- A highly-opinionated delineation of situations encountered in India, USA, China, UK and wherever my life takes me...

Monday, December 31, 2007

The Year that was ...2007

The years 2005 and 2006 were not memorable, and were beset with a never-ending string of worst-case scenarios. That despite the fact that I sowed the seeds of my MBA, owned my dream motorcycle Suzuki VStrom, traveled farther than I imagined, impressed some high-profile people….

2007 was as exciting as taking a hair-pin bend, near the peak, at full-throttle, with no safety-wall and peg-scraping! in biker talk. I am one of the few people who lived in 3 of the world’s most important* countries – India, USA and China. You can imagine it to be more of an ordeal than just a pleasant experience, but it gave me that exhilarating feeling of having achieved something.

I experienced from being employed to being a student and all the travails of switching over that come in between. I was most homesick during this year as I traveled thrice to my home, further my definition of home/house varied from a university dorm to an own room in custom paint shade. I ve tasted atleast 25 different cuisines, and dishes that I dared to even smell. So, 2007 was a roller coaster year in terms of experience, fun and travel.

I expect 2008 to be even more adrenalin-pumping with trips to Thailand, SE Asia, USA or EU still pending…’God Only Knows’ what is in store for this guy…

Great Lunch with Standford MBAs

On Dec 21, after completing my IT Mgmt course examination I rushed to Mandarin Oriental- an up market hotel-restaurant for this simpleton. The reason of course was to mix and share experiences with a batch of MBA students who typical go to school multiple time zones away in California- Stanford University.

The guest speaker Dr.Wong happens to be an Electrical Engineer like me, but definitely more entrepreneurial and adventurous for he went from $40K to $2B [lets ignore the USD issues for a while]. He not only built an electronic games business but also picked up a stake in Oasis Airlines and thereby fulfilled his childhood dream of airplane ownership. The students were amazed at his progress and picked up some crucial motivation pointers.

The 90-minute interaction brought forward the similarities in the students despite the many differences like race, religion, culture, geography, language etc…..hope the Stanford MBAs felt the same way.
Thanks for the Lunch guys :)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Learning from peers

One of the vital links in any MBA course is learning from peers [this is why 'distance-d' education wont work]. I ve met lots of interesting people with enriching perspectives. Most of them are my classmates, while some are bschoolers from other universities around the world.

how?- through their blogs, of course.

Consultant from London, IBanker from Chicago, Tech Manager from Berkeley, Marketer from Kellogg. Not to mention the many tit-bits from Insead, Esade, IMD, NUS, Tsinghua, CEIBS, Tokyo and Melbourne business schools. So, why dont we create a Bschool of Bschools? I can understand that some may cry foul on 'intellectual property', but who lost the edge sharing knowledge?

Till this happens, try reading some independent blogs. I use the following links...

http://www.bschoolers.com/ [this comes close]


http://mbaleague.blogspot.com [a wee bit 'dated' list, but not the blogs themselves]

Deep in the MBA

I have completed atleast 4 core courses and deeply into my MBA. The newbie tag has died down and I am deep into competition with my fellow classmates. No longer I can justify my lack of 'ebullient' class participation to my non-financial/business background. I simply wont 'make the ranks' if I dont change my ways - I did change. After reading some B-schooler's blogs on Class Participation, I motivated myself to look beyond the class materials and get atleast a 'cloudy' idea before class and demystify myself as the class progresses. This worked like magic and my initial 'nerves' lost and I am steaming ahead!
As they say, ' I ve caught the tiger's tail, I cant let go and the tiger wont let me let go'

Monday, October 22, 2007

Mini Olympics 2007

The sports and fun-filled event took place on Oct 21, 2007 at HKUST sports complex. Some dynamic pictures...


Thanks to Curtis Loo for some pics

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Operation Full Throttle

My brethren across the world are working hard and smart, climbing the highest peaks, fighting the worst of climates, exploring the deepest oceans (planting flags), challenging the best brains and ultimately winning the toughest of competitions. On the other hand, I am relaxing …, photographing buildings, celebrating magazine results, visiting ports, chasing dragons that breathe fire, partying with lanterns, sleeping on trains, trying out new cuisines, praying to Chinese gods, jogging, touring places, blogging et al.
I need to tighten myself and sharpen responses. Just like this world, I need to find new source of energy or efficiently burn what is available. I feel ashamed about my exploits over the last 45days. I didn’t intend to do MBA for this. So, a little bit of peaceful music and a little bit of introspection, I must embark on an operation… Operation Full Throttle!

Thanks to President GWB and my erstwhile [and now defunct] web forum in TCS, it is 'Full Throttle'.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Important Buildings in Hong Kong

International Financial Centre & Bank of China Tower


HSBC & Standard Chartered Bank


Celebrations Galore !


When some great news is publicised, there wont be a dearth of celebrations and parties. UST, ready to party at the drop of a hat, had to uncork a Champagne for this occasion. The venue was HKUST Central Campus 15th floor with a view of the city bathed in neon lights.


All good things mostly come to an end like this....


Thursday, September 27, 2007

HKUST is ranked World #20

Source: The Economist -> 2007 B-School Rankings
Link: http://mba.eiu.com/index.asp?layout=2007rankings

GLOBAL B-Schools:

School Rank (out of 100)
Chicago, University of - Graduate School of Business 1
Stanford Graduate School of Business 2
IESE Business School - University of Navarra 3
Dartmouth College - Tuck School of Business 4
IMD - International Institute for Management Development 5
California at Berkeley, University of - Haas School of Business 6
Cambridge, University of - Judge Business School 7
New York University - Leonard N Stern School of Business 8
IE Business School 9
Henley Management College 10
Cranfield School of Management 11
Michigan, University of - Stephen M Ross School of Business 12
Harvard Business School 13
Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management 14
London Business School 15
Massachusetts Institute of Technology - MIT Sloan School of Management 16
Columbia Business School 18
Ashridge 19
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology -- School of Business and Management 20
Pennsylvania, University of - Wharton School 21
Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School 22
Virginia, University of - Darden Graduate School of Business Administration 23
York University - Schulich School of Business 24
Yale School of Management 25
Washington, University of - Business School 26
Warwick Business School 27
Cornell University - Johnson Graduate School of Management 28
Duke University - Fuqua School of Business 29
Emory University - Goizueta Business School 30
Oxford, University of - Sa飀 Business School 31
Notre Dame, University of - Mendoza College of Business 32
Carnegie Mellon University - Tepper School of Business 33

ASIAN B-Schools:

School Rank (out of 100)
Hong Kong University of Science and Technology -- School of Business and Management 20
Hong Kong, University of ?School of Business 37
Monash University 43
Nanyang Technological University - Nanyang Business School 72
Curtin University Graduate School of Business 80
Macquarie Graduate School of Management 84
China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) 90
Chinese University of Hong Kong 91
Indian Institute of Management - Ahmedabad 92
National University of Singapore - The NUS Business School 94

Port - Container Terminal


A snapshot of the Container Terminal of Hong Kong with major skyscrapers at the background including IFC and Bank of China. This picture does not do justice to the World's biggest container terminal's size. Infact, the picture captured only about 2% of the total size. My bus ride around the periphery of the Port took me about 20min. The passengers of the bus were awestruck by the size and the numerous Ships and Containers in the port. There were countless number of huge cranes operating around the clock and ensuring that all the containers reach the right corner on this planet for this port handles a major bulk of the Chinese exports. I learnt that a major load has been taken off Hong Kong by Shanghai port- another big one just a few hundred miles away.
Already, there is an ambitious project to link the container terminals in Shenzen and Hong Kong with a high speed railway line with a transit time of 15min! whoosh thats fast for a 40mile journey!

special thanks to Grace [and her Nikon DSLR] for the picture

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Fire Dragon - Mid Autumn Festival

I went to Causeway Bay to witness firsthand the traditional Fire Dragon Dance. It is said that the Fire Dragon induces vigour and vitality. I wish it is true and look forward to successful year in MBA :)

Thanks to Chinese hospitality, my dinner was comprised of entirely moon-cakes!

A Lantern decoration in the Mid-Autumn Carnival ground.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Myself [in Mandarin]

Nin hao. Wo shi Prathap, Yindu ren. Wo, zai Xiang Gang Keji Daxue, xue xi. Wo shi MBA xuesheng. Wo xihuan motorcycling, photography and cartooning.


Parties and more parties


During my brief 50 day stay in Hong Kong, I ve attended more parties than the total number of parties in my entire life. Not to mention the fact that I ve met different types of people, from different professions and who are heading to different places. I am sure there is not going to be a dearth of parties during my MBA and after. The interesting metric is that my weight keeps falling...

Caught Napping

I ve mastered and perfected the art of power-napping that some of my colleagues have started following it. I position these powernaps strategically during a day to get rid of the tiredness and reinvigorate for the next activity. This helps me stay on the top of my game be it early morning, late afternoon or 'the afterhours of 2am...'

Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday, August 24, 2007

Chinese Cuisine Tour

As a part of the Putonghua program, the entire class goes out weekly on a regional-cuisine tour. Just like most Asian cultures, the cuisine offer a window into the Chinese culture. Despite my culinary restrictions, I have tried some of the following: Dim sums, Dumplings, Beef Broth, Pork Spring Rolls, Jelly Fish, Drunk Chicken, Suckling Pig Barbeque, Peking Duck, Pork Noodles, Egg whites, a variety of 'unknown' desserts and of course, Chinese Green Tea. The noteworthy point is that I practised and used Chop Sticks for the complete Chinese Traditional dining experience.

The group, eagerly awaiting the food on the table, is nibbling its Chop Sticks.



Wong Tai Sin Temple

As a part of my Putonghua [Mandarin] course in my University, the class is taken on a tour of Chinese cultural places. Wong Tai Sin Temple is one such place.


Students,curious about their future in all the credit turmoil the global markets are undergoing, try to find a way out by consulting a Fortune Teller.


A well carved pillar


Early morning jog

Despite all the rain, humidity and late night activity, I somehow manage to complete a good 45min of jog every day. I jog upto this point and relax myself by enjoying this panaromic view.

Private beach

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Shenzen, China

My first trip to the much awaited place- China. The first landing is so special even though I just did some shopping and had lunch. The place felt so different from Hong Kong and was less cosmopolitan. The city seemed very clean despite the continuous rainfall and there was some much crowd in all the shopping complexes.

An electronics marketplace
electronics place

Shenzen has many high-rise buildings
high rise shenzen

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Hong Kong!

Change of location...


East and Easter...


My last few days in The Wild West or so I expected USA to be, were spent trying to cram all my wishes. I tried doing everything for one last time, cherished the experience and hoped to retain memories. Just like the same way I do everytime. The last jog in Skokie Park, the last lunch in Office Cafeteria, the last drive in my car, the last time I cross the railway gate, and the list is endless...

Everytime I make a 'move', I leave behind a group of wonderful and interesting people, but that is the life I chose to live and I cant have everything.

So Chicago, thanks for my favorite motorcycle, my first car, my ... thanks for everything.

Milleniumdome-reflection of chicagoskyline

Tuesday, May 15, 2007


DSC04050 IMG_0091
IMG_1181 IMG_0473

Ever since I began with crayons, I was intrigued by my inability to count the number of colours in my collection [then 12 of them]. As I grew older [and mature, if I may add], my palette grew bigger and denser. Inadvertently, the colours just spilled over from my drawing paper onto my toys, clothes, shoes, bags, pens, stationery, cycle, cricket bat, tennis balls, watches, computer, motorcycles, laptop, cell phones, car, camera and bedroom. I became finicky about colour.

The mental perception of colour dramatically changes based on geography, culture, age group and time. I don’t like the stigmas associated with each of them- like black is evil, white is pure, red is vigor, blue is loyal. If the rules are so simple, can I commit a crime, wear a white suit to court and manipulate the judgement? By wearing black to a wedding will the marriage end in a doom? No, it is just the apparent feeling and not the feeling itself. Probably such profiling of colour choice happened in a period when people had nothing to do outdoors [like Chicago, in winter] and probably indulged in idle talk that transpired into such baseless notions of colour choice.

On thinking deeper, such colour profiling didn’t develop in one part of the world, it has happened in several parts of the world and has developed in complete isolation. Western women wear all white in their wedding, but Indian women don’t wear white at all. So this means, people in different hemispheres had nothing to do at several points in time. This didn’t stop with one colour, but also spread to colour combinations. Infact, the spelling of colour varies within the same language on the two sides of the Atlantic.

According to me, do what YOU like best! No sticking to conventions like buying a grey car because my boss has a white one and that I cant outdo him in brightness- I bought one in blazing red! Not wearing a light shirt- dark trousers because they are formal and the other way round is considered callous- I prefer to wear what I look formal in. I never cared about matching my belt, with watch strap and shoe leather colour. My ties always were the ones that help me stand out- rather than go with the crowd. My motorcycles were always blue and my cars red. I am not being ignorant of such rules, I merely know them inorder to break them. Trust me, I know my colours though I cant count them!

The festival of colour, Holi, when Indians celebrate with joy [mischief mongers apart], and get colourfully dirty without a care. A person who wears well-ironed pale coloured clothes can be seen in ‘once white’ clothes dabbed with pinks, reds, blues and greens and a face lit with a wide smile. What transforms this otherwise dull-looking persona into a vivacious being?- colour and lots of it.

So, next time you see that yellow tshirt, blue watch, fluorescent green back pack, bloody red tie, tan leather shoe, funky belt don’t worry about convention, just defy it. Don’t mind about what the world thinks about you, care about what you feel about the world. Today we don’t worry about 12-colour crayons, but have 2billion colour formats. Go on chase your ‘bright’ dreams, take risks with colour choice, draw inspiration from nature, make that boardroom more exciting, design that corporate logo in non-blue, think outside that ‘light’ box, paint your bedroom orange, draw inspiration and creative energy,

Make your life COLOUR-FULL…
Click HERE to view all my PICS OF COLOUR and revitalize your senses.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

(Real) Bird Watching












Tree Planting- Montrose Bird Sanctuary

I volunteered at the Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary on Saturdays, planting trees, de-weeding and spraying organic fertilizers. This paved way for yet another hobby- Bird watching. I am still a novice in the company of expert Ornithologist volunteering at the place. These experts could identify the birds mid-flight!
This volunteering activity had somehow attracted attention, that meant crowd, politics, media and a lot of annoyance. Of course, more funds too for maintaining the last piece of bird refuge in an otherwise over-populated and concretised city.
What I hated most on that day [any day for that matter] was that people came to the pristine place with their kids on their V8 engined SUVs to watch the Mayor talk. After, all the hoopla was over they all left. What an utter nonsense! Those people had the best opportunity in the world to teach their young kids eco-conservation, awareness and bird life, but instead taught them what the parents knew best... 'nothing'.

A little bit of politics from my side... with the Mayor of Chicago!

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Shedd Aquarium

The official page at http://www.sheddaquarium.org/

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The Wild Reef
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Up Close
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Made for each other
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Lethal but beautiful
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Komodo Dragon
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Fickle guy
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About Me

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Passionate about whatever I care to spend my time on.