‘NO to IIM Bangalore’ – Manas Garg!
A lots of us want to get into IIM Bangalore.. There is so much about getting to A B or C.. Its a dream!! People slog for it for years… But today, I have a very special guest, Manas Garg! Manas, is also one among 250,000 people who took CAT 2007 with a dream of making it to the IIMs.. But when he got a lonely call from IIM Bangalore, he rejected the offer to attend the interview.. Manas has given some of his thoughts about why he rejected the call in this episode of Coffee With Experts.. Today, when a lot of us are gha-gha about making into IIMs, without even having any idea about why they want to be there.. This interview could be an eye-opener..
Its my pleasure to invite Manas Garg!
Coffee With Manas Garg!
Me: Sundar Rajan G S
MG: Manas Garg
Me: Hi Manas, First of all – Let me tell you.. You have taken a gutsy decision. When did you take the decision to pursue CAT/MBA? And more imporantly when did you decide to reject the call?
MG: It was in the final year, after working for Spider Club.. I realized that I throughly enjoyed working independently. I felt that entrepreneurship was my goal.. and thus an MBA seemed to the right thing to do. However, I was never completely convinced about this idea, and I kept getting second thoughts all the time. It was only after the results were out and I got the call from IIM Bangalore that I finally decided that I’d reject the call.
Me: Just to add context to this discussion, what was your cat percentiles, how many calls did you get.. Can you share these details..
MG: I had 98.5 percentile, and got just one call – from IIM-B. I attempted very few questions in the English section and my percentile in that section (apparently my strongest) turned out to be just 83. I was expecting calls from other IIMs but definitely not IIM-B. Getting the B call was a pleasant surprise.
Me: Where was the mismatch… You were enthusiastic at one point and suddenly u decided no after getting call.. Why did you change your decision.
MG: After getting the call, I spoke to a lot of people – people studying at IIM-B, people studying in ISB and people with commendable experience in the tech sector. The common things that came out of my discussions were as follows:
- IIMs are not a good place if you want to go into a tech company after your MBA. People in IIM love finance, economics and dream of Investment banks and Consultancy firms. I’d be a mismatch – I dream about technology all the time!
- Most engineers who join IIMs do it mainly ‘coz they have had enough of coding. I still haven’t – Again – I’d be the odd one out.
- After two years in such an environment, I’d lose touch with technology – and everyone agreed that it would be hard to get back into hardcore tech.
- It is not a do-or-die situation for me as yet. I can always go do an MBA later if i want to. Why hurry things up? I’m all of 22 years old.
To top it all, I love my job. I love the workplace, I love the kind of work I’m getting and I love the people I’m working with. As you can see, I have enough reason not to go for an MBA just now. I have described the reasons in detail and had a debate with my friends on my blog here – http://manasg.com/2008/03/25/mba/
Me: Now that you have thought a lot about MBA in India.. What are the pros and the cons of it.. (According to you!)
MG: MBA is more than the glamorous profession people in school or college look up to. The entry is difficult, and upto an extent, random too. Once in the institute, you need to work very hard. What we did for our engineering is nothing compared to the hard work an MBA course demands. And finally, the high paying jobs one gets after the MBA are also taxing – they don’t really leave you with time to relax.
MBA courses in India are highly inclined towards finance, and there are hardly any reputed MBA courses with focus on technology or entrepreneurship.
Me: Microsoft gives a good Pay package for software engineer.. How much did money factor play a role in you decision.. even if it played a small role?
MG: I’d be lying if I say money did not pay a role. Had I been earning much lesser than what I’m just now, maybe this decision would have been tougher for me. Microsoft is an amazing place to work. The work environment, unlike most other tech companies, is very relaxed. However, relaxed definitely does not mean it is not challenging. The combination of good work, good work environment and good compensation is very satisfying. Also, I learn a lot everyday at work – there are always new things to do.
Me: What does your bold decision mean.. No MBA or No Indian MBA? What are the other options that you are looking for? Are you thinking of MS/Phd? Or MBA abroad.
MG: My decision does not mean no MBA. As of now, I’m enjoying my work as a developer at Microsoft, and don’t want to do anything to spoil it. If I feel that I’m done with technology (which is highly unlikely), I’d have no option but to go for an MBA. To put things in perspective, entrepreneurship has always been my dream, and I’ll do anything that is required to achieve it.
Me: Where do you see yourself 5 years down the line?
MG: I’m not sure if I can answer this truthfully – so I’ll skip it.
Me: What is the message that you would like to give to juniors in NIT Trichy.. And to all the other CAT aspirants & MBA aspirants?
MG: All I’d like to say is that don’t get caught in the rat race. Introspect, think and find out what you really want to do. College is a great time to figure out your passion. If you come out of college with a set goal, life will be much easier. Most of us have no idea about the job we’re going to take up – and consequently have no concrete plans for the future. Set a goal for yourself that you want to achieve in this lifetime – everything else is only the path leading to it. MBA or CAT is only one small piece in the whole jigsaw puzzle.
Me: What do you think about CWS initiative? What do you like about it.. Do suggest areas of improvements also..
MG: Sundar’s passion for his blog is really commendable. Even though he goes around telling every time there is a new post, I think it is only because he wants to share what he has discovered. I’m sure Sundar’s blog will soon be counted in India’s best blogs. I’m a regular reader of his blog and am so happy that he asked me to appear on his blog!
Me: Manas, its my pleasure to host you as well! All the best for your future.
Readers, hope you enjoyed this edition of Coffee With Experts! I hope this will help you to take a more informed decision about your MBA/CAT etc..
For previous episodes of Coffee With Experts – Click here