Friday, December 31, 2010
Building Quality into an Education System
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
LAYOUT FOR BMTC BUSES AT BUS-STOPS
What should be the aim of BMTC ? Basically it must be two fold. One; no commuter must wait more than five minutes at any bus stop for a bus. He may not get a bus precisely to his destination but must get one that takes him logically to a nearest node from where he must get a connection bus. Two; he must get a seat in the bus to sit down within five minutes; This means zero standing in the buses as much as possible. Well these might be ideals but this is where the system should strive. Bangalore unlike or like many other cities has tremendous collective potential that can be unlocked in many ways.
I find basic indispline at the bus stops itself with the drivers of buses not very clear where to stop the bus at a bus stop. More than often more than one bus vy for a parking slot with commuters being confused in the bus stops. This needs to be managed. Some times BMTC buses try to over take each other at the bus stops.
This situation can be managed forthwith if lay-outs are drawn at the bus stops for three buses to park themselves at one time in a queueing fashion which means buses have to invariably move into the slots marked for them at the bus stops which would clearly create parking boundaries for the BMTC buses on the roads and commuters know precisely where the buses are likely to halt themselves; I think this discipline is long over due at most bus stops of the city.
The traffic police of the city are doing great service; but traffic jams need management. A proper statistical study must be conducted to identify the pattern of traffic jams and the places where they occur; the time of the day when they occur; reasons for occurrence; days in the week when the traffic jams are due and possible suggestions of some simple solutions that can be implemented and also long term remedies.Some kind of proactive remedies must be undertaken to manage jams.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
B School student and choice of mid-term summer internship
What is the purpose of summer internship? The basic purpose is to withdraw a student temporarily from the class room format into an open learning format of an organization. During his or her short duration within an organization he gets a feel of the practical aspects of an organization in relation to the class room inputs during the first year of training. The student is expected to make a report of the training along with a certification from the organization to which he had been attatched.
One of the key espects of internship is that it generally ahould follow the following principles so to say for internship to be truly fruitful. When a student chooses summer internship he should do so with an open mind meaning;
- place open
- organization open
- specialization open
- methodology open
A student seeking internship should generally not have geographical fixation which means that I will only do internship at a particular place. It can technically mean anywhere around the country. Geographical fixation can be a characteristic of final placement and makes sense but not during summer internship. The best summer internships have been done by students from a place or town to which they were totally new and the experience so obtained is rewarding for all time.
Summer internship must be "organization open " which means the student must be willing to work in any kind of business organization. It could be retail; cargo;manufacturing; supply chain;banking; insurance etc as each of these sectors by itself can give a learning experience of a special kind to the student. In the present world it is an asset to work and get experience and learning from across various enterprises and the learning is priceless and applicable to situations in the future.
Summer internship must be " specialization open". There is and should not be a relation between the specialization what a student is likely to take and choice of internship. In fact the choice of final specialization is best done after the course of internship.It may not be the best of approaches to say that I would do work only in a specific area like marketing; this is counter productive. Be open to work and get exposure into various sectors of an organization.
And finally summer internship must be "methodology open" which means that the process of internship need not be tied-down across the board to any particular format and the methodology can be changed en course if need be. What this really means is that the frame work of training need not be rigid. What starts as a training on a rotational basic can be discontinued en-course if need be and made into a focus mode. Even if the training is of a rotational kind the duration of training in the various departments can be modified if need be.
Student must have a precise idea of what is expected of them during internship and the truth of the matter is nothing much. At a basic level spend eight hours every day watching the various activities of the organization. Also do not expect to be placed in the organization where you do internship and never show any inclination what so ever. It rarely turns into reality. You need not go overboard to do any tough work and prove your self. Summer Internship is not a platform towards this end.
Making the final report of the training can be better managed if the student types one page a day into a MS Word file about the activities on a daily basis. At the end of training this will turn out to be roughly 50 pages of written matter. Once you complete training on-site edit the text and create a front end and a back end. Front-end is you make a detailed description of the organization and the industry. In the back-end include findings of the study and conclusions. Use matter from the internet wherever feasible. Edit the final report in the final form in the way the institute to which you are attached would like to see it and interact with your faculty supervisor to achieve this end.
A word of request to organizations. Make use of your interns purposefully and your most important task is to watch them and not use them. Always treat them with the respect due and note that if you can leave a good impression in the mind of trainees you have possibly found a very ardent future employee. When the student finishes the training give an un-obtrusive and un-offensive feed back of what the person is all about and that would make a world of difference.
Finally, students should note that finding internship is not a difficult task. Enable yourself on this activity during the last month of your second semester and write and meet atleast ten organizations and lo you will find that you have atleast more than one internship to choose from.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Placement; Re-placement; Mis-placement and Mal-placement of a B School product
To come straight to the point; How can a B school product be placed well and what does that entail. Note that working career is a key component of life and influences the economic and psychological well-being of a person in the long term. A mid-career blue is when a person at a fairly advanced stage in life is yet to find something he can do and do well on a continuous basis.To overcome such a situation is a difficult and straining activity and students must start on the right note to be placed in a niche groove and dimension wherefrom he can derive long term benifits and at the same time diversify into related areas on demand. The modern day business world is poised to develop into a more formidable employer with time and there could be many companies started and operated from around the world in the years to come.
To be placed well somewhere follow the following guidelines;
= At a B school do not be worried about placement during the first year of study but build a fairly strong academic base on the various subjects studied.
=At the end of the first year take a good stock of your skills and abilities as they become evident from academic performances and choose specializations around areas of strength.
= Build skills around these areas of speializations and have a fair exposure of cases in your chosen field of specializations.
= Attend all interviews as a matter of experience with an open mind. If rejected by any organization there is nothing to be diassappointed about; your skills have market value.
= It is the job of interviewers to do a very well informed and thorough and professional job about the recruiting process. They should send people who have vast years of experience and maturity.
= When made offers please clarify with the interviewing team about the location; package and the nature of work and training. Do not accept offers instantly. Always take some time to evaluate the offer and respond.
= Study the web site of the company; evaluate the professionalism of the interviewers and talk to atleast two present employees about the general state of affairs of the organization.At any stage you find the organization is not good think twice before joining the place.
=Always bargain for the correct kind of designation otherwise you will find yourself in a lop-sided situation. If you have two years of experience before your B school course always ensure you get the right kind of designation vis-a-vis your experience.
= Never pretend during the interviewing process of any skills or abilities you do not possess. This can lead to serious difficulties in the future.
= When young volunteer to go and stay in far-off places. Such experiences can be of help in the future. Do not always follow the home-town syndrome.
Placement is a matter of trial and error and is iterative in nature over a period of time. This means you start around some logical point and improve upon it over time by capitalizing on your skills and more than anything your strengths.
What is mis-placement ? Student had taken both Marketing and HR and appeared for both the interviews on these streams; The student liked HR more than Marketing but landed at a Marketing job and gets to know over a period of time that he would have enjoyed HR better and is struggling to take a lateral shift. Here there is likelihood of a long term crisis.
What is Replacement? Student did not do proper research and landed up on some vocation and understands there is an immediate crisis arising from cost-of-living issues or cultural issues and needs to be replaced on an urgent basis. Re-placement is worse than mis-placement. It is a short term crisis.
What is Mal-placement? This is a situation where the employer has to be blamed. He appoints the son of his friend who has just passed out of B School on some job to the detriment of both the lad and the organization. Getting into some position using influence-- a very dangerous thing but very much in vogue across the world. The pay is good and the environs are right but the lad simply does not perform from the huge responsibility shouldered on him leading to various conflicts.
The answer to all these situations is care ; preparation; self-profiling and astute understanding so that B school students build a long term career adding value both to themselves and the organizations they work for ,and the economy of the nation in the larger context.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
Re-Manufacturing as an option in modern Production and Operations
What is Re-manufacturing ? The answer some where is simple. Take a 20 year old vehicle and re-manufacture and transform it into a new one and it should work for another 20 years as a new one. This activity must be taken seriously by manufacturers because some-where hidden in this concept is the ability to manufacture low cost products of tommorrow.
Across the board and across all product sectors we come across products at the end of the product life cycle with increased maintenance and operating costs with an inherent in-ability to perform; but the truth of the matter is that barring few components the rest of the product is in-tact. Take a car- the engine life is much much larger than the life span of few other components that might be inhibiting the proper function of the car. Note that it needs large scale effort to make an engine and to render the car as "unfit" for further use shrouds within itself large-scale and mind-less waste and some kind or pernicious disregard of various resources and capabilities that went into manufacture the product or car or whatever it might be.
The globe can be linked through re-manufacturing; the fact of the matter being that this concept may be irrelevant for certain classes of products and societies which is understood but a re-manufactured and re-configured product would defanitely have use some where in the world. The common man can contribute to remanufacturing by possibly sending back a product back to a re-manufacturing facility. All that is the need of the hour is understanding the importance of re-manufacturing both at a producer and user levels.
Re-manufacturing needs advanced engineering. I feel manufacturing needs engineering and re-manufacturing needs advanced engineering. Manufacturing happens as a matter of habit and flow in a conventional methodology with minimum deviation and you get a standard by-product from a system that gives scope for minimum and predictable quality problems; On the other hand re-manufacturing gives un-predictable situations and taking a used product studying what is weak and giving fool-proof solutions and making the product work is truly Engineering and a task which society at large must be thankful for the large scale less conspicious saving that happens through this effort which would run into millions of dollars when embarked around the world. The environment and sanity would be thanful to mankind that human beings are truly evolving in the right way and inventing methodiologies of conservation and use to the benifit of man-kind. Let us identify ten approaches that could make re-manufacturing a success;
- Every individual must take into cognizance the effort needed to manufacture a product, all the time ;energy and manpower.
- Theoretically all products can be remanufactured.
- Before throwing away a used product ponder its possible re-use by some one and clearly brief him about the problems to be overcome.
- Like we have the word servicing it is time we recognize rhe word "Remanufacturing" too around the world.
- Equipment manufacturers should create re-manufacturing facilities.
- There should be wide-spread research on re-manufacturing- its unique problems, challenges and constraints.
- Re-manufacturing must be made a cost-effective proposition.
- Re-manufacturing should cut across brands that originally made the product.
- Re-manufactured products must be put though stringent quality and reliability tests.
- Universities must incorporate Re-Manufacturing as part of their sylabbi to create awareness of its vast potential and possibilities and the realities that are likely to unfold in the economy of the globalized generation.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
Telephones and Telecommunications in Bangalore City
In the entire area of Durvaninagar I think the Panchayat chairman by name Sreenivasa Reddy had a phone with number 58702. Even he could manage a telephone only in 1982 or so or may-be slightly earlier. When I was at Calicut I used to very rarely call up this number and send message to my home. The sons of Mr. Srinivasa Reddy by name Raja and Babu were kind enough to come all the way and inform my father or mother - and Iam thankful today for the trouble they used to take. Note that strowger exchanges were the order of the day making it impossible to expand the telephone system beyond few connections.
Things began to change unexpectedly and drastically in the early 1990's and during the era of Shri Rajiv Gandhi. Sam Pitroda and his organization called C-DOT made sweeping cjhanges on the telecommunications horizon of India overnight forcing the country to shed its tag of a developing economy to atleast a quasi-developed one and the city of Bangalore has gone through these stages and adjusted to them very fast. What c-dot possibly did was to create electronic exchanges and with that exploded telephone connections to the surprise and surmise of all around. Every single nook and corner of Durvaninagar has a telephone connection and land-lines have become a thing of the past and might be getting fast discarded for mobile and wire-less telephony.
The interesting juncture in this metamorphosis would be the year 1997 when both the internet and Mobile telephony made in-roads almost at the same time or simultaneously. The mobile companies to start with were JT Mobiles and Spice telecom. A call from a mobile of that time was costly by any standards - around eight rupees for one call. Gradually companies like Airtel and many others hold sway over telecom all over India and Bangalore. The chaotic growth of Bangalore over the past decade can be attributed to the growth of Mobile telephony.
Compared to what it was......Telecommunications should be anything but world-class today in Bangalore and possibly sets standards for the world. Anywhere you find a coin booth from where one could make a call to any land-line or mobile anywhere around the world for a few coins. This developing country of one time must have developed and grown very fast when the world was asleep and its own constituents like me aghast at the churn; growth and change a swift and virulent pull which might make many cities and communities follow suit.