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Mediocre But Arrogant – The New MBA

The title is of a book by Abhijit Bhaduri. How apt is it to my present world!! Oh my!!

My walk to my school is exactly 7 minutes. Including my wait in signals admiring the sumptuous architecture of our building called 11. In these 7 minutes, the everyday battle is the resulting disconnect with the world. I would rather walk at a leisurely pace but the sooner I reach, the earlier I connect back to the world to solve world’s problems. Internet, ah how can I live without you. So if this was an Operations Management exercise can you identify where the bottleneck is?

The introduction sessions in my Business school seems ages ago though 5 months afresh. Those days, struggling to get used to a capital city lifestyle. Morbid evenings, being far away from family. Mood at best Somber with doubts over my own decisions and of course the intriguing excitement of a new chapter to begin. Things started looking up fast. One key session to quote from those days was on “ Roman Aqueducts” . The beauty of the session was twofold, one being “ Innovative thinking” and the other being how people with no wifi-internet could pull off something staggeringly beautiful yet so useful. If this was a strategy class can you answer if it gave competitive advantage to Romans or being straightforward why on earth did they build it?

It is heartening the donations flowing in to encourage R&D in medical field. Each investment will ensure society is healthier and mankind survives varied apocalypse both manmade and natural to pass on its fables. But are we responsible for the monetary part of it though? Where are the Pfizers and Novartis of the world. A look at their financial statements and their worth together is bigger than all our donations put together surely. So should we, the enlightened masses, bring to light, areas, in dire need of investments, such as child education, sanitation etc? For education is the pillar of societal development and had most of the third world population been educated, we would surely have figured out cures for all that ails mankind today such as War, poverty, religion? If this was a financial investment, class, which project “personally and financially” gives you better return on investment? Net present value always wins.

The centuries old scribblings that are inscribed on caves, walls are no contention to today’s print and digital ads. However, they say a tale. They tell story of how ingenious mankind has always been. Evolving from one crisis to the other, innovating to survive. Rome was not built in a day, but boy are we curious to fragment this brilliant civilisation. There have been many civilisations before and after, but Rome fascinates every single child from all corners of the world, assuming they have the privilege called education in most of these parts. The audacity of its architecture of aqueducts, the use of Nature to supply water to innermost regions of the world all tells a fabulous story. The essence in ensuring civilisations prosper not only in cities but also towns, needs mention. Sanitation, agriculture, industrial area thrived and today we are here, probably to the brilliance of Romans or probably someone else, but lets put it this way, Mankind. This was their marketing plan to the world to brand themselves as the torch bearers of civilisation. So, Assuming the primitive Roman, with his raw skills to understand nature like we can’t, was to walk this earth now and witness our “Ice Bucket Challenge”, what shall be his reaction? Once he watches the ice bucket challenge videos in coming years, would we have branded our generation in the light we would have wanted to, as an epitome of intellect? Marketing assignment maybe?

In a nutshell, I am not against fun. Fun is essence of life and in the present generation sharing happiness exponentially increases happiness be it physical or virtual. However, Privilege has a non-negotiable burden called taking for granted. Water is precious, like Wifi for us in the campus. For some its a privilege granted, for most its not.  Coming from an emerging country, where rivers are goddess and the goddess are dirty, this resource exploitation is despicable. Water, unused can’t be given to people elsewhere, agreed but the point is not giving it to people in need. It is not a tradeoff. The point is to use this privilege that a very few get, in a responsible manner. Wars during Roman civilisation were fought for land, the future wars will be for water. Who wins this war? Why ice water and not an Oil Bucket challenge ? Insipid Arrogance.

I leave you with one last weekend assignment. Imagine you walk into the campus one fine day, only to find the water supply is out and the WIFI as well. Which would be more irritating ? The fact to find no water to wash your hand, or the inability to share this gruesome apathy on social media ? Either way, the answer for my first question on bottleneck is Mediocrity. Mediocrity that mankind has achieved with evolution. The other assignments, we can figure out together.

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