Tag-Li!

Nothing to do with the likes of Bruce Lee, have you ever wondered, why tags are so significant in one’s life?

If you think about it, the digital world, where tags bring in lot of visibility to one’s posts etc.;

Is not very different from the physical world, where tags bring in social recognition and in turn lucrative professional prospects.

Be it ones who have done their bachelors from the likes of IITs,

or

The ones who have done their masters from IIMs or ISB.

With time, though, things are changing;

With online platforms of learning propping up day-in-day-out,

With more and more students dropping out and choosing to become entrepreneurs,

With advertising platforms talking about success of people, who might not have the luxury of owning the much wanted tags, yet have done some fantastic work, solving people’s problems e.g. “water-man of India“.

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Slowly, but surely the tags seem to be moving from an institutional construct to a knowledge and impact based construct expressed via different channels of communication.

The social hangover seems to be fading fast enough, with companies beginning to realise that their core hiring policy needs to focus on one’s ability to make things happen with relevant skill sets.

Does it mean that educational institutions would loose their relevance and importance in, say the next decade or so?

Well, it depends on how institutions respond to this dynamics and how flexible they are in terms of framing their own strategies, based on a fundamental understanding of the evolutionary process.

For those, who are at this point of time, wondering whether to go for an expensive Ivy league university course which brings in loads of debt to cater to after graduating and force oneself into the rat race,

or

To take up an area of interest, where one wants to create some positive impact and thereby indulge in self- and manav-nirmaan, 

The choice seems to be obvious!

The question, though is, whether one is prepared to do so?

Source for the Image: http://www.psdgraphics.com/psd/red-tags/

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Lap-topping the Baggage!

The inspiration for this post, I draw from the new platforms like Facebook, Whatsapp, LinkedIn etc. which have become a place for putting across to the world, one’s accomplishments,

Be it parents posting it on behalf of their intellectual kids,

or

Be it the professionals who are awarded for their hard work.

From childhood, parents inspire or force (at times) their kid to become the best in academics/sports/anything and everything, to which a kid might have varied reaction, depending on factors like:

The state of mind kid has, at that point of time, under the influence of his/her peer group, more so.

Whatever be the reason, most feel the baggage of parents’ and society’s expectations in their growing up years,

What a pity! Considering the most beautiful days of one’s life is lost in chasing fulfilment of expectations.

Once, the kid grows up, the baggage shifts to becoming the best in whatever field of study, he/she manages to pursue,

More so because of the perceived nature of the college than his/her interest, which in any case, he/she hadn’t had the time to ponder over;

Too busy was he/she bearing the baggage!

Entering the professional world, literally puts that baggage in the form of laptop bags that most professionals seem to carry around in today’s world, having implications for one’s health,

Leave alone the mental torture one has to go through, sheerly because most don’t like the work that they happen to be doing,

And aren’t able to justify how this work is bringing about an impact to others’ lives, that being the derivative of highest level of satisfaction that one draws.

Top this with the pollution, traffic etc. in the city, and what you picture is a person, moving around with his baggage all over the city,

Not knowing why the hell is one doing so!

Money, which was more a matter of survival than accumulation, has become the basis of life for most of us, having all the negative consequences for us day-in-day-out,

Yet, we tend to stick to it, because of the fear and an inability to answer: what if we don’t have what we have?

Is there a way out?

baggage

Well, yes if you want to find a way out!

One needs to understand the difference between survival aspiration and accumulation aspiration. 

The former fits in well with the concept of maintain a good physical and mental health, allowing one to contribute to well being of others,

Whereas the second, leads to a path of disaster and chaos for oneself as well as the others.

Once that understanding is there, one wouldn’t be thinking of carrying all the baggage that one proudly carries in today’s world,

And justifies the same, labelling it as his/her ability to multitask.

The only question is whether one is prepared to change the very way one perceives things.

Are you?

Source for the Image: https://brandimpact.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/words-with-baggage/

Doing what you Love?

It’s really heartening to see many batch mates of mine and otherwise as well, young folks plunging themselves into this wonderful and exciting arena of start ups, few forming their own ventures and others becoming a part of the ecosystem, joining the founders in their journey towards solving one or another issue that a modern consumer faces in today’s hectic style of living that all have got so accustomed to, thanks to the materialism which all of us tend to be running after, voluntarily or involuntarily, getting inspired from the rat race.

On one hand where it’s a real pleasure to witness the above, on the other, I cannot help but wonder what makes people to be drawn into this world of startups and entrepreneurship. Is it because of the extreme distress and dissatisfaction that they tend to face in their current jobs? Is it because they perceive a chance to make it big sometime in the near future and thus choose to join the bandwagon? Is it because that’s the in thing to do and coming from a generation that is into everything that’s in, how can one miss upon yet another in-thing? Is it because of the freedom and ability to decide upon one’s schedule? or Is it because of the thought of being able to make a difference?

Whatever it might be, the reality today is, that even students graduating from the likes of IITs and IIMs are either grabbing start up offers or preferably forming their own ventures in collaboration with their colleagues.

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No matter how successful one goes on to become, with success being gauged from the amount of VC capital pouring in, one aspect that is found to be lacking in nearly 99% (might be less 😉 ) of startups today is the ability to go from “zero to one“.

Though one gets to see innovations in the manner in which the start up is being run, yet more often than not, either they are carbon copies of the flourishing ones in Europe or America or are the same of the ones operating in the Indian ecosystem, primarily a meta-copy of our much aspired western neighbours.

This makes me wonder even more whether the choices that we are making is influenced for the love of success or for the love of what we actually want to do and might love doing. As is said, “chadte suraj ko sab salaam karte hain“, would just like to add, “kahin suraj itna na chadh jaye ki wo badalon mein aisa kho jaye ki koi use dekh bhi na paye aur fir wo khud se pooche, kaash!

Source for Image: http://smspunch.net/single-article-forum-post-3412.aspx

The Crappy Interview!

It is believed that the toughest part and the most subjective of all for any sort of examination is the last and final stage which everyone in the World seem to call “the interview”.

Well, most of the times the guys from IITs or IIMs tend to believe that they are big shots and want to be treated in high regards, but sometimes the breed and the likes of the very same can be on the receiving end and below I take great pleasure in illustrating one such incident where an IITian cum IIMian (if I can call him so) (G) found himself to be on the receiving end of the scheme of things that ensued after he happened to step into a room where the factory manager (FM) was eagerly waiting for him.interview 2

May I come in, Sir?”—-G

Yes, of course. Please have a seat.”—FM

Thank you, Sir.”—-G

Well, I won’t ask you questions like tell me something about yourself, because I know you will give me the crappy stuff that you have done and I personally won’t be impressed by what you have to say, just because I am different from the other morons who try to bask in the glory of the past and forget the task at hand and indeed the future ahead. So I will come straight to the point.”—–FM

Sure, Sir.”—G 

Ok, since you have got the point that it doesn’t matter who you are, what you have done in the past, considering that you don’t have any prior experience working in a factory, give me one good reason as to why should you be hired?”—-FM

Sir, yes I haven’t had the experience of working in a factory, but my credentials speak a volume…”—-G 

Again you are giving me a crappy answer. I told you I am not interested in your tags that you have happened to achieve during your so called illustrious academic career. What I am interested in knowing is how on earth can you increase my revenues?”—-FM

Sir, for that I will have to look at the processes and the implementation of the same in your factory.”—-G

See, that’s the problem with you A League people. You come here for an interview without knowing about the set up and believing that you would be able to do practically anything on this planet. Such arrogance, I must say, will lead to your downfall. And that’s the precise reason why you guys end up doing some silly 9-5 job. By the way, have you ever thought of opening your own firm or a factory?”—-FM

Not really, Sir. May be after a while when I am experienced enough.”—-G

See, the kind of answers you are giving. Such low risk-taking ability is a killer when it comes to a career. What will you do after gaining experience, sit on it all day long. You got to take risks in life if you want to achieve something big. Yes, if you don’t have any ambition what so ever then it is alright to think like what you are thinking. By the way, where do you see yourself, say ten years down the line.”—FM

Sir, I didn’t think about it. I have no clue. Now since, you have asked me to, I would indeed give it a thought.”—-G

No aim in life, no ambition, no risk-taking ability, no sense of responsibility, no vision, why do you think I should hire you?”—-FM

Sir, just because, if I had all the above, I won’t be sitting here asking you for a job and just because of all people in the world, the benchmarks that you have created might be too high for 99.99999% of the people and I am the best pick that you can have from the remaining 0.00001%.”—-G

Well done, good answer. See, now you are talking. You need to leave that “please give me a job” attitude. You need to come out in the open showing your true self. By the way, you are hired. I want to see you tomorrow 9 am sharp :)”—-FM

Thank you so much, Sir.”—G

Well, not the conventional of interviews that tend to go on and on talking about the credentials and how wonderful one is. But indeed an eye opener for the aspirants who tend to go to any level and go on compromising just because they want a job.

What can be seen in the corporate world today is implicit exploitation of the job seekers and employees, just because the company bosses know that they will not come out in the open with their grievances. Imagine a guy working from 10 am to 2 am in an investment bank. He doesn’t even realize the kind of health problems that he will surely get in terms with in future.interview

Well, you can argue that it is his sweet will to chose such a profession. Indeed it is, but that doesn’t give any company a right to exploit people.

So, all people out there, who are working in corporate sector, if you feel exploited or if you feel that your company is taking undue advantage, then come out in the open and speak against the same; for it is this very attitude that will help you take big strides and indeed will prove to be a harbinger for happiness and success.

Source for Image: http://todaycut.com/customer-relationship-manager-interview-questions-and-answers/, http://www.adeptresources.com/blog/how-to-stand-out-in-the-interview

The No. 1 Aunty!

I have had the fortune of knowing this wonderful lady for years now. Her husband was my father’s colleague (now retired) and they used to reside right in front of our government alloted house.

Whenever I used to meet her in a social gathering or at either of our homes, she would go on talking about how well her son and daughter were performing in their respective classes and were rewarded for the same by their schools. It seemed as if there were no better kids than hers on this planet Earth.

When it came to her husband, she was not much behind with citation of circumstances when her husband was able to pull off a great feat and was able to restore the dignity of the government department. It seemed that the department was performing well only because of the efforts that her husband was putting in.parents1

Pretentious, as it might sound, all her hopes and aspirations were hooked on to her children and husband. I guess, our mother’s generation belonged to an era wherein they were supposed to derive happiness and satisfaction from their husband’s and children’s success.

Courtesy her efforts, her son qualified the JEE examination and went on to study engineering from IIT Kanpur, which she used to refer to as the No. 1 institute for engineering in India and this time around she had the rankings to boost her claim. If this was not enough, right after completing his B.Tech from IIT Kanpur, he went on to do a PhD from MIT, which is again considered to be one of the best (though for her it was always THE BEST).

Her daughter was not much behind and she went a step further to do an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad, which again the aunty claimed to be not only best in India but also the best amongst all colleges offering the MBA course whether it be in India or abroad.numero uno

The lady, was in true senses, a replica of the numero uno. I am sure she must have derived great pleasure from boasting about her children and husband. I am sure, that must have been the aim of her life. But yesterday, when I met her again, after a long time, she looked very old and dull. As if the exuberence and confidence, that she once used to reflect, was taken away from her and she looked a pale reflection of her true self, the self which I had associated with her.

She could barely walk without the support of her stick which she held in her right hand. At first, she had difficulty in recognizing who I was. It was only after she was sure about the sanctity of the person walking alongside her that she began talking to me in a frank tone.

How have you been, Kush? I met your mother a couple of days back.”—Aunty started the conversation.

Aunty, I am doing fine. How is everything with bhaiya and didi? How is uncle doing? Haven’t met him since ages.”—I joined in.

You know, Kush! Uncle and I have gone old now. We just want to see our kids doing well. It just reminded me that my son have just switched jobs in US. I don’t remember the name of the company. I am sure you might be knowing it. It is the best private sector company in the entire World.”—-As she spoke, I could see it in her eyes, the confidence and joy of being No. 1 was back.

Of course aunty! Both bhaiya and didi have always been there, right at the top.” I smiled back as I took her leave to head back home.

As I was heading back, there was this big smile on my face and I wondered:”Some things do not and should never change.” 🙂

Source for Image: http://webfronter.com/greenwich/DiscoverySchool/menu0/School_Information/Discovery_Parents_Group/Discovery_Parents_Group.html, http://wallpaperswide.com/numero_uno-wallpapers.html