Is MBA waste of money and time?

MBA, a buzz word in the job market and even a hotter one for matrimonial sites. But is it all that worth? There has been different school of thoughts on this topic. One of the most famous quotes belongs to none other than Seth Godin (author of “All marketers are liars”) where he said

“I get away with this heresy since I, in fact, have my own fancy MBA from Stanford. The fact is, though, that unless you want to be a consultant or an i-banker (where a top MBA is nothing but a screen for admission) it’s hard for me to understand why this is a better use of time and money than actual experience combined with a dedicated reading of 30 or 40 books.””

This is certainly not a new debate (/discussion) as I myself have participated in many, including the latest one with our HR manager (she is also a MBA) on new hiring strategies. Here is my take on the whole topic.

Is MBA waste of money and time?
According to me, MBA teaches you the alphabets of Business Administration. It teaches you how to form the possible right sentences of a business and what possible grammar made sense. I am very fortunate to be a semi MBA (as we had a special MCA with one year of MBA covered) and it helped me in the following ways:-

  1. It created a special interest for the corporate related topics. I started reading economic time during my marketing classes as I started understanding the alphabets of business (before which I never liked the pinkish paper). Now I hardly miss a day.
  2. It taught me how to learn. Thanks to all the entrepreneurial exposure. The classes by all entrepreneurs taught us new lessons (from the book of real business) be it about the backup or investment or recruiting. It helped me start with a better zero.
  3. Most importantly, it attached me to the big network of corporate people (alumni). For any work we can just give a call and make it work. This is really the biggest gain. You get a better network to start.”Our Network is better than our work”

The darker side of MBA

  1. It makes you rigid towards experimentation. When you are taught that these things will not work or these things will work, it starts prevailing over your gut feel. You try to do everything right with all statistic tools. Thats really hurts the innovation drive.
  2. We forget to learn from the nature. The best people have learned from the nature (the innocent customer, the simplest thoughts etc) not from the best people. Do not forget to observe the simple things. Also do not forget to learn from people who do not have a better degree than you. Accept people without a perception (a very difficult ask for a MBA).
  3. Not making our hands dirty, the biggest problem (from my personal experience). MBA prefers the managerial roles and do not prefer to do the dirty works (the real work). As a MBA delivering a presentation about work optimization is more desired than trying it on ourselves. Be more a leader and less a manager.
    MBA offensive video
    (Click on the above image to see the most offensive MBA video 🙂 )

Another Article(different but thematic) which talks about the Serious talent shortage and lack of experienced manpower in India for few sectors. It says, “India Inc ties up with B-schools for made-to-order curriculum”. Also it says,

“Serious talent shortage and lack of experienced manpower, especially in emerging sectors like retail is pushing companies like Dabur, Tesco, Patni and HDFC to launch specialised courses with leading institutes in the country for their current and potential employees. “

NO I do not support this. Such courses will neither do good for corporates not the students, do not try to form the business sentences forcibly but help them learn the alphabets of business with a free mind.

Final word
MBA is certainly not the waste of money and time. It never makes you a master of business administrator but it helps you become a better student of business. It helps you start with a better zero and rest is all you.

My Day – A learning one

I wasted another day on useful things. After the audio blog post I got weird(but approved) comments through mails and IM on my voice. Thanks for that. The next crazy thing I did was to delete all the 765 spams waiting for approval (oops disapproval). I scanned few pages of these spams to make sure I am not deleting a genuine comment. After scanning 7 pages (with no genuine comments) full of crappy britney,tom and all other non-sense stuff I decided to delete all. Sorry if I deleted your comment in this process. Please comment again and I will keep my spam box clean.

We had our second last meeting before AGM for CGPF. I was amazed at the analysis done for the staff conferences (on Feb 14 – Feb 15). Every thing so well documented and arranged. Targets, strategies and discussions for the upcoming year took almost 1.5 hrs of the total 2 hrs meeting. Fund collection, real estate plans and all were a part of it. I was feeling a little sleepy because of the heavy lunch I had (a marriage party). Now I need to draft few letters, prepare PPTs for pre-AGM sessions. We have decided to go to all the churches for a unique PPT presentation (looking forward for it).

After the meeting I attended the class on Angels and Demons where we learned about Lucifer and the dark angel team. A subject which I always ignored consciously. Now I am back to all the pending tasks. Will finish my half done post now. Take care and keep spamming.

My Audio Post – Battle of Energy zones

Did few crazy things today like making a PPT for Inferno Blog hunt (soon it will be available of the website) and creating this audio post free of cost, thanks to Hedir. I tried few services but all are costly affairs (currently not in mood of investment). This is a slight tweaking with Hedir Music files (I have sent an email with details to Hedir admins). Do let me know your feedback (the voice problem may be due to bit rate, I need to check).

This post is about Battle of Energy Zones:-

  • How one room/project of your company can be a positive energy zone and other a negative one.
  • Organization structure based on Energy zone points. How is more important a Senior Tech leader or Facility Assistant or cook? A whole new approach to organization structure.

It was really difficult to do an audio as I had no script. Somehow I have managed. Sorry for the voice (THATS NOT MY VOICE, but then it made it sweeter 🙂 ). – Enjoy my first audio post.

Web Business is a pure Brain business

Writing after some long time as was busy with designing new salary structure. Also was busy with the Inferno Blog hunt (which is going great guns with over 170 blogs). Indian Web business is heating up with the new generation becoming more Internet Savvy because of cheaper broadband (Rs 500 for a month with great speed and download limits).

Read the stories of successful businessmen/businesswomen and you will find that they started the business with very less amount like Rs 15,000 (+ Rs 15,000 , Reliance) or Rs 10,000 (Infosys). During late 80s this was quite some amount (worth atleast Rs 1,00,000, present value).

For a startup web business all you need is $10 – $ 50 per month and one or two quality brains who are ready to spend 20 hrs a day. Web business is more of a brain business than the power of money investment, infrastructure, man power Lets take it point by point that why a web business is a pure brain business :-

  1. To implement an idea you do not need a shop (a shop will cost you atleast Rs 50,000) of your own, a simple web page will do. Domain charges $9 per year, hosting (with ssh and required programming platforms) $5.
  2. Advertisements – With blogs, social networking sites, free chat rooms, free emails this is absolutely close to $0 affair. You will just need a viral idea. Other means of advertisements will cost anything over Rs 10,000 (min).
  3. Hiring people – You do not need a lot of staffs, just 2 programmers with quality brain can start the work and a billion dollar company can be run with just 50 staffs. Even you do not need offices, just get hold of people who can work from home and earn money through your platform. In the initial phase of project you may have to spend some additional amount on them but later on they can earn their own salaries.
  4. Everything else is free. From a webserver to a script everything comes free. You just need the right brains to make it work for you with some modification.

Some Stories which look real

  • YouTube (founded by 3 in Feb 2005, was sold for $1.65 billions with just 67 employees) :
    Money is no more a barrier in Web business. It is the real brain tussle. Google with few billions won’t be able to beat Youtube (which started with just 3 members and was sold with just over 60 members) they can just accept the defeat and buy success through them. YouTube was founded by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim, who were all early employees of PayPal.
  • Digg (founded by 4 in Nov 2004) :
    It Started out as an experiment in November 2004 by Kevin Rose, Owen Byrne, Ron Gorodetzky, and Jay Adelson. Taking bigger news companies with an idea.
  • (founded by 1 during Late 2003 and acquired by Yahoo for some 15-30 million dollars)
    The site came online in late 2003 and was founded by Joshua Schachter, co-maintainer of Memepool. It is now part of Yahoo!.
  • Wikipedia (founded by 1 in Jan 2001 and now has over six million articles in 250 languages)
    Wikipedia was launched as the English Wikipedia on January 15, 2001, as a complement to Nupedia, an expert-written and now defunct encyclopedia. The project is now operated by the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organization created by Jimmy Wales, and has over six million articles in 250 languages, including 1.6 million in the English edition. Wikipedia has steadily risen in popularity since its inception and currently ranks among the twelve most-visited websites worldwide.
  • MyBlogLog (founded by 2 in Mar 2005 acquired by Yahoo in 2007)
    The company has deployed close to 100 million profile cookies, signed up 14 thousand blogs in their first year and more than 1000 blogs currently display MyBlogLog widgets.

There are more such stories (blogger, skype messenger, hotmail, urchin …) and I will also cover the Indian Stories. I have already seen Indian doing great in this field and still calling many Techno-leaders to pinch in.

Gurukant Desai VS Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani

[Note: Some of my related popular posts are: 1) why mistakes are often mistaken – It talks about what are real mistakes. 2) Orkut used for crime, is orkut responsible for it anyway? ]

I am back from Delhi. Delhi was fun, I could explain about Inferno 2007 to some Big Pockets. Also I had Parathas from Mulchand Parathawala (very Also I got a chance to Watch Unclaimed biography of DhiruBhai (GURU). It inspired me to read the biography of THE AMBANI.

Unauthorized Biography
I am planning to buy
DhiruBhai Ambani
Till then here are some of the comparison.

Gurukant Desai VS Dhirajlal Hirachand Ambani

Abhishek Bhachan DhiruBhai Ambani
There are many similarities (with slight modification) and I am putting some some 15 here.
  1. Guru born in Idhar of Gujrat. His Dad was a school teacher (a head master as shown in the movie).
  2. Guru Going to Turkey when he was a kid somewhere around 16 years.
  3. Guru was shown as smart guy playing with coins and making money in ball tricks (In short he was shown as a person who knew the trick of minting money). Guru worked as a clerk and then later worked with Shell. He also got a promotion.
  4. Ten years later, Guru returned to India and started a business Shakti Corporation (I do not remember the exact name, may be it was Shakti Trading) with a capital of Rs. 15000.00.
  5. The business was setup in partnership with his brother-in-law.
  6. The primary business of GuruKant was to import “Kela Silk (polyester)” and export spices.
  7. Brother-in-law ended his partnership with Guru.
  8. He was called Guru Bhai. He was then later better known as Guru Bhai. “Guru bhai ka Salaam”.
  9. The Shakti Trading was a 350 Sq. Ft. room with a telephone, one table and three chairs.
  10. Public offers for Shakti corporation targeting the rural India. Many became the partners to Shakti corporation. This was also one of the initial IPOs as he explained them the concept in details.
  11. Shakti corporation conducted its Annual General Meetings (AGMs) in stadiums. This is one of the highlights of the movie. Over 35,000 partners attended the meeting. Even the movie starts with the a ground and the AGM description.
  12. The conflicts/discussions with another business baron (Forgot his name). If I am not wrong some English person.
  13. Manik Dasgupta (Mithun da) or Nanaji, a friend/Mentor of Guru and then later turning against Guru because of his business approach. Mithun is the owner of a big newspaper (If I am not wrong the name of the newspaper was “The Independence”). Mithun
  14. Mithun asked Shyam(Madhavan) to write against Guru and going after him. Along with MAnik, he has to face his editor Shyam opposing all his moves while his company keeps growing.
  15. The scene where Gurukant Desai speaks to a political bigwig in New Delhi. Politician was not giving him any time and finally gave one opportunity. In the meeting Guru offered a biggy to the politician.
  1. Dhirubhai born in Chorwad, Junagadh in the state of Gujarat. Dad was a school teacher.
  2. Dhirubhai moved to Yemen when he was 16.
  3. Dhirubhai would buy the Rials, melt them in pure silver and sell it to the bullion traders in London. Dhirubhai worked as dispatch clerk and then later worked in Shell. Dhirubhai was promoted to manage the company’s oil-filling station at the port of Aden
  4. Ten years later, Dhirubhai returned to India and started a business Reliance Commercial Corporation with a capital of Rs. 15000.00.
  5. The business was setup in partnership with Champaklal Damani, his second cousin who was also there with him in Aden, Yemen.
  6. The primary business of Reliance Commercial Corporation was to import polyester yarn and export spices.
  7. In 1965 Champaklal Damani and Dhirubhai Ambani ended their partnership and Dhirubhai started on his own
  8. He was called DhiruBhai and was better known by this name.
  9. The first office of Reliance Commercial Corporation was a 350 Sq. Ft. room with a telephone, one table and three chairs.
  10. Dhirubhai Ambani is credited with starting the equity cult in India. More than 58,000 investors from various parts (mainly rural) of India subscribed to Reliance’s IPO in 1977.
  11. Reliance Industries holds the distinction that it is the only Public Limited Company whose several Annual General Meetings were held in stadiums. In 1986, The Annual General Meeting of Reliance Industries was held in Cross Maidan, Mumbai, was attended by more than 35,000 shareholders and the Reliance family.
  12. Dhirubhai had to cut through lots of red tape and face rivalry from another big businessman, Nusli Wadia – chairman and majority owner of Bombay Dyeing.
  13. At one point in time Ramnath Goenka of Indian Express was a friend of Dhirubhai Ambani. Later on Ramnath Goenka choose to support Nusli Wadia. At one occasion Ramnath Goenka is believed to have said “Nusli is an Englishman. He cannot handle Ambani. I am a bania. I know how to finish him” Ramnath geonka
  14. Ramnath Goenka did not use his staff at the Indian Express to investigate the case but assigned his close confident, advisor and chartered accountant S. Gurumurthy for this task.
  15. Meeting between the late Rajiv Gandhi and Dhirubhai Ambani. Rajiv Gandhi wouldn’t give any time for a meeting to Dhirubhai Ambani and when he finally gave time, Dhirubhai Ambani made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
There are more points like corruption cases against Guru, Guru getting paralyzed, Guru with two daughters, the biggest company in India e.t.c. In 1982, Dhirubhai created waves in the stock markets when he took on a Kolkata-based cartel of bear operators that had sought to hammer down the share price of Reliance Industries. The cartel badly underestimated the Ambani ability to fight back. Not only did Dhirubhai manage to ensure the purchase of close to a million shares that the bear cartel offloaded, he demand physical delivery of shares. The bear cartel was rattled. In the process, the bourses were thrown into a state of turmoil and the Bombay Stock Exchange had to shut down for a couple of days before the crisis was resolved. I will recommend you to read Two faces of Dhirubhai.

I wish I had more time to write and read about Mr Ambani. It was great to go through the history. I am looking forward to buy another book
Programmers at work.

Still I am left with 549 blog spams and need to start driving lessons (Can you believe that Grmtech is forcing me learn driving on company’s expense and during company’s time. I really appreciated the move). Requesting everyone to be a part of Inferno 2007.


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