Are you doing an MBA ??

Now thats a question that I get asked umpteen number of times by my classmates , juniors & friends alike.I have also noticed that there are a very few who just don’t get tired asking me that question again & again even after I have given the same answer all the time 🙂
[2 days ago I was asked again]

I thought I would document it here on my blog so that I can have a link handy and pass it across when someone asks it again.[Would save a lot of time for me :)]

So this is how it happens a conversation happens and somwhere it twists, turns and shifts and the question comes to me. The sentences in quotes are what is going on in my head while I answer the questions.

Questioner: Are you writing CAT or are you going to do an MBA ?
Me: Yes I will enroll in an MBA program

Questioner: Do you mean you are going to give CAT this year
Me: No I am not going to write CAT but I will do an MBA, but that would be sometime later , quite very late when I think I have gained good experience (that will help appreciate the theoratical knowledge) and also earned the money 🙂

Questioner: But I thought you were a hardcore techie (what he actually
wanted to say was ‘geek’), I was 100% sure that you will take up PhD or MS.

Me: [“Buddy then why ask ?” 🙂 ] Yeah I love technology very much for the impact that it creates and I think that it is not just the technical aspect of a technology which makes it impact( or its disruption ) so huge. It is social/economical aspect of the technology which is the key.

– Did you know that Microsoft is not great in the market because it ships the best architected product but because it has some very sharp & cunning brains which plan some great tactics and that makes MS successful in the market.

– Google is such a great technology company not because that Larry & Brin came up with page rank, but they figured out a way to make great value(business model/money) out the the page rank that they made. Does any one realize that google is one of the great strategic companies of today.

– Nokia builds great engineering products , phones , devices software etc but I love the most about them is their strategic play. They are platform thinkers. !!!

– Apple pioneers in engineering excellence but iPod was a great strategic move by Steve Job who took the music industry out of their misery. [ Ok agreed that now he is doing some dumb moves strategically!!] , but the point economics & strategy are real movers & shakers behind technology.

I like Bob Metcalfe’s(inventor of ethernet & founder of 3Com) famous statement where he says ” I am what I am today not because I invented Ethernet but because I built a product with ethernet and sold it for 8 years. ” How did he achieve it , again strategically , he single handledly managed to create and coordinate a standard around Ethernet among various industry players. [ Every one knows now the importance of a standard in a networked economy , he did this long before when strategic academicians had not understood the concept of standards]

There are many many example I can keep on giving on how economics & strategy of technology is the most critical for building great technology.Well I guess I have conveyed my point. And I guess that is what they teach/tell you about in an MBA program.

Questioner: So are you not going to give CAT.
Me: [“ok ,what was the point of all the thing that I just said”] No I am not , well one thing for sure is that if I write CAT exam I am damn sure that I will not make into the A or B, now since you’ve already called me a geek( “I am not a geek, nerd I can live with”) you can very well understand that I don’t have the inclination of writing this exam[“*****”] called CAT.

Questioner: Ok so because of that you don’t want to write CAT , so where do you plan to do your MBA
Me: GMAT [“LSB, MIT Sloan & possibly ISB are the only three places I think which teach/tell about Technology, its Strategy & Economics. Others schools are for other disciplines”]

Questioner: GMAT is objective too, simillar to CAT !
Me: Hmm !!! thats partially true , sadly it could’nt be otherwise. I will take it up when it comes. I know I would’nt enjoy writing a objective exam greatly.

Questioner: Ok !! Chalo see you ! I got go ! Something something blah !!
blah !!
Me: Wondering “what is it that he wanted to know from me & hopefully he got it this time & hopefully won’t ask the same question again and leave off in the midst of the dialogue like every other time”

Now let me completely dump what was there on my mind. I can write it all here in a blog post because well it is not SOP. In a SOP I am told that you have to use your creativity( you know now what that means !) , most of the SoPs that get selected are the ones with such kind of creativity and I not at all good at the kind of creativity.

From what I know I think I will do an MBA for the following reason

An MBA is a great place to meet other great people.[ Btw it is not the only way, maybe the easiest way]

– A very broad base peers group exposes a person to horizontal thinking( I think the buzzword for that is lateral thinking) , a techie excels in going down deep into one aspect.

– An MBA would help you build social capital with great minds & thinkers, charles Handy, Hamel etc.

– Getting exposed to mindblowing thoughts/actions

In overall it is the whole experience being there which could be very transformative. [ But of late some opinions on the cost of it is come to my attention which is indeed startling]

Ofcourse the knowledge that you would learn part is there too. But btw for learning subjects/concepts I am doing my personalmba, it is been great so far for learning. Looks like I am the first from India here, anyone else want to learn mba concepts/subject this way.

Anyone Interested in an India Chapter ?


  1. Yes, but how/where to start?

  2. Rajan says:

    Just enroll up there, go through the books/discussion. There future plans to sync-up/meet-up offline to exchange thoughts we can organize India specific meetups. That is what I meant by India chapter.

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