Do you need an MBA to succeed in business?

Sundar Pichai’s elevation as CEO of Google and the rise of another India-born Satya Nadella, at Microsoft has been met with an expected blend of pride and propaganda in India. It is important for us in India to take note that the likes of Pichai and Nadella have thrived in a facilitating political, cultural and B-School environment that values creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The chances of India incubating a Google or Microsoft — which essentially were startups that grew into large business houses — will remain slim if we do not have this enabling environment to nurture creativity and entrepreneurship.

Business Education has been provided by institutions of higher learning for more than a century now. Wharton was the first business school in 1880s from where Pichai also was graduated. First MBA was offered in 1908. Those days, Business Schools were founded to train managers, not entrepreneurs. The first course on entrepreneurship was offered at the Harvard Business School in 1947.
The people who immediately spring to mind when one reflects of entrepreneurs – Bill Gates, Richard Branson or Dirubai Ambani, for example-few have done more than deliver a speech at B-School convocations. Thinking about these leaders makes us to partially believe that entrepreneurship may have more to do with genes than classroom experience. Do entrepreneurs really need a business school education? While it is a fact and a sensible finding that the grooming in B-Schools help entrepreneurs to do it better and faster, the valid question is whether it is really helping to incubate and foster creativity and entrepreneurship

Many business schools now realizes this fact and giving importance to nurture creativity and entrepreneurial orientation among their students and that is, of course, the need of the hour. Business Schools to be encouraged in giving opportunities for students to interact with industry while doing their studies. B-Schools should come forward and explore ways to strengthen relationship between educational institutes and corporates.
Apart from the trainers from pure academia, the right mix of the faculty with industry background and visiting faculties from entrepreneur community would be able to give more insights in to the practical and creative aspects of business. The students should study the cases of failures along with success stories of ventures to convert their orientation effectively to practical entrepreneurship.

B-Schools need to loosen the structural reins to foster creativity. They are required to “think outside the school” to create a new generation of passionate, self-directed creative learners; who can then become the creative leaders and entrepreneurs we desperately need to solve our growing 21st century challenges of our country.

Having a business incubation centre in every business school would contribute to creative entrepreneurship development. In short, business education should create and nurture businessmen with creativity along with creating business professionals and that should be the objective of B-Schools.

(The author is an entrepreneur who is presently doing his doctoral studies in management at Alliance University. He can be reached on email ID: mampra@yahoo.com)

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Can spirituality, ethics and business exist together?

wedding3by Mathew Mampra


Is it possible to be ethical and spiritual and yet be successful in business? This is the right time for a deeper process of inquiry in this direction breaking the barriers of conventional wisdom.
The conventional wisdom about spirituality, ethics and business are generally “Business and spirituality just don’t merge and “You can’t really be ethical if you are involved in business.”
But this skepticism, from a spiritual perspective, is welcome and it only invites a deeper inquiry into the relationship between the two.
Spirituality keeps you out from doing many short-term tactical actions that are often wrong for the business and the people. It also gives you immense courage to stand tall against unethical business practices, however tempting it would be. Being a spiritual leader can sometimes be lonely, but you feel happy and grounded inside. It keeps you humble as a leader and yet strong.
The invitation to each of us is to be spiritually awake at work, which quite naturally invites others to awaken to their own spiritual nature. There is a growing a need to teach business ethics in Business Schools as our new generation learns only about the competition and the “art of war” to succeed, from their early School days.
Being ethical in the corporate world may not be a profit booster for short term, but it creates a work environment that is stimulating for employees at all levels and employers. For present day business, only figures matters. The materialistic culture emerging from the mushrooming B-schools hardly sensitize people to think anything beyond salaries, incentives, market capitalisation and profit making. Though many companies talk about value systems and vision, people who stand for ethical practices in business are usually scoffed at and are considered misfits in the corporate world.
It’s true that ethics will not trigger any sudden jump in a company’s revenues but this practice of fair deal creates a healthy work culture, which in turn motivates the employees, spiritually satisfy the employer and help to earn the trust of customers .This would surely bring long term financial benefits.
Spiritual Leadership skills in Business invite you to return to your inner spirit to lead from your deepest life purpose and the intrinsic ethical values that you hold.
When you make the return to your spiritual core, a shift occurs. You tend to think that the work is no longer just a way to make money. It becomes a way for you to leave a legacy of your contribution to others. Let the art of spiritual and ethical leadership in business be your guide as you put your spiritual purpose to work and bring a true revolution to your workplace.

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Black&White reality


When I travel on business, it is my usual practice to talk to the taxiand auto drivers who take me from the airport and railway stations to my hotel or any other destination. Taxi and auto drivers are often illiterates and high school dropouts with interesting personal histories and unusual thinking and cultural backgrounds. I ask them how long they’ve been in in this profession, how they came to that city to live in,and what they like best about where they live. About politics,traffic,family and in rare cases their income, when I am convinced that they are comfortable  with me. Even if I do not get the time to ask any other questions, I always ask them about their children and about their education. Of course, I also ask them for advice on good local restaurants and any special attractions they’d recommend to a visitor. I’ve had some great experiences on my travels, thanks to the advice of taxi and auto drivers!I remember,once an auto driver recommended a pani puri vendor and we travelled  five kilometres to reach there to taste it. The taste and flavour of that Pani puri is still in my taste buds. These small pleasures I generally miss, as my status won’t  allow me to stand and taste a Pani puri with a local vendor in the city I live.On one of the trips about a year ago, I was making conversation with the taxi driver, asking him my usual questions about how he came to live where he lived.His name was Saravanan and it was in Chennai. I went there to the US consulate for my US visa to go to the University of California.During the conversation in Tamil, he got a call in his mobile phonewhich made me realise that he speaks broken English and also not ashamed about his broken English. He was confidently communicating and I could overhear the person on the other side speaking in English which this driver can understand. After completing the conversation, he casually told me that the person on the other side was a professor of IIT.Then I asked Saravanan my usual question about his children and their education. To my surprise, his elder son is doing his B Tech in IIT and daughter is studying in Stella Mary’s college.’Both studies well with God’s grace” he added.

Reluctantly, I asked him how his children and their friends feel with his broken English and low education level. He laughed and I could hear the vibrations of confidence even in his laughter.

He replied. ” My son washes my taxi every day, without any compulsions and it is the right of my daughter to clean the inside of my car daily. I think, they are proud about this old man who could not go beyond  tenth standard”

He continued after looking at my eyes and acknowledging my curiosity “They know very well that it is because of this taxi, they could come to this level”.

“It is because of you and not  because of your taxi” I encouraged him to talk and he continued

”Me and the IIT professor, just called me on the phone  were  classmates in the village  school in Thiruvannamala and I have scored more marks than him in tenth.

Without any feeling of regret,he continued “I had to stop my studies to work and support the family whereas he, hailing from a wealthy family continued his studies and even got the engineering admission by paying donation. “Those times, it was not like today and was very difficult to get admissions for engineering” He justified his friend suddenly and continued.

“He loves me like his brother and talks to me in English and also adjusts to my butler English . It is also because of his support, I am able to speak in English to my customers.

“He advises my children telling our past and encourage them to study well”

“He became a professor and you a driver” I  said with a smile and Saravanan continued responding to that smile

” But now, our children are classmates in IIT doing the same course in the same class”.

After a pause, he said “I think, I made up the speed I lost in between like Chennai mail  and for that, the person more happier than me is him. He is a nice gentleman”

I was spellbound and could not talk further. I was thinking about where Saravanan could have reached if he could have continued his education. Of course, in a better position than the professor.

I have seen some people giving undue respect to the ones who speak English with a good accent. The same people  are having no problem when a Japanese or a Chinese speak english in their own accent.

I have even observed people laughing at people when they make small mistakes and speak in an accent influenced by the tone of their mother tongue. In the process of laughing, their heads go down, but they just can’t make the confident Saravanans heads going down.

I felt humbled and saluted him inside. He had reminded me of something I already knew, but had forgotten. If you can’t find happiness inside yourself on what  you are doing, you’ll never find it in the outside world, no matter where you move.

I am grateful for the wisdom of that taxi driver. And I’m grateful for all the wisdom others have shared during my travel in India and abroad

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Power rentals-the new mantra

A new job description arising out of the new economy is that of the facility manager. The job description is self-explanatory. It involves looking after every aspect involving the work space.

 Unfortunately in India, the power scenario is yet to work efficiently and continues to worry the new generation always alert facility manager. Power failure & substandard quality power perhaps are the biggest curses of modern India.

 The ideal solution is to have your own captive power stations. This also has its own headaches of operation and maintenance. A generator needs high-end and quality maintenance as it is a complex machine .Also the requirements of the various industries are varied and up gradation of DG capacity becomes a continuous process in the ever-changing growth dynamics of modern companies. This is not at all a financially viable proposition.

 The best you can do is to rent a genset from a reputed agency and concentrate on your core business while the power rental company takes care of your power needs completely.

 Why DG rentals ?

If you fall into any of these categories, renting power would make a lot of business sense.

 1. Is yours a software development facility or a call center where total dependable quality power is a must?

 2. Are you a computerized modern bank or an insurance company where you promise 24 hours service to your customers?

 3. Is your company fast growing and expansions a regular process?

 4. Is your company catering to orders which may not last long and the load requirement decreases/increases frequently?

 5. Are you a mobile phone service provider where 100% uptime of your tower stations are as important as your business ?

 6. Are you setting up a new enterprise and is it going to take some time to reach full capacity?

 7. You don’t want to make capital investments in captive power
facilities.

Here is a comparison of owning captive power vs renting a genset

  Having Own Genset  Having a long-term rental contract
Standby Generator to the standby Genset  – Many
Generator Technician / Service Engineers  – Many
Service from Annual maintenance contractor/Hirer 8 hours on all working days 24 Hours & 365 Days
Additional Generator Room Required Not Required
Separate technician/Service experts Required Not Required
Access to service team Always available at site
Enhancing/reducing the DG capacity whenever your load increases/decreases Huge expenses to be icurred and the old set becomes a second hand piece losing value Just order to enhance the capacity and relax. Saving on fuel cost by using the correct capacity
Investment yes zero
Worries & Headaches yes zero
Round the clock professional support Not sure yes
Monthly cash flow variable Fixed

 

For more details, visit http://www.rentagenset.com The author is a power consultant and can be contacted on his email: mampra@yahoo.com

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Salute to Sachin

He has carried our nation on his shoulders for 22 years and we are proud that we got a chance to carry him on our shoulders “. We all heard the junior in the Indian team, Virat Kholi, talking about Sachin to visual media immediately after the glorious World Cup 2011 final.
 What makes this man, Sachin, so special and adorable? Well, the answer is…everything about him. He is a perfect role model if you ever were looking for one. He has his head firmly on his shoulders in spite of all his towering achievements. After twenty long years in the game, he still continues to live in a bubble, unflappable and unaffected by controversies and just lets his bat do the talking. Sometimes this makes you wonder – how is this possible?
All of us as individuals need to look at the lives that such individuals lead. Sachin’s life has been a primary model of success and how to achieve that success by moving ahead on the right path and inculcating the right values in ourselves. He is passionate about his game, enjoying every moment of his profession. His dedication, hard work and sincerity towards his game make him to deliver success consistently and, therefore, he is not only successful in his career but he is at top in his social life and family life – yet down to earth. He respects his family, game, country and his fans. He is honest and loyal to cricket, country, his fans and to his own family.
A young prodigy, he began playing cricket at the age of two with his grandma in the family’s backyard, using a broomstick for a bat. As he grew, he began playing street cricket with the neighbourhood children. Tendulkar began playing cricket as a toddler and at age of sixteen was selected to play for India’s national team. He is a youth icon in our country, where he lives modestly even though his income from endorsements etc., have made him one of the world’s wealthiest cricket players. Sachin Tendulkar is one person capable of bringing this whole country to a standstill. When he plays, roads are empty, shops are shut and everyone is in front of a television set.
When Sachin is batting against Pakistan, the Indian television audience exceeds the population of Europe! He handles fame and adulation with such ease and still firmly keeps his foot planted to the ground. Such is the greatness of the man. The pressure he has had to handle over the years is unimaginable! He has had to carry the hopes of his entire country on his shoulders for two full decades and he continues to do so. For a person, to whom anything less than a century is considered an ordinary score, the expectations are ridiculously unrealistic. Still, he does not disappoint on most occasions.
And the last word..I am not a cricket fan and rather a decrier for the over importance it receives over other games such as hockey and football. I like only the last five minutes of the one day match and more happier if it is the shorter version, 20-20.But I have to confess that I am a fervent fan of this master human – Sachin. This blog is to salute this great human being – SACHIN RAMESH TENDULKAR.
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My new year thoughts

New Year wishes from Mampra to all
Looking forward for a better year ahead…..better than all the years passed in our life
I wish you
1.An year of :-
• living together…
• sharing together with equity…
• patting the deserved instantly….
• trusting each other and being trustworthy
• supporting each other without expecting undue return
• helping each other in bringing up children and their formation
• doing exercises regularly and leading a reasonably healthy life
• respecting each other on their strength and helping to tide over their weakness…..sincerely
2.Without:-
• jealousy
• the fear of telling the truth when needed
• the fear of promoting others in public
• the fear of arguing for deserving others who promoted us
• ditching each other even with a whisper…..
• celebrating failures and set backs of others …..
• telling a lie or twisting the truth among us to win an argument.
• running away from the responsibility of correcting each other for the fear of being badged as a bad guy around
• having a stiff &lost feeling in genuinely congratulating others for their achievements
• hesitation in sharing the failure stories also along with success ones for the benefit of others.
• getting tired of genuinely involving to support people who have some areas
of improvement

Hope you agree with my new year thoughts.
I am writing this to ignite & reinforce this thoughts in me first and then to others…..
Once again wishing you a bright year ahead with a WIN-WIN relationship.
warm regards
Mampra

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