Statement Of Purpose Of Joining IMT Commerce Essay

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Success has different connotations for different people. For me it means achieving ones goals in life and fulfilling one's potential by ultimately benefiting humanity. I truly believe hard work is the key to success and if one gives in the best, the rest would certainly follow.

Since my childhood, I had a desire to become a health care professional. I have always wanted to contribute to health policy and program development that benefits society.

Coming from a family of doctors, I was inclined towards health-care sector, since my childhood days. My parents have played an influential role in my career and my life by giving me the freedom to make my own decisions and making me capable of facing challenges that arise at every turn of life. My father, a practicing anesthesiologist, has always inspired me to face up to challenging situations, with a composed mind. My mother, a physician by profession, is the person who has had the maximum influence on my personality development. Following her ideologies has made me achieve, what I have till date.

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I was admitted to one of the most prestigious schools of west Delhi, Hans Raj Model School, which laid down the foundations for my career. My school was the place where the seeds of management were sowed in me, when I was appointed as the class monitor, and the president of the Principal's advisory committee. I also served as the vice-president of the interact club (school body of the rotary club) of my school. I continued this learning while serving as the interns' representative and Junior Residents' representative during my internship days and my service days as Junior Resident at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, New Delhi.

After my 12th grade, I got through the PMT examination, and was selected to pursue MBBS at Sriramachandra Medical College, a premier medical school, affiliated to the Harvard Medical International and one of the biggest corporate houses in Chennai. This is where I learnt about the basic functioning of the corporate world, specially the corporate sector of the health care industry, health insurance facilities, the human resources management, and the day to day functioning procedures. Getting a medical degree has helped me understand life and humanity better. It has made me more thoughtful, rational and a balanced individual.

After completing my MBBS degree I did my internship, and later joined as a Junior Resident in Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital. Working in such a big public sector hospital, with a huge patient inflow, I familiarized myself with the problems in health-care that are being faced by the country today.

I possess an inclination towards working for the upliftment of healthcare facilities in the rural sector. My ambition is to work at the forefront of this program with the ability to find innovative techniques to design strategies and policies to integrate tertiary level health care with the rural healthcare facilities.

While I was going through all relevant programs of my interest, I was quite impressed with the PGDM course at IMT-G, a premier management institute, ranked among top 10 B-schools in India by various surveys and rankings. All of these influences and my industry experiences have further increased my curiosity and interest in this course. I recognize the indispensability of an advanced degree, henceforth I wanted to pursue a post graduate diploma in management from this esteemed institute. An extremely distinguished faculty, an environment replete with academic activity and a post-graduate program which blends high quality course work and facilities of industrial exposure, are the factors which motivated me to choose IMT-G for my post-graduate studies.

I believe that I possess the determination and impetus to set out on this exhilarating and arduous path and I thank the admission committee who considered me capable enough to be admitted to this course and giving me a chance to be at this universe called IMT-Ghaziabad.

Expectations of life and schedule at IMT Ghaziabad:

I joined IMT Ghaziabad as a student in PGDM-FT on the 20th of Jun 2010. I came here with a dream. Like many others I left a lucrative job to join this institute for my further studies. So, I would like to make full utilization of my time here at IMT-G.

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All the things that a B-school can teach me, I know IMT can teach me the best. But I have come here to become not just a good manager, but a better human being even. My definition of a better person is one with a better understanding of the world and the self. I would like to learn more of managerial skills, more about economics and finance, which would be of helf in my future endeavors.

Of the schedule at IMT-G, I expected it to be very tight, it turned out to meet more than my expectation, the day my session began, i.e on the 21st of June. The life ahead is not going to be easy, it is going to be tough and very hectic. I expect IMT to prepare me to the hectic schedules ahead in life. I would also like to learn some stress busters like yoga and some course like art of living while at campus. I would also indulge into sports, of which I have missed in my past few years, which would help be build team skills, and even help in relieving me of the stress.

Hope these two years turn out to be, as all the seniors say, the best two years of my life.

Area: Human Resources

Solution to case-let 1:

Problem:

You have to extend your business and the part of country in which your company wishes to do so is a naxalite prone area. You know that if you are going about your executing the extension without having a plan in your mind then you will encounter with a lot of problems. The naxalites will definitely encroach your execution that will lead to unexpected losses for your company. If you are not able to carry out your job cleanly then it might prove your inability to perform a certain job and is definitely not good for your career graph. Other than all this you can't think of changing the location of your assignment as the top management is also involved in it and the naxalite prone area might be saving a lot of money for your company.

Solution:

The basic problems in the given case are the problems faced in the naxalite area by any corporate house. The naxalites are an illegal group who extort a lot of money from businessmen and if their demands are not fulfilled they don't think twice before committing crimes of the order of kidnapping and murders. Now you face a problem. If you go ahead with starting up your business plan, you could end up paying hefty amounts to the naxals, and even that doesn't guarantee the smooth setting up and future functioning of the business venture. On the other hand, if you wish to take a decision on changing the site of the business, your management would not allow you to do so. Next thing that comes to mind is having a talk with the naxals on the benefits the plan could bring upon the life of the locals, and how it could help them sustain their livelihood. But more often than not, you would end up making a fool out of yourself, expecting such a kind of understanding from the naxals would be termed as foolishness. The only options that you are left with is, to talk to the management and try convincing them on shifting the location, explaining them about the hidden costs of pleasing the naxals, which could severely affect the revenue generation. The option available, if the management is firm with the decision and doesn't change it, is to ask for the help of government security agencies, like the CISF, or the private security agencies, and to go ahead with the plan.

Solution to case-let 2:

Problem:

After the economic downturn you were instructed by the management to do cost savings for the firm. The most obvious way of doing so is to reduce the compensation packages that were being offered to the employees. The management instructs you to cut the pay of the executive level while the compensations for the managerial level shall remain unchanged. When you are about to implement the above things there is a huge dissatisfaction shown by the executive level employees. They have come up with a complain that most of the job done in the company is by them so they are directly responsible for the revenues that the company is generating. On the other hand the managers are doing nothing and they still get a good amount. You have to persuade the executive level stating the reasons for this and convince them to go along with this compensation till the condition of the market gets better.

Solution:

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Mangers are an asset to the company. By saying this I would not like to undermine the importance of the executive level employees. But, the vast knowledge and the experience that the managers of a company possess are the factors that make them stand apart. The executive level employees need to understand this fact. The solution in this case would be to hold up a meeting with the executive level employees and try to explain them these things in a humble and a polite way. You could even promise to compensate for the cuts as and when the market picks up. You could even show them the data from the foreign companies about the lay-offs, and could persuade them that your company is not planning any such lay-offs but just a cut in the salary as a cost cutting measure. But if they would not co-operate, you would be forced to do so, and employ freshers, who in times of economic downturn would be willing to join any organization at any salary package.

Area: Finance

1. Write short notes on the following:

a) Financial derivatives (different types)

A derivative is an agreement or contract that is not based on a real, or true, exchange, i.e.: There is nothing tangible like money, or a product, that is being exchanged. The types of derivatives are as follows:

1) Over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives are contracts that are traded (and privately negotiated) directly between two parties, without going through an exchange or other intermediary. Products such as swaps, forward rate agreements, and exotic options are almost always traded in this way.

2) Exchange-traded derivative contracts (ETD) are those derivatives instruments that are traded via specialized derivatives exchanges or other exchanges. A derivatives exchange is a market where individual's trade standardized contracts that have been defined by the exchange.

b) Financial inclusion:

Financial inclusion is the availability of banking services at an affordable cost to disadvantaged and low-income groups. In India the basic concept of financial inclusion is having a saving or current account with any bank. In reality it includes loans, insurance services and much more.

c) Fiscal and monetary policy:

Fiscal policy refers to the overall effect of the budget outcome on economic activity. In economics, fiscal policy is the use of government expenditure and revenue collection to influence the economy. The two main instruments of fiscal policy are government expenditure and taxation. Changes in the level and composition of taxation and government spending can impact aggregate demand and the level of economic activity; the pattern of resource allocation and the distribution of income

Monetary policy is the process by which the central bank or monetary authority of a country controls the supply of money and the rate of interest. Monetary policy is usually used to attain a set of objectives oriented towards the growth and stability of the economy. These goals usually include stable prices and low unemployment. Monetary theory provides insight into how to craft optimal monetary policy. Monetary policy is referred to as either being an expansionary policy, or a contraction policy, where an expansionary policy increases the total supply of money in the economy, and a contraction policy decreases the total money supply. Expansionary policy is traditionally used to combat unemployment in a recession by lowering interest rates, while contraction policy involves raising interest rates to combat inflation. Monetary policy is contrasted with fiscal policy, which refers to government borrowing, spending and taxation.

d) Debt and equity:

The debt-to-equity ratio (D/E) is a financial ratio indicating the relative proportion of shareholders' equity and debt used to finance a company's assets. Closely related to leveraging, the ratio is also known as Risk, Gearing or Leverage. The two components are often taken from the firm's balance sheet or statement of financial position (so-called book value), but the ratio may also be calculated using market values for both, if the company's debt and equity are publicly traded, or using a combination of book value for debt and market value for equity financially.

e) Shareholders and stakeholders of a company:

Shareholders are always stakeholders whereas the inverse is not always true. Shareholder is the owner of a part of the company, through the stock ownership. Whereas a stakeholder may be interested in the company for reasons other than just stock appraisals.

Stakeholders may be

1. employees of the company who wouldn't have any jobs without the company.

2. bond holders, who would want the company to perform well.

3. customers of the company who would want the company to produce good quality goods.

4. suppliers, who may rely on the company to provide consistent revenue scheme.

Although shareholders may be the largest stakeholders because shareholders are affected directly by a company's performance, it has become more commonplace for additional groups to be considered stakeholders, too.

2) NBFC means Non-banking financial company. A non-banking financial company (NBFC) is a company registered under the Companies Act, 1956 of India and is engaged in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares/stock/bonds/debentures/securities issued by government or local authority or other securities of like marketable nature, leasing, hire-purchase, insurance business, chit business, but does not include any institution whose principal business is that of agriculture activity, industrial activity, sale/purchase/construction of immovable property.

NBFCs are doing functions akin to that of banks; however there are a few differences:

(i) An NBFC cannot accept demand deposits;

(ii) An NBFC is not a part of the payment and settlement system and as such an NBFC cannot issue cheque drawn on itself; and

(iii) Deposit insurance facility of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation is not available for NBFC depositors unlike in case of banks

3) The function of security markets are as follows:

Securities Markets is a place where buyers and sellers of securities can enter into transactions to purchase and sell shares, bonds, debentures etc. Further, it performs an important role of enabling corporates, entrepreneurs to raise resources for their companies and business ventures through public issues. Transfer of resources from those having idle resources (investors) to others who have a need for them (corporates) is most efficiently achieved through the securities market. Stated formally, securities markets provide channels for reallocation of savings to investments and entrepreneurship. Savings are linked to investments by a variety of intermediaries, through a range of financial products, called 'Securities'.

The difference between a primary and a secondary market are as follows:

In the primary market, securities are offered to public for subscription for the purpose of raising capital or fund. Secondary market is an equity trading venue in which already existing/pre-issued securities are traded among investors. Secondary market could be either auction or dealer market. While stock exchange is the part of an auction market, Over-the-Counter (OTC) is a part of the dealer market.

4) Dubai's financial crisis:

The key factor behind the Dubai's crisis is the boom-bust policy of the UAE central bank. After closing at 4% in October 2006 the yearly rate of growth of the central bank's balance sheet (the pace of monetary pumping) climbed to 177% by December 2007. In response to this pumping the yearly rate of growth of UAE's monetary measure AMS jumped from 6% in October 2006 to 62% by April 2008. This massive pumping has given support to various activities that without the money pumping wouldn't have emerged. In short these activities cannot stand on their own feet without support from monetary pumping.

Since January 2008 the pace of pumping by the central bank has been trending down. In January this year the yearly rate of growth of the central bank's balance sheet plunged to minus 36.5%. As a result the yearly rate of growth of money supply fell to minus 12.5% by July this year. It is the fall in monetary pumping that is currently putting pressure on various activities that sprang up on the back of previous massive monetary pumping.

We suggest that other emirates are unlikely to escape the effects of the boom-bust policies of the central bank. Also, in other emirates loose monetary policy set the platform for new activities and the expansion of existing activities. As a result of a decline in monetary pumping by the central bank these activities are currently also under pressure.

Conclusion

A possible debt default by Dubai's two large government sponsored conglomerates sparked worries in financial markets of another round of global economic turmoil. Dubai has requested a freeze on payments of some of its $80 billion debt for six months. It is suggested that the key factor behind the crisis in Dubai is the classical boom-bust policies of the UAE central bank. The phenomenal expansion in various structures in Dubai was mostly on account of massive monetary pumping. Thus in December 2007 the yearly rate of growth of the central bank's balance sheet stood at 177%. The bursting of the bubble came on account of the strong fall in money pumping. Since January 2008 the pace of pumping by the central bank has been trending down. In January this year the yearly rate of growth of the central bank balance sheet had plunged to a disastrous minus 36.5%.

5)

Option A - Receive Rs. 100000 now

OR

Option B - Receive Rs. 22000 in 5 years i.e. Rs.110000

Time Value of Money

The time value of money is the value of money figuring in a given amount of interest earned over a given amount of time. The idea that money available at the present time is worth more than the same amount in the future due to its potential earning capacity. This core principle of finance holds that, provided money can earn interest, any amount of money is worth more the sooner it is received. 

Annuity

A financial product sold by financial institutions that is designed to accept and grow funds from an individual and then, upon annuitization, pay out a stream of payments to the individual at a later point in time. Annuities are primarily used as a means of securing a steady cash flow for an individual during their retirement years

Future Value Basics

If Mr. Agarwal choose Option A and invest the total amount at a simple annual rate of 5%, the future value of your investment at the end of the first year is Rs. 105000, which of course is calculated by multiplying the principal amount of Rs.100000 by the interest rate of 5% and then adding the interest gained to the principal amount:

Future value of investment at end of first year:

= (Rs.100000 x 0.05) + Rs. 100000

= Rs.105000

He can also calculate the total amount of a one-year investment with a simple manipulation of the above equation:

Original equation: (Rs.100000 x 0.05) + Rs.100000 = $105000

Manipulation: Rs. 100000 x [(1 x 0.05) + 1] = Rs. 105000

Final equation: Rs. 100000 x (0.05 + 1) = Rs.105000

So 5 year Future Value of the investment = Rs. 100000 x (1 + 0.05) ^5 = Rs. 127628.16

The future value of that amount is calculated by the following equation:

Present Value Basics

To find the present value of the Rs. 110000 Mr. Agarwal will receive in the future, he needs to pretend that the Rs. 110000 is the total future value of an amount that he invested today. In other words, to find the present value of the future Rs. 110000, he needs to find out how much he would have to invest today in order to receive that Rs. 110000 in the future.

To calculate present value, or the amount that we would have to invest today, he must subtract the (hypothetical) accumulated interest from the Rs.110000. To achieve this, he can discount the future payment amount (Rs. 110000) by the interest rate for the period. The above future value equation can be rewritten by replacing the P variable with present value (PV) and manipulated as follows:

Therefore, PV of 5 year investment = Rs. 110000 x (1 + 0.05) ^ -5 = Rs. 86187.878

So the present value of a future payment of Rs.110000 is worth Rs. 86187.878 today if interest rates are 5% per year. The equations above illustrate that Option A is better not only because it offers Mr. Agarwal money right now but because it offers Mr. Agarwal Rs.13812.22 (Rs. 100000 - Rs. 86187.878) more in cash. Furthermore, if he invests the Rs.100000 that he would receive from Option A, his choice gives him a future value that is Rs. 17628.16 (Rs. 127628.16 - Rs.110000) greater than the future value of Option B.

Conclusion

Thus, these calculations demonstrate that Option A i.e. receiving the full and final amount of Rs. 100000 as a single installment is far better than receiving Rs. 22000 each in five installments in five years.

Area: Economics

The various variables that should be added to GDP are:

Unpaid volunteer work: GDP doesn't take into account work that people do for free. In fact, volunteer work can actually lower GDP when volunteers do work that might otherwise have gone to a paid employee or contractor.

Quality of goods: Consumers may buy cheap, low-quality, short-lived products repeatedly instead of buying more expensive, longer-lasting goods. Over time, consumers could spend more replacing cheap goods than they would have if they had bought higher-quality goods in the first place, and GDP would grow as a result of waste and inefficiency. GDP is a cold number that only accounts for output, and not the quality of said output.

Should incorporate disadvantages of financing the economy through debt: America borrows money mainly from abroad to sustain the economy. The main avenue for economic sustainability is by procuring cash through debt, by sale of our US Treasuries. This activity contributes to the GDP; alas, the debt has to be repaid. Americans mainly go into debt for consumption not capital investment. Herein, this national and personal debt must ultimately be repaid; this downside of excessive debt is not reflected in the GDP.

Inclusion of new products: By not adjusting for quality improvements and new products, GDP understates true economic growth. For instance, although computers today are less expensive and more powerful than computers from the past, GDP treats them as the same products by only accounting for the monetary value. The introduction of new products is also difficult to measure accurately and is not reflected in GDP despite the fact that it may increase the standard of living.

Steps by the Govt. To ensure effective implementation of the new GDP system:

Legislation mandating a minimum public holding of 25% for listed companies will promote greater transparency, widen the equity ownership, improve corporate governance and lead to more efficient price discovery. Over the medium-to-long term, this regulation will foster the broader goals of financial deepening and inclusion.

Comprehensive background analysis of GDP groupings, data collection methods and mechanisms should be carried out.

Data collection should be carried out from top venues.

The implementation of effective frameworks will increase the positive economic impact to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, while also generating positive economic benefits for the more vulnerable segments of the population.

For the purpose of improving the function of GDP, green GDP accounting system should be proposed. It's an adjusted GDP by deducting the environmental costs occurred during economic activities. The significance of green GDP does not lie in the figures of index, but what the index indicates. From the index, we know which section we should put more attention on, and how to take improving measures, for the sake of a better environment.

Area: Marketing

1. Surrogate marketing: A trend which is fast catching up and has suddenly attracted a lot of innovative and creative brains around India because the government cannot allow public advertising of liquor and other related companies. But ironically, liquor and cigarette sales are the biggest revenue generators in terms of taxes and duties on these items. That's why an overt acceptance of the marketing in these sectors is not legally acceptable. This has led to one of the biggest ironies of the country - Sales of these items are not banned, yet advertising on the same has strictly been prohibited.

Kingfisher packaged water:

Kingfisher, as you all know is famous for beer but it has launched its packaged drinking water some time back. The Idea behind it is make use of established name to sell another product i.e surrogate marketing

WILLS Lifestyle:

Wills as a cigarette brand is one of the most popular products of ITC .However, government has banned promotion and advertisement of cigarettes. ITC made use of brand name and adding lifestyle as extension ,it continued to cash on WILLS. The Idea behind it is make use of established name to sell another product i.e surrogate marketing.

2. Green marketing: Green marketing is the marketing of products that are presumed to be environmentally safe. Thus green marketing incorporates a broad range of activities, including product modification, changes to the production process, packaging changes, as well as modifying advertising.

Bio Diesel (CNG)

There is a recent development in oil and gas industry in the production of diesel. There is a plant named JATROPHA. A new product names bio diesel is extracted from the seeds of this plant. This innovation has enlightened many hopes in the energy sources. The bio diesel is also cheaper that the normal diesel and more efficient also.

Reva Electric car:

Reva electric car is the one of the examples of green marketing. With fuel efficiency and electric battery charge, it proves to be one of the most desired green marketing products Utility wise it is very good with guarantee of enough space and not to mention it's clean drive proves to be a boon to environment.

HP's promise to cut its global energy use 20 percent by the year 2010:

To accomplish this reduction below 2005 levels, The Hewlett-Packard Company announced plans to deliver energy-efficient products and services and institute energy-efficient operating practices in its facilities worldwide.

Viral Marketing:

Viral marketing deals with creating a buzz that influences the customer and spreads very fast. Word of mouth is a vital tool for viral marketing. Social networking websites like LinkedIn , facebook, orkut have the capability to spread the product like anything as thousands of users flock these kind of site everyday.

Cases of Viral Marketing:

Shaadi.com:

This website name spreaded like anything in market as number of people looking for a perfect partner just had their recipe. It made things so synchronized for employers as well as employee that any kind of talent could be easily spotted for the right thing. It spread like a virus and soon, we had many more sites operating with similar theme.

KFC:

KFC's"finger licking good" campaign really made it's products a hot favorite among Indian young class. The kind of exposure it got really pushed the sales and word of mouth campaign by it's customers made KFC a brand to reckon with.

Brand and a product:

Product is anything that can be offered to the market that may satisfy the need, want, and demand of a certain individual or market. It is also called as goods or service. Product is more than just a material object. It is also an inclusive package of benefits or satisfactions that the consumer or buyer may achieve upon purchase or usage. A product is the total amount of all physical, psychological, symbolic, and service attributes.

On the other hand, brand is a symbolic manifestation of all the information connected with a company, product, or service. A brand is typically composed of a name, logo, and other visual elements such as images, colors, and icons. It is believe that a brand puts an impression to the consumer on what to expect to the product or service being offered. In other application, brand may be referred as a trademark, which is legally an appropriate term. In summary, a 'brand' is a symbol of a product (Coca-Cola), McDonald's fast food restaurant.

Guerrilla marketing

The concept of guerrilla marketing is used by small businesses and start ups to promote their product by unconventional ways with nearly no input cost. It aims at catching the public unaware and thus, making them notice your product. Human psychology is what it aims to capture and making product reach to as many people with limited means is the core theme of this kind of marketing.

Putting banners on rickshaws, Autos, Local trains:

Making use of rickshaws, Autos ,local trains are new methods of guerilla marketing as it involves less cost and the product can be easily spotted in public places. New entrepreneurs go for this kind of marketing strategy and it really puts them in light.

Decorating trees, road slabs with your product and banners:

Trees are something that everyone can see on the road. So, if you have a product that that can decorate the trees and put your product in spotlight then, half the battle is won and proper strategy made.

Brand promotions in the public transport:

We can notice various people coming and demonstrating their product whenever we are travelling by a local transport. This is an imminent example of guerrilla marketing.

Guerilla marketing works in these ways and many of big corporations like Virgin mobile etc are going for this kind of marketing.

Discuss the 4P's of marketing for the American, Europe and Asian Market

The 4Ps of Marketing are Product, Price, Place (distribution) and Promotion.i.e Product:

Nike is at the forefront of making top selling basketball shoes.It introduces different

designs throughout the year for all the 30 sports thereby, providing large number of

choices. It also sells swimming caps, wrist watches sports apparel, athletic bags and accessories. This way, Nike manages to expand it's business of selling shoes by providing each and every item related to sports.

Price:

Nike indulges in very aggressive marketing and the pricing is based on the basis of competitive branding. The brand always targets higher class segment so the prices are on a higher side.

Place:

Nike shoes are sold in exclusive stores opened across America, Europe and Asia. Nike sells it's products through distributors.

Promotion:

Nike focuses on signing successful athletes for its brand promotion. Michael Jordan, runner Steve Prefontaine were some of the names that nike used with perfection. Other than this the punch line of Nike i.e. "Just do it" is also very famous within a particular segment of customers.

By 4P' s of marketing, Nike successfully made it's mark on global arena and manages to be a market leader in sports shoes category.

2. Making use of motivation theory, discuss consumer motivation behind a Nike purchase?

"Just do it" campaign made use of the motivation theory and it successfully encouraged Americans to actively participate in sports. Campaign challenged a generation of athletic enthusiasts to chase their goals and use of non-celebrities to promote it helped nike in connecting with people like never before. Apart from this, Nike researched about "pyra mid of of influence" and thus, making use of upcoming stars as it's brand promoter sent a sense of inspiration among sports crazy fans of America. Other than this nike intervened in the sporting accessories market and is now excelling in that also.

3. How has Nike kept the brand fresh over the years?

Nike has kept the brand fresh over the years by some innovative marketing and global strategic planning spanning over countries. Emotional connect with sports crazy people, inspirational campaigns, launch of new products,proper study of changing markets, targeting the right audience are some of the key factors which makes Nike the consistent brand.

4. What future recommendations do you have to make Nike an even more successful brand?

Some future recommendations for keeping Nike successful Brand are:

Venture into emerging economies more aggressively i.e BRIC countries.

Make use of mobile outlets in Tier 2 cities of every country so that short to medium term revenue margins can be kept high.

Innovative offers during major tournaments of different countries would propel the markets.

Innovative offers on high purchases so that the middle upper class segment also gets into it.

Opening a lot of retail stores in developing places.

Area: Systems (IT)

1) Information systems can definitely help in providing a competitive edge. Here are a few points by which IT can help giving an edge to various companies:

a) Day to day operations made simpler: The everyday operations of manufacturing or other industries are automated by IT systems and thus made simpler.

b) Reduction in manpower: The automation automatically leads to reduction in manpower so it's also a cost saving measure for the company.

c) Prevention of the equipments: The IT systems help in setting various interlocks which in turn protect the equipments without monitoring.

d) Multitasking: The manpower engaged for monitoring various parameters can now carry out different jobs at the same time.

e) Less shutdown so targets completed: The shutdown hours are less so the production or other targets are completed in time.

An example in this regards is Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited which is the 3rd largest oil marketing company in India. The implementation of IT systems has helped the company in a lot of aspects. The company has three cross country pipelines in India. Earlier all the dispatch, booster and the receiving stations were not automated so they had a big Taylor panel set up in the control room. The operation then was very cumbersome as a person was required to monitor all the necessary parameters. In 2008 the taylor panels were removed and all the system was automated using PLC (Programmable logic control) and SCADA (Supervisory control and data acquisition) after which the manpower in each shift was reduced to half of what used to earlier. The shutdown hours decreased a lot because the operations errors were very few so the pumping thru put was achieved in the scheduled time. The whole PLC and SCADA set project had a cash back period of 2.5 years which has been completed and the system is running very smoothly now also. The profitability has increased and that has helped the company in providing a better customer relationship and also to acquire a greater market share also.

2) Case study:

a) I completely disagree with the argument made by Mr. Nick Carr that IT no longer gives companies a competitive edge. I disagree with him because of the following reasons:

1) Many government and PSU's have benefitted a lot in India after using the IT support. Their day to day operations have improved a lot which has lead to a better customer delight and maximum profitability.

2) Organizations which depend on operations for their revenue have found an immense support by automating their systems. The reducing manpower has led to less incurred cost and the cost cutting measures are no longer an issue for the companies.

3) An example in this regards is given in the answer to the previous question. All the LPG, distribution, gas installations and pipeline stations are now automated and the working style has completely changed over years.

b) The business leaders have opposed Mr. Carr's comments and I completely agree with them. They are absolutely correct that Mr. Carr has failed to understand the meaning to "I in IT". I have given an example of HPCL pipeline installation in the support of above. I myself was working in the installation and noticed all the changes that implementation of information system did to the installation and company. Other than the improvement of operations the ERP support made the work of the retail people a lot easier. Other than this the bill tracking system provided the contractors a huge relief. In simple words IT infrastructure was a complete hit for the organization.

Business Plan:

Sector Chosen and reason: The sector that I would choose is medical and health care sector, as that is the sector I have my whole interest and capabilities in. This sector is already contributing 17.8% of the country's GDP, and still has a vast potential for growth.

Service chosen and reason: Healthcare service is the service that I choose. Healthcare is a very upcoming industry in our country. Still, the rural sector is lacking in many basic health care amenities. The people in rural sector die of problems like, renal failure due to unoperated prostate enlargement, anaemia, appendicitis, and diseases like malaria. On one hand we have a market which is attracting healthcare tourism, and on the other hand we are not even able to provide basic amenities to our citizens.

Present market situation: As I have already mentioned that the healthcare contributes to 17.8% of the GDP. It is a sector which has an immense scope for growth. The sector comprises of:

The core healthcare, i.e the hospitals

The allied services like diagnostic labs, implants manufacturing etc.

The pharmaceutical sector, which deserves a separate mention

The medical transcription industry

Last but not the least, the medical tourism industry, which is going to be the next big thing.

The actual business plan and the financial aspect: The plan would include setting up a chain of hospitals, including tertiary care, secondary care and primary care hospitals, in cities, towns and villages respectively. The system would be much like the PHC system followed by the government of India. I would even like to involve some NGO's or government bodies in it for the funding of the treatment procedures of the poor families. Or may even go in for some kind of medical insurance on the lines of yashasvini scheme started by Karnataka government in collaboration with Dr. Devi Shetty's Narayan Hrudayalaya. The plan would be to focus on the development of rural health as well as generating revenues from the medical tourism, for which some packages may also be started for treatment and stay of a companion during treatment and convalescence duration.

The geographical spread and the choice of reasons: I would like to start it up in the pilot phase in Delhi and the surrounding areas of Rajasthan and Haryana, like Jhajhar etc. for the sheer reason of Delhi being a hub for medical tourism, and the areas around it being the catch up areas of rural sector.