How I almost didn’t become a management consultant and learnings to build your career

Choosing a career: Fox and Hedgehog and why I became a management consultant

From early childhood, I was curious to learn new things. New things excite and I enjoy learning. My inclination is what Greek poet Archilochus said is like a fox someone who likes to learn many things rather than a hedgehog who likes one thing but in depth. Foxes like to learn new things all the time in sufficient depth and move to related adjacencies or even unrelated topics and then connect the dots…

Whether you are young professional starting your career or are at a middle, senior or

top management position, make time for reading, it is essential for your career.

Many professionals do read to obtain knowledge about their own discipline or specialisation to develope their capabilities( eg Direct Tax, Indirect Tax, Corporate Finance, Marketing, Sales, logistics, HR, etc. ) but usually nothing beyond that. Too often the reading is in narrow area of specialisation with not enough exposure to adjacent functions. …

A lot has been written about IBM’s Watson & its impact on healthcare, sports and fashion. Now it is ready to disrupt the music industry.

Alexa Da Kid, a Grammy winning music producer collaborated with

IBM’s cognitive computer, Watson, to create a pop song, “Not Easy”.

The song was released on Oct. 21, IBM noted, and within 48 hours it climbed to No. 4 on iTunes’s Hot Tracks.

Maybe not what you or I would hear :but will it get there ? Absolutely

The largest airport PPP in India, 10 years after award of Mumbai & Delhi airports in 2006, is a new Greenfield international airport project at Mopa in North Goa.

The Mopa airport project , which includes six-laning of road from the airport to National Highway 17, is expected to cost around Rs.3,300 crore (~$500 mn). The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in 3 years and cater to ~5 million passengers.

GMR group emerged highest bidder for this project. GMR, which already operates airports in New Delhi and Hyderabad in India, had competition from Airport Authority…

Credit Suisse and Nandan Nilekani argue that the financial services sector is on verge of transformation, and opens up a $600 bn market opportunity.

The transformation is enabled by a “perfect storm” due

  • Growth of smartphones ( likely to reach penetration of 700 mn by 2020)
  • Prevalence of Aadhar ( > 1 bn Indians have this biometric identity )
  • Governments promotion of financial inclusion through Jan Dhan Yogana and pushing Direct Benefit Transfer of subsidies through Aadhar linked bank accounts (280 mn)
  • Advent of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) and creation of common technology platform ( India stack) for instantaneous, cashless…

We were fortunate to have Ruchir Sharma, MD Emerging Markets of Morgan Stanley, at the KPMG Annual Partner & Director Meet 2016. Ruchir has just launched his new book “The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in a Post-Crisis World.” Ruchir had a number of nuggets of wisdom or #Ruchirisms, which included the following:

“The debate today is not Guns vs Butter but infrastructure vs subsidies. The countries which have focused on building infrastructure vs giving subsidies, are succeeding.”

“We are overestimating the impact of #robotics & #AI, while underestimating the impact of decline in working age population…

Population growth, migration and urbanisation are forcing an increase in infrastructure development, especially in emerging economies. According to the World Bank, a total of US$57 trillion is needed by 2030, or US$3.4 trillion per year, to meet this demand.

Though the economic benefits of infrastructure development are well known, it can also have unintended social ( eg. Significant displacement of project affected people; impact on their livelihood by the land acquisition process not providing appropriate compensation) and environment consequences. Corruption in award of large infrastructure projects is also a big issue. Addressing this issue – #InfrastructureMorality -appropriately is critical or it can derail well intended infrastructure build programme of countries, which is required for development.

Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, effectively implemented can wean it from its addiction to Oil & has major implications for Middle East & World Economy

Highlights of Vision 2030, which is based on oil at $30/barrel, include:

  1. 5% flotation of Saudi Aramco to raise funds ; could be conservatively valued at $2.5 tn ( according to WSJ)
  2. Money raised to transferred to world’s largest Sovereign Wealth Fund, valued ~$3 tn, with mandate to kick start domestic investment
  3. Boost share of private sector from 40% to 65% of GDP by 2030
  4. Develop Mining industry which will create 90k jobs by 2020
  5. Domestic…

This is transcript of my talk on April 18 to the Executive MBA students of IIM Indore (Class of 2016) on 10 points to consider in planning their career.

Let me start by congratulating the students here on getting accepted for this prestigious Executive-MBA programme. IIM Indore is clearly one of the top tier b-schools of the country. It therefore provides a platform for all of you for a great career.

All of you are experienced professionals from a range of industries (IT, banking, oil & gas, among others). The reason you have joined this programme is to kick start…

Start-up deals rise in Q1 2016, both in terms of volume and value over previous quarter.

Deal value rises to $1.73 bn in Q1 2016, from $1.5 bn in Q4 2015 , up ~25%. Deal volumes have grown even more sharply from 114 in Q4 2015 to 344 in Q1 2016, up 3x or growth over 200% ( average size of deal has however declined to $5 mn from $13 mn.

Interestingly, a large share of the deals in volume (62%) was early stage/ Angel funding and substantial number of the deals were in e-commerce, health tech, SAAS ( software as service ) and Fintech.

It needs to be seen whether the start-up activity sustains in rest of year and exceeds $6.73 bn investment in start-ups in 2015.–2016-Startup-Report-By-Xeler8.pdf


strategy& innovation,management consultant,diverse interests,sports & movie buff, trend watcher

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