Saturday, May 26, 2012
MBA at 16
Title: MBA at 16 - A teenager's guide to the world of business
Author: Subroto Bagchi
Available on FlipKart etc
Views on the book: It is not a book that deals with how to prepare for your CAT exam. While the title of the book is "MBA at 16", it is not about acquiring an MBA degree but rather about knowing how a business entity functions smoothly day-to-day.
It is a great book for the curious young adult, who wants to know about how a business entity is run. Aspects such as raising funds - from angel investors and from Venture Capitalists, the logistics of running a business - including the intricacies of supply-chain management, the difference between the marketing and sales department, the need for advertising and the values of true leadership and much much more, are all brought out in this book.
What is more, all this is explained through the eyes of 16 year olds of Urban India. The author conducted workshops with select students from the National Public School, in Bangalore and discovered what they really wanted to know about business. Each student is portrayed in the book as a character even as the situations, contexts and conversations are fictional. Together with these characters are Cyber the dog (my favourite) and imaginary characters such as Fly High (the angel investor) and Polar (the VC) who appear in a dream and explain the concepts of raising funds.
I recall I always spoke to my dog and wished he could talk back to me. Actually, through his expressions, I always knew what he wanted to convey. Well, Cyber actually talks to his 'human sibling' Akshay and gives a discourse on supply-chain management. Without a talking dog, this chapter would have been so dull and drab.
The author has ensured that complex issues are explained in a simple manner. For example, the inventory flow is explained through the supplies in a mother's kitchen.
Today with scams breaking around us, youngsters are doing a rethink about the entire concept of capitalism. Recently at a seminar, a student told me: "I believe in ethical capitalism". I could not agree more.
The book culminates with a debate by students on: "Is Business Good for the World?" To find out what happens, read the book.
I also came across a very interesting review by Rishi Raj Gupta who does interact with students. You may like to read this review also.
Disclaimer: I do know the author. However, I have ensured that this post is fair and unbiased.