He came, He taught, He conquered !!!

We had our first class of Marketing Decision Making by Prof. Jagmohan Raju today. We had heard a lot about him and he was, in my opinion, simply too good !! Though it is somewhat early in the term, I would probably rate him higher than the marketing profs we had in Term 1, though they were also really good and impressive too. This is probably the first time that I have been totally engrossed in the class for the entire 2 hours without feeling tired or without feeling the need for a break (Prof Raju did give a break at half-time, though). Along with the ability to impress the students with his level of knowledge and experience (like Prof Scott Ward), he also has the ability to teach well (like Prof. Asim Ansari, who though was a bit too slow sometimes).

I think we are really lucky to have Prof. Raju here. He had an accident 4-5 weeks back, had injured his knee badly and had been looking for a replacement to come and teach us. Lucky for us that he couldn’t probably arrange for one in such a short time span.

The main thing to watch out for in his class is “Photo Cold Calling”. The class starts with questions about what we learnt in Term 1 and the student whose photo gets flashed on the slide has to answer the question asked. As Prof Raju put it, some students stop recognizing their own faces as time goes on.

We had a case study submission to be done today morning. The case was then discussed in today’s class. It was about a projection systems manufacturer’s response to a unexpected move by a competitor. The case was an interesting one and I am very happy that I could think most of the things that the Prof mentioned in the class, before writing my plan. There were a few things the Prof mentioned which I had never thought about and in fact nobody had, at least in my section. These things will probably come through experience. I think I am now able to read marketing cases better.

The discussion in the class was very interesting. We had to choose one of three strategies that the company should follow and Prof Raju divided us into three groups based on the strategy we had recommended. Each group had to convincingly defend its strategy. People could shift from one group to another if they felt any of the other two strategies was better. No switching happened in our section though, may be because people didn’t want to switch sides in front of the entire section (as remarked by Prof Raju) or because they were really convinced that they had chosen the better strategy or because no group could convince the other groups that its strategy was the better one.

All said and done, life in this term is going to be really tough. We will soon start working on Markstrat, a strategic marketing simulation software and as its reputation goes, its going to eat into whatever is left of our sleeping hours. There are so many assignments to be done every week on the weekdays too. Last term, we mostly did assignments only over the weekends and so had at least some time left during the weekdays. Its really becoming difficult coping up with the daily readings and the assignments, especially for a “early to bed” guy like me.

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