Sunday, October 14, 2012

Criticizing collectivism, and then preaching it!

In some of my case studies [American] as well as course material [German], the management culture in some of the countries in East Asia [particularly Japan] has been described as collectivism. The undertone has been negative, in that collectivism isn't such a good thing, since it impedes quick decision-making, and so on. The culture of individualism in the West, in contrast, is supposed to be a better culture - even the media frequently praises the West's individualism.

In stark contrast, in business schools, we're actually taught to shed individualism, and to put on a coat of collectivism [yes!]. We're taught things like "team-based projects", "constructive criticism", "group decision-making", "incorporate team members' suggestions", "take inputs from everyone", and so on. What is all of this? It's nothing but a disguised form of collectivism.

To make long things short, there's some conflict visible in what media and business schools preach, and in what they hail as good. Keeping your own decision above that of your team's is one of the manifestations of individualism. Western-style MBA courses teach you to not do this. Yet, they call Japanese management style backward.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Plenty of Indian food at Singapore - peaceful days!

Finally, I sit in the classroom with a stomach filled with Indian food. In China and Korea, I would frequently attend classes without having food [no time to cook], and many times my first meal of the day would be at 3 or 4 PM. I now realize how good it feels to study with a full stomach. You're not restless. You are at peace. You are calm. You can focus on the lecture. It's a positive change that I'm liking.

Friday, August 10, 2012

FT.com is going to be my primary source of news for the next few months (courtesy NUS)

Received an email from NUS today that all NUS students have complimentary access to the Premium subscription of FT.com. This is a wonderful news, since I'm a prolific reader of news and I now have access to one of the highest-quality news websites in the world. So for the next few months, instead of hunting for high-quality news using Google News, I'm going to try to consume news only through FT.com. I'm sure I'll enjoy it [except, of course, that FT's stance on political issues related to Iran, Libya, North Korea, Russia, Syria, Venezuela, etc., is going to be as corrupt as that of any other Western nation].

For more balanced/diverse/unbiased reporting on international affairs, I'll continue to read a mix of RT, RIA Novosti, Xinhua, etc.

Friday, May 25, 2012

One year since my selection in S3 Asia MBA

On 23-May-2011, I was at factory, and around 3 PM [IST], I synchronized my emails on my iPod touch. On one of my email accounts, the top email was from NUS and the subject line started with Congratulations. With a fast heartbeat, I quickly opened it, and was delighted to read that I had been admitted to the S3 Asia MBA program. I can clearly recollect how happy I had felt back then, how I joyfully told my parents and my brother about my selection, how I was surprised at my selection because I had applied at the last hour on the last day of the last deadline, and so on.

Back then I did not know what lay ahead, how I would feel studying at great business schools in Shanghai, Seoul and Singapore - it was happiness about something good coming up ahead.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Without a comb for over 4 months :)

When I think about it now, it's like a wow!. From the morning of 26th August 2011, when I departed for Shanghai from Delhi, to the night of 4th January 2012, when I arrived at Delhi from Singapore, I didn't comb my hair even once :). Actually I forgot to pack a comb in my baggage, and so I just didn't buy one in China :)

Seems like a record :)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

List of UNESCO World Heritage Sites I've seen

I strongly support the concept of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I believe that if one visits a place (a city or a country), and that place happens to have one or more World Heritage Sites, one must utilize the opportunity to experience them. In this list, I'm trying to list all the World Heritage Sites that I've ever visited. For the Sites in India, year is not mentioned as in many cases I don't remember the first time I visited a particular Site, and I've probably visited some of these more than once. Of course, it's also possible that I might have visited a few other Sites too but I don't remember them.

Also, this list should include any of the various Wonders of the World that I've visited.
  1. Agra Fort [India; year unknown]
  2. Qutb Minar and its Monuments, Delhi [India; year unknown]
  3. Red Fort Complex [India; year unknown]
  4. Taj Mahal [India; year unknown]
  5. Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai, and Environs [South Africa; 2009]
  6. Memphis and its Necropolis - the Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur [Egypt; 2009]
  7. uKhahlamba / Drakensberg Park [South Africa; 2010]
  8. Cape Floral Region Protected Areas [South Africa; 2010]
  9. Mount Huangshan [China; 2011]
  10. West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou [China; 2011]
  11. Classical Gardens of Suzhou [China; 2011]
  12. Imperial Palaces of the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Beijing and Shenyang [China; 2012]
  13. The Great Wall [China; 2012]
  14. Seokguram Grotto and Bulguksa Temple [South Korea; 2012]
  15. Changdeokgung Palace Complex [South Korea; 2012]
  16. Jeju Volcanic Island and Lava Tubes [South Korea; 2012]