IIMs bet big on SE Asia for placements


  • Premier Indian B-schools increasing placement focus on emerging South and South East Asian markets from Singapore, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, necessitating an Occidental slant in their teaching procedures
  • 20-30% rise in Indian applicatns at Univ. of Hong Kong. Indians keen to learn Asian business conduct
  • Sources said IIMs were in talks with companies like P&G, City Bank, Standard Chartered, Barclay’s and niche companies such as Huawei and Intel for campus placement
  • Students expect 10% campus placements to be from these regions
  • Opportunities in Singapore from marketing and operations besides finance sector
  • Many B-schools like IIM-Shillong, are conducting a course in the Chinese language
  • Besides popular names like China’s Haier and Huawei, many more are appearing, like ZTE, Alibaba, and Shanghai-based Focus Media, in addition to the Toyotas, Sonys, Samsungs and Nintendos

Source:  Economic Times


Gejo Sreenivasan , CAT 1996

The year was 1996. The alarm rang. It was a wake up call. Only this time, it was not a call to get up from the bed, but a call to figure out what next after IIT! While getting into IIT, I had thought, “This is it!!” After three years of studying Mass Transfer, heat transfer and thermodynamics – only entropy prevailed. Nothing is ever ‘the end’. Gosh! I do hope that when I am 73 [a random intelligent sounding number] I will find an answer.

After careful analysis [99% of the analysis revolved around what my friends were doing and the remaining 1% were day-dreams] I decided that it was time to bell the CAT. The salary figures at the IIMs were definitely a strong motivator for a chappal-clad engineer like me [No offense to any of my fellow peers].

Belling this CAT seemed more difficult than sending a turtle to the moon.

One – There were at least 40,000 students who were loitering around with the bell. [Now, after 13 years, the figure has gone up to more than 2 lakhs! What a CAT-walk!]. Never have I managed to be among the top 10 in my class of 55. The thought of beating 40,000 odd souls made me want to swap my brains with my kidney.

Two – I knew English was not my strength [I am 102% sure you would have figured that out by now]. After reading a passage on philosophy, where I could not understand the link between any two random lines, I had to answer the question – What is the mood of the passage!!!! After a series of painstaking reasoning, I could boil down to 2 out of the 4 options provided – ‘a’ & ‘d’. The answer-key revealed both were incorrect and when I turned to the solutions, it said just one phrase – Obviously c!!

Three – The biggest de-motivator in the entire process turned out to the same set of friends who once motivated me to start this idiotic process. They were studying more than me, scoring more than me, and having more fun than me. I remember once I wanted to share my happiness of cracking 90 marks in one of the tests [Those days, the cut off used to be around 120], my ‘bes-test’ friend was sad that he had got only 119 in the same test!

Four – During the process [I don’t know why I keep using the word process] I was bewildered to find that I had problems with Math. Sample this.

How many ways can you put 4 similar balls in 4 similar boxes?
How many ways can you put 4 different balls in 4 similar boxes?
How many ways can you put 4 similar balls in 4 different boxes?
How many ways can you put 4 different balls in 4 different boxes?

I wanted to carefully cover the head of the question setter with the box and throw the balls at his___________ [Let the question setter fill in the blanks!]

Five – The so-called CAT Gyan Gurus’ strategic advice confused me no end. Each had an advice, which was diametrically opposite to someone else’s. As fate would have it…I am one of the CAT Gyan gurus today!!

With all the above-stated and unstated challenges ready to assassinate my dreams, I had The One Powerful Shield: The-Never-Give-Up-Shield. I re-wrote the Ten Commandments:

1. Thou shalt not give up no matter what others tell thee
2. Thou shalt not give up even if strategies fail
3. Thou shalt not give up even if thee can’t comprehend any passage even after reading it thrice
4. Thou shalt not give up even if permutations & combinations to thee is like a guitar to a goldfish
5. Thou shalt not give up even if thee takes more than 3 minutes to find out 567/778
6. Thou shalt not give up even if the score does not improve forever
7. Thou shalt not give up thy dreams
8. Thou shalt not give up thy aspirations
9. Thou shalt not give up thy passion
10. Thou shalt not give up EVER

That’s it! I believe that the only reason why I made it to the IIM is because I did not give up.
Till the year before, CAT always had 4 sections [Quant, DI, Verbal Ability and Reading Comprehension] without any time limit. Junta’s objective was to develop a strategy for the ‘fixed’ CAT pattern. This was my biggest weakness. This weakness turned to be my biggest strength.

CAT 1996 was a Tsunami that shook the earth. 2 sections, both timed! All strategies flew out of the window. All fell down like Humpty Dumpty. I didn’t have a problem because I didn’t have a fixed strategy. I was happy that CAT decided what I am supposed to do. After the tsunami, everyone blamed everything under the sun – Coaching Classes, IIMs, CAT, parents for the birth timing, the grass [the sane one], everything!

Two months later, I woke up again to the news that I had got all 4 calls – A, B, C, L. Sweet! I went on to convert C & B and completed my post graduation from IIM C.

My one & only advice: NEVER EVER GIVE UP. NEVER!

Opportunity in adversity

Despite the current gloom, employers still value MBAs


  • MBA students are worried about recouping the high fees they invested
  • Business-school officials experienced the worst ever recruiting season
  • Demand for MBAs is declining while supply is continuing to grow
  • In U.S., Congress has made it more difficult to hire foreign talent
  • Consulting, health care, pharmaceuticals, utilities and energy maintained demand
  • Downturn has provoked high-profile criticisms of MBA courses content but the corporate world mostly remains as happy with MBAs as it ever was.
  • MBAs still more likely to get jobs than non-mbas and, on average, receive higher salary.
  • MBAs get twice as much as undergraduates and 30–35% more than  lower-level management degrees holders
  • since 1998, 98% of American corporate employers report satisfaction with their MBA hires
  • Aspirants are becoming more conscious of value for money – some are abandoning high-profile business schools for their less well-known rivals. some searching the world for best bargains

Source: The Economist

27% fewer applicants for CAT, deadline extended


  • CAT witnessed 27% drop in applicants this year
  • As per IIMs, around 2 lakh candidates registered
  • Online registration process closing date pushed to October 11th from October 1st
  • Last year number of CAT applicants was 2.76 lakh
  • Number of CAT applicants has been rising 10% every year, with 20-25% increase in last 3 years
  • CAT committee feels bank holidays halted the process
  • Experts blame bleak placements scenario across tier 2 and 3 B-schools and fear of computer-based test among smaller towners
  • Candidates may edit profiles till October 11
  • Sale of CAT vouchers at Axis bank branches has been extended untill October 8
  • CAT 2009 scheduled between November 28 and December 7, 2009
  • Will be conducted in 32 Indian cities through 105 centres

SourceEconomic Times