This is a blog by the students at the S P Jain Center of Management, Dubai, Singapore. The site is designed to play a common ground for the students and alumni of SPJCM to blog about their lives at the campus, industry exposure, events, current happenings, and everything else. The views expressed are solely those of the author(s) and do not reflect the views of S P Jain Center of Management. For more information on S P Jain Center of Management and the courses offered, visit the official SPJCM website

Sentosa Island – A Sandfilled Treat – Part I

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It was always at the back of my mind to visit Sentosa. But it never happened earlier. Finally I took the courage and the time off my schedule(which was in the week when we did not have any lectures) and headed off to Sentosa. Seeing Sentosa is like seeing gateway of India in Mumbai. Your visit is never complete until you see it, or I thought so. But unlike Sentosa, gateway of India doesn’t offer you a wow effect.

We took the usual Bus No. 93 to Harbour Front and then took the Tour 6 package(the only one available at 04:00pm) which included cable car round trip, underwater world, dolphin show & 4D Magix & of course Café Del Maar(which is implied).

The cable car ride is a thing to experience, for the 1st few seconds you do feel a rush of blood as you are plunged from the insides of the 15th floor of Harbour Tower into the open sky and the initial contact with mother earth gets the blood rushing down your spinal cord (just for the record I am not a person afraid of heights).

Anyways, after 6 ½ minutes we finally arrived at the one and only Sentosa island. The entrance to Sentosa(a brilliant marketing strategy) is through a convenience store that sells almost everything that a person would demand for a day well spent at a beach picnic. So invariably even if you are carrying stuff it is difficult to pass buy without lightening your wallet a bit. There are 3 lines of buses that run (blue, red & green) that take you to and from different places on the island.

Our 1st stopover was the magnificent underwater world. You arrive at a place that makes you feel that it was built to house marine life. The surroundings and the ambience give it a perfect blend to the aquatic life that it captures around. As you enter there is a huge pond which is home to some fresh water fish and gigantic turtles.
At the entrance is the touch area where you can touch fish that are swimming in a small pool of water. I was surprised that amongst many of the fish was the sting ray(the one that killed Steve Irwin – the crocodile hunter) At the beginning of it there are different types of fossils displayed as well as over fifty species of crabs. Some of the prominent ones being the spider crab that stretches to almost 2 feet(end to end). As you keep moving ahead you come to the real underwater world. This is what Sentosa is all about.

It’s an underneath walkway through a huge pool filled with fish and marine life. You stand on the travellator and it ferries you through an 83-meter long tunnel which is made up of bullet & sound proof acrylic in a semi-circular form that keeps away marine animals from the land animals (assuming that man is an animal). There is just one word to describe the experience – “Magnificent” Yes!!! That’s how I felt being there looking around on what was the largest collection of aquatic splendor that I had ever seen. Sentosa lets the ocean come to life in front of your eyes and every moment of it is breath taking. As you move through the oceanic jungle you just can’t help wonder at the sheer magnitude of living organisms that reside beneath us. Finally underwater world which houses over 2500 marine species offers immense fun & educational value.

Across different packages that are available from the reception counter perhaps underwater world is the only one which is common across all six of them and for obvious reasons. It is a place that you can’t and shouldn’t miss and any visit to Sentosa is not complete without a tour of this. All right folks, that’s it as far as the 1st part is concerned. In the 2nd part I will cover the dolphin show, 4D magix, sounds of the sea, night life @ sentosa and yes!!! The much talked about Café Del Maar. So keep reading.

-by Amit S Mehta

Selling the “Salesman”

Monday, May 14, 2007

I have been in sales for more than four years now and have worked in different environments in more than one country. It hasn’t always been an easy ride nor has it been a claim to fame. But so far I have loved the challenge and the thought of being a revenue generator for my organization. The reason I am writing this is just to share a bit of give and take of sales. Be it any company that you are working for and any product that you are selling, provided you are working in a company that works and operates in today’s world of competitiveness, what I have observed is that a Sales Culture would have the most non-humanitarian approach to its employees. I mean the way the managers drive work out of the people is almost unbelievable. Delivery is a must and should happen in all conditions. One eats, drinks and sleeps “dhanda.” Sometimes the pressure is almost suicidal. Sales is by far the most ruthless department to work for, but that is where the risk return tradeoff happens, cause it is also the most rewarding one. In my current organization without naming it an average sales guy takes home almost as much as his manager and the “stars” gets away with the package comparable to a VP(salary+incentives). But all of this certainly doesn’t come for free. First of all it’s a shameless approach. There are early morning hurdles whereby your boss takes you for a ride and by the time you are done you realize you have nothing left. There are comparisons done and if you are on the wrong side of the numbers you feel like a jack ass carrying all the load. It’s a quantitative game and the language is “numbers.” Even if you have done well you really haven’t done well. And for the performers also the euphoria doesn’t seem to last long. One months worth of “khoon” and “pasina” ends up with hearing “you could have done better.” Another feature of sales is that it starts with zero every time so no matter how much you would have cracked, next month you are back to square one. So even if you pulled up a terrific job last month you boss says, “tell me bout today cause last month is history”. The maximum burnout also happens over here. And it also has the highest employee turnover ratio. You get the feeling of being sandwiched, stuck between your boss and the client. In retail business there are daily wars to be won. Each day is a new challenge. Each month is a new puzzle. And when the pressure is on you then a client meeting is like having sex with the orgasm being the client signing “The Dotted Line”. In front of the client a salesman is like a joker who does his tricks to entertain the client. He is like a dog waiting for his cheque(bone). And all this makes sales even more exhilarating. And it uplifts the role and the value of a salesman. Its sales that drives the business. The engine that feeds revenue into the franchise. The department that justifies salaries for all others working in a support function. The Blood-Line of a corporation. So even if you have to face the wrath of your boss, or the “golibazzi” of your client or face signs like “Dogs and salesmen not allowed” you still walk away head high with the feeling of being the “money maker.” So as the new saying would go some 20 years from now “if customers are the Kings salesmen are the Emperors.”
-by Amit Mehta

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