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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

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Termed as America’s most debated subject, the Healthcare bill was finally signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday, Mar 30, 2010. The law aims at providing quality healthcare to all Americans at an affordable price. However, it is expected to drain a whopping $940 billion over 10 years from the federal government coffers.  This amount will only add to the ever-growing national debt of $12 trillion.  So what is the big deal?

FACTS:

Healthcare spend in the US constitutes 16% of their GDP, i.e. about $2.26 trillion. When calculated per capita, this amounts to $7,439. However, this figure is on the rise and is growing at a rate faster than their wages and inflation.  Also, the sector is controlled by insurance companies. Which means: no insurance cover – no medical help? Or rather, no insurance cover – prohibitive healthcare costs. The rising cost of healthcare has increased the cost of insurance cover. What caused the rise? Cost of drugs, skilled labour cost, R&D cost, inflation, regulation, etc. This in turn raised the premium on insurance policies. The vicious cycle caused huge drains on the pockets of the end consumer which led to a large pool of under-insured and uninsured people in the country. In order to create a common denominator, the federal government intervened. The ruling Democratic Party proposed “Universal” healthcare wherein it would provide low cost medical cover for the uninsured/under-insured. But this came at the cost of the tax payer. The citizens of the country reacted with mixed feelings with one half opposing it vehemently and the other half hailing it with great gusto! Before we move on, I would like you to pause and answer the following questions:

  1. In Business Environment we were taught – Government should not be in the business of running a business. Is Healthcare a Business? Should the government intervene?
  2. Is it prudent to spend $940 billion of tax payer money when the national debt is already $12 trillion and rising?

INDIA:

When we compare the scenario in India, we as a country rank very poorly on this front.  Healthcare is almost neglected even though for many years post-Independence the government was the largest provider of medical care. Life expectancy is very low, only 42% of childbirths are supervised by medical professionals and certain extinct diseases still in India! Again, cost plays a pivotal role for the lack of medical penetration. Can this barrier be broken? Or would we have to ape the west and create the vicious cycle that we discussed above? India is at the crossroad of deciding its healthcare policies. It is a known fact that an inefficient government is not the best guardian of a sector so close to human life. However, the sheer size of the population below the poverty line makes it impossible for healthcare in its current form to reach economies of scale. Just like the telecom industry is reaching the bottom of the pyramid, a revolutionary idea can enable this sector to penetrate to that depth. Can we develop a “shampoo in a sachet” solution in healthcare?  Sounds radical, but why not.

–          Posted by – Rahul N Bhat, Class of 2010

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PGPM at SPJIMR has a one credit course on Gita Shibir. When I first heard about this, I was puzzled – What a course in spirituality has to do with the management studies? My aim is to become an effective manager, at least I thought so.

But all my doubts, queries and concerns were resolved by our Dean, Dr Shrikant. The PGPM course at SPJIMR is designed to enrich our Intelligence Quotient (IQ – Head), Emotional Quotient (EQ – Heart) and Spiritual Quotient (SQ – Guts). In an introductory session on Gita Shibir, Dr Shrikant explained that in any management course, we study subjects like Financial Accounting though our aim is not to become a Chartered Accountant. We also study Business Law though our aim is not to become a lawyer. Similarly, we have this course on Gita Shibir, but our aim is not to become a sanyasi or a saint. This course on Gita Shibir helps us apply the spiritual learning from ancient Indian scriptures to our personal and corporate life. It intends to provide us with a value based growth that can transform us into better intuitive managers. In the introductory sessions by Dr Shrikant, I appreciated the fact that Gita Shibir is not about a particular religion. It is about the core concepts of spirituality which are applicable to humanity at large, irrespective of religion, caste, creed, language, country or any other differences. I also realized that these spiritual concepts make a good logical sense too and I developed a liking for this subject. I was now really looking forward to the three days of Gita Shibir session with Swami Viditatmanandji.

The three days with Swami Viditatmanandji endowed us with many pearls of knowledge and wisdom. There is a lot to learn from Geeta and it can not be summarized in a paragraph, but I would like to mention some key take aways from the session:

  • We relate success only with external achievements such as wealth, power, name, and fame but in the process neglect the inner happiness. Inner happiness comes with emotional maturity which includes values such as kindness, compassion, honesty, ability to forgive others, charity, etc.
  • Every relationship should be valued, nurtured and nourished. In any relationship, think what we can do for others and not what others can do for you.
  • Happiness is a state of mind, a measure of adequacy. Happiness should be measured in terms of freedom, self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency and not in terms of fulfillment of desires. One needs to practice adequacy to achieve it. I remember Swamiji saying “Fake it till you make it” which means you fake being an adequate person (generous, kind, and selfless) till you actually reach there. When you practice adequacy it will automatically come to you sooner or later. Always feel that you are a giver or a contributor and one day you will actually be one. The aim in life is to be a net contributor/giver and not a net consumer/grabber.
  • Unlike all other beings on earth, human beings have a free will, a freedom to make a choice. It is possible that we may misuse this freedom. We must understand that what we do has an effect on the rest of the universe because elements of the universe are interconnected. We are a part of the organic whole. The interconnected elements act in harmony with the universe. They do not compete, but co-operate with each other. So we should also behave responsibly and perform our actions in harmony with this interconnectedness.
  • Every action/endeavour is a calculated risk. But we cannot determine the exact outcome based on our limited knowledge. So we must put in our best efforts and be ready to gracefully accept the outcome. Our actions are totally in our control, but the outcome is not. So it is important that we judge ourselves based on our efforts and not based on the outcome. This will enable us to take both success and failure with humility which will help us reduce stress, relax, enjoy and be happy.
  • Anger is a result of failed expectations. Just as a matchstick burns itself first before it burns something else, anger burns us first before it affects others. To be free from anger, we should reduce expectations, accept the world and be compassionate.

I don’t know whether it was the energy level or the Aura of Swamiji, but during these three days, the average spirituality quotient of our entire batch seemed to be on a higher level. This was evident from the level of highly philosophical as well as practical questions that we asked during our interaction sessions. Swamiji’s answers to most of these questions provided us with wonderful insights and a different perspective of looking at things.

We all know that to be a successful person requires three things – Knowledge, Skill and Attitude (KSA). After attending the Gita Shibir, I have recognized that the PGPM course at SPJIMR is both comprehensive and complete as it focuses not only on Knowledge and Skills but also on the Attitude aspect of KSA.

-Posted by Reuben (PGPM class of 2010)

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US-Financial-Crisis

The slide tries to explain the US financial crisis in nutshell. The direction of arrows shows the money flow.

Abbreviations:

MBS: Mortgage Based Securities

IB: Investment Bank

CDS: Credit Default Swaps

SIV: Special Investment Vehicle

EMI: Equated Monthly Installment

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