An IRMA Prof. Arunathan always ask a very profound question on poor and rural managers : “Why we are here and why they are there?” There must a greater emphasis on individuality and questioning the status quo in very academic program. Continuing from the 3rd part of the Development series in RM , I will move towards the 4th part of the learning in the field of Rural Management. Here in 10 points what I learnt in last 3 months:
1 - RM student could barely handle the stress when the pile of assignments came to them. They devolve from sensible students to the frenzy morons looking for their grades.
2 - The exposure to the American just do-it culture can produce entrepreneurs rather than a MBA degree. MBA is only as mandatory prestige tag for sure success in industry.
3 - Everything that we do, revolves around the singular concept of landing up with a great job. And the fact is no matter what we do, we will end up with a decent enough job in a corporate environment.
4 - Marketing is not expensive, merely frightening. The best way to learn marketing is to do marketing. It require talked to people of different temperaments at their mental level.
5 - When bulls fight, crops suffer. Such is the politics of professors and college administration.
6 - Donor mentality in reconstructing lives of poor can have a loophole that poor may become accustomed to depending on foreign aid.
7 - Business is not a science that can be learnt from textbook but it can be absorbed a little a time and learning process can go on infinitely. The encounters with men/women of different attitudes and bargaining power provides one an insight of the crux of the business. And same holds true for tracking companies and market with much more complex business ecosystem around them.
8 - Today our villages are languishing due to the lack of – political will, availability of resources and most importantly abject neglect by the intellectual capital of the country. In words of Arvind Kejriwal: All the government schemes are made in Delhi where one Dr Montek Singh Ahluwalia, a non-elected representative, makes schemes and allots Rs 30,000 crore to implement them across the villages of the country. The needs of each village are different from the other.
9 - When a society boast about how glorious they have been in the past, it is an open indication of how defensive they are currently in their mindset. Such is the scenario of Indian society. And only exposure to real-life data helps students of this society in being better prepared in their professional careers.
10 - To be poor is to be denied the opportunity to participate in social, economic, and cultural transactions. Poverty is not created and recreated in a social vacuum; it is produced and reproduced through practices that are both relational and unequal. Lack of tenurial security and lack of appropriate development inputs are among the reasons why Naxalism has spread so much in the country.
There is a great anecdote by Prof Arunn that must be embraced for life - During my Ph. D. days a decade back, I met in a conference, one of the original thinker and top performers in my domain of research (heat transfer); over a bar conversation, I was about to excitedly explain an idea that I 'planned to work' and he gently patted me to silence in mid-breath; Arunn, don't tell me what you 'plan to work', work; and publish; and I will know what you did. That response (from a 'gentle giant' with more than 600 papers and 10 books and one of the 100 highly cited authors in mechanical engineering) was a 'slap of advice' that is indelible. It helps now and then to keep oneself busy.