One month into the program, I must admit that I have made a good decision. I am finally living my big dream – doing an MBA and that too from a premier institue – S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Reasearch (SPJIMR). I must confess that this one month has started transforming me into a person with a broad perspective and a lateral thinking.

I always heard from people that MBA is a “FAD” and this belief became stronger after coming to this place, but all for good. This belief always keeps you on your toes and motivates you to do something bigger and better in life. This belief does not let you sleep with an aim to prove the world and the critics wrong at the end of the day. Having said that, I must acknowledge that MBA will never bring a sea change in you and your personality but it can always provide you with the ways of how you can excel and react to the opportunities coming your way. It will always give you the means to reach your goals. People say that MBA is all about “GYAAN” and this is true in every sense. But one should not forget that this “GYAAN” comes from others’ practical experiences and one should respect this fact. It is upto an individual how he/she perceives this gyaan and relates to the experiences in his/her life. One should be absolutely clear about why he wants to do an MBA and what benefits he desire to reap from the MBA program (this is especially true for a one year MBA). It requires a lot of introspection to be done and a showcase of your initiative taking abilities. It is all about making the right move and meeting the right people at the right time.

In a B-school, you are exposed to the harsh realities of life, the prominent one being the “The Rat Race”. No matter how strong you are in your beliefs, the B-school will always accelerate your involvement in this rat-race. The learning is to not get into this trap and look out for avenues to leverage on your past experiences and to gather “GYAAN” from all the corners of the college building, with an effective filter working round the clock.

Though these are stil the early days, but one thing is clear – Most of us who came here with a pre-determined mindset of where they want to be after one year and how they will change themselves and the world around after getting that “elusive” MBA degree are totally stumped after getting the real feel of the environment. I know you are a bit confused at this point (which is quite human :-) ). Just to elaborate, an MBA degree will never load you with the golds and the diamonds, what it can best do for you is to start introspecting what you have, where you want to go and how you can reach there. It will inculcate in you the “Can-do” spirit by setting aside your fears – the fear of failure and the fear of rejection. Staring from the first day itself, you should always “Design and improvise your learning process at the institute”. As they say, “Calm seas never make a good sailor”, so before embarking on a journey to change the things around you, a B-school life is a big opportunity to experience the change management, starting from your innerself.

So, in sum, you have to enjoy each and every minute of your stay in a B-school with your eyes and ears wide open because this is the place to see the world in totality and a place to do some introspection before its too late and you find yourself standing at the closing doors of the MBA program.

Keep reading for more updates……

With Best Wishes,
Kunal Gupta
PGPM811 (batch of 2012)
SPJIMR, Mumbai

Let me introduce myself before we take a deep dive into my own experience and perspective for choosing a particular B-School for management studies. I am a traditional Indian IT professional with varied experience in some of the well-known IT companies in India (I hope I am just in assuming that the readers know companies like Infosys, IBM). After spending more than seven years in the industry I gained technical expertise and varied domain knowledge in Telecom, Retail. Many of you will also be interested in knowing my objective for doing MBA at this stage of career, but, I will keep it as a secret which will only to be revealed in front of admission committee. After all, it is a subjective matter and everyone has their own idea behind getting into management studies.

I started to think about doing one year MBA from India a year ago. That does not mean I did not ponder on the idea of reaching to Europe/ US for the most sought qualification. US B-schools were anyway out of the reach of my financial horizon and risk appetite. I applied to few of the B-Schools in UK and eventually got admission offer from one of those; later realized that this was also not my cup of coffee. Looking at the current economic scenario and my own personal constraint; I was not ready to spend some thousand EUROS to learn management practice which anyway I could not have applied to Indian perspective as I need to stay back in UK to recover the fixed and variable costs (a management concept I already know even before starting to study it formally).

So, let us discuss about the B-schools is India offering one-year MBA. As I scored a decent 720 in GMAT, I targeted only some of the top B-Schools which I have listed down below. I would like to take and each institute and provide my opinion about it (of course the opinions presented here are personal and I have tried to make sure that I am not biased toward the one I finally opted).

IIM – Ahmadabad/Bangalore

These B-schools tend to focus on participants who would like to shift career from middle management to senior management. These are the most sought brand names in India in management studies and corporate flock to campus to pick up the best managers. The average experience for admission into IIM-A/B stands at 10-12 years and I believe this is the one of reason I did not get a response back. As every business caters to a unique market segment, their target customers are mid-level executives, the course fee also tend to be on a higher side (2 million INR). It seems to be 30% less than what I could have shell out if I did plan to do MBA from a decent B-Schools in UK.

Indian School of Business, Hyderabad

This is one of the Schools which made me do a lot of cost-benefit analysis even before sending application. A grand salute to their efforts to bring the course at par with some of the most sought courses/B-schools in a short span of time. But what make me wonder are the current trends in admission in-take and the placement opportunities available in market. With a sheer batch size of 800 + participants and operations in two campuses; I will be impressed with institute efficiency to get everyone in the batch placed with a so claimed high post-course average package. Also the high investment makes me doubt about my own capabilities to earn and quickly get back to a financially equilibrium.

I hesitantly applied and to my dismay I got an interview waitlist (this is better way to say someone that you are neither selected for interview nor rejected).

IIM Lucknow, Noida Campus

This was one of the institute I was looking forward to the most due to family reasons and location advantage (I preferred to stay in NCR region). The interview turn-out ratio (10 out of 19 applicant appeared for the interview in my slot and similar figures from other locations) and feedback from various source make it clear that the IIM-L Noida campus is still struggling to pick its own share of cake in the elite class of other IIMs. Placements figures were a bit confidential affair and I struggled to get the exact picture even after trying all the sources I could. The course fee though less as compared to other IIMs was still a costly affair for me.

I appeared for the interview and waited for 2 weeks with finger crossed.

S P Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai

Constantly ranked among the top 10 for last many years and churning out its 8th batch of one year MBA batch;  the B-school was my last target to be in. The total cost of the course is half as compared to other B-Schools I targeted. Placement, as I got to know is decent and is more dependent on participants own efforts (but this is the case with every other 1 year B-School). The participants leverage on the B-school brand and Alumni network along with their own network to get into the role/job they aspire to be in.

 So, what was my decision and where am I today

I landed in S P Jain Mumbai on 8 Jan, 2012 with hope that the year 2012 will be the most exciting year in life.  The first few days in the campus made me realize that I have landed at the right place.

First of all, the feeling of funding my course from my own pocket made me free from lot of worries. I will not be carrying a baggage and will not worry whole year about the placement as it hinders the learning process. After all, the placement and job is not the ultimate objective of getting into management studies, when I already had a well paying job.

Second, now I believe that for a person like me who has been more occupied in the world of programming languages and algorithms, there is a lot of learning and personal development is required. The top class institutes admit people who are already well suited executives and just need a brand name to accelerate the career. I did not find any examples, where they admit an average individual and turn him into an entirely different person.  It is logical for me to rather join a decent B-School which is still aspiring to be in top-notch class and is putting extra emphasis on learning and development rather than emphasizing more on the marketing techniques. After all, we are the one who will ultimately pay for their marketing expenses.

Third, as the course starts three months earlier as compared to other institutes which start the session in April-May, I will be completing the course early and will be back in job to support my family.

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.”

-PGPM 811 Participant.


Where Industry meets Academia

SPJIMR, Andheri(W), Mumbai – September 17-18, 2010 – Industry integration is a key component of management education at SPJIMR. To develop future leaders capable of taking on higher management roles in transforming organizations, the institute emphasizes a quasi partnership approach between industry and academia.

SAMAVESH 2010 – where Industry meets Academia, organized by participants of the eleven-month Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) underscores this focus. SAMAVESH 2010 featured a series of panel discussions, where industry experts from various domains discussed current trends and challenges with students, alumni and faculty of various programmes being offered at SPJIMR.

The event, which spread over two days – Sept. 17 & 18, consisted of four panel discussions on the following topics:

  • How can Financial Institutions fund 10% GDP growth?
  • Management of Logistics & Infrastructural challenges in India
  • Advantage India, Marketers Serve.
  • Cloud Computing – An opportunity or a concern?

Each panel discussion began with SPJIMR’s resident faculty introducing the theme for the session after which panelists shared their thoughts. Each engaging panel discussion concluded with a Q&A session, which saw a volley of questions from the students. Each round of discussions was followed by a networking session were industry and academia bonded over tea and snacks.

The event concluded on a high note with academia and industry appreciating the forum and emphasizing the need for sustained partnership between them.

Theme 1: How can Financial Institutions fund 10% GDP growth?

September 17, 2010, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

The panel for the topic – ‘How can Financial Institutions fund 10% GDP growth?’ included Dr. D. K. Joshi, Chief Economist, CRISIL; Mr. Murali Ramakrishnan, Head – Credit Risk, ICICI Bank; Mr. Vineet Rai, CEO, Aavishkaar and Mr. K. Ramasubramanian, Ex- General Manager, RBI, who also chaired the discussion.

Theme 2: Management of Logistics & Infrastructural challenges in India

September 17, 2010, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The second panel discussion scheduled for the day was chaired by Mr. Aanand Pandey, Chief Editor, Log India. The panel also included Mr. Neil Basu, Regional Manager, Philips Electronics India Ltd; Mr. Pradeep Chechani, Vice President – SCM & Business Head – West & East India, Wadhawan Group and Mr. Vishal Patell, Director – Supply chain, Chep.

Theme 3: Advantage India, Marketers Serve.

September 18, 2010, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Industry experts who formed the panel for the third discussion theme of SAMAVESH 2010 – Advantage India, Marketers Serve, were Mr. Abhijit Saxena, CEO, Netcore Systems; Mr. Madan Sanglikar, Partner-Invention, Mindshare; Mr. Sujan Roy, Head – Product Marketing, Volkswagen India. The panel was chaired by Prof. S K Palekar, Chairperson Executive Education & Senior Prof of Marketing at SPJIMR.

Theme 4: Cloud Computing – An opportunity or a concern?

September 18, 2010, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

The concluding theme of discussion at SAMAVESH 2010 was – Cloud Computing – An opportunity or a concern? The panel for the discussion included Mr. Arun Goel, Vice President, Ericsson; Mr. Dahnesh Dilkhush, Lead – National Data Centre, Microsoft India; Mr. Vikas Gupta, Head – Enterprise Solutions, Dell Computers; Mr. Vikrant Kaulgud, Senior Researcher, Accenture Technology Labs and Prof. Oscar J DSouza, Head of Information Management SAU at SPJIMR, who chaired the panel.

About PGPM:

Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGPM) is an eleven month, full-time, residential programme. The mission of the programme is to create and nurture value-based future leaders taking on higher management roles in transforming organizations.

SPJIMR perceived the need of the industry for thought leaders in middle level management and successfully endeavoured to create the PGPM course. The programme, which is in its sixth year, has challenged the paradigm of conventional part time courses for working executives.

The unique aspect of the programme is the focus on the specific Role and Domain that the participant is interested to pursue. The customized approach ensures

A) Contextually specific role and domain focus
B) Functionally integrated teaching-learning process

Accreditations: SPJIMR’s eleven months PGPM programme is the first full-time post graduate programme in India to have received the MBA accreditation by AMBA (Association of MBA’s, UK- www.mbaworld.com).

For more, visit: http://www.spjimr.org/pgpm/pgpm_home.asp

Planning has been done. Stage is set. Curtains are ready to be rolled. Speakers are preparing for the address note. We students are all set and eagerly waiting for the next couple of days to unfold. We have crossed our fingers. All our project management skills will be put to a test. Its time for the execution, the way we have foreseen it. The first event fully co-ordinated by PGPM students, since the program started back in 2004, will start tomorrow.

“Samavesh, 2010” will be an interface where eminent personalities from industry will come and share a perspective with the students. The panel discussions will show us a way towards future. The interaction with the industry will expose us to the real scenario and real problems. Though we all have a good industry experience but a different perspective is all we are looking for!

Lets hope the trend we have started continues and academia & industry both gets benefited from this initiative.

Knowledge influences practice.
Practice refines knowledge.
Let industry and academia integrate.
Let ignited minds ideate.

Friends, we have been through a wonderful journey and a fantastic experience since we all got together for our 1 year MBA program at SPJIMR. I just felt like summing all of it in a simple way from A – Z. Here we go.

B- B-School
C- Committees & Clubs
E- Economic Times
F- Facebook
G- Gita Shibir
H- Harvard Business Review
I- Industry Integration
J- Juniors
K- Knowledge
L- Leadership
N- Name Plates
O- Online Exams
Q- Quizzes
R- Rains
S- SP Jain
T- Thank God Its Thursday
V- Vrindavan
W- Wednesday Weekend
X- Xerox centre
Y- Yoga
Z- Zoo for pigeons, dogs, fishes…

— Posted by Krishna Kranthi, Class of 2010

Errors and mistakes take us on the journey from inexperience to wisdom. However, in real business scenarios making mistakes involve very high stakes, it can result in loss of a deal, loss of a customer or even loss of the Job! Industrat, the Strategic Industrial Marketing Simulation was a stepping stone to give us an opportunity to learn from mistakes, to practice the theory we learnt in a virtual scenario!!  Moreover, we simulated 9 long years in a week’s time.

For Industrat simulation, PGPM class was divided into 4 industries such as Trees, Fruits, Flowers and Birds.  And, there were 5 companies within each industry. The companies were allocated specific marketing budget and were responsible for marketing, R&D and HR decisions.  Next year’s marketing budget depended on company’s performance in previous year specifically on market share, stock price and contribution margin.

Initial years were bit confusing and we took some time to understand research reports and customer perception map. As the years passed on, our understanding evolved. Most of us decided our target segments and started placing new products. Environment became competitive yet collaborative, complex yet enjoyable and virtual yet real!  Collaboration between rivals to develop new technologies, enthusiasm to know previous year’s performance and hurry to take right but timely decision made our industrat journey intense and full of excitement.

Talking specifically about our company ‘Rose’, we had some of the best products and we also came up with the new product ‘KISS’ which had a strategic position on perception map. Initially we concentrated on market share in terms of volume and ignored value, did not take into account inflation our margins depleted. In the later session, we had a strategic alliance with other team and launched a new product “LIFE”, well Life did give us life and in the end we were the second best company in our industry.

Over all, the experienced enhanced analytical skills, decision making power and business acumen of the participants. Industrat was followed by Capstone simulation, which seemed a logical extension to our previous learning and broadened the scope to include finance, operations and strategy.

–Posted by Kosha Joshi, Class of 2010