Are B Schools Serious?

Every time I hear someone is doing an MBA, I am just frightened to give any advice. In fact I did dissuade a few people over the past few weeks given that they were in a better position and well just wanted to do an MBA for the heck of it. Same way, I did guide a couple who were fixed on what to do and where to go post MBA, but just needed a jolt of confidence.

I am scared to suggest someone to do an MBA or rather PGPM as some B schools call it just because of two reasons 1) The aspirant is unplanned 2) The schools are just mushrooming everywhere and have everything to offer which might not be trustworthy.

The former case is just out of frustration, people are frustrated with the monotonousness in their current role and want to do something big. They just thing they can do big by doing an MBA. It does take a lot of patience and time to convince them that its no use doing an MBA for the heck of a degree in any Tom Dick and Harry B school. No school can be an IIM, XL or an ISB whatever the founder(s) claim(s)! But well, many fall into the trap and hardly get any improvement over their previous jobs or realize later that they would have grown way higher had they put up or been patient with their current jobs.

The second, except the top B schools, read the IIMs, XL and ISB, I am losing trust in the rest. Neither do they have proper industry backing that they claim nor they stick to their promise (Of course there are a few like one of them in Mysore, which openly quote that we are not a job factory, join for learning). Quote Unquote “I will increase the seats in this school over my dead body!”, said a dean of one of India’s still upcoming B Schools, but of late, I saw the same school increase its intake a couple of batches later and well above all change its offering. The school was known for its one year program, but looked like it decided to ditch its own premier offering for a 2 year program. Do understand this might be considering the market dynamics, but well the way it was branded and communicated, it looked like we are ditching our premier offering, which was a key differentiation. So the initial offering seemed like just a platform to build the brand and then….

The B schools go a long way promising placements, hiding the real facts on placements and falsely boost students’ confidence, but well the truth will be a lot different. In fact I know a dean who has claimed for three consecutive years (I did speak to ppl form three consecutive batches), that Mc Kinsey, BCG, Tata Administrative Services and Meryll Lynch would come to the campus for recruitment, but well except for a guest lecture from one of them, the statement has been a damp squib. In fact when I did my Masters as well, I was promised a certificate which authorizes me to do a 6 month Masters in US in a B school, haven’t seen the certificate till now! Glad that I got my degree certificate :).

My word to those who are aspiring any of the B School set up in the past decade or so – Don’t trust the advise given in Meet The Deans/ Admin Directors or any B School Show offs! Visit the school first and get first hand information. Then speak to the alums – who were there 2-3 years back preferably one from each batch and compare the information you have on hand. If you are studying in India, check the placement stats, very much in person. And yes, please do not take decisions in a haste – Not all B Schools are serious.

PS: Some opinions are personal, some shared within a group, expect the reader to visit the schools and take a call. I am still trying to understand why people want to do a Fast-Track MBA (I did as well) or rather an MBA without plans. The article has been written after my interactions with a few aspirants over the couple of months, who just wanted an MBA and probably will get one too…

Kataariveera Surasundaraangi!???

After a long long long time, I am writing. But after a long time went to a Kannada movie with my wife. Plagued last week with no tickets to Anna Bond, did not want to miss Kataariveera Surasundaraangi starring Uppi, Ambi and Ramya in 3D. Touted to be the first 3D movie in Kannada the story seemed not so interesting but just wanted to have some brainless fun from the Real Star and that was it.

After going to Cinepolis, BG Road and returning in vain, found the tickets for the 3D movie in Gopalan Cinemas on BG Road. For unknown reasons felt that place is overpriced, but after seeing that Fun charges 230 for a Kannada movie, decided this was better on my pockets. So there we were, me and Sups picking up our 3D glasses waiting for the show to start.

Plotted in heaven and earth, the movie has no semblance to real life. The story disappointment both of us a lot. Given the publicity, we did expect a lot out of the movie with veterans like Ambarish and Doddanna in lead roles. But except for a new-look pretty looking Ramya (a.k.a DivyaSpandana), our expectations were went down the drain, just like the water from the heavy rains outside :). The movie was supposed to do the same to sandalwood what Avatar did to Hollywood.

The better part of the day probably was the time we spent in SFO restaurant themed on San Fransisco Cable cars, and of course the ride back in near torrential rains. The weather has been a welcome change over the past week. Hope the rains are here to stay. Just before I close, the Cable Car restaurant served great food, probably worth another try. And yes, I did not get tickets to Anna Bond again, probably next week, or with another Upendra release that is expected soon.

And Back…

For almost four months, I was out of action from blogging. Some attributed it to my marriage, some to my new job and rest were not just caring about it! Anyway I am back here on WordPress. Long time since I posted anything – probably had devoted enough time to Sups and her college life! Yeah, my wife’s doing her M.Tech ad yes I had to run around to do her assignments ;).. Joking! Anyway, had to get adjusted to the new work life. Yet to get into the groove. Still settling at work. Not back at full pace and would definitely change soon, Need M for Motivation ;).

There has been another problem that’s stopped me from getting back to work, its the lunches and dinners at the houses of a plethora of relatives. As of now, the count stands at some 30 odd and still have not covered even 25% of the list of invites. This might go on for another couple of years!

While I was off, many things happened. Anna’s innumerable fast. Kapil Sibals attempts to gag Internet. BSYs on and off mode in hitting out at BJP leaders in Karnataka! Wow, all for power. Little do people know how to manage with power. Congress has gone on a huge campaign in UP and has forgotten all the issues dogging this nation, soon wish there is a change of power into good hands! Anyway all this will come up soon with much details!

Have had a few road trips across the state. Bangalore-Mysore-Shimoga-Hassan and now planning one this week to Kukke Subhramanya-Coorg-Dubare and then the week after to Mangalore for Prasanna’s wedding and then to Sagara for Srini’s wedding! Had stayed at Infy Mysore campus as well last week post-work. Now that was a treatment meted out to a king! Was sad that I stayed back at campus being hardly a kilometer or two away from home, but still for the sheer greatness of that place, it was worth being put up for one night! Was a wonderful stay and yes hoping to work from there some day!

You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore… But… You cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean!

The last week, given that I now travel to Electronics City for work daily, probably for the first time in six years I had to stay in Bangalore on a Friday evening and Saturday morning and experience the traffic! Though I had decided to stay back in my lovely lazy house in a green locality, a wake up call at 9AM (Yeah!) made me wonder what to do over the weekend. Took the normal 60 route and went to Basavanagudi, had amazing dosas at Vidyarthi Bhavana, a recollection of my stay there two years back and then…. headed to Mysore. As I just wondered why I was heading to Mysore for hardly a day left, thoughts came back on an old post which said, You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore… But you cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean.

As I got into the bus, still wondered why I was going back to this old statement, a bus probably full of IT professionals heading for their home for the weekend (Yeah I can probably claim that I am not one now ;)). Each of those people had the essence of Mysore sunk in their hearts and well would probably live Mysore and breathe Mysore as many do worldwide! As a matter of fact, the past few weeks I have had quite a few people call me and ask how is life in Mysore and how is it as a destination to setlle! Though I had good words to say, I had to tell them that they cannot love Mysore by force, they probably need to go through an experiential phase and then decide on their investments! A lovely lazy city, I can claim, but still not a hot investment destination and I hope it never will be one.

What probably makes a Mysorean is the culture of the cultural capital of the state. The early morning walks on the lake bunds of the city (there are some 7-8 big ones), the walking tour of the palaces, the visits to the Chamundi Hills at the center of the city, a near-perfect zoo with great walks, the heritage buildings in every nook and corner – including the DC office, the Oriental Research Institute, the Palaces, the University, the colleges which are centuries old, my alma-mater Marimallappa’s, the spice markets in SriramPets and the ShivaramPets, the large markets of the city, wide roads and add to this an inclination towards preserving the culture, traditions, languages (yeah the city also houses separate Universities for Music and Sanskrit along with the Central Institute of Indian Languages) with a touch of modernity in the Urs Road, the KD Road and as my friend Raghu says you cannot miss the Purple Haze in Vijayanagar. So much in a city that still is green and decently planned around 10 miles away on both sides with huge riverbanks, cool evenings ranging from 17-23 degrees across the year!

Coming back to the primary discussion, the people in the bus, would probabaly have spent their younger days enjoying the city as it grew, with weekend trips to Betta or Chamundi Hills, savouring the dosas at GTR, the great dishes of Nalpak (which at that time was housed in Urs Road), VB Bakery on the Chamraja Double Road, the churumuri stalls near the town hall, the roadside stalls of VV Mohalla, the Chaupati point near Eshwara Temple, enjoying the delicacies of Annapurna Sweets and Mahalakshmi Sweets, visits to the huge markets with parents and relatives to breathe in the aroma of the city! More to add would have had the weekends spent in Ranganathittu or Talkad/ Gopalswamy Hills or BR Hills and of course the never ending Blue Lagoons near KRS. The rains of the city makes it more beautiful as people head to the Sangam’s, Sterlings and the Skylines of the city.  A visit to the city, without probably visiting the KD Road (Kalidasa Road), KD Cirlce juction Vijaynagar (though useless) (KrishnaDevaraya Circle) or the bylanes of Saraswathipuram would be meaningless for some window shopping or fun destinations. And yes the latest fun destination – the Planet X!

The view of the sprawling race course and golf course from the top of Ch Hills brings back the sweet green memories as one falls into a well of the childhood spent in the city. You must have had a great past life to have enjoyed this city and its colors with the Royal Aura. Wherever you go, you get back to the past and drool over the sweet memories of the city! And yes to be honest, no place other than Basavanagudi even has a scent which can resemble the aura of Mysore. For reasons unknown of my 4 years of stay in Bangalore (Keeping in mind, a year in Bristol and another in Chennai), I have probably visited every weekend to Mysore without fail (though the actual reason may be that I did not invest in a washing machine for some time ;)). But well this time, I honestly tried to stay back in Bangalore over the weekend and well, god knows what pulled me back here – Just as they say You can take a Mysorean out of Mysore, but you cannot take Mysore out of a Mysorean.

As my tribute to the city, I plan to cover one epic building/ downtown monument/ roads etc.. as I visit every alternate weekends hence forth! So, Read On!

Aare Yoouuu Readyyy???

All through the IPL, the stadiums used to reverberate with noises and the PA system announcing to the ever waiting audience – Aare youuu readdyyyy??? followed by a loud cheer! Today I decided to experience another encounter – watching the movie Ready starring Salman Khan and Asin. Wondered if I was really ready to bear such a movie on a weekend! Good Laugh, but little sense as I had seen the Kannada movie Raam starring Puneet Rajkumar which had the same storyline! My take on the movie – if you have had a bad day, just go sit in the movie and enjoy, otherwise, forget the movie, just stay home or go elsewhere and enjoy!

While I would say that watching Ready is not completely worthless, I would also like to mention that the movie has no takeaways apart from a break to the daily grind! Sallu and Asin are at their usual best. After Debaang, though much cannot be expected from this role Salman Khan, he has tried his best to make the role as lively as possible.

Paresh Rawal on the other hand, has done a decent job, but cannot stop going back to the Kananda version where Rangayana Raghu did great justice to the job. All said, still Paresh is the king of Hindi comedy after those Kader Khan days! Well if you intend to take a compelte break from your brain tomorrow, ready is a good movie to spend your money on, with you thinking of only three things – I, me and myself!!!

Blaming Political Instability

Sunday’s Economic Time’s carries an article on the downard trend of the Karnataka State’s GDP. What leaves me wondering is, the GDP of the state has grown up from the figure’s they themselves have shown in the exhibits, it looks like the economy has actually taken a U turn. Agree that from a 10+ GDP it came down to six, but over the last two years, it has again gone up to 8.6. And, yes ET calls it due to political instability. What about the financial crisis in between?

May be a part of it is due to the political instability, but however conducive the government is trying to make the atmosphere why are the opposition ruining the chances of the state. The flowers of Karnataka’s success bloomed during SM Krishna’s tenure, however while the Governemnt had planned to target other grown Tier-2 cities as the next IT/ Bio destinations, the father-son duo in between changed the landscape.

I remember having read an article which promoted Ram Nagar near Bangalore as an Investment destination. With almost zero infrastructure, who would go there? Was this done to serve the political ambitions of a few? If it is so, the state’s loss has been other states’ gains. If someone has blocked a pre-planned agenda, to get their plans actioned, probably that cannot be termed as political instability.

Mohandas Pai has rightly quoted that “There is a big disconnect between potential and actual action… this gap has only widened.” So how can someone blame political instability as the reason for this GDP fall and how can one ignore the now rising GDP again?

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