Tuesday, November 02, 2004

OPUS04 & Rankings

OPUS '04

Another weekend gone by. Another Seminar. This time it was K's debut annual seminar of Operations and talks were mainly on SCM, Six sigma, Logisctics and dist management and blah blah blah.
Early sunday morning saw all of PGP I dressed up primly for the seminar. Though there were many speakers, the one that stole the prize of the day and was most talked about after the talk (maybe not for the right reasons) was the Key note address delivered by Commodore M.K. Murthy, Chairman & MD, Cochin Shipyard Ltd. A true retired army general, who looked his part perfectly, his talk as vibrant as he appeared to be.

Though he talked mostly about how principles and strict management and quality changed Cochin shipyard from a loss making company to a dividend paying one after he took over, what stole the show were the amazing idioms that he used. His comparison of the long list of problems at Cochin shipyard to Draupadi's sari and a tit-for-tat answer to a question on JIT that it works only in companies where you have a situation of In goes the pig and out comes the sausage! :P
He must have been a PJ king in his college days!
Looking back, I think thats one speech that I wont forget soon. It just reinforces the fact that "make your talk interesting and you are an instant success". Especially if you have a huge audiance of which the majority are not really
interested in the 'Operations' of things!
Had bought this book called '1000 anecdotes to make your presentation interesting'
from Blossooms in bangalore sometime before coming to K. Yet to read it.

My To do list counter increased by one.

What commodore reminded me was of the time, we (my family) had gone on a visit to Cochin Shipyard. Only thing I remember is the guided tour that we got of a passenger ship. Dammit dont remember anything more. From that day onwards I had fantasized umpteem times about a voyage in ship to a far far land.....and recently had even eyed one of the glossy ads in TOI about a Luxury cruiser.
When When When?! Too many unfulfilled wishes and here I am trying to figure out and
read for tomorrow's Quiz on FM. Though I kind of like the subject now, I still dread
the quizzes and Prof UD seems to just enjoy shooting quizzes now and then.

More on OPUS...........
The other speakers in the seminar were
Dr. N. Chandrashekharan, Senior Consultant CII and Head CIL.
According to him the five enablers for achieving excellence were leadership, policy & strategy, people, partnership and processes. He embedded examples from Amul, Britannia, BHEL and PNB as case studies during his talk.

Mr. Kumar Kandaswami, Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India Private Limited
talked about the Global Benchmark Survey that Deloitte had undertaken last year
on companies around the world.

This was one talk that made me sit up and listen. Maybe because it was more structured and had some interesting results.
The survey done by Deloitte divided the pariticipating companies into 4 quadrants based on varying criteria and it explained how some companies are different from the others and stressed on the importance of Value chain synchronization in achieving operational excellence.

Mr. Sachin Bhatnagar, Manager - Commercial, Marico Industries Limited
He gave a very drab presentation of a real life case study on Marico. By this time I had almost lost interest and was trying to concentrate more on my growling stomach
than on the seminar. But I heard that his talk was actually good.

Mr. Jagdish Ramaswamy, Vice President, Quality Team, Wipro Technologies
Mr. Tapan Roy, CEO, TCI Logistics
Dr. A.H.Kalro former Director of IIMK

Since I dint attend the afternoon session (and am threatened to pay 500 bucks fine or no job for me in the final placements) due to MediaCell work (so am not paying the 500 bucks!!! PPPBbbbbbt) I dont know what the talks were about in the afternoon.

But another important talk was the one by our dear Director, Dr. Krishna Kumar. After his usual talk, he delved into the rankings issue, which he knew was the talk of the college after K's supposedly poor performance in all the rankings. He expressed his concern over the authenticity and the methodology of the rankings published by the leading magazines. He said that IIMK had not participated in any rankings because they believed that what was important was Education of Business and not business of education. I wish he would make some strong statements like this in the media.
Anyways I believe that rankings dont really matter to an extend. What are they other than just a ploy to increase the mag sales when the MBA aspirants are sure to buy all the copies even if they dont believe in the rankings. Most of them buy it not to be left out when the losers who actually go by the rankings buy all of them and discuss this. Peer pressure. Simple.
Even I had gone through all the rankings in ABC and YTR mags when I had to choose between the 3 offers that I had. But then I would say they hardly infuenced my choice. I agree 100% with our Diro when he says that What would matter is the brand ambassadors of K who go out into the world every year and not some numbers game.

One simple thing, if rankings are reliable, why the hell are they so different when done by different mags? And hello some of the names in the Top 10 weren't even there in the top 25 last year. So according to the critera used, did they go buy themselves a truckload of permanent faculty and another 10 truckloads of research papers and a skyscaper with all latest mumbo jumbo to add to the infrastructure of the institute?

Am sure those who are really intersted would be logical enough to do their own survey rather than going behind the bloated numbers game.

Long live common sense!


Sathish said...

Here is a different interpretation of what KK said.

When he says 'business of education' is completely different from 'education of business', he implicitly says IIMK professors only preach and don't practise. If the 'education of business' is run as a business [corporatization, focussing on operational efficiency, strategic planning and marketing etc.], we have more to gain than just doing the education of business.

Even 'education of business'is not done properly with these lazy and incompetent professors around. 4 Ps that are essential for IIMK now - Professors, Placements, PR and Publicity.. in that order. :)

Kraz Arkin said...

Err...a Commodore is a Navy Officer, not an Army General. Wonder how informative the lecture was LOL.

Girl With Big Eyes said...

Thanks for pointing it out.

Another speaker even referred to him as 'Commander'

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