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Coming up – International Marketing

9 May

As I write this post, its already the 2nd week of May and the eve of the 4th course this term- International Marketing. I am currently reading up on the various entry strategies that companies could adopt when going global with a local flavor- glocal, as someone real smart coined it. I really want to coin at least one such Marketing/ Strategy terminology over the coming years; for e.g. long-tail, best practice, viral marketing and my current fave- ‘Twinternship’.  ‘Twinternship’ is when a ‘twintern’ would intern for a firm and work for its social-media team; read ==> Update the Facebook and Twitter profiles of the company, among others, to generate a buzz around the company and its products. Sehr interessant, oder?

Anyways, I digress. In the past weeks, we have had the ‘States and Markets’ course, which touched upon theories on inequality, growth, globalization  and their relationships. We also learnt some applications of Game theory and the various aspects of implementation of policies, along with issues faced in policy creation and implementation and the relationship between the State and the market, keeping the larger picture in mind. As in most courses, we were treated to insights into the German economic and socio-political system and the linkages between the two, which is something I really find very interesting. So, time permitting, I really would like to brush up on German and Indian history and Economics sometime in the near future. Then, some of us also were part of the ‘European Taxation’ course, where we learnt about the principles of dual taxation, guiding principles of international taxation concerning inbound and outbound investments and tax-planning strategies for cross-border investments.

Also, with spring already underway, its time for 3 key sporting events in our events-calendar; the  Marathon and the inter-school Rowing and Football competitions. The Marathon, for me, is just to prove to myself that I can run approx. 10 kms. in a little more than an hour. The Rowing and the Football, is where I’ll be cheering for MBS, unless I get to do a Glee and play on the teams, haha. So, if you are around Mannheim and see a bunch of MBS-students running along the river, you’d know why!

And in other news, the class will be going on a hike to a local monastery over the weekend, followed by lunch at a traditional German restaurant. So, in the interest of hiking with a clear conscience, I’d better get back to preparing for tomorrow’s International Marketing class, where a mixture of group case-studies, computer-based simulations and an individual case-assignment promises to lead to some definite Brandstorming.

Till later,



3, 2 1- Term3

6 Mar

My team, we stood 3rd in the Supply Chain and Operations simulation game. This was after we had topped the ranking for most of the week but we are not complaining. In our opinion, we managed our resources to the fullest of their potential with minimal capital-expenditures and making complete use of the parameter settings available to us. The top2 teams had made a substantial capital-expenditure investment, having a different approach to managing their operations. The bottom-line being; choose a strategy and having chosen it, stick by it. Constant changes in operational-strategy are clearly not going to make your P&L look good. Having said that, you need to put in a lot of thought into choosing the right strategy for your business. In a strangely philosophical manner, it all comes down to being yourself. Trying to be someone that you simply are not will reveal itself sooner or later.

Last weekend, apart from watching the nail-biting innings of India vs. England in cricket was also spent studying and completing 2 examinations; Supply Chain and Operations and Organizational Behavior and Change Management. We also went bowling as part of the monthly social event. This time, I had more than beginner’s luck; seems like I may have the beginnings of a bowling arm, haha.

Last week was the next elective on ‘Innovation Management’. This covered the entire process of innovation, starting with how new ideas get generated and the process of structuring them into sustainable innovative projects. Friday ended with the examination and the end of Term2 for some among us. They, now have almost a month to refresh themselves in time for Term3, starting in April. The rest of us have 1 or 2 more subjects to see us through- Company Valuation and Consumer Behavior and Market Research Techniques.

On the weather-side of things, the sun is out and it has been a gloriously warm 8-12 degrees Celsius since the past 2 weeks. I am not complaining.

o, while I soak up the sun and catch up on some reading for my next course, I hope you have a great weekend, wherever you may be!



Through with 80% of term 1- unbelievable!

10 Nov

10th November, 2010: 5 p.m.

I had just signed off the Managerial Accounting exam with my last two-pence on Cost management. I now had to rush along with some of the class to decorate the pent-house for the much-awaited social event – The Bollywood party!

10th November, 2010:  8.30 p.m.

Lights, strings of festoons, color, Indian finger-food, a variety of drinks, Bollywood-videos and music of all kinds later, we were set! The party began at 8.30 p.m. and went on until 2 a.m. Well, like I mentioned in previous posts, we make it a point to work hard and party harder; haha.

Some highlights:

  • It was a LOT of fun playing bartender.
  • We also made some Euros in tips.
  • Some of us fell on the dance-floor at least once,
  • Some of us made it twice,
  • Others thrice, depending on how high your heels were; what were you thinking?
  • An enthusiastic bunch of German girls wore a sari (the traditional Indian attire for women) and did they look lovely!
  • There were awards for the most-colorfully dressed male and female and there are several contenders for that one!
  • The finger-food was absolutely delicious; we will hire this particular Indian restaurant the next time as well.
  • Grooving to Hrithik Roshan’s (a leading Indian actor) hits in Mannheim- surreal!
  • Copyrighted versions of Salsa, Fox trot and Jive kept springing up every 2 songs.
  • Groovy music, great people and a gorgeous view – The recipe to get high-on-life.
  • 6 people, 3 hours, a bottle of floor-cleaner – Task – Floor-clean-up the next day.
  • Booking the penthouse, arranging the drinks, food, decorations –  a few hundred euros.
  • Celebrating with friends into the wee hours of the night- priceless.

There are some things that money sure can’t buy!

Thank you class of 2011 for one of the most memorable parties ever!

Viel Spass!


Celebrating the festival of lights at MBS!

7 Nov

Besan laddoo (Indian sweet-cookies made of gram-flour and Indian butter), Atta ka halwa (Wheat flour based sweet) and Kheer (Milk-rice) were on the menu as part of the Diwali (The Indian festival of lights) at MBS. We came dressed in our festive best, distributed the sweets among our classmates and wished everyone the very best in the coming year. It came real close Diwali celebrations back home.

Post lecture 2 of Managerial Accounting, we left for the monthly Stammtisch event; Stammtisch is the name for the monthly meet-up of the full-time MBA class, the Executive MBA and the Executive Master of Accounting and Taxation,  along with the alumni on the 1st Friday of every month, at the local bar. The origin of the word Stammtisch is rather interesting; it denotes a group of several people, who meet regularly at a place (a bar /pub/ other restaurant) over drinks at a round-table (der Tisch). Besides being a lot of fun over drinks and food, the Stammtisch is also a great opportunity to network and build lasting relationships with fellow-students. So, Stammtisch we did; we met some of our alumni, classmates from other programs, members from the Program Management and some of our professors too.

Post the Stammtisch, the weekend went past in a flurry of bad weather, tonnes of reading in preparation for the Managerial Accounting lecture on Wednesday; 10th Nov, preparations for the 2nd Social event- by MSA (The Student’s association) also on the 10th and personal administration; read cook, clean, wash. haha.

We promised to be back on another Saturday for live-music and a taste of their tempting-Pasta.

For now though, it is back to the books; a couple of mandatory readings and I can crash. My next post will be after the exams and our party on the 10th! Wish us luck, for both!

Have a great week ahead!



Has it been a month already? :)

13 Oct

October 13th, 2010- 1 month old in MBS!

This day, last month, this year, we were just setting foot into the hallways of MBS; a bunch of 58 excited, anxious, nervous, happy students. For most of us, this was the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. The book, until now, has more than lived up to its expectations and is rather Booker-prize-worthy in more ways than one! 🙂

It’s had its fair share of ups and downs, highs and lows, anxiety and relief, sweat and success. It’s been a walk in the park at times, an uphill climb at others. It’s led to many sleepless nights but also a lot of sunny mornings, when we skipped to class with a spring in our step.

As part of the MSA (Mannheim Student Association), we organized a drinks-out at the local Irish pub O´Reilly´s at 7 p.m.
Until then, we were busy in a mix of Marketing and Financial accounting all day long. As part of our Marketing consumer survey group-assignment, my team; we had chosen to compare 2 local book-store; 1 as our company and the other as the competitor. This was part of the 3-Circle project. Read more about it at and was a lot of debate and discussion on assigning the attributes to one of the circles, in a way, that would give us a clear representation of which attributes our chosen company would need to improve upon. Since most of us profess an undying love for the written word, this project was not ‘work-work’ but more a labor of love; well, almost. 🙂

As part of our Financial Accounting assignment, we are currently analyzing the IAS 38 and need to come up with reasons whether or not Company-A is justified in capitalizing a large part of its R&D expenses. Considering that only 2 out of 8 in the group had Financial Accounting before, it is A LOT of fun.

Needless to say, these case-assignments go a long way in clarifying theoretical concepts. However, the biggest take-away is in honing our group-work skills in an international setting.  I have learnt so much about coordination, time-management, handling different kinds of people, focusing on the task-at-hand and staying calm and composed these 30 days that I can see visible changes in the way I interact and handle things; and all for the better.

Anyways, post a long day at class; German classes, Marketing and Financial Accounting, we couldn’t wait to reach O’Reillys. This was also the 1st social event organized by MSA. The turnout was tremendous, the drinks flowed freely, the conversation flowed even more.

Here’s to a month of living our dreams!

Prost! 🙂