Archive for December, 2009

Haagen Daazs’ Howler

December 17, 2009 4 comments

Rohit Sharma 

Marketing plan gone bad… really bad!

American company that plan to open 30-40 counters in India says on its arrival – Sorry,  foreigners only!

Read this

Would you eat there?

A flicker of Hope

December 15, 2009 Leave a comment

Ronita Dutta & Rohit Sharma

In 2007, Ministry of Women and Child Development reported the presence of 2.8 million sex workers in India, with 35.47 percent of them entering the trade before the age of 18 years. A news item published in The Statesman states that roughly 2 million children are abused and forced into prostitution every year in India. Thousands of defenseless, innocent children and women suffer in the hands of pedophiles and perverts who leave them either to live in seclusion for the rest of their life or just die. Human trafficking has created a complex criminal network – at times, with the patronage of those in power. Lack of suitable laws and law enforcement machinery add to the problem.

Amongst the few organization and institution fighting against human right violation is Prajwala that has helped thousands of trafficked women and girls find a safe haven in their shelter. Its co-founder Sunitha Krishnan was recently invited to speak at TED-India 2009 at Infosys Campus, Mysore. Her eloquence and the power packed speech were appreciated with standing ovation and thunderous clapping from the audience. Here’s a look at what she spoke about-

You can get more information about Prajwala’s endeavors or connect directly with Sunitha here-

What lies beneath…

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment

Rohit Sharma

As Congress clean the Ayodhya laundry in public, the blame game is once again at its high pitch. 17 years ago, BJP rose in prominence with its role in the Ram temple movement, knocking down a nondescript mosque that lay on the sight since 1528. In 1984, the party had only two seats in Parliament, in 1991, it won 119. The achievement didn’t take long to turn into the ghost of past that has been haunting the VHP-BJP combo at every elections and now at Parliament. As BJP MPs struggle with the fresh round of accusations, the Government is sitting back and having the last laugh.  Congress’s hypocrisy comes out as a shining beacon as they overstate a sensitive issue ignoring the shuddering impact it had and repercussions it could bring. The day Rahul Gandhi says Atal Bihari Vajpayee is “respectful” and speculates over the accuracy of Liberhan report indicting the senior BJP leader, is the same day another Congress MP calls Vajpayee a scoundrel in his native tongue in the Parliament session yesterday. MP Beni Prasad Verma’s usage of derogatory slang against Vajpayee is a sheer contrast to the subtle PR practice that the Gandhi scion usually indulges in. 

IIMs’ Moment of Shame

December 4, 2009 3 comments

Emanuel Joute

It’s one of the biggest ironies of sorts how the best management institutes in the country – the IIMs – failed in managing their common admission test, known as CAT, this year. Many feel that the IIMs were over ambitious and ill-prepared to go the online way for one of the toughest entrance exams in the world. A few questions arise. For one, what made them believe they can conduct an online test for over 2.4 lakh MBA aspirants in just 10 days, knowing full well how bad the online infrastructure in the country is? Secondly, were they short-sighted? There was no Plan-B in place. Thirdly, don’t they teach crisis management? They way they have handled the situation so far has been pathetic. For the first two days (tests began 28 November), it seemed they were clueless about how to handle the crisis. Communication was poor. It was only much after some politicians raised the issue that the IIMs and Prometric, the company entrusted with conducting the test, came out with a statement that several centres across the country had been affected by viruses. On 3 December, finally, the IIMs came out with a list of instructions for aspirants whose tests have been rescheduled, as well as for those who have already given the test.

In all, it has been a big drub to the IIM’s brand image. This comes in a year when the number of CAT takers fell from 2.7 lakh in 2008 to 2.4 lakh, with many attributing this fall to the poor 2009 placements. Also, some observers attribute this fall to CAT going the online way, taking into account the discrepancy of students’ background in India. “A mere mention of ‘online test’ would scare away a dozen people,” quips a teacher from an MBA coaching institute.

CAT is usually conducted between the last week of November and first week of December every year. This period is crucial as most of the universities across the country conduct their internal exams in December. In a country like India, it is well known that exams not only affect the student but the entire family. Preparation for any exams has its momentum, and re-igniting a lost momentum is not easy. And as Mint commented, CAT is a test that promises educational, financial and social mobility. Chaos and a lack of transparency is not what they expect from the high priests of management education.