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DISCUSSION AT URPERCENTILE - CASE STUDY : SIGNING A BOND

www.UrPercentile.com: Today we have case study for discussion:
Ravi is fresh Engineer working in a very big MNC in a metropolitan city for last 9 months. He is aiming for MBA from one of the best institute and he is confident that he will get calls from multiple Management institutes of his choice within next 10 months. He did get a call from Management institutes of his choice last year but did not join any as he wanted to gain some work experience prior to MBA.  Now, his company is asking him to go abroad for a technical training of 1 year and wants him to sign a employment bond. The bonds states that he will work for the company for at least 3 years, after the training is over. If he breaks the bond he has to compensate the company for all the cost incurred on training him which is estimated to be around US$ 80,000. Also the company promises to increase his salary by 15 % each year till the bond is over but if he refuses to go for training he will be asked to resign.
He also has a job offer from a small company. There is no requirement to sign a bond in this company but the position offered is of entry level engineer in a small city and the salary offered also is 25% less than his current salary.
What should he do?

Manish : I think the person should not sign a bond , and should take the new job though offering a job of lower grade and less salary. But this will be for short of duration. He will soon get call from the best Management institute and then can leave this job. If he doesn’t get call from IIM he can always try for better job again as he has the capabilities. There is no scope of bonded labor, and no one should sign a bond.

Hemant Ravi:  I think, if I was in his position, I would have heard my intuition, my dreams. For him, he must know his priorities.

Jyoti Agarwal: I think that Ravi should first be very clear about the goals of his life and the kind of job profile he will be looking forward to. In case he gets admission to some b-school, money will definitely come handy his way

Antony Thomas: As he is offered a good package, I suggest he take the offer and do the three years. Since he is confident about his abilities it would be no problem for him to get an admission. Plus the three years of experience is surely not going to hurt. After all Management is really all about experience

Manish: Please note he is confident of getting call; he got call last year also. If he accepts the bond, it is quite possible that during the training time, he will not get sufficient preparation time

S.Sinharay: Ravi should sign the bond. I am mentioning the following reasons for my stand. He did not take up a management course even after getting call from b-schools as he wanted work experience. Nine months of experience will not leverage his chances of getting admission in a good management institute.

Jyoti Agarwal: I slightly differ from Manish here, getting a call once does not mean he can manage to get a call every year. Dedicated preparation is definitely required during the training period and once he becomes senior in the team, he will have lot of responsibilities to shoulder and might not get adequate preparation time.

S.Sinharay: Also he is employed in a big MNC which is willing to foot the bill for his training. Also I am quite sure that his employer will be sending him on training that will definitely improve his skills. Also we do know that despite the growth in our economy the west is still a better place for all kinds of technical education.

Hemant Ravi: I agree, after 2 + years of work -experience, it will be difficult for a person to concentrate on studies. Moreover, I would say, in Indian- MBA context, scenario is different from that of GMAT and it takes a great deal too clear for Ivy League b-schools. I mean, one should be sure of what one expects of his life.

Jyoti Agarwal:  Sinharay,  Work experience is only one of the component taken into consideration by B-Schools and hence this might definitely prove to be an advantage. This cannot be the only thing he can rely upon.

Antony Thomas: After the completion of his bond term, he has a lot of time and money in his hands. He can take sufficient time off for preparation. Doing an MBA is definitely required if one has to ascend the rungs of corporate ladder.

S.Sinharay: Three years of experience in MNC will definitely add to his resume as well as give him an edge over other MBA aspirants should he choose to do an MBA and he also clears the written exam.

Hemant Ravi: That’s not a case there for GMAT and I guess, Indian b-schools doesn’t have a job profile to offer to students having 5-6 years of work experience

S.Sinharay: Well it must not be forgotten that along with work experience he gets an 25% increment in salary as well. So even if he were not to clear the exams should so happen he will have his technical training, the name of the MNC and his salary to fall back on.

Jyoti Agarwal: I agree, the foremost thing in this context is deciding on the priorities in life.
 
Antony Thomas: Ravi should definitely not look for the small job offer given to him as it will only encumber his goals should he fail the entrance exam. Signing the bond surely gives him a win-win situation. It is quite possible that Ravi might not be making to one of the B-schools but then life is about taking risks and experimenting.

Hemant Ravi: I guess, one doesn’t do MBA for package and all that, I simply disagree, that MBA from IIMS, will make you achieve your goal. It’s your attitude towards life, towards work.  MBA is just a tool. And it’s you, who have to decide how you use this .I guess this is the thing that makes MBA stand at top

Supriya: Well if the person is confident enough then he should chase his dreams and go for MBA and simultaneously get involved with the second company. If the 1st company would offer 15% more then an MBA would fetch him 75% more.

S.Sinharay: Life is about taking risks but that doesn't mean that you don't consider allied factors.

Jyoti Agarwal: One who is not willing to try cannot look forward to taste success and I believe hard work and determination definitely pays off

Hemant Ravi: Exactly, a person, one can take the maximum risk between 23-30 years of age, there is no responsibilities on him. He can run after his dreams

S.Sinharay: Ravi is quite confident of doing an MBA and getting a chance but taking the MNC's offer does not prevent him from doing an MBA in future should he choose to do so.

Supriya: Moreover money is not everything. The real taste of life is in taking risks

Antony Thomas: Risk is an indispensable aspect of life and if in case things don’t work out the way Ravi expects it to, he always has his MNC job to rely on.

Jyoti Agarwal:  Sinharay,  That's right! He can go ahead with MBA after 3 years. But did he know that he will be sent for training and will have to sign a bond at the time of joining the company. A similar thing might happen after 3 years as well. So if he wants to do it, Why not now?

Archana Bandhuvula: Well, as Ravi is anyways interested in gaining some technical expertise//experience and MBA is a long term goal, he can go ahead and sign the bond and later on go for an MBA

Antony Thomas: Because he would be giving up an excellent opportunity in his life to gain experience and money added to the fact that he would be jeopardizing his job.

S.Sinharay: The present bond is for three years and should he be asked to do so again. I am sure he can decline and even if that means losing the present job so be it. He would still have those three years of experience and training.

Jyoti Agarwal: Antony,  if that's the case he even has the small company job to rely upon, just in case money is not the only priority in his life

Supriya: Well I think it depends on what Ravi holds as higher priority. MBA fetches you many skills, whether Ravi wants to use MBA as a money-making tool or to emerge as a leader who would be having capabilities to lead an enterprise.

Jyoti Agarwal: Sinharay, and a career gap in case he does not make it to some b-school

Antony Thomas: That’s provided he likes the small job offered to him and he decides to take it....

S.Sinharay: If he has gained any experience in his present job he should not have a problem in getting another one. So where is the question of a career gap?

Archana Bandhuvula: In the 3 yrs' span of time, Ravi can grow technically and also would gain a wider view of the industry which his staying in a Bigger MNC for 3 yrs would provide him with. He'd obviously have to handle some managerial tasks, given the experience he already has and the additional experience he'd gain. This'd help him in gaining better insight into the Management part of the industry as well. He'd then become a better suited candidate for an MBA

Jyoti Agarwal:  Antony, That’s true but it is no where mentioned that he does like the current job and not the new job being offered to him

Hemant Ravi:  MBA is done for many reasons, may be he is happy with his career line in which he is working but what if he has to switch sector, he may be interested in entrepreneur activities, doing something  on his own. What if he is interested in futures and options investments? A job is always a job and you are a slave. An MBA degree , gives u some freedom, but you will never be larger than a the job profile you are working at.

Supriya: Well people the difference lies in your perception. Do you all want to use MBA just as a money-making tool then you people really don’t understand what an MBA is and you people are simply following the crowd.

Archana Bandhuvula: Exactly Hemanth, the given case states that Ravi rejected an MBA admission last year because he's interested in gaining more experience. He's planning to have a closer and an in-depth look at the way industry runs.

Pavan: All MBA institutes look for the persons who know work discipline. So he might have got such a quality in the 9 months of time. So, no need of further experience for two more years

Hemant Ravi: I mean: For me, your presence matters the most, not the position. Work experience of 1-2 years in IT industry will land you up with domain knowledge, provided, you are thriving for it. Else 99% of programmer analysts are happy with coding stuffs.

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S.Sinharay: The position to some extent determines the skills you might possess otherwise you wouldn't have reached that position.

Archana Bandhuvula: Looking at Ravi's priorities, I don't think, he's influenced by the rush for MBA. His career goals seem to have been clearly set. "If you go for an MBA, go with the proper skill set, mindset and a clear idea of what the course gives you and what u can expect of it"

Antony Thomas: How can you people come to the conclusion about his wanting an in depth view of the industry and things like that. May be he just wants to take a break for some time from all the hectic studies?

Hemant Ravi: And at the end of the day, they need some time to watch latest movie, few drinks and that’s it.

Pavan: There is no need of technical expertise for him as he is aspiring for MBA

Archana Bandhuvula: Technical expertise can't be totally ignored, if a person wants to go for an MBA. At some point in future, if the person is planning to stick around for a while in the industry, he has to hone his technical  skills and this knowledge would definitely come handy in handling future assignments as a manager also.

S.Sinharay: Just because he is going to do an MBA does not disqualify his technical qualification. Maybe he would like a managerial position in a company aligned wit his technical qualifications so in that case that three years experience will help.

Antony Thomas: ok. Life is hard. There is no job out there that you can sit back relax and do and still get a hefty sum into your pocket. So whether its IT or business, long hours of work is a must.

Pavan: Just having some experience for 9 months, he will have the overall knowledge about the company. As he has to write a bond, it is better for him to skip his job to the other one. He can get the overall concept of the second company before joining into MBA

Archana Bandhuvula: Yes, lets not deviate, considering the other options, I think the second job offer wouldn't give him enough exposure and understanding of the business//industry because of the location and not because of the salary. "Location" is one big factor as proper industrial exposure is a must if one needs to grow and understand things. And for him to become a better manager in future proper exposure and understanding are a must. Especially because his work experience must be worthwhile and relevant, if he goes for MBA in future.

Hemant Ravi:  MBA is not the in thing, its just another thing, it adds value to your profile, adds credentials to your profile, helps you in putting your point .  Take this , .if  I am from IIM-A then all people will listen to me, will value my opinion. but what if , I am a programmer analyst in my firm, and says something  to my project manager , he will ignore me and  that will remain the same

Antony Thomas: Let’s not forget the fact that some MNCs require an MBA if one is to achieve a certain position. So for Ravi to do an MBA is indispensable if he cares to be the one on top.

S.Sinharay: It has been stated in the study that he would start as entry level engineer. That kind of job would add nothing to his profile.

Pavan: Exactly Archana, i agree with you. But you know he has to waste his two years of career in the first company even after getting the whole concept of that company, even he get an MBA seat it is impossible for him to join in that

S.Sinharay: Two years is not a very long time if you consider that a person works for more than twenty years of his lifetime. The time sacrifice being made is quite negligible.

Archana Bandhuvula: MBA isn't a regular classroom degree which needs to be done immediately after you pass out from a college. It's a tool for one to hone his Management skills, learn more about the economy and the legal system and how these influence the industry and become a strategic manager. For this more work-ex is always a value-add and more so when it's in a big MNC

Pavan: Think practically Sinharay, As the salary is hiking every month its impossible for a person to get out of that job and again pursuing MBA.

Supriya: Well I feel if Ravi wants to lead an enterprise then MBA always gives a swift in his career and a rapid progress so that he reaches a position where he would have an easy control and administer of things and the company's success would fall at his ventures and decisions. On the other hand, if he just wants to use MBA for more and more money and he is confident enough then there's no need for a guidance.

Archana Bandhuvula: Also, his stay abroad would help him know the nuances of industrial management and the strategies adopted out there. He can have an opportunity to look at how the foreign players tackle different situations

Antony Thomas: and in doing so he can become an excellent leader

S.Sinharay: So he should take a job that would contribute nothing to his profile and also involve a pay cut that will be his motivation for doing an MBA. I don't make enough money!  I think we all agree that one does not do MBA just for money sake. It is to gain knowledge into the nuances of Management.

Archana Bandhuvula: No Sinharay, his option of going for that job isn't very encouraging. Not just because of the package but also because of the other factors which would hinder his growth like location.

Pavan: Every job will contribute in some or the other way. He can get the expertise in two fields right and also the other advantage with that is he can get into MBA within the next 10 months as he planned.

Antony Thomas: I beg to differ. Money is the prime motive of any MBA aspirant

Supriya: Then you r taking MBA for wrong

Jyoti Agarwal: I agree with Pavan. Since he has prepared for MBA the last year as well it is quite possible that he will be well versed with the preparation and the 3 year gap in preparation might not work in his favor.

Archana Bandhuvula: Well, He's not planning to go for an MBA within next 10 months. It's just that he's confident of getting calls from good institutes within this period.

S.Sinharay: I beg to differ too. MBA is about using your creative skills to come up with solutions for management of company so that the enterprise can work efficiently and profitably. Not just about money. If money is prime motivation, one tends to get disillusioned very soon.

Jyoti Agarwal: Yes but getting calls will lead to converting them and then going for an MBA

Archana Bandhuvula: "Preparation" for a Management entrance is all about honing your aptitude for clearing the first hurdle and then again the knowledge, analytical ability hurdles i.e. GD and PI for which his work experience would definitely be helpful.

S.Sinharay: Also he intends to do an MBA. Time period is not specified and again there is no guarantee that he will get admission in a b-school.

Pavan: That confidence may reduce after some more work and that do not in our country. There is a chance for him to satisfy with the knowledge he has gained in the abroad and also with the package he is getting. Obviously the confidence level will not remain the same.

Antony Thomas:  But can you really tell me that money is no concern. And that the other factors you have chipped in are the ones more important.

Jyoti Agarwal: I agree MBA is not only for being a part of money race. Industry is all about working in groups and MBA teaches you how to work in groups and actually contribute effectively

S.Sinharay: I did not say money is no factor but it should not be the primary guiding force in the choice of your career.

Archana Bandhuvula: If he considers the difficulty of clearing the entrance, may be his actual intention of "Why and how" he should go for an MBA, would be lost. His intention is to be a worthy candidate for a Management course. That’s why he’s rejected the admission the last year and moreover he's not left with many options. The other job option would lead to his ending up in a low profile job whereas the first one would help him grow.

Supriya: If you have got the BURNING DESIRE OF LEADING AN ENTERPRISE then MBA is a help for you else you are not availing MBA in the right manner. There are so many other ways to make money. Go and make your websites and then sell the pixels (just @rs. 5 per pixel) on your website to various firms to provide links to those firms to the visitors at your website, this will fetch you more money than doing an MBA.

Antony Thomas: Yes. Team work is definitely something you learn on an MBA program . One question I have is was Ravi right in declining the admission in the first place.

www.UrPercentile.com: Thanks everyone, requests everyone to give a concluding statement.

Archana Bandhuvula: So I suggest sticking to the first job, grow technically as well as pick some experiences, understand Management strategies and then go for MBA

Antony Thomas: Ravi needs to take up the job offer with the bond and do his best to get into a good B school after his bond period.

Pavan: As per the discussion, he should work for the first company and should get some more experience. And after that only, he can join MBA because he can expose to the new technologies in abroad.

Supriya: Moreover the top billionaires like Bill Gates, L.N.Mittal, Ambani did not do any MBA

S.Sinharay: Ravi should sign the bond because it will enhance his job profile significantly at the same time can pursue MBA should he choose to do so.

Jyoti Agarwal: To conclude, I would say that first Ravi should decide on the goals of his life and the profile he is looking forward to. Since he has done the preparation last year only, he will be well versed with it and there are high chances of making it to one of the B-schools. Even in case he cannot make he has the job to rely upon and can always make a switch.

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