Friday, December 20, 2013

Handling and Analyzing Critics

Workplace critics are a plenty all over the world, cutting across organizations and sectors. Critics just for the heck of it are of course useless, however, at the personal level even such critics comments can come handy if proper analysis is done on the basis of the comment vis-à-vis the situation, the underlying objective, the surrounding environ, the personnel involved pointing on a hell lot of issues about the person making the comment. On the contrary, comments which are positive with an intention to make positive contribution towards the personnel and organizational environment are fewer, as handful few are willing to criticize for a good cause, mainly because they should not be misquoted with a good or bad intention, at a later point in time. It is worth mentioning that some individuals are critics by birth and they try to put across the message with an element of banter, while criticizing any individual, a decision or even a process. Such people also try to vent their frustration by criticizing others when the going is not in line with their expectations. The critics after being handed over  responsible positions finds it difficult to continue with the habit of criticizing even with a good intention, mainly because, he/she might be caught in the wrong foot, owing to his/her position and associated roles, responsibilities and accountabilities. Workplace critics are therefore mostly a boon, seldom do they metamorphose into a bane, unless an ulterior motive was omnipresent. It is evident only when their criticism is engulfed with an evil intention that is subtly hidden deep within the mind of the critique.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Article on "The Noble Profession......." in The Times of Oman, Thursday Magazine

Teaching has always been a noble profession, which undoubtedly forms the backbone of the modern day society. The challenges being faced by the sector can definitely be overcome, if composite effort on the part of all the stakeholders is taken in a concerted manner. The article published in The Times of Oman, Thursday Magazine, dated 19th of December 2013 by yours truly, along with his colleague cum friend, Mr. Salim Al Rashdi, Head of Business Studies Department, Acting Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs , Ibra College of Technology, Sultanate of Oman discusses the same.

The article can also be read by clicking on the following link-

Other blog and micro-blog from the same blogger are and and face-book page,

Saturday, December 14, 2013

When the leader speaks, the followers, customers and other stakeholders listen.....

Source of the excerpts-

Other blog and micro-blog from the same blogger are and and face-book page,

We are always trying to anticipate the next big change: Vineet Jain

We are always trying to anticipate the next big change: Vineet Jain
Vineet Jain, Managing Director of the Times Group.
Times of India


Vineet Jain, Managing Director of the Times Group, is smiling and affable in his Mumbai office as he discusses the "175-year-young" Times of India and its relevance to Gen Y with us before this interview begins. Jain, earlier Delhi-based, has been spending most of his time in Mumbai for the last six months because "all the action is here". Talk of Bollywood and lifestyle as the USP for a set of 'young' media products, and driving the business aggressively into new media — internet, radio and television - it does help to be in Mumbai, and therefore, Jain is here.

The 47-year-old Jain is the face of India's largest media conglomerate, but is quick to point out that it is his brother Samir Jain, who has drawn the shape and strategy for the empire. Besides managing the Group's diverse business interests in areas as far apart as vocational education and real estate, the younger Jain's achievement has been to create compelling media vehicles that offer an excellent environment for advertisers.

Jain is sharp and precise as he talks of creating disruption in the market, using technology to advantage (such as the Alive app with the flagship TOI newspaper) and does not avoid questions about the business that would perhaps qualify as 'uncomfortable'. Instead, he gives us extremely detailed answers. He also talks of anticipating change in the industry and being future-ready, only refusing to predict what the Times of India will look like ten years later!

Here are excerpts from the conversation:

The Times of India has just turned 175, yet it keeps pace with today's generation. As key strategist and content architect of the Times Group, what according to you is fundamental to giving the newspaper its young and vibrant image?

I keep telling my colleagues, "Think of the Times as 175 years young, not 175 years old". We hate status quo. We are always trying to anticipate the next big change. India is a young nation where 52 per cent of the population is 25 years or younger. We were the first to cater to this group, with entertainment and lifestyle supplements such as The Bombay Times, Delhi Times, Bangalore Times, etc. The supplements are an entry point to many of our young readers before they graduate to reading the main newspaper...We don't like to moralise; we don't like to talk down. We are proud of our legacy, but we are not stuck in the past. It's all about the future. It's about helping the youth realise their full potential. As long as we keep doing that, we will remain a young and vibrant newspaper.

Talking to Ken Auletta of The New Yorker, you have said, "We are not in the newspaper business, we are in the advertising business... If you are editorially minded, you will make all the wrong decisions." Do you think advertising carries the Times Group's media products or content?

I wish to reiterate that we are in the advertising business and not in the business of selling news - and I'll explain why. If we were in the business of selling news, then the cover price we charge readers should have made us profitable. Fact is, subscription price does not come even close to covering the cost of newsprint. As much as 90 per cent of our revenues comes from advertising; effectively, therefore, our advertisers are cross-subsidising our readers. Which is why, I say advertising is at the core of our business model.

Sustaining growth and remaining profitable has a lot to do with how one understands and defines one's business. Peter Drucker once asked a bottling plant manager what business they were in and he said, "bottling". Drucker corrected him by saying "you are in the packaging business". If a soft drinks manufacturer were to define the business as just "soft drinks", it would never launch juices, water or snacks. Correctly defining your business helps you remain profitable, grow, diversify and make the right strategic decisions. If I had defined my business as selling news or newspapers I would not have aggressively launched lifestyle and entertainment supplements like Bombay Times and Delhi Times; nor would I have expanded into entertainment channels such as Zoom, Romedy Now and Movies Now, or launched Radio Mirchi, or got into out-of-home, or diversified into so many internet verticals. I don't blame journalists who criticised my statement for misunderstanding this concept because they are not trained in the language of marketing. Lack of clarity and a narrow definition of "selling news" have led to the closure of newspapers in many countries. The Times Group's understanding of the business, on the other hand, has allowed it to expand the market for newspapers and reach new, relevant audiences; all other newspaper groups have simply imitated us and we are happy that they too have grown as a result.

We have great editors and we have huge respect for them. However, an editorial-driven CEO will tend to take wrong decisions. He will focus only on increasing the number of pages and news content, not focus on advertising. He will price the newspaper too high for the reader, will feel guilty about promoting his brand aggressively and not cut cost aggressively in terms of pages when the economy takes a downturn or the cost of newsprint skyrockets. Therefore, a newspaper CEO has to be balanced and marketing-driven, and manage all the four Ps of marketing -- Product, Price, Place and Promotion.

If the Times of India were to reinvent itself ten years from now, what would be its shape, size and USP?

Ten years is too long a time frame in the ever-changing media landscape to make predictions. Disruptions and technology are changing the way we consume media and indeed the way we live. Today's business models may no longer work that well tomorrow. Ten years ago, the Times Group was not present in FM radio/TV/ OOH. As a Group, we evolve constantly. We have our finger on the pulse of tomorrow. Our focus has and will always be the customer.

The focus of our creative agencies is television. Do you see this affecting advertising in the print medium?

TV has got incredibly fragmented over the years. And the remote in the viewer's hands has added to its woes. Smart viewers use devices not only to record programmes, but to also skip ads. The viewer hasn't spared anyone, not even the leading channels. On the other hand, the newspaper, especially a leading brand such as the TOI, has retained the reader's attention and continues to engage. The fragmentation in the print medium is negligible.

With consumption of content increasingly on mobile and other screens now, do you think the printed newspaper will be redundant in future?

News consumption will always continue to rise. With growing literacy, the need to consume news will also grow exponentially. With time, the way news is consumed will change. We aim to provide news in whichever way a consumer chooses to have it - on TV, computers, tablets or mobile.

You have successfully led the Times of India to the language newspaper space. With this generation being educated mostly in English, will there be enough readers for the vernacular medium newspaper in future?

It's true that English is aspirational, and with increasing disposable incomes and evolving lifestyles, particularly in small towns, it will attract newer, affluent consumers. But vernacular is important, especially in these cities and towns; it often meets an intermediate need in the literacy chain, before the transition to English. We want to be present across the value chain, so long as it makes sound business sense.

We have heard of an IPO from the Times Group for some time now. Is it happening anytime soon?

I keep hearing these rumours too! Truth is, we constantly explore and review all options.

The Times Group is going strong with innovative print, television, radio and new media initiatives. Any plans to venture into the B2B segment?

One of our strengths as a group is that we understand consumers. We will hence continue to focus on B2C. However, if opportunities come our way, we are open to exploring these. We always leverage our brand strengths and organisational capabilities.

What are your views on the 10+2 ad cap imbroglio in the television industry? What would be the right way to move forward?

We are opposed to it. As it is, the industry is struggling to make money. Why try and strangulate it further? Let the audience decide. If a channel shows 20 minutes of advertising in an hour, and if viewers don't like it, they have the freedom to switch to a competing channel at the press of a remote button - at no extra cost. There are hundreds of channels to choose from, no one's forcing a viewer to stick with any one.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India's proposal will hurt niche channels, particularly news channels. They should not kill the basic financial model of these channels which depend on cheap advertising. In addition, the concept of clock hour is redundant in case of news channels where news is breaking round the clock. The concept of ads per hour was supposed to be an average per day and that is why the government never acted on it for many years. Now suddenly, without fully understanding the industry dynamics and profitability, TRAI is misinterpreting the rule book. I think the main role of a regulator should be to promote the industry through reasonable policies. It should enable and not undermine fair competition.

There is a whole debate about Arnab Goswami being a brand by himself, overpowering Times Now. Is that good or bad for the channel?

Times Now has dominant leadership now for over six years. Arnab Goswami has done an incredible job for Times Now, which has established itself as the 'go-to-TV-channel' for breaking news, big news and significant views. He is a courageous journalist and respected by viewers of Times Now. Further, the Times brand is what gives viewers the trust and belief in what he and his able team deliver 24X7.

Does it worry you that while Times Now, ET Now and Zoom are popular, the Times Group's television business is yet to gain scale? Have you ever thought about a GEC or a Hindi or regional language channel to build scale for the business?

The GEC market is overheated. Yes, we are open to evaluating opportunities in GEC and regional if it makes business sense.

What will be the focus for your radio operations now that Phase III auctions are imminent?

The radio business is a successful one for the Times Group. We will participate in Phase III, to grow the industry and the brand Radio Mirchi.

Radio is the only free-to-air electronic medium. Hence, the government should ensure that the infirmities of Phase I and Phase II should be avoided while designing the Phase III auctions. One fails to understand the rationale of the government insisting on high reserve fees for FM Radio spectrum, that too in the face of repeated market failures in the context of reserve fees in the telecom sector.

While competitors have been quick to emulate your business strategies, some ventures such as Medianet and Brand Capital have lent themselves to controversy, as also reports of Times executives driving tough bargains with advertisers to prevent them from advertising with rivals. What is your view of paid news and media ethics, as well as maintaining the proverbial wall between editorial and sales?

Brand Capital helps entrepreneurs and small businesses that don't have enough cash flows to spend on advertising compete with big companies. It helps businesses grow, India grow and increases competition in the industry. It is almost like a venture capital supporting small businesses with great ideas and products. It helps David take on Goliath. Brand Capital is, simplistically speaking, ad barter for equity. It has nothing to do with editorial - just as normal cash advertisers have nothing to do with editorial. In fact, Brand Capital clients complain that they get more favourable coverage in other newspapers than in ours! We have lost hundreds of crore of rupees in advertising from clients because we have resisted their attempts to influence our editorial policy. These are big corporate houses and government departments and I won't name them. These very organisations fund other newspapers in return for favourable coverage.

The Chinese wall between advertising and editorial is strongest in our group and we are proud of it. Because the Times is highly profitable and advertising-driven, we don't allow any advertiser to influence our edit coverage. On the other hand, smaller newspapers which are financially vulnerable tend to buckle under pressure from such large advertisers.

As for Medianet, advertorials have been an established practice among the most respected newspapers, magazines and TV channels globally. We only emulated global best practices and made it better -- Medianet is the purest form of advertorial. In television, it is called advertiser funded programming (AFP) which is the life-blood of the best channels in India and abroad. In TV serials and movies, it is called product placements. Medianet is actually the most honest form of advertorial because we have created separate special supplements of entertainment and lifestyle for it, unlike other media who have mixed it in the main product seamlessly. In fact, advertorials/Medianet strengthen the Chinese wall between advertising and editorial and make it transparent instead of the advertising department putting pressure on editorial to write puff pieces on clients or clients using PR agencies to plant stories through journalists. We are truly proud of our ethical practices and can claim that they are among the best in the world.

With regard to paid news, let's not paint the entire media with the same brush. Paid news is predominantly news articles sponsored by political parties. The politicians need to clean up their act before they blame the media. If political news was promoted as an advertisement or had the disclaimer of an advertorial, it would have been as per established global practice. In reality, the government must realise that Doordarshan can be deemed as paid news. Also, there are many media owners/editors who are either affiliated or belong to certain political parties. Will the government cancel their licence? The ownership of media by political parties is a bigger problem than beating up two or three newspapers over some lapses of the past, which they have corrected.

Expansion, innovation and differentiation have been your forte... What's next on your agenda for the Times Group? What new frontiers are you looking at?

There are several opportunities yet to be tapped by us within media and entertainment, and our first priority would be to focus on these. But given our presence in media, we have started looking at sectors such as vocational education, for example our initiative TimesPro. On the internet side, we are looking at acquisitions instead of starting ground up.

What are the challenges you see in the functioning of the Times Group?

While it may appear that our Group is focused on a single sector - media - we actually comprise some very different businesses, each of which need very different skill-sets. We've hence structured ourselves as a set of stand-alone, specialist organisations, each focused on its own line of business. At the same time, with increasing convergence in technology as well as media consumption, we will progressively need to unlock synergies between the different parts of the organisation. A key challenge for our Group will be to balance these two conflicting forces: the need for specialisation and the need for synergy.

Do you think that the current political and media ecosystem favour the growth of a free and fair media?

No, it does not. For instance, the proposed ad cap on TV channels, new rules on appointment of directors in broadcast companies, the continuing bar against the private sector entering news FM, periodic efforts to intimidate social media, controlling and influencing the salary structure of journalists through the wage board, new rules and acts being rewritten to punish and control media, etc. indicate directly or indirectly, that there seem to be attempts to restrict freedom of speech and freedom of expression. Certainly, the media has a duty to be responsible. But a few black sheep shouldn't be used as an excuse to clamp down on everyone.

The foundation of any democracy relies heavily on an independent and pluralistic media. The government's role should be limited to encouraging self regulation by the industry. Governments, by nature, always find it a challenge to resolve issues satisfactorily, and hence have a desire to control the media which candidly covers performance (or non-performance!) of the government of the day.

If we ask you to introspect and describe yourself, what would your answer be?

I have a natural flair to aggressively listen to several points of view. I do not let my ego come in the way of accepting/rejecting ideas or opportunities. Gut feeling and instinct form an integral part of my persona.

What are some of the things that you wish you could have achieved in life and in your role as MD of the Times Group?

I was in my twenties when I thought of venturing into cable networks, DTH and GEC. I even drew up plans. But I suppressed my gut feeling and instinct and did not pursue those ideas as aggressively as I should have - perhaps I was too young.

Do you believe in maintaining a work-life balance?

For me, work is my life. I find my work, and the sheer variety and diversity of what I do exciting, engaging and fun.

Which is your favourite brand among the offerings of the Times Group? Which of them would you single out as having the most potential?

Times is the Master Brand. Owing to its overwhelming success, we have effortlessly leveraged this Master Brand - Times - across platforms such as Times Now, Times Pro, Navbharat Times, Economic Times, etc.

How do you function in a crisis? What is your crisis management mantra?

Temperamentally, I am cool and do not lose my composure. I tend to view crises as an opportunity to evaluate my leadership teams.

What are some of the things you look forward to personally at this point?

I wish I could travel more. I have never taken more than 10 days off in any year over the last 15 years.

One learns from life. Would there be any incident in your life that has made you suffer a temporary setback, but proved to be of immense value and learning in the long run?

I am fortunate that I have not suffered any setbacks.

On being voted IMPACT Person of the Year, 2013

While I am delighted at being voted the IMPACT Person of the Year, I accept this on behalf of my brother Samir Jain, Vice Chairman, and on behalf of the Times Family.

The centre of our universe has and will always be our readers, listeners and viewers. We have no political masters; nor do we have any hidden agenda. If we take anybody's side, it is that of our readers, listeners and viewers.

Editorial views on all our platforms are aimed at leading opinion and driving change. This has become a habit in our Group. We can, with some modesty, claim that governments, legislatures and even courts have time and again taken cognizance of our views and acted on them. We do not seek power or influence, but we do want to use all our media platforms to do good.

"At 23, I internalised my brother's message"

When I was fresh out of college, all of 23 years old, at a formal meeting with senior managers of the Times Group, I heard my brother Samir Jain, Vice Chairman of the Group, talk about "What is the business we are in?" What I vividly recall is his passionate and painstaking effort at explaining that we are in the business of advertising and not in the business of selling newspapers. In retrospect, I feel I had internalised this message to such an extent that it provided the impetus for me to explore and diversify into all potential advertising-driven media businesses like radio, tv, internet and outdoor.

I admire my brother deeply for his brilliance and the manner in which he's transformed the Group from the time he took over 35 years ago. If print media in India is doing well, unlike in most parts of the world, it's because of the innovations he introduced. Almost every media house and publisher said his "experiments" wouldn't work, but eventually they all copied him. His vision and original thinking reshaped Indian newspapers, and gave it a new growth trajectory. As I grew into the business, he gave me more and more space, freedom and support for new ventures. Above all, he has been a loving and supportive elder brother.

(This interview first appeared on

On winning the IMPACT Person Of The Year 2013 last week, Times Group MD Vineet Jain, in his acceptance speech, highlighted the achievements of his company and the important business challenges for all kinds of media—including electronic, TV, apart from print—that lay ahead to cater efficiently to the 'digital generation'. Here you can watch the video of the speech and read its full text:

Full text of the speech

Mr Sibal, Mr Batra, Distinguished Guests, It is an honour for me to accept the 'Impact Person of the Year Award'. I do so on behalf of my elder brother Samir Jain and the entire Times family. This Award is all the more significant for me because it comes in the 175th year of The Times of India.

Since 'Impact' is at the centre of this evening's Awards Ceremony, I hope you'll allow me to share a few thoughts, first on the impact of The Times on the world around us - and later, on the impact of technology and society on the media landscape.

Several years ago, I introduced 'Times View' and solutions-oriented journalism across the news pages of Times of India. We live in confusing times, bombarded as we are by a multitude of news streams, often of questionable credibility. I felt our readers needed quick, sharp comments on important news developments side-by-side with the stories. I also felt we needed to go beyond simply criticising to actually providing solutions and action plans for policy- and decision-makers. The idea was to shape opinion and drive change on a diverse range of issues - from de-criminalisation of homosexuality, to fair and transparent allocation of natural resources. I can, with some modesty, claim that governments, legislatures and courts have taken cognizance of our views.

Does that mean we seek power or influence? We do not. But we do want to make a difference. I will take the liberty of reiterating what I recently said at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of our 175th anniversary (which Mr Sibal graciously facilitated with a special stamp release). We have no political masters; nor do we have any hidden agenda. If there's anybody's side we take, it is that of our readers. We want to make India a better place for our children.

I believe a group such as exchange4media also has an important role to play in shaping the discourse of our times. You follow media closely, and that places a great responsibility upon you. Our industry is truly at a crossroads. The pace of disruptive change will further accelerate in the years to come.

Technology - be it broadband, or wireless - is transforming the way information and entertainment is produced, delivered and consumed. There's convergence on the one hand, fragmentation on the other. The rise of social media and other new platforms has spawned a mind-boggling array of sources for news and views.

The internet will have a profound impact on television, especially if 4G delivers on its promise. YouTube is today competing with traditional TV and mobile companies are morphing into media companies.

Old business models are being questioned. Newspapers can no longer remain just newspapers. Print journalists will need to develop new skills and talents. There's been talk of integrated newsrooms and changes in workflow for close to a decade. I believe it's now imminent. Many of you must have used the 'Alive' app in our newspapers, which moves you seamlessly from print to video through the mobile. Newspapers must embrace multimedia, straddling text, audio and video, in order to provide a 360-degree experience across devices and screens.

The Times Group, with its presence across all platforms, will work to enrich the experience of the millions who consume our content daily in various forms. is among the Top 10 English newspaper sites in the world. But we are still scratching the surface; the potential is enormous. We haven't fully tapped Young India. Almost 40% of our population is 18 years of age or younger, and more than half are 25 years or less. They are children of the digital age. We must meet, and anticipate, their needs. Everytime Arnab shouts, "The nation wants to know," you must wonder, what or who IS this "nation"? Well, I'll tell you. It is our huge population of the young and restless, who are impatient with the status quo.

Besides these important business challenges, there are broader issues that are equally critical. We need to unite as an industry to resist attempts by governments and other authorities to trespass on the freedom of media, often behind the smokescreen of regulation. Freedom of expression - indeed, the very idea of democracy - rests on the foundation of a free and fair media.

In conclusion, I'd like say that if the Times Group has survived and grown for 175 years, it is because our core values have remained constant: Our commitment to the truth and our commitment to our readers, viewers and listeners.

On behalf of the entire Times Group, I thank you once again, for this honour.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Social Media in Tertiary Education

Social media as a tool for teaching and learning has never being felt more than the present period, mainly due to lightning fast communication, exchange of knowledge across geographies in real time, cross-pollination and sharing of ideas, knowledge and opinions from learner and facilitators all across the globe. Tools like facebook, twitter, blogs, slideshare, youtube, benhance, linkedin, wikis, and many other emerging platform blended with the reach of smartphones, internet penetration within the length and breadth of the globe has enabled knowledge starved netizens of yesteryears to metamorphose into active knowledge disseminators of tomorrow.  The need to embed social media into the teaching-learning environment at the tertiary level of education offers a plethora of challenges that need to be overcome by the teacher-learner duo. Putting in place full proof regulatory mechanism that can have checks and balances at every stage of the usage of the tool would prevent misuse of the medium, not to forget the nullifying effect it may have on the negativities of social media. Aligning of social media in the teaching-learning would catapult the passive learner into active and inquisitive lots primarily due to the increased involvement owing to the dynamicity of the medium being used to teach and learn. Posting assignments and other assessment tools on the social medium would not only generate more interest amongst the learner, but would also lead to an increased level of creativity and innovation, culminating in extracting more than the other plain vanilla mode of teaching and learning. Some of the links leading to allied topics are given below-

Other blog and micro-blog from the same blogger are and and face-book page,

My article on "Teaching to Learning"

There has been a metamorphosis in teaching and training. Its true more for training where teaching oriented approach has been replaced by learning oriented approach.
The article published in the Thursday Magazine of The Times of Oman, dated 22nd october 09 to 28th october 09, the leading daily of the Sultanate of Oman, also happens to be my 438th publication.Read and Comment!

Other blog and micro-blog from the same blogger are and and face-book page,

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Simulated Learning technique for Business Communication

Business Communication forms the backbone of all professionals, whether they are managing the back office or the front end. Apart from external communication primarily with the external stakeholders of an organization, viz. customers, suppliers, government, society to name a few, internal communication within the organization forms the precursor for all external communications and even internal communications, held subsequently. Business meeting happens to be a routine affair for employees across industries, domains and departments. and therefore learning the nuances of planning, organizing, and conducting a meeting is an important prerequisite for all prospective professionals, more so the ones in different functions of Business Organizations. 
Business Communication being offered to the Diploma-I level students have a plethora of learning outcomes with a mix and match of theory and practical, encompassing a wide gamut of aspects pertaining to business communication, including but not limited to oral communication, written communication, formal communication, informal communication, real and virtual communication. Technology being one of the major enabler in business communication, the need to understand the basics of business meeting has increased manifold. Right from setting the agenda, formulating the meeting layout, writing the minutes, communicating with different members, donning different roles in the group viz. chairperson, secretary or even situation specific ones like Marketing Manager, Human Resource Manager or even Finance and Accounts Manager, calls for a hands on learning approach. This background motivated yours truly, along with his colleague, Mr. Munir to create a simulated assessment platform of business meeting for the students of Business Communication, whereby they actually implement the theoretical learning imbibed during the course of the classroom lecture . The students were given the opportunity to form group of 5 members each and were given a hypothetical situation pertaining to the discussion of a business plan for an Omani sweets company, by making a formal meeting agenda, plan and organize the actual meeting, in line with the learning extracted during the classroom based theoretical and practical learning. The students of section 3 and 4 tutored and monitored  by yours truly and section 1 and 3 by Mr. Munir did wonderfully well so as to conduct the actual meeting. They had not only understood the practicalities of a business meeting, but actually internalized the processes leading to the actual meeting, the discussion, finalization of the charters etc. In the process lot of cross learning related to the domains of business along with business communication took place, tangibly and intangibly. As a course tutor the learning derived were phenomenal simply because the latent abilities of the students, their creative and innovative instincts came to the fore, which otherwise lie partially dormant in a routine classroom discussion. The snaps and videos are being captured from the deliberations of section3 and section 4 respectively.

The video of two of the many groups performing the simulation can be observed from links below-

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Academic Leadership is different from Leadership in other Arenas?

Is Academic leadership  different from leadership in other spheres of life? Yes and No! Yes, because academic relationship would have different goals to be achieved through a  series of processes, meant for a different set of stakeholders and no, because, basic tenets of a leader remains more or less the same, whether he is representing the fraternity of academicians, Business Executives or even Entrepreneurs. The major basis on which one can differentiate academic leadership are as follows-

(1) Academic leadership does not have a profit motive like that of a Business Enterprise related Leadership.
(2)Academic leadership does not have a goal to establish akin to the Business or Political leadership where physical and mental supremacy over the followers reigns supreme and forms the bedrock. It rather tries to enlighten and groom the learner(read target audience)  about the need for ethical, responsible and professional leaders in different walks of life.
(3)Academic leadership does not call for a fragmented yet coordinated approach akin to a business organization as the teaching and learning calls for mediums which can reach out even when there are geographical, mental, physical barriers.
(4)Academic leadership does not need a hegemony similar to that of a political leader who presents himself/herself in terms of the people ruled, the geography covered, apart from the other tangibles that shows his/her clout.
(5)Academic leadership calls for knowledge and management/administration related insights pertaining to management of an academy of learning, whereas other leadership calls for traits which are commensurate with their domains.
(6)Academic leadership can be attained by a blended method of reading, application and experience whereas Business, Political and Personal Leadership is more effective with an hands on approach.

Other blog and micro-blog from the same blogger are and and face-book page,

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Case-let on Job Interview

Abdul, Yasir, Rehman and Naveed were close friends since childhood. They completed their schooling from the same institution and subsequently joined the same college in Business Studies, Information Technology, Engineering Studies and  Fashion Design respectively. Abdul completed his Diploma and suddenly realized the need for a job as his family needed him to support them financially. He approached a company in the banking sector for a job as his specialization was in Accounting and Finance. The Human Resource Manager asked him to mail him his CV and wait for the interview call and also asked him to kick-start his preparations. Abdul thought he merely needs to prepare on his domain area and therefore he brushed up all the basics pertaining to accounting and finance and was confident of being short-listed. However, to his dismay his candidature was rejected even though he answered all the three questions related to his topic/area. He sought and explanation from the HR department of the bank for the rejection of his candidature and he was candidly informed about his lack of knowledge in the industry he opted for, the company that was interviewing apart from his over-confident attitude, coupled with a lackadaisical approach. An anguished Abdul called up Yasir, only to know that he too was rejected by a reputed Information Technology firm as he wasn't up-to date about the  changes in his sector especially the platform and versions of operating systems that was in vogue in software development, computer networking, artificial intelligence to name a few. The company however, gave him thumbs-up for his soft-skills pertaining to teamwork, cultural communication, attitude and overall personality. He was confused after knowing his feedback as he realized he can gather information on the softer aspects quite easily especially when he was socially active through various extra-curricular activities, but didn't knew about the methods to adopted to update his know-how in the harder aspect, especially when his college days were already over. Rehman was selected by a leading oil and gas company only to be shown the door within the probation period as he was unable to cope up with the expectations of the company in terms of being an efficient multi-tasker. Rehman, known for his balanced approach during the college days was always master rather than a proverbial jack and it was this aspect which made him uni-dimensional, culminating in his termination owing to the inability to alter commensurate with the employer's requirements. Naveed intended to take up apparel entrepreneurship after having a small stint with a leading corporation. It was primarily to have to some hardcore experience under his belt , before taking the entrepreneurial plunge. However, this long term plan of his started to take the lion's share of his planning which in turn resulted in be being declared a misfit in a company where he was selected as trainee-apparel merchandiser. All the four friends decided to meet together and brainstorm the major issues contributing to their respective failures. They also decided to rope in an expert to conduct some individual and collection mock interview sessions, apart from assisting them in doing their SWOT analysis.

Other blog and micro-blog from the same blogger-

Friday, February 1, 2013

Case-lets on Stress Management

Case-let 1

Ali was working with an academic institution of repute. The working environment in the institution was a diversified one as it comprised of staff members from different parts of the world. Ali was perennially a very good performer through-out his professional journey, so far. However, after joining the organization his performance started to dip, not because he was a misfit to the organization in terms of his knowledge, experience, skill-sets and abilities, but it was because of the gradual complex he started to develop while facing peer pressure. Ali was known to be dynamic persona till his personality started to change while facing up to the expectation of his colleagues and superior in a multicultural set-up. Ali was trying to adopt the same techniques while interacting with his peers and seniors like he did in his previous assignments. The difference in terms of the working culture, the profile of the manpower employed with the organization, along with the global setup didn't get due cognizance from Ali as a result of which he was quite often cornered for his viewpoints, perspectives on issues of common interest. Apart from that Ali was witnessing a sense of inferiority complex creeping in gradually as a result of which he was losing his level of confidence, started to have unhealthy  arguments with colleagues, trying to impose his attitude of 'my way or highway', culminating in self inflicted pressure. He started to have headache, frequent health breakdown, shivering of hands, stammering bouts while communicating, apart from intensive sweating. 

Case-let 2

Abdul was a champion performer professionally. He was honored with the  best employee award for four consecutive years. The fifth year  saw him losing his family in a tragic road accident. The incident left a deep mental  scar and it impacted his professional performance, apart from frequent mood swings even in the personal world. A person who was known to be the darling of the organization suddenly moved away from the mainstream and kept to himself most of the times. His activities professionally being team based ones suffered badly as his ability to empathize, analyze, trouble-shoot issues of common interests wasn't getting resolved and quite often his deliverable were delayed, leading to the cancellation of the projects. Abdul was summoned by his seniors and counseled extensively only with momentary changes in his attitude, behavior and performance, after which things went back to square one. Abdul sought professional assistance from the external experts and he was advised to put aside his history and restart a new life. Although he tried to do it, his past was haunting him at every point, affecting his judgement, decision making, relationship management, both in the personal and professional realms. A never say dying personality was gradually wilting under the stress generated by the personal disaster as he was unable to draw the line between his personal life and his professional expectations. 

Case-let 3

Najeeb was one of the most senior person working in the department of an organization. He had extensive experience of working in organizations of all stature, however it was his head-weight which often led him to verbal brawl with his junior colleagues, who tried to look upon him as a fatherly figure owing to his rich experience. Najeeb on the other hand appreciated that, however, he wasn't open to suggestions even when his junior pro disagreed on some of his standpoints and discussions while working in a group. This had a cascading effect on his personality and suddenly the cool demeanor of  Najeeb was giving way to violent behavior, abuses, strain in relationships and complaints about peers to the higher-ups. The slow but sudden behavioral change started to show its impact on his image as the respect he earned was  substituted with disrespect, passing comments from his colleagues who was younger than his total years of working experience. Najeeb was unable to digest this fact and was also not prepared to change his personality in spite of the repeated suggestions received from his peers and seniors. Blame game became the order of the day and it started to have a debilitating impact on his personal life as he fought quite often with his grown up children and his better-half.

Other blog and micro-blog from the same blogger-