Thursday, September 02, 2010

The essays

Its been a couple of weeks since I am writing essays, and the process is interesting, and I wouldn't be sad whatever the result be, as I went through this process of self-evaluation. There have been times in the process when I felt depressed(no exaggeration) and there have been times when I realised I had done something that I had never thought of earlier. The process of self-discovery has been very satisfying so far.

I also gave my TOEFL, absolutely no idea how it went. TOEFL is not half as well organised as GMAT, with a person sitting within 5 meters of me, and people all speaking at the same time.

The Pakistan cricket incident has saddened me, though not surprised me. I somehow do not understand why does Pakistan cricket always get stuck in controversies such as these. And needless to say, thousands of who's it Aussies have come up with allegations of being approached by Indian bookies and fixers. My only suggestion to Aussies is do not come to India, we are corrupt, please stay in Australia, we aren't looking forward to you in IPL.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Tentative list

The app process in its starting stages, and it is already taking its toll on me. I never thought that finalizing a list would be this difficult for me, given that I am normally pretty sure about my decisions. However, I have an almost final list of schools which I will be apping to.

The list is:

1) Kellogg, Northwestern University- Absolute dream(of course, I am not apping to my absolute dream now which is Stanford). I am very impressed by the culture of this school and the focus of school which is general management. I have tried to keep schools which focus on general management and have good placements for people in tech for this. With Northwestern University's prestigious tech school next to it, this is going to be a top choice for me.
2) Ross, University of Michigan- A high app again, with focus on Action based learning and it being in a college town adds to the experience. Again a high ranked school.
3) Darden, University of Virginia - A decently high app, very impressed by their school focus. Read a lot about the school making it interesting enough for me to app.
4) Duke, FUQUA - A good school and a high app, with hopefully decent chances.
5) HAAS- Berkeley. I hopefully will app to this. My consultant is of the opinion that this might have financial constraints. Hopefully this is false, because this is one of my favorite apps.
6) Indiana - I hope this is my safe app, and where I can be reasonably sure of a favorable result.
7) UNC - I hope this is a safe app as well.

Will keep detailing about the process every now and then

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Telecom prices in India

India boasts of very low telecom prices, and it is often wondered if these prices can be maintained in the long run, and if any company can make profits with these numbers. Without having concrete numbers, we can still make an attempt to study this.

First, we must realise that prices are not as low as they seem to be on paper. People talk of schemes which make the call rates much cheaper than they are. Think of it, to send 15000 text messages free of cost in a month, I pay a rental of Rs. 80 per month. Now, the question is do I send those 15000 text messages per month. Or do I even send say 300 text messages a month. I probably send closer to 300 text messages a month, and that too to people whose calls I cant take at work, etc. I end up paying around 25 paise per message. People might argue this is still 'n' times cheaper than in western countries, but the point I am trying to make is that call rates are not 'as cheap' as they are claimed to be. In a basic vanilla plan, a call would be charged 1.5 per minute, or 1 paisa per second and a message would cost around 1 Re.

Secondly, we must realise that most of the people in India are pre-paid subscribers who use their phone only to receive calls. People just recharge their phone to keep the number active. Which is like paying some amount of money for just receiving calls. Its a different argument that they find it more economical just to keep the number active and not make any calls.

Thirdly, Indians especially in rural and semi-urban places use a lot of VAS features like call-back tunes, Mobile Radio(which is chargeable), etc. These are features which make a lot of money, and being feature-rich, it is easy to lure people with different products.

Indian mobile penetration has increased a lot over the last few years, but there is scope for further penetration. There are large territories in India with no network, or with no competition for the government organization, BSNL. These are areas which need to be targetted for development. A large customer base is waiting to be tapped in these areas. It will help these people as well as help boost profits for the Operators.

India has a large number of users for above mentioned VAS, but there is a very small population which uses internet over the mobile, or accesses official mail over mobile(invariably this is limited to people who get this facility funded from work). This is an area which can be targetted for development as well.

What I have tried to list and emphasise is that Indian call rates are not as cheap as they are claimed to be, and the profit levels for operators is sustainable as of now, despite the competition in the market, because of a large market potential which needs to be tapped into.

Will keep updating this blog more often now!


I had been to Tirupathi, it was supposed to be a Kalyanotsavam today. But since we were there the previous night, we also decided to make it to the morning 4 o' clock sheeghra darshanam. Good decision!

The morning darshan was too good. One thing I have noticed about Tirupathi is immaterial of whether they have a crowd or not, their scout and guide team, dives for people and pushes them out. Had to shout at two of them for touching me. What a waste of energy!

I am amazed at the business model. Like LTTE ran a parallel government in Jaffna, TTD runs a parallel government in Tirupathi and Tirumala. This place is very clean for a Hindu holy place. When I entered for Kalyanotsavam, I was struck by the familiarity of the place, when I realised that this was the route by which I entered for the Sheegra Darshanam 10 years back. They make the lines to enter the Sheegra Darshanam , the sarvadarshanam, and sudarshan longer and longer, without loss of any business and reserve shorter routes for the more 'esteemed' customers/devotees. Can elucidate more on this, will do that in a separate post, as am very sleepy now. Shall write about the WC final as well.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010


Gave my GMAT today. The experience was a new one for me. As an Indian, I am not used to exams being conducted so professionally and without any problems.

Checked in at 8:30 am for my 9:00 am appointment. I was the last to check in, the rest had checked in by 8:15 am. As I moved in and started reading my question for the AWA section, was irritated by the loud sound of keystrokes. I didn't know if people were working on a computer or on a weaving machine. In any case, closed both my ears, which the administrator misunderstood as a call for some assistance.

I had not taken a single full length test before the actual CAT, which meant I was taking a big 'risk'. Still, I didn't think so. I had my strategy thought out in my mind. I decided to take breaks without actually taking them. For example, the first AWA has 30 minutes allotted to it, I finished it in 20 minutes, but slowed down in between ensuring I dont get tired and pressed enter only when 29 minutes were done. Once the two AWA sections were completed, I started the Quant section. I went slow in quant, but finished it in 30 minutes. I was afraid I was overconfident. However, I went further slow in VA, and that took me 65 minutes to finish, still 10 minutes ahead of time.

Once done with it, it asked for confirmation of my personal information. The administrator asked me to skip it, and I caught a glimpse of my score, I thought it was 740.

Finally, as I moved out, I was given a print out which confirmed the score. So GMAT is out of the way. I hopefully do not have to take it again. So, this input in my applications is confirmed.
[Quick update: Got a 5.5/6 in AWA, so oficially not taking GMAT again]

Monday, June 07, 2010

Random updates

The very first essay in my application process has been submitted. Now it is Reliance's turn to evaluate how I have done. I am not particularly happy with what I wrote though. The topic is 'How do you aspire to shape India's future?'. And the world limit was a mere 250 words which was criminal.

Have realised a couple of things:
1) My work has made me a very bad writer. I write so bad that I can't get ideas across effectively any more.
2) Come what may, sometimes it becomes very difficult to get your actual point through in a B-School essay. They want to see a lot of things due to which a lot of your own points sound very made up, though it might not be.

Getting my essay read by Octa has been very helpful, as he comes up with the exact opposite view to mine. And that gives a new perspective.

BTW, my GMAT date is 6th July, not many days left, and am not very happy with my preparation. Along with this, have an interview(hopefully) on 12th June, 2010.

Working with CRY, we conducted a survey on the problems faced by parents and consequently the children around Madiwala(this is the area I work in). The problems faced are as expected, the teacher doesn't come to school, she decides to visit once in a while. The children aren't taught anything apart from the letters of the Kannada alphabet, and numbers upto 100. The doctor who is supposed to make a monthly visit hasn't done that in the past 8 months, but the register monitoring this is signed every month. I am finding it very difficult to think of something that needs to be done with respect to all this.

Having a very busy time these days, when thinking about the app process takes most of my time when not working. How about you guys?(The two or three guys who read this blog)

Monday, May 03, 2010


There has been quite a bit of moving over the last two weeks. One, I moved my house. Two, I moved my GMAT date due to lack of preparation. The new date is July 8th.

Have made a list of schools to apply to. Have a scholarship essay to write as well. June 1st is the deadline and have not started yet. But have a rough idea in mind, guys interested in helping out editing etc., please do ping me.

Office is nearer now, hopefull that is incentive enough.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Shifting home

April has been unusually hectic.

One update from my end is that I shall be shifting my house from JP Nagar to Cooke town. Its far off from where I am, and far from where I want to be in bangalore. :) But nevertheless something to get time after going back from office.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


Well, long time no blog, didn't get the time so far, work is getting hectic, and consequently no time to study, I go home and am left with no energy to study, but I am on a 10 day vacation to Jabalpur, and that woud be a good time to catch up on my studies and my non-office work! Will try to keep updating from Jabalpur.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Techie for MBA

The most frequently asked question in every application form to a MBA course is 'Why MBA?'

This is an interesting question with a very obvious answer. People do MBA to either diversify or to progress faster in their chosen field. Depending on what is their answer, they elaborate while trying not to say to make money using keywords like learning, real world, corporate world, and at the same time using the word community service.

Nevertheless, I must think of an appropriate answer to this question. I know why I want to do an MBA, but at the same time, how do I express it is the question. Any inputs with respect to this?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Gokarna/Aghanashini/Honnavar trip

Bored of breating the polluted air in Bangalore. A change was long overdue. Finally off to Uttara Kannada, mostly places without mobile networks, absolutely no internet, and amazingly fresh air!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The fight starts now

2009 was the lucky year I decided to take up CAT again, after 4 long years. I did put in effort, made sure I covered up my weakness of 2005. And probably get the 2 elusive calls of 2005. But, then CAT 2009 happened. One disaster after the other, I realised the easiest way of doing an MBA from a decent college had vaporised for me. Now, starts the real fight. Have decided this year is going to be the one where I will be putting fight for a MBA app. And this is not going to be easy given my background. For people who know me, what I mean by the previous statement.

Nevertheless, a lot of things have to go into the app. First of all, the GMAT prep, then the GMAT, the app college shortlist. The final college list. The essays, the recos.

I will try to keep this updated at each step.

Currently step 1 is done, booking a GMAT date, June 12th will be the day. Also, have a rought shortlist. Needs mending though.