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Thursday, September 28, 2006

"If you do a typical MBA, you'll never be a successful entrepreneur"

This article in by Mahesh Murthy, Founder and CEO, Pinstorm.... is related to my viewpoints expressed in one of my previous posts titled "Entrepreneurship..". A nice read....

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"We dont need no education...?"

....but reservations and quotas?

We have all heard David Gilmore singing this line in Another Brick in the wall.. Am not here to talk about the song.. but does this line really hold true, especially in the Indian context? We had a class discussion on the various Millenium Development Goals(MDGs) laid out by the UN that are adopted across the countries in the world. "Achieving universal primary education" is one of them and India is definitely facing a great challenge in making significant progress in this aspect. It still accounts for about 34% of the world's illiterate population. Attribute this to the large extent of rural areas, high population, low unemployment or the idiosyncratic reservations and quota system in the colleges and government offices?

A country like India which is plagued by evils such as caste, creed and religion would definitely want more of a compulsory primary education rather than a huge quota of reservations in PG colleges and jobs in govt. sectors. Building a strong base is more important than trying to improve the mansion. How long can the govt continue to use reservations as an alternative to quality education?? Is it really seeing any benefits thru this with regard to achieving the actual goal? Well... i dont want to take the liberty to mention what benefits the govt might be actually deriving at present by implementing such rules.. But I guess it's really time to give this a serious thought now than just let the problem reach the brink!!! I feel, that by delinking the backward classes from having any requirements to meet the basic education markers, it is doing more harm than good. Dont you think the govt has to spend at least 10 times more money on primary education for every buck spent on these quotas and reservations? Well... we all know the answers but who will really implement this is the question....

Snapshots from hell....

One of the nice(st) books on the B-school experience, that I have read recently.

We all agree that an MBA is a tough grueling experience that places huge demands on the individuals embarking on the challenge. Snapshots from Hell is one such book which answers “What is life at a B-school like”? This book authored by Peter Robinson, who was a speech writer at White House, describes his first year’s experiences at one of the country’s elite business schools, Stanford GSB. Poets, in a B-school lingo, are those few people who come from disadvantaged backgrounds – English majors or track-jumping corporate types, as in the case of the author. In a B-school the poets compete against Chartered accountants, Investment bankers and consultants who are already familiar with discounted cash flows, stocks, options and other quantifiable cryptics. Overfed with jargon and number crunching, Robinson always felt under prepared, uninspired and inundated while tackling the compulsory core subjects. He struggled to understand the supply-and-demand curves, decision trees and influence diagrams and also discovered his classmates' appalling unawareness of economic philosophy- be it Adam Smith or Karl Marx.

A very well written book, which captures the essence of an MBA very brilliantly, with humor and reality in all aspects described. Every B-school student will be able to relate to – random “cold calls” by professors in class, impossible exams, competition, and camaraderie. I highly recommend this book to every MBA student – current or prospective! It is a very quick and light read, covers both personal and professional experiences of the author at Stanford that are compelling enough to interest and entertain the readers.

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Political upheavels and the oil barons...

This term we have a subject which deals with Government, Society and Business. My first reaction was that this would be really boring but I am being proven wrong. We had this discussion in class today about the political uncertainty in the Central Asian Republics (CARs) - especially Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and the surroundings and their struggle to set up the pipelines for oil trade in new directions- keeping their distance from Russia and avoid being sucked into the economic and military pacts that arose out of the break up of the Soviet Union. When I tried to read the articles and cases yesterday, which also spoke about the power and influence of Taliban, Bin Laden etc..I was a little lost... as i never religiously followed the news about these things the last few years.. But watching these videos gave me a lot of info and I really feel its worth a watch!

Tuesday, September 5, 2006

Give it a thought!

Interesting read... worth it

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24hours in a day are not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar.Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.
"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, andcar.
The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

So...Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups.Take your loved one out to dinner. Play another 18. . "Take care of the golfballs first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities.The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."