July 28th year-end presentation, Rody Salas

​Good afternoon GMBA!
 The final event of the year for CTX BRACE will be held on Tuesday, July 28th at 3:15pm in Room 118 of PBL.
  Another connection of Sixto Torres’, Rody Salas will be speaking to us about building your own practice, identifying other companies’ strategies and real issues as well as trends and common mistakes of a consultant.​ Be sure to thank our hair-stylist Sixto for making this happen.
 Pizza and pop will again be provided.
Please be sure to RSVP to this email so we can best order food for the event.
​Looking forward to a fantastic last event which could be our best conversation yet,
Highway road going up as an arrow

Highway road going up as an arrow


A Letter to our Incoming Classes – Welcome to BRACE

20150629_115156 David Sylvan of David Sylvan Consulting and Weatherhead School of Management Associate Professor, discussing with BRACE tactics and strategies for building relationships to attract clients, how to retain them, and how to be always on the lookout for “listening opportunities.”

The following is a letter to the XLRI Juniors from Cleveland, USA to Jamshedpur, India. The XLRI batch has not only been selected, but is already preparing months in advance for their Global MBA program, which sends them to Shanghai with the Tongji and Weatherhead students in September. We’re counting on our Juniors to carry BRACE into the future –
“Standing on the shoulders of giants helps you see even above, Giants.

Dear XLRI Global MBA Juniors,

 Firstly, allow me and the CTX BRACE consulting club to congratulate you on what will possibly become one of the most fascinating journeys you have had thus far in life. You are getting ready for Shanghai, which is where three of your GMBA Seniors, Rishabh Jain, Pramod Kamath and I organized that first ‘pitch’ meeting of meetings to supplement our strategy education that would soon become CTX:BRACE.
I remember the first time Rishabh and I were organizing those early meetings, red in the faces we were arguing about format or some other trivial detail, and Siddharth Jain had to pull us apart and tell us to cool it! Out of that came a strong friendship that led to what we are today.
Within just one meeting, Arniv Gupta, Fernanda Estrada, Amber Shukla, Siddharth Jain, Sixto Torres, Adithya Gugan Ravi, Xia Jia, Chen Tong and of course Neelesh Mathur (who named us) – and more were discussing the fundamental foundation of how meetings would be arranged, who we would bring in, and how we would build this club into something powerful.

We must thank Fernanda Estrada for being our first presenter back in October of 2014 in the Tongji Guest House presentation room.

Before long, we were Skyping in professional consultants from Deloitte, PwC, Accenture and more to get the real scoop on how to develop as consultants, and what the real world of consulting actually looked like. We were rotating presenters and doing case studies on companies like the famous Japanese Telecom Giant Docomo, Coca-cola and more. Rishabh Jain was masterfully bringing in concepts from Harvard Business Review – some of which our professors even used in class later in the semester! (You all have access to HBR at XLRI and Case)

In Jamshedpur, we began working on the case-study interview method, improving our understanding of how to solve a case in a consulting interview, all the while expanding our reach of concepts learning how to do so.


Now, we are onto another intense semester in Cleveland at Case, working with professors, consultants and other professionals to learn how to become a consultant now, and the skills we can continue developing throughout our lives. We have a proctor professor, David Sylvan, who not only worked 25+ years on Wallstreet and knows the ‘real world,’ but also has a consulting firm of his own, and has taken a profound interest in seeing our success. Your class with him will pair perfectly with what the consulting club seeks: real projects and real experience.


Above and beyond consulting, this group has come together in a tightness that goes beyond this MBA program – we built something together, we argued together, we challenged each other, we made fun of Rishabh and me a lot, and we are all stronger people because of it.


 We are in the process of designing a template for you to continue the CTX BRACE consulting club from where we left off, and take it to new heights using our connections and previous work.

 Welcome XLRI juniors. We will all be in touch.

 Take a peak at our agenda for Monday. We want to Skype you all in to a meeting in the next couple of weeks to start getting a feel for those who are interested.

​ Again, congratulations juniors.


Next Meeting: Monday, March 16th, 7pm India Standard Time

 Out from the trenches of debilitating pulmonary illness last week Rishabh Jain guided us like Theodore Roosevelt through the format of the remainder of our classes: preparing for the interview, and familiarizing ourselves in depth with the terms and concepts of strategy. Through the jungles of fatigue like old Teddy Roosevelt himself did in the Brazilian Amazon before his presidency, Jain raised up in front of the crowd and gave it his all, for the team. Now all Rishabh needs is a great mustache like the 26th President of the United States.

Our next meeting will take place​ on Monday at 7pm in the classroom.

 Rishabh will again walk us through the Kellogg Book on Strategy for the first half hour, and the remainder of the time we will be practicing in small groups for interviews-style cases.

 Please read through the second part of the book, and familiarize yourself with the charts, major terms and subject headings provided before Monday evening.

Capturing More Value


The Group debated on what is value capture. While some opined that the Value capture is process of identifying new things to add value to the company, a majority argued that the Value capture is the process of increasing the perceived value of a product or the service and not correlating it to the input costs of developing the product.

Notes from Discussion

  1. Value capture traverses lines between various functional areas: R and D, marketing, strategy
  2. Value capture is about challenging the status-quo.
  3. Value capture patterns do exist; making managers conscious of those pattern.
  4. Since most organizations focus more on value creation, the article and the

    discussion suggested that value capturing should be given equal attention.

    Notes from Article

1. Innovation (value creation, in traditional sense) isn’t worth much (value capture) if you don’t get paid for it.

Framework needs to be built for developing a common language around value capturing.

Identification/recognition of patterns have led to the following fifteen value-capture strategies under five focal points.


  1. Price Setting Mechanism

    Value-Based Pricing – price is set to capture a fair share of savings a consumer experiences
    Auctioning- customer decides among themselves by quoting; may end up paying much more

    Demand-driven pricing – dynamic pricing Name-your-own price – auctioning minus disclosure Pay-what-you-want- generally for non-profits

  2. Changing the Payer

    Two-sided market model- consumption is subsidized by the third player
    Changing the payer in value constellation- consumption is subsidized by many players Internal budgeting

  3. Changing the Price Carrier

    Changing the price carrier- part of the experience you hang a price tag on

Bundling and unbundling- a bundle of services / products are priced together

All-inclusive offering- the customer is obliged to buy because of the time-frame/setting

  1. Changing the timing

    Installed-based pricing – securing the revenues for future

    Futures contracting- securing the revenues for future

  2. Changing the segment.

    Target Costing- identifying the new customers Self-segmented financing- coupons


Balancing We and Me – Need for Privacy in Workplaces


Balancing we and me article is about the need for privacy versus collaboration at work, with Arniv leading the presentation.
The privacy at work has come a long way and has alternated between the need to collaborate and the need to have privacy at work. It just does not mean the privacy in a physical sense but also the need privacy in the online world as well.

India and China have less space per employee, yet the satisfaction levels of both the country was

better than most other countries of the world. This was attributed to the cultural context in which these surveys may have been conducted.
Ali came in with the point of space management and the fact that the tele-working was a great way for employees to have the privacy that they long for. But the backside of this is that employees can be less engaged and home is not necessarily a great place to work

from continuously.


Pramod bought in the point of distinguishing between culture and the infrastructure of
the company. A company can have all the tools and infrastructure in place to have a well- balanced work atmosphere, but this is of no relevance if the company culture does not support it.

Ameya bought in the situation in the manufacturing sector. Since there is there is no real office space and most of the work happens on the floor or on-site, the sector may need a whole lot of other reforms.


Getting clients to take creative risks.

IMG-20141110-WA0006 (1)J. Michael Tasse, Leading a Discussion at the Tongji University Guest House Conference Room, Shanghai, China

Fernanda started off with a brief overview of what is marketing, advertising and what the article is about. Sometimes taking risks is imperative for an organization but sometimes it is not wise to take risks. The advertising agency has to be convinced about the need to take the risks and sometimes needs to convince its clients to take risks.

The Citi group’s billion dollar advertising campaign in the 1990s, the live richly campaign, was the first case study. The case study involved studying the various messages the Citigroup flooded cities like New York. The messages like ‘Your best time is not recorded on Timesheets’ started flooding the streets of New York and spread to more cities subsequently.

It ran from 2001 to 2006 and cost the Citigroup a billion dollars. People were persuaded to live richly and in turn buy equity loans. By appealing to people’s inner desires, family values, joy and happiness, focus was on the everyday role of money. People accepted the message and the bank loan applications went way up.

Another case in discussion was the case of cosmopolitan hotels. We also looked at a campaign of Absolut vodka, an alcohol company which actually started a campaign for the social good.

The focus group of the Citi was discussed. The term used was balance seekers. These are the people who wanted to live richly. Not who wanted to be rich. Also, the group discussed the moral and the financial implications of the Citi bank advertising campaign (Subprime crises). Many people believed that the advertisers are not ultimately responsible for the subprime crises.

There was a consensus that the Citibank achieved it prime target of achieving Brand Differentiation.


Tongji Students Win, and Credit CTX:BRACE for Help Working Together

Catherine Chen, Global MBA 2015, Leading CTX: BRACE through her Case Competition Methodology

I am sitting in class during our Management Strategy Course final presentation day, watching each group present a company, and a highly developed strategy for moving into a new market. Of course, some more developed than others, but nonetheless recommendations for corporate entities to be proud of.

A year ago this would have seemed foreign to me. A group of twenty and thirty-somethings presenting world-class professional recommendations on PPTs, having compiled them after moving through data figures, government policies, analysis of leadership, product innovation journals…

And then it hits me, this is impressive. But I am starting to take it for granted how good these are. Presentation after presentation, week after week. Even Ali Akil’s questions are sometimes equally as impressive as the presentations themselves. (More on Ali’s questions in a future article.)

Then later that night as I sit down to treat myself for a great presentation of my own, eating MAI LAI, a soup dish comprised of vegetables, potato, noodles and hot soup-broth to keep cold in the Shanghai approaching winter, I get a message from one of my colleagues, Catherine Chen. She says that her case consulting competition group has moved into the final round of a competition sponsored by Volvo that spanned all of mainland China. I thought to myself,


 “It is so impressive how I am surrounded with people winning Case Competitions week in and week out. They would be the fourth or fifth team to advance to a round two just this month.”

Their project included a presentation of new ways for Volvo China to sell its products in Eastern markets, something it has been struggling to do over the last several decades. Typical western company, trying their business model in China without tailoring it to the needs of the Chinese. Clever of them to employ Chinese MBAs for this type of research-

But still, while I was extremely excited for my friend and her team including Martin, Linda and Vivienne (All Global MBA students, might I add), I had a feeling that this is becoming commonplace around the Global MBA building and my network of friends: constantly our groups placing in 3rd, 2nd or 1st place in Case Consulting Competitions and winning quite large sums of money.”

And the next piece came as a positive shock that broke up the monotony of studying and group projects as we trudged into the dauntingly demanding workload of finals week: the members of the group messaged me to say “Thank you Michael for the help of CTX:BRACE.”


Several weeks ago the members of Catherine’s team presented to our group, and got suggestion from CTX:BRACE for 45 minutes after they had the floor to get our help. I had invited them to use our club to get actual suggestions from our members. And that they did. They put us to work that afternoon.

I remember Martin scribbling down voraciously as Pramod Kamath, Gaurav Kumar, Arniv Gupta, Ali Akil, and of course Rishabh Jain made specific and pointed recommendations for reconsidering the highly concentrated number of computer science and design Ph.Ds in Beijing, China – a number that rivaled Silicon Valley.
Pramod Kamath, seeking clarity and making suggestions related to Beijing’s concentration of Volvo’s possible future

Among other things recommended, I remember thinking, “How did the Chinese students not think of taking pride in their Beijing concentration of engineers, designers and computer scientists? How did they miss this asset? was it something cultural? How could they not include this in their report?”

But it did not matter why; it was the fact that we had Chinese from all over the country, Americans, a Colombian, a Nigerian and ten members of the club from India working in tandem to help our Chinese classmates succeed.

The stress was intense. CTX BRACE did not take it lightly that their cohort members had taken the time to fill a slot in our weekly sessions. Even after an exciting meeting with Deloitte Consultant Adam Foley, the group provided great support and harsh critique of their argument.

But I am clear in my mind that it was the diverse range of competencies in the room that afternoon that made that meeting so successful.

We should be proud of both CTX BRACE and for the dedicated members that have been making these meetings happen for the past two months. What started as a journal and business review club has turned into an outlet for Real LIfe Consulting matters, having ten of our members place in the top three in International competitions based out of India and China, and many more that have walked the road of participating.

I admit, I felt proud when Catherine messaged me that afternoon. I remembered the times when there was doubt about starting the CTX BRACE club. Many were not sure of its direction, or if it would even be feasible while we were abroad. Where would it go? What would it do, realistically?


But I knew, if we put good people in the same room and created a disciplined approach to furthering our learning, we would create meaning in the work. If we could take a little criticism in order to mold the clay into something very powerful, we were destined to succeed.

While I personally am not taking credit for their advancement in the competition, I do take pride in knowing that something we did together has improved their level for success.

Congrats guys, we all know you deserve it.

 J. M. Tasse

CTX: BRACE Business Review and Consulting Endeavors

ctx logo EDIT


Logo, compliments of Aksahy Chaudhary

We originally submitted CTX Consulting as Case, Tongji, XLRI. But the name failed to explain the specific categories of study and practice. CTX: BRACE was born after discussion after our first meeting in early October of 2014, Neelesh Mathur bore the idea in a dream. Energized, he filed and email to the group and BRACE was created. Tasse created the first logo, which became obsolete with the implementation of Akshay’s brain stem and cap design.


20141113_171703 copy

“The Case-Tongji-XLRI Consulting Club gives a multi-cultural, multi-perspective approach to learning how businesses overcome challenges, innovate, and grow. We accomplish this through examining case studies, conducting interviews with industry professionals, and applying our learned knowledge to active, real-time consulting projects.”

– Sixto Torres, CTX:BRACE Global MBA Founding Member