Why doing an MBA late in life helps !!

In Sanskrit “Mani” means “jewel” and “Ved” means “sacred knowledge” …. Well, Ved Mani has the sacred knowledge and is one of the jewels of our PGPMAX class !! We didn’t like Ved much in Term 1 … Along with Arun, he was amongst the few that didn’t sweat DMUU. Then he told the Delhi gang that he had completed all the pre-work – you see, that kind of intelligence doesn’t help you win friends :):):):) 

As each term went by, we realised that Ved was indeed different and some of his questions got the professors to sweat – very different “hatke” thought process. For me, Ved’s insight just before the final DMUU test helped me pass 🙂 and over the 18 months, he helped me tide over several “mathematical” and “analytical” hurdles. 

The reason one should do an MBA much later in life is – it gets you a bunch of friends late in life, just when you start getting cranky and it pits you against superstars who make you feel humble just by all that they have accomplished. The learning from that kind of peer group is invaluable – not taking anything away from the world class professors. 

If Dilip became SAP Labs’ India head, Subbu became the MD at Accenture Phillippines, Feroze did the hype cycle to himself and not just got into the Dean’s list but became CEO of Hitachi Consulting – India, …. Arun now talks “big data analytics” through n! factorial – am personally glad he setup his own company, imagine having this doctorate in Chemistry, MBA, Maths whiz who remembers all the formulas and theorems, awesome singer, who also thinks of women as equals, for a colleague – I would be really under pressure :). Antony now doesn’t have time for us, because he is strategizing for Leo Burnett and Siva has no clue if he is coming or going…. Narayanan lives at the airports between flights and manages 5000 people and still struggles to outrun his son :), marathons ofcourse are child’s play. Ahmed is marketing spiritedly for ABD while Sajive is selling spirits in the US – No pressure folks, this is just a handful of the batch of 60 that we were. If this didn’t whet your appetite, read this article that has come in all leading newspapers today and you will know why doing an exec MBA late in life helps. 


By Sananda Kumar

KOCHI:  Kochi Metro Railway Ltd (KMRL) and  Axis BankBSE 0.33 % have concluded a major deal through an international competitive bid by which the bank will invest the entire funds, estimated at Rs 100 crore in the phase one, for the Automatic Fare Collection (AFC) system and pay Rs 209 crore as royalty to be KMRL’s partner in the project.

Axis Bank will issue co-branded debit cards to the users of Kochi metro system. The cards can be used for both for transit and shopping.

KMRL will also collect a cool 20 % from the revenue from the use of the debit card in mercantile outlets and internet transactions outside the Kochi metro eco-system. Moreover, the bank will undertake the maintenance for the  AFC systemfor 10 years. 

The innovative business model that KMRL has designed is likely to be a “model” for the rest metro projects. “It is expected to change the funding models for AFC systems in the metro industry globally”, a KMRL spokesman said. 

The normal practice in metros worldwide is for the metro company to invest their own funds for the capital expenditure required for AFC. 

However, KMRL invited competitive bids from various Indian banks to invest the entire capital expenditure on the AFC system, in return for their right to use co-branded cards and co-branded software on the metro system, which will function both as a debit card of the Bank as well as a ticket for entry into the metro system. 

KMRL has benefited by way of savings in capital investment, additional royalty of Rs.209 crore that will be paid by Axis Bank, as well as 20% of the Bank’s revenues on every transaction over the next 10 years. On the other hand, Axis Bank will have the opportunity to populate their card in the Metro ecosystem and in Kochi city, with a net addition of new clientele. 

MoUD has mandated all metros to have an integrated smart card system, which can be used in all transit. KMRL is the first metro in India to take a step in this direction. 


Guess who is the brains behind this AFC innovation ? Our very own Ved Mani Tiwari who heads the Kochi Metro project !!! The AFC was an innovative idea that came up during our class on Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Ved’s group and soon it will be a reality. There are several thousand Crores that will be saved from the project cost, but even more importantly this disruptive innovation will revolutionise the mass transit and payment industry globally. 

Now you know why you should do the PGPMAX from ISB – you get these guys as friends and classmates, besides world class professors !! 

Well done Ved and everyone – keep the flag flying high, PGPMAX 2013 rocks, PGPMAX rocks !!

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