Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Entrepreneurship talk

Manish Sabhrewal, founder of India Life, was in campus last week. He is an entrepreneur and a seasoned speaker. The session was part of the entrepreneurship PaEV course. When you meet an experienced entrepreneur you just know immediately. There is little theory, approach, framework, model; the talk is more practical. I pretty much knew what he would say. The presentation was practical and succint with some very good examples.

Some points from the discussion (not reproduced verbatim)

- Don't let the fee loan come in your way of entrepreneurship. Usually 15 lacs is a rounding error in business!

- Superstar is generally individual performance; In an orchestra not all are superstars

- It is better to aim high and fail than aim too low and get there (I want to add what Prof Jagmohan Raju said - 'most people say think big. I would say the opposite. Start with something small'. I think both thoughts complement each other)

- If you win a rat race, you are still a rat!

- Success is being at the right place at the right time. We are at the right place. If it is not the right time, we just hangout

- Strategy books will not help. Diversify your reading.

- Akbar lost Birbal because he wanted Navaratnas only who could fight. Birbal tried to be a warrior but was killed in war.

- Watch out for people who pull out rabbits out of the hat. You know eventually they will run out of rabbits (in the context of small companies competing with large companies)

Some of us were inspired from the anecdotes Manish shared. This is one of the best talks I have attended. Now it is back to assignments.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Term 3 exam that was...

It is hard to start writing once you have stopped. I am starting out thinking the opposite will be true. Gone are days when I thought exams as a once in a semester event. Exams here are conducted every two weeks. Thats like saying if you are free this weekend you will writing exams next weekend. I have finished my third mid term exams - one on Corporate Finance and the other on Operations Management.

Here is one interesting question I faced:
What is the best time to polish your shoe? Is it a) before wearing it b) after wearing it c) as and when needed d) periodically. First thing that struck me in the hall was chappals. Why? If you are thinking this is all simple and funny, let me add this to give a clearer picture - your choice should be based on Lean Manufacturing. Lean What? See Wikipedia on what this is.

The point is it is question like this that sometimes catch you off-guard. Did I mention that in my marketing exam I got a full page advertisement and was asked to comment on it. Anyway these questions are fun to write. You think you know the obvious but explaining what seems commonsense becomes difficult beyond a certain point on paper however creative one is in business poetry!