Emotions, Entrepreneurship, Government

Starting trouble

“The World is finally realizing what ‘Start-Up India’ is. Minimum government & maximum governance is what this initiative is all about.  We want to focus on hand holding for start-ups” announced PM Modi, wearing a beige colored what’s now known as the ‘Modi jacket’ and in his usual baritone voice. Most part of the country turned euphoric. Scenes at those 750sq.ft apartments of Bengaluru and Powai were extremely jubilant. In fact, for few it was as though the Holy Grail was home-delivered that evening.

600 miles away, in the usual morbid bachelor room set up, glancing through the same announcement online evoked not an iota of change in me. That it had no change in me wasn’t uncanny either, given my upbringing. Optimists around have already started betting big on Government’s plans to change the country for better. However, does it really signal a massive makeover that our society might soon experience?

Brought up in a temple town which would pass off as a pensioners’ paradise, the idea of entrepreneurship has always been a far cry to me. Born to a banker who suited up for the same organisation for 35 years until he retired, entrepreneurship, as I believed, was a concept that was best understood only by an upmarket child. My granddad enjoyed a safe and secure work life as a clerk for the Government. My dad was cut from the same cloth. My uncles and aunts and cousins and neighbors have all along fitted themselves into a template of monthly pay cheques.

In all this, it was indeed quite considerate of my dad to let his 25-year-old son pursue business education. While seeing me off for the program, “I bless you get placed in a Multinational and soon settle down in the Bay Area. United States is a place I’d always wanted to be” were his parting words. Wasn’t he supposed to wish to see his son rather become a successful business maker? I wouldn’t get cross with my dad for those words. Dads usually want their sons to achieve what they couldn’t.

I may have lost you there with my mundane singular account of life but, the whole point of churning this up was to question the mind set of many of us. Wanting to pursue MBA, entrepreneurship was never a thought that has ever occurred to me. Most of us channelize our aspirations towards ending up in a cubicle of a cosy corporate. That said, if a Master of Surgery is designed to doctor surgeries on a patient and a law graduate is to fight cases out in a courtroom, shouldn’t a B school graduate be cut out to start his own business venture?

Every MBA program is structured to make entrepreneurs out of us. Over the course of the program one is trained and imparted all that is required of him to run a business all by himself. Though some may argue that its objective is only to shape better managers, I beg to differ.

Our social circle by and large hasn’t still come to grips with this idea of setting up one’s own business. It still defines a successful chap as someone who lands on a seven digit salary. Not that my dad, you and I don’t fancy to be businessmen, only that idea doesn’t exist at all in our mind. Our brain is typically evolved to process a world that is locally linear. Ironical it may seem, nonetheless I own a 2009 model Splendor Plus motorbike which my dad gifted during my engineering sophomore. Whenever it gives a starting trouble, I pull up the choke; that helps it give a smooth ride. Is there such a choke available for our mind which has starting trouble?

Gopal P | PGDM 2015-17