Archive for June, 2010

Humor on the Detail

Posted: June 2, 2010 in Introspection, Philosophy

Read this report on the Wall Street Journal which talked about the sense of humor of the governor of the Central Bank of India (RBI), Dr. D. Subbarao.

The fastidious ‘eye on the detail’ and penchant for picketing on typographical and presentation errors like formatting, fonts, colors, bulleting etc. is something which plagues me at my workplace too. Here Subbarao talks on how his endowment for this ‘nuisance’ is a matter of pure legacy of that great institution, a matter of heredity which is cherished all the same if I may so add!

Subbarao manages to sound convincing and almost pulls it off which is not surprising considering he is one of the smartest people in one of the smartest institutions of our country, the Reserve Bank.

Although someone as curious as me would still want to ask that considering that perfection always comes at a cost (and agreeably that’s a real High Cost!) would the time and effort spent on making official documents/memos and publications free of such irritants and imperfections not be better spent fine tuning our economic and monetary policies. Even an iota of incremental improvement would have such a multiplier impact on the lives of the subjects!

Coming back to the case of the “Professional Services” business, one wonders is what truly makes it professional? Is it the perfection in form or is it near absolute appropriateness of solutioning / recommendations coupled with the unquestionable integrity and incorrigible (and one may add irreprehensible) obsession with not fine tuning bitter pills to make them more palatable to those-who-must-not-be-named. Or is it both?

If Both then what would be the priority amongst:
[pertinent recommendations, unquestionable integrity, expertise & competence over subject, perfection in presentation of outcome report]

The answers may be easy to arrive at, the process to think through far more arduous! But then the Zen saying always goes as the Journey is the reward!



Twirling Life

Posted: June 1, 2010 in MBA Ramblings

I just completed 2 years of post MBA employment, accidentally with the same employer whom I had intended to stick with no more than a few months, or just enough to get sufficient foothold in my home-base: Delhi.

This milestone may not bring back too many jubilant memories to me, but that would be no mean feat considering that I have managed to pay off my educational loan, survive two years of relentless pestering by my parents to get married (and be done with!) and hive off a few pounds here and there & get in much better physical shape; something that was on the agenda almost since time immemorial.

But now the priorities are clear. The mid-life crisis seems to have seeped in already. Choices are far and wide, and rest assured the present state should not persist in future. Wondering whether to set forth my Ph.D in Strategy or go for a second MBA or even do something as esoteric on finally taking the plunge on the entrepreneurial waters!

I think I’ll discipline myself to start writing something every now and then once again, even if the quantum of each write-up is pretty small.

Incidentally visited Mumbai and Bangalore the last month. Mumbai was on work and I put up in a rather non-descript hotel band in the hustle-bustle of Bandra(West). For what it was worth loved the fact that the city stays awake till wee hours of the morning. The relentless pursuit of work-happiness-life is commendable and so is the professionalism of the people in the city. Sadly what soured it up is the Delhi-bashing hobby that most Mumbai’kars would indulge in as soon as they learnt that’s where I belonged to. Beats me, especially considering that Delhi is after-all the only city which does not align itself with any community/state/language in the whole of country and even with all its ills people land up in Delhi because of their need for it and not vice versa! Bangalore was a day trip over the weekend. Caught up with an old buddy and got home a few kilos of “Mysore Pak” a sweet which I came to admire so much during my stay at Hyderabad.

I have meanwhile also become a proud owner of a rather spacious and well located apartment in Delhi along with a voluminous mortgage which came bundled with it. To say that the whole concept of being in debt to an extent that your whole worth would need to be decupled (i.e. ten folded) and yet fall short (significantly!) to meet the dues is scary, would be an understatement. Eitherway, now I’ve taken the plunge. This would put on hold most of plans of purchasing a nice car or mindless squandering on eateries and any of the so insidiously enticing and yet obviously senseless stuff! With the first EMI just about due the lessons learnt during Financial Management course in MBA came floating back with PS telling us how debt brings in with it fiscal discipline and coupled with the tax benefits afforded when taken for house purchase make it an unbeatable offering for the logically minded. Also reminded me of the golden words of my mom that irrespective how high you may be in corporate ladder, purchase of a house which is fit for staying would inevitable necessitate some serious tightening of belt!

Something else has changed around me. My father just bid adieu to a long and illustrious career as an honest and respected public servant as he superannuated yesterday. Thankfully, the one thing that had embarrassed me the most about him when I studied in one of the more garish schools of Delhi (him being too earthily, nonchalant and simple) has stood him in good stead as he retires with a truckload of friends and well-wishers. A reminder to me that soon, not too long in future, I too will have to call it a day as far as professional career is concerned. Time is too short to be squandered in pointless dilly-dallying as I try to negotiate a better remuneration to justify something which is not true to my heart.

Professionally, I will have to strive to find my niche! This is a serious goal for future. On Personal front, I’d like to meet up with someone special to spend the rest of my life with as well. Too many noble goals. Too much of not-so-noble temptation around. The fun is about to begin.

Wish me Luck!