MBA Degree and a Political Career!

Suppose you were to go up to your parents and tell them that you want to study for a management degree and that it is your ambition to go into politics; can you guess what their reaction would be?

Yes, they are likely to hit the roof or at the very least, they will tell you that you would be wasting your education. When you come to think of it, ‘waste’ seems to be rather a strange word to use in connection with a political career because a politician does require all the things that are taught in a MBA class.MBA Degree and a Political Career!

It is a no-brainer that politics needs professionals – educated people who are dedicated to the cause of service to the nation (idealistic though that may sound). At present, we all know the state of politicians in the country. While we do not want to generalise or unnecessarily vilify them, it is an indisputable fact many of them go into it because either they belong to political families or because they think, it is the easiest way to power.

Politics is a very noble profession and I would say that it is a vocation on the lines of nursing, medicine or social service. Politics is about representing the people; politics is about development; politics is about able administration; politics is about raising awareness; politics is about advocacy.

It is unfortunate that what drives many people to politics are all for the wrong reasons – power, money, greed etc. But, that is not the fault of the profession; that is more to do with the people who go into it.

However, the purpose of this blog is not to promote politics as a profession but to dwell on the qualities needed to be an able politician and how they harmonise with your B-School curriculum.

Let us take the attributes one by one.

Leadership: When you join politics, you will probably join as a party worker at the grassroots level. What you do, how you do it, your ability to work your way up (much as in the corporate sector, here also there is a hierarchy to climb) and your influence within the party and the people among whom you work will all depend on your leadership skills and capacity to inspire. It is very important to impress your leadership talent on the citizens, because they are the ones who will ultimately choose you as their representative.

Managing People:  Politics is a rough game and as in any corporate set-up, everyone is trying to get ahead and push their way to the top. You have to be able to manage various sets of people – your co-workers, your peers, your party bosses and of course those whom you are serving (I mean the people and not your political masters).

Teamwork: As the recent elections have shown, for a party to succeed, it is necessary for the entire team to swing together. The BharatiyaJanata Party had only one star in its pack (NarendraModi) but the cadre worked together to impress upon the people that voting them to power would bring about change in the country. Using the same argument, we can say that it was lack of teamwork that led to the Congress party’s rout in the general elections.

Planning a Long-term Strategic Campaign: Politics is one of the few professions where you have to plan for the long-term. Unlike as in other vocations, a single act of brilliance will not get you anywhere. It has to be a sustained effort. You have to start your campaign strategy in advance, if you want to stand for elections and aim to be a legislator. The planning has to be meticulous, detailed and factor in unforeseen circumstances among others. You have to consider your rivals (both within the party and outside), your competitors, gauge the mood of the electorate and weave all that in your campaign strategy. It is like bringing a product to the market.

Having a Global Vision: Present-day politicians rarely have a vision, unless it is that of enriching themselves, cynical as that may sound. When you think of the older generation such as Jawaharlal Nehru, LalBahadurShastri, Sardar Patel etc., you know that they had a grand vision for India. Unless you have a vision your work will be meaningless and without any purpose. Think of Arvind Kejriwal when he started the AamAdmi Party – it was to rid India of corruption.

Using Statistics and Data Analysis to Predict Poll results and Outcome: We know that India is a land of demographic, cultural and religious diversity. This diversity, while enriching, is also a reason for confusion because nobody votes in a cohesive fashion. This will require you to track the voting patterns of the various segments over the years, create a trend analysis, extrapolate those results for the medium and long-term and then forecast your chances of victory or loss and the margins thereof. During elections, you will need all the data crunching at your disposal and on a real-time basis that will enable you to know where you stand.

MBA Degree and a Political Career!

Raising Funds: Your clout in the organisation/party is directly proportional to your ability to raise funds. Every party looks for a steady source of funding and if you can ensure that, your position in the party is assured.

Management of Funds: As you rise up the hierarchy in a party, you will be responsible for management of funds in the particular area where you work.  Later, if you are elected and become a Member of Parliament or that of a legislative assembly then the government will give you funds to use for the development of your constituency. How you use these funds and put them to work will test your funds management expertise.

Deploying Resources and Using them Efficiently:  People, money and your own reserves (of skills, assets etc.) are the resources that you have. You have to deploy them intelligently and efficiently if you want to see the returns that you seek. In the case of politics, returns are invariable measured in terms of your vote-catching abilities and whether you manage to retain the seat for your party.

As you can see, a political career is not much different from a corporate career and the skills and domain expertise that you will learn in a B-School can be equally used to further your career as a politician.

So, politics anyone?

Contributed by Disha Parekh Mohanty

5 Extraordinary career choices for Marketing Major

mba graduatesThe most basic question which revolves in the minds of first year MBA students is what specialization they should go for, Finance, Marketing, Human Resource, IT, so many options to choose from.  This is one billion dollar question and every student would like to take a right decision on it. But to take right decision one must know and learn about the exhaustive career options available in all of these fields. Don’t worry. I got your back. To start with, here we will discuss various career opportunities available in field of Marketing.

Marketing is one awesome career choice for sure. If you are looking for a career where things can change in minutes and challenge is a part of daily routine, then welcome aboard! It is fun and requires lots of efforts. There are no rules and regulation or no set formula. No one can read a customer’s mind after all. Your only help will be day to day experience you will build over time by working hard. I have spilled the beans of various extraordinary careers you can build in here. Enjoy!

  1. Social Media Marketing –

    social-media-marketing-tipsHow about you get paid for using Facebook? Wonderful won’t it be? Social media marketing is about creating your company’s presence on social media. As we all know how strong social media has become and almost every person uses some or the other social media platforms these days, companies are trying to take the maximum advantage of it. Apart from well known social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin platforms like Google plus, Quora are also very popular. You have to be extremely creative and need to have bird’s eye to catch the latest trends on social media platforms. Social media marketing is not that easy as it sounds, it requires lots of concentration and time. Building presence and brand of a company on these channels is not at all easy, so if you think you can think out of the box and bring different and catchy ideas to plate then you can consider this career option.

  2. Content Marketing

    Content-marketing-strategyBlogging your love?  Then welcome to content marketing. Content marketing basically means developing unique content for the company which attracts customers resulting in retaining them as well as generating new leads. Have you noticed the latest trends of Scoopwhoop, Buzzfeed and Storypick? They are the examples of what Content Marketing is. For becoming content marketer you have to be very focussed and smart with your words. You will have to develop witty, funny, informative (depending upon the company requirement) and most importantly distinguished content, so the customers remain entertained. One good thing about this career option is you can always do this part time as a student as well. This will definitely be add on to your CV.  You can bring out some time from your daily routine and write articles. There are many job portals where you can find part time content Marketing/writing assignments. So if you have neck of creative writing, you may consider this wonderful option.

  1. Branding

    brandingHave you ever wondered how is it to build a name for a company which ultimately becomes an industry pioneer. BMW for example. How did it become BMW? In literal terms branding is a process of creating a unique name and image for a product or a company  in the consumers‘ mind, mainly through advertising campaigns with a consistent Branding mainly aims to establish a significant and differentiated presence in the market that attracts and retains loyal customers. Just like other Marketing functions, Branding also requires extreme focus. In your every campaign you will have to be extremely focussed and straight in how you bring out the image and decisions of your company. You will have to create one image for your company and retain it over period of time. If you like to bring a name to the company from the scratch and/or retain a company’s existing image with innovative campaigns, you should definitely consider this career option and excel in it.

  1. Advertising

    AdvertiseHave you ever wished you could be the mind behind the wonderful Vodafone Zoozoo campaign or some other campaign to say? If yes, then you must love advertising. If I say Advertising is probably every marketing student’s dream job, I may not entirely be wrong. At some point we all are fascinated with one brilliantly executed campaign of Coca Cola, Maggi, Cadbury etc. I am sure I don’t need to explain here what advertising mean since it’s such a demanding and somewhat hyped career option in Marketing. One thing is extremely important for a student to be in advertising is to be extremely creative. You will be required to work for long hours and bring new concepts. If you think you have it, well then best of luck.

  1. Sales

Increase-saleMarketing can never be completed without Sales. Sales is one part which can never ever be ignored. Although every function in Marketing is to bring business directly or indirectly but Sales is one big direct way to bring hefty revenues to company. Sales personnel are required to be having extremely well presence of mind and brilliant communication skills. Often know to be an extremely hectic job, Sales is also one of the high paying jobs in many cases. In many companies the sales force is awarded with hefty commissions as well. If you think you can pull off business from the clients and customers then sales is your way to go.

Although Marketing seems very flashy to people for the kind of profiles it offers, but at the same time it is fun and requires efforts. For whatever the company is in the market, Marketing is about bringing that to the end user in the most effective and creative manner and make sure that they buy the product/service company is offering. There are some known traits which you need to have for all these above mentioned profiles but it is not necessary that if you don’t have them you cannot opt them. One can always develop skills; it’s a never ending process. Important thing is to know what you want to do and more importantly is to love what you want to do. Best of luck!

Contributed by Leena Sonparate ( Class of 2013, IBS MUMBAI ) Can contact on Linkedin

Pursuit Of Happiness At Work

career after mba‘I have been expecting a salary hike for last one and a half years’- said one of my close friends. ‘I am not happy with the way things work in my office.I need a job change’. It was a college reunion party; we were catching up on the progress in each other’s career and life.

The next moment the entire room had to share similar kind of thoughts. There were some who said, ‘I do not care about the kind of work I do as long as they pay me well’ while there were others who mentioned ‘I need to work for a company who has a bigger brand name’.  The entire room reverberated with the grim words –“we are not happy”.

In retrospection, ‘not being happy at work’ is fast becoming a very common phenomenon. It will be incorrect to generalize that everyone is not happy at work, but it will not be wrong to state that a vast number people who are in the middle of their professional careers are increasingly becoming aware of the fact that they need to do something more meaningful in their professional lives.

Money, Meaning and Mastery are the three main factors that dictates happiness levels at work and at home.

A friend of mine worked for a major oil drilling company in one of the gulf countries. Last year when we met, he mentioned that his pay is very good and not everyone has the skillsets or mastery to do the kind of work. But his biggest challenge was that he has to stay off the shore (off the coastline) for weeks without his family.  He told me that he is a person who is very connected to his family and wants to look for a more meaningful personal life.  I could understand his sentiments – work life balance is different for different persons and it has to be maintained at any cost. The latest update from him this year was that he changed his job. Though he gets a lesser pay than his previous job, he is very happy because his new job does not require him to travel much and he still gets to use the same skillsets, which he mastered over the years. ‘I am a very happy person’- he messaged.

In any work that we pursue there has to be the correct balance of money, mastery and meaning for us to enjoy that work. All the three factors are required togather. The absence of any one of them will prove to be reason of unhappiness within a certain period of time.

During my consulting days, I came across a lot of colleagues who were always unsatisfied with their work. There used to be complains of staying up late in office, about the way in which appraisals are handled, their colleagues being promoted, opportunities being given to underserving candidates and what not. There was a time when yours truly have also indulged in such discussions. Now that it has been sometime I have come out of the environment and I am totally on my own, I have realized that there is no meaning in being unhappy with such things. The reason is quite simple. No place can be perfect. Every office will have its pros and cons. If we choose to be judgmental about it by seeing its cons, then we will land up being depressed or unsatisfied on a perpetual basis. Rather, we should keep ourselves off from such discussions and work towards our own happiness. Once, we start working on a positive note, things definitely change for better and we start seeing the good things in our environment. So choose to stay away from negative discussions and stop being judgmental about people and other’s work.

Business School

As students, we always hated when we were being compared in school or in college. Now, we unknowingly land up doing the same thing with ourselves. We compare ourselves with our colleagues and friends. We tend to compare our achievements- both professionally and personally.  But more shockingly, many people define their benchmark of success and achievement based on others success. I still remember one of my colleagues stating – “My friend from college has become the senior manager of the company he works for. I am still in the middle management level. The worst part is that we share the same educational background and started our careers together. I feel bad for myself. I need to do something to boost my career and reach the same level as my friend”.  His statement did not shock me because it was not the first time that I came across such a situation. I have met many people who have compared their lives with others and have seen them becoming desperate and depressed in the process. Not that they hate their friends or colleagues but they have chosen to be unhappy with their own work life. They have forgotten the fact that they are all unique human beings – with different skillsets, intelligence, mindset and goals. We lose self-esteem by comparing ourselves with others. We should try to define our own parameters of success and learn to cherish it when we get it. It goes a long way in building happiness in our lives.

A good manager or boss has a great part in contributing to happiness at work. I have seen colleagues excel at work when lead by a competent manager. At the same time, in some rare cases people quittheir jobs due to bad managers. To an extent I agree that having an incompetent person, as your manager can be very damaging to your work and personal life. One’s motivation levels and efficiency comes down when we have to work with a manager who does not understand our individual skill sets. No matter how bad your manager is, it is important to understand that we cannot let our lives be effected due to someone else’s faults or incompetence. We should not take our anger to our personal lives. Rather we should find out ways to deal with it instead of living with it.

Human Resource (HR) professionals will always advice that you should have a word with your manager if you are having any troubles with him. If it does not work then there is always a means to file an issue with the HR.

However, one should always devise their own ways to deal with managers because in your corporate career you will always find both kinds of managers and you cannot always keep on complaining to the HR. It is important to learn to manage the manager. First of all one should not be judgmental about one’s boss by being a part of office gossips. Before starting any work under a new manager it is important to have a word with him regarding your role and work expectations. It is also your responsibility to build a rapport with your manager and understand his problems. Learn to work under minimum supervision and to update your manager before he seeks a report from you. These kind of small changes helps in building the rapport and you may find that with time the same ‘bad’ manager will turn out to be a ‘good’ friend of yours.

I conclude this post by mentioning the quote: ‘ Happiness is a state of mind’. We can truly be happy only if we choose to be. Let happiness be a part of your journey rather than it becoming a destination.

Contributed by Sanjit Das ( Class of 2005, IBS HYDERABAD )

Sweating It Out For A Dream Job

MBA ProfessionalsIndia is a land of teeming millions and each one of us dreams of making it BIG in this land of vast opportunities and an even larger competition for survival. In this horde of striving to achieve more from whatever is available, it’s the young and free spirits who are able to grab their share of success. So the catch here is to block out the noise and set yourself on the ‘right’ path.

We all want a dream job. Just like finding that one great love, it’s a goal that virtually everyone has. After all, over the course of our lifetimes, we’ll work for close to 70,000 hours–and that’s a lot of time to waste on something you’re not passionate about. While identifying the ideal career is not a walk in the park, I’m here to tell you it’s also not a fantasy. As with anything in life that is meaningful, it requires making a number of clear commitments. Let us first of all define what a dream job is. This may differ from person to person but for some it is the job in which he can achieve all the goals set by him & suits his career objectives. For some it is only money, for someone else, it could be the job satisfaction which makes a particular job a dream job.

MBAs in today’s world have plenty of opportunities, but they generally stick on to lucrative options like a career in Finance or Marketing. A dream job seldom means a new venture or a startup. We cannot say that “Dream Job of an MBA is Just that”, it can comprise a lot of perspectives depending on person to person. In the end what matters is his expectation from life.

Having a professional degree, specifically a management degree puts you into an entirely different category from other candidates for a few reasons. One of these reasons is that management can see that you’ve been trained in common business practices, and that you have the professional training necessary to think critically and creatively in a number of given situations. It also means that you’re committed to the idea of your field of focus, and that you’re willing to work hard and make sacrifices in order to make it in your industry.

If we consider today’s situation it has totally changed because better economy and more and more opportunity coming in for young graduates to prove themselves which is seen in the manner most of the B­ School graduates are leaving good jobs and taking the route of entrepreneur. In my view “Just that” is subjective to the individual. If the individual chooses to become an entrepreneur, for him that is his dream job and similarly someone wants to pursue as a consultant that is one’s dream job. Putting them together, MBA gives you the ability to choose what is good for you; It is a better filter in terms of choices and makes oneself a better filter and go for the one.

Before we take any further stances, let’s try to understand why we see a shift in the attitude of people towards “Money at cost of satisfaction”. I think it’s the word “Risk”, not many people want to take a risk by starting a company. Starting a company has become a risk these days, unlike countries abroad; there are not many incentives for the person who starts the company. There are people who might not get a good job, though they graduate from a grand B-School but that would be just because they might not be able to find out there right job which suits their personality but their aspirations cannot be stopped and the search for growth and a perfect job begins. MBA makes a man knowledgeable about business organization and ethics and it’s important for a manager of a good organization to have such an understanding.

Management Skills

In the current scenario, it’s quite legitimate to go for a job rather than go for a start up of your own. The spirit of being an Entrepreneur is more important than worrying about corporate taxes. Entrepreneurs are the people who take risks & are ready to face a crisis, persevere to achieve the goals & reap profits of their hard work. It is debatable as to how many MBAs are really trying to be entrepreneurs over the long run being well equipped to be an entrepreneur.

I’ve identified some tried-and-true tactics that help put people on that path, no matter your industry. Consider it your dream job checklist.

  • Know your greatest talent and purpose, and learn to speak with clarity and confidence about it.

This one is the hardest because it requires support from others. You know what you are good at when you hear it, but we all struggle to be completely objective about ourselves. For those who’re not confident about their soft skills, joining a finishing school to develop your personality, body language, inter-personal and social interaction skills will be beneficial. However, once you have an indication of what your talent and purpose is, you can then connect it well to your job. How?

First, find your talent: Ask 10 people who know you, what your unique approach is to the specific work that you do. It is very important that you can work in a team, coordinate with your colleagues, communicate with them effectively and make proper adjustments. Therefore, the first step toward getting a dream job is knowing what interests you and what makes you happy. Then find a job (or create your own job description) that includes and combines as many of those things as possible.

Then, find your purpose: Take an hour and think through your entire life, focusing specifically on the core challenges that you’ve faced. You should be updated with latest trends in your field. Once you identify the number-one challenge, this becomes the cornerstone of your purpose, because helping others overcome that same challenge -whether it’s a team member or your organization, is what leads to career fulfillment. The key to this exercise is understanding yourself and being able to connect your talent and purpose to your career objectives. If you can’t find a way to link them, then it may be time to consider switching gears.

  • Commit to finding or creating your ideal job, no matter what.

An employer is not only looking for a MBA degree but also the application orientation of the student. Students in B-school study the concepts of management in their classes but hardly understand how this knowledge can be applied in real business scenario. Thus there is a gap between theory and knowledge. To be able to bag the coveted job you must understand what business is all about and how you can contribute to the growth of any organisation.

  • Be realistic about your basic financial needs; but know that when you follow your passion, money often comes too.

To be a successful professional, you must be well connected and have a strong networking with people in your field. As Baba Ranchod Das rightly said, “Pursue excellence and success will follow”.  In the real world, it’s important to figure out how much money you need to live and what type of job will accomplish that. Passion is important, but you can’t build your dream job if you can’t pay the bills.

  • Be patient and give yourself regular reality checks.

You must select a good/ reputed company in your field for internship as it is the only opportunity where you can exhibit your skills by translating them in performance. At the same time, you learn about a particular industry, how it functions and its operations in detail. It could take two years, five years, or even longer to find the right mix after lots of trial and error. Along the way, look for quick wins and positive trajectory. For some, it comes faster than for others. You can’t compare yourself to others and you can’t have a set timeline.  If you aren’t energized by your day-to-day professional life, then you won’t stay committed, which will block the path to your dream job.

Thus, I would conclude by saying, most people blunder their way through their careers. They see an opportunity open up, figure the job is good enough, and then let momentum carry them forward. That might have made sense back in the days when a regular job meant a steady income and a retirement package. But today, if you’re not doing a job that’s uniquely yours- “your dream job”; you will eventually lose it to somebody whose dream job is your job. Your goal therefore must be to find the perfect job for you, the one that only you can perform the best, because it a manifestation of your personal dream and your life’s goals.

Contributed by Deeba, (Class of 2013, IBS Gurgaon)

The Three Mistakes During And After An MBA

MBA CareerThe greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

 We as human beings are prone to make mistakes. More so, during the most important critical period of our student lives, and essentially while preparing for higher education.

An MBA is radically different from any of the undergraduate courses we in India would have pursued. And more importantly, it would also be vastly different from any of the post graduate courses.

A regular MBA course is exhaustive, requiring long hours, substantial amounts of self study and most importantly considerable up-gradation of knowledge and skill sets.

It is over this last point that most students trip up.

The first few months into an MBA course will make you feel jittery over time lines, projects and most importantly presentations.

An MBA course prepares you for the rough journey in the big bad corporate professional world which is a stickler for time lines and accuracy.

The MBA is a full dress rehearsal for all things to come, both good and bad.

Use every moment of it, in constantly learning and updating your knowledge bank.

The most common mistake which we as students make is to treat the MBA as just another regular Post graduate course- a course which one has to pursue for the sake of pursuing to add another degree to our resume’.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Using this degree in a resume’ to further one’s career will come later. The MBA offers you a whole two years to hone up on your time management skills, soft skills, communication.

Very few view this as an opportunity to learn and fill up the holes in ones personality. Most of us view he first six months see the course as dreary, full of presentations and impossible deadlines.

Our undergraduate courses hardly prepare us for the long haul and the bad patches which life will present us with.

The second fatal mistake we must not commit in an MBA program-is people. Yes people-till the time we enter an MBA program, our graduate courses are focused only on self study, requiring no interaction with other students-denying us of other viewpoints and experience.

MBA Program

The MBA is not an individual, solitary program-every project, every assignment, every marketing study requires to align ourselves in groups, sometimes possibly choosing our own team. Some of us make the mistake of not contributing anything in a team -the work will still be done nevertheless, but it robs the team of your inputs and robs you of honing your skills.

In your professional life, choosing to go it alone will rob you of growth amongst your peers- a habit you picked during your MBA can have disastrous consequences in your job.

We enter in to an MBA program with just one sole objective-to get a job. Failing to realize that getting a  job-is the end result of what all we do during these two years. The electives we choose, the assignments we complete, the presentations we give, even the spell checks we run on our reports are all preparing us for the interview and the job beyond the interview.

A job is simply an outcome, most of us make the mistake of undertaking every action with a view to gaining a job, or seeking a place at the interview table at the most.

To get to a job, and a company we must be prepared adequately-Sun Tzu says “Those sweat more during peace time will bleed less during war time”.

Every decision you take during the course of your working life, it will resonate with activities during your MBA years, the endless hours spent on presentations, the tips given by peers on how to scrape particularly brutal reviewers will come in handy in handling sticky situations.

Simply skimming through the two years of an MBA, trying to avoid work (though honestly that’s quite difficult to do!) and the n landing straight into an interview is recipe for disaster. The interviewer looks at your complete personality, what you have managed to learn post your graduation and what are the particular skill set you bring to the fore.

The worst mistake which we commit is thinking post landing a job at an interview, the struggle ends. I hate to be the one to break it you, but the real struggle only begins from here.

Starting from which particular company’s interview you decide to choose to appear for, your first job, its location and its job description will make or break our life.

Imagine being stuck in a role or job profile for the next possible three decades of your life.

Carefully choosing the particular industry/job profile is key to your career progressions. A wrong choice here will make you rue your decision for the rest of your life.

Choose a company and a job which will make complete use of your skill sets, your abilities and your strong points.

The other thing to realize very early on in your job is to realize quickly when things are not going according to plan.

If you are not able to get adequate growth and consistently and constantly upgrade yourself in your job, then its best to take an exit option instead of sticking around and trying to turn things around.  This is not quitting, but course correction and this is absolutely essential to survive and to learn.

Ultimately, life in all its stages is full of experiences and its mistakes and more importantly-learning.

We must make sure that we are constantly moving and learning, and acquiring new skills both during and post the MBA in our jobs as well.

The day we stop learning, is the day we truly die.

Frequently, during and post the MBA you will come across difficult situations and more importantly difficult people to deal and live with.

Learning to make peace with people who have a different opinion, yet asserting what you believe is right (both factually and otherwise) is a tact which will stand you in good stead throughout your life.

Contributed by sunil iyer ( Class of 2008, IBS GURGAON )

“Meaningful Job Profile or Moolah- Choose for yourself”

MBA GraduateSanjiv was roaming in the Board room in a restless manner. His steps were get heavy and he was getting pale with every passing moment. It was his first wedding anniversary and he had already avoided fifty calls from his beloved wife and hundred others from loved ones who wanted to congratulate. He wanted to take his wife to one of the most expensive dining outlets but a meeting at eleventh hour had put an end to all his enthusiasm. He put one of his hands in his blazer’s pocket and took out a document. It was his salary slip of last month. An astronomical amount, beyond doubt but he had seldom got an opportunity to spend even half of it. His family and social life, hobbies and passions had already taken a backseat and the stress caused was taking toll on his health as well. How happy he was when he was offered such a lucrative pay package. He had become a person to be envied with across the college campus. Some of his close acquaintances and seniors had warned him that the timings will be really long and schedule will be tiring and taxing, but he did not pay any heed. I will work against time and will move up the ladders to become youngest CEO- he had an edge in blabbering.

He had worked really hard but in due course had moved galaxies away from what he loved to do. He did not remember when he had a sumptuous meal with the family, carefree time with his lovely wife, fun with friends and spending quality time at his favourite place, the gym. Sanjiv kept thinking about all this and settled in a chair lying nearby. There were no traces of emotions, however, a few quickly drying droplets of tears. Further, the kind of job he had thought about was nowhere in sight. The sales profile was the last thing on his agenda but he grabbed it because he opened his eyes only to pay package. The job involves great deal of travelling but it is never a leisure trip. The stress and strain graph keeps soaring and after every visit, submission of detailed report with lesser facts and more forecasts is a herculean task which Sanjiv does not like at all. This was not something he wanted to take up but he ignored the job profile completely and consequences appear to be dire. He always dreamt of a job where he would get ample of time to spend with family and chase his dreams but where he has landed. Isn’t it creepy? It is indeed but unfortunately many of us rather majority of us fall in this trap. I still remember and recollect when we were in our first year, 9 out of 10 batchmates only used to discuss average packages of previous years. They used to discuss economic slowdown or market trend to gauge its probable impact on pay packages. It is very right when people state that B-schools charge an arm and a leg, so what is the harm in earning maximum amount as many financial commitments need to be taken care of including installments of educational loan. But I have a fundamental question to all the votaries who only vie for lucrative packages- Is the life only confined to earning more and more and leaving other beautiful things of life much behind? In my viewpoint, there shall be a nearly perfect balance in life. I have few handy tips which are nothing but my notions gathered from limited work experience as a professional.

mba graduates

  • Have your objectives clear– I got myself enrolled in MBA programme as my friend next door, my immediate cousin, my distant relative’s daughter and many I knew were pursuing the programme. An entry in Corporate world with style and huge pay package was in my mind when I entered B-school. Do you also fall in the same brigade. If yes, kindly change your mindset. Do introspect why you really wish to take up not only the programme but also the electives in third and fourth semesters. Prioritize which sectors you seek to head towards and also the micro areas which you intend to focus upon. This exercise if undertaken sooner than later will help you lead almost stress free life, both personal and professional, in the long run.
  • Check before you leap– Of late, I read a news stating that three IITians refused to join firms offering around 1 crore as an annual package. Two wanted to study further and the other one who settled for a job fetching half the amount offered previously as he found the job profile meaningful. The catch is that if you see that a company is offering job profile which suits your taste, inclination and temperament, just grab it. The paycheck might not make you happy but as you are passionate about work offered, you tend to excel in it and soon can create a place for yourself. Your happiness and level of satisfaction will always encourage you to work more efficiently and effectively and believe me moolah follows, will in fact chase you.

Further, never let your passion for any hobby die. Practice it even if the work gets demanding as efficiency is directly related to happiness. I still remember running ten kilometers a day in the wee hours during semester examinations and still managed to secure scholarships and I personally follow the same thumb rule in my professional life as well.

In the end, just a few more lines to express my personal stand. Spend quality time with your family and friends as the love and support plays a key role in coping with stress and pressure which every job offers.

All this can only happen if you pick up something you really seek to pursue as a profession, as a career. A kind advice- Do not work as a ruthless butcher and get paid as top-level executive. You may feel a bit sad when you will compare your pay package with many others in the beginning, but if you selectively choose the job which offers what you really seek to undertake and may excel, many would be jealous of you beyond imagination at a later stage.

Pick wisely, choice is Yours!!!!!

Contributed by Vineet Mani ( Class of 2010, IBS GURGAON )

Industry Needs more MBA’s

mba with workingAn industry operates in a dynamic environment, fragile conditions, stiff competition and scarce resources. It therefore needs individuals who can help maximise its collective purpose, provide direction and stay sustainable. The companies under the given industry have diversified goals too, each at different phases of life-cycle. Some have crossed the milestone; some have just carved them out and some even at the verge of collapse. It needs people who are aggressive, disciplined and willingness to support the mission and vision of the industry. It requires human resources who have a plan of action. It needs individuals who understand not only the conceptual knowledge of the industry but also know how to apply it at the right time. Industry ardently wants to absorb individuals who has a strategic bent of mind and simultaneously understands the value of time.

Currently Industry has a very strong recognition towards MBA as a professional course. The industry definitely understands the fact that MBA program ensures the individual has an excellent amount of exposure to complexity and uncertainty. It knows the MBA provides industry experience, business experience and most importantly managerial experience. Such rich aspects provide a higher degree of expertise and a strong compatibility to diversified roles. Industry recognises the fact that MBA grooms the candidates skill set, brings strong behavioural changes, and provides a strategic perspective. One of the aspects that have always been widely applauded is the fact that MBA program provides a managerial instinct which is extremely important across the industry.

Solid Grounding in concepts, terminology and techniques: The industry is growingly recognising the fact that MBA’s have already been distilled with most concepts that are crucial for the execution of their role. They are well versed with the framework of business which helps them navigate complex business problems in a more efficient way. Their style of management brings externals into confidence. There is an ease of doing business with them as they are well versed with the aspects which are crucial in business meetings, client meetings, deal execution etc. It is therefore but natural, their added knowledge and understanding provides favourable impact on the business. Their indulgence and association provide strong support both directly and indirectly to the company.

Cost reduction & Recruiters Preference: There is growing need for MBA and that is why we see so many companies reiterating the fact that their talented employees, who do not hold MBA degree, go through company sponsored MBA programs. In fact some companies have their own institute teaching their employees about MBA. Such companies find MBA a great support in their business. When companies get candidates who have already been absorbed into the MBA course, it reduces their cost of sponsoring for an MBA. Just not that it saves a lot of their time too. The need for MBA is reinforced when many recruiters prefer MBA as their first choice. One of the primary eligibility criteria has become MBA qualification. The industry which currently is in an up-trend, the need for MBA has further skyrocketed.

MBA graduates as recruiters first preference.

Avoiding pitfalls of business & Adding Value: Industry has also seen that MBA’s have already been exposed to a good amount of case studies of various established and innovative companies. They know the case-studies have been specifically streamlined on various aspects which can help the industry. Company knows MBA provides a strong learning curve to the candidate which if applied on their current business will help avoid various pitfalls which could otherwise be not known. MBA’s critical thinking helps business in various ways: Identifying threats and opportunities. Their applied knowledge from case studies not only help in filling the voids and gaps in the business but also help in adding value to the company. Sometimes their ideas help reengineer the business process and help recast the model in ways which otherwise would not have been possible.

Entrepreneurial attitude: Industry needs people who are self-motivated and have entrepreneurial attitude, one who can be self starter and go-getter. They need employees who have an attitude to get things done at the right time and in the right way. They need people who can understand the business and can manage things with least supervision. The industry knows MBA’s main propaganda is to make entrepreneurs. This comes as a big support for both the established companies and the one who has just taken a step in the industry. MBA with entrepreneurial attitude has a passion for work and a flair for success who work beyond the comfort zone. Such traits have not been missed by the industry and are one the aspects why Industry still wants to embrace MBA’s.

Global Approach & Multi-industry factors: MBA program is streamlined in such a way that both local and global aspects are introduced to the candidates. The candidates therefore have a global business perspective and have a higher tendency to provide comprehensive views. Therefore their working environment is not limited to domestic shores and this provides industry a confidence that MBA’s have a potential beyond the confines of the geographical parameters. Further to this, the diversity of MBA’s in terms of knowledge on multiple industries is extremely important. In today’s world, different industries are linked together and dependent on each other and having knowledge of different industries act as a catalyst for the company and the industry itself. This makes MBA’s more appealing to various industries.

MBA is a professional course with a lot of weight-age to ones life career. Its recognition is spreading far and wide and getting merged globally. Companies have been recognising it and have made it visible that they would definitely prefer MBA. More and more MBA candidates are being offered good post in renowned companies which again reiterates that MBA’s are strongly preferred. As the industry grows so does their operational aspects and so does the role gets challenging. MBA’s have therefore keeping pace with this dynamic roles and have stood shoulder-to-shoulder, showing competencies. For many it may still be hard to swallow that MBA is one of the preferred eligibility criteria for companies but the reality has been encouraging as more and more companies are coming out to recruit MBA graduates as their first preference.

Contributed by Mitesh Agarwal  ( Class of 2011, IBS HYDERABAD )

The Bank Job

the bank job after MBASo you have been selected to work for one of the ‘Big’ banks in India. What are they paying you?

6.5? 7? More?


How was the interview? Did they ask you much about finance? Did they grill you on Marketing funda’s?

It was hard wasn’t it?

So you have a couple of days of vacation before you join? Or is the requirement immediate?

Either way, congratulations on your first ever taste of what it is going to be like to work for a bank and I wish you the best of luck.

Hold on!

Are you a bit curious on what your work will be there? Do you really want to get an understanding of your role as a Management trainee in the Bank?

Let me tell you a bit about the Banks and jobs in India. All these have been gathered from the vast experiences from my friends and classmates from all over India who have worked for various banks as part of their career.

There are basically two types of Banks who recruit management graduates from MBA institutes:

  • Indian private/public sector banks (ICICI, HDFC, Canara, SBI etc.)
  • Then there are the foreign banks. (JP Morgan, HSBC etc.)

So the roles in both of them pretty much are the same so I won’t classify the roles according to the sectors.

You could be given the designation/title of the following on your Letter of Offer:

  • Credit Manager/Loan Manger
  • Operations
  • Relationship Manger
  • Marketing Manager
  • Analyst/Traders

There are many others these days, and a good tip is to speak to the immediate pass-outs from the college to get an overview on the current job hiring trends.

So let me get into these roles one by one.

Credit/Loan Manager: The Role of CM/LM is pretty much similar. One is responsible for the entire credit/Loan granting process in the Credit/Loans department of the bank. These guys work closely with the Credit Card agents, and Credit rating agencies to keep a look out for potential clients, and also keep a vigilant check on the credit rating of the customers of the banks.

They can be assigned to either the corporate clients, like various corporates who have an account with the bank, so as to check their year on year ratings, liquidity, any public announcements and news on credit problems etc.

Or they can work with a list of clients/potential clients of the bank, to issue new credit cards/Loans (to bring new business) or to ensure the existing customers are good creditors to the bank. They keep a vigilant check on the individual rating of their clients and have to keep a check on the defaulters and the remedial actions for the same. The management bit of work comes in where they get to do a lot of analysis on the credit policies of the bank and make suggestions to the higher management. Provide relevant data and analysis of the statistics of the department. Handle relationship with various teams, investigate credit applications etc.

mba graduates

Operations: Most of the foreign banks in India have their operating wing based in India, as part of their strategic global policies. So they are always in huge demand for MBA grads. The work in operations revolves around handling the Back office operations of any section of the bank. Be it post trade processing, Middle office roles, settlements, Reserve calculations, paper work etc.

The reason why I would not elaborate much on the Roles in operations, rather just give an overview is due to the fact that when banks hire for operations, they put their employee under rigorous training and get them well acquainted with their roles before they go on the job. Some of the roles here are high risk. The jobs generally will consist of some amount of pressures with respect to timelines and work. But it is a great way to understand the actual working of the world of finance.

Relationship Manger: The RM has one of the most interesting jobs. They handle somewhat large corporate clients or a group of clients and get to interact with each one on a personal level. They help the bank with maintaining customer relationships. They get to analyze a client’s financial history and current portfolios and recommend various new types of instruments. They also get to research for potential and new clients and custom make portfolios. These guys have to be on their toes with the financial trading markets and any new instruments that are available. They bring new business and do a lot of sales to their clients.

Marketing Manager: The MM gets to join the Bank’s Marketing team and work with various external marketing agencies to use media and print as a medium for advertising the Bank. They have the responsibility to work and maintain the bank’s brand image and make any internal and external communications to the employees and public respectively. They work towards strategizing the Bank’s corporate vision and aligning it with its marketing campaign.

Analysts/Traders: I classify the Analysts/Traders for a bank in a single category as they have one thing in common. The designation given to the job in the Letter of Offer is either of the two. These guys get to see a lot of the Front office action. Their jobs revolve around the clocks of the markets of the world depending which markets a candidate is hired for. They do most of the Front office operations, like trade booking, fresh deals between counterparties, deals with other banks etc. The job is a fast paced and high in precision: ‘Time is money here’.

So, even though there are a lot more roles I hope you have an idea of the general categories. Almost all the roles contain selling, dealing with clients, calculating statistics, making reports, presentations, and handling teams of people. So keep an open mind and make the best use of the experience.

Contributed by Sujir Pavithra Nayak (Class of 2011, IBS Hyderabad)

Career prospects after MBA in tier-2 and tier-3 cities in India: Opportunities and challenges

mba graduatesThere are many questions that arise in the minds of MBA aspirants. The answers to which are crucial in our deciding to opt for MBA. Is MBA the passport to success? Does it make us more employable? Will I get the placement I deserve and where will I get it? Majority of talent opting for MBA education in India is raw/fresh, unlike the global business schools where people come for management education after working in the industry.

Most of us think of MBA as our entry ticket to lavish corporates, with jazzy offices and high salaries at MNCs. With globalization and entry of MNCs and the outsourcing culture in the Indian market, these were not very unrealistic expectations.

Generally, job market in metro cities like Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai etc. was flooded with opportunities in the fields of outsourcing, IT and IT-enables services, due to the presence of most of multinational corporations offering and attracting fresh business school graduates. Even now, these places are the hot spot of placements for MBA pass-outs.

In the last few years however, management educations institutes have rapidly mushroomed in tier-2 and tier-3 cities. And most students too prefer cheaper and AICTE approved programs rather than B-schools. This has led to the problem of plenty due to the increasing gap between good opportunities and deserving talent.

So what does an MBA degree has to offer to our career when we are not able to find the opportunity we want –grabbing our dream job with lucrative offer in a typical Indian urban set up. My article intends to throw light on our chances of a pleasant career after MBA in non metro cities, how different are the market conditions and opportunities there? What are the challenges we could face and how to overcome those challenges to move ahead and have a stable career.

I relocated to Goa, after working for three years in a KPO based out of Gurgaon. I had rewarding credentials, decent experience and diverse exposure. Although I did not expect to find a similar opportunity, I was confident of leveraging my experience of working in a MNC in grabbing a job locally. But I was wrong. There were many challenges I had to face during my job hunt in Goa. There is a dearth of jobs complimenting my previous experience, the compensation is de-motivating and the worst part was that I had to start from a scratch like a fresher. My previous job profile had so much narrowed down my career portfolio, that it was difficult to fit in any profile I was offered.

mba oportunities and challenges

It is true; an MBA degree with good credentials is not and should not depend on the city we want to reside. An MBA program is targeted to increase our potential to thrive successfully in our career. Whatever function we choose, our prospects of having a good life should not be limited by geography. But since the market conditions, economy, exposure, presence of industries is not the same everywhere, we are restricted by the opportunities we have at hand. So how do we find the most job potential sector/profile in tier-2 and tier-3 cities?

According to an Assocham survey, MBA pass-outs from tier-2 and tier-3 cities opt for Bank/PSUs jobs as these ensure job stability with lesser work stress. Out of the 30 sectors surveyed, in both the tier II and tier III cities, financial services sector provided maximum employment opportunities to the aspirants. The sector contributed a share of 19.5 per cent and 22.5 per cent in tier II and tier III cities respectively in terms of job openings. According to the survey, Ranchi emerged as the lead employment provider amongst tier-3 cities, it is Pune that is ahead amongst the tier-2 cities. One major difference in the opportunities available in metros and tier-2 and tier-3 cities is the absence of niche markets in the later. Services, research, outsourcing and consulting have enriched the job market in metros.

So if you could foresee that you might end up settling in a tier-3 town in India, due to personal or family reasons, then it is good to try your chances in financial services, banking and also to some extent education. Also, the potential of any industry could be dependent on the local market conditions. For example, service and tourism industry is well developed in Goa. Identify such potential markets and see where you can fit in.

One functional profile which is ripe everywhere is sales and marketing. Any business, small or big, irrespective of its presence, aims to expand. You cannot grow your business if you do not know the art of selling. Although, not everyone’s cup of tea and somewhat stressful, sales and marketing is one field, that has immense potential as a career field. It pays well, helps you grow as an individual, enables you to develop your network and is not restricted to what place you are working. If you are good at it, you will find ample job prospects for yourself in any city and town. Other fields like human resources, operations and manufacturing, even with decent number of jobs, are restricted by low pay grade in small towns.

It is important to note that in small town job market, retention is easy and encouraging. There is less competition and more opportunities to learn and grow. It is easy to come in the highlight with your work. One should not forget that tier-2 and tier-3 cities are ideal for small start-ups and businesses. You require smaller capital and lower overheads to start business and it is easier to organize a business in a small town where people know each other.

Looking at the future though, with new IITs and NITs coming up in tier-2 and tier-3 cities, these locations are poised for a major growth in academia infrastructure. There are many multinationals that are now expanding their footprints in emerging markets and towns. Companies are looking forward to grow in cities like Lucknow, Bhubaneswar, Raipur, Udaipur, Nagpur, Trivandrum and many others which will gradually lead these places to offer better infrastructure and quality of life. Not only it will provide fresh talent pool a better chance with their careers but will also be able to attract back a significant portion of installed talent pool in tier-1 cities that hails from tier-2 and tier-3 cities. But until that happens, the “dream of job-after-MBA” in these places looks dim and far, with narrow prospects.

Contributed by Isha Jajodia ( Class of 2010, IBS Gurgaon )