I, The Absolute

Archive for November, 2005

Making money is not actually terribly difficult

Posted by itheabsolute on November 5, 2005

I just returned from a dinner meeting with a friend and a few acquaintances. They were talking about how a few people have made millions of rupees thanks to two attributes – their relative closeness to people who possess critical information and their ability to take risk. Hyderabad and Bangalore have been planning international airports for more than a decade. The decision on where to set up airports was taken about six-seven years ago. Some key people in the secretariat knew about it and people who knew them also got to know about this. The latter group of people went out to buy massive land close to where the airport was coming up. The value of the land has since gone up by 100 times. What risk did they take? Airports are political decisions. A small issue and the government can roll the decision back or change the area where airport would come. These people bet that the airport would come at the place where it was initially planned to come. To that extent they took risk because if the airport did not come there, the entire investment could have vanished. If one is smart and invests to build contacts, all it takes to earn money is this. One might think – this is easier said than done. No. It is not as difficult as getting into a b-school, not as difficult as going through a b-school. Money making is NOT as difficult as it is made out to be. *

Then, why are higher salary / more money the number one reason for many of the candidates coming to b-school. Money should not be the number one reason. Because there are “many other” easier ways of making money. One need not come to a b-school. The reasons why one should come to a b-school should be many. Making more money surely can be one among the many reasons. Those who are in the process of applying to b-schools could begin to write why they want to go to b-school. If money making still comes at the top, please reread the post and do think about it.


* Did I sound like the chairman of the Barings Bank? People who have read the book, the “Rouge Trader”, would know of the statement made by Peter Baring, the chairman of the Barings Bank – The recovery in profitability has been amazing following the reorganization, leaving Barings to conclude that it was not actually terribly difficult to make money in the securities market.

= Clearadmit is one of the best know and in my opinion the best MBA admission consulting firm in the world. Clearadmit regularly reads my blog :-))

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Interview Prep season begins

Posted by itheabsolute on November 3, 2005

With placement rules out and a discussion on the same happening, it appears that the prep time for interviews is on. I continue to work on my resume and I know that so long as I do not give a due date to finishing it, I would never bring it to shape. Resume making is the toughest part of the interview prep. Since the short lists happen based on the resume, the importance of resume can never be overstated. I have also made a list of must do things leading to the interviews. This was made possible with a few decisions I made. I finally say goodbye to consulting; IB was never on my radar. But a new field, which I have been researching on for sometime now, has interested me quite a bit – Private equity. That will leave me with three industries – commercial banking (India / Singapore); Private Equity (India); and Institutions relating to microfinance (India / the US).

Consulting and Investment Banking are most sought after not because everyone likes these industries or everyone would have a perfect fit with these industries. Nor that these companies are the highest paying. Manufacturing companies paid higher salaries last year. Many times, Consulting and IB are just a fad. Only a few people are made for these industries. The only way to know if one is fit to work in these industries is to research the industries and more importantly introspect to see if one likes the job profiles. Regular travel and long office hours would put off most of the people, which factors are usually not considered when evaluating a career option in consulting / IB. I am in no way claiming that these industries are not superior – they provide excellent learning opportunities, great peer groups, fantastic brand equity and good moolah too.

For me, Commercial Banking is a natural choice. Given that I have fair amount of knowledge and experience in microfinance, any related activity (including Microfinance PE firms) is a logical choice. Private Equity interested me because again it relates close to what I was doing – investing. Earlier in my job I used to invest in companies as a lender. In private equity I will have to do it as an equity investor. There is a difference between these two, but no so much as to feel alien about the field.

My prep for interview started with resume making (as I said, still in the process) – one type each for an industry. I would further go down to customizing resume for each company that I will apply to. This would require that I research each company and the profile of the job I will apply for. I have made a list of areas (such as current affairs, review of concepts learnt in the core courses, etc) I need to prepare and the resources available to do this prep. From what I estimate it will take three months of good preparation to be able to crack the interviews. One has to be the best because everyone else is trying to be better. I will of course continue to do my own search for jobs outside the purview of the placement process, of course, subject to the guidelines given out.

One thing is for sure. Stakes will get high. Adrenalin will flow. Some will rejoice. Some others will sulk. Enemies will be made. Battles will be fought. Come February, ISB will turn into a battleground. Life will never remain the same again.


1.Why I leave consulting out of my shortlist and why IB never interested me will be a topic of a separate post.

2. I missed “A –“ grade in two subjects by just a mark :-((

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