Friday, September 19, 2014

RIP Patrick.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of INSEAD graduates owe their entrepreneurial madness to this super humble, super keen, and an upright straight talker - Patrick Turner. The professor who encouraged people to dream big, to take leaps of faith and to 'never, ever run out of cash'. I owe him a lot. He helped me accept myself as being different and supported me in realizing what I am capable of. So in his memory, I tell you all about the David vs. Goliath. Some random Friday morning, 3am, a bit was just over a month since I had been mulling about the under performance of the company where I was interning. This is a billion dollar plus, public listed company in the healthcare space. And it happened - I emailed Patrick for the first time "Patrick, I want to buy this company". The next morning, Patrick replied "Seriously? Lets talk when you are in Singapore". Without going into the details, at INSEAD I didn't bother looking for jobs. With immense help from Patrick, I secured PE backing of upto 300 mn Eur to buyout a part of the public listed company where I interned. It was the defining phase of my life where I came to terms of with a lot of things. I grew some massive cojones too - well you have no choice when you walk into the boardroom of a tier 1 PE fund, eating expensive sushi and you are supposed to convince them why a fuckin 28 year old thinks he can do better with a public listed business. The deal didn't work out. During the due diligence phase, the target withdrew their interest from selling. I was close to running out of cash, with the recruitment period over. I somehow found myself a consulting gig (note: even dumb asses like me can end up in consulting post INSEAD) and am currently COO of a business unit within the FTSE 100 company. Since graduation I attempted two other buyouts, with solid PE backing, but fortunately it was me who withdrew interest from the deal after due diligence. And I am on my way out of the corporate gig too. I will be going back to entrepreneurship very soon. Patrick - this is for you. You made a huge difference to my life. You instilled in me a weird mix of values and ambition. A sense of doing something with good intent. A sense of courage to not give up to suited jocks. You listened to every random shit I came up with. I will forever remember the beer you bought me when we were in the due diligence phase and I was running out of cash. You, sir, were truly great. Rest in peace.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Till I collapse.

Years ago I read an economic theory which talked about growth in emerging markets. I dont remember much of it, but it went something like emerging markets, such as China, could trigger economic growth through policies and subsidies. But this growth could take the economy only so far. When its time for "gear shift", the government needs to inject capital by the truck loads and hope the shift happens. Like China's manufacturing prowess headed for stagnation and the government had to inject tons of capital in knowledge driven sector hoping it would take China to the next level.

For many, MBA is similar to this. You are doing well in your career/ life but you have that one dream and MBA for you is a major push which might help you realise your dream. It doesnt have to be a specific job in a specific location, rather it is the impact it has on your life. Some are trying to get over their past, some are trying to pursue a different life and some are just pushing for a prosperous future.

You dont know for sure if it will happen or not, but it is your dream and you had enough balls to go for it in the first place.

Screw sunk cost - Keep pushing!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

A drunk post!!

Ok...this had to be done, so here it is.

Its 4am in Sgp and am just back from a "happy drinking" session with my mates. And it was fuckin awesome.

If I take the capitalist view of my life, I am pretty fucked up. No job, and no sign of one in the near future, rapidly depreciating bank balance and soon to be kicked out of the safe world of INSEAD.

But you know what, I am fuckin happy with my life. First of all, I have these great bunch of friends that I have made. Once you leave undergrad its pretty hard to make friends for life. It is really rare and this MBA was a way to get out of the fuckin mundane life and get a big picture view of life. And I am pretty satisfied with it. On the career side, well its a looong fuckin story. But since I am pretty fuckin drunk, I think I am gonna spill it all out.

You see, I did very well in my pre-MBA career. I was making great money doing my entrepreneurial gig. What I did lack was self-confidence. I always thought that guys from Mck, KPMG or any bluechip ass are lot more intelligent than I am. This self-confidence in a way made me explore the MBA option and then I ended up at INSEAD. Today I am 6 weeks away from graduation and I have proudly accepted the fact that I am different and that there is nothing demented about it. There is nothing fuckin wrong with seeing the world in a different way, there is nothing fuckin wrong by not accepting the frameworks and there is absolutely nothing wrong by believing that blue ocean strategy is a fuckin scam. Yep, you heard it right...its a scam as far as I am concerned.

This is what I got out of INSEAD....the fuckin confidence. I always had a dream and while at INSEAD I got to live that dream. That David vs Goliath thing is in a way connected to my dream. Last night I had a major setback in that project but I am still optimistic and excited about things. Before INSEAD I had a dream, while at INSEAD I lived that dream and after INSEAD I will fuckin achieve that dream. Will it take time? Of course it will and rather it should....good things take time to come through right.

Recently I asked a dear friend of mine what he got out of INSEAD. And in his words, "I met a bunch of people who might be labelled as complete fuck ups in today's world, but rest assured these will be the guys who will do the most amazing things in this world during our lifetime. And knowing them was INSEAD for me". And it is so fuckin true. Its unbelievable.

Last week I met this guy who is doing the exact same thing that I want to do in my life. It was very surreal meeting him but it was also extremely reassuring as I know that I am not whistling daa dee daa out of my backside. I am targetting something real, something very much achievable. Of course it is a different story that very few of the people around give something like that a shot. After all, entrepreneurship is not about frameworks but more about balls ;)

Adios fuckers. Be proud!!

PS: Yes, I have foul