Sunday, June 28, 2009

Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea

I am about to join corporate next week, and here I come across this picture which aptly defines the current job scenario. The placement scene seen across campuses back then in march said it all. Just about a year back, these very companies were thronging the campus for a slot, and this time over even after a lot of cajoling and sweet talk they relented – Hiring on freeze.

Forget hiring, many of the companies are actually firing away their employees, and some 'virtualizing' them ala Mahindra Satyam.

This picture, got on a mail forward, very aptly describes the current market scenario. One can't be like the man jumping off, due to the huge liabilities attached and a very remote chance of a job.

Also, it is getting tougher with every passing day to continue in the same job with cost cuts, salary cuts, virtualized and all. It is like being in the position of the fish.

Why am I ranting on the negatives of the job market just before joining a job? Nah! I am all charged and decked up for the new role. This holiday has really been long, and now I want to work.!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

‘Online’ CAT, and nothing else!!

I have been coaching for CAT for the last few months, and think it is my duty to keep my students updated about any new developments in this arena. More so this year, with the CAT going online, and many of you having loadsa questions and queries.

Here I bumped into this article, where prometric - the body organizing CAT this year spoke to an online CAT portal and clears lots of doubts.

Prometric has for the first time revealed that computer-based CAT 2009 will actually allow test takers to "scroll back and forth" during the exam. This confirmation has a lot of significance for the thousands of MBA aspirants taking the test this year.

This implies that CAT 2009 will not be a 'computer-adaptive' test, but will only be a 'computer-based' test. A computer-adaptive test offers a new question based on answer to the previous question.

Thus, one thing for clear, answer to a question will not matter in answering the next question. So it is just like answering CAT like last year, the only difference being the new medium of a computer, rather than the traditional paper and pencil.

Some more interesting insights from the interview are like the information that the total contract value for conducting the exam is a whopping 40 million USD (a cool 200 crore rupees!!). Also, Prometric is assuming responsibility for all aspects of the CAT computer-based test, including item authoring, test development, test administration, scoring and reporting services. Prometric will add resources, including dedicated test development and support staff in India for handling the project in a better manner.

About the security in administering the test, prometric ensures that enough measures are being taken for ensuring strict security. All test centres hosting CAT 2009 will employ Prometric's identity management (biometric) solution, digital image capture of all candidates and digital video recording of all testing activities

Regarding the questions, the pattern, comparison of the CAT with GMAT, and other such 'confidential' issues, prometric remained silent. Also, it preferred to remain mum on the amount to be charged by the IIMs for the test.

Thus, aspirants who have been thinking of tweaking their strategies, and waiting for the notification has this clear – Computer exam, that is the only change. Nothing more!!!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Marriage invitation

Nah! Keep the rumour mongers busy, and give them fodder. That is what I seem to be doing, by this provocative title. Before you jump to conclusions, I clarify that I am not getting married, and this is not about my wedding invitation.

Bumped into a very creative marriage invite, and am sure a complete movie can be made out of it. The invite is that elaborate.

For better quality of the pic. click on the pic, and then zoom to get a proper view.

With this much of innovation in the card itself, this guy should have tried getting married in zero gravity condition.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Selling Education – Recession Proof Business

I have been home for the last three months or so, working for a coaching institute here as their part time faculty. Now this is something that I really enjoy, right after I completed 10th standard. Giving tuitions to neighboring kids, trying to tutor my younger brother, and also giving gyan to whosoever cares to listen. So, teaching is something that comes naturally, and after a stressful day, spending some time with the students, interacting with them, and learning at the same time gives me a wonderful kick.

I realize that teaching is no more an honorable role that it was previously. Teachers can build up people, a society or a nation through teaching (Ah! Big talk!), and it goes without doubt saying that teachers are valuable assets in our country. The basic job of a teacher is to inspire and enhance the confidence of the student, and to bring out his/her hidden qualities. Many more basic personality traits like honesty, integrity, ethics, etc… are inspired by a teacher, but here I am just relating to teachers at a coaching institute, and the institute in general.

One thing that I have been observing for these three months is the mass commoditizing of education, as if it was something to be sold in the market. The commercialization of education, carried out by these coaching institutes, and then the B Schools is altering or disrupting the teaching and learning process itself. Advertising and other commercial activities in order to increase profit just negates all the goods of a nice education. It is like:

Want an MBA?

Join our coaching institute. More than half the junta at IIMs presently is from our institute. (How many were regular students? How many of them were actual students at all?)

We have approved and audited results from the biggest auditory services firm in the country, confirming our
claims (Okay! I agree to your claims, but what is the percentage of the people who do not make it anywhere?)

Sitting in the office, I look at despair students with their clueless parents, hanging their big money bags under their vests, trying to look for some information regarding further education. What happens? Are they shown the right path by the counselors present there? Obviously No. Infact, they are marketed some or the other course available at the coaching center.

Sir, an MBA today gives you the highest ROI, Says one of the ads at the center.

Cool! Maybe right, but what about the interest of the candidate? Just because the money here is good, a possible excellent scientist is sold off to become a mediocre manager.

"I think my son should do an M.Tech after engineering? He is very bright in his core subject." asks the parent (say Mr. Despondar) very curiously.

The counselor retaliates, "No, An M.tech even in the IITs do not offer you a great salary, sir", as if it is a sin to do an M.Tech.

"He should rather try for MS in the US."

That is because the counselor realizes that to pursue M.tech the student would have to prepare for GATE, an entrance exam for which they do not provide coaching. So she would be missing out on a possible student.

"Nah, that would be too expensive. I don't think I have the funds to send him to the US", exclaims the parent.

"Oh! That is okay. Then maybe he could consider CAT", the counselor replies, cleverly leaving out the information that CAT is for MBA, and not for any technical course.

The parent is now totally confused – M.Tech, GATE, MS, GRE and now this new bird called CAT. What the hell is this?

The counselor now starts off, "CAT is for an MBA in the IIMs, sir"

"They are like the best colleges in india, and gives you huge salary opportunities and opens up wide horizons... blah! Blah!"

This is because, the center offers training for CAT, and she would get a high commission on admitting a student for CAT.

After about half an hour of detailed brain washing and hard selling CAT, she manages to convince the parent that CAT is the best thing to have happened to them. The son, all this while has no say, and even now when Mr. Despondar is totally convinced, he gets no chance. Typical Indian middle class, where the parents try pushing all their dreams and decisions on their child – right from the choice of the colour of the bike, to the girl the child gets married to.

The parent pays the hefty fees of around 20k, emptying his hard earned bulging money bag, and walks out happily and satisfied. As if his son has already made it into the IIMs.

Now, the student – the son, who was actually interested in going ahead with technical studies, is forced to write CAT. There, the country loses one more potential scientist and there is born one more mismatch citizen who would always crib his life that he is not in a job he loves. Thanks to the coaching center.

The only mistake being – His dad ended up at an institute which offers CAT coaching and not GATE coaching. Similarly, many a students interested in MBA, end up writing GATE, thanks to TEA.

p.s.: More posts to continue regarding the same topic – Education at sale.

Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are personal and my own.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Talk @ Community meetings

About three more weeks at home and then am off. Off to the land of dreams – Mumbai (or so it is called!). The last three months here at home were amazing, and I had a wonderful time doing nothing. Absolutely nothing.

Staying at home compels you to attend so many of these weddings, family gatherings, community meetings, which given a chance you would not want to be even seen around. I have attended hordes of such gatherings, weddings, parties, etc... Which were not really in my liking? One of these was the community meet we had a couple of weeks back.

I have nothing specific against these so called social gatherings, and it is really good that people do come forward to meet up, socialize, and talk to each other. After all, this is what differentiates us – The Human race, from the rest of the animals – SOCIAL. (Hated it as a subject during school!)

I made up my mind that I would try to be as social as possible, and try striking conversations with anyone and everyone, trying to know more people. Thus fulfilling the very purpose of such meets – Socializing. After all, you are supposed to talk @ Community meetings, meant for talking.

The funny thing is the very amusing behavior of people around you, and their talks, and more importantly their topics of discussion. The whole community members can be classified into many categories and each category would converse with every other possible category, so doing the math gives a whole lot of permutations and combinations of talks. Here I would specifically like to comment on some types of conversations I overheard in that evening of ennui.

Hair Dye Talk

Two 40 something males, with one small kid in the hand, and running after a not so small kid, while the wife is busy cribbing about life to the fellow wives.

Mid aged uncle 1 (M1): Hey, have you been to habib's recently? (As if Habib's is the latest restaurant in town, and every normal human is expected to frequent it)

M2: yeah, was there for a haircut. (His hair looks even worse than what a normal roadside barber would do. Seems like he has gone to those barbers who sit on the pavements with one nice chair, and a mirror in hand.)

M1: Oh! Sad, the hair cut there is not so good (Laughing within himself, proclaiming his victory), you should have rather gone to "Toppers – The saloon" for that.

M1: The hair colouring at habib's is really good. (Now trying to show off his latest hair colour, which removes all doubt that we are evolutes of the monkey race).

M2: Oh! Really, that is so good. Your hair really looks nice, what colour is that? (Chuckling within himself, laughing at the colour choice)

M1: It is the latest one available, the latest trend (I am so sure he himself did not know about it).

You know how much it costs, a full 1200 bucks for a bottle. (Getting back to his bragging mode),

add another 500 bucks for this colour of the streak (trying to show his streak, after he realizes that M2 is not really impressed with the 1200 bucks)

M2: Hmmm!

M1: Also, an additional 500 bucks is the service fee there (Still trying to prove his point that it has costed him a bomb to get that hair),

but well, I know the guy there (Now trying to show his affluence),

so it got settled in 400 bucks itself. (A sense of victory!)

Call Center Talk

I then move on to a younger group, when one of my cousin signals a Hi, and invites me to join them My aim of being social led me to this group. A group of 20 something youngsters (My age group!), with one common factor binding them all – They all work at HSBC, the call center. So obviously all the talks revolve around the processes there, the work, colleagues and HSBC, HSBC, HSBC... So even there in that group I end up as a total misfit, and just remain a mute listener.

The thing with vizag is - there is only this one call center of repute and MNC settings - HSBC. All BCom, BBM and other graduates, who know they would not want to work for long (Family Business!), but at the same time want access to the latest and the best happening people in town, join HSBC. This pretty much includes more or less everyone, of this age, in our community (Sindhi's)!

One typical thing about all these 20 something youngsters was their dressing sense. Updated with the latest trends, the best brands, the "I don't care attitude", and the complete urban metro look. Too much money at too young age I guess. Just a look at their mobile phone models and their bikes (or cars!), makes you wonder how much are they paid!

The talk here would typically go off with process, bands, Telemarketing, outbound calls, inbound calls, US, UK, Lead generation, HR, Customer phone sales executive, PM, AMO.. and so many other terms that I could not understand. One interesting thing here in this group was – though they all worked in night shifts, and many of them never ever met in office due to different timings, different processes and all – everyone knew everyone. And one thing that they all loved doing – gossiping and bitching about their fellow colleagues.

A talk between two girls in that group –

Girl 1: Hey, know what? That guy Phani is going around with that bi*ch Sheetal.

Girl 2: What? Really (With an equally snobbish attitude, still trying to arrange her mascara and a flabbergasted look)

G1: yes, last heard they were found in the office restroom making out.

G2: My Gawd! Tell ya, she is a total bit^& and she is great in trapping innocent guys like Phani. Poor Phani.

G1: yeah, only til last month she was with yadav, and their relationship seemed so intense!

…. The talks go on, and they describe stuff, not recommended for this blog. (the parental control would get invoked!)

You don't need a degree in Astronomical physics to understand the happenings. Sometimes, this makes me wonder – should I have joined HSBC during these three long months. It could have got me into the most "happening" circuit of vizag. Many a things could have happened!

Real Estate Talk

Now coming to the third group of people and their talks.

If the previous group was busy talking about the virtual estate, here we have over sized, pot bellied and bald over aged men discussing the latest real estate trends in the city. It comprises of an elderly group of people, most of who are very much into their own businesses, and have developed this new found love for the spiraling real estate prices. Each one of them thinks themselves to be a master of their art, and without any gusto declare their proficiency in the field.

This group compulsorily consists of one rich Baniya businessman, who after spending all his life selling sweets and pakodas, has now entered the real estate business. A building there, a shopping complex here, and selling it off to people from the same community. So this is like an ideal place for him to market his products with complete alacrity free of cost. And also, most of the times hook in customers there and then.

The talk here is too boring and diplomatic, with it starting off with Diabetes and ways to avoid or control it. Then slowly drifting towards the current market scenario, and then the Baniya halwai shifts the discussion to the booming real estate and why everyone should invest in that. After setting up this base, starts the pitching of his properties and his construction sites.

Many more groups, and their varied talks – a complete book can be written on this topic.

Alas! Amongst all these different noises was a poor blogger, who felt so totally out place, and could do nothing else but just wander from one group to another. Wondering – "Why the hell am I here?"

Oh! By the way, I too got smitten for the maddening rush to acquire the personal facebook page id, and succumbed to it. My ID on facebook is http://www.facebook.com/bharatjhurani That adds one more web address. The others being

iBlog @       http://jbharat.blogspot.com
Linkedin:    http://www.facebook.com/bharatjhurani
Twitter:        http://twitter.com/bharatjhurani

Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/bharatjhurani

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Bharat Jhurani Coaching Center: Attracting women

My holiday season still continues, and will be so for one long month. I am in Vizag since mid march and that implies more than 70 days here, with about 30 more to go. In spite of these 100 days of nothingness, I am sure; I have not regretted it a bit. These were like the best days I could ever have. Just sitting at home, doing nothing all day, and immersing in all the activities that I have always wanted to do. I am so sure, that these are the best days till date.

I and vamsi went to Hyderabad on Tuesday, to attend an engineering friends wedding there. It was awesome in Hyderabad, and we had a great time. My engineering friends, and then friends from L, got to meet them all, and spend some amazing time together. More about that, in detail, in the next post.

In these two months, I have seen many people trying different ways to impress on women, and try to make a mark to attract them. I am no love-guru, nor an expert in this arena, but I think it is time that I share my little something knowledge and experience with the young brigade.

Before I begin, try answering these questions - Why do women you see out at pubs sometimes dress so SEXY? Let's think about it from the woman's perspective: An attractive woman gets attention from men all the time, no matter WHAT she's wearing.

Attractive women don't have to "accent" their beauty in order to attract men. A perfectly beautiful woman gets expensive jewellery and the latest trendy outfit for herself after shopping all day. A tall, stunning model spends all day at the mall shopping for just the right high-heeled shoes. A naturally beautiful woman spends hours in front of the mirror getting ready to go out, and puts on tons of makeup. For what?

Could it possibly be worth all the extra time and effort, spending hours to get that "extra little bit" of beauty, when a woman already has "more than enough"? Well, whoever said, women makes sense! J

Maximize the chances

Let's imagine that an attractive woman is getting ready to go to a party. There are going to be a hundred men and a hundred women at this party. If there are going to be a hundred men at this party, it follows that a few of those men are going to be the "best" ones.

She wants the "best" one, obviously. And that guy sure has options, so she needs to "fix herself up". She just wants to increase her chances of getting that guy.


Attractive women tend to be very competitive, so she would try her best to gain an edge over others, such that as soon as she enters the party, the "top guys", who have options, glance at her and make a "mental note" to talk to her later. The other women give her, what we call, "the bitch look".

Attention and Approval

Now that we are aware of some of the reasons why women go to great lengths to make themselves look more beautiful, let's talk about the one reason that has the most value to you guys. This reason holds the secret of actually attracting beautiful women. ATTENTION and APPROVAL.

It just so happens that an attractive woman has a sub conscious – a very accurate indicator of whether or not "the group" likes and approves of her. It's the amount of ATTENTION she gets. If a woman is getting a lot of attention, it keeps her feeling "OK". She knows that on a deep, primal level when she's accepted by the group and that she's going to stay healthy and have a good chance.

But this particular concept has a dark side to it, like everything good? Just like anything else that triggers feelings/emotions (very addictive chemicals); attention and approval can lead to a literal addiction.

It's like money, fame, power… all the famous ones… one just can't get enough. If you're a beautiful woman who is always getting attention and approval from men and you meet a man who doesn't give you that attention and approval, it has an instant and powerful impact.

Thus, if you want to learn how to attract women, then you need to get a clue about what creates the idea in her mind that you are one of the most "desirable" men.

How can you do that?

  • Become rich and famous
  • Have those killer Hrithik look
  • Instigate an ATTRACTION inside of her.

The third one seems to be the easier one!!

Here's the interesting thing when you attract women: When you do it, she can't control it.

If you're interacting with an unusually attractive woman, it's very important that you don't communicate to her that you are overwhelmed by her beauty or that you can't control yourself. Furthermore, if you actively control the amount of attention that you give her, and you don't show her "approval" too quickly (and even show her some disapproval), you'll often create a powerful interest inside of her.

And why is this?

Well, think about it for a minute. Imagine a super hot walking down 10 Downing Street (the local pub). For the first two hours, you keep having guys walk up to her and say, "hi, you are looking good" and "Did we not meet in the last party", and "… ". Every guy that comes within ten feet of her can't stop looking at you, and the ones that talk to her make it clear that they would be willing to do anything for her.

Then she meets a guy (You) that isn't like any of these other guys at all.

You are clearly not impressed with her beauty, and do not care a damn. She can't tell if you like her or not, and thus feel challenged by you (girls are competitive). For some reason she can't explain, she starts getting a gut level attraction for you (Remember K3G, the super hot POOH exclaiming - "kaun hai yeh, jisne peeche mud kar mujhe nahi dekha.. Who is this??"

Now what does she do? That's right: She gives him all of her attention and approval… hoping that you will give her some in return. In other words, you switch from the one doing the pursuing to the one being pursued.

This is how you attract women. You become the pursued, which is an art form.

So, now you are all equipped with the artillery and are ready for the battle. I am so sure, you would return with all victory and conquest after your next visit to 10D.

Well, the only difference, there is a high probability that the victory and triumph would be for the opposite party, and you would be just left with atonement.

Well, if you ask an IIM guy, who coaches for CAT about tips to impress women, this is what you should expect right?? So, guys, stop reading this, and look for your own unique way to develop that panache and the flamboyance to attract women.

Else, you can just follow my path, and write CAT rather.

P.S.: While, we here are looking for trivial means to attract women, Sharad Yadav has a massive plan to do that, and threatens to even lay down his life for the cause of women.

(Article inspired from seduction-chronicles.net)