Sunday, December 30, 2007


Courtesy: Professor Satish Ailawadi
( can be contacted at

Definitions of benchmarking

(1)“A continuous systematic process for evaluating the products, services and work of organizations that are recognized as representing best practices for the purpose of organizational improvement.”

(2)“ A continuous search for, and application of , significantly better practices that lead to superior competitive performance.”

(3)“A disciplined process that begins with a thorough search to identify best-practice-organizations, continues with the careful study of one’s own practices and performance, progresses through systematic site visits and interviews, and concludes with an analysis of results, development of recommendations and implementation”.

(4) “Benchmarking is an external focus on internal activities, functions, or operations in order to achieve continuous improvement.”
(5) “Benchmarking is systematic and continuous measurement process – a process of continuously measuring and comparing an organizations business processes against process leaders anywhere in the world to gain information which will help the organizations to take action to improve performance.”

Why Benchmarking ?
•Successful companies in every industry engage in a variety of practices, which lead to achievement of high level of performance.
•Benchmarking has become one of the most important tools of business management in corporate that attempts to gain and maintain competitive advantage.

•The central essence of benchmarking is about learning how to improve business activity, processes, and management.

The Benchmarking Process

•Benchmarking involves looking outside a particular business, organization, industry, region or country to examine how others achieve their performance levels and to understand the processes they use.

•Thus, benchmarking helps explain the processes behind excellent performance.When lessons learnt from benchmarking exercise are applied appropriately, they facilitate improved performance in critical functions within an organization or in key areas of the business environment

Types of Benchmarking

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Supply Chain in Diwali - Ops funda!

Oye, to all.... here's my take on Diwali :) yenjoy.... learn Ops fundas aswell !!!

Give and Take - Inventory Management Mom Style!!!

Operations Managament is the essence of life. It's all encompassing as well as it permeates everything! Take for instance this mail. The inputs are my weird thoughts, the output is the mail and the process of typing it, the value add ---------- yeah right :)!!!!

Diwali - the festival of light, is also the season where Mom's all across the globe face up to the big challenge of Inventory control. It's the time for the deluge, the give and take and the smooth maneuvering of gifts from one hand to the other.

Take my home for example. In Diwali, my Kitchen plays the role of a warehouse and MOM the part of the Inventory controller. Her job is not only to procure - gifts for people; but also find the right suitors for the parcels that are received from other people! Its not as simple as it sounds.

The thing about Gifts (mostly sweets and things to eat) is that , you need to do an ABC analysis of the inventory at all times and match the inflow value with the outflow value. If the outgoing value to the source is not atleast approximately equal to the incoming one from that source, it leads to supplier dissatisfaction. Whereas, if the outgoing value is greater than the incoming one, it leads to dissatisfaction of the inventory manager - my MOM .

The second challenge lies in the fact that at all times, the average space utilization of the gifts kept in the kitchen remains the same. So no matter how much MOM tries, the replenishment is always ready. Whenever she is absolutely ecstatic that the final gift was delivered, fresh stock arrives uninvited, with the additional burden of replenishing stock of equal value in order to send a return gift.

The third challenge is how to minimize the spend on gifts, by tactfully directing gift from A to Z and B to H and J to R and so on. At all times, the value of the interaction i.e. A to Home and Home to A should remain approximately equal. And its no easy task, mind it! MOM's through years of experience - recieve, evaluate, procure, inspect, handle, store and deliver gifts with such precision that each and every relationship becomes stronger and not one person is dissatified. It becomes almost second nature, involuntary to them. The challenge also lies in inspecting the gift, without spoiling the wrapper , in order to ensure that the gift has not been customised and codified to our name!

Also, the biggest challenge lies in the security of this inventory from a certain "ME" who has his eyes on the stock at all times. Pilferage - being a threat, stock counting is done twice a day and as it is inevitable, fresh order is placed in order to reach the minumum stock level, to prevent loss of dignity!!! The quantity ordered is instinctively calculated at "Economical" Order Quantities!!!

Finally, having a huge closing stock also creates health hazards for "ME" - because I generally recycle everything by eating it !! I generally END PRODUCT, i.e. I generally make "Finished product" a reality - I finish it alright !!! So the challenge is to have minimal to zero inventory at end of season. At this time, the tit-for-tat theory goes for a toss, and generosity comes to the fore. Even though obsolescence of stock is impossible (thanks to ME) , the stock is handed out in charity to the underprivileged. Not that I am complaining, but one person that is not satisfied is me :) Insatiable is my Nick name anyways.

If you come to think of it, JIT, lean supply chain -minimizing waste are fundas that are so astutely used during Diwali, the festival of light. Salute to MOM's and at some places Dads who manage this festival of give and take with such aplomb. As for my Mom, as I said, she has an addtional task at hand during this season, because for me personally - Diwali isn't the festival of " LIGHT ", my funda is Diwali - the festival of getting "HEAVY " :) hehehehehehehehe. So, a salute to her :)


Monday, December 3, 2007

Why I like the IIMA style of learning

Here at the Univ of Koeln, as a part of my course I am doing what is called a Business Project with a leading German company (to avoid any issues later let me call it Company C). It is a live consulting assignment where C wants to evaluate the strategy it adopts for process P and evaluate whether the money spent on department D (which is a profit center) is worth it. Now the structure of the team is such that there is an academician (lets call him Mr X), who on the behalf of the prof has to act like a guide and there is a representative from C who liaisons with us on behalf of C. As is evident, the grades we get will be governed by what the TA thinks of our work and whether C is happy or not depends on the results we give them. Now the nature of the problem is that, the German system is a bit skewed in the sense that when you submit a report or use something you have to support it with adequate literature. The attitude is “I am not a researcher; some researcher has done work and shown that this works so I will use his/her work”. The work we do for C is consulting and hence there are so many things which work in the principle of prototyping. You collect data from the company, study it, make a hypothesis, and decide whether the results support your data. Now for work like this the probability that someone else has done exactly the same thing is very less because each company is different. And here is the fun part. Company C is happy with us because we are on the right track and am giving them useful insights, but Mr X is not because we don’t have literature to support what we are doing. Cost-benefit analysis is a tool that has been used since ages, asking me to find some thesis paper or literature where cost-benefit analysis has been used is like asking me to give supporting literature to show that 2 + 2 = 4. If some company is spending money on A and wants to see whether the benefits B it gets are commensurate logically implies that some kind of cost benefit analysis needs to be done. And Mr X simply wouldn’t understand. It’s so frustrating. Let’s hope that this person is an exception and not a representative sample.

Now contrast this with the way we study at IIMA. Whenever we use someone else’s work we have to reference it. Even if it is just a few words and there is a strict checking of whether what we write is copied from somewhere. You can borrow ideas, give credit to the person and use it to suit your needs. There is credit given to application of the theory and commonsense logic above all ! Infact, this strictness has somehow ingrained in most of us a quality where none of us would even inadvertently use work directly from the net. We research, we read, we google, we search, then we understand, we digest it, we apply it and then produce the output. So no matter what we do, whether its some case we are solving, some assignment or some project report, unless there is something we put of our own, we don’t feel we have done something worthwhile. Contrast this with the pedantic approach of Mr X. This is not the only example. There are few more cases. Profs insisting that you learn definitions by rote, if a model has x components that you should name the x components in the order in which the original author of the model has mentioned it, in your thesis paper you have to have a bibliography with atleast 15-20 references to well known journals…. Well what do I say, the freedom that the system gives, which I mentioned in my previous post, is more or less nullified by such approach to learning. But as they say, you gain some, you loose some.

Thursday, November 29, 2007


This article has been written by Sudeep Bhargava of Globaladroit (

The depreciating value of dollar in comparison to the major currencies across the globe is a matter of great discussion. Indian software industries and the exporters are feeling the pressure because of the depreciating value.

The value of dollar which was as high as 49.5 rupees per dollar a few years ago, has now come down to around 39.5 rupees per dollar. This marks over 18% degradation in the value.
Is this some way a boon for the Indian business system? I feel YES. I firmly believe that this is an opportunity which has been bestowed to the Indian business to INNOVATE. This is time to rethink about the current business models that are being followed.

This gives an opportunity to look into your business models and shell off the “non value adding” steps which are unnecessarily eating into your operational costs. In other worlds, this could be the time to go “lean”. Applying simple lean principles can give the Indian industry the competitive edge that they badly want to be competitive in the world market.

Improving the “way you work” and not only the quality of the final product or service would see the Indian business develop the competitive advantage. Probably there is no better time than this to apply the principles of Six Sigma and Lean which have given excellent results to the Fortune 500 companies.

One key question to ask is how to develop other sources of competitive advantage, such as building high-level capabilities which cannot easily be replicated by competitors, or how to change the mix of activities carried out in India versus other countries.

In order to do this, we will have to change their mindset: We will have to stop thinking of themselves as Indian companies and think more like global companies of Indian origin.
Indian companies will need to analyze their portfolio of costs and move production to where it makes the best economic sense. Already, the Indian IT firms are trying to address rising wage costs by moving production within India to lower cost regions like Kolkata or Bhubaneswar and to Tier-II and Tier-III towns.

The challenge that the Indian economy faces is not that of an economic bubble burst but of moving on to the next growth trajectory and economic development. Going by the model proposed by Porter, India has to embark on a journey that needs sowing the seeds for catapulting India into an innovation driven economy unique value.

India will have to definitely accelerate its reform processes and start working to become an innovation driven economy, as that would determine whether the country would become a developed nation by the year 2020. The focus should be on building processes that would be driven by innovation; this would make the economy resistant to external shocks and vagaries of economic cycles and currency fluctuations.

The bottom line is, our policies should concentrate on enhancing our capability in manufacturing, promote entrepreneurship, and provide incentives for innovation.

Monday, November 12, 2007

A comparison: German vs. Indian way of education.

Before I get into any details; a disclaimer: This post is based solely on my observations while at the University of Köln on exchange and has by no means any scientific basis. So please treat it accordingly. So here goes.

Well the system here is on the other end of the system compared to what we have back at IIMA. Here first of all the Bachelor, Master system and hence have no strict conditions about time limits for finishing the degree, unlike us where there is the usual 4 yrs and 2 yrs. (Though they are now converting to the bachelor and master system to ensure universal acceptability of the degrees) The advantage of their old system was that you could take longer than required and interspaced your terms with as many internships as you wished. I know of people who have 4 or 5 internships before they graduate. This not only helps you to fund your own education, but also get a first hand feel of what you are learning. This coupled with the very open system of courses makes it a potent combination for exploring your career and likes. There is no restriction on the courses you take. A person registered for economics can also take courses in the political science stream or philosophy without anyone questioning him/her. And along the same lines, the responsibility of completing the required courses and credits lies solely with the students themselves. Contrast this with the very fixed and structured system we have back home where everything has been pre-decided based on the stream you choose. If you want to become a electronics engineer, you take courses A, B, C, D and if you want to become a CA you take courses X, Y, Z; but what if I don’t know whether I want to be a CA or an engineer? Well I guess this has something to do with our societal structure and income levels as well where there is not enough time or money with everyone to experiment with their life to see what it is that suits them. Not that either way is better but they are two very distinct ways one more exploratory the other more structured and well planned, pre-decided based on the basic skills essential for one to work as a particular profession.

So on one end you have a prescribed guide book. Learn this much and you will be an engineer, the other is more research oriented. Look at the way the courses are structured. Here though there is classroom teaching and the number of contact hours in class are very less compared to India but the amount of time you spend on your own independent study are comparatively higher. Most courses require you to write a thesis / seminar paper where the more research you do , the more thinking you put in the better grades you get. This system is designed to cater to innovation and creativity. Contrast this with a system where you have a lot of classroom teaching with an even larger number of practice assignments. This may not be the case but in my opinion this system is more designed to produce mass engineers who can do what they are taught to do, well mechanically within the predefined frameworks they have learnt and mastered. Though there will always be some who are really good. Recently there was a lot of talk about outsourcing etc where the developed nations spoke about how the developing countries like India and China are poor at innovation and that the best they can do is take away jobs that the mechanical and thus free up the people there to work on innovation and new products etc. Well, it might not be completely wrong either. Look at the professors here. At least at the Univ of Köln, the only time you are called a professor is when you get “a chair” i.e. when someone sponsors you at the University for “Life”. Thus you have guarantee of tenure, lot of freedom to pursue your own research, structure and decide how many and what courses you want to offer etc. At the same time, the fact that you need to have a PhD, need to have published X number of papers in international journals etc makes it very difficult for any lecturer to get a chair. Once you are a full tenured professor, you have your own library, lots of research assistants who are doing their research under you, who help you with not just the administrative work of your courses. So in effect each professor is more like an independent school in himself in a manner of speaking and students go and check the professor’s website for what courses he is offering and register for them etc. They you also inform the univ that you will be taking the exam for the particular course. Also there are very few courses that have “restrictions” on the number of people who can take the course. Their logic is, if someone is interested why stop someone from taking it. (in contrast to back home where people have to bid for courses) I have seen classrooms that are as huge as an auditorium used for lectures and are full. And in a way, since the education system is more geared towards research and less of classroom teaching the student professor ratio though important is not a limiting factor.

I am not saying that one system is better than the other. One is well suited to developing the required skill sets to pursue a decided profession in the shortest possible time and the other is more suited to exploring what you want to do but at the expense of time. Both have their pros and cons but that is for another post :P

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Applying Newton’s Laws to NPD - II

In the November issue article we saw how the Newton’s laws of motion can be applied to new product development Ref November issue “Applying Newton’s Laws to New Product Development (NPD)”. This article will deal with the detailed analysis of each component and will provide the mathematical correlation between the two conjectures.

In Newtonian mechanics you have to be in one reference plane so that all the activities like motion, acceleration etc can be defined with respect to it. Similarly, while doing the analysis of NPD we will use two reference planes i.e. Company’s reference plane and Customer’s reference plane. By the reference plane I mean the way things are professed and the way it is conceptualized. As the reference plane changes from the customer point of view to company point of view, there is tremendous change in perception and hence aligning the reference planes becomes a gargantuan task. Even though it’s a difficult task, if done successfully it would prove to be immensely beneficial to the company and the customer.

In the first law we saw that “The customer will remain at rest or in other words not buy your product or will buy the bare minimum of products from you unless he is applied by the intangible force of Value addition”.

To move a football at rest, someone must kick it and to throw a stone upwards, one has to give it an upward thrust. Clearly, some external agent is needed to provide force to move a body from rest. Hence to increase the consumption of the product the companies also have to apply intangible force in terms of value addition.

Let us see what the value from the customer point of view is. Value to the customer is the worth in terms of technical, economic, service and social benefits a customer receives in exchange for the price he pays for an offering. Hence
Value = f (technical, economic, service, social benefits) …….. (1)
i.e. the value is the function of these four major components and is directly proportional to each components. Value is considered as the vector quantity as it has both magnitude and direction as the perception of value for customer is different and that of company is different, with respect to the reference planes discussed. Hence the first law states that if the Value addition is done through the change in any four components of equation (1) the customer will increase the consumption of that product. Value can be considered as the Force in that of Newtonian mechanics:
Force = Value
F = V…………………………..………………..... (2)

In the second law we saw that “The frequency of purchase of your product is directly proportional to the number of problems that the product solves for the customer.”
In Newtonian mechanics
Force = mass * acceleration
F = m * a………………………………………… (3)
Mass and acceleration are the factors, which define how fast the body will move and are directly proportional to the force applied on it. If same force were applied to a heavier body and the lighter body, then the lighter body tends to accelerates faster than that of heavier body.

The Mass can be correlated to the “Mindset Rigidity” of the customer. Changing the perception of a customer is a very difficult task. Due to this impenetrability it becomes all the more essential to look at techniques like change management, newer promotion strategies, influential brand ambassadors etc. But this discussion is beyond the scope of this paper we consider, but Mass in Newtonian mechanics can be regard as equal to Mindset rigidity of the customer. Hence,
Mass = Mindset Rigidity
m = MR……………………………………….… (4)

Higher the mass, higher force is required to move the body. Similarly grueling the rigidity of the mind of the customer, higher force is required in terms of perceived value addition to influence his buying decisions.

Acceleration of the equation (3) can be correlated to the frequency of purchase of the product.
Acceleration = Frequency of Purchase
a = FP…………………………………………… (5)
or, Value = Mindset Rigidity * Frequency of Purchase ……………….from (1,2,3,4,5)
V = MR * FP
i.e. Frequency of Purchase = f (technical, economic, service, social benefits) / Mindset rigidity
The above equation shows that Frequency of purchase is directly proportional to the value and inversely proportional to the Mindset rigidity.
i.e FP α V
and FP α 1/ MR
Above equations implies that there are two ways to increase the consumption of the product offered by company. The company can provide more value to the customers in terms of the technical, economic, service and social benefits or they can influence the purchasing decision of the customer by changing their mindset rigidity.

In the third law we saw that “For every action of a company on the product front it has an equal and opposite reaction from its consumers”
This can be understood by considering the following fig.

The Value provided by the company is in terms of usage benefits to the customer, his need accomplishment etc and is like force (Va) acting on the product. The product is similar to an object under the Newtonian mechanics. The Value forgone by the customer is the money what he is paying to buy that product and this is also a force (Vc), which is acting on the product but is in opposite direction of (Va). The customer is bound to think, whether he should buy this product or can do without it? If the Va is greater than the Vc then the customer buys the product i.e. the product moves from company’s hand to the customers hand, else the product lies with the company only.

Assessing and truly understanding value in business markets is the stepping-stone to increasing profitability. Hence gauging and communicating what your products and services are worth to customers are very essential for a company’s success. Finally the customers when deciding to buy the product for use, compares the differential gain i.e. the difference between the value and price. The customer would buy the product when the perceived value is greater than the price. For attaining and retaining loyal customers every company should provide a differential gain greater than that given by the competitors.

i.e. (Value – Price)Company > (Value – Price)Competitors for customers to buy your product.
This can be done by providing same value to customer at lower price or providing more value at same price. Rarely does the price and value change at the same time.

When company looks at coming out with tons of new products, it has to check whether the value it is providing is more than the price. But many a times companies make a mistake in judging the perceived value, as company and customer are in different planes. Hence company should carry out pilot surveys and price the new product according to the perceived value. Once this is done, an intangible force works on the customer and the company makes headway in bending the rigidity of the customer. But this is not a one-time fix, the company should constantly gauge the competition and the changing perceptions of the customer and come up with newer deals – i.e. provide higher value at same price or same value at lower price.

Newton had the feeling of “Eureka”, when the apple fell on his head; it was an external stimuli. Similarly a company should keep throwing apples i.e. value at the customer, so that they also get a feeling of “Eureka” and keep buying the product.

Future Strategy for Integrated Logistics Supply Chain Management


A supply chain consists of all parties involved, directly or indirectly, in fulfilling a customer request. The supply chain includes not only the manufacturer and suppliers, but also transporters, warehouses, retailers, and even customers themselves. It is an integrating concept, concerned with planning, sourcing, making and delivering goods and services from the initial supplier to the end customer. As the external environment is changing rapidly companies have daunting task to maintain sustainable competitive advantage over a long run period.

The logistics cost forms a major chunk of GDP and has to improve a lot in developing nation mostly. For e.g. there is an immense potential for cost savings for India if it can bring down its logistics costs from the current level of 13% of GDP to a level similar to that of the US – 8.7% of GDP. The savings would be around $20 billion resulting in a potential 4.3% cut in prices of Indian goods globally, making them more competitive

As the competition is getting stiffer the improved service and reduced costs can only be achieved through better management of flow of goods from plant to user. To capitalize on this opportunity, the focus should be on following:

Thinking of physical distribution process as a system in which all the components and functions must be properly balanced.

Taking a fresh look at the responsibilities, capabilities, and organizational positions of executives in traffic, warehouse management, inventory control and other functions which make up the overall system.

Re-examining the company’s physical plant and distribution procedures in the light of technical advances in such areas as transportation, data processing and materials handling.

In this paper I shall first examine the pressing need for improved management of companies ILSCM and then discuss the future of integrated logistic supply management across the industry, which will depend on huge transformation and what companies should follow. An effective and efficient ILSCM is the key to success as it helps in developing sustainable competitive advantage and strategic fit among process for any organization.

Need of Integrated LSCM (Logistics & Supply Chain Management)

SCM remains a high priority for manufacturers as a way to improve margins, retain & increase market share. Early supply chain management success included improved relationships between warehousing and transportation within companies resulting in reduced inventory and better response times to customer requests for products and services.

SCM then entered a logistics stage where other functional areas within companies joined forces to incorporate manufacturing, procurement, transportation, distribution, and marketing to more effectively compete in the marketplace. This stage was aided by the use of telecommunications, electronic data interface, and other technological advances that made the transfer of information more transparent across the functional areas between companies.

The future Strategy for ILSCM – Matching Supply Chains with Products

The first step in devising an effective supply chain strategy is to consider the nature of the demand for the products one’s company supplies. Many aspects are important – for example, product life cycle, demand predictability, product variety, and market standards for lead time and service (the percentage of demand filled from in-stock goods). The products on the basis of their demand patterns, falls into one of the two categories: they are either primarily functional or primarily innovative. And each kind category requires a distinctly different kind of supply chain. The root cause of the problems plaguing many supply chain is a mismatch between the type of product and type of supply chain.

Functional products include the staples that people buy in a wide range of retail outlets, such as grocery stores and gas stations. Because such products satisfy basic needs, which don’t change much over time, they have stable, predictable demand and long life cycle (usually more than 2 years). But their stability invites competition, which often leads to low profit margins of around 5% to 20% only.

To avoid low margins, many companies introduce innovations in fashion or technology to give customers an additional reason to buy their offerings. Although innovation can enable a company to achieve higher profit margins, the very newness of innovative products makes demand for them unpredictable. In addition, their life cycle is short- usually just a few months- because as imitators erode the competitive advantage that innovative products enjoy, companies are forced to introduce a steady stream of newer innovations. The short life cycle and the great variety typical of these products further increase unpredictability.

With their high profit margins (usually 20% to 60%) and volatile demand, innovative products require a fundamentally different supply chain than stable, low-margin functional products do. To understand the difference one should recognize that a supply chain performs two distinct types of functions: a physical functions and a market mediation function. A supply chain’s physical functions is readily apparent and includes converting raw materials into parts, component, and eventually finished goods, and transporting all of them from one point in the supply chain to the next. Less visible but equally important is market mediation, whose purpose is ensuring that the variety of products reaching the marketplace matches what consumers want to buy.

Each of the two functions incurs distinct costs. Physical costs are the cost of production, transportation and inventory storage. Market mediation costs arise when supply exceeds demand and a product has to be market down and sold at a loss or when supply falls short of demand, resulting in lost sales opportunities and dissatisfied customers.

Right Supply-Chain Strategy

Fig1. Matching supply chains with products
The above matrix shows the matching of supply chain with products. The Efficient supply chain is the process where the supply of predictable demand is met efficiently at the lowest possible cost. The manufacturers focus on maintaining high average utilization rate and they focus on shortening lead time as long as it doesn’t increase cost. The Responsive supply chain process is for responding quickly to unpredictable demand in order to minimize stock outs, forced markdowns, and obsolete inventory. Manufacturers deploy excess buffer capacity in this regard.
For companies to be sure that they are taking the right approach, they first must determine whether their products are functional or innovative. The next step is for managers to decide whether their company’s supply chain is physically efficient or responsive to the market. Having determined the nature of their products and their supply chain’s priorities, manager can employ a matrix to formulate the ideal supply-chain strategy. The four cells of the matrix represent the four possible combinations of products and priorities.

Managers at many companies continue to lament that although they know their supply chains are riddled with waste and generate great dissatisfaction among customers, they don’t know what to do about the problem. The root cause could very well be a misalignment of their supply and product strategies. Realigning the two is hardly easy. But the reward- a remarkable competitive advantage that generates high growth in sales and profit – make the effort worth it.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

BPR - Business Process Reengineering

Courtesy: Anurag Kushwaha

BPR(Business Process Reengineering)

Reengineering is the fundamental rethinking and redesign of business processes to achieve dramatic improvements in critical, contemporary measures of performance, such as cost, quality, service and speed.
(Hammer & Champy, 1993)
Purpose of BPR
· Purpose of reengineering is to ”make all your processes the best-in-class”.

BPR Versus Continuous Improvement

· Radical Transformation
· Process & Technology Focus
· High Investment
· Rebuild
· Champion Driven

Continuous Improvement
· Incremental Change
· People Focus
· Low Investment
· Improve Existing
· Work Unit Driven

Why Reengineer?
· Customers

  • Demanding
  • Sophistication
  • Changing Needs


  • Local
  • Global


  • Technology
  • Customer Preferences

Why Organizations Don’t Reengineer?
· Complacency
· Political Resistance
· New Developments
· Fear of Unknown and Failure

· BPR seeks improvements of
o Cost
o Quality
o Service
o Speed

Key Characteristics
· Systems Philosophy
· Global Perspective on Business Processes
· Radical Improvement
· Integrated Change
· Focus on End-Customers
· Process-Based
· People Centred

Friday, October 19, 2007

Think Without Ink-Book Section

by K Venkatraman

Hello friends
This post was originally posted by me at and is crossposted here.

I read this book around two years back during my MBA entrance preparation. It was recommended to me by one of my friends at IIM L. The book was for the purpose of enhancing Quantitative Aptitude.

It carried lot of techniques to improve quantitative aptitude. It had a nice gel of vedic mathematics and other best calculation practices. But, more than just a mathematical calculations, the book tried to give the direction to the readers regarding their very attitude. The following were the three approaches the author considered.


He is a guy who is systematic and cautious, and solves problems using conventional techniques. He believes strongly that problems have to be solved using a step by step approach. When he is solving his problems, you will see him sitting erect in his chair and holding a pen and a book. Pen and paper are his main tools. His dress sense impresses his grandparents. He prefers rice and sambar, or rotis and curry for his lunch. He believes in the “ early to bed and early to rise” principle, and never sleeps in between.


Our friend fundu oloves to play around with fundamentals. He experiments with the fundamentals in any problem, till he is convinced of better methods. He does not care for the conventional approach; however, he respects the basics. It is very difficult for anyone to make out what he has written, as he enjoys writing different approaches in his own style. He dresses normally, but with many little variation as a zip instead of buttons for his shirts and one or two pockets in hidden places.


The punter is strictly result oriented person, who careds a damn for method. He usually starts solving problems from the answer, choices. Rather than going deep into the problem, he tries to read the examiner’s minds. He hates using pen and paper for solving problems. His one and only objective is to crakc the problem in the shortest possible time without writing anything on paper.

His dressing style irritates his parents and grandparents. He eats whenever he is hungry, and sleeps whenever he feels like. He prefers odd combinations like chapatis with jam or bread with sagu etc.

On getting aware about these three approaches, the book didn’t only helped me to improve my quantitative calculations, but also my approach towards life. Earlier I used to be more like a Pandit, but now I am more like Punter.

This book had an ever ending impact on my life. And I would recommend it to every CAT or GMAT aspirant.

More information about it can be found at

Excerpts from Lecture by Alyque Padamsee

Excerpts from Lecture by Alyque Padamsee...had a lecture by Alyque Padamsee today. Here are some interesting ideas and excerpts..afterlistening to him i have no doubts abt why he is so famous...Idea management. Which is the only global indian brand - hotmail that too only cos Sabeer Bhatia happens tobe indian.In contrast a brand tht made a country famous.. Nokia..So why did microsoft pay him $400 mil ?? why would you pay such a huge sum to make emailavailable to people for free revenues ? only a small percent... it was bcos it gave MS a ready database of targetaudience to whom it could sell software. The people who register are in marketting jargonhis target segement, today it has close to 200 mil users, thus it gives MS a straight offthe jacket list of computer users whom it can target to sell its software. This is what billgates paid sabeer bhatia for... thus success = idea + entrepreneurial skillso how do you get ideas ??So you need "to take advantage of the unexpected" e.g of innovations by chance ???1. Post-it : developing a superglue and realised that it comes off.. 2. Viagra : developing a medicine for the heart and they found it had other benefits3. Walkman : Akaio Morita visited a exhibition of electric goods in europe and saw adictaphone... learnt tht it can be used to record letters to your secretary when you aretravelling, which you can then hand it to him/her when you are back. He bought it, and laterwhen he was partying at a dicso he liked a song being played there and recorded it on thedictaphone. Later when flying back to tokyo he was playing tht song back and booommmm....the idea of a walkman...So how to develop your creativity... everyday look at what you do and say how can i improveit ... while brushing your teeth, think is there a way i can better this toothbrush ??maintain a dairy and do it daily.. since most ideas are building up on innovation...e.g mobile phone -- telephone..neumatic tyre, bulbs tht consume less electricity..Innovations at Lintas..1. Five Star Loo - Lintas made profit of Rs 5 lac and they were discussin where to spendit.... they finaly spent it to update their loo so tht it was better than the one atOberoi...sounds crazy..the benefits... the next day when he came to find there there was a long Q outside the loo..and they were relatives of employees who wanted to see the famed loo...Seeing this he then invited the then MD of HLL to a meeting.. a long meeting.. and finallywhen the MD had to use the LOO.... and Lintas got a big order plus recommendations...2. Mother Terresa donations - Board members used to come late for meetings.. So he put a jarwith a photo of Mother Teressa. You pay Rs 100 per min you are late for charity...Initially they got lots of money for charity.. but then soon it dropped .. :P get thepoint..His Star Campaigns..1. Hamara Bajaj - The scooter was soon on the verge of being outdated and Bajaj neededatleast 2 yrs before it could upgrade its product due to the huge capex and it was needed tohold the sales of bajaj for this time frame.. Turning negatives into positives - the huge bulky frame was ugly to look at but it alsocarried more load, and due to past history, there was this sentimental value to a bajajscooter... it had been in the family for a long time..and was like a family member and hencethe "Hamara Bajaj" positioning a family scooter.2. Liril - They wanted a soap to counter Hamam on the freshness front. What does a middleincome group houswife think about in the 10 mins tht she gets to herself when she is bathing?? and research revealed .. she hums songs..and thinks about escape from the dailydrudgery.. and thts waht the liril ad is supposed to portray.3. KamaSutra Condoms - At that time, they found tht 90% of the people had heard about Nirodhbut only 2% used it, the reason.. they found it repulsive enough to make them forget aboutsex.. and hence KS had the tag line.. "for the pleasure of making love". The Ad councilhauled him for the ad.. his rebuttal .. what do u use condoms for ?? i'm just saying it..ucant punish me for saying what is true...btw why KS ? kamasutra is too long and embarassingto go to a chemist and ask the principle is ... "makeing it desirable is making it buyable"4. Public Service ad... don't drink sugarcane juice from open stalls.. duing the time whenthere was a wide spread fear of an epidemic of jaundice, cholera and dysentry...the ad.. i rem seeing it on tv.. just a glass of juice being made.. a the saying.. "In justRe 1 a glass you can buy jaundice, cholera and dysentry". Only 30 secs ad. No explicitmention of sugarcane n e where, and no "Instructions" about what not to do.. so in hiswords..this is the differnece between propoganda and communication.. propoganda givesinstructions... communicatiom motivates.So branding is about making an impact on the emotional retina of the consumer...

Monday, October 15, 2007

Vocalpoint : P&G initiative on Word of Mouth Marketing

The article discusses about one of famous word-of-mouth marketing initiatives of Procter & Gamble Company (P&G), a leading manufacturer and marketer of consumer products. In 2001, P&G had recruited many teenagers to create buzz about new products through its division Tremor. Subsequently, in December 2005, large scale recruitment for influential moms, also called as Tremor Moms, was started under the new name Vocalpoint. By May 2006, P&G had enlisted 225,000 teenagers in Tremor and another 600,000 moms in Vocalpoint. Analysts opined that this strategy proved to be effective as research showed an increase in sale of products promoted through this network of people.

This explains the importance of word-of-mouth marketing in the promotion of consumer
products; thus using people to market products through wordof- mouth recommendations.

“Marketing is not an event, but a process . . . It has a beginning, a middle, but never an end, for it is a process. You improve it, perfect it, change it, even pause it. But you never stop it completely.”
– Jay Conrad Levinson

Viral Marketing

Hi guys

I recently came to understand the jist of Viral Marketing during my MBA course.

Since Last 3 years, I used to wonder over forward mails I continuously kept on getting. Some were, pure fun and seemed like Amateur work. But at the same time, there used to be lot of clips, which were pure animations. These ad clips seemed to be quite professional and costly too.

I used to ask my friends, that how can a company like Coke and Pepsi afford to let such a costly work to be stolen and sent on net. And the other angel was that these are cuttings of the full ads, which these companies might be showing in other countries.

In total, I couldn’t get the clear cut answer.

But, during MBA in Marketing courses, I came to understand the advertisement focuses mainly on number of impressions the ad creates on the target audience. The companies select many channels simultaneously like TV, radio, hoardings,…..

At the same time, I came to know about WOM or Word of Mouth publicity. It is the best possible publicity any company can aim for. Its more like reference marketing. Here, one of the friends or know person recommends or tells the other person about the product. And this way, it creates a chain reaction. And the information or publicity spreads like a virus. This is the basis of Viral Marketing.

With the onset of Internet, the viral marketing has taken new dimension. Here, most of the people, irrespective of the age and background, circulates any interesting or useful information in the form of forwards mails to their friends. The biggest enabler is huge mail box capacity especially provided by companies like Yahoo and Google.

And the concept is the funnier or more out of the box mail is, more its circulated.

Recently, I worked with one of the company, which wanted me to launch a viral marketing campaign for it. But, the biggest challenge was how to measure its impact.

I haven’t come across any solid method of measuring the impact. But, yes on discussing with few professionals associated with Viral Marketing, one of the method is the number of emails coming back to you from different sources.

You can find the Viral Marketing campaigns by Pepsi and Amul in this post below.
To know more about Viral Marketing one can visit here

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Business Process

courtesy Anurag Kushwaha
What is a Process?

o A specific ordering of work activities across time and space, with a beginning, an end, and clearly identified inputs and outputs: a structure for action.

Characteristics of process

o They have customers (internal or external)

o They cross organizational boundaries

What is a Business Process?

o A group of logically related tasks that use the firm's resources to provide customer-oriented results in support of the organization's objectives.

Like – Checking the quality, selling the product, paying to the creditors, hiring employees.
Classification of business process

o Operational process

o Management process

o Cycle process

Operational Process

o Product development

o Customer requirement identification

o Integrated Logistic

o Manufacturing

o Order management

o Sale and service

Management Process

o Process monitoring

o Information management

o Asset management

o Human capital management

o Planning and resource allocation

Cycle process

o Equipment life cycle management

o Human resource life cycle management

o Product life cycle management

o Cash flow management

o Material flow management

Importance of business process

o Standard work procedure

o Standard completion time

o High rate of information flow

o Faster decision making

o High customer satisfaction

Shahrukh Khan-The India's Biggest Brand

Shahrukh Khan-The biggest Indian Brand

This is how the star was described as at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit. The star has endorsed a number of products and has a perfume by his name too. With a fan following spreading across the world, this brand is indeed resonating.
Expressing his excitement and surprise to be invited at the summit, the man did have his corporate words right coupled with a lot of humor, capturing the interest of the audience. Few of the significant points I could gather from what I saw on television:

India as a global entertainment portal:
He seemed worried about the global positioning of Bollywood in the global environment. He said with an industry so vast and diverse, the Indian industry does not find international filmmakers coming to India, it is always India that has to make its presence felt everywhere. He also commented that Oscars must be conducted in India with him being one of the performers there.

Shahrukh’s Brand Image:
When asked about his brand image and what he has done to create and maintain it, he gave a suttle yet impactful response that it has been his honesty in dealings and unlike other brands ,he competes with himself and not with anybody others. He says he would like his next film to outdo Chak De! India.

Media Invasion:
He said he respected the media and he said that he used media when he had to promote his films like Om Shanti Om currently. He said his movie is competing against Sawariya(he never mentioned the name but it was obvious) where Sony Columbia Tri Star Film is spending 30-40 crores only on publicity.He said that is where I take help of media.

Politics and his entry into it:
He said politics is not for good looking people like him although he said Rahul Gandhi is good looking .On a more serious note, he said that it is commendable that young people are joining politics. And said that it is a self-sacrificing job and he is too materialistic to join it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Business Maharajas

By Gita Piramal

Hello friends
I originally wrote this post at and it has been crossposted here.
I came across this book in my second year of engineering. This was the time, when I recently got interested in business and management. So, the name itself enticed me. But, the book was expensive by the measures of any middle class student’s pocket money. So, I waited for three years till I joined the job. And with my first salary, I bought this book. And the investment was worth it. I really enjoyed reading it.

The book is very well researched work of Gita Piramal, who delved into the life histories of Indian Business Tycoons. It covers the life histories of following business houses of India:
  • Dhirubhai Ambani
  • Rahul Bajaj
  • Aditya Birla
  • R.P.Goenka
  • Brijmohan Khaitan
  • Bharat & Vijay Shah
  • Ratan Tata

Though the book focuses on the particular business men, but it covers all the major story of his clan. Every story starts with the family tree. Then it tells, who was the first major businessman of the family like JNT Tata of Tata’s, G D Birla of Birla’s. Also, it tells how each of the family made its fortune like Birla’s made it in trade of opium. Along with the particular family and businessman it gives glimpses of the communities and regions they originated from and worked in like Marwadi’s in the form of Birla’s, Gujarati’s in the form of Ambani’s, Tata’s in the form of Parsi’s ( people who came to India from Persia).

Dhirubhai Ambani

Dhirubhai Ambani belonged to very poor family, but he rose to great heights by his sheer hard work, shrewd conduct and burning ambition. He started his career in Turkey with the Oil Giant, but soon came back to India to start his own business. He started with textiles and reached to information technology. He was the first person to capitalize and demonstrate the power of IPO in India. He was also unpopular for sowing seeds of corruption to the grass root level. But this guy showed the unprecedented pace of success. Now his two sons Mukesh Ambani and Anil Ambani are governing his business. The name of the group is Reliance. It will be really exciting to see the vivid replay of his life in the form of movie ‘Guru’ by Mani Ratnam. More info about Dhirubhai Ambani could be found at

Rahul Bajaj

Rahul Bajaj, is a legendary entrepreneur, who created the first indigenous models of motorbikes in India. But, he is not first generation entrepreneur. He belongs to Marwadi community. He is known for creating and spearheading the two wheeler market of India via his company Bajaj Auto. The story tells us about the strikes it faced in the days, when Labour & Trade Unions were so strong that they can make or break the ruling party of the state. It also tells us about the Inspector Raj & License Raj era, where the quota was allotted to each and every factory under MRTP act. This was the result of mixed economy model India was following. According to Bajaj, he would have sold the legendary Bajaj Chetak at half the price and with the instant delivery. But, the prices were high and customers had to wait for months to get the delivery. This was because of the government policies.

Initially Bajaj’s collaborated with Piaggio, owned by Agnelli family (owners of Fiat ) of Italy for producing Vespa scooter, which was instant hit. But, after few years due to misunderstanding between both the parties it broke off. And Piaggio collaborated with LML.

To enter motorcycles market and to strengthen it scooter market, Bajaj wooed Honda Motors of Japan. After months of meetings and negotiations Honda chose Munjal’s over Bajaj’s to form Hero Honda (now the biggest two wheeler producer in the world) for making motorcycles and collaborated with Firodia’s to form Kinetic Honda for making scooters. And finally, Bajaj collaborated with Kawasaki for making motorcycles.

With the onset of globalization in 1991, he eyed four wheelers market. He tried to strike a deal with Chrysler, Renault and Fuji. But the closest he could get was in the case of Ashok Leyland, which he finally lost to Hinduja’s.Today he runs his empire with the help of his two sons Rajiv and Sanjiv Bajaj. And bikes Pulsar and Discover are giving the toughest fight to the foreign giants like Honda. I think they know Indian market better than others. In my personal case, I was in dilemma whether to buy Bajaj Pulsar or Honda’s Unicorn. Though Unicorn is smoother and better engineered bike but it lacked the most important thing required to attract Indian youth. ‘The Rugged Feeling’. So I chose Pulsar over Unicorn, and I feel the rush of adrenaline every time I drive it. More info about Rahul Bajaj can be found at

In total, this gave me the actual understanding of the works and lifes of businessmen, whom we daily hear about and quote. It also gave me understanding about the dynamics and history of Indian business market. It is one of the two books, which gave me revealed such truths and facts. The other one was ‘India Unbound’ by Gurcharan Das. Above all, it helped me to overcome the fear of reading ‘Economic Times’.

I recommend this book to anybody, who wants to understand the evolution of Indian business during and after independence.

I will add about the other businessman in next few days. Keep reading to get the updates.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Balanced Score Card-An Integrated Management Approach

Hi friends
Very often in every business, whether its SME or MNC the management gets into dilemma what measures to focus at. Is it financials or is it marketing? Then managers especially the top ones, are always in constant hurry to get over with all the report studies. I worked in medium sized company as well as world renowned MNC’s like Philips and GE but it was all same. Higher you move, more load of reports get on you. But, the question is, is it worth that effort? Why can’t be simpler and leaner reporting system? Even lean operations experts find themselves juggling with this scenario. The answer to these problems lies in Balanced Score Card Approach.

What is so special about it?
The name itself suggests, it creates balance. It focuses on four prime perspectives, i.e.
· Financial Perspective-How do we look to our shareholders?
· Customer Perspective-How do customers see us?
· Innovation and learning Perspective- Can we continue to improve and create value?
· Internal Business Perspective-What must we excel at?

The reason is quite simple; all the above perspectives together make the heart of the company. But, at the same time, some are leading indicators while others are lagging indicators. The company can’t have strong financials in the long term, if we are loosing our customer perspective. Also, we will get beaten overnight by some e-commerce company, if we don’t focus on Innovation and Learning perspective. Also, its very important to choose which core competency to develop before you are having sleepless nights, due to impending strategic inflection point.

So, balance card is a tool that creates a balance between all the mentioned four perspectives as well as between long term and short term perspective. Its very easy at times, to have good customer excellence, and screwing your financials, and vice versa. But, business can run only if there is balance.

So, balance card gives us a strategic tool, in which we create metrics which will govern the key perspectives. The metrics can vary from company to company.
The typical metrics are:

Financial Metrics
· Growth rate of profit

Marketing Perspectives
· Growth rate in sales revenue
· Growth rate of customer base
· Customer Satisfaction rating
· Growth in market share

Internal Business Processes Perspective
· Manufacturing excellence
· Sales Excellence
· Logistics Excellence

Growth and Learning Perspective
· Reduction in New Product Introduction cycle
· Reduction in throughput time
· Reduction in cycle time

Now these metrics act as MIS for top management. And its drilled down at every department and every level to align the actions of everyone in the organization to the objectives of the business.

Further these metrics are supported by the measures, targets, and initiatives in front of each metric. And finally, these metrics enable the whole business activity.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Professional Networking

This article was orginially posted by me at and is crossposted here.
Hello Friends

I hope everybody of us are aware about Its pure revolution and addiction. It has helped me to meet my friends after 20 years. According to me, Mr. Orkut, the person behind this portal should be given Nobel Prize.
But, am i writing my views on orkut?
The answer is No.

Orkut is social networking and i m writing about Professional Networking. It is counterpart of orkut on professional front.

This is the site, which I was forced to join around year back.But, now I can see the underlying raw power of it. It has helped me in connecting with Professionals in various fields like Change Management, Publishing Industry, Defence Industry, Operations Management, Marketing and wat not....

It has given me the platform to start my business globally. Yes, i must say its one of the instrumental input to my businesses.

Now, you must be wondering after so much of global gyan, which is this site??? it, its pure magic.

To connect to me you can insert my id in expand your network prabalaggarwal@yahoo.comHope to see you in my networksPrabal Aggarwal

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Google & Strategy

Hello friends
We i.e. Prabal, Virinder Singh Villkhoo, Abhishesh Sharma, recently did assignment on Strategic Analysis of Google Inc. Few of the normal strategy elments have been posted here, with analysis of Google. I hope you will enjoy it.
We give special thanks to for providing with comic strip above.

World's Search Market

Dynamic View of Google's Strategy

Corporate Governance & Disclosures

Courtesy-Satish Toran

Cadbury Report on Corporate Governance recommends:

•Disciplined Freedom
–Freedom to Drive with Accountability
•Compliances with the code
•Code Principles
•Openness with in the competitive limits
•Open approach to disclosure of Info

CII Report: Disclosures to Board

•Informed Participation of all Non-Executive Directors.
–In the Interest of Good Governance
–Financial Disclosures along with Audit report boost shareholders participation.
•Annual operating plans and budget
–Capital, Manpower & Overhead
•Quarterly Results
–Aggregated & Individual SBUs
•Internal Audit Reports
•Notices from Revenue authorities
•Safety and Environmental impacts
•Default on payment of interest or principle
–To Depositors, FI & Secured Creditors
•Non payment of substantial material goods sold by company
•Non payment of Inter-corporate deposits by or to the company
•Public or Product Liability Claims
–Strictures passed on the code of conduct
–Consequence of adverse view on the company
•Details of JV & Collaboration
•Transaction involving substantial involvement in IP, Brands & Goodwill.
•Recruitment & Removal of Senior employees just below Board
•Labor problem
•Exposure to adverse fluctuation of exchange rate if any

CII Report: Non- Financial Disclosure

•Comprehensive report on Relatives of Director in the company or board integral part of director’s report
•Register for Interests of Director in any contract or arrangement & Shareholding
•Loans to the Director as annexure to the Director’s report
•Prior Approval from shareholders for sole selling agent in India, his interest in company & relation to the director, disclosed as part of Director’s report.
•Secretarial Compliance certificate attached to the report

CII Report: Financial Disclosure

•Details of Directors remuneration & commissions in addition to the note for P&L account.
•Cost Incurred using the service of group resource company in financial statements
•Key information on its division
–Turnover, future prospects, market conditons

•Status of fund application (utilized & unutilized) raised through shares, debentures & other securities in the balance sheet as separate note
•Disclosure on the debt exposure
•Foreign currency transaction
•Foreign Holdings in the share capital
•Loans raised through foreign exchange

•Diff b/w fixed asset and long term liabilities as at the end of financial year shall be disclosed.
•Acquisition and Lease of any fixed asset to be given as separate note to the balance sheet.
•Any inappropriate treatment of an item in BS or P&L should be explained in Director’s Report ONLY.

CII Report: Additional Shareholder’s Information

•Monthly average, high & low of stock prices of major exchanges.
•Greater details of business segments contributing to more than 10% of revenue.
•Consolidation of group accounts
–FIs allowing leverage on basis of group asset
–Income tax using group concept
–Use of Term “group” to represent Company & Subsidiary.

•Compliance certificate signed by the Director and CFO
–Management responsible for fairness and integrity of Fin Statement
–Accounting policies and principles confirm to standards and in case of exception need to disclose.
–Board has reviewed the internal accounting system and administrative control

K M Birla Report

On Disclosure:

•Strong CG is prerequisite for proper disclosure
•Extends Disclosure norms to FI, Mutual Funds, Exchanges & Intermediaries

On Remuneration

•All elements of remuneration package of all the directors i.e. salary, benefits, bonuses, stock options, pension etc.
•Details of fixed component and performance linked incentives, along with the performance criteria.
•Service contracts, notice period, severance fees.
  • Stock option details, if any – and whether issued at a discount as well as the period over which accrued and over which exercisable

Disclosures by Management :

•Material, Financial & Commercial Transaction
–Personal interests of Management in any issue
–Conflicting Interests with Company

Disclosures to Shareholders

•Material Transactions with Promoters
•Non Compliance by the company
•Strictures, Notices, Legal battles

Friday, September 21, 2007


Sanjeev Bikchandani

With a bachelors in Economics from St Stephen's, Delhi and a diploma in management from IIM-A and a stint with advertising and GlaxoSmithkline (then HMM), Sanjeev Bikhchandani, co-founder and CEO, InfoEdge (India), better known by its Web site, is today sitting over a business worth Rs 45 crore (Rs 450 million) with 600 employees and 35 offices all over the country.

The GlaxoSmithkline days

It was during his stint with Glaxosmithkline (then HMM) that Sanjeev realised that employees love talking about jobs and career movement. He realised jobs are an extremely high interest information category for almost all people and headhunting had tremendous potential.

First taste of entrepreneurship

Sanjeev started out as a partnership firm in 1989, where he was a sleeping partner. By 1990 he had concluded that there was probably a large, highly fragmented database of jobs out there with HR managers and headhunters which, if someone were to aggregate and keep current, would be a very valuable resource. He set up office in the servant's quarter above the garage in his father's house, paying his father a rent of Rs 800. For the first few years his company did salary surveys and built and marketed a database of pharmaceutical trademarks.

Though the company was kept afloat, he was unable to draw a salary and Sanjeev ran the house on his wife's salary. To meet his personal expenses, he would teach at business schools as visiting faculty on weekends. It was in response to a Department of Telecom's (DoT) advertisement to launch a videotex service in Delhi that he prepared a database of jobs. It was a pay-to-view model, where initially the employer would be allowed to host his job free and they would earn from the revenue share the DoT would give us. But the project never took off.

Turning point

It was on his visit to IT Asia in 1996 that Sanjeev came to know of the World Wide Web. To register his website and get a domain name, he had to take help from his brother, who lived in the US and has a stake in the company. The site was set up in March 1997 as a division of InfoEdge.

What was interesting was that Sanjeev could not get any domain name he wanted (all such names which had the word job were already registered) and had to settle down with the Hindi term "naukri", which actually makes it different from other jobsites today. At this point he was joined by Anil Lall, the chief technical officer and V N Saroja, chief operating officer.

Dual responsibility

With the recession, Sanjeev had to take up a part-time job, but in the same domain area. Between 1996 and 2000, he also worked at The Pioneer. Initially, the consulting editor of Avenues -- the careers supplement of The Pioneer -- he was instrumental in working out an investment package with a consortium of four financial institutions -- ICICI, IDBI, IFCI and UTI. In the morning, he used to work for, go to The Pioneer during the day and then get back to in the evening.

Reaping fruits of success became profitable from the second year. Today, it has a profit after tax of Rs 8.5 crore (Rs 85 million). It was now time for expansion. InfoEdge aquired Jeevansathi in September 2004. Besides, it has an offline recruitment business through its venture Quadrangle.

The site had a revenue of just over Rs 200,000 in the first year of operations. In the second year, however, revenue quickly climbed to Rs 1.2 million. Sanjeev made do with his own finances till 2000, when he got funding from ICICI Venture Capital. So far, InfoEdge has taken only one round of venture capital of Rs 7.3 crore (Rs 73 million).

Today, gets over 100 million page views a month and has over 3.5 million registered users. It is estimated that over 700,000 people have found jobs through Over 15,000 organisations have used the site for recruitment. It has also launched a real estate portal in 2005.

Newspaper Industry and DNA-India


The total number of registered newspapers, as on 31 March 2006 is 58,469.According to the National Readership Survey 2006,which takes a sample size of 2,84,373 house-to-house interviews to measure the media exposure and consumer product penetration in both urban and rural India – and of course the estimated readership of publications. The study covers 535 publications of which 230 are dailies and 305 are magazines. Some of the findings of the survey:
· The reach of the press medium (dailies and magazines combined) has increased from 216 million to 222 million over the last one year.
· As a proportion however, press reach has stabilized in urban India – at 45%. Press reach in rural India has also stayed the same at 19% -- needless to say, on a much larger population base. The number of readers in rural India (110 million) is now roughly equal to that in urban India (112 million).
· Dailies have driven this growth in the press medium, their reach rising as a proportion of all individuals aged 12 years and above – which is the universe defined for NRS – from 24% to 25%. Magazines have declined in reach from 9% to 8% over the last one year.
· The time spent reading has remained the same – at 39 minutes daily on an average per day over the last year. But there has been increase in urban India (from 41 to 44 minutes daily) and decrease in rural India (from 36 to 35 minutes daily).
· Press adds 7 million readers over the last year.
· Dailies continue to grow, adding 12.6 million readers from last year to reach 203.6 million while there has been a drop of 7.1 million magazine readers. It must be remembered that this refers only to mainstream magazines. A host of niche titles that continue to be launched regularly are not fielded and their collective readership estimate is outside the purview of the study.
· Over the last 3 years the number of readers of dailies and magazines put together among those aged 12 years and above has grown from 216 mn to 222 mn – a growth of almost 3% over last year.
·There is still significant scope for growth, as 359 million people who can read and understand any language do not read any publication. Of this 359 million, 68% read Hindi. It is not just affordability that is a constraint, since 20 million of these literate non-readers belong to the upscale SEC A and B segments.

About Daily News and Analysis (DNA)

Launched on July 30, 2005 in Mumbai, this English daily has already carved its niche in India’s financial capital, while editions from other cities are on the anvil. The very popular business section of the paper, DNA Money, has already broken ground in Indore as a standalone newspaper. Targeted at a young readership, DNA is the voice of Mumbai. Through news, views, analyses and interactivity, it provides readers with a composite picture of Mumbai and the world. Its interactive platforms seek to bring the reader and surfer at the centre of its news activity.
Diligent Media Corporation, which owns DNA (Daily News & Analysis), is a joint venture between two industry majors – the Dainik Bhaskar Group and Zee Group. With a reach of more than 120 countries and access to more than 250 million viewers globally, Zee TV has created strong brand equity and is the largest media franchise serving the South Asian diaspora with presence in major global markets, including Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, the UK, the US, Canada, the Caribbean and Africa. The Group has transformed itself into an integrated media conglomerate with operations spanning the entire media spectrum.

Daily News & Analysis (DNA) continues to report strong growth in readership in Mumbai, if one compares the latest National Readership Survey (NRS) results for 2006 with the earlier Indian Readership Survey released in April.
The NRS numbers show that DNA’s readership has increased by 1,16,000 over the April IRS figures. This is the largest increase (29%) for any general English newspaper in Mumbai. Though the two surveys use different methods to arrive at readership figures, the broad trends are indicative of changing reader preferences, according to media experts.
The largest survey of its kind, NRS 2006 conducted 2,84,373 house-to-house interviews in rural and urban India, spanning over 1,300 towns. Carried out between February and May 2006, the survey looked at 535 publications, including 230 dailies and 305 magazines.
The Dainik Bhaskar group, one of the promoters of DNA, along with Zee, hit a new milestone by becoming only the second group in the country to cross the 2-crore readership mark.
In Mumbai metro, two new newspapers participated in the NRS for the first time, DNA and Hindustan Times (HT). While DNA registered a readership of 5,18,000, HT managed 3,60,000. The earlier IRS put the readership of the two at 4,02,000 and 2,85,000, respectively. Mumbai Mirror, also a new entrant and largely distributed free with The Times of India, registered a readership of 8,81,000, a rise from its 7,65,000 in IRS 2006.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

OEE-Overall Equipment Effectiveness.

hello friends

This aritcle was originally posted by me at and has been crossposted here.
The concept of OEE is quite popular among Manufacturing Industries. It gives a good measure to the concerned authorities that how the Equipment is performing as a whole. It could be of individual stand alone machine or of full line. Though I have known the concept since last 5 years and also have used it many times during my job, but it was also tough to explain it to somebody.

Recently, one of my Professors, Prof Soumish Dev was teaching the concept again as part of Operations Subject. The way he explained it, was simply awesome. I am sharing the same explaination with you.

As can be seen in the picture above. Lets understand the concept from analogy point of view rather than taking it directly to machines and plants.
  • Lets assume that there is a student of Engineering, who has 365 days in the year.
    Out of 365 days lets assume that 100 days are for holidays, as no student should study for 365 days. Then 265 days are left. This is known as Loading Time, while 100 days are known as Not Scheduled Time.
  • Now, out of planned 265 days of working, student fells ill for aroun 15 days. Now, this gives us actually 250 days, where the student actually worked, and is known as Running Time. While the 15 days are known as Idle Time.

  • Now, lets assume that the student claims that at his efficient or effective state of mind an health he can complete 80 pages of a book per day. So, this can be considered as Theoretical Output that is expected during the Running time. So, in this case it would be 250x80=20000 pages in the year. But, actually we found that he has read only 15000 pages. The reasons could be several that reduced his efficiency and effectivenes. So, 15000 pages, is known as Actual Output.
  • Now, at the end of the year, teacher took a test of the student. The test was out of 15000 pages he studied during the year. As, the student has read it effectively and efficiently he should have got 100 marks out of 100. But, he got only 70 marks. Now, whats the reason. It means that out of 15000 pages he read only 70% properly. Other 30% was bad quality reading. So, he read only 10500 pages properly and the 4500 pages not properly. So, 10500 can be said as Good Output.

So, now we will calculate the OEE of student during the considered year. It will be comprised of following elements

  • Availability i.e. Running Time/Loading Time or we can say actually followed time table w.r.t. planned time table.
  • Speed Efficiency i.e. Actual Output/Theoretical output.

  • Quality Efficiency i.e. Good Output/Actual Output.

Or if you notice carefully, in the above diagram we have just calculated Good Output/Loading Time.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dame Anita Roddick - Proving Entrepreneurs Can Do Well by Doing Good

Entrepreneurs need role models. They help us to believe that our dreams are possible. They demonstrate a path to success. They inspire us to set bigger and better goals than we ever would have otherwise.

Anita Roddick was such a role model for any aspiring entrepreneur. In 1976 she started her own beauty products business in a small building wedged between two funeral parlors in Brighton, England. She took out a mortgage for $6500 and got an investment of $8000 from a neighborhood garage owner. A little more than 30 years later, she sold her business, The Body Shop, which had grown to 2000 stores in 50 countries, for $1.14 billion.

But Anita Roddick achieved much more in her life than financial wealth. She pioneered the way that businesses interact with the world. She saw herself first and foremost as an activist – actively engaged in making the world a better place; her business was just one of her many means of doing so.

Anita never saw herself as a small player, even when she was first starting out. She never doubted that one woman, with determination, could make a difference. The slogan on her U.K. delivery trucks read, “If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”

Anita worked in the beauty business, but she was never part of the beauty business. The Body Shop only sold cruelty-free products which did no testing on animals. She believed in doing well by doing good – working to help the environment, and promote animal rights and human rights while helping the company’s bottom line.

Anita, whose personal net worth was over $100 million, donated millions to charitable causes. She was personally involved with Greenpeace and with organizations to help the homeless in the United Kingdom. She founded Children on the Edge, which helps disadvantaged children in Eastern Europe and Asia. In 2003, Queen Elizabeth II appointed her Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

Anita Roddick passed away this week, at the age of 64, due to a sudden brain hemorrhage. But she leaves a legacy of inspiration behind. Aspiring entrepreneurs sell themselves short when they assume they need to make a choice between improving their company’s bottom-line and improving the environment. Anita Roddick proved that by employing the single-minded determination of a mosquito, both are possible.

For more inspiration and information on entrepreneurship, visit my blog, More Than We Know.
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