What is the Role of Education?

Let’s question our age old concept of education, what is its role and what is it supposed to do?

It’s of course different from literacy, which is the ability to read and write.

Education might be imparted or not be in classroom environment.

The receiver has to be motivated.

The giver can take any form (could be a person, nature or even a machine).

Education should enable the person to think clearly and to question ideas. If you know the art of asking the right questions, you are half-learned anyway.

It should free a soul enough to listen to others’ viewpoint, and critically think through it without being offended, even if it is totally the opposite of what s/he thinks and believes.


Mark Twain aptly wrote: “I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

Business Plans – Why are they needed anyway?


In the opportune times we live today, there are so many problems we are surrounded in as a world citizen that everyone has many issues to take care of and loads of obligations to fulfill. However, for some reason, most of the people keep looking for brilliant job opportunities to make their life.

Entrepreneurship is synonymous to risk-taking, however, the pursuit of this adventure has made fortunes for those who take the responsibility and push themselves through the zeal and passion required for success. It is also referred to as the “Creative Destruction” where new technologies, practices and approaches take over the old methods of doing things bringing betterment to the society at large. Microsoft & Google, for instance, changed the face of how personal computing & internet operates today, but they started off from a garage & dorm rooms.

The most amazing thing about this buzz word is the number of myths surrounding it. Many of the reasons people generally give to themselves for not pursuing it include lack of money, contacts, opportunities, looks, etc. but these are just excuses pushing ourselves back from our goals.

If someone is interested in pursuing a venture, there could be no force that would drive him back. What is needed though is a preparation for the business. Preparation starts from an idea that seems to be potently marketable. It could be as outrageous as opening a kite flying school to as sophisticated as starting on a VLSI microchip fabrication plant, but it is all right as long as there is sufficient demand in the market to cater to.

Whist having an idea won’t work much unless you take a step further to give it a practical dimension, you need to sit down and analyze your product’s estimated demand patterns that you believe would follow. Once you know the size of the market, you would be in a much better position to estimate your share of the pie and prepare feasibility, a.k.a. the Business Plan. This is one of the most important documents you need to prepare as it is the face of the company before the company has a face.

Business Plan
Plan: You have nothing to lose!

In a business plan, you would need to have information on various areas of business establishment, including production, marketing, distribution & logistics and of course, finance. This might look like a grueling task, but if you’re excited about your idea, you should not mind spending some time filtering its applicability. This business plan does two major things: firstly, it forces you to think over your idea’s various aspects and understand the difficulties, dynamics, and details of the business yourself; and secondly, it can be a rather small 20-30 page summary of the proposed business that could be given to potential investors, bankers and other financiers for project’s funding.

Don’t be afraid of this work as you could approach me to assist you for your business plan preparation needs. I have worked with people from a range of industries from hard-core single product start-ups to multiple service-based setups needing to expand. The best thing is that when you have it done professionally, you won’t regret as the costs you incur are actually miniscule in comparison to the benefit you would derive. So if you are thinking about getting your own business off the ground or expanding the scale of operations, make sure you get in touch!

The gist of the matter is that having a vague idea is only as good as having no idea at all, but if you are determined to implement your business, you could be far better off if you do this the right way as Brian Tracy puts it: “A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.”

Mark Hurd’s Lead in Oracle


Mark Hurd has joined Oracle. The market welcomed this move with a whopping increase in share price as soon as the news broke. Is it a good thing for Oracle? For HP?

At HP, his departure was somewhat strange with a host of stories from his abuse of power and sexual harassment charges to simple expense account irregularities as suggested in the company’s press release, but things were not brought out very clearly in the Press Release done by HP. It was a hotchpotch of news items which were found all over the “internet” and the “off-ternet” suggesting reasons for his departure but few were able to assign clear cut reasons for the same. HP’s position goes worse on two accounts: firstly, losing out on a competent employee means loss of company performance in the short-term and secondly, such a loss of performance would be hit by even larger fear lingering on other top C-level executives that would possibly keep them from even productive, professional involvement with female executives in many instances.

At Oracle, Hurd’s new Presidency means a host of opportunities for the company. However, Larry Ellison would still retain the top-man’s role in the company. This new setup with with Safra Catz and the role in the Board would mean a revitalization of Oracle at C-level and the possibility of entering into many new dimensions, much faster.

Clearly, things in the industry would shuffle up and there would be radical diversions in the strategy of not only these two companies, but also others. It would be interesting to note and compare HP’s growth trajectory and product and service innovation with Oracle’s in the next few months to years to see how important the “person behind the gun”, or the top executive could be in leading and managing change.

Ingredients of Entrepreneurship


Entrepreneurship is a combination of three core things (however, please note that it’s not a recipe mix that will always bring out a great entrepreneur – it’s rather more like a perspective of looking at this concept encompassing various aspects of entrepreneurship):

Personality: Includes upbringing of a person, confidence, interpersonal skills, ability to think on the feet and solve issues all the time.

Opportunity: This is the break that one gets to have. Most people I know who are curious to become an entrepreneur seem to be waiting for this perpetually. I don’t think there’s anything such as a big break. Life keeps giving you opportunities all the time, and you can only make good anyone of them if you are ready to. Moreover, an opportunity could be an opportunity for you because of your experience or academic background or interest in a particular domain.

Risk: This is the most interesting part of entrepreneurship. It’s an entrepreneur’s second nature. Risk doesn’t mean going wild with your whims, but actually refers to calculated risks an entrepreneur has to take all the time.

But even with these three, there’s one thing that must be very clear in any business opportunity. That thing is summed up in this one question: “What’s the deal?”

Deal: is all about identifying the core of any business opportunity. It is difficult to focus on this and identify what’s the real deal in a business, but with time, good entrepreneurs command this almost instinctively. I’ll be writing more about “Deals” and deal-making in the coming weeks.

The Rise of Social Entrepreneurship


When you look around yourself, do you see problems? Do you see issues crying for attention? If you are a little conscious about your environment, your surroundings, the people you meet regularly and the places you visit routinely, you will notice a lot of things that are not how they should/could be. That’s where you can prove yourself.

Andrew Carnegie used to say that every adversity opens doors to loads of opportunities. Every problem is thus an “opportunity in disguise” – precisely what the concept of Social Entrepreneurship is all about.

It is simply about picking up a problem in your surrounding that could be improved and then moving a step ahead with actually improving the situation by solving part of the problem. You would notice there is so much that could be done that you’d have to hire people to start doing things pretty soon.

Ideas and the Power of Attitude

Although more people that I have met so far tend to somehow focus on the negatives and play their game, most if not all the successful people I happened to talk to have been different. They usually keep an eye on the positives.

When you start focusing on the positives of everything, you might start feeling like a fish-out-of-water for a while because that’s not the way everyone thinks about things. Over time, this focus can bring about an amazing change in attitude, and therefore, results.

Ideas. These are one of the most important blessings that humans have. Those who know would concur. It is the power of ideas that men have risen from the ground to put their feet on moon and also gone down under the earth to fetch the treasures beneath.

Ideas could come in many forms ranging from as direct as a statement by someone you know to an abstract indication inspired by a natural thing. How then should we be focusing on those ideas to lead ourselves into opportunities. The answer lies in BELIEF in those ideas! Once you start believing in something, you are bound to get success in fulfilling that belief, given you take the correct approach and maintain the right attitude. What you need to do is stop taking things for granted, open your eyes and brain and look around with a purpose to bring positive difference to anything you see, hear and feel. You will start noticing things even before you notice that such a change in yourself.

I love this quote: It is not only your aptitude, but also your attitude which determines your altitude!