Travelling, the “lean” way!!

Backpacker Planning

Often have I heard people say, “I love to travel and see places… but I don’t have the money right now; I will [travel], when I have it [the money]”.   Little do they know that when you finally have it, you either won’t have the time for a holiday or you will have other responsibilities to take care of.

This is where the very low budget or in management terms, the “lean travel” comes into the picture. The concept of lean travel is to travel at an unbelievably low budget and at the same time, still enjoy a comfortable journey. Much in the lines of the “lean” principle, it is to eliminate the wastage of resources (in this case, money) in areas where the customer (traveller) doesn’t find much value in. This is unlike the “hippie” styled travel where the comfort levels of travel are considerably lower.

Now, how is lean travel achieved? Where’s the catch?

Well, before I start, let me make a disclaimer that this style of travel might be suitable only for young, healthy, adventure seeking individuals who can forego some luxuries to make a large travel possible at a low cost!

If you have travelled a lot, you will agree that it is always the boarding & lodging expenses that form a considerable chunk of the total holiday travel cost. Lean travel tackles this cost first. Rule number one is to minimize the number of stays in your holiday travel plan. Plan your travel in such a way that you visit places of interest in the daytime and travel by night. In India, we are very well connected by the railways. They are not only cheap but also comfortable. There are air conditioned coaches in which you will get a comfortable night’s sleep. So, use them. However, there are a few further rules when you book your tickets in them. Use telescopic tickets rather than standalone tickets when you travel. This way, you can travel at a fourth of the cost that you pay otherwise. As far as possible, travel on trains whose destinations match up with yours. This will give you a peaceful night’s sleep especially if you are of the kind who can’t get up at odd hours.

Another way in which the travel cost can go up is when you plan very late. So plan well in advance. This prevents you from paying up tatkal charges and also the exorbitant prices that the airlines charge you when you buy the tickets late.

Well, that was all the theory part of it. Now the big question is, whether it can actually be done? To try it out, I went on a 21-day, 10,200km journey across India, covering 17 different cities in 14 states. The trip cost me just Rs.18,000/- including the travel, food, accommodation and even the shopping costs. Travel costs included my flight ticket, 14 rail tickets (mostly AC coaches), buses, ferry, etc. I had stayed only in 5 cities out of the 17 that I had been to; used home-stays rather than hotels; used public transports than hired ones. But the travel experience gained was unexplainably great. In all, it was one memorable 21 days that I have had in my life and which I got by spending so less.

Before I end, let me tell you that India is an unbelievably beautiful place. The lesser heard of places, especially in the North like Ladakh and the states in the North-East are a definite “must-see”; not to forget those beautiful places in India which you would have already heard of. And now, with the lean travel concept, “anyone can travel”.

Berty Thomas (Batch 2009-2011)

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Interface 2010

‘Interface’ is TAPMI’s annual magazine that captures memories which has made MBA at TAPMI not just a matter of pure academics but unlimited fun and joy as well. This year’s Interface magazine seeks to make you live what the 2008-10 batch has lived with for almost 2 years. The compilation in this magazine will surely bring back traces of nostalgia from those good old days – life @ tapmi on paper!

– Literary Committee

Alumnus of the Month (April 2010)

Mr. Anil J Philip

We are pleased to announce Mr. Anil J Philip (Batch 1992-94) as the Alumnus of the Month for April 2010. Anil J Philip recently assumed (January 2010) the role of Vice President – Marketing, Strategy & Sales Program for the Systems Technology Group (STG- the group that manages IBM’s Server & Storage Portfolio) for IBM India South Asia. He is excited about the opportunity to be back in the functional area that interests him.  Prior to this role he was Vice President – Business Development with IBM Integrated Technology Services (ITS). He enjoyed this learning experience in the services space and was responsible in building a crack National Business development engine.

Prior to returning to IBM in July 2008 he spent 3 exciting years at Lenovo India. He joined Lenovo as part of the sale of the IBM PC Division to Lenovo in May 2005. As part of the India Leadership team of Lenovo India he played a pivotal role in building the Lenovo organization in India.

In his first year at Lenovo as Director of Product , Marketing & Strategy he played the lead role in writing the  India growth script and in the launch of Lenovo’s  consumer portfolio in India. His next stint was as head of the Transaction Business Unit responsible for the Consumer and SMB Portfolio. During this period he was also promoted to the position of Executive Director.  His team was credited establishing Lenovo Consumer notebooks to the Number 2 position in India in 2007 in a short span of one year from launch. The India Transaction team was recognized across the Lenovo World with the Chairman’s award. He also had the privilege of Leading Lenovo India for a brief period (Aug – Dec 2007) as Acting Managing Director.

Prior to the Lenovo stint he spent 9 year of his work life with IBM in a number of roles. Just prior to moving to Lenovo he was heading the Channels for IBM’s PC Division. He spent most of his years in IBM with the PC division in various Product and Marketing roles.  IBM recognized his contribution to marketing and in particular ThinkPad and provided him an opportunity to work in Asia-Pacific marketing roles based out of Sydney for 2 years and later Singapore.

He also had work stints at Wipro & Wipro Acer in Product Management roles.  He joined Wipro from campus after two wonderful learning years at T A Pai Management Institute, Manipal.

Anil is married to his junior from TAPMI Meret.  Their two children provide them with the best guiding principle – reach for the Stars (Sitara) with your feet firmly on the Earth (Prithvi).

– Alumni Affairs Committee (AAC)

Smt.D.Purandeswari at TAPMI Campus

Tree plantation
Smt.D.Purandeswari at TAPMI Campus

Smt.D.Purandeswari, Hon’ble Minister of State for Human Resource Development (Higher Education) visited TAPMI before the convocation program on the 3rd of April 2010. She commended the facilities provided by TAPMI and Manipal University for students and also the incorporation of technology to enhance education. She appreciated the student-centric approach of the management without compromising on quality. The Hon’ble Minister then planted saplings near the academic block  in continuation of the ‘Rajat Jayanti Van’ (Silver Jubilee Forest), TAPMI’s tree plantation program.

During a press conference held at the campus, the Hon’ble Minister listed the initiatives taken by the MHRD, the first being the Right to Education Bill, which came into effect from the 1st of April 2010. She said that the Gross Enrolment Ratio was 23% at international levels whereas in India it was only 12.4% in higher education. Hence, the Government had set a target of 15% Gross Enrolment ratio by the end of the period of 11th year plan. She mentioned that the Hon’ble Cabinet Minister Mr.Kapil Sibal has set an ambitious target of achieving 30% Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education by 2020. She said that in order to achieve these targets more children should have access to school education and this would be a shared responsibility of both the state and central governments.

In higher education, she believed that foreign universities would ensure a healthy competition which would help in improving the quality of education. She assured that the Ministry would encourage entry of the best universities with good programs that can provide employment to the youth. She also mentioned that the Ministry is also deliberating upon setting up Education Tribunals to provide fast track solutions to issues faced by management, students and faculty in higher education institutes.

The Hon’ble Minister felt that in today’s globalized world, we need globalized citizens who contribute to the growth in global GDP. She said that steps are being taken to improve vocational skills education so as to ensure availability of skilled manpower to meet our growing industry needs. After responding to questions from the press she appealed to the state governments to extend their fullest cooperation in these initiatives.

– Media & Public Relations Group

24th Annual Convocation

TAPMI's 24th Annual Convocation
TAPMI's 24th Annual Convocation

The sun shone brighter on April 3rd as the Class of 2010 received diplomas in the 24th Annual Convocation of TAPMI. The convocation was held on April 3rd 2010 at the Syndicate Bank’s Golden Jubilee Auditorium in Manipal. Smt.D.Purandeswari, Hon’ble Minister of State for Human Resource Development (Higher Education) graced the occasion with her august presence.  The Auditorium was vibrant with the presence of distinguished guests, invitiees, other dignitaries, graduating students and their proud parents. The class of 2010 saw 169 participants being awarded the Post Graduate Diploma in Management by the institute.

The convocation was flagged off by a welcome address by Dr.Simon George, Dean-Academics followed by a brief introduction of the Chief Guest by Dr.Vasudeva Rao, Dean-Administration. Later, Dr. Saji Gopinath, Director of TAPMI highlighted the significant initiatives and achievements of TAPMI in the academic year 2009-10. He spoke about TAPMI moving into a new 42-acre campus, the success of its first eGPX program along with NISG, and a stronger faculty with two-thirds of them holding a doctorate. The diplomas were then handed over to each of the graduating batch by Smt.Purandeswari, Dr.Ramdas Pai and Mr.Manish Sabharwal.

Mr. Manish Sabharwal, Chairman of TeamLease Services was the Guest of Honor for the occasion. In his thought provoking address, he emphasized the change that India has gone through in the last decade and encouraged the students to make the most of the current situation. He encouraged the students to adopt six virtues that he thought were the most important for the current generation to adopt – Think Big, Be Authentic, Recognize the power of luck and timing, Realize the power of teams, Play to win and Take more risk. Mr.Sabharwal also released the 2010 issue of TAPMI’s annual magazine ‘Update’.

The Hon’ble Minister delivered the convocation address, in which she highlighted the growth that India has undergone, and said that India is poised for a leap that has never been imagined before. Terming the 21st century as the Knowledge Century, she pointed out that knowledge is incomplete without innovation and encouraged the students to adopt innovation as a way of life. She provided the students with three real life examples of Dr. Verghese Kurien, Dr. E. Sreedharan and Dr. Ratan Tata, highlighting their achievements as eminent innovators.

She also advised the students to focus on the three TI’s: Think India, Team India and Total Innovation, to channelize the huge force of the Demographic Dividend that the country has towards helping the country to achieve its goal of removing the mismatch between the islands of excellence and sea of underdevelopment. She said that universities should produce innovators and not imitators, to realize the dreams of India. She ended the address with a quote by Mahatma Gandhi that reminded the audience to hold on to their roots at every stage of life.

In the felicitation ceremony that followed the convocation, the Hon’ble Minister gave away awards to those students who secured the top three ranks in academics :

1st Rank – Mr.Vivek Didwania

2nd Rank – Ms.Sholina Mukerji

3rd Rank – Mr.Dheeraj Agarwal, Mr.Nirav Jitendrakumar Vora

The coveted AgrEvo Student Award for overall achievement was won by Mr.Manish Mahnot while Mr.Priyank Daga received the first ever TAPMI Achiever Award. The Chairman of TAPMI Governing Council, Dr.Ramdas Pai released a Compendium of all the twenty four Memorial Lectures held annually over the past 25 years of TAPMI’s existence.

– Media & Public Relations Group

‘Entrepreneurship is a process, not an event’

Mr.Manish Sabharwal at the TAPMI Leadership Lecture Series
Mr.Manish Sabharwal at the TAPMI Leadership Lecture Series

Mr.Manish Sabharwal, a successful entrepreneur and co-founder of TeamLease Services, delivered a lecture on ‘Entrepreneurship as a career’ to the students of TAPMI on the 2nd of April 2010. Mr.Manish Sabharwal is an MBA from Wharton and had co-founded companies like IndiaLife, ICap India and India Insure Risk Management. This lecture marked the third edition of the Silver Jubilee Leadership Lecture Series.

Dr. Ramdas M. Pai (Chancellor, Manipal University), Dr. Simon George (Dean-Academics, TAPMI), Dr. Saji Gopinath (Director, TAPMI) were present on the occasion along with students and faculty of TAPMI.

Prior to the commencement of the talk, an awards function was held to recognise the academic achievements of students. Mr.Sabharwal gave away the following awards to the students:

  • Dr.A.S.Iyer award to the best finance student- Mr.Vivek Didwania, PGDM 2008-10
  • Dr.S.Dhandapani award for first rank in PGDM- Mr.Vivek Didwania, PGDM 2008-10
  • Prashant Kulkarni award for best MIP- Mr.Muthusubramanian, PGDM 2008-10
  • Jaspreet Sebastian award for achievements in 1st year–Ms.Kanika Gupta,PGDM-2009-11
  • The Top 3 Brandscan 2009 projects were also awarded:
    • 1st – Mr.Tuhin Guha and team for shaadi.com
    • 2nd – Mr.Tanmoy Sarkar and team for Wildstone
    • 3rd – Mr.R.Srikanth and team for GCMMF(Amul)

The second issue of TAPMI’s Research newsletter was also released by the guest speaker. Mr.Sabharwal in his talk took the audience through his initial experiences as an entrepreneur. He mentioned that there were no golden rules in entrepreneurship. He emphasized that entrepreneurship is not about a brilliant idea, but about a commitment and determination to see the existing mechanisms with new eyes, and pursuing your dream.

He also viewed the allocation of resources such as capital and human resource as an important decision for an entrepreneur. He said, “Money should be spent as little and as late as you can, whereas a good team has to be chosen as early as you can”. He pointed out that as an entrepreneur, one should value diversity in a team, since different skills are required at different phases of business.

He then explained the scenario of entrepreneurship in India, where India can be seen as a market base or a production base. He concluded his talk by suggesting to the students to take a long term view of money and life and to consider entrepreneurship as a viable alternative after graduation.  He later answered the queries raised by the students on social entrepreneurship, challenges for entrepreneurs in India and learning entrepreneurial lessons from both success and failure.

– Media & Public Relations Group

Outgoing batch leaves their green footprints

SEG Tree Plantation Batch 2008-2010
SEG Tree Plantation Batch 2008-2010

The Social Endeavour Group(SEG) of TAPMI organized a tree plantation event on 2nd April 2010. The initiative stemmed from the idea of having each FAS* group of the outgoing batch (2008-10) plant a sapling each. The saplings would be identified by the names / photos of the students of the respective groups. This enabled the outgoing batch to leave behind their mark in the college and Team SEG hopes it would make them happy to see their saplings grow into full trees in the years to come as and when the outgoing batch members visit the campus next.

The event was held a day before the convocation when the students of the batch of 2008-2010 arrived to campus for attending the convocation. The area identified for planting the saplings was around the flattened land on the way to the Boys hostel. Representatives from each group planted the saplings, covered them with soil and watered them.

– Social Endeavour Group

*FAS Group : Yes that’s the student working group into which the incoming batch here @ TAPMI is divided for all the group assignments ,submissions, presentations and what not. They work together, they fight, they crib still end up as a closely knit family with no option other than to love each other !!!!!