Monday, March 23, 2009

The Memo

From : Managing Director
To : Vice President

"Tomorrow morning there will be a total eclipse of the sun at nine o'clock. This is something which we cannot see everyday. So let all employees line up outside, in their best clothes to watch it. To mark the occasion of this rare occurrence, I will personally explain the phenomenon to them. If it is raining we will not be able to see it very well and in that case the employees should assemble in the canteen."

From : Vice President
To : General Manager

"By order of the Managing Director, there will be a total eclipse of the sun at nine o' clock tomorrow morning. If it is raining we will not be able to see it in our best clothes, on the site. In this case the disappearance of the sun will be followed through in the canteen. This is something we cannot see happening everyday."

From : General managers
To : Industry Managers

"By order of the Managing Director, we shall follow the disappearance of the sun in our best clothes, in the canteen at nine o'clock tomorrow morning. The Managing Director will tell us whether it is going to rain. This is something which we cannot see happen everyday."

From : Industry Managers
To : Location heads

"If it is raining in the canteen tomorrow morning, which is something that we cannot see happen everyday, the Managing director in his best clothes, will disappear at nine o'clock."

From : Location heads
To : Marketing Executives

"Tomorrow morning at nine o' clock, the Managing Director will disappear without his clothes. It's a pity that we can't see this happen everyday".

You know you are an MBA when....

You ask the waiter what the restaurant's core competencies are.

You decide to re-org your family into a 'team- based organization.'

You refer to dating as test marketing.

You can spell 'paradigm.'

You actually know what a paradigm is.

You understand your airline's fare structure.

You write executive summaries on your love letters.

You think it is actually efficient to write a ten-page paper with six other people you do not know.

You believe you never have any problems in your life, just 'issues' and 'improvement opportunities.'

You calculate your own personal cost of capital.

You refer to your previous life as 'my sunk costs.'

Your three meals a day are a 'morning consumption function', a 'noontime consumption function', and an 'even consumption function.'

You start to feel sorry for Dilbert's boss.

You refer to divorce as 'divestiture.'

Your favorite artist is the one who does the dot drawings for the Wall Street Journal.

None of your favorite publications have cartoons.

You account for your tuition as a capital expenditure instead of an expense.

You insist that you do some more market research before you and your spouse produce another child.

At your last family reunion, you wanted to have an emergency meeting about their brand equity.

You decided the only way to afford a house is to call your fellow alumni and offer to name a room after them if they help with the down payment.

Your 'deliverable' for Sunday evening is clean laundry and paid bills.

You use the term 'value-added' without falling down laughing.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Why MBA?

This is the most irritating question that I have come across in an interview - right from the time I was trying to get in to a BSchool to all job interviews since.

Wish I could just wear one of these t-shirts :)

Ok - so the last one isn't a t-shirt (it's actually quite a good read - kudos to Abhijit Bhaduri) but it is perhaps the truest for all MBAs... are we all what the book is titled. And how we've been humbled in the downturn / recession...

Signs 1.0 - Mumbai

My Business Communication Prof would be proud of this one...
We've been told to crisp and clear in Communication.
This sign outside a house on the Colaba Causeway is crystal.

This is actually a wall in an office (nautanki tv) in Versova.
Had gone here to interview for a corporate project.
Wish they called me when they did this to their lobby...
would have been happy to vandalize! Heck, they might have paid me too...!

This one is just outside the St. Joseph's Church in Juhu Market.
The tag line is well, err... threatening, isn't it?
I always trusted Amul. But I am not sure anymore with it being the "last word in curd" ?
PS - Couldn't have placed the ad better though... last words just outside a church :)

This one is "ashleel" to say the least. How dare the Juhu Chowpatty Barista ask its patrons to get naked with them :) ? Who'll save our Indian culture now!?

Ok so I bumped this one off a friend but it's priceless.
This was taken on 20th Jan 2009 at Mumbai airport - a day after Raju confessed to Satyam, Sharam, Scandalam... now India Inc. is truly global with our very own Enron. Jai ho!

The 5 Minute MBA!

Lesson 1:

A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is finishing up her shower, when the doorbell rings.

The wife quickly wraps herself in a towel and runs downstairs.

When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the next-door neighbor.

Before she says a word, Bob says, 'I'll give you $800 to drop that towel..'

After thinking for a moment, the woman drops her towel and stands naked in front of Bob, after a few seconds, Bob hands her $800 and leaves.

The woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back upstairs.

When she gets to the bathroom, her husband asks, 'Who was that?'

'It was Bob the next door neighbor,' she replies.

'Great,' the husband says, 'did he say anything about the $800 he owes me?'

Moral of the story:

If you share critical information pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable exposure.


Lesson 2:

A priest offered a Nun a lift.

She got in and crossed her legs, forcing her gown to reveal a leg.

The priest nearly had an accident.

After controlling the car, he stealthily slid his hand up her leg.

The nun said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest removed his hand. But, changing gears, he let his hand slide up her leg again.

The nun once again said, 'Father, remember Psalm 129?'

The priest apologized 'Sorry sister but the flesh is weak.'

Arriving at the convent, the nun sighed heavily and went on her way.

On his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to look up Psalm 129.

It said, 'Go forth and seek, further up, you will find glory.'

Moral of the story:

If you are not well informed in your job, you might miss a great opportunity


Lesson 3:

A sales rep, an administration clerk, and the manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp.

They rub it and a Genie comes out.

The Genie says, 'I'll give each of you just one wish.'

'Me first! Me first!' says the admin clerk. 'I want to be in the Bahamas , driving a speedboat, without a care in the world.'

Puff! She's gone.

'Me next! Me next!' says the sales rep. 'I want to be in Hawaii , relaxing on the beach with my personal masseuse, an endless supply of Pina Coladas and the love of my life.'

Puff! He's gone.

'OK, you're next,' the Genie says to the manager.

The manager says, 'I want those two back in the office after lunch.'

Moral of the story:

Always let your boss have the first say.


Lesson 4

An eagle was sitting on a tree resting, doing nothing.

A small rabbit saw the eagle and asked him, 'Can I also sit like you and do nothing?'

The eagle answered: 'Sure, why not.'

So, the rabbit sat on the ground below the eagle and rested. All of a sudden, a fox appeared, jumped on the rabbit and ate it.

Moral of the story:

To be sitting and doing nothing, you must be sitting very, very high up.


Lesson 5

A turkey was chatting with a bull.

'I would love to be able to get to the top of that tree' sighed the turkey, 'but I haven't got the energy.'

'Well, why don't you nibble on some of my droppings?' replied the bull. They're packed with nutrients.'

The turkey pecked at a lump of dung, and found it actually gave him enough strength to reach the lowest branch of the tree.

The next day, after eating some more dung, he reached the second branch.

Finally after a fourth night, the turkey was proudly perched at the top of the tree.

He was promptly spotted by a farmer, who shot him out of the tree.

Moral of the story:

Bull Shit might get you to the top, but it won't keep you there..


Lesson 6

A little bird was flying south for the winter. It was so cold the bird froze and fell to the ground into a large field.

While he was lying there, a cow came by and dropped some dung on him.

As the frozen bird lay there in the pile of cow dung, he began to realize how warm he was.

The dung was actually thawing him out!

He lay there all warm and happy, and soon began to sing for joy.

A passing cat heard the bird singing and came to investigate.

Following the sound, the cat discovered the bird under the pile of cow dung, and promptly dug him out and ate him.

Morals of the story:

(1) Not everyone who shits on you is your enemy.

(2) Not everyone who gets you out of shit is your friend.

(3) And when you're in deep shit, it's best to keep your mouth shut!


Italy v England: 30 Cultural Differences Between Italy & England

It's an Anglo-Italian super-battle in the Champions League last 16 as Manchester United (out)play Inter, Chelsea took on Juventus and Arsenal met Roma. It is often said that the two countries and leagues are poles apart, so here are 30 comical cultural differences between Italy and England…

23 Feb 2009 18:00:26

On The Pitch

1) In Italy on Sundays, it's church, match, home for supporters. In England, its pub, match, pub.

2) In Italy, pasta and meatballs with a glass of red wine is the pre-match meal. In England, kebab and chips with a pint of beer on the way to the stadium does the trick.

3) In Italy, the police will allow you to throw oranges at a team bus. In England you'd go to jail.

4) Italian fans behave when going abroad, but go berserk at home. English fans behave at home, but go stark-raving mad when in Europe.

5) In England, fans sit on the stadium seats. In Italy they use them as weapons.

6) In England, the stadium stewards watch the crowd. In Italy, the stewards watch the match or, as in the case at Catania, are actually club Ultras.

7) In England, if you want something to eat at a game you have to go and buy it from the stadium snack bar. In Italy, you just shout 'A Bibitaro' at the guy selling snacks 20 metres away, and then push your money along the row of fans as he passes a cornetto back.

8) In England, if you are fast, strong and powerful, and can run nonstop for 90 minutes you are a great player, even if you have the touch and skills of a donkey. In Italy, if you are tactically and technically excellent, you are a good player, even if you have the speed and mobility of a snail.

9) In England, if SKY Sports says that Peter Crouch is the best player in the world, the whole country believes and preaches it. In Italy, if SKY Italia says that Simone Loria is the best defender on the planet, the whole nation cancels their satellite subscription.

10) In Italy, ‘the end justifies the means’, and shirt-pulling, diving, cynical fouls and fooling the referee are seen as important parts of the game. In England, these things are seen as cheating, and the philosophy that ‘the means justifies the end’ is followed, with fair play more important than winning at all costs.

11) In Italy, defending is an art. In England, defending is anti-football.

12) In Italy, if a team is 3-0 down, the players all give up, while the fans abuse the team, smash up the worst player’s car, and invade training the next morning. In England, if a team is losing 8-0, the players continue to fight and chase every ball until the last minute even though the cause is lost, while the supporters continue to sing and cheer on their heroes.

13) In England, a bad referee is incompetent. In Italy, a bad referee is corrupt.

14) In England post-weekend football shows are 99% highlights and 1% analysis. In Italy shows are 1% highlights, and 99% analysis (or slow-motion replays).

15) In England, you rarely hear from chairmen, who often mind their own business and stay out of the press. In Italy, the presidents are utterly insane at times, regularly making controversial remarks, with Palermo’s Maurizio Zamparini the most infamous.

Off The Pitch

16) In Italy, bribery and corruption is a part of life. In England, a backhander is a tennis shot.

17) In England, you are innocent until proven guilty. In Italy, you are guilty until proven innocent.

18) In Italy, children are first given alcohol when they are nine months old, and learn how to respect and enjoy liquor. In England, children are banned from drinking alcohol until they are 18, and then proceed to massacre the stuff.

19) In Italy, sons are cradled by their mothers until they are 40. In England, sons have their own house and are looking after themselves at the age of 16.

20) Italian men are already shaving before they are 11-years-old, and need to use a razor every day to stay smooth. English men don’t start shaving until they are 18, and then have to wait five years just to grow a little bit of stubble on the end of their chin.

21) In England, punctuality and timekeeping is extremely important. In Italy, being on time is arriving 30 minutes late.

22) In Italy, no one who travels by train buys a ticket. In England, everyone buys a ticket, even though the prices are a scandalous rip-off and it would be cheaper to take a taxi.

23) In England, breaking the law is something you usually keep to yourself. In Italy, breaking petty rules is a source of amusement and something worth boasting about.

24) Italians who go on holiday blend into the surroundings and will turn brown in the sun. The English, who spend most their holidays recovering from sunburn, have ‘tourist’ written all over them as they trudge onto the beach with Hawaiian shirts, and socks and sandles.

25) In Italy the idea of wearing head-to-toe sporting clothing is considered unfashionable. In England wearing anything other than head-to-toe sports clothing is considered feminine.

26) In Italy, no one queues up, instead pushing in at the last minute after pretending they know someone at the front. In England, people queue up for hours, and then when they are still turned away at the end, they leave without a fuss.

27) In Italy, politics is a matter of life and death depending on which side of the fence you are on. In England it is not as important as 'Big Brother', a show where a bunch of talentless nobodies do nothing all day.

28) In Italy, it is normal for two people of the same sex to greet each other with a hug and kiss on both cheeks. In England, you are not heterosexual if you do this.

29) In Italy, if you go to a dinner party, you are guaranteed a six course meal, a doggy bag, and you have to refuse even more food at least 10 times before the host finally accepts no for an answer. “Are you sure, you don’t want some more?”…”Yes, I am bloody sure!” In England, you are asked to bring a bottle with you, the sausage rolls and Quavers run out after 10 minutes, and you have to make a stop at the McDonalds drive-thru on the way back home because you are still hungry.

30) In Italy, TV babes include Juliana Moreira, Ilary Blasi, Christina Chiabotto, Ilaria D’Amico and Michelle Hunziker, to name just a handful. In England it's Jordan or Jody Marsh.

Carlo Garganese,

Gods of Sport

Cricket and Football are my favourite sports and this one is about two of my most favourite stars from

11/02/2009 12:00, Report by abhi_the_one

Blog: Gods of sport

United fan 'abhi_the_one' pays tribute to two great men at the top of their respective sports...

Being from India, I could not resist comparing the fabulous careers of Ryan Giggs and Sachin Tendulkar - the best ever players for United and Indian cricket respectively.

Both attracted attention in the early '90s, and their sheer longevity in their chosen sports commands respect.

Both are loved by sports fans throughout the world. Both superstars are still shining bright even in the twilight of their careers.

Tendulkar and Giggs are also both record breakers - Sachin has scored the highest number of runs in both tests and one-day internationals, while Ryan has made the highest number of appearances for United, he's won 10 league titles and has now scored in all seventeen Premier League seasons.

Their commitment has also garnered much respect, and they are both beginning a final flourish. A grand and teary farewell awaits them when they hang up their boots.

They have done so much for their teams over the years, I wouldn't hesitate to call them gods.

Take a bow, Ryan and Sachin!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tumi Brishti Bhijo Naa... Thanda Lege Jabey!

I loved this mail I got from a friend today - this was written by Reeta Bhattacharya:
One phrase every Bengali worth his sweater has grown up with is "thanda lege jabey" . It is the ultimate warning of impending doom, an unadulterated form of existentialist advice."Thanda lege jabey". Thou shalt 'catch the cold'. 'Catching the cold' comes easy to Bengalis. It's a skill that's acquired almost immediately after birth. Watch a Bengali baby and you would know. Wrapped in layers of warm clothing even if the sun is boiling the mercury, the baby learns quickly that his chances of survival in a Bengali household depend on how tightly he can wrap himself in cotton, linen and wool. Bengalis have almost romanticized warm clothing, so much so that Bengali art has found eloquent expression in a form of quilt-stitchwork called kantha. I'm sure wool-shearers even in faraway Australia say a silent prayer to Bengalis before the shearing season (if there's any such season). I'm also sure the very thought of Bengalis sends a chill down the spine of many a sheep.

In winter, the quintessential Bengali's outfit puts the polar bear to shame. Packaged in at least seven layers of clothing and the head snugly packed inside the queerest headgear, the monkey cap, he takes the chill head on. Easy lies the head that wears the monkey cap. With a pom-pom at the top, it's not just a fashion statement; it's a complete fashion paragraph.

I remember strolling down the Walk of Fame in Hollywood on a pleasant May evening. My eyes scanned the glittering stars on the asphalt - each an ode to a Hollywood heavyweight. Suddenly, my ears caught the unmistakable Doomsday warning - 'thanda lege jabey'. I stood transfixed. The Hollywood Walk of Fame is probably the last place one would like to get caught 'catching the cold'. I turned around. There was this Bengali family braving the American chill. The young brat of the family was adamant that he didn't want any more clothing but mom wouldn't have any of it - "sweater porey nao, thanda lege jabey." I need not translate that. Mom won, and the family - sweaters et al - posed for a photograph.

For a race that is perpetually running scared of cold weather, Bengalis have a surprising affinity for hill stations. Probably, warmth of heart is best preserved in shawls, pullovers and cardigans. In an age when you are judged by how cool or uncool you are, the warmth that the kakus, jethus and mashis exude can melt icebergs. I wouldn't trade that warmth for any amount of cool. However, the monkey cap may look cool without the pom-pom.