Sunday, September 10, 2006

Money Money Happy Returns

Inside Dome-2, I was fielding questions from one of the directors of the BPO division of Hexaware Technologies.
“So you really think the idea of being a big fish in a small pond excites you and hence you want to join Caliber Point?”, Guhan asked.
“Well, actually yes. I think your company has tremendous potential. Joining Caliber Point at this point of time makes sense for my career because I like the idea of being in this high growth BPO Sector.”
“Hmm… so is Caliber Point your first choice?”
“Yes. Among BPOs, it is.”
“Among BPOs… did you say? What about among other companies?”
“I think my #1 company is HT Media. I want to go to Media. ”

I was hoping he wouldn’t ask me the oft-repeated, staid and stinking question of: Why Media? Thankfully, he didn’t.

“So do you have an offer from them?”
“Umm… I don’t know. I’d just finished my interview and had to rush into this room.”
“How did your interview with HT go?”
“Excellent, actually.”
“So you’re expecting an offer…”
“I’d be surprised if I don’t make it…”
“All right, Issac. I like the fact that you’ve been honest with me. I think I should do the same with you. I think you should go to Media yourself.”

I laughed to myself. That was the zillionth time I was told that I should be going to Media. The catch being, no Media Company, save HT agreed to come to campus and the ones I’d applied to off-campus had already rejected me for lack of experience.

Guhan continued, “You’ve my number. So let me know if you don’t make it. I’ll make you an offer to join Caliber Point. Thank you for your time.”
“Thanks Guhan. Will do. It was a pleasure.”

I came out of Dome-2 and what ensued in the next 15 seconds rank as some of the most memorable moments of my time at SP and there have been quite a few in that campus. I saw Megha waiting right outside and Vivek was standing with her. Somehow one always tends to notice what the girl has to say.
“Issac!!! Spot Offer, HT!!!”
“Phew… Finally. Thank God.” I said to myself and smiled.

More and much more out of relief than elation. I walked down the stairs and saw Martin, Archana, Aparna, Nikhil and KP and others. Each of them impeccable in their formal attires. Somewhere, they were waiting for this moment as much as I was. I heard gushes of various forms of Congratulations as I walked down the stairs.

“Why aren’t you jumping?” Appy asked.
Archana rationalized. Martin came up with a wise-crack. KP smiled. Megha could hardly keep her feet on the ground and Vivek just stood there, happy.
Guhan followed me down the stairs. He knew something was happening.
We didn’t exchange a word. He glanced questioningly. I nodded. He came close, shook hands and left. Nice, honest chap, I thought to myself and we left for lunch.

What a moment! Beautiful. And this was mine. And being in Placom , I was fortunate enough to be able to share the joys of 146 other of my friends getting their jobs at the Mega Job Fair technically referred to as “Final Placements”.

This was on February 17th and today I’ve completed 3 months at HT. It’s been a steady journey through a maze of Media wisdom. And hence I write this with an understanding of the Media Sector, the standard placement process in the top B-Schools across the country and from my interaction with students from these B-Schools, now settled in their jobs like me.

B-School students across India would never consider Media as a priority sector. It’s bizarre and funny as to how myths and half-truths about Media being less paying, riskier and inflexible for career growth abound even amongst the cream of intellectual capital in India. So here are 3 simple questions and answers for anyone who’s still reading.

a.) Why do B-School students consider Consultancy, FMCG and Banking hot compared to Media? Now if the most obvious answer to that is the fact that Consultancy , FMCGs and Banking on an average pay more than Media, my next question would be :

b.) Were all these B-Schools formed so that students enter into the highest paying jobs in descending order? If the answer to that is Yes, my third question would be thus.

c.) Are we creating about 5000(and more…) money-hungry Management Post-Graduates every year in India?

The fact of the matter is for every B-School Grad, money is a foremost priority and rightly so. Who wants to take up an education loan of 5 lacs and end up with a job that pays peanuts? I’m no one to question anyone’s choice but if the choice of a particular student in a B-School going through his Final Placement rests solely on the expected bank balance at the end of the month, there is something wrong with the MBA education set-up in the country. I refuse to believe that the so called “quality of work” is better in consultancy firms or the training in FMCG’s is world-class. Bullcrap. At the end of the day, your job, your business and your corporate success depends solely on the amount of common sense you’re able to allocate to your immediate deliverable.

Unlike what Dilbert’s bosses would have him believe , it’s a sham to think that there are traces of rocket science in any stream of Management.

I’ve always encountered substantial opposition within my peer group whenever I’ve said that 80-90% of B-School students in India place money as a top-most priority in their choice of jobs.

Maybe I could write a paper on this , sprinkled with enough data and send it to Levitt and Dubner and ask them to pay me 9 lacs p.a. as royalties plus a signing bonus and an undertaking for a Social Security-cum-Provident Fund along with a variable component of 25% on the above quarter on quarter ... Jeez, there I go!


SRK said...

well said Issac... few ppl have the guts to call a spade a spade...

fewer have the guts to follow their dreams in the face of contrarian advice from peers...

Keep rocking!!!

spiderman! said...

A question and a comment. Question first:
What is this counter thing on this page?
Unfortunately, what you said is true. My point is simple - All work is shit work,so I would rather get paid MORE and do shit work ! But IF I am given a work which is related to movies/cricket/....then...well I would not mind being paid less. And I don't like consultancy or fmcg. I want a peaceful life :)

IssacMJ said...

@Srk: I'm surprised I have people agreeing from B-schools for a change! :-)
@Spidey: The counter takes care of the number of hits on this blog. You can visit a free counter site and copy paste the script somewhere.As you would've guessed by now I'm a nut at HTML/XML so got a friend to do it...;-)
And regarding your comment, you speak my mind!

spiderman! said...

same here man...thsi html thingy just isn't my cup of is your protege doing @ HT ? :)

IssacMJ said...

@Spidey: Protege would be a wrong word....On second thoughts I think it also depends on whom you meant... :-)

dwari said...

dude, accidentally bumped on this blog of yours.. well written honest and forthright!!
keep this selfishness of your honesty man.. its rare!!

Archana said...

huh! what a moment that was!

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