Term III Updates

With just few more days to go for the end-term exams, we are busy winding up our term projects and doing the required paperwork for International Immersion (Term-IV). The two biggies for the III – term are Corporate Strategy (CS) and Strategic Marketing (SM) that required daily reading up of cases, associated reading material and the mandatory case presentations by select groups. “Cofin” (corporate finance – CF) laid the platform for us to dig our own graves in the way of the mid-term exam, wherein every wrong answer had a generous slashing of full one mark, unlike the usual norm of 1/4 or 1/2. The class did creditably, except for few of us who were truly dead and buried, thanks to the few deceptive MCQs.

The highlight of this term has been the numerous cases, most of them from the Harvard Case Repository, which brought forth hitherto unknown facts about firms such as Pepsi, Coke, Monster, Blockbuster, Aravind Eye Care, Honda, Microsoft et al. It gave us an insight into not just their marketing and business strategies, but also provided an overview of the industries they operated in, the competition that they had to ward off their origins etc. Corporate Governance and Ethics (CGE) featured some of the most interesting and original cases (written by Prof.Bala himself), a movie titled “Other People’s Money”, and couple of videos on ecological disasters. The discussions facilitated by the faculty post these presentations threw up ethical and corporate governance challenges and how the parties involved played their part….mostly in exacerbating the situation. Two of the contemporary (news airtime wise) corporate disasters – Satyam and Union Carbide – were widely discussed, along with a presentation on ethical dilemma faced by one of our classmates from Army who was a whistleblower on the corruption in Army’s procurement practices. Now we don’t take the board of governors for granted and are cognizant of few of the reasons for existence of laws such as the Companies Act.

Marketing and Strategy case presentations involved two groups presenting the same case, followed by a faculty driven discussion. It was quite interesting in situations where in the two groups contradicted each other on their final findings about the case. The Marketing term projects feature topics such as Yahoo’s mobile apps, Kerala-God’s own country, Brand repositioning of Maggi noodles, EPGP branding, Microfinance Industry etc. The class has been working on recommending strategies for firms spread across diverse industries and some of the firms we are working include Yahoo, Bharat Forge, Havells, and McMillan Publishing.

Over the last few weeks, the EPGP acads committee has been on an overdrive and has been meeting the various chairs and trying to get the best of the electives for our batch. Towards this end, professors offering electives have given 15-minute presentations about their course content, outline, pedagogy and evaluation mechanisms. Students have an option of sitting in on maximum of two sessions of any elective at the beginning of the term to decide to continue or to opt out.

On the extra-curricular front, none of our ambitious plans of contributing to the institute’s fraternity has materialized in this term. However, few of our classmates have been very regular to the weekly, purely voluntary, and pure non-credit course of Prof.Mahadevan’s take on “Bhagavad Gita” in a management context. One of our class mates, who has been a regular at these sessions, would be providing us his views on these sessions in the coming days.

The international immersion term in South Korea promises to be an exciting experience and the first official engagement towards the international immersion falls right in the middle of III term exams – the introductory session on “Industrial Context in South Korea” by Prof. Rishikesha Krishnan. The South Korea sojourn seems to be packed with a good amount of interaction with the Korean industry based on the itenary drawn up by our hosts – KAIST Business School.

The elections for various committees is around the corner and the nominations have been finalized for the same. The class representative would be lining up the nominees for online voting for various positions. Secondly, the Bangalore rains are adding to the charm of the verdant campus, and that should provide some succour to frayed nerves (on account of exam blues)

– Rajesh Kumar Gunasekaran

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