Chapter #1 - Why Management, Smiyc tries to understand
“But why management?”
“Because it will provide me a bird’s eye view of how society functions as a whole” – came the girl’s reply.
Smiyc glanced up from his magazine. The girl’s reply struck him. Half of his batchmates had either pursued an MBA from India (or abroad), while a decent fraction of the remaining was preparing for the CAT in the past few months – and he had yet to hear a reason behind an MBA degree as thought-provoking as the one he had just heard.
As he folded The Economist into his backpack and got off the subway train, he asked himself why he had never considered doing an MBA. As a mid-level analyst at one of the top firms of the country, he was happy with his job-one because it was his dream firm (he was the only one in the batch to be offered the coveted position), and also because the pay-scale was decent. Being naturally good with numbers not only made life easier for him but also gave way to higher employee ratings and faster promotions.
As Smiyc walked through Delhi Metro Rail Corporation’s new underground tunnel that connected the station to his workstation, his mind wandered off to the conversation he had with Vinod the day before. Vinod was a fresh senior recruit in his division, who had graduated two months ago from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. To the office, Vinod had come across as an amicable person, extremely well-read, and intelligent. Amongst other reasons, both Smiyc and Vinod hailed from Ooty, another reason why they started off so well!
“How would an MBA help, Vinod? I mean, if I end up doing well in the company, I will be promoted to a very senior position one day! So why not keep at it?!”
“Because, you need to diversify and adapt. Most people are good at either. A management curriculum helps you blend both!” – replied Vinod.
At IIMB, we did statistics assignments and field surveys at the same time. On one hand, we devised creative methods to sell products. On the other hand, we were brainstorming on the legal ripples the product would cause in society and the market. A constant flow of industry-academic interactions helped us understand the life-cycle of an entity in the society-be it a product or an end-user.”
“Okay, agreed! But Vinod, I don’t find anything different from what we learnt in engineering (apart from different courses, of course)! What’s so different in an MBA?” – Smiyc was really curious to know.
Vinod, expecting this question, replies with a smile, “Well, an MBA gives you a qualitative and quantitative aspect of how a market function! Science, Film, Consumer goods, Banking are all markets, Smiyc ……and a thorough knowledge of how the various entities such as goods, people, assets, losses etc. flow turns you into an able decision-maker. Look around you: all major firms such as Apple, Tata, Mastercard etc. house an extremely gifted workforce – but at the end of the day, it’s down to a handful of people to decide how to lay out the Power Point presentation to the outside world!”
As Smiyc logged into his computer in his office space that came with a cushy armchair and settled down to fulfill his daily targets, his mind kept repeating what the girl had remarked in the metro, particularly “bird’s eye view”…
Disclaimer: Any resemblance to name of the characters is purely co-incidental. This is a fictional character, based on the profile of an actual MBA aspirant.