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

Big Picture Series - The Highlight of SP Jain Singapore

Monday, September 1, 2008

Chirag Gala This small initiative left a big picture in the minds of GMBA January Batch of 2008 in Singapore. I consider this my privilege to be involved in the organising of the Big Picture Series along with Abhishek. This series was one of the most successful endeavours by our batch with 10 Sessions conducted with respectable attendance.
Big Picture series is all about learning and sharing. It encouraged all the students to come up with a topic which they have expertise in or have learnt during their experience with different companies. Students then presented the topic for 15 min, which was followed by interactive discussion on the same topic and question answer session for next 40 min. It was truly a learning experience with students came up wide range of topics covering supply chain management, ISO Management, Retailing, Blue Ocean Strategy, Bottom of Pyramid, Six thinking hats, Web 3.0 etc.
It all started with a chain of mails triggered by AVR discussing the structure of Big Picture with two senior students who actually started the series. And it ended with a wonderful presentation by Abhishek on the Second life. It was heartening to see after the last session that 6-7 students came up to me n abhishek saying they want to continue this in Dubai and will be presenting on some topic in future. However in Dubai it has been logistically very difficult to conduct the Big Picture.
I would like to thank all the friends who supported Big Picture as well as a big thanks to AVR. I would always hope that this initiative is taken up by future batches of GMBA in SP Jain and let the LEGACY continue.

GMBA - Jan 08

The Sudoku Challenge at SPJCM

Thursday, June 26, 2008

That the power of an emotion can be translated into a catalytic series of actions was well proven on Saturday, June 14th 2008 at the SUDOKU Challenge hosted by S P Jain Center of Management, Singapore. Sparked off in an entrepreneurial spirit by the SPJCM EMBA batch under the guidance of Professor KOH SENG CHOON, the scope of the project expanded to much nobler goals. When the EMBA students became aware of the aftermath of the Sichuan Earthquake tragedy in China and Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, the emotion of humanity, brotherhood and the will to do something came to life in the form of a fund raiser in the aid of the victims. A group of 20 enthusiastic volunteers worked for 8 weeks to organize the Sudoku Challenge, sponsored by Emerson, the aid collection from which was donated through the Red Cross.

SPJCM GMBA and EMBA students, as well as outsiders were invited to participate in the qualifying rounds, and stretch their logic. A warm vibe enveloped the SPJAIN campus as the event moved ahead into the late afternoon at a steady pace. The contestants who emerged as winners in the elimination round- students as well as regular participants, all competed together in the final round for the first prize of SGD $200 and a trophy. Cartoon broadcasts, painting exhibits for sale were other parallel activities available to the participants.

After a nail-biting final round, it was time for the declaration of the result of the challenge. Gracing the occasion was Mr. Arun Sharma, President & CEO of GE Healthcare South-East Asia. The award ceremony began with a truthfully touching audio-visual that captured glimpses of the disaster, with a soulful playback performed live by Ayush, followed by a two- minute observance of silence in respect to the victims. A classical Kathak piece lifted the spirits, only to later tug at everyone’s heart strings with a poignant Odissi performance by Dr. Aruna’s team that showcased the effects of the 1999 cyclone that hit Orissa, India. The dancers, gliding in unison, expressed the joy and sorrow the element of water can bring; the giver of life, the taker in death. The dance was apt for an event which was an appreciation of the triumph of human perseverance against nature’s fury.
The GMBA volunteers opened up their box of talents as Ayush, Ankur and Ashish sang melodious tunes accompanied by Ayush rendering music on his guitar. Bharatnatyam and Jazz performances by Sreedevi, Princy and Gautam concluded the show on a lighter note.

The winner was Ms. Joan Tan, who selflessly donated 50% of her prize money to Red Cross, truly exemplifying the spirit of our fund raiser. GMBA students Neha and Nikhil bagged the Runner’s Up positions.

The Sudoku Challenge can be best described in Mr. Arun Sharma’s words: “something I will remember for a long time to come.” It is events like The Sudoku Challenge that remind us that even though a drop may not make a difference to the ocean, but that the fact remains that it is millions of drops like these grow larger to take the imposing form -that of an ocean.

The satisfaction gained from an earnest act of social responsibility goes beyond the boundaries of nationality, the confines of countries and differences we may harbour, because each individual was bound together that day by a single emotion – compassion.

it's intermission!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Well, we just finished one half of the program at Singapore and got a break before starting with the grind at Dubai.

Looking back at the rapid fire six months, there are a lot of things that bring a smile on my face. The company of wonderful people, multiple group works going on simultaneously, one course after another and the swirling motion of life. It all went in a jiffy.

Do I miss it? yes, I am sure everyone of us does and will. Singapore is a gorgeous city with beautiful landscaping, greenery, infrastructure and all that an excellent place should offer. The nocturnal visits to 7-11, chatting in front of the reception lobby, sitting in the canteen and talking endlessly about endless issues, we will miss it all.

The faculties left no stones unturned to keep us occupied with each making sure that we have enough to read and process. Some of them were mellow and could be persuaded to ease the load but some would not budge, it all is a part of the game.

The Dean is an extremely respectable figure everyone looks up to. He would not be able to meet the students often but whenever he would, he left questions in our minds we could ponder over and over.

The night safari, the zoo, ministry of sound, the bird park, the bridge to Mount Faber and all encompassing greenery, Singapore is a dream city. I love Singapore and I will continue to love it.

All the best to the present batch and the subsequent batches. Make the best of Singapore experience, it's once in a while after all.

As I look forward to the next session at Dubai, all that transpired in Singapore has been permanently etched in my memory and I am sure, so it has in the minds of all my batch mates.

The Best We Have...

Friday, April 25, 2008

This post is dedicated to two professors who moved everybody here. Almost everyone who comes to SPJCM to teach is top-class, but there are some faculties who are just one of their class or may be they are just a class-apart altogether.

The 2 professors I want to dedicate this post to are Prof. Ram Kumar for Marketing Management and Prof Harkant Mankad for Macro Economics

Prof Ram Kumar

What do I write about him, I wonder, he is simply beyond introduction. A sea of knowledge on marketing. It seems that whatever someone does in any part of the world which is in some way special and unique, sends a letter to Prof Kumar. This was just a feeble attempt at humor, but the point is he knows so much that we are left wondering why did not we know this! He speaks at the speed of thought and you only cannot not concentrate if you want to learn anything. He is blunt and to the point, he will not let you not participate because you never know when your turn is coming! I can add more sentences and add exclamation marks at the end of every sentence as he is a perennial surprise and you can not help but respect and admire him for the great personality and wonderful prof that he is. Today, our marketing-2 got over and he said good bye to us. We will miss you, Sir.

Prof Harkant Mankad

Macro economics cannot be taught by many people in the intriguing and thought provoking manner that Prof Mankad does. He would stand in front of you, generally with his hands in his pocket and charm you with facts and stories on the world economy. If the world has changed, he will tell you how and why and what are the likely repercussions. We have developed a craze for the subject because he teaches us and he is definitely one of the world's best, I am sure.

It is an absolute pleasure and delight to listen to him as he keeps on unfolding chapter after chapter on the Indian and World economy from John Keynes to US hegemony to sub-prime crisis. You are glued on to him, it's difficult to move anywhere. Thank you Sir.

Well, there are many reasons which make us feel that we are one of the best business schools and people like Prof Mankad and Prof Ram Kumar only add to our confidence and spirits. They have always charmed their audiences and they will continue to do so wherever they go.

The Leadership Forum

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

We started the Leadership Forum in Jan08 batch at Singapore, the idea has trickled down from the respected Dean of SPJCM GMBA program.

The purpose of the Leadership Forum is to expose the students to great leaders who have made a mark in their lives and use audio-visuals to really make a connect. We take up the life of a leader preferably a corporate personality and share his past, present and future and then use videos where the personality is speaking so the audience can identify and learn from him.

The 2 personalities we have shared so far are Sir Richard Branson of the Virgin Group and Motivator Anthony Robbins. The forum has generated positive insights and inspired people to learn from these personalities.

This is an initiative by the students like the Big Picture and we will continue these initiatives to foster a sense of holistic learning so that by the end of the year we emerge as balanced and mature professionals.

An insider's view of life in campus

Hello to the readers of the SPJCM blog, I am the latest addition to the contributors to this blog and my official name is Amarjeet Singh, though they call me all sorts of things.

Anyways, I want to tell you as a start about life once you are a legitimate student at SPJCM-Dubai/Singapore. I will not tell you what happens, but rather what is happening...

It is precisely 5 minutes past 4 in the morning and I and most of my classmates have not slept, sounds interesting, hun? We have a quiz in the afternoon and a marketing presentation in the first class. I am just telling you, how you interpret is entirely up to you, do not blame me.

Well, yes, this is how it works. That you are hard working is a pre-requisite and does not really give you an edge over the others because almost everyone is working as hard as you are. This is the difference I have faced and you will face if you are a student in SPJCM. Everyone is better than you in one way or the other. You can either choose to be deterred by them or learn from them, the choice is yours, as most of the times in life.

Our marketing professor would say- "one year Jimba yaaar", who chose it? And you know you have no answers. If you come here, you do not bother about sleeping and you will hear this over and over again.

So, how do I feel about being here? Well, it is a wonderful place to be at. The twin city model is beautiful because you get to explore something much more than the academics. You get to meet people from these cities, you get to talk to them, understand them, do projects which help you understand the business environment and the list goes on.

Eventually, your take-aways from the program will be different from what somebody else feels but then that is how you make your decisions to learn and do what is more important to you.

I am sitting near outside the canteen to write this and the sounds of many categories of insects is entering my ears, the world outside is quite and I know I am awake and savoring every bit of this experience.

After all, I am a services marketing student and it is all about the experience and mark my words, I will not trade this experience for anything else.

SPJCM - Mission Accomplished: From Engineer to MBA!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Avishek Kumar
Retail Management
GMBA - Jun 07
This blog is perhaps long awaited. Something about the twin city model of SPJCM is kind of a mandate in this space! It is rather a dream to come to S.P.Jain and so was mine and finally, it did happen (all by the grace of God and my well-wishers) and the entire journey of MBA went on very smoothly. Though few credit courses are still left, it would be over in no time; hence I am totally qualified and justified in putting my thoughts across.

S.P.Jain, Singapore: S. P. Jain gave us the opportunity to see and understand the great city, Singapore (which is one of the twin cities of the model) - a city which can be stated as a perfect example of a city rising from rags to riches. Whosoever has visited the National Museum of Singapore would surely be able to appreciate the fact more than others. What more, we were also fortunate to be a part of their mega independent day celebration (9th August). There was a lot of learning from a great city like that, which inspires one to be like what one wants to be! When you look around the city – the HBD, MRTs, SMRTs, tall buildings, glaring lightings, shopping malls, etc., you would know what exactly a government should be doing to make their people happy. The landscape, infrastructure of world class standards, education (NUS, SMU, and INSEAD) and laws of the land is absolutely amazing! There is no denying fact that India is great (looking at the mere size, diversity and the recent accelerating GDP growth) but so is Singapore! Of course, it’s always easier said than done and there is no way that we could compare Singapore directly with India, but we should take the best practices from a great country and try to implement it slowly and gradually. At the end of the day, I look at it the way a consumer (be it their own countrymen or foreigners) is made happy by providing them the ease and the value for the price that he/she pays. In fact, it’s often said that the Singapore government is more like an Entrepreneur than the kind of government we have known in India. With as little a data as I mentioned above, I hope to have given the bird’s eye view of Singapore.

S.P. Jain, Dubai: Dubai is the 2nd city of the twin city model of S.P.Jain Global MBA program. Dubai is strikingly different from Singapore. Just as Singapore is like “rising from rags to riches”, Dubai is known for building castles in air. Indeed, it is!! Having looked at Dubai, I always wondered how a desert could look so beautiful and modern. If a deserted place like this can be so amazing, this only adds to the conviction that “Nothing is Impossible”. This is how this city is truly inspiring and drives an individual to achieve the incredible. Though the whole city is under construction phase now, the infrastructure that it already has is mind boggling. Dubai is trying to give a true picture of being truly cosmopolitan and everything is just in place to beat the best in the world. The government is constantly encouraging the other economies of the world to come to Dubai for further enhancing their growth. The public transport is bit of a problem here, but the measures have been taken by the government in this regard and the city is undergoing a metamorphic change. The Singapore market is already mature, but Dubai is still growing and has a lot more to offer. Keep a close watch on the city for 5-10 years from now and I am sure Dubai would show what it has in store for the people of the world.

This lifetime amazing exposure is what S.P.Jain has provided to their students and each one of us is proud to have it. This is what we will be carrying with us to provide to the organisations (wherever we have joined) besides the normal bookish knowledge and the rigour what it takes to be a true MBA!

SPJCM : "Movies for fun more !!!!"

Monday, February 4, 2008

Neha Singh
HR Management
GMBA - Jan 08 Arrey yaar vo Dus kahanaiyan lo na..usme chaapne ko khoob milega ......Oye yaar nahi ..usme vo kya to bhi story hain ..chal apan “Guru” lete hain se tipne ko bhi milega .....abbey pagal hain kya ..OB ki teacher maregee ..aur saare number gaye ..!!! vaise bhi class main sunte nahi hain ..isme kuch to chahiye...

Can anyone think what this conversation was all about .....!#@#@ .No this is not any group of friends discussing about which movie to watch on a coming weekend .Hold your Breath ....This is something which is totally out of the blue . Ok i guess i have built enough curousity regarding what this is all about (if not cant help it either)....So the answer is ....(music in the background..) this is a group of people talking about watching a movie as a Case Study !!!

Well never before in my life i had thought that movie watching can be traumatizing .For me movies were always something for fun , and the only reason movies were being watched was to do total time killing .Sadly though thats not the case any more .Needless to say when we were given the task of writing a case study of a movie we were all baffeled and confused . The only thought going on in our minds was ..Movies Case Study !!.... whats the corelation , wats the cost , wats the Utility ..our economics and acct class was also going on simultaneously so brain was total khichdi .

what had to be done had to be, (30 marks dude ) there was no escaping that . So we all ie my current group of 5 people sat together to brainstorm as to which movie to choose. There were a number of options we thought ..some of the best or most memorable ones were "Aaja Nachle " i know i know it was a horribly horrible movie ...and we didnt want to go through double tourture of watching the movie and analysing it so it was outrightly rejected .Another intersting option was "Honeymoon Travels pvt ltd " .Needless to say again these were all your's truly original patented idea's , which mercilessly got crushed :(To cut the short story more short we finally decided on Aankhen ..AB and 3 blind people . But as fate would have had it we were unable to find any time to watch the movie!!! (there was no time for sleep too ) Is it the same me !!!! On a serious note the movie was real good , its the best original authentic idea one could have come up with and hats off to the director who transported this gujju play into movie .The most important point was grouping with a enirely new set of people all from different backgrounds , sitting with them at odd hours just to make sure that we give this task our best shot .There was so much to learn from each one of them in this short span of time . Now i realise the importance of the case study .The punchline .."Nothing is Impossible " . And surely nothing is.

Thanks Mam for this assignment !!

SPJCM - The Big Picture : Impact of Rising Rupee

Saturday, January 19, 2008

About Big Picture

It is an event designed and organized by the students of SPJCM to provide a platform for open discussion. It facilitates free flow of thoughts on a particular topic in an organized manner. It was initiated by Dec 06 batch at a small level and is now maturing into a big event. Let me just tell you how this event is organized. The topic is decided and communicated to the students a week before the date of event. It initially begins with presenters giving their views on the topic, then choosing volunteers who want to be a part of debate and then the discussion is left open to the audience and the debaters. The event is very well managed and controlled by the moderators who facilitate the discussions. The topic is looked from every aspect and a ‘big picture’ analysis or post mortem is done.
Till now 7 topics have been covered and the topic discussed below is the 8th one. As we mature, so does our process. So from now on we have decided to summarize the discussion, which is done during the course of the event. The summary provided below captures the important issues and points made in the event and will be a reference for our future batches.

Issue at Hand: Impact of Rising Rupee on Indian Exports

Indian rupee is on a run. A part of it can be attributed to inflation and another to India’s growth story. In the past six months rupee has appreciated nearly 10% against dollar. At the beginning of the year rupee started at 44.20 and it currently stands at a near-decade high of 40.30 against dollar. On the contrary, inflation hovered at around 6.73% in January end and it now stands at 4.27%. Rupee appreciation has been the sharpest in three decades in the April-June quarter this year and analysts expect the rupee to gain further.

Presenters View point: Our presenters covered the topic in almost every respect and gave a new dimension to it. Some of the points which require a mention are as follows:

Impact of rising rupee

1) For the FY 07-08, the exports expected to go down from $160 billion to $ 145 billion.
2) Revenue of Textile industry has fallen by 3.5%
3) China textile exports increase by 57%
4) Loss of export competitiveness: A string rupee is hurting the profitability of exporters and eroded their competitiveness by losing their orders to competitors such as China, Thailand, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Indonesia.
5) Effect on Indian outsourcing- Indian outsourcing industry, which gets its all major contracts or projects from US, is losing on margins.
6) NRI in gulf are losing out substantially on the rupee rise and foreign jobs are looking less attractive.
7) Foreign borrowings have become cheaper and companies have started spending on Hedging risks. Infosys has booked a forward contract of $975 million for 6 months and TCS has booked contract of $2.5 billion for 1 year.
8) Imports have increased Competitive worries
% appreciation of rupee stands at number 2 position just after Brazilian Real. Major competitors in Asia pacific include China, Malaysia, Singapore and Bangladesh. The % appreciation of the currency of these countries is just 1-2% as compared to 8.5% in case of India. Currencies of Hong Kong and Taiwan are depreciating. All this calls for a great cause of concern.

Reasons for Appreciation
1) FDI investments have increased to around $16 billion, which is 3 times the previous year.
2) External commercial borrowings for funding domestic projects has increased at a rate of 33% which has lead to the rupee appreciation
3) Raising money through ADRs and GDRs has also contributed to this rise in rupee. Inflows from ADRs and GDRs have increased by 48% year on year.
4) Remittances from huge number of Indians working overseas have also lead to rupee appreciation. Increase has been recorded at 35% from the previous year.

Why RBI is not intervening?
Inflation has long been a concern for the government and in order to control the rising inflation RBI sucked rupee from the market by increasing the CRR hikes which in turn lead to increase of interest rates. RBI wanted to suck liquidity from the market and control the rising prices.

The Bigger Picture: Debate

· Is Rupee rising or dollar falling?
If dollar is falling then there is very little we can do but if rupee is rising then some actions can be taken to balance out things. I think it’s both ways ie rising rupee as well as falling dollar. Dollar has also fallen against euro and other currencies. The aftermaths of US subprime lending market can be seen in terms of falling dollar and the ‘India’s shinning’ growth story can be looked in terms of rupee appreciating.

· Relative rise of rupee and our competitive strength: With the world getting flatter each day, one has to be on his shoes to look around for the changes that has happened or changes that can change the course of action। Our competitive strength lies in providing low cost products to other countries। Be it textiles, pharma or IT related products; we have been competing with the big giants like China and Russia। Now with the rupee rising Indian exports will lose their margins and if they increased the cost of goods in order to improve their margin, they will lose out the competitive edge to other countries. A survey conducted by the commerce ministry between March and June has predicted massive retrenchment and a potential financial loss of nearly Rs 1,00,000 crore due to a loss in value and competitiveness.

This is one side of the story. Looking at the other side ie imports make us feel strong and better. India’s imports exceed its exports. So with rupee rising, our imports are becoming relatively cheaper. The major import commodity is oil and its prices are touching record high every day. Currently as of July 20th the oil is trading at $76-77 per barrel. With rupee appreciating India is unaffected by rising oil prices.

· Efficiency is it a wakeup call: Infosys Chairman Mr। Narayan Murthy said that rupee appreciation was a macro economic issue and it called upon corporates to become more efficient, productive and reduce costs. In order to maintain our grounds of competitiveness, we need to think on measures to improve productivity and efficiency rather than focusing on depreciating rupee. This has to happen someday or the other and the trend as predicted can move rupee further. What needs to be looked here is efficiency, innovation and productivity. IT companies are now thinking to increase the working hours of software professionals and thereby increase productivity. Like China, we need to be efficient enough and devise new strategies to counter this rising rupee effect. Innovation is the key for sustained growth and development of any economy. Govt need to spend more on research institutes and we need to come up with some very innovative ideas and product that will help in keeping us way ahead of other countries.

· Political angle ->Jan prices 6.69% inflation oil at all time high and then UP elections: Over this period, RBI has not intervened in controlling the rupee rise. It is not that FDI inflow has increased too much. Earlier also we used to see huge FDI inflows but those were taken care by RBI intervention. RBI used to suck dollar from the market in exchange of rupee. This increase of rupee balanced its demand against the dollar and controlled the rupee/dollar price. RBI stopped sucking dollar from the market and has let the market forces to decide the price of rupee. This is because the UPA government was keen on reducing the inflation which stood at 6.67% in Jan end. Also, with the UP government elections approaching government didn’t want to lose their control because of rising inflation. Despite of governments/RBI’s effort to curb inflation the UPA govt lost badly in elections. The CRR hike by RBI followed by increase in interest rates by banks has controlled the inflation to a considerable extent. As of July inflation stands at 4.27% levels.

·Our Conclusion

One of principles of economics states “Society faces a short run tradeoff between inflation and unemployment”. If we have to control inflation then we will lose our competitive edge over exports and this will lead to unemployment. And if we try to control the unemployment then wages will increase and thereby liquidity and this will lead to rise of inflation. So we need to balance this inflation unemployment dilemma. What happens in the forex markets in weeks and months to come is still not certain. But the government and India Inc will definitely be watching the currency dilemma very closely. With the economy booming, inflation has to rise. There is very little that we can do about it. What needs to be looked at is striking the right balance between the two. Just like there is a balance of trade between imports and exports, there also has to be a balance between inflation, growth and unemployment.
I would like to end this note by saying that we have to strike this balance by being more innovative, productive and efficient. We should not think of getting business from US but we should strive hard to become another US.
By: Nitin Goyal (Batch of June 07 - 08 , IB - SPJCM )

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