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The Atticus Diaries
Bibliophile - atheist - reader of religious texts - B-School Grad - math-hater - part-time poet - wannabe bodybuilder - couch-potato - animal lover - non-vegetarian - software engineer - technophobe - day-dreamer - basketballer that never was - cruciverbalist - Indian - SriLankan - neither - marketing grad - financial analyst - another confused clueless speck living it up on good ol' earth!!

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Thursday, August 19, 2004
The man they call Randy....

Despite what the stakeholders might make of it, even the best of educational institutions are as much curate's eggs as the rest of the world. The B-School I go to also hosts all kind of people - from some professors who are revered experts in their domain to some students who, as a friend charitably described, are "pompous idiots", we find them all. And that's precisely why a person like Prof.Ranjan Das deserves special mention.

Prof.Das is fondly called "Randy" but he is anything but. He is the quintessential gentleman professor. From the moment he starts the first "Industry Competitive Analysis" lecture with a well-articulated definition of strategy, he holds the class in his sway. In the subsequent journey through Michael Porter's world with a plethora of Harvard Business School cases for company, you emerge with an appreciation of the esoteric art of competitive analysis and a healthy respect for this tall, dark and immensely knowledgeable man.

Randy sits in boardroom discussions of leading corporates. He is on personal terms with many a CEO. He can dish out numerous illustrative examples for any concept from his wide consulting experience. But, beyond all his conceptual clarity and teaching skills, what impresses you is the man's personal traits.

He is among the few good professors here who don't have a mild sadistic strain - he indulges students, encourages class participation even if the points made verge on the absurd. While most professors lose enthusiasm when the class is unprepared (which is every third day here), Randy proceeds with his analysis with only a curt admonition.

For a man who makes almost a crore in consulting assignments, Randy is amazingly simple. The dedication he shows in teaching is to be seen to be believed. He is said to have continued teaching after a mild heart-attack in class last year! He has braved illness to handle classes for us too. While students grow impatient behind him in class, Randy patiently listens to long case-updates that students present in class.

I feel bad that Randy wasn't too impressed with our class. People irked him by incessantly talking in class while other students were making presentations. The bulk of the class often turned up for classes unprepared. As the class was busy negotiating the question-pattern for the final exam In the last class, the class didn't even offer the customary bench-thumping ovation given to most professors here at the end of a course.

But I don't think Randy would have minded. He receives too many accolades around the world to crave for any from a motley crowd of immature and ill-behaved B-schoolers. He once said in class while summing up a concept, "I hope you'll remember me when you apply this in your business decisions even though I may be long gone". I know I would. So would a bulk of the students in class who lapped up wise words from a man who had seen much more of the business world than we can aspire to do in several years.

And sooner or later, the dissident group of "pompous idiots" would learn to appreciate him too... when they mature a bit... when they look back on their renegade days at IIMC with objectivity and realize the dedication and devotion shown by a tall, dark man who demystified Michael Porter for them all those years back!

Here's to Randy, thenů my favorite professor at IIMC! Hats off, Sir!!!

February 17, 2006   09:23 AM PST
he is my brother
and he got shuffed up the chimmy
November 10, 2004   11:12 PM PST
I am lucky enough to have attended Randy's Class. If I didn't have a dream to become an entrepreneur, I would have said after the first class " I want to be like Randy". One can only fall short of words when describing this man. But you have done a great job.
October 27, 2004   05:32 AM PDT
looking forward desperately to term 5.... though its a LONG time away!!

had heard abt randy a lot from strat FP freshers as well. this however, was as good a standing ovation as one could give, irrespective of the deskbangings and the hoots!!

cheeros atticus
October 23, 2004   08:38 PM PDT
Now what more can I say...

You are one "goddamned" pearl diver ! Its only you who can keep stumbling into people and discover the pearl in them :)

Neways...lemme proceed with my reading of your blog :D Its really a BLOG - Biography of LOve and Grace
October 11, 2004   05:37 AM PDT
I just noticed the link on the main page so got here. You inspire me to try and pen down my feelings for the person I admire. He is the closest I can call to an ideal.

Touching post!
October 8, 2004   05:04 PM PDT
True respect and heart felt thanks put in words for a reverred teacher.
August 26, 2004   04:07 PM PDT
good one!! i guess there is one randy in all B schools. i guess its just a matter of time before one realises how correct his words are , especially after joining the corporate jungle .........

BTW hows the bodybuilding going ?? did the advise help !!
August 25, 2004   05:09 PM PDT
u left me spellbound!
wish randy could read this

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