MBA’s Provide Diagnostic Approach to Business

Business ApproachThe best way to cure a person is to diagnose what the patient is suffering from. An ENT Specialist through his specialised knowledge and test results will not only identify the sickness, but also suggest specific medicines to cure. So the key to cure is to properly diagnose what has actually inflicted on to the patient. A small laxity will not only lead to aggravation of the sickness, but may sometimes make the sickness acute.

The same approach is followed in a Business too, which moves from one transition to another. Business too suffers ‘ailments’ in terms of sluggish growth, lower sales, higher cost of operation, regulatory issues, interrupted production, higher attrition, brand dilution, and many more. Such ‘sickness’ could create havoc in the business and can destabilize it and sometimes force it to completely shut down or suspend its operation.

Sometimes we don’t see these things coming and we get to know when the problems have already created a widespread damage. Such contingencies are better tackled if the business had previously hired specialised people. The question is which specialised people?

The most closest person would be a person with a post graduate degree and preferably an MBA. A person who is aware of different aspects of business, its elements and its practical knowledge.

  1. Holistic Approach: MBA’s provide a holistic approach to the ailments to the business. They have the knack to understand the problems in an uncertain environment. In a business, occurrence of problems is mostly uncertain yet some of them are predictable and a possible cause can be beforehand identified.
  2. Diagnostic Approach: They diagnose the problem in a more sophisticated way, understanding the main causes and providing an analytical aspect to it. This first starts with understanding the problem. This is one of the important step because if the specialised person does not understand the problem, then there is no use to provide a solution. This is where an MBA comes into the picture. An MBA is already tested against time and business related knowledge. They have already been pushed into this subject with impeccable knowledge on multiple domains related to business.

Let  us see what does diagnose actually mean for a business. Diagnose is simply understanding the root-cause of problems faced by the business which are directly detrimental to its growth prospect. It is like finding needle from a haystack. It is not a simple exercise which can be done over-night, but it takes a plausible amount of experience, knowledge and understanding.

It requires the following steps:

Understanding of the Business & Problem: The first step to diagnose is understanding the business. An MBA who has already been put through multiple knowledge across industries and business is the one most best in understanding the business and its problems. This is one of the primary reasons an MBA is mostly preferred. In simple terms, a plumber would never know what made the car break down, which the car mechanic would definitely know about it. In short, a right knowledge would help make right understanding of the problem. Subjects like Business Organization, Business Management is what comes extremely helpful for an MBA.

Identifying the Problem: There could be multiple problems faced by the business, but the one which is causing the most is perhaps the one which needs to be identified. This is where the practical knowledge of MBA comes handy. Instead of suggesting several problems an MBA would outline few of which that has been detrimental for the business.  For example, if one speeding car crashes on a highway, then several other cars too crashes. An MBA identifies that one speeding car which, if stopped would stop crashing of other cars. Subjects like Business Strategy, Macroeconomics and Business Environment provides a ready reckoner.

Interpretation of the Problem: Just identifying a problem is not where the diagnostic approach is left. It is substantiated with valid tests and approaches. This is where the MBA comes into the picture compared to an inexperienced person. He would run a series of models and test and figure out a causality relationship. Just as a doctor in order to convince himself about the reason and type of sickness runs a few tests similarly an MBA too undertakes empirical studies and analysis which points to the problem. There is a whole new level of experience which is required to formulate the problem into a simple interpretation.  This is where the Case-study is profoundly comes as a help for the MBA.

mba programme

Suggesting Remedies: So now I know the problem what’s next? I run my business and i know the problem and I try my own ways of dealing with it without being aware of the consequences. This is where many of the small organizations go wrong. It is like self-prescribing a medicine which goes totally wrong. Instead of doing good it makes the problem more acute. MBA provides a specific solution to the identified problem. He provides a practical and actionable solution from his experiences. This is where an MBA through his personal intuition and years of study comes as a help.

In short, an MBA provides an interface to the business which identifies, interprets and rectifies a problem. Instead of going round and round and running from pillar to post, they provide an empirical solution to the problem. Many a times these problems remain unaddressed and by the time it is identified, it’s pretty too late. This has made many organizations to hire MBA who identifies the problem and suggests remedies. This has not only helped organizations save lots of money but also made it competitive.

This diagnostic approach is popular both for the small organization as well as the larger ones.

Large Organization: They have multiple departments, a large human workforce and higher deliverables. It therefore becomes imperative to have a specilaised individual like an MBA to monitor the challenges faced by the organization at multiple levels for multiple departments. As it grows the complexities of the problem too manifolds and a single individual cannot be a one-man show. Therefore, larger organization needs a trained team for this diagnostic approach. MBA’s therefore are most suitable because of their multiple domain knowledge and their cohesiveness towards the team.

Small Organization: They too have multiple departments but mostly small in size. The requirement for an MBA in small organization has become a pre-requisite for several factors like the need for specialised knowledge, professional approach, to fight competition and etc. Small organization have started headhunting MBA as they (MBA) provide good insight but also the diagnostic approach to their business.

In this 21st century, the economy is becoming more open up and globalisation is hitting nooks and corners of the country. New companies are joining the mainstream and startups have become the fashion. One cannot deny how hard one may try, MBA has become an integral part of this change and MBA’s continue to be seen as a specialised knowledge who continue to provide a diagnostic approach to business.

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

How to remain healthy during the two year MBA period

Health care during mbaTwo years at MBA college is the most crucial period of your life as every day you are striving for excellence and every passing day bring you closer to your D day the placement day.

Intelligent mind resides in a healthy body, if you have a healthy body you will feel more energetic and more efficient at your work.

Few tips to remain healthy during this crucial period of life.

  1. Analyse your eating pattern and take a balance diet- Just observe what you are eating and when you are eating. To eat the right food at a right time is the key to maintain a perfect body. Your day should start with a heavy breakfast in which you can choose a glass of milk with protein supplement like nutrailite, protinex or boost etc which help in supplementing your dietary requirements. Have a brown bread instead of white one with butter or jam, have egg as it’s a good source of protein leaving aside the yellow York part.

Take your lunch around 12.30 to 1.30 pm , just ensure that a plate of salad is a must , curd you can include, take chapatti , cereals and lot of green vegetables, avoid rise as it creates drowsiness.

Around 3 pm try to have 2 fruits.

For your dinner try to take simple food rather than oily stuffs. Do not overeat; it will be good if you can include a bowl of salad.

Try to prohibit, oily foods, junk foods, chips, cold drinks and packed juices.

  1. Have plenty of water – Try to be a water bearer have lots of water at least 4 litre , it helps in purifying your blood and keep you saturated.
  2. Early to bed and early to rise – Though it’s quite difficult, however try to sleep by 11 pm as 8 hrs sleep is mandatory for your body to relax and mind to calm down.
  3. Avoid Alcohol and cigarettes – Try to avoid alcohol  and say complete no to  cigarettes, even if you a developed a habit of cigarettes try to overcome it as it is a prime cause of cancer or asthma.
  4. Wash your hands frequently – Try to frequently wash your hands with some anti germ lotions as many diseases spread by bacteria in the hands. Try also to wash your face at least 4 times a day.
  5. Bathe daily – Try to bathe daily without fail as bathing kills germs, calms down your body and relaxes mind. In winters bathe with warm water instead of punishing your body with cold water.
  6. Yoga and meditation – Try to join yoga and meditation classes as it helps in Increasing flexibility in body, increases muscle strength and tone, Improved respiration, energy and vitality, help in maintaining of a balanced metabolism, Weight reduction, Cardio and circulatory health.
  7. Walking.Walking Habit – Try to inculcate in yourself a walking/ jogging habit as it is the best exercise, avoid taking lift, escalators etc and try to walk as much as possible. Wear an activity tracker which can track your steps it’s a Fitbit, a Nike FuelBand, or any old pedometer, studies show that people who wear a device that tracks the number of steps they’ve taken each day get moving more than those who don’t.
  8. Out Door games – As most of the time we spent indoor so try to play outdoor games which will be beneficial to you as it will keep you physically fit and it enables fresh air circulation in body, besides it also develops team spirit. “Fresh air is full of feel-good negative ions, which may boost oxygen flow to the brain,” says Kathleen Hall, PhD, founder of the Stress Institute in Atlanta. “If you can, combine it with exercise, like a brisk walk—activity boosts endorphins and energy.”
  9. Take Green Tea – Instead of taking too much of tea or coffee, take green tea as it helps in creating a better metabolism for body.
  10. Protect Yourself From Sexually Transmitted Infection – Take proper precautions and try to stay away from things which can cause these life taking infections. Visit a link for details

  1. Quality Check – Before selecting PG or taking hostel please ensure the quality of food they being served and see whether the kitchen is neat or clean or not.
  2. See Labels – Before drinking or taking any packaged food try to see the date of expiry of the product.
  3. Grab your toes and pullGrab your toes and pull – This boosts circulation after your feet have been cramped in shoes all day, says Michele Summers Colon, DPM, a podiatrist in El Monte, California. “Without proper circulation, the muscles and nerves in our toes don’t work properly. And that can cause pain in your knees, hips, and back.”
  4. Get your Linens Washed – Dust mites, a major allergy trigger, love to hang out in your bed. Zap ’em by laundering sheets and pillowcases every week in hot water.
  5. Silence your phone at night – During night make a habit to keep your phone in silence mode so that your sleep don’t get interrupted and you get complete freshness after 8  hrs sound sleep.
  6. Crank down the volume – MP3 players can create sound up to 120 decibels—loud enough to cause hearing loss over time. “Follow the 60/60 rule: Keep volume coming through your headphones to no more than 60 percent of the max, for no more than 60 minutes a day,” says James Foy, DO, an osteopathic physician in Vallejo, California.
  7. Munch on carrots – The humble carrot never got much attention, but it’s now a nutritionist favorite, thanks to its high vitamin A content—just one half cup has almost double the amount you need for healthy eyes. They’re hot with chefs, too, making it easier to get your good-vision fix.
  8. Take sunlight – 90% of the people are suffering from lack of vitamin D, sunlight is the rich source of Vitamin D, Try to be in open and expose to moderate sunlight.

Contributed by Maneesh Srivastava ( Class of 2008, IBS Gurgaon )

Healthy Regime for an MBA Student

MBA StudentsA time frame of approximately 2 years is a very long time when it comes to a person’s career keeping in mind that many MBA students take a break from their job to inculcate skills and knowledge pertaining to management. Thus, aspirants get petrified by the kind of subjects and variety of tasks they would have to undergo at a management institute. Some programs provide a full time course involving staying at campus or hostels while a few demand fixed hour visit.

Hence, with the increasing complexities, competition, plethora of activities to divert the mind and last few years of education in an individual’s life; it becomes crucial to make best of it in order to contribute massively to one’s personal and professional growth. As an MBA graduate, I would recommend a tool called ‘regime’ for aspirants as well as MBA students.

Now, I would like to take you through each semester of MBA, the ideal attention to be allotted and ideal time to be allotted by an MBA student over listed criterions, to make best of the experience, though one must remember that one size doesn’t fit all.

Healthy Regime for an MBA Student

Good meals: First and for mostly, one must always remember to have a healthy diet plan throughout the program. Falling ill is an unaffordable luxury because illnesses and diseases make you lose your valuable preparation and studying time. Good meals should catch more of your attention over the three semesters and then become a high priority in the final semester. Now the question comes why? The higher concentration must be given in final semester because it is the time for placements when rejections, failures, falls happen and only and only good healthy favorite food helps you keep yourself active, healthy and in a good mood.

Plan Your Day: An unplanned day leaves scope for complaints pertaining to no time for oneself, any time for family or friends, social life or time for daily activities. Hence, time management through a time table or schedule is essential. Also, the planning must be short, precise and help you become organized. Being organized always leaves you with plenty of time for yourself. Planning must take less time but get higher attention. During last semester when there is more time for you to prepare for placements, thus one must plan judiciously. MBA program is meant to make you find solutions to all problems rather than cribbing over them.

Socialization Hours: My main agenda with socialization is to begin with making more friends, reduce to quality friends in the second semester because it is generally the harder semester. Socialization is good up to friendship and company, but harmful when there is waste of time in night-outs, gossips etc. Healthy time should be spent with contacts over dinners etc but must not become a part of your study, preparation or exam time. Teaching others is helpful to revise your lessons, don’t worry about competition because no one can snatch your knowledge, forget the competition.

General Awareness Reading: A lot of rejections come into picture due to lack of general awareness. Have knowledge about not just Bollywood, Hollywood or favorite bands but also the political scenario of the nation, economic state, financial issues, budgets and suggestive reforms for the country, social issues in hype, scams, mergers and acquisitions etc. Being aware takes a little time in the beginning but gradually becomes a habit building your competitive edge. As an MBA you are expected to have an opinion and view on everything. There must be no dieting in this area, over-eating can be dangerous too.

Personality Development Efforts: Confidence, self-assurance, self-awareness, smile, eye contact, clear speech, stress management, time management, pronunciation, perfect dressing, right grooming, body postures and language come with efforts. Nervousness goes with mirror work, practice and knowledge. Understand your weakness whether grammar, pronunciation, tone, grooming, understanding or comprehending etc and read a self help book on the same because this initial worry is better than worrying outside the interview room.

Number of Breaks: We all have brilliantly excelled over years to declare a five minutes break and extend the same for hours. Over time one must inculcate power naps and meditative naps during work to reduce stress and illnesses bearing with fatigue. Breaks are valuable because short breaks empower you to work with greater efficiency. A no break schedule saturates you faster by reducing your marginal effort minute by minute and deducting your efficiency.

MBA Graduation

Chapter and PPT preparation: Never ever under-estimate the reading of chapters from books. Detailed knowledge comes from books while a cursive brief comes from PPT’s. A lot of people stick to PPTs with limited knowledge, argue on their basis and prove a fool of them. PPT’s give an overview and hence are to revise what has been read. Chapter knowledge is really tested during interviews and placements as concepts and generally turns out as weakness of masses.

Reference Reading: Be a hunter, references give you in depth knowledge, ample to make you stand out of masses. As a personal experience, I would like to share that I always found videos and articles on related topics, watch and read the same for my favorite subject i.e. macroeconomics which always made me competent in the class and forced the professor to bring complex questions to me which became my competitive edge due to this heavy referencing and chapter preparation.

Family Time: In a full time residential program one is likely to face home sickness or loneliness which makes one want to stick to video chatting or long phone calls with parents. But as MBA students, one is expected to have certain balance over emotions. Family must not be given utmost importance because the goal here is to learn and not to spend time with family. Also, adequate gaps after each semester ensure ample time to visit one’s family.

Social Media and Entertainment: Social media includes networking sites such as Facebook, etc along with mobile applications like Whatsapp; must be replaced with focused attention in academics and physical play. One must reduce the hours of watching sports and television but not cut them altogether. If one has to do the same things, that one did at home, then what is the rationale of doing an MBA with stay in campus. One has to cultivate creativity at such campus rather than same old age haves.

Sleeping hours: The ideal hours of sleep being 5 and a lot of 5 to 10 minute breaks for power naps should be one’s way of resting. MBA is certainly not to laze around and sleep but a period of 2 years that demands active work and enthusiasm on one’s part. There must be a balance in the sleeping hours, it should neither be too less nor too much. Sleeping limited hours doesn’t mean to cultivate pale skin or dark circles, do take care of your sleeping hours. Dating and dating issues must be taken care of and must not affect your academics at any cost.

Contributed by Chayan Jain (Class of 2011-2013, IBS HYDERABAD)

Role of English in MBA

Journey of MBAApart from the latest technology that connects us to the rest of the world, the various combinations of the 26 alphabets also has a vital significance in forming the nexus with the rest of the world. These combinations of 26 alphabets has been bestowed with a single word called “ENGLISH”. Besides being a common language of the world it also has altogether different role to play in our context which is MBA. Let’s focus on English as a tool in the entire journey of MBA.

The first step in MBA is the clearance of the entrance level exams. Usually these exams are Group Discussion and Personal Interview. Both of these exams require you to hash out your views in front of another person and in both the exams the moderator or the interviewer try to uncover your comfortable level with English. In case you goof up here at the very first stage then there goes your chances of entering a B-School in dumps.

Since, majority of students apply for MBA directly after their graduation where not enough opportunities lies in communication part. Hence, a microscopic leniency is shown at this stage by the examiner when it comes to English due to the fact that MBA not only bombards you with the technical aspects of the corporate but also opens you up in front of other people.

Unlike majority of other courses where technicalities of the disciplines are given a top priority, MBA is one such academic course where no matter which stream you opt but communication always gets the apex priority. Seems like the only reason why in the first two semesters we are compelled to go through a brief of every stream and speak on every one of them in forms of various presentation.

IBS, specifically, has Personality Effectiveness Lab and Business Communication classes in first and second semester to eliminate the fear of speaking in front of audiences and also eradicate any problem one has in English.

Not only one has to be a master in verbal English but also one should be able to write and comprehend the written in English accurately. Once you are done with the presentation, you are entitled with a task of penning down your concepts learned in a semester on sheet of paper. If little do you know about the rules of writing in English you might end up with gibberish in your exam answer sheet. You were good at learning your concepts but when it came to express it on a paper you bungled everything. Hence the oral and written English are the two sides of the same coin.

Next comes in a life of a MBA student a red letter day. The placement day is on you, you are well versed with the ins and out of the company which is in your campus to recruit you. You sit in the interview but on the very first question of the interviewer you fumble and at that time this language becomes the only hurdle between you and your success.

MBA Graduation

Though there remains an informal culture in the organization which has come to pick you and everyone communicates in the language they are comfortable in but for the only reason that you lacked confidence in talking in English at the time of interview, someone else who was not even aware of the business model of the firm got a chance to be in the company only because he or she mixed the 26 alphabets rightly at the right time.

With the bits and bobs of the English language you are in a company now but you are unable to communicate with others in your team because either there is someone in your team from an alien country who does not speak your language or there are some in your team from those Indian states where English or the regional language is far more influential than the mother tongue. This deadlock between you and the other team members could steal some of the stars from the performance review sheet.

Okay! Once an internal employee can understand this entire turmoil of English language with you but then you surely cannot give an excuse of a language to the king of the market, The Customers. When they approach you with any query you just cannot excuse yourself from them because you are not that good in English. Once you could thank your stars because a customer turned out to be an Indian and with the passage of time and a long term relationship you get informal with the customers when it comes to the communication part but you will always be cursing your stars if that is a customer from a foreign land.

Also, It so happens that an organization sends their best employees on a foreign business trip to represent their company to the international client. There arises an opportunity like this in your organization and you lose it in two ways. Firstly, you never get a chance to go on a foreign trip because the only common thread you share with the client overseas is the English language and hence some else who performed less than you gets a chance to be on board with other just on the basis of his fluency  and he command on English language. Secondly, even if you get a chance based on your performance you ruin your impression and that of your firm too in front of the international client.

We can see that the English language plays the role of a backbone in MBA and there are only cons of not knowing English.  Everyone, opting for MBA, knows the 26 alphabets of English but combining them correctly creates the magic. One can get a hold of this language by continuous reading in the same language, if one cannot sit for long hours for reading then listening to English commentary of any sport is another way of getting familiar with it. What else could be an interesting way of learning this language then watching movies with their subtitles on? If nothing works then professional help is always there in forms of English classes and grammar books.

Just like the basic math i.e. plus, minus, division and multiplication never leaves our lives, similarly in today’s modern world English language never bid farewell from our lives. As Mr. Frank Smith, a contemporary psycholinguist, rightly said: “One Language sets you in a corridor for life. Two languages open every door along the way.”

Contributed by Hasan Ali Gumani (Class of 2014, IBS HYDERABAD)

Art and Architecture of listening

An MBA ProgramHow many times people have lectured you on how well do you listen? Did you know the difference between hearing and listening? How many of us practice active listening? Have you ever imagine, a setup of a call center, they can’t not see the clients who call them, they had to rely on their listening skills to hear and understand what the caller wanted us to do for them. Sometimes due to network problem many of them are not able to understand us, but because of their active listening skill they help us around and crack revenue for the company.

All of us need to be good listeners and more importantly to be an active listener in all aspects of our lives; I believe MBA institute is the platform to imbibe this skill as people from diverse culture background, different intensity, and passion comes together to make it big. We often forget to learn from each other and when we grow older in life we don’t understand what others (spouse, kids, parents, friends, coworkers and leaders) are asking of us.

When we look at our professional lives and career paths, we seldom consider listening as part of the equation. Our performance reviews may touch on presentation skills, but rarely do our leaders rate listening effective-ness. These days business leaders carefully evaluate: What kind of ROI will this project deliver? What are the tradeoffs? But, I rarely hear decision-makers ask: How well are you listening, and to whom?

If we consider some basic facts around listening, the picture gets dimmer. To quote- Last year, a Wall Street Journal article reported that researchers suspect listening skills are in decline due to the multi-tasking distractions of our world. Amazingly, the article’s point of reference is a 1987 study that showed people could recall “only around 10% of what was said in a face-to-face conversation after a brief distraction.” This same article pointed to a more recent study from 2011 that found the “more powerful the listener, the more likely he is to judge or dismiss advice from others.”

From my perspective, these are risky findings. Listening is a critical business skill which from a very early stage of a professional life a MBA student should imbibe. Unfortunately, it’s often perceived as something passive or easily done. However, listening needs to be encouraged practiced and honed; it needs to be built into the architecture of our MBA program as well and I’m glad that professor at IBS works on it. Here are three reasons why everyone should emphasize on their listening skills:

  1. In today’s troublesome business environment, organization weights that we listen in order to understand its intricacies and energetic forces to succeed.

The pace of change is hurrying exponentially. New and emerging technologies are constantly revolutionizing the way we consume things from home energy to personal shopping; from healthcare to security; from savings to security, from privacy to socializing. It is critical for business leaders to understand the implications of our interconnected, digital society. What are our customers’ pain points of today and tomorrow? What is the next big thing? What are its associated benefits; and risks? These answers come from listening carefully across our entire organization and to external sources; which can help individual and organization to grow.

MBA Graduates

  1. Through effective listening we could connect the dots, spot the trends and understand the signals.

In today’s job setup managers continually seek ways to more efficiently and effectively listen to our surrounding landscape. To expand their operation, e-commerce companies meets daily with venture capitalists to share their ideas and understand the challenges they’re passionate about solving. They speak with customers and colleagues, with other companies, large and small, with investors, incubators and academics. By, engaging across a broad set of relevant audiences, focus group and market research, businesses gets empowered and make decision to notice patterns and understand tomorrow’s trends, potential challenges and new possibilities. This exercise isn’t easy; it re-quires rigor, openness to what you’re hearing and, most importantly, practicing good listening.

  1. Good listening opens organization to new potentials, and transfers them beyond traditional management restraints.

In traditional organizational structures, leaders seldom work across silos. Consequently it’s often the same people delivering updates and recommendations. Now days many companies are taking steps to move away from this approach to a structured pyramid approach. I advise young MBA graduates to join companies, by evaluating how information and in-sights; flows across the organization. Are there better ways you can be listening? Are there different teams you should be working with? Opening yourself up to new ideas can help you discover a new and valuable perspective for your future.

So often we want to feel like we have all the answers. As our world changes more and more dramatically, one reaction is to hold on tighter and tighter to our beliefs. However, if we find the courage to pause and listen, if we open ourselves up to understanding our landscape more deeply, we can make better decisions. Here are the “5 Traits of Good Listening” that I’m focused on cultivating:

  • Be Present – It’s impossible to be a good listener if you’re thinking about your “to do” list or your next meeting. Focus on hearing what the other person has shared. Try summarizing what you’ve heard to ensure you‘ve absorbed it.
  • Practice – Practice leaving your inclinations behind. Practice not immediately offering a solution or a suggestion to what you’ve heard. Practice listening, and be comfortable with silence if someone pauses give time. Good listening requires continual practice.
  • Ask Questions – Cultivate your inner curiosity-ty and seek to learn more. Ask questions – not in a way that shows off your knowledge – but more to really understand what someone is sharing and to demonstrate that you’re interested in what they’re sharing.
  • Be Open – Embrace a willingness to hear from different and unexpected sources; don’t ignore someone you aren’t familiar with. Determine if you’re discounting something that’s difficult to hear, or selectively editing details – we’re all guilty of this sometimes.
  • Pause – Take a moment and try listening to your intuition, to your gut. Is there some-thing you’ve picked up on, a signal that you need to pay more attention to, evaluate and understand? Is there something missing? Try listening for what hasn’t been said

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

All the best

Contributed by Vaibhav Chandra (Class of 2009, 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)

Five Management Lessons from Mahabharata for MBA Grads

MahabharathaUndoubtedly, Mahabharata is one of the greatest epics mankind has ever heard or read. With so many possible interpretations of its characters’ behavior and the plot, it becomes much more engrossing for the audience. Similar to Bhagvad Gita, which contains meanings to life, and the various facets and nuances to way of life, even Mahabharata should not be just considered as a religious scripture.

According to me, the saga of Mahabharata is a great testament to the management lessons one can derive out of it. Not only for the proficient managers in an organization, but also for the aspiring managers and wannabe MBA grads, this mythology holds lot of relevance and value in terms of parallels that can be drawn from it. Be it in the area of marketing or leadership skills or people management or any other management related aspect, Mahabharata holds key to several work life management problems.

In this article, I have discussed few of the lessons which every MBA grad can derive from Mahabharata by analyzing its events and characters.

  1. Importance of Networking and Relationship Management

Much before the war was fought, Pandavas were hugely outnumbered by Kauravas in terms of the military might. But they built their network with the like-minded kings.  They maintained good relationship with their existing friends and developed new alliances. In professional life too, an MBA grad must build his network and manage relationship with them. After the MBA, most of you will be focused on building your career path in the organization. But you must never lose sight of the role played by your peers of b-school and alumni network. In workplace, you should reach out to as many people as possible. You never know when your network might come to your rescue when need arises. In the function of sales and marketing, bigger your network is and better your relationships are, you stand a better chance to strike good deals. In today’s world, social media platforms like LinkedIn must be leveraged to build your network.

  1. Nurture a pool of Leaders in your Team

Either today or tomorrow, you will be entrusted with greater responsibilities in an organization. This means that as a good manager and leader, you must assume the role of a mentor. It is always good to have a pool of leaders in your team who can take up diverse responsibilities when time comes. A good leader or manager always provides direction to his team members, and is a source of constant motivation to others. Only then the team functions effectively. Being a manager, you must build this culture in your team, irrespective of leading a smaller big team.

In the Mahabharata, army of Kauravas was led by just one general – Bhisma. This followed one-man leadership hierarchy pattern. On the other hand, Pandavas were led by multiple leaders, owning up different battalions of the army and its operations at different periods of the war. This multi-leader strategy proved more effective in winning the war. Similarly, in an organization context, every function or department must develop second line of leaders, which is often termed as succession planning.

  1. It’s about Team Play with Common Objectives

An aspiring MBA grad must understand that he alone cannot shoulder the complete responsibilities of the team, forget achieving the goal. It is the team spirit which wins the war or competition. Kauravas lacked team spirit completely. Every important member in their team had his own personal motives and aspirations with no common objective as a team. Only Duryodhana was in favor of war. Most of the warriors were against the war. But Pandavas were knitted together with one common goal – to win the war and earn back their kingdom – rather than just showcasing their individual prowess.

When a team is confronted with a bigger objective or target, everyone in the team must share the responsibility, and be accountable. Rather than having a centralized decision-making process, the manager must consult peers and other leaders in his team and allocate responsibilities to them. This allows others also to showcase their skills, which is good for the organization in long-term. This leads to maximum contribution from every team member.

MBA Graduates

  1. Seek Mentors in your Career

Even the best managers need mentors who can guide them in time of crisis. Why only crisis, these mentors from their own experience can provide words of wisdom to MBA grads while taking everyday decisions in the workplace. An MBA grad must always look for a mentor in the workplace. It could be a senior manager from within the same organization or another organization. In the b-school, his or her teacher and professor can play this role.

In the great war of Mahabharata, even though Krishna never fought the war, he was the key strategist for the Pandavas, who guided them at each important step of the war. In the workplace, a mentor shows the path, which itself is sufficient for a good manager to understand and make a decision. Having a good mentor is important to grow up professionally. No matter how talented you are, one must seek mentorship. Arjuna, the best warrior in the epic with all kinds of weaponry in his arsenal, also required a mentor in the form of Krishna.

  1. Choose your Resources Wisely

This is so true for HR students and in the case of recruiting managers in an organization. As a manager, irrespective of whether you are in the recruiting team or not, at some point of work life, you will have the opportunity to recruit new team members. At the top level in an organization, board members choose CEOs and CXOs. One must plan properly for the kind of skilled workforce required in the organization. Then engage the right people at the right places. A good manager is one who has an eye for talent. It is up to the acumen of the manager to spot the hidden talent in his team members and provide them opportunities to grow.

In Mahabharata, both Pandavas and Kauravas had the option to choose Krishna for their team. But displaying complete lack of vision and acumen, Kauravas selected Krishna’s army, and hence lost the war. Whereas Yudhishthira made a wise decision and opted for Krishna, who ultimately played a strategic role in their win. This also shows that even one resource can make a difference in an organization. Hence, a manager must never underestimate the power of one.

In conclusion, I must say that Mahabharata is a great source of knowledge and management lessons, which must be well understood and assimilated by every MBA grad.

Contributed by Suyash Chopra ( Class of 2010, IBS HYDERABAD ) can be contacted at and twitter: @suyashchopra1

Top 5 Reasons why All MBAs are Not Successful Managers

an mba programMBA is considered to be equivalent of Manager in many cases. Most of the people believe that if you are an MBA you are sure to be a successful manager. Well, fact alert, one may not be a successful manager just by doing MBA.

The biggest tragedy with Indian students is the time that they decide what career they want to pursue. In most of the cases while completing graduation or after completing graduation students take random decision on pursuing post graduation in particular field, MBA being one of them. The main reason being it guarantees job (well in most of the cases if we be optimistic). But the question here is has the right decision being taken? Was MBA the wise choice?

The best way to choose a wise career is to think from all perspectives and weigh all options. Simply doing a post graduation course in business is surely not going to make one a successful and happy manager. Let’s check out top 5 reasons why all MBAs are not successful managers.

  1. Area of Interest – In many of the cases what field one has selected can be the deciding boat. Have you always wanted to be a marketer and ended up taking a finance job? Well then in that case how you will be able to give your 100%.

First of all the question should be do I really want to do MBA? Because in many cases a person starts his/her career with designations such as executive, associate, trainee etc. If one dreams to be a manager from start of his/her career or he/she is just doing MBA to be a manager then this can be a spoiler. A manager is the one who looks after getting in line all the resources and processes and generate results. This is a skill which mostly comes with experience. Being a manager is not easy. So if one goes for MBA just by thinking to be a manager from start this may not work out. Just by receiving a post graduation in MBA will not help you acquire the soft skills which are required to be a successful manager.

First find out a strong reason to do MBA and then explore the functional area where your interest lies and then work hard!

  1. Let me just avoid it for few more days – If one lacks the sense of responsibility, he/she cannot be a successful manager for sure. To be a manager one needs to be pro active and always alert to what’s going around. If one is disciplined and organized then that’s definitely add on.

Tendency of avoiding completion of work on time can be a really big spoiler for further success. A manager is practically managing the functions of the particular department. If his/her work doesn’t complete on time then this may affect the results and revenues.

Key to being a successful manager is to be proactive and being responsible towards the job assigned.

  1. Demotivation – This is a scientific fact. A person cannot give his/her best effort if he/she has been demotivated for so long. Of course there are people who are self driven but in most of the cases, if a person is demotivated he/she feels negativity because of it. Whenever you will start with your job life you are going to serve under a boss.  If you are lucky you will find a good boss but if you are luckier you will find a strict boss who will help you learn many corporate lessons.

The key to fight demotivation is constant belief in your skills. There may be few moments where you would simply want to give up and that is the time when you will have to fight against all odds. Demotivation can make you want to give up on your dreams. Fight hard and come out shining.

mba programme

  1. Lack of People skills – This is also one main reason why one cannot become a good manager. If you do not enjoy company of people, you don’t know how to get the work done, you don’t know how to motivate your team, you cannot become a successful manager at-least not in the eyes of your team. In short you may be doing a wrong job as well. Management has always been about management of resources and one must know how to optimize the efficiency of a human being. One should learn how to treat people well and motivate them continuously to give their best efforts. People skills are one of the best qualities a manager can have.  Leveraging this quality will help you become a more successful manager.
  1. Team Benefits first – Goal setting is very important aspect of management. A successful manager always knows what are the goals of his/her team as a whole. Everyone comes in a particular company for some reason, but to be successful one will have to keep personal goals aside and lead his/her team from the front to meet team goals.

Sometimes people fail to understand that when his/her team will meet success, personal goals will automatically be met. Instead of focusing on self targets, the team should be motivated to meet success factors.

Key Takeaway – Management is objective. It is highly subjective in nature. You can never be perfect but you can always try hard to become more and more successful. Each day, every day.

You may never come across a set or defined reason why you could not become a successful manager. Sometimes reason can be subjective. One employee may give one reason; another will give a totally different reason you for finding you an unsuccessful manager. Not to forget success is a state of mind. It is also subjective for different people. For one being unsuccessful manager can mean less promotions/incentives, for one it can be lack of recognition, for one it can be something else. If you want to become highly successful manager one thing is for sure, you will have to chart out the map of all your activities in such a way that each one leads you towards your goals. To become a successful manager you will have to continuously learn from your mistakes and never repeat them again.

Contributed by Leena Sonparate ( Class of 2013, IBS MUMBAI )

Linkedin Profile of Leena Sonparate :

Why MBA?

MBA Degree.To answer the above question, an analogy between a painters’ painting and a professional’s career has to be understood. A professional can lead his/her career in the same way as an artist can paint his masterpiece but an artist cannot undo what he has done till that time on the same canvas  if he gets some new thoughts during the painting. A professional can do it with the help of a ‘magical stick’ if he wants to change to the business/senior leadership side or if wishes to change the industry. That magical stick is an MBA degree. With this, I have stated one of the most prominent reasons which candidates have with them before applying to b-schools every year. Now, there are various other reasons which the candidate must be able to think through and be absolutely clear before he even thinks of writing competitive exams as to why doing an MBA is such a big deal?

So, what is that itching behind the desire of the candidate to use the magical stick- an MBA degree? Talking about candidates with some work experience, they start to get a feel that they will face a ‘glass-ceiling’ during their growth as a professional may be after 1-2 years or even after 6-7 years depending on the individual. Only an MBA degree will be able to bail them out towards a role which will require more business acumen or senior leadership i.e. a strategic role. Or in other words, to convert them into a more functional and business oriented role from a transactional role in the organization.

In today’s internet age, it would sound utterly illogical if one would say that I want to do an MBA to gain knowledge about managerial concepts when he/she can easily access all the literature for free on web. But having said that, it is the interactions with the faculty, industry champions and people with quintals of work experience and learning from their experience that makes an MBA worth it because one can never have access to that ‘experience’ of having mature business oriented interactions without actually doing them.

For people, who want to have something of their own, an MBA is just what the doctor ordered. Because, when they will be conceiving the idea of their start-up they will be well-versed with the parameters to adjudge the business feasibility of that idea. As a matter of fact, I can comfortably say that the experiences of people who had an MBA degree were much better than those who hadn’t when they tried to get funding for their business. An MBA gives you that ability to see things from different perspectives neutrally before arriving to a workable conclusion.

regular mba degree

‘Connect the dots.’ is ‘the skill’ which one must master before even dreaming of having a more strategic role in an organization. So to master this ‘cutting edge’ skill, candidates look up towards an MBA degree from a premier institute. An MBA trains a candidate to be more of a ‘generalist’ than a ‘specialist’. So, once a candidate is out of the b-school, he remains a ‘generalist’ throughout his life which comes handy when he gets the position of as big as a CEO. For shouldering responsibilities at that level, having an eagle eye view of the business will be the most critical quality that the person must have.

Although till now, I have not talked about the most baseless and the most popular rationale behind candidate’s intent to pursue an MBA which is the carrot of higher salary packages after MBA. So, let’s be very brutally honest about addressing this rational because it is about money….the hardly earned money!!! So, the real picture is that when a firm employs you after your MBA, it pays you on the basis of what value you are bringing to the table. If you have not imbibed those soft or tangible skills in your personality during your MBA, then obviously it will not come out naturally in the job interview and the recruiters, now a days have that acumen to judge your value for the organization near to perfection. So, candidates who just do an MBA for the heck of it only to get hefty packages are doomed to be left disappointed. As a matter of fact, going out of the scope of this piece of text, this must be one of the reasons for candidates to ponder for as in ‘why not to go for an MBA?’.

And last but not the least, apart from giving a candidate an MBA tag, greater career opportunities, exposure and knowledge, an MBA gives you the chance to do a very strong business oriented networking. Simply, because of the nature in which its contents are unfolded and delivered to the candidates in a classroom environment, you get to interact with people from various industries who will bring to the table something different. A strong alumni network, industry contacts through esteemed faculties of the b-school, a chance to avail an internship opportunity with a premier firm to have a feel of the playground before the actual play begins are some of the other aces that an MBA candidate has up his sleeves.

Thus, apart from the above mentioned reasons there can be other reasons too as every single individual in this world is solving a different question paper which is unfolded by life in front of them. An MBA is an experience which might not end up as a pleasant experience for every tom, dick and harry if the individual has not thought through as to why he/she wants to have this experience. Thus, for this experience to turn out as a joy ride which would turn a candidate into a more business oriented professional, the justification must come from within and not cooked up by getting affected from surroundings as to ‘Why MBA?’.

Contributed by Sthita Sahu

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 )