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Kudos Rajat ! April 18, 2006

Posted by Sharath Rao in education, india, people.

Rajat Gupta is one man to appreciate. He knows a thing or two ( and more ! ) about institution building. This man built up one up – the ISB – from scratch and is on the way to another.

Personally, I have no patience with people who attempt to cover up their selfishness and/or incompetence with their disguised/cultivated cynicism.

Some excerpts from his interview with Shekhar.

I was admitted to the IIM, but I went to Harvard because I had the best jobs coming out of IIT and had an admission in IIM. About Harvard, it was one of the best business schools in the US and everybody said there you can’t get any financial aid and can’t get an admission without experience. But it so happened that they not only gave me admission but also gave me full financial aid. I didn’t have any money to go. I remember the job offer I had was at ITC. Haksar was the chairman at the time and I sent him a letter saying I can’t join. He said nobody has turned us down so you have to come and explain why you can’t join. He’d sent me an air ticket to come to Calcutta. That was my first flight in my life. I told him, look, either I join you or I can go to Harvard Business School. And he said, go to Harvard Business School, he was a graduate himself.

Here he talks about our socialist mentality – which basically says – the cake is fixed and forever – we can only make smaller and smaller pieces from it until none is left.

I don’t believe you can solve it by quotas. I believe in expanding the opportunity, expanding the supply. If there were 10 times more IITs or IIMs, there will be opportunity for everyone.



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