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Key to Innovation, Diversity - Stamicarbon

posted 11 Sep 2015, 05:35 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 11 Sep 2015, 05:39 ]


Over Population no more an Issue

posted 16 Apr 2014, 13:52 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 13 Dec 2014, 11:31 ]

Ground breaking BBC Documentary discussing overpopulation on the planet we call earth.
This documentary gives us an insight into the future markets and how the issue of population has been solved for good.




Are Opportunities Created or Discovered? - An Entrepreneurial Perspective

posted 3 Feb 2014, 06:15 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 3 Feb 2014, 06:44 ]

Are opportunities created

Wickham (2006) argues that entrepreneurship is essentially a style of management in which a manager is willing to venture: to create change and to pursue opportunity rather than just to maintain the status quo and conserve resources” (p. 17).

Opportunity, refers to “a situation in which a person can exploit a new business idea that has the potential to generate profit” (Shane, 2003), an opportunity occurs when idea or product is successful in the market and generates profit. According to Wickham (2006) “the good entrepreneur is constantly searching for new opportunities. In effect, this means that they are never really satisfied with the way things are at any moment in time”. The concept of that idea or product having newness and economic potential is outlined again by Baron (2004) who states “an opportunity involves the potential to create something new that has the potential to generate economic value”.

What is an Opportunity Gap?

An opportunity gap is the gap between what is available on the market at present and the potential to introduce new or significantly improved products or services  Opportunity gaps represent the potential to serve customers better than they are currently being served (Wickham, 2006)

An ENTREPRENEURIAL OPPORTUNITY is

the possibility to do things

both differently from and better than

how they are being done at the moment”.

INNOVATION is

a way of doing something differently and better”

(Wickham, 2006, p. 236)

 ‘Created’ and ‘discovered’ refer to the method in which the opportunity was found. Entrepreneurs do not simply adapt to change – they often instigate it. One effective way that Sarasvathy, Venkataraman, Dew and Velamuri (2002) differentiate between creation & discovery is through the ‘domain of application’. This refers to the level of knowledge in the market, when supply and demand for the product is known then the opportunity is founded through the allocative process or opportunity recognition, when only one variable is of no doubt then the opportunity has been discovered, and when neither supply or demand is known, the opportunity has been created. Opportunities are independent of entrepreneurs – they exist regardless of whether or not they are discovered.

The phrase “Opportunities are created, not discovered.” refers to the exploitation of a previously untapped market, or a current market which is not being completely penetrated. The phrase suggests that these market opportunities arise from a single method and that they are created by the entrepreneur rather than discovered. We will also look into a third, allocative view, identified by Bachanan and Vanberg (1991) and again by Sarasvathy, Venkataraman, Dew and Velamuri (2002) in the work titled ‘Three Views of Entrepreneurial Opportunity’. While many academics such as Ronstadt, Ardichvili and Buenstorf argue that entrepreneurial opportunities are created, others such as Kirzner, Gӧrling and Rehn all disagree, stating that the entrepreneurial opportunities are discovered. This blog will propose that the entrepreneurial process regarding opportunity exploitation is not restricted to one view, whether it be the creationist view, discovery view or the allocative view, but in fact argue that opportunities arise from all three circumstances. Overall, while looking into detail at the key differences outlined by Sarasvathy, Venkataraman, Dew and Velamuri (2002), we will demonstrate using examples that each of the three views exists and occur in the world of entrepreneurship.

The creationist theory of entrepreneurial opportunities, although the youngest of the three, is favored by academic economists such as Bhowmick, as well as Ronstadt, Ardichvili and Buenstorf. Some say that opportunities are socially constructed and are retrospectively recognized. The theory finds its roots back in philosophy. In the case of the opportunity creation theory the philosophical background lies with James and Dewy and the philosophy of pragmatism. This theory suggests that ignorance is the key to create an opportunity, and is boomed where the supply and demand of the product or service does not yet exist. Therefore, at least one of the needs has to be ‘created’ and produced by the entrepreneur (Sarasvathy, Venkataraman, Dew and Velamuri, 2002). In doing so, the entrepreneur will create a new market opportunity. As Buchanan and Vanberg (1991) illustrate, the key idea of this view is that the end product is not ignored or imposed, and that the market opportunity emerges through interactive human activities. For a market opportunity to be considered as opportunity creation, the business venture would have to be completely new, with no prior knowledge available for the entrepreneur making the future of the market unknowable. This is what Knight called true uncertainty. While the level of risk involved in market creation is high, the economic rewards in terms of profits are much greater than in a venture associated with less risk. Creative process is enhanced when entrepreneurs are placed in a high uncertainty environment (Sarasvathy, Venkataraman, Dew and Velamuri, 2002). There are several worldwide examples of the creative process, including the internet company Netscape, as well as General Electric, U-Haul, AES Corporation and the MIR space resort distinguished by Sarasvathy, Venkataraman, Dew and Velamuri (2002). The entrepreneurial opportunity that became the architect of Netscape consisted of a new idea, belief and action. The idea was of a user-friendly web browser. The belief was that even though the supply of, and especially the demand for the idea that was Netscape was unknown, a market would be created and the idea could be commercialized. Finally the entrepreneurial action of Marc Anderson and Jim Clark brought the idea and belief to life. Anderson and Clark’s belief, that while the market situation for Netscape was of true uncertainty; that a demand for the commercialized product could be built meant that this opportunity was not recognized, nor discovered, but in fact it was created. Due to this example being an actual event rather that theoretical occurrence, it proves that opportunities are created. However, contrary to the suggestion in the statement, “Opportunities are created, not discovered.”, that only one process can occur, this does not prove that opportunities can not be discovered.

The method of opportunity discovery revolves around the idea that only one market variable is known, whether it is the supply of, or demand for the product or service. Therefore the market is pre existent, but is unknown in advance. Alvarez (2007) describes this type of entrepreneurial opportunity as an opportunity “just waiting to be discovered and exploited by unusually alert individuals”. Kirzner (1997) and Shane (2003) explain that these opportunities can be found by discovering unsatisfied needs and wants in the economy. Therefore opportunity discovery occurs when the entrepreneur realizes an existing market which is currently unknown or unsatisfied. The entrepreneur discovers or finds the market potential. As discussed by Gӧrling and Rehn, not all opportunity discoveries are done so with that intent in mind, a number of opportunity discoveries can be attributed to accidental discovery, i.e. the opportunity is stumbled upon by the entrepreneur, or through accidental incidents, where someone does not discover the opportunity but instead has it thrust upon them. Gӧrling and Rehn (2008) illustrate this using the example of Elvis Presleys and Kurt Cobains death, where someone made a business out of an unexpected human incident. While opportunity discovery includes the accidental opportunities described by Gӧrling and Rehn, the majority of opportunity discoveries are those in which an individual searches for a solution. An example of this is often visible in the medical field, where new diseases are being cured by new treatments. The cure to a disease always has a level of demand, however the cure may not always be available, therefore demand exists but the supply needs to be discovered. Once the cure is discovered the market opportunity can be satisfied. This is similar to the market opportunities available in the world of computers. Computer users may demand new software for various reasons, faster RAM speed, or a faster internet connection. The demand is obvious, but to realize and truly discover the market, the problem of supply must be rectified. In this case new editions of computer software are released, such as Microsoft Word 2007, new hardware devices that increase a computers RAM are produced, and the conversion from dial up internet to DSL are all discovered and used to answer the problem of supply, and satisfy consumer demand. The discovery of the answers to the issue of supply, both in the world of computers and diseases, were not stumbled upon, nor were they thrust upon an individual, they were purposely sort after by the entrepreneurial body in an effort to discover, realise and satisfy the presence of a gap in the economy. This indicates that it is possible that entrepreneurial opportunities are not just created, but they can also “be discovered and exploited by unusually alert individuals” Alvarez (2007).

The third method of entrepreneurial opportunity realization is widely known as opportunity recognition. However, this view has also been called an allocative process by academics such as Dantec (2008) and Sarasvathy (2002). Vesper (1980) introduced this view of opportunity recognition, insisting on the “permanent active sought of viable opportunity which precedes a business venture” (Dantec, 2008). As with the creation and discovery views, allocative theory has its origins in philosophy, this time in the equilibrium based calculus of Marshall, Walras and many others. The allocative process occurs when both market forces are known, that is when supply and demand can be calculated or measured to a degree of accuracy. Due to this, opportunity recognition involves the least amount of risk for the entrepreneur when compared to the discovery method or the creation process. Baron (2004) describes opportunity recognition as the perception of complex patterns by an entrepreneur allowing him or her, to interpret the environmental stimuli in a way that it can be used to create economic value. Baron characterized this as the active cognitive process. Lindmark (2006) on the other hand, suggests that in opportunity recognition supply and demand exist quite obviously, indicating the complex patterns expressed by Baron do not apply. Clear occurrences of the allocative theory in action are in the form of franchising.

While many of the economists explicitly support the creationist theory, such as Ardichvili, Bhowmick, Buenstorf, and Ronstadt, it is impossible to deny the existence of entrepreneurial opportunities being identified through the discovery and allocative processes. This is particularly shown in the works of Sarasvathy, Venkataraman, Dew and Velamuri. As with any argument there is another view point, Kirzner, Shane, and Gӧrling and Rehn, all believe in the opportunity discovery theory, while Dantec, Lindmark, and Vesper argue the opportunity recognition side of the debate. This blog also demonstrates how their views are not completely accurate either. It suggests and explains that entrepreneurial opportunity occurs in all three forms, recognition, discovery and creation. While it may be argued that seizing an opportunity through the creation process is more entrepreneurial than the opportunities presented by discovery and recognition, due to the level of risk involved in successfully implementing a business venture via market creation, it still does not exclude the actuality of the existence of discovery and recognition. 

The Interpretive / Social Constructionist position is an additional theory which argues that reality is constantly shaped through interaction with actions of individuals with the society. A good entrepreneur is constantly searching for new opportunities. In effect, this means that they are never really satisfied with the way things are at any moment in time. In the end, we can say that the term opportunity identification can be both created or discovered.


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Is Internet turning to be the New GOD ?

posted 1 Jan 2014, 15:16 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 2 Jan 2014, 08:27 ]

Is Internet the new god

This blog is the beginning of a series of 10 minute blogs which I will be writing on diverse topics, I will explain the concept behind it in the end of the blog.

1st Jan 2014 - 

The concept of collective consciousness is both new and ancient we have forgotten this in the past few centuries, and now it is again coming back. Although putting this concept of collective consciousness into a theory is not new. This is the basis of every religion, but today with the advent of technology and information we see that the access to this consciousness and knowledge is increased manifold. The brain itself acts as a computer by storing what we see, hear and feel. All our experiences in the past are unique because you as an individual spend 24 hours with yourself and no one else knows about you more than yourself, something which may be very simple for you may be the most complicated thing for the other person, this kind of knowledge sharing lead to the growth of the education system and religion.

People learn and get inspired by something and others get inspired by, it either they or their disciples write about it (An example would be there is no religion in the world written by God himself. It is normally written by people who might have got inspired by God, saw a vision, got enlightened or gods spoke to them); in the same way every individual has something which is different from the other individual, one of the studies shows that every 20 minutes, we share so much information, which used to be shared in a period of thousands of years. In our past we have observed that people when curious about something used to go to the teachers, enlightened people, and other sources. In case someone could not find an answer, he or she used to search for it and then once he found the answer, he or she used to share it with the other people, if this knowledge was something that inspired someone then that specific individual would share it with the other people. This is very similar to research, people get inspired by an idea and then do research on it, the research can be inventing new things or even analyzing, which could be both qualitative or quantitative analysis.

Today the Internet has become the major source of information sharing, even the United Nations (http://www.un.org/en/rights/) says that the right to access to information is a human right, we have seen that countries like Finland have made the right to access to information or the right to an Internet connection of 1 Mbps a human right in 2009. So what do we observe we see a change in the way people share knowledge. If a child is taught how to search on the Internet, we will observe that the child will no longer have to learn things by heart, because there was a time when you had to learn things by heart, but today, every information is available on the go. You only need to learn how to search for it, in the same way people used to search for God, today there is a section of the society who search for answers online.

It is said that the World Wide Web or the Internet helps us to rewire the way we think, by looking at things from a perception of a different person. In olden times the level of exposure was limited, so people used to believe in limited things which was told by people who used to think things were different, maybe they found themselves inside themselves. But today, as the Internet is moving ahead we see that a person sees things from a lot of different perspectives, which was not true before few years. We always think that the research and knowledge of the past was great, but we forget what we do today, becomes a past tomorrow. The amount of resources available to Einstein when he was researching was limited or in other words, he had to spend a lot of time searching for things, but today if you want to search for something you can use the Internet.

Everything has a positive and negative, in other words, I would say everything is relative, because we normally look at the Internet as a threat, but not as an opportunity. The Internet gives rise to a way of learning which is very different from the way we used to learn before, and a topic which I would like to talk right now is how the Internet affects globalization, the countries which we know is countries has been existing only for a few years or maybe centuries, for example in Europe before few years, most countries used to fight with each other. Most of them were enemies of one another, but today we see that there is a unified European Union and people feel attached to it. A different example would be before hundred years, There was no concept of a unified India, but once a country as India was formed the people were trained psychologically to have a feeling of being an Indian. There is no harm in forming countries, but we also have to look at the fact that there are things which are beyond countries, the thing that connects us together. Today the world is getting global not because the world is becoming smaller, technology plays a major role, for example you can move from one place to other faster today, but what we see is also a transfer of knowledge by the Internet. These thoughts give rise to new ideas, and these new ideas are very similar to the way a religion was formed. One of the things being a researcher is you have to be nonjudgmental and unbiased.

I was asked before a few days when I went to the church by the priest do you believe in God? I said I’m neutral, he was shocked asking why and what did I mean by that?

I said that the world is full of possibilities,

I don’t deny the fact that God exists because if I’m an atheist, I deny the fact and possibility that God exists, and in case I accept the fact that God exists, then I deny the fact and possibility that God may not exist.

He said "this is a very novel idea but it is against the basic concept of faith"

I said, a person should not be closed in a bubble, he should be open to all possibilities if I believe something just because someone tells me, I’m actually not allowing myself to understand what I want myself, the conversation went on for hours. (In the end the priest was so inspired that he compared me to a Saint who had very similar ideas like me, he even said I should be working for the Catholic Church)

This is a thing which is changing, there was a time when companies would want people to work in the way the company wanted. It was productive, it is productive to a certain extent, this because a person reaches his full potential. Only when he or she does something which he or she likes and is passionate about. This is something which even I learned in my Masters how to generate ideas, weigh ideas and implement them. I have observed that every person is as creative as the other person. The only thing is one of the person will be able to market his skills more than the other person. How do you analyze four ideas by four different people, as every individual feels his idea to be the best, this is a perception of the individual, but then it comes to taking decisions on which of these ideas is good, we judge an idea from the perception of the company. Sometimes this is not the best decision. For example, Xerox was the first company to come up with the idea of a personal computer, but they could not do a feasibility test for the future and hence they didn’t go ahead with the idea.

Now, what is this to do with the Internet, today as the Internet is growing and becoming faster we see that it is becoming a source of information for different people. This affects the way countries and companies run, we can see a clear difference between countries where speed of the Internet a slow and expensive, to those countries where Internet is very cheap and very fast, an example would be a comparison between the Northern European countries and the southern European countries.

Every religion is based on rules, you should do something you should not. In Christianity, it is the 10 Commandments, in a similar way in the future we may observe that Internet has some rules because no God wants him to be exploited. 

I will end today's blog here because 10 minutes have passed after I started typing, this is one of my New Year resolutions to write a random blog in 10 minutes, because most of the great ideas which have been generated have been a mistake or an unexpected event. For example, the Internet, so I have decided that I write blogs on different topics with no pre-judged ideas in order to come up with new ideas. Dedicating this on my experiences in Malta I would name this method as 10 minute Manish surprise.

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Creative Lifelong Education System to enhance perception of living time in Human Life

posted 3 Dec 2013, 09:41 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 13 Dec 2014, 14:28 ]

Creative Lifelong Education System to enhance perception of living time in Human Life

This blog is about my latest presentation at the University of Malta on how creativity can influence the perception of the human mind and how creativity in education can enhance the perception of time we are living in. This could also help the Universities to stand out and find new potential in the troubled futures.


To understand this lets see what is Creativity?


Most contemporary definitions of creativity tend to focus on originality and usefulness. Amabile (1987) defines creativity as “a novel and appropriate solution [product or response] to an open-ended task” (p. 227). Csikszentmihalyi and Wolfe (2005) view creativity as “an idea or product that is original, valued, and implemented” (p. 81). Prabhu, Sutton and Sauser (2008) offer a similar definition: “the generation of novel, original, and unique ideas concerning procedures and processes that can used at work and are appropriate and significant to the problem or opportunity presented” (p. 54). Torrance (1970) defines creativity as traits “which lead us to respond constructively to new situations, rather than merely to adapt or adjust. The true value of creativity is to be found in daily living, not just in the creation of new products” (p. 15). Creative needs include curiosity, the need to meet challenge and attempt difficult tasks, the need to become fully absorbed in a task, and the need for individuality. Sternberg and Lubart (1992) suggest that creativity has been studied from two perspectives: internal (the process of an individual) and external (the interaction of an individual and context). Creativity is found along a continuum: when it is less contextualized, or internal, the focus is on the psychometric, or personality and process; when it is more contextualized, or external, the focus is on the social-psychological (Amabile) and case-study (Gardner, Feldman).


Let’s now understand what time is and what do psychologists mean by time?




Everything is relative for example if we move in an elevator we presume that the world around is moving but in a different scenario when we look from outside it is totally opposite, same is with time. We all might presume that time is a fixed dimension, one second for me is one second for you, but there is a difference on how every individual experiences and perceives it, it is different for every individual, the main underlying reason is that our brains are not just keeping track of time but our brain also constructs time. It has been observed that when we are in a life threatening situation time seems to slow down, as we grow older it is presumed that time seems to speed up. As per Dr Eagleman the more information the brain has to process the more time seems to last, this is because of more attention to detail.
 If you don’t let a lot of information in, your brain is on an automatic mode and hence time perceives to move faster, this explains why time gets faster as we age since in our current system of education we tend to stop learning after a phase of life and make things more simple and hence the brain does not has to process more information. What in the case we are bored even if we are young, as per Kellaris & Kent, (1992) the reason is that when we are bored we tend to make our brain resources concentrate on monitoring time. It is also said that time is perceived to move faster if we have fun and make our brains think Sackett, Meyvis, Nelson, Converse, & Sackett, (2010). So by this we can conclude that we do have some control over our perception of time, we can make it faster by distracting ourselves by doing things which does not make us keep track of time or we can make it slower by learning new things and giving more food for the brain to think.


How can education systems learn from this?


We could involve in the ways the ancient Greek philosophers used to sit and share knowledge so that our brains had more things to comprehend and hence the time they perceived would have been longer, When you were a child you might have felt that time was much slower that is because you had to learn new things, our current education system needs to bring in more of knowledge merged with creative balance so that we can find a close harmony between perceived time and the subjective time on the clock, by doing this we may be able to find a perfect balance in the amount of knowledge needed to gain optimal balance of perceived time to enhance human perceived life, this may also mean that we may have to have a lifelong education system, this could lead to new concepts for the universities so that they could focus on teaching something new to keep life sustainable. All the six personal traits essential for creativity (intelligence, knowledge, thinking styles, personality attributes, motivation, and environment) would be needed to form a culture where we make the perception of time bigger. Amabile (1983) also lists three personal, or internal, components required for creativity: domain-relevant skills (factual knowledge and technical skills within the domain), creativity-relevant skills (conditional and procedural knowledge), and task motivation (attitudes and self-perception). People are most creative when they are motivated by a passionate interest (Amabile, 1987), and what could be something more passionate than living a longer life.

The influence of culture and context on creativity is emphasized by Csikszentmihalyi and Wolfe (2005), “Creativity is not produced by single individuals, but by a social system making judgments about individuals’ products” (p. 81-82). Such a test on education system would require participants to respond to divergent thinking tasks with products that are rated by experts on certain aspects of creativity (originality, fluency, flexibility).

Cognitive, conative, and environmental factors would influence such a creative change, according to Lubart, Georgsdottir, and Besançon (2009). Cognitive factors include intellect, thinking (divergent, logical and analogical), and knowledge, including the “accumulated facts, theories, and personalized expertise that concern various content domains, but also an understanding of constraints and other implicit parameters that play a role in problem solving” (p. 44). We need to look into our past and learn from the what the others have done, one of the examples would be looking at how animals perceive the world around, the field of bionics has been able to come up with a lot of creative innovations by mimicking the nature, now its time we mimic the basic human tendency to perceive things and make it last for longer by using creative education as a tool.


Academic Poster 

http://www.manishabraham.com/blog/Life-long-education-system-to-enhance-perception-of-living-time/Life%20Long%20Learning%20%20Poster.png

Presentation

Presentation


References:


  1. Amabile, T. (1983). The social psychology of creativity. New York: Springer-Verlag.
  2. Amabile, T. (1987). The motivation to be creative. In S. Isaksen (Ed.), Frontiers of Creativity Research: Beyond the basics, 223-254. Buffalo, NY: Bearly Limited.
  3. Csikszentmihalyi, M. & Wolfe, R. (2005). Conceptions and research approaches to creativity: mplications of a system perspective approach to creativity in education. In K.Heller, F. Mönks, R. Sternberg, & R.
  4. Kellaris, J. J., & Kent, R. J. (1992). The influence of music on consumers' temporal perceptions: Does time fly when you're having fun? Journal of Consumer Psychology, 1(4), 365-376. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1057-7408(08)80060-5
  5. Prabhu, V., Sutton, C., & Sauser, W (2008). Creativity and certain personality traits: Understanding the mediating effect of intrinsic motivation. Creativity Research Journal, 20, 53-66.
  6. Sackett, A. M., Meyvis, T., Nelson, L. D., Converse, B. A., & Sackett, A. L. (2010). You’re having fun when time flies the hedonic consequences of subjective time progression. Psychological Science, 21(1), 111-117.
  7. Torrance, E.P. (1970). Encouraging creativity in the classroom. Dubuque, IA: Wm. C. Brown Publishers.
  8. Sternberg, R.J., & Lubart, T.I. (1992). Buy low and sell high: An investment approach to creativity. Human Development, 34, 1-31.
  9. Wallach, M.A., & Kogan, N. (1965). Modes of thinking in young children: A study of the creativity-intelligence distinction. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc

External Support

  1. EagleMan Lab for Perception and Action http://www.eaglemanlab.net/.

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Certificate for Outstading Performance at MAN Trucks & Bus

posted 13 Nov 2013, 06:40 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 13 Nov 2013, 12:13 ]

I had successfully completed an internship in the Department of Engineering, Product Architecture (EAA) between 01 July 2013 and 30 Sept 2013, and now I just received an Outstanding Internship Certificate along with a performance evaluation sheet and a reference letter for the work that I did during my time at MAN Truck & Bus, Munich, Germany. This showcases my capabilities and qualities as a future manager in any company from a company manager's perspective. 

As an Intern I accomplished a lot of tasks, and this blog explains the major tasks that I covered during my internship at MAN Truck & Bus and in the end has the outstanding achievement certificate with the evaluation sheet attached. 

Underlying were the three major tasks:

1.            European Union Commission Project (AMISA)


Based on research and interviews I hypothesized three concepts for the future project for MAN, and made an outline on the future project based on adaptability driver methodology and examined the influence of modularity in a company like MAN, by conducting thorough research on how modular products can bring sustainable advantage to a company.I worked and analyzed a European Commission project called AMISA (EU 7 th framework) which was to answer the question on how could adaptability be designed into systems in order to provide maximum value to the stakeholders throughout the lifetime, MAN was one of the Industrial partners in the project, other partners included TUM, Munich; MIT, USA; MAG, Switzerland; Tetra Pack, Italy; TTI, Spain; Tel Aviv University & IAI, Israel. I generated a situational analysis report stating the current situation of MAN. I was also instrumental in conducting a requirements & needs analysis where I researched & gathered a lot of data to generate a conclusion stating what was the current situation of MAN. 

I was able to analyze the effects of Modularity in various stages of life cycle by specially focusing on its impact to gain competitive advantage, the effects on Environment and also explained how modularity could help in boosting Innovation.

I generated a workflow for the future project and even gave two approaches on how to move ahead, As per the manager I differentiated myself by submitting exceptionally well-researched and well-written reports.

2.            Intranet of MAN Truck & Bus


I worked closely with other departments to design and develop the product architecture department’s page on hyper wave. In this process I on my own initiative also helped colleagues from other departments.

I further designed & migrated the information by developing a common platform on Microsoft SharePoint. In case of SharePoint page I identified the needs of the Managers and was open to all the suggestions, I in collaboration with other colleagues used the knowledge of Html and CSS to design the a SharePoint portal for the department which in future will help the department to have a central website that would provide central storage and collaboration space for documents. This would be also the platform which could cater for the future project management needs of MAN. 

3.            Truck Configurator based on Excel


I was successful in developing a truck configurator as per the needs of the manager using VBA codes in Microsoft Excel. This was made by conducting through research in the way a truck is configured and the various variants in a truck. This required a deep understanding of different variant of trucks that MAN produced.  I made a DSM model based on the configurator theory for MAN.  I always consulted other members of the team who guided me ahead to make it successful. I also documented the procedure so that it would be easy to be used for an Education purpose, to train other employees. I enhanced my knowledge on MS Excel and MS PowerPoint working at MAN by working closely with others and following the suggestions from my colleagues. 

Except this as an Intern I had been involved in a lot of activities in the department which was in order to enhance my overall knowledge in a core engineering company like MAN  and I also got involved to observe the whole production cycle, I had been to  plant tours where I was given a deep insight into the production plant of MAN in Munich. I also got the privilege to attend the Engineering Truck Forum held in Munich.  

In the end I would say:

The three months working at MAN had been a great opportunity to learn from many of the best mentors in the industry and this has helped me to understand how a company like MAN, with more than 55000 employees functions, it has given me a deeper insight into product management, variant management and product architecture.   I have been able to learn a lot of other skills in the period of internship which is difficult to write down on this blog.

I leave you with the Certificate of outstanding achievement and the personal evaluation sheet below: 


You may also read about my additional experiences in Munich in my Blog titled MAN, MANISH & MUNICH

MAN, MANISH & MUNICH (The story of Munich)

Open Notice 


I am presently also looking for potential options to do a master thesis from Feb 2014, in case you, your company,or your institute have an interesting topic related to Innovation management , Product management, Open Innovation or any other interesting topic, please do contact me. To view a presentation about me please click on the picture below. 

http://www.slideshare.net/manishabraham/is-this-my-resume
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Door to Hell - Potential Business Case Study

posted 9 Nov 2013, 12:50 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 11 Nov 2013, 01:49 ]


This week I decided to write on a very different topic which is about a  human created crater which has been burning for more than four decades in the deserts of Turkmenistan. Why this topic and what can be learnt from it depends on how you perceive the story.  


A new tourist destination arises in the deserts of Turkmenistan, not so surprisingly for a legendary seeming wonder, some of the details regarding the "Door to Hell," otherwise known as the Darvaza Gas Crater, have passed into legend since its creation by the ex-soviet scientists. Sources vary regarding the timeline, but Gadling sets the beginning of the story at about 35 years ago, which seems the most likely when considering some say it's been burning for over 200 years.

Let me give you a short outline to this week's blog and I have chosen a very different topic which can be also taken as a case study by organizations.


In the late sixties, when Turkmenistan was part of the USSR, Soviet geologists were sent into the desert to explore for natural gas, while drilling in one such spot, the geologists happened upon a large, cavernous space full of poisonous gas which promptly swallowed their equipment. Hoping to burn off the excess gas, perhaps to make it possible to descend into the crater, the geologists set it ablaze and four decades later, it's still burning and now has turned into a tourist destination.


Long way down: The hole was formed in 1971 when the ground beneath a drilling rig collapsed


Being an Innovation and product management student I digged a bit deeper since these kind of scientific lapses can cause a company fortunes. For the beginning lets look into the history of the country.


History and Geography


Turkmenistan is seventy percent desert – the Karakum Desert, to be exact. The nation is divided into five provinces, the second largest being the Ahal Welayat which occupies the south-central portion of the country. Ahal is almost entirely desert and contains just fourteen percent of the country’s population, but it is also rich in natural resource deposits.


When Soviet scientists discovered a cache of oil reserves near the town of Derweze in the Karakum Desert, drilling quickly commenced, with very few precautions. When a drilling rig collapsed and created a crater, large amounts of methane gas was released. When the oilmen attempted to burn off the methane, it started a fire that still burns over forty years later, what we see is that a single wrong decision can cause a fortune for the next generations and can even damage the nature.

The village of Derweze (also known as Darvaza) is centrally located in Turkmenistan, its 350 tribal residents braving the inhospitable conditions of the desert for hundreds of years, this kind of an incident has interrupted the peaceful and quiet lifestyle of the nomadic tribe, aside from sitting on a valuable cache of natural resources.


Exploration and the Disaster


In the late sixties the Soviet Union sent exploration teams across the continent to locate deposits of gas and oil. By 1971 one of the groups had located what was believed to be a rich deposit underneath the village of Derweze. A camp was established, a drilling rig quickly set up, and operations began shortly thereafter.


As the drilling started, the petrochemical scientists started estimating the quantity of gas reserves available at the site. Initial estimates were positive, and when the Soviet drilling rigs confirmed their findings, production was increased to full capacity and they began storing the gas.


Unfortunately, the ground collapsed under the weight and pressure of the drilling rigs set up at the site, leaving a large hole with a diameter of 70 meters (230 ft), miraculously no lives were lost in the disaster, but large quantities of methane gases were released into the atmosphere.


This created a significant environmental concern while threatening the health of the Derweze villagers. When methane (a dangerous greenhouse gas) is burned, it is a greater contributor to global warming than carbon dioxide.

The geologists determined the best course of action was to set the crater on fire. Burning off the excess methane over several days would be far cheaper and safer than using expensive equipment for extraction, which could be dangerous and take months.

This was supposed to practical considering the large size of the crater, containing the gaseous outbreak would be very expensive, which is why the scientists opted for an easier, more cost-effective, and what they presumed would be a quicker solution. 

Unfortunately, initial estimations of the site’s reserves were extremely low; when the scientists lit the gas, it erupted and didn’t stop burning. Over forty years later, the fire still burns. Locals quickly dubbed the site the Door to Hell and the Gas Crater of Darvaza.

Over growing concerns, the President of Turkmenistan ordered the village of Derweze to disband in 2004 – but not for safety reasons. Leader Saparmurat Niyazov claimed the village was an unpleasant sight for tourists to the crater.

In April of 2010 Turkmenistan leader Berdimuhamedow visited the Door to Hell and ordered it to be closed. The exposed burning crater hinders additional drilling in the area rich in natural resources. With the crater closed, Turkmenistan could resume drilling and provide more revenue. But by Oct of 2013 no action has been taken and the Darvaza gas crater fire still burns.

Today

Since the disaster in 1971 there has been little exploration in the Karakum Desert. Turkmenistan has concentrated its effort in the Caspian Sea at Dauletabad-Donmez by the Iranian border and along the Amu-Darya Basin bordering Uzbekistan.

Over the past several years exploration in the desert has increased, both at the large South Yolotan/Osman gas fields and at Gutlyayak.

Turkmenistan has the fourth-largest reserve of natural gas in the world, and currently produces 75 billion cubic meters each year. Despite such riches of natural gas, the country has struggled to fund a cleanup operation.

To the country’s credit, leadership has announced a desire to clean up the site and close the Door to Hell. But until the country is given financial assistance or pressured politically, it appears unlikely the Door will be closed any time soon.


Learning’s


The learnings  from this kind of a scientific lapse or a disaster is very simple but the crux lies in the proper implementation of the processes and how we handle such situations. A few main learnings I find are: 
  • Sometimes we need to make decisions which are more strategic and not for a short term.
  • In case of such a tragedy in a business environment the company or the organization, in this case the government should handle it as soon as possible instead of delaying the whole process.
  • The importance to do the homework before entering a project is really important.
  • In order to use resources sustainably we need to look at these kind of wastages seriously which affects not only the people of the area but the whole world in large, by the continuous emission of the greenhouse gases.
  • Sometimes the lack of will power by the authorities can be a reason to lack of implementation, so the role of leaders in the organization is really important.
  • In case the problem cannot be solved we need to find contingency creative solutions for example in this case they could have built an electric power station may be the heat produced by the burning methane could run the steam turbines.
  • We can also look at this in a different perspective and say that the site could be promoted as a tourist attractions spot and there could be various businesses set up in the area. 

I would end with a note saying businesses can learn from such case studies about vulnerability assessment, emergency preparedness, and response to disasters – be they natural or man-made, accidental, or deliberate, and vice versa. Finally a video showing the burning crater. 

Discover The Edward de Bono Institute

posted 8 Nov 2013, 02:03 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 8 Nov 2013, 04:47 ]


On Sunday 10 November, there will be a chance to visit the University of Malta, see parts of campus you have never been to and learn about what goes on behind the scenes. Visitors will also have the opportunity to join in a number in activities that focus on the development of everyday creativity organized by the students and staff of the Edward de Bono Institute. 

The range of activities is suitable for different ages and visitors may engage in individual or group creativity games and idea-generation exercises that are aimed at unleashing the creative potential that exists in each and every one of us in a fun way. The activities will be running throughout the whole day and visitors can participate at any time. The students studying masters in creativity and innovation at the Edward de Bono Institute are joining hands with their tutors to make this event a huge success. 

We have already seen a huge social media marketing buzz which has been created by the students and the staff. In a period of two days they were able to engage 2700 unique visitors to their Facebook page and got approximately 385 likes till now; there was a twitter account created and other tools are also being used.  In order to come up with the activities various brainstorming sessions were held and there was a successful utilization of various idea generation tools like don’t sell me game , scamper…… 

A special logo has been created by Anton Abela for the Institute which themes around turning on your creativity.


Other than the Institute, the activities will showcase the University’s many facets through a number of themes including: Courses; Research; Faculties & Departments/Institutes/Centre’s; Junior College; Student Life; Sports; Cultural Activities; The Library; Administration; Alumni; Malta University Holding Company; Malta University Press.

The Open Week, Discover University, is between 10th and 15th November. However, from Monday, the 11th to Friday, the 15th of November activities are reserved for secondary school students and sixth formers, so you will only find us on Sunday 10 November.

The various events are aimed at attracting prospective University Students, alumni and interested members of the general public who would like to find out how the University works and plays.

The location of the Institute will be in the main large tent, marked as number 13 on the map – the Marquee in Car Park 4, The Institute will have one of the internal booths. Other locations will include lecture rooms in the Mikiel Anton Vassalli Conference Centre and in other lecture centres, University House and the Sir Temi Zammit Hall will be utilised. Another Pavilion will be set up in the area in front of the University Library for academic, sports and cultural activities. There will also be planned visits to laboratories and to the Library.

https://www.facebook.com/debono.uom

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MAN, MANISH & MUNICH (The story of Munich)

posted 28 Oct 2013, 11:40 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 13 Nov 2013, 12:07 ]


man manish and munich

While studying in Austria when I was asked would I like to work in Munich with MAN Truck & Bus AG over the summer, I worried a bit initially, due to the various hassles involved, to get a work permit, insurance, accommodation….. I was already planning another move which was due in end of September which was my Erasmus exchange semester to Malta.

But after giving a deeper thought I saw this as an opportunity to enhance my knowledge, learn from a new place, enjoy summer in the lakes and gardens of Munich and more over gain some valuable experience. In this post I will try and cover my experiences in Munich.

I still remember the day of my interview which was in Feb and I was on my vacations to Venice and came to attend the interview just the next day after my trip to Venice.  It was winter then and Munich was covered with snow which was not an issue for me since it was similar in Austria.

I had initially booked my hotel for a day but then I extended it to 2 more days where I visited places in Munich since I wanted to see Munich in the winters too.  I was so impressed with the culture and traditions here that I made up my mind that I had to any how come here to learn more from Bavaria.

Being an Electronics and Communication engineer with specialization in mobile communication engineering in my bachelors, I really had a very vague idea about the truck industry. My master that I pursue is in Innovation and Product management which is a very different field and it applies to every industry, so my supervisor said it would be the best chance to learn from the industry. During the whole procedure for the work permit and clearance to my surprise MAN and specially my supervisor Dr Kreimeyer went out of their comfort zone to help me. 

Let’s jump a few months ahead

June 30 2013

My first day when I shifted to Munich, after a 3 hours’ drive from Wels in Austria I finally arrived in Munich when it was still summer. My first day of work was on 1st July where I was debriefed about the company and then about the departments. It was a lot of information which I had to grasp in a short period. Explaining everything in the company would be difficult so I will try and make another post explaining this may be before I leave.


Except work I got an opportunity to attend a lot of events and this helped me to network with a lot of people. Some events and places engraved in my memories:

1.       The first one was the Inter nations Summer Terrace Party: Wow! What an experience in itself, this was one of the best expats events I had ever been to; around 1000 expats attended the event who were from all over the globe. The party was on the terrace of Sky lounge which gave us a view of the entire city of Munich.


2.      Lakes and Parks around Munich: As already mentioned the day when I arrived it was already summer and this is considered as one of the best seasons in Munich, as everyone is out enjoying the Sun. I love the lakes around Munich, the English Garden, Hirshe Garden, the wisewurst and the barbeque all will remain as an unique memory. One thing I loved is the open mindedness in everything unlike what you generally hear that Germans are cold is all false I would say, if you speak to them and get adjusted well they are the most friendly people with a non-judgmental attitude, an example would be the nude culture where you find most of the people naked on a sunny day in the parks and lakes.  They don’t judge others and do their work efficiently, which proves why Germany is so successful as compared to other countries. Not criticizing Indians but what I observed with Indians is they tend to judge everything and try to impose their ideology on others instead of improving themselves.

3.      Museums and Historical Places: Munich is filled with Museums like the Deutche Museum, the BMW museum and you will find a lot of castles around Munich which gives it a different touch. One suggestion would be if you are visiting Munich to see the castles, do come here in winter as the castles looks like wonderland when covered with snow.

4.      Live Street Music and Concerts: Munich is the capital for Music and culture I would say, you can find people playing on the streets and there are live street and park based concerts organized by the city council. I got an opportunity to be at many of them.  A typical British concert that I attended was in the Town hall where Frank Turner and the breaking souls had played, it was interesting to see frank sing a German song too. 

5.      Trams, S Bahns and U Bahns: MVG, the Munich public transport system is the easiest way to travel inside Munich; it connects almost every street in Munich. This transport system is one of the oldest in the world and is still the most efficient and punctual system I found out of many countries I have visited and stayed, I would say the best competitor to Munich MVG could be the Vienna transport system which is also pretty good. Though during the peak times the U bahn gets crowded but it still remains really organized and clean.

6.      My trips to Austria: At MAN, employees are allowed to take paid vacations and one of my first trips back home to Austria was in August to give an exam in the University, I went by train through the villages in Austria and Germany which was an experience in itself. I drove back from Wels in the white BMW which is considered as a typical German Stereotype car (white colored BMW). You may view a few glimpse of my trip in the video below.

Munich would not have been so special if I would not have met so many wonderful people who became my friends so fast, and cared for me, it was a new culture, new atmosphere but I think frequent shifting of countries has made me adapt much faster.

Let me quote a friend of mine who said ‘Manish you adjusted and became family to us so fast that we never realize when you came and now you leave. It feels as if we know you for many years’.

Working at MAN Truck & Bus AG has given me a deeper understanding about how an Automotive Industry works, it gave me an opportunity to learn from many of the best mentors in the industry and this has helped him to understand how a company like MAN, with more than 55000 employees functions, it has given him a deeper insight into product management, variant management and product architecture and final 114 pages report that I submitted has helped me to warm up for my Master thesis due in Feb 2014 once my Erasmus Semester in Malta gets over.

manish in munich

Now that the time left in Munich comes to an end, I hope I can make my last few days memorable, I will be lucky to attend the Oktoberfest which is held once a year which I missed last year and I have planned to visit Austria on 25 th and will be back to fly to Malta, looking forward to the experiences I will be gaining in Malta, though I will miss Munich but as it is said


Letting go doesn't mean that you don't care about people and places anymore. It's just realizing that you really have control over yourself and we need to keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because as humans we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths and innovations and if everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.



To Read what the Managers at MAN think about my performance at MAN please click on the Picture below -

Certificate for Outstading Performance at MAN Trucks & Bus

I look forward to such great experiences during my Erasmus semester in Malta, and am also looking for opportunities with companies and organizations to do my master thesis from Feb 2014. You can have a look at my life story by going through the presentation by clicking the picture below titled Is this my resume, or you can even view my video resume.  



Presentation as Resume to find a Master Thesis

posted 15 Sep 2013, 10:59 by Manish Abraham   [ updated 15 Sep 2013, 11:02 ]

is this my resume

Manish Abraham  who is studying MSc in Innovation and Product Management at the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria is looking for a master thesis with a company from Feb 2014. In order to stand out among others , Manish Abraham didn't follow the generic rules out there about what to do and what not do on your resume.

So he decided to post his own story on Slideshare. Although he has a professional resume, he plans to use this presentation to market himself better

The presentation titled Is this my Resume? discusses more than his work experience and education, and is left to your perception. Manish includes where he was born, in a timeline form. This presentation is made in order to get more reachable to companies, He believes that a successful career is built on successful human relationship and networks. You can View his Professional Resume by clicking this link.





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