Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Undedicated Sonnet

I sat the stump alone crying, crying,

The wooden remnant dead of sanguine axe;

I clawed at eyes aggrieved drying, drying,

My freshly streaming tears like flowing wax.

I clenched my fists as though hiding, hiding,

A secret borne of love and hateful spite;

But the leaves lay dead and gliding, gliding

On winds that speeded through the fateful night.

I’d longed to leave the tree spreading, spreading

So slowly ‘gainst the wind that fluttered leaf

And branch thus tasting and dreading, dreading

The children leaving wood to gasps and grief.

And dead and dead are now meeting, meeting

While the leaves rustled their greeting, greeting.

This post is submitted by Ramchandar Ravi, a student of PGDM IIM Indore

Does sustainability mean going backwards?

I spoke with conviction that without a feasible model that generates enough money, there is  hardly a soul who would like to invest themselves whole heartedly into the pursuit of sustainability, and this explained the lack of talent in this field despite good intentions.

What we have been brought up to do is follow small practices in our everyday life, the 4Rs wherever possible. However, when I was given a picture of what complete sustainability looks like, it freaked me out. It meant going back through the ages and living on hand-me-downs for your entire life. It meant living without producing any waste at all. Whatever comes out of the earth should go right back into it.

This is the picture that Padam Shri Ms Janak Palta McGilligan conjured in my mind as I spoke with her between her sessions and throughout her talk at IRIS 2016. I have been firmly advocating the sustainable development goals since the day they got adopted by the UN, however this made me stop and think about if I was sufficiently dedicated to the cause. I realised I wasn’t.

The question isn’t whether you stand for sustainability. It is how much are you ready to give up for it.

I never waste electricity or water, even for a second, sometimes to the annoyance of my friends who have no regard for nature. I stare at people if they litter – until they feel embarrassed enough to find a dustbin. I fight with my parents if they begin to throw something out of the car window – since 5th grade when I learnt it is bad at school. Our house was the first one to stop bursting crackers in the entire colony when I was in 6th grade and participated in a painting competition that was based on this theme. I hesitate to throw anything away until I am certain it cannot be used anymore. I am highly mindful of what I buy to an extent that my mom considers it necessary to shop with me so that I can have some comforts we can afford.  Is this enough? I don’t think it is.

I am stuck in the path of negotiation where the only limits are those I put. Sometimes I try to argue myself out of the dilemma thinking that the world and the markets will adjust themselves to a state where humans still manage to sustain. This is nothing but self serving logic though and I understand this is not how things work. I am easily taken by any argument that proclaims apocalypse unless we adopt certain practices. However going the full way is too much. Our civilization as a whole has worked towards creating a comfortable environment and if we do not take full advantage of it, then it would be disrespectful to their genius.

Having said that, it is also not right if we are partial to our comforts when we take advantage of our progress. We should be humbled by nature – because we now understand its bounty much better than our ancestors. It is thus the pursuit of knowledge that I advocate more than anything else.

How much do I wish to give up for sustainability? Nothing at all. Sustainability needs to be sustainable in itself – not a communist concept which fails when it strikes against basic human nature. Nevertheless, if your nature is so noble, as was of the great person I had the pleasure of meeting, I wish I could be more like you. Your ideas add to the pool of knowledge that we are ever hungry for. For the rest, strike your own informed balances.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of Hiral Arora, an IPM IIM Indore student. They do not reflect the ideas of the institute in any way.

Leadership Lessons from the Army

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  1. Sir, we see that the Indian Army is not very active on social media. Why is that, and is it going to change?

 

The Army personnel have to be mindful of the machinations of antinational elements and our adversaries to exploit this platform to their advantage. Therefore, while realizing the importance of social media, the Army has allowed the use the social media albeit with some caveats and restrictions.

 

  1. Sir, the Army has a pyramidal structure of hierarchy just like a lot of corporates do. Why, then, are political conflicts considerably less in the Army as compared to large corporates?

 

The absence of any conflict is essentially due to the fact that Indian Army is a value based organization. Owing to restricted vacancies in each rank, a number of outstanding officers get left out, which is indeed very painful not only for the officers and their families but even for the organization. However, Army has been working assiduously to ensure lateral absorption of these officers into central armed police forces and other agencies of the government. They all are worth their weight in gold as they are disciplined and endowed with all essential attributes, skills and values that any effective leader must possess. You would have seen that all our officers who have joined the Corporate Sector are excelling.

 

  1. As we know sir, disciplining the self and senses is much harder for a corporate than for a member of the Indian Army simply because of the difference in setup and environment. As future corporate leaders, can you give us students some advice for the same?

 

Discipline hinges on the positive conditioning of the mind, whereby an individual is subconsciously spurred to always choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. It helps resist reckless impulses that take average people astray. It requires building your ‘will power’ and transforming yourself into a valued personality whose conduct is governed always by the time tested values of Integrity, Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Serve and Moral Courage. The values can only be imbibed in earnest if they are consciously lived and practiced. Do spare 20 minutes before going to bed every night to introspect on what all you have done during the day and identify your strengths and weaknesses. While revitalizing your strengths, work diligently on eradicating your weaknesses. It requires unflinching commitment and you have to find time to improve yourself virtually on daily basis. Integrity will make you do what is legally and morally correct and, along with other values, it will help you mould yourself into a disciplined and worthy member of a team, whose behaviour and conduct is flawless at all times.

  1. Sir, given the changing political landscape in the country, the youth especially is apprehensive when it comes to joining the Indian Army. Given that India is one of the youngest nations in the world and that our youth is an indispensable asset for our nation’s security, especially in these unsafe times, what can we do to change it?

 

The Indian Army, given its glorious heritage and enduring traditions, is not just a profession; it is a way of life! It provides great opportunities to those ‘who have it in them’ and are inclined to ‘live a life less-ordinary’. For those who feel that money alone will give them happiness in life, then surely they are knocking at the wrong door. This elite organisation gives you inter-alia, an exceptional lifelong pride and a quality of life that is matchless and priceless.

It’s an organisation where you are nurtured to be a leader of distinction. A leader, who leads by personal example and works whole time to create a team of Tigers and Tigresses, who are taught to never ever give up and ensure success at all costs. Failure is not an option for an Indian soldier. That is why Indian Army is rated amongst the best the world over. I am certain that with my talk, many of you would have got inspired by the unique heritage of this celebrated organisation and will consider joining it after your studies. Remember, the Indian Army remains committed to the personal growth of all its personnel and provides ample opportunities for their all round development. An opportunity is even provided to upgrade your civil qualifications by availing two years paid study leave. Some even get an opportunity to serve abroad besides attending courses of instructions in foreign institutions.

I am certain that the awareness drive being undertaken by the Army will make a dent over a period of time and finally be instrumental in repositioning the military service as a preferred choice for the youth of our country.

This interview has been taken by Darsheeka Singh, a first year PGP Student

Islas de la munecas

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Photos by Cindy Vasco

I thought it was just another boat party but I was not aware of the adventures that awaited me at the canals of Xochimilco, also known as the xochimilco trajineras because of the canoes that take people for a ride. The place is filled with tourists, mariachi bands, and lush floating gardens.

However, wait for sometime and you will see the adjacent island with severed limbs and cracked heads of severely weathered dolls.

Welcome to la Isla de la munecas, the island of the dolls.

The legend is about one man, a lost relationship, and a dead girl’s doll.

Hundreds of photographers and thrill seekers travel to this haunted island of dolls every year, but it was never meant to be a tourist attraction.

It all started with Julian Santana Barrera, a reclusive Mexican man who found a doll floating at the same area where he had found the dead body of a drowned girl some days ago. To honor the girls spirit and save himself from further tragedy, Julian started hanging more dolls.

Julian was apparently haunted by the spirit of the girl and started hanging more dolls in order to get rid of the spirit. He soon realized that the dolls themselves were possessed by spirits when they started blinking their eyes and moving their heads. He continued hanging dolls all over the place. Apparently, he was marked by the fact that he was not able to save the little girl’s life.

After 50 years of collecting and hanging dolls, Julian was found drowned at the same spot where the girl died.

Yet la Isla de las Muñecas lives on. Locals tend to the island, while travelers from around the world seek out the site. Some even arrive with new dolls to hang in the trees, continuing Don Julian’s eerie tradition.

Stories from Mexico, brought to you by Niloy Jain, IIM Indore IPM-5 participant on student exchange. Stay tuned for more adventure! 

Entrepreneurship Series – Right2Vote

An interview with Neeraj Gutgutia ( IIMI Alumnus), the founder and CEO of “Right2Vote Infotech Pvt. Ltd.”

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Here is what he has shared with us :

Interviewer: How was your stay at IIM Indore as a student?
Neeraj: It was a great learning experience. Apart from studies you get to do many things and manage them well.

Interviewer: So were you involved in any club or committees?
Neeraj: Yes, I was a part of media committee in first year. Then in second year being a part of media committee, we came up with the college magazine I-Mag (known as Management Canvas presently). We also initiated entrepreneurship and consulting society in the college with the name of E&C.

Interviewer: You worked with Reliance and then with Hiranandani group. How was the experience?
Neeraj: After working with Reliance for 4 years, I got a chance to work with Hiranandani group. They needed a guy with Gas Project and Finance experience. As I worked in Gas sector with reliance and I was a CA and MBA, so they asked me if I would like to join and lead it.

Interviewer: Then how did you move towards entrepreneurship?
Neeraj: I always wanted to start up on my own, even before MBA but didn’t actually know how to go about it. Then at Hiranandi, I got to lead the project. It gave me exposure, confidence, everything you could ask for. I also starting saving money as I had a mental mapping that I need to start soon.

Interviewer: What was the thought while leaving such an interesting job at Hiranandani?
Neeraj: Actually, while leaving, I wasn’t too sure of what I wanted but had a rough idea on what to do. O had this “Right2Vote” in my mind. I wasn’t sure whether I could do the Technology part of it.

Interviewer: You also started “Guts Unlimited”, so what was the idea behind that company?
Neeraj: Just after leaving my job, I was very interested in start-ups , so wanted to start investing in them. “Guts Unlimited” basically was into advising and investing in the start-ups, helping them set up the whole system. As a backup to make revenue and financial support, “Guts” is still running but my major focus is “Right2Vote”.

Interviewer: When did the idea of “Right2Vote” come first into your mind and what was the reason behind it?
Neeraj: During 2014 election, I was working with Prashant Kishore, helping in the election management. I was also pitching people to come out and vote. But it was difficult for some due to various reasons like they were travelling, meetings at office etc. So I thought if there was an App where you could vote from anywhere, then people will vote for sure. And that was where it all started. I researched a lot and it was such a obvious thing, that everything is going online then why not voting.

Interviewer: What is the vision and mission of the company?
Neeraj: “When the 2019 election happen, that should happen on our platform”, this is the target we are aiming at. Our mission is to at least target 10 corporates to use the app for shareholders’ voting, etc so that our revenues start rolling in and also sign up big corporates which will also enhance or credibility.

Interviewer: What would you say about the present start up Ecosystem in India?
Neeraj: In last 2 to 4 years, the trend is really picking up. There is a lot of scope. In India still the ticket size is very small. The risk people are taking are not big enough. The Tech start-ups are the high risk and high gain, they are the ones which are in maximum number today. We have to boost the ticket size here in India. Also as a start-up, hiring people is very tough. Giving a good salary along with good office and confidence in the company is becoming a heavy task.

Interviewer: What has been the learning till now in this journey of entrepreneur which you would like to share with students?
Neeraj: There has been many highs and lows till now. During job I got a fixed salary but now it is a challenging task. Sometimes my family and others judge me and have a lot of doubt on my success. There is a lot of opportunity cost involved here but we have to keep moving on and believe in our idea.

Interviewer: So what would you like to tell to the budding entrepreneurs here at IIM Indore?
Neeraj: You should be well prepared before entering into the start-up idea. You should be financially stable, have support of the family. Also, the main focus should be on executing the idea. That is the most important part. Plan for at least 2 to 3 years ahead.line-dividerHope you gained an insight on how the journey unfolds from being a student to an entrepreneur.