Friday, March 30, 2007

Last exam done!

Phew! I think I'm done with my last exams.. and hopefully my academic life.. forever!
I had absolutely no enthu to prepare for these two exams today. It was a pain.. but the feeling of getting over with them cannot be expressed in words!
Next week, we all get "disoriented" (don't blame me.. thats the official term :-) ). And then graduation day dawns on us on Saturday. And we're expected to get out of here by the 8th.
Time sure does fly by. I just remember setting up my stuff in this room recently.. and already its time to pack them up!

I get to come back for orientation of the next batch though. I'll be a part of the bind-unwind event. It'll be good to interact with the next batch students. I already know some 5-6 of them, and am really looking forward to meeting more people!

But, till then.. its P A R T Y T I M E!


Sunday, March 25, 2007

From the Web 2.0 class

What is Web 2.0? A short intro through some videos.. links given by the professor of the Web 2.0 class. A really good idea from the 2nd video for sure!

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Saturday, March 24, 2007


I stumbled upon this website which is blog meant purely for photographs. I decided to start a photoblog too. The site restricts me to post only one picture everyday. Initially I was a little irritated by this restriction, but then I got to realize the value of that. I think 10 times before putting up a picture, because I obviously want my best pictures up there. Automatically, the quality of every picture on my photoblog is increased (by the self-weeding out of crappy pictures). So, someone may ask my why do I need a photoblog when I have a flickr account. Well, for one, flickr shows the pictures too small to my viewers. It cannot do justice to the picture if you can't see it on a much bigger viewing area. Plus, there are already a lot of photo enthusiasts out there on shutterchance, so I thought I"ll experiment with it a bit.

If any of you have the habit of using RSS feeds, you can also rig those up with shutterchance.

See my photoblog here..

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The 150 list..

Hmm.. looks like I actually haven't done a lot of things! What all have YOU done?

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (yeah, but from the beach :-) )
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise (Brilliant view from the mountains I tell you!)
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game (Cricket and American Football)
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables (Eaten the tomatoes & strawberries that we planted at my sister's place.. A content meal it was!)
18. Touched an iceberg (Well, more like a gigantic ice-block in Colorado)
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper (So much for smiley cute kids :-P. Someone forgot to add the word smelly in there)
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower (Right from the sands of the Besant Nagar beach! It was funny when somebody literally stumbled upon the 20 of us lying on the sand looking at the sky)
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope (lol, and also at some neighbours' windows)
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight (B'day celebrations at NCSU was literally this.. Ofcourse.. the more love you had for the person, the older the food would be! Spoilt tomato ketchup, old sambar, and some rotten eggs too)
28. Bet on a winning horse (At the derby in a casino!)
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight (Not as fun as it looks when the snowball is stuck inside your tshirt at the back.. and you're still wearing 3 layers on top!)
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can (High School Culturals.. 1600 people shouting to get the Cheering Shield!)
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (Pretty much every chance I get!)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment (Numerous times! Damn I live a charmed life!)
39. Had two hard drives for your computer (Doh! I've had 4. Used to work for a hard drive company you see!)
40. Visited all 10 provinces (Where???)
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk (wasn't the prettiest sight to shove him under the shower)
42. Had amazing friends (HAD being the key word... )
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country (Many ladies actually as a Salsa newbie… Got quite a few tips from them on how to lead!)
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe (why does all backpacking have to be in Europe?)
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach (Hundreds of times! Best time was during the Millennium New Year party!)
50. Gone sky diving (So near.. yet so far)
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love (Extremely high inertia! Can't get going easily.. don't stop easily when I get going!)
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with them (Community table at Noodles & Co.)
54. Visited Japan (Still on my TBD list)
55. Milked a cow (tried my hand a couple of times at my village.. its not that difficult)
56. Alphabetized your cds (meticulously catalog my mp3 collection is more like it)
57. Pretended to be a superhero (even wore red boxers over my blue pants!)
58. Sung karaoke
(Sushi Zanmai.. on a snowy night.. one of the most amazing nights of my life)
59. Lazed around in bed all day (I'm someone who thinks that I'm missing out on the world the more I sleep.. I don't really sleep / lie in bed unless I have to)
60. Posed nude in front of strangers (er.. Nope.. not that shameless yet.)
61. Gone scuba diving (G & J, I know I should've joined you guys when you started going underwater!)
62. Kissed in the rain (Hmm.. never struck me to do that :-P)
63. Played in the mud (Every chance I get!)
64. Played in the rain (dancing in the rain is even more fun. I miss EC 41!)
65. Gone to a drive-in theater (Prarthana)
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business (Right on the top of my TBD list)
Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (Does such a thing exist?)
69. Toured ancient sites (Indian & native American)
70. Taken a martial arts class (Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Karate!)
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight (D&D? I know I’ve played C&C)
72. Gotten married (ulp! scary)
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced (I asked Aishwarya Rai if I could divorce her.. she said its against the law to divorce someone you're not married to!)
76. Gone without food for 5 days (Nope.. not had drips yet!)
77. Made cookies/cake from scratch (Cake…and I think my roomies actually liked it!)
78. Won first prize in a costume contest (Everyday seems like one!)
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice ( Closest I came was in Las Vegas)
80. Gotten a tattoo (Does a stick-on temporary tattoo count?)
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert" (I think I was on TV for some teenager’s opinion waay back when I was in 8th -9th grade I think)
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage (I’m a stage animal.. hard to keep me away from there)
85. Been to Las Vegas (Wasn’t that impressed at that time. However, a trip to a casino in Sri Lanka put things in perspective!)
86. Recorded music (right when I started saying my nursery rhymes!)
87. Eaten shark (Hmm, not sure I want to have the opportunity to find out if I can eat it.. or if it can eat me)
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house (the way the rates are going up in Chennai, I doubt I ever will!)
91. Been in a combat zone
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently (Obviously Hindi doesn’t figure in this list :-P)
95. Performed in Rocky Horror (you mean like throw stones at someone and clap in glee?)
96. Raised children (I guess that babysitting doesn’t count)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over (Moved for other reasons, but well, starting over was part of the deal)
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone was looking (Every day on my drive to work and back)
103. Had plastic surgery (Nope.. My nose is still big!)
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived (Rheumatic Fever counts I guess)
105. Wrote article for a large publication ( did feature a couple of my posts. New age you see..)
106. Lost over 100 pounds (Still struggling to lose 1)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane (Microsoft Flight simulator doesn’t count? Damn, and they claim that it’s as good as the real thing)
109. Petted a stingray (Hmm, I hope they found the last guy who tried that)
110. Broken someone's heart (A nasty feeling to hurt someone)
111. Helped an animal give birth (Have watched it though.. on Discovery channel/Animal planet program I think)
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone (Punched the wall in anger and cracked my hand)
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced (I’m not masochistic.. thank you)
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol (Rifle and pistol yes.. Shotgun, didn’t have the guts to face the recoil as a 90 pound weakling way back in 1995)
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse (not sure I entirely liked it. Bloody pain to grip the sides of the horse with the inner thigh)
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet (hmm.. lets not comment on this one)
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (well, missed it by couple of hundred miles. Got to the bottom at Black Canyon, Gunnison a little north of the Grand Canyon)
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours (sleep is a waste of time)
123. Visited foreign countries
124. Visited all 7 continents (Don’t think I want to go to the poles anytime this life)
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper (Step By Step – dance show. The Hindu, Jan 2001)
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about (Many times)
130. Gone back to school (Never again after this, I promise myself..)
131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach (Yeah.. petted it a little hard I think. Kind of squished it. Damn.. sometimes I don’t know my own strength)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey (I don't think I want to do this. I fell asleep reading the 2 page summary of this book.. to be woken up 24 hours later :-P )
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (These are the kindof things which want me to go back to being vegetarian)
137. Skipped all your school reunions (I like people you see :-P)
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (House keeping at ISB)
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language (I did.. but don’t think they made any sense out of my language)
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream (Living it ever day)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts (Everyone of my computers except my first one)
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you (I did draw an elephant, but someone thought that it was a bed with an extra leg :-P )
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ (I hate this job, but somehow manage to get stuck with it)
148. Shaved your head (Obviously whoever wrote this doesn’t know about Indian rituals)
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone's life (will be glad to save my own…)

72 out of 150. Hmm.. not too bad I would say.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Term 8 grinds on

In the last 7 terms, I have always followed the JIT strategy for submitting my assignments. These days, in term 8, I'm tending more towards the SHIT strategy.

For the MBA Newbies.. JIT = Just in time, SHIT = Somehow in time (I heard that term first from Doc).

Somehow, I feel that they should ban assignments in term 8. No one has any motivation to do these things. Instead, just make the whole class Class Participation based. This way, people will go through the case and the readings, But really don't have to sit and write stuff to turn in.

This weekend I will be taking a small vacation. Will be good to skip a few classes and really go do something else unrelated! Will be a good workout for my camera too!

In the meanwhile, everyone is starting to feel the cash crunch. 1 year of no income is starting to tell on people. With this vacation, I think I"ll be scraping the rock bottom to get through till my first pay cheque arrives!

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Spiderman 3

Someone sent me this link

Sexy 5-minute preview! Can't wait to see this movie in the theaters!!! Multiple villains looks like! I recognize atleast 3.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Holi @ ISB

A video shot by one of the exchange students from Italy.

Check my flickr page to find more pics of Holi @ ISB

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And finally..

it's official. I will be working with Cypress Semiconductors in their Strategic Marketing division in Chennai. I turned down my other offer with Verizon as a Program Manager.
This is a new team being formed at a new location, and so it is going to involve a lot of work. But I'm really excited about the opportunity. This group decides what products the company makes, and who to target.
I'm also happy about the fact that I will be using the knowledge from my MS and past work-experience also, while successfully making a move to strategic marketing. So, in effect, I haven't wasted any years in my life. And to top it all off, it is in Chennai.


Friday, March 02, 2007

Top 10 ways to destroy the earth..

Pretty cool article on Live Science.
Read it here.


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Rural Marketing

This term we have this very interesting course called Rural Marketing. An external consultant who does a lot of work in the rural sector is handling this class. As part of this course, we go to a village and spend time with the people there trying to understand the customers there.
For a lot of people, this will be the first time in a village. For me, it will be a refresher. I was born in a village, and my grand parents and relatives still live in a village. I've spent long summers at my mum's village and have had fun. Of course, that has been a long time back. These days a trip to my village, usually involves just short visits to my relatives' place. It will be good to see if things have changed and how things have changed over time.
Coming back to the course itself, we were given an example of how powerful the rural markets can be.
Did you know that less than 22% of the urban women in India use lipsticks? Did you know that more than 11% of the rural women in India use lipsticks? What does this mean to a marketeer? Well, considering that Urban / Rural divide is in the ratio of 30% to 70%, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that 11% of 70, is bigger than 22% of 30!

Surprised? Well, thats not all.

Think of all the lipsticks brands you know.. None of these are the market leaders in India. Not Lakme, not L'Oreal, not any other of the well known brands. Raja lipsticks have the largest market share in India. This brand has 79% of the Rural market. International brands would kill to get that kind of a penetration in the 1 billion population!
Apart from this, here are some other aspects of this lipstick market. The application factor of lipsticks by Urban women is 1.1 (that is.. on an average, they apply 1.1 layers on their lips). Rural women on the other hand have an application factor of 2.5 (2.5 layers on their lips). This number directly translates into higher usage of lipsticks.
So, what people may consider as a negligible market on first sight, is bigger than what you might actually be in! I guess this is an example of the Bottom of the Pyramid concept by Dr. C.K.Prahalad.

On a personal note, I think I'm driven more to marketing because of the personal traits I develop. The more I get involved with marketing, the less judgmental I become about people. I become impartial and learn to put aside my personal opinions about their habits. I guess it's a way to develop an attitude of "live and let live" and learn to see opportunities in different habits! A good example would be this whole lipstick deal. Urban people buy expensive ones, but try not to make it glaringly visible. Rural people buy expensive ones (expensive to them), and they try to make sure that it's seen. Is there one right way to use lipstick.. probably not. Is there opportunity in the alternate way of doing things.. definitely yes!

Edit : The best way to learn to be impartial about market opportunities is to probably read the Harvard Business School case on ODC. ODC has invented contact lenses for chicken, and shows what a huge potential there is for it! (Yeah, I'm sure you're wondering who the heck would want to buy disposable contact lenses for their chicken.. but trust me, you'll change your mind after reading the case)