January 23, 2007

Gyaan Sessions

Its that time of the year when you know that any efort will just not matter. It is the sixth term here at MDI and I couldnt have been more callous towards acads in my entire life. The days begin at 10am, sometimes at 12 noon. Lunch, classes (if there are any), eating out, booze, movies and other random assorted crap. I have almost lost the drive to gym, jog, whatever (It doesn't help that the weather is perfect for hibernation) It is in the midst of this that I have been thinking about the past two years over here and all that has come and gone. So this is the perfect time to give gyaan. Over the next few weeks till I get employed, take off on a vacation or do something productive I will rattle on gyaan on various subjects, opinions and philosophies. Mind you this has not come without any cost. It has cost me roughly six lakhs in rents and another six in opportunities. But nonetheless they are things that one is supposed to ponder on. Some may be applicable to you and some may be not. Don't come after me, argue, debate. This is gyan; you read at your own risk!

Session One.

People (including me) come to BSchools with a grand idea of learning business. Let reality bite. You don't learn much here. Don't tell me that an academic bhelpuri for two years makes you that valuable that an organisation throws a million bucks (Average compensation has touched 10L+ levels) at you to 'add value' to their business. At the end of two years an organisation sees a person in the interview room and sees an ability to work crazy hours, meet tight deadlines, follow ridiculous schedules, sweet talk (faff) its customers. This is the pure unadulterated meaning of 'adding value'. A blue collared worker would take 17L in overtime. (Read this - especially the comment section) You my friend are given 10L. Value added indeed!

The only takeways one has from a BSchool are contacts and reputation. You are working with a group of over ambitious, highly competitive people who has been selected from among the cream of India's population. It is but natural that most of them will end up in very very senior management positions within a short span of time. Which is why BSchool gives you a shitload of contacts (read increasing your bargaining power in some tight situation somewhere down the line).Which brings me to my next point; the importance of ones reputation. Granted that people are immature even when they come this far, still things like overcharging foreigners, manhandling women, cost allocation to the second decimal after a group dinner, living off others, etc. should be well avoided. In case one still has to do it, do it with style; atleast you will be remembered positively ;)

People run business. Not models. Not theories. Not fancy ppts. They are derivatives. The underlying in all this is the human factor. The person who ignores 'human behaviour' is doomed in business. I know the HR subjects are filled with flowery terms and jargon everyone loathes but still if you strip away the jazz, you get a somewhat basic understanding of how people behave. My obsession with people skills began at Siemens. It has helped me give a lot of importance to the HR courses here. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that if you dont understand HR you wont be successful. Just learn to strip the jazz and get to the core of the matter.

This is probably the end of the first of a series of gyaan sessions. I'll get back to my movie and rum now (a neccessity if your MBA stretches over winters in North India). Watch this space for more gyaan!