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.


Jules said...

Something perhaps that should be added to school curriculum. All schools, not just the technical schools that focus on business.
Sounds like an interesting read...
Is it available in the United States?
I suppose I could look that up...
Hope you are having a great day!

This account links to my long verse site. :) (I think.)

Relyn Lawson said...

I am fascinated by your variety of reading choices.

Catarina said...

What a good choice of book Lubna.

In the future more and more people will have to set up companies because employment will decrease.

Am of the opinion that entrepreneurship should be taught at school to prepare them.

The way this book seems to be structured is a good idea. Explaining in simple ways and adding a dog to make it more fun is commendable.

Dilip said...

Nice one Lubna!

Lubna said...

@Jules and Catarina: I agree that entrepreneurship will gain importance. The author is a successful entrepreneur and now chairperson of a listed company in India which also has a base in the United States. Jules, yes it is available on Amazon in the US.
@Relyn, Dilip Sir: Thank you for stopping by.

Coretta said...

Great review. Sounds like a book I should read as a new business owner. It would keep it simple enough for me. I love that it's written from the perspective of 16-olds. I definitely wasn't thinking about business at age 16. I should have been. Thanks for the review.

Coretta said...

What a great book to review. As a new business owner, it might be helpful and simple enough for me to read. The fact that it is written from 16-year olds perspective is really interesting. I wasn't thinking about business at 16-years old and that's really unfortunate.

Thanks for sharing.

Susan P. Cooper said...

This is a book some adults could benefit from. I don't believe many people really understand how all the inner workings of a company, large or small, really work. This could give many that in an entertaining form. :), Susan Cooper

Lubna said...

@Coretta: The High Performance Entrepreneur by the same author, would be a perfect fit for you. It portrays how a company grew from a start up to a full fledged listed company with global operations, how they found the right kind of employees, the corporate values they set down and adhered to et al.
@Susan: True. It is a great read.

Bethany Lee said...

Lubna, sounds like a good book for teens and adults alike. I find it interesting that the author used a dog to explain some business concepts! I wonder if any of my dogs could be so smart. :-)