Monday, October 04, 2004

Humour in class

Most of the classes in MBA are as plain as a grey suit. Then there are some serious classes where humour flows from the students, however unintentional. Consumer Behaviour (affectionately called 'con bee'). The professor is the strictest that is around and penalises a whole study group for the lapse of just one student in class. His classes have produced many gems from the students.

A few days back, the prof was discussing about BCG matrix. BCG matrix is a 2x2 matrix developed by the Boston Consulting Group to classify the projects or products in the portfolio of a company according to the market share and growth potential. The four categories are Cashcow, Stars, Dogs and Question-marks.

Cashcow is called so because it has a stable market, large market share and money is 'milked'. Stars are those projects which are growing and have a large market share. They are the cashcows of the future. Question marks are business units that have a small share in a high growth market.

When the student was asked why the 'Dog' was called so, he earnestly replied, "Sir, they are projects that cannot be 'milked' and also dogs cannot be 'milked', so they are called dogs" :)

The correct answer is, dogs are pets and those projects classified as dogs are pet projects of someone high ranking. This is the only reason why those projects are still in the company.

Same class, different session, there was this Harvard case about the Coca-Cola Coke fiasco. One student supposed to present it, started his presentation by declaring that 'even Harvard professors could not solve the case, and the onus has shifted to us'. Later during the presentation, he came upon the fact that the average age of the top management in Coca-Cola (in 1985) was 70. He said as a matter of fact that, most of the top management were dying, and as this 70 was the average age, there are much older people still in the top management.

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October 13, 2004 11:29 PM  
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October 14, 2004 12:15 AM  
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