Monday, June 28, 2010

The Dream Begins - First Moments At I.S.B.

Blood was rushing through my veins in excitement. And I had the widest and happiest smile on my face. That morning, it was a sweet dream come true ! I was witnessing years of my dreaming becoming real right infront of my eyes !

24 years into my life, on 26th April, 2010, at 8 A.M. on a bright sunny morning, I was sitting in a class. A class of India’s brightest and best engineers, chartered accountants, police officers, army officers, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and an actress ! Life had just begun !

“Howdy !”, she said with a voice that was bubbling with energy while commanding a reply.
The widest smile on my face was now stretching towards a world record.

“Howdy !”, the class replied back.
“Well, I’m MaryLea McAnally. My parents named me so because my grandparents were named Mary and Lea. I’m a Canadian and i did my Ph D in financial accounting from Stanford University. And now, I am here in this beautiful country to teach you all accounting.”, She said.

“Ph D !! And Stanford ! Woww !”, my heart thought.

For the next 15 minutes, the sheer privilege of sitting in the class overpowered me ! It is not everyday in life that you sit among the India’s finest people, in the best of infrastructural facilities, surrounded by greatest works of art and technology and taught by a legend in the subject ! I was smiling and enjoying every moment of life in the class. And looking back at the day, I’d only say that I’m not sure if there exists a heaven after life, but then sitting in the first row and in a remote left corner of the class and witnessing a legend teaching financial accounting was worth living a whole life ! It was as exhilarating as it can get !

“Accounting is the language of business !”, she said fifteen minutes into the class.
“Language of business ?”, my mind had started its blabbering.

“That is to say, if business were to be a person, would he/she be speaking accounting ?”, my mind asked myself.

I wanted to ask the professor about it, but then, I did not want to become a certified and confirmed idiot. As such, I was one of the least experienced in the class and this question would only stamp my inexperience in business and portray me as a stupid guy unworthy of an I.S.B. admit infront of her.

“But Sai, would the language of business be accounting ? !!”, asked my mind again.

“Certainly not ! Accounting is just a record of financial activities that has happened as a result of business. It is the diary of business. Infact it is the life history of business. But certainly not the language of business”, my heart said.

“So, then what could be the language of business ?”, my mind asked.

“Well, imagine again. If business were to be a person, then what would he/she be speaking ?”, asked my heart.

“I’m not sure”, said my mind.

“Well Sai, the whole purpose of any business is to earn money and earn money by creating a value to the customer. And this earned money is, in my view, classified under ACCOUNTING !”, said my heart.

“Hmm..”, said my mind.

“But then earning money happens through speaking a language that adds value to the customer. And Sai, that language of business, in my view, is MARKETING !”, said my heart.

“Hmm.. Go on”, said my mind.

“And to speak that language again which the customer wants to hear, you need to think. And this thinking is called STRATEGY ! It tells you what to speak, how to speak, where to speak and when to speak. It is the ‘mind’ of the business”, said my heart.
“Is that all ?”, said my mind.

“Well not really dear ! To think of the right way and for the right results, you need to be fearless, uncluttered, take calculated risks and not worry about end results. It is ENTREPRENUERSHIP. And that is me – The HEART of the business”, finished my heart.

“Ohh.. Well, Mr.Genius if you know so much about business then what are you doing here in this class ? You should be out there doing real business !”, my mind teasingly said trying to shame my heart.

“Well dear, I’m CONSULTING ! That’s what I.S.B. is famous for !”, my heart said. And I could feel a warm and happy giggle over that thought.

“Ok ok.. Enough of your operations research and trying to optimize business definitions ! Listen to the class now ! You have paid 20 Lakhs to the consultant and you better hear what she has to say !”, said my mind.

And that day, as the first class ended, I felt amazing. I wanted to go to the professor and ask her a lot of questions on business. But then, I decided, I would not insult her genius by asking stupid questions and raising useless thoughts.

“I will rather blog one day and ask her view on it”, my mind said.
“Ya, that’s much better”, said my heart too.

And as the class moved out to attend the next class, I was still sitting in the remote left corner of the first row. I was sitting there with just one feeling.

“One day and hopefully very soon I will come up with a thought, a truly original thought – A thought that would revolutionalize the way all businesses run ! It will integrate the language, mind, heart and the consultant’s views to ensure that the life history and power of business is enhanced to meet the needs of the society. And I will not rest till I do it”, said my heart.

“Ya ya.. But first better take care of your grades. You have a loan on your head and you are competing with India’s top C.A.s, C.F.As, I.I.T.ians, Lawyers, Doctors, Entrepreneurs, Business Managers and Technology leads for jobs in January”, reminded my mind.

I took my bag and began to move out of the class. And as I left my heart said again “Someday, I will come up with a thought – A truly original thought that would revolutionalize business work forever and that day, I will thank my professor Mary Lea McAnally for having given a stunner of a first day at the B-School”

P.S : This blog is totally dedicated to Professor MaryLea McAnally whose classes at I.S.B. left me craving and passionate for business knowledge. It is my humble way of offering thanks to the wonderful person who has set and determined my thought flow process about the business world.