Monday, February 29, 2016

What is Zika Virus?

WHO fact sheet reads:

·          Zika virus disease is caused by a virus transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes.
·        People with Zika virus disease usually have symptoms that can include mild fever, skin rashes,     conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise or headache. These symptoms normally last for 2-7   days.
·         There is no specific treatment or vaccine currently available.
·         The best form of prevention is protection against mosquito bites.
·        The virus is known to circulate in Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific.

What is the Zika Virus all about:

Zika virus is related to Dengue, Yellow Fever, Chikanguniya etc. The illness it causes is similar to the mild form of Dengue. While Zika causes mild illness in some, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) issued reports that indicate Zika may be linked to serious birth defects in babies of mothers who were infected with this virus while pregnant. While this virus is not new, it is new to the Americas. The first case was reported in Brazil in 2015 spring. Since that time, it has spread through South and Central America, and the Caribbean. No locally transmitted Zika cases from mosquitoes have been reported in the United States of America, but cases have been reported in travelers returning from areas where Zika is present.

India & its status:

India falls in one of the most dangerous Zone for Zika virus because there are a lot of Indians who are based in America. A relatively unknown and mild, but extremely deceptive, mosquito-borne virus that attacks the foetus in an infected pregnant woman, may be spreading the disease quietly, not only across Bengaluru, but even all over the country. Bengaluru needs to be extra careful since it is the same Dengue mosquito at work here. India doesn’t have as of now the facility to test, identity and monitor Zika virus. Although an Indian pharma company based out of Hyderabad claims to have discovered a vaccine, WHO isn’t endorsing this claim.

A day after WHO warned that Zika virus was spreading "explosively", the government also decided to strengthen its surveillance system and asserted that it is taking all measures to ensure that it is "well prepared" in case of any eventuality. Health minister held a high-level meeting to take stock of the situation in view of the recent cases of Zika virus being reported from some countries in the presence of senior officials from the ministry and AIIMS.


In the absence of any valid vaccine, prevention is the tool for protection. And the best prevention strategy is taking steps to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes. But women planning to have children soon, should consider the risks when traveling to affected areas. We need to be wary of the countries we travel to especially the ones with tropical climate. Here’s hoping Zika dies a quick death without us suffering from an epidemic like how Delhi suffered with dengue and H1N1 last year.

Mohit Hooda
Student, INBM

INLEAD, Jan 2016

Holistic Life Skills Workshop

The workshop on Holistic Life Skills by Mr. Mehernosh Bazyn Dittia, Founder & Director, Lighthouse Training, was one of a kind. The workshop introduced the students to a whole new approach on how to be the ultimate stable individual and live a life full of happiness and no regrets.

Mr. Dittia started off with the interaction with a spiritual curve where he shared a story of a Sensei who is trying to tell his student to let go off Arrogance, Anger, Domination, Jealousy and Greed in order to prepare yourself for learning. He alluded that the key to success is to become a seeker throughout your life and always be open to learning. He very particularly mentioned the difference between reaction and response. He also highlighted the importance of awareness in life and how one has to constantly remain aware of the emotions flowing through the mind and not get affected by the mishaps that one may encounter in day to day life and deal with a situation without being impulsive. He further discussed about a technique of creating two circles one of Concern and the other one of influence and deal with a situation on the basis of logic and evidence.

Mr. Dittia also spoke at length about the busy work life schedule these days, because of which we often forget the basics of life. Every human being is in charge of their own lives, actions and thoughts. We get carried away and let the world’s harsh words affect us; it’s we who set our mood and it’s we who decide to get affected by the negativity around us. It was a very insightful session about the basics of life.

Mr. Mehernosh Bazyn Dittia concluded the session by saying, “There is no escape in life and always make the correct choices.” 

Monday, February 22, 2016

An Insight on International Career Planning with Mr.Frederick Young

There’s talent within each of us, all we require is the right guidance to make the optimum use of our talent and knowledge. And, in order to provide our students with the best guidance and mentorship, INLEAD recently organized a session with the noted, Mr. Frederick Young, Managing Director, Global Education Management, United Kingdom. During the session, Mr. Young provided great career insights on International Career Planning to the students.
Mr. Frederick Young had an interaction with INLEADers on their international career prospects. He provided some very interesting  and important details on cultural aspects, international work culture, and certain attributes that needed to be inculcated while working abroad, as also some basic mannerisms that one should adopt. He had a lively interaction with students and gauged their interest areas as well as found out from them the countries where they wanted to work in.

Mr. Young started his talk with inputs on certain fundamental attributes and mannerisms that are essential while working in a foreign country. Some of these include smiling, maintaining eye contact, polished communication skills and virtues like patience and positivity. He exhorted every student to maintain a small journal and keep making both written and mental notes. He insisted that gaining respect from coworkers and customers was essential. He kept on reiterating that students should look at a long career with any organization, which will give them an opportunity to travel the world.

Post this introductory session, Mr. Young asked some questions from students related to their choice of career and their experiences if any of them had travelled abroad. From the answers he received he was able to gauge that students were extremely keen to study the diversity and work culture across nations. He encouraged them to follow their passion, maintain enthusiasm in all they would do as also explore the country where they would be posted. He asked them to keep treating their career dynamically and be prepared for changes that might happen in their sector, especially with the increasing role of Information technology.

The session concluded with Ms. Khushboo’s (Senior Vice President, INLEAD) views on   students’ expectations and she even put forth some questions to Mr. Frederick Young on   behalf of the students regarding job preparedness and cultural awareness. Mr. Young answered the questions by making the students wary about all kinds of career upheavals, work politics and work pressures. He stated that students would have to conform to certain norms (social as well as work) in any country. They should ideally find a mentor who can be their friend, philosopher & guide. This would make their stay pleasant & comfortable. The session cleared many apprehensions that students would have carried about international career prospects. All in all, the session was a huge success with the students taking home truckloads of knowledge about how to fulfill their International Jobs dreams. 

Writing it Right

Good writing does not succeed or fail on the strength of its ability to persuade. It succeeds or fails on the ability to engage, to make one think, to give a glimpse into someone’s head.” – Malcolm Gladwell

Aptly said, good writing is one that has the power to engage its readers, and stir a response from them, thereby fulfilling its very purpose. One’s style of writing reflects their personality. Today in business, from lords of finance to programmers who dream in code, everyone needs to write intelligently. By using simple, clear, precise language, and following a few other basic writing rules, you can become a better communicator and improve the prospects for your career.

We probably write on the job all the time: proposals to clients, memos to senior executives, a constant flow of emails to clients and colleagues. Hence, writing as clear and effective as possible becomes all the more imperative. According to experts, overworked managers with little time might think that improving their writing is a tiresome or even frivolous exercise. But knowing how to fashion an interesting and intelligent sentence is essential to communicating effectively, winning business, and setting yourself apart. “As Marvin Swift memorably said, clear writing means clear thinking.” You may have all the great ideas in the world, unless you can communicate, nobody will hear them. Luckily, everyone has the capacity to improve, says Bryan Garner, author of The HBR Guide to Better Business Writing. Effective writing “is not a gift that you’re born with,” he says. “It’s a skill that you cultivate.” (Source -

Here’s how to write simply, clearly, and precisely.

• Keep it Short: Start by writing short, declarative sentences. Never use a long sentence with too many expressions, where a short one will do. Be ruthless about self-editing; if you don’t need a word, cut it. However, brevity should never compromise on quality and completeness; don’t miss out on significant details, compromising on the quality of the message.

• Avoid Jargons: Never use a foreign phrase, an industry specific or scientific word, or any kind of jargon if you can think of an English equivalent, especially when your writing is not directed to the people from the same sector or industry.

• Simplicity: When composing an e-mail, make your point and move on. Write one idea per paragraph. If your big idea isn’t in the first paragraph, put it there. Start by asking yourself what you want the reader to do as a result of this e-mail. This is how one can add purpose to the writing.

• Be direct: Use active voice instead of passive voice. Active verbs help to reinforce your text. Instead of writing “The meeting was led by Tom,” write: “Tom led the meeting.” Passive voice could be used, however, to convey negative information. It’s better to write, “The confusion was caused by the report,” than, “the report caused a confusion.” Use a straightforward sentence structure–subject, verb, object–that people can read and understand quickly.

• Grammar: Whenever possible, use active instead of passive verbs. Active verbs help to energize your prose. Instead of writing “The presentation will be completed by us,” write: “We will complete the presentation.” Use a direct sentence structure–subject, verb, object–that people can read quickly.

- Sumit Chakravarty (Faculty), INLEAD

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Art of Teaching

Teaching I believe is the most respectable profession. Teacher is someone who provides education and guidance that transforms a man or a woman into a gentleman or a lady. A teacher’s role may vary across cultures. In education, teachers facilitate student learning, often in a school or an academy or perhaps in another environment such as outdoors. A teacher who teaches on an individual basis may be described as a tutor. Teachers face several occupational hazards in their line of work, including occupational stress, which can negatively impact teachers' mental and physical health, productivity, and students' performances.

Nowadays education is extremely important for survival in this world. Education is truly the process of facilitating the inculcation of skills, value, beliefs and good habits.

The last role, but probably the most important  is that of a teacher being a “motivator”. It starts at the very beginning of a lesson when teachers during the warming-up stage try to elicit from the students some information connected to the topic of the lesson thus making them use their previous knowledge and in this way arousing their curiosity.

As a motivator, a teacher introduces the subject and provides the Big Picture for it, and widens pupils’ ideas on the topic discussed. From my personal experience I really see that generating enthusiasm is an indispensable aspect of teaching. Children are very grateful when they see your respect and interest in their opinions. It gives them a chance to show their worth. You will be surprised how well they respond.

We are a country which respects its teachers and elevates them to the level where they are called “Guru”. I have been one not so distant in the past and I am aware of the adulation that my community gets from the student community. Teachers have to, in return work rigorously with these impressionable minds. It reminds me of a saying:

“करत करत अभ्यास के, जड़मति होत सुजान 
रसरी आवत जात ते, सिल पर परत निसान”

The interpretation is: “Persistence makes even a dumb man intelligent, just like (even) a soft rope, when rubbed continuously on stone, makes a mark on it.”

-Mohit Hooda,
 Student, INLEAD

INBM January 2016

Net Neutrality and TRAI Guidelines

There has been an ongoing debate about Net neutrality, not only in India but worldwide. Airtel had launched Airtel Zero, early 2015, which they eventually withdrew after suffering massive public criticism for being against the Net Neutrality ethos. This was however followed by Facebook bringing into our country Free Basics, earlier called
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday 08th February, 2016 barred telecom service providers from charging differential rates for data services, effectively prohibiting Facebook’s Free Basics and Airtel Zero platform in their current form.

The basic five point guidelines issued by TRAI were:

No service provider can offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content.
No service provider shall enter into any arrangement, agreement or contract, by whatever name called, with any person, natural or legal, that the effect of discriminatory tariffs for data services being offered or charged by the service provider for the purpose of evading the prohibition in this regulation.
Reduced tariff for accessing or providing emergency services, or at times of public emergency has been permitted.
Financial disincentives for contravention of the regulation have also been specified
TRAI may review these regulations after a period of two years.

TRAI’s rulings in their own words:

“No service provider shall offer or charge discriminatory tariffs for data services on the basis of content,” the regulator ruled in its Prohibition of Discriminatory Tariffs for Data Services Regulations, 2016. It said the prohibition was necessary to keep the Internet open and non-discriminatory.

TRAI said a fine of INR 50,000 would be levied per day, subject to a maximum of INR 50 lakh, for any violation of these regulations by the service providers. An exemption, however, has been made for offering emergency services.

“We had issued a consultation paper just about 60 days ago on differential pricing. We deliberated on the issue for quite some time. Anything on Internet cannot be differently priced. This is the broad point that we have highlighted in the regulation,” TRAI Chairman R.S. Sharma told reporters at a conference.

Facebook’s reaction

In an emailed statement, a Facebook spokesperson said, “While disappointed with the outcome, we will continue our efforts to eliminate barriers and give the unconnected an easier path to the Internet and the opportunities it brings.”

Impact and conclusion
While the move was cheered by Net Neutrality activists and industry bodies such as Nasscom and IAMAI, telecom operators, who had been pushing for allowing of differential tariff for data service, expressed disappointment saying the ruling would impact the Narendra Modi government’s ambitious Digital India initiative.

Rajan Mathews, Director-General of operators body COAI, said “We are very disappointed with the ruling. Differential pricing is an effective marketing tool and would have helped in bringing online the next one billion people. We are confused as the decision comes at a time when the government is pushing adoption of Internet.”

Hemant Joshi, Partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP, said differential pricing for different levels of services was a well-accepted principle across all industries and the concept inherently recognised the economic principle of paying differently for different levels of service and experience.
Amresh Nandan, Research Director, Gartner, said while operators might not be happy with this notification, they still have the ability and freedom to create different kind of Internet access packages as long as content was not a parameter to provide or bar access to anyone. “Such practices have already started elsewhere with products such as bandwidth on demand, bandwidth calendaring etc. to create premium products. Obviously it will require changes in network and operations but that’s where the telecom road map goes,” he added.

Positive indicators

Meanwhile, Net Neutrality activists see it as a positive indication for future regulations on issues such as regulation of over the top applications such as Whatsapp and Skype.

“The regulations are very progressive. They do not seek a middle ground but take a clear stand …We do expect a positive response on the larger issue of Net Neutrality,” said Karthik Balakrishnan, a member of Savetheinternet.
As per the regulations released on 8th Feb, existing plans which are in contravention of the rules can continue for six months, post which they will need to be stopped. Within few hours of the regulations being released, Net Neutrality was the top most trending topic on Twitter in India.

-Manish Aakrit
 Student, INLEAD

 INBM Oct-2015

Monday, February 8, 2016

Persuading Subliminally

Have you ever thought about what influences us to choose a specific product or service?  Have you ever tried to find out the reason  behind  your inclination  towards selecting  a particular thing out of many?

We may come up with many answers citing many reasons to choose.

Nowadays, marketing firms are using a technique called SUBLIMINAL PERSUASION (Stimuli that are too weak or too brief to be consciously seen or heard) in advertising and other marketing communications to influence the buying behaviour of the consumers.
Subliminal Persuasion is anything that sends you a message without your Knowledge of It, usually picked up on by your subconscious mind.  People rarely catch them, even when they are right in front of their eyes--more obvious than anything.

The concept of subliminal persuasion was put to test on 1957 when a market researcher named James Vicary inserted the words "Eat Popcorn" and "Drink Coca-Cola" into a movie called PICNIC in 1957.
The words appeared for a single frame, allegedly long enough for the subconscious to pick up, but too short for the viewer to be aware of it. The subliminal ads supposedly created an 18.1% increase in Coke sales and a 57.8% increase in popcorn sales.     This created a havoc in marketing sector and many researches were conducted to find its authenticity.

Though it is a very controversial topic to discuss, but past research and evidence suggests that subliminally created attitudes may shape the formation of beliefs about the attributes of an object. This technique is used for mass or a people with low level of consciousness.

Images containing subliminal messages:

Messages associated with pleasure using letters/words like “s- explosion”

Logo containing subliminal messages:

The FedEx logo with an arrow in its negative space placed between E & x. Even a glance subliminally inspires thought of efficiency and forward motion.

Notice the Smiley using the arrow & the concept of a to z (the range of books / products) that amazon wants to provide you with.

Subliminal perception is a lot about reaching into the deeper canals of your mind subtly rather than creating obvious visuals or sound effects. Sometimes sublime concepts affect you more than that which is in your face all the time. It surely leaves a deeper impact with its conversation value. It’s just the beginning, and we shall see more usage of this, since high decibel marketing is kind of falling out of favour for many reasons.

-Naveen A. Muley

Isn’t personal anymore: Social Media Faux Pas

“This is Bill.

Bill likes playing games on Facebook, but knows that his friends don’t play. Bill does not send them annoying requests.

Bill doesn’t post vague posts just to seek attention.

Bill goes to Starbucks but doesn’t take hundreds of selfies there, doesn’t post them on Facebook and doesn’t post ‘likes’ on them by himself.

Bill is smart. Be like Bill!”

Be like Bill is a social media meme that has been described as "a way for people to passive-aggressively call out social media behaviors that annoy them”. This and many such memes have mushroomed across social media platforms to target using wit and humor, social media behaviors which are touted inappropriate or in poor taste by many of us, who metaphorically ‘eat, sleep and breathe’ on social media.

The primary reason for the ascend of such treatment is - that social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus are now being widely used by businesses and professionals as strong Branding tools. In the current scenario, how you behave on Facebook is directly proportional to how you are perceived by others across your personal and professional networks.

As social media grows and sharing becomes easier, social boundaries seem to have taken a nosedive. However, one needs to be diligent enough to ascertain what to be shared. Here are a few common faux pas made by the netizens across various social media platforms:

·         Profile picture: Your profile picture is your first impression to the world – the world that would judge you completely based on your behavior, not just physical but also on social media. Avoid posting those pouty, self-obsessed selfies. The world does not need to know that you drink beer. For professionals who are active on social media, using a common, sober and professionally clicked photograph is a must.

·         Posting and sharing: Avoid shouting out your entire day’s routine to the world. Whether you sneezed, feeling bored or loved, on a date or at the movies, there’s a high population of your friends on Facebook who really aren’t interested. Sharing over a thousand pictures of you and your darling while on honeymoon isn’t quite appropriate.

·         Likes and Comments: Being active on social media does not mean you like, share or comment every post you come across. There’s no competition, no race! Unless a post is really necessary or interesting, avoid clicking the thumb. And more importantly, do not like your own posts – it’s like the height of self-obsession one can achieve.

Remember, Social media is a very powerful tool. It can be put to use for better causes which are relevant to the society. It’s there to help you create positive memories, not ones for which people would like to shun you away! Act responsibly!

-Sumit Chakravarty

 Faculty, INLEAD

Monday, February 1, 2016


Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched a scheme for girls named Beti Bachao Beti Padhao in order to save the girl child and educate the girl child all over India. The programme was launched on 22nd of January, Thursday in 2015 at Panipat,. This scheme was launched especially in Haryana as this state has lowest female sex ratio (775 girls/1000 boys) all over the country. It has been effectively implemented in hundred districts across the country to improve the status of girls. 12 districts (Ambala, Kurukshetra, Rewari, Bhiwani, Mahendergarh, Sonepat, Jhajjar, Rohtak, Kaithal, Panipat, Karnal, and Yamuna Nagar) have been chosen from the Haryana state itself because of their abysmally low child sex ratio.
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In order to improve the status of girls and to give them importance, Haryana Government celebrates an event named Beti ki Lohri on January 14. The purpose of launching Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme is to make girls independent socially and financially while using their proper rights and higher education. It helps in improving the awareness among common public and improving the efficiency of welfare services given to women. If we have a sight on latest census report of 2011, we see a continuous decrease in the female child sex ratio (of age group 0-6 years) from last some decades. In 2001, it was 927/1000 whereas in 2011 it remained at 919/1000. There is a huge reduction in the number of girls because of the practice of aborting female fetus after sex determination, or female infanticide, through modern diagnostic tools in the hospitals. This bad practice came into existence because of the gender discrimination in the society.

And, after birth of a girl child, often she has to face other types of discrimination in terms of education, health, nutrition, safety, rights, and other needs of the girl child. We can say that women were dis-empowered instead of being empowered. In order to empowe women and to give them their full rights right from their birth, Government of India has launched this scheme. Empowering women brings all around progress especially in the family and society. Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme is the way to achieve positive changes in the human negative mindset for girls. This scheme may make a call to people to end the discrimination between sons and daughters and work as a key to end female foeticide. While launching the scheme, PM reminded the whole medical fraternity that the purpose of medical profession is to save lives and not finish lives. There are some positive aspects that this scheme would deliver, and this is a great start to remove social issues against the girl child. We hope that there would be a day when no girl child would be killed, uneducated, molested, raped, or subjected to any form of inequality because of socio-economic reasons.

As a woman, I completely endorse Beti Bachao Beti Padhao program and sincerely hope it is aimed to make girls independent both socially and financially by reducing the sex discrimination all over the country.

-Priyanka Sinha
 Student, October 2015,


A sense of humour gone missing or ….

How often we have heard of a stand up comic’s image being publicly maligned online or otherwise for making fun of a well-known personality! Russel Peters was rebuked for calling Aishwarya Rai Bachhan a wooden actress, and very recently Kiku Sarda (Palak of ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’) being arrested for doing a spoof on Ram Rahim, founder Dera Sacha Sauda. They are in the profession of comedy, we can’t expect anything but that.

In a Golden Globe award function hosted by Ricky Gervais, an English comedian, in 2010, Ricky was on a roll leaving no stone unturned in insulting Hollywood stars. He had even made fun of a very senior star, Mel Gibson who had then been arrested for Driving under influence, and had involuntarily made a spectacle of himself. Mr. Jervais was also rebuked and openly criticised by all the Hollywood stars who had been subject to his funny barbs. Seth MacFarlane, host of the Academy Awards in 2013 had mocked the late Abraham Lincoln while calling out for the Oscar winner Daniel De Lewis for reprising the role. Mr. MacFarlane’s supposedly witty remark was found to be too crass.

These incidents often leave us with the debate on how far can a joke be taken. When does it become edgy and when tactless?

Greek scholar Aristotle argued that many successful clowns and comedians make us laugh by eliciting a sense of superiority. That is when humour ceases to be positive. Throughout history dwarves, people with deformities, certain cultures, have had fun poked at them. A study conducted in Australia found that 60% of all jokes are cracked by men; that 71% of women laugh when a man cracks a joke and only 39% of men laugh when a woman cracks one.

When you are a public figure and you are being closely scrutinized for every breath you take and every move you make, you tend to get a little unnerved when unknowingly you are a source of wisecracks & anecdotes. Nevertheless I am of the opinion that over time our tolerance towards many things humourous has diminished. We have started taking ourselves too seriously. We need to keep reminding ourselves that those who are most loved are the ones who are rather self-deprecating.  Humour provides a window to one’s personality. The ability to reel off lots of jokes indicates a great memory and a natural entertainer. Sometimes however, laughing at jokes humiliating others may not be the politest thing to do, and as many stand-up comics have realized, not the best jokes to be thrown at an audience.

I would still reiterate, buck up people, take a swing at yourself, loosen up and exercise those facial muscles. As they say, “Laughter is the Best Medicine”.

-Monica Mor

Sr. Faculty, INLEAD

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