Final session for “Strategy, Technology & Operations” course – working on group projects (with Dr. H. Harindranath)

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MBA Site Visit – DHL Supply Chain @ Heathrow Airport (with Dr Adrian Coronado)

 

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An insight into forecasting – Demand driven supply chain

An important attribute of an MBA graduate, is to ascertain the changing market trends. This skillset can be learnt by exploring the topic – forecasting. We were introduced to forecasting by Dave Food, former Business Development Director, Supply Chain of Oracle and currently the Strategic Director of Prophetic technology. Technology is disrupting the way businesses are functioning and one of the key processes which has demanded the processes to be dealt real-time is supply chain.

Adam Smith, the father of economics, proposed the theory of invisible hand which stated how supply and demand are conversely related, after attaining an equilibrium point. Well if my readers are thinking that’s how the session encapsulated us, well read on !

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Mr Dave began the session by sharing his resume as the first slide of the presentation and captured our attention with his indefatigable persona. This resume was a ‘Wordle’, which is an image of key words capturing the entire space. Next, he got the class involved by asking our views about the below excerpt from the CEO of FedEx.

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Not only was this an excellent way of stimulating our thoughts, but also an essential element for us to understand that knowledge is an integral element in Strategic value chain. By predicting the market requirements, only can one innovate and align its operations to the business goals. A typical business situation is when revenue plummets while business costs are kept minimal, whereas an innovative business situation can be attained when both revenues and costs are relatively higher.  To conclude the session, we got our forecasting right, by completing group real-time forecasting scenario to solve for Mr Dave’s company supply chain.

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We are extremely grateful to Dr. Adrian Coronado for arranging this session which helped us in developing a new skillset. 🙂

Sight_2018_02_13_180301_783Sight_2018_02_13_180404_507-Sakeynay (Sammy), Batch of 2017-18

Experiencing the bright cultures of the world – Celebrating Chinese New Year@RHULMBA

The experience of an international culture started with an exciting celebration. This Chinese New Year is the year of dog. I was mesmerized to feel the bright red colours of celebration used in the Chinese culture, it made me realize how beautiful is the world is with such splendid colours to offer to the mankind.

The event began with savouring the traditional “Hot pot” (an authentic Chinese cuisine) with all our classmates and kind lectures who agreed to share a meal with us and welcome the new year together. What was truly exemplary that even the Chinese food didn’t only have a lot of variety but also various flavours and colours.
Each table was chirping with laughs and excitement to try new food, some trying to use chopsticks for the first time while some were tingling their taste buds with the spicy, buttery and different kinds of sauces. After dinner, we played the traditional game wishing everyone luck, wisdom and grace. We were given a red envelope with some currency they would be passed on as luck for the next year. We tried learning the sweet little messages written on the red envelopes in Mandarin language. We laughed at our peculiar pronunciations and felt warm wishes when we were given the good wishes red envelope.

It was indeed a great experience to explore different flavours of the world and to be a part of the Chinese culture. I thank all my Chinese friends who also made dinner seamless for non-natives and gave us an insight of the importance about traditions of this celebration and made this event successful.
 
A big thank you to our program Director – Dr. Olga Kravets who made this event possible and has given us all wonderful memories to cherish. I wish everyone a lucky, joyous and prosperous new year.
– Vijay Mali (Class representative), Batch of 2017-18
 
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“How Nestle standardised and truly globalised its operations through technology”?

As the popular saying goes – hear it from the horse’s mouth, we were the lucky ones to explore our technology case-study on Nestle with Mr. Stephen Howells, Business Excellence Manager for Nestle.

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The problem encountered by Nestle was owing to its huge global presence, it had multiple stocks with different SKU’s (an abbreviation for product codes) i.e. unique code for each product. Numerous codes for a single item complicated not only tracking the contents that went into the thousands of products, but also failed to provide the company with a single source of truth regarding its product performance.

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To circumvent this issue, Nestle took strategic decisions to implement a new ERP system into their business, (WITH) a group of 400 of their best employees from around the world, each team member specialised in the different sectors like marketing, purchasing, finance, distribution, etc.

 

The selected people set out for assignment GLOBE in Switzerland and each member received a new car and the estimated operating cost for this project £30 million every year. Nestle was committed to uniting and aligning on the inside and outside to be more globally competitive while managing complexity with operational efficiency.

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Mr. Howells oversaw logistics and purchasing during the project. The firm benchmarked their ideas, accordingly to their market competitors and as communication between different departments was crucial to project’s success there was an open-desk policy.

 

As described by Stephen, they identified materials requirement planning based on 8 key areas of the business. Each process was documented, checked and verified.

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The major challenge was to cleanse the data that had to be integrated into the new SAP system to be launched into the business processes. Initially, there was low focus on data-entry in the earlier stages and resistance to change by senior management.

 

Chris Johnson, Globe manager of Nestle travelled all over the world to different country units and steered the project successfully by identifying the project as not just an ‘IT project, but a CRITICAL business project’.

 

Ultimately, the project became a Big Success for Nestle and continues to save the company hundreds of millions of dollars every year. It is also a great example of Business-IT Alignment and effective change management.

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-Sakeynay (Sammy), Batch of 2017-2018

 

 

How Cisco wow’ed us with collaboration !

After attending Dr. Hari’s lectures on Technology on the MBA, we began understanding how businesses are being undermined by not adopting the potential of information technology.

The coming together of digitization, infusion of software and the ubiquity of IT has led to a revolution in the business world!
After discussing a variety of business cases showing the disruptive and innovative potential of IT, we were told our Tuesday afternoon class was scheduled at the offices of Cisco to experience technology real-time.

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We were warmly welcomed by one of our alumni, Mr. Ozgur Savas, senior manager at Cisco and his colleague, Cristi Grigore.2

After getting our brand new ID cards we were headed for a scrumptous lunch from Cisco.

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Sneak peak of my first selfie 😉 – First look with the Cisco ID card!

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Nope! That’s not just a massive cafeteria with live counters but also an amazing view of London!!!

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After being treated like a royalty at lunch on our way out, we found two Cisco employees campaigning for employee mental health welfare initiative. This made us feel how much Cisco as an employer values in their people and also their well-being.

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We next entered the Customer experience centre. Our first glimpse was of a real-time video conference between 3 employees from different geographical zones. Who knew work could get that fancy !

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Mr. Ozgur and his colleague, Vlad took us through the Spark technology which works on stimulation of the surrounding network. The technology is so advanced that it detects the end-users in the nearest surroundings which saves the employees valuable time to join calls immediately or remain in a call while catching a room reservation as the calls are enabled on the Spark app. The spark app allows people to communicate with all kinds of devices. And by devices, I also mean the telephones enabled with smart video cameras. How cool can that be to work from home with your personal video and voice enabled gadgets. The employees get to know each other not only during year-end meetings but all throughout the year, that’s a terrific idea of simplify business processes.

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The coolest feature of the Cisco systems were they don’t require user to connect using any cable, the system not only recognised its end-user but also identifies its user by its voice.

file9-1P.s.: That laptop is connected to the Spark tv without any cable !!!How cooler can technology get !!!

To revamp the office team meeting Cisco has also developed – Spark board which is a touch-screen board and the writing can be saved on the company drive using cloud computing. Who thought so many brainstorming ideas in team meeting could be saved as files, well a company did and we were lucky to witness this technology 🙂

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We were next headed to our next segment of the study trip which was a presentation by Cristi. On our way, we came across these huge motherboards which store tons of database, and we were amazed knowing each of these machines is worth millions.

During the presentation, Cristi explained the power of collaboration on which Cisco runs. It was interesting to know how Cisco provides the framework for Internet and electricity in the world. We were introduced to cloud computing and IP telephoning.

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After the presentation, we were given an opportunity to come up with a business idea using cloud computing. This was the ‘Creathon’. We had about 30 minutes to come up with a techie idea.

Team 1 – Brainstroming their eco-friendly idea of creating sensor enabled bins for waste management – Smartbin

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Team 2 – Candidly developing their cab-share and hassle-free parking business idea.

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Team 3 – Developing their idea of using cloud computing in the hospitality industry . As the idea was inspired by Cisco’s objectives, we named it HotelSpark.

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After some really good presentations from each team, Team 3 was announced as the winner and each member was awarded an Amazon dot Echo and lots more Cisco goodies.

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Nicole was awarded for her excellent presentation skills.

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It was very kind of Mr. Ozgur for showing us the innovation of Cisco and also letting us know that we will be soon seeing a Part 2 of him as very soon he will be visiting us to
talk about security and the most-hyped technology of the era -Blockchain.

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A day well-spent with an extremely knowledgeable faculty Dr Hari with whom we discussed professional and technology developments on our way back to university. Thank you Dr. Hari for the wonderful study trip and tech enlightenment. 🙂

– Sakeynay (Sammy) Batch of 2017-2018

A RHUL MBA Alumnus Gives a Guest Talk to the Current MBA Cohort

Mr Srinath B. Ramachandra from Jaguar Land Rover was a guest speaker in the seminar for the “Strategy, Technology and Operations in a Globalised World” course (MN5137). He gave a talk about International Manufacturing Operations at JLR. Srinath is a MBA graduate from RHUL. He studied here in 2013-2014. Great honour to welcome our successful graduates back to share their experience and knowledge with the current student cohort!

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Mr Srinath B. Ramachandra with MBA students and Dr. Adrain Coronado.

 

MBA17/18 starting Individual Business Projects (Term 2) – AI is a hot topic

MBA17/18 students are starting their Individual Business Projects (Term 2). Artificial Intelligence (AI) pops up in many initial IBP proposals. Clearly a hot topic – after all “Artificial Intelligence is the New Electricity” (Andrew Ng) – but the biggest question is how to customise AI for a particular business context. Here Andrew Ng on impact of AI:

 

 

RHUL MBA 2016-17 Graduation

Well deserved! Congratulations to all the MBA 16-17 students at the graduation.

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The first group presentation

The first group presentation

Introducing the batch of 2017!!!

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Oops!!! Here you go 😊

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After our finance in-class test, we got started with building a portfolio of 5 FTSE100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. It was very challenging for most of us, as we weren’t from Finance background. Reading after classes, referring to dummies videos, to calculating our portfolio of different companies and explaining each other how much profit we made; we did all of that.The preparation had endless meetings and repeated rehearsals a night before. And how can I forget the lovely memories I made throughout!

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This is what happens when the mouse doesn’t work, we use our highly specialized touch!

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When Mac gave up after rehearsing for the presentation a night before!!! (P.S: Don’t worry, she was only taking a power nap to memorize better)

24th of November, 9a.m. – The nervous students arrived to showcase their newly-developed finance knowledge. It was interesting how every team built a unique portfolio of 5 equities from a budget of £10,000.

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(Excuse me for the order of the teams as I wasn’t able to photograph the first and second group presentations because to be honest in the first part I was doing my presentation and during the second presentation calming down from my nervousness)

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From group 3 – Kim explaining the correlation of the stocks they selected for their portfolio.

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(From left to right-Elsa,Kim, Sukhi and Anjali)Group 3 – Acing through their Q&A session with professor Kyu. This group had a unique objective of conservation investment to build their portfolio. The 4 key take-a ways after seeing their presentation were 1. Safe investment, 2. Protect the portfolio against inflation, 3. Ascertain normal returns for all the equities, 4. Adopting low-risk tolerance.

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(From left to right- Nicole, Grace, Youngeun, Sherry and Mag) Group 2 – This group took a Warren Buffet-wannabe strategy. They focused to find undervalued stocks in the market. They analyzed the market, economy and the individual companies to ensure they made a good portfolio. Their favorite strategy was the PE ratio (which is the Price-earning ratio, to explain in simpler words if an equity has a PE value 12 then the price you are paying is 12 times the earnings).

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A touch of Dab – Who said Finance can be difficult? It’s enthralling when we learn it with enthusiasm 😊

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(From left to right – Skye, Mackenzie, Vj and Sammy) Group 1 – Representing their diversified portfolio. We built a risk-averse, diversified portfolio which got steady income to our 60-year old client for his retirement. The portfolio was built using the standard deviation (which measures the risk element of the asset products) and Bid-Ask spread (this is the key indicator to ascertain the demand and supply of the stocks. Bid-ask spread = Ask price-Bid price. Ask price is the price at which companies sell their shares and Bid price is the price at which investors wish to buy share. The key take-away was to invest in companies having a good dividend per share and to hold on to portfolio for a longer term to reap maximum benefits.

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Look at us ! All Finance-savvied to take up our consultancy projects and build a profitable portfolio for our future clients.

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Our best candid moment was with our cool finance professor – Dr Kyu who gives his fantastic touch to a competent subject like Finance.

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And finally the Celebration time – A class that eats together, stays together 😊

– Sakeynay (Sammy) Batch of 2017-2018