Why ISB is one of the best academic places in India and the world

I had a unique opportunity to stay at the magnificent campus of Indian School of Business (Mohali Campus) for three days, and it just made me fall in love with this place. With lush green scenery, academically and behaviourally excellent ISBians and delicious grilled chicken, I spent days living the IE experience again. ISB is the youngest most reputed business school in India with exceptional international recognition. Its USP of dynamism holds it apart in a conventional education system of India. In a highly global parameter, it bequeaths a unique experience to its students.

In such a shorter span of time, I networked with many outstanding professionals in the campus. It has given me a rare opportunity to meet people of excellent educational backgrounds including the alumni of Univesity of Warwick, University of Mannheim, BITS, IITs, NITs and ISB itself. We had a good time together sharing ideas and thoughts on various matters.

ISB is entirely a great experience in the landscape of business education. An institution which truly stands for its values and creating an estimable change in society.

I felt proud to be the guest of ISB Family and wish them a surpassing advancement in their mission.

 

A few captures of this mesmerizing experience:

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Lucy, My Human Dog! You’re <3

It’s her 23rd birthday! Wait 2+3 = 5th birthday, actually!

She is the cutest: Human or Dog, who cares?

Purest soul, the first ray of sunlight, the first drop of the dew, carefully coddled by the rarest flower. Simply purest, a baby!

Damn, I wanna sing….Yaaaaarrrrraaaa, tere sang bahaaraa!!!!!! (Yara, With you its like life)

If you are depressed or ask me a friendship recommendation– Nothing matches her!

A Lebanese crazy girl who calls herself Lucy- The Dog, became such a great friend.

Sometimes she cries and sometimes she smiles: Totally unpredictable!

She is a meat-eater who cannot digest veggies, very unusual! She was never pregnant but a mother of Dexter. Come Onnnn!

She still asks, “What is e-sports?” and doesn’t give a fu*k!!

Her best hand-balancing, stomach ache and not going to the gym; so common! huh

We all loved her being in our MRCB O2, and always gonna love her, even if she is 23, Oh! you’re so old! 😛 ❤

Screenshot_20180920-135553.png
She started with, “Hello Suraaav (Literally, doesn’t sound Sourav), I miss you!

 

Screenshot_20180920-134712.png
I just woke Up, at 11! God knows if you are really awake

 

Screenshot_20180920-134716.png
I am the QUEEN! Yes, you are! Everyone’s heart ❤

 

Screenshot_20180920-134531.png
….and, her son got us the cake!

 

Screenshot_20180920-134628.png
Believe me, I have sung a birthday song….O la la

 

Screenshot_20180920-135147.png
Dexter was allowed to sniff only, poor human!

 

Screenshot_20180920-135736.png
We are still reconnecting…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

i5: What Has Changed in Consumer Decision Making?

Why do we do the things we do? What is it exactly that drives our action? What do we know about our motives? A consumer decision-making journey is not easy to understand. We rarely make rational choices in our lives and our purchases!

The consumer decision journey has evolved significantly over the past decade due to the internet, digital innovation and the subsequent rise of the internet. Consumers are moving outside the marketing funnel by changing the way they research and buy products. Instead of a path to purchase that is traditionally linear, it has become more of a cycle. Moreover, it is not just dependent on products or brand, it involves channels too.

i5 model involves 5 steps of consumer journey: Introduction, Inspection, Investigation, Involvement and Inclination. It defines how a consumer starts its journey by need recognition and eventually passes through various steps to develop loyalty towards a brand or make an exit to explore other options.

INTRODUCTION

Introduction is the first step when a consumer recognizes a need and interprets it for myriad reasons. It includes psychological as well as physiological needs. The arousal of need is triggered by the stimuli (internal and external), stronger the stimuli, stronger will be the motivation to further involvement in the decision-making process.

INSPECTION

In this step, a consumer tries to evaluate his association with brands. The salience or a brand being top of mind in a decision situation is the first critical factor. Any first-hand experience (past usage) with the brand and second-hand experiences (influencers) on social media or directly communicated by the brand. The overall positive feeling created by these experiences will nudge consumers to choose one brand over another.

 

20180912_150817.jpg
i5 Model of Consumer Journey was developed by Sourav Raina while he was pursuing Masters in Market Research and Consumer Behaviour at IE Business School, Spain.

 

INVESTIGATION

During the investigation stage, a consumer looks after the channel which suits the most. It may involve convenience, low prices, offers or lock into a loyalty-based program. With the continuous evolvement of e-commerce platforms and comparison sites, a consumer inclines to make a smart decision. Furthermore, the combination of both channels (online and offline) is also in use to decide to purchase. The concepts like “showrooming,” are byproducts of it.

INVOLVEMENT

Involvement is the user experience phase or the period of usage. It is the “moment of contact” of a brand and a customer.

INCLINATION

Involvement creates experience and experience shapes inclination. How well a brand delivered against expectations is critical to developing the loyalty loop, advocacy and repurchase decision. An unsatisfied consumer exits the journey to look after further options.

Brand Storytelling: The Power of Purpose

There is no doubt about the power of storytelling, its fascination and ability to strengthen the recall of a brand.  Humans quickly connect with stories, and it helps them to remember things longer. A story activates parts of the brain that allows listeners to turn the story into their own ideas and experience. However, there is very little empirical evidence exists of their effects on consumer responses. As storytelling is becoming another mainstream mode of advertising, what kind of stories a brand should tell to keep it outstanding and clutter-free.

Should a story be of a fearless rebel or gentle? That depends, which route is imperative and how well customers associate themselves with it. However, there is a risk of polarisation, and lack of purpose can doom the image of a brand. Controversial brands are often quick to rise and fall as they get drown in the tsunami of trends and become out of space.

Amidst a generational shift, Millennials will comprise more than one of three adult Americans by 2020 and 75% of the workforce by 2025. Brands have to re-consider their current positioning and how they can effectively connect with the next generation, as reports suggest that millennials prefer brands with purpose. Purposeful storytelling is the better idea with sharply honing the context of timing. That is what Nike did it with its 30th-anniversary ad.

Image result for new ad of nike kaepernick

The decision by Nike to use Colin Kaepernick as the face of the ad campaign celebrating the 30th anniversary of ‘Just Do It’ reflects a brave move driven by the purpose of “Believe in Something.” Meanwhile, people reacted against it on social media, but surging sales of Nike clearly tell a different story. Nike stood for the purpose of non-violent civil protest as a proud legacy of America, and the world is loving it.

What is fascinating from a marketing aspect is how this one ad has wholly redefined Nike’s brand purpose. How exceptionally it conveyed the message of moral excellence and the meaning of success in the world. Also, it will reinforce Nike’s connect to Gen-Z as a purpose-driven brand to help solve social and environmental problems.

An advice I received from a Harvard professor

I read Professor Bill George‘s Discover Your True North couple of years ago, and it is one of the most extraordinary books I came across. When many talk about idealism and fame in leadership, it talks about Authentic Leadership. Authentic leaders have discovered their true north, align people around a shared purpose and values, and empower them to lead authentically to create value for all stakeholders.  

DkUbTSVUUAMvM0n (1).jpg

Whenever I have to re-discover myself, this is one of the books I go back to meditate and seek advice. As it tells many beautiful things including:

The way you deal with your greatest adversities will shape your character far more than the adversities themselves. Much like iron is forged by heat, your most significant challenges and your most painful experiences present the greatest opportunities for your personal growth.

As I continuously wonder about hatred people spew over social media while criticising every good or bad, concerned or unconcerned. I was curious to know whether it is a good idea to criticise, how should we deal with criticism, is it even essential or is there any right way to present it?

I tweeted a question to him:

Prof , How you see ? Should we avoid it or do it, if stakes are involved. How an can manage such a situation? What I learnt about , he stopped criticising people or things after he realised it is not worth.

Professor Bill George, always humble, replied:

“Constructive criticism is a gift to us as leaders. Those who criticize me have been very helpful in improving my leadership.”

10 Months, 10 Things — All About IE

In the past ten months, I persisted 54 Group Projects, 42 Subjects, 11 exams and an unknown number of individual tasks to proudly earn my Master at IE Business School. As someone asked me, “How good IE is?,” and I loftily replied: “how good are you?”

Nothing comes easy and what comes easy has no glory. It was a big sacrifice to leave my job, staying away from parents for so long and keeping a sharp eye on every Euro I was spending. Today and forever, I can proudly announce that I took a bold decision and it is set to transform my life endlessly.

It was not an easy journey at all but I fought well, I survived, and I earned what I deserved.

10 months in the Mecca of Human Science and Technology, and I have gained 10 life learnings:

Go Beyond: You have to push every limit you set for yourself to be successful. Success doesn’t lie where you think it is, you have to go beyond. One step further, and one step more until you’re unbeatable. One more shot, one more improvement, one more chance to be irreplaceable.

I woke up every day to fought the great battles against my own limitations. To push myself beyond what I considered is the limit. I puked, I cried, I made horrible mistakes; that’s how I learnt, and I shall continue to learn all the way.

Collaborate: Edward Everett Hale quoted, “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” If I have to sum up my whole IE learnings in one word, it would be, “Collaboration.” There is no force mightier than collaboration. You may walk alone a few steps successfully, but you will never reach far enough, I can guarantee it. I have seen untrained people collaborating and winning, I have witnessed extraordinary people falling apart and losing. People who are not team-players are just not good enough!

Tough Love: Is not it true to find what you love and let it kill you? People often ask me why you love IE so much and I answer them, “Why not to love something I sought with all my heart, what made me strong enough to face any reckless obstacle in my life, what challenged me to embrace difficulties to rise.” As Valeriia Nikolaienko, my philosophical coffee date and good-friend told me that IE made her daring enough to make her hands dirty in any damn thing even she doesn’t know about. Everything seems possible now.

IMG-20180627-WA0015

No Ordinary: We all are born ordinary, but it is up to us to make a choice not to die ordinary. As Nelson Mandela said, “There is no passion to be found in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” It is not just about life, it is about work as well. There is no passion to be found in settling for the work that is less than the one you are capable of producing. At IE, I entered as an ordinary student, but I walked out with the potential to be extraordinary in whatever I shall do in my life.

Know Thyself: Life doesn’t give us many opportunities to know ourselves in depth, our values, capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. To be a great leader, you must take time to actualise and practice it. To harness the best potential of your team, you must know thyself. It starts with you, to lead with integrity, to set an example that others will follow.

At IE, you should know your strengths to survive on difficult group tasks. To turn your weaknesses into opportunities and become successful. I have seen some fantastic transformations happening around, and it was inspirational to learn from peers.

Work Until It Is Done: At IE you don’t work on your projects until it is the dusk, you work until it is done! Hard work has no replacement but working hard is not enough if you wish to stay ahead. You have to be creative, collaborative and consistent regarding your efforts. The rule is simple, you have to give your 110%. There is a stage when your efforts become your luck. Especially, when you have to compete against exceedingly best people around. Define your luck with your work.

Re-think, Re-evaluate, Re-design: Challenge what they call the best, the best is yet to come. Re-think what is prevailing, re-evaluate what are the standards, re-design what should be optimised. IE is entrepreneurial, we reject what is consistent, we reject what is mediocre.

Learn Forever: You should only stop learning when you die, I wish there would be the scope of carrying some books to the grave. A minute of free time after IE experience drives me crazy, I crave to make every second worth of learning something new. Never let anything to stop you from learning every day, it should not be a need, it should be a deeply ingrained habit.

Diversity is Love: 31 students in a class representing 26 nations, it was a dream come true. We built our own nation, a nation of nations. A neverending bond defined by love and gratitude. If I write my story about these flawless people, words will fall apart. Let me hide those tender feelings into the safe of my heart forever because few things can never be expressed but to be felt, eternally. All I do, to love you, MRCB O2.

Time Flies: As my friend, Paco said in his closing ceremony speech, “It was the year that went with the lightning speed.” We were so busy with work that we never realised that our golden days together at IE are over. That’s life! Nevertheless, we are IE family forever.

To end this note, I wish to reiterate an excerpt from my INFLUENCE AND PERSUASION assignment:

“Add value to seek value. Everything that is considered the best is scarce.” – Sourav Raina  

……..so is IE Experience.

 

IE Forever!

 

Why is learning more important than grades?

When I got the admission call from IE Business School, it was a dream come true to study with extraordinary colleagues in one of world’s best business school. Soon I realised it is not easy to be a part of the best place; you have to sacrifice all your comfort to get going, to perform and to climb the Gaussian curve. Everything is designed to drill down the abilities of students to perform under pressure and not to break down during extreme stress which I call “Puking Moments.”

“Many highly intelligent people are poor thinkers. Many people of average intelligence are skilled thinkers. The power of a car is separate from the way the car is driven.” – Edward de Bono

The war of grades became so fiercely that the advantage of diversity, lifetime friendships and sense of collaboration got overruled. Sooner, I realised to be a part of the race that ends where it starts and not doing well means resentment and depression. Having mixed grades in the first term motivated me to go for better grades in the second term, and I scored the best possible grade in all four subjects for which the results are declared as of now. To introspect and justify grading, I went through the subjects again and realised that I completely missed the learning in a subject for which I was graded the best, and it was self-depreciating to defend my knowledge versus my grade. All the way, I found that I just tricked better to score a good grade and it does not reflect my intelligence all the way in this matter.

“Grades measure your performance in school, while intelligence measures your performance in life in general.”

Good grades make you feel nice, but at the same time, they give us an illusion of being intelligent and proficient in a subject and bias our point of view and process of learning. Whereas learning generates intelligence and intelligence measures your performance in life. We lose too many talented people by defining intelligence through exams that are wholly inadequate and constricting. Your education may become outmoded in next five years, but your attitude, your connections and your learnings will be lifelong. Remember, nobody gives a damn about your marksheets more than YOU during an interview. As my program-director at IIM Calcutta said during the closing ceremony, “These certificates are just pieces of paper, you yourself hold the key to your success.”

Organisations need leaders, collaborators and team-players who can build it together to last. Afterall, competition is not about building through copying others but to improve your offerings to stand-out and become a source of inspiration. As Zen Shin said,

“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.”

 

5 Timeless Books to Read in 2018

If reading books are one of your new year resolutions, I assure you that you have made the best decision of your life. In this world where attention is the new scarce, you may find it a lot boring but this is the luxury not everyone can afford.

Books are timeless, but there are books that are relevant after thousands of years of their origin and they are going to be relevant till the universe becomes irrelevant itself.

Here are 5 timeless books I recommend this month:

 

The Bhagavad Gita:

It is not just a religious scripture, it is a way of life. It is far more important to read it in the language you understand rather than enchanting “Shalokas” in Sanskrit.

It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of somebody else’s life with perfection.” – The Bhagavad Gita

 

Meditations

Meditations is a collection of 12 books written by Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius, who’ll introduce you to Stoic philosophy, the concept of logic, self-discipline and give you faith that the course the world runs is a good one.

People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills. There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.” -Marcus Aurelius

 

Man’s Search for Meaning:

Man’s Search For Meaning details holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl’s horrifying experiences in Nazi concentration camps, along with his psychological approach of logotherapy, which is also what helped him survive and shows you how you can – and must – find meaning in your life.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” – Viktor Frankl

 

 

The Diary of a Young Girl

It is a story of feelings of a 14 years old girl who died of  Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

“Everyone has inside of him a piece of good news. The good news is that you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!” – Anne Frank

 

The Old Man and The Sea

It is written by Ernest Hemingway, that is enough….

“But man is not made for defeat,” he said. “A man can be destroyed but not defeated.” 
― Ernest Hemingway

 

Feed(me)back if you enjoyed reading them: sourav.raina@student.ie.edu

 

 

Event: Branding building in the age of cognitive overload

Since Professor Richard Thaler has got Nobel in Economics for his theory about “Exuberance is Rational,” it is sort of introspection for me to sit and re-look the concepts of marketing I know. I always perceived myself as an irrational customer, that’s why I was reluctant to pay the maintenance fee for 1 year at CR7 CRUNCH when I am about to use it for 9 months. Yes, Eli (MRCB Partner in crime) found it weird, and I kept my point explaining the concept of rationality.

Prof Thomas Ramsoy did answer my question in a beautiful way that how important it is for managers and academicians to collaborate and work to achieve the purpose of grabbing “attention” of customers in the times of cognitive overload.

Neuromarketing is indeed a beautiful invention of cutting-edge technology to analyze what a consumer never shares. It indeed tells us how a consumer “behaves” in a particular situation without even consciously intended to. Learning about the brain always makes me inquisitive that how capable it is, thanks to my association to positive psychology.

It was an informative session from an eminent professor, who is also the founder of Neurons Inc, revealing the exciting facts about brain and how it is targeted in the world of marketing. In a race of seizing the pie of a customer’s market-share, how brands end up without even getting noticed.

There is no tunnel with a single way, while the time is limited and the customer is impatient. It is the matter of a couple of seconds, in which customer makes its purchasing decisions. Challenge is to focus on direct emotions, not just liking.

Nevertheless, there is a lot to learn for marketers from Neuroscience, and it is the time to “re-search” the subconscious!

Tough Love

DSC02285

If continued working with Asian Paints, today I would have completed 6 years of professional journey. It is wonderful to be at IE and starting a new adventure with hugely talented & phenomenally diverse bunch of people on earth. Sometimes, I can’t even believe that it is happening and yes, it is profoundly happening now.

Starting the first day at Segovia, a World Heritage Site by UNESCO,  is famous for its cathedral, alcåzar castle and its aqueduct. It is also renowned for its Romanesque art and many other outstanding buildings, including monasteries and convents. One of these convents, the Convent of Santa Cruz la Real, is currently the headquarters of IE University campus just outside the city walls in the Eresma River valley. A 12th-century building which was personally commissioned by Queen Isabella, whose figure sculpted in wood appears praying together with her husband.

DSC02279.JPG

The Dean, Mr. Lee Newman commenced his powerful speech about IE’s believe in dynamic learning in a continuously changing world, and infusion of “Change is attitude” DNA among its students. To “TOUGH LOVE,” and strive to bring out the best possible; (H)umanly, (S)ocially and (T)echnologically. It was already quite clear that it is going to be a tough year ahead. To challenge the limits and GO BEYOND.

IE is not traditional, and it is never going to be, it is the Business School of today!

It is the place where technology and humanity meet to create remarkable scientifically proven facts. It is amongst few places on earth where women outnumber men, where the student to faculty ratio is unbelievable, where the whole world studies in a country.

DSC02272.JPG

Precisely, IE School of Human Sciences and Technology is the home of 357 meticulously chosen students from 67 nationalities, who can speak 32 languages, who represent the world’s best organizations and possess the capability to become the future ambassadors.

DSC02284.JPG

IE demands better than the best! You work after you are done with your work. Every day begins with a challenge to give the best shot. I heard that people start in nice suits and end up in Jeans and T-Shirts. That’s TOUGH LOVE!

DSC02282.JPG

 

…..till the next BLINK, proud MRCBian! 🙂