Saturday, July 30, 2005

Himalaya trekking: Mt. Everest Base camp/Kanchenjunga Base camp

[Category: Personal]

I've been planning for quite some time to do a trek to Himalayas and after weeks of research, got fascinated by two options:

1. Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek

2. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek

I'm thinking of doing it in August. Though both are good options with moderate to difficult treks, there are various pros and cons about the same. On record, and to clear my mind, I'll write here:

1. Mt. Everest Base Camp Trek:

a) If going from Nepal side, best to go in October/November, worst in June/July. Need 15-20 days.

b) If going from Tibet side, best to go in June/July, worst in March/April.

But:
     1) Tibet Visa is available for only groups more than 5, and one may need to wait for a few days in Nepal to get Visa... as the process doesn't seem to be very transparent, though that is just my opinion. And I could not find if Chinese Embassy gives Visa for Tibet in Delhi too... Seems like Nepal is the only option. Need 20-25 days. And we need to fly to Lhase from Nepal: unpredictable weather can cause delays.

     2) There are talks going on between China, India and Sikkim Govts to open the famous Silk Route, which is one of the most beautiful trek/road route... so I'm planning to wait to go to Tibet through that (exp 2007-8: Post MBA trek!). Will need 15 days.

c) Political and Peace situation in Nepal is better than past, but not ideal, esp. for Nepalese/Indians.

Note: The base camps (destinations) are different for these treks, but beauty/difficulty/people are similar, except the Tibetan monastery.

2. Kanchenjunga Base Camp Trek:

a) Through Nepal will give me a chance to visit some parts of Nepal which people usually don't go to... you know, 'the less traveled path'! Need 20 days.

b) Through Darjeeling and Sikkim will give an opportunity to go East of India, which is the only part of India I have not been to, and Sikkim, by all means is a BEAUTIFUL place! Need 15 days.

c) I don't need to plan for international travel for Sikkim, though being an Indian Citizen, I don't need a Visa to Nepal either.

d) Both the trek approach Base camp from South Best time to go to this is March/April or October/November, worst is June/July.


Link to a website with loads of information and trek option.

Notes:

1. I've compressed the schedule by a couple of days in all options, which the tour operators advise for acclimatization; or extra days that I can strip of while coming down slope. So that makes my schedule a little feasible, but a little demanding too!

2. Wherever possible, and if it doesn't impact the schedule severely, I'll trek rather than take jeep/bus as advertised in some options. Which means additional days, but MORE FUN!

3. I've got one friend almost ready for this trek. We'll need couple more people to make it an interesting trek. If you're into Trekking and can engage in lively conversations [and can understand a little bit of geek ;)], I assure you it'll be fun. In that case, please feel free to contact me.

4. I've gathered pieces of information about these treks. Few of the links mentioned in this blog will lead to many other good sites/links. However, if you need a small document I prepared, drop me a line. I'll be happy to help; even if you don't want to join us for the trek!

5. Wharton Leadership participants also trek to similar locations, here is the link, in case you need additional inspiration!

Friday, July 29, 2005

Wannabe, his bet... and FedEx MBA ad

[Category: Personal, MBA]

Wannabe had put a bet to guess the name of a company he interviewed with. Yours truly incidentally won it! Yahoo... I'm glad to have won a bet from the to-be Brand Consultant and an Insead MBA ;) And he has mentioned my name [Inflating my nameless ego a thousand times :P] twice in last week. Thank you Wannabe!

Wannabe: I'll take your offer for dinner... as that will give me the chance to have a witty conversation with you too :) How's that?

We need to wait for that till I make my way to INSEAD, Fonty or to Europe on a company trip ;) And yes, it was the dual parent which certainly gave away... but even otherwise there are just a handful of companies in Europe with more than 300 brands!

Finally, I got this ad link in a mail... good shot at MBA by FedEx. Here's the link.

PS: Wannabe, all the very best for your next interview for your dream job.

Fool vs. Jerk: Whom Would You Hire: Article from HBS

[Category: Business, MBA]

Fool vs. Jerk: Whom Would You Hire? on HBS Working Knowledge (the link to which I posted a couple days ago) is an interesting read. The article talks about people who are:

1. Competent and Likeable
2. Competent but Jerk
3. Incompetent but Likeable
4. Incompetent and Jerk

1 is most favorite and 4 is least...

What about 2 or 3? Read here!

Interestingly, a friend referred this article to me today!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

CFA Level 1 results are out

[Category: Business, MBA]

CFA L1 results are out and yours truly managed to pass! Ah, happy day to get this news in the morning!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

HBS Working Knowledge, INSEAD Knowledge, Knowledge@Wharton

[Category: Business, MBA]

Three great institutions, three great publications!

Links added on the side bar for future reference.

  • HBS Working Knowledge
  • INSEAD Knowledge
  • Knowledge@Wharton

  • Work Life Balance

    [Category: Need I say more? OK, Business, Personal]

    Brad Feld has written an excellent entry about the work life balance. It made me realize a few things which I was doing completely wrong last couple of years!

    There is another article I read on professionals and the way new age professionals are taking the number of hours they put in office as a measure of success. Food for thought, I must say. For confidentiality reasons, I can not put that article here on web, but you may get lucky by googling it, or I can send it to you by mail, if you need.

    Happy balancing :)

    Friday, July 22, 2005

    Google must be kidding!

    [Category: Business]

    Or so I thought!

    I have got three friends who have been blessed with babies in last two
    months, and since I am planning to visit them soon, I thought of
    searching for few good gifts for newly borns! Put into Google, and got
    plenty (at least 12) of links with similar looking results. First I
    thought that there may be some mistake either by me in looking or in
    google's algorithm, but no.

    There are really 12 different sites for same products. Apparently for
    12 different Indian states. The sites all quote their prices in USD,
    but seriously, who so ever spent such money on such terribly similar
    sites must be kidding. What's the use if you could have done with one
    or two?

    Here is the link to have a look:

    http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&q=gift%20for%20newly%20borns

    Thursday, July 21, 2005

    Pottermania!

    [Category: Personal, MBA]

    The world has been hit by the Pottermania since July 16, and yours truly was swept off as well. Got hand on a book (luckily, I didn’t even need to buy it this time), and got relief only after finishing it. It is damn addictive, isn’t it?

    I won’t spoil fun, but suffice to say that I found this book more interesting than the previous two, but that may be just my opinion. It was genius on part of J K Rowling to not to end the episode in this book (as against in earlier books). This will make people wait ever more eagerly for the next (and last of the seven books series) version, which is supposed to be released in 2008! So long wait ahead!

    As per some news, Harry Potter is now a $4Bn brand! Harry, rich guy, are you listening? ;)

    And an interesting article on Harry Potter Brand being overexposed (or dead, as the authors of this article call it!)

    Is the Harry Potter brand overexposed?


    Happy reading!

    PS: Have got a post on leadership in draft, will post in a day or two!

    Friday, July 15, 2005

    Loads of Free material on Finance by Prof. Damodaran!

    [Category: MBA, Business]

    As one of my favorite areas is Finance and I've immensely benefited by reading renowned Prof. Damodaran's notes on his website, I thought of providing a link to his website from my blog. Asked him for permission and within minutes got an affirmative reply!

    Thank you Professor for sharing the notes with us and for letting me put the link!

    So, all finance enthusiasts, here you go for tons of notes, problem sets, book chapters and his class lectures at NYU . I’m sure you’ll find them very useful.

    The areas covered are: Corporate Finance, Valuation, and Investments.

    I'm adding the link on the side bar for future reference.

    And of course, you can buy many of the books written by Prof. Damodaran at Amazon.

    Thursday, July 14, 2005

    A little re-organization!

    [Category: General]

    Thanks to Ebenezer Orthodoxy of bloggerhacks 'Recent Comments' section has been added to the sidebar. This is a very useful tool and changing the template for the same was a very easy job.

    Also did some re-org on the blog to make the side bar easier to read.

    General Colin Powell joins KPCB

    [Category: Business]

    Former Secretary Colin Powell named Strategic Limited Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. As per this news on KPCB's website, General Powell will work in the areas of communications, security, energy independence and health care.

    In the past, Former President George HW Bush and UK's former PM joined the PE firm Carlyle... but the difference is that General Collin joins a VC firm.

    And AFAIK, he is the first politician/diplomat to join a VC firm. Social investing in the future? More stress on emerging markets? Or it is just for the political clout?

    Any idea if the PE/VC firms look for political clout and contacts as the primary reason for such high profile partners? There must be other benefits and I will like to know more!

    Edit: Just now I found a post dedicated to this by Pure VC. Here is the link.

    Monday, July 11, 2005

    MMS sharing between different networks in US...

    [Category: Work, Business]

    Finally! After at least a year later than consumers expected them to, a year and half later than they should have done, and probably two years later than they could have!

    Sprint, T-Mobile Say Yes to MMS Exchange.

    In MMS technology and related services, US operators have really been laggards. The agreements to share among operators took much longer than I thought. While it is not clear if there were any engineering/technical issues involved, but I doubt that been a reason behind that. Consider Europe, Japan, Korea and many developing countries including India. The MMS interoperability was always taken for granted (at least for the last two years or so). Now I may be wrong, but it is high time that US operators provide better services to their customers, especially when they have arguably better technology in the name of CDMA and CDMA-EVDO (v/s GSM/GPRS).

    Or wait, I remember reading 'Oligopoly' and 'Collusion' in Economics: one more example, may be!

    Sunday, July 10, 2005

    MBA Application deadlines for top-10 BSchools.

    [Category: MBA]

    I've added the deadlines for few Bschools. Most of them (and few more which I didn't track) are also available at Dave's Blog. An important addition is Insead Business School. LBS will be added to the list once it declares the deadlines.

    Someone asked about the time at which I post and the timing as per the blog, so from now on, all the times will be in GMT. As I travel quite a bit, this seems to be the best measure!

    My prayers are with those affected by London's bombing. It is hard to write/think about these things... NYC, Indian parliament, Madrid and now London!

    You can make donations to London Bombings Relief Fund here. Thanks to PowerYogi for posting this!

    Thursday, July 07, 2005

    "Relationships for Success" seminar by Keith Ferrazzi

    [Category: Business, MBA, General]

    Keith Ferrazzi of Never Eat Alone is giving a seminar on "Relationships for Success" through through Microsoft LiveMeeting today. Registeration is free.

    More details can be found at Keith's blog entry about this.

    Monday, July 04, 2005

    Setup Complete! Donations to Charity...

    [Category: General]

    Today I'm done with the setup for this blog. Now it has got a new Hit counter [yes, the nerd in me wakes up once a week ;)] and Google adsense.

    Inspired by PowerYogi, I'll also make my humble contribution to few of the charity organizations I am engaged with. I work with a couple of NGOs in the field of child education and health care, and all the proceeds from the adsense through this blog will be donated to these charities. So people, if you find something to your taste in the adsense, just click on it.

    PS: if anyone has got any suggestions on improving the content/layout of this blog, please do let me know. Thank you.

    Saturday, July 02, 2005

    Vivek Paul quits Wipro and joins Texas Pacific Group

    [Category: Business, MBA]

    One of the most respected business leaders of India and the person who took Wipro to amazing heights, Mr. Vivek Paul is joining TPG as a partner in their Technology and Life Sciences Venture... He follows the steps of his role model and ex-boss, Mr. Jack Welch, who also stepped into the PE business some time back.

    There are a lot of articles/press releases/news items describing the same in detail, such as:

    Texas Pacific Group Names Vivek Paul as Partner

    Texas Pacific Group nomme Vivek Paul partenaire

    The Times of India, as usual- to create some buzz, has gone one step further and asked Why Vivek Paul really quit Wipro. This article did catch my attention at one point:

    Quote
    TOI: Was there any kind of pressure that forced you to quit?
    VP: Well, there was some push and pull. If you have $15 billion (market capitalisation of Wipro) in family business, how can you not tend to it? I would do the same if I were in his position.
    Unquote

    Now TPG is a PE/VC shop and this time Mr. Paul as a partner will be on the other side of the table as far as ownership of the business and related issues are concerned. Mr. Paul's work there will be interesting to watch, sans doubte! What say you?

    PS: I've added admission deadlines of some of the MBA schools for the class of 2008. For a more complete list, please visit Dave's blog. All the best!