Dec 29, 2006

The Rs. 1 Crore Salary

Recently, there was a news item that proclaimed, “IIM A grads turn down Rs. 1 crore offer to start own business”

My eyes popped out (like they show in the cartoons). I mean, they should have some guts and absolute belief in their ideas to turn down an offer like that. Kudos to them! India needs more entrepreneurs, who can take this country forward. (Till this point in the post, I’m NOT being sarcastic).

Now, moving on, I have an interesting proposition for the Company which offered them the fat dollar salary…

Why not take 3 people from a lesser reputed Institute for Rs. 1 crore? I mean, I would be more than willing to work for Rs. 33.33333 lakhs a year, and I’m damn sure that I can convince 2 more friends of mine to do the same. And, we are also MBAs, though we are not ‘branded for life’. We learnt the same courses, maybe not from such illustrious Profs, but our Profs are not too far behind. We cracked the same CAT, with a percentile or two lesser. We worked the same 20 hour schedules in our b-schools, and read the same HBR cases. In short, I’m pretty darned sure that three of us combined can take on a single IIM-A grad any day (in fact, my friends might say, we can take them one-on-one, but this is not a post on Insti bashing, or glorifying our own).

So, the company takes three of us, and pays us 1 crore in all. We share it among ourselves, and the company need not bother mediating on that behalf. We will do work equivalent to three people. (As it is, the companies nowadays believe in “Take one, Pay double and extract thrice the work”). So, the company gets the work of three people done for the price of one.

Why should we sell ourselves cheaper? B’coz, when three people work on one job, it essentially means that I have to be in office only 2 days out a working week of 6 days. So, I go Mon-Tue, my friend goes Wed-Thu, and the third one goes Fri-Sat. and so, we keep rotating. If the work load is larger, two of us will come instead of one. Man, to earn 33 lakhs by working 2 days in a week. I’m sure many of friends would say YES to that.

In fact, in extreme conditions, we will also work shifts. Each of us works 10 hours a day, and the company gets 30 hours of work done in a 24-hr day. I mean, I would gladly work for 8-10 hours a day, and take only one day off, for 33 lakhs. Much better than working twice as long (16 hour work days are the norm) which is what I would be expected to do otherwise, while being paid nowhere close to 33 lakhs. Occasionally, as long as my work-life balance is not being threatened, I will work 16 hours and so will my friends (which translates to a 48-hr man day for the company!!!)

So, IMHO, this is as good a WIN-WIN situation as it can get (yeah, Mr. Covey, I did read your book).

If that Company’s HR were to ever read this, my number is…

Dec 23, 2006

Professionalism - from the eyes of an IIT Madras student !!!

I recently read a blog of an IIT-ian who had accused companies of being unprofessional for various reasons, one being that they did not disclose salaries in the ppt, another that they did not answer properly when an applicant for the job asked them what a ‘business analyst’ means.

Now, before I begin to make my point, lemme state at the outset that:
Ø I personally do not think IIT-ians are arrogant, as many speculate. I have seen quite a few from those glorious institutions to form such an uninformed opinion.
Ø I really think that they deserve the wonderful salaries that the media reports that they get, since they did clear the IIT-JEE (among the toughest exams in the world, without doubt), and did survive 4 years in an extremely competitive environment when they were barely out of their teens.
Ø I do not think the IIT-ians owe anything to the nation or the general public, just because the Government grants some funds to IITs. They are perfectly within their rights to seek a good job in or out of India.

But, this post was a bit too much for me. You go to an interview, applying for a job that apparently is going to pay you $ 110000 a year. The company has short-listed you because they think that you are among the most elite batch that they are going to get their hands on. You are 21 years old, and have not seen the inside of a corporate office, unlike some MBAs who come with atleast work experience (in other words, in industry parlance, you are still ‘wet-behind-your-ears’, though you are a master when it comes to numerical abilities). You are applying for a job of ‘business analyst’, one they did not prepare you for at an IIT, a position that many others reach after slogging for some years.

You go into the interview and ask them, “What does a business analyst mean?” Now, THAT to me is unprofessional. You are perfectly right to think that you are just being genuinely curious, but any interviewer worth his salt would think that you are being cocky. You are going into an interview, you should atleast have done your homework on what position you are interviewing for.

I mean, it is not like they picked you out of some remote village and out you there. You have access to the Internet, some of the best scientific and business magazines from all over the world, and enough alumni in top positions in virtually every business to help you out if you have a doubt. Now, given all that, you go out and ask your interviewer what a ‘business analyst’ means. And, expect them to explain it to you, and get offended when they don’t. Worse still, you accuse them of being unprofessional.

Sometimes, I wonder whether the salary that they are paying you is worth it, because for all the intellectual capability that you bring to the table, you obviously lack some basic business sense and inter-personal skills.

Dec 17, 2006

Does Size Matter?

Statutory Warning: Contains offensive language. Parents advised not to read this.

Today, I came across yet another instance of ‘sensationalism’ in the ToI – a Medical Council report saying that Indian men didn’t quite measure up when it came to matters of the ‘organ’ (not that other newspapers are less sensational, I have nothing against ‘The Old Lady of Boribunder’).

But the subject matter of the report amused me. Now, here was a newspaper which ostensibly is part of a normal Indian family (in fact, a lot of families, if ToI’s bragging about its readership is to be believed). Now, imagine your typical ten year old opening the paper (because you have been trying to inculcate the ‘reading habit’ into him, a losing battle in the age of computers and X-boxes), and coming across a pink condom against a measuring scale. Well, you might say, there are worse pictures on Page 3 of BT, but then, that is worth another discussion.

Well, our chotu asks, “Papa, what does this mean?” (or worse “Papa, what is your size?”). How do you give him a reply? What terms would you use to make a kid understand? Which liberal, progressive editor allowed such a bold picture to be splashed across his newspaper? I remember seeing a generous cleavage on a report on male voyeurism in India, especially with the mobile cameras, MMS and the Internet. While the report made sensible reading, the pictures were clearly more suited to more colourful magazines. Well, I’m digressing into responsible versus sensational journalism which is not the point of this post.

So, coming back to the point, “Does size really matter?” “Why are men obsessed with the size of their organ?” “Is it the old male ego that I have to have a bigger house, a bigger car, a bigger jet, a bigger yacht, a girlfriend with bigger you-know-what?” I remember reading somewhere, “Men stand as far back as possible in urinals, just to prove to that they have got a bigger organ. They don’t realize that they are pissing on their shoes”. (Girls, let me assure you, that is about as true as guys imagining that girls roam naked when we are not around)

So, if a Pamela Anderson can say ‘Intel inside’ (I hear that computer chips are made from the same material), can men be far behind? So, we receive dozens of mails promising to ‘double the size’ in a few days… (along with the usual cheap loans, great stock tips, Nigerian money making schemes, and naked Jeannie just waiting for me to check her out). The solutions range from creams and lotions, exercise machines to God knows what not.

While we always hear (and ‘see’) actresses and models enhancing their assets to improve their chances in the glam industry, we hardly ever hear of any famous actor getting his share of enhancements? Nor do we ever hear of ‘push-up’ underwear for men?

Which leads me to my final thought in this mindless post – If the world were to be dominated by women one day (“It already is”, I can hear my married friends saying), would we hear about a Tom Cruise or a Hrithik getting a you-know-what-I-mean? Or see an ad for a Wonder-langot?

What do you think gals?