Apr 29, 2006

'How u will die' Quiz. Nice timepass

You scored as Disappear. Your death will be by disappearing, probably a camping trip gone wrong or an evening hike you never returned from. Always remeber that one guy who was hiking alone and got in a rock slide. He could have died, but he cut his own hand off to save himself. Don't end up like him (or worse, dead).













Natural Causes










Cut Throat




How Will You Die??
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Apr 26, 2006

A Life Worth Living. Part Un.

Was watching 'Biography' on History Channel today. They were covering the life-so-far of Richard Branson, who I consider one of my 'role models'. Consider this:

Branson quit school early and was actually encouraged by his headmaster to do so! His first business was a students magazine, and he went on to own a record company, an airline and what not. In a recent ad for Samsonite, he says "To me, business isn’t about wearing suits or pleasing stockholders. It’s about being true to yourself, your ideas, and focusing on the essentials"

Sunil Bharti Mittal started with a cycle business at the age of 18, His subsequent ventures included healthcare (capsule manufacture) before he jumped into telecom, and is now getting into retail

Bill Gates is probably the most famous dropout billionaire ever. He is also known to have slept in his jeans overnight in a garage writing code, and has a disheveled appearance to this day. While he has stuck with one business/brand - Microsoft, no one can say its the same business it was 10 years ago (Remember the pre-Windows days - No email, no MS Office, no blogs :) )

Dhirubhai Ambani was born in a poor village that he left at age 16 to 'learn business'. Textile - petrochem - Infocomm - and now Retail. Thats diverse - and thats what one calls a legacy!

Dr Vijay Mallya's story is not quite the same. He inherited a business. But he took it to new heights, and now plays in Airlines and politics!

What is common among these men - apart from the fact that I really admire them - is that they achieved what was considered impossible. All of them, save Mallya, came from modest families, did not have much formal education, yet they built huge diversified businesses and left their mark.

None of these guys went to an IIT or anything similar. At IIM, I've heard almost everyone say (with great clarity of thought and purpose), things like 'I want a career in finance. It befits someone of my intellectual capability'. 'I do not want a career in the FMCG industry. Sabun-tel nahi bechna'. 'IT main paisa aur auqat nahi hai'. I look at what the above greats have done - and a distinct feature is all of em have done more than one thing - manufacturing, selling, services, IT/Telecom. So why cant the capable IIT/IIM grads handle the variety of challenges?

Anyway, I shall now dispense with the commentary and critique and talk about myself and my philosophy in life.

I recently had a cushy job with a great company. Good money, peaceful hours, nice people, people-friendly policies and a secure future. It was great-for someone else!

I can not live with that kind of anonymity. Work, feed your family, do a few things you wanted - which were beyond your means at a point in life, and go to your grave satisfied. And be forgotten soon.

I've given up that job and am planning a short career, with a steep learning curve, some impact on whatever business I work for (preferably work on), and plenty of money which I will save to start my own business some day.

All the guys I mentioned above - entered a services business (air travel, retail, telecom) where they raised the bar on quality and surpassed consumer expectations. I will do the same one day and be admired for it. Its the only thing that would make life seem worthwhile to me. Someone very close to me once wrote about me 'little did I know that one of those people who affect earth-shattering changes had just entered my life'. One of my profs at IIT - the only one I ever grew close to - called me 'the biggest waste of potential I have ever seen'. I cant live with that. I have to live up to the potential I know and people have acknowledged. That is a true statement of purpose - straight from the heart. Ambitious? Definitely. And why not?

There is this question about my determination and ability to 'put fight'. I have fought for things I cared about - my top rank at several schools, my JEE AIR, first-year grades at IIT, a seat at IIM, first-term grades at IIM, Manfest - and I've always got the results I wanted.

If there is a question mark, it would have to be against motivation. Most people can put in continuous efforts to achieve results others expect them to, or admire them for. I can't. I have my own ideas of what is important and what I want to do in life. Had I been in the States or something, I'd have probably dropped out of school to do my thing. But this is India - I come from a middle-class army family, and I probably dont have that much courage.

I will make my place in history - or at least go down fighting. If I go to my grave without doing anything huge - it would not be at the end of a typical IIT-IIM career and a comfortable life. The epitaph would say 'He really, really tried'

Apr 23, 2006

IAF wants IITians!

Interesting read, at least for egoistic IITians!

IAF (Indian Air Force) goes hunting for IITians

Generation Y

An extract from Kotler - Marketing Memo on 'Generation Y'

The following traits are often ascribed to Gen Y:

  • Optimism and big expectations from the future
  • An obsession with achievement
  • technology savvy
  • Greater acceptance of racial and ethnic differences
  • Media savvy
  • Busy schedules
  • higher levels of stress
  • A heigthened ability to multitask
  • A strong sense of community and teamwork
  • A wish to make money but a need to give back
  • Emphasis on immediate gratification
  • Suspicion of advertising

    Somehow I found this depressing. I thought some of these things were part of my identity, only to discover that they were genaral traits of a 'segment'. Its a 'lost in the crowd' kind of feeling which I found disturbing.

    But it also strengthened my belief in the power of market research/analytics, and my desire to make a career in the same. Hope it works out - I really dont want a 'sell soap' or a 'sell asset products' job.

    Also, Gen Y is a pun. We are also 'Generation Why' - because we question the basis of everything, and do not accept norms and conventional wisdom just because we are told so. Gen Y includes people born between 1977 and 1990 (I dont understand why 77, and not 76, 78, or the nice, round 80).

    My own term for what follows is 'generation SMS'. At least in India, I think SMSing changed the way people communicate, and a whole lot of other, related things that great 'thought leaders' can discuss in detail and depth. Somehow SMS didnt become 'big' in the West or too many other places, but in India it is huge!

    Trivia: I also discovered while typing this post that i can type without looking at the keyboard (wow!). For the record, the error is <5% and usually only 1 char left or right, usually left!

    The Anti-Gandhi post - it will happen! Just need some free time, and some clarity on the job scene first :p
  • Apr 22, 2006


    Crude, simple yet very meaningful. At leat in my opinion - and thats all that counts on my blog!

    Every movie is a teacher. Every song an inspiration. Every book is a bible. As i fight the battle with myself, every thing that I learn is a weapon.

    Credit: Rajas 'The King' Raut

    And one more thing - I dont need your pity. It's my life. I live it on my terms and I'll do what I want to do. Things look tough - even bleak. But I have my dreams, my ideals and my plans. One day you will see. If I'm on a path that seems crazy to you, thats why I am on it and you are not. Respect that if you can - and lets just leave it at that.

    Apr 4, 2006


    I have been thinking about lots of stuff of late, being at a fairly chaotic station in life right now. And i've been wondering what motivates people?

    Lets look at the ideal state of life (hypothetical - and this is my construction - it could well vary for someone else)

    You have a big bungalow with some 5 ACs, a stylish drawing room with a plasma TV and a Bose music system. Several big cars - maybe Corolla for you and a City for the rest of the family (hypothetical, remember!). Domestic help including cooks, a waiter etc.
    You get up when you want, read ET and trade a few stocks. Maybe check on your business (or workplace - whatever) and have some meetings there or preferably over the phone. Whatever it is - you enjoy it and its done by lunch. Then you go play golf. In the evening, you entertain some friends, enjoying fines wines and fine dining. Then you watch some TV, have sex and go off to sleep.

    Now, reality is more like - 1/2 BHK depending on what city u r in, probably shared with some1 u dont necessarily like too much. 1 or no AC, 25" TV, MP3 on the comp. No car - or a Santro at best. You get up at 7-8 am, grumbling, get ready and rush off to work (in a local if u r in mumbai - thats the great leveller). You work for 10 hours, wasting some time, doing some meaningless work, sucking up to boss (at least a bit - if u know wats good for you), and doing a fair amount of productive work also. You get back, maybe have a drink or eat out, and just plop off watching TV unless its the weekend.

    Tho people would ideally like scenario 1, they manage living scenario 2 without fussing too much. What keeps them going? Is it the money they earn? Is it the glamour of working for a 'Big' company? Is it the pseud friends they visit discos with, at the weekend? Is it 'doing something you like' and 'having a purpose' in life? Is it the respect of people who do worse? Stock options? Financial security and comfort? Dollar dreams? (u know - getting picked up by a co for a US assignment later in life) What is it?

    What do I want in life? Why do I want to quit this job? Is it important to do something meaningful and enjoyable for the greatest part of one's life (the 10 hours in office)? Is it being with good people - who share ur interests, ur values and ur goals? Is it to just stay home and live in decent comfort and not stretch too much? What should one do? And most importantly, on what basis should one decice what to do with one's life?

    To give credit where its due, Maslow gave some ideas. But thats all too vague.