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Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates

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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 17:17
Interesting. Hope this idea works out for your venture.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 14 May 2010, 20:35
skipjames wrote:
Interesting. Hope this idea works out for your venture.


Thanks, Skip, for your kind words.

The profile evaluation and B-school shortlisting report is available for non-Indian candidates as well.

Our US-based partners (a well-respected team that you'd be familiar with) are offering a customized version of this tool for American and International candidates.

They have the expertise and the experience to help out candidates with diverse backgrounds - including busy working professionals (I just read your self-introduction) who need a little help in validating and structuring their application strategy.

They are offering it at an introductory price.

If this sounds interesting, drop me a PM after you get your GMAT score and I could hook you up with that team.

Good luck with your GMAT prep (crack that quant) and the rest of your application process, Skip. Hope you succeed in getting all that you are striving for, and more.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2010, 03:19
HI Sameer,

Yes , i am looking ouside India as well. Here's my profile. Please have a look at my profile and suggest :


-Male/29/Indian/IT(Embedded Domain)

GMAT: not yet. But targeting 740-750

Education:
1. PG diploma in Embedded systems
2. BTech in Electronics and Communcations(College Topper)
3. UG 3 & 1/2 Yrs Diploma in Electronics and Communcations(College Topper)

UG is 3 and half year regular full time course with last half year as full time practical training/work at company.
Btech is 4 year full time course with 10 weeks of regular training/work at company

WorkEx:
6 yrs as of today.

Highlight:
1. Patent Holder.
2. Six Sigma Green Belt Holder for Quality.
3. Project Management and Lead 2 yrs experience
4. Award for another Six Sigma Project.
5. Quality Continued Education within Company( Level 1 and Level 2 Certified)
6. International Work experience
7. Direct Client interaction and good reputation with client.
8. Among Top performers in company ( Awarded certificate for Best performance)
9. Worked in different MNC culture (US/S.Korean/Spanish)
10. Member of Business council in Company.


Low points:
Social work

MBA Plans:
Outside india: US


Anything I need to work on?? What should be the score target???


Thanks
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 10 Jun 2010, 03:25
Hello Sameer,

Please evaluate my profile and provide me guidance on which B-schools should I select.

My MBA interest: FT, 12-15 months program in Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Business mgt, Marketing.

GMAT 1(on Nov 15, 2007) - 640 (Q46, V31)
GMAT 2(scheduled on June 24, 2010)

Total Work Exp: 6 yrs (3.5 yrs IT + 2.5 yrs Departmental/Retail stores chain (Family business in New Delhi, India))

International Exp:
Twice on client site (based in Oakland, California) (2.5 months + 1.5 months)

Sex – Male
Age – 30 yrs
Nationality - Indian

Current Responsibilities:
Managing day-to-day operations, sales, marketing, private label production. I am managing transaction worth INR 10 Cr (approx), while total business revenue is 25 Cr.

Previous IT exp:
1. As a Sr. QA, managing a team of 4 in my second organization, received client appreciations. Working closely with one of top 5 Japanese organization (business partner of my US client).
2. Worked with multicultural teams (Indian+American+Japanese)
3. As a software engg in India's top IT organization for 2.5 yrs

Education:
B. Tech (Computers) from Kurukshetra Univ, 2004 passout, 73% marks
XII – 67%, CBSE board
X – 73%, CBSE board

ECs:
1. Nothing special, but was participating in some social responsibility events in my IT organizations.
2. Helped my organization to spread the idea of Save Paper. Even got appreciation from my development center Admin Head.
3. My retail outlets were the first in New Delhi to start avoiding polyethene bags and use of bio-degradable/plastic bags as per govt regulations. Hudreds of customers appreciated our efforts and even various other retailers following this practice.

Aim: I want to expand my business, adding more stores, not only in grocery segment, but also in jewelry/home interiors/kitchenware. I have started marketing our private lables (in processed food) to a few outlets and planning to start marketing in entire NCR region. I want to make my firm a Pvt. Ltd with listing it on BSE/NSE (within 5 yrs).

I would like to know:

1. How my profile looks for an MBA from the top 10-20 B-schools?
2. Do lack of good ECs reflect bad on my profile?
3. What, in your opinion, is my strengths and weakness reflected in my profile?
4. I have changed my career from IT sector to retail sector. Is it negative?
5. In my IT exp, I didnt have direct leadership role . So, it is negative on my profile?
6. Please mention what should I do to make my case stronger for final call.
7. Please list the best schools for Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Business mgt, Marketing.

------
Ykaiim
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 09:07
ykaiim wrote:
Hello Sameer,

Please evaluate my profile and provide me guidance on which B-schools should I select.

My MBA interest: FT, 12-15 months program in Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Business mgt, Marketing.

GMAT 1(on Nov 15, 2007) - 640 (Q46, V31)
GMAT 2(scheduled on June 24, 2010)

Total Work Exp: 6 yrs (3.5 yrs IT + 2.5 yrs Departmental/Retail stores chain (Family business in New Delhi, India))

International Exp:
Twice on client site (based in Oakland, California) (2.5 months + 1.5 months)

Sex – Male
Age – 30 yrs
Nationality - Indian

Current Responsibilities:
Managing day-to-day operations, sales, marketing, private label production. I am managing transaction worth INR 10 Cr (approx), while total business revenue is 25 Cr.

Previous IT exp:
1. As a Sr. QA, managing a team of 4 in my second organization, received client appreciations. Working closely with one of top 5 Japanese organization (business partner of my US client).
2. Worked with multicultural teams (Indian+American+Japanese)
3. As a software engg in India's top IT organization for 2.5 yrs

Education:
B. Tech (Computers) from Kurukshetra Univ, 2004 passout, 73% marks
XII – 67%, CBSE board
X – 73%, CBSE board

ECs:
1. Nothing special, but was participating in some social responsibility events in my IT organizations.
2. Helped my organization to spread the idea of Save Paper. Even got appreciation from my development center Admin Head.
3. My retail outlets were the first in New Delhi to start avoiding polyethene bags and use of bio-degradable/plastic bags as per govt regulations. Hudreds of customers appreciated our efforts and even various other retailers following this practice.

Aim: I want to expand my business, adding more stores, not only in grocery segment, but also in jewelry/home interiors/kitchenware. I have started marketing our private lables (in processed food) to a few outlets and planning to start marketing in entire NCR region. I want to make my firm a Pvt. Ltd with listing it on BSE/NSE (within 5 yrs).

I would like to know:

------
Ykaiim



Hi Ykaiim,


1. How my profile looks for an MBA from the top 10-20 B-schools?

Short answer. Pretty interesting. The last 2.5 yrs will give you a lot to talk about. You aspirations of taking your company to the stock exchanges is ambitious. I hope you have a solid business plan ready. Be ready to talk about milestones, risks, mitigation plans. Incorporating a company is the easy part. Your CA will get it done in 30 days. The tricky part is to get your ship out there in the choppy seas and not lose track of your destination.

2. Do lack of good ECs reflect bad on my profile?

ECs only make your profile seem richer by adding dimensions that your professional roles might not be able to talk about. Without ECs, there are lesser sources to draw from.

3. What, in your opinion, is my strengths and weakness reflected in my profile?

The Situation:
You've moved from a structured process-driven environment to the chaotic (relatively speaking) world of enterpreneurship. I'm guessing you are a second generation enterpreneur. So you aren't really struggling with the basic elements. The challenge you face now are at the scaling up level.

The Challenge:
If executed well, this can be your key weapon. You will be able to talk about experiences across two worlds. How good are your content structuring and presentation skills? How well do you write? These questions will decide if you convert the 'situation' part into a strength or a weakness.

4. I have changed my career from IT sector to retail sector. Is it negative?

Nope. But you'll have to careful about how you depict the transition. You will have to answer some obvious queries that will come up.

5. In my IT exp, I didnt have direct leadership role . So, it is negative on my profile?

What technical/functional role were you in? In your organisation, at what stage do people start getting team leadership and project management responsibility? Considering the answers to these questions, would you consider your growth as below/above average?

6. Please mention what should I do to make my case stronger for final call.

Right now there are too many things on your plate. Your next question is an indicaton of what I'm referring to. Each of the areas you've mentioned below is an ocean. The first one, Entrepreneurship, involves elements from all other disciplines. The other two are more specialised areas that will allow you to go deeper. Try to get more specific.

7. Please list the best schools for Entrepreneurship, Strategy & Business mgt, Marketing

Could we come back to this once you've narrowed down on your focus areas?

I also have a query about the age/experience equation for you. But will keep that for later.

Your GMAT date isn't too far off. If you are interested, we could resume our discussions on June 24th when the uncertainty is lesser, at least as far as the objective data is concerned.

Keeping my fingers crossed for you, my friend.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 10:05
Thanks Sameer.

I'll certainly have a word with you for next step.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 12 Jun 2010, 15:43
Hey Dude,

Thanks for the time in evaluating each profile.
We appreciate it.

My focus is primarily on ISB. Need to move to India immediately post MBA. My fiancee is a doctor in India and would like to continue on her PG, post my MBA. So ISB would make my life lot simpler, in chances of career pportunities in India. Else, with a US degree, I would have to fight the tide in trying to move to India and secure a job there, coupled with the huge loan on my back.

Here is my profile again.

26 yrs, Male, Indian, working in US for the last 2.5 years.

Manufacturing Background
MS Industrial Engineering, University of Arkansas (3.3 GPA)
BS Mechanical Engineering, in India (3 GPA)

Professional Experience
2.5 years work experience as Manufacturing & Projects Engineer in a private firm with 135 employees. (3.5 yrs work exp at matriculation)
Selected this company, as I wanted to learn all the aspects of running an industry. I am a big fish in a small pond here.
Directly report to the CEO and advise him on new product development technologies and continuous improvement.
Our company runs thin on resources, so I wear several hats including those of developing new product ideas, product design, continuous improvement, process improvement, product strategy, pricing, etc.

Proposed changes in our operation and convinced supervisors, with 20 years of experience in the same company, to change.
Lots of people management skills.

Made a significant impact on the company's culture for the better. Had a vision when very few believed me and now we are half way there. Hit many brick walls on the way. Everyone is glad we started the journey.
Made a difference to the bottom line to the tune of $350,000 per annum.

Term Goals:
Passionate about the mfg industry. Get a management role in top multinational mfg companies like Ford, Nokia, Caterpillar, Procter & Gamble, GE, etc.
Set up my own industry in the long term.


GMAT: 720

Extracurricular:
Play racquetball tournaments
Into Thai Kickboxing, may have my first fight this year.
Designed and fabricated a washing machine that runs on pedal power, during my undergrad. Won the second prize at the national level.
Like acting and have directed and acted in number of stage plays during my Masters and job.

*******************************************************************************

My school list:

1. ISB
2. Ross - Tauber
3. MIT-LGO
4. Tuck
5. Darden
6. Duke
7. Cornell
8. Kellogg
9. Kelley


How would you rate my chances in these schools?
I would have to shortlist the list to 5 schools.


I appreciate your valuable time.
Thanks,
Raghu
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 15 Jun 2010, 23:34
Hi Sameer,

Greetings of the day !

Please evaluate my profile as well and give me an honest advice on the B-schools that I intend to target.
I want to bulid a career in Marketing and Brand Management.

GMAT : Yet to give (Actually I wish to persue MBA next year i.e. 2011)

Total Work Exp: 3 years

Work Domain :1) I have worked for 3 years in a Taiwan based MNC(IT Hardware Industry) in a Marketing/Brand Mgmt profile
2) Currently I am working as Marketing Manger in an Indian MNC (IT Hardware Industry).

Gender - Male
Age - 25 years
Nationality - Indian

Current Job Profile :

Handling a pool of IT Hardware Brands and Product management
Be the face of the brand at trade and Media facing events and managing the PR/Marcomm
ATL and BTL activities for the brands and participating in various trade/Road Shows
Managing the LFR(Large Format Retail) accouts for various Brands
Supporting the commercial team to activate growth drivers
Training internal team on category and brand, as well as generating market for upcoming technology


Education Details :
B.E. in Electronics & Telecom from Mumbai University, 2007 Passout with 72%
XII-71%
X-82.3%


ECs:
Appeared on TV news Channel for giving Product Reviews
Memeber of IEEE in College and event coordinator for the IEEE festival in College
Did active work for raising Funds for the under privillaged children
Won awards for academic excellence
Won prizes for Debates/GD at College Level
Certificate of appreciation from previous employer

Arranged alot of Media meets and press conferences
I have managed a gamut of Road shows/below the line marketing activities



AIM: I wish to target the Indian B schools Like ISB and Great Lakes. I want to build a career in Brand Management/Product Marketing and Consulting. I want to get into a strategy/policy making role.

My queries:
• Looking at my profile, how much I need to get in GMAT to secure a call from ISB and Great Lakes
• What kind of profiles would I get after graduating from these schools
• On which aspect I need to work, so as to ensure a call from the above mentioned schools
• Is it good to target only Indian B schools as I do not have much awareness of International B school
• Can you suggest good B- schools outside India, for Marketing and Brand Mgmt
• How much Scholarship/financial aid can I get from the International B schools
• Any other valuable tip

Anxiously looking forward to your reply!

Thanks a Bunch !!

Regards,
Varun
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 16 Jun 2010, 22:30
ManishS wrote:
Hi Sameer,

Thanks for starting this wonderful thread ! Please evaluate my profile as well !

Details:

Male /29 Years/ India

Educational Background:
I was average in my school days with 77 % and 74% marks in 10th and 12th respectively.
I completed my engineering in Computer Science in the year 2003 with an overall of 74 %. I have also completed the 6months Young Professional Program ( Executive Education) from IIM Calcutta in the year 2005.

Even though I am a computer science graduate, I joined my family business in the year 2003. I have a total work experience of 7 years in my family business as a director. We are a FMCG company in Central India with a turn over of 70 crores and specialize in Flour Milling Operations. We presently operate two flour processing units with a total processing capacity of 30000 Quintals per day. We also run two bread manufacturing units under the franchise of Hindustan Unilever Limited. We produce and retail over 50000 breads and bakery products per day.

Extra Curricular:
I have represented my college and school in Cricket .
I am an expert at playing the keyboard.

GMAT : 710 ( Quant 50. Verbal 37)

I would like to hear your views upon the fruitfulness of an MBA for a profile like me.
Its easy for people to calculate their ROIs if they are from a service background. But for people like me, who arent very likely to sit for campus interviews because we are surely going to jump back into our businesses, calculation of ROI becomes a little tricky.

I want to do an MBA because I want to explore greater growth avenues, possible in my business or out of my current field of business . I wish to attend the college to widen my knowledge horizon which has a very limited window in my present business.

How fruitful can such courses be, for a Small/Medium Enterprise entrepreneur like me ?


Thanks and Regards,

Manish


Manish-bhai,

All going well, I hope.

Let's jump right in. In your entire professional background paragraph, you've focused more on the business than on yourself. In your role as a Director, I know vaguely that you call the shots now along with the other key members of the management team. However I do not get a flavour of what exactly you've been doing in that role.

Be careful about this trap while you are working on your essays. It's comes naturally for most of us to be modest and explain stuff either in a passive voice or the ubiquitous but extremely vague 'we'.

The challenge for Adcoms would be to segregate the 'we' from the 'you'. If I'm reading an application like this, I might face a dilemma of whether I should offer the MBA seat to you or one of your other family members who've been doing this for longer than you have.

On a serious note, the message I'm trying to convey is this --> Get specific, my friend.

Here are a few pointers to get you going.

- Are you responsible for operations and internal matters while the other family members focus on finance, customers, business development? Or are you involved in all of them to an extent.

- If it's the latter, then you'd surely have some areas where you do exceedingly well compared to others. What's that area?

- Is this an area you want to stick to after you complete your MBA or do you want to strengthen others areas where your exposure level currently is relatively not as strong.


That's a decently sized business you are running out there, dude, even when you compare it to some of the subsidiaries run by the biggies from the corporate world. There are several reasons why you might want to go for an MBA. Not possible to list them all down here (the response is already become long enough).

There's also another reason why I don't want to give you a data dump of reasons. Rather than spoon-feed you with the 'right answer' (there isn't one, btw), I'd like to see if I can get a convincing answer from you based on your current situation.

Could you do me (and yourself) a favour please? Let's do a little 2-step experiment.

Step 1: Take the second paragraph where you talk about your professional background and re-phrase it based on what we've talked about.

Step 2: Now take the second last para (The Why MBA part), re-word it and club this at the end of the first para. Does it flow? If not, work on it till it sounds like one logical story.

Point is - get the pitch right. Work out the nitty-gritties and ask someone (not necessarily a consultant, it could be a knowledgeable friend or family member) to look at it from an objective perspective. Does it look right? Does it sound right?

Let's try to make this sucker a little less ambiguous and a little more specific. Let's try to go beyond general gyan and build something concrete that you can use in your apps.

Are you game?
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 06:37
Hi Sameer,

I request you to kindly go over my brief profile and give feedback on the same. It would be great if you could suggest some schools where I have good chance of getting admitted.

My profile:

Age : 30
Nationality : Indian
Experience : 8+ (specifics below)
GMAT : first attempt - 680 (49Q, 34 V)
second attempt - 760 (48Q, 46V) [this is 3 months after the first attempt]
Undergrad : Engineering (Mechanical) with 78% from a not so famous university in India, ranked 3rd in class
Areas of Interest : Entrepreneurship (in Healthcare IT sector), marketing & strategy

Experience details:
5 years in IT services (software engineer, senior software engineer for a mid-size US based Indian software company). Good leadership experience here.
3 years in Healthcare IT (for a large multinational, in their healthcare equipment business unit. Not on software implementation side, but on the innovation side where I work with marketing and other teams to study market opportunities, mainly value-added-services and come up with solutions which will later be implemented by some other team/vendor). Not much official leadership experience here because most of the time I was in teams where the average experience of team members were 15+.

Extracurricular :

@college: student representative in career management cell, played key role in bringing companies to campus for recruitment.
played important role in college politics, organized campaigns for college union elections, and unsuccessfully ran for chairmanship
twice in organizing committee of a national level symposium competition organized by our department
@work: Started a alumni project sponsorship program at my college. Enlisted 7 other classmates to co-sponsor the project.
Started and ran a chapter of toastmasters at our office campus for more than 2 years.
One of the coordinators in my company's community involvement initiative.
Organized multiple outdoor activities (treks, leisure activities) for my team which is about 50 member strong

My main worries are my age, the undergrad university not being famous, and the chance of being put in the Indian/IT/male category though I have a slightly different background than the typical IT guy.

Extra background info: Along with my normal projects at work, I am parallely working on a small scale corporate venture that grew out from a concept I created early last year. Its an equipment for training medical students to do minimally invasive cardiac surgery. After presenting the concept to many members of the senior management and receiving good feedback, we (a team of 3, a cardiologist, a software architect, and me) received funding for prototyping which is being done by an intern we recruited for the same. Along with guiding the intern, I am also looking at analyzing the market potential, the competitive landscape, and the possible positioning of the equipement. Should I mark this activity as a separate venture experience or include this project under my normal project description section?

Thank you very much for your time!
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Please evaluate my profile [#permalink] New post 17 Jun 2010, 10:14
Please evaluate my profile

Age : 25
Nationality : Indian
Experience : 4+ (specifics below)
GMAT : planning in August

Undergrad : Engineering (Mechanical) with 68.11% from Delhi College of Engineering (Considered best Mechanical Engineering in Asia)

Areas of Interest : Consulting

Experience details:

Overall experience of more than four year. Recruited by Maruti Suzuki through campus (considered as best job for Mechanical Engineer, Recruited on very first day of core companies). Worked with Maruti Suzuki for about 2.5 years. Handled a small team of three. Represented company at National Management Games (NMG), India.
Having interest toward IT Consulting did SAP Certification in Materials Management Module, the interest shifted because want to utilise the functional knowledge gained at Maruti Suzuki and want to grow in the field of interest.
After that joined Pricewaterhouse coppers and presently also working as ERP Consultant, Logistics subject matter expert. Worked with big clients, added value to their business. Worked as project manager for one project, Independently handled projects and also done three months Business Consulting International project at one of the big steel companies.

Extracurricular :
@college: student representative in placement cell, played key role in bringing companies to campus for recruitment. Interest in computer gaming and represented college at various Inter college competition.

@work: member of the AutoExpo’08 core team: Involved in the content preparation activity, overall responsibility of Executive Zone at Maruti Pavilion, Winner of companywide Mechnatellect Quiz competition

I have following questions:

1. still have to appear for GMAT but can i still get into top 10 MBA college with the profile i have ?

2. how much score will seal admission to a good MBA college?

Thanks in advance

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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2010, 07:06
Hey Sameer,

Thanks a ton man! Your reply has really increased my confidence.
As you said, writing about the many things in my profile in a succinct and persuasive way (which is the key as you said) is my problem now..
I am not interested in the international consultants(exchange-rate & PPP are against us Indians in this case :P).
Do you offer essay review service as well?

cheers!
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 22 Jun 2010, 23:34
Hi Arun,

speeddeamon wrote:
Hey Sameer,

Thanks a ton man! Your reply has really increased my confidence.

Glad to hear that, sir.

speeddeamon wrote:
I am not interested in the international consultants (exchange-rate & PPP are against us Indians in this case ).

Life ain't easy, is it? Like they say...we all come into this world - naked, hungry and crying...and then it gets worse.

The B-school story isn't too different. It's a complex decision for most of us coming from middle class backgrounds. For a top-school, you are looking at an outflow of $100K+. And then there are the costs associated with relocation, visa...and now this growing trend in India - international admission consultants. When everyone managed their own apps, it was still ok. Now, when my competitor has got a dhinchak international consultant helping him out with his apps, I can't but feel jittery about it.

And to complicate matters, consultants come in all varieties.

- The bulk deal (people willing to do unlimited schools for Rs 15K)
- The upgraders (CAT coaching institutions wanting a piece of the growing international MBA pie)
- The part-timers (top-school grads testing the waters, but holding on to their day-jobs while trying to figure out a business model that works)
- The serious ones (fantastic quality, great track record, but obscenely priced services out of reach for most Indian applicants)

It's a call, you've gotta take, based on multiple parameters - the quality of people working with you on your apps (and not some unknown face working behind the scene on something so critical), their credibility, the track record (are there a considerable number of success stories) and of course the cost involved.


speeddeamon wrote:
Do you offer essay review service as well?

Kyon mazaak kar rahe ho, sir. Of course, we do! :-)

We consider that part as our key strengths. Want to know why? Check out the website. You'll also find out how we are addressing exchange-rate & PPP related concerns for apun ka local junta.

To be honest, our unconventional model started off as an experiment, but within a short span of time, it's become very popular.

If you are interested, drop me a note on the email ID listed on my signature.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 23 Jun 2010, 07:21
Quote:
Kyon mazaak kar rahe ho, sir. Of course, we do! :-)

We consider that part as our key strengths.


Sorry for that almost stupid question, i forgot that it is the reason for you to be in this business :P. Please don't take it personal :P

I had visited your website before and it gave me the impression that your services were around the Crystal Ball report and the tie up with the international consultant (probably the news about tie-up was so prominent that I jumped into this conclusion regarding the essay service at the bottom of page). FAQ talks only about the report and the tie-up for essay service.

suggestion: the essay services offered by you could be made bit more prominent or put under a section such as "Services".

Sure, I will contact you at the email-id for the service related queries.
BTW are you located in India by any chance?

cheers!
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 26 Jun 2010, 10:06
Hi Sameer,

I aspire to do MBA from top US B-schools. (On my list are - Kellogg, Michigan Ross, Darden, Tuck, Duke, UCLA. Though also wish to apply for Harvard and Wharton - It may seem highly ambitious).
However, from secondary research on the net and different forums, I am not sure whether my profile fits the target schools. Below is my profile -

Nationality - Indian
Age - 30 years
Undergraduate - Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from non IIT however, among top 15 engineering schools in India. Passed out in 2001. 72.9% Among top 15% of class
Work Experience - 9 years (in September 2010)
GMAT - 700 (Q49, V35) / 4.5
TOEFL - 109
International Experience -
Belgium - 1 months
Germant - 3 years

Work Experience Details
Out of 9 years, worked with Infosys for 6 years in application services primarily and last 3 years with mid size Indian IT outsourced product development company

The move from Infosys to product company was well thought of. In last 3 years with Infosys, I worked on a IT redefinition assignment for a German customer wherein I was involved more as a functional consultant who underwent the process of defining IT strategy for a business unit's marketing and sales initiatives, carving out IT programs and projects and execution and deployment of those programs. During this I was exposed to cross-functional business challenges and how these can impede any program if not well executed. During this time, I decided to earn more experience into product development and management and moved to a mid size product company ( because in SME, I could proactively take more diverse cross-functional opportunities which is difficult to get in large companies).

Though I have worked in IT companies, I have some uniqueness in profile as well.
1) For last 1 year, I am managing a business consulting assignment. In this, we do competitive analysis of customer's product suite vis-a-vis its top competitors (who it meets often on sales field). This analysis is more than functional comparison (as is normal with Indian IT professionals) and goes beyond to licensing comparions, industry alignment, market positioning etc. The output of these studies are often product roadmaps and preliminary sales strategy. I am actively involved in these analysis and demonstration to customer product and sales groups.

While working in this assignment, I have some good numbers and results to show such as -
1) Did SWOT for customer and competitor product in a week's time frame and provided backend support to the customer to clinch a sales deal from the competitor. This deal was for one of top 5 European bank and worth in excess of US$ 25 million.
2) Pursued and Negotiated competitor's product purchases in decision maker capacity. These purchases ranged from US$ 100K to US$ 700K. Multiple purchases. For this I involve cross functional teams with in my org - purchase, sales, finance and IT teams. Involves lot of inter-personal and diplomatic aspects
3) This assignment was never done before in my organization. So, instrumental in setting up framework and processes for executing such assignments. FY10 Revenues - US$ 1 million, FY11 expected revenues - US$ 2.5 million. Awarded multiple individual and team awards at org level as recognition
4) During purchase of competitor products, have gone through multiple legal and financial review cycles with my company's legal department and senior management. At times, competitor licenses explicitly discourages us to do any comparative analysis so legal reviews and confirmations are mandatory. This has put us largely in an uncertain environment where license doesn't permit us to do and we are keen to continue with this kind of work. Have some experiences around where we are partnering with Chinese companies to procure and host environment to do such work.
5) Have some experiences where we faced ethical dilemmas and we took assertive stand in front of customer to say No

Other than above assignment, I am also handling two more projects -
Project 1 - It is a staff augmentation project where we get hiring positions from customer. I own the complete process from a) understanding JD from customer, b)settingup selection criteria and process c) coordinating with my recruitment team, interview panels etc. d) negotiating salary approvals from company's senior management etc.

Project 2 - This is a typical IT project (job search portal development) on which I am the project manager. However, to differentiate a bit, I have proactively taken role of account management and pre-sales. When this account/project was started, it was only 5 people big team. After 5 months, it has grown to 12 people. Recently, we have also started discussions on customer support opportunity which will be again 3-4 people team to start with and have a potential to grow. I have some stories around how I engaged customer with showcasing my company's strengths and positive results in initial phase to build confidence and also how I could manage to get focus of my directors on this small account.

Extra Curriculars
College -
1) Participated in many national level paper presentations and other contests and won awards
2) Took leadership roles in organizing college fests
3) Joint Placement Officer for my batch for campus placements

Work
1) To enhance my presentation, people and speaking skills, I volunteer to take org level soft skills trainings - Client Handling Skills
2) Owner of Infrastructure Center of Excellence (at company level). Have stories around setting it up and running it. Also some results around how we helped different pre-sales efforts with collarterals and won deals of medium sizes (upto US$ 1 million annually)
3) Reviewer for different technical and domain initiatives
4) In past, co-owner of technical forums

Community Service
1) Actively involved with an NGO with clear objective of providing vocational skills in underpreviliged children who can take up job in near-community. I take computer and soft-skills classes for these children twice a week. recently, took initiative to help a newly opened rural centre (around 50 kms from my city) where no other volunteer was ready to go
2) Previously involved in Infosys Foundation programs and fund raising initiatives (no big achievements here)
3) Assumed coordinator role in the society where I recently shifted to live. Since society is newly developed, has lot of issues around safety, cleanliness, logistics etc. Taking up issues from residents to builder and maintenance agency to get timely resolutions.

Post MBA Goal
Armed with deep business knowledge, shift into product consulting where I help organizations from identifying right products to build product strategies (functional, marketing, sales, licensing. positioning etc.).

Please provide your evaluation. My main concern is around a) 9+ yrs experience b) average GMAT c) competitive Indian IT male pool of applicants.

Regards,
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 29 Jun 2010, 22:03
Hi,

Request to please evaluate my profile for the TOP 10 Leading B Schools (including India and US).

Work Experience : 6.5 years in IT industry in India with one of the Top MNCs here (This is my second company, the earlier being another top MNC in India). Have around 1.5+ years of Overseas exposure (in USA and Canada) as Technical Analyst and was involved in Client interaction and technical negotiations. Throughout my professional career I was involved in different projects and served high profile Global clients which included Fortune 500 companies also. Before I moved to US with a new role, I was also the "Module Lead" for my project for almost a year and 7-8 members were working directly under my supervision. I recently got a promotion as well!
Cleared and achieved different technical/ Non Technical certifications which includes Microsoft, ITIL (for Service Management).

1. Will this experience good enough for the schools I am aiming for? Is it suitable for 2 years MBA or a shorter duration Executive MBA?


Degree : B.Tech in Information Technology from one of the Private Engineering Colleges in eastern India. My B.Tech GPA is 8.3 out of 10.

GMAT Score : 680 (AWA: 5)
Academics :
10 : 76% (State Board)
12 : 68% (State Board)

2. Does these numbers look impressive? Should I go for another GMAT test to make it better if possible?

Diversity:
Extra Curricular : Nothing major;

Social Activities:
Involved with Companies Corporate Social Responsibility Team (sometimes need to go to primary schools and teach poor children/ donation collection etc.) and Environment Focus Team (was involved in a team for public awareness on different environmental issues etc.).

3. Can my Social Activities overwrite my Extra Curricular activities (since I am weak in this)? Will this impact my overall chance of getting into the schools? I am bit worried on this part and is there a way I can make this look a bit better!!


4. If I give GMAT another shot in next 6 months time, is there a way in the mean time I can make my Extra Curricular / Social Activities part look better?


Really appreciate your suggestions here. Thanks.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 30 Jun 2010, 08:01
I recently took my GMAT and scored a 650 (V-34, Q-45). (V-68%, Q074%). I was planning to apply to some B-Schools. I haven't got my Essay scores yet. Though this might be a common question, I thought an opinion from an experienced person like you could help me get over my dilemma whether I should take the test again or continue with my application process.

So here is my profile:

- I have a total of 6 years of experience (Oct 04- Oct 10). I worked in Infosys Technologies as a Software Developer for 3 years. I then moved to Oracle Corporation as a Quality Assurance Engineer and have been working there since 2007.

- My Academic records are - 92.33% at high school. I did my Electrical and Electronics Engineering and scored 75%. I guess CGPA conversion would be 5 for high school and 3 for undergrad.

- My current activities other than work would be free-lance software development for some of the local clients in Bangalore, India. Also I sponsor education for two kids in Bangalore through a charitable institution. I also am involved with Volunteer activities for charitable causes within Oracle through its Ora Volunteers club.

- My past extra curricular activities would be that I trained in Martial Arts and also trained in Music - Guitar and Drums. I've also been a part of various cultural events at high school - theatre.

- I currently hold a Senior Member of Technical staff position with Oracle. I am lead for an automation tool that our organization and various other internal organizations use. Elaborating on this would probably be my pitch in the application when they ask about any leadership role that I have played in my profession.

Can you please let me know if:

1. My score is good enough to apply to universities that are ranked 25 and beyond? I understand that the Indian IT Male is over represented, but I just wanted to know if universities ranked 25 and beyond would be OK with this score.

2. Would you recommend me with my current profile to retake my test or continue with my app process.

I would greatly appreciate any opinions that you might have. Looking forward to your opinions.
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 00:44
Hi Sameer,

Request your help with my profile evaluation.

Age : 26
Nationality : Indian
Experience : 4
GMAT : 1st Attempt - 700 (51Q, 32 V, 5.0 AWA). Feb’09
2nd Attempt - 710 (50Q, 35V, 4.5 AWA). Apr’10
Undergrad : B.Tech in Computer Science from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee.
Currently pursuing CFA. Written L1 in June 2010, results awaited.

Areas of Interest: Finance –Investment Services/Portfolio Management

Experience details (Total Exp – 4yrs. Employer – Citi India)
1. 2010 Mar – Now: Implementation Manager – Consumer & Commercial Banking – Customer Servicing Channels.
2. 2009-10 – Implementation Manager – Consumer Banking – Credit Initiation (Card, Unsecured Loans & Secured Loans/Lines)
3. 2006-2008 – Business Analyst & Project Manager – Sales & Credit
International Exposure:
1. Business/Cross Team Interaction – Worked for CitiFinancial India, Thailand & Indonesia. And Citibank Singapore, Philippines, Guam, Malaysia, Indonesia and North America.
2. International Travel – Travelled for implementation work to Singapore, Philippines & Malaysia.
Extracurricular:
@college:
• Member of the Executive Council (7 members) of SAC (Students Association Council).
o Received the highest votes for the post of General Secretary in Student Body election, although lost in a lucky draw to resolve the tie.
• Won the 2nd prize in the National Level Business Plan Competition – Corpostrat
• Treasurer of Hobbies Club Festival – Srishti’06. Event initially funded by institute, we made it self-funded with sponsorship around INR 500000, in spite of the fact that festival was held in April just after our Cultural and Technical fest and Financial year end. Conducted workshops by International Speakers and other events to take the festival to new heights.
@work:• Rated ‘1/Outstanding’ in 2 out of 4 appraisals during my tenure in Citi and ‘2/Excellent’ for the rest 2.
• Identified as a HIPO (High Potential Employee).
• Youngest employee to be designated Solution Architect and made an Approver for all high impact requirements of CitiFinancial India, Indo & Thai business.
• Ran collection programs in collaboration with NGO – Goonj and Coordinate donations (Clothes, books, etc) from office colleagues and housing society.

Target Colleges:
- Harvard
- MIT Sloan
- NYU Stern
- Haas
- Ross
- Darden
- Duke Fuqua

I need to shortlist this to 5 colleges. Would be great if you can tag my chances in these. Only criterion for college is great finance faculty & resources, should be in US, Good Alumni network, Scholarship would be an icing on the cake 

Thank you for your time and effort!
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 02:40
aspireformba wrote:
Hi Sameer,

I aspire to do MBA from top US B-schools. (On my list are - Kellogg, Michigan Ross, Darden, Tuck, Duke, UCLA. Though also wish to apply for Harvard and Wharton - It may seem highly ambitious).
However, from secondary research on the net and different forums, I am not sure whether my profile fits the target schools. Below is my profile -

Nationality - Indian
Age - 30 years
Undergraduate - Bachelor of Engineering in Electronics from non IIT however, among top 15 engineering schools in India. Passed out in 2001. 72.9% Among top 15% of class
Work Experience - 9 years (in September 2010)
GMAT - 700 (Q49, V35) / 4.5
TOEFL - 109
International Experience -
Belgium - 1 months
Germant - 3 years

Work Experience Details
Out of 9 years, worked with Infosys for 6 years in application services primarily and last 3 years with mid size Indian IT outsourced product development company

The move from Infosys to product company was well thought of. In last 3 years with Infosys, I worked on a IT redefinition assignment for a German customer wherein I was involved more as a functional consultant who underwent the process of defining IT strategy for a business unit's marketing and sales initiatives, carving out IT programs and projects and execution and deployment of those programs. During this I was exposed to cross-functional business challenges and how these can impede any program if not well executed. During this time, I decided to earn more experience into product development and management and moved to a mid size product company ( because in SME, I could proactively take more diverse cross-functional opportunities which is difficult to get in large companies).

Though I have worked in IT companies, I have some uniqueness in profile as well.
1) For last 1 year, I am managing a business consulting assignment. In this, we do competitive analysis of customer's product suite vis-a-vis its top competitors (who it meets often on sales field). This analysis is more than functional comparison (as is normal with Indian IT professionals) and goes beyond to licensing comparions, industry alignment, market positioning etc. The output of these studies are often product roadmaps and preliminary sales strategy. I am actively involved in these analysis and demonstration to customer product and sales groups.

While working in this assignment, I have some good numbers and results to show such as -
1) Did SWOT for customer and competitor product in a week's time frame and provided backend support to the customer to clinch a sales deal from the competitor. This deal was for one of top 5 European bank and worth in excess of US$ 25 million.
2) Pursued and Negotiated competitor's product purchases in decision maker capacity. These purchases ranged from US$ 100K to US$ 700K. Multiple purchases. For this I involve cross functional teams with in my org - purchase, sales, finance and IT teams. Involves lot of inter-personal and diplomatic aspects
3) This assignment was never done before in my organization. So, instrumental in setting up framework and processes for executing such assignments. FY10 Revenues - US$ 1 million, FY11 expected revenues - US$ 2.5 million. Awarded multiple individual and team awards at org level as recognition
4) During purchase of competitor products, have gone through multiple legal and financial review cycles with my company's legal department and senior management. At times, competitor licenses explicitly discourages us to do any comparative analysis so legal reviews and confirmations are mandatory. This has put us largely in an uncertain environment where license doesn't permit us to do and we are keen to continue with this kind of work. Have some experiences around where we are partnering with Chinese companies to procure and host environment to do such work.
5) Have some experiences where we faced ethical dilemmas and we took assertive stand in front of customer to say No

Other than above assignment, I am also handling two more projects -
Project 1 - It is a staff augmentation project where we get hiring positions from customer. I own the complete process from a) understanding JD from customer, b)settingup selection criteria and process c) coordinating with my recruitment team, interview panels etc. d) negotiating salary approvals from company's senior management etc.

Project 2 - This is a typical IT project (job search portal development) on which I am the project manager. However, to differentiate a bit, I have proactively taken role of account management and pre-sales. When this account/project was started, it was only 5 people big team. After 5 months, it has grown to 12 people. Recently, we have also started discussions on customer support opportunity which will be again 3-4 people team to start with and have a potential to grow. I have some stories around how I engaged customer with showcasing my company's strengths and positive results in initial phase to build confidence and also how I could manage to get focus of my directors on this small account.

Extra Curriculars
College -
1) Participated in many national level paper presentations and other contests and won awards
2) Took leadership roles in organizing college fests
3) Joint Placement Officer for my batch for campus placements

Work
1) To enhance my presentation, people and speaking skills, I volunteer to take org level soft skills trainings - Client Handling Skills
2) Owner of Infrastructure Center of Excellence (at company level). Have stories around setting it up and running it. Also some results around how we helped different pre-sales efforts with collarterals and won deals of medium sizes (upto US$ 1 million annually)
3) Reviewer for different technical and domain initiatives
4) In past, co-owner of technical forums

Community Service
1) Actively involved with an NGO with clear objective of providing vocational skills in underpreviliged children who can take up job in near-community. I take computer and soft-skills classes for these children twice a week. recently, took initiative to help a newly opened rural centre (around 50 kms from my city) where no other volunteer was ready to go
2) Previously involved in Infosys Foundation programs and fund raising initiatives (no big achievements here)
3) Assumed coordinator role in the society where I recently shifted to live. Since society is newly developed, has lot of issues around safety, cleanliness, logistics etc. Taking up issues from residents to builder and maintenance agency to get timely resolutions.

Post MBA Goal
Armed with deep business knowledge, shift into product consulting where I help organizations from identifying right products to build product strategies (functional, marketing, sales, licensing. positioning etc.).

Please provide your evaluation. My main concern is around a) 9+ yrs experience b) average GMAT c) competitive Indian IT male pool of applicants.

Regards,
MBA Aspirant


As I read through the profile, I was going in my head - hmmm...mature profile. And I'm not referring to the number of years of work-ex. I'm talking about the way you've analysed your own profile and structured it here (we'll speak about the presentation part a little later). Shows that you've done a fair bit of introspection on your own.

Always good to work with those who know where they are and where they want to go. Helps the consultant and the candidate reduce the preliminary effort required. You know what you are strong at, where you don't have an advantage, you've got your list of schools ready (why aren't you looking at European schools?). In short, you are in a position to hit the ground running.

If you are expecting a tick-box approach, let me address that first. You are hitting all the right notes in many of the areas that Adcoms look at - good acads, managerial exp, international exp, extra-currics, community work, yada yada. But you knew that anyway, right? Ok, tick-box approach over. Let's move on to more interesting things.

A few points for you to think about when you start working on your essays. This is where we pick up the presentation story that we left earlier.

- Right now the approach you've taken in drafting this post is fine - as you've got an engineer talking to an engineer. So I don't have trouble understanding you. But the person reviewing your essay will most probably not share your background. So you gotta make it palatable to a non-technical audience.

- If I had been reading this from a job interviewers perspective, I'd appreciate the language and the tone. For a b-school application, this is khatarnak-ly dry (did we just invent something here?). Despite the variety of your experience, the language and the jargon that you use make it difficult for the reader not to bunch you along with the rest of thy brethren from the IT industry.

- Reviewers read thousands of apps and it's a painful process, irrespective of how special your app is to you. Try not to push your readers into reading it for a second time before the whole thing starts forming a complete picture. Make the mental picture building process easier.

The schools you have on your list are pretty competitive. You've gotta take the presentation part several notches higher. Keep the points listed above in mind and start working on the appln strategy right now.

Harvard, Wharton look tight. The other's might be a Practical to Stretch.

My partner in the US is a Harvard grad and highly respected by the international applicant community. Though he's not an Indian (he's American), he understands the Indian applicant profile much better than most Indians. Let me know if you want me to hook you up with his team. If you've decided to apply to the best schools, you might as well give it your best shot, right?
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Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates [#permalink] New post 01 Jul 2010, 04:04
Hi,

What are the schools schools which have good programs for Social Innovation or Social Entrepreneurship?
What are the main factors to be considered while shortlisting schools for these programs?
Also, what is the potential of MBA in this field in regards to getting a good job and career? Do companies recruit students with this background? What kinds of jobs and who all recruit?
Long term goal after this MBA could be varied (like NGO, socially responsible companies, non profit, etc) but considering MBA will cost a lot and there will be a big loan that needs to be taken care of, are there enough job opportunities out there??
Would appreciate response from experts and current students.

Apart from this, I have a few profile specific questions, please reply:
I took my second shot at GMAT last week and scored 670 (Q47 V35, AWA 5) in the test. I am an Indian female working as Electronics Design Engineer at John Deere India. I will have 3 yrs work ex at time of matriculation. Apart from this I have good social (Fellow at Open Space, NGO working for Social awareness and Teach for India's Young Professional Ambassador) and leadership (General Sec of the undergrad college and founder of drama club) experience. I wish to pursue MBA in social entrepreneurship in a good school in this field.

Is my score good enough to apply for Fall 2011?? I was of the opinion that rather than retake I can work more on essays and my profile. Am I thinking right, or a good GMAT score is more important? If I want to apply with this score, what other factors I should concentrate on?
Re: Ask MBA Crystal Ball - Indian Candidates   [#permalink] 01 Jul 2010, 04:04
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