Thursday, November 29, 2012

Would the economy be better off without MBA students?

Disclaimer: I am an MBA and I love my MBA. I am also proud of both these facts.

Now let’s answer some thought provoking questions.

Q. Are MBAs the best managers in the world?
A. No. But they are also not the worst and if you pick data, they are more likely to be in the better half. And managerial skills have a lot of do with personality, something not many MBA courses take in account.

Q. Are MBA better equipped than their non-MBA counterparts?
A. Yes. Numerous case studies, live projects do help. But again they don’t give a ready to use manual.

Q. But MBAs take wrong decisions, make mistakes. What about that?
A.  So do Doctors, Lawyers, and Economists. They are all human beings after all.

I am writing this article as I keep on getting constantly appalled by some people who look at MBA or perceive them in a certain manner and offer opinions. My knowledge’s sources range from anecdotes with friends, Social media and random article here and there. I used to ignore them mostly because I knew I had earned my MBA, worked hard during it, had a hell of a time, forged best relationships and was lucky enough to get a job also.

But then I saw this debate going on The Economist with the same heading and it made me think. And it was enough fodder to pour out something for my dying blog.

I can unabashedly state that I do not use most of the things taught to me by my professors during MBA. And neither do I use most of the things taught by my teachers since Nursery. So just to set the tone straight I don’t use most of the things I have been taught in the classroom. Although I am still trying to figure out a way where I can use log tables or at least apply differentiation in a day to day life.

But then what do I use. I use most of the things I learnt during the time I was not in the classroom. While playing football, captaining a chess team, finishing an assignment just in time, leading a group for a successful task and many more such activities. Quite frankly in my 8 months of work experience, it is hard to count the number of times my profile has changed, probably more like the opening pair for the Pakistan cricket team. But the work remains constant and so do the learning and hence the application.

MBA as a programme is still evolving and will perhaps always keep on evolving. The teaching methodology, the curriculum will keep on changing. The process will not remain the same. What will not change, is the outcome, of course we will have deviations and some errors also.

I need not take names, there are so many companies started by MBA in India, let alone the world, who are doing great. And so many more are led by them also. And here is where the problem has started.

I have noticed many companies tend to have strong institutional relationships and tend to form an elite circle where outsiders are not allowed. We might see some companies only hiring Harvard guys, some only IIM and not below. This eventually gives way to entitlement mindset. I am an MBA from so and so college and I will get job in such and such company with X package. And I will directly formulate strategy after finishing the management training. Companies need to break this mindset. Meritocracy should prevail at all costs and old boys club should be clamped down.

MBAs need to earn everything after MBA also. They should not think they did an MBA, hence they should get management positions, should be the strategy guy, need not get hands dirty, need not to sell and so on.

And finally I have met enough MBA who can’t even write a mail properly but so is the case with non-MBAs also.

Many things like risk appetite, leadership style and other facets of one’s personality determine what kind of decision he or she will take and not the degree one holds. We can always focus on the right cause rather than finding an easy scapegoat.   

As far as this question is concerned, I leave the answer to you, my reader.  

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Flipkart is cool, Snapdeal not so…………

The last two month have brought a lot of things for me including the salary (twice :p). New job and salary has made me a kind of an online shopping freak.

First the good things and where else to start but Flipkart, so ordered Speakers from Flipkart and guess what got them in less than 48 hours. When it comes to books it got even better, ordered Jeffrey Archer’s False Impressions in the evening and got them in the afternoon next day. So obviously I’m in love with Flipkart for their delivery. And best part is yet to come, it’s called PACKAGING. I mean it took me at least 20 minutes and I finally had to rip it open. I think when the nuclear war happens; I’m going to hide in Flipkart packaging. It is actually that good.

Then came Myntra, I was totally taken aback by the 24 hour dispatch. I’ve no idea how they do it, but it’s awesome to see their delivery speed.

Now comes the worst part. Ordered an iPod dock from snapdeal on 1st of this month, snapdeal promised to deliver it by 8th (estimated delivery date). Ok, after through the two awesome experiences mentioned above, this seemed like eternity. And to top it, they send me a message on 7th that they can’t deliver it on 8th and conveniently changed the estimated delivery date to 11th without giving any proper reason or mentioning any kind of compensation for that.

There goes the awesome online shopping experience for a toss. You see a product, you fall in love with it, wait for an eternity and then you’re told to wait more. I hope if someone from snapdeal is reading this, he really do look at what is wrong with their logistics, because so much of waiting period is simply unacceptable in today’s online shopping. As for other, happy shopping (online)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Welcome to the world of Social media where PEOPLE ACTUALLY HOLD THE POWER!

Last one week has been not the kind what I’ve been used to. That can be attributed to the transition to work from college. The initial euphoria did not last or to better put it never came. What has been going on is the hangover from college and Delhi.

But that has once again given me time to write and read stuff I used to miss because of lack of time, and even find new avenues. Of course one of the biggest thing making headlines has been Abhishek Manu Singhvi’s so called Sex Tape (Gone are the good old days when we had Paris Hilton sex tapes). He did went pillar to pillar trying to protect it and protect he did from the electronic media, Youtube. But suddenly it popped up all over the Internet and links were spreading like wildfire on Social Media webistes. And like one of my friends once said this is the best time for Brand Manager as because of the social media the brand has totally gone out of control and you can’t do anything now, Abhishek Manu Singhvi could do nothing.

He started using the clich├ęs like its doctored, fabricated to tarnish my image and more. And then I happened to land on a podcast called All India Bakchod by two good upcoming standup comedians Gursimran Khamba and Tanmay Bhat. It had everything that can and will make people Abhishek Manu Singhvi call online freedom obscene, they frequently talked about taboo stuff like sex, gay love and much more. In one of their interviews on the net and they said the reason they picked up podcast over all other forms to reach their audience was because of the freedom it provides in terms of content.

So there you go we’ve Kapil Sibal all charged up to limit our freedom or in order words to safeguard their (the few powerful ones) backs. India is no doubt increasingly becoming an oligarchy, but Social Media has suddenly sprung up and made ordinary people powerful. We have unknowns worshipped as Gods on Twitter, who defiantly hold more influence than a cabinet minister on the Youngistan.

One might feel it’s a matter of time before one force gets heavier, but social media might just become like crowsourced media, remain the 4th pillar of our democracy and do what the media is supposed to, or cannot do. Powerful men are feeling helpless against its might, but finally power has arrived in the hands of people as it should have been.

What is your GQ?

Yeah go ahead, take a guess. It’s not General Quotient and not even Gentleman’s quotient. And if you haven’t already Googled, it is Google Quotient.

Last week at NASSCOM Emerge’s Friday 2.0, the discussion was on personal branding. When asked what is brand, one of the answers that have stuck with me is your brand is what Google says about you. But seriously how many of us have actually Googled ourselves? It really throws up some weird and unimagined things sometimes. Like when I Googled myself except for the usual suspects like My social media profiles, blog etc I saw my name also appeared from my college’s newsletter as I used to write for it in those days.

Just then it struck me whenever I go to any conference or to any meeting, I end up googling the speaker as I did this time also. It just made me extra aware what my online presence meant. So I decided to list down somethings which anyone could do to enhance one’s personal brand online. These are not mine strictly, I did up a lot of them from my people I met or interacted online. Here they are 

  1. Social media presence is hygiene and all have that. What matters is content. Are you an influencer on your friends (Facebook), followers (Twitter). What do you write about? And opinions do matter. Look at this article for some of the big influencers on Twitter.
  2. The idea is to set oneself apart. Knowing what’s happening is just the starting. Like Joey from my beloved Friends you don’t need to buy a whole volume of Encyclopedia for that today. You can just follow some blogs or just simply go to Wikipedia. But more than digesting so much of content its necessary to produce some also. It is a two way street now. So create a blog and have a post up at least every fortnight.
  3. The usual things like being funny, being a good story teller, writing even the most mundane topics in a storytelling manner always helps.
  4. Comment on other blogs and make relationships. Once I just posted a comment on another blog. The comment had my blog link and I suddenly saw my blog’s traffic doubled in a week because of that, but here also quality scores over quantity.
  5. Stay fresh and keep on updating your social life or people will stop coming to your blog and followers will unfollow you.
  6. Have a metric in mind to know that you are really growing. Like the comments on any  post, pageviews etc. It can be anything but not everything.

And one last thing, Follow me on @Jatt_On_Hunt ;)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Is censor any relevant now?

I go through my Facebook profile and find hundreds of things which would have been unthinkable to be found on any public domain that was so much easily accessible some years ago. From derogatory remarks towards a religion, race and even towards sexes to obscene photographs and hoaxes, it literally has everything. Sometimes I feel it is like a Pandora’s Box. All in the name of freedom of expression and I in no way am saying that freedom of expression is bad or should not be allowed. To me it looks like one of the life’s most beautiful and at the same time threatening realties.

And then we have the YOUTUBE, The big bad daddy of them all. It’s got all and seems like has more viewers than Rupert Murdoch’s whole empire put together. You can put almost anything there and it doesn’t even have to be sane. And it doesn’t give a damn about the so called censor board. If I was to release an ebook of Rushdie’s Satanic Verses on youtube, the Indian Government won’t be able to do much and I hope someone listens and does that. They can’t trace the user. They can’t implicate youtube directly. The company is based out of US and headquartered in California.

So the question plaguing my mind “Is the censor board any relevant now?"

I make a movie and they won’t let me show some footage. Fair enough I cut it and make sure it’s right according to their standards. It’s released to the public. But I believe in creative freedom and also believe that the audience has full right to see my work. I release the edited part on youtube in such a way that it shows it is leaked and not officially done. There goes the censorship.

I mean these are just two examples. Internet is full of things that lot of people would want to censor, from free porn for all (not that I’m against it) to conspiracy theories to propaganda material. My concern comes when I see that not all minds have grown to take it all in a manner it is supposed to be. It may be because of age, someone’s culture or many other things.

So the old notion of censor has already ended. I believe we need to move one step further, educating masses, killing stereotypes, eradicating superstation, find logic if any for blindly held faiths. Not only this we need to make sure that its literature and art and not extremism which has the superior hand in the society if we dream to have something equivalent of a the ancient Greek society or have another Renaissance, which we badly need.