Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Topic "Real Estate Case..." - Complete Analysis

Hey guys,

Very very good GD. The focus was on both online business, entrepreneurship and real estate. I am sorry that I have not had time to analyze this before and had to do it too late. The points covered were varied and the number of people participating also was good. So the group does take brownie points as whole. So let me keep my analysis simpler by just giving some summary and additional points. One area of improvement is certainly ‘the start’. I will do a write up on how to handle case GDs in a while and will cover that. In the meanwhile, jump into the latest topic at

I have also tried to give analysis for all the points made in the comments section of the main topic at

1. In an internet business, you have to build volumes first. Only then comes money factor. In the beginning, you cannot go to Advertisers unless you have some data of people visiting your site. It also helps you sell at a higher price. To start with, they can even use Google Ads.
2. They have three types of customers that they need to attract. Buyers, sellers and builders.
3. The idea of marketing to buyers will be word-of-mouth through emails, yahoo groups, community sites like Orkut etc. It can be done from anywhere. Some sellers will also come this way. For sellers, may be they can tie up with a company like “Free Ads”. Advertisements from buyers come only when you have enough traffic.

Markets they should cater to
1. They should cater to Bangalore market as it is more internet savvy. Note that Bangalore need not be the location for this reason
2. Builders themselves need to have websites if they want to advertise here (That adds to the point of savvy market)
3. You should cater across locations because website development cost does not increase by this choice. Also note that the marketing cost to sellers/buyers also do not increase significantly. So why not have all cities.
4. Lets not even talk about them sticking on to their jobs. You can’t put half hearted efforts into a new venture especially for the greed of a month’s salary. Convince yourself before you jump. But once convinced, make the jump

1. They should not be hiring experienced people for website development. What is their own experience worth otherwise. Since they have to hire freshers, salary difference between Bangalore and Jaipur is not significantly different. It could be in the range of 2000 per person per month leading to 16000 total at maximum
2. The cost of rental is also not significantly different across location. You can get similar rentals in Bangalore if you take office space in outskirts. Again a total difference of 2000 per month.
3. Apart from ‘sales to advertisers’, rentals and salaries are the only two costs. Hence location is actually not making a difference. Go to the last point for a decision on this.

1. If they really need money, why shouldn't they go for a loan. That way you need not give away equity. Go to next point to see why.
2. They may not want significant money to start with. But they should go to a VC after the basic stage not just for money, but for the experience and expertise in managing such businesses. Note that these people are good in technology and project management only.
3. You need to go at stage 2 since you would have more clarity on your idea

Parting Shot
Note that once they go in for VC, the location decision may not rest with them alone. Especially since they are not gaining much by moving to Jaipur and VCs are usually biased for Bangalore (helps them to sell it better later. A Bangalore based IT company sells better than a Jaipur based one), Puru and Shuru may not have a choice.

Some time pass
They can have website development office in Jaipur and marketing office in Bangalore. One headed by Puru and other by Shuru.
Should they be targeting NRIs by giving value added services? Many NRIs buy through brokers in India. So you can make the brokers/sellers meet NRIs. Or NRIs can check the website and tell their parents about the picks they should check out
Allow users to put photographs so that people don’t have to visit the place unless they have a basic interest


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Topic for the day - Take 12

Complete Analysis

Hey guys,

I assume that the disappointing participation for the last GD was because of the lack of knowledge of the stock market. I accept that the topic may have been tough. I shall give some pointers on that in my analysis tomorrow.

So here comes a new topic so that people are comfortable and we carry on the learning and the preparation with the same zeal that we did earlier.

Topic - "Is copying western culture good for the Indian culture"

The topic is wide open. Lets inculcate the learning in the last 10-12 sessions and move forward. Let us see some sound analysis before the d-day. Start shooting

Click here for the Complete Analysis

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Monday, January 29, 2007

Key Talking points 4

Hey guys,

As I told you in my previous post that I will be in a training for almost the whole day for today and tomorrow. So the analysis of the case GD will have to wait till wednesday noon. I am also planning to do a write up on how to handle case GDs since some of you have been asking on how to start, what to do etc.

Surprised at the low participation in the recent GD. You can find it at

In the meanwhile, for the Key talking point this time, I thought I will put in some articles that you can read thru and then answer. Afterall the idea is to increase our knowledge

Note: You wud need a username and password to access NYtimes. You can use username catfundae and password catfundae

A lovely article on Road infrastructure problems in New York. Will give some ideas on solutions for superfast growing cities in India
Simple questions on this article 1. What are the ill effects of taxing people driving thru the core business areas?
2. What are the positive effects

A leader article on alternate energy issues.
A question on this article
1. How does bio fuel affect the food prices and hence inflation?

Another interesting article on Nuclear issue

Any issues, comments on the new format are welcome. Happy reading


Solutions to Key talking points - 3

To go to the case click here

Hey all,

Many complained to me that the questions were very tough. I am sorry for the same, though after reading some of the answers I am sure you would learn some basics. Will try to keep them more ‘within syllabus’ next time :) In the meantime, let me know any area you want me cover in the future group discussions

Note: When you answer these questions, you have to note that ‘the rest of the factors are constant’.
1. If Government goes ahead with the decision to invest about 5% of pension funds in the stock market, would is push the stock market higher?
It goes up since there are more buyers (more money). It may go up very small percentage as b2b noted.
Another reason, apart from maths, why it will go up is that it shows the intent of the Government to be more pro-active in investing its funds in the market

2. A company has a PE ratio of x and is doing 30% profit growth every year. If starts doing 50% growth a year, does the PE ratio go up?
PE ratio = price/’earning per share’. PE ratio is not just a numerator vs denominator ratio value. It is an indicator of how the market sees the “company’s future potential”. E.g., If company A has a higher PE ration than B, that means that the market believes that the company A will give it better returns than company B in the future. So instead of 30%, if a company starts doing 50% earnings the price will go up and so will the PE ratio. Numerator will go up more than the denominator.
Note that the PE of the sensex itself has gone up in the last 6 months indicating that the market has more confidence in the future economy than it had in the past. So rather than people saying that the index has gone up, saying that PE has gone up shows that the market is more bullish on the economy. It is a hint for the next GD topic :)

3. If company A has profits higher than that of company B, who would have a higher PE ratio, with both being in the same industry
Sorry that the question was a little vague. I meant earning per share when I said profits. As it follows from the previous explanation, in a fair market A should have a higher PE ratio.

4. If returns become higher by investing in stock market, why are people opposed to pension funds investing in stock market?
All were on the mark. Risk is also going up.

5. If a stock worth Rs 1000 is split into two stocks worth Rs 500, would it have an upward impact on the price?
Liquidity is increased and hence the price should go up with other factors remaining constant, though by a small amount

6. If the exports of India were to increase by 25% next year, would it have an appreciating effect on the rupee?
Yes it would. The demand for rupee has gone up and hence should appreciate. Similarly if imports go up, dollar demand increases and hence rupee should depreciate.
Again with all factors constant

7. If reserve bank of India increases the lending rate, would it have an upward impact on the real estate prices?
Downward impact as most pointed out since the demand goes down

8. If the prices of fuel were to go up, would it have upward pressure on inflation?
Yes it would since essential commodity prices would go up

9. If the prices of dal were to go up, would it have upward pressure on inflation?
Dal is a part of the inflation calculation (CPI and WPI) as some pointed and hence it goes up. Read up on WPI and CPI from the net.

10. If the prices of cars were to go up would it have upward pressure on inflation?
Cars not part of inflation calculation and hence it would not go up

To go to the case click here


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Topic for the day - Take 11

Hey guys,

Here is the GD topic for the long weekend. Let us see the group coming up with more than obvious analysis. C'mon guys go for the assault. It is a vast topic, so invest time, be very specific and read comments of others before adding yours to avoid repetition.

"Boom in the Indian stock market - Is it for real"

And sorry for the delay in case analysis. It may take some time since I have day long meetings on Monday and Tuesday. But I will try myy best to keep pace. In the meanwhile, from the feedback, it looks like Key Talking Point sessions are helping clear some basics that will help in your group discussion. So I shall keep more coming. In the meanwhile comment on my analysis of the previous ones if you are not clear about anything. Also put in your answers by clicking Latest Key Point Questions

Also please use the upper right hand links to navigate easily and reach the needed destinations easily

Click here for the complete analysis

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Complete Key Talking Analysis

Hey guys,

Here are the list of all 'Key talking points' analysis so that they can be at one place for you all to review before going for Group Discussion and personal interviews

Key Talking Points 6
Key Talking Points 5
Key Talking Points 4
Key Talking Points 3
Key Talking Points 2
Key Talking Points 1


Solutions to Key talking points - 2

Click here to go to the case
Except for some confusions, I think people have been fairly on the mark for the first set

1. Most are correct. He is not 'entitled' to more than 5% inspite of the fact that he gave it in goodwill at a lower than market price and Chandu profited from it

2. Rakesh has the right to oppose since he would have considered all factors in balance sheet while paying a certain amount of money for his stake

3. Even though it is 51-49 ratio, it does not mean that Chandu can take any decision. He cannot give his uncle 20%.
Simple example to elucidate - Chandu cannot double his salary without Rakesh permitting just because he has 51%. Nor can he employ his uncle for one day and give him 1 lakh :)

4. The answers wont change :) that was an easy one

For Set Two
Good attempt here too by all. One thing to understand is the funda of company being a legal entity. For the acts of company, only company can be sued. Neither employees, nor shareholders.

1. No, they cannot claim. It is a limited liability firm and the court has ruled against the company and not Chandu/Rakesh. The very idea of a limited firm is that the liabilities are limited to the investment and thats it!
Example to elucidate: If Infosys had closed before they paid out the dues to Rekha (Phanish Murthy case), she could not have come knocking at my door just because I owner Infy shares

2. The company has declared to close down and has no money to give. HDFC can claim but there is nothing for it to get

3. As for the same reason as answer 1, HDFC cannot claim it from Chandu and Rakesh (or from any of the investors)

4. No they cannot claim. They themselves are owners too

5. The answers will not change since it is still a limited company. Public or private does not matter.

I am sure that there will still be small confusions lurking. Put it across and lets resolve them. Hope this is helping all
Click here to go to the case


Solutions to Key talking points - 1

Click here to go to the case
1. Yes most of the guys are right, The company owns the intellectual property rights. But only if it is mentioned in the agreement of employment, and it is usually is. Note that my company cannot have IPR on the blog I write, since it will not be covered in the agreement

2. Neither Anand, not the company can file for a patent. Computer programs/algorithms are covered under 'Copyright' only. And the copyright is owned by the company

3. Anand cannot use it since the company owns the IPR (even if the company has not 'filed' for copyright). He can use it in different disguise, but is always prone to suing. He will have to prove that either it is essential different or that it is common market algorithm/architecture etc

4. Not obligated. But may want to share to retain and motivate
Click here to go to the case


Key talking points 3

Some questions on stock market and economy this time

1. If Government goes ahead with the decision to invest about 5% of pension funds in the stock market, would is push the stock market higher?
2. A company has a PE ratio of x and is doing 30% profit growth every year. If starts doing 50% growth a year, does the PE ratio go up?
3. If company A has profits higher than that of company B, who would have a higher PE ratio, with both being in the same industry
4. If returns become higher by investing in stock market, why are people opposed to pension funds investing in stock market?
5. If a stock worth Rs 1000 is split into two stocks worth Rs 500, would it have an upward impact on the price?
6. If the exports of India were to increase by 25% next year, would it have an appreciating effect on the rupee?
7. If reserve bank of India increases the lending rate, would it have an upward impact on the real estate prices?
8. If the prices of fuel were to go up, would it have upward pressure on inflation?
9. If the prices of dal were to go up, would it have upward pressure on inflation?
10. If the prices of cars were to go up would it have upward pressure on inflation?

If you have any questions on the stock market or the economy that would help clear your basics, let me know in the comments section. The questions are not knowledge based, but based on thinking. So I am sure all of you can pitch in.

Click here for the answers
Click here for previous Key talking point


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Topic "Bribery..." - Complete Analysis

I am not happy with the GD. The topic was very mundane and that was the trap and the group fell in en-masse with a few exceptions. You need to raise above the easy topics. Do not keep giving more examples and more obvious statements. If one says, police are corrupt, somebody else says it is there in military too. What is the value you are adding there. The group has agreed on the point that bribery exists in the Indian scenario. They also seem to fairly agree that most of the times it does not distinguish between rich and poor. So lets move ahead and use the rest of the GD time in talking something more rather than repeating the same stuff in different forms.

Only Himanshu made an attempt to see if it is an economic balancing factor. The rest just dismissed the idea with only one argument of lack of distinction between rich and poor. No one even tried to raise the bar and talk about the differences between salaries and incentives in Government and private sector. No one even took a strong stand saying that higher salaries may prevent bribery. When you don’t bring strong arguments, they don’t get discussed in detail by the group. You do a passing mention, then the group will not even notice.

My points
High salaries itself may not prevent bribes. There are so many top officials receiving good salaries and having good properties still taking bribes. This shows that bribery in engrained in the system and hence we need to wield a strong stick apart from giving the carrot of higher salaries in Government jobs.
Do we get bribed by companies in form of incentives? ---- I would have liked someone doing some introspection and comparing incentives with bribe. Understand that they are different, but if you don’t even analyze hard, it wont come out
Can bribe be looked as a transaction cost from economics point of view? The problem could be it is like a flat tax and everyone gets affected to the same extent. ----- You are all aspiring MBAs. Think economically especially when the topic urges you to
If we really think that bribery is such a menace causing such a problem to the whole nation, can we atleast pledge to make an individual contribution by not paying it at all ‘at any cost’? ---- I am sure most in the group would disagree with this 
People say it has dented the country’s image. As a Government servant earning a pittance for a salary, with rising costs of basic things especially in urban centers, do I care about my family or do I care about my country. And this is the country, that is ready to extend tax break to the booming IT sector, but takes years to implement pay commission recommendations

Parting shot
Bribes have helped in creating an economic balance in a country like India where, with the sudden economic boom, the private sector boomed leaving the Government salaries far behind. Though such sudden growth causes unintentional economic imbalances and bribes have helped reduce the imbalance, this is not an efficient system and hence unviable in the long run

Points by the group:
The extent to which bribery has crept into the society that that a guy taking bribe has been himself bribed by others....its more of a balancing phenomenon, where the general ledger of public sums up to 0. So does that justify a menace like this? Of course not ----- Point taken, but the final stand is not supported by the previous statement.
Bribery is reciprocal i.e the person bribing an official too has vested interests. So, citizens too encouraging bribery
Bribery by Judiciary is the biggest sin of all. If judiciary indulges in bribery, democracy would turn into anarchy. crimes would shoot up ---- Crimes shoot up, agreed. But it takes more to turn a democracy into an anarchy. Avoid passionate and over-arching opinions. Also a little diversion from the topic
India is booming, and private-sector wages are soaring. So civil servants are justified in feeling left behind ---- They are feeling left behind, but not sure if they are ‘justified’.
With the pittance the govt employees are awarded, bribery on their part is fair to some extent. Dont they dream to send their kids to quality public schools
Pay the public sector employees private sector salaries if you want to see quick action and no bribery ---- does that mean that people getting top pays do not receive bribes?
People with any sort of responsibilities in govt. positions right from peon to administrative officer had a miscalculated sense of job responsibility which included harassing common people endlessly with their official power
On top of all these, while government job meant job security for life, the payment of government employees was not in sync with markets as such. While it was good enough to survive, it wasn’t good enough monetarily to bring them in sync with their aspirations. With all the power in hand, it was a matter of time that this financial gap in pay check was filled in by accepting a cut or percentage for whatever official duty they were executing
Some of the staring challenges associated directly/indirectly with bribery are lost productivity, bankruptcy of almost all Public Sector Undertakings, loss making State Electricity boards, bankrupt state governments, high budget deficit of the Govt of India, delayed or poorly executed projects of national importance
Many Indians take public services for granted, if there is any and don’t mind paying bribery for avoiding their monthly electricity, water bills etc
The end result is that a legitimate tax payer end up subsidizing a corrupt one and resources which could have been utilized on health services, education, defense and other priority sector are diverted to fund these utilities/activities
In short, bribery causes immense opportunity cost to our nation in forms of resources being denied for future generations because of mismanagement of current resources ---- mismanagement may not be the direct result of bribery though bribery adds to it
Bribery can be described as an act of giving some incentive to carry out a particular work ---- I thought it was called salary 
is it just limited to government employees ---- Good question
Bribery is nothing but our mere act of procrastination ----- REALLY!!
As we have seen in the movie "Lage Raho Munnabhai" regarding the pension thing, we sud really take strong steps to prevent people taking bribes ---- ‘better examples please’, many may not have seen the movie, however popular
Bribery is the menace which breeds inefficiency and favourism in the working culture of the country. It makes working with the govt. difficult and may worsen the law and order situation in the country ---- Oh, doesn’t it cause floods and famines too. Keep your passions in check and take stands that only derive from the points that you have made.
Considering it as a means to curb t he imbalances in the economic gap is like suggesting a wrong solution to a right problem ----- Very Good point. But why are there no strong supporting arguments
A person demanding bribe doesn’t differentiate between the rich and the poor ---- Mostly true.
It increases corruption and redtapism which has a negative impact on the image of the country hindering FDI investment and global operations --- Good point too. But bribery is corruption, it does not increase corruption
Had such rampant bribery not been there, India would have eradicated poverty long ago ----- SURE?? What facts to support it
Bribing can b taken s a means of reducing the economic gap partially, looking from a different perspective. For eg, the distribution of TVs, gas stoves by Karunanidhi in the recent election acted as bribing the poor to cast votes...At least with this kind of positive bribing, the poor people got something they dreamt off for years ---- Good point. Though Karunanidhi may not have been correct
Since its inception, India is facing the problem of bribery and now a days when private sector salaries are soaring, the corruption has actually come down ----- Corruption may have come down, has bribery come down? Also what do you mean since India’s “inception”
To say that bribe becomes impediment in doing things done isn't entirely correct. In fact, Businesses always account the bribery costs while applying for licenses and getting things done
What i mean to say is, all other things remaining same, you just remove the bribery from the system, Does anyone frankly believe that the government system will start working fast ----- Good perspective
Since opportunity cost of bribery is already widely known mostly, it can be argued it is just a tool of making system work
Bribery equivalent to the practice of payola in North American countries, where music bands pay radio stations a certain amount of money to play their songs on radio. Opponents argue that poor bands are disadvantaged due to this but there are few poor bands which have said that their music was a bit difficult and people wouldn't have liked their songs initially ---- Cool point
In fact, a lot of aspirants for Government jobs apply for these jobs only for the lure of power and income from bribe. Perhaps, it is only due to bribery that still we are getting the cream of the students in UPSC jobs ---- Wonderful perspective. Though it is a sad truth
If we want to remove the ill-effects we attribute to bribery, We must remove our archaic laws, host of middlemen between government and common citizen, introduce accountability and a proper appraisal system in which those performing their duties responsibilities are duly rewarded and not punished, as it often happens in India.
paradoxical nation, that is willing to pay to get out of trouble, but resists otherwise
The government officers, who dont distinguish between rich & poor while quoting their "rates" ---- I am not sure of this. Go in a car with tie and a blazer and I am sure you will get fleeced more
The cause of this menance, is the permanent employee of the government, who cant be fired, transfered, or downgraded. He has no performance measures, & as long as his manager agrees, they have an amicable relation ---- may not be true again since there are lot of temporary staff who still receive bribe
If the government employees, had some incentives for the quality of work done, or the speed of it, they would also have to gain from doing work efficiently ---- They do have a system of ‘Confidential Reports’ used for promotions, but it may not be the best system
One positive thing that comes of it, is that we can pay to get "deluxe" service for jobs that would take the designated time otherwise. If you want it fast, pay for it! Very captialistic in that sense.
Bribery follows a vicious cycle..wherein by bribing a person 2day 2 get ur work done...u r actually giving him an impetus 2 repeat d same wid d others at large --- Good point
Individually speaking ,we have absolutely no qualms in accepting or giving bribe..but when d matter cocerns our MP's ..the alleged cash 4 query scam...we fret at d plight of our country --- good again
Another way 2 use it as means of correcting economic 2 make it legal 2 charge a fixed sum of money from those who want 2 hurry up wid their work..nd at d end of d month..distribute d amout so collected evenly among all d members of a department --- very cool point saying that bribes serve as an incentive 4 d govt. clerks 2 pass files..nd that if we undo wid it..d work will actually slow down..i guess u r forgetting that they r not offering free services...they draw salaries at d end of d of every month --- good counter, though you missed the caveats

Click here for Analysis of previous topic
Click here for Analysis of next topic


An attempt at a better prep

Hey guys,

My analysis for the GDs are still pending. Hope to catch up tomorrow since today I was involved in the below initiative

I just tried some changes in the blog to make it more user friendly and effective too. People found it difficult to figure out old topics, analysis etc and the new users found it hard to follow. So some minor changes, since one cannot change much in a blog :))

1. I have restricted the number of posts to only 4-5 on the main page and hence it takes shorter time to download.

2. Links for latest discussion topic and latest analysis are there so that you dont miss on them when new posts come in
Latest GD topic
Latest Key Talking Point

3. I have linked the articles to one another and made sections like 'GD topics', GD analysis, Key talking points etc that you can see on the top-right side of the page. When you go to each topic/taliking point, you will find links to the next topic, previous topic and the analysis too. I thought this would be helpful for people who want to read thru all the cases before their final GD/PI day

4. There is a section called complete GD analysis that you can use before your GD day. It has links to all the analysis I have done on the topics till date. Click here to go

5. Similary I will be having a section on key talking points too once we have enough of them.

6. Also from tomorrow I am planning to start a 'knowledge sessions' posts where I will post articles/editorials which I think may help the group increase knowledge on some good topics.

7.I will also request active members of the groups to search google and post specific facts/data on things that I request. So that the group will have data on five-six important things every day. This will increase the collective knowledge of the group I hope.

8. I have also removed the 'Comments' link in the main page post so that people click on the link and then post comments. This will make people read other comments before posting and helps avoid repetitions

9. I have removed Google search bar since it did not seem to return results

Lets hope all these initiatives help the group prepare better for the GD/PI. Please keep the suggestions coming and lets make it better. And is there any reason people are not having too many queries on Interviews? If there is a specific issue or problem, let me know by mail at
If it is just lethargy and you havent started working, please do immediately and put in queries at 'Queries on PI'

Lets raise the bar at the top MBA school GD/PIs this year :)

All GD Analysis at one place

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Key talking points 2

Here comes one more.

On May 2003, Chandu opened a company called 'Bricks real estate' that invests in real estate in India. The idea was to buy and sell land and make money with the difference. The property would be registered in the company's name. He invested 50 lakhs of his own. His uncle who thought the idea was good agreed to lend his company about 50 lakhs for a year at 5% interest (below the market rate). At the end of the first financial year (March 2004), the company had cash reserves of 1 crore and owned property estimated at about 5 crores and the company had earned a reputation in the market for smart investment. Chandu's friend Rakesh said he wanted to pick a 49% stake in the company for 5 crores and Chandu agreed. In May 2004, when they had to return uncle's money, Chandu said that the company shud pay 20% interest rather than the agreed 5% since he had helped him set up and the company had made loads of money. Rakesh disagreed.

1. Is the uncle entitled to more interest than 5%?
2. Does Rakesh have the right to oppose since the loan was taken before he became partner?
3. Can Chandu go ahead and give his uncle 20% even if Rakesh opposes?
4. Do the answers for above questions change if the loan was given at 15% (market rate) instead of 5%

Chandu and Rakesh later decide to go for an IPO in June 2006. After the IPO, Chandu holds 25%, Rakesh holds 24% and the public holds 50% in the company and the company was called Bricks real estate public limited valued at 30 crores. By 2006 december, the real estate market had crashed and the company and was left with only properties worth 2 crore in the market without any cash reserves. The company had a loan of 1.5 crores from ICICI that it repaid by selling all properties. At the same time, two employees sued the company for not giving the incentives promised for that year. The court ruled in their favour and ordered the company to pay 1 crore in incentives to the two employees. With only 50 lakh cash, the company paid half the incentives and closed down. The company also had another HDFC loan of 20 lakhs that it had not repaid

1. Can the employees claim the other 50 lakhs from Chandu and Rakesh. If so in what ratio. Note that Chandu and Rakesh made huge money by selling their stakes in the IPO.
2. Can HDFC get any money from the company
3. Can HDFC claim its money from Chandu and Rakesh. If so in what ratio.
4. Many people who invested in the IPO lost out too. Can they claim their money from Rakesh and Chandu. Again, in what ratio.
5. Wud the answers to above question change if the company did not go public, but went for some more investors and became a private limited company.

Some questions may look heavy, but I am sure it will clear a lot of basics at the end of it. So do answer all the questions without fear of it being wrong. I hope the basics you learn here will be helpful in future GDs.

Click here for the answers
Click for previous Key talking point
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Key Talking points 1

Hey guys,

While the real estate case is still on, here is something different from the GDs. I am trying to do a format that I think takes less time and also increases the knowledge base of people. Just trying this since we have learnt a lot about discussions already. We will be having GDs too in between. Please send me your comments on this format so that I know if I have to continue this or get back to the 'GDs only' format

I will put up a small cases or write ups on something and ask specific questions. The group only has to answer each of these questions. Since it is not a GD, no opinions or stands necessary. I may put in two or three in a day too.

Case: Anand is working for a financial firm Sharekhan that does stock research and investment for its clients. He had been researching stocks in real estate sector. Anand is a computer grad with an IIM degree. At the firm he develops a computer program that predicts the future prices of the real estate stocks based on the flat/home rates in advertisements, home loan interest rates of various banks, economic factors, salary hikes in public and private sectors etc. The program was fairly successful and the company was able to make a lot of money from it. The revenues from real estate sector went up by 10 times.

1. Who owns the Intellectual property rights for the program
2. Can Anand file for a patent for the program
3. Can Anand join another company and use the same program
4. Is the company obligated to share its income with Anand

Understand the subtle nuances and answer to the point.

Click for the solutions

Click here to go to next 'Key talking point'


Topic "judicial intervention..." - Complete Analysis

Hey guys,

Some people suggested that the analysis takes too much space in the main page of the blog and some may miss the ongoing GD topics. So I thought that i will just give links to the complete page here so that people can go and see my comments.

Note my comments are at the end of the page.

Link is

let me know if this is inconvinient and let us see how we can make it better. And lets see some good inputs for the real estate case. My next topic will also be linked to the real estate. So read up on it too.

Click here for analysis of the previous topic
Click here for analysis of the next topic


Monday, January 22, 2007

Topic for the day - Take 10

Complete Analysis

Guys here comes a case GD on Real Estate that I have been working at.
There are some who have already commented on the previous GD. So I thought that I shud post something early so that they have more time to think thru. Other please comment on both the topics

Puru and Shuru, both from Jaipur have been working in Yahoo, Bangalore for about five years and are well versed in development of websites. They also had a PGSM (Post Graduate in Software management) degree from IIMB. With great ambition of starting on their own, they decided that real estate was the area where they can do something. The Indian real estate market had boomed in India in the past 3-5 years with prices at Bangalore, Gurgaon, Jaipur, Hyderabad etc doubling in the past one year itself. Similarly the online business in India was also booming with Internet coming of age. More people were using internet to gather information and also buy from the internet.

They hit upon an idea to make a website catering to all the real estate needs of people. It would include rentals and sale of properties and would avoid the broker in between. They felt that they would also be able to attract lot of advertisements from the top builders. Though they were bullish, they wanted to be cautious while making large investments as they had seen some of their friends burn their fingers. So they decided to hire about 8 people to start with and registered a website. Now they had two questions in their mind.
1. What should the location be? While Puru argued for Bangalore, Shuru really wanted to something for his hometown Jaipur and also thought it was a cheaper option
2. Should they go for a Venture Capitalist to raise money. Puru argued that the money it takes to start is not much considering their resources. Shuru said that though that was true, they need not gamble with their money when there was someone ready to invest

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Topic "Abhi n Kabhi" - Complete Analysis

Hey guys,

Good analysis of the case. Though people hovered around the average many times, they were able to get in a few very good points and that made the case worth it. My analysis goes thus.

1. Kabhi’s family is concerned about his financial security (Please note not about ‘job security’). He can be compensated with the salary in the new venture. It is important to understand such subtle nuances

2. Since they are the crème-la-cream of the country, they can get a job anytime. So they need not 'join' jobs rightaway and hence it is not a concern. Kabhi’s father may be satisfied for now by Kabhi picking a job at campus

3. If Kabhi’s father was fine with him going to MBA, it means that there is no financial ‘crisis’. Only that he is concerned about financial security, which can be taken care of anyway. So Kabhi’s father’s concern becomes almost irrelevant after some discussion

4. Most of you seem to have decided that Kabhi is risk-averse. Please note that it is his father who is risk-averse and Kabhi has agreed only to "sit for campus placements" (not to join a job) due to family pressure

5. CAT or MBA is also an irrelevant piece here. Since they have less time and MBA takes two years, they can take it again after 2-3 years of experience. MBA certainly may add skills to them, but it will be too late anyway.

6. Abhi and Kabhi may not have many skills like finance. Marketing etc. But they can hire people for this. Abhi’s father can also help them in searching for the right talent

7. They can pick up jobs in the campus so that they have more options at the end of the final year. But they have to make the in-principle decision of trying for the venture rightaway since they have 1 year to work on it during college. The Nokias and yahoos will still be waiting for them :)

8. If the group really thought that the experience with Nokia and Yahoo was relevant, then one of them could have joined Nokia and the other yahoo to maximize their learning

9. Note that many ventures only have some portion to start with, in this case a technology idea. The idea is to get other complementary things from the market by hiring or giving a small stake to the key people. Anyway they do not have the concerns of finance, which is a problem for most new ventures

Important points made by the group and my comments on some
1. Though the idea may look great, it may still be in its infancy. One of the option to hone it up is to pick up the yahoo/Nokia opportunity
2. Abhi should focus on pursuing his dreams since he has good support and potential
3. Both should take up the idea and further develop it in their final year project. If they see potential at the end of it, they should think of pursuing further
4. Abhi may not be wrong to start without Kabhi, since Kabhi dropped out by his pwn will ---- Has Kabhi really dropped out ??
5. Kabhi should not and cannot sell the idea to yahoo/nokia since it belongs to both of them
6. The ability of Abhi to implement the whole thing alone is doubtful --- nice point, though it is an assumption
7. Abhi’s father would support him irrespective of when he wants to start --- may not be factual, but may be a fair assumption.
8. Abhi and Kabhi may join Yahoo/Nokia and tell about their idea. The companies have immense experience and marketing power and both may benefit from this ---- these companies will own the IP and the whole point is lost. The product could be a better success, but abhi and kabhi may not be
9. Abhi can even consider dropping out of college and pursuing his idea ---- One, his father may not support. Two, the risk is too high and probably unwarranted
10. Abhi could go on his own and may share a part of the profit with Kabhi if he succeeds on his own ---- you should have dug it further and discussed the roles of IP and entrepreneurial aptitude in the success of a company
11. Abhi can also look at the option of giving CAT next year and try joining a good B school as management experience will also be an important ingredient for the success of their idea --- question of how important is education in success
12. Abhi and Kabhi needs to understand the interest of Abhi’s father and details of his support to them
13. Understand if Kabhi can be accommodated on a salary + stake basis ---- Wow point, it takes the trophy and makes the solution so simple. One thing is they need not check this with abhi’s father but need to inform him of the same. If not willing, they can check with a VC. It is equivalent of having an employee, which they will be having anyway.
14. Abhi`s father, in light of being enthusiastic about the proposal can provide them with initial seed money for further market study --- brownie point argument
15. The idea may not sell after 1-2 years since technology space is fast moving ---- a half trophy point. Management jargon like ‘Time to market’ could have been used :)
16. if one goes ahead and succeeds, the other may not have a claim since there is too much gap from ideation to execution
17. Pick up a job and continue on developing the product and release it on internet in Beta version under some free licence form. If it succeeds, many companies may become interested in buying it off
18. Kabhi may not sell the idea to Nokia/yahoo since their friendship would suffer and there is nothing for him to gain
19. The preparation of CAT can be put on backburner this year if both are willing to take risk
20. Job opportunities can land in your lap many times but enterprenurship requires a level of courage and a chance to perform
21. Abhi can offer Kabhi a minor share and go ahead with the venture ---- Good point. Share proportional to the role IP in the success. Complementary to the point b2b made
22. Neither Steve jobs, nor Bill gates or larry page from google has a MBA degree. So CAT is irrelevant ---- Oh really!! And you have the guts to say this sitting in an IIM campus :)) Note that these successes are not generic and hence are not supportive of your point, though your point may be true.

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Topic for the day - Take 9

hey guys,

Here comes the topic of the day even when there is analysis of the case and another GD pending. I thinking I am lagging in the effort when you guys are putting that extra hardwork. Well, I promise I will catch up and have the analysis by the end of the day or tomorrow.

So the topic is "Bribery: A menace or a means of correcting social and economic imbalance - Discuss this in Indian scenario"

This is a tough topic since it is not easy to come up with points that are not very obvious. So the group has to be innovative in bringing good perspectives out of obvious points.

Get going

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GD session over the last weekend

We had a good GD session this weekend. Though some of the guys did not turn up and it could be communication gap.
Anyway 6 people did turn up, though a little late and we were able to have one GD with a long analysis session and a query session on Personal Interviews.
We were also able to discuss some points on ‘body language’ too

The topic of discussion was “Population of India – Resource or menace”

The group came up with some superb analysis, though they fell short on some grounds.

Summary points from the group were
1. Indian population has been a boon since it is young and doing great.
2. There have been some issues of urban/rural and rich/poor divide, but that can be taken care of by the Government with efforts to properly utilize the resources
3. We have done great in sports in recent times ---- This point was beaten up by the rest of the group saying that there was no correlation between population and success in sports
4. There has been increased competition in exams like CAT etc and that has bettered the quality --- I said in my analysis that the number of people taking CAT has not increased in proportion to the population and hence this may not be true. Also it cannot be said that people passing out of IIMs now are better than those who passed out 10 years back (though they may be getting plusher jobs)
5. Appikap came up with some good stats for supporting that large population has helped in our economic growth

I may have left many points while summarising

My analysis
1. The group did not talk too much about the problems of population at all
2. With everyone talking about how it has been positive, I would have turned around and said “Inspite of all this, doesn’t the group still think that we would have been better half if there were only half the people in our country??” --- A rhetoric question, but it puts lot of things in perspective
3. The group delved too much into ‘What Government should do’ ---- Something I always say is not a good thing. We should see other things too and not just give fundae on what Government should be doing
4. The group should have discussed on the effects of population on the world and not just Indian economy. I would have said “Agreed that so much good has happened to India because of the population, but till what size can the world grow its human population” --- another rhetoric to put things inperspective.
5. My start would have been ---- its been hardly ten years since I wrote so many essays in my school on the ‘problems of population in India’. And today I am sitting here with a group that is discussing if it could be a resource too. The very fact that we are even discussing the positive side of it shows how things have changed so much for the country in the last 10 years. Sure, a huge population has been one of our banes, but it is also true that we have used it as our strength to become a better and stronger nation”

Comments from the others in the group welcome.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Topic for the day - Take 8

Hey guys,

Have to leave the office a little early today. So putting out the topic for the weekend. The topic will stay on till Monday. Thhe analysis for the case will probably also come on Monday if I dont have enought time. But I will drop some hints for further discussions there.

Since we have covered topics in areas like 'economics', 'international politics', 'vague', 'media', 'development' and a case based one, I thot I shud try to be as diverse as possible. So I am adding a political one to the list we have. I will put up a couple economics one in the next leg since people seem to be off-track on economic topics. If you want me to cover any other specific area, pour in your comments.

Here goes the topic
"Judicial intervention in the affairs of Govt and Parliament - Is it a necessity or is the judiciary crossing the line"

p.s. -- While bashing the politicians is fine by me, do not do 'just' that :)

Like to see the learning of the previous GDs being taken forward. As you are getting close to your GD dates, I want to see the quality going notches and the group making it difficult for me to critique and add points.

So go for the kill

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Topic "Censorship...." - Complete Analysis

Hey Guys,

It was surprising that a group that came up with such a stellar performance on a vague topic came out so mundane and average in this one. I had deliberately put a topic which had so many obvious points. But the group did move beyond the obvious points.

Here are the consolidated comments.

1. The group on the whole did not rise above pornography, terrorism, hatred sites etc. Some attempts like democracy, parental control were there but I wanted to see more of that.

2. Most starts revolved around the Indian constitution. Read the topic carefully. It does not say "Indian Govt"

3. Please be clear on the difference between monitoring, controlling and censorship. If you dont, then you will talking 'off' the topic

4. Most of you have just made points on how the internet has been misused etc etc but haven’t told if "censorship" would be effective in preventing that

5. Many of you said that though Governments blocks many things on the internet, it eventually crops up somewhere else. Good point, but very sad that the conclusion to this problem was ‘so why bother to censor’. Rather it should have been how to make censorship effective. Good points with bad analysis ends up nowhere

So the learnings are:
1. Understand the topic carefully and STICK to it
2. Generate arguments. Facts are good, but not if they dont have conclusions
3. Do not get sentimental, opinionated
lets carry them to the next round and not repeat mistakes.

My Start:
Govts across the world always had censorship on television, movies, newpapers etc though it has been limited in democracies. With the advent of internet the borders of countries have been broken and govts are grappling to understand a way to control it. Though internet has heralded itself as 'free for all', it is clear that it has been misused for many things. So it is important to control and monitor, but the necessity of censorhip itself may be questionable.

Points in the middle
1. US censored the beaming of the Iraq war and restricted the media. Internet took the mantle of showing us both the sides of the war
2. Mass media like internet doesn’t come by pull, but many times by push. So it is important to control
3. Why leave everything to the govt. There shud be self restraint to some extent. Didnt google know that its google maps cud be misused
4. People say, one has right to express what he wants and can post any video on youtube and the end user shud use his discretion. But what about invasion of privacy here. And who else can protect individuals, if not the law of the land
5. Even though Govt shud not censor, they shud have the ability to do so. This may be needed in case of national emergencies
6. Why only talk about terrorist groups. Some newspapers in their zeal to dig deeper have written articles on the internet describing in detail how bombs are made. Shudnt the govt rap their knuckles and make them behave
7. On the whole, monitoring and control by Govt is not only necessary but important, but they shud restrain from censorship.
8. There are groups on social networking websites which say they hate India. So what. Should the Governments be telling people what is should be loving, hating or be angry about
9. Everybody is harping on porn. So why not make it difficult to access. Making them payable will help. Age control, parental control, technology control can be used. Agreed they have not been effective, but the quest shud be to make it effective rather than censor

Good/ Decent points by the group
1. Government intrusion in blogging would defeat d entire purpose of blogs
2. People ought 2 b left free 2 deide wat 2 view nd wat not
3. The onus is on us 2 develop a socity where everyone says.."I may not agree wid u ,but i'll defend till death ur right 2 speak "
4. Censorship may be needed when it concerns the security of the country
5. Censorship should be something which says what is wrong rather than spoonfeeding what is correct
6. Censorships can atleast avoid kids unintentionally getting exposed to such kind of unintended stuff. Definitely kids dont have the self discretion of not getting effected ----- Stretch beyond a little bit and you could have brought a good perspective. You should have brought in the funda of ‘parental control’
7. It should be taken care that the decisions are always reviewed for the implementation
8. True that the right to "freedom of speech" is enshrined in our constitution, but it is equally counter-productive in a "confused" democracy....where people have rights, but don't know how to use them ---- My personal opinion on this is that it is elitist opinion, but a good view nevertheless
9. If we have one source which is spewing hatred. We have numbers of others which advocate restraint and mention fault with that paricular hatred filled site
Every act of freedom comes with a caveat involved. Freedom of speech is no exception. No doubt, acts of terror, pedophiles and suchlike have to be kept in check But still it doesn't allow absolute rights to the governments. The difference between a dictatorship and democracy is that, In dictatorship, the leader is accountable to none and therefore every action of his, whether right or wrong becomes the law. A government with infinite powers will bring alive the Orwellian world of '1984' alive. In short, Who is going to watch the watchdog
10. There should be no censorship on expression of views. Just because a person holds an opposing view, it doesn't gives you a right to strangle his voice. How does it matter if someone maintains "I Hate India" community on orkut? India is not going to vanish from world map due to this. In fact, it will give us a chance to know about the negative perspectives as well
11. Yes, Censorship of websites is required to stop trading of children. Censorship is required to check pedophiles trading children on net. But this is not an expression of opinion or view, but rather an act unacceptable in any society
12. A possible solution might be, If government is going to block a particular website or blog, then this action should be contestable in courts. A government site must mention the name of the blogs or sites that have been blocked along with reason for being blocked and this action must be contestable in courts. Every action of government must be in purview of RTI act.
13. Internet in itself, has become the best medium of communication, it is a valid extension of speech. So applying the same idea, if the government cannot stop people from saying what they want, how can it stop people from writing & reading what they want?
14. It is an unnerving thought of the power of such ideas, laid down by powerful people, can have such a large impact on us

Points on which people would take trophis for counter points

1. The area where regulation is most perceived i s that of ponography...but even here we fail 2 realise that those who view it wud find one way or d other 2 do that regardless of whichever regulations n restrictions r imposed --- what are you trying to say here. That we should stop porn, but we wont since we cant??

2. indian govt asking google to remove pages on orkut conataning hatred against the nation by pakistan etc... is fine…. But China asking Google to pack off for showing hatred articles on Tiananmen Square is wrong ---- Lack of consistency? Patriotism? Or sheer Hypocrisy?? :)

3. Some politicians/govt. may make misuse of these censorships by controlling the media to safegaurd themselves . Instead there can be an anonimous panel formed to control the internet ---- people in the group would eat you like lions for making such points :)

Global Gyan
1. There should be a clearly defined limit to the degree of censorship – Global Gyan. How can there be “clear” limit when the thing is subjective

Points that cud have been better
1. All good things come with a pinch of salt and controlling them lies a solution. A soln might be to give the entire detail of the Internet user so that tracking becomes easy and this idea is rightly brought abt by the government wherein each cyber user needs to furnish his/her details before logging --- Good point, but where is the conclusion. Add the sentence, ‘So I would say, rather than censoring, Government should exercise better control’ and you have a fair and strong point. The group may not agree with you but you have brought a good view

2. There have been some views about google earth maps showing sites of critical importance to indian security. Well, Majority of terror attacks in India are planned by ISI. They already have access to satellite pictures taken by Pakistani satellites. It would be naive to assume that ISI would be waiting for these google earth maps for performing their operations ---- Don’t get carried away. It sure prevents less sophisticated enemies (home grown terrorist groups for instance). Anyone bringing such a counter point would take away the credit. Don’t give away such credits for free, make them work hard for it

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Topic for the day - Take 7

Hey guys,

Here comes the promised case GD. I have written the case myself to make sure that people have not read it somewhere else.

It is a problem that many of us may have faced or may face in future. I want to see people pitching in with good arguments and perspectives. There is lot to talk on this anyway.

Abhi and Kabhi were bright kids doing their in Comp Sc from IIT Madras. They had consistently topped the class and had won many software contests. While Abhi came from a rich business family, Kabhi’s father was a Government clerk and came from a middle class family. They were very good friends of each other and alway studied and worked together. In their third year at engineering, they jointly hit upon and developed an idea for a software that would enable instant messaging over mobile phones. With mobile phones already being an essential gadget and yahoo/hotmail/Gtalk instant messaging being a rage among the youth, they felt that the idea had a big business potential. So they decided that they would start a company together in future on this and would keep it a secret till the time is ripe. Abhi’s father was enthused by their idea and was ready to completely fund their venture if they wanted to go ahead, if he was given a 40% stake. Kabhi father did not have much idea about instant messaging or cell phones and was concerned about failure and hence wanted him to take up a good job. He wanted Abhi to gain some experience first before venturing and was also skeptical about Abhi’s father’s offer.

At the end their third year, many companies came for placements. Among them, companies of interest to them were Yahoo who were recruiting for developers for their instant messenger and Nokia recruiting for developers for their cellphones. Yahoo was a worldwide pioneer in instant messaging while Nokia was a pioneer in cellphone technology. Abhi and Kabhi had also attended CAT just for the sake of understanding the exam pattern and cracked it big time. Though they had calls from all the top institutes, they were not eligible to join since they had one more year of graduation to complete.

Kabhi, after getting convinced by his father decides to take up the interviews of Yahoo and Nokia after informing Abhi.

1. What should Abhi do in this case?

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

GD for the weekend

Hey guys,

Was thinking that I cud spare some time this saturday to help you guys prepare for the GD. I will be available to moderate if enough guys are interested and are ready to meet somewhere in Koramangala.
11 to 1 would be a good time. If place is an issue, may be we can use my flat for this weekend :)

If most of you have joined the coaching instis and think you are having a decent prep, then go ahead with it. But if too many people are interested, then I will have to use 'first come first' and 'regulars on the blog' rules to moderate the size.

Your interest/suggestions/apathy in the comments section please.

Topic "The world with...." - Complete Analysis


The topic for today will come tomorrow :)) So till then I will keep the censorship topic open for people to dig in. It is a very open ended topic and I want to see people bring in strong points and taking good stands.

And for the Sunday topic -- Oops! so many people getting senti on Sundays being gone:). The perspectives were amazing and I would give credit to the whole group for coming up with such a good GD. So I have done a different kind of analysis for this. Not much of a critique I guess. And I have also just added the points that I would have added and the start that I would have made.

Good starts by ANYA, PS, 2B, Himashu, Atul, Ronak, Aparna. Good to see that almost all of them were different and yet good ones.

Some comments
1. Though the group as such came in with various angles, note that some of you stuck with and revolved around a set of ideas. It could be because of the nature of the blog discussion, but do keep in mind to individually bring in various points

2. Avoid Hindi or other language proverbs/poems because all in the group may not understand the language. Will not get a negative from the panel, but it is better to translate to English and also keep it short

My START (was tough to be different from the group, but I have tried)
A world without Sundays, I would see, as a world without holidays and holy days. Though I am not a religious person, I feel that holy days are important for a peaceful human mind. And holidays are important for a cheerful mind. And without peaceful and cheerful minds, the world is would surely go to dogs.

My Points in between
1. God anyway seems to have had very low expectations from humans. He had to designate one day in a week as a holy day. And, with even that gone, things will be pretty grave

2. Probably a world without Sundays is a world that god would create or probably god has created for all the ungrateful animals he put on planet earth. Is that what they call hell

3... Some stole my other points :))

What the group came up with goes below. Took a lot of time to consolidate :)WoW paradigms (trophy section)
1. Another way of looking at the topic is how much importance we put to protocols. How comfortable are we if there were no rules to define when to work? when to rest? and when to have fun? --- this is what a top notch ‘consultant’ would have put

Cool points (brownie points section)
1. From another wud absolve us from the so called "MONDAY BLUES "...since every day will b a working day....getting up 4 work on monday morning or 4 that matter any other day..wud no longer b a big deal
2. No Hefty price tickets for bars and movie halls on weekends
3. We will def have to find an alternative for the famous F1 races which are held on Sundays
4. Taking the topic reframed as "World without a SUN-DAY" that is we can say that if there is a day for the entire earth wherein we dont see a sun on one of the day than what can be the conditions – you snatched it from me and you get half trophy for this point
5. We can expect large additions being made 2 d already existing list of national holidays by the governments of respective countries of d world.... coz that will b imperarive from d point of view of making life worthwhile
6. It would be an unnerving thought to sleep on saturday night & wake up on monday morning
7. A world without Sunday can also be seen in the perspective of - A World without Bombay, A World without Bangalore, A World without Madras, I hope you are getting what i mean. Some of our patriot citizens might find the word 'Sunday' offensive as the Gregorian calendar was imposed on us by the British. So, instead all around India, we might instead start using some different calendar system altogether. So, end of Sundays, Mondays an all other weekdays for Indians – Half a trophy fort this too

Good points (some points that were repeated in another form have not been included, but were nevertheless good)
1. Since time immemorial,we have been attuned 2 our daily lives in such a fashion that we work 4 six days..wholeheartedly..coz there's a sunday at d end of it...if this string of hope is taken away ..there will b no incentive left 2 work with full zeal.
2. "ALL WORK AND NO PLAY MAKES JACK A DULL BOY "- This maxim will aptly apply in a world with no sundays...proverbially speaking sunday is meant 2 b a "fun day"..and if such a day is crossed out from d list..we'll have a stockpile of " dull jacks "...that wud not b productive 4 d world at large...
3. World without Sunday can be looked upon by 2 perspective. One wud b from a workaholic view who wud regret a Sunday coming while one can be from a normal person's point of view who wud love a Sunday coming.
4. what does a sunday mean? It has different connotations to different people. To a professional, it is a day of relaxation, fun, shopping. To a religious christian a day to go to mass and pray. But it may also mean nothing to some people, like your maid and your watchman. Thus having no sunday would have impacts ranging from "no impact" to "heavy impact". These impacts could be on recreational, professional or ritual-based.
5. Life doen't stop for anything. Even if sundays just vanished, this world will still function. Combined wisdom of te world will readjust and find another way to balance work and fun.
6. The Christians and Jews will cry blasphemy as there will be no Sabbath to pray to God. The Atheists will be relieved world over.
7. Labour Unions world over will become charged like a nuclear fusion reactor going out-of-control at all times. Walmart Executives will become underground with their reputation already in tatters!! In countries like India, like their usual populist election manifestos, parties will commit eight days holiday weeks to all the voters if they are elected to government --- just because it was a different perspective
8. the increased productivity will mean that the "Bottom of the pyramid" will get more chance to earn the money and the world will become a more equal place to live!! --- he he heee, really???
9. A world with continuous productiveness and creativity
10. a world with a routine schedule from which there is no respite for the things out of track. Man needs a diversion from troutine tasks in order to relax and rejuvenate. A break from routine tasks provide colours and spice to his life
11. Sunday is just a idiom for a holiday during a week. A world without sunday will probably be consisting of just 6 days with one day lets say wednesday as a holiday. So we will have to work one day less every week and will get holidays more frequently. What else can we ask for
12. Sunday is a special day for food buffs. Special meals are cooked on Sunday
13. Some people like working in calm environments and hence go to offices on Sunday to complete work. Such people will have to get used to working in crowd
14. Also for the point i mentioned earlier A day without SUN in the entire world..... this would be quite ominous as per spiritual standards as Sun stands as a Power against the Evil Spirit....A day without the Sun will allow the Ones with the Evil Spirit to take immense power
15. They say,a Rose by any other name would smell as sweet..So,if there are no Sundays but any other day to take place for the sunday..will it make much difference
16. The problem of procastination will b greatly curtailed in aworld with no Sundays
17. The world with no sundays will not get 2 experience sunny weather...coz d sun will b upset with d world 4 having crossed his day
18. The world will have a tough time deciding as 2 who will b d first day of d of now SUNDAY being distinct from d remaining clearly stole d trophy....but in a world with no sundays where each day will b d same as d other..a normal working day..the world will have a tough time deciding..." WHO'S D BOSS "
19. without sundays...does it mean the world without the holiday sunday , or the world left with 6 day week
20. There go the weekend getaways as well, for who can afford a trip to Kodaikanal & back in one day
21. Monday blues would grow worse

Average and amusing ones
1. Just like d last day of a year is spent 4 making resolutions 4 d coming year..sunday serves that purpose 4 d coming week...its a day when an individual can take stock of his life..and chart out his course of action 4 d upcoming week...the world wid no sundays will have no scope 4 wud resemble a world with people who r running...with no idea as 2 where they r heading...
2. Sunday is usually used by people to come back to life from the tiresome week and to gather a little energy...
3. Looking from an optimistic point of view, if not for Sunday, we cud have kept any other day as a holiday
4. What is so special about sunday? would it matter much if it was a weekly holiday on thursday instead?
5. There will perhaps be many sting operations revealing a link between the politicians and corporates telling how corporates want to suck the life out of poor employees for increasing their profits. For the first time in History, Mallika Sherawat, Rakhi Sawant and Big-Boss will be overshadowed by Economic issues on News channels on India. --- what was this :)
6. In places like Bihar, Government babus will get increased salary for the same amount of work (or, No work!!). Anyways, they rarely go to their office --- downgraded for the parochial comment :)
7. Stock Markets will be open for a day more and that gives us more opportunity to trade --- logic ka fight hai
8. People working in US will miss the concept of long weekends in Western countries. --- would have upgraded if you had put it as ‘we will miss the concept of long weekends’. Usage of US, western unnecessary
9. Taking "SUNDAY" as the GOD of the PAGANS – were you trying to say “Taking "SUNDAY" as the day of GOD of PAGANS” Well as per the researches have found the King who believed in the SUN as the GOD was very skeptical about JESUS coming as an Enormous power to control peoples thoughts and beliefs and so he actually tried to Hide the Holy Grail and latter developed CHRISTIANITY as an optimized approach which was the combination of those who worshiped SUn and the sayings of JESUS. By adopting this approach he still remained in Power with his religion having more prominence and not going against the holy power of Jesus prevailing in People at that time --- not sure about the fact, but a very good input. But this has been downgraded since you have made no argument 
10. In Bible it is said...God created the world in 6 days and rested on the 7th...So,Sunday means to do nothing and so is MOnday named(meaning after do-nothing) – so what are you trying to say
11. The world with no sundays will have an additional working day --- And what day is that or am i not getting the logic?? :))
12. the world with no sundays will have countries boasting of 2..n who knows even greater rates of GDP growth... ---- really??

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QnA fundaes for filling forms

Hey guys,

Some of you have been writing comments saying that you need help in writing your SOP and answering other questions on the forms of the insitutes. I shall try my best to do that in this blog. Some of you have been asking for my ID to mail these answers too.

One request is for people to read the fundaes I had written for SOP at before writing their answers. Even though the fundaes are more specific to SOP, they give you a general idea too.

Similarly also try and read up the fundaes on PI section too and that may answer some. It will not go waste anyway :) --

Couple of other basic things you have to take care before writing
1. Do not copy anyone else's answers. You will have a tough time defending in the interviews
2. Be frank, but dont be callous or rude
3. Chop your sentences to make sure you communicate well but crisply. That way you can say more in less space.
4. Review and re-review before you send

I just started this thread so that people can post their answers in the comment section rather than mail it to me. Couple of reasons for that

1. Since the whole initiative is to help out people, I want maximum people getting the benifit out of it.

2. When I reply thru mail I will have to repeat lot of fundaes to many people, which I think will get taken care if people read the comments before writing the answers. Saves time.

3. I can edit more answers this way since it avoids repetition

But if people have answers which are very specific and personal, you can send the mails to, but please note that if I feel that the questions/answers are not very specific and personal, I shall be putting them up in the comments sections in this post.

Any comments/suggestions/concerns, keep them coming


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Topic - "Nuclear...US..." - Complete Analysis

Nuclear issue - The hypocrisy of USA

There were only three people participating, but the points brought in were pretty good. All the starts were good too and that raised the quality bar. Good show guys.

I did not know that this was a tough topic. And please note that you have to pitch in even if you don’t know anything on the topic on your GD day. So if you have nothing to talk on a topic check the article and do pitch-in in future.

Points that the group discussed:

1. US should not dictate terms to other so-called rogue nations since its own behavior in Vietnam/ Iraq etc have been far from exemplary
2. US has been hypocritical in its stand on nuclear issue. One stand for Iran/NK while another for Israel ----- I would have liked someone club India with Israel too
3. US also looking at its economic interests and lobbies
4. No commitment to bring down nuclear arsenal
5. US is preventing many countries from procuring nuclear material for energy purposes ---- I would have liked someone also take a positive note on the same point
6. US needs to behave less like a Big-brother-say-all
7. US hypocrisy – it does not conform to NPT and doesn’t do what it preaches
8. It has a large pile of weapons that it has not depleted ---- Some numbers would have put things in better perspective. US has more than 10000 war heads
9. US may not be so bad afterall as it has prevented many from acquiring the weapons - Is there any reason to say that a world with the US as sole superpower is better than multiple power centers
10. USA's stance in certain countries like North Korea, does seem reasonable, & for peace purposes. But its insistence on having a tight control over every country's nuclear program & its merciless attitude towards potential threats, causes alarm bells to ring in our head
11. China has openly declared its plan to develop more nuclear plants & continues enrichment, but USA does nothing to oppose it

My comment (Apart from the appreciation that I have already mentioned)
I am surprised that no one took a stand saying that ‘ultimately nuclear weapons should be completely eliminated from the world’ – though it came in bits and pieces, I thought would have been a good start since it provides a huge umbrella to discuss under

Additional points that could have been discussed:

1. Hypocrisy could have been shown in how the US, with other countries, categorized ‘Nuclear Group’ within the UN as countries having tested nuclear weapons before 1964

2. Though US has been shouting hoarse on nuclear weapons, it has done nothing to encourage nuclear power generation since it has its own oil interests even within USA. This is inspite of the growing environmental concerns worldwide and US is one of the biggest gas guzzlers in the world

3. US has not punished Pakistan for being a nuclear proliferators since it is helping in its fight against war on terror

4. US has made a nuclear deal with India since there is so much economic benefit out of it. This inspite its repeated concerns over India-Pakistan being a nuclear flashpoint. Note that when India moved its troops to the borders after parliament attack, US issued a travel advisory to all its citizens to move out of the country fearing a possible nuclear war

Parting Shot
What my start would have been
US has been hypocritical in its stand on the nuclear issue when it comes to various countries that it chooses to categorize as ‘nuclear group, ‘responsible countries’, ‘axis of evil’, ‘politically unstable’ etc when you look at their actions. But looking it in a bigger perspective, their actions seem to have just one thing in mind – The interests of United States of America and nothing else. The interest of the world in general, which would be better off without any nation having nuclear arsenal does not even cross its mind.

On the whole, good show guys.

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Topic for the Day - Take 6

Sorry for the late posting of the topic. Here it goes. I will come up with a case study for tomorrow. Analysis of the two pending topics will follow later in the day. And this topic will close later tomorrow so as to allow most to participate.

"Govt censorship of the internet - An instrusion of Freedom of speech"

Get bashing!!

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Topic - 'farm loans...." - Complete Analysis

I am deeply disappointed. I am sure that the group made very good points but did not take your arguments ‘forward’. Rise above the shallow waters and swim deeper. You are competing for the top B-Schools and you are the cream of the country.

I want to believe that it was the weekend lethargy since Aparna came fresh on Monday evening and made some straight forward simple arguments to clinch the crown. Her slogging in the last overs has saved the group some embarrassment. Go through the analysis at the end. Though there were some economic fundas that wud add to your knowledge base, most of the ideas would come just from Thinking.

Consolidation (There was lot to do in commenting). Unusually, My start/points have been intertwined

1. Famer Suicide and a need to avoid such situation by active intervention
2. Active participation of the Government in partnership with organization to educate farmers better
3. Farmer cess like education cess to support famer subsidies and lower interest loans
4. It can encourage ‘entrepreneurship’ among farmers
--- Good point

5. Rather than trying to do the whole good work itself the Government should engage the help of other organizations
6. The farmer may engross himself in more debt and hence the whole idea could have an adverse effect
--- Good perspective

7. The scheme may create a burden on the economy
8. Government should think of improvising ways to minimise the impact of erratic rainfall
--– very good point. But should have concluded with a better solution. May I suggest farm insurance for instance

9. Have a plan to phase out the subsidies over a period of time
--- Good point. But subsidies are not what we were talking about :)

10. Government should try and prune the middlemen
---– Guys, middlemen also are effective market forces and most of the time a necessity. Don’t demonize them. There are middlemen everywhere – real estate, job market and even in flesh business. Their duty is to make the customer meet the producer and they get paid for it. Some do get benefited more, but don’t hang them for it. Btw, e-choupal is a kind of middleman.

11. Access to good credit is important for farmers to free them from the shackles of zamindars & local lenders. Lower interest rates will make it possible for them to repay & make a profit on their investment
---– Why couldn't anybody else think of this. Should such an obvious point win a trophy?

12. India needs progress at grass root levels. Unless the farmers & rural people , who make up 1/2 of India's population, rise above their current living standards, we cannot call our nation developing in the true sense
---– Can I see Aparna sweeping the GD with some basic common sense arguments here. Kudos Aparna.
----- Re-phrase the point thus and this cud have been a wonderful START. "Prosperity of a nation does not just happen by wealth generation, but also by an equitable wealth distribution. Farm loans at a lower rate is one attempt at uplifting the sector on which more than 70% of the nation is directly dependant and from where more than 50% of the nation's GDP comes from. The important thing is 'Is it effective', and is so 'Is it effective by itself' and 'If it is effective, how to implement it better'"

13. Vote bank may be a motive behind this move, but we can make it a productive process by introducing accountability
---– ‘Accountability’, A brownie point for that

14. It is a right thought that it is the tax payers money going into a political move, but unless we help our rural compatriots, India shining shall remain the elusive aim ever.

15. In addition to low interest rates, a measure in tandem that could improve a farmer's credit, would be letting the price of a crop be decided by market forces rather than set by the government. Pegging of prices at artificial lows or highs causes a lot of losses both ways.etc – The crown goes to the lady.

Parting shots and some economic fundaes (Oh so many of them !!)
1. Please understand the subtle difference between the subsidy and low interest loan. From an economic perspective, subsidy is a clear-cut Government “expense” to support farmers while a low-interest loan is a Government “investment” for the upliftment of the farmers. In a loan, there is a collateral (land, future crop etc) and the farmer has taken it specifically to invest in something (land or crop) and thus expects a return out of the investment which he shall use to repay the debt.
--- Simple economic funda - Investments are better than expenses

2. Giving low interest loans is akin to tax-free regime for software companies and SEZs. It is a deliberate market anomaly brought in not as an SOS but as an encouragement for development. Don’t treat the farmers as taking away Government money. Remember, many other industries are not happy with Government giving tax free regimes to software companies, but thats the way it is.

3. Remember, interest on house loans are also lower than industrial loans. Because of the collateral and the encouragement of the Government. It may have distorted the real estate market a little bit with inflation, but that is an ‘understood’ side-effect and is not so bad.

4. Farm loans are not sympathy instruments. They are instruments of encouragement to the agriculture sector. Support to Vidharba farmers (remember there is a drought situation there) is akin to flood/tsunami relief. Low-interest loans cannot solve that. ‘Loan waivers’ may. And there is a difference between low-interest loans and loan waivers.

5. There has been lot of points on educating the farmers. Very elitist thinking. Please understand that the farmer knows about the issues with crops better than the Government or the NGOs. They just may not be in a position to resolve those issues. So it is fine that the point is made once, but not fine being repeated because that means that the group is not thinking further. Remember, the Britishers wanted to teach Indians ‘democracy’ once upon a time :)

6. Burden on the economy argument – it is an investment by the Government like that on defense, roads, industry tax waivers etc. It is the duty of the Government to take that burden.

7. The very reason 'tax' exists is for better distribution of wealth. And what better than for it to go to improve the bread-earners who are to be uplifted. There is nothing else that the Govt is doing for them anyway unlike its support for so many industries.

8. Statistically, rural loans have lesser bad debts as compared to urban ones.

I am sure I have missed on some points that I could have added and I have also taken a very strong pro stand. I would not have taken such a strong pro-stand if the group had been a little more pro :)

Understand that you can take the best value out of my guidance if you can cover all the points and make me work hard to give additional points. So it is in your hands how much you take out of me.
In the end, do not get disappointed with the extra bitter critique. It was intended to shake up your dust. Let us see people fighting back with some good points for the next topics. Can I already hear a ‘Har har mahadev’ battlecry ?? :)

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PI Prep - Do you have a question??

Anamika had asked what kind of questions shud one ask at the end of the interview. So some fundaes that I did not want the group to miss since it was hidden in the PI section. For complete discussion on the PI fundaes, you can go to

For questions at the end of the interview, I would say,
1. Ask only those question that spontaneously crop in your mind during the GD/PI process. But do mull over it and use your discretion

2. Something additional you want to tell and havent been able to and you want to disguise in the form of a question.
e.g., "I have about 3 years of international experience. Does this matter in your selection criteria"
--- You cant help it if it doesnt matter, but you have used the opportunity to tell them an interesting thing about yourself. But I wud still say, try to cover such an interesting point about yourself during the interview rather than keeping it till the end :)

Most important thing is to avoid asking certain questions. I have tried to make a list of the same below

1. Info that you can find on the net (This is true with most quesions that people ask). The panel would have expect you have read well from the brochures and the internet. So avoid questions like 'exchange program' etc.
Note: Inspite of what many of you think, exchange program is only an additional self-paid trip that you can take. Please do not join an institute for the sake of a good exchange program

2. Things that are no consequences to your decision (about the program or the institute) - Like financial help etc.
Note: Most institutes do not offer financial help before you join in most cases. And I am sure there are very few who drop out because of lack of financial help since the banks give loans at a decent rate

3. Things that the panel may not know or may not want to answer. So dont ask questions like when wud the results be announced or how many waitlists wud be given or what is the average salary or what is the weightage of work experience in your selection etc

4. Silly questions :)) - Is it true that IIMB has a surpus of 100 crores?

5. Pre-meditated questions - If you already have a question in mind to ask the panel before the PI date, better find out the answer from your peers/seniors or even me. Dont ask the question for the sake of it and look ill-informed.