenance, they were actually crying inside. I am dead sure that it must have been very tough for them.
On reaching the Kharagpur Railway station, there was a bus waiting which took us to IIT Kharagpur which was going to be my second home for the next 5 years.
As we entered the imposing campus, I was awed by the magnificient red coloured main building. In italics “Dedicated to the service of the nation” was written on the building. We were then allocated our rooms. I was expecting to get a single room, but I was shocked when two of us were put into a single room meant for one. My roommate, though a Bengali by birth was as different from me as possible. He was a typical Bihari, with a bihari ascent an extrovert sort of guy while I was an introvert. The very thought that I would have to spend one entire year in the same room as this fellow was traumatizing. Anyways, adjustment was the necessity of the day and I tried to adjust as much as possible.
The first few days of a new semester at IIT is always very hectic. More so if it happens to be the first year of your stay and you don’t know how the system works. You have to run around and by the time you reach the actual office or counter, it is closed by then. The first week was very taxing. More so, as I did not have any cycle and had to walk around the entire campus. Anyways the classes started and each class had strength of around 120. The courses were too many, tough, the profs not very good (surprised??????, well that is a truth). All in all it was a nightmare to get used to the system. The pace of teaching too fast, I hardly used to understand anything in class….thus I gradually stopped attending classes. I was awed by the quality of students and their receptive power. Students were apparently being able to absorb what ever was being taught with ease whereas I was hardly being able to understand them. An inferiority complex did creep into my system. More so when I got a bad SGPA at the end of the first sem.
The second sem was as different from the first sem as possible. It started with the introduction of computers in our hostel rooms and this entirely changed the culture of IIT Kharagpur. The details of it are reserved for another post.

P.S. Had our dept farewell today. It was the last time we were going to have dinner together in our dept. Really feeling very nostalgic at this moment. These last five years have really flown by quickly. In one sentence, the IIT experience is “an experience of a lifetime” and I am privileged to have got it. Thank you God!!!!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

A grand treat

Almost a year ago, in one of the numerous treats I had promised my wingmates that I shall give them a big treat if i get a job with a package of more than 5 lac. I had done this because of two reasons. That year the average salary was pretty low. Moreover, I was sure that getting a big salary job was way beyong my means. But things were very different this year, the salary increased in rapid coordination with the sensex, and thus my wingmates demanded their pound of flesh.
Being a gentleman as I am, I acceded to their request and give them a treat at Mainland China, the best Chinese restaurant of Kolkata.I had never gone their before but had heard a lot about it. And how it lived upto its reputation. We had a sumptuous lunch. The ambience was terrific, the chicken delicious and the deserts mind blowing. I still can not get over the taste of Chilli Prawn that we had. All in all it was a lunch, i am not going to forget in a long long time. We mwt a number of celibrities too. Susham Seth( of Dekh bahi dekh fame), Suhel Seth, Sumit Tandon,June maliyah and the present Indian Football Captain Baichung Bhutia.

However I am not going to bore with the detaisl of the lunch. I am goign to write about two serials i have become addicted to. When i was very small i lived serials like Dekh Bhai Dekh, Zabaan Samalke, Junoon etc etc. However since the KKK serials came up , i have stopped watching all serials. The abundance of free tiem to waste in kgp combined with the presence of a large number of serials on the lan propelled me to restart this bad habbit of watching serials. Not watching any serials in considered a sort of taboo in kgp. It was because of this that i decided to see the first episode of a serial called Twenty Four. Wow! That was the starting point of an addiction that started about two months ago. Till date i have watched around 104 episodes of this serial.

The concept is innovative, the action mindblowing, the ending unpredictable, all in all a thriller the like of which I am sure you have never seen before. I cant understand why our serial makers cant copy these ideas from abroad. If the movie directors can, why cant the serial writers do the same? There are 24 epsiodes in a season synonymous to the 24 hours in a day. The action is completed in a single day i.e. 24 hrs and hence the name od the serial. It is all about how the CTU(Counter Terrorist Organisation) acts in situations where the antional security has been compromised.Though some of the action shown is keeps you always on the edge of the seat. For people who love action movies this serial is a must watch. Keifer Sutherland is a revelation in this serial. His movies have been flops but he surely rocks in 24.

The other serial i love is named Hustle. It's a British serial.
It is on the likes of the famous Ocean's Eleven. It's all about con men, and how they target their mark, fix them up and finally dupe them. This serial is pretty hilarious and there is not a single action or violent scene in this....for the rule of the con says that "the conned men should never realise that they have been conned." Each episode is discrete and one can start from any episode.
I am sure u must have been completely bored till now, but u see i did not have any other thing to write about. Next post onwards i shall write something meaningful, i promise. Till then follow the first rule of con which says " Find someone who wants something for nothing and give him nothing for something."

Tuesday, March 28, 2006


The placement season has almost come to a conclusion. After lakhs of gpls n cpls (kgp lingo) I have finally managed to get placed.That’s some big grand news.I got employed in a software product based firm called Six Dee Technologies. The package is six lakhs. WOW!! That’s huge, atleast to a engg fresher like me. After 5 years of engineering studies, getting a good job was my topmost priority. I think I have finally achieved that. After months of struggle and turmoil, there was finally some good news.

The year started on a bad note with my failure in CAT. I got a miserable 97% which was far below my expectation. I wanted to go out of kgp with a bang and hence prove my detractors wrong. I wanted to go out being a blacki and having bagged a great job. However, for the first two months of this year, I was really struggling. Due to some amount of bad luck and in some cases my own fault, I could not find any company which was willing to offer me employment. All big guns came and left and I was left to fend for myself.

The last company which I sat for before getting placed was Quest which was way back in January. For the next one and a half month I did not sit for any company. That was a very risky decision, but I was ready to face the worst. Majority of the companies coming at that time were either paying less or their work profile did not interest me. It was really a very mentally taxing situation seeing all your friends and batch mates getting placed whereas I am going to the tnp section day in and day out. Sneers, taunts everything was there for me. It took all my guts and mental toughness to get out of the imbroglio. Only a handful of friends and my parents were supportive of me. At the end even they too had become jittery along with me. I had already given up hope of getting placed from the campus. In such a circumstance I had planned to go to Bangi after passing out and apply to the companies out there. Previously I had said that luck is the sole most important factor in deciding a job. In my case too, luck favoured but not at the right time, just at the fag end of the placement season. Well, beating my own drum…..i would like to say tht Fortune favours the brave.

I did not like coding since my first year….even now I am a bit hesitant to do it. I always loved analytics and the financial sector. Even both my btech as well Mtech project are in analytical domain. I had mentally prepared myself for a job in either Operations or in Analytics. As luck would have it I have now landed up with a good and high paying software job. The company seems to be good, the work interesting, growth opportunity immense and package high. However, it is completely different to what I have been doing for the last 23 yrs of my life. Now it seems I am going to do a lot of coding for the next 2 -3 years. Thats precisely why I always say that “Circumstances maketh a man”.

Kgp life is almost coming to an end. In one sentence “ it was an experience of a lifetime.”
From the next post onwards I shall be sharing my memorable experiences from first year onwards till date.

I am not exactly jubiliant or ecstatic but just relieved that I landed up with a job. It always feels nice to be on the other side of the bridge, even though the bridge might be just a foot long!