Monday, January 31, 2011

Quiz on the Bageecha @ TAPMI for Atharva 2011

Atharva 2010 inaugurated by Nandini

TAPMI news

PGP Students of TAPMI are always active, vibrant, communicative and creative.  They keep themselves busy with academics and extra / co-curricular activities on and off-campus.  Many of them indulge in student committees and work day and night for their own fulfilment as also taking the Institute's flag higher and higher.  While attending their classes regularly, they net-work will their compatriates all over and participate in several events and of course get prizes too.  Alumni also love to look back to their alma mater and guide / encourage the batches.  The day to day activities are loaded promptly in the above blog.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Corporate Banking & BCG...

Retail Banking Strategy : BCG

IFMR Centre for Micro Finance, Chennai

Microfinance World-wide
Microfinance has become a buzz word all over for the past five-ten years, particularly in the new millinneum.  The Development Goals certainly promise to better the quality of life world over with a serious attempt to reduce if not remove poverty from the society.  MFIs have been endeavouring but there was a shocking and sad development in Andhra Pradesh recently.  Hopefully, the situation would be retrieved soon.  In fact, several agencies, research organisations, banks, indiviudals, academicians, researchers, funding agencies, rating agencies, NGOs, and regulators like RBI, NABARD, SIDBI and others are working sincerely towards this.

IFMR is one such Institution with its Cente for Micro Finance rendering yeoman service.  I happened to read their work, communicate regularly and also witnessed a recent Conference in Pune on Jan 12-13, partnering with College of Agricultural Banking of RBI.  All about their contribution and projects can be seen in the link.

SBI in Discovery channel...

The one hour documentary in Discovery Channel on Wednesday night (January 26, 2011) on State Bank of India was fantastic.  It is of high standards to tell the citizens all about the bank's contribution to the nation building besides what we see normally in retail banking and form opinion.  I urge upon all my friends and colleagues to watch the repeat show on next Sunday (January 30) evening (7 pm?). Pl don't miss.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dr Ramdas M Pai honoured with Padma Bhushan

62nd Republic Day on the 26th Jan 2011 came with another feather in the cap of Manipal and TAPMIans.  Our Chairman and Chancellor of Manipal University has been identified by the Government of India as one of the eminent Indians for the award of Padma Bhushan for his services to educational sector.

ICICI Bank's Chanda Kochhar: 'A Very Exciting and Challenging Journey'

ICICI Bank on a selling spree?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Battle at Kruger

61st Republic Day

Tomorrow is yet another - 61st - Republic Day. "Proud to be an Indian"? Compare the amounts in scams n black money stacked in Swiss Banks. RBI goes on releasing policies and Planning Commission adds 5 Year Plans. GOI is proud to announce over 40% increase in tax collection but a much bigger amount is going to the pockets of politicians, scamsters, bureaucrats, businessmen, sports organisers, et al!  Mera Bharat Mahaan!!  Jai Ho!!!

SKS Microfinance's Vikram Akula on Mobile Banking

About CMF Part 4

About CMF Part 3

About CMF Part 2

About CMF Part 1

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Munni Badnaam Hui Full Song HQ

City Bank Chief compensated

Vikram Pandit's Salary hiked from $1 to $1.75 mn

At a time when the reputation of City Bank is down in India due to Shiv Puri's $400 Crores and its CEOs are also being charge-sheeted, it is an interesting development that Vikram Pandit's remuneration has been hiked from a simple $1 to $ 1.75 mn.  It has been reported in Economic Times today that Vikram Pandit sacrificed his compensation during tough times for two years.Such long and patient wait seems to have paid for Vikram.

Foodpreneurship or Food Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is yet to take its roots in India even though for over decades the country witnessed host of entrepreneurship in Dhirubhai Ambani, MS Oberoi, NR Narayana Murthy, Anji Reddy, Capt Gopinath, Kiran Mazumdar Shah, and several others.  In recent times, particularly after Indian economy embraced reforms, Techpreneurs, Edupreneurs emerged on the scene.  Many success stories can be listed out here.

Today's Economic Times, on page 8 highlights all about entrepreneurs in food, retail, agricultural sectors.  In particular, a story on Mr Anjan Chatterjee is very interesting.  Belonging to a family of Scientists, Anjan seems to have somehow shown interest in food sector to open restaurants in Nanded and Nashik.  Must read article!

SBI in News

SBI released its third quarter results for 2010-11.  Its net rises 14% to Rs. 2,828 crores in Dec-10 quarter. At a time when the economy is still recovering and Stock market index is moving up and down, all the Public Sector and Private Sector Banks in India are announcing their results one by one.  Axis, IndusInd, Yes Bank and others in private sector declared encouraging results during last week.  Similarly, Corporation, Allahabad, United Bank of India, Bank of Maharashtra, have announced their results with many indicators showing north wards.

For the SBI Chairman Mr OP Bhatt, it must be exciting times as he is going to demit his position in March 2011.  Five years of his tenure at SBI Corporate Office with astounding achievements should be fulfilling to him.  We need to wait and see how the policy makers and powers at Centre are going to utilise his capabilities and services in a fruitful manner in the coming years by offering him a suitable position.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Social Networking : SCRIBD : A very useful site

SCRIBD : A Professional and Friendly Social Network

I have been blogging as "Professional Banker" and keep posting majorly on banking topics coupled with general items as well as some film music clippings. This is the four hundred and first blog of mine till date. Of course, I am also into Orkut, Face Book, Linked In and Twitter. There are other platforms like;;;, etc where I indulge in scribbling my activities, thoughts, etc.

For uploading my papers, articles, power points, etc., I go to; it is a wonderful and useful site.  In the last twenty two months or so, more than 1,34,000 viewed my 50 items uploaded.  Thanks to one and all.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ruk jana nahi tu kahin haar ke - Imtihaan 1974 - Kishore Kumar - Vinod K...

This 1974 song by Kishore Kumar for Vinod Khanna in "Imtihan" was said to be Hindi version of Sydney Poiter's 'To Sir With Love', a popular English movie of our times. Vinod Khanna was of and on playing hero and villain roles; both impressive, of course. The essence of this song is "never look back nor take things lying low come what may". I think it could motivate and encourage only those who are to be achievers. After all, there is no short cut to success - it is always sincerity and hard work.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Malegam Report on MFIs in India

Malegam Report on MFIs in India

The much awaited RBI Sub-Committee headed by Y H Malegam on MFIs in India has been announced.  They have come out with timely recommendations.  It is now incumbent on the RBI and GOI (also NABARD and SIDBI) to be pro-active in monitoring if not regulating the MFIs (particularly those who are profit-making) closely and ensure that the issue is not left to the respective State Government and allow crisis like Andhra Pradesh in the past over three months.  Urgent corrective measures are to be taken by enacting the long awaited bill in Parliament; it is hanging since March 2007 and our people's representative have not paid attention.

All those who are directly or indirectly interested in this field should thank and appreciate the Committee for the quick and efficient report submitted by the members. Let the politicians not take advantage of the poor fate of farmers and rural credit delivery system for their political or selfish ends but work for development.

Farmers Suicides continue in India

Sainath Report on Farmers Suicides

Is Indian farmer not an Aam Aadmi?  Does his welfare not form part of the country's economic development? But, then why his contribution and problems take a back seat? Does his pathetic, dependent and poor status not change despite India shining and 9% growth rate being achieved? Are we focussed on committing scams after scams in every possible field and look for UN Seat?  Should we feel proud with Cricketainment thro World Cups, Gold Medals in Sports and Games at International level, IPL, etc, etc? How long people like P Sainath Rural Development Journalist of The Hindu go on crusading about preparing Reports on Farmers' Suicides year after year?  After all, India is basically an agri-oriented economy, we should not forget.

Some alarming revelations have surfaced from a new study. A record 2.5 lakh farmers have committed suicide in India over the last 13 years. Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar's home state Maharashtra tops the list. It has the worst record for the 10th consecutive year.According to The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, more than 2,16, 000 farmers have committed suicide since 1997. P Sainath, Rural Affairs Editor for ‘The Hindu’, says: Add figures for the years 1995 and 1996 and 2010, the total figure crosses 2,50,000!

We forget our freedom fighters and patriotic leaders' slogans.  Late Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri, former Prime Minister said "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan".  Those were the days when we had serious cross border disputes with China and Pakistan.  Gone are the days of war and hence no need to pursue Jai Jawan. Defence Budget could be trimmed down (after all they are hitting headlines for all sorts of scams too). But farmers' plight has not improved at all despite eleven five year plans and sixty four years of independence.  Jai Kisan has to be continued with all earnestness. The present generation with IT environment and services sector dominating the economy, only remembers Jai Ho of Musician AR Rehman as current buzz word.  Mera Bharath Mahaan!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Jewel Thief - Aasman Ke Neeche Hum Aaj Apne - Kishore Kumar - Lata Mange...

Task today is to copy Dev Aanand in a Lions Club program.


Trip to Pune and Mumbai

My trip to Mumbai-Pune last week to attend a Conference on Microfinance - Translating Research into Practice was a rich and memorable experience for more than one reason. I was in rural banking for nearly three decades but had never visited College of Agricultural Banking-Reserve Bank of India campus in Pune all these years.And I was attending a high level Conference on Microfinance (my current area of research interest) organised by two giant institutions - IFMR-CMF and CAB-RBI attended by Academicians, Bankers, Researchers, Consultants, NGO-Voluntary Organisations, Policy makers like RBI-NABARD-SIDBI, Insurers, Authors, and so on. The faciities in CAB campus were very well organised and delegates were well taken care of.

The style in which the deliberations went on was also interesting.  Panel discussions were chaired by experts in the field and researchers began with their presentations. These researchers were bright and young Indian students having studied abroad and now taking up such studies.  Overall, it was a great congregation. I would also remember the wonderful musical night with music, dance and dinner of a high standards on the 12th night at CAB.

And on the personal front, meeting my two neices with their hubbies in Mumbai and Pune for a brief time, speaking to my former colleagues like Pradeep Khosla, Kishore Kumar, Sivakumar SNV, Meghdoot Karnik (had a dinner with him), etc was fulfilling too.  In Pune, I met Ms Neelam Khetan of Udaipur who was a class mate of Prof RC Natarajan and studied in IRMA in early eighties.  Mr VC Joshi, former GM of BOI was referred to me by Dr Madhura of Bangalore and I met him. He is into research / study on MF for NABARD.  Incidentally, his book on banking was used by me in MBFI course a few years back. 

In Mumbai Airport, I picked up a few books on Industrialists of AP (Coffee Book), etc and not forgetting the much desired and awaited story of SBI - Grit,Guts, and Gumption by Rajesh Chakrabarti of ISB, Hyderabad.  And in the waiting lounge, met Mr Rakesh Sarin, MD of Wartsila, travelling to Mangalore.  After introductions, he was happy to have been connected by me to his ex-colleague (and mine too), Prof S Balasubramanian, Director of GRG B-School in Coimbatore over a telephonic call.  And in the flight, I got to meet Dr Mudithaya of Nitte -JKSHIM who was enquiring about my absence from their recently held second International Conference, because I took active participation in the first one in Dec 2008.

Mumtaz - Chor Machaye Shor - Dilwale dulhania le jayenge

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Issues and Concerns in Micro Finance in India

I have been working for some time on this topic - Micro Finance in India.  Having worked in Rural Banking for nearly two decades in SBI both at branch level and at Corporate Office in Mumbai, I have had a fairly good idea about the task.  May be this experience in Agricultural / Rural Banking did not yield expected or desired benefits in my career but I had tremendous satisfaction for serving the needy, rural poor in the backward area like Warangal and Medak districts of Telangana in AP.  It was quite an enriching experience.

In recent years the concept of Micro Financing has taken twists and turns in India, even though this concept is very popular world over.  Generally, Dr/Prof Muhammad Yunus is credited with this line of financing as a pioneer in Bangladesh when he founded Grameen Bank.  In fact years before commercial banks in India, in particular SBI entered rural areas to spread banking habits in remote unbanked areas through Lead Bank Scheme, Village Adoption Scheme, Priority Sector Lending, Group Guarantee Scheme, etc etc.

Unfortunately in recent months, MFIs in Andhra Pradesh have experienced difficulties in recovery of loan dues as also suicides being committed by defaulters.  Rate of Interest charged by MFIs is also on the higher side.  SKS has gone ahead with a IPO to mop up funds and expand its operations to about 18 States.   But, Mr Vikram Akula, the founder and SKS encountered several issues.  Media has been extensively covering issues of MFIs on a daily basis.  Several research organisations, academic institutions, financial outfits, etc have been organising seminars and conferences to find solutions.  I am reminded of banking secgtor reforms in early nineties and mushrooming / regulation of NBFCs in the same decade. 

I would be attending a National Level Conference in Mangalore tomorrow being organised by SDM College of Business Management and Bankers' Club.  With a vast amount of literature collected by me over years, I started preparing the paper / presentation.  In fact, I had presented an exhaustive paper on Financial Inclusion and Micro Finance in December 2008 at an International Conference organised by Justice KS Hegde Institute of Management, Nitte.  Let me see how my current paper shapes and will be received.

Whither Management Education in India

I am confused; the B-Schools are confused too; and of course the MBA aspirants in India are doubly confused.  What is the direction in which we all are moving and looking at? I wrote a few days back that thanks to the Financial Sector Reforms and LPG policy of the Government(s) in command at the Centre irrespective of their party loyalties, the corporate world has been availing of the new policies while the Financial Institutions have been gearing up to meet the new challenges and clientele groups.

The three articles I read in the Business Line in last three days have the captions like - "Crowded field of management education" by B.S. Raghavan (3/1/11); "A roadmap for MBA education" by S. Vaidyasubramaniam (4/1/11) and "Sibal favours entrance-based admission for MBA courses" by R. Krishnamoorthy (5/1/11).  I also read a notification in all the leading news papers on the 28th December 2010, issued by AICTE, New Delhi. This notice was aimed at the PGDM Institutions; wherein AICTE exercises its powers to introduce a process of e-governance for approvals (in an utmost transparent and swiftness in decision making).  While listing out changes, it dealt with duration extended to 24 months; Admission to courses through a common entrance test such as CAT/MAT or examinations conducted by the State Governments; dates to be after 31st March for admissions;  model curriculum to be issued by the AICTE; fees to be charged (decided by AICTE); conduct of examination to be decided by regulator; academic session to be between June 1st and  May 31st etc. 

The implication of the above prescriptions do not seem to have been worked out by the regulator;  CAT examination is being held by IIMs (not affected by AICTE provisions); under-graduate examination results are released by different Universities on different dates any where  between May-June-July-August-Sept., every year; and that the MBA aspirants primarily look to the 'Placement Record' of the B-School concerned before applying for admission.  Who will respond to the queries of the aspirants on these counts?

And the articles referred above, spell out the crowded field in the two of them while the third one on 5th spells out the views of the Minister concerend.  The fundamental question is who allowed this crowding B-Schools all these years without verifying the back up of faculty, placement record and so on.  How come the authorities have woken up all on a sudden (is it on account of a Court decision?) to put tremondous amount of inconvenience to the admission-program-placement-conclusion cycle to the best satisfaction of all the candidates?  Not clear as to which direction we are moving ahead during the reforms era? God save MBAs.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Manipal University and European Studies

Manipal University and European Studies Centre

It is over an year and half that in June 2009, immediately after my re-joining TAPMI, Manipal (, I was asked to associate and coordinate with the Manipal University in their setting up a Manipal Centre for European Studies.  It is a new experience that I was involved in designing the new two years Post Graduate Program titled "Masters in European Studies and Management" (MESM), on which I worked closely with Dr Neeta Inamdar for an year to launch the program in August 2010. 

I was also associated in the Program Committee and  Board of Studies and taught a two credit course in the first semester - European Business Environment.  I wrote my testimonial in the website page of Manipal Centre for European Studies (MCES / MU).  It was a very enriching and fulfilling experience too for me personally.  Learning is eternal, after all.  Miles to go and years to come in to achieve more and more!

ET Insight - Micro finance! On the Razor's Edge - Prt 2

Microfinance Initiatives - Microsoft India

Montek Singh Ahluwalia at the Microfinance India Awards.flv

ICICI Bank's Chanda Kochhar: 'A Very Exciting and Challenging Journey'

People's Bank of India - State Bank of India

state bank of india.mpg

Jagjit Singh's Hoshwalon Ko - HQ

Grit, Guts and Gumption by Rajesh Chakrabarti

Another wholesome book on State Bank of India

I read in The Business Line (daily of Hindu group) dated Dec 30, 2010; on page no.9 (my favourite number of course), in Accountancy - Books of Account with a caption "Tale of How a Behemoth Changed Trajectory" written by Shri D. Murali - a full length column reviewing the captioned book.  Very interesting and inciteful story of a two hundred plus years market leader in the Indian banking industry.  The sub-titles of the contents deal with 1. Voyage of Transformation 2. A 'People' Story 3. Wisdom from the Bhagavadgita 4. Suggestion Scheme 5. Second-Class Employees and 6. Global Player.  Having read the column, I immediately wrote a mail to Shri Murali complimenting and congratulating him to have said a few good words about SBI.  After all I served the bank between 1971 and 1993 and continue to be in touch with all my bosses, colleagues and friends.  I am eagerly waiting to lay my hands on the book itself and read from cover to cover.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Madhura Chatrapathy

MangaloreVV Convocation 2010.

Power of Women?

Today, I did Airport receiving duty in the early morning to meet Dr Ms Madhura Chatrapathy from Bangalore to Mangalore/Manipal.  She was invited by me as Chief Guest for the evening Dist Meet of Lionesses of Udupi-Manipal etc clubs.  As is well known, she is an entrepreneur herself and also a motivator cum trainer besides being a senior Rotarian, having travelled world over.  It is a pleasure talking to her or listening to her lectures / presentations, in particular on Women Entrepreneurs and Women Power.

LPG, Reforms and Management Education!

India, embarked on republic status and planned era immediately after independence in 1947.  Constitution was well drafted by the elders and brought into implementation in 1950-51. Socialistic pattern was also adopted while focussing simultaneously on Agriculture (Primary Sector), Industry (Manugacturing-Secondary Sector) and Services (Tertiary Sector) through the Five Year Plans. Areas were clearly demarcated between Center and State Governments.  Of course, the Constitution was amended about one hundred times in last sixty years for social or political reasons.  Banks and Financial Institutions were either set up or nationalised with a view to take the developmental efforts to the grass roots; but there has been urban and rural divide.

Education is stated to be a State subject.  However, Centre also keeps involving in evolving policies, in particular when concerned about setting up IITs, IIMs, NITs and Central Universities.  In the recent era of reforms in the name of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation several changes are taking place in the Education sector.  The extent of proliferation of Engineering Colleges needs to be discussed because the Degree Colleges for Arts, Sciences and Commerce have almost been eased out.  Whether we have good infrastructure or qualified teaching fraternity, these mushrooming Engineering Colleges have been started by politicians or ex-people's representatives as an money making mechanism.  And then Government also opened up to set up more and more IIMs, IITs, Private Universities, Deemed Universities in recent years. 

In the space of Management Education, thanks to increasing privatisation there has been uncontrollable proliferation of MBA colleges (or PGDM Institutions) under University System, as also as autonomous colleges.  The regulator has been very liberal (!) in allowing more and more such institutions because private sector has been growing steadily during reforms era and absorbing these management graduates but the question again whether even these institutions have adequate infrastructure like libraries, class rooms, computer laboratories let alone qualified teaching personnel.  Of late, more than twenty business magazines and market research organisations have been carrying out ranking and playing havoc with the aspirants.

And very recently there seem to be some developments that the regulator is toying with the idea of streamlining the large size of MBA colleges or PGDM Institutions particularly those in private hands under the so called autonomous system.  A notification appeared recently that there would be standard duration of 24 months, Admissions procedure, fee structure curriculum, evaluation, etc to be decided by the State Governments concerned or the regulator in the immediate months.  We have got to see how the field shapes up.  All in the name of Reforms!