Thursday, February 15, 2007

Dream Sessions and an Indian Apple Store

Woke up at 11 today too. ~sighs~ When was the last time I got up early? (Only 2 days back, but that sounds like ages ago.)

Had two lectures of New Venture Creation (NVC) followed by two lectures of Retail Management. NVC was fun, in the usual manner. If I would have had my way, I would re-name these classes as 'Dream Sessions'. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that what the professor teaches is so out-of-this world that it lulls you to sleep, just that I day-dream of how new ventures take their businesses to the corporate level. The strategies that they use, the myriad of options that they have and the choices that they must make. Network models, promising start-ups, venture-backed start-ups, marginal start-ups... they're not just words which random research scholars have typed into their word-processing software; they're live organisations, humming with the combined heart-beat of all the stakeholders of the firm.

Ok, I hereby conclude that I'm a "romantic-academic" (Eureka!! Have I just invented a term for the English language?) at heart !

There are two things that I must mention about these NVC classes before I move on to another topic (actually, make that 3!!).

1. I was surprised by a professor saying the following words, "If an individual wants to take his fledgling organisation to the corporate level, he must start with a very simple step: set audacious goals." Really? Is it actually that simple?? That humble goal setting process???

2. Sir sprung another surprise when he said this course wasn't something that we would forget about once our MBA would get over and we get on our with our jobs; the NVC spiral of articles and research papers isn't something that we'll be dusting off shelves in say, 5 years time, when (and if) we decide to start our own ventures. According to him, he is arming us with enough research materials and (he hopes) an inquisitive mind to study not only the organisation that we would be working in but also all forms of businesses that we encounter in our daily lives. Hmm... what say, do you see the makings of a Starbucks in your neighbourhood 'chai-waala'?

3. Speaking of 'chai-waala', there is no dearth of chai-waalas, maska-bun waalas, small-time coffee-shop owners that we discuss in class. The only way the class becomes interesting and lively is by the impromptu and passionate speeches that the students start making when they cite examples of people they personally know who started out small time and eventually made it big. And, typically, Sir springs to the black-board and starts drawing either a matrix or a graph to (to quote Sir) "try and see if we can have some idea about how the person was successful". (Trust me, nothing sounds as intellectual as those words when said by a greying Bengali prof. who knows his stuff).

Just as I was wondering whether I've taken my MBA at least a year or two earlier, Sir sprung another surprise. He said, "Your real MBA starts once you walk out of this institute. Here, we only provide you the tools and some basic knowledge, the real learning starts when you apply this knowledge to the uncertainties of the world outside." Cool ! :)

Moving over to the Retail Marketing classes, I actually kept Sir back after class to discuss Apple Stores with him. I've become an Apple fan of late, and was wondering where in India do I have to go to see (and someday, hopefully, buy) a MacBook. I had thought that with the booming economy and the number of people looking to buying a laptop, India would've been a sure-shot target. When I went to the Apple website, however, I found that the closest address for an Apple Store is in Singapore. :(

Sir said that he'd already spotted a shop in Forum Mall, Bangalore where they have the authorised dealership of Apple products. [My friend Abhinav also told me to check out the Himalaya Mall in Ahmedabad where, apparently, there's another dealer.] Not satisfied with 'authorised dealerships', I asked Sir how long would it be before we could expect an Apple Store. "Any time now." And what had kept them waiting for so long? "You must please appreciate the FDI norms that the Govt. keeps commenting on." And the destination would be?? Mumbai? Bangalore? "Of course Bangalore, no doubt about it. But you never know, even Hyderabad is picking up quickly."


Had worn my India t-shirt all day long, and thank God the guys won at Goa.

Post dinner at Madhurya (with Sam and Basanti), have been working on the Capstone project. Hope we rock tomorrow.

Cheers and good night. :)


arpana said...

wow! do you know how much I'd missed these posts of yours? damn! it makes me shut down my comp and catch a book to read .. welcome back pal .. **hugs**

Shekhar said...

arpana: Thanks. :) Yep, me missed your comments too, madame.

ani said...

u knw there's an authorised apple store rite here at tGurukul in the MCD wala mall... ek baar vahan ghoom skate ho!! jlt timepass!! :D I do that loads o times!!

Shekhar said...

ani: Hmm.. thanks.. Kya bolti hai? Date pe chalegi?? ;)

Nerd in beta said...

I have been to Bangaluru's Apple Store once.. and the feeling is awesome...

All white interiors.. Purity at its peak.. A divine experience..

There is one in Ansal Plaza, Delhi too... couldn't spend much time there but ambiance was the same.

But nothing can match this one.

Shekhar said...

nerd in beta: Hmm.. why do I feel like going to Bangalore, oops.. Bengaluru all of a sudden. ;)

Thanks for the link, it's awesome. :))