When you wish for good things, good things happen

I was reading Alok’s inspiring post on how blogging changed things for him, I picked one sentence which I strongly believe in “When you wish for good things, good things happen”. In our previous office one the things my boss wanted to build was a fountain where there is a boy in the middle of the fountain trying to touch the stars. It meant, when you try to  do great things, higher things, the required resources comes to you (The water springs coming towards boy from all direction).

Good things happen

Also during our B-School, someone wrote the yearly punch line as “It feels good to be good”. Many did not like the punch line at all. I personally did not like it at that time but later it was one of my best punch lines ever. “It really feels good to be good”.

Always wish to do good.

  • People were not as fortunate as you to be there where you are, so don’t shout at them, help them
  • When someone misbehave, it hardly impacts you physically, only it impacts you if you take it negatively. If you ignore that as a immature act, you will feel even better.

Bridgestone Blizzak DM V2

Many occasions where I wish good and good happened:

  • There was a person who wanted help with http and https duplicate content removal in Search Engine, I did not wanted to take money (as I was against freelancing), I helped him fix it not expecting anything. Later he sent me PPTs, PDFs, books etc that he collected from so many conferences (exclusive and expensive stuff). It was a WOW experience.
  • There was a person who came for interview, he was messed up, he got rejected, before leaving he asked me the answers and went into detailing, I spent almost an hour with him explaining it. After 5 years, when we started the company, he called me to pitch for his business school. He also explained me, how that interview helped him. He helped me with the complete pitching.
  • So many instances like that.

If you look at religious books:

  • Bible says: Throw your bread into running waters and it shall come back to you after many days http://bible.cc/ecclesiastes/11-1.htm
  • Karmanye Vadhikaraste, Ma phaleshou kada chana, Ma Karma Phala Hetur Bhurmatey Sangostva Akarmani
    ???? ???? ?? ???????? ?????? ??, ????? ???? ?? ?? ??? ????| ???? ?? ?? ?? ????? ?? ??? ?? ???, ??? ???? ???? ?? ???? ??? ?? ??? ?????? ? ??|

One of the best quotes I recently read was something like this (I am unable to recall it as it was) “When you don’t focus on your returns, when you focus on doing really well for someone, you can expect amazing innovation”.

Live every day doing good, trust in God, God will help you trust in yourself, people will trust you, good things will happen to you.

Be Proactive – It’s not proactive, it’s how you react

(Note: This post is needs a lot of pause, heavy digesting, so read when you have time).

“You are not pro-active enough?” Did you say/hear this sentence? Does it help at all?

Recently we attended 7 Habits of effective people training session. Even after the session, many of us were still not clear about the new definition of “Be Proactive”, as we always used dictionary to define the word “Proactive”. Dictionary says, “Proactive is creating or controlling a situation by causing something to happen rather than responding to it after”. So we feel Proactive is about creating something or preparing ourselves in such a way that we can avoid situations which can hurt us. There is nothing wrong with the definition, in fact thats the best definition to Proactiveness but in real life, you need more than perfect definition. I always believed that none of us can be 100% perfect. We can be prepared for most of things but still there are exceptional situtation (every now and then) and how we react to these exceptions help us lead a better life.

Step #1: Understanding what’s a real loss, very inspiring video

(Whats a real loss & Whats a challenge, great video to watch)

Old way we looked at Proactiveness

  1. Be prepared for exams beforehand than worrying about it during the last week – This is proactiveness
  2. Have a spare football for the football match, in case one goes off, you still have another one. This is proactiveness
  3. Having an assistant project manager as backup, so when a project manager is sick, project can run smooth – Best example of proactiveness (the plan B)

I see that the word “be proactive” is being used and abused in the corporate world. Every manager asks their teams to be proactive. When something goes wrong, we keep blaming someone (or ourselves) for not being proactive.

Let’s flush the old idea of Proactive, Please 


  • As the definition is not helping you at all.
  • We all want to prepare for better things but can’t be perfect 100% times. Everyone wants to be proactive but the reality is none of us can be 100% proactive.
  • Also it creates a guilt and hurts your confidence. Also it hurts your team as you start thinking others are not proactive enough.

Bridgestone DM-V2

New way of looking at “be Proactive”


This video will clear a lot of things, here is another video that can help you understand another viewpoint.


The new way of looking at “be proactive” is “Let not your reaction kill you”, here are some of my old posts

  1. http://aji.techshu.com/my-death-wolf/ (How you are killing yourself while being a victim to your circumstance”
  2. I wrote about 90 10 principle, you can search for it on web. Its about 10% problems you can’t control but rest 90% problems are due to our wrong reactions.

Mindset Change

The most important thing here is to own your circumstance and understand you are here because of choices not because of others. Often we push everything to others.

When I worked at Grmtech, our boss Vikas will always tell me, “Either you can fall victim to your valid circumstances or win over it”, the victim vs victor attitude. This is step #1 to proactiveness.

  • Step #1, it was your choice, you made the choices, you end up here, now how will you react is proactiveness. Will you react looking forward or will you react looking backward? Thats the main difference between reactive reaction or proactive reaction.
  • Step #1.1: Oh, never regret for your choices as that was the best you could do at that time. Regretting and worrying will only change anything. Bible quote (Matt 6:27) “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
  • Step #2: Train yourself to reach pro-actively.
Now what is the principle. That’s an important question. There are 2 ways to above problem:
  • (Best, be prepared) Know that such situation will happen in any business and you can prepare with a process to ensure you react based on the process/principle defined.
  • (Second best, react right when not prepared) When you don’t have above solution ready, how will you react to it. Here are the steps:
    • Take a pause and see why it went wrong.
    • See if there is anyway we can help the client succeed.
    • If there is no way to save the project, how to make a graceful exit.
    • There are underlying principles that will help you react better like “Client’s business is more important than your account. See if it is hurting in anyway?”, “No disrespect for anyone”, “Relationship is more important than an account or money”, “Accept fault when it happens” etc. Now these principles needs to be written everyday and your brains should be trained for it. Having these principles ingrained in each one of your team member will help in reacting better, reacting pro-actively.
    • Also watch for language, don’t say, “You never co-operated with us, we asked you to do this, do that”, say “There were issues which together we could not fix on time. We own the problem, wish we could do better, still there are 10 to 15 things left to be implemented. Can you please get it implemented, we will help you get it implemented and then we will support you for next 3 months for free with reports and things undone.

Is it that easy?

No not all, thats why great companies are rare to find, they train their teams, themselves, the whole organization again and again to win over these difficult challenges. I was listening to Rata Tata Sir, when asked about values for an organization and how to enforce it at all levels, he said (in my own words and understanding) “You can’t take responsibility for behaviour of 400,000 employees but when someone does wrong/right, how you react to it will define your value”. WOW! it was a great learning.

What’s your definition to “being proactive” and what’s your take from this post

Aninda Das from NASSCOM “joining a engineering college gurantees a JOB? Who needs to be blamed for this?”

Aninda keeps asking amazing (and useful question). Aninda Das “Why does one join an Engineering College? Only for JOB? Who is telling him/her(student) that joining a engineering college gurantees a JOB? Who needs to be blamed for this? – parents or education institutes for wrong promotion?”

I am as free as watching Mamta ji’s recent CNN video. Here is my take on the subject from my personal experience.

I had no idea, what I needed to do, where I will get job – during grads College

I was as ignorant as any other student when I was in Xaveirs. … Thats how we are … our education has no interface with reality. Whom to blame?
My take: College should have more interface with reality, industrial fairs, making it compulsory (we were training that way), http://aji.techshu.com/indians-fear-failure/ . In our colleges we only have one type of judging … Grades (as per theory) … Its damn boring and it ignores many other dimensions … many who are not good in sitting and studying loses their confidence. That’s ok, no country is perfect, world isn’t either.

Ok, now professional course – MCA … MBA

MBA students had knowledge what companies will ask and what is needed (better than MCA & probably engineering). In MCA, we will have 2 type of students, one who were planning for Infosys and one who hardly bothered about job but will keep reading magazines, web, papers and will end up scoring very low (I think 5 point something out of 9). Some people like me, would shuffle between here and there. Both are successful in their own terms. Some got jobs from college and some got from off campus. Some worked in small companies then joined bigger ones. Some worked in startups and now own companies. Different people, different path to JOB and success.

While passing out of professional college? Most of us had no idea about what we gonna do, whats good for us. We just did the way others did. The fact is we did.

Whom to blame? Certainly not college, our college did put a lot of interface with real problems … I also made many cool application for our professors .. students? I never understood that I guess the way I should have … I was very interested in  computers, so I could spend a lot of time in computer labs. Job? May be not, as the selection is very different.

My job interview at Alumnus, must read

I was asked about MMS, I never heard that word by then. Then they asked many more things, I had no idea. They failed us. I requested for one more chance. I prepared better, then they asked about Linux and Windows security stuffs, I had no idea again … again I was failed, I asked for one more chance … I think the fifth time, I called them at night, asked “who will take the interview and whats his strength, what questions I can expect” … I learned those and cleared the interview for “A CHANCE”. On job, I got trained for php, mysql etc … all Google learned, people hardly taught anything … We did good, so next opportunity came … Grmtech …. joined there for a mobile ….. http://aji.techshu.com/three-years/ ..Job trained me, shaped me, gave me a direction on what to do in life …..

My final take – Don’t define job, do job properly and it will help you find the path

Understand, you are different from me, your opportunities are different from mine, so is mine with someone else. We all are different. Take it step by step. Don’t fall victim, just fight it out. Get a desktop, get an internet connection, study it again, enter somewhere where you can be mentored and given chance. Offer your laptop or desktop, work from home, keep working, keep learning. You can’t change your past, you can’t change your country or culture that easily (I fought with many companies in Salt Lake when I was student, asking to give MCAs a chance to sit with Engineers, they said no, I argued but they did not listen to me).

  1. Hey’s it ok if you are not good but you need to understand you are not good and improve from there.
  2. Grab opportunities, work hard, work smart, learn as much as possible. My professors told me “What you learn here in 3 years, your company will teach you in 3 months”.
  3. Show positive attitude, work day and night when you can, party day and night (the things you enjoy) whenever you can. During my first job at Grmtech, I will work for 3 to 4 days, 16 hours or so and from Friday to Sunday I will go back to hostel to enjoy with friends.
  4. Gain confidence in yourself.
  5. Meet mentors (in office and outside), Meet good guys/girls (and get positive energy from there), go for events, network …
  6. Don’t try to learn, just be listeners, just be there, and learn in bits and pieces … it will make sense at a later stage, just be there, collect nodes/dots to be connected later  http://news.stanford.edu/news/2005/june15/jobs-061505.html
  7. Enjoy, take pride in whatever you do.
  8. Nobody needs that much money, it will come, just take care of your basic needs and don’t put yourself in demands which can lead you to depressions and wrong directions.
  9. It’s ok to be human, we all do wrong, we all fail, we all get rejection but we all can fight back ….
  10. Never compare, its never between you and them http://aji.techshu.com/never-between-you-them/

Hope it helps atleast one person in next 10 years, then my 30 mins goes worth.

Internet Premier League (IPL) Static Internet 120/10 v/s Moving Internet 360/3 – A new era for Internet

You read it right. Static Internet is bowled out! It is out of IPL (Internet Premier League), could not even quality for playoffs. The moving internet is 3 times better than the static internet. New era of internet is more fun. I have been a Vodafone user for last 8 years or so and thus all my experience of new era internet is on Vodafone http://www.vodafone.in/fun.

3G & Touch, defining moving Internet !

There were days when people will go on vacation on a sea beach and will wish for a café with Internet. We improved from there and had basic connectivity on laptop (wifi), then again we wished for better. Then came basic internet on mobile, we wished for speed and better mobiles. Then came better touch & keypad mobiles & pads with 3G connectivity. Now it’s a new era, almost!

Internet is more fun now! “Porn to Poke”

The other change was, “what we did with Internet?” Web has transformed from information to entertainment in last few years. From “Porn to Poke” was a major shift, now people are connected on social media and want to see what’s happening with their friends and want to update what’s happening with them.

Bulk updates from static internet is boring, its about runtime moving internet

Bulk updates are boring, where you visit the Himalayas and then update it once you are back. It is fun when you can update from Himalayas and people can comment back and you can interact with them time to time. This is a new world of communication.

(This is my best friend from Himalayas updating his status. Commenting on this photo was way different, I felt really good) Imagine the situation when you are frustrated or extremely happy, there is no fun in holding it (and infact you want to share it right then).

“Happiness only real when shared”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0758758/quotes (From one of the best movies of all time). I can rephrase it to “Happiness only real when shared real time“). Remember the ad, Maja aya? Asli mazaa SAB ke saath aata hai (The real happiness is when shared with all).

My fun experience while on Vodafone 3G in Mumbai

I was in Mumbai for business trip and had to travel all around. IPAD & 3G was my guide, I could instruct the auto drivers, “oh not that route, go this route!”. I could just surf for Mallu restaurant while traveling and demand amazing food. In between, I could stop and do a conference call. I had conference calls with UK team standing in the Andheri Ticket counter. It was really fun to have amazing connectivity and I am sure it is to go better and better from there. Other fun on Vodafone 3G and ipad:

  • Siting in a cafe and taking web interviews by playing games (The boring puzzles are over)
  • Wifey doesn’t have issues going on vacation anywhere as she can still watch TV on move on youtube.
  • WOW! Now you carry a powerful informational and entertainment tool along with you. The only space between your problem/query and the solution is asking it to your connected mobile device (and Google or Facebook).
  • Attending webinars is no more an issue, I can attend it from car now
  • Amazing possibility and much more fun

Orkut vs Chirkut and now “3G vs Uncle”

I remember the days when orkut came to picture in India, there were 2 communities, orkut or Chirkut http://aji.techshu.com/orkut/, soon I can see other 2 communities “3G vs Uncles”. Anyone not having a connectivity on mobile will be called uncle.

 “Have fun! I use vodafone internet and its fun!”

Hindrance to Growth & Sustainability – Major questions

After writing http://aji.techshu.com/cents-to-dollars-growth-sustainability-business/ I thought to summarize the post here.

  1. Ask if the owners/founders/management the bottleneck? Are you micro managing? Are you pissing off good people? Are you thinking small? Are you unable to pass on the vision? Are you not able to motivate your team to live the vision together? Are you the bottleneck?
  2. Are you in the right market with the right offering? This is important to ask, sometimes we might go wrong, its good to go back and start it again. http://community.tiekolkata.com/profiles/blogs/sabeer-bhatia-3-questions-to-ask-for-any-product
  3. Is your company’s vision (Direction follows vision) well defined? Is your company a company that is focusing on improving some part of the society? Are you passionate about improving your customer’s lifestyle by solving the problem to best level? (This is so so important: Whenever I hear, “How client doesn’t understand”, “Client can’t freeze the requirement” … I will repeat .. “Thats the problem, we are trying to solve, lets solve it better next time” … Focus is not on shouting at people and client but to solve the problem every day. Making life better.
  4. Is your company a company where people want to excel? Or Is your company a company where its only about revenue and work? Excellence brings revenue. Excellence attracts good people and clients/customers.
  5. Is your company focusing on developing people? (Even if they leave your company, they will stay the ambassadors to your company, “Give when you can  & Ask when you need it”)
  6. Is your company a company where good people want to join? How are you selling your company to new prospect recruits? Are they buying your work culture, your business model, your challenges? (Grrr … Most good people don’t want to join government jobs …)
  7. Is the company focusing on financial management? (Visibility is important, focusing on building the finance is important but it comes secondary to me, it is needed but a good combination of PEOPLE, RIGHT MARKET, RIGHT OFFERING should bring in money, why shouldn’t it? Many disagree here but I still believe, money follows)
  8. Who all are thinking about?
  1. Innovation
  2. Value addition
  3. New opportunities
  4. Team members life improvements (This is major) Point #10 http://aji.techshu.com/11lessons-entrepreneurs/
  5. Customer/Client relationships
  6. Process
  7. Cost cutting
  8. Revenue improvements
Please keep adding to it.

Cents to dollars – Growth & Sustainability (see the 15 practical points as well)

(I am writing another post for Growth & Sustainability)
In my past 10 years of experience, I had opportunities to work with many great Entrepreneurs.  I have seen different growth and sustainability methods for different companies (and many contradicting ones but worked successfully). There is no one thing that works and there is no generalization that works, a company is highly directed by the top minds in the company. A company is a reflection of owner’s way of thinking.

As mentioned here http://www.slideshare.net/ajinimc/iimc-talk-on-digital-marketing-by-aji-issac-ceo-techshucom My first venture was my Church’s youth camp and it was a major success (From one stage where noone believed we could participate to winning it with small margins to winning it for years). From 2002, I am thinking like an Entrepreneur, had my own ups and downs but great leanings. Here are few cents from my experience

  1. Every Entrepreneur is different, so your growth and sustainability principles will be different. Example: I am a domain expert (Digital Marketing), my way to go ahead is to improve Digital Marketing experience (The market is big, I can solve it, now I need to add resources (Finance, Processes, HR etc) to scale up, thats my growth & Sustainability. For an Entrepreneur who is more into networking will like to network around to make the best partners to make things happen. So it will be different for you. You are the company when you start and everything is build on top of you (most of the time, later it will change). Google was made on an algorithm by Larry page, Facebook was made by Mark’s need and so on and on (but later it is all different). I have also seen companies where there is hardly any independence but the work is fixed and defined. They too are successful but are limited by many ways.
  2. Myths about Focus, keep your eyes open, focus is still not defined: In every article you will see focus, focus and focus .. my experience is (and as discussed at SSKolkata, many others experience is) … It is not easy to focus initially, you need to do everything possible to survive and work towards one expertise … Focus will come, keep observing and keep moving. If you have enough money, time .. you are already surviving … you can focus now .. If you are all alone, you are surviving, you can focus now.
  3. Believe that you will be APPLE and GOOGLE – Everybody likes to hear the story of Facebook, Google and Apple. They will say “You know they started in a garage, how fun” but when it comes to really working in garage, its a tough call. So is when you need to expand. You are going good with 10 people, now you need to go for 30, you will have invest, you will have to take risk … its a tough call again as the risk is bigger …. You got to be your own motivator – Growth is uncomfortable at times, its like a child growing, the bigger the child grows, bigger are the responsibility and that is sometimes uncomfortable. You got to motivate yourself and enter change of orbit carefully and with believe.
  4. You got to work with smarter people, smarter than you … This is one of major problem I have seen with people … They are not able to work with people smarter than them .. Also I have seen Entrepreneurs always going for better and better people. It is said A hires A, B hires C, http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2006/01/the_art_of_recr.html#axzz1ielqY0ni … Search for A hires A, B hires C articles on Google.
  5. Flexibility & Skills: At different stage of your business you need different type of thinking http://ecorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=1796 .. We (as owners of the initiative) need to see if we are the bottleneck at any stage of our business or not. Some of us are not good as managers, some of us are good as inventors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Google (Google had to hire Eric as CEO and founders focused on innovations and product)
  6. Broader thinking – What is this all about? What is big thinking after all …. My company will be 1000 members and 100 crores, is it big thinking? Big thinking is when you act according to your big thinking. If you know and believe your company is going to become big, you for that reason you can think of hiring someone whom you can’t afford now (even as a partner, or promise). I know that the company will be really big, I need to prepare myself, so attending and meeting other greater minds is important. “It’s ok to lose few thousands of Rs to create success stories” .. Think longer version in mind … Getting the wider picture. It’s not easy to explain this thought. Thinking small is a common problem I have seen.
  7. There are many more points that are needed to fine tune an initiative for growth and sustainability. I will write another post.

Some Practical points that helped me:

  1. Thinking alike to reduce learning curve – SVN and folder structure, now dropbox and structure. (Knowledge structuring) … For all our clients we have a folder structure where we have named it alike. So every person knows where to find a file, everyone ones what to do for a client etc. Thats to SVN and dropbox, our monthly cost for all these management was less than $5.
  2. Thinking togetherProcess incubation folder & Dropbox (Knowledge management & Knowledge sharing) .. People keep adding documents to this folder, I keep organizing it (Later R&D team will do it, this quarter we have initiated the R&D team)… “I was promised an increment but nobody looked into it” … I will ask the HR to add a document for recruitment and thereafter .. we will keep working till we know we get a clear picture of how the process works and there is visibility and follow up. (Not easy but a process incubation folder helps us to start the process)
  3. Dashboard – FengOffice + customization (I had to own the dashboard code) … Now we know where we invest our time, where are we losing money and where are we earning … who is working good and who is not.  This was one of most important thing for scaling, without this … measurement of various activities in the company is crucial.
  4. Going fearless to make company better – Making team members public and bold http://www.techshu.com/bloggers/ … They need to own the company, it can only happen if we are fearless of losing them.
  5. Hire them when they are available not when you need them: When you are small, small people don’t apply. Nobody wants to join a small company but there are some great people who come forward, don’t lose them. When we started the company, we had given open offers to many of the people whom we knew, they join at different stage of your company, whenever they say “YES”, we make space for them. Good people are very very important.
  6. When a good person leaves, do given them open offer to come back: There are people who will leave because of different reasons (Grass is greener on other side), they might come back. We have a Facebook group which is always open for all ex, interns and current team members.
  7. Anything that is repeative and non-intellectual should be automated. – http://www.techshu.com/faqs/ (Techshu leaks & Process excel sheet)
  8. Programming is extension of your mind – SEOAPPY.com … automated a hell lot of things for our team.
  9. You need to own the industry in longer term .. Jeetbo.com (for HR issues), digitalsoch.com (for corporate training) … anhour.in (for client education) etc to name a few.
  10. Invest in good seeds – Always hired people with good background for top layer work .. One who can’t think of getting 2 lacs a month as a salary can never make your company going to 200 crorers. … http://www.seoforclients.com/about-us (Read the Jack Welch’s quote)
  11. Work towards relationships – We have incurred heavy losses, still paying the debts … we worked for people for free, we did not collect the money when we could not deliver, we switched off few months payment to compensate … reason 2 relationships 1) With the client 2) With the ROI focused.
  12. Define every word correctly … Our company is defined as “ROI focused End to End Digital Marketing Mix partner” (Every word is well defined and that is what stays with people”
  13. Keep training people … They reject your wordings but sooner or later they will realize the need. Sweat in training to avoid blood in war… http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=155229661206652
  14. Keep exploring new options … Keep thinking and keep documenting …. the documents allows me to see the complete picture, playing with your thoughts inside your mind is difficult but arranging it on a doc and rearraging it on a doc is easier. I had documents which were confusing for 2 weeks but it came out to be the best after 2 weeks.
  15. Focus on Logic – Anything that is not logical is not supported .. Why should I ask my team members to come on time (when we are only 4), Why should I have a leave policy when we are only 10, why should I focus on accounting when my revenue is only 100,000.

Is Aji a criminal? Kolkata’s 2 major crimes – Your verdict

Kolkata in the last few weeks witnessed crimes of 2 nature (Wrong, you guessed it wrong, it is not the usual crimes that Arnab Goswami talks about, they are:

  • Crime #1: You are not into social Media (Thanks to all the events that happened in the last few weeks, I have given over 3 speeches on Social Media 🙂  )
  • Crime #2: If you are not a blogger (These images will explain my point FB Image Link)

I am not criminal

I am social and I do blog, just to prove my point, here are some of the blog posts that fetched me some good traffic for being an HR blogger http://www.google.co.in/#q=hr+blog+india, even my blog was selected as one of the best HR blogs from India (that was long time back). Now I am into marketing, that means I am going to hell (as all marketers are liars and all liars go to hell, rest is maths I guess).

Here is my proof:

  1. http://aji.techshu.com/my-death-wolf/
  2. http://aji.techshu.com/you-a-failure/
  3. http://aji.techshu.com/stories-that-inspired-me-part-iii-a-simple-world/
  4. http://aji.techshu.com/stories-which-inspired-me-parti-the-law-of-the-seed/
  5. http://aji.techshu.com/stories-that-inspired-me-parti-iparable-of-the-two-draft-horses/
  6. http://aji.techshu.com/doto-others-as/
  7. http://aji.techshu.com/simplify-problems/
  8. http://aji.techshu.com/manager-leader/
  9. http://aji.techshu.com/basic-needs/
  10. http://aji.techshu.com/people-company/
  11. http://aji.techshu.com/azim-lessons/
  12. http://aji.techshu.com/aji-hot/

(There is more at http://aji.techshu.com/archives/, thanks!)

Pass the verdict, am I a criminal? Comment please

Will love to have your verdict.

Why we are working harder these days?

Often our Dad and Mom compares our work timing with theirs. Theirs was good. They enjoyed a lot more than what we do. Everybody was home by 6 and 6 to 10 was no work, only gup shup, TV etc … TV was black and white, Car was a retirement dream, own house was the retirement scheme, shopping was a quarterly affair, eating out was very rare and so on …

I can take an example from my traveling. There is a bus stop where we can good trees, shadow and protection from rain. We can stand there and take the next shuttle that comes in. If I go at 12 noon, I stand there and get a shuttle easily, I can pick one of my choice but in the morning, there are less shuttles and more people. So people walk 100 meters in scorching sun or rain as they want to reach office faster, look at them some more people cover 200 meters to get a car faster than these 100 meters and this race continues, we keep walking and walking. In case if I still stand under the tree, I am sure that I will not get anything for next 2 hours, so I am forced to join the walking race. Where do I draw the line? Wherever I draw it, I see others coming and drawing the next line? Is there an end to this? No, unless you say so.

What are alternatives:
– You change your routine, you adjust and start early
– You sacrifice the saving, hire a regular cab
– You find a job near by which may pay you less but you can avoid this race
– Or learn the art of getting the shuttle before others in some way or the other
– Or enjoy the race, keep running to be the first 🙂
– and so on ….

This competition is there to stay, the work is going to increase. I think we will have to define it some day or the other. Very good read by Gautam Ghosh,

MBA hiring is waste of money

There are various discussions about MBA. Many hate MBAs like anything. 2 days back I got a call from Silicon Valley, where an Indian venture got funded and wanted to do some web marketing. During the conversation I said, we have MBAs in our team and the guy just shifted the conversation from “Why Choose TechShu as a web marketing partner” to “How MBAs are useless”. He said, “Man! I don’t give any s*** to MBAs” and the whole conversation went to a different direction. I had to pull it back to web marketing. This is common discussion point. On the other hand, there are people who like to work with MBA teams. Recently, during one of our consulting session with a Large SEO company, I suggested them to hire some MBAs, they were hesitant but later tried with 3 and in few weeks they were going for more MBAs.

Now are MBAs good or not? My take on it is, depends on whom you are hiring and for what you are hiring. MBA degree alone is neither good or bad, it is about people. Any HR is a raw material and one need to see the ROI out of it. Some of them can make them profitable and some can’t. The most offensive video about MBA

If you remember my old post “mba waste of money” (which does bring me some good visitors every month as it ranks for MBA waste of money and surprisingly many are searching for this keyword). Let’s see a video before going further:

Confidence: What I like about MBA culture from AIMK is “Nothing is impossible wala confidence!”. They will like to make things happen in any time. Be it a presentation or a program, they will not complain that “only 5 mins for it”, they will jump in and make it. I remember the days when we had to finish few of the programs and then few presentations along with other parties. We made the presentations in less than 1 hour and were on stage. This confidence always helped me. I have made presentations during my travel to client and was never low in confidence. This confidence matters a lot in every field. But was it about MBA, no, not at all. Though a good MBA institute will give you enough challenges that you will feel confidence in almost everything. Some of our papers by Arnad Laha Sir, http://www.iimahd.ernet.in/faculty/profile.php?id=224were 100% open book, open discussion, open internet and had to answer 1 question out of 10 to get 100% marks :)Recently when I was interacting with 2 interns from IIMs and 2 interns from 2 other MBA interns from different Schools, I could see the difference. After every class the other MBA interns will come and complain with low confidence whereas IIM guys made an amazing (very useful) Internship study.

I must also accept that sometimes they fail to show this confidence


Less prepared for failures:

As the above video was explaining us about failures. Fresh MBAs have always seen the big dreams but when reality hits them, some of them do lose their confidence but many do jump back. But they have big things to lose when compared to others. A person coming out of a normal college can risk a Rs 20k job per month but when a top insti MBA has to risk Rs 100k job per month, it hits them bad.

I was talking to a fresh MBA passout who is doing a different job (which is considered low grade job) but the industry is so unorganized that a person who organizes it can mint money. but then this guy is teased few times more than others for being a loser. If he can come out of it, better things for company and him.

“I know things, I have learned it”, marketing is P for … P for …. P for …
Copying something from FB “gujarati friend told me MBA means Mane (I) Badhu (everything) Aaavde (know) !! seen people with less ideas and more actions in their life get more successful!”
Learning is good but remember those are just alphabets the company is going to form some new sentences, so be open to learn more. Teachers are gonna be different here.
Most of them are extremely talented. I have worked with many of them from our college, they are so wonderful, I will say the around 30% of them are amazingly good (I don’t know their grades, certainly they are not always the top 30% as per grades)
Sometimes the theoretical talent is different from practical talent:

But when these talented people enters the world where things are less theoretical, they find it difficult. What I like about AIMK was that most of them were from Army culture who have visited many cultures and knows why people are different from others. Most importantly why they are different from you :).

MBAs are Good at analysis. From SWOT analysis to BCG matrix to maslow’s hierarchy of needs, they know almost all analysis methods. It is good. It does allow you to keep things under control and make logical decisions. But business is sometimes illogical too.
Just copying something from Facebook again where the discussion is about a Jargon “‘give peanuts and u will get monkeys’…sure…Ram got across to Lanka thanks to only monkeys. If he had hired MBA’s, they would still be presenting him a 60 slide plan in a PPT…and charging him for it in advance… “
When Ram asked his MBA manager -what are my chances of getng sita back
Hey Ram, its only 20% or less
Because u don’t have enuf resources, the market cap and valuation of Ravan is tooo high, so don’t even think abt it
-What if we hire monkeys?
Don’t even think abt it as you don’t have budgets!
And Ram never got sita back thanks to his mba manager

(Sometimes it is so true, this happens when your analysis becomes paralysis 🙂 )
MBA gets you opportunity: May be too early sometimes: Sometimes people are not prepared for some of the realities.
Perfection is defined in MBA, everything taught there is perfect Perfections needs to be redefined with speed and reality.
MBA gives you tool and its manual, you have more tools Real experience teaches you on what tools can be used
MBA gives you many more options and tools Don’t forget the paradoxes of choices and the factors associated with it
MBA gives you wider examples, wider views and generalized methods.

Remember how Google was created, remember the Microsoft policy & the Apple disasters … etc

Sometimes it is important to know in and out of business at minute level: I remember working with a top Guy from one of the top 3 institutes of the world. He has designed the interface for one of the Linux flavour. He is great guy, great talent. He came in and without even studying the business he started making changes, some of it were good but I knew it is not going in right direction as he missed the strength of our business. In 2 months time we let him go.
MBA sometimes makes you follow things, which are good as you are safe In current world the biggest risk is to be safe
Most of the MBAs from good schools have good communication skills and varied knowledge, so they can be trained for better sales representation. Sorry if you have hired them to become Evangelists for your product. Converting sales team to Sales team to Evangelists is company’s job.
Last point: MBA is about knowledge and tools Real world is about wisdom and execution.
MBAs charge more as they understand business better. I liked this sentence from the conversation “Ram Got Sita, what did Monkey got?” … it is important to share good % of revenue with the team. The other aspect is that sharing is good but what if Ram does not get Sita but still he had to pay money in advance, may be sometimes that is too heavy for startups or SMEs, even for clients. I agree with the fact that if you don’t demand the money you don’t get it easily. You be good (which MBAs have proved so far by being in the top lists), charge good and continuing doing better to charge even more. Nothing wrong in it. A person should be paid really high if the person is creating high value for the company.

Last point

MBA is about knowledge, efficiency and tools, Real world is about wisdom, effectiveness and execution. Now its your take, does more knowledge, efficiency and tools make you wiser, more effective and profitable? We have recruited many MBAs as we want them to be the pillars of the company in long run. They have the tools and the knowledge, its our time to help them use it wisely and effectively.

Chulbul Pandey Vs Makhi Pandey – Happy forgiveness Day!

I am getting few messages on forgiveness day! Happy forgiveness day to everyone! Forgive others not because they will gain anything but for yourself as you will gain a lot in long run.

It is difficult to teach about forgiveness in corporate life. Somebody cheated me, why should I forgive him? That guy, he did that purposefully, why I should I forgive him? Remember, he shouted at me, it was so humiliating, I will never forgive him. All of it is true, there is no true visible benefits of forgiveness. I like the sentence which says

Cast your bread upon the waters, for after many days you will find it again.

http://bible.cc/ecclesiastes/11-1.htm, I think this is one of the greatest messages from my religion to me. The long term benefits of forgiveness. Even when you and I can’t see the short terms benefits, there are many long term benefits.

Ephesians 4:26 (NKJV) says “Be angry but do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,

This is so powerful message. When we see wrong, we do go angry and it is very nature of US and IT is OK TO BE A NORMAL PERSON. The catch here is not to carry the anger for more than a day, forgive and move on. Sometimes forgiving is like putting water on a spark, the spark which if neglected can burn your house. In my personal life, it has helped me a lot:

  • Forgiving helped me discover better part of others.
  • Forgiving helped me focus on better things than wasting my time and life on something that is bad for both the parties.
  • Forgiving helped me feel good esp when you see others are happy because of it.
  • Forgiving helped me make my world better. Generally your world is much smaller than you think. It consists of people whom you meet almost every day or now n then. If we keep hating some of these people then we are making our world a little bad to life in.
  • It helps me in innovation 🙂 as I can focus on things I love than things I hate, a big thing for me.

Enjoy dabang (Chulbul Pandey Vs Makhi Pandey, the Dabang fans know it :))

So go ahead, forgive, move on in life.
“bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” as said in http://bible.cc/luke/6-28.htm.

Happy Forgiveness day!

Also read:
1) http://www.seoforclients.com/hr/never-between-you-them/
2) http://www.seoforclients.com/hr/hindu-muslim-christian-terrors/