My undergraduate education at IIT Bombay has not only given me a certain set of skills but has also helped me understand my fields of interest and my academic strengths and weaknesses. This understanding has made me realize that though the applied physical sciences appeal to me, my strengths lie in applied mathematics and in abstractions of reality. In particular, I am interested in the managerial aspects of industrial and technological systems. This interest developed during my junior year seminar titled ‘Productivity Management’ in which I explored the relationship between manufacturing strategy and productivity improvement. I continued further research in this area through my senior year project titled ‘Decision Support System for Quality Control’ which sought to investigate various decision making mechanisms in the quality function and provide corresponding computer support. The project also enabled me to appreciate the interaction between manufacturing and the other functions of the firm especially information systems. The reading of certain outstanding books during the course of my research such as Skinner’s ‘Manufacturing in the Corporate Strategy’, Deming’s ‘Out of the Crisis’ and Goldratt’s ‘The Goal’ finally convinced me to pursue a Ph.D. in operations management and an academic career thereafter.