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Showing posts from May, 2011

Jairam Ramesh rekindles the IIT-IIM debate

Jairam Ramesh, the environment minister and an ex-IIT graduate has rekindled the debate of the effectiveness of the quality of research and faculty at the IITs and IIMs in India. As expected, people have taken a position based on their allegiances. IIT/IIM alumni and faculty have come out vociferously to defend their alma mater. People are amazed that an ex-student whose father was also the head of Civil Engineering department at one of the IITs can break rank and speak out against them! Various reasons are being put forward for the lack of quality research, primary among them is the lack or delay of funds from the government.
Interestingly, what is getting sidetracked in all this noise is that fact that Jairam Ramesh is actually right. It is a fact that the quality of students going into these institutes is far better than what other esteemed colleges abroad (MIT, Caltech, HBS etc). I would really like to see one experiment that would prove the mettle of the faculty. Let them swap one…

Bengal Votes For Change

The future of Bengal took a turn (for better or worse – the debate continues) when the votes were counted on May 13th, 2011. Trinamool Congress, Mamata Banerji’s thirteen year old party along with its one time parent party, the Congress, swept the Bengal assembly polls. The combine won 227 of the 294 seats and with it ended the 34 year rule of the Left Front – the longest by an elected communist government anywhere in the world.
There are two prevalent reactions that I have seen after the elections. Some are saying that Bengal has jumped from the frying pan to the fire. Others are saying that let us give these guys a chance. If they don’t perform, we can always vote them out. I am more inclined towards the second line of thought. My argument is that today Bengal is at the bottom of a “bear-market” (if I may borrow a term from the stock markets). It can’t really get much worse.
The fact is that for a lot of people in our generation have never seen a non-Left government in the state and …

Infosys 3.0 - An outsider's perspective

First a disclosure: I work in an IT company and this post reflects my personal opinion and not that of my company.

Infosys made the long-awaited and eagerly anticipated event in Indian corporate calendar (nearly as eagerly awaited as the succession-planning event currently on at Tata Sons). The stake here was very high. Infosys is a highly regarded Indian IT giant. It, alongwith a few others, created the IT outsourcing phenomenon that has become part of the standard business model today. The question was can Infosys move to the next generation of leadership. It had been guided all along by NR Narayan Murthy (NRN) and later by the more charismatic Nandan Nilekani. With NRN’s retirement from the Chairman’s position, the top position was open for the first time.

Infosys announced that K.V. Kamath would step in as Chairman and S.D. Shibulal would be the new CEO and S. Gopalakrishnan (the current CEO, better known as Kris) would be the Executive Co-Chairman.

To me, this announcement has effe…