Hey! B-School has happened. How to make best of next two months!!

I am sure most of you have landed in one premium B-school or other. Of course, a few of you are thrilled and a few are a little disappointed. Nevertheless, the future is in front of you. I have time and again seen many of those who go to so called not-so-top-notch B-schools outperforming those who have been to, in their journey of careers and life. So just look ahead and give your best.

This is the time, friends and family are as excited as you are and you ended up throwing a party for all well wishers and then-on wait for the D-day to board your train or flight to reach the campus. Yes, you do go out shopping to buttress your wardrobe as much as for essentials for the next two years at the hostel.

Hey I got into my dream B-School! Lets party

We will soon meet for the PARTY. Apart from shaking your legs, you will meet your seniors as well as your co-travelers and may wish to get an insight into what happens at the B-School you are heading to and how to put your best foot forward. Not a bad idea, for sure.

“The ill-prepared are in for a SHOCKER at the end of the first term! And most of them will never recover in the next two years! Sigh!!

One question that should spring into your head is that – “Can I do a few things from now till the date of my journey that can have a positive impact at least on my first term, if not the next two years!!” Is this an important question to address? Yes, indeed.

You should be very keen that you gain maximum from your two years at B-School. Having been a facilitator to B-School aspirants over the last two decades and also as an alumnus of an IIM myself, I have a few things to ask you to work upon –

Working on your General Awareness, writing and presentation skills
It is very important that you work on your ability to think, organize and articulate your thoughts. Whether you are already good at it or you feel challenged, you need to work on it. I am sure you gained a lot during the last three months of PDP and interview process. No doubt, you can be even better.  It needs a constant endeavour from each one of us every day.

India Immersion - Hitachi middle level executives from Japan

Make reading your best friend. Kindly read a good newspaper – The Hindu / Indian Express / A Business daily every day, especially the features and editorial pages. Listen to 9pm news on DD and Day’s round up on one of the business channels every evening. Study the graphs and data to understand the situation depicted.

Work on your ability to express

The moment you enter, you need to study, prepare and present on a variety of topics, participate in case discussions etc. Better work on it right away.

Make sure you write an article every day – If you have not created a blog already, kindly do, to express yourself (you can check my website http://www.sreeni.org for any ideas). Alternatively, take a topic and speak in front of the mirror while recording it using your mobile. Play it to listen and introspect – where you got stuck and why? How can you overcome the shortcomings? Take action to be better.

Watch the best speakers on Youtube, TED and see how they work on their ideas and present crisply in front of the public.

Build your fundamentals before you reach the campus

Three subjects that would form the core for any business education and thereby your performance during the MBA programme are – quanititative ability (statistics), economics and accounting; I strongly urge you to pick a basic book on these to familiarize yourself even before you reach your campus for the pre-term / first term. The best place to start is CBSE Class XI and XII books.

Disruptions galore, future shall throw surprises – Are you ready?

During the PDP process, I always shared with you to look at the future. The next ten years disruptive technologies will impact every industry. Automation can lay off over 50% of the employed. Industries may metamorphose; else they may be on the verge of vanishing. I am sure quite a few of you have worked on it to respond to the question, “Why MBA?”  If you have, then keep reading more and more that shall help you to refine or adapt to the shifts. Those who have not, quickly start reading. Go to twitter and follow the accounts of bets of newspapers, periodical, journals, thinkers, world leaders, technologists, CEOs etc. Follow religiously, read the write ups, articles; So much to gain from doing so.

A couple of short predictive, disruptive timelines…. just indicative!


First figure out what you really want to do in life. I suggest you spend some time to introspect about this question ‘What I would be remembered for when I leave this world?’

Kindly read the article that I wrote on IKIGAI – purpose and meaning of life!

A few questions to help you start off –

  • What do you really enjoy doing? What are you good at? Which industry or company will benefit maximum from your passion.
  • Once you short list the company / industry, start reading about them through various available data and feature sources
  • Are there any personalities you admire and why? Is there and values they espouse or abilities that they have that you want to inculcate? Work on them consciously.

Once you are able to write this note for yourself, I am sure you will get to know what you need to do from now on to achieve your ultimate goals, and how you would like to make maximum of your next two years at the B-School of your choice. Put all these in a note for yourself. I hope this will be a great exercise for your journey.

What more can I do in the next two months?

I sincerely advise everyone to take time off before you head to the business school. A few of the working kind rush to the business school the very next week after their last day at the office. You will be lacking energy to take off! You should have done a lot of things in a relaxed way in the previous four to six weeks that you should be fresh and eager on the first day of the business school.

A few ideas…..

Class of 2012 - Knowing thyself..

    1. Travel. Travel….. Travel is the best enabler. Add adventure trails, even better. Get hold of a few of your friends from the past, or even those who are heading to the same business school with you and plan the trip. Do it now!!
    2. Contribute to any cause close to your heart. I have been hearing from many of you that there are causes very dear to you. Why not associate with an organization or a movement that espouses a cause very close to your heart for a few weeks and contribute there. This will help you understand a whole lot about yourself, working of an organization and also can give ideas about what all you could do during your two years of B-School and after.
    3. Start learning something that you have been longing for – playing a guitar, tap-dance, salsa….
    4. Get yourself physically fit – get going on your bicycle, hit the gym… etc.

CHIRAAGs

    A few movements that I have been involved actively are as follows and in the next two months there are amazing opportunities to explore, if you are really interested in. Click on the links and discover–
    1. NIF and its Shodhyatras at www.sristi.orgKindly check this site for the next shodhyatra 39th in Odisha scheduled this MAY, that will open your eyes to grassroot-innovation
    2. SPICMACAY’s (http://www.spicmacay.com) promotion of culture and art forms among youth etc – Kindly do a quick registration for the international convention scheduled for June 05-11 at IIT Delhi. Last date for registration is April 15th.
    3. ITIHAAS – a movement to acquaint children and youth with the heritage of India.(http://www.itihaas.net)
    4. Working with a few young entrepreneurs and their start ups
    5. Of course mentoring or doing workshops for teachers and students.

SPICMACAY 3rd International Convention, IIT Mumbai days 3-5 407

I am sure you too can identify a cause and contribute during your free time to gain something that can be significant for your journey of life.

Before winding up, I would like to just say that, at the B-school –

  • Kindly be hungry for learning, devour magazines, journals and books;
  • Do not hesitate to interact with professors beyond your class requirements,
  • Plunge into all activities that are happening around you,
  • Take additional responsibilities on the campus that can build your personality.
  • Create great bonds and thought alignments. Who knows, you may find your co-founders for a killer business happening there. We did for CL Educate !

I am sure you would have got enough ideas to build upon whatever I have stated here that can be invaluable for your journey ahead.

Wishing you the very best. Enjoy your B-school life.

Sreeni

Advertisements

Exhorting the youth! Shodhyatra – Prof Anil Gupta, SRISTI, NIF, IIMA

Exhorting by Vasu..
Exhorting, a photo by Vasu.. on Flickr.

Just keeping our eyes open to the problems and pushing ourselves to innovate and find economical solutions is the way to face many of the challenges we come across. We may have solutions to these problems already or if we have done something about it, how do we then take these solutions across to be availed off by others with similar challenges, is the key. Prof Anil Gupta has been a crusader in spreading this spirit. Come join, read, share his vision to spread it far and wide. http://www.sristi.org/anilg/index.php

IWSB : Ankita (PGP11) Awarded CBFW–NEN fellow, meets WOMEN leaders in MUMBAI

Ankita Gupta, PGP11 student of IWSB, bags Cherie Blair Foundation for Women-National Entrepreneurship Network Fellow. IWSB is proud of Ankita, on being awarded one of the 10 future potential women entrepreneurial leaders fellowship for this year.

Ankita Gupta, PGP11 student, IWSB

She has been awarded this fellow for her exceptional role in not only demonstrating her entrepreneurial spirit through her endeavours but also strengthening NEN Entrepreneurship Cell at IWSB. The letter from NEN Trust team commends Ankita, by adding, “We hope that our Fellowship program, developed in partnership with Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (CBFW), will provide you with opportunities to grow and become one among strong entrepreneurial leaders, not only in the NEN community but also beyond”

Ankita Gupta of IWSB with the CBFW-NEN award

Ankita was invited for the CBFW ‘Women Mean Business’ Conference on December 8, 2010 in Mumbai. Her profile featured in the brochure of the event in the special section on the ten CBFW-NEN Fellows selected for this year. She got an opportunity for special interaction in person, with five women leaders of her choice.

Ankita Gupta of IWSB with the cherie Blair and other awardees

Ankita Gupta interacting with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw

Ankita Gupta of IWSB with the other awardees on the stage

Women Leaders interacting

Ankita in her own words, “The conference was amazing…It was very different from all my past attended conferences since, this time I could really find people around me willing to know about me, my college -IWSB, our activities, our specialties etc.etc…

I met many eminent personalities…Cherie Blair, Shailesh Rao (Google), Kiran Mazumdar Shaw (Biocon), Rachna Nath (Pricewaterhousecoopers), Dr. Sunita Maheshwari (Teleradiology), Reema Nanavaty (Sewa), Jatinder Kaur Arora (Punjab State council for Science & Tech.) are among those with whom we (Cherie Blair Fellows) could have special interactive sessions(arranged by NEN).

It was an amazing experience overall and I believe that the knowledge I could gain in this conference is going to help me in long term.

I sincerely thank for the support that I have always received from the college and I am sure that with the kind of efforts which we all have been putting together… IWSB has a great bright future”

Before heading to the conference Ankita shared, “Thanks a lot for wishes from everyone. Please let me share that it has been possible because of the support and faith of Prof. Arindam Lahiri who helped me a lot to clear every step in the process. I must say that IWSB should be proud to have professors like him.”

Ankita along with Shobhit jain (PGP11) were the two-member team from IWSB that won the national award for presenting ‘Business Models in the rural domain’ at the RURAL MARKETING ASSOCIATION OF INDIA competition for best summer project conducted at IIM Bangalore. They were awarded the GOLD MEDAL for their project ahead of quite a few projects from various IIMs and top B-Schools.

This project (manufacturing of Sanitary Napkins by women’s self help groups in Uttarakhand) was initiated by a few Alumni of IWSB – Jaydeep and his team with the help of NIF (national innovation foundation) Fellows, where in Ankita and Shobit contributed immensely in building up as part of their summer project. They then evolved their work into a model that can be of a great value in building up new rural businesses.

Check the detailed report on this blog posting – RMAI award for ‘Business Models in Rural Doman’

Looking forward to your comments here or write to sreeni@iwsb.in

Entrepreneurship in Action

This article is an outcome of a questionnaire that Economic Times asked me to respond to, on entrepreneurship and Career Launcher’s endeavours in the entrepreneurial space….

Do you think “India has market for entrepreneurship?” In what ways can entrepreneurs add to the Indian economy? What kinds of entrepreneurs are you looking at? Rural? Young? Retired?

If we look at the last two decades of dramatic growth, it has been solely because of entrepreneurship in this country, though it has been limited to IT and ITES. We have started dramatic shifts in the bio-technology space too apart from automobile and ancillaries.

We foresee next two decades to be time for entrepreneurship, especially social entrepreneurship or entrepreneurship that will make some fundamental shifts in the rural economy. With over 70% of population still working in agriculture, with 95% of jobs present in unorganized sectors, come to think of it, the country has been chugging along only due to small and medium entrepreneurs or agripreneurs.

Career Launcher has moved into setting up schools in the villages of India that not only promote inquisitiveness among children from very young age that eventually will lead to innovative problem solving for rural issues, but also use these school infrastructures for Community Enabling Centres that will impart technical skills, life skills and entrepreneurial skills to the youth apart from promoting indigenous art forms, artisans and communities.

If as a nation we start focusing on greater enablement of these groups and also promote more enterprising youngsters to move into these spaces, we will not only alter the rural landscape, but also stem the flow of population to the urban India that is bursting at its seams. At times, some wizened by age but young at heart also start their journey of entrepreneurship, and we welcome them too. So EDUCATION and ENABLEMENT of YOUTH, rural and urban, is the key and that is the direction to go.

Whom does Career Launcher partner with to promote entrepreneurship? Various initiatives that you have undertaken? Explain the partnership in Detail? What was the prime objective? How did the idea germinate?

Career Launcher, as an organization, always stood for ‘Inspiring Leadership’ especially entrepreneurial. Every individual who is inducted is an ‘Intrapreneur’ and we evaluate an individual for ‘entrepreneurial leadership.’  Our every engagement with youngsters in schools and colleges, either during the career planning / motivational sessions or when we go to recruit, we share our journey and also journey of many an individual who dared to create their own path.

 WE MENTOR PEOPLE TO ‘MAKE JOBS’ AND NOT ‘TAKE A JOB.’

Having been in Education space, we always looked at an ‘educationist’ at heart to be an ‘inspiring leader,’ who by his own performance and interaction instills the spirit in youngsters they come across. If we look at our entire educational facilitation and learning centres across the country, over 100 of them are created by first time ‘edupreneurs,’ none from any business family. We are witnessing some of these edupreneurs moving into mainstream education space too.

We are building a unique business school, IWSB (Indus world school of business. www.iwsb.in) that focuses on entrepreneurial leadership, more importantly social entrepreneurship. Right now as I am responding to your questions, there are about fifty students working with various organizations across the country in the social sectors, experiencing the real India.

SRIJAN, a business plan and incubation competition of IWSB, saw more than 250 young teams pitching with their ideas from across the country. The three month process went through regional rounds hosted at IIT Bombay and Delhi, IIM Kolkata, IISc Bangalore with eminent panels evaluating the ideas. The finals were held at IWSB campus at Greater Noida wherein top 16 ideas were showcased. We are in the process of incubating the top six winners who emerged after evaluation by panels that included Prof Anil Gupta, serial entrepreneurs Mahesh Murthy, Vishwadeep Bajaj, Hitesh Oberoi, a few professors from IIMs, mentors from department of science and technology, a couple of young CEOs and private equity funders. We are very positive that many of these aspiring entrepreneurs are taking the challenges of creating alternatives that will be of use to the common man.

We have initiated partnerships with central and state governments that will eventually lead to inspiring youth in the countryside start their own small enterprises. We are involved in revitalizing 20 ITIs (industrial training institutes) with various state governments. We see this initiative in a couple of years creating ‘entrepreneurial enthusiasm’ among the rural youth. We have been partnered by states like Rajasthan to create SKILL SCHOOLS to make youth of the state employable. We would like to make sure some of them turn out to be entrepreneurs.

We have started partnering with great entrepreneurial facilitators like TIE, SRISTI, Deshpande Foundation etc.

TIE, The Indus Entrepreneurs, a global forum for promoting entrepreneurship initiated by South Asian entrepreneurs from silicon valley, now with presence in over 12 countries of the world. In each of the summits, TIE creates opportunities for students and youth from various institutions to rub shoulders with stalwarts from industry and other sectors to interact, question, share and get inspired. For more check on www.tie.org or http://www.tie.com

NIF, National Innovation Foundation (www.nifindia.com) and SRISTI (society for research and initiatives for sustainable technologies and institutions (www.sristi.org), are initiatives of Prof Anil Gupta from IIM Ahmedabad, that have contributed immensely in unearthing the innovations across the hinterland of India, and have been taking a few of them to market place every year, not limited to India but across the world. It is our privilege to associate with such a movement.

Deshpande Foundation (http://www.deshpandefoundation.org), initiated by Gururaj and Jaishree Deshpande, is invigorating grass root entrepreneurship in uttara kanara. Its work in fostering and promoting sustainable developmental initiatives is too exciting to be not associating with.

‘Partnering the state and central governments, along with like-minded organizations as stated above to foster entrepreneurship’ will be our cornerstone to empower the youth, urban and rural, to transform the REAL INDIA.

What kind of response are you looking at when economy is in Gloom? Kindly share a case study / testimonial.

It has always been observed that ENTREPRENEURSHIP BLOOMS when the ECONOMY is in GLOOM. Crisis begets the best.

A couple of months ago, I was in EAST CHAMPARAN, northern Bihar, considered to be one of the most backward districts of this country, during SHODH YATRA under the aegis of NIF. The aim is to unearth innovations from the countryside. It is no surprise that Mr. Saidullah, an elderly gentleman who has designed the amphibian bicycle, and awarded for innovation by none other than Dr. APJ Kalam, comes from this district.

We came across another gentleman, Mr. Sinha, who has developed a silensor for 14 KV generators that limits the noise pollution to just 5 metres and air pollution by almost 98%. He is being courted not only by some financial institutions to fund through NIF’s initiatives but also one of the large generator manufacturing company wants to manufacture his innovation to cater to large market that is just waiting to grab it. Mr. Sinha invested rupees six thousand from his pocket to innovate one piece, once it goes into mass production, the costs could dramatically come to three digits for the additional feature.

In the last couple of months many young men and women, who have been hitherto working for well-known corporates have quit all those ‘cushy’ positions to become edupreneures, started CL centres or initiating schools, and are dirtying their hands, right now so to speak, with a clear vision to make things happen.

So, many youngsters are restless to do something on their on, and they are looking at entrepreneurship very seriously. As a nation we should stroke it and make it happen.

How does your company assist the entrepreneurs when project gets approved by you? On what parameters do you evaluate the viability of a project?

Markets are always going to be there for innovations that can solve societal problems. They should be scalable and replicable. Indus World School of Business has an incubation lab that scouts for such people with ideas and passion, then invests and mentors if they are willing to dirty their hands.

We are always eager to strike or further our partnerships with entities like TIE, SRISTI, Deshpande foundation etc. so as to see that the ideas that emerge from corners of the country, from common men and women, find a place of pride under the sun and in the shelves of stores that each one of us walks into.

We are going to see many eminent entrepreneurs who have made their name in the last couple of decades jump into mentoring and funding young emerging entrepreneurial ideas, and we are definitely going to seek their help, co-opt them in our endeavours in this space.

For other organizations that intend to promote entrepreneurship, what advise do you have? How beneficial is partnering with local bodies / specialized institutions?

Good to have more organizations that is looking to promote entrepreneurship. I would like to confess that we ourselves are just ‘beginning’ our journey. It is a long and exciting journey and we would like to see as many jump into this exciting journey and swim even when tides are pushing one back. Partnering like-minded institutions will always help when the going gets tough.

“Careers in entrepreneurship are bound to catch up in India,” kindly comment

The whole of this discussion has been on this one sentence… Nation is waiting to explode entrepreneurially in every walk of life… let us facilitate it happen.

———————–

Looking forward to your inputs and comments… sreeni@careerlauncher.com

%d bloggers like this: