Thursday, December 30, 2004

Oh Brother!

I dedicate this one to my Big brother who has influenced my decisions and has been a constant source of support, especially during the times when it mattered. And I hope he remains that reference point forever!Today he came back to India and touched Bangalore in the afternoon, from San Fransisco.He had been away close to one and a half year.
Facts apart, I want my brother to find this blog entry someday and know what he means to me! Of course, words would only create something close to what I mean, but nevertheless!!!
He is four and a half years elder to me, so all through growing up years, he bullied me, taking small favours in return for promises to reciprocate with something better. So all along he showed traits of being a good politician.Who knows, may be one day....!!! Even now he pulls my leg referring to my naivete as a kid!
After completing his Xth, he left for Bhilai, and completed his XIIth there from Delhi Public School (of course, DPS has some other connotations now!!!). After that, he did his Production Engineering from BIT Sindri, then joined IIIT, Bangalore; and before he left for San Fransisco, he had worked with Caritor (then IT Solutions, Chennai & Bangalore) for close to 3 years. Thus, since the time, I was in Class 6, my brother visited us (I and my parents)only during vacations! It is altogether a different story that nobody could argue or stop him if he declared holidays every month during his Engineering days!
When people leave home early, they develop either of the two orientations---either they completely lose touch with the family or they forever dwell in a sense of longing for the family. My brother falls in the second category!
When I was completing my graduation, and had got over with my desire to be a designer, I was practically clueless about what I wanted to do next. At that time, he motivated me towards MBA, and he has always been successful in influencing my thoughts. I was not really a confident type but he has always trusted my abilities more than myself, and honestly, that has kept me going. After I achieve a certain milestone, no matter how small, he makes me feel proud of myself. He always says I am the Best, and not to be complacent or aim low because I am capable of something higher!
He is not the one who would follow rules (much to my mum's dismay), but that's how he is! He would always carry loads of books but would never study them (something which I also have picked from him). But I think he was capable of IITs and IIMs because he never really tried that hard and that seriously!He has always done, what I call, over-night preparation!
And like any other Big brother, he is extremely protective about me, to the extent that he says, had it been possible, he would have started a company for me, so that I could not be over-worked!
That's my brother!!!
Dearest Bhaiya, Welcome Back to SWADES!

Saturday, December 25, 2004

My Favourite Poem: 'If' by Rudyard Kipling

Image courtesy: Wikipedia

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Friday, December 24, 2004

What next?

When I joined IMDR, I had fixed a goal for myself, to get into Advertising. Roughly after 17 months, I have achieved that goal. The question that I face now is what next? I like to live with a goal. When we are in school, exams are our obvious goals. Same is true with college also. After college, getting into a decent professional college became my goal. At this point of time, I want a concrete goal to work on, otherwise life becomes a little directionless. There are a few things on my mind.
The first thing I want to do is be prepared for the field I am going to join in a couple of months, to be update and know the ins and outs of it! Another thing I want to do is do some research study. I realised that we do not really think about any issue as such. We read newspapers, magazines, even make passing comments or references about certain issues affecting our present environment, but we do not really THINK about it! How it affects us, if it does? For example, the feud between two Ambani brothers, the trail it is taking, the loss of market capitalisation of Reliance industries' shares; and on the other hand Sensex touching new highs--how do we relate and interprete these? There are so many things to think about. Are there not?

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Movie maniac

I don't watch every Friday release but I like to call myself a movie maniac!!!I am selective about what I watch!I do not have a favourite actor or actress per se, but I have several favourite movies.
Lemme first add something more about SWADES, which I have already written about!It has the usual little moments that make you smile, it has some beautiful songs, it has a pretty heroine, and as Shahrukh would say "Main Hoon Na"! The visuals of Shahrukh in a train, bus and boat create a good impact. Besides, if you are looking for sarson ke khet and naachna-gaana in the name of village, then you would be dissappointed. OK erecting a hydroelectris power station in barely 2 weeks is difficult to digest but then apna Bollywood has always been a little larger than life on facts. The bottonline is not to pick up such faults but to understand the overall message. Gayatri is good but sometimes she is unimpressive, which is acceptable from an actress who looks that good!!!Anyways, we have so many non-actors and actresses, who don't even look good!!!
Talking about my favourite films, I guess I would have to write an entire mail on that with links.So just wait for 1-2 days.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


I saw SWADES today, well, just for the heck of it! I mean, I had not been to any movie since a long time, so SWADES seemed a wise enough choice to get back to apna Bollywood.
So, how was it?You might want to know, right? Well I would say, SWADES was LAGAAN Part II. I would not say it was good. I would not say it was bad, because that is totally an individual's choice. It is a movie which puts across a message.
One thing I have begun to appreciate in Ashutosh Gowariker is that he tries to make a movie the way this medium was intended to be. I mean, to put across a message. Look at his debute movie. Some management colleges are using that movie to study team work. This one could work for Brain Drain!!!That is the issue this movie addresses. It is forthright in saying that We, the Indians, like to blame any Tom, Dick and Harry; or may be UPA or NDA for our predicament. For every problem, we like to put the blame on the system. And the biggest problem is that we are pessimists! We want quick results. We want to get things right overnight, not willing to accept that as an individual also one could make some difference. This reminded me of the book I read on IITians by Sandipan Deb. It also mentions about the same problem that the IITians fail to realise the importance of work at the grassroots level. But of course, there have been several IITians, (as quoted in this book) who have made a difference at the lowest level.
I liked the message that this movie encapsulates. Well done, Mr. Gowariker!!! But although Shahrukh Khan is a good actor, he cries much too often!That really kills the effect. Control Yaar! Secondly, the movie also needed a certain pull, which was missing. Although Shahrukh Khan tried to put in the energy but something else was required to make it a well-told story!
For the good motive behind the movie's sake, go and watch it! Anyways we watch a lot of junk, then why not SWADES!

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

The Dilemma

Since this is placements season, so I cannot write about anything except Placements!So the dilemma I am talking about is that although companies, in fact good companies like TCS, HCL, FCB Ulka, Bajaj, Kotak, HDFC etc, are coming to campus but there are several cases where interests lie elsewhere. For example, some of my friends want to get into Retail or FMCG but as you can guess the companies are generally software or automobiles or financial services, so these guys are in a dilemma what to do! Because we don't know whether companies of their interest would come or not!
Life thy name is uncertainty!

Saturday, December 11, 2004

My Website

I am trying to create a decent website for myself just because I have all the accessories to, so why not!!! The link is It is still in the process of improvisation and a lot needs to be done but at least it has started off!I have to add so many photographs, but that would take some time!Actually now I am just jumping around to hunt for some good websites and then improvise.
But sometimes I really think, technology has done wonders!

Our First Placements Party

Well, the trend is that when people get placed they have to give party to the rest of the class, and this is done in bunch of ten people. Yesterday we had our first placements party by the first 11 people who got placed, and I was one of the hosts.
We had booked a popular disc here called 10 Downing Street, and there were only our people, that too only our classmates, so we really enjoyed! It was the best party ever in Pune!We danced a lot and after our dinner on terrace, we came back inside, relaxed and chatted. It was really sweet and warm because we never get time or indulge in chatting in that manner. It was a memorable party as most people from our batch were there.
Now we wait for the next 10 to get placed soon enough! I think we would be done with our placements by this December and would have a rocking New Year party!!!

Friday, December 10, 2004

The Moment

I am talking about the moment which changed my life!
I remember, on 4th December, after I was through with the interview, I came down to my classmates at our beloved Quadrangle--which is a square shaped space surrounded by classes, Auditorium and the office. I was unable to eat or sit or talk!!!I was just walking in circles waiting for the result. I remember everyone was nervous. Then remember, I heard people coming out of the office and I heard our placements coordinator saying 'Reema Sahay' behind me. I would not forget that moment! I cannot!Everyone rushed to congratulate me and I hugged my friends. I remember going to our Director's office and meeting the interview panel again. I remember coming out and all my friends taking me to the sacred Placements Pond!!!Well, there is a small pond which has all sorts of dried leaves and rubbish including eggs, etc.Whoever gets placed is taken there for a 'holy' dip followed by anointment with eggs!!!And believe me, people want to be there, they dream about being there!!!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

My Interview

OK,Lets move on from here.

Q.Convince us that you are genuinely interested in advertising from anything that you have done or do.
A.Whenever I see an ad, I try to analyse the target audience for that particular product or sometimes I try to judge the effectiveness of the ad as regards the product. For example, sometime back I saw lots of huge hoardings on roadside of BPL mobile, which said “Thankyou BPL”. I had this curiosity about the kind of people those ads were targeting because the faces those adorned the hoardings were, what you would call as Metropolitan, and not the average Indian public. Besides, there are some ads, which are very entertaining, but we are unable to remember the brand names. Thus the residue from such ads, if you consider for the brand, is zero.

Q.Which is your favourite ad?
A.I like the AMUL hoardings very much. It is an old idea followed by the brand but still so contemporary.

Q.Which of the TV ads do you like?
A.Since I do not have TV over here so I cannot track the recent ads but yeah, during my trip back home I liked TATA AIG ad (a little boy planting a small plant which later grows to a tree through which he enters to flirt the neighbour’s daughter) & SBI Life ad (here ko kya pata ki tumhari umar kya hai). Besides, I also loved the recent ZEE Cinema’s ad (the one I described earlier).

Q.Why do you want to join FCB Ulka?
A.This is the only company I am interested in among those, which are coming for campus. I have prepared really hard for this because I do not want to lose this opportunity of getting into advertising.

Q.What did you do? How have you prepared?
A.I read the book by the Executive Director of FCB Ulka Mr M.G.Parwesaran, which is available with our library. I read several other books on advertising. I tracked several information about FCB Ulka and Advertising sector on net. I followed a few advertising mags like Pitch, USP and The Brand Reporter. I followed a few websites like and

Q.Everyone in this institute follow these websites?
A.No, only those who are interested in advertising follow

Q.So if you have read so much about FCB, tell us 5 things that you remember.
A.(1) According to last year’s records, FCB was the 5th ad-agency in India (It is 4th now as told in the PPT).
(2) Recently FCB appointed three COOs for New Delhi,Mumbai and Cogito Consultancy.
(3) FCB won the account of ZEE group a few months back.
(4) It manages Whirlpool’s account also.
(5) Mr Anil Kapoor is the MD & CEO of FCB Ulka Advertising.

Q.Do you know what is Regression?
A.It is a statistical tool. But I am sorry I do not remember anything else about it.

Q.Are you interested in Media Planning?
A.Yes sir, Media Planning is an interesting field where one is responsible for assigning budgets for various media according to the effectiveness depending on the product. I know it requires a good knowledge of Statistics.

Q.What about Client Servicing?
A.Client Servicing Department is the face of the agency and it coordinates between the Client and the Agency. It thus plays an important role and is crucial in the final output or solution provided to the Client. It is an interesting field because it gives a first hand exposure to the requirements of the Clients, which forms the basis for any campaign strategy.

I think this was it. I might have forgotten one or two questions. But I think this much gives the idea about the interview.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

My Interview of 4th Dec........

.....that changed everything---my Past, Present and most of the Future!
Well, at first there was a Pre Placement Talk or PPT by FCB Ulka panel, which included Ms Savita Mathai and Mr Shashi Sinha.At the beginning, they showed 10 of their ads, which included
2.Mahindra Scorpio
4.Sundrop Oil
5.Indigo Marina

I would like to add that the latest Zee Cinema's ad, which is about a little girl who gets abducted by dacoits and becomes a dacoit herself, and whose life changes under the influence of Zee Cinema, and she opens a dance school; is also a product of their creativity.
FCB Ulka group includes 7-8 companies, which includes FCB Ulka Advertising, Cogito Consulting, etc.
So where were we? Ya, they talked about the company, the profile that they offered and the selection procedure.
The selection procedure started off with a 10 minutes written test, which was very Kotler-ish and something about FCB also. From that test, 4 people were short-listed and I heard that I was just below the cut off or something like that. Then we had an interview.
The interview was as follows........

Q. Tell me something about yourself.
A. I am basically from Singhbhum district of Jharkhand. I did my schooling till Class 12 there and then I shifted to Orissa, from where I completed my Grad with Commerce. In 2003, I appeared for CAT (I was smart to sneak 1 year gap in between my graduation and CAT), got through NIFT, NIRMA, IISWBM and IMDR.

Q. Why did you join IMDR?
A. It was the introducing year of MBA at NIFT, so I cancelled NIFT. Another reason was that NIFT is known for Fashion Designing and the quality of Management education was uncertain. IISWBM's HR (as far as I knew) was more popular, so I ruled it out because I was interested in Marketing. Ahmedabad was politically disturbed with riots, too far away from home and nobody of acquaintanc there. Besides, they were doubling the seats, and my director at TIME also suggested that you better go to IMDR than NIRMA!
I knew an alumnus of IMDR (Gurucharan Singh Gandhi), who told me it’s all about priorities. If you are looking for huge pay for placements, IMDR is not the place to be in, but if you are looking at quality education, this is the place to be in.
When I came here, my first reaction was what do we have here???But now I realise, there's nothing else we need for a quality management education. We do not have air-conditioned auditorium or carpets here but we have enough of what is actually needed!

Q.Have you read any book in Advertising? Which one?
A.I have read FCB Ulka Brand Building Advertising. But I read it right at the time when I joined IMDR, but ya, yesterday I glanced through it again because I thought it necessary, and I am glad I did (a few questions in written paper were from that book). Actually, I found it missing from our library since 1 month but tracked it down with 1 of my classmates finally.

Q.So you must have read the cases discussed in it? Which one of them did you like?
A.I had read it thoroughly one-year back but I can tell you which one I liked. It was Santoor.

Q.Why did you like it?
A.This ad attempted to position soap in a different way which none of the other soaps were doing. Other soaps featured filmstars or soft skin but something like this (age-defying positioning) was unique.

Q.Now that you have talked about Positioning, there are 7-8 variants of Positioning. Which one of them did this ad use?

Q.Which other books have you read on Advertising?
A.The Uncommon Sense of Advertising, The Craft of Copywriting, Advertsing--Pure and Simple, etc, but I try to read more of Indian authors, no matter what the subject is!

Q.Why is that?
A.Because it gives an Indian context to relate to.

Q.So you must have read fiction or non-fiction by Indian authors as well?
A.Yes sir,Scenes from an Executives life by Anurag Mathur, Kiran Bedi's biography, The IITians, etc.

Q.What's your rank in a class of 42 students?
A.10th. But I would like to add that along with the class activities, I have always been involved with the extra-curriculars like campus reporting for Maharashtra Herald, participating in inter and intra-collegiate festivals, being part of editorial boards for close to five years!

Guys, I would continue the remaining part of the interview tomorrow because I have got to rush.OK, so just wait for one more day.
Thankx guys for visiting my Blog!
Take Care

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Post-FCB Ulka selection

When I look back now I feel how things change in a matter of hours! How at one time, you try to get somewhere, and how in just few hours, you reach there! Life is truly amazing. But I must say one more thing. The confidence I had just before FCB came to our campus was amazing. Some how God had already indicated to me that this was my calling and my time had come! Contrary to what my brother says, I believe whatever happens, happens for good. When you don't get what you want, you complain but later on you realise that in fact that thing was not what you were meant for! For example, at some point I was crazy about NIFT but somehow I could not get through. In fact, I was the 15th one when they had to select 14 people from General category for 20 seats of Fashion Communication. At that time, I felt that I was the most unfortunate person. I realise now that I was meant to get into Advertising. Rest is all history!And I appreciate every bit of it because history has shaped my present!

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Got Placed!!!

Yeah, I got placed, and that too in FCB ULKA, nothing less. When I look back at the string of things, I feel it is really a dream come true. Last year I came to know FCB visits our campus. But they take only one, and I was not sure that could be me! Since the time I joined MBA I wanted to get into advertising, but did not know how! To come to think of it, it is really difficult! PGDM from MBA and Advertising????!!! But there I was, skimming thru advertising books like FCB ULKA Brand Building, advertising, or The uncommon sense of advertising or the craft of copywriting. I must say I have worked hard, really hard!! I used to spend hours reading Economic Times, Indian Express, Business World, magazines on Advertising--Pitch, Brand Reporter and USP, and websites like & I have spent fewer hours in sleeping in Pune than what normally people spend. I have done campus reporting, poetry writing, publishing blogs and designing website. I have read endless number of pages of industry information.
And before I finish, I have reading like a crazy since a couple of days, reading Kotler in between PPTs of other companies, reading cut outs on client servicing, info on FCB Ulka.
So don't you think, I deserved this???
For now I am extremely happy and thankful to God! He gave me exactly what I asked for with all conditions fulfilled. Actually, I believe God is a little biased on my side!

Friday, December 03, 2004

To keep your cool!

Our placements season is on. Some really good companies are coming to campus. I remember in May when election results were announced, people were so much worried after the sensex dipped. But when we look at the number of jobs those have been created this year, the opportunities seem to be plenty.
The problem is when your friends start getting placed being happy for them is one thing, and keeping your cool is another. When you are surrounded by people who are placed and are realxed, you are a little worried about your own future. I am glad this feeling has not affected me as yet! Because the kind of companies, no matter how good, which are coming into campus is not where I want to be. My priority is Advertising. And I have a feeling that I would get it.
I had never dreamt in life that I would do MBA, I always wanted to be a Fashion Designer.But later I realise Advertising is a much more creative field and it affects all of us in one way or the other. Designers are still considered for niche market(some marketing jargons!).Thus since the time I decided about MBA, I knew it has to be advertising. In fact most of the people in campus know where I want to be. I have been so voluble about my objective.
At the end of the day, I trust that
"Whatever happens, happens for good!"