“I want to be a Businessman, ma’am. I am pursuing a Management course to understand the basics of business management. Although I am not sure how much the course will actually help me”, said a confident voice from the crowd at a session where I was interacting with first management graduate students.
Intrigued but a little offended by his comment, I politely asked him if he belong to a business family.
“No ma’am, came a prompt reply. My father is employed with a Bank”.
To try and understand the contradiction between his tone and comment, I continued to question his motivation behind joining a management course. I asked him if his father forced him to take up the management studies course and he replied with a resounding ‘Yes’. He unhappily continue to say that his father did not have confidence about his business skills. His father believed he needed to gain knowledge from the course just like he had by studying business management during his working years.
I did not disagree with his fathers opinion so I asked him, ‘Why do you think your education might not help you in your profession?’
“Ma’am the real world is very different from the book world. Except for English and basic mathematics I haven’t used any of the knowledge gained during school or college. Two more years of education seems wasted as I could spend this time perfecting my business plan.”
This young boy’s conviction about his path and his dismay over the delay and derailment of his plans made me question our education system and the way we think about education. I wondered if all we learn truly has real time application and whether success depended on knowledge or passion.
I understood his father’s point of view. Knowledge can prevent you from making mistakes. It can be the difference between success and failure. I am sure that his father learnt this the hard way given his choice to pursue a business management course in the middle of his career. I could also understand where the boy was coming from. He had been studying for years without practically using the knowledge he gained. He wanted to start his career as a businessman. It is unfortunate when diverse thinking causes good intentions to be understood.
After some amount of discussion, I asked him if he knew what business he was interested in getting into. He confidently replied that he wanted to work on a supply chain model where he becomes a one stop solution for all big and small restaurants in the city.
On asking how he would do that, he replied that its all about relationship management. He accurately informed me that he needed to go to the field and start meeting prospects, work on the back end operations – sourcing of material, rate, quantity, storage, logistics, manpower, funds and so much more. He was quite aware of what he wanted to do but was not aware of how to go about it.
The business concept had potential. He also had the theoretical knowledge to succeed based on his research. The only thing he needed was little bit of motivation and support. It was a bit sad that he didn’t have the support he required.
This young boy reminded me that growth stops only when thinking becomes restricted. He had passion but this passion was mistaken for arrogance. His confidence was often criticized by his close ones because he perceived things differed from others. This difference inperception offended people. Even I got a little offended when he shared his reservations about spending a time on learning. What I and many others did not realize is that this young man was driven by passion. This passion drove him to research, study, learn and understand all the elements of business he needed to succeed.
Not every person has such passion. We need to start motivating people to have passion as it will help us work hard to achieve our dreams. If we manage to inculcate such passion into every individuals large dreams will no longer seem impossible and pointless. Dreams will be achievable even when you have to struggle to source funds.
I hope to be a motivator who will encourage individuals to passionately follow their dream by building a magnetic platform.