Wednesday, 25 December 2013

What an MBA does to You! : Blog # 158

What an MBA does to You!

There aren't many academic courses that have the ability to alter one’s perception about the happenings that occur around us. MBA is one such course which does this in a very short span of time.

Primarily, it lends objectivity. It enables us to look at a decision without clouding it with emotions. One might argue that it takes the heart out of the purpose. But when it concerns business, there come times which demand some generous dosage of tough love. For instance, reduction in work force. Unless one belongs to a family that has done or is doing business, it is very difficult to look at it objectively. Yes, people have mortgages to pay and mouths to feed. But, so does an organization and that too, on a much larger scale. The objectivity stems from an understanding of the larger picture.

The best thing about the course is the fact that it incorporates pluralism in its curriculum – Pluralism of ideologies of different departments that makes an organization work.  Instead of confining one to an area of expertise, it gives an insight in to the dynamics of how the various subsystems of a large system work. An outcome of this is the ability to switch roles within one’s career span. One need not spend one’s lifetime in a particular field. It equips one with enough knowledge to explore various field of work. 

        Of the many interesting aspects that make an MBA classroom unique, is the mix of people. One will have people with as varied educational backgrounds as an architect to a doctor to an art graduate. There will be people as young as your youngest cousin and as old as your uncle. Same is the case with areas of work people have been exposed to.

Essentially an MBA widens ones outlook. This understanding is not only confined to the field of business. The exposure to various thought processes and best practices translates in to a better semblance of how the world works. There comes an understanding that all transactions are interlinked. Everything that happens is impacted and has an implication.

The reason why this course of study has become so popular is because of the career boost that it gifts one with. It acts like a Spring board which gives one the escape velocity to get out of the overcrowded bottom of the pyramid and there by, a higher pay package.

The part that is my personal favorite is the autonomy that it lends; the liberty to choose an area of study half way through the course. For once, we get to learn what we like and not what the course mandates.

Arun Babu.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Hi, I am Rude : Blog # 157

Hi,I am Rude

When was the last time someone made a rude comment and people just laughed it off instead of raising a protest? More often than not, your answer would be “Quite Often”. If you pay enough attention, you will realize being rude has become quite common these days. It has reached such an extent that people who still retain their Ps & Qs are looked at as people pleasers.

I think it has a lot to do with the kind of media that we get exposed to. All the channels of popular culture have become immensely influential these days. Earlier popular culture was mostly defined by movies and television. And then arrived internet and its new found form of communication. There is an absolute absence of pleasantries on this medium. Knowingly or unknowingly, our real world interactions are getting influenced by the virtual ones.

There are a few classes of people who are always subjected to rudeness. For instance, waiters at hotels. For some strange reason, people get overtly rude when they talk to waiters. May be they are taking the ‘ordering’ food a bit too seriously.

I can think of two sides to it. One is about being ‘frank’. We are being more brazen these days labeling it as speaking our minds. I think that is just seeking convenience.  Speaking one’s mind and being inconsiderate of others feelings are two different things.

The second is the fun aspect. Being rude is fun. The fun comes out of the fact that being rude gives one a sense of false power. When someone acts or talks in a rude way, the person at the receiving end cowers momentarily. This is where from the sense of power is derived.   

There are a group of people who are not aware that they are being rude.  By virtue of their upbringing and the kind of people of they have interacted with, they become used to speaking and behaving in a certain way. The one group with whom I can’t make peace with are those who say that is the way they are and hence they are being rude! You can be all that you want but that doesn't give anyone the liberty to antagonize the other person.

Conversation demands some effort. If expressing ones idea is the only intent, then how different are we from what we were ages ago?

Arun Babu.

Sunday, 8 December 2013

In Love with 20’s : Blog # 156

In Love with 20’s

The twenties is a fantastic age bracket to be in. This is when you are not too young to be dismissed and not too old to be entrusted. You can look down on teenagers as immature and still not be called an uncle. At the same time, you don’t shy away from nagging the 30 pluses by calling them, uncles and aunts J.

We spend the early twenties in universities which gifts us with the best memories of a life time. This time of the life will be always remembered very fondly. A little later, we land our first job. There is a heady sense of achievement for that job would have been the first thing most of us would have achieved on our own.  This is when we taste financial independence and the realization sinks in that nothing liberates you like self earned money!

A little while in to the first job, begins the new found introspection. For many of us, this will be the first time in Life when we actually face an identity crisis. One might be good at the job or not at all. It doesn't matter. For the first time in Life, we are faced with no milestone to achieve. Let me be more specific. There is no milestone set by parents or society for us. We are presented with a real choice. All through it, is a struggle to find out who we really are? We are struggling to figure out as to what will make us happy in the true sense of the word.

Job begins to become a constant in Life. This is when all the “Studying was fun” train of thought chugs in and some of us begin to think of a higher educationSome of us go back to college and some of us get married. Both are good distractions.

By now, we would have crossed the half mark of the twenties. This is when we begin to get comfortable in our own skin. We are still open to ideas. Age has not managed to make us so arrogant that we turn in to a “I have seen life enough” mode. But by then, we are completely free of the insecurities of the teenage and have begun to accept one self. Give it two more years, and you will understand who you really are. You will forgive yourself for your vices and would have identified your virtues.

This is a time when you live life with some sense of curiosity of a child still intact yet with a self assurance that only age can lend.

Arun Babu.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Great Indian Hypocrisy : Blog # 155

The Great Indian Hypocrisy

I do not know if there is any other culture which demands as much reading between the lines as ours. Quite often, it so happens that there is a stark difference between what we preach and what we do.

We call the love stories which are depicted in films as old fashioned. But we refuse to accept live in relationships as a reality. We label the tele-serials as regressive and yet do not stop ourselves from accepting dowry.

We condemn red tape and corruption. But we get our things done faster by paying a bribe. Also, we do not have any qualms in praising a government official who became rich at the expense of the government, if he/she is a relative.

We marvel at the infrastructure and advancements that the nations of the world have made. But we blatantly refuse to pay income tax. More so, we use all our grey cells in ensuring we do not pay the state its due even if it is while buying a property or building a house.

We resent the way industrialists indulge in lavish weddings. If you look at a correlation between their income and the kind of money they spend on such occasions, it will be surprising to see that it is we the middle class who spend much higher as a percentage of our sustainable income.

We look down up on well-known people who publicize their charity work where as we ourselves haven’t contributed anything at all for the benefit of the underprivileged.

All parents advise their friends to let the children chart out their destiny. They ask them to emulate the reporters and the likes who risk their lives for the cause of the nation. Yet when it comes to one’s own, they want their sons and daughters to be only Engineers or Doctors.

The business leaders are revered beyond measure. But the moment someone who is a friend or family talks about starting a business, we just can’t stop ranting about the risks involved.

          We marvel at the carvings in Khajuraho and own up to Vatsyayana. Sunny Leone turns out to be one of the most Googled figures in our country. Yet we refrain from talking openly about sex! 

And we wonder why it is difficult for the world to get a semblance of what we Indians are all about!

**Inspired from 'I support Anna Hazare, Do you?' , a poem by my friend, Abhishek Kumar Jha. Link :

Arun Babu.