Monday, May 21, 2007

End of the MBA and Future Plans (last post)

Two years past by and I have finished my MBA. I thought this is a good time to share my experience and my future plans.

The main goal of doing the MBA was to learn a set of new skills; take some time to understand myself and create a vision of what I need to do in the future. Moving to Australia from Bombay was a chance to also create a better lifestyle for my family.

Now that I have finished the MBA I can say that most of the goals were achieved and I am happy I took this decision. The MBA did bring about a more strategic understanding of the business world, increased knowledge & skill sets and a sense of what needs to be done to create success.

More importantly, over the last two years I realised that I can combine my interest in finance (in ADP), the social aspect of making a difference (in Deeshaa); Business development and entrepreneurship (in and environmental activities in the current job (in DFC) into creating a career in the field of "sustainability and business" which dove tails perfectly into my values, beliefs, philosophies and future plans.

If you want to understand what I mean by "sustainability and business" check this link -

This realization in 2006 then directed me to explore my ideas and now I am well into a journey to work in this area. (

One of the great learnings was to establish myself in the university, in the community, making new friends, the workplace, understand a new culture and a new country. This learning will stay with me forever and will make a difference on how I view life now and in the future.

The best part was the multi-cultural experience of living in Australia. I had the opportunity to meet, interact and enjoy with people from various parts of the world. It is a unique experience that is available in only a few countries of the world.

Another interesting experience was to meet Indians from various parts of the country and the world and South Asians from Pakistan and Sri Lanka. There is so much in common.

Where am I going from here?

After finishing off my application for a permanent residency here in July, I plan to explore job and consulting opportunities in Australia. If a really good opportunity comes up then I may look beyond Australia. A visit to India is due around September of this year.

As this quote from Marcel Proust says, "The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" .

I have developed new eyes.

Thanks to all who have followed this blog or have passed through it. The blog has served me well and I hope you have enjoyed it. Today is the end of this blog.

Looking forward to a exciting new life. Keep in touch!

You can connect to me on Linked In or e-mail/chat at anantula [AT] gmail [DOT] com, on Yahoo/MSN/Skype (ID - suhit_a) or if you are interested follow my new blog - World is Green (RSS Feed; Email Subscription).


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The Sustainable MBA

Karen Losee at writes about "The Sustainable MBA".

She says that the climate change and sustainability issues facing us will require new leaders.

The future calls for leaders that can develop and lead profitable,
competitive businesses that are sustainable, both in a social and environmental
way. Where will these future leaders come from?

Traditionally, the business schools teach that "there is no higher purpose than to make money". This is true for most of the MBAs.

There are signs that this is changing. She cites a recent Net Impact survey among MBA schools in 110 schools.

  • 81% believed businesses should work toward the betterment of society
  • 89% said managers should take into account social and environmental impacts when making business decisions
  • 78% agreed that corporate social responsibility should be integrated into core curricula in MBA programs.”
This is a great change in thinking, but is not true everywhere.

In my MBA in Australia, there are very few people I have met who think in those terms. Business people generally do not talk about anything but money.

The UniSA MBA curriculum is struggling to teach the traditional MBA topics well, and are nowhere near talking about 'corporate social responsibility' or 'sustainability'.

For somebody like me who was interested in these topics it was very hard to pick topics that were near to this topic. I picked one elective from another Uni on "Enviornmental and Resource Economics" which has provided me a grounding in economics and the environment and a second elective designed as a small research topic on using Environmental Accounting principles in office buildings concentrating on Computers.

However, I believe that the tools taught in the traditional MBAs are still relevant. It just needs a different orientation and direction.

One book which I am reading now which combines the business world and sustainability is "Capitalism at the Crossroads" from Stuart Hart.

The first chapter of the book is titled "From Obligation to Opportunity". This is the theme which people need to understand.

For a country like Australia however, it is tough. There is a growing understanding of the environmental issues here but then it is dismissed because "we are too small and insignificant" to make a difference. In terms of poverty and other issues - Australia it too far away from these problems.

Firstly, you do not see poverty in the cities or elsewhere. Australians do not relate to poverty well. And poverty in other countries, this is more connected with aid and charity.

To be able to see that it can be a opportunity may be a leap too big conceptually.

Atleast in Australia, Green MBA may be possible but a Sustainable MBA is a tough ask.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Low Rent Living

Moving into a new country and a new city one of the first decisions that you need to make is renting a house. This rant is my experience with dealing with Indian students only!

When I moved into Adelaide almost 18 months back I started living with a couple of Indian students. In the next two months I met many people, saw their houses and at the end decided to rent a subsidized university accomodation in an 'Ok' suburb.

My wife was happy with my decision and after a year, we moved a leg up into a slightly bigger house but still a low rent subsidized housing but now in a better suburb (whatever that means).

Our campus was located in the city to enable part-timers to come from work to school. Some of the students decided to stay near to the City (the CBD) which would enable them to access the university easily and use the Uni provided transport.

This meant paying higher rent every week for 100 weeks.

My simple calculation was that, house rent was a fixed expense. And due to the lease contracts you are stuck with them for atleast a year. This meant that the rent should be the least you can possible manage. Just this decision will save me more than $6000 compared to some of my friends in the 2 years. This is including the move to the new house.

As a student that's a decent sized money, enough to pay three courses or financed our Car, our melbourne and brisbane trip and still save!

In this year we have been meeting many couples who have settled down here. They have started to look for houses to buy. Interestingly the most important decision forpeople who are working for atleast 2 years (in Australia from overseas) is to buy a home, take a mortgage and pay it for 20 years.

Not that owning a home is a bad thing, especially now with the housing market tanking in Australia, it could be a good buy too. However, is this better than low-rent living.

Low-rent living provides options to save, have flexibility, not get stuck with a job you don't like, start a business with the money you saved, invest in stock markets and just plain peace of mind.

Next year when I finish my education, we will not buy a house. We rather start a business!

This rant of mine has been inspired by this post on low-rent living on the Chief Happiness Officer blog.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Australia: A Small Business Country

I have been in Australia for more than a year now. Adelaide in that sense is more of a small country town than a big city. It is a problem to find a job here while studying for most of the MBA students.

Some of the students have graduated a couple of months back. It remains to be seen what and when they get a job.

One problem seems to be the fact that Australia is a small business country.

At June 2004 the number of active businesses on the Australian Bureau
of Statistics Business Register (ABSBR) was 3,015,318. Of the total
number of businesses, 837,078 (28%) were employing, with 2,178,240
(72%) non-employing.

The majority of employing businesses, 754,504 (90%) had between 0 and
19 employees. There were 77,656 (9%) businesses with 20 to 199
employees and 4,918 (1%) businesses with 200+ employees.

This is from the ABS through Google Answers.

A large number of businesses were small business who did not provide employment, next lot were small businesses which provided employment and the next lot just about 5,000 companies had employees more than 200.

This seems to be the critical problem for employment for MBAs in the country. Generally, MBAs are sought by large companies as they can afford them. A small business cannot afford to have an MBA and even if it does the expectations are way higher than a large business.

This can help in understanding why it may be tough to get a job after the MBA.

This is just one aspect of the situation. As a recently elected student representative to the Board of IGSB, I have decided to take up the issue of career services to the MBA students as my priority. This school lacks the basic of services and they have slowly come to grips with it as more and more international students are joining the school and demanding it.

However, I have not yet seen any great strategy to solve this issue.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Scott's Conviction

Scott McNealy steps down as CEO of Sun.
In an interview with The Register he gives a piece of his mind. His passion about his business and commitment to the Network is the Computer stuff is known. He talks about why he think the WalStreet is wrong to suggest that he lays off 15,000 his employees. With being in the red for longtime, Scott and now Jonathan are showing their belief in people and vision. Kudos to them,
The best ofcourse is this,
Look, I've thought long and hard about this stuff and my business, and I don't care what anybody says. We're right. And that's how I live my life.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sophisticated Simplicity

If you have been following Apple, (which I do), then you would have known that Apple invited the press to show off some fun products. Withough disclosing before the event what these “fun” products where Apple increased the buzz it generally generates. However, after the event it kind of hit it back. Why?

Apple released a iPod boom-box and the Mac-mini not improved and positioned as the “living room PC”.

However, the mac fanatics and the media were more worried about the lack of effect then what was really shown.

But Micheal Greeson, President of the Diffusion Group, wrote what I think is one of the most balanced report on the latest releases from Apple.

He acknowledges the fact that the event did not live upto the hype and blames it on Apple saying, “Such is the danger of being an industry innovator”. This is so true. Apple is getting ready to face the problems of success.

6-button remote control

What interested me in the article is what Greesman calls “sophisticated simplicity”. The ability of Apple to design sophiticated products like Mac computers, iPod and in this case the Mac mini and its six-button remote.

Why does Greesman think is important?

Apple’s remote control is yet another example of the company’s emphasis on designing elegant, easy-to-use solutions. Yes, it’s just a remote control. But it’s the remote control’s banality that makes it such a powerful expression of deeply Apple believes in this vision, what I call the “sophisticated simplicity” strategy. If one looks closely into the remote control, you can almost make out images of Apple’s future…

The Mac Mini remote control only has six buttons and looks similar to an iPod but without the viewing screen. Let me repeat that just in case you missed it the first time: the remote control has only six buttons and it looks similar to an iPod. Unlike other MCPC vendors and the CE community in general, Apple seems to think that six buttons and a killer graphical interface are enough to enable consumers to easily access and control their digital media.

Avoid adding buttons to a remote control even though we can? Brilliant!

As Ockham’s Razor (also known as the principle of parsimony) reminds us, given a choice between two equally valid explanations, the simpler of the two is preferred. This principle applies equally well to architecture and product design, although it may seem foreign to most CE designers. For example, I recently purchased a multi-room/multi-zone AV receiver from a upscale CE manufacturer, a complicated beast with a remote control that looks like the pilot’s panel of a 737. I’ve had the system for more than two months and I’m still learning how to execute the basic multi-device commands. Does it have to be so difficult to use? Not at all, but many CE vendors fail to grasp the importance of an elegant user interface.

This goes back to Apple’s elegant design of the Mac OS, the Newton, the ‘Books. Its part of the Apple design philosophy which is sometimes coigned terms like “zen-like design” due to its simplistic brilliance.

I was reading the other day about Josn Kauffman’s Personal MBA. In that he lists 42 books which should make your reading list for a personal MBA. The list of books are impressive.

He lists two books which are connected to this discussion. One of them is “The Substance of Style by Virginia Postrel”.

His introduction:

Ever wonder why people are willing to pay $6.00 for a designer toilet brush when the plain old $1.99 special accomplishes the same goal? Why Apple’s iPod is so popular? Why some people are slaves to the fashion industry? It has to do with aesthetics: all things being equal, people will consistently choose products and services that please their individual sense of style.

Businesses all over the world are beginning to pay attention to design for a simple reason: good design has real economic value. In The Substance of Style, Postrel argues that aesthetic value is becoming an increasingly important differentiator in a world where product function and quality are consistently high.

This is exactly what is needed to succeed in the business. I agree, marketing is important, strategy is important but design is becoming very important. Sometimes as important or more important than the other parts of the equation.

However, the traditional MBA schools do not even get this. For example: my MBA at UniSA does not talk about design nor have any course remote connected to aesthetics.

To give you an example, compare this HTML version of the Personal MBA to the ChangeThis version. And then think about it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Past and Present

Past and Present
Originally uploaded by thegreenguy.