"Is MBA important to be an Entrepreneur" by Sanjay Nath and Rajat Mathur


Published on

A presentation at the BITSAA Silicon Valley Chapter by Sanjay Nath, Co-founder and CEO - Loxodrome Solutions and Rajat Mathur, MBA student - LBS/Columbia

Published in: Business, Education
1 Comment
No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

"Is MBA important to be an Entrepreneur" by Sanjay Nath and Rajat Mathur

  1. 1. Entrepreneurship and the MBA – A Discussion Sanjay Nath BITS Pilani ’90, Anderson (UCLA) MBA ’99 Co-Founder and CEO, Loxodrome Solutions Inc.
  2. 2. Outline <ul><li>Entrepreneurship </li></ul><ul><li>Successful entrepreneurs </li></ul><ul><li>The MBA environment </li></ul><ul><li>Perspectives from a current MBA student </li></ul><ul><li>Lessons Learned </li></ul><ul><li>Discussion and Q&A </li></ul>
  3. 3. Entrepreneurship Defined <ul><li>“ Entrepreneurship is the practice of starting new organizations , particularly new businesses generally in response to identified opportunities” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Willingness to take the risks involved in starting and managing a business” </li></ul><ul><li>“ The entrepreneur recognizes and acts upon market opportunities” </li></ul><ul><li>Other definitions? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Successful Entrepreneurs <ul><li>Driving force of an enterprise </li></ul><ul><li>Enthusiastic vision , promoted with passion </li></ul><ul><li>Recognize path to vision is flexible, fluid and will continually evolve </li></ul><ul><li>Prudent risk takers </li></ul><ul><li>Persuade and inspire others to buy into the vision </li></ul><ul><li>Usually positive thinkers and strong decision makers </li></ul><ul><li>See the big picture and connect dots in ways that others can’t/don’t </li></ul><ul><li>Open to feedback – no such thing as “bad feedback” </li></ul><ul><li>Thrive on opportunities and threats </li></ul><ul><li>In the words of ice hockey great Wayne Gretzky : </li></ul><ul><li>“ Others go where the puck is …. I go where the puck is going to be ” </li></ul><ul><li>“ You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take” </li></ul>
  5. 5. Three famous MBA-entrepreneurs <ul><li>And those without MBAs? – the list is long! </li></ul>
  6. 6. The “entrepreneurial” MBA environment <ul><li>“ Opens your mind” - broad, strategic, out of the box thinking </li></ul><ul><li>Rigor - question everything, accept nothing, probe deeply </li></ul><ul><li>Global mindset and connections </li></ul><ul><li>Importance of networking </li></ul><ul><li>Teamwork </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Step outside your “comfort zone” - continuous change </li></ul><ul><li>Dealing with pressure – “if you have 10 minutes to spare, you may be doing something wrong”! </li></ul><ul><li>Surrounded by highly driven, ambitious people </li></ul>
  7. 7. What to watch out for <ul><li>“ Analysis paralysis” </li></ul><ul><li>Perfect or perfect enough? </li></ul><ul><li>Over emphasis on branding and prestige </li></ul><ul><li>Herd mentality </li></ul><ul><li>Realistic or unrealistic expectations? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you doing an MBA for the right reasons </li></ul><ul><li>Applying just enough or too much structure and rigor? </li></ul><ul><li>Can entrepreneurship be taught ? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Perspectives from a current MBA <ul><li>Rajat Mathur </li></ul><ul><li>BITS Pilani ’91 </li></ul><ul><li>London Business School / Columbia Business School Joint Global Executive MBA Program – Current Candidate </li></ul>
  9. 9. The MBA Core <ul><li>Leadership Development and Organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Accounting – Managerial & Financial </li></ul><ul><li>Finance & Capital Markets </li></ul><ul><li>Operations </li></ul><ul><li>Microeconomics </li></ul><ul><li>Decision Models </li></ul><ul><li>Statistics </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy </li></ul><ul><li>International Economies & Macroeconomics </li></ul><ul><li>(Based on Columbia and London Business School Global Executive MBA program – EMBA Global) </li></ul>
  10. 10. MBA options <ul><li>Full time MBA </li></ul><ul><li>Part time MBA </li></ul><ul><li>Executive MBA </li></ul><ul><li>Differences in student body, the MBA experience, and expectations of jobs when you graduate </li></ul><ul><li>Differences in Business Schools – real question is not which is the right school, but the right school for you </li></ul><ul><li>Many MBA programs today have developed a core focus on Entrepreneurship (amongst the most highly sought-after classes include those by Bill Sahlman at HBS, Bill Cockrum at UCLA/Anderson, and Andy Grove’s guest lectures at the Stanford GSB, just to quote a few examples) </li></ul>
  11. 11. The MBA cohort experience <ul><li>Principal benefit is your peer group </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Encourages discussion and issues in entrepreneurship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Culture of risk-taking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Someone who you can look to for advice (perhaps for the rest of your career / life) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Top schools have excellent faculty to act as mentors </li></ul><ul><li>Several top schools want to encourage entrepreneurship – have venture funds of their own </li></ul>
  12. 12. International Perspective <ul><li>Cases from around the world </li></ul><ul><li>Learnings from other industries </li></ul><ul><li>Your colleagues teaching you about their cultures and operations in those cultures </li></ul><ul><li>Globalization and international perspectives in economics </li></ul>
  13. 13. Lessons in Leadership <ul><li>Creativity and personal awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational issues that impact you as a leader / Organizational Culture </li></ul><ul><li>Network effects – e.g. “strength of weak ties” </li></ul><ul><li>Structure – strategy </li></ul><ul><li>Negotiations / BATNA </li></ul><ul><li>Entrepreneurial opportunities in formal orgs </li></ul><ul><li>Developing trust in networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Efficiency and affiliation networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Change management and turnarounds </li></ul><ul><li>Most importantly – asking questions for you to reflect on where you are </li></ul><ul><li>headed and why – and what is most important to you </li></ul>
  14. 14. Example: Finance and Accounting <ul><li>Basics extremely important on running a company </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Income statement, balance sheet, cash-flow </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How different types of financing can be used to your strategic advantage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Debt / equity ratios etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>High leverage – high risk / Low leverage – low risk </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Valuations! </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. Lessons Learned and Discussion <ul><li>Can entrepreneurship be taught? </li></ul><ul><li>Successful entrepreneurs are driven, passionate and committed to begin with – however, the MBA can help them raise their game even higher, if applied correctly </li></ul><ul><li>MBA environments can nurture risk taking (last time you can afford to take a risk and “ fail safely”) </li></ul><ul><li>Strongest contributions of MBA </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Core business skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leadership </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teamwork </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ability to connect the dots (“go where the puck is going to be”) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Real question to ask is not “Is an MBA needed to become an entrepreneur ( No ), but “can the MBA help you become a better entrepreneur ( Yes, absolutely ) </li></ul>
  16. 16. Discussion
  17. 17. Sanjay Nath - Bio <ul><li>Co-founder and CEO of Loxodrome Solutions ( www.loxodromesolutions.com ) , a global outsourcing company delivering offshore services centered around Electronic Content Management Systems (ECMS). We target mainly U.S. based mid sized and large Fortune 500 corporations and provide a range of services including content processing services, technology infrastructure services, and higher value-added knowledge driven services </li></ul><ul><li>Previously a Principal in IBM Global Services’ Strategy Consulting practice and earlier a Senior Consultant in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) Management Consulting group, advising senior client executives on high impact strategic, organizational, technology and outsourcing related issues, on a global scale </li></ul><ul><li>Over 12 years of marketing and sales, management consulting and operational experience in the Indo-US corridor, with a deep understanding of the cross border US-India services industry’s evolution and its major players; and has strong relationships with an array of delivery providers </li></ul><ul><li>Holds an engineering degree from BITS, Pilani (India) and an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson Graduate School of Management. Lives in San Francisco </li></ul>
  18. 18. Rajat Mathur - Bio <ul><li>Solutions Architect with Patni Computer Systems, USA. Rajat focuses his work at Patni on leading the Storage, Computing and Networking design-consulting practice. </li></ul><ul><li>Before joining Patni, Rajat worked at Amazon.com and Mindspeed Inc (formerly part of Conexant Systems). Technology and business experience in compiler design, distributed systems, and storage-networking products. </li></ul><ul><li>Invited speaker at IIT techfest 2006, (IIT Mumbai) on “Product design at the bleeding edge”. </li></ul><ul><li>Undergraduate education majoring in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Biological Sciences from BITS Pilani (India) and The University of Texas at Austin. He received his Master's degree in Computer Engineering from The University of California, Irvine, and is completing an international business program at Columbia Business School and London Business School. </li></ul>