Wednesday, May 31, 2006


crazy week

This week and the next will probably be the busiest weeks of this year. I have papers, individual projects and team projects due this week and next week. For Corporate Finance, our team is playing the role of AT&T and we have to decide whether to buy McCaw or not. For competitive Strategy class, we are analyzing the world's second largest shipping company MSC. For Operations Strategy class, we are analyzing El Corte Ingles, one of the most popular supermarkets in Spain.

On top of that, I am taking exams earlier so that I can start work in London without missing the orientation. Those of us that are involved in clubs are also finalizing what needs to be done before the summer break starts. I thought I have managed the first and second trimester fine, so this should not be that bad. Not really!!

Sunday, May 28, 2006


May! where was I?

As I have been very slack on writing regularly, I think an update of this month wouldn't be that bad:

May 23: Tapas with Prasanna and Deepti:
Prasanna and Deepti, my Nepali friend and his wife, had come to visit us from the US where they are currently working and studying respectively. We took them to this famous Tapas place "Cerveceria Catalana" recommended by my Catalan friend Oriol. The tapas were indeed very good and freshly made. Did you notice the empty plates? Yeah, with someone like Prasanna next to me, there was no chance we could wait for a photo before the food was gone. :)

Besides tapas, we took them around the city, to must-visit places like Olympic village, Montjuic, Magic Fountain, the church in Tividabo and the Nou Camp stadium. They loved it.

May 17th: watching the Champions League final together with other IESE classmates:
About 60 of us went to see the final of the Champions League between Barca and Arsenal. Fernan organized the event at a bar near Barceloneta. It was fun to watch the game on a huge screen with the people you know. On top of that, some of my friends from UK and Madrid were supporting Arsenal. So we had a larger group of people supporting Barcelona (of course) and a smaller group supporting Arsenal and it was hilarious to see the hooting for both sides during the game.

After the first goal from Arsenal, the majority of us were quiet hoping Barca to make a equalizer. And that indeed happened during the last 15 minutes of the game. And another winning goal happened within the 5 minutes of the first goal. When the Barca equalized Arsenal, this is how the scene was:
Apart from the excitement in the crowd, do you see something different from the first photo when we were all "tranquilo"? If you take a look at it closely, you will see the the projector has fallen off. The projector was very loosely tied to the ceiling and when the guys got excited on the first goal from Barca and stood up, they hit the projector with their head. Luckily, the projector was not seriously "hurt" and we continued watching the rest although the image was somewhat blurred this time. But in that state of the euphoria, nothing really mattered.

May 14th: Nepali dinner for French/American couple:
Fabrice and Teresa were at our place for dinner on Sunday. We had a great time with them. They liked the chicken I cooked, and at least it was not "super hot and spicy" like it was when we hosted random dinner. By the way, if you meet Fabrice, ask him about his unique skills on opening beer bottles without any opener.

May 13: German dinner:We went to Freddy and Tina's place for a German dinner. Freddy's apartment has a nice ambiance. The walls were painted in bright and beautiful colors. With some classical music in background, we had a great time chatting about their upcoming wedding and learning that there is no typical German food as it differs greatly from region to region.

May 7: Barca celebrates the winning of Spanish league:
My wife and I went to see the victory rally of the Barca team outside Nou Camp. It was the first time we had seen a victory rally of a team as famous as Barca. And it was absolutely amazing. The whole city was together to celebrate. What a great display of love and unity to a team that means so much to everyone in Barcelona!

Friday, May 05, 2006


idration..what is it?

I went to a doctor on Friday. He offered me a lotion and he said it will do the "idration" for my skin. I didn't understand what he meant. He was one of the doctors who could speak English. I found his name from a list of English speaking doctos in Barcleona given to me by the American Consulate.

Only later I realized that he meant to say "hydration" because in Spanish, "h" is pronounced silent. A spanglish visit, I should say!

Monday, May 01, 2006


Diesel and the 200 Euros Jeans

We recently analyzed a case on "Diesel" store in our "Competitive Strategy" class. And learnt that one of Diesel's strategy is to price things really high to get rich customers. By making them very expensive ( and trendy on the fashion side and of course, long lasting), they let the customers have that notion of "I am special! Nobody else is wearing these cool jeans!". And there are people who want that.

So Diesel is growing and making a lot of money. But Diesel doesn't grow by attracting more and more customers, because if it does that, the whole "exclusivity" effect would go away and nobody would want to pay high price for a jeans everyone in town is wearing. It attracts the same high-end customers more frequently and perhaps increases the prices even more if there are too many customers who seem to afford the current level of price. What an idea on fooling the rich customers!

This Saturday, I went to a Diesel store in Maria Christina. And checked if the prices are indeed as high as I learnt in the class. Oh! no doubt! I checked a pair of jeans and it was priced just about 200 Euros! :)

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