Thoughts ridden by kash Feb 27, 2007

Do you believe in luck ?

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that " Shallow men believe in luck. Strong men believe in cause and effect". And I strongly believe what he says. Luck is like waiting for something to happen and I don't like to wait for things to happen to me. I make them happen around me. Thats the way life is more exciting and challenging. Its better to go out and grab the opportunities rather than wait for them to be created and customized to your needs. Speaking about customization, when we create opportunities for ourselves we can customize it to our requirements. See ? :-) I guess thats speaking like an engineer.

Me and two of my roommates, Dhruv(D) and Saurabh(S), had a discussion once regarding the belief in luck. We were just returning from a test for a management studies class that we were attending when such a 'brainstorming' session erupted!!

The plot for the discussion was based on the CAT examination. D and S came up with a hypothetical situation ( god knows from where!! ). What they conjectured is that they asked me to imagine a situation during the examination. The situation was that there is only 1 minute left in the exam. You assume that you are seated next to a person who knows more than you and is likely to get a higher percentile than you. You badly want to get a call from IIM-Ahmedabad. You know (assume) that at that moment, you have got 58 correct. You need to 2 more to go past the cutoff for the IIM-A assuming you have achieved all the sectional cutoffs. There is no way you can calculate or answer 2 or more questions in a minute. So will you copy from the person next to you? Will you play the luck game and copy atleast 4 questions so that you might just go past the cutoff ? ( OK, leave aside the ethics of not-copying for the sake of this blog ). The arguments presented by D and S for the motion was like this : if you are lucky then you get all 4 correct, get a call. If you are not then in the worst situation, you might get all 4 wrong and in that case you wont get a call which you would not have if you had not copied. Getting an answer wrong cuts jsut 1/4 mark but a correct answer earns you 1 mark. So even if you get 1 correct and 3 wrong, then you still profit by 1/4 mark which definitely increases your percentile which of course wont get you into an IIM but as well get you into one of the other top 10 institutions.So why not copy and try our luck at it ? If we are lucky, then we might get through.

So here we had this discussion about luck going. In a discussion, it is always fun if there is some opposition to the normal flow of the discussion. I brought in that element of opposition into the discussion. I was riding this line of thoughts : As it is known, the cutoffs for the calls does not remain the same every year. It keeps changing every year as decided by the panel in the institute. Riding the luck, lets just say that the cutoff for that year had been reduced to 58. And your worst luck plays out. You get all 4 wrong on your exam. Your score comes down to 57. You missed out from getting a call from IIM which you could have if you had not copied. You play with the probability and you never know which direction it takes. Just suppose that it did not play in the direction that you wanted, then you actually cut short your way to a successful MBA career. Instead why dont you prepare yourself in such a manner so that you make it past the 60 mark. So if the IIMs decrease the cutoff then you are definitely in and if they increase it, then there is a possibility that you might have achieved that many marks to make you go past the increased cutoff. Why do you want to depend on luck when you have it in your hands to shape your destiny ?

So we had these chain of thoughts before we reached our luncheon outlet. Comment on what you think should be the case ....

Thoughts ridden by kash Feb 10, 2007

Attire at work ..

Hi Everyone!! Ever had a feeling that things are getting too formal around here ? Well I just had that feeling sometime back. Rather I continue to still have that feeling. I have been an advocate of informality everywhere that i have been till now. Now stop wondering why am I discussing such a silly topic ? Well since it means a lot to me, I want to find out who all think in the same manner as I do.

Well, to start with in a services company like ours, we are always required to wear formal business outfits.So this is the first thing that i would like to speculate upon. Why is there such a requirement? People say we do that to project discipline and to impress the clients.Hmmm.. I would definitely like to believe that but well my mind always functions in the opposite direction. How is it possible that our clients form impressions based on our dressing ? Are they not always impressed by our track records ? By our quality conformance? By our way of conducting business? Why is it that we need to stress upon the clothing? It is said that clothes make the first impression which lasts forever. Well I think the first impression is made on the basis of your body language and not on the basis of how you dress.

People say that clothes give you an impression on how disciplined you are.Hmmdon't you think I could wear the best Marks and Spencer clothing and still be indisciplined and result in the loss of business to the company ? What do you think ? Is it not possible ?

If you agree with the above statement then I guess you will also agree that clothing is not that important as is the attitude of a person and the way he conducts himself.It is not that I despise wearing formal clothing but why is so much emphasis laid on this fact in any services company ?There must be some solid reason. Or is it just about putting up a mask before your client for the so called impression ?

I don't know why I come across strongly with these feelings but what I feel is that we must promote the most informal environment around. Don't how far people will agree withe me but I would like to lots of views on this. It would be nice to know different perspectives of my thoughts.

Well I have so many things to discuss on about the informality but lets just start with this. I would love yo see informal posts here. That would add more spice to this blog.


Thoughts ridden by kash

Ultra high security for politicians

It was 10:00 PM. I and my roomie were standing by the roadside near the Pune station. We were waiting for the arrival of any transport medium which could take us to our home. We were wondering about the way the cities are handled and how tough it can be if you are an official of the state. Most of us believe that politicians are corrupted and they sit there only to eat money.True. Corruption is a part of any seat with power and India is no different. But if they are corrupted and do not work, then how is the government working ? It still works. Though the level at which it works is still way below the expected standards but nevertheless, it still works. My belief is that let the politicians eat money but at the same time let them show their mettle on the battleground. The problem arises when they just accept the bribe but don't work. Well its going to remain as it is for as long as we survive.

Ok Ok. I will get back to what happened on that night. As we were standing there, sirens started blaring in the distance. I thought some unfortunate incident must have happened in some household and a need must risen for the person to be taken to the hospital. I wished to god that nothing happened to the person inside the ambulance. But alas! It was not an ambulance. It was a convoy of 12 vehicles carrying some high profile politician/s on their way to some vote gathering event. All traffic got blocked to let them pass and all the policemen snapped to attention. Another stream of thoughts started. What i was wondering is that why do these politicians have to make such a noise of arrival with so much security. Yes , we never know which of 12 vehicles they are traveling in so that makes it very discrete and hideous. But ever wondered about the fact that there is a high profile person within just those 12 vehicles ? If anyone plans to eliminate the politician, he has narrowed down the choices to 12. The probability of finding a politician in one of the cars is 1 in 12. On the other side, what i was thinking is that why cant they just travel in a normal low cost - low profile car with no information whatsoever as to when and how the person is traveling. Doesn’t that make the politician more safe and discrete? Now for the elimination of the target, you need to sift through thousands of vehicles to find him/her. No blaring sirens nor flashing police lights. You never know when a person has traveled from one place to another. And yes, the cost. Instead of 12 vehicles transporting one vehicle, there is just one.

Well. Then one would say what about security ? The police vehicles are there as the part of the convoy to protect the politician. But what can they do while sitting in their own vehicle while the politician’s car gets blown apart ? There is nothing that they can do except cordon the area and search the area!! Instead making the politician’s car more secure is a better idea. Another thing is that the sirens and flashing lights can clear the traffic for the politicians so that they can reach the place where they need to reach on time. So does that imply that politicians don't know how to manage their time ? They after all manage the entire country but what they cant do is manage time ? That's quite a derogatory remark on them but cant help to think in that direction. Businessmen also strangle to find time out of their work. They plan their activities such that they reach places on time keeping the traffic in mind. If the businessmen can do it, then does that mean that they don't work or have less work than the politicians ? Not true i guess. Just as 16-hour work cycle businessmen can manage to beat the traffic, cant the politicians do that ? Cant they behave in the same manner as the common man does ? They will come to know about the harrowing experience that people go through everyday by being a part of the traffic. If it can put some sense of guilt then probably something can be done about the traffic. They will come to know more about the troubles of the people if they stay with the people and not above them.

Well !! There is one advantage in the passing convoy of vehicles. If you manage to stick behind the convoy with arousing suspicions then you can probably reach your place in record time since no traffic is going to stand in your way !!! Two sides of a coin huh ??