Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Meet it is I set it down ...

IIPM. Planman. Arindam Chaudhuri. Reports of a Goebbelsian PR division. Wow. David versus Goliath again? Remains to be seen.
For those who came in late (like me), Rashmi Bansal posted an article in an e-zine, asking some questions about IIPM's claims. The article stated that few of the claims could be substantiated.

Now I don't hold a brief for either party here. Some points, however, indicate very imaginative techniques on the part of IIPM’s PR Division. Setting up blogs to counter a blog. The Goebellsian technique of the Big Lie (re: the purported Aaj Tak expose). The attempted character assassination (which only made me as envious as Falstaff – I mean, I’ve never yet been engaged in a peccadillo in a private dining-room, let alone a public rest-room). In short, the IIPM team have some innovative management techniques. Score 1 to them.

These techniques, of course, are not ethical. Does IIPM claim to be ethical? I didn’t notice it on their site. Compassionate, perhaps. Ethical, no. Score 2 to them for truth in advertising.

IIPM’s web-site (or is it Arindam Chaudhuri's page?) does have some stuff about ‘survival of the weakest’. Is that in keeping with their attacks upon Rashmi Bansal and Gaurav Sabnis? IIPM, with its ad-spend of Rs. 5 crore in one month, is of course the David here against Rashmi’s Goliath. So the label fits, dunnit? Score 3?

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"My tablets! Meet it is I set it down
That a man may smile and smile ..."
Hamlet, Act I Sc III

I have a confession. Arindam Chaudhuri makes me uneasy. Nothing personal, just that anybody who wears a bright blue suit with a pink tie would make me uneasy in any case. (Sorry, you won’t see this on his site, dis wuz a close encounter uv de turd kind) But then, he’s a ‘management guru’, not a fashionista.

His ponytail makes me uneasy too. This may be subconscious envy, given the dormant state of my own follicles. On the other hand, if you want to ‘go a different road’ and be young and ‘khoo’ and ponytailed, why the suit?

And what really makes me want to puke - chunky rectangular glasses in Blue Plastic Frames. Ye gods and little fish. But then, you can be a management guru even if your dress sense makes other managers queasy. After all, the Entire Look could be part of ‘daring to look beyond’. Or whatever the terribly hip slogan is.

“Professor Chaudhuri did his B.A. with Honours in Economics, Honours Diploma in Industrial Engineering, M.A with Honours in Economics, Post Graduate Diploma in Planning and Management (MBA) and Fellowship of I.I.P.M.

Professor Chaudhuri has been amongst the toppers during his B.A. Economics, M.A. Economics and MBA. He was the recipient of the Academic Gold Medal while completing his Post Graduate Diploma in Planning and Management from IIPM.”

It is evident that Dr. (?) Arindam Chaudhuri, BA, MA, PGDM (or is it MBA), is an Essentially Modest and Objective Person. He only uses those titles or achievements that are independently verifiable. Like ‘management guru’ or ‘visionary’. He is most shy and retiring about the provenance of his various degrees. He is not so crude as to mention his rank in his BA Economics degree; after all, we are all winners here and with the right point of view, the person who is 32nd in a class of 30 can also be “among the toppers”. But what is an ‘Honours Diploma’? And ‘M.A. with Honours’? I may be very ignorant – do we have Pass M.A.s now? I have so much still to learn. (Please note that his MBA is NOT from ‘Haas, UCLA’ …)

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I really have no locus standii to write about Arindam C and IIPM. After all, I’m not a student, a manager, a teacher or a guru. Therefore, if some things strike me as odd, it’s probably due to my insufficient knowledge. For example, the Wi-Fi enabled towers that house the IIPM schools? Why do the pictures on their web-site look like those ‘artist’s impressions’ in architects’ offices? (The 'Campus Tour' link didn't work ... "This page does not exist".) Of course I haven’t 'dared to look beyond' and see the Towers that Will Be.

Or the faculty from all over the world. Harvard, LBS, Insead, you name it, IIPM have poached from them. Obviously an HR operation of this magnitude requires stealth, discretion, security. Which is why the Faculty page on IIPM’s web-site gives minimal information about the faculty. Minimal as in nil. Nix. Zilch. (I believe they have a tie-up with the Federal Witness Protection Program). This of course applies to ALL their eminent faculty from the time IIPM was set up back in 1973. Twenty-two years of considerate secrecy.

One of my best friends is a PhD in Finance from Insead. When I asked him about teaching at IIPM he asked ‘Where?’. Poor ignorant soul. After Lowell, Insead, Harvard, Gothenborg and Monitor Consulting, all he needed to round off his CV was a stint on the faculty at IIPM. Now he doesn’t have a chance, they have such a rush of top brains beating on their doors to get in …

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The proof of the pudding…

Arindam Chaudhuri’s Planman Motion Pictures is the first Indian firm to take up film production with a business model. (No, sorry, YashRaj Films do NOT have a string of hits through professional production methods. In fact, YashRaj Films do NOT have any hits at all. And if they DO have hits, the films were hits by chance. Not that we’re admitting that they HAD hits. OR professional methods. Whereas WE at Planman …)

So Planman has already produced two (2) films since 2003. The first, Shaanjhbati’r Roopkothara (“Strokes and Sikhouettes”) was ‘selected for’ no less than 7 international film festivals. Awards? Well, PMP is too modest to mention them. No, it wasn’t MEANT to make money, you know, sometimes a business approach can have objectives other than mere money?

The other film, of course, was that mega-hit of 2004, Rok sako to rok lo, directed by no less than ... (ta-daaah!) ... Arindam Chaudhuri. You know, the super-duper mega-hit that put Bollywood back on the international scene, garnered several … umm… thousands (INR) in revenues, made international stars of its cast and won 87 Oscars (who says the AMPAAS doesn’t HAVE 87 categories of awards?!). You haven’t heard of it? What, don’t you read the papers? Not the reviews, stoopid – they took at least TWO full-page ads in every newspaper in India, don’t you SEE anything?

Of course, the bottom line was all that mattered to the hard-nosed business model of Planman Motion Pictures, so we haven’t heard of this epochal film. But legends have grown around their profit-sharing with everybody involved in the making of the film. (Another management first, in fact – bubble-gum scratch cards as performance bonus)

So if you’re talking about learning through doing, or teaching by example, Arindam Chaudhuri leads the way.

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No, guys, I don’t work for a hardware company. You’d have to talk to one Dr. Kalam if you want to chase me out of my job, he’s a really decent bloke and I wouldn’t want him to be worried … Besides, unlike Gaurav, I wouldn’t find another job. So have a heart, OK?

How about this …

I would like to assert that this entire post is motivated by my deep admiration for IIPM, Planman and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (though not for his glasses, ponytail or gentian suits). After all, I wouldn’t want them to burn laptops (presumably with my blog on the screen) in protest against my opinion. (Gaurav Sabnis is so na├»ve, did he really think they’d burn laptops they’d paid for? I’d love to see that happen!). Furthermore, I quake, I palpitate in fear of the day when I receive a ‘notarised e-mail’. (Threatening me with arrest, no less. What next? The Joo-Joo Man?)

So, in brief, IIPM sucks rocks.

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Update: Gawker sums it up; I laughed till I choked.



km said...

You can fool some people some time, you can fool all the people some time but if you offer MBA degrees, you can sport a ponytail, a blue suit, a pink tie and go around threatening people.

This is a goddamn Simpsons' episode.

Turns out Gaurav isn't the sole victim of of the notorious notary who's been dashing off those darned e-mails (link on Neha's blog, I think...)


neha vish said...


And what is with that man's smile!?!?

thalassa_mikra said...

That was a masterstroke JAP-da. Very funny! Notarized email indeed.

Handa said...

I think that the media should be informed about all this. I think they are unaware because no one has written about it till now. So, I compiled a list of editors and it would be good if you mailed them too. You can find the list here.

gawker said...

Thanku for the link JAPsan. And thank you some more for providing me with material for my new post

K said...

Sir, this is freaking hilarious. You gotta love the Ponytail. Just love him....

Bonatellis said...

super super read :-)

Anonymous said...


Check the link out. You guys are getting a raw deal globally. Anyway, copying the details of the link. Best wishes... (I guess whatever media people are there, we should give multiple copies of even this comment as media should know we stand for free speech and are not afraid of hackneyed criticism)

October 18th, 2005 at 12:18 pm

Even though IIPM surely needs to learn from the mishandling of the situation, the protest march idea of these bloggers is hilarious! It would be interesting to ask these self-proclaimed protectors of “freedom of speech and expression” how many times have they organized such protest marches for removing poverty in India, for ensuring that people don’t die because of hunger, for committing to removing illiteracy in even their own city!

It would be interesting to know the answer because under the pretext of marking out freedom of speech, all these bloggers are doing is trying to come in the media for a cause which is unbelievably unlettered.

Accepted, there are management institutes and management institutes. But really, so are car manufacturers. I am sure that the next issue this group of bloggers would find would be to have a protest march to protest the lack of aesthetic competence in designers of Aston Martin.

This peace march displays the illiteracy prevalent even in literate masses. The right to organize such a peace march should be exercised only after each member of the peace march has sworn that he/she has spent at least one day in their lifetime doing social work. Because the irony of such incompetence is that not one person will have the commitment to stand up to this claim.

Tsk, tsk… But of course yes. Bloggers can claim whatever they wish to, can’t they! And I am sure that the moment this comment is published, there would be a thousand so-called protest marchers who will claim that IIPM should first learn to do social service. Or better, yours truly should learn to do social service. What the heck! Go have the protest march. What better a way than this to shore up the free time of a group of un-intellectual unemployed illiterates.

Say what, just give me the time and venue. I’ll be there too buddies; because you know what, I am unemployed, and being a graduate, even I am as good as an illiterate. And the fact that I have devoted so much space to protest a protest march, shows how un-intellectual even I am.

So buddies, can I join the club?

Anonymous said...

Reading it almost after a year since you posted this. Nothing much seems to have changed. Was an enjoyable read.