Thursday, May 21, 2015

To do or not to? :)

A lot of people who are 1 or 2 years old in the IT Industry grapple with the question constantly worrying their looped up minds. Should I do a MBA or not? Should I continue in my current job? Is an Executive MBA worth it? Will giving up my salary for 2 years be worth it? I hate my current Job and I want to get out of it. What do I do? My parents are old or retired and I don’t have enough money. Will I be broke after my MBA? Will getting a job after MBA be much better than my current Job?

All the above questions plagued my mind 2 years ago. Nobody gave proper answers. It wasn’t as easy. Finally I took the plunge.

So, Do IT professional need to do an MBA?

The Answer to this is not that simple. It depends, as to what priorities you have in your life.

A lot of them get frustrated. And by mere getting frustrated, join the MBA Bandwagon. That may not necessarily be such a bad thing but it is important to know what one is getting into. Advice to such people would be think and think it over another time. Are You really cut out for it.

If you can't think enough, may be the below pointers might help :)  

Having completed 2 years of my MBA here are some answers.

When should you NOT do a MBA?

  •        Do you depend too much on Money from your Job? Are you content with the money your IT Firm pays you? If Yes, Do NOT do a MBA.
  •        Do you like what you are doing and see yourself as a mentor to junior techies by being an effective Team Lead or a Project Manager. Do NOT do a MBA.
  •        Most Importantly, You like being a techie. You like Coding. You like to be in a challenging environment of Codes and Software. Do NOT do a MBA.

When should you do a MBA?
  •        If you want to go beyond the world of Software and explore about what goes on behind a business strategically. Why is IT needed for them? Do a MBA.(though experience without a MBA will eventually teach you that.)
  •            If you want your salary to increase and you do not want to switch onto another company and want a break from your Job. Do a MBA.
  •       If money is not an issue and you can be well off by not working for a whole 2 years, do a MBA.
  •       If you think you do not have a future in Coding and it you cannot switch because you feel Coding is not your thing and you want to get out of that world and management is something you would want to do. Do a MBA  
  •           If you want to work for a Non-IT Firm and switch onto a different Industry, Do a MBA. (again one can without an MBA, but MBA just gives a different platform)
  • Most importantly, do a MBA if you can get into a GOOD College. Good College gives you two advantages.

-          A Reliable Brand name which means decent professors and better education.
-          A good Profile when you are placed and a head start with good money to boot.

So there you go, That’s my take. If it's not your thing it is NOT your thing. But if you want to genuinely give it a shot, then just go for it :)

Friday, May 15, 2015

Will you go that Extra Mile?

During my MBA, I had an interesting lecture on Transportation Management where the Professor talked about the Trucking Business. In his lecture he said, there are lot of truck drivers from Haryana, Punjab who form the majority of the people driving trucks and there are not many from other parts of the country who are into it, because of which there is kind of a vacuum which gets built up wherein people who would want to be in the trucking business, cannot do so since they have to depend on people from Haryana and Punjab willing to do a certain kind of a job and not people from their own state for that matter, which is assumed to be more convenient method of working or doing business instead of the other way around.

So, here’s the million dollar question?

Are there people made for certain type of jobs and hence are more sort after?
Do the people who are “at it” kind of people, at it in their jobs and by “at it”, I mean at it for Decades all together, bound to be “successful”?


Having been in a job for 41 months and now having completed my MBA, I can certainly vouch for it that people who are not those “at it” kind of people get easily frustrated. And this frustration stretches and stretches and gets to a point where in you make a decision. The Decision of staying in the firm or not. How long will you be “at it”? How long will you do something which doesn’t give you that kick? How long will you eat the same food in the office canteen? How long will you keep staring at the same pay cheque every month?

But for some reason people who are “made for that job” don’t seem to have any problem with the above thing? They seem to be, let’s say “Acceptable” to their jobs and won’t just quit. May be they don’t quit because they are just happy and content. For truck drivers, they are happy or let’s say OK with driving trucks, for people in the South, presumed to be good in Programming, Maths and Science are seen to be either people working in the software Industry or are people working for ISRO. They just don’t quit. They retire. Yet Infosys or ISRO as an organization don’t face a resource crunch. A resource which could take their businesses ahead. Yet a person who would want to start a logistics business in say West Bengal would face so many difficulties. It’s not only about logistics. It’s about mindset of people who would not want to do certain kind of work and even if they do, they don’t sustain in that job for long. For Example, We find several such people from UP & Bihar working as Taxi Drivers, Press walas and other service kind of jobs in Mumbai which either Maharashtrians refuse to do may be because they find it “smaller” in comparison or are just not sustainable in it. The Plumbers or Cooks who come from Orissa, Jharkhand and work in cities like Bengaluru or NCR, Culturally inclined Singers, Artists or Musicians who come from West Bengal to make their name in Bollywood, there are umpteen such examples like that.

Of course Money and one’s livelihood is the MOST important factor. Agreed. But is it only about the Money? Doesn’t even that saturate after a while? Either ways, it seems if you are just there and there for good, you rise in any organization. Just be there and Walk that Last Mile, Question is how many of us really have that kind of Patience?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MBA : Are the right "skill-sets" being tapped into?

And so I complete my Post graduation. Not that I ever thought it was important, but to have it in my kitty makes me feel, well let’s just say a little more “educated”.

So now that it’s over, I kind of ask myself, was it really needed? This MBA Degree of mine. Now I have to confess, I did very little research before getting into MBA, which can be a good thing because it could be start of a new adventure of finding out things but also an uncomfortable thing if you get to discover things which you may not have foreseen. I for one, wasn’t really prepared for 20 year olds sitting besides me just out of their BBA’s or BSc’s to be my classmates. Not that I thought I was much superior to them but yes it meant me and they were in the same platform learning the same thing. But this blog post isn’t about them, rather it seeks to ask a fundamental question. Question being, what are the expectations from a MBA? And what are the actual skillsets expected from a MBA Graduate?

I will answer that but first let me go through my own experience.

Once I was into my MBA, I always knew after the 1’st odd month that I would be taking up Marketing. Philip Kotler’s “bible” with picturesque products and one liners fascinated me. Financial Numbers, Operational things and Human Resource never really excited me as something like a Maslow’s theory or a Porter’s 5 forces did.
Now 3 months into my MBA, I get a “Connect with me” request on LinkedIn from a girl who had taken up Marketing and whom I knew from college. Curiously I go to her profile and see that she had done her BBA and worked in the industry before that for 2 years. Then I read her one line Summary which basically gives everyone a heads-up as what skill-sets they have and where would they like to see themselves etc. Now that read something like this.

“I am a confident and effective communicator with strong interpersonal skills and am able to build a rapport with people from different backgrounds and interact well.”

Subsequently there were other non-engineering colleagues of mine who wanted to connect with me via LinkedIn. Curiously, I go and check out their profile details and that read, something on these lines.

"Popular for my strong communication skills, I am a true believer of the fact that “The art of communication is the language of leadership”. Always reckoned for the fact that "I can sell ice to an Eskimo & sand to an Arab”, I am constantly looking to hone my skills to better suit any environment I am in."

Now that clearly is copy, pasted from somewhere. Given my experience as a Techie, I could clearly make that out:-D.

Reading those summaries, I actually was mesmerized. There were several things running on my mind. These were some of them.

  1. Is that it? An Effective Communicator. In other words are you saying to me that MBA’s are the ones who can speak Good English? Yeah, sure you got to know about Economics, your financial jargons, the service industry around you. But nobody is talking about that in the Summary. All they are saying is “Effective Communicator”. That actually gave me an unexpected form of confidence.
  2. Now say you are a 10’th/12’th grader. You speak well. You have this great “interpersonal skill” and you can build a great rapport with people and make them instill confidence in you. Yes you may not have been introduced to the world of Economics and Balance Sheets yet but hey, you can “sell” your ideas well. Now I was kind of curious to know. What would then be the difference between you and a suited booted MBA? Only the “experience” and the “knowledge” part right? Knowledge about say, Finance, Economics and the Industry. Now is that really important? Can that be easily learnt and “effective communication” cannot be?
  3. Is this “skill” of being this effective communicator or having an interpersonal skill a rare phenomenon? Are there very few people around who can communicate that well? Is marketing for example only about that? Or is it much deeper and complex than that?
  4. On a lighter note I thought, As a Software Engineer earlier the skills on my resume had to be proficiency in any programming language say a Java or a Dot net. Now I just have to be this “effective communicator” with great interpersonal skills and get a job which pays higher than a coder. Now the latter sounded much more enticing to me rather than the former.

Having completed these 2 years I realized, Marketing is all about convincing the other person. You do that with your communication skills, you do that by putting up facts and figures or you do that by any other way possible, at the end of the day it’s all about how much you sell and help the business grow. A person who doesn’t know how to speak, may have great strategic marketing ideas which have the potential to take the business to the next level. He may not be able to articulate it well but he may understand the market or the sector better, more than the person having this great “interpersonal skill” and give out sensible marketing ideas.

But I realized that this unfortunately is not the reality. Once I had this conversation with an elderly gentlemen, who when told I was doing MBA, retorted back with disgust and said, “So you are the ones who come in suits, speak Good English (his spoken English was bad), make lovely powerpoint presentations and go out of the board room making us all look like assholes.”

The above perspective needs to change. It’s not about the Good English. Yes, Language is important but so is the understanding of Economy, Market, Industry and what goes into making an effective strategy work in this ever changing VUCA world. How you communicate is important, yes, but can you as a MBA come up with ideas, come with solutions to make a change. MBA’s should be looked at as being problem solvers. Unfortunately, the outlook now-a-days is more to do with how they speak and not what they speak which is unfortunate.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Forget Communalism, its Regionalism now!

I witnessed an incident last week which made me think as to where we are taking this nation of ours. We, the Middle-higher middle class generation often forget that there is an India which earns 5K-10K a month or may be even less who have got their own share of “problems” to deal with. But the question remains, Are those “problems” justified?

I hear a ruckus going on in the front end of the state transport inter city bus between 2 people having 2 diverse form of opinions. 1, A person from U.P (won’t use the term which is often used), lets call him “X” and another person who claims to be the “son of the soil” i.e. a localite from Pune, lets call him Y. Now allegedly “X” who was a passenger hadn’t paid for his ticket to Y who was the conductor and was getting off the bus without the payment. Y caught him and started abusing him. Y also got to know that he is not from his state as he did not speak the language. “X” began to defend himself and at last paid the price of the ticket. To my utter dismay and horror, Y gave him the ticket and ordered him to get off the bus. “X” now got angry and said, I have paid for the ticket, why should I get off. “M.C and B.C started, there was some pushing and shoving and finally something happened which was shocking and uncalled for, Y thought it was right and I am sure he was proud and “X” was well, I wouldn’t try to guess his reaction. Y threw X off the bus. Of course, the bus was stationary all this while with the entire ruckus on. So he wasn’t seriously hurt, but the mental hurt would have been a permanent one. Okay, he could have been getting off without paying a ticket, okay he could have been a thief, but whatever happened in front of eyes, wasn’t the right thing and sadly I couldn’t do anything about it.

The whole point of Y throwing X of the bus makes me wonder here. Would Y have done that if “X” would been a localite? I.e. spoken the same language as him? Did Y perceive “X” to be one of those who comes to “his territory” and engage in activities like the one mentioned above I.e. (Assumption that he had not paid his ticket). And perhaps the question to which I am sure there is answer to is, Should he have shoved him off the bus? The Answer to that is obviously “No”. But there is a deeper question to be asked here. Do we live in our own state or do we live in our own country? And why are we so Paranoid of other people coming from other states? Is it the problem of the state itself of not having/giving the required jobs for the locals? Is the problem of people coming from other states and staying the real problem or the people in their own respective state not coming to terms with them, a problem?

Unless we answer these questions I am afraid it will be state vs state and not religion vs religion that we would be seen next.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

That all Important Bus Ride !

We all have families and am sure we cherish them. But I am not sure how many of you value them.
You don't often realize their value until you stay away from them. I have done that for almost 2 years now and trust me it's a difficult thing...So here's presenting something which happens with me every friday when I make my trip from pune to my home in Navi Mumbai :) Hope you like it.

She waited, waited and waited endlessly

For any particular “thakeli” bus to arrive

In that rush of the so called “weekend public”, she stood

Waiting to go home, waiting to spend some time.

Her face, I saw, was just like mine

Enthusiastic, vibrant and fresh

Just the thing that a Friday evening does

It rejuvenates, it excites and it ends that wait.

That wait for the weekend and those 2 days

2 days with your friends and family

2 days of sleep, 2 days of good food

Oh those good ol’ 2 days

And finally that bus arrives after an endless wait

Pushing and shoving happens, almost like a local train

The “Mamaa” tells the driver…”Zaaoo Deyaa”

The lucky few get a seat while she doesn’t.

Disappointed, her endless wait stretches a little,

Still her face remains as fresh as a daisy,

Awaiting and almost reminiscing her last weekend

She has a wry smile, as innocent as a child.

Finally she manages to get inside the bus

I too luckily hop along.

Yes mom, I got the bus, I’ll be home soon

Her voice, all happy, excited and vibrant

And then, I see her again, her face a little disgruntled

Quite Opposite to what it was 2 days ago

That is exactly what a Monday Morning does to you

Makes for a gloomy, sad and a sleepy start.

But one thing I realize in all of this

It’s the family, friends and that surrounding

That makes one come back week after week

It’s not for anything that someone had famously said,

Home is where your heart is !

Thanks Shatabdi for asking me for my blog link…That thing made me write this :)

Friday, June 24, 2011

The New Template

Google keeps coming with some awesome things. The doodle for example.
The doodle paying tribute to Les Paul was one of the most mind blasting things I have seen in the recent past...Work and other matters have kept me away from blogger when I opened my page today, I thought the template design needs a change. So I went to the design change page after a long time and boy !.. Hasn't the whole set up changed. There are such fantastic templates available now...I remember a year or two ago I had to Google search for new templates but now blogger itself gives so you so many decent choices to choose from that you yourself get confused as to which one to choose.

Finally I found this and I think my page looks neat...I know it would look a lot neater if I write something :P...I am sure I'll come up with something soon guys. I promise :)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Never make it Mundane

Life, Yeah dats what I am talking about. Sometimes, actually not sometimes, every time, everyday we tend to do the same things again and again, in the process forgetting that we even live a life you know. How much would one try and live according to somebody else? Your own family, Your own over hyped career growth, your own client, your own company. Sometimes you just would want to let it go.

It's like cricket players now-a-days. The more they play, the more they tend to get saturated or worn out. And I am not talking about being over-worked. I am talking about doing the same things again and again, everyday and every time. It's never easy to just break from your routine life. Never was and never will be. It's just that we don't try enough! Writing is another such thing. You just break away from it and then just don't tend to get that push to go on and blabber again :P

It's important that one should redefine himself every time and question thyself and try to learn in each step. Learning new things for a person should never stop. And when you are overworked. that one holiday works, try it , it really does and re-charges your battery every time. I end it with what I started with. Never make your life mundane . Be happy :)