Thursday, June 12, 2008

Education versus Business

"Formal education has put man in situations where he will get locked in as a salary receiving person"
This statement is not always true. The classic example, I wish to cite, is the case of legions of students who choose to take up engineering at the undergraduate level not because of any particular inclination or natural ability but because they want a software job. In fact the choice is made quite early on in terms of choosing the right combination of mathematics and science as opposed to arts or commerce in order to be eligible for engineering. It is a mindset or a mentality or a social thing – people want a risk free, nine to five job with reasonable monetary rewards that formal education cannot significantly alter in most cases, because the need for anything more is simply missing. At the risk of belaboring the point, I wish to point out that the same system that produces these safety seeking conformists engineers has also produced a maverick engineer entrepreneur like Narayan Murthy.
"People lose the drive and the passion to become rich as a result of it."
This can be explained by two different points – either the person simply did not have a passion to be rich in the first place not because they are passionate about the work/service but because they are simply not ambitious. As hard as it can be to understand this point of view, this species does exist and is by far the most populated and there exists another subset who have not figured out what they want and hence are not ambitious. Now the other possibility could be that these people are in hot pursuit of something else. Classic examples are the Indian mandarins or the IAS lot. They are power seekers, at least the honest ones with everyone wanting to be the principal secretary to Government of India. Then there are the mad scientists, who almost never peruse the Nobel Prize for the cash but for the associated recognition and prestige. Most people do science very rarely for the money and more because they are in pursuit of a solution to a problem never solved before, because the chase is exhilarating and results quite often give a humongous high. This is not idealism or escapism or a euphemism for "Mere paas Ma hai". These people simply think that power or the thrill of the chase is more rewarding than money.

When one makes the point about "Return On Intelligence", the return need not necessarily be "gold" but it can be "glory" and in this context it could be fame or recognition or power or whatever else makes you get up and get out of the bed in the morning. The corollary to the theorem of success is when one succeeds in one's chosen field no matter how "success" is defined in that field, money follows.

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