Saturday, September 12, 2009

So many dreams, so much hope

I took a detailed session of more than 1000 students today. These are students of PT education, and I was speaking on the Admission Process Counselling system. There are hundreds of business schools in India, and students need inputs regarding process optimisation (which forms to fill, how much to spend, when to fill, how to fill etc.).

I truly enjoy this session a lot. I remember we started this concept (of AdPro) around 9 years ago, when the market was still in its nascent stages. Both the number of b-schools was low, and the vertical specialisations were few.

Then it started to evolve. And man, did it rapidly evolve!

Today, as I stood speaking (for 3 hours at a stretch), I could not stop myself from referring to my life's experiences on everything from running an enterprise to managing perceptions, and from being an HR manager* to deciding which girl to marry.

I realised some truth today. Simple, but elegant.
  1. Young people about to enter a business school are so full of hope, and optimism, it is almost a crime to show them a face of sordid reality (howsoever subtly).
  2. This optimism, this hope, truly is everything a young person can possess. Life is nothing without it.
  3. Realising what one is good at, is so important! Your entire life can change the moment you start building your career around your biggest personal strength.
  4. Young women and men are quite inquisitive, but at times, without having done their homework well. It is important that you learn to research things well before getting hung up on any one choice (you wish to exercise). There is no substitute to personal intense research.
  5. Indians are an extremely tolerant people. More than 70% of students raised their hands when I asked "how many of you faced some kind of an irritation or problem while going through the online IIM-CAT application process?" This means that tens of thousands across India must have faced serious problems in the past 3 days. Yet, everything is flowing normally and smoothly. The authorities will quiety glide past all this, with no one being held accountable. Long live my nation's bureaucratic systems!**
  6. The questions have largely remained the same over the years. This means young people's anxieties and aspirations are largely the same over time, and hence, some predictions are possible.
  7. Technology is a boon. I have started using technology quite a lot, as far as my online presence is concerned. I hope it helps my students, and colleagues. So now I blog, I tweet, I am linkedin, I orkut, and I am on facebook (my god! When will I live?)

Had to rush back to office as needed to prepare a full session for Saturday morning. We have the National Enterpreneurship Summit at PROTON this Saturday. Six CEOs will participate in the same. We are all quite excited about it. Will surely post the learnings on Saturday night. Stay tuned in... cheers!

* My sense of humour is rather acute, and a lot of students who are still "work-in-progress" as far as sensahuma is concerned, might have found some of my examples disconcerting! ha ha ha
** Mistakes can happen anywhere, with anybody. The point is : silly mistakes taking place in process management of one of the most important exams in the country, is a serious matter. You are simply not prepared for a quantum shift of the scale you are proposing.



Munish Sharma said...

Dear Sir,
You have rightly said that it is not justified for the bureaucracy to undertake a massive shift in the conduction of CAT exams known for supreme standards, with such obscure and narrow preparations. To add to the woes, a foreign firm has been hired to perform the meticulous task. It will be interesting to see how it fares in the job given the complexity and intricacy involved in it.
All we can say regarding the issue is that "after the sublime, the farcical".
And lastly, we all are ready to take maximum advantage of the National Entrepreneurship Summit.
Surely it will help budding managers to imbibe the nuances and obvious of the corporate world.

Yours sincerely
Munish Sharma
Fall'09, Indore.

Anurag Khandekar said...

Respected Sir,
I would like to thank you for providing such a deep insight on the matter of anxieties pertaining the youth, and presently the hot issue is that of online CAT exam which you explained in this weeks Economist session. Sir,my question to you is that if the general perception of the youth will not change regarding the usage and acceptance of technology, then how the amendments will be made to make this country a tech savvy country?

ankit sharma said...

Respected Sir,

Thanks for sharing your experience.
Sir i read somewhere that "SUCCESS CONSISTS OF GOING FROM FAILURE TO FAILURE WITHOUT LOSS OF ENTHUSIASM".Can you please explain this to me with a real world example.

Proton Ankit Sharma

Test said...

Ankit, Anurag, Munish - thanks for reading and commenting.

I must clarify that I am a big champion of globalisation. I know it is fundamentally a great idea, as it helps those who produce quality. But the whole hurried manner in which the IIMs have acted is what I do not approve of at all.

Success requires consistency. From one failure to another, you will also encounter success(es) in between. But the way is full of confusion and often, despondency. Hence it is said that unbridled enthusiasm is a virtue in such situations.

Unknown said...

one down a ton more to go




It seems security code is not working properly,and loads of mah friends getting errors like these

An unrecoverable error has occured, please try again later."

To fix this:
try listening the security code and only if matches with what is displayed then enter it in provided box.

Sir, Also website is heavly loaded and you may face Error on many pages,
But we have to just keep on trying carefully

ITS HIGH TIME NW PRAC CATS DONE BuT LOADS OF PREP STILL NEEDED AND sir the form filling process too izz time to pull up the socks

Thankyou sir for such a wonderful evening with ur thoughts which always helps me to be a champion and just have the faith in myself that



Saurabh Soni said...


On the same line I have a suggestion..If someone with your experience & knowledge can share a session with Protons on - 'How to fit int your first job' then it can be very handy for the stduents.Every year I see so many young MTs joining different companies and then they get a shock which is even bigger then getting the workload( which good insti always provide) & this shock is of 'people management'..I had a session with one of the institute last year and the amount of interaction I had with the students that day made me realise the importance of the same.A role play or a case study on the same will be icing on the cake

Just a suugestion which I wanted to share..


shailesh said...

Dear sir,
as u mentioned the title of artical"so many Dreams so much hope" sir i am not able to understand this title because everyone have dreams specially youngsters but they are very afraid of future consequences

Ritesh said...

Dear sir,
for this wonderful article,
it recalled my memories when i was in stage of selecting a b school and now i am looking forward to have a bright future under your guidance. I also have lots off dreams in my eyes and I am working hard for that too.

Thank You Sir

Test said...

Dear Ritesh, Shailesh, Vyom - thanks for reading and commenting.

Saurabh - wonderful suggestion. I will blog on that too soon. You are quite right, it is a biggg problem!

Shailesh - Dreams are not possible without inherent Hope. Think about it.

Vyom - the CAT online registration related problems have been taken up prominently. The media has presented the various issues today. Please keep following CNBC AWAZ.

shraddha said...

Respected Sir,
It was of great learning to me and the problems faced by youths in online CAT form filling cannot be ignored.
The world is changing with a very fast pace and knowlege of technology is regarded as food in this corporate world.
How will indian youths survive without this food?
This weakness is like an impede in way of success.

The SUMMIT was of tremendous learning for me.I awaited for it since I came to know about it.

Proton Shraddha.

Manika Juneja said...

Respected Sir,

Great post!

You correctly mentioned in your article that young minds are full of optimism and hope but a small mistake of not doing proper research will lead to several consequences in life.

I remember the days when I faced the similar situation during my CAT preparation. AdPro helped me in finding the solution of two basic but critical questions which are:
What to do? and How to proceed?

Sir, thank you for guiding me either directly or indirectly in my life.

Proton Manika Juneja

Test said...

Hi Shraddha and Manika - thanks for commenting. I always realised the value of right advice at the right time, as I received it during my college days.

Vidit Shah said...

Good Evening Sir,
It's true that we students always had and will have problem relating to slow proceedings of government and because of which students have to suffer a lot.

Vidit Shah

Aditee Sathe said...


It was an intense post.The picture of the tree with rays of bright light spreading from the core justified the seven points of realisation very well.
I feel it is because of these complexities of the young mind that mentoring holds the highest stand in our education process.

Proton Aditee Sathe

Test said...

Hi Aditee, am glad you liked the picture. Truly, pictures do speak more than words.

Juhi Jain said...

Hello Sir,

Great Post! There are two things which I have realized:

1. One should always respect experience.

2. Those who don't learn from history are condemn to repeat it.(You shared it once in one of your sessions.)

Sometimes I have been asked for advice or suggestion by my juniors or people younger than me. Those are typical those questions which troubled me also at that age. In spite of me sharing my learning, which I so passionately say so that the same mistakes are not repeated, sometimes I find same mistakes repeated. And it's so disheartening to see someone again repeating the same mistakes.

And so now I realize how crucial it is to listen to your elders. And the most amazing thing is that so many questions which keep troubling us can be answered so easily by our elders, if at all we pay attention.