Monday, December 24, 2007

GMP students return from the International exposure module

Students of General Management Program (GMP) (2007-08) went to Graduate School of Business, RMIT Australia, for 3 weeks International exposure programme, launched in partnership with RMIT University, Australia.

The program involved two parts, the first being an overview of Australian business climate and industrial scenario.

The second part of the program involved internship in an Australian organization. The work placement was designed to enhance understanding of local business operations and provide Australian companies with an opportunity to gain valuable insights into doing business in India.

Renowned companies from a range of industry segments, like KPMG, Wackett Aerospace Center, CSIRO, Yoober and others participated in the process.

Commenting on the internship experience with XLRI students, Neil T Faulkner, Partner KPMG, said "The General Management Program students who spent time in our organisation in Melbourne were marvellous ambassadors for the program, XLRI, their previous employers, their Country and themselves. They demonstrated exceptional skill, commitment, knowledge, teamwork and global industry awareness."

Dr.Ron Harper, Director GSB, RMIT, who led this engagement with XLRI, said "The exercise is regarded by RMIT as an important grassroots engagement of Australian industry with the new economic superpower that is India."

The sponsored candidates from Tata Steel were sent for a similar stint to Corus, UK.

GMP is a one year full-time business management program for executives, who have had a prior work experience of five years or above.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Some changes in XL

I am sure, many of you may be aware of this, given the network

...nevertheless still thought worth informing of these changes....

Fr Casimir Raj, the current director, is retiring this month end.

Fr E Abraham, the current Director of XIM Bhubneshwar (and the earlier director at XL during 1989/90-94) will be taking over as the new director...he is also an XL alumnus of 78 vintage.

Fr PT Joseph, with whom some of the recent batches may have done courses on EI, PEL, etc., will take over as the director of XIMB.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Vineet Nayar's (BMD 85) interview in USA Today

CEO's bold experiment: Management by democracy
Updated 1d 1h ago | Comment | Recommend1 E-mail | Save | Print | Subscribe to stories like this
CEO Vineet Nayar is dedicated to making his workplace a democracy. It's a concept that could bring about a corporate renaissance, he says.

CEO Vineet Nayar is dedicated to making his workplace a democracy. It's a concept that could bring about a corporate renaissance, he says.

• Let go of command and control. In business, as in nations, dictatorship is out. Democracy is in.
• Business leaders must be open to criticism, just as elected officials are.
• Customers don't come first, employees do, because employees are the product that your customers are buying.
• Democracy and feedback allow employees and managers to gravitate toward their strengths.


• Joined HCL as a management trainee in 1985. Named president in 2005, and CEO this October.
• Holds bachelor's degree in technology from G.B. Pant University ('83), and an MBA from XLRI-Jamshedpur ('85) in 1985. Both schools are in India.
• Married. Kids ages 15 and 13.
• Likes adventure sports. Has done glacier trekking in the Alps of Europe and in New Zealand. Favorite scuba destination: Hawaii.
• Favorite books: The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable by Nassim Nicholas Taleb; The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations by Ori Brafman and Rod Beckstrom.
• Favorite city is New York. Favorite country is New Zealand.
• HCL employs 45,600 workers in 17 countries, up from 36,400 one year ago. In the latest quarter that ended Sept. 30, revenue grew 43% to $429 million. Net income rose 42% to $77.4 million.

India is the world's largest democracy, so it seems fitting that the New Delhi-based information technology services giant HCL Technologies is attempting what may be the most ambitious effort yet at installing a workplace democracy. That may sound impossible, but so did running nations as democracies in past centuries.

CEO Vineet Nayar, 45, has written a case study about HCL's experiment for the Harvard Business School. He spoke to USA TODAY corporate management reporter Del Jones about his bold experiment and why he believes that in the future, democratic companies will outperform the command-and-control dictatorships that have persisted since the industrial revolution.

CORPORATE PULSE: Executive Suite index

Q: When can I vote my boss in or out of office?

A: That would be a disaster. Rather, business should borrow from democracies the concept of reverse accountability. Just as elected officials are there to serve the public, management should not be commanding employees to create value.

FIND MORE STORIES IN: CEO | India | Jones | Executive Suite

Nelson Mandela and other great political leaders understood that their job was to enable people to find their own destiny.

Q: Sounds like a recipe for anarchy and chaos.

A: Employees aren't free to do whatever they choose. But if they want to collaborate with someone in Hong Kong, they don't need permission from hierarchy.

What we are changing is leadership's accountability to the employee. Employees remain accountable to the organization. What changes is the loss of command and control.

Q: Be honest. Shouldn't leaders have ultimate power, even if it's in their back pocket?

A: Command and control is the easiest management style. It may not be the most productive for the company, but it is very easy. The democratic, accountability model is very difficult on management, but it's very productive. Leaders must see themselves differently.

Q: If employees can't vote the executive bums out of office, then what can they do in a corporate democracy?

A: Any of our employees can open a trouble ticket on anyone in this company, on (human resources), on payroll, on a manager, on anyone. Those with trouble tickets have to respond. It's like a customer opening a trouble ticket. A response is required. Otherwise, some departments can become gods in an organization, because they control the power.

Q: What do you do to respond to your employee constituents?

A: I volunteered to display the weaknesses of my 360-degree feedback for all employees to see. A lot of people said I was crazy to make it public. I encouraged my senior managers to experiment with the same idea and overcome the fear of having their flaws exposed. We launched it with a positive mindset, not an evaluation mindset.

If you launch it to unlock value, for the purpose of collaboration, people love it. You don't destroy the hierarchy, you increase the accountability of leadership to employees the same way as it is in a democracy.

Q: Sounds like workplace democracy is just a version of putting employees first. What happened to the customer always being right?

A: In our business, employees are the products. Customers come to us for our employees. When we say employees first, customers second, what we are saying is that we as management will create systems and methodologies to nurture employees and allow them to create more value than anybody else can create.

People used to say the customer is always right, but we have moved away from product to experience. It's a different paradigm.

Who creates the value for the customer? Who does the customer want to deal with? Who is the organization for the customer? The employee. What kind of company does a customer want to deal with? The one where the employees are most important.

Q: Nation democracies have been around since ancient Greece. If workplace dictatorships were not best, why have they persisted for so long?

A: In manufacturing, it's been command and control, because it is a single process.

In service companies, especially knowledge-based service companies, the value gets created in the interface between the employee and the customer. When you travel on an airline, it is not the CEO who makes a difference.

Q: What about shareholder democracy?

A: Management started becoming more accountable to shareholders 20 years ago. Companies have only become better.

That democracy, or reverse accountability to shareholders, has brought positive energy into the stock market, and a huge amount of value has been created. It has not created chaos.

Shareholders are not telling business what do, but it has created a higher accountability. The same principle applies to employees in knowledge businesses. It unlocks energy, ideas and growth.

Q: Do you know of other companies that have tried workplace democracy?

A: I'm not aware of any. A lot are in the process of understanding it and trying it, especially our customers who have seen the change in our employees.

Q: What do you do with the employee underperformer, the slacker?

A: There is no difference in the way we handle underperformers. Sometimes, you still have to let people go. People have more opportunities to succeed in this environment than they do in command and control. They gravitate toward their natural strengths, rather than being suffocated in a job they are not aligned with.

But if they underperform despite the enabled environment, the outcome is the same as a command-and-control organization.

Q: How about weeding out bad managers?

A: If I constantly get feedback that I'm a poor manager, I'm going to look at other options, such as becoming an individual contributor in a technical role. I will gravitate to that area because of the feedback. Then, maybe I start excelling at something else.

With this system, you come to know whether you are a good manager or not, whether you have good communication skills. You can work on your weaknesses, but most people I've seen gravitate toward their strengths.

Q: You have workers all over the world. Will workplace democracy be easier to implement in some countries than others?

A: India for centuries has been a command-and-control society. We even control our kids for 10 more years than you control your kids, at least until age 27 or 28. We run their lives until they get married.

Similarly, the workplace in India is very command and control. I believe it's easier to introduce workplace democracy in Europe and the USA. As a society, the U.S. is more open to feedback. It gravitates more easily toward its strengths. But eventually, democracy works everywhere.

Monday, December 17, 2007

YWCA Tribute to Sandra Mahadwar (IR86)

Sandra Mahadwar (IR86) has been selected to receive a 2008 YWCA of Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award (TWIN) and will be honored at an Awards Dinner on Thursday, May 15th at 6:00 p.m. at the Fairmont Hotel in downtown San Jose.

The Tribute to Women Awards Program is in its 24th year and has long been considered one of Silicon Valley's most prestigious awards. The purpose of the Tribute to Women Awards Program is to honor both wom en who exemplify excellence in executive-level positions and the companies who employ them. Sandra was nominated by John Kispert for this award based on the outstanding achievements and critical contributions she has made to her company. Nominations are reviewed blindly by the Tribute to Women selection committee made up of former Honorees.

The mission of the YWCA of Silicon Valley is to empower women, children and families, and to eliminate racism, hatred and prejudice.

Congrats Sandra !!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

BT Acumen - XL team in finals

To all quiz enthusiasts!

The BT Acumen National Finals are being held on the 15th December in Mumbai, and have quizzes and debates. The part that should be a draw for you folk is the National B-School Quiz Finals at 1800 hrs - Shrikant Narasimhan and Raghu Reddy, BM 2006-2008, are finalists.

Be there, to cheer, and quiz!

Open to all, no entry fee or passes required. Just show up at the ITC Grand Central, Parel :-)

Date: December 15th , 2007.
Venue: The Ballroom, ITC Grand Central Sheraton & Towers,
Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Road, Mumbai-400012.

Business Today – Aditya Birla Group Acumen 2007 Event Flow

Reporting by all Teams

11.30 am

National Debate Semi Final 1

12.00 noon - 12.45 pm

Audience Quiz / Draw of Lots (Audience Prizes)

12.45 pm - 1.00 pm

Lunch Break

1.00 pm - 2.00 pm

Audience Quiz / Draw of Lots (Audience Prizes)

2.00 pm - 2.15 pm

National Debate Semi Final 2

2.15 pm - 3.00 pm

Audience Quiz / Draw of Lots (Audience Prizes)

3.00 pm - 3.15 pm

Debate Finalist / Topic Announcement

3.15 pm - 3:20 pm

National B School Alumni Quiz Finals

3.20 pm - 4.20 pm

Audience Quiz / Draw of Lots (Audience Prizes)

4.20 pm - 4:30 pm

Tea Break

4:30 pm - 5.00 pm

Audience Quiz / Draw of Lots (Audience Prizes)

5.00 pm - 5.15 pm

Debate National Finals

5.15 pm - 6.00 pm

National B School Quiz Finals

6.00 pm - 7.15 pm

Presentation Ceremony

7.15 pm - 7.30 pm

Cocktails & Dinner

8.00 pm onwards

Singapore Get-together this Sunday (16 Dec 07)

We are having a XL Singapore Alumni get together this Sunday (16 Dec 07) evening at 6pm.
This will be at Normanton Park Function Room (near the pool).
Prof Madhukar Shukla will be joining us for the get together.
Please help in confirming the attendance asap to help in arranging for the food.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

XLRI signs MoU with triple accredited French business school

From The Financial Express

Jamshedpur, Dec 6 Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), which aims at transforming students into dynamic managers with an international perspective, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Audencia Nante School of Management, a leading European B-school in Brittany (France).

Audencia, with a worldwide outlook, is among the four French B-schools that feature in the list of the top 100 management programmes worldwide. The school is ranked 11th in terms of faculty quality.

Under the MoU, both XLRI and Audencia plan to explore student and faculty exchanges and undertake joint research projects, thereby promoting cross-cultural learning and international co-operation.

Audencia is ranked 37th in the world in terms of international diversity.

XLRI is on its way to gaining deemed university status from the UGC. The B-school has tieups with Manila-based Asian Institute of Management, UAMS Belgium, the EM Lyon University (France), the Malardalen University (Sweden), the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Australia), the University of Victoria (Australia), the University of Tulane (US), and the Loyola School of Business, Chicago.

XLRI has, during the last couple of years, been seeing a spurt in demand from its students for exchange programmes with global varsities and B-schools.

Under the exchange programme, the student has to spend a three-month semester at the foreign university/institution he/she has opted for.

Reciprocally, an equal number of students come over to the B-school from the foreign varsity/institution for the same period.

Thus, while the core course subjects are to be completed by the student at the B-School, the scores of the 'electives' they choose at the foreign university/institution is transferred to their score-sheet back home.

Certain foreign universities with which XLRI has tieups offer better course material on certain subjects, such as health management, transportation management, etc, which have been attracting students who want to specialise in them.

For example, the transportation management course offered by Antwerp University in Belgium is said to be popular among B-school students opting for transportation as an elective.

With the transportation problem getting acute in Indian cities, specialised knowledge in the field could be of great help to the country in the coming years, feel some professors at the B-school

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Madhukar Kamath Visits XLRI

Creative juices got flowing in XLRI on Thursday, and the man responsible was none other than Mr. Madhukar Kamath, MD and CEO of Mudra Communications and also President of the Advertising Agencies Association of India (AAAI). He is also a 1976 alumnus of XLRI. He was in XLRI as part of the b-school's CEO Forum in which CEO’s of different companies visit the college campus to share their insights and experiences with the students. He spoke about the importance and effectiveness of creativity in building a business brand.

He started off his interaction with a few personal reflections about the time he spent in XLRI as a student. On the advertising industry he said that while the previous decade had been a period of excitement and growth, he believed that the next decade would be a decade of heightened competition and international exposure, where only people who with passion and youthfulness would survive. He explained to the students that advertising was not the simple 10 to 30 second ad that we see on television but involved a total brand building exercise across different media. He spoke about the challenges faced by the advertising industry. He said that due to the high diversity of the target segments, companies were looking at innovative media other than the traditional television, radio and print media to reach them.

In the next part, he spoke about the creative brand building campaigns that had brought about turnarounds in the fortunes of companies, with varied examples from across the world. These campaigns mainly focused on the integration of technology with products we never tend to associate technology with. He gave examples of a jeans company starting its own radio station, a monopoly board game company which built its brand around a virtual reality game and a shoe company tying up with an iPod company to market its product!

He contrasted this with Indian campaigns, which were equally innovative but cheaper. He gave examples of a paint company which designed a campaign using the Pushkar Mela as its theme at a cost of less than thousand rupees, whereas another sari company designed its campaign around the marriage of a famous Tamil actress! The students were left dumbfounded and were amazed by the creativity of the campaigns; the importance of using creativity to improve business was wedged into their minds.

He then had an informal interaction with the audience where he addressed various queries ranging from brand equity and surrogate advertising to celebrity endorsements and corporate branding. The event culminated with the audience spellbound by the examples of creative branding and more aware of the need to think out of the box to build a successful enterprise.